Saturday, October 31, 2009

Make Your Own Day of the Dead Altar

Hi Friends and Followers,
To read about how to make your own Day of the Dead Altar, please follow this link.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Jewelry Trends For Fall and Winter

A little bit steampunk, a little bit 1960's modern.  Beautiful hardware silver earrings aren't heavy to wear.

Beautiful, autumnal moss greens, copper and feminine pink.

Stunning sky blue turquoise makes a statement that you're beautiful, strong and in tune with the natural world.

Hardware Edge: Heartspace's Glass and Chrome earrings

A statement necklace: choose stones and colors that enchant you.  
(Emily wearing Heartspace's Autumn Fire Agate Necklace.)

I've been Googling the trends for Fall and Winter 2009 and then thinking about which of Heartspace's offerings fit the bill.  I'm happy to say that the natural look of semi-precious stones in the rough is ever-popular this fall.  Look for what they call a "statement necklace," that is, some piece of jewelry that makes a statement about your personality and style. 

Try combining color trends with the healing qualities Gem Lore celebrates: luscious red garnets for steadfast love, sky-blue turquoise for protection and power, rainbow moonstone for feminine intuition, and yellow citrine for positivity and prosperity.

I am seeing a lot of steam-punk: that is watches and gears, etc. in jewelry.  There's a lot of this available on Etsy, but what is top fashion is a bit more refined.  Heartspace offers a couple of affordable, hardware earrings with silver findings that look like metal parts.  Very chic and handsome: not at all heavy, either.

Coral is big.  I fell in love with it last year, but learned to be careful to purchase fine coral that isn't illegally harvested, or even worse dyed red, only to come off on your neck!  I have yet to find any coral this fall that is affordable and not dyed or "fishy" in origin.  When I find quality affordable stones and shells, I will pass the savings onto you. 

The bohemian look just won't die; I think because it's so fun to wear Gypsy jewelry.  For just a few bucks, you can layer on a necklace or two, and try out some of Heartspace's beautiful earrings, that are guaranteed to flatter your face.  

I make test samples of all Heartspace earrings, wearing a pair for a full day to make sure they are comfortable.  None of my designs are heavy or scratchy to wear.  I promise!

Jewelry is a very affordable way to update one's wardrobe without breaking the bank.  May I suggest you don't scrimp with ho-hum jewelry that doesn't glow with color or interest. If in doubt, go without, until you find what really sings to you. 

Thursday, October 1, 2009

El Día de los Muertos: The Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead Necklace available at Heartspace store

In Mexico and other Latin American countries colonizing Spaniards combined their Catholicism with the traditional religious practices of the indigenous peoples.  The Day of the Dead is such a synergism: a combination of the Catholic holiday of All Saints Day and All Souls Day with the cult of the dead, dating back to Aztec and Mayan traditions.  

Many cultures believe that as autumnal days approach, the veil between the worlds of the living and dead grows very thin.  The Latin American indigenous peoples prepare for the celebration beginning in early October, when the bakeries start selling calaveras de azucar (sugar skulls) and pan de muerto (bread of the dead) which will be used to decorate the altars in honor of long-gone ancestors and recently deceased family members.  

Furnishings are moved to make room for elaborate altars (ofrendas) within family homes. Arches decorated with garlands of marigold flowers stand at the head of the altars and papel picado: intricately cut banners of tissue paper are hung about the space dedicated to them. Framed photos of the deceased, as well as their favorite foods, objects such as cigarettes, military medals or jewelry that once belonged to them are favorite offerings.  Everything is planned to celebrate the lives of those who have died, as well as to entice their spirits into the home to celebrate with the living. It is traditional in preparation for the Day of the Dead to clean and decorate the grave sites as well.  

On the eve of All Saints Day, Mexican families meet for a candlelight vigil in the cemetery. Although there is prayer and reflection, there may be music, singing and a picnic at the grave, the family strewing marigold petals to guide the spirit of the loved one to the altar at home. 

On November second, the family will eat the food from the altar and proceed to the cemetery one last time, again strewing the marigold petals to lead the spirit back to the grave site before the veil between the two worlds closes and the spirits are stranded in the world of the living.