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!

 

What is Jewelweed?

Have you ever been hiking in the Blue Ridge mountains? Decades ago, it was among my favorite places to hike and camp…. I became entranced by the cool trails, the scenic waterfalls, moss covered streambeds, and towering forest. I intuitively felt the cleansing quality of the mountain air, was comforted by the sweet songs of babbling brooks, and allowed the abundance of beauty to infuse my heart with wonder….

It was in those wild spaces that I fell in love with Jewelweed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A member of the impatiens family, Jewelweed blooms from mid-Spring through mid-fall in the Eastern United States. It loves growing in creek beds and in moist woods, tending to choose areas that also have poison ivy or stinging nettle. It grows into a rather large bush, decorated with small blossoms. Its beautiful orange spotted yellow flowers are shaped a bit like trumpets, and they hang delicately from the stems like little jewels of the Divine Feminine. They produce quite a bit of sweet nectar, and attract hummingbirds like crazy! In fact, early English settlers sometimes called it the Hummingbird Bush! (Hummingbirds are a symbol of Joy!)

 

If you have ever brushed bare-legged up against stinging nettle and felt the fire of Hades intensifying moment by moment on your skin, you will appreciate the healing powers of Jewelweed.

Usually nearby (as a sign of Divine Inspiration), showing great compassion on the sensitive hiker, is the succulent green remedy that immediately provides relief… you simply identify the pretty plant, grab its lower stalk, and begin to mash to release the cooling salve straight from the stem. Within moments of applying the aloe-vera like gel on the flames…

AAAAAAAAaahhhhhhhhhh……….

When I first went into business as a custom jeweler, I decided to use the name Jewelweed. To honor the power of healing. To embrace the ideals of beauty and purpose. And to reflect my rather earthy values. Now, it has evolved to Jewelweed Sprouts… with new growth, the promise of abundance. Jewelweed has some great wisdom to share…

 

Create nectar to attract Joy.

Beauty serves a healing purpose.

Everything we need is within our reach.

 

 

How are you attracting Joy into your life?

Do you include experiencing beauty as a part of your health care?

Do you allow yourself to be provided for?

Leave a comment below, or head on over to facebook and join Friends Who Like Jewelweed Sprouts and keep the conversation going!

 

 

 

 

 

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!

Persephone Awakening

Rite of Spring… Dance Yourself to Death!

 

An image from the 2013 production of Le Sacre du Printemps by the Joffrey Ballet, Chicago, reflects the hard jumps and stamps of Vaslav Nijinsky’s original choreography.

Have you ever listened to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky? All the way through?

It’s a metaphor for life, and I find it utterly fascinating.

Pina Bausch, Igor Stravinsky’s, Rite of Spring “Opening”

 

Stravinsky was a young, virtually unknown composer when he was recruited to work for the Russian Ballet in the early 1900s. One of the most admirable things about him and his work was his IDGAF attitude about what was expected of music at the time. You see, the only folks who were coming to see the Ballet were either the wealthy, who wanted to be comfortably entertained, or the BOHEMIANS who craved something NEW, especially if it made the upper crust uncomfortable.

Well, they got an earful that night!

The avant-garde nature of the music and choreography caused a sensation and a near-riot in the audience. The way Stravinsky used tonality, dissonance, tangible stress, and unpredictable rhythm drove some into a frenzy! Some loved it, some hated it… It was described as the work of a madman.

The choreography of the first section, “The Kiss of the Earth”, culminated in a frenzy of movement as the dancers moved to embrace the energy of Spring.  This primal expression drove the witnesses into a frenzy of the senses. The second section “Sacrifice”, was a bit darker, ending with a young maiden chosen to sacrifice herself to death by dancing… To appease and please Spring. At this point in the performance, often the audience grew quiet, even silent as they sat captivated by the emotions of the dancer.

I resonate with the music, the dance, the composer, the audience…. Spring is a baffling time, so urgent with expression, so messy, and fully completely ALIVE.

Rainbow Moonstone, letting light in

Some things I work to develop in my life as an artist, as an Authentic Goddess, and as a human exploring this bizarre and utterly inconceivable experience of life are impeccably embodied in The Rite of Spring.


TONALITY
– In my art I explore aspects of tonality, creating moods with my color choices. Recently, this has brought me to fall in love with moonstones, rainbow moonstones, and labradorite. I love the way they roll light around inside their crystalline structures to reveal new parts of themselves…. they way I work with meditation, too!

METRE– In life we all find our pulse, our flow of movement. Sometimes it seems too fast, other times too slow. Somehow, we maintain the steps, sometimes we drop a beat, but there is always one thing to remember:  “When we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor…”-Alan Watts

It isn’t a race, and there is no ribbon to be won.


STRESS
– Not the ubiquitous kind that we try to rid ourselves of, but the good kind. Like, what priorities in life do you STRESS? What notes are louder in your composition, what colors are brighter, where do you place the spotlight? My stress may vary a little from day to day, but overall, I stress LOVE in my life. My love for my self, my love for my family, my community, my friends all over this vast globe…. THAT is where I add light. What about you?

DISSONANCE– The cacophony of daily life can feel very distracting at times. Dissonance is an integral part of our growth and understanding, however. In a world of dualities, contrast defines. Without the depth of dissonance and unresolved issues, we are not able to taste the sweetness and nourishment of harmony. I can’t say that I fully embrace the discord and difficulties I encounter in my experiences, but I do know that when I DO, I find myself to be more peaceful and aware of things to be grateful for. It hones my senses…

SACRIFICE– One of the questions I love to answer is: What would you do in life if money were no object? My answer is delightfully easy for me… I WOULD DO THE EXACT SAME THING. I will surrender to this beautiful life, I will offer myself up to the flow and syncopation of this fantastic existence, and I will enthusiastically DANCE MYSELF TO DEATH… In the only way I know how. Keep creating myself. Every day.

 

 

Which brings me to this gorgeous and vibrant first day of Spring.

The earth awakens after the long slumber of winter, the Spring Equinox arrives. I love this time of year. There were many years I hardly noticed it, living in the beautiful tropical U.S. Virgin Islands. It was simply a date on the calendar, albeit a very important one on my life, as it is my WEDDING ANNIVERSARY!

I wed my husband at 12 noon on the Spring Equinox of 1996 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

Spring Wedding
Unpredictable Spring

 

THERE WAS A BLIZZARD.

 

The snow in the mountains of Virginia covered all the daffodils, crocus, and tulips that had rushed to bloom for the glorious first day of Spring. Instead of a Spring Wedding outdoors amidst all the twitterpation of new life, we crowded into my parents’ house and made our vows. The weather alarm sounded just as we were about to hear Charlie’s dad recite 1 Corinthians 13:4…. to remind us, the blizzard. Life is unpredictable and glorious in its brazen disregard for our expectations….

I urge you to give a listen to The Rite of Spring by Igor Stravinsky… ALL OF IT. See what it stirs inside you. Find those places that are uncomfortable, sit with them. Discover what your sacrifice is in this precious life. And like Mr. Stravinsky, BE AUTHENTIC. This is NOT a rehearsal.

Leave a comment, please, to let me know how this incredible piece of music made you feel….

 

 

 

 

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/