Posts Tagged 'girls'

Swallowtail Butterfly Knot Charms Now Available!

These butterfly charms have become my instant new favorite, as I’m sure they will be yours.

Butterflies are recognized the world over as symbols of joy, life & love. These beautiful butterflies are knotted in the Chinese tradition, with a central Mystic Knot. Otherwise known as the Pan Chang, this knot dates back thousands of years in Asian culture, and is considered one of the eight Buddhist treasures. An extremely auspicious symbol, the Mystic Knot is said to bring happiness both to the wearer, as well as all who view it.

The wings of the butterfly are interwoven with Josephine Knots (or Carrick Bends), a well-recognized Celtic knot representing true love. The tails of the butterfly feature an additional Josephine Knot, along with Chinese Button Knots and metallic accent beads.

Measuring about 3 inches long, and made out of a single strand of 2mm satin cord in a gorgeous redwood brown, this swallowtail charm is the perfect centerpiece for any necklace!

And lucky, I just happen to have matching necklaces!  Made of high quality complementary satin cord, these clasp-free necklaces are completely adjustable, making them great for all ages. Just pull on the necklace to open (don’t worry, it’s sturdy!), then pull the central knot apart to re-close.  The center of the necklace can be looped through most charms or pendants for an instant new look, making this necklace the ultimate in versatility.

Both of these great items are currently for sale in my Etsy shop, and they have already become a high-demand item locally.  They’re absolutely gorgeous and ornate, and look fabulous on women of all ages, so make sure to pick one up today!  And remember, I can always fulfill custom color requests, just ask!

Nippon Worry Dolls & Cattail Trinket Cases

Worry Dolls are a traditional Guatemalan custom, but these have taken on a Japanese twist!  A popular children’s gift, worry dolls are commonly kept under pillows at night to ward off worries & anxieties.  Customarily made with household items such as clothespins and bits of fabric, worry dolls are a great way to transform scrap materials into awesome works of art.
When I was young I learned a worry doll technique using tooth picks and leftover embroidery floss.  I feel using floss instead of fabric allows for more detail, both in terms of color & design as well as the actual contours of the figure.  The faces are left blank so you can draw a smile on once the source or worry is gone!
These worry dolls, like much of the art in the Amigami collection, have taken on a a Japanese twist.  The pair of Geisha, in shades of pink and violet, are inspired by summer flowers.  Their ensemble is complete with rear bow, the famous Geisha white face make-up, and hair neatly held in place (one even has “chopsticks!”)
We also have Buddhist monks in their famous orange robes, as well as Miko (temple priestesses) with their customary red skirt and flowing hair.
And last but certainly not least is their packaging.  In brilliant emerald green, the “worry box” is hand-woven from cattails of northern Appalachia.  These leaves were collected and dried personally, in a special dark room designed to retain the plants’ vivid color.
Case & lid each measure about 2.5″ x 4″ and fit neatly inside one another.  Water resistant and incredibly strong, this case is a perfect way to store your keepsakes, including your worry dolls!
This entire collection is now available in my Etsy shop!  And of course, I am always happy to make custom worry dolls or cattail boxes – just ask!

Gemstone Jewelry With Form & Function

I’ve been intending to post photos of some of the stone jewelry I’ve created in the past, but lately I’ve been too caught up with posting current items to bother with the archives.  This is a collection of jewelry I designed this past holiday season as gifts for friends & family.  Constructed using only the finest quality metal and stone, these pieces were designed not only with aesthetic appeal in mind, but also the stones’ supposed metaphysical properties.

This first necklace showcases a crescendo of alternating spheres, in shades of dusty yellow which looks stunning against a darker wardrobe.  The large translucent orbs are Lemon Quartz, which is said to clear the mind & absorb negative energy.  The smaller brighter beads are Citrine, a powerful cleansing stone of emotional balance, which is also known as a “merchant’s stone” for promoting financial prosperity.  When combined, the citrine is said to dispel the negativity which the lemon quartz collects – the necklace retains an optimistic air regardless of the wearer’s stress levels.  Hung on a sterling silver chain, with complementary accent charm on the clasp, this elegant citrus-inspired necklace is a personification of happiness.

This next piece was designed for a longtime family friend who had recently been involved in a car accident and suffered a broken wrist.  To supplement the healing process, this bracelet features large free form nuggets of Pyrite (a stone of physical strength), framed by round beads of red tiger eye (his favorite stone) and accented by brass.  Tiger Eye is a grounding stone, said to combine the energies of sun & earth, which helps to encourage discipline & practicality.  Though designed with a man in mind, this silhouette is extremely versatile is looks great on women as well.

These next two pieces were collaborative works with my partner.  The first is an edgy pendant showcasing a genuine Ammonite fossil. Ammonites are a prehistoric form of marine life, said to bring structure to one’s life while allowing them to understand the big picture.  The fossil is framed by small spheres of spotted Dalmatian Jasper and disks of Bronzite, on a large brass chain.  Dalmation Jasper, also known as Leopard Jasper, is a stabilizing stone which promotes patience and helps one accept responsibilities.  Similarly, Bronzite is known as a “stone of courtesy,” promoting equitability and unbiased judgment.  Although the stones used are sharply contrasting in appearance they hold common threads metaphysically, which allow them to come together in a youthful necklace of peace & understanding.

