Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Benefits of Wearing Amethyst

Do you like purple?  I recently did some research on the gemstone amethyst and it's beneficial properties.  I found this article from Beverly Ilsa very interesting and wanted to share it with you.

Benefits of wearing an amethyst stone

 Amethyst clustersAmethyst crystals is one of the most sought after gemstones and is known as the spiritual quartz for its healing properties. It is one of the most common stones used by crystal and alchemical healers. It also stands as the premier stone assisting in meditations. Shades of purple in colour, these crystals can take many shapes, forms and textures. It is the traditional birthstone for Febuary. Due to its energy vibrations, many can wear it as a ring, necklace pendant, keychain or as sculptures used for display. From ancient Egyptians to medieval Europeans, the amethyst was worn for protection and courage. An abundant of amethyst crystals can be found in several places including Brazil, Russia, India, Europe and North America. A great place in Toronto is Gifts From The Earth located at 320 Danforth Avenue. Prices range from $2.00 single stones and keychains to $5000 Amethyst clusters.
Benefits of wearing the Amethyst include:
Helps in relieving stress and increasing calmness, self esteem
Increases spiritual and intuitive awareness since it is closely associated with the crown chakra
Aids in restful sleep
Guard against psychic attack
Assists in beating addictions
For more information:

Check our our NEW amethyst jewelry...


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15% OFF everything in the SALE section:

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Swarovski® - How to Ensure You are Getting the Real Thing

Swarovski crystals are one of my favorite elements to use in my jewelry designs.  I use them in almost everything I make because they add such a lustrous sparkle.  I came across this article about swarovski crystals - their quality and how to ensure that you are actually getting the "real deal" and thought I would share it with you - Enjoy!!

Swarovski® - How to Ensure You are Getting the Real Thing 

By Stuart Freedman

Swarovski (Swore-off-ski) crystal components are regarded as the highest quality machine cut and polished crystal beads in the world. The demand for luxury products unfortunately can create a host of imitators. The imitators are all over the Internet and at every bead show that we have visited.

The Swarovski company creates its glass with a special compound that imitators cannot duplicate. This special compound creates the incredible brilliance of their product. The delicate color palette is another quality that sets Swarovski crystal components apart from others.

With so many crystal beads and components out there, how can you tell if the crystal you are purchasing is actually a Swarovski crystal component....or an imitation?

Here are some tips that can help you determine which crystals are genuine:
  1. Swarovski crystals are generally not strung when offered for sale.
  2. Look for the original Swarovski packaging. Dependant on size, the bulk packages will range from 10 gross to 1/2 gross, in well-branded, sealed envelopes. The newest Swarovski bulk packaging is sealed with an authenticated silver toned hologram saying "SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS."
  3. Swarovski crystals are perfectly uniform. Since they are machine cut, each crystal is the same. This means that the height, width and slope are consistent. A hand polished imitator bead will not have as uniform a cut. You may also notice different dimensions from bead to bead.
  4. Swarovski uses machinery that precisely cuts each crystal. According to Swarovski, "cutting hard materials such as crystal and gems, in such a way that they have a hundred identical facets in several directions, is a very complicated task; each direction of the reflected light must first be calculated by computer, then this has to be simulated in 3D, optimized and finally converted into control programs for complex machinery." This is just part of the technology that gives Swarovski crystals their unbelievable flash.
  5. The precision cutting of Swarovski machinery allows each crystal to have its facet juncture "pointing up". This means the facet junctures all meet at precisely the same point. This is a similar aspect of diamond faceting. See the illustration above.
  6. AB finish Swarovski crystals have a uniform surface luster. There are no swirling marks from the vacuum process that produces the AB finish, and generally there are no scratches. The "imitations" often have scratches, swirl marks ("oily" looking surface). Some of these imperfections, in the "imposters", have to do with the lower quality of the finish. See the illustration above.
  7. When you look inside the crystal, you will see no bubbles. If you see any bubbles, you know immediately that it is a fake.
  8. Because of its special glass compounds, Swarovski crystal will out-sparkle a bead of lesser quality when placed in a side-by-side comparison.
Your best bet is to buy from reputable suppliers known to be Swarovski distributors. Just because they display the logo does not mean they are true distributors. We have seen many vendors incorrectly (and illegally) displaying the swan logo of Swarovski when selling beads at shows.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The History of Earrings

