Do you ever find a really pretty piece of jewelry online (or maybe you already have some pieces) and wonder what the symbols on the charms or other dangles mean? Trust me, you're not the only one confused about some of the symbols out there! I know I use to wonder about them for the longest time until I decided to find out for myself. So, in an effort to save you some time and multiple searches to see if you get the same explanation for a symbol, I've compiled a list of a few symbols, I've been noticing in pieces of jewelry--and clothing for that matter.
One of the first symbols I see most often is the Hamsa. It was first seen in ancient Mesopotamia, so--as we all learned in school--it's been around a while. You will usually end up seeing two different types of hamsas: (1) a regular hand and (2) a hand with two symmetrical thumbs. The most popular of the two is the second one, which in my opinion is because of the balance the second thumb provides. In fact, I don't know that I've really seen the other style anywhere..hmmm....I'll have to search my mind palace on that one.
The hamsa is a protective amulet in all faiths; it doesn't strictly belong to one faith or the other, which is something I feel people get a little confused about when it comes to symbols. (I know some might not wear it because it's not Christian, but if you look throughout history, I'm sure you'll find some sort of take on it somewhere, so before you skip over it, think about that for just a minute). From a protection standpoint, it is suppose to protect one from what is called the "evil eye." The evil eye is technically a glance or stare that is believed to cause illness, unluckiness, or even death. It's usually done when one is unaware, so the hamsa is protection against another's evil wishing. I'm sure you've heard of someone giving you the evil eye--wishing something to befall you. Anthropologists have found evidence for it dating back to Plato's time. Besides protection, the hamsa is also associated with luck, health, and good fortune.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering why I'm included an evil eye charm on here since the hamsa is a protective talisman for it. Like I said earlier, the evil eye is actually a glance or stare. This symbol also counteracts the evil eye. You'll sometimes see it in the center of the hamsa. The indigo blue color was chosen as it was believed to hold power.
This is definitely one symbol I've been seeing a lot of recently. The tree of life is present in various religions, mythologies, and philosophies--each with a slightly different take but still the same concept. There are two common meanings behind this. The first meaning is that it represents the connection of three worlds: Heaven, Earth, and Underworld. The tree is planted on the Earth; the branches reach toward the Heavens; and the roots grow down to the underworld. So in addition to three worlds being connected, you also have the interconnectedness of all life. The second meaning is more philosophical in nature. The tree is said to represent a rooting in the here and now (the present) or a grounding of sorts for an individual, while the branches allow for the person to "branch" out to learn and grow. As a human being you need to know and understand who you are as well as develop the self by learning and growing, accepting things that might not match your own beliefs and ideals.
The Om symbol originated in India and is often practiced in yoga as it has a relaxing connotation. If you've ever practiced meditation, you probably repeat "om" as your mantra. It produces a vibrational sound that is in all life and runs through the breath. It really is quite relaxing--I'm not crazy. Try it! Go somewhere quiet and calm yourself with a few deep inhalations and exhalations. Now say, "om." Don't just say om really quick...haha...you have to draw the word out, let it resonate. Feel that funny stirring/vibration? Do it a couple of times and you'll notice a sense of peace and harmony. This basic noise is said to be the cosmic beginning of creation and holds it all together because nothing is ever solid or still.
We're all familiar with the infinity symbol, right? If nothing else, we know it from math. Now, in math this concept was discovered in 1655. Its origins are in Arabic numerals, and its design came from India. I bet you didn't realize Mathematics involved so much multiculturalism! It can be said that it is a balance of opposites (ex; in math, positive and negative integers) or wholeness/completion. Infinity is also associated with eternity as life and death are opposites.
The old Yin/Yang. We all remember this...well maybe those of us in junior hIgh and high school in the 90s and 00s. Wow, I feel old. I remember calling this ying-yang instead of Yin/Yang, but its actual name is Taijitu and is associated with Taoism. The Yin/Yang represents harmony and unity between opposites. Yin includes dark, passive, negative, and feminine. (*Side note: Feminine isn't associated with something dark, passive, or negative. Yin is just the side that particular concept is on. There was a long discussion between myself, my boyfriend, and roommate on this one. I just find it interesting that feminine is placed with those concepts. Anyway, I guess it had to be assigned to one side or the other.) Yang includes light, active, positive, and masculine. It's meant to be like this: Dark-Light, Passive-Active, Negative-Positive, Feminine-Masculine. it's important that this is not 100% Yin or 100% Yang because the balance is thrown off. You have to have that balance of opposites because without it you're only getting part of an idea not the complete one. "The whole is greater than its parts." For perspective, in life you don't want completely negative experiences, but you don't want completely positive experiences--If everything is positive, how do you learn to reassess an idea or situation? You don't. If it's all negative, how do you know to reassess an idea or situation to get a positive outcome? You don't. Each side is essential to the other because without one there is no other.