This final tourmaline bracelet is truly elegant & unique.  The vintage-style butterfly, which we bent to match the natural curve of the wrist, was originally purchased about a decade ago from a local Claire’s Boutique as a necklace focal point.  The bracelet is adorned in pink and black tourmaline rounds, and accented by faceted nuggets of green tourmaline and “gun-metal” filigree beads.  Tourmaline promotes inspiration $ self-confidence, and it’s said to mirror the body’s chakras.  Rubellite (aka pink tourmaline) strengthens love &the healing qualities of the heart.  Green Tourmaline, also related with the heart, brings about both clarity & wealth (material & emotional). And the powerful Schorl (aka Aphrizite or Black Tourmaline) is said to protect against & repel negative energy.  With a design reminiscent of a peace sign, this bracelet connects the energies of mind, heart & body.

All of the wonderful information I’ve presented here on the stones’ properties has been gathered from the definitive source on the subject, Love is in the Earth:  The Crystal & Mineral Encyclopedia, by Melody. It may be the heaviest book I own, but it certainly suceeds in leaving no stone unturned.   🙂

Sailor Knot Bangle Bracelets

The Turk’s Head, or Sailor Knot, is a beautifully brilliant way to transform any cord or string into braided bangles.  They can be made quickly and easily, by wrapping the cord over any round surface (or even your own wrist).  With an interior knot closure, the bangle appear endless:  people love to marvel at this seemingly infinite braid.

I currently have Sailor Knot Bangles for sale in my Etsy shop, made from several different mediums.  The first are composed of thick 3mm natural-colored hemp cord.  Large yet subtle & incredibly durable, these hemp bracelets are perfect for men & women of all ages.

And for a more eye-catching evening look, I have a thinner woman’s bangle, made of woven nylon cord.  Black with interwoven strands of metallic red & silver, these bangles capture the light radiantly.

The Turk’s Head Knot is a wonderful technique, especially for thicker fibers.  Extremely versatile in its simplicity — I can’t wait to try out more types of raw materials.

Revisiting Rogers: My Flea Market Finds

I love showcasing the artwork of others, and even though I’ve already spoke on our visit to Rogers Community Auction, I had to make special note of the wonderful jewelry I acquired there.

A mother-daughter team stationed down the market avenue had a fantastic array of beaded stone jewelry.  From rings to necklaces, they had four tables featuring a plethora of semi-precious stones and styles.  Having what seems to be a genetic predisposition for turquoise, I gravitated towards a perfect-for-summer chunky bangle and matching ring.  The bracelet features 5 intersecting bands of pale blue turquoise on elastic (for easy wear & removal).  The matching ornate ring showcases a dazzling cabochon set in brilliant sterling silver.  Both the mother & daughter were extremely approachable about their products & techniques, and I thank them for the excellent deal they gave me on the set.

Ramon went on several hardware outings throughout the day , and returned with a gorgeous pendant for me.  It showcases a perfectly intricate mini dried flower display, in shades of antiqued gold and mauve, encapsulated under a glass dome within a metal frame.  The reverse side holds a mirror of matching proportion, and hangs from a 24″ long complementary chain.

I absolutely love this necklace, but there’s one setback:  I’m allergic to nickel & most forms of metal.   Attempting to coat the chain in clear nail polish would ultimately be fruitless, so unless I find another method of combating my allergy, I may regrettably have to exchange the chain for a hypo-allergenic alternative.  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

And finally, our market neighbor Denny, from Cambridge, and his friends had an assortment of goods, including some very special jewelry.  We spoke with Denny and his daughter at length, on a multitude of interesting topics – they were both absolute pleasures.  He told us about his sister, who was an artist & crafter in her own right, until she unfortunately passed of cancer a few years ago.  He had recently rediscovered some of her beaded jewelry, and of course I had to commemorate his sister & our meeting.  The medicine pouch I purchased is stunning, with a red & white heart theme, accented by rich gold.  Denny also told us of multiple herbal cures of which he is knowledgeable, including the potent Essiac Tea, which aided his sister & countless others through the hardest of times.  Denny was SO generous to share this information with us, we feel obligated to use it & pass it on.  Thank you Denny & Vanessa, as well as the entire Rogers Market Community, for all your great company & hospitality.

Crochet Pittsburgh Hats now on Etsy!

I postponed listing these hats for fear of jinxing the big game, but alas, I have no more to fear.  These frilled hats are absolutely awesome, and stretch to fit most adults.

Constructed from acrylic yarn, the hat’s scalloped pattern is made by chaining gaps in the design which are then worked over with a double crochet technique to make the “fan” appearance.   These hats are extremely versatile and would look great with any color scheme (contact me about making yours!)  I found the tri-color design is especially nice for representing your favorite sports teams.

Also listed is a small Butterfly Beanie, made using the double crochet technique, in the same rich violet I’ve used in some of my other listings.  It’s not the right shape for me personally, but I think this hat would look adorable on any little girl.  I do like the Butterfly concept, however, and I intend on working it into other designs.


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