Thursday, December 25, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April Birthstones 2014

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend!

Especially if one was born in the month of April. The birthstone that is most commonly known for April is the diamond on the most commonly used lists I have seen shows it as the birthstone for the month of April.  There are different lists roaming around and we are going to explore some of the differences and of course talk about the stones themselves.

Historically there have always been multiple lists for gemstones associated with the month you are born in.  They tend to run by region and sometimes religious or spiritual influences.  Let’s discuss some of the differences found on the different lists.

Sapphires are the birthstone of choice, for the Roman Empire and on the Italian list.
Today Sapphire’s are listed on the modern birthstone chart as the birthstone for September. Yet, that has not always been the case.  I have been able to find a reason or an exact date this change took place.

Did you know that sapphire means blue in the Greek language?
Which I find appropriate, as the sapphire can range in color from pale almost clear blue to a blue so dark it can be mistaken for black. There are other colors that can be found that are sapphires, however they are always referred to with their color in front of them. The blue sapphire is the only one referred to as simply sapphire gemstone. Today 98% of the world’s sapphire is mined out of Australia.

Legend has it that sapphires are the stone of destiny. It is believed to be able to provide both perception and mental clarity while at the same time promoting personal financial prosperity for the wearer.

Diamonds are usually labeled a precious gemstone, though depending on the quality of the stone can be classified as a semi-precious gemstone.  They are also what you typically see on birthstone list for the month of April.
A few of those different lists are:

Modern: Diamond
Ayurvedic : Diamond
Hindu: Diamond
Polish: Diamond
Traditional: Diamond

Most diamonds come out of Africa and are mostly used in jewelry. The clear diamonds are the most popular; however they do come in green and blue colors. Today diamonds are used for engagement rings and this is thought to be because they symbolize innocence and constancy. Historically they have also been and are still used as Crown jewels.

Folklore does not associate any specific healing properties to the diamond gemstone.   However, diamonds are thought to amplify the energies associated with other gemstones. It is also believed as well that they have the ability to block energies, if the wearer is generating negativity, especially feelings of themselves and others. Trapping that negativity within the wearer’s person, so they are unable to process and release it.

There is nothing wrong with diamonds; they are bright and shiny after all however, in recent years they have become known as blood diamonds. This is due to the practices behind the mining of the gemstones and the deaths that occur. While I have no intention of going into the political or spiritual aspect of wearing diamonds, now that this information is public, it is something that you should keep in mind. Especially if you are purchasing a gift for someone else, who may or may not be sensitive and/or have very strong convictions against wearing diamonds.

Mystical birthstone list reflects the opal as the gemstone of choice for those born in the month of April.

Opals are one of my favorite gemstones.  The many hues and colors that are reflected in them are enticing.  The hue and color is very dependent upon where the opals are mined from.    While I have found no hard proof that the birthstone charts that list opal meant white opal, it is implied heavily when reading the history.

White opals are believed to have angelic connections, allowing them to mean innocence in nature. They are utilized to balance ones chakra’s and heal emotions to allow the wearer to return to a more balanced state. The white opal is also said to be a powerful stone for healing and achieving great things.

History shows that the ancient Romans believed the opal would bring good luck and hope to the wearer.

Which stone do you prefer?

Revised rewrite of original posting, April 11, 2011

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Daffodil’s for March

March Flower

Daffodil’s trumpet in the beginning of spring, as in most parts of the world March is the time of year we start seeing signs of spring.  A time of year that the weather is as unpredictable as life, from one moment to the next, it can swing from snow, to cold, wet and rainy to warm beautiful, sunny days. 

Through it all you can find Daffodils starting to grow, their tender green shoots popping up everywhere, indicating new beginnings.

The common name for daffodils is derived from an earlier name “Affodell”, which is a variant of Asphodel.  It is not known why the “d” was introduced initially.  Although a probable source is the result of an etymological merging, from the Dutch article ”de”, as in “De addodil”.  “Daffadown dilly” or “daffadown dilly” has appeared as a playful synonym of the name, since at least the sixteenth century.

