Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Wall Flower



So just imagine, just for a second, what it would be like to be drifting, alone, in the middle of the ocean. Just floating there. What do you feel? Scared? Peaceful? Now I know my boating friends are all mumbling..'we KNOW what THAT feels like! - Get on with it!' Ok ok...just bare with me here!
Now imagine, entering your middle school cafeteria for the first time. Or the Auditorium, or your first class dance hall. All those people that you didn't know. A 'sea' of people. How did you feel then? Not so 'peaceful' anymore I bet. You might have walked in, looking for the most inconspicuous chair to sit in, away from anyone that might notice you. You sit, by yourself, wishing on everything that you had not come in, in the first place and just wanting it to be over with? All you wanted to do was blend into the wall and fade away.
You would just sit there, watching the popular girls, beautiful and flirting with all of the popular guys and you would just wish you could be like them. Just have enough courage to stand up, walk over and join in with the rest of them. 
Did you ever have a time in your life that you felt that way? Do you still feel that way at times? Perhaps at a party or a company function? Where you suddenly look down and wish you had worn something lighter, brighter and prettier. Or did you spend half the day primping, so excited to wear that new dress only to find that someone at the party was wearing the same thing? In a ready to wear society full of bargain basement prices, that is not so hard to do. These days everyone has access to the finest stores. They are not for just the 'well off' any more. What is it about fashion that drives us crazy? We all... men and women alike, want to look our best...no, better than the one next to them. The need for social connection is just human nature says University of Chicago's social neuroscientist John T. Cacioppo. He goes on to explain that a sense of isolation or social rejection disrupts not only our thinking abilities and will power but also our immune systems, and can be as damaging as obesity or smoking! We innately want to be different, to show off our individuality. But sometimes we don't know how. Well, I say.. 'go and buy that simple black dress' and then dress it up with a beautiful one of a kind jewelry piece from Handmade Jewelry Haven. No two pieces are the same and you can bet that you will never feel like a wall flower again. You will feel like a million bucks, floating in the middle of the ocean. But this time, you are on your very own YACHT! 



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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Not all beaches are created equal.....

Come find a piece of your beach at Handmade Jewelry Haven.


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Saturday, October 14, 2017

What Role Jewelry Plays In Our Lives - In A Nutshell



So I was listening to a Podcast the other day (I've all but given up radio for podcasts - wonder if that is an 'old person' thing) and Donald Miller the creator of Story Brand was talking about a study that was done on Human Basic Needs. The reason this study was done was to relay information to businesses on why their products matter to clients. It was based on the Maslow Hierarchy Of Needs Pyramid which you were probably taught if you've ever set a foot in school and I am certainly not going to bore you with here, but, in a nutshell, this is why Jewelry is important in your life.
One of our basic needs, that stems back to when humans were cavemen (and women), was to increase our social standing. To increase our social standing allowed us to attract friends, which frequently would locate themselves close to you. As we all know there is 'safety in numbers' and we would want to increase our 'tribe' in order to fend of marauders. Becoming attractive to others was one way to achieve this and one way to do this was through 'fashion'. Fashion was born out of a necessity to attract others to bond with for safety.

Jewelry was one such item that was made to increase that attractiveness. Frequently it was also used as 'currency' in a bartering system. Hunters and explorers would come across new tribes, who's women might be adorned with different, sometimes exotic, jewelry and trades would be made in exchange for food and supplies. As time passed and tribes grew into towns and eventually cities, these Jewelry makers would settle and people would travel from far and wide to obtain the beautiful and unique wares that each maker would produce.
So...now that we have talked about what role fashion played in the history of man, you are probably wondering how this relates today...and the answer is simple. Psychologically, people buy jewelry to attract friends, or possible mates, to increase their 'tribe' in the possible event of marauders coming over the hill of their cul de sac. Seriously. That is it in a nutshell! 

So come and increase your 'tribe' by getting a stunning, one of a kind, jewelry piece at Handmade Jewelry Haven here!


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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Wordless Wednessday

Well, I entered my first contest, and even though I did not win, I did get a 'Special Mention' and that was just good enough for me.


To see more of my creations, please visit Handmade Jewelry Haven HERE.

