Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Featured Artist - Kostas of Artistico

This weeks Featured Artisan is Kostas - Artistico!

Kostas Tsipos

I have always been a creative person. Ever since I can remember my self, I wanted to work with anything that had to do with art. Being able to express myself through art and to better understand the world around me is a journey I never want to end...

You can find Artistico on:


You can grab the code for your blog HERE

Are you On Fire for Handmade? http://onfireforhandmade.com

Friday, June 22, 2012

Stones of Cancer - Ruby

The DeLong Star Ruby
The word ruby comes from the Latin word ‘ruber’, meaning red. Rubies are a variety of the mineral Corundum and are found as crystals within metamorphic rock. As a member of the Corundum family, this mineral is up to ten times more valuable than a diamond of equal carat and clarity. Corundum is the second hardest mineral after diamond. It comes in a variety of colors, and is considered a sapphire in any other color except red, which is considered a ruby. Rubies range in hue from an orangey red to a purplish red, but the most valuable are true red.

They were called the ‘Rajnapura’ or King of Gems by ancient Hindu. Rubies were highly prized throughout history, were considered to have magical powers and were worn by royalty as talismans against evil. Ancient tribes used them as bullets for blowguns. It was also said that that water would boil instantly if a ruby was tossed in. it was also believed, by Hindus, that the red glow comes from an internal flame that can’t be extinguished. Making a gift of this stone is symbolic of everlasting love. Ancient lore has it that if worn on the left hand, the Ruby will bring good fortune to it wearer.

As long as it was in the hands of its rightful owner, it was thought to grow darker when danger was near and return to its natural color once the danger was past. Legends say that Catherine of Argon wore a ruby which turned dark and dull the day before Henry VIII announced he was divorcing her. Henry V wore ‘The Black Prince Ruby’ in his helmet as he fought the French in 1415. It was discovered later that the gem was merely a spinel. (Which will be the topic of next week’s stone blog.) Engraved rubies were believed to attract wealth and enhance magical energies; dragon and snakes being the most popular subjects for engraving.

Chain Reaction Jewelry (Ruby Buddha)
Rubies were thought to be one of the most important gifts with which to honor Buddha and Krishna. Ancient traditions believed that this stone would protect people from violent storms. In the Middle Ages, it was viewed as a stone of prophecy. In the 13th century powdered rubies were prescribed to cure liver problems. In the 15th & 16th centuries it was believed to counteract poison. It was also thought to restore youth and vitality, when rubbed on the skin.

The red color of rubies symbolizes love and passion and was thought to represent heat and power. A stone of nobility, the energy of this stone is intense and vivid. They strengthen one both physically and emotionally. They are thought to bring love, confidence, loyalty, and courage. It is also believed that they impart stamina, vitality, and strength; but calm hyperactivity.

Rubies are rumored to remove blocked energy and re-energize a person. They reduce negative thought patterns and remove resentment. They can bring clarity and wisdom, and help to resist self-destructive patterns. They are believed to be motivative, to fire passions, and to shield against harm. They help in legal disputes and personal conflict; and guard against psychic and physical attacks. They are also thought to remove any sense of limitations; to strengthen courage, selflessness, spiritual endeavors, joy, and leadership qualities.

These stone are very protective of home, possessions, and children. Rubies are also associated with vitality and strong feelings. They are said to provide wealth, protection, power, and to guard against nightmares. These stones are believed to encourage a zest for life, to balance the heart, to promote good dreams, and to remove negative energy. Rubies are known to provide spiritual wisdom, knowledge, to encourage one to follow his/her dreams, and to help eliminate the ‘martyr’ syndrome for which Cancers are known. Legends say they will light the way though the darkest fears.

