Sunday, July 31, 2011

Top 5 Tips for Midsummer Gardening Survival

Midsummer is a hard time for your garden. It is when it will begin to look tired, pests will sneak in and it is when you have the highest probability of loosing plants. You do not need to despair however, as there are things you can do to make this easier and prevent disaster.

Top 5 Tips for Midsummer Gardening Survival

1.) Plan your work time. This is vitally important not only for your plants but yourself as well. Early morning and late evening tend to be the best times to work in your garden.

2.) Manage your watering. Watering is a huge expense for gardeners during the summer. You can manage this by watering early in the morning or late evening when evaporation is at its lowest. A watering system on a timer would allow you to water in the dead of night during the coolest possible point.

Containers may need watering 2 or 3 times a day as their moisture evaporation is constant and is increased due the heat generated from the sun heating up the container. A coil of cotton rope can be soaked and placed either in the bottom of the pot prior to planting or in the catch container underneath. The rope will hold the water and allow for slow absorption of fluids without drowning your plants. However be aware you may need to soak it daily or more often depending on temperatures.

The one inch rule for watering lawns is a good one, however in addition to that test the soil, watch how quickly the lawn bounces back, and check for wilted leaves.

3.) Mow your lawn high. While different types of grasses recommend different lengths for ideal height to be cut at. Mow your lawn ½ to an inch higher than that recommendation. This will keep the roots cooler, cut down on the need for water and encourage your grass to row fatter roots. Fat roots ensure good winter survival and better growth come spring.

Note: Midsummer to late fall is not the time to plant new grass. If it grows at all it will grow more slowly and the chances of it surviving winter are not as great. Some grasses are meant to be planted at the end of fall, most lawn seeds are best planted at the very beginning of spring.

4.) Keep your flowers deadheaded. It keeps the plants’ blooming which is always a bonus. More importantly it keeps them from going dormant. Unless it is natural for them to do so, plants do not do well if they prematurely go dormant for winter during summer.

5.) Prune your trees and bushes. Now is a great time to cut out dead and diseased sections of trees and bushes. They are easy to identify, pests are more noticeable and you do not have to worry about identifying or worrying about cutting out new growth.

While the work is never done in the garden, much like raising children, the hot mid-afternoon’s provide a perfect time to sit and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Do you have any tips to add?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 7/30/11

We played hooky today and enjoyed a much needed day off.  Remember the market is open every Saturday and Sunday from the first weekend in March through December 24th.

Portland Saturday Market
Portland Saturday Market

Violinist practicing on the boardwalk
Violinist practicing on the boardwalk

Friday, July 29, 2011

Defining Jewelry

Defining jewelry is something that came up unexpectedly in the middle of a discussion on shipping in the artisan community.  This discussion came about due to the shipping restrictions involved in shipping jewelry international.  The argument was that if packages were marked costume jewelry and didn't contain diamonds rubies, gold or sterling silver the restrictions didn't apply because the items were not considered "fine" jewelry.  This sent me on a search to define jewelry, which isn't as easy as it sounds.  Jewelry or Jewellry or Jewelery depeding on where you live or what source you learned to spell it has a long and rich history in the human race of varying designs.

According to what I found jewelry is defined as any object worn for personal adornment.  Manifesting itself in the form of rings, bracelet, head pieces, necklaces, tie tacks or cuff links.  There is also no indication anywhere that I can find that the definition of jewelry is limited to what is now referred to in the United States as fine jewelry.

Types of jewelry in history were affected by location, cultural tradition, and availability of materials.  While we do not have the same restrictions to availability today of materials, we do still have the denoting of class by types of jewelry worn.  

Through out history there are examples of jewelry and loose gemstones being utilized as currency.  However, there is a misnomer portrayed by Hollywood that these only include pieces created with diamonds, emeralds, rubies and such.   Gemstones such as tiger's eye, lapis lazuli, garnets, and amethyst have been shown to play predominant roles throughout history both as adornment and currency.

Styles didn't come into play until the 1930's near as I can find in my research.  In America the phrase "Costume Jewelry" was coined in the 1930's.   Costume jewelry is defined as being designed to wear with current fashion trends and set to outdate itself.  Made out of false materials, such as plastic and synthetic stones  and designed to be a disposable item only to be worn with one specific type of outfit.

