Saturday, 29 December 2007

Look out here's 2008!

How was your Christmas? Ours was the usual routine, but the children do make it a special time! They were to bed early on Christmas Eve as they couldn't wait for Santa to come, and as expected, he came sometime through the night as their Santa bags had lots of pressies in them the next morning :)

Then there was usual ripping and tearing of paper frenzy before going to my in-laws mid morning... for more ripping and tearing before lunch! The kids played happily with their gifts all afternoon and in fact the whole time since (although I will not be surprised when the "I'm bored" statement is eventually uttered!).

My girls (the twins) are still on a high, as their birthday is just around the corner - on New Years Day. This of course means a huge bonanza for them at this time of the year, although the rest of the year is a little light in the present department!

It is really hard having children with a birthday on a public holiday so close to Christmas (I feel totally sorry for those who have their birthdays actually on Christmas Day!). You want to do something for them that is special, but in our case, everyone is tired after the festivities of New Years Eve and most of their little friends are involved with family things or away on holidays.

Last year we had a pre-party for them the week before school broke up and that seemed to work well. But you still have to do something for their actual birthday too.

We always have a cake (two actually) and have in the past had a New Years Day brunch or lunch with friends and relatives that happen to be around. This year, we are going out for New Years Eve and the children will be staying with Grandma. So we are proposing a BBQ style lunch at our house with the cake afterwards. (This gives us time to sleep in a little and get everything prepared ;) ). I've been looking at what I can cook and found this scrumptious looking recipe on the My Day Off blog. Perfect for a hot summer day when everyone is a little tired!

I've included a picture of a beautifully bright coin pearl bracelet that would be perfect for New Year's celebrations. The colours in the photo are quite true to life and set off beautifully by the silver.

Friday, 21 December 2007

In readiness for Christmas

Woohoo! Only a few days until Christmas :) I have taken a quote I saw recently on the Small Business Diva blog, to heart. It stated “The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot”. So, even though it meant a lot of busy days I have achieved a few things in time for Christmas....all my Christmas orders have been completed and sent, christmas cards have been written and sent(this in itself is a huge achievement - see my last post!), Christmas gifts have been purchased (thank goodness for online shopping) and wrapped and sitting under the tree and the house has had a pre-Xmas clean and the obligitory moving around of furniture ;) . Surprising the end result of having everything under control has given me a real lift, rather than the tired, run-down feeling I was expecting after all that rushing! Maybe I'm on a Christmas- high?

The children finish school tomorrow and I am really looking forward to spending a fun Christmas with them - the girls are really into Christmas and Santa and are so excited its quite contagious. My son is starting to question the whole Santa idea - he told me a few days ago "I know you're really Santa - you dress up like him and put the presents under the tree" LOL, I honestly told him that "I have never dressed up as Santa". He saw my sincerity and so is happy to go along with it for now!

I started our own Christmas tradition when the children were very little. We had a lovely Santa/North Pole style snow globe that was only allowed to be touched leading up until Christmas. Each night before bed, we would lovingly bring it down and shake it, gaze at is as the snow settled before doing it again. Then we would read one of our special Christmas books - lovely picture books about Christmas, Santa, elves and so on. Just to get into the Christmas spirit. Unfortunately, Meredith in her absolute adoration for the globe broke it last year and I haven't found a replacement. But we are still reading the Christmas books. Now that the children are older I have also started reading a small Christmas themed novel out loud to them which they seem to be enjoying. My in-laws have their own traditions which we share with them on Christmas Day. Do you have a Christmas tradition in your family?

Today's picture is a bracelet that would make your wrist sparkle on Christmas Day (or any day of the year!). Soft pastel hues of lavender, pink and white freshwater pearls, icy rock crystal quartz and pale pink rose quartz combine in a two strand twist with an adorable sterling silver heart toggle clasp.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and loving festive season... and I hope Santa is good to you! ;)

Monday, 10 December 2007

Christmas cards and Variscite

Yes, its that time of the year again....I have started to receive Christmas cards from well-meaning (and organised) friends that serve to make me feel very inadequate!!! They must write them in the middle of the year and send them out on the first of December!? I usually stumble around and eventually find some suitable cards, then hastily write our yearly letter (summary of our lives for the last twelve months) and post them off in the absolutely last post available (that postmarks them before Christmas Day)....if I'm lucky. *sigh* Okay, I might not be as organised as I would like but at least I have started looking for cards! I found these very nice ones at Jenni's Papercraft Designs. I note she made them back in November. I wonder if she sends them out before Christmas Eve?

Last week was an absolutely mad week with 2 days out in neighbouring towns (140 and 100kms away - each way) respectively. Add to that two visits to friends/neighbours, a P&F meeting, a Christmas drinks party, delivering and making get the picture I'm sure! I was seriously considering doing a pre-Christmas show in Mudgee, but I just don't have the time. Instead, I am concentrating on getting all the orders done this week so that I can spend the week leading up to Christmas with my children. I felt I actually missed out last year as I was so busy with work, so I won't be making the same mistake this year!

Do you like the necklace pictured today? I have to admit I am a 'green' girl. I just love green. When I look at my stock the green far exceeds other colours - I just can't help myself and have to buy green stones!!!! LOL, this reminds me - I received a great sweatshirt today that I ordered from a favourite geology related site - UnEarthed Tees, who I have mentioned before. It says "As a matter of fact I do have rocks in my head, I'm a gemmologist" Ha ha! Ooops, off the track there....

OK, today's necklace is a simple yet totally stunning piece. Grand in size, elegant in shape and vivid in colour. The wonderful stone used is granny-smith-apple-green variscite, together with lightly oxidised sterling silver bars and tiny silver balls.

Variscite was first described in the early nineteenth century and its name comes from the Latin name for Vogtland "Variscia" in Germany where it was found. Very early beads of Spanish variscite that date from around 4500BC have been found in the Italian Alps, along with articles of green jade that seemed much admired and desired. (Maybe they liked green too!) Deposits of Variscite are also found in the USA and in Australia and it is often confused with green varieties of turquoise. Gemmologically it is a phosphate mineral and its colour comes from chromium. Metaphysically, it is classed as a 'worry' stone - it is used extensively to calm busy minds and nervous systems, helping with anxiety, stress, depression, fear and worry. It also encourages truthfulness, courage and hope.

Till next time :) By the way, don't forget free worldwide shipping if you need a special piece to wear for Christmas!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Coin pearl earrings and a busy family week

Another busy week - lots of enquiries, orders to finish and things to do with my family. To add to the mayhem, it was the end of year dance concert and I spent two days sewing costumes and a day at rehearsals/concert. My girls looked like very pretty little ballerinas and my son looked suitably funky for his hip hop performance.

Two of the children received medals for their work during the year which I was so chuffed about, but number three missed out and my heart nearly broke when I saw her disappointment. As soon as people started to disperse there was an outpouring of tears, but wasn't she brave to hold it all in during the proceedings! She recovered remarkably well (and quickly) thankfully. Although it is a hard lesson to learn (especially when you are six and a twin), it was one she coped very well with. She still wants to dance so her desire hasn't been dimmed by her disappointment.

