Silver Labradorite Power Ring

Labradorite, Light Magic Inside the Shaman’s Stone

https://www.etsy.com/listing/385548708/hammered-silver-labradorite-cuff
Close up of a labradorite cabochon in a bracelet.

Labradorite is a member of the feldspar family, along with moonstone, orthoclase, amazonite, andesine, and sunstone. It is treasured for its remarkable play of color, known as labradorescence. Specimens found in Finland are commonly called Spectrolite. Labradorite is also found in India, Madagascar, Newfoundland, and Russia.

The stone usually has a gray-green matrix, sometimes dark gray, black, or grayish white, in varying transparency. Its iridescent flashes appear in layers of peacock blue, gold, pale green, or coppery red. The predominant color is blue, varying from cobalt and purplish blue, aqua and turquoise, into shades of pale blue-green.

Inuit legends tell of an Eskimo warrior who heard the call of the Northern Lights trapped within the rocks on the coast of Labrador. He freed most of the Aurora Borealis with his spear….but many of the lights remained trapped in the stones.

Silver Labradorite Ring
Oval labradorite in silver split-shank ring.

There are other centuries-old Inuit tribe legends that reference labradorite rock. According to legend, the “Mighty Being” hit the iridescent mineral rock with his fist to initiate travel into the sky. Labradorite was called “firestone” and “fire rock” by the native people.

It was named in Labrador, Canada, by Moravian missionaries in 1770.

Energetically labradorite calms an overactive mind and energizes the imagination. It softens the negative edges of some of our darker thoughts and amplifies the energy of new ideas. It is excellent for awakening one’s own awareness of inner spirit, intuition and psychic abilities.

Oval Labradorite Drop Earrings
Oval Labradorite Drop Earrings, with a shimmery aqua sheen.

It is believed to help eliminate the emotional drain of daily routine or being weighed down by responsibility, and awakens a sense of adventure and change. As a stone of transformation, it is said to support the wearer through difficult changes.

Traditionally, labradorite is a gemstone regarded to pull good fortune. If worn as a pendant, its wearer is said to have a healthy body and a good fortune in his relationship.

Labradorite earrings improve the ability to hear messages from spirit guides.

Labradorite has been referred to as a “Shaman’s Stone”, a “Stone of Magic”. It has been valued by diviners, healers, and shamans for ages. The labradorescence represents deeper, hidden realms beyond the mundane world.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Labradorite honors Arianhrod the Welsh Goddess of the Moon and Stars, whose home is the Aurora Borealis, the place where souls go when their body dies and waits to be born once again. She is also a goddess of prophecy and dream.

However you utilize your labradorite, in a piece of jewelry, as a worry stone, or as a meditative focus, honor its depths as they relate to your own brilliant layers. Allow the light within to shine through the darkness and embrace the only thing that is sure in life….change.

If you are interested in a piece of beautiful labradorite jewelry, contact me, or visit my etsy shop!

anita@jewelweedsprouts.com

https://www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

For some inspired designs, here’s:

a truly amazing ring

a gorgeous pendant

a one of a kind statement necklace

some really distinctive earrings

 

Silver Rainbow Moonstone Triskele Earrings

Rainbow Moonstone Earrings, Never Leave Home Without Them

Everyday earrings, ones we wear every single day if we feel like it, those earrings that make us feel ready for whatever the day may bring….we all need a pair of ‘em. And they should have rainbow moonstones in them. Why? Because rainbow moonstone will align you with your goddess energy, that take-charge energy, the “let me kiss it and make it all better” energy, the “I HOLD A LIGHTNING BOLT IN THE SPACE BETWEEN MY EYEBROWS AND I AM NOT AFRAID TO USE IT” energy. Don’t leave home without them.

Rainbow moonstone can be identified by its characteristic adularescence, which appears as an internal source of light or sheen. The Romans admired moonstone and believed that it came from the rays of the moon made solid. Since earliest times, moonstone has been a tangible connection to the magic of the moon – an amulet of protection and a channel for intuition.

