Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Rise and (Almost) Fall Of Mothers Day

The origins of Mother’s Day as celebrated in the United States date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.

Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood.

By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile,
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by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies.

Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Don't forget your mother this year! Get her a gift she'll cherish for a lifetime at Handmade Jewelry Haven!


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An Emerald Like No Other - May's Birthstone

May birthdays fall right in the heart of spring, and the emerald is the perfect gem to symbolize and celebrate this month. Prized for its brilliant and beautiful green color, the emerald is often favored by the rich and famous to wear as statement pieces for big events.

But this beautiful gem is just at home in an unassuming pendant as it is in an ornate tiara. Learn more about May’s birthstone below!

The emerald was mined in Egypt as early as 330 BC, but some estimate that the oldest emeralds are 2.97 billion years old.

Cleopatra is perhaps the most famous historical figure to cherish emeralds. She even claimed ownership of all emerald mines in Egypt during her reign.

The Egyptians used emeralds both in jewelry, and in their elaborate burials, often burying emeralds with monarchs as symbols of protection.

On the other side of the world, the Muzo Indians of Colombia had well-hidden and prized emerald mines. These mines were so hidden, it took the Spanish conquistadors nearly twenty years to find them.

Like other gemstones, the emerald was believed to have many mystical powers that accompanied its beauty. There were those who thought the emerald could cure stomach problems, control epilepsy and stop bleeding. Maybe due to its soothing green color, it was also thought to be able to ward off panic and keep the wearer relaxed and serene.

Today, emerald is a symbol of loyalty, new beginnings, peace and security, making it not
Seaglass Necklace
only a beautiful gem to wear, but also a meaningful gift to be treasured by the receiver. It is still widely prized by the rich and famous, with Elizabeth Taylor’s famous emerald pendant selling for $6.5 million in 2011.

Is this a little steep for your pocketbook? Well why not try on a Emerald Green Wire Wrapped Sea Glass Lariat Necklace at Handmade Jewelry Haven?

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source: American Gem Society
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

A Happy St Patricks Day Story

Ok, admittedly this has absolutely nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day, however, having been to 'The Emerald Isle', I can tell you that Guinness Beer is intertwined with everything Irish and, well....this was just a cool story!

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. 

For St. Patrick's Day, A True Tale Of 8 Sailors Saved By Guinness
March 17, 2018
Peter Moloney

If you're picking up a glass of Guinness this St. Patrick's Day, savor it while pondering this story from 1917, when Ireland's famous stout was cause for true celebration: It saved lives.
Workers roll barrels of Guinness in June 1955 on a quayside in Dublin.

The strange tale takes place in the Irish Sea towards the end of World War I. Besides the traditional dangers of crossing this busy body of water in a small craft, the years 1914 to 1918 featured the additional danger of German submarines, which targeted all enemy vessels (not just military ones) and sunk many.

This was the challenge that Guinness steam ships, cargo full of stout, faced every day crossing the Irish Sea from Dublin to their destination, Liverpool, in the northwest of the United Kingdom. The trip was about 135 miles and took most of a day, depending on the weather.

The W.M. Barkley was the pride of the Guinness fleet. Guinness bought it from Belfast shipbuilder John Kelly & Sons in 1913, just a year before the war erupted. Then, because of the conflict, the ship was requisitioned by the British Admiralty for the war effort. (Ireland was still part of the U.K. at this time, so it was a legal act of government.) By 1917, the ship was deemed unsuitable for its wartime mission and returned to Guinness for commercial use.

On Oct. 12, 1917, the Barkley set off from Dublin on its fateful trip to Liverpool, with its cargo of stout and a crew of 13. Nearly three hours into its journey, disaster struck: A torpedo from the German UC-75 submarine hit the ship and split it in two.

The crew, shocked and jolted, went scurrying for a lifeboat. As the story goes, the ship's cook, Thomas McGlue, had been making a cup of tea when the impact of the torpedo tossed the hot water, scalding his arm. By the time he got to the lifeboat, the sun had set and the ship was sinking.

"The Barkley was doing her best to go down, but the [beer] barrels were fighting their way up through the hatches, and that kept us afloat a bit longer," McGlue told the Guinness HARP magazine in 1964. "In fact, it's the reason any of us got out of there."

