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Pure and Simple

Win Some Sparkle!

harmony winters

 I'm doing a giveaway! This is my first giveaway/sale thingy, so I plan on keeping it simple. 

who: everyone who signs up for my newsletter ( Don't worry I only send 2 or three out a year ;)        ☆☆ bonus - your email will stay in play, so you have a chance to win each month ☆☆

what: a new piece of jewelry each month will be gifted

when : I'll announce the winner on the first of each month and you'll be notified by email.

whyI want to stay in touch without stings or hassle and this is just sparkley fun!!   

how : I'll email you to let you know you won! You'll send me your mailing address and desired color/size etc then you'll get your jewels within a week!

where : sign up here 

 

moonstone ☾

Harmony Winters-Jusseaume

Spring is here and it's time to get moving at lighting speed in the studio. For some reason I've become fixated on re-doing my website right now. yikes, my timing couldn't be worse!  I'm making lots of new work and plenty of the old favorites. Check back again, I hope to keep up with this blog-a-roo a little better this year :)

 

a little bright and shiny

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While I'm still editing the wedding jewelry photos I'd intended to share last month, here's a little splash of color to welcome summer.

 I'm working on getting these glass button earrings ⤵   ready to be a happy little wholesale item. (sold in galleries)

 They look so simple but a lot goes into getting one little product ready for the world. Days and sometimes years of trial and error, research and development go into the making each little piece of jewelry, whether it's a simple earring or a complicated necklace.  These are getting close to finalization...just a few adjustments such as streamlining colors, sizes, metal etc. and they'll be 'done' and I can move onto the next project.

One of the many fun parts of working with glass is choosing colors. Here's a sample from one of the manufacturers, many of which are small companies hand pulling the color rods.  Too many choices = paralyzing.  Then throw in the names like Elphaba, Slytherin, Grumpy Bear, Heffalump and I want them all!

it's wedding jewelry time!

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 For the past few weeks I've been hammering away until late at night working on 6 sets of bridesmaids jewelry and one for the bride. It's been so much fun customizing each set.
Each girl will receive a set of 3 hammered silver bangles with a mix of aquamarine, emerald, amethyst and blue sapphire gemstones and a hand cut star or flower.
The bride is getting a mix of pearl, aquamarine (faceted and cabochon) and white sapphire.
They're also getting earrings to match...hammered silver hoops and moss aquamarine stones.
 The best part is I'm one of the bridesmaids so I get to be there for the gift giving moment at the beach wedding in Puerto Rico!




green smoothie recipe

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Ryder came up with this a few months ago. He wanted to make a green drink, so he pulled 

all

 of the green fruit and veggies out of the refrigerator. (I put the zucchini back :)

1 pear

1 kiwi

1 avocado

1 small bunch of kale

1 tbs wheatgrass powdered or fresh

1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger

2 cups sugar free apple juice 

blend for a few minutes

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growing wheat grass

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Ah, wheat grass. I love it for the health benefits and am now happy to discover how easy and fun and it is to grow! 
 I've been drinking powdered wheat grass for a few years and didn't know much more than it has alkaline, detoxifying and regenerative properties. Simply, it makes me feel amazing, soothes my acidic stomach, energizes me and reduces recovery time after climbing or surfing. It doesn't make much sense to buy it regularly if I can grow it myself and I'm all over anything to bring the source of what I consume closer to home. While researching how to grow it I also want to know exactly why it makes me feel so good and why I'm bothering to take the time to do this. Time is valuable around here!  Unfortunately it's difficult to find unbiased information on this topic with so many sites selling something, some leaning heavily in the benefits direction while their opponents feel strongly against it. So the search for information continues... meanwhile I'm following my intuition and greening it up!

   Regardless of the details it's fun to grow. So juice it, feed it to your cats, do a science project with the kiddo's, or just to add a little green sparkle to your house during the dark winter months.  

How to grow wheat grass...


You will need:

-1 pound of hard red wheat berries (found in the bulk bin in the grocery store or see resources below)
-2 planting trays about 2 inches deep. 1 with holes and one without. If you can find one with small drainage holes, that's best. Trays with large drainage holes should be lined with a sheet of newspaper before adding soil.
-1 bag of soil (organic if you'll be juicing) 
-sand (if you are growing without drainage)
-plastic bag or another planting tray to create a dark environment while sprouting
-watering can or kitchen sink sprayer 

Now the fun stuff...

-rinse and soak the seeds for 8-12 hours. rinse again

-spread about 2 inches of soil in your tray. (lay about an inch of sand down first if you have no drainage)

-sprinkle about 1/2 inch of seeds over the soil (too many and they will get moldy) spraying with a mixture of baking soda and kelp extract can prevent mold as will constant airflow.

