FALL SHOWS

I’m  lining up more jewelry and fiber shows each year.

 

This Fall, I will be participating in the Fall Fair at the Crossroads Church in Los Alamos on Saturday October 20.  I’m looking forward to doing this Fall event again – I have always enjoyed it. A terrific event to shop for Holiday gifts or for yourself!

 

 

 

 

I’ll also be participating in the Fall Fiber Fiesta at the Scottish Rite Temple in Santa Fe.  I’ve been doing the show for the several years  – it’s a terrific show and the temple is a fabulous venue!  The dates are November 16 – 18, 2018.  Wonderful fiber creations of all kinds – I’ll have fiber jewelry and woven silver pieces, too.  Great time to look for Holiday gifts.

Fall Fiber Fiesta 2018 is the sixth annual show organized by the Española Valley Fiber Arts Center. It provides exposure to a broad range of traditional and contemporary handmade fiber artwork. This is the largest show in Santa Fe exclusively dedicated to handmade creations of New Mexico’s Fiber Artists.  New Mexico’s tradition in Fiber Arts is extensive, bridging cultures, techniques, and materials. The Fall Fiber Fiesta offers you the opportunity to meet over forty artists who have spent countless hours creating beautiful, unique works of fiber art. Several of the featured artists at the Fall Fiber Fiesta have achieved national recognition and are masters of their techniques.

 

There may be more shows on the horizon.

Sapphire is September’s Birthstone

September’s birthstone is the sapphire.  There are also 12 different stones listed for the zodiac signs of Virgo and Libra which may also be considered as alternative September birthstones.  When I hear “sapphire,” I think of the royal blue variety.   Blue is the most popular color and the color (and depth of color) is the most important element in estimating the value of sapphire.  

Chemically, sapphires are corundum which is naturally colorless. Trace elements like iron, titanium, chromium, copper and magnesium give sapphires a tint of blue, yellow, purple, orange or green.   Sapphires in any color but blue are called “fancies”.  You can find sapphires in every color except red, which is classified as a ruby, although it is chemically the same.  Sapphires are hard stones – measuring 9 on the Mohs scale – perfect for jewelry.

In the U.S., gems must meet a minimum color saturation to be considered sapphires or rubies. Pink sapphires, in particular, tow a fine line between ruby and sapphire.  Pinkish orange sapphires are called padparadscha (a Sri Lankan word for “lotus flower”) can actually be more expensive than some blue sapphires.   Sapphires are found in India, the Far East, Australia, Brazil, Africa and also North America. The origin of the stone can affect its value as much as the color, cut, clarity and carat size.   Famous star sapphires like the Star of India and others came from Sri Lanka.

Sapphire is said to help focus the mind, encourage self-discipline and channel higher powers.  In 1902, French chemist Auguste Verneuil developed a process to make synthetic sapphire. This discovery unlocked a multitude of industrial applications including integrated circuits, satellite communication systems, high-durability windows and scientific instruments. 

Fall and Winter 2018-2019 Fashion Colors

The Pantone Fashion Colors for Fall/Winter 2018:  a bold palette of Fall colors with a few unexpected shades. Colors that express individuality and creativity – spice colors, some long time favorites, and some neutrals, too.   Make a fasion statement by mixing and combining unexpected colors and strone hues.  Autumn shades evoke images of leaves on the ground under the trees of the forest

Larger jewelry pieces will stand out against the brilliant colors.  Copper, Silver, or Gold can make a statement this Fall and Winter. Larger earrings are “in” this season, too.   Some of my woven fiber necklaces would also be terrific accents.  I’m working on woven sterling silver pendants that will make their debut soon.

