Monday, November 12, 2018

Novembers Birthstone and a FREE Gift Guide for YOU!

Individuals born in November can choose between two sunny gemstones to brighten up this chilly month. November’s birthstones, topaz and citrine, are both known for their calming energies, bringing warmth and fortune to those who wear them.

This month, we will focus on one of MY personal favorites, the Citrine. Maybe I am so attracted to this beautiful gem because I live in the Sunshine State, where Citrus Fruit flows like rain. Who knows?
So lets dig in and see what we can learn today!

The citrine, is the variety of quartz that ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. It takes its name from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades. Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine. Other sources include Spain, Bolivia, France, Russia, Madagascar and the U.S. (Colorado, North Carolina and California). 
Citrine is sometimes known as the “healing quartz” for its ability to comfort, soothe and calm. In the Middle Ages (500–1500 AD), topaz was ground into a powder and mixed with wine to guarantee a good night’s sleep. It can release negative feelings, spark imagination and manifest fresh beginnings. It’s even called the “merchant’s stone” for its tendency to attract wealth and prosperity.

Citrine quartz has been adored since ancient times. The name citrine was used to refer to yellow gems as early as 1385, when the word was first recorded in English.

Throughout history, people believed that citrine carried the same powers as topaz, including the ability to calm tempers, soothe anger and manifest desires and according to the Chinese Feng Shui philosophy, especially prosperity. To leverage these powers, Egyptians used citrine gems as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved iconic images into them, and Roman priests fashioned them into rings. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible. Topaz was also thought to have healing powers—reducing fevers, relieving asthma, improving vision, and preventing premature death.
If you dream of topaz, a problem with which you have been struggling will soon be solved.

Show her that she became 'prosperous' when she met you by getting her this lovely citrine inspired beaded bracelet! See it here!

Come check out some other great jewelry at Handmade Jewelry Haven!
Sources: American Gem Society, The Farmers Almanac

Need to find a gift for that special person born in November? Check out our Free November Gift Guide here!

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Monday, November 5, 2018

Unusual Finds Along Chesapeake Bay

This is a very cool article that I am sharing from my North American Seaglass Organization newsletter.

By Sharon Brubaker

Long, long ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the skies were pierced with cries of enormous birds, something was happening geologically just below the water. Unusual formations in the silt and mud began to take shape that would, millions of years later, reveal themselves and wash up on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. These “formations,” resembling hollow rock balls, tubes, ocarinas, and more avant-garde shapes, are created from sand, clay, and iron oxide.

When my family and I first moved to the shores of the upper Chesapeake and roamed the beaches in search of beach glass, we also began to find peculiar, round, metal-like objects.  We felt certain they were a type of ammunition for guns used during the Revolutionary War because George Washington had munitions created in the Principio Iron Works just a heron’s flight across the bay, near the port of Charlestown.

Being new to the area and excited to show our finds to our neighbors, our newly found friends chuckled and told us that the strange formations were called ‘pop rocks,” small hollow stones of which our neighbors would toss into beach fires and watch them explode. Another neighbor told us that the formations (are) derived from ‘Indian paint pots” and that Native American tribes used the iron oxide inside the stones to paint their faces. But it was not until we met another neighbor, and now long-time friend, Alice Lundgren, that the mystery was solved. The formations, in all their various shapes, are known as “concretions.”

Alice has a collection of well over a thousand concretions ranging in size from a quarter of an inch to about twelve inches, all of which she has gathered from the bay. Alice was a true inspiration to my family and me, and we soon joined forces to not only hunt for sea glass, but to eagerly search for concretions. These unusual rock formations date back to the late Cretaceous and Eocene eras.  Even more fascinating than the “pop rocks” are tubular rocks. The tubular concretions are iron oxide formations that reflect a pipe-like structure.

When we go exploring along our nearby beach, Alice, a seasoned concretion seeker, has the ability to spot the stone tubes instantly, yet the rest of us are not so fortunate, as the finds appear camouflaged to the untrained eye. Some of the concretions boast unique shapes, such as small cups, snowmen, and acorns while the tubular concretions often resemble coral, branches, and even small musical pipes (although they do not carry a tune))! Similar to sea glass, each concretion seems to carry its own story and personality.

Having been formed millions of years ago from sedimentary rock, concretions have been significant and mystical to many cultures. Some cultures believe them to be holy stones while other cultures believe the stones bring luck, or perhaps represent the divine feminine. However, theories of modern science suggest the concretions are fossils or meteorites.

As beachcombers, we are treasure-hunters.  We are always seeking the next great find. The Shard of the Year Contest, which is one of the highlights of the North American Sea Glass Association’s annual Festival, would be ideal opportunity to view both natural and man made treasures (this year’s North American Sea Glass Festival will be held in Wildwood, New Jersey on October 27 – 28).