Ah, the celtic knot. This is just one variety of knot that can be found...interesting, huh? This symbol appeared as early as 600 BC. These knots have no beginning or end (much like the infinity symbol) and are related to the unending cycle of life. There is interdependence and interconnectedness between the physical and spiritual aspects of our being. You can also see this concept in wedding bands--a circle with no beginning or end--an connection between people.
Hopefully, this quick run through of common symbols has helped explain the meaning behind each of them. I love how interconnected cultures are, and most people don't realize it because they haven't looked or don't want to acknowledge it! We have so much in common with others without even having to speak that it's incredible!
That's all for now! Signing off :)
*information was obtained from Wikipedia, FireMountainGems.com, Bonjuli.com, JewelryInfoPlace, GaelicMatters. (I'm not being paid to use these sources. They are just the ones I found randomly in my research.)
Hello, everyone! What's new? I've been sick--as you probably could already tell by the title for this week's roundup. I've had one of those nasty head colds, and I've been trying to fight it off so it doesn't turn into one of those colds that lasts for two long, miserable weeks. Ugh. I woke up Saturday, and there was no way I could breathe through my nose. SO, I've been dosing myself with medicine every four hours on the dot. I never knew that so much snot could come out of a nose--It's like "I only have s much room in my sinuses...where is it coming from?" I've gone through 1.5 rolls of toilet paper at the time I'm writing this. I take it with me everywhere...that's sad. Ok, enough details about my snot. I know there are certain things that everyone really needs when they're sick, so I thought it might be a good idea to feature some of them....maybe I should make "sick" baskets you can buy with all the essentials....hmmm
Item #1 is from FashionCrazyGirl
Isn't this how we ALL feel when we're sick? I think I said "I'm dying" a thousand times, especially when you can't taste or smell. WTF is up with that. My quote on that subject: "I've lost my will to live for I cannot taste or smell. There is no point in life." Yes, I really did say that. I don't know about you all, but I want to feel nice and comfy when I'm sick. Don't make me wear "real" clothes...you're liable to go on my kill list. There's nothing I like more that a raglan t-shirt that's not fitted in any way and it says how I feel so I don't have to :) Lots of cool shirts in this shop!
Item #2 is from ColorwaysGallery
Remember when you were little and all you wanted when you were sick was your blankie? Well, guess what? Since you're older you're entitled to a damn grownup blankie! Hush, now. Don't try to deny it. You want that blanket when you're sick because it comforts you; it keeps you warm. Now, this blanket is a little pricey, but I'm sure it will make you feel a little better once you're wrapped up like a bug in a rug. It's hand-knit from the softest Merino wool and is processed in the most environmentally friendly way. What more could you want in a blanket...soft, warm, and eco-friendly.
Item #3 is from CookeTavernSoups
Soup is a definite staple of the diet when you're sick...even when you can't taste *rolls eyes* (can you tell I don't want to eat if I can't taste?) Supposedly chicken soup has been proven to have actual benefits to the sickly. I know what you're thinking though. Meagan, this doesn't have the chicken in it! I don't want to cook when I'm sick! Well, I have a solution for ya there...you can find precooked grilled chicken slices that you can just toss into the pot with a can of crushed tomatoes...or my personal favorite..salsa! Give it 30 minutes and you'll have your soup for the next couple of days. If you have someone to cook it for you, all the better!
Item #4 is from LennyMud
Anyone else get stuck with a tiny little table to put all of your sickly junk on? Maybe it's just me, but I saw this contraption and was thinking that if I had had it, I would've saved quite a bit of space on my already crowded table (toilet paper roll, water, medicine, etc). I wouldn't have had to have a sleeve a crackers on that table either. It all would be in one handy piece. It's also made from eco-friendly materials and lead-free. And...wait for it...it can hold cookies and milk when you're better!