"Fine Jewelry" in the United States is considered to be jewelry that would be a keepsake, investment or a collectible.  There is a general assumption that fine jewelry is real gold, sterling silver, rubies, diamonds, and the such.  I could find no solid information that this is a valid classification.

"Art Jewelry" which came about in the 19th century with the revolutionizing of jewelry designs by Rene Lalique implemented emphasis on imagination in design over expense of materials without sacrificing quality.  Today you can find  art jewelry sold in regular jewelry stores, it is no longer a niche market.  It was helped to the forefront in the 1960's and 1970's when the German Government decided to back and support modern jewelry designers.  And a new market was born.

Which brings us to that which is nearest and dearest to us here at Entwined Vines Jewelry, the designation handmade jewelry.  According to what I could find here in the United States the FTC guidelines require that the work be made solely by hand guidance or power.  Beyond that it can be created from any material that can be or would be considered jewelry.  Each item we make is our design and created and completed by hand. 

However, beyond the FTC guidelines I could find no other categorization for Artistic Handmade Jewelry.  What this tells me is that artisan's like us have a unique niche in the market, we are making our mark in history and with time will have a unique classification in history.  It is exciting to be doing something we love that is going to be a footnote in history.

All I know for sure though is that each piece of jewelry is personal to both the creator and the eventual owner of each piece we design and create.  Nothing we make can be considered costume jewelry and eventually each piece will find its way into the hands of the person it was meant for.

What is your take on it?  Do you think that the classification of jewelry matters?  Or have we finally reached a point in society where it is more important to wear what is personal and appeals to us?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gemstone Buying Tips

Having always had an obsession with gemstones for as long as I can remember; there are things that I just know when I am looking to purchase gemstones. Whether they are in finished pieces of jewelry, loose bead shaped, polished pendants or stones in their raw form. It was enlightening to me when it was recently pointed out to me, that while I may just know a lot of people don’t know. They are purchasing gemstones without any of the knowledge that I learned as a child and have always just seemed know.

Today, I thought I would share what I know and look for when shopping for gemstones. While this is by no means everything there is to know about gemstone when considering a purchase. It will assist you in making wise choices and avoid costly mistakes. Like purchasing manmade cat’s eye that is being sold as tiger’s eye gemstones.

Here are my Top Ten things to know when purchasing gemstones:

1.) Natural or genuine – this term is applied to all gemstones that have not been altered. What is referred to as altered is chemical or heat treatment that alters the stone. Gemstones that have been polished and drilled are still considered natural.

2.) Pricing – will fluctuate, as gemstones are the same as any other industry. Supply and demand drive the prices down or up, depending on the current market trends.

3.) Synthetic gemstones – are manmade stone created in the laboratory. The two most common and easily identifiable are goldstone and cat’s eye stones. Yet there are many others on the market.

4.) Four C’s – cut, color, clarity, carat – while this grading system is actually the grading system for diamonds when shopping it is something to keep in mind regardless of what gemstone you are purchasing. Gemstones do not actually have a grading system, however a reputable dealer will show you the differences and explain why prices for the same stone vary so widely.

5.) Reputable dealer – finding one can be difficult, but ask around and you will find one. This is extremely important if you plan to make a habit of purchasing gemstones. A reputable dealer will disclose how the stones have been treated.

6.) Irradiation – is used to bring out the color and remove what some consider imperfections.

7.) Dye – clear stones are dyed to recreate the color the color in the stone that people are most used to seeing.

8.) Heat Treatment – Many stones are heated at a very high temperature to deepen the color tone in the stones.

9.) Coatings – common coatings include oil, wax and petroleum.

10.) Ask questions – I cannot stress this one enough. Ask questions and keep asking until you are satisfied. Yet, if shopping for handmade artisan jewelry, be understanding that we have the same problem with our suppliers and occasionally will not know with 100% accuracy if the stones have been altered.

The Federal Trade Commission requires jewelers to inform customers whether a gemstone has been altered in a lab or not. As a handmade jewelry artisan we try are best to know this information and add it when listing our jewelry creations.