*Many thanks to Alice Lundgren for sharing her collection of concretions, and to Meredith Keating and Brandon Boas for their photography.

Why not own a one of a kind find, made by nature, and formed by the sea?
Come check out some of our beautiful Seaglass Jewelry at Handmade Jewelry Haven!

Bronze Sea Glass Necklace

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Monday, October 22, 2018

How Jewelry Trends have evolved over the past 100 years

So I was reading an article on how the internet has evolved and has subsequently changed the way we do business and it got me thinking on how Jewelry has evolved over the years.

From sparkling Hollywood glamour in the 1930's to punk rock chokers in the 1990's, here is a look at how jewelry trends have evolved over the past 100 years.

While jewelry is often an expression of an individual's personality and unique sense of style, trends still heavily influence what women (and men) choose to wear. 

Whether it was diamond encrusted pieces in the 1940's or bohemian styles in the 1970's, style icons have always inspired women to wear specific kinds of looks and materials.


Filled with all kinds of creative arts, music and films, the 1910's were all about 'Art Nouveau' when it came to jewelry. 

Stars at this time like Ruth Clifford, were all about diamonds, sapphires and accenting their looks with platinum beads. 

Peacock feathers were also all the rage, along with white on white color schemes, long necklaces with tassels at the end and pieces inspired by leaves.

The style during this period was a reflection of the industrial boom and designers 'sought a more naturalistic aesthetic.'


The 1920's were all about Art Deco - an array of often contradictory geometric styles that oozed glamour, luxury and wealth. 

And while the architectural style was represented through decorative interiors, household objects, cinema and building designs, women also reflected the trend through their jewelry. 

The post World War I economic boom saw women spending more money than ever on jewelry, with 'flapper girl' style looks including sapphires, emeralds, pearls and diamonds, white gold and geometric pendants. 

A-listers and designers of the time like Coco Chanel would often be seen wearing costume jewelry, jeweled head wear, stacked bracelets and layered necklaces. 


Hollywood glamour reached a new peak in the 1930's, with stars of the time like Joan Crawford donning bold, vibrant pieces. 

Highly polished golds were popular along with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emerald cut stones. 

Three dimensional styles were also increasing in popularity and dress clips became 'sought after.'


Whether it was simple ribbons and bows or diamond encrusted statement pieces, women in the 1940's were all about elegance, glamour and, of course, diamonds. 

Marilyn Monroe's Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend inspired many women to spend big on the precious stone while others opted for brooches and wide, gold bracelets.

Earrings during this period were worn high on the lobe and gold was the metal of choice. 

Celebrities like Bette Davis were often seen high polished pieces and over sized dress clips.


The 1950's were all about 'Ultra-Feminine' Glamour. 

Women and celebrities of the time, like Jayne Mansfield, enjoyed lavish styles that complemented a more 'simple and classic' fashion period. 

There was still an emphasis on diamonds however women also donned full ensemble pieces, dramatic and extravagant designs, light and textural looks that 'contrasted with the polished look of the 40s' and brooches. 

Platinum was often worn with diamonds and copper also started to become popular. 


This was a time of practicality. 

Female A-listers of this time, like Elizabeth Taylor, were into plastic jewelry, milk glass, bright colors, layered necklaces often made from beads and floral motifs. 

Other trends included princess cuts, non precious materials, cocktail rings, bohemian styles, handcrafted pieces and lightweight creations. 

Jackie Kennedy heavily influenced trends during this period. 


Women in the 1970's loved to use jewelry to make bold statements and weren't worried about being too flamboyant or vibrant with their choices. 

Plastic was used regularly to create elaborate pieces and celebrities during this time, like Karen Valentine and Elizabeth Ashley would wear mixed materials, a lot of gold, beaded jewelry, large golden earrings and diamante jewelry. 

Colored quartz, coral and international styles inspired by cultural influences also became popular during this period. 


Everything in the 1980's was big. 

Women during this time were all about big hair, defiant 'punk rock styles' and mixing and matching their jewelry to make bold statements. 

Stars during this time, like Heather Locklear, would step out in faux pearls, over sized necklaces and earrings, brooches, gold and lighter cheaper materials.

Mixing and matching jewelry was a trend exemplified by Princess Diana who wore a choker as a headband. 


While this was known as a more 'fun and feisty' period, the punk rock choker styles reached a peak during this time. 

A-listers of the time, like Jennifer Aniston and Britney Spears would also arrive at awards shows in body jewelry, tasteful silver pieces, plastic creations and subdued colors inspired by alternative rock music. 

David Beckham also inspired men to embrace male jewelry like necklaces and engagement rings. 


Women in the 2000's enjoyed bold jewelry including large hoop earrings, layered chain necklaces, personalized jewelry and chokers, which remained popular. 