The floating barrels of stout in the cargo hold made it possible for eight of the 13 souls aboard to escape into the night on a lifeboat.

Now — away from the sinking ship — the surviving crew was questioned by the captain of the German submarine about the sunken boat's identity. The German captain checked the Barkley off his "hit list" and bid the sunken ship's crew good night, pointing them in the general direction of the Irish coast.

After rowing a while, they set down the life boat's anchor and shouted all night for rescue. Around five o'clock the next morning, they were rescued by a passing ship and ferried back to Dublin.

Torpedo attacks in the Irish Sea were so frequent at the time, that when the crew went to report their ordeal to government officials at the Customs House, they waited three hours to be interviewed. Eventually, they gave up waiting and went to the Guinness brewery instead.

There, the superintendent gave them a swig of brandy — even Guinness employees recognize that some situations merit stronger stuff — and sent them home.

The remains of the W.M. Barkley now rest on the sea floor about 16 miles east of Dublin Port, at a depth of about 180 feet. Broken in two, they show little evidence of the deadly drama that unfolded on that October night in 1917.

The stout barrels held in its cargo washed up on local shores for weeks after the ship sank. Those barrels were the unexpected heroes in a drama that genuinely allowed the survivors to state, with a straight face, that, yes, Guinness had actually saved their lives.

This story first appeared in Cognoscenti, member station WBUR's ideas and opinion page.
A native of Ireland, Peter Moloney teaches globalization at Boston College.

I loved Ireland and all things Irish, and so, to see some great Irish inspired Jewelry, Please visit Handmade Jewelry Haven!
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Thursday, February 1, 2018

The Dark Origins Of Valentine's Day

So many of us celebrate Valentines day, however, so few of us take the time to research it. 
Well....when you research.
I came across this article, which had a slightly different twist on the origins of this celebrated world wide holiday, which I just felt had to be shared.
So without further we go......

The Dark Origins Of Valentine's Day By Arnie Seipel

Valentine's Day is a time to celebrate romance and love and kissy-face fealty. But the origins of this festival of candy and cupids are actually dark, bloody — and a bit muddled.

Though no one has pinpointed the exact origin of the holiday, one good place to start is ancient Rome, where men hit on women by, well, hitting them.

Those Wild And Crazy Romans

From Feb. 13 to 15, the Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia. The men sacrificed a goat and a dog, then whipped women with the hides of the animals they had just slain.

The Roman romantics "were drunk. They were naked," says Noel Lenski, a historian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Young women would actually line up for the men to hit them, Lenski says. They believed this would make them fertile.

The brutal fete included a matchmaking lottery, in which young men drew the names of women from a jar. The couple would then be, um, coupled up for the duration of the festival — or longer, if the match was right.

The ancient Romans may also be responsible for the name of our modern day of love. Emperor Claudius II executed two men — both named Valentine — on Feb. 14 of different years in the 3rd century A.D. Their martyrdom was honored by the Catholic Church with the celebration of St. Valentine's Day.

Later, Pope Gelasius I muddled things in the 5th century by combining St. Valentine's Day with Lupercalia to expel the pagan rituals. But the festival was more of a theatrical interpretation of what it had once been. Lenski adds, "It was a little more of a drunken revel, but the Christians put clothes back on it. That didn't stop it from being a day of fertility and love."

Around the same time, the Normans celebrated Galatin's Day. Galatin meant "lover of
women." That was likely confused with St. Valentine's Day at some point, in part because they sound alike.

William Shakespeare helped romanticize Valentine's Day in his work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe.

As the years went on, the holiday grew sweeter. Chaucer and Shakespeare romanticized it in their work, and it gained popularity throughout Britain and the rest of Europe. Handmade paper cards became the tokens-du-jour in the Middle Ages.

Eventually, the tradition made its way to the New World. The industrial revolution ushered in factory-made cards in the 19th century. And in 1913, Hallmark Cards of Kansas City, Mo., began mass producing valentines. February has not been the same since.

Today, the holiday is big business: According to market research firm IBIS World, Valentine's Day sales reached $17.6 billion last year; this year's sales are expected to total $18.6 billion.