Copyright 2011, EntwinedVinesJewelry

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Life Lessons over a Cup of Tea

Anyone for a Nice Cup of Tea?

A group of alumni, highly established in their careers, were talking at a reunion and decided to go visit their old university professor, now retired.

During their visit the conversation soon turned into complaints about stress in their work and lives. Offering his guests tea, the professor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of tea and an assortment of cups - porcelain, plastic, glass, crystal, some plain looking, some expensive, some exquisite - telling them to help themselves to the tea. When all the alumni had a cup of tea in hand, the professor said:

"Notice that all the nice-looking, expensive cups were taken up, leaving behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is normal for you to want only the best for yourselves, that is the source of your problems and stress. Be assured that the cup itself adds no quality to the tea. In most cases it is just more expensive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was tea, not the cup; but you consciously went for the best cups.... and then you began eyeing each other's cups.

Now consider this: Life is the tea; your job, money and position in society are the cups. They are just tools to hold and contain Life. The type of cup one has does not define, nor change the quality of life a person lives. Sometimes, by concentrating only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the tea. The happiest people don't have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything.

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly...... And enjoy your tea.

Don't remeber where this came from, but there is a lot of truth in it.  Life is about more than having the best of everything! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Eucalyptus Branch --- Featured Artisan

Our interview with The Eucalyptus Branch:

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

My Mother has been crafting for as long as I can remember. Both of my parents are extremely creative and artistic, so my sister and I were pretty much destined to be creators. I’m so thankful that we have always been encouraged to express our creativity.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?  

I have been creating Peruvian string art earrings for about 6 months now.

 Purple & Gold String Art Earrings- Inspired by Nature

What are your crafting influences?

This particular artistic adventure started last winter when I asked my Mother to teach me how to crochet. I needed some “me” time since I was adjusting to being a working Mom for the first time. After picking that up fairly quickly, I began searching on-line for different patterns and craft projects. Crocheting blankets turned into crocheting hats and accessories. Eventually, crochet earring designs developed and finally…. Peruvian string art earrings.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?   

No. We each have our own artistic outlet.

 Newsboy Hat, Crochet, Crocheted Purple and Green- No Shipping Cost

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life? 

I love to wear my own creations! The compliments I receive are especially rewarding since I can say, “I made these!”

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I’d like to consider myself a jack of all trades. If I find an object that’s interesting to me, I’m pretty determined to figure out how to make it myself. When I’m not crafting or working at my desk job, I’m busy spending time with my husband, toddler, and our dog “Boogie”.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

I’d have to say the Monarch Butterfly Earrings are my favorite so far.  I’m beginning to step outside of the box with this craft and I’m coming up with things that I don’t see anywhere else, which is exciting.

Monarch Butterfly Earrings, String Art, Orange Black

Why did you make that piece? 

I’ve loved Monarch butterflies since elementary school when we raised them from caterpillars in our classroom.

What does it take to create pieces like that?

It takes some patience to get the wiring spaced perfectly. Getting the string to stay on the wires is tricky sometimes, too. A little dab of clear nail polish usually does the trick for especially stubborn pieces.

Baby Cocoon Set, White Bear, Very Soft Chenille

What is special about your pieces?

I really make each piece with love and won’t list anything that I don’t feel is top quality. I love each one of the pieces that I create and hope that other people will love wearing my artwork.

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

I really look forward to my down time in the evening when the baby’s sleeping and I can prop my feet up on the ottoman. My husband and I will usually watch TV together while I work on my earrings. I consider this time my “recovery” from the everyday madness. :)

Large Teardrop String Earrings, Green, Turquoise, Copper, Brass

Monday, July 25, 2011

Dreaming of Retirement

I was dreaming of retirement the other day and found this funny little story.  Whether true or not it definitely reminded me to be careful of what you wish for.  Because, when and if the wish is granted it may not be granted in quite the way you wanted it to happen.

"A Confession - Funny Retirement Speech

A priest was being honoured at his retirement dinner after 25 years in the parish. A leading local politician, who was also a member of the congregation, was chosen to make the presentation and give a little leaving speech at the dinner. He was delayed so the priest decided to say his own few words while they waited.

