Monday, February 20, 2017

Happy Presidents Day!

Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732. It can occur on the 15th through the 21st of February.
The day is now widely known as Presidents' Day and is often an occasion to honor all persons who have served as president, not just George Washington.The day is a state holiday in most states.
The first attempt to create a Presidents Day occurred in 1951 when the "President's Day National Committee" was formed. The purpose was not to honor any particular President but to honor the office of the Presidency. It was first thought that March 4, the original inauguration day, should be deemed Presidents Day. However, the bill recognizing the March 4 date was stalled in the Senate Judiciary Committee because it was too close to Lincoln's and Washington's Birthdays. By the mid-1980s, with a push from advertisers, the term "Presidents' Day" began its public appearance.Today, the February holiday has become well known for being a day in which many stores, especially car dealers, hold sales. Until the late 1980s, corporate businesses generally closed on this day, similar to present corporate practices on Memorial Day or Christmas Day. With the late 1980s advertising push to rename the holiday, more and more businesses are staying open on the holiday each year, and, as on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day, most delivery services outside of the U.S. Postal Service now offer regular service on the day as well. Some public transit systems have also gone to regular schedules on the day. Many colleges and universities hold regular classes and operations on Presidents' Day. Various theories exist for this, when the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill debate of 1968, the supporters of the Bill were intent on moving federal holidays to Mondays to promote business. Way to keep us working!!
Source: Wikipedia
Lampwork Beaded Bracelet and Earrings

Show your Presidents Day Pride by sporting this beautiful Red White and Blue bracelet and earrings by Handmade Jewelry Haven. You can find them on their Etsy page here.

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12 Weeks Of Letter Writing Challenge - Week 4

Today's post is participating in the 12 Weeks Of Letter Writing Challenge that I was invited to by Mrs. Dash Say's....blog here.

This weeks letter is to my ex,

Dear Cesar,

I wanted to take some time to tell you a few things that I haven't been able to since our divorce. So I am going to now.
Being married to you for 13 years had it's up's and down's, like all marriages, I suppose, but I wanted to tell you some words of appreciation.
I want to thank you for loving me during some of the most difficult times of my life, my first divorce, the death of my favorite dog and the death of my father.
You were strong when I couldn't be.  
I want to thank you for giving me the best kids on the planet.
I want to thank you for standing by me on discipline issues when they have come up.
I want to thank you for being my rock when I did really stupid things like locking Bella in the car. 
I want to thank you for making me laugh when you would talk to the kitties, or making babies laugh in restaurants.
I want to thank you for making me feel safe when we were in bad parts of town.
I want to thank you for showing me how strong I can be and not to be afraid to start over.

Although we are apart now, I will always remember these things and reflect back on them for the rest of my life.

To see how I a starting over my business, come visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy page here.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Kumihimo Origin - Where did it come from?

Samarai Armor
Kumihimo is a Japanese form of braid-making. Cords and ribbons are made by interlacing strands. Kumi himo is Japanese for "gathered threads". 


Japanese Haori
Kumihimo cord was first created by a form of finger-loop braiding known as Kute Uchi style in the 7th Century and was used for making the cords that tied together Samurai Armor and their horses armor.


Kumihimo cords are now used as ties on haori, which is a hip length jacket, and obijime, which are used for tying on an obi (kimono sash).


Kumihimo was originally weaved using just the hands, but later,
Japanese Obi Sash Tie
looms or marudai were developed for ease of use and to make the cords faster.  The

Japanese style marudai is 16" high and is usually used while kneeling or when placed on a table. Unlike kumihimo disks,
Kumihimo Marudai
marudais have no indication of where the thread should be placed; it is done freehand. To create the tension required for the rope to form, wooden bobbins called tama are rolled on the strands of threads, and a bag of counterweights is placed at the base knot of these threads, where the rope begins. The tama are often filled with lead or other heavy metals.

Kumihimo Necklace

Kumihimo has seen a new re-birth with the recent addition to beads, transforming the mostly functional art to a more decorative role in Jewelry.