Are you getting ready for Christmas? It is now December and thoughts are flying around in my head about gifts (although I haven't managed to 'catch' any of those thoughts yet!). Although I don't often look at jewellery sites (I wonder why LOL), I saw this one and what a great idea! They take a digital image and 'photo engrave' it onto a flat pendant of silver or gold. What a great idea for a long lasting memory!

Today's pic is of a simple yet stunning pair of earrings. Palest natural pink freshwater 'coin' pearls with gorgeous lustre are linked together onto 12ct gold fill studs for a fresh, elegant look. These would look particularly stunning on a brunette (mmmm, maybe I need to make ME a pair ;D ! )

Monday, 26 November 2007

Moonstone and other ramblings

Ahhhh, I'm feeling rather weary...I've just had a 3 day show in my local town, Coolah, and it went incredibly well. I got to share lots of lovely jewellery with lots of lovely ladies and had a great time doing it! But, as usual, I fall in a heap afterwards!! I think its because I'm operating at high revs for so long, when I don't have to anymore, I sputter to a stop LOL.

I have also been thinking on Christmas and have decided I just MUST have a maxi dress for summer and went looking online since I am so distant from shops. I looked and I looked and I looked. I found a couple that 'almost' made it, but not quite. Then I had a thought....Michelle from My New Shiny Shoes blog is always finding great deals and unusual items to purchase online, so I sent her a 'challenge' ... to find me such a dress! I will be keeping a close eye on her blog to see what she comes up with!!!

Sunday night is my ironing night. I really don't enjoy ironing, but feel I can cope if I do it in front of a good movie. So last night I set myself up and watched the first instalment of the BBC production Jane Eyre. Well I think I spent more time watching than ironing as I hadn't made much progress at all by the end of two hours! The acting is brilliant and I think the casting is well done - Jane is quirky/attractive and Mr Rochester is handsome in a worn, rather craggy way - very Bronte-esque! I thought I had the book of Jane Eyre on my bookshelf but couldn't find it which is annoying as I have the need to read the story right now! But I will have to make do with waiting a whole week until Part 2 is on next Sunday night. Sigh. Did anyone else watch it? What did you think????

Today's picture is of a gorgeous bracelet of moonstone in colours reminiscent of coffee - anyone for a latte? Linked into a chain with 12ct gold fill, this bracelet will be able to be worn year in and year out without dating. Moonstone is type of orthocloase feldspar and has a beautiful shimmer within,(called adulararescence) visible when the stones are moved. Often thought to be only in white, it actually comes in colourless to white to yellow to peach and even grey.

Metaphysically, moonstone is a stone of new beginnings. It promotes intuition and emphathy, calms overreactions and emotional triggers. Soothing stress and providing deep emotional healing it also helps assimilate nutrients, eliminate toxins and alleviates degenerative conditions of skin, hair, eyes and liver as well as helping to treat insomnia.

Don't forget free worldwide shipping from me for a special chistmas gift - be it for a gift for someone else or a gift for yourself! ;)

Monday, 19 November 2007

Australian Summer and Amethyst

We've just been to Sydney and its a long, tiring drive. We made the journey to see my dad while he was there as he lives on the north coast of NSW which is even more of a drive!

We left very early in the morning, just before there was light in the sky and the children thought it a great adventure to see the sky gradually lighten and change colour. By the time we made it to the Blue Mountains, the sun was high in the sky and blazing down from a bright blue sky.

Driving along, with chattering children in the back, and engine noise from both our and others cars, the cicadas in the bush were still loud and a definite reminder of the Australian bush. My husband and I spoke about how that sound reminded us of summer in Australia - hot days in the bush and that constant buzz of cicadas. I just saw this post on the Rainbow Designs blog, and it is so true! We certainly are fortunate to be able to be so close to nature in this big country. Remember my holiday post and the kangaroos in the front yard! ;)

The response to free worldwide shipping has been great and I am so glad I can now more easily share my jewellery, in reality, with the rest of the world. Its a great feeling and makes the additional cost to me very worthwhile!

Today's picture is a very stately, classic necklace. Made with big faceted lilac coloured amethyst and set off with natural lilac freshwater pearls and tiny little Karen Hill Tribe silver faceted balls. Although you can't see it, the silver clasp is in the shape of an adorable ribbon bow. Very feminine!

Amethyst is a beautiful stone and comes in every shade of purple from lilac through to the deep purple favoured by royalty (they're featured in the British Crown Jewels). It is the stone of the Buddha and Catholic Bishops wear rings of amethyst. Some tribal shamans used amethysts as a talisman and object of power. Egyptian solders wore amethyst into battle to retain their courage and the Romans made goblets of amethyst as it was believed to protect against drunkenness.

The Romans had a wonderful myth for explaining the occurrence of this lovely rock. The god Bacchus had been insulted by a mortal and furious, swore that the next mortal that crossed his path would suffer his wrath. A young maiden called Amethysta, who was affiliated with the Goddess Diana was the next mortal he saw and in his anger killed her. Diana took pity on Amethysta and changed her into crystal. Bacchus soon repented his act and wept on the crystal, whereupon his tears turned the crystal purple.

Metaphysically, amethyst is still considered a powerful and protective stone. Among its many attributes are: a natural tranquiliser, helping you feel more focused and in control; enhances acceptance of new ideas; dispels anger and fear; alleviates sadness and grief; opens intuition and enhances psychic gifts; brings intuitive dreams when slept with; tunes metabolism; cleanses the blood and eliminating organs; heals bruises and swellings, poor hearing and skin conditiouns; treats insomnia and brings restful sleep.

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Mums children and social networking

*** I have decided to introduce FREE WORLDWIDE SHIPPING on my jewellery. I get so many lovely comments from people overseas and the freight cost really holds them back - so as of NOW, its free shipping to anywhere in the world! :)***

I have been reading through some of the posts on the blog, The Tall Poppy. Anne is funny, entertaining and thoughtful and I particularly love her slightly irreverant sense of humour. I particularly like the following post - The Hazards of Having Children - it really made me smile, even though my children are a bit bigger than the ones targeted in the story.

Speaking of children mine are rapidly wearing me out/down. How am I going to cope when it gets closer to Christmas?? How are yours treating you?

A great source of support is the social network called Posh Mama. This great site is aimed at women all over the world, mostly mothers, who like to look good and keep up to date and not be relegated to the just 'mum' status! Its very supportive, interactive and I have met some really interesting women through it! Lots of different forums to join on all sorts of topics that there is easily a few there you could join in on, and Posh Mama herself (the site's owner) keeps you up to date with all things "posh" and "mama" oriented! You get your own page on the site to share with the world and can even link your blog there (this one is linked to my page!). The community is growing everyday - check it out!

