I am a HUGE stone collector. Just can not pass when I see a beautiful stone! I cant's resist; the call of beauty is stronger then me! :-) So, over the years of my jewelry career I accomulated a huge collection of gemstones. Recently I went through my stash and decided to put some for sale. I opened a new shop on Etsy - CabochonCrush, and listed a few stones. It was a success from the start! I decided to continue with the shop, and now placing larger wholesale orders to accommodate my cab shop along with my jewelry creations. You can see the stone collection at https://www.etsy.com/shop/CabochonCrush
This was our second trip to England together, and our first exploring the Lake District in the northwest of the country. As much as we tried, photos cannot truly capture the beauty and spirit of this part of the world. Every day we spent in this enchanted land brought joy, gratitude, and serenity. We desperately needed this break, as we are both so busy with our hectic schedules at school and at home. If you have never been, I do hope that you will be able to see this incredibly beautiful area of the world someday.
We were blessed with amazing weather during our stay. Although this area of England is notorious for foul rainy days, nature spared us from the gray and wet, instead showering us with sunshine, mostly blue skies, and fields of green pastures, sheep, and stacked stone walls slithering across the landscape. We love to walk, and this was a walker's paradise. From our home base in lovely Grasmere, there were dozens of trails to choose from, each offering a unique view of the valley and the fells, some paths steeper than others, but all lush and green. One of our favorite was to Easedale Tarn. After a 90 minute walk up a stone path surrounded by ferns and brooks, we arrived at what looked like a small lake. A mist hovered over the water and seagulls, ducks, and other colorful birds dotted the surrounding land that sloped away from the water. It was real treat to sit on a rock and contemplate all the beauty around us.
Many times I was reminded of the opening scene of The Fellowship of the Ring, when Gandalf visits the hobbits in their quaint country village. The rolling hills of verdant life and the harmony of man and nature - this is what we felt, and this is what I yearn for even now as I write this. It is easy to see why William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter were so enchanted by the Lake District. Each stone wall, grazing sheep, grassy field, and flying lark conjures up inspiration and beauty, material worthy of great poetry and literature.
How lucky I feel that I aspire to create beauty from the natural world. My stones and the pieces that I make from them are a connection to this Earth.
My husband Kevin and I just returned form a short road trip. We spent a week in Oregon and Washington state exploring Portland, Seattle and some small towns in between. Even though I live in a beautiful place (Monterey Peninsula, CA) I was so amazed with the natural raw beauty of these two states, especially Oregon! Lush and green, it was gorgeous! I can only imaging how beautiful it is in the spring there! We had some amazing walks in a foggy and wet Forest Park, and visiting the Bridge of the Gods was a real highlight of the trip! So inspiring!
It is always great fun to go to a gem show! I get to spend a whole day hand picking beautiful stones for future projects - what can be more fun than that? This time I am especially excited because along with my favorite natural holly blue chalcedony, peach and grey moonstone, rutilated quartz, Mexican fire opals and colorful sapphires, I was able to find goregous slices of amethyst sage and a few stunning pieces of dendritic quartz! I was hunting for amethyst sage for a while now, and it is a totally new stone to my collection, so I am very excited! Also some new faceted garnets, lapis and sparkly druzies. Watch for the new updates in my Etsy shop - lovely new pieces are coming soon! https://www.etsy.com/shop/ForestBook
Ocean jasper has become one of my favorite stones to work with. As part of the quartz family this mineral is found only in one place - off the northwest coast of Madagascar, and it is mined by hand and at low tide only! This stone has such a pack of personality - each piece is dressing itself in its own unique style of colors and whimsical patterns. The colors are all over the place too; you’ll find red (caused by Hematite), light yellow or gray (caused by clay), brown or deep yellow (caused by Goethite), pink, peach, green, white, and black!
Here is a quote from a Lapidary Journal on this amazing stone:
"This new rock has been found along the northwest coast of Madagascar after years of unsuccessful searching. The deposit formed as a rhyolite flow but has been completely silicified. The rhyolitic eyes or orbs come in an astonishing array of colors and color combinations. The background can be white, pink, green, red, or yellow. Botryoidal formations as well as white and deep green druzy are also common.
Small pieces of this jasper have been brought to market over the years but no one could identify the source until Paul Obenich organized a systematic search of the northwest coast of Madagascar. The deposit has been discovered at the edge of the ocean. It can only be seen and collected at low tide. The area has no road so the material must be transported to civilization by boat. This wonderful new lapidary material is available from The Gem Shop, Inc. through Madagascar Minerals [Sogema-Madagascar Minerals]." - Lapidary Journal, Volume 54 Number 2, May 2000, Page 33
This stone has also become a favorite for many mineral collectors. I can see why! One can get easily lost in a maze of colors and and patterns. Some of them don't even seem to be real or natural - they look like abstract paintings or cosmic scenery! I am totally and forever taken by this mineral and try to incorporate it in my jewelry pieces as much as I can! :-)