Saturday, January 21, 2012

My "Style" Very Art Noveau-ish!

This amazing and lovely pendant is one of many stunning pieces produced by Rene Lalique. It is a Art Noveau piece of a winter wonderland with snow covered coniferous trees. (I have yet to find the actual name of this one.) I love this piece and it is one of my favorites of Lalique's work. If I could ever own one of his pieces this one would be it! This image is courtesy of a Sqidoo article.

Art Noveau originates partly from the Arts & Crafts style. The original idea of the Arts & Crafts movement was to bring quality, handcrafted, beautiful items to the general public at affordable prices. The use of natural, lower cost materials were embraced. Preferred metals were silver or copper. The use of semi-precious stones, horn, bone, glass and enamel work became popular.

Arabesque, floral or animal figures and the feminine form were typical of this period. Graceful, flowing sensual lines, new and different shapes, elegant floral motifs with beautiful colors characterize this era. Of course we can't mention this era w/out mentioning how enameling techniques were refined and especially plique' a jour which created some of the most beautiful jewelry. Plique a jour was an enameling technique where after the enamel was fired an acid bath was used to remove the metal backing allowing light to shine through the enamel. (Still reminds me of stained glass.)

I feel I have found where I "fit" You will definitely see the influence of the Art Noveau period along with a touch of Arts & Crafts and Art Deco in my work. Art Noveau definitely fits in with "my" new style and with where I want to go with it. The ethics of that period also fit with what I'm doing. I'm using glass, semi-precious stones and will be using a lot more copper, bronze and silver. (Gold is up to $60.00+ per ounce for my wire!) I have always been fascinated with sensuous, flowing, elegant lines that are so predominate in Art Noveau jewelry.

To better understand this post just Google "Art Noveau Jewelry, images" and I think you'll see what I mean!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Garnets Part 2-Use and Lore

Garnets are attributed with many powers and uses for healing, strength, protection.

-Garnet is believed to rid the body of negative energy and emotions.
-Garnet is believed to aid in curing depression

According to "The Crystal Bible" by Judy Hall. "Garnet is a powerfully energizing and regenerating stone. It cleanses and energizes the chakras. It revitalizes, purifies and balances energy bringing serenity or passion as appropriate"

-Garnet is believed to bring success in business matters.
-Garnet is believed to spark creativity and improve intuition.

Garnet as a symbol

-Garnet is know as the "stone of commitment" inspiring love and devotion.
-It is also supposed to symbolize happiness and deep enduring friendships. --In the past friends or lovers would exchange garnets as a gift to ensure they would meet again.
-Today garnet remains a symbol of faith, truth and light.

Garnet Lore

-In the past garnet was believed to protect it's wearer from enemies
-Supposedly Noah used a finely cut, glowing garnet or garnet lantern to illuminate the ark and guide it safely through the night.
-Crusaders set garnets into their armor, believing their power would lead them to safety.
-In the middle ages garnet was believed to draw out negativity, ward off harm and increase well being, chivalry, loyalty and honesty.
-to receive the gift of a garnet during the middle ages was considered great luck and bad luck to a thief!
-Garnet jewelry was buried with Norsemen to light their passage to Valhalla

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Garnets Part 1-Colors and History

I think I was about 14 when I first fell in love with garnets, or at least the gorgeous deep pink hues I saw set into rings at a local jewelry store. I was a bit surprised to learn they were garnets as I had only heard of garnets as being brown. (I was and still am a voracious reader not to mention growing up in a rich geological area for rockhounding)

Garnets are among one of the earliest gemstones put to work for personal ornamentation. In pre-dynastic Egypt they were drilled and used as beads. The Greeks documented their use in 300BC. They have remained in use ever since. It is believed their name may be derived from the seeds of the pomegranate as the red varieties are similar in color. ie; Latin "garanatus" meaning "seedlike" in reference to pomegranates.

As with many gems garnets come in almost every color except blue. They range in all shades of red from purplish-red, brownish-red, crimson, dark red, and orangy red. There are the luscious pinks and the rich oranges of the Mandarins to the stunning green of Tsavorites. Shades of yellow to lush warm browns of the Hessonite garnets. (see bottom picture) They are found in many countries all over the world. Some are more notable than others.

During the 5th century AD Germanic tribes settled throughout Europe. They used garnets to create amazing intricate detailed jewelry in cloisonne garnet inlay. As seen in this gorgeous, round fibula that belonged to Queen Aregund ca 515-573, wife of Clotaire I, 511-561, King of Franks. (see middle picture)

They were extremely fashionable in Victorian times as well. I love these Victorian rose-cut Bohemian garnet earrings using Bohemia garnets hence the name. (see top picture)

The first two pictures are from the Antique Jewelry University site, the third is my own of my own work

I plan another post about lore, mythology and use!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where Do I Want To Be In Five Years?