Keeping this Posh Mama mindset, I've selected a piece for today's pic that is very classy and will not lose that timeless appeal. This necklace would look stunning worn with a white shirt, a little black dress or a dress in any of the cream-taupe-brown tones. My supplier described the stones as "Opal Quartz" - I am unsure of the rock that is attached to the quartz, but it is absolutely delicious. The browns/creams/golds are set off by the rock crystal quartz all with an extremely high polish, and I have matched it simply (as it didn't need much enhancement) with small nuggets of pyrite in between. A sterling clasp finishes the piece off.

Have a great day! :)

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

I've been SHOPPING :)

Ahhh, shopping, don't you LOVE it. The highs of finding something new, hearing that little angel on your shoulder going "goodie goodie" and then the expectaction of waiting for the items to arrive (since I only ever seem to shop online, the whole shopping experience is somewhat extended!). Then when the goodies DO arrive, the anticipation has built and you rip open the box to see the treasure inside! Ahhhh, bliss.

OK, well, maybe I'm a shopaholic? But I KNOW there are many of you out there that are the same. Nod your head .... that's right ;)

So, what have YOU been shopping for? I've been shopping for stones and pearls - I told you I needed more last week! I've revisited some of my favourite suppliers and even found a new one that I am sure will keep me salivating for years.

Someone sent me an email the other day saying there was only 51 days left to Christmas! EEEK. Its even less than that now! I really will have to think about gifts soon. I've just had to have a look at my favourite gift store, Tonic Gifts, and found the Action Hero's Handbook - now I know my son would love it as he has always aspired to be Indiana Jones and I can see my hubby sneaking the odd peek too ;) Michelle from Tonic Gifts also has a great article on her blog about christmas shopping which is well worth a look before we plunge headlong into the fray!

The pic for today is a necklace of huge amazonite balls (they really are big!) separated by white freshwater pearls. The toggle closure, although you can't see it in the pic, is also made of amazonite - how cool is that! I call this my "Wilma" necklace - as in the Flintstones ;) . The amazonite is a beautiful aqua blue colour and really quite magnificent, especially in such a size! Meaning "from the Amazon", this sodium feldspar has been used for ornamentation for thousands of years, with articles of amazonite being found in treasure hoards from ancient Egypt. Metaphysically it is considered a soothing stone, calming thoughts and the nervous system and protecting against electromagnetic pollution.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Gemstones - I want MORE!

I'm slowly getting back in the groove from Lovedale. It always takes me a few days to catch up - to unpack everything, to remember where I was up to (and to catch up on the housework!) and to finish of orders from the show. Its so easy to sit back, sigh and just do nothing (*guilt guilt guilt* lol).

My stock has dwindled considerably over the shows held in the last couple of months. I need to get in and make some more pieces in readiness for Christmas showings. And although I have quite a stash of stones to still make up, I have the 'need' to buy some new ones!! After all, thats why I do all of this - so I can get my hands on more pretties ;).

I was looking at the Modern Goddess blog and saw this brilliant article about Kunzite. I really want some now but have to find some pieces that call out and grab me. In the meantime I have a blue thing going and seem to buying all things blue.

The pic for today is a delicate little bracelet of boulder opal and freshwater pearls linked together with 12ct gold fill. Pretty, isn't it? The opal is hard to photograph nicely so that the colour is visible but there are gorgeous flashes of red, yellow, blue and green shining through the ironstone.

Monday, 22 October 2007

Spring has Sprung!

Spring has well and truly sprung. It is wonderful to see all the lush growth in those areas that have had rain. Anne on her My Day Off blog has given some great recipes for springtime scents :) Unfortunately for me, spring also means hayfever, so I may just have to hide inside for a little while and make some more pretties for summer! (Pic above is of a bracelet that has already gone (!) and I only made it last week. Vivid purple, hot pink and lime green freshwater pearls with peridot, amethyst and rock crystal quartz.)

Well, the Lovedale Craftfest has been and gone and it was a really enjoyable weekend. I travelled down to "wine country" as they call it, on Friday. Found my accommodation - the Abernethy Guest House, where my hosts, Vicky and Imanz were welcoming to their 1920's period hotel. After a quick tour and dropping off my bags, I raced back to the Ogishi Craft Centre where I started my set up. Of the 12 artisans in attendance, 9 were well underway in their set up and so I needed to get started quickly! A brief hello to my fellow artisans and Setsuko showed me my exhibition space where I busily started my display. After moving things around (and around and around!) I was ready in plenty of time for the artisan's gathering which was followed by the opening night.

Some of the artisans I already knew from the Lovedale Limited Edition Expo last year, but I hadn't got to chat to them and see their work closely. I was located next to Alison Green, a very talented and bubbly lady who does incredible silkscreens of Australian fauna and flora. She makes her pieces accessible to the average person by printing on tshirts, tablecloths, cushions, tea cosy's etc., as well as prints for the wall. Alison and her husband Max, kept me laughing during the show and kept our space very happy indeed!

Kay Faulkner is a master weaver and creates the most amazing patterns - both plain and in colour with her wraps and scarves. They almost seemed computer generated, but of course they are not! Kay was a lovely calming influence throughout the whole show.

Robin Phillips creates the most amazing silver, gold and enamel jewellery. My husband admired her work last year so I made a point of looking closely and it is indeed beautiful work. Robin is friendly and warm to everyone and there is no surprise that she has dedicated clients everywhere. Her enamel cloissonne is just brilliant. I can honestly say that if I was to buy a piece of jewellery from someone else, she would be my choice!

Lynne Taylor was near to my booth last year and like Kay she is a calm beacon amongst the swirling humanity. Her display this year was beautiful. I managed to look at her amazing collaged fabric garments and if you wanted to feel amazing for a special day or evening, one of her jackets would fit the bill!

Mark Jones is a lovely, appoachable man and his handbags are to die for! This man's work is soooo desirable and I'm not even into handbags that much! I KNOW I will be recommending people to his work for years and years.

Nicky Coady is a studio potter and her work is amazing. I surely haven't seen work like hers and can see why she was so popular. A great personality as well - fun and laughing all the time.

Barbara Stephenson was new to the Lovedale scene and I love her slumped glass work. I didn't get to chat to Barbara but I did meet her husband (called "HELPER" on his tag lol) who was obviously proud of his wife's work.

Lance Hennessy is a quiet chap who creates amazing ceramic sculptures - I didn't get to chat with Lance for more than a minute unfortunately.

Robyn McGain is also new to the Lovedale display, but her incredible quilts were greatly admired. Robyn is friendly and chatty and as a local was a great asset to the event.

Setsuko Ogishi of course does the most beautiful glass work - true works of art were scattered throughout the gallery. Setsuko and her husband Yutaka are quiet and welcoming and they organised Craftfest brilliantly.

I met some lovely people from all over the Hunter Valley, some from Sydney, a great family from Warren and even a little group from Germany. All in all a wonderful, busy weekend :)

Monday, 15 October 2007

I'm back!

Ooooh, I think I'm addicted to the internet. I missed getting my emails and checking out my favourite sites soooo much! But I DID cope okay ;)

We all had a great time - the beach was gorgeous, the weather sublime and I took some jewellery to work on (and even managed to do some of it), the kids were out of control, but it was a holiday so I didn't get too stressed about it! This pic was taken one afternoon when the tide had gone out and left a channel in its wake with some groovy patterns in it.