Rainbow moonstone connects us to Divine Inspiration, and channels it into our own intuition. Increase your ability to look within for answers, your ability to make quick decisions. Rainbow moonstone jewelry is useful worn within the higher chakras (for example, on the earlobes), where the vibration of these stones resonates the most powerfully.

By deepening your patience, rainbow moonstone can help you see the synchronicities in life, and opens up your channels of creativity and self-expression. The rainbow effect brings in a spectrum of light, and can help with clearing and bringing in uplifting energies.

PLUS, they match the sky! Anything you can wear that matches the sky is a WIN.

Hammered Triangle in Circle Earrings
Hammered Triangle in Circle Earrings

Rainbow Moonstone Hammered Triangle in Circle Earrings

Sterling silver circle, representing the Limitless, embraces a triangle, which is one of the most ancient symbols of feminine divinity.

Rainbow Moonstone Full Moon Earrings

Circles are a simple yet rich symbol, and have deep meaning in our histories. A circle represents inclusion, wholeness, focus, unity, perfection, womb, infinity, and completion.

Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops
Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops

 

Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops

These Rainbow Moonstone Silver Filigree Hoops have softly spinning spiral scrolls that embrace 6mm rainbow moonstone in a dance of space and regeneration. Spirals are a symbol of the universe in constant motion.

Rainbow Moonstone Triple Spiral Scroll Drop Earrings

Spiral triad….energy moving out in the service of change. These earrings are inspired by Celtic design, inciting a sacred sense of the power within us to make change through Inspired Action.

Rainbow Moonstone Large Silver Scroll Gypsy Hoops
Rainbow Moonstone Large Silver Scroll Gypsy Hoops

Rainbow Moonstone Large Silver Scroll Gypsy Hoops

Bring out your inner gypsy queen with unapologetic style. Bold and fanciful with handmade filigree scrollwork, these large hoops are all you need to dress up any outfit.

Rainbow Moonstone Silver Triskele Drop Earrings

Let your inner goddess shine brightly with this bold Celtic-inspired Triskele design that invokes past-present-future, creation-preservation-destruction, body-mind-spirit…..

Rainbow Moonstone Large Filigree Gypsy Hoops
Rainbow Moonstone Large Filigree Gypsy Hoops

Rainbow Moonstone Large Filigree Gypsy Hoops

In Buddhism, a square inside a circle represents the human and the Divine in relationship. Find yourself in good company, your own Inner Goddess!

Whichever pair you choose, wear them with your shoulders back, your head held high, crown chakra open and ready for everything your day will deliver to your feet…. like rose petals on the Ganges.

Altar with Hanuman, Servant of God

A Tour of My Jewelry Studio – Warts and All! (no actual warts, I promise!)

My studio is home to me. It is my cave, my hilltop (think “The Sound of Music”), and my deep blue sea. I go there in silence, I go there in dance, and I go there no matter my mood.

I spent six months without a studio once, and it nearly killed me. I had closed my jewelry store and was spending those months helping a friend build another business that she still runs today. I will never forget the way I felt after I told her I had to reopen my studio, that I couldn’t be her partner…it was exhilarating! My hands had been itching for my tools, and although I didn’t know how or where I was going to get my studio functioning again, I knew I HAD to do it.

At the time, I didn’t even know how I would market my creations. I just knew I was being called back into action, and who was I to deny my destiny?

My jewelry studio isn’t glamorous. It isn’t spotless, it has mismatched furniture, and often looks as if my supplies exploded all over every horizontal surface….and I love it. I did notice recently that it has some rockin’ elements of Feng Shui! My desk and my workbench are situated in the right places for maximum career and creativity, respectively. (Whew! THAT was lucky!)

Let me take you on a tour, going clockwise from the door….

Loose Gemstone Collection
Gemstone Eye Candy Inspiration

In my studio, there is a desk just for gemstones and custom orders to hang out and become what they need to be…like a staging area. Here, I toy with beautiful stones and pieces of what will be jewelry, after a few more processes like hammering, shaping, or polishing.

Hammers and Coils of Silver Wire
My collection of hammers and coils of silver wire

Above that table is a pegboard where I hang my collection of hammers and coils upon coils of sterling silver wire. It also bears photographs of a few folks I admire, and the smallest mirror I could possibly find to make sure I don’t step out into the world with a face full of smudges.