To see more examples of kumihimo jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy page here.



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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day - When Did All This Gift Giving Begin, Anyway?!!

Everyone is aware of the religious aspect of Valentines day but it was not until the 14th century that this Christian feast day became definitively associated with love. According to UCLA medieval scholar Henry Ansgar Kelly, author of Chaucer and the Cult of Saint Valentine, it was Chaucer who first linked St. Valentine's Day with romance.

In 1381, Chaucer composed a poem in honor of the engagement between England's Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. As was the poetic tradition, Chaucer associated the occasion with a feast day. In "The Parliament of Fowls," the royal engagement, the mating season of birds, and St. Valentine's Day are linked:

'For this was on St. Valentine's Day, 
When every fowl cometh there to choose his mate.'

Over the centuries, the holiday evolved, and by the 18th century, gift-giving and exchanging handmade cards on Valentine's Day had become common in England. Hand-made valentine cards made of lace, ribbons, and featuring cupids and hearts eventually spread to the American colonies. The tradition of Valentine's cards did not become widespread in the United States, however, until the 1850s, when Esther A. Howland, a Mount Holyoke graduate and native of Worcester, Mass., began mass-producing them. 

Cherry Blossom Bracelet and matching earrings
Today, of course, the holiday has become a booming commercial success. Still have not found that 'perfect' way to say I love you? Visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy page to see some of our beautiful and affordable jewelry. 

Express shipping is available and remember that even if you do not have a 'significant' other, there are plenty of special people that should be remembered on this day, such as teachers, mentors, or even that barista that remembers your Choca-Mochalata-Double-Shot-Latte before you even make it to the counter!

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Source: http://www.infoplease.com

Monday, February 13, 2017

12 Weeks Of Letter Writing Challenge - Week 3

Today's post is participating in the 12 Weeks Of Letter Writing Challenge that I was invited to by Mrs. Dash Say's....blog here.

This weeks letter is to my favorite aunts,

Dear Aunt Margaret and Aunt Doris,

You both have been major influences in my life while growing up. I remember when I was very young, going to visit you aunt Margaret when you would winter in south Florida. We would drive up to Ft Lauderdale from Miami to spend every Easter with you. We would spend the morning at your pool or the beach collecting shells, then come upstairs to your
Lil Miss Queen E
condo to change for an early 'dinner'. Your place settings were always a marvel to me with your beautiful bone china and your Waterford crystal glasses, and the piece de resistance was the chocolate Godiva bunnies gracing every place setting! My holiday tables are dressed similarly because of you. Afterwards, the adults would retire to the 'den' to watch football and have 'highball's and I would wander around the apartment, eventually ending up in your closet, where I would find the most beautiful furs, wigs, Jackie-O sunglasses and silver high heels and matching purses. I would dress up in these and prance around feeling much like Queen E at royal events! 

You passed away on Christmas Day seven years ago, and I was so glad that I had visited you not too long before and had spoken to you a few months earlier. It was truly a sad day for me. 

Aunt Doris still kickin' it at 94
The memories of aunt Doris are equally fond if not quite as extravagant. These comprised of yearly visits to the Jersey Shore in my early teens with my dad. We would visit the tiny garage apartment you rented for a millennium and we would sit on a bench on the front stoop and you would tell me about your garden or the upstairs neighbors cats. I would marvel at the fact that you never had a car and that you could walk to the store to buy your groceries and to the library were you worked for so many years. You always had great stories about the family history and you remembered EVERYTHING, from first loves, birth and wedding dates, to the different churches that the family attended throughout the years, and you always had the kindest smile and a nice word to say about everyone. And how we loved the beach! We would sit for hours by the shore listening to the waves crash and I would always fall asleep. You would exclaim, "Its the good sea air! It relaxes you!". I drove the kids up to meet you last year as you are well into your nineties and I wanted them to get to know you, and you them. I do hope we have a little more time with you! 
I love you both - Lisa

As you can see, both of these ladies inspired my love for the beach. Come and see some of my ocean inspired and sea glass jewelry on Handmade Jewelry's Etsy page here.