Narcissus is the botanic name for daffodils, which is a genus of mainly hardy, spring flowering bulbs in the Amaryllis family.  They are originally native to Europe, North Africa and Asia.  Gardeners in North America are known for citing from 50 to 100 different types of daffodils.  This number excludes any wild hybrids and species variants. 

In Greek mythology, Narcissus is known as the self-admirer.  History reflects that Narcissus fell in love with his image when he saw it in a pool of water.  The center of the daffodil cup is said to have been formed from the tears, he cried. 

As the legend goes the Greek Gods thought Narcissus would eventually starve to death, if he remained by the pool.  To prevent this, they chose to turn him into a flower.  It is also a believed that the daffodil was responsible for emanating evil and that evil manifested in the form of madness and death.  This is why in their culture the daffodil is considered a symbol of death.

A quick classification reference of daffodils:
Genus: Narcissus
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Kingdom; Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta

All Narcissus species have a central trumpet, bowl, or disc shaped corona surrounded by a ring of six floral leaves called the perianth which is united into a tube at the forward edge of the ovary. The three outer segments are sepals, and the three inner segments are petals. In laymen's terms this means the flowers of the daffodil have a trumpet shaped structure with a backdrop in the shape of a star.

Traditional daffodils in folklore, poetry and history tend to have a yellow color all over the flower.
According to the Victorian era lists I have found, the meaning associated with the daffodil flower is uncertainty, chivalry, respect or unrequited love. However, today they are more commonly known as symbolizing friendship and hope.

Fun filled quick facts about daffodils: 
*Daffodils are the first flower to rise through the snowy ground, signifying the coming of Spring - a natural time for new birth and renewal.

*The earliest known reference to Daffodils that has been located, can be found in the 6th century A.D. writings of Prophet Mohammed.
Daffodils are a perennial
*Daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans who thought that the sap from Daffodils had healing powers. Actually the sap contains crystals that can irritate the skin.

*Daffodils are a perennial, every 5 to 10 years, divide the clumps of bulbs in early summer.

*Daffodils are the traditional flowers for a 10th wedding anniversary!

* The daffodil is the national flower of Wales.

*In Wales it is traditional to wear a daffodil on Saint David's Day (March 1).

*According to Chinese legend, the daffodil is a symbol of good fortune. The daffodil is used as a symbol of the Chinese New Year and if a daffodil blooms in your garden on New Year's Day, your house will have good fortune for the entire year.

*Another of the rather amusing daffodil facts developed during medieval times. Arabs extracted the juice of the daffodil for use as a cure for baldness. There is no record to show how successful this “daffy” treatment may have been. Also, the Arabians regarded the daffodil as an aphrodisiac.

Daffodils are a cheerful flower, the heralds the coming of spring; one of the best flowers out there in my opinion that every gardener should include in their gardens.  These cheerful flowers also make a perfect gift for anyone with a birthday in March.  Daffodils are a versatile flower that can bring a smile to just about everyone.

What is your favorite flower?

Revised rewrite of original posting, March 7, 2011.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

March Birthstone 2014


The birthstone for those born in the month of March is aquamarine.  Its origin is based in legend; believed to have been first found, in the treasure chests belonging to mermaids.  From that legend spawned that belief that aquamarine gemstones are a good luck charm for sailors.

The name aquamarine is from the Latin words meaning water and sea. This is supported by the legend that says aquamarine was first found in a mermaids treasure chest. This has led to the belief that if sailors wear the gemstones it keeps them safe from harm and will prevent seasickness.

While in the middles ages it was thought of as an effective treatment for anxiety.  Also it was believed to be effective in reducing the effect of poisons in the body.  Additionally folklore, associates the gemstone aquamarine with properties that would encourage faithfulness, friendship and courage. 