I landed back in reality a few hours ago. The car is unpacked, the bags are halfway there. I have jewellery all over the floor and all over my bench! New supplies arrived in my absence - I LOVE getting parcels! - and all is go, go, go. I even had a client come over this afternoon among the disarray and managed to find her something perfect to go with her new dress. I have to get back into gear and get organised for Lovedale, so 3 days to go.....arrrgghhhh........

A simple necklace to show today - musky pink rhodonite and big sterling silver balls.

I'll report back after Lovedale :)

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Holidays here we come!

Woohoo! Its THAT time of the year for us - our annual holiday. We have had such a busy year, I am really looking forward to it! The stresses of last week have faded and even though I still have a mountain of things to do before we leave, the end is in sight!!

Last year we bought a house in the small village of Woodgate, just above Hervey Bay in Queensland. We went there for our holiday this time last year - we had friends in Maryborough and Bundaberg and wanted to stay in a place mid-way between them, so I pulled out hubby's maps and looked for beachside towns. Woodgate was one I found, along with a few others. Some quick research on the 'net showed that it was a small village that still showed signs of its beach shack past, had reasonable rentals for the holiday season and was perfectly placed.

We rented a house across the road from the beach and it only took a day or two to fall in love with the place.
We spent a good proportion of our holiday looking at houses for sale!

By the end of the week we had bought a house!!!!! Some things are meant to be. It is an older house, one street back from the beach, two storey to catch the sea breeze and quite lovely inside. We flew up for the settlement and spent a week painting, getting it spick and span and ready for holiday tenants.

When we bought it:

After our week sprucing it up:

So, it has been 10 months since I have seen it and one of the reasons I am really looking forward to the holidays. Of course it may mean more painting and work, but its so nice to work on something that is all ours (well, ours and the bank's!!!!)

No posts for me while I'm gone, but as I come back and get caught up in a swirl of going to the Lovedale Craftfest, I am seriously thinking about taking some bits and pieces with me to work on :)

Catch you on the flip side!

Saturday, 29 September 2007

Spiralling out of control vs. achieving

Do you ever feel like your life is spiralling out of control? I am a bit of a 'control freak', so it doesn't take much for me to feel like this LOL. But I certainly feel like it at the moment!

There are so many demands on our time - especially if we are mothers and trying to meet all the commitments in our communities, in our families, in our hobby/business and so on.

Take this week for example. Outside of the home/studio I had a family function, took the children to a birthday party and two after school activities, attended a school function and my town's street fair as a stallholder. This meant that I was out 6 out of the 7 days! For the scant few hours that I was home, I was doing things that a mother and wife does around the house, and squeezed in some work on my jewellery in preparation for the fair. I am just starting the next week and find myself surrounded by a messy studio with boxes and stock everywhere (I've just started to unpack it all from the fair last night), mountains of laundry and a list a mile long of things I have to do!! I am also looking after the farm whilst my husband is away, but what the heck, just add a few more lines to the To Do list.

However, although I feel rather overwhelmed I really have had an extremely satisfying week as well! I got to see family I haven't seen in months, I watched the children enjoy a birthday party with their friends and improve at their dancing classes and even saw them perform, caught up with other parents at the school function and had a brilliant day at the street fair (once the wind died down LOL).

Its important to be able to look at the positive side of things and see what you have achieved rather than seeing the downfall in everthing. I read a post on the Etched in Memories blog and although is about achieving success, it does point to the positive aspect of it all and I can see comparisons to our daily lives.

After all that I need something pretty to look at....

I sold this lovely necklace last night to our Mayor's wife. Although we are going into summer here and this piece is almost autumnal, the colours looked lovely on her and I am sure she will enjoy it. It is made of pearls in tones of gold, green, cranberry and creamy apricot, plus BC Jade, citrine and garnet.

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

A great show and a summery jade necklace

Well, the Merriwa Show has been and gone and what a great time was had by all! You may or may not have heard but there has been an outbreak of Equine Influenza in Australia and all horse movements have been banned to limit its spread. This of course has had a huge impact on regional and local agricultural shows where horses still play a big part in the program. The number of attendees were reportedly down, but the organisers had a great idea of doing the events withOUT the horses. For Merriwa, this meant, for example, replacing the horses with quad bikes in the calf-roping competition and the barrel race! Apparently it was great entertainment and perhaps it will become a fixed part of the show scene - after all a lot of farmers (around here at least) use bikes instead of horses (us included!).

I didn't actually get to see any of this - only had it reported to me. Why? Well, I was exhibiting in the 'ladies' pavillion along with the cooking, craft, horticultural, art and flower displays, and all the lovely people coming through kept me exceedingly busy! I usually try to take an assistant to an event as it just gets a tad busy trying to talk, to process transactions, to wrap and give general assistance to people trying on necklaces, etc.. I DID take my husband, but he decided he was no help at all and disappeared for most of the day!!! I told him that I could use some help wrapping and he said to my (luckily very friendly customer), "Madam, would you like to wear that?" lol. Ah well. At least he was invaluable during packing up!

All in all its been a particularly popular time for my jewellery - the warmer weather perhaps, or have I just been recognised? I even note that in my very favourite shopping blog My New Shiny Shoes that one of my bracelets was listed a couple of weeks ago :) See it here. I have found so many wonderful bits and bobs to buy from this blog that I am sure I would never have found by myself!

I also sold the bracelet featured in my last post! Inevitable really, it was soooo pretty. And it has gone to a lovely young lady who I know will look after it and cherish it.

I have included a pic for today's post - its just such a summery, pretty piece! It is a necklace of Soo-Chow jade (treated) and lovely big fat white freshwater pearls. Its so simple, but the colours of the jade are vibrant and the flattering glow of the pearls onto your face is an added bonus ;)

Jade is a tough stone with a hardness of 6.5-7. Although encompassing two distinct minerals - jadeite and nephrite- they are better known and treasured as simply 'jade'. Translucent to opaque it is cut en cabachon to highlight its beauty. These days a lot of jade is treated to some amazing colours, which obviously don't occur naturally, but make for beautiful jewellery! Jade has been used throughout history - in early times for weapons, and in China for over 2000 years for carved figures and symbols used in religious and mystic rites. Valued more than gold in pre-Columbian Central America and its name derives from piedra de ijada which was a reference to its metaphysical properties of healing and protecting the kidneys. The particular stones seen above, are from the Soo-Chow area in China.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Enjoyment in what you do and a favourite bracelet

I am just soooo in love with this bracelet - I'm showing it off to everyone at the moment! In a way, this bracelet defines the enjoyment I get from designing and making jewellery, although it took reading to make this connection ;)

I love how I can put stones and or pearls together and it works - the result of the whole is even better than the individual pieces that went into it. Yes, the lime green pearls are beautiful, and so is the amethyst, the aquamarine and the other pearls - in lavender, purple and grass green - but put them altogether and WOW - it really 'pops'!