'I got my first impression of the parish from the first confession I heard here. I thought I had been assigned to a terrible place. The very first person who entered my confessional told me he had stolen a television set and, when stopped by the police, had almost murdered the officer. He had stolen money from his parents, embezzled from his place of business, had an affair with his boss's wife, taken illegal drugs. I was appalled. But as the days went on I knew that my people were not all like that and I had, indeed, come to a fine parish full of good and loving people.'

Just as the priest finished his talk the politician arrived full of apologies at being late. He immediately began to make the presentation and give his speech.

'I'll never forget the first day our parish priest arrived, 'said the politician.' In fact, I had the honour of being the first one to go to him in confession."


Copyright 2011, EntwinedVinesJewelry

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garden Delights 7/24/11

I love finding old garden quotes.   The one I am sharing today is one of my favorite ones, because it reminds me that I can change the look of my garden at anytime., much like life.

"I think the secret of your gardening is that you have the courage to abolish ugly or unsuccessful flowers.  Except for those beastly red-hot pokers whih you have a weakness for, there is not an ugly flower in the place."

---Harold Nicolson, in a letter to Vita Sackville-West, 1937

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 7/23/11

Pirate Land Designs is owned and operated by Isaac Karami.  He is a reserved vendor at Portland Saturday Market and can be found their almost every weekend.  He is located on the outer edge on the top corner of the first row closest to the street. 

Pirate Land Designs
Pirate Land Designs
Isaac the Owner
Isaac the Owner

Behind Isaac you can glimpse a few of his painting designs.

Lampwork glass bottles
Lampwork glass bottles

A few of the glass bottles he designs.

Jewelry of Land Pirate Designs
Jewelry of Land Pirate Designs

Bracelet metal desings, you can find at Land Pirate Designs.

Hand-torched lampwork glass pendants
Hand-torched lampwork glass pendants

Boro lampwork glass pendants.

Necklace of twisted metal
Necklace of twisted metal

Twisted metal designed necklace.

Teardrop shaped glass earrings
Teardrop shaped glass earrings

Sunlight didn't allow the beauty of these glass drop earrings to be captured.

Typewriter and metal rings
Typewriter and metal rings


Skull shaped glass bottles
Skull shaped glass bottles

Glass bottle selection includes skulls.

Land Pirate Designs built a unique booth
Land Pirate Designs built a unique booth

Isaac has a very distinctive booth, created and built by him is stands out and creates a uniqueness all his own.  However, don't look for it in the coming weeks, as an accident has rendered it unusable, at the moment, until it can be fixed.

Land Pirate Designs can be found at the market most every weekend, yet you can also find them online at:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Professional vs. Hobbyist

The professional artisan versus the hobbyist artisan is a hot topic of debate in the Artisan community. The debate usually starts as a pricing topic, it is believed that hobbyists under price their work, which in turn undermines the professional. At this point the debate is off and running. However, I know many artisans whose art is their sole income that undervalue their work. So how does one define oneself as a professional vs. a hobbyist artisan?

Here at Entwined Vines Jewelry we consider ourselves professional's. At what point did we stop thinking of ourselves as hobbyists and considered ourselves to be professionals? That is a very simple question to answer it was the first time we got paid for our work.

A hobbyist by definition is someone who pursues an activity for pleasure.

Professionals while there are several different definitions. The one that is most prevalent to this discussion is: When one participates in an activity, which is usually pursued by amateurs, for financial gain or a complete livelihood.

The conclusion I have come to and why this does become such a heated argument is the level of professionalism with which different artisans pursue their artistic endeavors. It is simply a matter of what the artisan wish’s to accomplish on the path of their artistic venture and what they are willing to sacrifice to achieve it. Not only that but the level of expectation and value they place on themselves and their artistic creations.

You have those that want to pursue it as a part time venture for a little extra cash, and then you have those that choose to follow an artistic lifestyle. Following an artistic lifestyle means these artisans are attempting to live solely on what they make thru selling their artistic creations.

Is one better than the other? No absolutely not! In fact it is my belief that you have to be a little bit of both in order to be a successful artist. Especially when first starting out. Besides if one does not enjoy their art, then why would one pursue it as a livelihood?