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Thursday, February 9, 2017

A Sea Glass Origin - Story #2

Round and round. Round and round. Spinning continuously until, at last, the life giving breath was given and it was born. Shaped narrowly near the top in order to help keep the bubbles from escaping, getting gradually wider towards the middle, continuing straight
down to the bottom to hold the required pint of golden liquid. The bottle was formed and shipped to the brewery where it was filled with the finest of brews. Along with its many brown brothers, the bottle of ale traveled by truck to one of many pubs along the route and was eventually dropped off. Stored in a cool cellar, the bottle did not have to wait long to fulfill its purpose. Brought up by the bar maid, and perched in front of a burly man who had worked tirelessly at the docks for the previous twelve hours carting trunks from the train to the many different ships that were in port. The porter was tired and glad to sit down to have his customary drink before heading home to the hot meal his wife would have waiting for him.

After the man left, the bottle was collected and washed, to be refilled from the tap that endlessly poured golden life from it, for, it seemed to the brown bottle, that every time someone would drink the ale, they would seem revived from the long day. People grew animated and talkative. The bottle marveled at the transformation and was so proud of his part in it all. He was a vessel of rejuvenation it seemed. 
Days and nights passed with the usual routine of filling, drinking, washing, and refilling. Of countless stories from people and objects of far off lands. Of different languages and strange clothing. Everything from the most casual of handling to pour the liquid into a glass to the firm grip of a sailors rough calloused hands worn thick by shipboard work. 
On his final day, the talk grew loud. Louder it got and he was picked up and slammed down by the angry man with such force that he shattered into many broken pieces. 
That night the bar maid, who was the first in the pub to introduce him to his first patron, swept him up and into a pail with so much other refuse, hauled him outside and pitched him over the bulkhead and into the cold water of the harbor.
For years the glass swept in and out with the tide. Over time being buried in the silt until it could no longer see the distant glint of the sun during the day.
Much time passed. New, and bigger ships were built and the harbor needed to be dredged to make it deeper for these new ocean going vessels. The dredging machine sucked the last remaining shard up and out into the churning water. It finally came to rest on the harbor floor near the moored boats. After a time a diver, who was hired to scrape the barnacles off of the keel of one of the boats, noticed something shiny glint on the dark sea bottom. He dove straight down and quickly collected it and shoved it in his rubber suit for later examination, as he wasn't paid to scavenge off the ocean floor. 
After his work day was at an end, he quickly rinsed and dried off and dressed into clean cloths and went to the tavern to have a drink or two with his buddies. Tonight there was a new waitress and she was the prettiest thing he had ever seen. He remembered his shiny treasure from the sea bottom and pulled it out of his pocket along with some spare wire that he had left over from rewiring a switch earlier in the day. As he sat at the bar he thoughtfully wrapped the shard of glass in the wire, carefully allowing enough to make a bale at the top so that it could dangle freely from a chain. He waited until the bar closed and offered to walk the pretty waitress home and just before he left her, he presented her with his creation. 
She was just as smitten as he.

Come and see a seaglass creation on Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy site here.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Chinese New Year - The Year Of The Rooster

Chinese New Year is a time of celebration in many Asian cultures. The new year has begun
Lucky Panda Lampwork Beaded Bracelet
and will last until Feb 15th, 2018. The new year, also known as the Spring Festival is
 marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar, so the date changes from year to year. 

Symbolism, especially in jewelry plays a large part in the Asian culture. For example, shown on this lampwork beaded charm bracelet are 'lucky coins'. The square inside a circle means the harmony of earth and heaven. The humans carry the heaven and earth and the whole three elements go together to create a 'lucky aura' that brings wealth and money. 
Lucky Panda Lampwork Beaded Earrings


Are you, or someone you know in need of some 'lucky aura'? You can find this beautiful bracelet and matching earrings on Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy site here.


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