The happiness I get from the design and creation process is why I keep doing what I do, and my passion (and we ALL need to have a passion in some aspect of our lives) is what makes my jewellery appealing to others - people want to have a piece that is not only attractive to them but because it has a tiny piece of my passion in it - they remember my eagerness and happiness when talking about it to them.

I think myself fortunate to be able to do what I love as a 'job'. It makes the not so nice work that is involved quite bearable.

What is your passion?

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Sunstone and first spring show for 2007 a success

Well, I'm back! I had a wonderful time in Nyngan - the View Club ladies were so very welcoming!! A big thank you to Di who organised for me to come out there and to Ruth for billeting me out for the night :)

I went with fellow Coolah resident, Eleanor Cook, the NSW Rural Woman of the Year who was speaking to these groups about herself and how she got to be voted as the NSW Rural Woman of the Year. It was fascinating to hear her story as one of 12 children (11 girls and 1 boy) in suburban Sydney, her life in PR and marketing, and her move to the country. As part of her new community she saw the town with the fresh eyes of a non-local and saw there was a need to revive the town which, over a period of many years, she worked so tirelessly on. The current town of Coolah, also recently voted as "community of the year" really has a new view on its existence and is determined to survive regardless of the closure of a large employer a few years ago and the rather devastating drought from which most of us are still recovering. It is wonderful to see the difference that one person can make - we tend to take these people for granted, but they work very hard to improve the lot of the majority, which they really should be recognised for! Eleanor's message to the ladies of Nyngan was to work out a plan - find what everyone agreed was important to improve, then work on it - keep the big picture, but work on the project in small bites - and as these projects are successful, celebrate your achievement with the community to keep them motivated and involved. By the time Eleanor had finished her talk, there were lots of motivated ladies, some of who needed new jewellery ;) - the feedback on my spring collection was dazzling! Thank you ladies!!

Speaking of dazzling I wanted to share a pic of this beautiful sunstone necklace that has gone to a new home with one of the Nyngan ladies - it was only made a couple of weeks ago as were a few of the pieces I sold this week - so I won't get the opportunity to share it again I less I post it here!

The necklace is made of large, smooth nuggets of sunstone - a plagioclase feldspar which has shiny flecks of orange-red suspended within the stone which catch the light as it moves and give a beautiful, understated flash. Of average hardness (6-6.5) it is usually transluscent and one of the most well known sources of sunstone is Oregon in the USA. When I was looking at designing this piece I was in a conundrum - it's such a unique colour that other stones and pearls didn't enhance either the sunstone or themselves so what? I tried silver with it - but it drained the colour. I tried gold but it was too 'brassy' looking. Then I had tried silver and gold together and hey presto - just enough and not too much.

Metaphysically sunstone instills good nature, restores a good view on life and allows the real self to shine through. Traditionally it is linked to luck and good fortune.
No wonder I like it! Do you?

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

Nerves, challenges and a flower necklace

I'm off to Nyngan tomorrow for my first spring showing and I'm running around like a 'headless chook' as my Dad says. At least I now have a huge pile of boxes/bags to put into the car, so I am almost there. But I'm a bit worried about the drive - getting there on time and safely and a little nervous about the show itself! I have so much new stock that I have never displayed before, so the whole display will be different and new and take some 'tweaking'. A couple of shows in, I'll know exactly what has to to go where and I will feel like an old hand at it again!

I've been reading more blogs (yes I know - I should be working *guilt* LOL) but I loved this post on The Tall Poppy blogsite It initially got my attention with the picture and story of a cow (since I'm surrounded by them on a daily basis, they're a bit hard to ignore ;) ) Anyway, is a brilliant, uplifting story and does indeed make you wonder what is possible if you put your mind to it!

Keeping that idea in mind, the piece pictured above is one that took a lot of courage/commitment to make. I have made a couple of the gem 'flowers' before but they're difficult for someone who doesn't do a lot with wire wrapping and in the past very sore fingers from manipulating the wire has been the side effect! Nevertheless, I had this picture in my mind of a feminine choker or necklace made of flowers and I think it worked really well. It took well over a day to make it plus time to refine the design. And yes I did get sore fingers and a few broken nails too. But it just went to show that 'doubting' part of me that I can succeed if I try!

The necklace is made of many feet of sterling silver wire, the flowers are made of amethyst (purple), rose quartz (pale pink) or rock crystal quartz (clear), the centres are citrine (pale yellow) and the ends are peridot (green) representing the foliage. It is ended with an extension chain so that it can either be worn as a choker done up fully or as a necklace utilising the extension chain.

Do you like it?

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Nuturing talent in our children

Getting ready for spring shows makes my life so busy - filled with all the little things that need to be done after creating a piece - entering items in the stock book, photographing, tagging and so on which takes up a lot of hours - plus thinking ahead for 'what ifs' - what if this happens, what if I run out of this, what if, what if, what if. Of course the couple of days immediately before the show is pretty hectic too with packing and checking and making up boxes.....

But sometimes we have to remember that work is only one part of our lives. An important one - be it for monetary reasons or fulfilment of a creative need - but there is a huge part of our lives that involve family and loved ones and we really can't lose sight of that, although we all too often do. Reading this post on the She Essence blog rung a rather loud bell with me! Only a few days ago my son, age 9, stated that I was no 'fun' anymore - I didn't have 'time' to have 'fun'. Hello. Wake up call.

One thing I can do with my children, apart from the normal 'mum' things - looking after their needs and wants and keeping the home comfortable and welcoming for them, as well as instilling a sense of what is right and wrong, is to nuture their creative sides. Not everyone is creative in the same way but all my children love to draw and make things. They often see me sketching designs and so copy me, drawing their own designs. They always want to make a necklace or a bracelet and with skills they have learned from watching me at my bench, have made a ton of jewellery for themselves and their friends ... its almost a little scary when I look at their jewellery 'tree' (a commercial jewellery hanger/display that is almost as tall as them! - well as tall as my 6 year old girls, at any rate!).

Recently, my son really wanted to make a necklace out of some quite pricey stones. I was resistant at first, but he went off and drew a design which looked quite nice. He got some of my 'stone soup' stones (offcasts) and showed me what he wanted. So I agreed - I would do the actual 'making', but he got artistic input ;)

The piece pictured above is the result - it is made with smoky quartz and amethyst faceted nuggets. (I picked out the actual stones, but he 'approved' their placement/order). The stones are linked together with sterling silver forming a section of gemstone 'chain'. This section is in turn connected to sterling silver long and short chain (selected by the designer) with a plain sterling clasp at the back. He even chose the length. We even agreed on the name together. He really got a kick out of seeing his design come to reality and being part of my work.

I must admit I was pretty impressed with his work - we made a pact that he would get a percentage of the sale when it sells - so of course he is keen to make a sale!!! I think he may even have a future as a designer - what do you think?