While there will never be a clear cut division or solution to this particular discussion topic there is one important thing to remember, each business
owner(s) have to make their own decisions about what level of professionalism they choose to take their business too.

The important thing for buyers to remember is true artists, whatever level they are working their business too, they all put a piece of their soul into each of their creations.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Carnelian Gemstones

Carnelian is a lovely gemstone that can be found in a range of colors, from translucent to reddish orange and brownish orange. The fiery sun colors have always led me to think of this gemstone as a summer gemstone.

Believe it or not while used and considered a semi-precious gemstone, it is classified as a mineral. The stones contain both chalcedony and silica. The range of colors can be contributed to the amount of iron oxide that each deposit of mined stones contains.

Carnelian is associated with the 2nd chakra, which is the sacral. Astrological signs that carnelian is associated with is Taurus, Leo, Aries and Taurus. On nontraditional birthstone lists it is considered an August birthstone.

As with all gemstones there are legends, myths and folklore associated with it. Current culture refers to these attributes as metaphysical, new age, esoteric and crystal therapy. While science is still attempting to catch up and have not proved if these ideas have true value or not, here are a few of the attributes.

Surviving in intense heat during creation the carnelian gemstone is thought to be a stone of strength. And assist one in promoting a long life. It is believed to increase one’s energy while wearing the stone.

While at the same time bringing optimism and confidence in one’s life, at the same time it is thought to discourage depression. Enhancing one’s motivation and creativity, creating balance and mental focus within the home are also believed to be accomplished when one wears carnelian.

Carnelian is also a stone of prosperity. Whether it is love, finances, friendship or any other area of life you are currently focusing on. Protection from storms is also attributed to carnelian, which is easy for me to believe as I associate it with the summer months when few storms occur.

I don’t remember where I heard it, but in ancient Egypt it was said to work against anger, hatred and envy. It was also said that an amulet of carnelian was worn, to protect the dead, by the Egyptian goddess Isis.

All health benefits mentioned are informational only. If you are ill seek medical attention from a professional.

Copyright 2011, EntwinedVinesJewelry

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Whimsy Wednesday 7/20/11

Dog and cat showing teamwork rules
Dog and cat showing teamwork rules

Good friends are the rare jewels of life...

Difficult to find and impossible to replace!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shymousee Handmade Clothes --- Featured Artisan

Read our interview with Shymousee Handmade Clothes and more:

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

I have been doing some kind of craft most of my life.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I have been making candles and sewing for probably 30 years. I learned how to make candles and sew from my mom when I was a young child.

Beautiful Blue Hexagon Pillar Candle Strong Blueberry Scent

What are your crafting influences?

My daughter

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?

My mom would sew, make candles, needle point.

What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

I have displayed a variety of pieces in various places.

Vanilla Scented Yellow Pillar Candle MultiColors Marble Relaxing

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I work in the IT Field, mostly doing networking or database administration.

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

I think my favorite pieces would be the multicolor pieces. My daughter and I were goofing around and made them.

Why did you make that piece?

Because I was making it with my daughter and I got to spend some time with her.

Lavendar Scented Star Container Candle Soothing Relaxing Calming

What does it take to create pieces like that?

It takes swirling color around in the mold then adding wax that has been cooled.

What is special about your pieces?

I got to spend time with my daughter.

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?
I can spend time with my daughter.
Beautiful Red Square Rose Scent Candle Very Romanitc Great Gift

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ruby is the Birthstone for July!

For those whose birthday is in July, your birthstone is beautiful. It is the ruby, which has a gorgeous deep vibrant red color. A very rich stone with a long history of being associated with matters of the heart, due to its luminescent red tones. It has also been linked to royalty and thought to represent both power and heat.

Did you know that ruby is derived from the Latin word “ruber” which translates to mean red. What I have always found interesting is that the composition of minerals and rock are referred to as Sapphires except when they are the color red.

Rubies seem to be a well suited gemstone for those born in July. They tend to have refined tastes, and prefer the more elegant elements of life. Jewelry designs including rubies tend to be of a more delicate nature, making them a perfect match. This is partly due to the fact that large ruby gemstones are very rare to find and therefore extremely valuable. It is also in my opinion due to the feminine nature of the stones, that they lend themselves to more delicate designs.