Others of the time and in times since have associated the aquamarine gemstone with enhancing ones awareness and resulting in quicker response times.  Easing of communication problems is believed to be eased when one wears the gemstone or has large pieces on display where communication occurs.
Aquamarine is derived from two Latin words; one for “water” and one for “sea”.  Hence, not only being a sailor’s good luck stone, it is also believed to relieve other water related calamities.  From preventing seasickness to keeping one safe from all water related harms.

Random cut Aquamarine

"By her who is this month was born
No gem save Aquamarines shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity."
                                   Author Unknown

Birthday gemstone lists have evolved over the centuries.  They have changed due to ease of acquisition, new stones being discovered, and marketers of jewelry.  Lists still contain differences, based on culture and beliefs, though most people, especially in western cultures tend to use the modern list.

The modern list was adopted in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers.  This is the list most western cultures are used to seeing and using.  Aquamarine is the gemstone listed as the birthstone for those born in the month of March.

Aquamarine gemstones are part of the beryl gemstone family.  The finest quality stones have an evenly distributed brilliant color and are typically free of inclusions.  While the aquamarine used for bead shapes usually contain numerous opaque areas and inclusions.  The interesting thing about aquamarine is that the darker more intense the color of the gemstone is the higher in value it is considered.

March Birthstone

Starting with,  an almost colorless pale blue, the aquamarine stones range in color to blue green and continuing through to an almost teal color.  The higher end stones tend to be faceted, yet they do make beautiful cabochons.

While most of the other lists I have researched all list aquamarine as the gemstone, regardless of their geographic location, I have found a two that show different birthstones for the month of March.

Dating back to 1500 B.C. in Indian medicine and beliefs is the Ayurvedic birthstone list.  This particular list indicates bloodstone semi-precious gemstones, which is green with red inclusions. The name bloodstone comes from the Greek word “heliotrope”, it was once thought that the red was a resemblance of blood spots.  

On the “Mystical” birthstone list, it is the jade gemstone that is listed as the stone for March.  This list dates back over 1000 years and is Tibetan in origin.  Jade is an interesting gemstone to study, as there are multiple types of stones with two distinct and different sets of characteristics.  It is a direct result of further study and advancement of identifying the mineral composition that make up the gemstones.

Regardless of which gemstone you choose, or which list you prefer, the rich history surrounding gemstones is fascinating. Visit our on-line boutique to see the variety of gemstones we create with.

Revised rewrite of original posting, March 14, 2011

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Color Purple

 The color purple is associated with royalty.

The color purple conveys extravagant.

The color purple implies mystery color. 

The color purple is associated with quiet dignity.

The color purple implies creativity within an individual.

The color purple is a rare color found in nature.  Which is why most people associate the color with religious ceremonies, power, wealth, and especially royalty. 

How does that translate to personalities?

Those people whom are drawn to the color purple tend to have an alluring energy and are usually very charismatic people.  While some may give the impression of being shy that is not usually the case for those who are drawn to purple.

People drawn to the color purple tend to be idealistic, they tend to have a great imagination and have no trouble dreaming of the future.  Their dreams tend to be beyond what is reasonable to achieve and completely impractical.

The color purple is actually a combination of the primary colors of red and blue.  You can see this in the embodiment of red stimulation and in the balance of blues calming effect that is reflected in the personalities of those who are drawn to the color.  It's the constant contradiction of both high-energy and yet, people who like the color purple tend to be people who are eccentric and very creative.  Doesn't that go hand-in-hand, because most people think creative people are bit eccentric.

So how does this play out around the world?

In different cultures purple plays a different part where as in Thailand widows morning their husbands death tend to wear purple,  While in the US.  The US military awards Purple Heart's as a symbol of valor, courage and bravery. 

In Iran, the color purple in traditions is believed to be a foretelling of what is about to happen.  From what I can find this belief came about because during an eclipse of the moon or of the sun, it looks purple.  They believe when this occurs it is an omen of bloodshed to occur within the coming year.