This is in some ways very easy but in others extremely difficult for me to answer. The misty eyed dream like vision is the easy part. Clarifying that is the challenge. Answering the little details.

When I take out all the reality factors and ask myself what and where I really want to be I have a cozy little vision. My jewelry to support me. A nice little home on a manageable plot of land out in the country. One close enough to town to visit with friends and shop, yet far enough out I can have space. It would back up onto BLM land or a ranch where I'd have permission to roam with my dogs. To just be able to explore and enjoy the beauty of nature. Ideally it would also sit on the border where the high desert turns into forest. Good water supply so I can have my flowers and veggies. A good studio to create my jewelry in. I would have my pieces in galleries across the country and a great customer base online. I would be able to live comfortably and travel when I desired and doing whatever shows I want to. A simple, laid back life.

So that's MY fairy tale.

A more realistic goal is to still be here doing what I love and having a decent income and a healthy savings account with out the paper route. (Or at least being able to have a couple of decent substitutes so I could get away.) Being able to do shows away from home.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Couple More Revelations

This post builds on yesterday's. Another thing I was trying to figure out why I seem to end up procrastinating and sitting around in limbo land, never getting anywhere.

I realized that I have a tendency to weigh myself down with too many little details. I like to think things to death. This fussing just bogs me down and leaves me paralyzed so I don't get anything done as I just turned a molehill into a mountain.

I also have a habit of saving the worst until last. This just gives more time to worry about it and makes it that much worse in my mind.

So I have decided to tackle the "Worst First". After that the rest is easy, right?

Schedule Revelation

I was reading and working on some of the questions posed in the book I was talking about yesterday and stumbled over this block of negative thinking.

For a long time now I have looked at schedules (and more) as being rigid, inflexible, too structured, too restricting and too confining. I'm not sure when I started feeling like this or what even started it.

I thought/decided maybe I needed a different point of view and so I asked myself what happens if I "flip" that thought around? Then I had my revelation. I realized that having a good schedule could actually be very FREEING! Freedom from guilt, stress, shame, fear, worry, panic, doubt... A good schedule would bring security and control as well. I also realized if I don't take control over my life I will never have peace of mind or free time to do the things I want to do!

My new personal quotes to help me learn positive thinking!

-"A good schedule is the structure that allows me to take control of my time, days-ultimately my life!"

-"A schedule is the foundation upon which to build one's life."

So now I have a positive outlook on schedules and have done away with some stinkin' thinkin'.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

I Have A Great Feeling About 2012

I have this feeling that 2012 is going to be a great year and you know what? It will be because I have decided it will be. I plan to blatantly pursue a "lucky" outlook. ;)

A friend of mine recently posted her keyword for 2012. I loved the idea and have decided to borrow it and use it for my self. My keyword for 2012 is "BUILD".

I will build........

-on the jewelry making skills I already have by learning new techniques, methods and skills. These will help me build up my jewelry designs.

-my knowledge on gemstones by researching, studying them and writing a monthly blog posts about them.

-a schedule that includes all my many and varied responsibilities and works for me.

-an organization system for the paper chase that works for me. One that I will keep up. (Bill paying, budgeting, putting statements, receipts and invoices away properly)

-a goal chart that helps me plan and organize my goals for 2012.

Simply put I want to take what I learned in all the areas of my life this past year and build on it. Improve it. Evaluate what worked and what didn't.

2012 will be a wonderful year of learning, organizing, purging the excess and creating.

I am currently reading a wonderful and very comprehensive book on organizing titled "Organize for a Fresh Start: Embrace Your Next Chapter in Life" by Susan Fay West. I've never met a book on organizing that I was impressed with. This one is way different. This book actually makes sense to me!

It's not just about organizing one's home and belongings-the physical end of organizing. It's also about organizing my perspective, my time and my schedule. I love how the author sees them as an interconnected whole. It's about how to deal with changes and transitions that happen in our lives whether by choice or circumstance. Her words have really helped me to understand where I'm coming from, where I'm at, why I feel the way I do about my life lately. I've never read an organization book that counsels looking at where I've been, where I'm at and where I want to go. What has worked in the past, whats working now and whats not. Then proceeds to give me lots of wonderful questions to help me figure it all out. I like the fact it's more about the mental and emotional, or should I say about one's perspective?

I know for me the hardest things for me to accomplish will be the learning and applying of time management skills to create a working schedule along with developing the good habits to keep things working.

Now I just need to get me a nice large, multi-subject notebook to use with this book. Also will need to decide on a daily planner. I may just end up creating my own sheets for that.

Like I said I think this year is going to be great! A fresh start in a new chapter of my life