I come full circle with the June pendant, the last month of the birthstone series I started in July, 2010. Pearl is close to my heart since my name, Margaret, means “pearl.” I was interested to read that pearls are the only gem that can be made into jewelry as soon as they are found. No cutting or polishing is necessary. A pearl reveals itself to the world as a treasure from the very first.
As much as I love pearls, I remember being baffled in Sunday School by the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price in Matthew Chapter 13. A wealthy merchant goes seeking fine pearls and when he finds one of great price, he sells everything he has in order to purchase it. I am good company though, since the disciples were usually baffled by Jesus’ parables too.
May’s birthstone is emerald, which is even more rare than diamonds. It is a beryl, with just a bit of Chromium Oxide to turn it green. I read that the same Chromium Oxide turns corundum red in ruby. Such a small addition makes amazing color changes!
I associate emerald’s with L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, which I loved reading as a girl. The Emerald City was the capital of Oz. I also lived in Eugene, OR while attending graduate school in creative writing, and the University of Oregon newspaper was the Oregon Daily Emerald.
Emerald is the green of greens, intense, vibrant. If you are a May birthday or green is calling to you, check out my Nutmeg Designs Etsy Shop.
Nutmeg Designs will be in the Village of Skippack, PA, for Skippack Spring Fest hosted by Victorian Carriage Shops, on May 7th[Due to the tent blowing over, we will not be there on the 8th. We’re ok, our craft is ok, but the tent has some twisted metal to deal with]. We’re breaking out the tent for our first outdoor show of the season, and bringing lots of new mosaics and stained glass. We’ll be on the property of the Victorian Carriage Shops, devoted to handmade crafts. Look for Sweet Treats Ice Cream and the Irish Village Shop, and you’ll know you are at the right place. Hope to see you there!
May 7th and May 8th, 2011
10:00 am- 5:00 pm
Victorian Carriage Shops
4039 Skippack Pike
Since I’ve discovered Wordless Wednesday, I have found some very cool bloggers, like Michelle Masters, who makes topiary themed illustrations in watercolor and ink. When Michelle said she was going to be at the Philadelphia Flower Show, and my tickets came in the mail, I was excited. I stopped by her lovely booth of prints, cards, pillows and linen towels, and said hello. It was a pleasure to meet a blogging friend, and to see her art in person. I bought this Thinking of You print, with such a sweet bunny perched on a wash tub, and clipping a leafy heart, as a gift to myself. I am usually busy making things for other people, but for this print, I made a mosaic frame for it with bits of pale green glass, to hang in my studio(next to my orange rabbit art tile). Perhaps I am fond of rabbits because my husband was born in the Year of the Rabbit?
At the same time, my friend Cynthia, asked me to mosaic an antique silver pocket watch, which was missing the clock, as a gift for a friend. This was the polar opposite of her last commission, the Mosaic Bowling ball! She wanted greens for the watch mosaic. I loved working within the engraved border of vining clover, and giving something broken a new face to the world. I found a teeny tiny millefiori bead for the center, and used one of my tins of offcuts to find the rest of the pieces. Cynthia said her friend loved it, and I’m glad I could be part of her birthday celebration! I enjoy new challenges, and welcome commissions for gifts for others, or for yourself.
March’s birthstone, aquamarine, is a delight for mosaic. I love using the silver smalti, which has a thin layer of white gold under fused to pale blue glass, and gives a lovely glacial effect. Combined with metallic blue glass tile(made in PA by Vitrium), and iridized glass tile from Italy.
Aquamarine is made of beryl, otherwise known as Beryllium Aluminum Silicate. Chemistry is more beautiful than it is ever given credit for! This shade of blue is evocative of the sea, the sky, and of the deep layers of glaciers, and derived from the Latin aqua marina, meaning sea water.
If aquamarine is called to you, check out the listing in my Nutmeg Designs Etsy shop.
February’s amethyst birthstone inspired pendant is violet and purple. I always liked how the word sounded, and had no idea it was from the Greek word “amethystos,” which means “not intoxicated.” Some ancients made the association that since amethyst was the color of wine, that somehow it could protect from intoxication.
The geodes that fascinated me as a child, with their purple crystal insides, were amethyst. The outside was ordinary rock, and broken open to reveal a whole magical world inside.
If February is your month, or you love purple, I’d be glad to make one for you.
I’m being as slow as molasses in January on getting this pendant posted! At first I couldn’t remember the gem for the month, but then I wondered how I could forget. My sister was born in January, and garnet was her stone, and I coveted the deep dark red rather than the brighter red of my July ruby.
Some stories say garnet comes from pomegranate, and the seeds do indeed look very garnet-like. When the Goddess Persephone was abducted by Hades into the underworld, her mother Demeter, Goddess of earth, became distraught and searched for her, and life was a dark cold place where nothing grew. When Hades finally relented, and said she could return, he tricked Persephone into eating several pomegranate seeds, which bound her to go back underground for winter each year, the earth once again and harsh and brutal place. I can see why Persephone would have been tempted to eat the pomegranate seeds with the their vital red color, their link to the sunshine she loved.
Commissions are welcome if you want to order a month that is already gone.
Check out Pendants at my Nutmeg Designs Etsy Shop for a bit of wearable joy.
December’s turquoise is one of my favorite gems. When I was little, I would visit my grandparents in El Paso, TX and we’d drive to New Mexico(the state I was born), to the little town of Mesilla, for Mexican food at La Posta Restaurant. I loved the gift shop with the silver and turquoise jewelry. The pure intensity of the blue caught my eye. I have a necklace that I remember always having, a cross made of small dots of turquoise set into silver.
I read that the Navajo believe turquoise is a piece of sky fallen to earth. I like that image of something beautiful as blue sky coming to where we are on the earth.