Purple is considered to be sacred to the Buddha and rosaries are often fashioned from amethyst semiprecious gemstones.   Going back in history and looking at the Roman Emperor and they were referred to as the purple the color of the Robe’s they wore.  So those with the rank of Roman Emperor always wore purple robes..

In Japan the color has always been associated with wealth and position of power.  This tradition can still be found today and across the globe.   You can find signs of this as far back in history as the Greeks.  In Greek history the Caesars all wore purple, this being the equivalent of a Roman Emperor. Both cultures leaders wore purple as the royal color.

In Egypt, the color purple denotes virtue and faith in a person.  Now, I'm not sure if that is in regards to their religious beliefs or to their personal character.

While in Britain.  The color purple denotes the color of mourning, yet only in a specific shade of purple, known as violet.     That is noted specifically for that, and it's also the color of religious fever.

 What's interesting is the variety of effects on the mind, body, which purple can have.  We talked a little bit before about different tendencies, some good, some bad of how color affects people differently.

It's believed purple that can help uplift the one’s spirit.  It is believed to aid in the calming of the mind.  Also, it is believed to be a great color for people dealing with nervous tendencies.  For those looking for an assist, it is believed to be a facilitating color in deeper spirituality pursuits. Nurturing tendencies’ and sensitivities to others is believed to be enhanced by wearing purple. While at the same time purple is believed to encourage one's imagination and creativity.

You know, each person has their own opinion when it comes to color and that is fantastic thing.  As all people are unique and everyone experiences things differently.  I will always associate the color purple with royalty. 
Here at Entwined Vines Jewelry, we create a lot with purple shades and tones.  It is a fun color and amethyst semi-precious gemstones are a joy to create with.

What are your thoughts on color and how they affect different people differently?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fed Ex Grant Opportunity! Help us out by Voting!

Fed Ex has a small business grant opportunity, we found and applied for at the very last minute.  This has the potential to be a fantastic opportunity for us.  We need some help, though.

There are 3 steps to the process, we made it past the first one of applying and being accepted. The second step is the voting, this step is part of the process used to narrow down the applicants.  Finally, the last step is writing a short essay, based on a question Fed Ex will send to 100 applicants.

The last day of voting is February 23, and you can vote once per day.  

How would this help us?  This grant would: 

1.) Allow us to expand our business by funding the safety equipment and stable structure for our lampwork studio.  

2.) We would be able to replace outdated equipment and purchase dedicated tools.

3.)  It would enable us to fund the learning of new techniques and refine our skills through classes.

4.) As well as enabling us to continue our community work, while at the same time kick starting our business to the next level.  To reach and share with even more women through community events, training's, an charities for women in need.

Please take a moment and vote for us.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Violets for February

I think violets as the flower for February is perfect.  Mostly because I love the fact that the traditional color of violets are that violet pink red, which is perfect for Valentine’s Day.  The other reason I think are perfect for February is that you can candy them.  What better treat to pull off the shelf at the end of a long winter in anticipation of spring that a sweet treat.

While most people do not think of candying flowers, this is actually an ancient tradition.  It is a habit of culinary use that has lost its appeal, though we are starting to see a slow shift in this area.  A return to age old recipes as society is starting to realize that our ancestors had the truth of it, home grown, real food is the way in which to regain and maintain one’s health.  

In my research I ran across and old hand written recipe, in the family files.  Though I am not sure of which side of family or which of my relatives this recipe came from, though.
Candied Violets

*Harvest chemical free, unblemished violet blossoms

*Lay them out on a paper towel to dry.

* Once dry paint (use a fine brush) lightly with beaten egg whites

*Sprinkle with sugar

*Let dry. The drying process will take several days. Length of time is going to depend on where located, how warm you do or do not keep your house, where you set them to dry. Drying to quickly will ruin them, drying to slowly and they will mold. Do to the variance in dry time I recommend starting with a very small batch or a couple of small batches and try different locations until you find the perfect timing.

