We all have a birthstone. A birthstone corresponds to the month in which an individual was born. But, where did the idea of birthstones come from and who chose what stone goes with what month?
The origin of birthstones can be traced back to the old testament, and the breastplate of Aaron. Aaron, brother of Moses and first high priest of Israel, was said to have worn the a breastplate of embroidered linen, adorned with 12 stones, representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The stones were set in gold in 4 rows of 3 engraved stones … a little flashy if you ask me.
Through the years, connections were eventually made between these stones and the 12 signs of the zodiac. It was believed that each of the stones had healing powers associated with corresponding zodiac signs, and that by wearing the stone during the month of its corresponding sign, these healing powers would be at their most potent.
There is some debate over the exact stones to be found in this breastplate, but the current list of birthstones has been in place since 1912, finalized by the national Association of Jewelers in the United States. It has remained the same since then with the exception of the addition of the stone Tanzanite to December.
While it is now commonplace to wear the stone of the month you were born in, if we follow the legend of their origin a better practice would be to have jewelry with each of the 12 stones and alternate them by month. This would ensure that their healing respective powers are at their full potential. I’m certainly not opposed to alternating my jewelry every month! Especially now that we are in April…. diamonds here I come! And fortunately for the eco-friendly, there are some spectacular lab grown diamonds…. mining not necessary!
These are the stones we offer for birthstone jewelry. Remember they are all lab-grown stones. The colors and clarity are so beautiful! Take a look at all of the jewelry we offer with stones. Most of our styles can be customized with the stone of your choice.
This fresh look is perfect for youthful mom’s on the go! Opting for colored denim or twill and a chambray shirt makes for an outfit that is comfortable enough to last you all day, while still looking put together, and they clean up easily too! Accessories can take this look from a range of day at the beach or the park, to running errands, to a more polished look for a casual evening out to dinner. We’ve paired it with flatform sandals for style and comfort, a floppy hat and sunglasses to shade you from the sun, and a snazzy skinny belt for a pop of color. Most importantly we’ve added our je t’aime with ruby heart necklace so she can feel the love all day long! This is a great piece to pair with a casual but chic look.
Our next look is a preppy look for mix of polished yet playful. This is perfect for a mom who wants to kick a jeans and a t-shirt wardrobe up a notch. These floral trousers are on trend yet classy. They are not skin tight like skinny jeans, yet they still have some shape. They are comfortable and easily dressed up or down. The flowers add a feminine, romantic flair to a preppy look, and they look wonderful with our floral jewelry. We’ve paired them with a peplum top, flattering to many body types. The neckline is modest and the flare is a great way to define the natural waist line. To complete a preppy look we’ve added oxford shoes, but they could just as easily be worn with a heel or ballet flats. A polka dot headband is a cute and fun way to throw some pattern mixing into play. The piece de resistance? Our birthstone poppies necklace! The jewel tones tie the colors in the outfit together and poppies look great with the floral pants. Of course you can choose your own set of stones to go with your wardrobe or your family tree!
Last but not least we have a sophisticated look perfect for mature mamas! Wide leg trousers are a great staple to any wardrobe and fit is very flattering. Here we’ve opted for a springy colored wide leg trouser with a floral blazer for a fresh take on a classic look. Pairing it with a striped tee adds some extra excitement to the outfit. When pattern mixing, stripes make a great choice. They are fun without being too busy and they help add structure. A skinny brown belt with chevron accents ties these pieces together nicely. We haven’t pictured shoes here, but this could be worn well with loafers, ballet flats, oxfords, a kitten heel, or even a platform if you’re feeling adventurous. Our boygirlparty hummingbird with ruby necklace, both sophisticated and fun makes a great addition to this outfit and it’s perfect for the young at heart! For a more chic look our giant golden poppies necklace is another wonderful option.
Chocolate and Steel specializes in jewelry using primarily cubic zirconias. CZ’s are a great option for the eco-conscious consumer. The mining process creates a lot of waste, uses a huge amount of energy, and puts workers in danger. Purchasing lab grown stones is one way to avoid contributing to those problems.
We understand the magic of having stones created by nature. There are resources out there that offer responsibly mined stones. That is a great alternative but the impact on the environment is still a factor.
Consider using lab grown stones as another option for your jewelry. A little bit of balance goes a long way. We offer rings, earrings and necklaces with lab grown stones. And as a bonus, cz’s have an amazing sparkle, just like you!
Urban Vegetable Garden:
Spring is here and time to get this winter garden thinking about some new veggies. I harvested a ton of candy striped beets this weekend and grilled them. They were super delicious! Take a peak into my urban vegetable garden.
The favas grew tall but we only got a few pods. I think I didn’t water them consistently enough. Too bad because I planted purples favas and they were really sweet. Moving on to new crops! The tomatoes and peas are planted. This weekend we will build a trellis for the peas using bamboo sticks and twine.
Here are some pics of my urban vegetable garden at the end of the summer last year. We have raised beds on top of concrete pavers and gravel. It still blows my mind that we are growing food on it:) Looking forward to tons of tomatoes again this year. And interesting thing I grew last year was Black Garbanzo beans. It took a really long time to grow but it was fun. No problems with pest, too. Which is always nice! Here are some pics of those.
Sometime soon I’d love to get one of these awesome set ups and have a true urban vegetable garden.