 -water well

 -cover and keep moist-  I used a recycled plastic bag but another growing flat works great too. water twice a day.

-in about two days you'll see the roots begin to grow and little green shoots. it's time to uncover and give them a little sun!  water about twice a day.

-if you are growing to juice (you need a juicer specific for wheatgrass) cut about 3/4 of it's length when it's about 8-10 inches tall or right before it parts (grows two shoots) juice away and enjoy!

soaking
loving...

sand in the house was too irresistible


our setup

yup...there were seeds everywhere



Ryder was in charge of his own jar. It was great watching how excited he was to water it every morning and evening. He did drown the first batch, but has been very careful with the second. 
It's fun watching the roots extend down into the soil through the glass jars and a great way to teach about plant science.


Day four
It grows about an inch a day!









books  (please consider your local bookstore or library first...keep it local :)


Wheatgrass Nature's Finest Medicine by Steve Meyerowitz


The Wheatgrass Book by Ann Wigmore


web - 
http://sproutpeople.org/


http://wheatgrassgrower.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-wheatgrass.html


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatgrass

Gratitude

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“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace and gratitude.” — Denis Waitley

little sprout

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My favorite part of being a jeweler is getting custom orders.  There's something special that goes into a piece when I know exactly who it's for and what it means to the customer. 

The process of creating this necklace was filled with so much joy, love and excitement...from original idea to the message thanking me when the gift was given.  The story began when a friend was looking through the tangled mess of my jewelry after my holiday shows - in the trunk of my car (that sometimes happens around the holidays) 
He wanted something special for his wife's birthday to celebrate their beautiful little boy, Sunny.  The front has the actual impression of his wee little fingerprint, in the back I set his birthstone, a fair trade fire citrine. Attached are the parents birthstones. The best part was showing the finished piece, knowing his wife is going to cherish it like I do mine...of course I had to make one for myself and haven't taken it off since. 

Another added bit of goodness was trading.  Even better than buying local, handmade, organic, used etc. is trading for those things.  It's so easy to buy something when we need it, it's how we were raised... in a throw away disposable era. It still surrounds us, there are plastic sippy cups call 'take & toss' what???
When we open up to the idea of simply doing without, or finding a better source we can become more ethically concious consumers.  A good place to start is by asking yourself  'where did this come from?' then...'is there a better source?' 
 Alright...getting sidetracked, so I'm always on the lookout for ways I can barter and this worked out perfectly since I was looking for a wheatgrass juicer and he had one to get rid of.  Sweet! 

I'm excited to work on this as a little side element of my business and am grateful to have friends that are happy to be my testers as I work through new ideas.

I've been thinking a lot lately how I can give and do good with my jewelry, more than donating a portion of my proceeds to a great cause, but something more direct.  Before owning my jewelry business I worked with brain injured and mentally challenged adults for ten years, though grossly underpaid and overworked I enjoyed parts of it immensely.  Nothing can replace the feeling of giving or helping selflessly.  There's that euphoric feeling when you know you've contributed to someone's well being, even just a minute of it.  Those moments hint at something greater than the trivialities that we allow to engulf us.

I'd like that personal connection to be intrinsic to the nature of what I create.  I feel so lucky that projects like these cross my path and inspire ways to bring that into my work....

I have some ideas cooking, so look for good things to come :)  


Discovering Sattva

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Something green - food wallpaper                                                                              
The more I learn about health and well-being the more I'm in awe of how amazing and complex our bodies are. The ability to maintain homeostasis, or a stable environment including temperature, pH, energy, pressure and volume makes me so grateful for my good health. The danger is that all these wonderful things are happening quietly, without requiring us to be active participants. We can 'survive' on processed food, lead a sedentary lifestyle, and fill our mental space with stress while our systems compensate quietly.  It's only when something forces us to think about it that we take action, whether it's illness or inspiration.

It wasn't until I was preparing for pregnancy that I became fascinated with the effects that food and stress had on me. As I learned about the benefits that certain foods have on fetal brain development, the chemical conversations between mother and child and the importance of maintaining proper pH levels in the blood that I realized I'd been living on primarily an acidic diet. yikes! The amount of energy it took to process the dairy, grain and meat that made up most of what I ate left no energy for repairing damage or living a vital life.