*Once dry store in an airtight jar. Preferably someplace dark and away from light, so they will keep indefinitely. (A cupboard you are not into daily and is temperament is perfect)

*Wash gently – this is tricky, what works well is fill a sink with barely under room temperature water gently drop the blossoms in and dunk. A small handled strainer, used to gently remove them (with as little water movement as possible.)

Note of Caution: (This was included at the end of the recipe)  While the flowers of violets are edible, they should not be taken internally in large doses. 

Candies violets are best when used as decoration atop cakes, a plate of fruit, and in translucent jellies.  When used with chilled soups and punches, they make a lovely and delicate garnish.

How long have violets been around?  It has been confirmed that the Greeks were cultivating violets as early as 500 B.C. Though it has not been confirmed it is believed that the Greeks were cultivating them much earlier than that.  In ancient Greek mythology it is believed that when one wears a crown of violets it will ward off headaches and dizzy spells.

Additional quick facts on violets:

-Violet originates from the Latin term viola

-Typically they have asymmetrical flowers and heart shaped leaves

-The shape of their petals can help define many species of violets

-There are somewhere between 400 and 500 different species of violets

With 400 to 500 different species to choose from how does one decide? Look at where you live and then narrow your search parameters down to the species that will grow well in your region.  They are native to the temperate Northern Hemisphere. With varieties also found in Australasia, Hawaii and in South America in the Andes.

Growing violets are relatively easy, especially if provide the right soil conditions.  They prefer moist and slightly shaded growing conditions.  Violets do well as an indoor houseplant, especially when placed in either the bathroom window or above the kitchen sink.

Violets can range in flower petal color from blue, white, to purple and the occasional yellow. They typically flower between April and May. Making them a perfect gift for someone with a birthday in February, especially if they like to garden.

For the romantic, flowers have a language all their own.  Violets when included in a nosegay, are one who has or will have faithfulness and modesty. Each color then adds its own additional twist of meaning, which is further affected by the other plants added to the nosegay bouquet. While faithfulness and modesty are the wide held meaning behind violets, due to the Victorian era. The violet was considered a symbol of fertility and love by the ancient Greeks. So much so that they use to create love potions out of the violets.

Revised rewrite of original posting on February  7, 2011

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

February Birthstones 2014

February is a great month to have a birthday, as it has one of my favorite semi-precious stones as the birthstone for the month.  The down side is there is very little discrepancy between the different birthstone lists; leaving fewer options for someone to choose from if shopping for birthstones, for an individual with a birthday in the month of February.

Amethyst Orbs
February Birthstone, Amethyst Semi-precious Gemstones.
Amethyst semi-precious gemstones are listed on the modern, the traditional, the Russian, the Roman, the Ayurvedic, the Italian and the Arabic birthstone lists.

In the research I have done there are only two lists that I have found that show different birthstones for the month of February.  They are the Mystical List and the Hindu list of birthstones.

Precious and semi-precious gemstone associations have evolved over the centuries, due to a variety of factors.   Reasons range from the current ease of acquisition, to new stones being found.  There has also been a marketing push to make an attempt in standardizing the list for jewelry and gemstone sellers.  Whichever reason, you want to attribute it to, the lists have evolved and changed over time.   It is nice to find one that has remained fairly consistent as the chosen birthstone of the month for February.

Semi-precious amethyst is one of the most well-known gemstones around.  Its natural color palette ranges and varies from clear, to a pale lilac, to an almost violet to red-violet all the way to a deep dark purple.  Many stones have a natural combination of the varying color tones and can even be found with white streaks running through them.

The word amethyst is derived from the Greek word "amethystos".   Which translates to "remedy for drunkenness”, it is often referred to as the sobriety stone.