Raw Ruby Crystals

  • Traditional Birthstone- July
  • Zodiac stone- Aries, Cancer, Leo, Scorpio, Sagittarius
  • Planet- Mars, Sun
  • Element- Fire
  • Energy- Projective
  • Deities- Buddha, Krishna
  • Powers- Wealth, Protection, Joy, Anti-nightmare
  • Chakra- 1st Root, 4th Heart

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Zodiac - Cancer

Planet- Moon
Element- Water
Nature- Negative
Quality- Cardinal
Symbol- Crab
Colors- Silvers, grays, reds
Metal- silver
Gem- Pearl, Ruby, other
Body parts- Chest, Breast, Stomach
Lucky Numbers- 7 & 3
Lucky Day- Monday
Flowers- White Roses
Herbs- Tarragon, Verbena
Energy- Yin- Indirect action

Cancer is represented by the crab. According to ancient Greek legend, the crab was placed in the sky by the goddess Hera. Hera swore to kill Heracles, but each time she tried, his incredible strength allowed him to survive. Hera cast a spell of madness on him, causing him to kill his children. As penitence, he had to perform twelve tasks; one of which was destroying the nine-headed water-serpent, Hydra. While battling Hydra, Hera sent a crab to aid the serpent; but Heracles killed the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. Impressed by its loyalty and as a reward for its service, Hera placed the crab’s image in the night sky.

In ancient Egypt, the constellation of Cancer was represented by two turtles. Cancer is not a brilliant constellation, but at its heart is a star cluster, known as a ‘Beehive’ (a swarm of stars in a dance of activity). 

The crab is a nocturnal water creature with massive claws to defend itself. Crabs come in a variety of species and are found in most of the oceans of the world, as well as many inland waters. As sea scavengers, they help humans by keeping our waters clean.

Cancer as the 4th sign of the zodiac is ruled by the moon. Its glyph is often seen as signifying breasts, indicating the area of the body that is ruled by this sign. Colors that are most favored by crabs are all shining colors of the moon, especially silver. Cancer’s star stone is pearl, but there are many other stones associated with this sign.

The least clear cut of the signs, Cancers range from timid, dull, shy, and withdrawn, to the most brilliant and exciting. They are primarily conservative and home loving in nature. They need a secure base to which they can retire when a break is needed. Crabs come out of their shells to fight, but need a stable home base (shell). Women of this sign tend to have strong maternal instincts and have large families.

Crabs are often overly imaginative and prone to fantasy. They sometimes try to shape their lives to fit their romantic ideals. This sign appreciates art and literature, especially drama. They may also possess talents in these areas. Cancers have a retentive memory, particularly for emotionally laden events, which they can recall in detail for years after. They have a great talent for imitation; therefore they are able to truly identify with others. They are normally ambitious and dedicated supporters of causes. Crabs love comfort and good living; and are excellent organizers, with a great sense of value and economy.

This mysterious sign is filled with contradiction. They want security and comfort; yet seek new adventures. Crabs are helpful to others; though sometimes cranky and indifferent. Their driving, forceful nature can be hidden behind a calm, cool exterior; hence they are unpredictable. There is always something more than meets the eye. Crabs are always partially hidden behind their shells; they are deeply sensitive and easily hurt, which might be why they have defensive shells.

Being the nurturers that they are, they surround themselves with people. Complex and temperamental, they require constant support and encouragement; they need to be needed. When offended, they tend to sulk instead of confronting the party face to face. Crabs can be very possessive, not just with material things; but with people also.

It is easier for a Cancer to maintain a relationship than to learn to trust anew. These people have excellent memories, are very observant, and read people well. They rarely forget a hurt or slight against them; but they are giving and selfless. They need to be aware of falling into the role of ‘martyr’. They are friendly, loyal, devoted, affectionate, and very protective.

Outwardly they appear thick skinned, un-emotional, uncompromising, obstinately tenacious, purposeful, energetic, shrewd, intuitive, and wise. They can be sulky, devious, moody, tactless, and inclined toward self-pity. Those closest to them may see a different side; symphathic and generously sensitive to others, especially those they love.

Crabs are a mix of tough and soft, often emotional and romantic, to the point of sentimentality in the abstract; but in real life their loving is not so much sentimental as it is loyal. Even if they have an affair (males in particular are open to sensual stimulation), their first loyalty remains to their spouse and family; in their roles of self-appointed protectors.