Celebrities during this time, like Megan Fox, would wear diamonds, rhinestones, cuffs, plastics and wood - many of them rocking a 'Boho-chic' look. 

Hip hop music heavily influenced jewelry trends and stars like Victoria Beckham and Liz Hurley showcased pieces inspired by Africa and the Middle East. 


Current jewelry trends are diverse and nonrestrictive.

Celebrities are becoming increasingly innovative and experimental with their looks and often wear bold embellishments, platinum, colored gem stones and bright gem stones, such as surfer Vanina Walsh layering seaglass bracelets.
sources: The Daily Mail, Bella Beach Jewels

So come visit Handmade Jewelry Haven and become a trend setter in your own right with some of our Seaglass and Nautically designed jewelry!

Waves Necklace

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Monday, October 15, 2018

Halloween - A Brief History

Halloween, also called Hallowe'en, Allhallowe'en, All Hallows' Eve, All Saints' Eve, is observed by Western Christians and many non-Christians around the world.
It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain; that such festivals may have had pagan roots; and that Samhain itself was Christianized as Halloween by the early Church. 

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, and watching horror films. 
In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows' Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it is a more commercial celebration.
Dragon Bracelet
Some Christians historically abstained from meat on All Hallows' Eve, a tradition reflected in the eating of certain vegetarian foods on this day, including apples, potato pancakes, and soul cakes.
source: Wikipedia

Don't be left out of the fun of playing 'dress up'! Check out some of our beautiful jewelry creations to complete your costume such as one of our Dragon Bracelets at Handmade Jewelry Haven!

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Monday, October 8, 2018

October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

At my Bead Society meeting this month we celebrated Breast Cancer Awareness by donating some wonderful tea lights that we beaded covers for.

I got so exited that I made three. One to donate, one to keep and one to have a GIVEAWAY on my Facebook page. You can see Handmade Jewelry Haven's Facebook page here.
You can see the post HERE!

I also made a YouTube video showing a time lapsed video of me making it, including a link to get the FREE pattern, if you are so inclined to make one.
You can see the video here on Handmade Jewelry Haven's YouTube Channel.

If you would like a copy of the FREE pattern, just tell us where to send it!
Send my free Cancer Awareness Tea Light Cover Pattern here!

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Monday, October 1, 2018

October's Birthstone - Get your FREE October Gift Guide here!

Individuals born in October get to choose between two birthstones—tourmaline and opal. Each gem then unveils nearly limitless possibilities, as each one comes in a rainbow of shades and color combinations.

In fact, both of October’s birthstones came to earth through a journey involving rainbows, according to legend.

However, for the sake of this post, we will concentrate on the Opal.

The name opal is thought to be derived from the Sanskrit upala, meaning “precious stone,” and later the Greek derivative “Opallios,” meaning “to see a change of color.” The Roman scholar Pliny used the word opalus when he wrote about this gem’s kaleidoscopic “play” of colors that could simulate shades of any stone. 

Opal’s characteristic “play-of-color” was explained in the 1960s, when scientists discovered that it’s composed of microscopic silica spheres that diffract light to display various colors of the rainbow. These flashy gems are called “precious opals;” those without play-of-color are “common opals.”

Dozens of opal varieties exist, but only a few (like Fire Opal and Boulder Opal) are universally recognized. Opals are often referred to by their background “body color”—black or white.

Opal’s classic country of origin is Australia. Seasonal rains soaked the parched outback, carrying silica deposits underground into cracks between layers of rock. When the water evaporated, these deposits formed opal. Sometimes, silica seeped into spaces around wood, seashells and skeletons, resulting in opalized fossils.

Since opal was discovered in Australia around 1850, the country has produced 95 percent of the world’s supply. Opal is also mined in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and parts of the U.S., including Nevada and Idaho.

Wearing opal is well worth the extra care, though. For centuries, people have associated this gem with good luck. Though some recent superstitions claim that opals can be bad luck to anyone not born in October, this birthstone remains a popular choice.

According to Arabic legend, opals fell from the sky in bolts of lightning. Australian aborigines, meanwhile, believed that the creator came to earth on a rainbow, leaving these colorful stones where his feet touched the ground.

In 75 AD, the Roman scholar Pliny compared opals to volcanoes and vibrant paintings, noting that their dancing “play” of color could simulate shades of any gems.

During the Middle Ages, people believed that the opal possessed the powers of each gemstone whose color appeared in its sheen, making it a very lucky stone.

But Sir Walter Scott’s 1829 book, “Anne of Geierstein,” transformed opal’s lucky perception. The story featured an enchanted princess who wore an opal that changed colors with her moods. A few drops of holy water extinguished the stone’s magic fire, though, and the woman soon died.

People began associating opals with bad luck. Within a year after publication of Scott’s book, opal sales in Europe fell by 50 percent.