In other blogs talking about birthstones I have listed multiple birthstone lists and the differences between the lists. However, for July there is no variation, it is the same for all of them. Making it very simple to shop for yourself or someone else who has a birthday in July.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bee Balm in my Garden!

Currently my favorite flower in my yard is bee balm.  It is my favorite because it blooms all year long if you keep deadheading the flowers.  Being a self sowing flower means it requires minimal care and upkeep, which is really important this year. While not getting enough time in the garden, I am enjoying every moment I spend tending my garden.   Here are some pictures of my bee balm:

Bee balm kissed by the sun
Bee balm kissed by the sun

Blooming bee balm
Blooming bee balm

Bee balm single bloom
Bee balm single bloom

Copyright 2011,  Entwined Vines Jewelry

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Portland Saturday Market 7/16/2011

Did you know that at Portland Saturday Market you can find more to do than just shop?  From street musicians, live music, to fountains for the children to play in on a hot day, the waterfront offers it all.

Street Musician
Street Musician

The Buckets belong to a drummer
The Buckets belong to a drummer.

Fresh flowers to liven up an occasion
Fresh flowers to liven up an occasion.

Take a leisurely tour of the waterfron
Take a leisurely tour of the waterfront.

Summer fun
Summer Fun!

Fountain summer fun
Fountain summer fun!

For the adults, take a break and have a beer
For the adults, take a break and have a beer.

Entertainment stage
Entertainment stage.

Shady spot to sit and enjoy a bite to eat
Shady spot to sit and enjoy a bite to eat.

So many food choice .....hmmmm
So many food choice .....hmmmm

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Internet Sees You!

So your online you have a facebook account, a twitter account, a myspace account, an email account, so yes the internet sees you.  Yet, do you know who really sees you?  For one your family and your friends.  But have you really stopped and thought about the fact that your associates, your co-workers, your current employer, future employer's and even people who you don't want to find you.

What does this have to do with Entwined Vines Jewelry, well we want to be seen and found on the internet for one as we our building our business.  Yet, at the sametime we still want to be safe and secure in our lives.   Not just safe from the weirdo's and freaks that are out, but also from repurcussions of employers current and future, as we build our artistic venture.

Especially as employer's start using the new social media background now that it is going into effect.  The article on Gizmodo "I Flunked My Social Media Check.  Will You?",  is helpful in that it clarifies what is truly looked at by employers.  It also indicates that the searches are being conducted by an uninterested third party.

As to the personal, financial and privacy issues of being so visible online that is managable with a bit of prevention and caution.  You just have to implement them and be vigilant.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Citrine Gemstones

Citrine semi precious gemstones are any quartz that is found to be yellow or amber in color. Natural citrine is a rare find in nature. What you find on the market these days is generally a heat treated citrine. It is heated to a high temp in order to turn in the lovely golden color. This is generally accomplished with low grade specimens of inexpensive smoky quartz or amethyst. You can tell the heat treated citrine gemstones from natural citrine by the color of the gemstones. Natural citrine is usually a pale yellow, where as the heat treated citrine tends to have a reddish or orange caste to them.

Citrine chips and chunks with amber chips bracelet

You will also find on the market ametrine gemstones. It is a mixture of amethyst and half citrine and is created by turning the stone into citrine and then irradiating a portion of the gemstone back to an amethyst shade of color. This is often confusing for buyers as they are unsure if this is still a true gemstone or a manmade stone. The answer is yes, it is still a true gemstone however and it is no longer a natural gemstone, as it has been altered from its natural state.

Unfortunately there are unscrupulous suppliers out there who will pass off citrine as the more expensive orange-yellow topaz. Many potential citrine fanciers view citrine as a fake topaz and not a legitimate gemstone which confuses the issue even more.

Citrine Chips, Fresh Water Pearls, Square Jasper Gemstones Necklace

Folklore healing properties start with the belief that citrine can help with digestive and digestion problems. It is indicated that it will also help activate the thymus gland, improve vision and diminish growths.