When our pH level is off our blood cannot absorb enough oxygen and a plethora of ailments ensue.  Fatigue, weight gain, poor digestion, and sickness (cancer, diabetes, heart disease, arthritis) have all sadly become commonplace in our society mainly because of the products that now pass as food.  Creating an internal acidic environment forces the body to take minerals such as calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium from our organs and bones to neutralize the acid and remove it. Our systems are constantly fighting to regain the balance we've thrown off.  


                 alkaline foods                                                                    acidic foods
 citric fruits, almonds, coconut, avocado,                          meat, eggs, fish, milk, sugar, corn, rice
 green leafy vegetables, buckwheat, quinoa                      fried and refined food, cheese, beer & wine



Sandywoods Farm community garden
This also translates to our spiritual well being. Stress, like an acidic diet, is a toxic element that strains our physiological systems creating another list of ailments.  Our intuition will lead us to choose foods and a lifestyle that not only nourish our body, but our minds as well. The more you listen to that inner voice the stronger it gets. Be patient with yourself while you find a balance that feels right, without judgement.  


Through some inspiring friends and research I found the Sattvic diet, also referred to as a yoga or sentient diet. It is a way of eating to benefit both the mind and body. Simple, pure clean foods. I love it!


According to Hindu philosophy there are three types gunas, (think of them like types of energy) that are inherent in all food and objects. 

Sattva is defined as calmness, energy, purity, clarity, creativity
Raja is defined as energy, change, creation, action, generation
Tamas is defined as destruction, lethargy, death, darkness, inactivity


"If the food contains sattvic energy-then the body becomes more sattvic by eating it. It is very obvious that what we eat not only affects how we look physically, but also how we feel energetically and how clear and creative our mental energy is also. Some foods support and enliven our life-force energy, whilst other foods inhibit and undermine them." ~ Vidya Heisel

Here's a basic guide to eating a Sattvic diet from My Yoga Kitchen                                                                                                   

SATTVIC FOOD - EAT MOST

sattvic
Sattvic Foods are foods that should be eaten the most and that are very easily digestible. These foods nourish the body, purify the mind and heal the imbalance in the body by generating good health, energy, vitality, vigor, mental alertness, peace and strength. These include foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as vegetables, fruits, herbs; essential dietary fiber and carbohydrates required by the body include whole and unrefined grains; protein rich foods such as legumes, nuts, seeds, dairy; natural sweeteners such as honey and raw sugar, therapeutic spices in small quantities, oil and ghee (Indian clarified butter) in small quantities for the required fat in the body.

RAJASIC FOODS - EAT MODERATELY

rajasic
Rajasic Foods are foods that should be eaten moderately or occasionaly and are foods that are not as easily digestible like Sattvic foods. Although, these foods create restlessness and provide extra-stimulation, it is sometimes required when the body needs higher amounts of energy or during the fall and winter seasons. They include very spicy, hot, salty, bitter, sour, pungent, and gaseous foods such as chickpea, toor lentil, white urad lentil, black and green gram, soy bean, hot spices such as red chili powder and black pepper, stimulants such as onion, garlic, tea, coffee, chocolate and wine.

TAMASIC FOODS - EAT LEAST

Tamasic Foods are foods that should be eaten the least and are foods that are difficult to digest. These foods require a lot more energy to digest and are known to be the least beneficial to the mind and the body. Tamasic foods can enhance dullness, lethargy, depression the body feel heavy, generating the least amount of energy. When eaten too often or in excess they could destroy the body’s resistance to disease. They include meat, fish, eggs, intoxicants, alcohol, and foods that are processed, chemically altered, artificially flavored, food kept for over 24 hours, reheated and deep-fried foods.




Here are some resources if you'd like more information. I'm just beginning to learn about this and welcome all of your thoughts, recipes , book suggestions etc...
  
information- 
http://www.worldyoganetwork.com/articles/yoga-diet
http://amwellness.org/articles/vegetarianism/
http://tiffanyvidal.blogspot.com/2011/12/seeking-sattva.html
http://thealkalinefoods.com/


recipes-
http://shanghaimonkey.blogspot.com/p/recipes.html
http://tiffanyvidal.blogspot.com/search/label/Recipes
http://www.sattvicfood.com/
http://www.myyogakitchen.com/




balasana

harmony winters

The cold has finally settled into the bones of our house, the garlic has stopped sprouting and my son's toy trucks are frozen at awkward angles in the sandbox. It comforts me a little, knowing that I can't do much outside...the quietness opens up more space.
It's time to look inward, refocus and set intentions for the coming year.