Happy Spring and happy gardening!!
I thought it would be fun to show you the project I worked on this weekend. My friend was moving to Virginia so I got two of these bookcases off of her at super deal price. They have been sitting in my garage for a few months even though I really need to use them in my studio.
Finally I cleaned them up this weekend. I sanded them down to smooth out some of the knicks. I then painted the entire case with a white primer. From there I taped off the sections I was going to paint first. This was pretty easy except for trying to protect the inside of the bookcase. I used a plastic sheet and taped that to the front. I actually had all of these paints on hand. I can’t remember the project I originally bought them for, but I was happy to find a good palette to work with in my garage. And wah-la. The final product.
I put one of the bookcases in my studio. I haven’t painted the second one yet. It will probably house all of the kids books stacking up in my kid’s room. And here it is in the studio. Two little luchadores bird sculptures hang above. It’s a cheery little corner now:)
Here’s a sneak peak of a new collection I’m launching at NYIGF next week. I’m craving some sunshine:) Visit me at booth #8186 in the Details division.
Happy New Year everyone! I absolutely love this time of year. After having a great winter break with my family, visiting friends and toasting good times all throughout, the new year feels like a perfect reset button. Plus my birthday was yesterday and I like to reflect on the journey of my life and the people that help shape it. Now, it’s Monday. Kids are back to school, husband back to work, and so am I.
I’m getting ready for my 2nd New York International Gift Fair. This is a huge wholesale trade show! I did it for the first time in August and had a really great show:) I always meant to blog about the process of creating my booth, but never did. So here it is now. My friend, Jill, helped me come up with the concept. I wanted something clean, modern, and cheerful. My booth came with curtains, but curtains always feel very warm and cozy. I didn’t want warm and cozy. I wanted brisk, active and energetic. So we created a curtain that looked like a wall. These are the cardboard rounds that you find on the bottom of a cake. I ordered 300 of them and painted them.
Jill cut these large circles from plywood and sanded for many hours to get them just right. The circles were painted blue as well, with orange stands.
We did a lot of the prep work here, but we had to do the actual weaving together of the circles at the show. It was a looooong 13 hour day of hanging these guys. Plus we had some finishing details to complete on the jewelry displays.
But all of the hard work was worth it! My booth design was widely accepted and I think a big reason why I had such a good show. I was in an aisle of all black curtains and then you come upon a bright blue booth. You couldn’t avoid looking to see what was going on:)
If you are looking for ideas on how to make a trade show booth design on a budget, take a look at my Flickr account. I have more pictures there showing the process of creating this booth for NYIGF. Also, stay more connected with me through Facebook. I post there a lot more than here.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! and please send me lots of luck for my show at the end of the month.
I’m having a huge weekend sale in my Etsy shop. Share this image if you want your friends to get in on the action too!
20% off the entire collection. No coupon code necessary. The shop has all been marked down 20% already. Have fun and have a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend:)
Hello everyone. I wanted to jump in quick and show off some pics of the custom work I’ve been doing.
The first one I just completed for a 60th birthday. I was inspired by the idea of a clock…60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour. The 12 hours are represented by the 12 months of birthstones. She has many grandchildren and they cover 10 of the months. We included all 12 for the possibility of more grandchildren:) See other pics for a view of the hand-stamped back.
The complete set. Handcrafted silver medallion set with 12 birthstones and 1 large citrine. Hung from faceted garnet and citrine teardrops with a sterling silver & garnet clasp. The earrings have 12 birthstones scattered about.
More pictures to come but I have to make sure the recipient has received them first:)
If you want something special made, email me. Visit me on Facebook too to see an album of my custom work.
Hello friendly people all around the world! I’m just stopping in to share a bit about what’s going on right now. I’ve been working on a ton of new pieces… like seriously a ton! I think last time I checked in I told you about how I was inspired by these paintings of prisms, chevrons and geometrics of all sorts. And also how I was having a love affair with color but wasn’t sure how that was going to play out. I’ve been doing line drawings for so long and with the exception of adding pops of color with stones, hadn’t used any other color.
Here’s where that inspiration led me. I’ve been experimenting with UV resin. It’s pretty fabulous. It cures under a UV light or the sun (kinda cool, right).
These are just sneak peeks. There will be a more cohesive collection to show someday in the near future. Hopefully in time for NYIGF. Yes! Can you believe it? I’m doing that enormous trade show in New York. The word nervous does not even begin to describe my feelings. A little panicked might be closer to it. I’ve been pondering my booth design and display (read: freaking out about) for the last two weeks. Luckily I have enlisted the help of one of my dear super talented friends to help me with this. I think I’ll feel a whole lot better about the show once I’ve got the booth done. I have done trade shows before, get nervous every time, but this one is of a different level. Much larger, much more expensive.
So that’s it in a nutshell. Outside of my work life, I am having lots of fun with my kids. Summer has just begun for them and we’ve already hit the beach 4 times. No complaints there.
I’m also doing a 90 day challenge with some friends to get in shape. I’m done having kids, no more excuses. Those extra pounds just need to go… now! I’ve really been enjoying the challenge. And working out almost daily is something I haven’t done since college. And that’s why I don’t look like I did in college:)
How do you plan to celebrate summer? Any vacations planned?
While I don’t blog often, you can keep up with me on Facebook which is something I’m somewhat consistent with.
see ya later:)