Item #5 is from MidnightOwlCandleCo
If you can smell anything, Eucalyptus is definitely soothing, and this one is combined with citrus notes as well. It may even help open up your stuffiness! The makers of these candles use all natural soy wax and are clean burning. They also contain no phosphates, lead, or toxins.
Item #6 is from JuniperseedMerc
After all this nose-blown' I'm starting to look like Rudolph. It looks bad, and I'm sure people stare, but they better not because they'll be next to get the dreaded red, chapped nose. I mean, this hurts really freakin' bad....some stuff burns it and when you touch that area on your face it's like a fire starting. This lovely cream is supposed to treat all that. It's 85% organic and includes eucalyptus and mint (mutiple benefits here everyone). Not only does it moisturize, but it also acts as a vapor rub! Two-in-one! The maker invites you to look up the ingredients in her product to see what they do because they're much better than the petroleum based products you can purchase at regular stores. I may have to get some of this because my nose is only going to get worse.
Item #7 is from NauticalBeachDecor
I lost my voice, so I now sound like a dying Canadian goose. I can't say anything without straining my voice further, so I have to whisper...which no one can hear. This is the ultimate solution. Mount this to your wall so people will know you're trying to talk. Annoying...yes....but still a good idea if you can't get sound out.
Item #8 is from TheSleepyCottage
When you're sick and sleepy, you don't want to be bothered, right? This mask says is all! This is just funny to me, but there are some with less offensive words if you'd like something else. Sleep masks are really good especially if you're trying to sleep during the daytime and need complete darkness to sleep. This is made from black satin and embroidered in light pink (no heart included).
Item #9 is from HandCraftedFactory
You've got to be careful with mugs with hot contents.....I knew this but I had one mug that was extremely hot to the touch. One of this would have come in handy. You can keep your hands warm while protecting them from the blazing hot contents of your cup. Most of the cozies I've seen are one piece and can't be used on mugs, but this one is awesome as it has a piece that goes through the handle to protect your hand completely!
item #10 is from BrentwoodHomes
Last but not least, we all need a PILLOW! It's really difficult to find a good pillow. Most go flat, or they get hot....not to mention getting poked by those damn feathers...grumble. This guy has a down alternative, gel memory foam fill. MMMMmmmm...I can feel the softness from this side of the screen. The makers use an organic cotton cover on their product--free from pesticides. The gel is infused into the memory foam to help keep the pillow cooler and more comfotable. We could all use one of these if we're sick or not!
That's all I've got for this Weekly Wednesday Roundup Edition! Hopefully you've gotten some ideas for what to have on hand for when you get sick (if you don't already)...Oh-one last thing-you need a thermometer. It's hard to tell if you have a fever without one. Stock up because you never know when sickness will strike! Have I missed anything? Leave me a comment, so I can be ready!
Go now and browse your favorite handmade sites and show your favorite makers some love!
Until next time!
-A hopefully better M
Hello, everyone! Are you ready for another roundup of my favorite finds? If not, you better be because this is it! This week, I have a variety of jewelry for you that I found whilst browsing through etsy. I will say that not all of the roundups will be jewelry related...they include clothing, housewares, office supplies, or a mish mash of items. You'll have to tune in because I won't stick to a schedule of what category I'll be featuring each week. I'm a little unpredictable ;) Anywho, let's get started, shall we?
Item #1 is from TresJoliePT
The color combination in this bracelet is what makes it so unique to me. You've got all the colors of the rainbow. I really like the stacked look without the orderly "one after the other" effect. This is more haphazard and user-friendly as it's one piece and adjustable at the wrist. You could end up with a new patter depending on how you shaped the pieces!
Item #2 is from WingostarrJewelry
I've always been a fan of stalactite jewelry, and the gold on this one definitely makes it pop and give it a little 'je ne sais quoi.' The color of the stalactite with the amazonite is striking and thus eye-catching.I'd seen a lot of this artist's pieces on instagram prior to finding her things on etsy. I just browse blindly on etsy without looking at the shop and just picking what catches my eye, so I didn't know it was this particular person until I started up writing...haha. She has some gorgeous stuff to check out, so head over to Etsy or Instagram.
Item #3 is from NeXs
First, let me say this and get it out of the way. I HATE the color orange--primarily because my brother had to have everything orange (favorite color, orange soda, orange candy) What jellybeans get left in the bag---yep, the orange ones.
I actually like this orange. GASP!! The various shapes and textures give this piece a lot of visual appeal...I just want to touch it. I'm also loving that the artist made this piece by repurposing the beads from two other necklaces!