This past year saw me bounce between frazzled and elated while juggling the daunting task of re-launching my jewelry business, a three year old, odd jobs and a time draining 'intentional' community. It feels good to sit down with a cup of ginger tea and plan the year ahead while reflecting on the past. Like child's pose (or balasana) while practicing yoga...my forehead on the mat, breath flowing in and out, focusing on what is truly important. 


So, January has been full of dinosaur stories, sticky glue, hide and seek...simply being present.
In between those precious moments there was a whole lot of organizing and cleaning my studio (sometimes during hide and seek), photographing jewelry, applying for craft shows, and ordering supplies for new work. 


Looking ahead, February will be a time to nourish. Cleansing my mind and body with much needed studio and yoga time, maybe even a little trip up north with the wee one. I need to balance all of that organizing with some creativity and peace :)




here's a peek at what's inspiring me right now...


from left...
clear bubbly glass from the first series of dawn patrol jewelry.
earrings backed in copper are part of the second series.
last, this pale green glass ball comes from the glassblowing studio i'm working out of in pawtucket, ri. they melt a different type of glass called cullet. i'm so very excited to test these out!

✧✧✧







this place...

 a surf and yoga retreat in Morocco. I've dreamed of a surf trip to Morocco for over ten years, filled with a rugged coastline serving up endless magical waves, rich culture and exotic food.  i think it's time to start planning.




✧✧✧



                                                                                                                 




ocean inspired blueish greenish grey that I painted my living room. a friend gave me about 10 gallons of paint, so in an effort to not waste it or spend money ryder and i spent a week of messy mixing to get the perfect color.
there is an ocean smell this color reminds me of. sometimes when surfing i smell it,  like the wind has been blowing over the ocean, untouched for thousands of miles. ...pure, fresh and sweet. 

✧✧✧


    moss aquamarine gemstones on my wish list, but i can't find them fair trade which may pose a dilemma...

✧✧✧



i love this delicate, whispy, watery necklace by pippa small, a jeweler who has a strong commitment to creating ethical jewelry http://us.pippasmallshop.com/ethical-trade




✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩✩

salty love

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After an amazing holiday season i'm starting to dream of warm water and thundering waves. I walk by my thick 6mm wetsuit everyday on my way into the studio...and continue on. I know that with hard work and patience  I'll get there. I'm alright with forgoing some of the  frigid atlantic surf sessions where I feel like the michelin man for the few extra hours spent working. I'll still go for a dip in the sea, just to be in it. Try to surf, laugh at the awkwardness. The ocean is healing no matter what the conditions, but nothing can replicate the feeling of warm silky water rushing around me. For now in order to calm those cravings I'll make work that reminds me of those moments... green and glassy.

a gentle reminder

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"i need this reminder. and i figure if i need it, then there are some of you out there that need it too. there’s something about seeing the written word to go with his thoughts that really drive this message home to me. (to be kind to myself) to have patience with myself as i ebb and flow on this creative path. it’s hard work to navigate the way while you are forging the way." ~Meredith Winn http://meredithwinn.wordpress.com/

making

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busy busy busy. not much time lately for updating the blog, or surfing, climbing or friends lately...but lot's happening in the studio!

momentum

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At last I'm finding more and more time to make jewelry every day, energized and humming along until 11 each night.  The more I work the more it's starting to feel like my job again, rather than something I used to do and the easier it is to say i have to work.  I even opted to work rather than surf the other day...weird.

I'm making a bunch of new work, and keeping it simple for now.  I'm enjoying having the freedom to make what I want rather than the pressure of creating a product line for wholesale. That's how i started...I had just learned to make jewelry, and within a year was I doing wholesale shows with 30 + galleries to keep up with. I think my creativity suffered since I had no time for new work.  I was excited to be getting off to such a good start but found I was making work I didn't really like just to fill gaps in my line.

So for now I'm going back to basics...rivets, simple metalwork etc...building up my crimping fingers :) With that creative freedom has come a creative overload.  There are so many things I want to make, techniques I want to learn. Sometimes I can't focus and make one thing, I'll stop and realize I have three things going at once. One piece giving me an idea for another, starting on that then starting another...it's nice...a little spastic at times but I'm feeling the flow :)

catalyst

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[/caption]

i've realized over the past 5 years of being self-employed that i work best under pressure. i can create all the deadlines i want...but without some sort of outside repercussions it may get pushed aside until the last minute
for random side jobs or do something fun.
so a few months ago i applied for a bunch of craft shows. I had yet to get into the studio for a full day in almost two years and was still shuffling around old work trying to make it look new.



