Thursday, May 27, 2010

Emerald the May Birthstone

This is the beginning of a series on birth stones, I hope you enjoy the series and will leave comments if you want info on other stones.

Spring is a time of new growth and rebirth.  And the intense brilliant green of
the Emerald, May’s birthstone, is as refreshing to the eyes as a spring garden after a rain.  Within it’s depths are often tiny fractures or inclusions, which the French call "jardin," or garden, because of their resemblance to foliage.
The Egyptians were known to engrave Emeralds with the symbol for foliage to represent eternal youth, and to bury these jewels with their dead.  The ancient Romans associated this gemstone with fertility and rebirth, and dedicated it to enus, the goddess of love and beauty.

The Ancient Egyptians mined Emeralds in the eastern desert region 2,000 years before Cleopatra’s birth, braving extreme heat, scorpions and snakes to search for the beautiful crystals.  During Cleopatra’s reign, she claimed the Emerald mines as her own, as this was her favorite gem.  She often wore lavish Emerald jewelry, and it is said that she bestowed visiting dignitaries with large
Emeralds carved with her likeness when they departed Egypt.   

The Emerald is a member of the beryl family of minerals.  The green crystals grow slowly within metamorphic rocks and are restricted in size by the rock, making large Emeralds rare and costly.  Although this gemstone is relatively hard and durable, it must be protected from blows because the inclusions found within make it susceptible to breaking. 

Some people believe that wearing an Emerald brings wisdom, growth, and patience. And as any couple in a long-term relationship would agree, all of these qualities are essential for a successful and lasting love.  This may explain why a gift of Emerald for an anniversary -- or anytime -- is considered symbolic of love and fidelity.

The Muzo mine in Colombia is the source of the most prized Emerald specimens. Other sources of Emeralds are Brazil, Zimbabwe, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Madagascar, Nigeria, and Russia. 

Now that you know a little about Emeralds your appreciation of them may bloom like the flowers of spring.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Team Tuesday featuring Crafty Katie

Crafty Katie is a multi-talented artist and is my featured team member this week. Her Etsy store is CraftyKatie6. Her store features really cute Robot characters, there are some  personalities you will recognize.

Shown at the left is Rosie Robot, one of the great characters that Katie has created.

Katie also has sewing craft classes for kids. Her website is Sewing Crafts for Kids and is a member of the SOMA Artist Guild.

Check out her store and website.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Spring-Summer Craft Fair Schedule

Summer 2010 is shaping up to be a very busy time for craft fairs and festivals. I hope you will stop by my Designs By Denise booth and let me know that you follow my blog. If you do I will give you a 10% discount on any one item. Here is my schedule so far.

May 15th - Englishtown Street Fair
Main Street, Englishtown
Starts at Noon and ends at 5:00 PM

May 16 - Mayfest
Springfield Ave, Maplewood
Starts at 11:00 AM and ends at 5:00 PM

June 12 - Celebrate South Orange
Sloan Street, South Orange - Craft tables will be in front of the train station
Starts 2:00 PM and ends 6:00 PM

July 10 and 11 - Maplewood Stock
Memorial Park, Maplewood
Starts at Noon, craft shopping ends at 7:00 PM, the festival continues to 9:00 PM

Come out and have some summer fun!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Team Tuesday is here again!

This week my featured team member is Bluepie Originals. At Bluepie you will find an assortment of unique,sometimes one-of-a-kind handcrafted bags and accessories. I featured Bluepie this week for 2 reasons: One, Deb has really cute things in her store, and two, she lives in my hometown and I have to promote local. What's more local than the town I grew up in?!

Here is her Etsy Mini: