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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

Moonstoned – Under the Spell of Feldspar

I don’t remember exactly when I was first introduced to moonstones, but I know that once I got to know them, I loved them. Moonstones are sweet treasures, holders of light, and in some cultures are considered holy. In fact, Hindu lore holds that they are actually solidified moonbeams. I know that I have a certain reverence for them, and that they have a certain feminine power that few other gemstones possess. They way their crystalline structure holds light is called adularescence….light rays are refracted and scattered within the stone, causing them to appear to glow from within.

rainbow moonstone lucky energy earrings by anita shultz
rainbow moonstone lucky energy earrings by anita shultz http://www.etsy.com/shop/anitashultz

Moonstones have a wide range of appearances…. some of the rarest specimens from Sri Lanka are nearly transparent, with a blue glow that moves around the stone as the viewer’s position changes. The color is quite elusive and seems to have a three dimensional quality inside the gem. There is also rainbow moonstone, mostly from Brazil, the US, and Australia, which is less transparent, yet still holds the playful blue flashes that tantalize the viewer with their movement.

Many of the moonstones from India range from white to gray to green to orange to brown. These are most often cut in cabochons, but sometimes they are carved with faces or into leaves. They display a play of light often referred to as chatoyancy, which is the fibrous “cat’s eye” effect often seen in tiger’s eye or some types of highly polished wood. The white moonstones are the most common of these, and they can range from very translucent to almost opaque. Some varieties also have asterism chatoyancy, also known as star moonstone. These are hard to come by, but oh, so lovely…. mesmerizing.

star moonstone by gemselect.com
star moonstone by gemselect.com

Moonstones have long been used in the creation of sacred objects, jewelry, and talismans. It is known through many cultures as a “traveller’s stone” and is believed to bring luck and protection when travelling, like on a moonlit night. Because of its connection with love and romance, in Victorian times it was often used as an engagement ring.

I especially love the connection throughout cultures of moonstones with goddess energy, especially the moon goddess. Moonstone is thought to invoke a greater sense of intuition, connection to introspection and emotional understanding…finding the light source within.

I love to use moonstones in rings… rings are for the wearer, to be admired and enjoyed every single time you look at your hands, which is really quite often. I love to use moonstones in earrings… earrings are for the people who would look upon the wearer, who would be mesmerized and tantalized by the shimmer and glow. I love to use moonstone in pendants, worn close to the heart or the throat. Pendants are a special type of jewelry that affects the wearer and the viewer equally. There is something about sensing a piece of jewelry on your skin, right at your heart chakra… knowing that it is in some way transmitting something about your energy to those that see it.

Whatever your reason for being drawn to moonstone, there is a moonstone out there just for you. Are you fascinated by rainbow moonstone? Me, too. I just love working with it…. in fact, I have a bunch of loose stones on the way to me right now. I can hardly wait to fall in love with them!

Here’s the link to the ring design in the first photo:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/293498713/silver-moonstone-ring-hammered-silver

Check out the array of moonstone earrings in my etsy shop:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/286898481/sterling-silver-hammered-rainbow

https://www.etsy.com/listing/280136420/rainbow-moonstone-silver-filigree-triad

https://www.etsy.com/listing/265638958/lotus-circle-earrings

https://www.etsy.com/listing/264376504/rainbow-moonstone-sterling-silver

https://www.etsy.com/listing/268202947/four-directions-scroll-dangle-earrings