Colors of amethyst stones that can be found in nature vary from pale lilac to violet to red-violet all the way through to a deep purple color. 

The esoteric properties of amethyst include bringing stability, peace and balance to the wearer. It is also believed to assist in healing headaches, insomnia, arthritis, pain relief and assist in aiding in any general healing.
Image of birthday Cake
Happy Birthday!

"The February born shall find
Sincerity and peace of mind,
Freedom from passion and from care,
If they, the amethyst will wear."
--- Anonymous

Esoterically, the amethyst gemstone is thought to bring one stability, balance and peace when worn.  It is believed to assist someone who is suffering from headaches, insomnia, arthritis, pain relief and aid in any general healing.  It is also thought to be a peace bringing semi-precious gemstone, when placed around your home.

Bloodstone is the birthstone for the month of February, when one looks at the Mystical list.  This list has its origins in the Tibetan culture and can be dated back well over 1,000 years ago.
A dark green stone with red streaks and spots running throughout, bloodstone was once thought to be and aphrodisiac.  It was also believed that the merest touch of a bloodstone would halt hemorrhages, heals tumors and was a cure for blood poisons.  At one time this semi-precious gemstone was believed to be a man’s stone. 

Hindu in origin, this list appears to be based on geographical location and they list Chandrakanta for the February birthstones. From what I was able to track down Chandrakanta is a word that comes from the Tamil language. Moonstone appears to be the modern translation of this ancient word.

Moonstone is associated with the goddess Diana and the moon. It is considered a good luck stone and can be carved with talismans’ of protection. It is believed to bring wearers good fortune, enhance their intuition, promote inspiration and offer protection.

Revised rewrite of original posting, February  14, 2011.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Color Red

The color red is about passion. 
The color red reflects action in life.
The color red is about energy.
The color red symbolizes physical movement.
The color red awakens our physical life force.
The color red represents passion and sexuality.

The color red definitely plays a huge part in our everyday lives.  Why is the color red so important?   It’s simple it reflects the basic element of life as the color of blood that runs through our veins.  

Used correctly the color red is a positive color. It can impart warmth and energy to those in need. As a symbol of physical movement it is energizing and gives a boost of energy when used in small doses. 

It is a life affirming color as it symbolizes one’s physical life force as well as passion and sexuality; which are all life-affirming activities.  It is these traits that may be why the color red is listed as the color of the month for January.  

Red is also seen as the color of anger and aggression and is viewed as a destructive color.  It is also believed that too much red in one surroundings can cause agitation irritation and ultimately lead to aggressive angry behavior. However, too little red can also cause issues. One who has too little red in their life can become too cautious.  They can become fearful of trying new things or embracing new opportunities.

Which leads one to believe; that as with most things in life moderation is still one of the most important habits to embrace, even with something as simple as color.

Though we need red in our, too much can adversely affect us. How to relate this in life, simply look at how too much red and love turns to obsession. Too much red can lead to jealousy and anger causing one to take revenge on a loved one. It's interesting that red is a color though to represent love. It's actually less that it reflects true love and more that red inspires sexuality rather than the emotion or expression of love. Red is an energy color so that it's the actions that it inspires rather than the emotional element of love.

It's interesting with the positive and negative connotations that you find surrounding the color red of what part it plays in different cultures. For instance in the Indian culture it symbolize purity.  While in Eastern cultures such as China the color red is thought to be a good luck color. For many years red was the traditional color of bride's wedding gowns in China.  Though in recent year’s this has been changing; whether dues to outside influences or a recognition of the science behind color is still not entirely clear.

It is extremely interesting to study the colors and their psychology. Looking at colors and choices for branding a company, there is actually a great deal of thought and research put into the colors chosen to brand a company with. Example while I don't know for fact what Coca-Cola ultimate deciding factor for choosing red as their color is, it has done extremely well for them. They've chosen red as it is a high-energy color that inspires immediate action and instant results. For their branding it appears that it was the perfect color choice.