Metaphysically citrine is great in connecting with your higher self during meditation. It is believed that citrine doesn’t hold negative energy. Stabilizing the emotions and calming of both frustrations and anger. It is a maintained belief that it will assist one in manifesting ones desires.

Double Citrine with Amber and Lampwork Necklace

Citrine clusters kept in a safe or cash box are said to assist in improving one’s income. It is believed that it not only attracts wealth, it will help one maintain wealth. Placing some in ones room it is believed to encourage a rest full good night’s sleep, by overcoming one’s nightmares.

These our folklore, myth and legend information on citrine gemstones is informational only.  It is not to be considered sound medical advice.  If you are ill seek medical advice from a professional.

Copywrite 2011, Entwined Vines Jewelry

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hoe Leaning Meditation Wednesday 7/13/11

Solitude in a garden is wonderful.

Here's what Steve Solomon, author of Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades has to say about it:

"There's no shortage of books on how to meditate, but none so far as I know mention hoe-leaning. Here's how to do it. While working in the garden, when your muscles become a bit tired or sore, you put the working end of the hoe on the soil, hold the handle near the top with both hands for a bit of a prop, rest it against your shoulder or cheek, and, while supporting some of your weight on the tool and leaning slightly forward, stare off into space or at some part of your garden and don't think. Then, when you do resume thinking, don't try to force yourself to stop, which is what people who meditate do--just resume hoeing. Don't let anyone call this laziness; hoe-leaning is a vital gardening chore..."

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Patricia C Verner -- Featured Artisan

Read our interview with Patricia C. Verner:

When and how did you first become interested in crafting?

For me, it's less about crafting than about being an artist. I think fine craft work is art as much as painting or sculpting. I was drawn to art as a small child and considered myself an artist long before I finished growing up.

How long have you been creating your chosen craft?

I've been painting and drawing since I could hold the tools in my hands. Bead weaving, my other art form, is a more recent passion. I only started this after finding the Baltimore Bead Society when I was living in Maryland. So, I guess I have been making glass fabric since about the year 2000.

Masterwork Fine Art Meets Bead Weaving

What are your crafting influences?

I'm not sure what you are asking here, but I'd have to say that my being a painter first is probably one of the biggest influences on my bead weaving. Thus, everything that influences me as a painter in turn influences my work as a bead weaver.

Does anyone in your family do a similar craft?


What kinds of places have you displayed your craft in your life?

Two years a go I organized a small three woman craft exhibition (my work, an artisan soup chef, and a woman who upcycles woolen peices) at a local tea shop. My painting have hung in a couple local restaurants and one was published in an astronomy textbook accompanying an essay I wrote.

Bead Weaving Netting Necklace Timeless

What else do you do besides create these beautiful pieces?

I am the full time (36 hours a day!) primary family caregiver for my ailing mother. I also am an Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Maryland University College for whom I occasionally teach astronomy and natural science online and an occasional adjunct for Quinnipiac University. I also know how to make several kinds of laces, embroideries, and I used to design and sew my own clothing (back when time was more available).

What is your favorite piece that you have created so far?

That might be Tao, a bead woven piece I sold in, I believe, 2004. It is an amazing work of art having layers of a variety of weaves and sadly, I don't have a good picture of it. But it might also be a large floral still life I painted in oils for my parents which still hangs in the living room. On the other hand, Night Music always makes my heart speed up. On the third hand, I have a tendency to adore the piece I've most recently finished.

Why did you make that piece?

In all three cases, I had a vision.

Royal Purple and Golden Handmade Necklace One of a Kind

What does it take to create pieces like that?

To create the very best works of art, works that are meant to last, as mine are, takes time, care, and patience. They also require a willingness to experiment and try new techniques or to push the envelope of one's artistic comfort zone.

What is special about your pieces?

They are fantastic works of art with their own depth of interest that make life more beautiful. Every piece is unique and made to last using the best and most appropriate materials by an artist who values quality over speed and quantity. Profound thought and heart infuse each work which all represent my artistic expression and thus my name and reputation are associated with them. More importantly, I want every owner and collector to adore the pieces they purchase and derive joy from their use.

Long Chandelier Royal Purple Beadwoven Earrings

What makes this kind of craft "good" to you?

