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