Red Pear – a deliciously deep burgundy tinged redCoral, peach and black woven necklace with coral beads

Valiant Poppy – a vibrant poppy red shade 

Nebulas Blue – intense medium blue

Ceylon Yellow – savory and spicy exotic yellow

Martini Olive – deep olive with a brown tone

Russet Orange – a warm burnt orange

Ultra Violet – a deeper violet shade

Crocus Petal – a light and airy violet hue

Limelight – a vibrant yellow-green

Quetzal Green – an elegant deep blue-green Emerald green and teal woven necklace with malachite and crystal

Sargasso Sea – a deep sea green/blue hue

Tofu – a soft creamy white

Almond Buff – a soft natural baby camel beige

Quiet Gray – a timeless soft silvery gray

Meerkat – a warm burnished brown

August is the Last Full Month of Summer

August heralds the coming of Autumn.  August is a month that claims multiple birthstones: Peridot, Sardonyx and Spinel.  Peridot, with it’s signature lime green color, is believed to instill power and influence in the wearer. Spinel is available in a brilliant range of colors and is believed to protect the owner from harm and soothe away sadness.   Peridot is one of the few gemstones that exists in only one color: a distinctive signature lime green although the color can vary from yellow green to olive green to brownish.

 

A gift of peridot is said to bring the wearer magical powers and it’s thought to possess healing properties. It is also said to instill power and influence through wearing the gemstone.  Most peridot comes from Arizona but it’s also found in China, Myanmar, and Pakistan.  Peridot, also known as olivine, is a reasonably hard stone that measures 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale and it is available in colors ranging from yellowish green to brown. The bright lime greens and olive greens are the most popular. If you prefer citrus tones or earth tones, peridot is a stone that belongs in your jewelry collection.

 

Spinel is an alternate birthstone for August. The most popular color is “ruby red.”  Some ancient Sanskrit writings referred to Spinel as the “daughter of ruby”. The bright red color of Spinel often caused the two stones to be confused with one another in the past. Actually spinels are more rare than ruby and can sometimes can be found in very large sizes. Spinel can be found in shades of orange and a variety of blues as well as purple and black. There’s also a vivid hot pink that’s mined in Myanmar – it’s a spectacular gemstone color – unlike any other gem.   Spinel is believed to protect the owner from harm, but its true appeal is the range of rich, brilliant colors and its affordability.

 

 

Sardonyx comes from the Greek words sard (reddish brown) and onux (fingernail) and is a mixture of the two materials. Sardonyx is a type of striped chalcedony, although the bands can vary in intensity.   Sardonyx is thought to have strong psychic energy and it has long been employed as a talisman:  in ancient Egypt it was used as protection against evil spirits.   At one time people thought that sardonyx would make the wearer brave and daring.  In ancient Rome, sardonyx was used for seals because it doesn’t stick to the wax.    Roman soldiers wore sardonyx engraved with Mars (the God of War), believing the stone would bring courage, fearlessness, and victory.   Today some believe that it  brings success, honor, courage, protection, and financial rewards.  Sardonyx is found in Brazil, India, Germany, Uruguay, Russia and the United States. The most sought after sardonyx is found in India.

Form and Fiber Show at DeVargas Center

 

 

This August, the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Council is sponsoring the second annual FORM AND FIBER SHOW at the DeVargas Mall.  The dates for FORM & FIBER 2018 are August 3 – 5.  The show will be located in the center court.   I’m participating as an artist this year – last year I just worked behind the scenes.   I’ll be exhibiting some of my woven fiber necklaces and some beaded pieces – also some of my silver jewelry.

Show hours are—

Friday August 3- 10am – 7pm, 

Saturday August 4 from 10am – 6pm, and 

Sunday August 5 from Noon – 4pm

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Ruby is the Birthstone for July!

The birthstone for July is the Ruby.  Rubies are one of the hardest natural gems.  Only moissanite and diamond are harder. Rubies (from the Latin “ruber” for red) are the red version of the mineral corundum (aluminum oxide) which is colorless in its pure state (ruby is an allochromatic gem – see below).  In rubies, some chromium (about one percent) replaces the aluminum and the chromium atoms reflect light in the red part of the visible light spectrum. This reflected red light is what your eyes see and is what gives rubies their red coloring.    

