Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Gulf Coast Oil Disaster: How you can help

As a lover of all things that have to do with the ocean, and a resident of a state that is surrounded on three sides by it, the Gulf Oil Spill has had a particular interest for me.
As I watch the spill near the shores of Florida and the Florida keys, I wonder how I can be of, being the true 'Google Master' that I am...I found a link to the Audubon society that had a lot of tips on how to get involved. I want to share that with you here.
Audubon is inspired by the many people who have contacted us to find out how they can help the birds and other wildlife threatened by the Gulf oil spill. Your commitment to their health and safety during this crisis is greatly appreciated – and it underscores how much you value the natural world. Audubon is working with many other public and private conservation organizations to coordinate volunteers and connect them with oiled-wildlife response leaders to help in the recovery effort. Hands-on work to protect and save birds and other wildlife will be a complex and potentially dangerous process, and first and foremost it is important that only trained volunteers participate on the front lines. Untrained volunteers can pose a risk not only to themselves, but to the birds and wildlife they are trying to save. If you would like to receive updates on Audubon's response efforts and be notified when volunteer opportunities arise, please fill out our volunteer registration form.
Attention, Gulf Coast Birders! Your help is needed to help document bird distribution at Gulf coast sites, and the effects of the oil spill. Learn more.
Here's another way you can help. Urge Congress to fully fund restoration efforts in Coastal Louisiana. Restoring habitat is key to the survival of that region and the people and wildlife that depend upon it.
Your donation will support Audubon as we address the oil spill disaster affecting birds and other wildlife in the Gulf Coast's already-fragile ecosystem. Your gift of any amount helps provide important resources for our volunteers and for the vital work being done on the ground. Thank you for your support!Kids Are Already Helping! The spreading Gulf oil spill threatens birds and wildlife on Louisiana's coast. Save Them! Help Audubon rebuild the healthy habitat they need.
Other ways to report oiled wildlife, call 1-866-557-1401 and leave a message. Messages will be checked hourly. Even if you don’t live in the Gulf coast region, you can provide healthy habitat for birds, especially migrants, by taking some of these simple steps from Audubon At Home.

Handmade Jewelry Haven is donating 10% of all sales in the month of July towards the clean-up effort in the Gulf. Please visit our website and know that in addition to purchasing a beautiful piece of jewelry, you are doing a little bit to help those in the Gulf Coast area who have had their livelihoods destroyed by this disaster.

To see all of our beautiful Handmade Jewelry, visit our Etsy Shop here.


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Sunday, May 23, 2010

Why You Should Be Wearing Agate Jewelry

Agate is a variety of chalcedony formed from layers of quartz which usually show varicolored bands. It usually occurs as rounded nodules or veins.

The term chalcedony is derived from the name of the ancient Greek town Chalkedon in Asia Minor. Chalcedony, which is found worldwide, is the name for a group of stones made of a microcrystalline or cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, which means the quartz crystals are too small to be seen without high magnification.

Agate is believed to discern truth, accept circumstances, and is a powerful emotional healer. Legend says that Agate improves memory and concentration, increases stamina and encourages honesty. Agate is said to be particularly beneficial to people born under the sign of Gemini as it helps them to remain calm and focused.

It is believed to prevent insomnia and insure pleasant dreams, to enhance personal courage and protect one against danger. Agate provides a calming influence, improves perception, concentration and helps to develop and increase one's analytical talents.

Agate is also listed as a birth/natal or star stone in the following birthstone tables:
Mystical - SeptemberAyurvedic - MayZodiac - GeminiSun Sign (Star Sign) - CapricornSun Sign (Star Sign) - AquariusSun Sign (Star Sign) - GeminiTalismanic - LibraHebrew - MayRoman - MayArabic - June

To see a beautiful example of Agate in a jewelry application, please check out Handmade Jewelry Haven's ArtFire page where you will see our very elegant 'Blown Sand' Agate Necklace.

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To Keep Them In Our Hearts..

This blog post is dedicated to my dad, Grant Haven, who passed away a little over 3 years ago and served as a Naval Radioman aboard a PB4Y2 Aircraft in WWII.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every State on the last Monday in May.