Still Life With Mandrels
Still Life With Mandrels

I have a sturdy table covered with different mandrels, steel plates, a small vise, my flexshaft, and a myriad of accessories for the flexshaft (grinders, polishers, stone setting burs). This table receives my hammerblows and is home to one of the ugliest benchpins in existence. Benchpins earn their ugliness from sawblades and files, drill bits and a wide variety of other tools of torture.

There is a very useful shelving unit in the corner (of love and marriage, according to feng shui)…it carries all those items I need on a varying basis….sometimes I think I need to rearrange a bit and put a large houseplant there instead. (noted on to-do list for several months running now…)

Snapshot of my jeweler's bench
My jeweler’s bench with the debris of creation in the sweeps drawer

Against the wall with windows is my jeweler’s bench. It has seen me through a lot of changes, even though it is only 5 years old. It bears the marks of errant torch flames, dried flux, and piles of random jump rings and tiny chips of solder, and even the occasional gemstone waiting patiently to be recognized as something worthy of a design.

My clean desk
The nerve center of my career

Taking a 90 degree turn, there sits my desk. My gorgeous rolltop desk (don’t get too excited) from Goodwill holds my packaging materials, my calendar, my scale and calculator, and a space almost too small for my laptop computer. It is the main focus when I am placing orders for gemstones and silver, preparing to mail out finished orders, and when I am keeping in touch with the outside world via social media.

Studio Altar
One of my mercurial altars, holding space for some inspiration

It doesn’t have a big file cabinet, or enough shelves to keep all my extra supplies off the floor. It doesn’t have a laser welder or a fancy polishing machine (that is relegated to the back porch for the sake of everyone else who lives in the house). It doesn’t have clean surfaces to eat from or sit on (don’t wear white in my studio!) But for all it doesn’t have, there is so much….

What my jewelry studio does have is a whole lot of authenticity, a heap of possibility, and plenty of space for the daily dance break (which is physically necessary after hours of being hunched over a bench pin!). It has a history of free-flowing creativity, hard work, and divine inspiration. It has a place for me to be fully me….and really I can’t ask for more than that.

To see what beauty comes from a space like this, check out my etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

Or wander over to my facebook page, Jewelweed Sprouts

 

Milky Way Galaxy

What’s up with all the spirals, Anita?

What’s so special about spirals? Why am I hooked on them? What is the meaning of a spiral? The answer goes back to the beginning of time as we know it….

My mind rests on archetypes, symbols on human memory that run so deep we don’t know where they began. I love that kind of “knowing”, that deep understanding that is elusive to words. I mean, I can describe these elements in words…but words only point to the moon, they can never BE the moon. It’s the “golden ratio” in nature, but what does that really MEAN?

Sterling Silver Celtic Triskelion
Triple Spiral Pendant made by me… available at https://www.etsy.com/listing/264370950/handmade-sterling-silver-pendant

In those moments when many folks might switch on the radio to the popular music station and bop their heads to the beats everyone else is bopping to, I listen to a different drummer, always have. My favorite forms of entertainment include documentaries about ancient civilizations (like the Etruscans, or the Mayans, or the Celts, ooh, or Egypt!), sometimes I even get really crazy and get deep into crop circles or history of religions of the world. I know, it isn’t everyone’s scene, but perhaps that’s why I enjoy working alone. Nobody in my private studio rolls their eyes at me! No grumbles of dissent or grunts of displeasure. This is the stuff with which I nourish my mind, which inspires my creations.

Beverly's Ammonite Fossil Pendant
Custom Pendant 14K Gold and Ammonite Fossil made by me

Spirals have been a part of my jewelry since I started playing with metal. Spirals are one of the oldest symbols known in spiritual practices. Of course, before written language, spiritual practice was simply a part of human living. There was no separation between the sacred and the mundane. There still isn’t, really…except that many people only recognize the sacred in certain places or at certain times. I prefer to think of the mundane activities of daily life as a part of the sacred script of existence.