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October Birthstone - Tourmaline

As we enter October, we celebrate one of the months birthstones (yes, it has TWO!) the Tourmaline. Birthstones are gemstones that accompany a birth month, each having a unique meaning and historical significance. The popularity of birthstones dates back to ancient times when civilizations believed that gemstones had incredible powers such as luck, health and prosperity. Traditionally, each month is associated with a single gemstone, but, there are a few months with multiple  birthstones, such as October. The name tourmaline is derived from the Sinhalese (language spoken in Sri Lanka) “tura mali,” which means “the stone of mixed colors.” 

Ancient legend has it that the tourmaline traveled down the rainbow and it is for this reason that it is found in so many colors. Like many other gemstones, it is believed that the tourmaline strengthens both the body and the spirit, particularly the nervous system, blood, and lymph nodes. Additionally, the tourmaline was viewed as a means of inspiring creativity and was thus used as a talisman by artists and writers.

Brightly colored Sri Lankan gem tourmalines were brought to Europe in great quantities by the Dutch East India Company to satisfy a demand for curiosities and gems. Tourmaline was sometimes called the "Ceylonese Magnet" because it could attract and then repel hot ashes due to its pyroelectric properties. Tourmalines were used by chemists in the 19th century to polarize light by shining rays onto a cut and polished surface of the gem.

Blue Tourmaline evokes the tranquility of deep blue water, gliding well beneath its surface. It invites surrender of all thought to the solitude of a liquid silence, a graceful world of letting go... then rising to the light. It is also known as Indicolite, a variation of the original Indigolite, and refers to its deep blue color. Rarer than other Tourmalines, it forms in shades of light to dark blue, some with a tint of turquoise.

In the metaphysical world, Blue Tourmaline is a crystal of Spirit and peace, providing for deep meditation and bringing past hurts to the surface for healing. It encourages the release of emotional bonds and frees the mind to explore a higher consciousness and spiritual connection.

Blue Tourmaline increases the ability for clear and honest communication, and lends the courage to speak from the heart. It encourages an open mind and tolerance for others’ differences and weaknesses, embracing a love for truth, ethics, and a sense of responsibility and service to humanity. It promotes living in harmony with all aspects of one’s environment.

Gifts of gemstone jewelry with a loved one’s birthstone are very popular because of the desire to wear beautiful color as well as something which has personal significance. 

The tourmaline is sometimes given as an 8th wedding anniversary gift.

Give as a gift or give as a gift to yourself our Tourmaline inspired necklace which you can find on Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Page Here.


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Monday, September 25, 2017

Handmade Jewelry Haven Givaway!

We are having our very first Givaway to one lucky person! We are giving away a pair of gorgeous red and white floral drop earrings! Enter to get them for yourself or as a beautiful gift!
To enter this giveaway, please follow our blog, leave a comment on this post, and submit your entries through the Rafflecopter form. This giveaway is open to Handmade Jewelry Haven readers, 18 years and older, who reside in the United States, now through Sunday, October 2, 2017, 12:00am.
To Enter, click; a Rafflecopter giveaway


The givaway will run from Monday September 25 through Oct 2 at 12am so don't delay! There are some entries that you can do daily for a better shot at winning!

Good luck!


Additional Information
The winner will be contacted via e-mail and have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen. 

The winner releases Handmade Jewelry Haven from all liability associated with this product/contest. All decisions by Handmade Jewelry Haven are final. The complete Terms and Conditions are listed on the Rafflecopter form. By submitting an entry, you are indicating that you have read and agree to these Official Rules.


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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dragons

As a Game Of Thrones lover, I have been reflecting lately on the role dragons played throughout history. There have been many recent movies featuring dragons, such as the remake of 'Pete's Dragon, Dragonheart 3, Maleficent, and the two most recent releases from The Hobbit franchise. What is the facination with this most ancient of fire breathing beasts?

Well, to answer that I guess it is best to look into the history of dragon lore...

Chinese Mythology -

Chinese dragons are legendary creatures in Chinese mythology and Chinese folklore. The dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles and fish, but are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. Chinese dragons traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water, rainfall, typhoons, and floods. The dragon is also a symbol of power, strength, and good luck for people who are worthy of it. With this, the Emperor of China usually used the dragon as a symbol of his imperial power and strength. One kegend is the one of the Koi who Leaped from the depths of the river, and attempted to reach the top of the waterfall to no avail. The Koi's efforts caught the attention of local demons, who mocked his efforts and heightened the waterfall out of malice. After a hundred years of jumping, the koi finally reached the top of the waterfall. The gods recognized the koi for its perseverance and determination and turned it into a golden dragon, the image of power and strength.