In 1915, inspired by the poem "In Flanders Fields," Moina Michael replied with her own poem:

We cherish too, the Poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led,
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies

Cherry Blossom Lampwork Beaded Bracelet
She then conceived of an idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need. Later a Madam Guerin from France was visiting the United States and learned of this new custom started by Ms.Michael and when she returned to France, made artificial red poppies to raise money for war orphaned children and widowed women. This tradition spread to other countries. In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League sold poppies nationally to benefit war orphans of France and Belgium. The League disbanded a year later and Madam Guerin approached the VFW for help. Shortly before Memorial Day in 1922 the VFW became the first veterans' organization to nationally sell poppies. Two years later their "Buddy" Poppy program was selling artificial poppies made by disabled veterans. In 1948 the US Post Office honored Ms Michael for her role in founding the National Poppy movement by issuing a red 3 cent postage stamp with her likeness on it.
Why not celebrate Memorial Day this year in style by wearing Handmade Jewelry Haven's 'Cherry Blossom' bracelet, a beautiful red lampwork bead bracelet and 'Cherry Blossom' matching earrings? Find them both at our Handmade Jewelry Haven Etsy Shop Here.
source; US Memorial Day

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Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday Follow

Welcome to the May 14 Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.
Here's how YOU can join the Friday Follow celebration:
* Link up your blog name and URL using the MckLinky . Only need to add on one blog to be seen on all the blog hops.
* Grab the Friday Follow button and include on your Friday Follow blog post.
* Follow the Friday Follow hostesses: One 2 Try and Midday Escapades
* Follow as many other blogs on the linky as you'd like
* Take a moment to comment on the blogs telling them you're from Friday Follow
* Follow back when you get a new follower through Friday Follow
The list is new each week. The links do not carry over. Please link up each week for new participants to find your blogs. The list is only open to add your blog links on Fridays. It will be visible all week to visit the blogs listed.
As hostesses, we realize the time required to participate in Friday Follow. Due to the overwhelming number of entries each week, we understand everyone, including ourselves, may not be able to follow every blog. To keep it fun, follow what you can at your own pace. We appreciate your understanding and thank you for your continued participation!

Be sure to visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Shop to see our beautiful beaded jewelry!

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Passion For Pearls

Pearls are the oldest known gem, and for centuries were considered the most valuable. So valuable that the Roman General Vitellius allegedly financed an entire military campaign with just one of his mother's Pearl earrings.
Pearls have been used for personal ornament for thousands of years. They were probably one of the earliest gems found by prehistoric man. Pearls represents purity, innocence and integrity. They have long been considered ideal wedding gifts because they symbolize purity and innocence. In the Hindu religion, the presentation of an un-drilled Pearl and its piercing has formed part of the marriage ceremony. The Chinese used pearls in medicinal ways to cure eye ailments, heart trouble, indigestion, fever and bleeding. To this day pearl powder is still popular in China as a skin whitener and cosmetic. In India, pearls were believed to give peace of mind and strength of body and soul. Europeans thought that swallowing whole or powdered pearls cured matters of the mind and heart, and strengthened nerves.
Pearl is the June Birthstone. They have long been considered ideal wedding gifts because they symbolize purity and innocence. Traditionally it is practically a requirement for brides. In the west, Pearls are the recommended gift for couples celebrating their third and 30th wedding anniversaries.

The traditional gemstone properties for Pearl are Purity, faith, charity, innocence, integrity, focus, wisdom, spirituality, sincerity, fertility.

Because of their natural beauty, pearls are associated with the matrix of life. Proponents say that the pearl helps balance one's bodily rhythms and hormonal levels with lunar cycles. Some claim that pearls can be used to help tap inner wisdom and to nurture the growth of love.
Pearls are said to have a strong magnetic healing power. Gem therapists believe that pearls strengthen the nerves, adrenal glands, spleen and muscular system.
Pearls are also helpful with stomach ulcers. They support the intestinal tract and stimulate digestion. They also relieve fever and headaches. Pearls provide vitality and strengthen your eyes. They also help in case of calcium deficiency.
Pearls enable one to accept love. It allows the bearer to see the good parts of oneself so you can love yourself and others more. Pearls are also thought to increase fertility and ease the pain of childbirth.

Visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Shop to see all of our beautiful beaded jewelry.

source; Special Gifts

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Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Follow: A Celebration of Followers – April 30

Welcome to the April 30 Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Shop to see our beautiful beaded jewelry creations!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Bead So Beautiful...You Could Just Eat It!

Amethyst Lampwork Beaded Necklace
It was in Murano that lampwork beads first became widely produced in the 19th century. To this day, the most famous style of lampwork bead is the 'Venetian' or wedding cake bead. the secret of the glass making process was jealously guarded. Many countries tried to lure glass makers away from Italy. While some succeeded in producing lampwork beads, they did not typically put up a challenge to the Murano lampwork beads. In the mid 19th century, a few Bohemian (now Czech Republic) citizens traveled to Italy to work in the glassworks and learn the secrets. They returned five years later, frustrated by the wall of secrecy they had encountered. However, they did learn something and glass bead making was started in the Czech Republic.
The Czech also became masters at making lampwork beads and rivaled Italy on the national market. In time, the Czech and Italians taught the Indians how to make lampwork beads. Today the majority of lampwork beads come from India. The Czech and the Italians still make beautiful lampwork beads in much more limited production.