Discoveries of opal deposits in Australia revived opal’s image after 1850. The outback began producing 95 percent of the world’s supply, and many of its finest opals.

Among the ancients, opal was a symbol of fidelity and assurance, and in later history it became associated with religious emotional prayer. It was believed to have a strong therapeutic value for diseases of the eye, and when worn as an amulet, it would make the wearer immune from disease as well as increase the powers of the eyes and the mind. Furthermore, many believed that to the extent the colors of red and green were seen, the wearer would also enjoy the therapeutic powers of those stones.

Opal has always been associated with love and passion, as well as desire and eroticism. It is a seductive stone that intensifies emotional states and releases inhibitions. It can also act as an emotional stabilizer. Wearing an opal is said to bring about loyalty and faithfulness.
sources: American Gem Society, Jewels For Me

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Monday, September 24, 2018


Not all mermaids are the shimmering versions of femininity often seen in pop culture. In fact, those mermaids—which seem to be a combination of the Melusine and Greek mythology—barely skim the surface of this fish-human legend. Many countries and culture have their own versions of mermaids, from a snake water goddess to a fish with a monkey mouth. Some are benevolent, some ambivalent, and many are openly hostile to the poor humans who cross their paths.

Vastly different than the Western version of a beautiful mermaid, this monster found in Japanese folklore is described as a giant fish with a human face and a monkey's mouth, and sometimes even horns and fangs. In a serious conflict of interest, anyone who eats the Ningyo will have eternal youth and beauty—but catching one often brings terrible storms and misfortune to entire villages.

Selkies are gentle creatures who live their lives as seals while in the water and shed their skin to become human on land, but they're frequently equated with mermaids because in Gaelic stories they are associated with maighdeann-mhara, or "maid of the sea." Selkie legends usually end in tragedy; the folktales almost inevitably feature a selkie's sealskin getting stolen and the selkie getting married and having children with a human, only to later find its old sealskin and get called back to the sea.

The "water spirit" Mami Wata is sometimes described as a mermaid, sometimes as a snake charmer, and occasionally as a combination of both. Found in many African folk stories, the legend of Mami Wata made its way to the Americas during the Atlantic slave trade. Although she can sometimes take human form, she is never fully human. She is closely associated with healing, fertility, and sex.

The idea of mermaids in Brazil comes from the tale of Iara, the "Lady of the Waters." Iara was originally known as a water snake, but through folklore became an immortal woman with green eyes and brown skin who was known lure sailors to her underwater palace, where they became her lovers. Iara is blamed for many accidents in the Amazon, especially those where men disappear.

Most tales of mermaids are passed down through spoken tales and pictures—and in New Zealand's Maori folklore, they are also seen in carvings. A little more intense than a mermaid, the Marakihau is a taniwha (guardian) of the sea. It has a human head and the body of a very long fish, as well as a long, tubular tongue that is often blamed for destroying canoes and swallowing large quantities of fish.

A feminine spirit found in many medieval European folk stories, the Melusine has a
serpentine tail and occasionally sports wings. France, Germany, Luxembourg and Albania all have varying tales of Melusine, but the general legend describes her as a willful maiden who attempts revenge on her father on behalf of her mother, only to be punished by her mother with a serpent's tail. Melusine is especially connected with France as the royal French house of Lusignan claimed to be decedents of her. Images of this sea fairy can be seen over the world—especially on the coffee cups of Starbucks, which has a Melusine-like mermaid as its logo.

A magical cap called a cohuleen druith enables merrows to live under the water. Female merrows, with their long green hair, are similar to traditional sirens—the beautiful, half-human fish of mythology. Male merrows, however, are considered hideous and frightening, more fish than man. And they're cruel—so cruel that merrow women were said to often have relationships with human men. Their offspring might have scales and webbing between their fingers. Merrows frequently become tired of the land and try to find a way to return to the sea—with or without their human family.

Often translated as “mermaid,” these water nymphs of Slavic myth were originally considered benevolent because they came out of the water in the spring to water crops. But the mythology also has a darker side: Rusalka are thought to be the spirits of girls who died violently, and thus they frequently lure men and children to their own watery deaths. Their translucent skin gives them a ghost-like appearance, and they'll sometimes use their long hair to trap and entangle their victims.

Probably the least like a traditional version of a mermaid, finfolk are shape-shifters of the sea. Considered nomads who can alternate between living on land and at their ancestral home—Finfolkaheem—finfolk tend to have an antagonistic relationship with humans. They often abduct humans for their spouses, making them more servant than partner. Finfolk also have an affinity for silver, and one might be able to escape their grasp by throwing a silver coin their way.
source: Mental Floss

Stop by Handmade Jewelry Haven to get your very own mermaid, that, as folk lore will have it, will bestow the wearer with prosperous good luck!
Pink Mermaid Tail

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