Newgrange Entrance Stone Spirals
Example of ancient stone carving in Ireland. thanks to Nomadtales, found on wikipedia.

Spirals represent growth and evolution, the womb, life force energy, to remind of us our ever expanding journey in awareness in this life. I use the spiral as a personal talisman, to remind me of the changes that occur within the cycles of life. It helps me to see that although some days seem just like any other, they are singular and completely unique, as I am reflecting back on life from a different point of view. My spiral ring keeps me focused on my own personal growth, on the inevitability of change and development. As we all know, accepting change is one of the greatest powers a human can possess.

Fibonacci Spirals in Nature
Fibonacci Spirals in Nature, thanks to https://www.pinterest.com/explore/fibonacci-spiral/

We can find spirals in nature, in the shape of shells or the arrangement of petals on a flower. They have been painted on cave walls and carved into stone all over the world for eons. It is the shape of a hurricane. Where do you see spirals? Do you sense the footprint of the ancient wisdom in your life path? What kind of spiral really pulls you in?

https://www.etsy.com/listing/272129578/simple-sterling-silver-spiral-ring
See how at home a spiral is among our other symbols? you can get one at my shop! https://www.etsy.com/listing/272129578/simple-sterling-silver-spiral-ring

Imagine your life as a spiral, a divine pathway pulling you to inner exploration at the same time as you are thrust by centrifugal force outward. The most perfect part of the spiral is wherever you are in relation to your center.

 

You can find all kinds of spirals over at my etsy shop:

Pendants:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/264370950/handmade-sterling-silver-pendant

Earrings:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/293932979/rainbow-moonstone-silver-scroll-earrings

Rings:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/294307929/rose-quartz-ring-hammered-silver-ring

Have a look around! And around….and around…..and around…. (hee hee, just a little spiral humor there to lighten things up!)

 

Rose Quartz – Element of Love

It has been raining a lot in Texas these days…. watering the soil, replenishing the groundwaters, greening up the flora. I have always loved rain. It makes me think of things that nourish the deepest part of our souls…. Things like love. Not love with a capital letter, not love with an object attached, but love as an ever-present element in our lives that softens our soil, that sweetens our fruit.

The history of rose quartz has long been interwoven with the element of love. Rose quartz has been a part of the lives of humans for eons. In present day Iran, rose quartz beads have been found that are over 9000 years old. One ancient legend says that Eros and Cupid brought the lovely pink stone to earth in order to arouse love among people.

Rose Cut Rose Quartz Scroll Earrings www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz
Rose Cut Rose Quartz Scroll Earrings
www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

Rose quartz is a microcrystalline form of quartz with a soft pink glow. Just like love isn’t entirely understood, the color of rose quartz isn’t easily explained. The closest explanation is that it is a variety of quartz with impurities of manganese, titanium and colloidal gold. It is found mostly in Brazil, but also in South Africa, Mozambique, India, and the U.S. Rose quartz from some places shows asterism, which is a rare star shaped light effect.

Star Rose Quartz www.minerals.net
Star Rose Quartz
www.minerals.net

Rose quartz is a fairly durable stone, with a hardness of 7 on Moh’s scale, just like amethyst and citrine, which are other quartz types. Because of this, it is suitable for wearing in most types of jewelry. Most often it is polished into a cabochon shape (flat on the bottom, rounded on the top). I always think of candy when I see them…. I imagine that they taste like watermelon. It is also pretty common to find them as beads, tumbled stones, or sometimes carvings.

Rose quartz is traditionally the stone that commemorates the fifth wedding anniversary. Thousands of years ago, it was used as a betrothal stone, often given in the form of a necklace with rose quartz beads. The most famous rose quartz is La Madona Rosa, over 15 inches tall, which is named for its resemblance to traditional depictions of the Virgin Mary.

La Madona Rosa courtesy of http://www2.heritagestatic.com/
La Madona Rosa courtesy of http://www2.heritagestatic.com/

Considered to be an aspect of Goddess energy, rose quartz represents unconditional love, compassion and peace, tenderness and healing. It is commonly chosen to represent the Feminine Principle. It resonates with the heart chakra, which is a very wonderful reason to wear it near your heart as a pendant.