So my catalyst was Craftland, a really fun show/store on Westminster Street in Providence.
I had my deadline... asap... sweet!
Thank you Craftland and Devienna :) another jewelry girl making it happen. check her out www.dametals.com

Working in my studio is fun, so it's hard to say '"i have to work'" and push aside the other responsibilities that I've taken on. Mostly Sandywoods Farm stuff. fruit orchard that needed staking, craft show that needs planning, board of directors treasury updates an on and on. so i apologized to the farm every time i stepped outside for a break, feeling guilty but excited because i was actually making work. to sell.


that week was so good. i woke early, went into the studio with my freshly pressed coffee, good music and worked into the night. just making...and it was lovely.

the super elated feeling of creating has come back. i forgot how good that feels.

focus pocus

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 inspired and creating.

gently falling into the rhythm of late summer hurricane swell, my little guy starting preschool and endless craft show applications. in the studio almost every day now. making, musing and generally excited about the challenges ahead of me. it's fun, making, selling, even not selling (like the show i did this past weekend) there are ups and downs..a friend say's running a craft business "is like a roller coaster" i like that...though I prefer a slow and steady rise and fall in terms of business.
    

the potpourri of jobs that got me through the past two years has slowly been taken over by the confidence that time spent in the studio will once again be productive. it has to be.
like dropping into a wave, you have to be be committed. hesitation or uncertainty will result in failure. i did that today and experienced a thorough underwater tumble over many large, but somehow soft rocks. then you just have try it all over again, but only if your energy and determination allow. uncertainty will at least slow you down, resulting in less than optimal performance. but sometimes insecurity creeps in, though i'm not sure if it's mine or that of others, weaving their way into my thoughts.  i don't have time to hesitate.


so...

 focus. focus. focus.

be the ocean

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20110828-103256.jpg
"The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing time… The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile." - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

summer

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in between mornings spent sipping coffee on the porch and climbing into bed with the windows open there is a quiet summer that dances in and out of days. almost overlooked in the rush to take in as much sun and outdoor activity that will fit into the short summer months of new england. soft quiet moments flit in and out, gone almost before they begin. It's a pleasure to tease them out of their hiding places and  grab them tightly.

balance

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when night falls and the wee one is sleeping I recapture the feeling that drew me to making jewelry. silence fills my studio, the stresses of everyday life trickle away and creativity takes over that space. before long the air becomes heavy with the tapping of my hammer and smooth ripping sound of the saw against metal. The sweet pungent smells of flux and pickle comfort me as I solder, heat and re-heat. the ideas and inspiration stored up from days in the ocean and evenings in the garden that i was sure were lost forever gather themselves together and organize into more ideas than i have time for. i used to spend 40+ hours a week in my studio, now i'm lucky if i spend 4.

Finding the balance between work and play, Ryder time and mommy time, cleaning jobs and jewelry is a constant challenge. A wonderful one though because the rewards are so sweet when everything comes together. Coming off of a week where thoughts of getting a 'real job' were becoming a reality, I had a great show in Marion, MA. full of excited customers who loved my work and actually bought a bunch of it.  then i got to spend the last three steamy summer days at the beach, building sand castles and playing in the surf watching my son grow with every tumble under the waves.

cold water

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pure and heavy, like cold water

I recently had the honor of creating an engagement ring for one of my best friends. Over the past few years she has developed a passion for surfing that rivals my own. Her fiance is equally smitten, with her and the sea. Technically this was the most challenging jobs I've faced, and by far the most satisfying.

Before sitting at my bench I would feel anxious and unsure if I would ever finish the ring. It was a process that was completely new to me, and I was finding it very difficult. Though once I picked up my tool and began to meticulously carve the ring from a block of wax, my thoughts would drift to the lovers; images of laughter, surfing, love and their future together would play through my mind like an old silent film. Hours would pass as my fingers learned to work with these new materials.  So many happy thoughts were imbedded into the process. There was a moment at the end when the design just emerged, ta-da! like it had been hiding in there all along and I only needed to uncover it.  I was elated! The design, the love, the story all came together in one magical moment. Seriously, it really was that great.

This project re-invigorated my passion for making jewelry. It reminded me how much I love the challenge, the material, the personal connections.  I like to think that the energy put into something is carried within it,  and passed on to whomever takes ownership of the object.

This design incorporates two waves flowing around the band. Some swells are larger, stronger while others are smaller and gentle. Like love which can be intense and powerful, other times quiet. Good times and bad, always flowing together with the same purpose. They meet in the middle, wrapping up onto to diamond to find the perfect balance.

Using recycled white gold and recycled diamond of impeccable quality I love thinking that this ring will see these lovers through many days of offshore ground swell and small summer wind slop.