Now, if I can work on organising myself a bit more so that I have more available time when the children are home, I may be on the way to achieving a good balance of home and work - meeting my needs (which as mum's we often overlook) and raising well adjusted children who still have fun with their parents!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Confetti coloured pearls and some great Aussie shopping sites

I just realised that its father's day next weekend - eeek. And that I haven't got my father anything, so I'll be late, AGAIN. *insert much guilt icon here ;) * In desperation I hit the 'net trying to find something for him. He's not the easiest person to buy for - he is elderly now and can hardly see or get around. He used to love reading but is now confined to hearing-books and he pretty much needs round the clock care. Not easy, huh?
So, in my desperate search I found some brilliant sites after floudering around for a few hours....and most of them came from the wonderful shopping blog . I saw this site in its infancy when, in fact, I was featured on it. But haven't looked at it closely since. Well, what a great surprise when I looked further! Amongst the huge amount of sites there, one really appealed to me.... - the best gadgets/novelty items/gifts for someone who is quirky/has it all/is difficult to buy for. Things like a LED lit compact mirror, leather bound notebooks, wind up racing grannies and fighting grandpas, air powered water rockets, and even a tool kit in PINK! Needless to say, my dad is getting those wind up racing grannies- he'll get a giggle out of them! The other great site I found via mynewshinyshoes was . Obviously a babywear store but I fell in love with a beaut little bib with animals all over it that is really cute and unusual - and perfect for a new baby gift that I need to buy. I am also keeping in mind the riverstones that can be engraved with whatever you like. There are some in the picture saying 'hope', 'love', 'peace', 'trust', 'truth' and so on which really struck a chord with my mellow side. And finally there was - for something really unusual - like a ride in an ex-military jet! Cool!!!

Anyway, on to the piece for today! (A good match for the necklace the "flavour of summer" just the right, isn't it.....) Now pearls are a perennial favourite with almost everyone. I love their sheen and glow and the flattering light they cast onto your face. Perfection in the production of freshwater pearls from China and the resulting increase in such production, means that pearls are a lot more affordable and to make them even more appealing, they are treated into the most amazing variety of colours. The pearls are treated by either irradiation, dyed or bleached. Most freshwater pearls are treated in someway - the white ones are bleached, the coloured are dyed or irradiated, the natural coloured ones are soft peachy-lilac-apricot tones which are gorgeous too. The treatment is permanent and I wash all my pearls just in case, although from memory only one strand has ever had excess colour come from it.
The difference between freshwater pearls and 'cultured' pearls is that freshwater pearls, as the name implies, come from mussels that grow in freshwater and cultured come from oysters in salt water. The process of culturing however is much the same. Note that the treatment of coloured pearls does not apply to 'cultured' or naturally occurring saltwater pearls eg. black pearls do happen naturally.
The pair of earrings pictured above won't last long. They haven't been seen by anyone yet, so I can enjoy looking at them for a week or so before their first outing! I have made these by selecting a variety of bright, confetti colours in a variety of shapes and sizes. The bottom pearls are top drilled, so hang like briolette drops, and then each pearl above that has been wrapped securely with sterling silver to a delicate sterling silver chain. They will swing deliciously when worn and are such girly-girl colours that many people will be disappointed that they can't also have a pair! They take a surprising amount of time to make actually, so I'm glad I didn't decide to make more than one pair!!

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Malachite and an interview

Its still pretty chilly here with winter still hanging on, but there are some warmer moments (and flies!! already!!!) but a more springlike air is noticeable and this goes hand in hand with a renewed interest in jewellery by my clients.

I was interviewed by Indie Entrepreneur recently and the interview has just been published online. Check it out at . :) This is a great site with regular useful business tips and a weekly interview with an indie business/designer - which gives great insight into how we all work and design.

Today's piece is malachite, sterling silver and rock crystal quartz - a pretty combination isn't it? Malachite is a gorgeous stone - the wonderful orbicular patterns just scream to be admired. However it is a difficult stone to match other stones with - the rich, verdant green clashes with a lot of other colours until you think nothing is ever going to match it. But silver looks great with it and rock crystal quartz is such a complimentary stone that it does go with malachite, brilliantly.
Malachite is a relatively soft stone with a hardness of 3.5 to 4, so I confine my use as necklaces where it is unlikely to sustain knocks or rub against harder things that might scratch it over time. It has been used as decoration in jewellery and amulets by many cultures including ancient Egyptian, Greek and Roman societies. As was the case with Lapis Lazuli, malachite was used a paint pigment and also ground up as eyeshadow.
Found in various localities, including Zaire, Australia, Chile, Namimbia, Zimbabwe and the USA. The Urals in Russia was the most important site for malachite at one period in history, with blocks over 20 tons being mined.
Metaphysically, malachite is considered a powerful stone that heals and protects. It encourages risk taking and change, draws out deep feelings and releases inhibitions. Also called the 'midwife stone' it facilitates childbirth and enhances the immune system.

Monday, 20 August 2007

New flyers and a bit of a ramble.

Woohoo! Today I received the flyers for Craftfest - the show I am participating in during October. Don't they look great! A bracelet of mine is pictured behind the 'c' :D. Thats two years in a row that I have had a picture on the flyer which means either a) my photography skills are up to par or b) I make nice jewellery that they just HAVE to feature ;)

I fell victim to the dreaded flu that is going around this part of the world at the moment so creativity has been a bit low for the last week or so. I have however got a few pieces done - a lovely necklace with holly blue chalcedony that has some druzy visible; a fun, bright mixed piece including calcite, coral, amethyst, angelite, onyx and rose quartz; a couple of real stunners in the more traditional jewellery style - one with blue topaz and one with amethyst.

Since I am getting ready for show 'season' I have made a gazillion pewter bookmarks - well it felt that many, but I think it was about 40 actually! Plus I have made some rather classy phone charms/handbag charms/zipper pulls, with a gemstone focal and a little sparkle provided by some Swarovski crystals. The bookmarks are a perennial favourite for a little gift that is a bit different and I usually sell a few of these at each show. I am hoping the charms will help fill that void a bit further and keep up interest being something a little different to the usual thing you see.

I was surfing around some local sites today and found one on Mudgee Wine Events ( . Mudgee is about 100km from me and my nearest 'big' town. I have quite a few clients from Mudgee - its a very pretty town that has grown a lot in recent years but has retained its rural roots. It is also a well known wine area and gets a lot of tourist trade. Anyway... I was perusing their site and was both excited and disappointed to see an Art & Craft Expo - advertised as an exhibition for local artists. OK, now I know I'm not IN Mudgee, but this is the first I have heard of this exhibition that is less than a month away. Living in a relatively small community you would think it would have received a bit of advertising, but alas no. We have virtually no venues for local artists and artisans, apart from single artist exhibitions at assorted galleries. To think a combined expo like this is happening and no-one knows about it is terribly disappointing. I wonder how many local artists and artisans don't know about it either? Definitely a case for improving communications don't you think?

Another site I found today via the Switchboards site is This is a great site that sells t-shirts with rock/gem related puns or sayings. Cute idea. Another wonderful thing the site is doing is "UnEarthing Kindness" where a decent % of the profit of sales from now until the end of September will go to earthquake relief in Peru. Way to go!!