However, when looking at colors chosen for an artisan or a handmade co-op of artisans, red would be a disastrous color.  It would be a disastrous color because when looking at it from artisan’s standpoint that is looking to high-end retail market selling high-end items, you don't want to your buyers in an instantaneous high action mode.

The preferred is to have them in relaxed frame of mind and feeling decadent about their surroundings and shopping experience. Other factors go into choosing colors as an artisan or a handmade co-op of artisans  for their, that I'm not going to go into here.  It is an example of how color affects mood, how color of facts a shopping trip, how color effects of social engagement, and how color affects life in general.

What's really fun for me is that as a jewelry artisan and playing with the color red in my designs. Incorporating red gemstones into our work is believed by some to increase one's enthusiasm. Red gemstones in particular are believed to boost energy, create confidence in the wearer, and interestingly enough to provide protection from one’s fears. I find it an interesting contradiction that red gemstones are believed to increase one's interest in life, taking chances and embracing adventures. Now as you delve further into colors and what they represent you find that the varying shades of red have different meanings, though that is a conversation for a different later day.

Do you find your mood changing depending on the color you are wearing? 
The colors in your environment?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Carnations for January

Carnation flowers are the flower of the month for those with birthdays in January.  Carnations can be dated back all the way to both Greek and Roman times.  They are depicted in the decor and art that has been preserved from these era’s.

Each calendar month, has a designated birth flow associated with it, similar to birthstones.  Depending on which direction you research in both history and region will be reflected in each list.  I tend to focus and use the most common flower lists, as they have appeared to have standardized the lists universally.  

Carnation flower shaded in early times predominately ran to colors in peach and shades of pale pink.  Gardner’s the world over have bred carnations down through the ages to include a larger array of colors. The palette of colors bred into carnations, include red, yellow, green and white.  Even colors not found in nature naturally like purple have been bred into the carnations.

Even with all of the breeding and changes to color, carnations remain today a very popular flower.  There is something timeless about these flowers and there popularity has not diminished.  It is one of many reasons you find carnations, so often depicted in art and d├ęcor;  As they provide a never ending amount of inspiration and creativity.

With its clove like scent and the flowers feminine ruffled appearance, the carnation is most commonly known as the flower of love.  Dianthus caryophyllus, is the scientific name for the carnation flower.  Roughly this translates into meaning “flower of love” or the “flower of the gods”, depending on who is doing the translation.  Carnations are a durable, yet delicate flower that most women find appealing.

Meanings also associated with the carnation flower that you will find, when researching that it is also known and listed as meaning love, fascination and distinction.  It really depends on how far you research.  I tend to stop researching once I find the Victorian Era information, as I really like what they did for flowers and their meanings in that time. 

The Victorian Era, really brought flowers and their meanings into sharp focus.  It was an age of romance and subtlety.  During this time they refined the meanings of flowers, to be specific to the color of the flowers as well.  While you can find flower meanings dating back the Victorian era, it is the Victorian era that really brought it into focus.

Messages were conveyed during this period in the guise of creating and gifting nosegay’s  to each other.  The times did not allow for straight out messages that could be voiced out loud.

Colors and style of flower with multiple meanings were determined by the flowers added with them in the bouquets.

During this time they also assigned meanings based on style of flower colors:

      *Solid --- Yes

      *Striped---Wish I could be with you, Sorry I can’t be with you, no, refusal

A few of the variations of meaning for Carnations, based on the colors include:

  • General meaning --- Fascination, Devoted Love.
  • Pink --- Women’s love, I’ll never forget you.
  • Red---Admiration, my heart aches for you.
  • Deep Red or Blood Red---Alas! For my poor heart.
  • Purple---Capriciousness
  • White---Innocence, pure love, sweet, lovely.
  • Yellow---Rejection, disappointment.

The Victorian era did more for establishing flower meaning than any other era.