Pink Floral Bracelet
But that commercialization has spoiled the day for many. Helen Fisher, a sociologist at Rutgers University, says we have only ourselves to blame.

"This isn't a command performance," she says. "If people didn't want to buy Hallmark cards, they would not be bought, and Hallmark would go out of business."

And so the celebration of Valentine's Day goes on, in varied ways. Many will break the bank buying jewelry and flowers for their beloveds. Others will celebrate in a SAD (that's Single Awareness Day) way, dining alone and binging on self-gifted chocolates. A few may even be spending this day the same way the early Romans did. But let's not go there.

Source: National Public Radio

Visit Handmade Jewelry Haven for some wonderful Valentines Day Gifts for Him and Her!

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Friday, January 26, 2018

Flashback Friday - The Hypnosis of Hibiscus

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 Hypnosis of Hibiscus
Many Hibiscus plants are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs. Many species are used to attract butterflies and bees. Hibiscus is also a primary ingredient in many herbal teas. It is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams, especially in the Caribbean. All over the world, the tea drink is consumed hot or cold. It is known as Bissap in West Africa, Karkady in the
Middle East, flor de Jamaica in Mexico, Gongura in India and Brazil. Some refer to it as roselle, a common name for the hibiscus flower. The Hibiscus is used as an offering to goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.The Hibiscus is used as an offering to goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.Hibiscus, especially White Hibiscus and Red hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots make various concoctions believed to cure ailments such as cough. The flowers are boiled in oil along with other spices to make a medicated hair oil to prevent greying and hair loss. The leaves and flowers are ground into a fine paste with a little water and the resulting lathery paste is used as a shampoo plus conditioner.A 2008 USDA study shows consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure. And I bet you thought it was just another pretty flower!!

Hibiscus Bracelet and Earrings

To buy our Hibiscus Bracelet and Earrings, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Page Here.

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Saturday, January 13, 2018

Pantone's Color Of The Year

Well, it's finally out....Pantone, the industry leader when it comes to matching your favorite color, has announced their 'Color Of The Year'.....Ultra Violet!
With it's fresh bold look.....and let's face it...this year we NEED something Fresh and New..
Ultra Violet is sure to bring us to new and exciting places in the world of design! 

Created in honor of international icon, Prince, their custom color, “Love Symbol #2” is a distinctive blue based purple hue inspired by Prince’s custom-made Yamaha purple piano which was originally scheduled to go on tour with the performer before his untimely passing at the age of 57. Prince’s association with the color purple was galvanized in 1984 with the release of the film Purple Rain, along with its Academy Award-winning soundtrack featuring the eponymous song. While the spectrum of the color purple will still be used in respect to the “Purple One,” Love Symbol #2, will be the official color across the brand he left behind. When we think about Prince, we see a uniquely brilliant artist who continually throughout his illustrious career broke new ground as he perpetually challenged the norms in whatever space he played, leaving behind an indelible mark on music, art, fashion and culture. Paying tribute by developing a special purple color for this globally renowned talent known worldwide as “The Purple One” seemed only right and a way for his artistic legacy to live on forever.

Why this particular purple? As you can imagine, many are asking, especially now. Was it because purple is one of the shades worn by the Minnesota Vikings, the football team who played in Prince’s home state where he continued to live and work until his last day? It could be. After all in 2010 Prince recorded a three-minute, 41 second anthem titled “Purple and Gold” specifically for the Vikings at his Paisley Park Studios in the Minneapolis suburb of Chanhassen shortly after the Vikings' 34-3 win against the Dallas Cowboys in the 2010 NFC divisional playoffs.

Or should we attribute Prince’s fascination with this particular blue based purple shade to its enigmatic status, its mystical associations and its complexity as a color that is a combination of the excitement of red and the tranquility of blue making it in essence the marriage of two diametrically opposed emotions?

We are not sure of the exact reason, however what we do know is that the language of this unique new purple, “Love Symbol #2” conveys an aura of mystery, intrigue and unconventionality, a color that stands apart from all others, something Prince, a performer of distinctive style certainly did.

Come and get in on the 'Purple Craze' with a beautiful bold Sand Dollar Rope Bracelet in Violet at Handmade Jewelry Haven!  

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Source: Pantone