Who KNEW Quartz was so AMAZING?

In honor of Earth Day, let’s chat about three really interesting earthy stones. They are all related, just like the interconnected web of life on this great planet, but they remain distinct and each serve a special purpose. Three members of the chalcedony/quartz family, Carnelian, Chrysoprase, and Blue Chalcedony, all have wonderful luminous qualities, but they have unique and beautiful personalities.

 

Carnelian, which is a gorgeous fire-red-orange variety of chalcedony, is very spicy and assertive. It reminds me of fresh paprika! Energetically, it is a call to action. It has a presence that fuels the impulse to create, to be prosperous, and be determined. It evokes courage and ambition. Wear carnelian to enhance your will-power and strengthen your resolve!

Try this ring on for size~ it’s a power suit for your finger! Be unstoppable.

 

An apple-green variety of chalcedony, chrysoprase activates your deep sense of compassion. It pulls on the heart strings and carries a message of abundance and health. It is a great companion in meditation and helps to calm and relax the nervous system. Wear your chrysoprase when you choose to focus on nourishment and growth.

Go forth and prosper in these verdant hoops! They are yours for the taking!

 

Soft soothing blue chalcedony has a watery, softening effect on body, mind, and spirit. It is reassuring and centering. It is aligned with the Throat Chakra, and encourages you to speak your truth. Lovely to gaze into, blue chalcedony holds light and seems to glow from within… kind of like YOU!

Wow, you two should meet! Really. Here’s one. I think she likes you.

 

I hope you learned something here today. I really enjoyed really seeing these gemological cousins next to each other.

I mean, WHO KNEW Quartz was so AMAZING?

 

Which one is your favorite? Leave a comment here and join us over in the facebook group!

 

April, The Month of Opening

Birth of Venus

April is a tempestuous month, bringing weather that baffles the senses and ruins any attempt at a hairstyle. It warms and cools, in many places it rains like rain will never end. It is unpredictable and necessary. This is how life is created, in chaos!

 

Rose Quartz Spiral Statement Ring

The name April comes from the Latin word aperire, which means “to open”…. Open our eyes to see new life pushing up through the cracks, open hearts to fresh experiences of love, open our windows so that fresh air can cleanse our minds.

 

This month is sacred to Venus, the Roman Goddess of Beauty, Desire, Fertility, and Prosperity. Venus is one of the most celebrated deities of the ancients. She is the goddess of beauty, the mother of love, and the queen of laughter.

 

 

In Roman times in street-speak, that means SHE ROCKED THE FREE WORLD….

 

Rose Quartz Gyspy Hoops

The beauty of new life, babies, and seedlings is apparent… Where is fresh new beauty sprouting in your life? Have you made a new friend? Do you find your heart enchanted by something new?

 

Desire, too often narrowly defined as wanting or wishing something to possess, can also be seen as the driving force of all life. We desire love, friendship, and the comforts of family… but we also desire growth, new experiences, and the pleasures of lively health! What is your heart’s desire? What are you pursuing during this season of fresh growth?

Planting, Tending, Weeding, Reaping, it’s all a cycle….

Rose Quartz Goddess Earrings

April represents a month of increasing fertility…. Changes can be subtle or obvious. I am experiencing fertility in my mind, through integrating things I have learned in an online course I just completed. I feel fertility in my creative life, as I dream up new designs… rose quartz has been calling me, and I have a handful of really juicy gemstones to muse over. My heart feels fertile right now, open and receptive to new seeds of friendship. In what ways are you finding yourself fertile this April? Have you learned something new that is beginning to take root in your life?

 

 

Fertility is more than new projects, it is also the ripening of mature ones….

 

Rose Quartz Custom Statement Ring

Yesterday the skies became overcast as fierce cool winds blew in some heavy gray clouds… but no rain was in the forecast. But I KNEW. The sweet scent of petrichor enveloped me and my whole body was full of anticipation. When it began to rain, I felt a strong sense of gratitude creep over me, as if the rain were a direct gift to me. Ahhh, blessings from the earth begin to flow more freely right now, adding to a deep sense of prosperity. Asparagus, arugula, lots of lovely greens for munching, all provided to us for our replenishment after the lean months of winter. Although many of us may not experience the fasting pressed upon us by meager stores of food wearing thin after a long winter, we can certainly appreciate the fresh bounty of local produce appearing in farmers markets! Do you have a spring favorite? I think mine is asparagus….