Norse Mythology-
Although snakes aroused fear, dragons were far more dangerous and dreadful. With their fire breath they could incinerate anything in their way. Their shells were impenetrable to swords and arrows, and the only vulnerable area of their skin was the abdomen. They lived in bronze-age tumuli, which were the size of small hills. Due to their affiliation to the underground, they also came out only after sundown. Their role in mythology was guarding treasures. Historical map makers – who worked before the world was fully explored – drew dragons and mermaids at the edges of the known world. 





Celtic Mythology-
To invoke such reverence from the Celts, who were one of the most fierce and rugged ethnic groups in ancient times, they must have been much more than just fire-breathing beasts.Although dragons are usually associated with Asia, these mythical creatures can be found in fairy tales and folklore all over the world, including Celtic Ireland.
In the secular world of Celtic chiefs and warriors, dragons are merely symbols of the power of the chief. Indeed the Celtic word for "chief" is Pendragon. But in the esoteric world of spirituality, Celtic dragons represent much more...
What magical powers do these mysterious creatures possess that was so important that we can find tales including rituals of sacrifice to the mighty dragons? 
"Dragons were an important part of Celtic lore. The Celts were highly attuned to the land and dragons were believed to influence the land.... Areas frequented by dragons were believed to possess special power." Dragons have always been associated with the Power of the Land. Even today, in many esoteric rituals, people believe that invoking the "Eye of the Dragon" will increase their personal power.




Come check out some of our beautiful Dragon Jewelry at Handmade Jewelry Haven.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sea Glassing in New Jersey

Oh wow. It has been over a MONTH since I have posted! I bet you all thought that I got sucked into that famous north east under tow! 
Well, I didn't. I got sucked into 'life'.
Those of you who have experienced it will understand. The rest.....well........

Let me start with the trip. It was AMAZING!! You just cannot find seaglass in Florida like you can from up north. Hands down. Up north glassing has it covered.
You could live an entire lifetime in Florida and not find the treasures that you find up north!

The boys dropped Bella and I off in Bay Head and we hit the gate running. Bella found piece after glorius piece within 15 minutes. Our time was limited, so we called it a day after about an hour between the jettys.

Our next foray was at the beach at Spring Lake, and although that is a beautiful spot, we were not as lucky as we were in Bay Head. 

After visiting the Twin Lights, we headed over to the Coast Guard base at Sandy Hook. The Bay Side yielded the most interesting pieces, however, not what a 'seasoned glasser' would consider a 'finished' piece. Christian, my 15 year old, surprisingly, really got into this section finding my first violet seaglass.

After that we went to the ocean side and the three of us split up and scoured the mostly empty beach (the boy was done at this point and decided to wait in the car).
We ended up meeting the most pleasant woman named Pam (you can see her beautiful posts at @pammybaby2 on Instagram), who glassed this beach weekly and thought nothing to give us her entire haul for the day! Only up north will you find such generosity! I have said it before and I will say it again, New Jersey peeps RULE!!

The one not so great thing about our visit was that we did not get to visit Glass Bottle Beach at Dead Horse Bay.  Due to other constraints, we could not fit this in on the day we had allotted for it. So...there is always..'next time'.

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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Goin' Glassing

Well, it is that time of year when we close up shop, pack our bags and hop in the car to do a little 'glassing.
Glass Bottle Beach
What is glassing you say? Well it is what a seasoned beach person says when they are going to look for seaglass. Kind of like 'Gone Fishin'. This year we will be making a journey that we have been wanting to make for awhile, only reading about it on various sea glass sites and journals. In addition to visiting our dear Jersey Shore, we will be making a visit to Glass Bottle Beach at Dead Horse Bay. This particular beach is near Brooklyn NY and is so called as it was the site of several factories, many of them having the distinction of being 'glue' factories, around the turn of the century. At that time when horse and buggy reigned supreme, it was not uncommon to see dead horses along the side of the road. The carcases were eventually hauled to one of the many glue plants to...well...make glue. After the automobile became the choice mode of transportation, the surrounding area of the bay evolved into a giant land fill until it closed in the 1950's. Now, the bare land is a somewhat macabre attraction for bottle collectors as the now busted open land fill churns out into the bay and then is brought back in again to settle with the incoming tide. The city's history literally washes out and then back in again, filling the beach with shards of antique pottery, junk and of course, bottles, hence the name, Glass Bottle Beach.
Anyway, I have always wanted to 'pick' this particular spot and now about this time next week, I will be there! 
Anyway, I hope to come back with many tales of wonder from our excursion and in the meantime, if you want to read a little more of this well kept 'secret', you can read about it 
on the Atlas Obscura site here.