Rose quartz can be used as a transformational crystal. It can help you align your heart for a fresh start. For this reason, I love to create rings with rose quartz, believing they can help you find your way to the path with the greatest love available for you. They can act as a reminder to seek out compassion in yourself and others.

Sterling silver rose quartz ring www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz
Sterling silver rose quartz ring
www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

I have recently fallen in love all over again with rose quartz, and you’ll see more and more of it in my designs… the soft pink tones are luminous and dreamy. Please take a look let me know what you think. Are you inspired by the soft and tender qualities of love? By the feminine qualities of compassion and peace? Try on some rose quartz and look for your transformation. It’s gentle, it comes on sweet, and it creates space for new growth.

For some ideas, check out these links:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/293083001/rose-quartz-silver-bangle-bracelet-rose

https://www.etsy.com/listing/266516295/rose-quartz-pendant-handmade-silver

https://www.etsy.com/listing/286247267/unique-sterling-earrings-small-silver

https://www.etsy.com/listing/264375526/scroll-hoop-earrings-with-8mm-rose-cut

 

 

 

 

Mango Melee

The Story of Jewelweed, Fine Handmade Jewelry, in Christiansted, St. Croix

handcrafted jewelry, fine jewelry
The glory days of Jewelweed, Fine Handmade Jewelry, in Christiansted, U.S.Virgin Islands.

In December of 2000, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. I didn’t know that’s what it was, though. I thought I was opening a jewelry store. With custom designs. Made in the shop.

It wasn’t easy, but it was fun….Jewelweed was truly a dream come true for me. I loved cultivating that space. It became a place where people would come to relax, to distract themselves with good music, good conversation, and objects of beauty. Running a jewelry store was like being the queen of a sacred space. Designing jewelry for a special milestone is like being some sort of divine alchemist. I was among the first to know who was getting engaged, who was having a baby, and what folks were getting for big holidays. I look back at that time and can only thing one thing: IT WAS MAGICAL.

When owning a business, your neighbors can make it into a very rich experience. We had a great location, right in-between a wonderful clothing boutique, From the Gecko(curated by Danna Brosius), and a really unique textiles and gift shop, Textiles With a Story. We were right downstairs from THE BEST RESTAURANT on St. Croix, Bacchus (created by Frank and Katherine Pugliese). King Street was hopping, and we kept the beat.

We (I must include all of my brilliant apprentices in this sentence) designed everything under the sun. We collected sea glass and made beautiful souvenirs. We collected beach stones and created pendants and rings. We made jewelry out of the historical potsherds (locally referred to as “chaney”) that folks would find in their yard after a good tropical rain. We crafted platinum and diamond rings to honor marriages. We played with myriads of sapphires and OH THE BOULDER OPALS! Garry Roberts, from Queensland, Australia, would show up with opals and we would peruse and ponder and finally buy more than we ought to…because who says no to a dramatic fiery opal?

I learned so much from running a business, so much from my friends who were always there to help out, so much from my fantastic employees and apprentices. One of my most fortunate moments was when the guy known for watch repair asked me to apprentice his daughter, Chandar Ramon, because she would rather make jewelry instead of watches. Her commitment and natural talent are two of her greatest attributes. She is still working in the jewelry business in Atlanta. I feel great pride in Jendayi Collingwood, who went to my alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University, and then moved to the big city to make a place for herself. Bonnie Dale Luria entered this story after moving from New York City to eventually marry one of my good friends, and she brought with her a world of experience and a sense of curiosity and humor that injected Jewelweed with an entirely new and joyful energy. My longest term employee (manager, partner in mischief, etc), the woman who can do absolutely anything she sets her mind to, Louella Johnson, is still my best friend to this day. My mind reels when I think of all the people who were involved in the world of Jewelweed. And I am so deeply grateful for that experience.