Both bead weaving and painting (and drawing) are expressive, intricate, forms requiring skill and vision. I find myself envisioning things I am viewing in painting form so that's easily a natural voice of expression for me. Bead weaving is a bit different but no less stirring when I find myself creating a massive work of art in my mind. My most recent masterwork, Lace Me Up, was built mentally before I even poured out the first dish of seed beads and while it did undergo some changes after I started it, every change was envisioned such that this massive work is exactly what I envisioned.

Silvery Black and White Dangle Earrings

Monday, July 11, 2011

July -- Flower -- Larkspur and Water Lily

Larkspur is the flower associated as the birth flower for the month of July. The Botanical name is “Delphinium Consolida” and is a member of the butter cup family. They range in color from white to violet to blue, and also include spikes of red and pink. They have irregularly shaped flowers and grow vertically. Such a charming addition to any flower bed, especially when you consider the variety you find due to ease of cross pollinating with other flowers.

For those that like the more detailed classification:

Genus: Delphinium

Division: Magnoliophyta

Family: Ranunculaceae

Kingdom: Plantae

Class: Magnoliopsida

Order : Ranunculales

Delphinium is a genus that includes about 250 different species. That include annuals, biennial and perennial flowering plants.

Larkspurs are easily grown from seed, by planting them directly in the garden in early spring. Be sure you are planting your Larkspur exactly where you want them to grow. As they do not do well being transplanted, they are picking and don’t like the change.

***Note: All parts of the Larkspur plant is toxic. They should not be planted where pets and small children have easy access to them.

There is great debate on the meaning of this flower. You have those whom believe the larkspur denotes an ardent attachment and an open heart. Others believe if denotes a tendency towards fickleness. Personally I think the fickleness has to do with location and temperature due to some parts of the world July can be a rainy month. While in other parts of the world it is one of the hottest months of the year. You will just have to decide that one for yourself.

Alternative flowers listed for the month of July are Water Lilies. Water lilies like freshwater areas in tropical climates. They are a member of the Nympaeaceae and include about 70 species of water lilies.

While I am unaware of any specific meaning denoted for water lilies, there is for lilies in general. The meaning of lilies can range from fidelity, devotion, friendship, love, to hatred, dislike, to humility and happiness. This is definitely one of those flowers where a companion flower is needed to clarify the message, if you are trying to send one.

While having fun in the sun, don’t forget those birthday’s. Plants and flowers are always a fantastic gift idea, especially for gardeners and women in general.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Garden Delights 7/10/11

Someone sent this too me during a point in my life I was having difficulties and I found it to be helpful in reminding me that this too shall pass...

"There is nothing more unpleasant than to tell anyone suffering under a calamity that there is no tangible remedy; but it is infinitely better to do so than to delude them with a false one.

I have been a worker of the soil since my boyhood, and every year's experience convinces me of the helplessness of remedies against insects or other blighting plagues that attack vegetation in the open field.  It is true that the amateur gardener may save his dozen or two of cabbages or roses by daily picking off or destroying the insects; but when it comes to broad acres, I much doubt if ever any remedy will be found to be practicable."

----Peter Henderson,
Gardening for Profit  1874

This quote reminds me that not everything is or can be in my control.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fun mixed with Business!

We love and have fun with our business, but sometimes you have to take a day off and play outside the normal routine!  Today instead of working Portland Saturday Market per our normal schedule, we took the day off to play.  We justified this by combining that fun play with a supply trip for a very specific type of items.  We visited the  Oregon Country Fair in Veneta, Oregon which is 13 miles west of Eugene, OR.  If you have never been to the fair it is well worth visiting.

We honored their request of no video camera's so we don't have pictures of the actual fair.  Our camera's have the capability of both still and video.  Instead I am going to tease you with a sampling glimpse of the clay pieces, we picked up to create with in the coming months.

Pendants reflecting the feminine aspect
Pendants reflecting the feminine aspect

Strong mother depictions in pendants
Strong mother depictions in pendants

Designs differ when representing women
Designs differ when representing women

Pendants depicting representations of strong women
Pendants depicting representations of strong women

Styles differ in representing the strong feminine aspect
Styles differ in representing the strong feminine aspect