Both the male and females of this sign love unconditionally; giving much and asking little in return. Crabs are usually easily influenced by those they love and admire; and are swayed by the emotion of the moment. They are loyal friends; but tend to be clannish, and believe that their clan or group is right (no matter what); often closing ranks against outsiders.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Stones of Gemini - Agate

Thunder Eggs
Agates are generally multi-colored and multi-layered. There are many different types of agate, in many different color combinations and they are found all over the world. Its properties and names are different according to its appearance and to the location in which it is found. The name agate is from a stone originally discovered on the ‘achate’ river (currently known as the Drillo River) in southwest Sicily. Agate is the state stone/mineral/gemstone for many US states. It is the official stone/rock for Kentucky, Arizona, Nebraska, and Florida. It’s the official gemstone for S. Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, and Nebraska. It’s also the official mineral of Louisiana and Tennessee.

German Agate Bowl
In ancient times agates were highly valued as talismans or amulets. They were believed to make one invisible, thus protecting the wearer from danger. Early Greeks wore them for protection from the sea. Early civilizations used eye beads to protect from evil and to bring good luck. Eye beads were created by carving a hole in an agate disc. In Medieval times the wearing of agate was said to bring God’s favor; and to make one agreeable and persuasive.  Legend says that wearing agate would give victory and strength to the wearer, and protect from all danger. A stone of strength, it was used by ancients on the breast plates of armor to give warriors strength and make them victorious in battle. It was also believed to quench thirst and protect from fever. Some of the earliest tools were made of agate. Farmers of old would use agate to ensure a good crop. It is said that Persian magicians used this stone to divert storms. Some legends claim that any person who looks upon agate can’t remain secretive and must tell the truth. Agate bowls were popular during the Byzantine Empire, and also favored by European royalty during the Renaissance era. A collection of 3,000 agate bowls was accumulated by Mithradadates, King of Pontus.

Ox Head Cup
The metaphysical properties of any specific agate depend, in some part, on the color; but all agates have certain things in common. These stones are believed to provide balance, courage, protection, healing, and to calm emotions. They enhance creativity and strengthen the intellect. Agates are known as a stone of strength and good luck. They are said to provide protection for children, especially against falls. These stones are thought to increase energy, give emotion strength, dispel fear, lessen envy by grounding emotions, ease anxiety and stress, remove and release resentments and bitterness, and help to improve relationships. They are also alleged to help discern truth, improve memory and concentration, increase stamina, bring prosperity, prevent insomnia, ensure pleasant dreams, and avert storms and lighting. Furthermore, agates are believed to enable one to choose between true friends and false ones, to remove curses, and to eliminate bad luck.

Agate Slices
  • Zodiac: Gemini, Virgo
  • Mystical Stone: September
  • Elemental Stone: Gemini
  • Element: depends on color
  • Planet:  Moon, Mercury
  • Chakras: depends on color
  • Deities: Mercury
  • Powers: Love, abundance, wealth, good luck, longevity, acceptance courage, strength, protection, balance, harmony, calming

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Celtic Astrology - Duir, Dobhran

The popular Celtic Tree Astrology is based on works by Helena Patterson, who in turned used Robert Graves’ work The White Goddess. Additional research has shown Graves’ system to be greatly debated by scholars. See The Fabrication of ‘Celtic’ Astrology, if you are interested in following the debate. That being said, I am sharing this information strictly for your amusement.

I apologize for the lateness of this blog. Due to the fact that we are moving, I lost track of time. If it’s not in a moving box I seem to lose track of what I need to get done. But I guess, better late than never. 