Handmade Jewelry Haven's beautiful 'Swirl' necklace, bracelet and matching earrings are made with lovely amethyst colored Italian Wedding Cake beads, and is set off by a gorgeous blown glass pendant in soothing colors of purples golds and silvers.
Find them all at Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Shop Here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Fascination With Flamingos

Flamingo Earrings and Bubble Bath Lampwork Bracelet
Nearly everyone knows what flamingos look like ---pink birds with long legs. You can see them at just about every zoo. You can find them in storybooks. Alice uses flamingos as croquet mallets in Through the Looking Glass (by Lewis Carroll). Images of flamingos, standing under palm trees, appear in paperweights and snow globes. Plastic flamingos make colorful lawn ornaments!! But did you know that some flamingos live high up in the Andes Mountains of South America? Flamingos can swim, and flamingos can fly. Ornithologists (scientists who sturdy birds) spent many years arguing whether flamingos are more like ducks, or more like storks, until they decided that flamingos belong in a group by themselves. There are 5 species of flamingos that occur throughout the world. The greater flamingo is as tall as a grown-up person is. The lesser flamingo is as tall as a first-grader. Bet you didn't know that!!
Come and take a gander (oop's! that's a male goose) at our cute Flamingo Bubble Bath Bracelet above at Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Store Here.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Hypnosis of Hibiscus

Hibiscus Lampwork Beaded Bracelet
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!!

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

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lampwork Beads

To my eye, lampwork beads are the most beautiful of all. Each one is individually handmade and no two are exactly alike. Lampwork beads are made on a metal rod called a mandrel. The mandrel is coated with a white powder that will allow the bead to be taken off the rod when the bead is finished. Molten glass is wound around the mandrel and the mandrel is placed over the flame (originally it was the flame of a gas LAMP). The bead is shaped and decorated. It is then annealed (allowed to cool evenly and slowly) to add durability.
There are lampwork beads designed to fit your every mood, from fun to funky to elegant or classy. There are lampwork beads made to fit every fashion trend and there are lampwork bead styles that have endured through the centuries.
While lampwork beads have been made since 1300 BC in Greece, Venice is considered the birthplace of modern lampwork beads. During the Renaissaince, Italy was the undisputed glass capitol of the world. The glassworks were centered in the city of Venice and glass making secrets were jealously guarded.
Glass making was divided up into tasks so that each person only knew part of the process. Telling the secrets of glass or bead production was considered an act of treason punishable by death. In the late 13th century, the glass making industry moved from Venice to the island of Murano, Italy. Folklore says that the reason glass production moved from Venice to Murano was that an island was better able to isolate the craftspeople and thus the secret process. While this is a romantic notion, it's a myth. In fact, lampworking was extremely dangerous and resulted in many fires. The glass production was moved out of the city of Venice to the Island of Murano to control the spread of fire. It was in Murano that lampwork beads first became widely produced in the 19th century. Lampwork bead making is a cottage industry all around the globe.

There is a huge disparity in the price of lampwork beads. Some can be bought for less than .10 USD. Others fetch prices in the hundreds. Several factors account for this difference.
First of all, the more detailed the bead and the more colors used to make the bead, the more expensive it is.
The type of glass used also contributes to the price of the bead. Murano (Effetre) glass is more expensive than Indian glass. It is also much more beautiful, giving the most gorgeous colors.
Another factor that goes into the pricing of the bead is its country of origin. Labor is cheaper in India than it is in the USA. Also, different countries typically produce different quality levels. The key word is typically. Some Italian bead makers import cheap glass and then label their beads as Made In Murano. It is also possible to get some Indian beads made from Murano glass.
The preciseness of the size and pattern of the beads will also weigh heavily into costing a bead. For example, the handwork on the Czech beads is beautifully done. By comparison, most mass produced Indian beads are sloppy. While each lampwork bead is hand made and they all vary slightly from each other, this variance will be more pronounced in a cheaper bead. The final factor that gets weighed into the costing mix is the annealing process used to finish the bead. Today there are kilns available with computerized temperature controls that allow precise annealing. Ideally, lampwork beads are annealed overnight.

When selecting lampwork beads for my personal collection, I look first for a bead that 'calls to me'. Then I ask what type of glass was used and how it was annealed. I personally have bought some very inexpensive lampwork beads that I love. On the other hand, I have spent a great deal of money on one single bead that I just had to have. In my humble opinion, there is a use and a need for lampwork beads in all different price ranges.

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