Item #4 is from pUkke
I absolutely love this necklace! It's big and bold--obviously a statement piece. The colors go really well together, and the seed beads really make the piece pop. The braided cord around the neck gives the piece a nice textural element. I don't know about you, but I had no idea what soutache was, so I did what anyone would do--I googled it. Soutache is a "narrow, flat, ornamental braid" (via Simply Soutache). It's basically embroidered jewelry. If you look closely, you can see it all around the edges of the ceramic cabochons. It's a very detailed type of jewelry design that produces some very beautiful pieces.
Item #5 is from CatchingWaves
This item caught my eye because of the red and yellow pops of color. As I looked closer, I could see a variety of geometric shapes on each of the black beads. The black beads are hand-carved, clay beads from Mali (the largest one is around 50 years old). The vulcanite beads that initially caught my eye are actually made from old phonograph records. isn't that neat??!! You've got a vintage upcycled set here with some history! You could wear this with anything--casual or more formal--because it lends itself well to versatility.
I hope you've enjoyed going through this list of favorite handmade items this week! I know I enjoyed browsing! Please go and head over to your favorite handmade shops and show these and other artists some love!
Join me next week as I feature....yeah, not going to tell you because I don't know what I'll feature in next week's roundup ;)
Until next time,
Alrighty then. This is going to be the first Weekly Wednesday on the new blog! Can I get a "Yay"? I'm considering doing some things differently than I did on my previous blog postings of my finds, but I haven't decided. I previously stuck to only featuring handmade items from Etsy, but I'm considering using other handmade sites/small businesses. I feel like the handmade industry doesn't get enough credit, while small businesses need to be supported, so maybe they're really one and the same (I'm allowing myself to just think out loud here). I guess what I'm getting at is that I want to empower the small, handmade, local (if possible) artisans by featuring some of their items here...maybe as a curation. We shouldn't stick to purchasing goods from only the retail giants because it's not really helping people do what they love doing--creating. By purchasing from artisans who hand make their wares, we are, in a way, giving them the encouragement they need and helping them do what they LOVE!
This week I'm going to share some jewelry that just happen to fall into Pantone's Spring 2016 collection of colors! Last year, I did several pieces for each color, but for the spring, I want to get all the colors on one page (plus it can be hard to find items that match up with the colors). If you're not familiar with Pantone, it is (for lack of a better term) a language for communicating specific colors amongst designers, manufacturers, etc. Feel free to check out their website--they have a lot of interesting information!So, without further ado, here are some of the goodies I've found for you!
Item #1 is from SouthwestGemStones :
What caught my eye with this piece were the spikes. You don't normally think of masculine spikes and feminine pink beads meshing very well, but this artist has done an excellent job! This piece has a variety of textures from the different beads and spikes which add a sort of balance to it. It'd be great for a casual or a more dressy look.
Item #2 is from bluetribe
I think that raw kyanite is a favorite of mine because of (1) its color and (2) the way it looks like little strips could be pulled away...kind of like string cheese (omg..I'm so weird but that's the only way I can describe it). I like this piece because it's subtle until you run into the kyanite...the color. It's longer so I know I wouldn't be fooling with it trying to get it to lay down on top of the shirt rather than hiding beneath it (anyone else know that problem?), and the beads wouldn't get stuck and tangled in my hair (always a problem). I love that there's so much intricate detail here. You've got the chain connectors, the focal drop piece, the wrapping. It's really an exquisite piece.
Item #3 is from ChicLanyardsnThings
I'll have to say that the copper pieces pull this piece together, but each component plays its own part. With this, there are various shades of pink, purple, red, peach, and cooper that lend themselves to a sort of monochromatic look--it's all within the same color family. I'm also a fan of stacking bracelets (memory wire or separate bracelets) because they give that little something everyone looks for in a bracelet.
Item #4 is from Atrio
Tiles, tiles, tiles!! I love old Italian/Spanish tiles. All the detail and colors...aah! What's neat about these earrings? They aren't tiles. They're replicas of the original tiles in Porto, Portugal. These are made from polymer clay baked to where the image actually becomes part of the clay. No glue is used. They may not be real tile, but you could've fooled me!
