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.