In earth years, it only lasted from 2000 through 2008, but in my heart it is eternal. I was young and idealistic,and I was able to create some amazing memories. Through my business, I was able to mentor four aspiring jewelers who then went on to make their own dreams come true. I supported the work of the Rising Stars, a group of local youth with amazing musical talent, who were mentored and promoted by Timothy Graphenreed and J. David Moore. I held space for artists to display their work during Art Thursdays. In fact, it occurred to me that Jewelweed was the first gallery to carry the work of Ted Davis, who then went on to open a beautiful photography gallery of his own in Christiansted, D&D Gallery (currently located in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico). I was fortunate to be able to commission some gorgeous pieces for the store, like the mahogany display cabinet designed and built by one of my apprentices, Allen LaBerteaux. Or the handpainted display cases with images of romance and mythology… Barbara O’Rork Gelardi is still delighting the island with her talent through murals that decorate more homes and business than I would even be able to list here. I still own many of my favorite sea glass ornaments, still being handcrafted by Lea Ann Robson (From the C Jewelry) and sold at local events like Mango Melee and Starving Artist.

Art Thursday
Chan, Tonya, Bonnie and Anita, All smiles after a long night… Art Thursdays still happens one Thursday a month from Nov-May in Christiansted, St. Croix.

Yeah, those were the days… It was a time of a lot of collaboration, cooperation, interdependence. I received support in the form of business advice, advertising advice, bookkeeping advice, and really every other way it was possible to be supported. It was the first time in my life I felt so intimately connected to community. The team that was magnetized to me were the greatest teachers a woman could ever hope for…youth and experience, determination and a lot of hard work, and great heaping helpings of optimism and sharing were the greatest elements that shone through the days and events at Jewelweed. The way Jewelweed evolved mirrored the way I was growing.

I will never forget the night my parents and my husband were able to throw a surprise party for me in the store… I was HUGELY pregnant, and wondered why on earth we were going back to the store when all I wanted was to sit down and eat….and there, inside my dark, locked up for the night magical store, were over two dozen of my dearest friends….”SURPRISE!” The thing about island life is, any chance to celebrate is embraced, and the joy of others is contagious. I marvelled at how many people would show up at Jewelweed late in the evening just to start off my birthday night with SO MUCH LOVE. For a confirmed introvert, to see that many folks in one place who all wanted to talk to me was a bit overwhelming, but THESE PEOPLE were family. These were the people who gave me the courage to be myself in such a public way.

I’m not sure if I ever would have opened a retail jewelry store in any other place, at any other time, but I do know that the time and the place were right for Jewelweed to blossom in St. Croix. The hardest decision I ever made was closing down. I was the mother of a growing toddler, and the time needed to be the mother I longed to be conflicted with the time necessary to be the queen of the Jewelweed domain. Laying down my scepter was a decision made ultimately by love… love for what Jewelweed had offered to me, what I had witnessed and enjoyed in my community, and love for my daughter, who needed me to evolve in a brand new way for her. I don’t regret the decision, but I do miss those days….

….when someone would stop by after a long day just to relax for a spell in the sanctity of the peaceful atmosphere.

….when I could share my skills and experience with someone who has the same love of the tools and materials.

….when someone would come in to celebrate a milestone and share their joy with me.

….when I would feel the deep connection of community and know that I could make a small difference.

Forgive me if I got all sappy there….and forgive me if I didn’t mention you or a very special event that occurred in my store. The twists and turns of memory are very unpredictable, and I was following a glowing thread through time…I am so grateful for everything I experienced during that time. It has led me to carry on with Jewelweed Sprouts, tiny precious fertile bits of Jewelweed that travel with me from place to place that allow me to bloom wherever I am planted.

Were you ever in St. Croix during the Jewelweed era? Did you visit my shop? Do you have a memory to share of Christiansted or King Street or Jewelweed? Did you live in St. Croix and make Jewelweed a part of your daily rounds or your Art Thursday experiences? Please leave me a sentimental comment so I can bask a little longer in the glow of this star…..

 

And HEY! Did you know I still make LOTS of stuff? Come check out my etsy shop: www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

OR my facebook page : Jewelweed Sprouts

WARNING: THERE IS NO SEA GLASS CURRENTLY FOR SALE.

To find out what From the Gecko is all about:  http://www.fromthegecko.com/