by evashawdesigns

The following is an article by Susanne Kathol, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads® Read the original text HERE
Earrings have enjoyed a long history of being used as adornment, cultural identification and a sign of wealth and prosperity for thousands of years, dating back to 2500 B.C. According to legend, evil spirits were thought to be able to enter the body through any of its openings and take control. The first earrings were probably worn to bar away these spirits. Even though earring styles and popularity have fluctuated throughout time based on economic conditions, fashion and style influences and societal factors, they have always remained an important part of fashion.

Citrine Earrings. Eva Shaw Designs. $280
Originating in Asia and the Middle East, there were two common types of earrings, the hoop and the more elaborate pendant. Earrings were used as a simple way to determine the wearer’s religious, political or tribal identity. Earrings were also an indicator of the individual’s social status in the community and were considered a sign of wealth and prosperity. Among sailors, a pierced earlobe was a symbol that the wearer had sailed around the world or had crossed the equator. In addition, it is commonly held that a gold earring was worn by sailors as payment for a proper burial in the event that they might drown at sea. Earrings were also worn for acupuncture purposes, commonly believed to aid eyesight and hearing.
During the Roman Empire, wealthy women used earrings to show off their rich status. By the 2nd century A.D., gemstones such as sapphires, emeralds and aquamarines were used regularly in earring designs. In the Dark Ages, poverty prevailed and metal jewelry sharply declined although designs were preserved for later use. During the Middle Ages attention turned to elaborate hairstyles, skillfully crafted dresses and headdresses, resulting in earrings losing much of their appeal.
However, during the 16th century, high collars disappeared and hair was being worn up and away from the face, so

Blood Orange Earrings. Eva Shaw Designs. $250
earrings began to make a comeback. During the 1850s, earrings lost popularity once again as hair was tied behind the head, covering the ears, or bonnets and hats were worn. In addition, the religious and social sentiments of the time associated earrings with heathens, vanity and excess.
With the 1920s came the advent of the clip-on earring, causing ear piercing to fall out of favor. Many viewed clip-on earrings as being more sanitary and proper. (Eva Shaw Designs can convert any pierced earring to clip on! E-mail us!)
By the middle of the 20th century, earrings of all shapes and sizes were popular, though there was a clear distinction between more conservative earrings worn during the day, and more glamorous earrings worn in the evenings. In the 1970s, pierced earrings gained popularity and at the same time, styles merged and were no longer limited to either day or night wear. Today we see a wide variety of earring styles, for both men and women…

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Sign created by my kiddos for their Daddy's homecoming
Yesterday was a wonderful blessing in my life because my husband who had been deployed to Afghanistan for the past year returned home safely.  The year he was away was very challenging for our family, but we perservered with the help of God, family, and many good friends.  I know there are so many more families currently missing their loved ones and I would like to say to them to stay strong, it will be over before you know it.  We have been through many deployments and each one has strengthened our relationship.  Being away from the person you love really helps you appreciate them and the things they do so much more.  My husband brought me a cup of coffee the other morning - so simple,  cup of coffee, but it's the first time anyone has made me coffee in a year!

Many people both in and out of the military complain about everything that the military throws at you, but in the end these obstacles and our ability to overcome them are what shape our character and our children's character.  I love the military and especially the Army (HUAH!).  I am grateful to all the soldiers and their families and all the sacrifices they make each and every day.  But - I am most grateful for my wonderful husband!!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Thought this treasury of beautiful blushing pink items were a great way to begin the year.  I love pink and this light pink is so soft and almost ethereal!!  Enjoy!