Saturday, 11 August 2007

Spring Show Schedule

News on the show front for your diary:

5 August - Nyngan View Club, Workers Club, Nyngan, NSW.

I met some lovely ladies from Nyngan when I was exhibiting at the International Women's Day Luncheon in Dubbo back in February. They kindly invited me out and I am pleased to say I will be showing the ladies of the View Club my jewels! I will be going there with fellow Coolah dweller, Eleanor Cook, who is the current NSW Rural Woman of the Year. So Eleanor will be there to give them lots to think about and I will soothe those thoughts with pretty things ;).

9 August - Private showing, Coolah, NSW.

One of my best clients, Julie Williams, is hosting a private showing for her friends and it should be a great afternoon. I am really looking forward to it!

15 August - Merriwa Show, Showgrounds, Merriwa, NSW.

I will be exhibiting at the Merriwa Show this year. Unfortunately it clashes with the local fair at Coolah where I normally hold a childrens jewellery making stall, but my husband is stepping up to the fray and will be doing this for me (after a few lessons of course!) This will enable me to attend the Show in Merriwa and catch up with all my clients from that area who I haven't seen in almost a year.

28 August - Binnia Street, Coolah.

This is the official opening of the refurbished shire hall in Coolah which now houses a modern library, a community internet portal and a gym. Festivities are being planned and part of those include a street festival and fair. So I will be there with a small display.

19 October to 21 October - Craftfest, Ogishi Craft Centre, Lovedale, (Hunter Valley) NSW.

12 artisans will be presenting their work in a gallery atmosphere for 2 days - the same weekend as the Opera in the Vineyards. Exhibitors will be Alison Green - silkscreened fabrics, Kay Faulkener - handwoven textiles, Lance Hennessy -ceramic sculptures, Robin Phillips - silver, gold and enamel jewellery, Mark Jones - leather bags, Lynne Taylor - collaged fabric garments, Setsuko Ogishi - blown glass (I believe all of the above were exhibitors at the Lovedale Limited Edition Expo I did last year), Laraine Clements - scented items and clothing, Barbara Stephenson - slumped glass, Nicky Coady - studio pottery, Robyn McGain - quilts.
Pics: Middle: At Jazz at the Tops, Coolah, 2007; Bottom: At International Women's Day Luncheon, Dubbo, 2007; Top: At Lovedale Limited Edition Expo, Hunter Valley 2006

Friday, 10 August 2007

Lapis Lazuli & stocking up.

Ahhh, time marches on and I still don't post. Had a bit of a reorganise though and realised I can't have two blogs going since I don't have time to write in one! So this one won although it will be for everything now :)

All has been go, go, go here on the farm - we had rain, so things are green although it IS winter so it is a very short green. But its a good start and for us, at least, the drought is over.

I have been trying to get the spring/summer collection ready as my spring showings start in just under a month. Lots of new pieces featuring pearls, turquoise, fluorite, prehnite, rose quartz, pyrite, obsidian, garnet, coral, muscovite, tourmaline, aquamarine, malachite, lava, moss agate, and a lovely piece with lapis (see above). And of course since I can't resist it a couple of pieces in carnelian and agate/chalcedony/jasper of various types. I still have boxes of stones to make up (yes, been VERY naughty, but I just can't resist those gems!) - finding the time is the hardest part!

Now about the pictured piece.... isn't it just divine? In an earthy, goddess way of course! I have always had an attraction for lapis lazuli and this focal 'slab' has the desirable blue colour with lots of gold flecks of pyrite throughout. It really has an ancient feel so I have matched it to more lapis lazuli and lots of 12ct gold fill balls. Now don't you think an Egyptian queen would have liked it? Given the Egyptian and goddess connotations, it has been named after the ancient Egyptian personfication of the skies and heavens - "Nut".

Lapis Lazuli is actually composed of several minerals and has been used since prehistoric times for jewellery. Well known mining sites include Afghanistan, Russia, Chile, Angola, Myanmar, Canada, Pakistan and USA. The name is Arabic and Latin for "blue stone". Lapis was the source of the colour 'ultramarine' in medieval times (very expensive for paint!) and a powdered form of lapis was reportedly used by Cleopatra as an eyeshadow!

Metaphysically, Lapis has a powerful effect - stimulating enlightenment and enhancing psychic abilities, personal and spiritual power. It releases stress bring peace and serenity as well as honesty and compassion. In healing, Lapis allieviates migraines and headaches, overcomes depression and benefits the respiratory and nervous system, cleansing organs, blood and boosts the immune system. Improves hearing and assists with vertigo. For best metaphysical results it is best to be worn at the throat.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Smoky Quartz

Firsty apologies for my tardiness - time has gotten away from me again!

There is something terribly attractive about smoky quartz. To think about a stone that is a brown-grey doesn't excite I admit, but some lovely fat faceted stones do tempt me!!! It is quite a difficult stone to match with other stones - I have successfully matched it with sage green pearls, with amethyst, citrine and rock crystal quartz and of course white pearls. But some combinations that you would think would work, just don't!

Smoky quartz in its darker forms is often called 'morion' or 'cairngorm'. The colour is caused by gamma rays either naturally occurring or artificial. As a quartz it has a good general hardness of 7 and as such is a fairly hardy stone. It occurs worldwide and has been found as crystals weighing up to 300kg (640lb)!

Metaphysically, smoky quartz is a grounding or anchoring stone and is a great antidote to stress. Lifting fear and depression it brings calmess and dissolves negative emotions. Such a beneficial stone, it should be worn for long periods, particularly as a pendant.

Sunday, 25 February 2007


There are so many new stones on the market it is often hard to know what you are going to get! As a gemmologist who studied decades ago (eek, that makes me feel old!!) a lot of these stones just weren't around, or if they were, were relegated to the geology sphere or maybe the lapidary area.

Angelite is one of those stones. Although its been around, it has only become a more easily obtainable stone for jewellery makers in the last few years. It is more readily known as Celestite or Celestine and mineralogically is known as Anhydrite. Available under these names, it is found in colourless to blue. Angelite itself is usually blue, perhaps with some white.

One of the reasons these stones were not commercially available is because their hardness isn't well, very HARD! Angelite is no different being a hardness of 3.5 (a diamond is 10, sapphires are 9, topaz 8 and quartz 7). The hardness of a stone, when you are making jewellery, does have an impact on what you are going to do with it. You either need to put it in a protective setting where it will be supported and less likely to obtain knocks. Or, you put it on full display but limit where it will be worn. I like to take the latter route, as my jewellery really has an emphasis on the stones. So, in this case I would relegate it to earrings or a necklace. A bracelet would be asking for breakages, as would a ring. Interestingly, a lot of jewellery makers really don't take the hardness into consideration and I must wonder how many returns for breakages they get!

I obtained a lovely strand of round angelite in a huge 10mm size and they are beautiful. You can almost see how soft they are though, so I decided to make earrings, at least initially!