You may be asking yourself, what does this has to do with creating jewelry?
Well that is a very easy answer actually. At Entwined Vines both Tina and I find so much of our inspiration in the great outdoors, that the need to share is like breathing. Something that is such a part of us that it seems only natural to share a part of what inspires us to in life and creative endeavors.

Do you have a favorite flower?

Revised rewrite of original posting January 10, 2011

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January Birthstones 2014

January Birthday

Are you looking for a gift for someone with a January Birthday? 

Why not look for something that reflects the month they were born in?  Birthstones are a great way to personalize a birthday gift for anyone in your life, who happens to have a birthday in January.
Gemstone lists associated with birthdays have evolved over time.  As near as I can tell from my research there are many reasons for this.
  1.  Different cultures created their own lists, for their own reasons.
  2.  Availability was originally limited to region, as travel was difficult. 
  3.  The lists have expanded as availability and travel has eased.
  4. Religious beliefs have affected gemstone choice for birthdays from the beginning.
  5. Adaptation of the zodiac lists have occurred, which is interesting to look at.
  6. Western society, has changed birthday, birthstone listed them even more.  This change seems to be more influenced by marketing.

January birthstones can be dated back to over one thousand years, when looking at the Tibetan lists.  Tibetan lists are more commonly referred to these days as the Mystical birthday list.  Emeralds are the listed gemstone for the Tibetan/Mystical birthday stone for January.

Emeralds are considered a precious gemstone and are believed to bring the wearer both loyalty and faithfulness.  Accordingly it is supposed to bring these two traits in abundance to their relationships, specifically their friendships.  

When looking at emeralds from a metaphysical standpoint, they are believed to assist one with memory retention and clairvoyance.  For those looking for it, it is thought to assist in bringing one a deeper faith. 
In addition emeralds are believed to contain healing properties.  These healing properties are believed to be specifically in relation to the eyes, one’s fertility, the spine, and the easing of headaches.

Garnets, random cut and polished.
Now, the modern birthstone list, indicate Garnets as the stone of the month.  Officially adopted in 1912, this list was created by the American National Association of Jewelers.   This is why you will usually hear this list referred to as the Western society birthstone birthday list.

Garnet gemstones come in a variety of colors and have six distinct different family classifications. Within each family classification there are many sub classifications.  Fun facts about garnets include the belief that those born in January, the gemstone will impart purity and truth. 

While traditional metaphysical properties are thought to encourage commitment and inspire a regeneration of insight.  As well as removing negativity from oneself and improving awareness; It is also believed that the wearer will be provided with aid in protection and healing.  Garnets are also thought to lend strength and energy both to one who keeps the gemstones on their person.

The Ayurvedic birthstone list also lists garnet gemstones for the month of January.  This birthstone list can be traced back to its origins in Indian Medicine and beliefs to 1500 B.C.

Now the Italian’s on the other hand, appear to use a birthstone list that is very specific to their geographic location and list the stone of January as Jacinth.
The Russian birthstone list, also appears to be based specifically on geographic location and they list Hyacinth as the birthstone for January.

Both the Italian birthstone Jacinth and the Russian birthstone Hyacinth are referred to as Zircon; Containing colors that range from a reddish-brown, brown, orange to yellow.  Virtually they are the same stone.  However, Jacinth is the older name and can be traced further back in history than Hyacinth.
Zircon should not be confused with cubic zirconia.  Where cubic zirconia is a man-made stone, zircon is a natural stone.  Unfortunately, many people confuse the two.  Each of them has unique properties and is completely composed of different materials.  Zircon while referred to as a stone is categorized as a mineral.

While you can find many lists on birthstones, as the few I have covered is by no means a complete list.  They are the most common and really give a good basis and starting point for choosing a birthstone for that person in your life whose birthday falls in the month of January.

Do you like to receive birthstones for your birthday?

Revised rewrite of original posting January 17, 2011.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014