 June 9 - July 7

The Oak- The Stabilizer
Celtic Name: Duir
Animal: Otter [Dobhran], Wren [Dreoilin]
Celtic Symbol: The white horse or Golden wheel
Ruling Planet: Jupiter
Birthstone: Diamond
Celtic Season Name: Equos [horse time]
Summer Soltice [Alban Hefin]
Deities: Greek-Zeus, Celtic-Dagda
Compatibility: relationships with goose [9/30 - 10/27], & Seal [2/18 - 3/17] and relates well with salmon [8/5 - 9/1], adder [4/15/ - 5/12], and stag [12/24 - 1/20]

White Horse

There are two types of oak people: the new moon, those born the first two weeks; and the full moon, those born the last two weeks of this time period. New moon personalities have a tendency to take financial risks, but have strong powers of leadership. Full moon personalities are more flamboyant and can be somewhat glory seekers. They are creative and generous of spirit, with a strong sense of survival. Both types have an inherent sense of self-sacrifice for those they care for.

Oak people are self-assured, wise, optimistic, nurturing, generous, helpful, playful, and intuitive. Because they have a tendency to be protective of others and have a special gift of strength, they are considered crusaders and champions for the underdog. Oak personalities have a deep respect for history and ancestry, and often become teachers. They are determined, self-motivated, enthusiastic, and responsible. The people of this sign have a high degree of personal magnetism. They attract and inspire others, are usually calm during a crisis, and have a great deal of integrity; therefore, they are natural leaders. They are also deeply philosophical, generous to friends; but are prone to exaggeration and can become overbearing and sometimes pompous. Oaks are drawn to demanding professions and usually hold positions of power; but have an innate sense of fair play. They enjoy confrontation and make formidable enemies. They set standards in love that are difficult to obtain, and place great importance on moral issues.

Treaty Oak
The oak tree endures what others cannot. It remains strong through challenges; and is known for being almost immortal, as is often attested to by its long life and ability to survive fire, lightning strikes, and devastation. If you were born under this sign, you have the strength of character and purpose to endure it - no matter what your challenges. Direct your energies wisely, make sure your risks are well calculated, and you'll overcome whatever seemingly "impossible" quests are sent to you.

There seems to be some controversy about the animals that are associated with this time. Some resources claim otters are associated with time period; in others the wren. Otter personalities have a strong sense of family and are helpful to those in need. They are intuitive and creative. They also have a tendency to be very defensive when they feel they are being threatened. Otters are a free spirited people that love to roam as they gather information. Wrens are natural care givers, self-motivated, and work better solo. They remain calm during a crisis; have a high sense of responsibility and moral integrity. They are usually leaders at work or in the community; but secretly would rather travel and live freely.



Friday, June 8, 2012

Stones of Gemini - Moonstone

From Rishar Jewelry Collection
Moonstone, once referred to as the ‘traveler’s stone’ or ‘The Stone of New Beginnings’, is often called water opal, fish-eye, and wolf’s eye. In India it is a sacred stone called Candra Kantra, which can only be displayed on yellow cloth. This stone is often used as a stand-in for pearls.

Vintage Carved Moonstone Necklace
Moonstones are said to be an alternative and mystical birthstone for the month of June; and are associated with the astrological signs of Cancer, Libra, and Scorpio. The Romans believed that Moonstones were formed by the light of the moon. In Arabic cultures, these stone are considered a sign of fertility. Legends also say that they ensure an abundant crop; and, in some Eastern cultures moonstones, are favored for love. It was believed that wearing or carrying one would bring new love to their lives.

Linked with water signs, Moonstone is a stone of comfort and the Goddess. Since is it is associated with lunar energy, it is a great stone for women. Long considered to have an inherent connection to the moon and Goddess energy [or feminine energy], moonstones were used during the waxing of the moon for love charms and during the waning for prophesies. It is thought that moonlight from the full moon gives this gemstone magical power.

Archangel Gabriel, Angel of the moon, who brings man hope, is said to be associated with this stone. He is the spirit of truth and the Prince of Justice. He is the purveyor of psychic gifts, intuition, and receptivity. Gabriel is the patron of communications and postal workers; and his symbols are lilies and trumpets. His colors are believed to be silver, white, and blue.

