Recycled Gems and The Jeweled Butterfly Effect

May 27, 2013 at 8:34 pm (Art, Excellence in Business, gemstones and Jewels, Local Made, Remanufactured goods) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

This pair of earrings is made from a single emerald (once part of a pair of earrings) and a sapphire cabochon which was once a pinky ring. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????The coins are early 20th century and the wires are handmade from recycled sterling. They can just as easily be two separate pendants on chains. I love the idea of quality jewels no matter the size as they are always worth remaking down the road. I must admit that this is nothing new for me…I was busted turning my mom’s presidential silver spoon collection into bracelets back in the 70’s. The JFK spoon was my favorite. I still occasionally turn a piece of random sterling flatware into a ring.

058 These tourmaline cabochons and slices were from three old tourmaline crystals in a collection given to me by a boyfriend. I didn’t learn to slice and cut them for a couple of years after I received them. A couple of them are drilled and now employed as pendants. The tourmalines were from Maine, USA.They were mined many many years ago so I am not impacting the environment today which adds to their beauty.

Mining in Sri Lanka

As you can see mining even in a primitive way disrupts the natural landscape in ways that are rarely if ever reversed. This is my small contribution to the land which has given us so many gems and with the advent of the shopping channels has been scraped, dug, and tunneled to provide even low grade commercial stones so that every price point from Walmart on up is covered.

By using antique and mid century Italian coral instead on newly harvested I am not part of the problematic issue of over consumption of precious corals.  This dependence on vintage and previously manufactured has its limits on being able to produce commercial quantities of my art and frankly I am A-OK with that. One of a kind has always been my niche and small collections based on some locally sourced vintage beads or gems makes my creative process stretch and grow in ways that having a mainstream supply does not.

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This is another reason I recycle. I am not interested in low grade gems. I try to work with quality even if small gems and rarely use gems which are irradiated or dyed or stabilized.  I love jewelry and all that it stands for so it is important to me that my jewelry share my ethics of respecting the planet and the humans who inhabit this planet. Jewelry means many things from religious or spiritual beliefs to love, affection, ancestry and as a symbol of wealth, fashion, style and energy. Respecting the process means respecting those meanings which people assign to their gems and jewels.

Ask where your jewelry comes from and why?

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How Playing Polo has Forever Altered How I Conduct Business and Life.

May 25, 2013 at 9:36 pm (Excellence in Business, Health, Polo, Relationships) (, , , , , , , , , , , )

It all started innocent enough a sincere desire to learn a new skill or sport each and every year and become competent in said new discovery.

One year it was learning to speak French well enough that French people could understand me even in the Camargue.

Another year or three it was learning to cab and freeform gemstones and rocks for use in jewelry.

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This year was going to be flying…somewhere along the road to flight school I was waylayed while looking up the opening day for Polo season. There it was a notice for polo school. I have always loved watching polo as it is about a skilled rider and horse team as well as being a team sport which is fast paced, challenges your personal best and involves picnics and fashion! This had me written all over it. It was love at first glance.

I have western style cowboy boots…made in Texas of course and stretchy blue jeans but no helmet, mallet or breeches. They provided the helmet, mallet, and polo pony as well as a highly skilled pro coach. All I needed was bravery and a signed waiver releasing my life and cause of death and I was good to go. Life is a fatal sport, that I accept and embrace whole heartedly. I have faced death a few times in my life on short notice and it allows you the freedom to fully live knowing that this moment is all we have. It truly is not just what your yoga teacher told you. My most recent brush with death was in January outside my gym…not a pretty way to go after a great workout.

I prefer green sports which have little or no carbon footprint as earth ethics are forefront in my business and life. Sailing is my other passion. I like speed, skill and luck in my sports. Excitement and adrenaline pave the way to my deeper relaxation and it is a bonding experience with your teammates including the four legged ones. It is a game of polite aggression.  Winning is always important but scoring goals and not committing fouls is as important. One skill is called “riding off” which is where you come in and match your opponent’s speed and bring the angle in to meet and push them off the ball. Done properly it is very effective and a skill all its own.

20130525_111013Last week I played against a young woman who was a level two player but having been off a season was playing with us so the coach could place her for the summer. She was a great hooker and by that I don’t mean what your naughty little mind is thinking! It is a technique to keep your opponent from hitting the ball. She stopped my ball more than once so I continued to watch her and this week got in quite a bit of hooking on my own and once used it to capture the ball and play back my direction! Whoo hoo!

Today we had an old grass player with us who hadn’t played for six seasons and again was playing with us for placement. He taught me a lot about riding off and hooking too. It makes the game more competitive having some variation in skill level on the teams and you quickly know who is your one, two or three player. I tend to play second or third and enjoy defense as well as offence. Which is how I play in real life too.

We are always learning from our competitors and our colleagues and in business you can let your ego get in the way of that lesson…or at least I know I can. In polo you don’t have the luxury of a bruised ego as the game is too fast paced not to learn, incorporate the lesson and keep riding toward your next goal. Business is the same and remember there is always another match to play if you didn’t win this one. I scored one goal and my team lost this week but I am always a winner having played and learning to change my weaknesses into strengths.