Item #5 is from ThePricklyPearTN1
You don't find a lot of jewelry for this color, but I immediately thought of one I currently have in my shop. I'm really drawn to this piece--I have been since I made it. I love the color contrast between the green turquoise chips and the bright yellow howlite along with the more rounded shape combined with the harsher edges of the chips. With a lot of my pieces, I like them to be more natural if possible because I feel like they're more organic and closer to the original.
Item #6 is from TheGreenEyedTurtle
I've never been able to do this type of beadwork--I get too frustrated. Round of applause for the artist having the patience to create this! It looks like some of the outer beads have an iridescent sheen to them and are combined with a purple/gray chip stone in the middle. I like that there is a double loop closure because I always have to adjust the fit or watch what I buy. This would be great for a winter day!
Item #7 is from IridesceByMischa
Coral is always pretty, but I really like it in this particular shape. The red is flashy and draws attention which is especially good if you're using this as an accent piece. I love that the teardrop gives an insight into coral in its natural shape--the sharp point and the rounded end. Coral itself can be really sharp and branch around like nobody's business, but there is also a softer side to it if it grows in a mass.
Item #8 is from PaperMelon
Eco-friendly alert! These earrings are paper beads crafted from paper bags! Definitely a great idea especially when it uses something that might very well end up in the trash. I'm all for reusing and recycling. The artist has sealed the beads to protect them from everyday moisture but recommends avoiding rain, bathing, and washing up while wearing.
Item #9 is from AnemoneJewelry
I love this ring because it's simple yet intricate at the same time. The edges of the stone are beveled in a way that gives dimension to the stone itself, which also allows different shades to be perceived. The top of the setting for the stone is the most detailed part of this piece with slight beading around the base and more intricate work at the prongs. This ring screams feminine and would be a great addition to formal business wear.
Item #10 is from FiorellaJewelry:
When I uploaded the necklace I had selected for this color earlier, I noticed it was definitely NOT the color I thought it was! Gotta love differences in screens (I was on an ipad but am now on a desktop). So I went and browsed some more---it's never a good thing (more browsing) because I just find more stuff I like/want...haha. I came upon this set, and it immediately caught my eye. I love that the layers create so many textures in addition to the volume and shapes. The artist has used heishi, chunk, round, rondelle, and fluted barrel-shaped beads for this 5-strand necklace. I'd buy this in a heartbeat, but it's significantly out of my price range. But--I can look can't I?
I hope you have enjoyed reading through my favorite handmade items for this spring's Pantone colors! I'll have to say it was fun looking :) Now, head on over to your favorite handmade site and show some artists some love!
Until next time,
I love rubber ducks!! I actually collect the unique ones...I have several at this point, but not one quite this large!
What'd I tell you? What I post could be anything! Drag out that argyle and strut your stuff!
Hello, everyone! I'm glad you've found your way over from Wordpress! If you're new, I'm glad you've stumbled upon my blog as well! I'm going to use this post as more of a re-introduction/introduction of myself, so buckle those seat belts and let's get started!
First off, let me start by telling you what to expect from me here. It literally could be anything..haha. My interests (as is my crafting) are spread across a wide variety of topics. I never have been one to focus on just one particular thing. One day you'll get a quote, another day you might get a weekly roundup of some of my Etsy favorites or crafts I've made, and still you might get another time when you learn of new (unofficial) days! Like I said, it could be anything.
My posting can be sporadic at times--as readers from my wordpress blog can attest, but my resolution this year is to do a better job of sticking to it. I was on a winning streak last year until around Halloween, when the holidays kicked in, and my work life went CRAZY. I was doing good, too, and then BAM! Thanksgiving and Christmas---also known as Pumpkin Spice insanity and Christmas Topping Hell--came about. Yes--I worked at a Starbucks...but not any Starbucks....a Target Starbucks, so I got to experience the Black Friday craziness. Being me--OCD, type A, stressed--I tried to do it all---to make everything as easy on my team as possible. One little thing I forgot to do was to take care of myself--I wasn't sleeping very well, I had no appetite, and my depression had decided to rear it's ugly head (even though I tried to stuff it back down and contain it). So, as of December 30th, I left that life. I have so much I want to do and see, but work was stopping me. I don't know when I'll find another job, but until then, I'm going to relax and enjoy everything.
I hope you tune back in for more of my ramblings (very soon) and enjoy reading what all is going on inside this odd head of mine!
Hi! I’m Meagan, designer for The Prickly Pear. I’ve created this blog to not only showcase my work and other crafty information, but also to give you an inside look into my life.