Blue is also an interesting colour - particularly pale blue. Really shiny silver doesn't particularly go well, so I tried oxidised Bali silver and it looks incredibly effective. I topped the angelite off with a natural lavender-toned freshwater pearl and the whole effect is very old-world. What do you think?

Angelite comes from many parts of the world including Britain, Egypt, Germany, Mexico, Peru, Poland and Libya.

Metaphysically speaking, this stone represents peace and brotherhood and as its name suggests, enhances contact with the angelic realm. It helps you to speak the truth, be compassionate and accepting and creates a feeling of peace and tranquility. It is soothing to the physical body and helps with tissue repair, blood vessels, fluid balance, weight control, sunburn, lungs and arms.

Wednesday, 31 January 2007


Obsidian is a volcanic glass and is named after the Roman, Obsius. Used in jewellery for thousands of years, it can be black, gray, brown, red or green. It often has inclusions and when the light reflects off these you can get a golden, silver or even a rainbow sheen. Main deposits of obsidian are Ecuador, Indoniesia, Iceland, Itay, Japan, Mexico and the United States.

I love the dense and glassy look of obsidian and it is magnificent for creating dramatic jewellery. In a recent necklace (see below) unusual triangles of obsidian have been set against contrasting shining sterling silver. See the whole piece HERE

There are other versions of obsidian of course, such as snowflake or mahogany obsidian but I'll do those another time!

Metaphysically, Obsidian has strong properties. It exposes flaws, weaknesses and blockages and nothing can hide from its power! It is helpful for highly sensitive people and it can provide deep soul healing. Very effective for soaking up negative energies it stimulates growth on all levels and opens new horizons. For healing it gives insight into the cause of illness, aids digestion and detoxifies. Specifically, black obsidian is a creative stone, protective and supportive during change. Often used by experienced practictioners during meditation and scrying, it is matched with clear quartz to help ground and articulate what is revealed. If held briefly above the third eye (brow) it breaks through mental barriers.

Monday, 29 January 2007


Ametrine has always fascinated me. The beautiful combination of mellow wheaten yellow of citrine with the lavender hues of amethyst are such a lovely mix. I find myself automatically drawn to ametrine and own a few pieces which I wear regularly.

The above piece is just such a mesmerising drop and needs little in the way of decoration.

Ametrine, as indicated, is a combination of amethyst and citrine. Amethyst and citrine are both varieties of quartz, with amethyst being highly prized throughout history. Other popular types of quartz include rose quartz, rock crystal and smoky quartz. Well known deposits of ametrine are in Brazil and Bolivia. The colouring agent (the element in its chemical composition) for both amethyst and ametrine is iron. Both can be heat treated - amethysts will turn yellow, red-brown, green or colourless; citrine will give off a reddish tint.

Ametrine, like all quartzes, is a hardy stone with a hardness of 7.

As it is a combination stone, metaphysically it combines the benefits of both amethyst and citrine. It brings insight, elevates the consciousness, calms the mind and opens the 'third eye'. It stimulates creativity and optimism. For healing, it cleanses, energises and regenerates. To use, it should be placed on the solar plexus (upper abdomen).

Traditionally citrine has been considered a promoter of wealth and amethyst as a ward against drunkenness! Sounds reasonable - so ametrine should stop you getting innebriated (which could lead you to gamble or make silly decisions with your money) and thereby conserves your wealth !! LOL. Sorry, a bit irreverent there ;)

Saturday, 27 January 2007


Ahhh, a busy day of jewellery making! Very satisfying :) And writing here two days in a row. Unheard of!!

I wanted to share this gorgeous faceted labradorite that I recently obtained. Full pic can be seen HERE. Although to initial appearances it is quite a steely grey, each and every piece has a beautiful flash of orange/yellow/green as it moves or is turned and just makes it irresitable. You can just see a faint flash in the above picture - it is much brighter in real life. It can be quite a difficult stone to match with other gemstones and I found with these large faceted flat nuggets silver went the best! What do you think?
Labradorite is named after the location it was found in Canada (Labrador), although it is also found (among others) in Australia, Madagascar, Mexico, Russia and the United States. It is a plagioclase feldspar (there are MASSES of feldspars out there!) and the lovely flash I noted in the above pieces, is specifically called labradorescence which comes in bright, rather metallic tints, mostly in the blue-green range. This schiller/colour play/flash is caused by the light bouncing off the internal structure of the stone (I could get all technical on you, but I'll refrain LOL).
It also comes in quite a dark background colour as well as colourless and with a brownish tint. The darker stones are often cut en cabachon to display the labradorescence the best. It is a relatively hard stone with a hardness of around 6 to 6.5.
Have you ever heard of Spectrolite? Well it is really labradorite from Finland that displays a particularly effective labradorescence.
OK, now to the metaphysical side of things....this stone does ALOT. No wonder I like it! :) To summarise....
Labradorite is considered a highly mystical stone. "A bringer of light" it protects the aura and raises the consciousness. It stimulates intuition and psychic gifts including a sense of knowing what is right. It calms overactive minds and energises the imagination, it banishes fears and insecurities and strengthens trust in both yourself and the universe. It works well on dispelling illusions and is a useful companion through change imparting strength and perseverence. For healing it treats problems with the eyes, brain, stress, metabolism, colds, gout, rheumatism, hormones and blood pressure. To use - wear over the higher heart chakra (upper chest).
Well... there you go... you learn something new everyday!

Friday, 26 January 2007

Ruby Zoisite

Hmmm, so much for writing in this blog regularly. Ah well. 2007 is a new year.....

Whilst my love affair with fluorite continues (see last post), I purchased some lovely anyolite, also known more colloquially as Ruby Zoisite. So, lets look at this rather pretty stone (pictured above as part of a new necklace with plum coloured ruby ;) see for the full necklace ).
Zoisite is a mineral and was named after a collector by the name of Zois. It was first found in Austria in the early 1800s and was originally called saualpite. The gemstones of the zoisite family are the stunning purple-violet-blue tanzanite, the opaque deep pink thulite and anyolite, the medium to dark green stone with ruby.
Anyolite, as I've just said is green 'rock' it has black inclusions of hornblende and opaque ruby which can be quite large in size. Its name is from the native language of the Masai for 'green' and was first found in Tanzania in 1954.
The stone is ornamental and its opaque appearance and a rather brittle nature means it is usually cut into smooth shapes, which it wears well and which shows up its contrasting colours to the best effect.

I have recently become interested in the metaphysical uses of stones. Gemstones have, after all, been used for millenia as talismans and to assist in healing, as well as having some pretty amazing stories connected to them. I also get asked on occasion by clients as to what a stone can 'mean'. So here's a bit on the metaphysical side of Ruby Zoisite/ Anyolite.
According to The Crystal Bible by Judy Hall, anyolite activates the crown chakra (consiousness) allowing access to soul memory and spiritual learning. It also amplifies the biogmanetic field around the body. So....any problems with maintaining that 'higher state of consciousness' or feeling a little lacking in the aura department, anyolite, or ruby zoisite is for you!


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