 

In the name of love, Rose Quartz is on the menu for April, calling you to honor the Beauty, Desire, Fertility, and Prosperity in your life. Embrace Spring, vive l’amour!

Rose Quartz Samsara Medallion

Where is fresh new beauty sprouting in your life?

What is your heart’s desire?

How are you feeling fertility right now?

In what ways is prosperity manifesting for you?

Leave a comment here, or head over to the facebook group to chat about it with your friends!

Goddess Ganga,Goddess Kaver

The Current of Inspiration, Stepping into the Flow

The stirring has begun….the edging up to, the winding pathway, the journey through the labyrinth. I am having creative urges. Sometimes, they walk in the door (though I have never met them) as if they have lived here all my life. Other times they seem to lurk in the shadows for a while, fading in and out of my attention for many years. It’s like catching a glimpse of a mermaid under my canoe. I am being visited by inspiration right now….some folks don’t like to mention it when they are, afraid to frighten it away.

River Siren, Art Nouveau
River Siren, Art Nouveau

I’m not afraid, this one is a stranger I have known for ever. Longer than my own life. The River.

Green River Necklace
Hammered Silver Filigree River Necklace with jade and agate

I have been quite fortunate in this life to have spent plenty of time living near bodies of water. In my early youth, it was lakes…olive green and warm and opaque. I had small shallow goldfish ponds in the back yard of one house I lived in.

In my adolescence, I lived beside the rich murky waters of the Cheaspeake Bay, and Hampton Roads, deep slate gray and blue in the winter months….smelling strongly of crab and other fishy things in the summer.

Singing Bridge, Frankfort KY
The Singing Bridge, Frankfort, KY

In my early adulthood, it was the vastly beautiful Carribean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean… a deep cobalt blue on the horizon, and warm turquoise shallows and pools….and that barely describable shade of the deep waters turning in the midst of a rollicking hurricane.

I have had a recent run of living in towns that grew up on rivers. Frankfort, Kentucky and the deep green waters of the Kentucky river, the crystal clear streams and rocky streambeds… the bridge I would cross every day after picking up my daughter from Kindergarten, and we would toss a few twigs off the side and watch them slowly drift along on the smooth verdant water.

old man river coulees
Old Man River, Lethbridge, Alberta

Lethbridge, Alberta sits upon the Oldman River, framed by soft river stones, and partially frozen for most of the winter months (which is long and unpredictable, except that it will certainly be cold). The shores of the ancient river are lined with beautiful rounded stones of all colors and textures…and surrounding them are the coulees, which are the corrugated earth shapes that trace the eons-old journey of the Old Man River as it winds its way through Alberta. If you are familiar with photos of my jewelry, you’ve seen a few of those treasured river stones.

Spring Lake, San Marcos, TX
Aquarena Springs, San Marcos, TX

Now, I live at the mouth of the pristine San Marcos River. Aquarena Springs, where the water bubbles up from hundreds of yards below the surface, holds pools of crystal clear turquoise waters rich in calcium and teeming with history. It is fed by the Edwards Aquifer and is incredibly clean, and sanctified by many Native American tribes. In fact, this specific spring has provided artifacts that suggest this site has been consistently inhabited for over 12,000 years. TWELVE. THOUSAND. YEARS. Whoa…..

rainbow moonstone rapids
Silver Rainbow Moonstone Rapids Pendant

And here I rest, at the beginning of another investigation in metal and stone. I get into this river archetype and explore its realms. My aim is to begin think like a river, like THIS river. I have long revered the waters of this planet as the very blood of the organism which supports my life. I adore the shapes, moods, and colors on rivers, on water. Water feeds a need in me to associate with the changing tides, with the ever shifting sand of the very grounds of our lives.

sea grasses, san marcos river
San Marcos River, San Marcos, TX

Water cools, calms, purifies. Water also has great powers of destruction…it can rage, submerge, erode. And it nourishes, it feeds and protects. It has all the best features of any great Goddess in any culture. It is the source of so much muchness. I can only trace a few of her contours, and I can only capture a shadowy glimpse of her true nature…but this is the way I float now, imagining I am clothing myself in her waters, offering the prasad of my heart and hands. Down the lazy river, to inspiration….

Stay tuned to see how she unfurls herself to me now…..she will surface soon.  www.etsy.com/anitashultz

Aquamarine Whirlpool Earrings

River Goddess Hoop Earrings

 

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!)