Seaglass Pendant
To see examples of how seaglass can be made into beautiful jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Site here. We will be putting the shop in 'Vacation Mode' while we are gone but will reopen the following week when we return.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wordless Wednesday

Today's Wordless Wednesday Features Various 'Find's' from Glass Bottle Beach at Dead Horse Bay in anticipation of our upcoming 'glassing trip. Enjoy!








Have you visited Glass Bottle Beach? If so, what treasures did you find?
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The Ocean's Emotions - Seafoam Green Seaglass


Sea Glass Necklace
Truly this is one of my favorite colors of seaglass and while the most common source for this lovely shade of light green glass was most likely an old Coco Cola bottle made in various parts of the country. The shades vary depending on the silica that was used. A lot of older white glass however, had a greenish tint and depending on thickness and whether bubbles are present, could be an old piece of rarer glass. New glass of this shade is still used for wine bottles.
50 In a 100 Sea Glass Pieces Found Will be Seafoam
Coke a Cola Seaglass
Green.

The general associations of the color green is the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy. It means growth, harmony, freshness, safety, and environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy, and wall street. We all like to 'make a little green'!

Wire Wrap Seaglass Earrings
To see some more beautiful seaglass jewelry creations, please visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Page here.
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Monday, April 3, 2017

12 Weeks Of Letter Writing Challenge - Week 10

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 teenage self.

Dear Lizard (as that is what your nick name was in account of that super ugly two toned green unitard you decided to wear to a gym one day),

Here is some advice from your future self.

1. Don't wear that unitard. It was ugly.
2. Don't fall in love with that douchbag Danny Rodriguez. He will break your heart.
3. Do better in school. Good grades are important.
4. Do get involved with extra curricular activities in school.
5. Wear Suncreen when you are at the beach. You are prone to skin cancers.
6. Help your mom more. She is really not as strong as she seems.
7. Keep having fun, you have that handled.

To see some of the beautiful beach inspired jewelry that I make now while wearing sunscreen, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy page here.

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Friday, March 31, 2017

Flashback Friday - The Beauty Of Byzantium


Today is Michael d'Agostino's Flashback Friday! The idea is to republish an old post of yours that maybe didn't get enough attention, or that you really liked, or that you think others will really like..

As I started this blog in 2010, and then took a few years off to raise my little ones (only getting back into it this past November), I know there are a LOT of you out there that did not see some of my earlier posts.

You can see the original post HERE.

The Beauty Of Byzantium

Byzantium began when the fourth century Emperor, St. Constantine, Christianized the Roman Empire and established Constantinople in Byzantium as the capital. During this era a synthesis of classical Greek, Roman, and Christian culture gave birth to unparalleled achievements in art, architecture, and jewelry. Many of these achievements can be seen in the magnificent Byzantine jewelry and Byzantine cross pendants found in archaeological digs.


Our Byzantine Necklace is a wonderful marriage of round quartz beads and freshwater pearls. Quartz can strengthen all things positive. It amplifies intention, reduces stress, helps with balancing and healing, and surrounds you with protection. The best way to use the 

properties of quartz is to keep it close to you at all times. This will attune it to your frequencies. Cultured or freshwater pearls are considered to offer the power of love, money, protection, and luck. Pearls are thought to give wisdom through experience, to quicken the laws of karma and to cement engagements and love relationships. They are thought to keep children safe.


Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought. Ancient legend says that pearls were thought to be the tears of the gods and the Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote marital bliss and prevent newlywed women from crying.

To see our necklace and more of my jewelry, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Page here.


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