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  • The Opals of October

    The Opals of October

    The love part…

    Gemstones are amazing! Each with their own juicy, colorful goodness, plus so many shapes and sizes. I also love the symbolism of each stone, and I think about this when I’m in my creative zone. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you love your birthstone. I don’t happen to love Emeralds, my birthstone, and I’m pretty sure my hubby would never wear Pearls (giggle).

    The ish part…

    The meaning behind birthstones, has been somewhat randomly assigned by the commercial jewelry industry, to sell more jewelry. Sometimes there are many different interpretations for each stone, so this is kinda sketchy. So, what if you don’t love YOUR birthstone? Are you just S.O.L.? No way. If the meaning of another birthstone resonates with you, go for it. If you were born in July, but you love the rich golden color of Citrine, don’t listen to anyone’s stinkin’ rules. Buy the damn Citrine.

    That said, I’ve set aside the ish part, and I’ve challenged myself to make small capsule collections of birthstone jewelry each month, in my own edgy, industrial signature style. On my bench right now, I’ve got some beautiful Opal and Pink Tourmaline for October, Citrine for November and Turquoise for December. Garnet, Amethyst and Aquamarine stones are gathering in their trays for the beginning of 2021. I think you’re gonna LOVE the combination of cut, fine stones, combined with gritty, mineral specimens and stone slices. 

    Just for fun, I’ve compiled a list of traditional birthstones, and their meanings below. Several months have more than one birthstone. Keep in mind, gemstones often have more than one meaning or interpretation.

    Before you go, make sure you sign up for my VIP Insiders List to get updates on these new monthly capsule collections. I’ll be sending updates the first Thursday of each month to show you the collection for that month. VIP's get to see it first, so don’t miss out!

    Birthstones by Month:

    January

    • Garnet:  Believed to bring safety to the wearer during travel. Good health, wealth and happiness. 

    February

    • Amethyst:  Strengthens relationships and brings the wearer courage. Personal empowerment and inner strength.

    March

    • Aquamarine: Purity of spirit and soul.
    • Bloodstone:  Brings health and strength

    April

    • Diamond: Everlasting love. Courage, clarity and strength.

    May

    • Emerald: Wisdom, growth and patience. 

    June

    • Pearls: Purity.
    • Alexandrite: Good luck, fortune and love.
    • Moonstone: Love, passion and fertility. 

    July

    • Ruby: Love, passion and youthful energy.

    August

    • Peridot: Strength, shielding from evil
    • Spinel: Eases anger, promotes harmony
    • Sardonyx: Courage, happiness and clear communication

    September

    • Sapphire: Purity and wisdom. Sincerity, truth and faithfulness

    October

    • Opal: Purity, hope and truth
    • Pink Tourmaline: Artistic expression, compassion and love

    November

    • Topaz: Long life, beauty and intelligence
    • Citrine: Soothe tempers, brings calmness 

    December

    • Turquoise: Health and good fortune
    • Tanzanite: Transformation
    • Zircon: Promotes sleep and scares off evil spirits

     
    If you really wanna geek out on all the juicy details, you can read more about gemstones here on the GIA Website.

  • Behind the Scenes

    Behind the Scenes

    To say this is my happy place, is a total understatement. Imagine a lush birch forest with a little wetland bog, deer happily frolicking everywhere, raccoons, wild turkeys and sometimes pesky mosquitoes. Just steps away from home, my studio is literally 2 doors down from my house.

    Inside it's quiet and super cozy, with a little pot belly stove burning in the corner for warmth. It’s practically a cliche, except it’s very real, and exactly what you’d expect for a little rural Montana art studio. 

    There is no need for a shop front, with only occasional visits from a customer here and there, who comes in to pick something up.

    I share the space with Tammy, a friend and fellow maker, and also Les, my step dad, who is a retired goldsmith. Often, you’ll find him inside, forging beautiful little copper vessels, but usually when Tammy and I aren’t working, because he makes a ton of noise. 

    The coffee is hot, strong and plentiful. The snacks are naughty and decadent, but necessary. Most days you’ll find music, or a juicy audio book playing in the background. It’s comfy, and it feels like home, but without distraction. So much creativity bubbles out of this space, too big to be fully contained.

    Some days I go there, by myself, to sit and just be. Quietly replenishing my mind, my body and my creative flow.

    On any given day, you’ll find Tammy, Les and me, gathered around a bench, solving huge design challenges together. Pencils, sketchbooks and stones strewn everywhere, as we work through a design hurdle for one of us. An outsider might see chaos, but this is our happy place.

    Sometimes I'm in there using loud equipment with my headphones on, listening to an epic fantasy fiction novel, like the Queen of the Tearling trilogy. Time flies in my happy place. At times, you’ll find me sprawled on the floor, doing the stretches prescribed by my physical therapist, to keep me safe and comfortable during my long hours at the bench. This work takes a toll on my body.

    My studio. My happy place. But it’s so much more than that. I never know what will consume me there each day. Some days I have a clear plan, and I carry it out seamlessly. Other days the plan unfolds before me, sprinkling in a few surprises and challenges here and there. More than just a happy place, my studio is a place of peace, healing, creativity, excitement, problem solving and, of course, endless snacking.





  • Blue on Blue: The Anatomy of a Blue-Themed Jewelry Collection

    Blue on Blue: The Anatomy of a Blue-Themed Jewelry Collection
    When designing a color-themed collection, I typically bypass the sketchbook and start with the stones themselves. The beautiful hues and tones delight my imagination and inspire my work.