Monday, August 20, 2018

Fishing Floats made of glass??!!



I have to tell you that one of my all time favorite things EVER are Japanese Glass Fishing floats. If you've ever been to one of those old timey, kitschy, seafood restaurants, you've surely seen them either hanging from the walls or decorating some lonely corner. 
My best friend Kathys dad was a boat captain (like my dad), but their house was always decorated with everything nautical, and I loved it!

They were once used by fishermen in many parts of the world to
keep their fishing nets, as well as longlines or droplines afloat. 
Large groups of fishnets were strung together, sometimes up to 50 miles long, and were set adrift in the ocean and supported near the surface by hollow glass balls or cylinders containing air to give them buoyancy. These glass floats are no longer used by fishermen, but many of them are still afloat in the world's oceans, primarily the Pacific. They have become a popular collectors' item for beachcombers and decorators.


Surprisingly it was a Norwegian, Christopher Faye, that was credited for the invention in 1840. The Japanese started using them around 1910. Today, most of the remaining glass floats originated in Japan because it had a large deep sea fishing industry which made extensive use of the floats. 
Today most are replicas that are used in nautical or coastal
interiors, however, if you are lucky, you can still find one on a pacific beach!

Fishing Float Earrings

You can always pick up a pair at Handmade Jewelry Haven to dangle from your earlobes!
I make these using the glass ball found inside Japanese soda bottles, also known as a Codd Neck bottle!

source: Wikipedia





Feeling adventurous? I have a free download on how you can make your own Japanese Fishing Float!

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Monday, August 13, 2018

Wordless Wednesday - Cool Beach Finds!



Here is just a little teaser for next weeks post! Enjoy!









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Monday, August 6, 2018

August means Back To School



So we give so much of our time and energy to our kids, especially during the summer when you are trying to keep them busy while secretly praying for school to start.

Trust me, I know, I have been there...who am I kidding, I am STILL there! With TWO teens, you would think it would be a little easier, however, in reality, it just brings a different set of challenges.

Then comes August...the BIG BANG at the end of the summer when it is time to pull out the wallet and get all those supplies! If you have more than one child...then you know, by the time you are done with all that shopping, nothing sounds better than dropping on your sofa at the end of the day with a nice glass of wine! 

Well, why not treat YOURSELF this year with a beautiful Back-To-School Jewelry piece from Handmade Jewelry Haven? I mean...you really DO deserve a little something just for yourself right? Self therapy if you will (it is certainly cheaper!).

Dragon Bracelet
If you are one of those loving spouses that work, while your significant other stayed home all summer...well THIS is the way to say, THANK YOU!!!!

You will never look more fashionable dropping off the wee ones in the car pool lane on that first day of school!

I have another treat for you too....
Need a back to school checklist? Download our FREE one here.....




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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Find out about August's Birthstone here!



I have a fascination with birthstones and August's even more so as it is one of three months 
in our calendar that have not one - but THREE gemstones! They are: The Peridot, the Sardonyx, and the Spinel. 
August did not always have three birthstones, in fact, the other two were only added in 2016, because...well, why not! But seriously, each stone is represented by certain qualities that align with each birth month and as more and more precious stones come into being, I expect that you will see more birth months being associated with more than one stone.
But isn't that the fun of it? If you don't like one...well now you have a couple more to choose from!

For the sake of time and space, this year we will concentrate on the Peridot. 

BIRTHSTONE FACTS & FOLKLORE
Peridot has been found in volcanic lava in Hawaii and in meteorites that have fallen to Earth. 
It was once believed that the green peridot crystals found in volcanic ashes were the tears of the volcano goddess, Pele. 

In the 1700s, a meteorite that landed in Siberia contained many Peridot crystals that were large enough to be used for jewelry.
When set in gold, this gem was said to protect the wearer from nightmares. 
Peridot is believed to help depression. If you dream that you find a Peridot while digging in the garden, you will have an unexpected visitor.

Though peridot is widely recognized by its brilliant lime green glow, the origin of this gem’s name is unclear. Most scholars agree that the word “peridot” is derived from the Arabic faridat which means “gem,” but some believe it’s rooted in the Greek word peridona, meaning “giving plenty.” Perhaps that’s why peridot is associated with prosperity and good fortune. 

Peridot is the rare gem-quality variety of the common mineral olivine, which forms deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. Rarely, peridot is also found inside meteorites. 