One of the most famous moonstones is located in the Abayagiri Monastery (Sri Lanka) on the main flight of stairs, in Anuradhapura, now commonly known as Biso Maligaya, or the Queen’s Palace. This moonstone is believed to be from the 7-8th centuries, and is considered one of the most well preserved moonstones of this era.

The metaphysical properties of this stone are thought to be reflective, calming, and protective. Moonstones are believed to bring good fortune, balance and harmony, psychic perception, and to strengthen intuition. They are said to allow one to see the future, and sooth stress and anxiety. These stones are alleged to assist one in sustaining and understanding the destiny one has chosen. Their energy is balancing, introspective, reflective, nurturing, and lunar.

Moonstone & Labradorite Ear Sweeps
Moonstones are thought to enhance perception, creativity, compassion, endurance, and passion. They are also believed to stimulate inner confidence, composure, growth, and strength. These stones are also assumed to ease stress in both males and females; they have a balancing effect, especially on emotions of love and intuition. Moonstones are considered to be especially protective of children and women; and even more powerful while traveling by sea or at night. They are said to also, have the power to reconcile arguing lovers and family members; and to help in child birth and pregnancy, especially when given as a gift.

Colors: cream, yellow, blue, gray, peach/pink [NOTE: Rainbow Moonstones are a type of Labradorite]

  • Zodiac: Cancer, Libra, Scorpio
  • Mystical Stone: Gemini
  • Energy: Receptive
  • Element: Water
  • Planet: Moon
  • Day: Friday
  • Direction: West
  • Metal: Silver
  • Chakras: 2nd Sacral, 6th Third Eye
  • Deities: Diana, Selene, Isis, all lunar goddesses
  • Powers: Love, divination, sleep, gardening, protection, youth, dieting, happiness, good fortune, nurturing, mothering, unselfishness, hope, wishes, easy child-birth, safe travel, abundance, ancient wisdom.

Blessings, Liz

Sources: http://www.amazinglanka.com/anuradhapura/pancavasa/pancavasa.php

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Weekly Treasury Report - June 7, 2012

I've got a couple of beautiful treasuries to share this week. Please take a moment and visit the lovely collections created by these talented curators.

Nancy Drew, of Yarn Pumpkin Designs, created Feathers and Wings, which includes our Pink Feather Earrings.

It was my great pleasure to find many amazing creations for our own treasury, All Things Bright and Beautiful.

I hope you enjoy browsing through these collections.

Sóbhrag (Theresa)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Featured Artist - Allurynn of Creations by Moonlight

Allurynn lives in Southwest Colorado with her husband and soul mate, their wonderful children, and their beloved fur children on their Alpaca Ranch. She’s been surrounded for 21 years by all the beauty that Colorado has to offer. Crafting with her hands has been a passion of hers for many years, as well as working with a variety of mediums, all of which is inspired by nature’s beauty. She has been on her magickal Goddess journey for many years now; following the rhythms and cycles of the Moon and our Mother Earth. Nature not only inspires her, but it also feeds her soul, like the creation of her art does. Creations by Moonlight was created 8 years ago, a place where she can share her passion and love of handcrafted items to inspire, honor and adorn the Goddess in every woman, be it through her jewelry or unique treasures. Her art is a reflection of her own spirituality and vision. Each piece of art is handcrafted and designed by the flow of energy at the moment of creation, inspired by nature’s beauty and enhanced by the colorful mountains and landscapes of Colorado. She allows her inner Goddess to reflect love and joy through her paintings and paper art and through her jewelry she allows the Goddess within to honor the Goddess in every woman. As a result of this unique blend and the nature of wire wrapping, no two designs are exactly alike. Making one of-a-kind pieces of art allows for uniqueness and individuality. It gives her great joy to offer these magickal creations of art, which she believes has a voice of their own, each humming their own beautiful tune…just listen and enjoy!
You can find Creations by Moonlight on:
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Friday, June 1, 2012

Stones of Gemini - Pearl

The word pearl comes from the French word ‘perle’, which was originally from the Latin word ‘perma’, meaning leg, named for the ham or mutton leg shaped bi-halves that produce pearls. A pearl is produced when an irritating microscopic object becomes trapped in a shelled mollusk’s mantle folds; any shelled mollusk can create a pearl. Nacreous pearls are the most commercially significant pearls and are primarily produced by two groups of molluscan bi-halves or clams. A nacreous pearl is made from layers of nacre, by the same living process as is used in the secretion of mother of pearl which lines the shell. The species that produce pearls that are considered gemstones include the bailer shell Melo, the giant clam, various scallop species, pen shells Pinna, and the Haliot (an iris species of abalone).