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How to be a Non Consuming Consumer…and look good doing it!

May 20, 2013 at 9:50 pm (Art, Eating Nature, Excellence in Business, Freedom, gemstones and Jewels, Health, Letting go, Local Made, LoVe, Polo, Remanufactured goods, Sailing, Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

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My own lifestyle often sparks my deepest thoughts.

I love quality well prepared food.

I love beautiful well made clothes.

I love learning new things.

J’adore bijouterie! That’s French for I LOVE jewelry (and gems).

I also love the planet and all of us on it…well most of us.

I love the creatures and the flora.

…and so I strive to live in harmony with these values. How do I do that you may wonder (work with me here I know you may not really care), well let me break it down for you.

I grow some of my organic  food such as Persian melons as they are hard to come by organic and buy at farmer’s markets organically grown and my local Windmill Farms neighborhood market. This helps limit what I buy at Bigbox inc. I like knowing my food is as fresh as I am and is employing my neighbors and compadres without coming from a hemisphere away and all the pollution that entails. I live in Southern California so we grow a ton of the food out there.

I regularly donate to the Amvets and Goodwill as well as shop there. I find some sweeet finds in USA made, Italian made and French made couture for a small fraction of what Mrs and Ms. Big buck$ paid for them and very often in near new condition. There are a zillion reasons why this is a score.

  1. I’m not paying full price.
  2. The reseller makes money to pay employees when I choose to buy there.
  3. I get to be the fashionista I was born to be…don’t judge I see you looking when I stroll by.
  4. I am not contributing to new sweat shop labor from major companies who source the cheapest available markets as well as freighters again crossing the seas leaving their oily ooze in their wake.
  5. I get to enjoy things for a season and then pass them on when I redonate them for the next lucky customer or gift them to adoring friends.

When I buy new clothes I buy from locally designed and made companies and individual designers. Here is why this is a major win/win.

Paul Rico

  • Locally made means more people locally working.
  • More local tax revenue.
  • I look amazingly stylish and not like everyone who bought this season’s offerings at Bigbox inc. or Massmall.
  • The clothes are designed with my specific area’s climate and lifestyle in mind…you know old school. I live in a temperate climate (or until global warming bakes us all I do) and I need cool breathable clothes for days and layers for early mornings and evenings. I live in a city on the Pacific ocean so beaches, boating, sailing, hiking in the mountains and desert and polo are all under an hour away.
  • The cost is not greater than many mainstream department store lines and yet surprise not made in a sweatshop in Bangladesh or China but here in my neck of the woods often by the designers themselves. Major win!
  • They don’t travel far at all. Often under fifteen minutes by car or 45 minutes by public transportation. Less global warming more great weather.
  • When I choose to give them to a friend or local thrift store they will be treasured as the gems they are and snapped up again by savvy shoppers.

Last year I went to a variety of sailing schools to learn to competently sail a yacht or dingy. I spent a year learning something so new to me my brain ached and so did my body after very windy days…and I love it! Joining a local sailing club affords me discounts on my zero carbon hobby and allows me the ability to take friends out for a beautiful day too.

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This year I am learning to play polo. All new rules all new whole body workout and balance work at its finest. Another green sport played outdoors with other humans and horses all working in teams and cooperating while competing and learning on a fast curve…as my coach says you only leave the field one way if you ignore the rules…in an ambulance or life flight helicopter. I always want to play another day so I catch on quick!

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  1. I want the earth to live another day too so I strive to live in a way that enhances everyone’s opportunity to live another day in peace and prosperity.
  2. Hobbies that are green enhance everyone’s enjoyment.
  3. Workouts outside don’t need well lit air conditioned gyms, with bleached infused workout towels and chemical soaps (but if that makes you happy who am I to tell you how to get your sweat on) but for me that was a toxic way to work out and caused allergic reactions to the chemical cleaners. I am a canary.
  4. I don’t need to take vitamin D supplements as the sun is abundant even in the early morning.
  5. I get to wear my cowboy boots more often without line dancing.
  6. I meet and bond with players versus being next to people at the gym.

On the bijouterie front I remanufacture jewelry here in San Diego so I’m not adding to the issues of conflict minerals and mining slavery and injustices. I buy broken stones and recut them, I buy mining cast off parcels of rock and use water and grit to cut them. I recycle silver and gold to make the settings and I take buy backs from my clients. Here is why buying from your local remanufacturer versus the HSN or QVC is a planetary win.

New Jewels 007

  • There are no conflict diamonds or rubies unless you are referring to the fact that your aunt wanted the ring grandma gave you. Want to preserve her legacy and make sure all the cousins have something from the family jewels. Break it up and make a charm using the stones for each or make earrings. The possibilities are only as finite as your imagination.
  • No additional stress on the planet from mining.
  • No sweatshop labor to cut the gems (sweatshop in my world is me on a hot August day).
  • No sourcing through dodgy governments or buying cartels who routinely abuse their citizens and your wallet.

So I’ve probably rambled on too long so I will release you dear reader with a question.

Are there easy ways you can lower your carbon footprint while also enhancing your individual life?

I would love to hear from you.

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