Other factors like defects can affect the color we see and whether you view the stone in daylight or fluorescent light. Rubies are considered the king of gems and represent love, health and wisdom. Rubies are the most valuable gemstones.    The value of a gem increases based on its color and quality. Rubies are the most valuable gemstones.

Rubies vary in color from deep red to light pink and they can be found in many places. The best quality rubies are from Myanmar (Burma), but they can also be founds in many places, including the United States.   In the United States, a few rubies have been found in Montana, North and South Carolina, and Wyoming.

Gems that receive their color from impurities are known as allochromatic. These gems contain impurities of light absorbing elements.  The colors we see are due to the presence of these trace elements.  Other gems, such are malchite or turquoise, contain color causing elements that are part of their chemical structure. These are known as idiochromatic gems and these stones are never found colorless.

How Did Christmas in July Start?

Christmas in July!

Did you ever wonder where the idea of Christmas in July started?  The very first mention of “Christmas in July” was from an opera back in 1892 that featured children rehearsing Christmas songs in July.  In 1935, the National Recreation Association’s journal Recreation described what a “Christmas in July” was like at a North Carolina girl’s summer camp, where the event was celebrated with a Christmas tree and gifts.   There was also a comedy movie made back in 1940 called “Christmas in July”.

The post office, in conjunction with the American advertising and greeting card industries, threw a Christmas in July luncheon in New York in 1944 to promote an early Christmas mailing campaign for service men overseas during World War II.   American advertisers began using Christmas in July themes in print for summertime sales as early as 1950.    In the United States,  Christmas in July is used as a marketing tool and many stores have Christmas in July sales to draw customers into their stores.

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Pearls are the Birthstone for June

Summer’s Almost Here!

I am looking forward to summer and some warm weather! June is generally a typical summer month here.  The traditional June birthstone is the pearl and there’s a wide range of pearl types to choose from.  There are also alternative stones.  Moonstone is the most popular alternative stone, but Chalcedony and Alexandrite are other possible selections.

Since pearls are important for June birthstone gifts and also for June weddings, let’s talk a little about how pearls are created:  a pearl starts when an irritating microscopic object becomes trapped within the soft tissue of a live mollusk. The mollusk creates a pearl sac to seal off the irritation and then secretes multiple layers of nacre (calcium carbonate), that eventually create a pearl   Ideally, pearls are round and smooth, but many other shapes can occur due to the environment in which the pearls develop. Fine quality natural pearls have been highly valued as gemstones for centuries.

The unique luster of pearls depends upon the reflection, refraction, and diffraction of light from the translucent layers. The more numerous the layers in the pearl, the finer the luster. The iridescence that pearls display is caused by the overlapping of one layer on top of the next, which breaks up light falling on the surface.    Pearls vary in color and can be white or with a hint of color ranging from pink to brown or black. The color depends on the type of mollusk and the water where the mollusk lived.

There are many types of pearls.  Here are some of them:

natural pearls are pearls that occur without any human intervention.  Today a lot of pearls are farm raised – either freshwater or salt water.

cultured pearls are created when a foreign substance is intentionally inserted into a living oyster or mollusk.  Imitation pearls are completely smooth, but natural and cultured pearls are composed of nacre platelets, making either feel slightly gritty.  Many cultured pearls are sold by their trade names:   Akoya, black Tahitian, etc. Tahitian pearls are sometimes called Black pearls.  However, true black pearls are very rarely black: they are usually shades of green, purple, eggplant, blue, grey, silver or peacock

freshwater pearls – pearls which form in fresh water mollusks.

baroque pearls are irregularly shaped, blister pearls arehalf-spherical pearls which grow attached to the inside of the shell, Mabe pearls are cultivated blister pearls.

Keshi pearls are considered a byproduct of the pearl culturing process.   They can be either freshwater or saltwater:  keshi pearls are entirely nacre.