Elizabeth Taylor Pearl Necklace
The pearl of Lao Tzu is the largest known pearl weighing 14lb. It was discovered in the Philippines inside a giant clam in 1934. One of the largest pearl producing oysters is the Pinctade Maxina and is about the size of a hubcap. The La Peregrina (the Pilgrim) is one of the most famous pearls and was found in the Americas. It is a pear-shaped pearl weighing 50.6 carats, about the size of a pigeon egg. Its owners have included Phillip II of Spain, Mary Tudor of England, and Napoleon III. Its last owner is believed to be Elizabeth Taylor; it was given to her by Richard Burton.

Historically pearls were used in cosmetics and medicinally. For centuries people relied on Pearl Powder made from low-grade pearls to give their skin a pale, pearlescent glow. Though still used today, any therapeutic value derived from pearls, stems from their chemical makeup. Pearls are primarily made of Calcium and some 20 amino acids. Research however, indicates that only a small amount of the calcium in pearls can be absorbed by the body.

Pearl of Lao Tzu
Pearls are revered in many different religious beliefs. In the Old Testament pearl is believed to represent one of the 12 tribes; but there is a wide range of views as to which one.  In the Christian New Testament parable, Jesus compares the Kingdom of Heaven to a ‘pearl of great price’ [Matt. 13:45-46]. The 12 gates of New Jerusalem are reportedly made of a single pearl [Rev 21:21], in reference to the pearly gates. The Islamic scriptures of the Qur’an often mention that dwellers in paradise will be adorned with pearls [22:23], [35:33], [52:24]. Hindu tradition describes the Sacred Nine Pearls in the Garuda Purang, one of the books of Hindu mythology. Pagan traditions claim that pearls help one to connect to the Goddess, the ultimate feminine energy. Ancient Greeks believed them to be tears from the Gods.

Ancient Susa Pearl Necklace
Throughout history, pearls were valued in many different cultures. Early Chinese culture said that when dragons fought pearls fell from the sky. According to legend, Cleopatra dissolved a pearl in wine and drank it to prove her love for Marc Antony.  Marco Polo claimed the King of Malabar wore a necklace of 104 rubies and pearls, which was passed from one generation to the next. A pearl necklace worn four thousand years ago by the Persian queen Achaemenid can still be admired today.

Pearls are the official birthstone for the month of June; and are also the zodiac stone for the signs of Gemini and Cancer. These Moon and Water ruled ‘gems’ are historically symbolic of purity, innocence, and faith. They are believed to enhance personal integrity and to help clear the mind so that it can be a channel for wisdom and spiritual guidance. They are, also, said to bring centering and a calming reflection, as well as attuning the wearer to the ebb and flow of life.  Pearls are also thought to be quite balancing for emotions, especially to water signs. There are also those that claim pearls can bring inner wisdom and help to strengthen and nurture the growth of love. They are believed to offer the power of love, money, protection, luck, and to lessen stress. Due to the fact that pearls are believed to absorb the negative energy of the wearer, they must be cleansed often to recharge.

  • Zodiac: Gemini, Cancer
  • Planet: Moon
  • Element: Water
  • Energy: Receptive
  • Chakra: 3rd
  • Deities: Isis, Aphrodite, Freya, Venus, Lakshmi, Diana, Neptune, Poseidon, and all oceanic deities, though the pearl is more specifically goddess-oriented.
  • Properties: Purity, honesty, innocence, integrity, concentration, focus, tranquility, wisdom