A wonderful, special crazy time of year! Over-the-top decorations, twinkling lights, good food enjoyed with family and friends, shared laughter, and silent moments of wonder in the still of the night all make the holidays a extraordinary time of year.
Thanksgiving also marked the day on which I could begin playing Christmas carols on my piano. Now, Christmas carols are about the only thing I play on the piano and I do so purely for my own enjoyment. That was also the day we pulled out the Christmas record albums - Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and Frank Sinatra to name just a few..
Wishing you a magical holiday season!
It's holiday shopping season! And if you're looking for unique gifts, look no further than arts and crafts shows, galleries and the websites of individual artists.
This year look locally for unique and interesting items for those on your list and yourself. You'll contribute to a happy holiday for the artists and keep the money in your community.
Make handcrafted gifts part of your holiday tradition!
I love fall! It's my favorite time of the year. I love its rich, warm colors - rust, ocher, orange, red, yellow and brown. I love the flickering flames of a fire in my wood stove. And I even like the little nip in the air that says winter will be here soon.
My birthday is in September which makes my birthstone sapphire. So, in honor of my birthday I'm sharing some fascinating facts about sapphire.
It is one of the four precious gems (diamond, emerald and ruby are the other three). Sapphire is the birthstone for the Zodiac signs Pisces, Taurus, Virgo and Sagittarius I'm also a Virgo.
Star sapphires contain intersecting needle-like inclusions that cause the appearance of a six-rayed star. The inclusion is often the mineral rutile. Star sapphires can be any color from shades of blue to pink, orange, yellow, green, lavender, gray or black. The most desirable color is a vivid intense blue.
Color-change sapphire is a rare variety which exhibits different colors in different light. The stones are blue in outdoor light and purple under incandescent indoor light.
Sapphires symbolize truth, compatibility, commitment and mutual understanding which make them the perfect gem for engagement rings. They are said to contribute to mental clarity and perception. Sapphires are also believed to promote financial rewards.
Natural pearls have been coveted as symbols of wealth and status for thousands of years. The first written mention of pearls was by a Chinese writer in about 2206 BC.
Nature couldn't keep up with the demand for pearls, so man devised a way to culture pearls by placing an irritant, often a piece of rounded shell from a freshwater mussel, into a mollusk. The majority of pearls on the market have been cultured and many of the shells used as an irritant are from freshwater river mussels harvested in the midwestern states. The few natural pearls available command high prices.
Pearls are a natural substance and are porous. They can absorb cologne, hair spray and lotions. So, make your pearls the last thing you put on and the first think you take off. Keep them looking their best by gently wiping them with a damp cloth.
Pearls are always in style; wear yours today.
Metal has been used to make jewelry since ancient times. Gold was first used in 6000 BC! Copper followed in 4200 BC and silver in 4000 BC.
Today, metals used in jewelry are divided into two groups - precious and base. The precious metals are silver, gold and platinum; all other metals are considered base metals.
Metals can be either elements, for example iron, copper or niobium, or alloys which are mixtures of elements. Alloys can be a base metal like brass (copper and zinc) or a precious metal like sterling silver (silver and copper). Generally, alloys are created to improve the color, workability or durability of metal.
The metals I use most are:
I'm passionate about making metal jewelry. I love the feel of metal and the very different looks I can achieve with it. View my collections to see all the ways in which I use metal.
Without treatment, only the best natural gems and gemstones would be mined and sold. These natural stones would not only be rare but also very expensive.
Keep from being fooled. Buy jewelry from sources you trust and don't be afraid to ask if the stones have been enhanced. If the price seems too good to be true; it probably is.
February wasn't always the second month of the year. It started out as the last month in the Roman calendar. January and February were added to the Roman calendar about 713 BC. Prior to that time Romans considered winter to be a monthless period. About 450 BC the Roman calendar was re-arranged, and February became the second month of the year. At certain intervals, February was truncated to 23 or 24 days and a temporary 27-day month was inserted immediately after February to realign the year with the seasons. The reforms that created the Julian calendar in 45 BC did away with the temporary month and created leap years which occurred every four years. During leap years, February gained a 29th day. the Julian calendar was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in 1582 which further refined how leap years and leap centuries are handled. The Gregorian calendar is the most widely used calendar today.
Februarius, the Roman name for February, comes from the festival of ritual purification Februa held on February 15 (full moon) in the old Roman calendar. The festival celebrated Spring washing or cleansing. The festival of Februa was later incorporated in to Lupercalia, a fertility festival dedicated to the Roman god of agriculture. Lupercalia was deemed un-Christian in the fifth century when Pope Gelasius replaced it with St. Valentine's Day. Over the years Valentine's Day became the day to celebrate love and romance
February's birthstone is amethyst which symbolizes piety, humility, spiritual wisdom and sincerity. Amethyst, from the Greek amethystos meaning "not-intoxicated," was believed by ancients to protect against drunkenness. It is also believed if you place an amethyst under your pillow you'll have pleasant dreams - perhaps about the one you love!
Pantone's Color of the Year is Living Coral - a spirited shade of coral with a golden undertone.
Here are a few of the peachy-colored gemstones you'll see featured in jewelry this year.
Coral, particularly antique coral with its soft peachy-pink hue, is the ideal Living Coral gemstone in both color and meaning. Coral symbolizes peace and transformation. It is believed to protect your from negativity and evil influences. Most of the coral used in jewelry, including what I use in my designs, does not come from endangered coral reefs.
Morganite is the peachy-pink member of the Beryl family whose other members are emerald and aquamarine. Morganite is believed to help release unhealthy emotional patterns, aid in developing trust and bring a sense of joy and inner strength.
Peach Moonstone is a member of the Feldspar family. This beautiful peachy stone has a soft almost magical shimmer. It is said to soothe stress and stabilize the emotions.
In addition to gemstones, crystal, glass and cubic zirconia beads will abound in this spirited color. So, regardless of your budget, you'll be able to find just the right piece of jewelry in the 2019 Color of the Year - Living Coral.
Lynn's musings about all facets of jewelry.