With the warmer days and increased sunshine of spring, I’m starting to think of the beautiful vineyards of Washington. I recently had the opportunity to see some of the new growth of 2014 out at White Heron Cellars and I have to tell you, I’m already getting ideas! I think the texture of the vines will translate really well to some upcoming etched designs! I’ve also gotten some inspiration from the vineyards for some new original jewelry display options for some of my winery consignment locations!
But meanwhile…. think this beautiful cat might be able (and willing) to share some of the wine it’s guarding?
I’ve always loved the idea of jewelry pieces with stories or meaning. Some people wear jewelry with prayer boxes, others wear charms with great symbolism, and many choose stones based on their attributed powers or meaning. While many (even most!) of my designs Continue reading Blessings for Prosperity
This past weekend I volunteered for some fantastic programming done by the Knights of Veritas for Weed Warriors‘ Newcastle Earth Day event (I had no idea how relevant environmental conservation was to people during the middle ages!). It was such a wonderful day. Even the downpour wasn’t enough to dampen my spirits! I also had an opportunity to meet a fantastic artist about whom I can’t wait to tell you in a later blog post!
But, for today, I want to tell you about how Butterfly Sundries uses environmentally responsible practices!
I save (and recycle) scrap metal! While it’s easy to recycle scrap silver by sending it back to my metal distributor, I also make a point to save every single little bit of scrap of copper and brass. Even the tiniest piece can find new purpose in becoming a handmade jump ring, headpin or rivet. The pieces which have not yet found new purpose are also kept in reserve for Butterfly Sundries’ planned (eventual) expansion into casting!
For etched pieces, I use and reuse the acid for as long as possible and then dispose of the (toxic) acid responsibly! I don’t like for anything to go to waste and so I store and reuse my acid as long as possible (I used my recent batch for more than 2 years)! Rather than diluting and neutralizing it before dumping it down the sink, as do many hobbyists and artists, I use ethical (and legal) disposal practices– calling to my relevant local governmental agencies and following their procedures for packaging it and bringing it to them for proper disposal (even when it costs me money)! I also use safe jewelry cleaning and “antiquing” products on all my pieces from a trusted company!
Whenever possible, I try to ensure that Butterfly Sundries’ only purchases jewelry gift boxes made of recycled materials. Mailing boxes are also, as often as possible (Priority Mail Boxes are the exception), re-purposed boxes from my supply shipments or from a local business which gives me their old boxes. My box filler comes from my supply shipments, old newspapers and sometimes even filtered wood shavings from Bender’s Wood and Brass!
If environmental stewardship is an important cause to you and you want your jewelry purchases to support a nonprofit dedicated to environmental stewardship programs, shop now to support Weed Warriors (the current Featured Charity, they receive 10% of all sale profits through the end of May)! Also, check out Butterfly Sundries’ Beautiful World Collection on Etsy here! 10% of the sale profits on all those items will continue to support Weed Warriors’ programming through February 2015!
On a recent wine tasting date with my sweetheart, I had the opportunity to enjoy some (absolutely magnificent) wines at Terra Blanca Winery. While I generally worry it’s in poor taste to pull out my pocket sketchbook at the winery while tasting, I freely admit I was fighting the impulse. Their wines are AMAZING! As soon as we got out the car, after tasting, I pulled out my sketchbook and started putting my visual representations of their HEAVENLY wines on paper for future jewelry designs.
Now, I’d be hard-pressed to choose my favorite wine (I need to go for several more tastings before I have any kind of firm opinion on the matter) from their collection, but I can tell you… I now have two pages in my pocket sketchbook of designs inspired by (just) their wines (necklaces, bracelets and earrings). They even have a chardonnay I really wanted to take home with me (shocking, as I have always favored the reds).
One of the things I love about Terra Blanca’s wines is the complexity of the layers and flavors. Each sip is an experience in and of itself. I feel like I’m sitting down and having an intimate conversation with the wine, getting to know a soon-to-be best friend. Truly, they have mastered the art form that is the creation of wine…. And theirs is very worthy of every tribute.