Peridot’s signature green color comes from the composition of the mineral itself—rather than from trace impurities, as with many gems. That’s why this is one of few stones that only comes in one color, though shades may vary from yellowish-green to olive to brownish-green, depending how much iron is present.

Most of the world’s peridot supply comes from the San Carlos Reservation in Arizona. Other sources are China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Africa.

Peridot only measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, so while the raw crystal is prone to cracking during cutting, the finished gemstones are fairly robust and easy to wear.

Also known as “the Evening Emerald” because its sparkling green hue looks brilliant any time of day, peridot is said to possess healing properties that protect against nightmares and evil, ensuring peace and happiness. Babies born in August are lucky to be guarded by peridot’s good fortune.

Peridot jewelry dates back as far as the second millennium BC. These ancient Egyptian gems came from deposits on a small volcanic island in the Red Sea called Topazios, now known as St. John’s Island or Zabargad.

Ancient Egyptians called peridot the “gem of the sun,” believing it protected its wearer from terrors of the night. Egyptian priests believed that it harnessed the power of nature, and used goblets encrusted with it to commune with their nature gods.

Some historians believe that Cleopatra’s famed emerald collection may have actually been peridot. Through medieval times, people continued to confuse these two green gems. The 200-carat gems adorning one of the shrines in Germany’s Cologne Cathedral were long believed to be emeralds as well, but they are also peridots.
Peridot colored Seaglass

This gemstone saw a revival in the 1990s when new deposits were discovered in Pakistan, producing some of the finest peridots ever found. Some of these “Kashmir peridots” measured more than 100 carats.

The most productive peridot deposit in the world is located on the San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation in Arizona. An estimated 80 to 95 percent of the world’s peridot supply is found here. 


Thanks to these rich deposits, the modern demand for Peridots can now be met easily, giving people born in August affordable options for wearing this beautiful green birthstone.

If you are not into gem stones per se hop on over to Handmade Jewelry Haven's website to see some beautiful green peridot colored alternatives to wear!
source; The Farmers Almanac; The American Gemstone Society




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Monday, July 23, 2018

Cobalt Sea Glass - Where does it come from?


One of my personal favorite colors of seaglass is dark blue, otherwise known as Cobalt or Cornflower Blue. There is something about that bright yet deep blue color that is just so....well...relaxing. 

Cobalt has been in use before Roman times with the discovery of the cobalt mines in Central Africa. Did you know that Minnesota has the biggest supply of Cobalt in the US?

Cobalt and Cornflower Blue are made by adding Cobalt Oxide to molten glass and was originally made to protect the contents of a bottle from the sun. Exposure to bright light or sun could change the effectiveness of a medicine that was in a bottle. Cornflower Blue was made primarily for Milk Of Magnesia bottles where cobalt was reserved for bottles that contained poison. As there were many types and brands of poison produced throughout history, the Cornflower Blue of the Milk Of Magnesia bottle became the harder to find of the two. Both colors rank as 'Rare' on the Seaglass Rarity Color Chart.
(source: Pure Sea Glass)

Who knows....maybe I find it so calming as that is the feeling you get after taking Milk Of Magnesia!

My Milk Of Magnesia Bottle probably dates anywhere from 1928 to the late 1930's due to the 'M' stamp (Maryland Glass Company), and the sideways number 8.
(source: Society For Historical Archaeology)

So after ceremoniously finishing a bottle of Milk Of Magnesia, the bottle is tossed into the nearest dump and some of this refuse is hauled out to sea and dumped, or perhaps it gets buried in a land fill that is next to the ocean and then it starts to erode into the sea with the coming and going of the tides - think Dead Horse Bay (see an earlier blog post on this place here). After about 20-50 years of tumbling around on the ocean floor it gets broken and sanded down and WHA LAH! Blue Seaglass is born! 

Then some very lucky person, such as myself, finds it along the Jersey Shore and makes a beautiful necklace for some lucky person to wear...such as yourself!

Blue Milk Of Magnesia Seaglass Necklace 
To see more beautiful Seaglass Jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven here!

To learn some more interesting history of the Milk Of Magnesia history and to see some beautiful examples of blue seaglass, I have a cool downloadable .pdf.
Just tell me where to send it!




Also, come watch our short video on Cobalt Seaglass here!

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Wordless Wednessday- Cobalt Seaglass



Just a little teaser for another great Seaglass post! 
Can you guess what it is going to be about?



Blue Seaglass Candy


Blue Seaglass Necklace
To see more of our nautically inspired jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven here!

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