Freshwater pearls can be dyed.   The timing of immersion and the strength of the dye bath are determined by trial and error. RIT dye is very easy to use and comes in a variety of colors which can be mixed together to get even more color variations. Color saturation can be controlled as well, depending on the length of time the pearl is in the dye bath. Basically, the color results that can be achieved are endless!

June is  also a traditional month for weddings and pearl jewelry for the bride and members of the wedding party is always a big favorite.

I’ve recently reintroduced a Wedding Jewelry section on my website.  Currently I have necklaces and earrings and a few tiara styles pictured, but I’ll be expanding this section during 2018.

I create all my jewelry by hand in silver, pearls and gemstones.   I offer made-to-order tiaras and hair ornaments for the bride and also for her attendants.  I have a few examples of pearl and crystal tiara designs on my website – but these styles are really just suggestions.  All hair ornaments are lightweight handcrafted jewelry creations that range from garland-like designs in beads and silver to smaller pieces designed to pin into your hair or anchor your veil.  These hair accessories can be as simple or as elaborate as you desire and I can coordinate designs for a sophisticated “look” for the entire group.

Don’t forget that a small piece of jewelry makes a wonderful gift for bridesmaids and attendants and the mother of the bride would look wonderful in a handcrafted pearl and crystal necklace.

Birthstones and Alternatives for April and May

The idea of one gem for each month and the concept of wearing your “birth stone” started long ago – between the 16th and 18th centuries.The National Association of Jewelers released a list of so-called “modern birthstones” in 1912 in the United States.

Wearing your birthstone is supposed to bring you luck. However, if you don’t like your birthstone there are alternatives. There are a variety of birthstone lists these days, so you have some choice – traditional, modern, stones associated with your zodiac sign, etc.

Traditional birthstones include a mix of transparent and opaque gems while the modern list  features only transparent gems. Traditional birthstone choices for April are diamond, opal, and sapphire, but you can also consider rock crystal (quartz) or another white/clear stone like white topaz. The birthstone for May is the emerald – another expensive stone!   An alternate choice for May is agate – available in lots of colors.

The Zodiac signs of Aries and Taurus include nine additional stones to look at: bloodstone, topaz, jasper, coral, amber, turquoise, emerald, aventurine, and garnet.

Stones based on the Zodiac are:  Aquarius (1/21-2/21) – garnet, Pisces (2/21-3/21) – amethyst, Aries (3/21-4/21) – bloodstone, Taurus (4/21-5/21) – sapphire, Gemini (5/21-6/21) – agate,  Cancer (6/21-7/22) – emerald, Leo 7/22-8/22 – onyx, Virgo (8/22-922) – carnelian, Libra (9/22-10/23) – chrysoberyl/peridot, Scorpio (10/23-11/21) – beryl, Sagittarius (11/21-12/21) – topaz, and Capricorn (12/21-1/21) – ruby.

Sun Signs and Star Signs will provide even more choices

American Craft Week

WELCOME TO THE 9th AMERICAN CRAFT WEEK – October 5-14!

Buy Handmade!  Your support for local crafts and crafters is important and vital for the survival of the craft industry.  Crafters can’t thrive without you!  

When you purchase handmade items made in the USA, the dollars you spend stay here, and is spent and invested here!  Craft expresses the traditions of our communities, our history, and our way of life.  Craft attracts tourists. 

For the last 30 days, craft enthusiasts have been visiting the American Craft Week website and voting their favorite place to experience the vibrant craft scene.  Here are the top 10 places:  Asheville, NC; Berea, KY; Blue Ridge, GA; Brattleboro. VT; Cumberland Valley, PA; Gatlinburg, TN; Gloucester, MA; Minearl Point, WI; St. Petersburg, FL; and Waterford, VA.

 

American Craft Week began as a grassroots effort in 2010 with a small number of craft artists, galleries and events. Our goal continues to be get craft and craft artists noticed and recognized in the nationsl spotlight.  Craft makes our towns and communities exciting and vibrant.  The ninth American Craft Week celebration is October 5-14,  2018.

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