It's ben a year in the gem trade

So it's been a year and a few months since I started buying gems from our friends family in Kenya.

We have had a few adventures met a whole bunch of amazing people and learned a lot about things I didn't expect to. Like how elephants interact with the miners (i.e. harassing them for their water.)

taken by a miner as he runs away, the mother was not happy

The same mother and calf from a distance

The herd that lives in the area of the mines
We also have established friendships with local and global jewelers. I'm looking forward to working with Peter Baeza, at Jewels by Peter B. in Winter Park, FL this holiday season. We will be offering our gemstones in his shop. Stop by and see us if you're in town.


Homeland of our friends and our gems

Wow .....
today I started my day with an idea why not make one of my dreams a reality. I want my clients to know more about the process and I mean the whole process, starting on where their gems come from....


They come from the red clays and the limestone river banks.

more to come.......


~ Of gems and food ~

There are so many things you can find to bring joy into your heart.After having lived through many adversaries I have found that seeking at least one thing to be happy about no matter how small will get you through any stress.

...So...that's where two of my passions always converge.

Food  and  Gems

Running a house with four children seems to always revolve around food.
"When's lunch?"
"I'm hungry! Can I have a snack?"
While running my business always seems to involve staring, touching and manipulating gemstones.
"Oh that would be perfect for this design!"
"I wonder how I should go about carving a tiger into this tiny garnet?"

So the stress of wanting to be immersed in both worlds at the same time but on different planes of reality keeps mounting. So while day dreaming of gemstone and jewelry designs. I often find my cooking is influenced by the designs I'm planning.
Yesterday, while I was thinking about tiger intaglios I just had to make my favorite treat Thai fried bananas. Our three year old calls them "Bana pockets!"

         As I'm folding the little banana slices I day dream ~
            ~ about illustrations from "The Story of Little Babaji" ~
                ~ superimposing those illustrations on a garnet ~
                    ~ which then morphs into me viewing the carving
                          from the clear side of the garnet ~
                          ~ finishing with a completed 3D carving ~

All while folding, frying and finishing our favorite treat. They inspire one another both fueling me creatively nutritionally and spiritually as I find peaceful bliss in zoning out while the kids are bantering about my heels, house hold chores beckoning from the corners of each room, and the ever present need to make a living at my art so my husband can be a stay home parent ( for a bit )


A Love of Intaglio

So from those of you that know me...

I love to learn. From {A}rcheology to {Z}ooology I just can't get enough.

I've finally decided to invest in some tools to start intaglio carving. I've done a few reverse intaglios and a few standard intaglios. I don't have a lot of time so keep to doing things in 15min bursts. The demanding life of a mom of 4 tends to delay progress for days HA! At least these stones won't be wrecked by sitting for a while...

My first attempt was a bee in a nice large flat piece of Rhodolite Garnet from Kenya....It's small and cute. It only took ten minutes. It was my anniversary and I was stoked about finally doing one, so I ground away for a few minutes before we left to go to the hotel. I was so shocked at how easily I was able to make a clearly recognizable shape! Our 10 year old even said, "Wow! Did you carve that bug mom?" Later I came back and deepened the image so that it's easier to see from the top of the stone.

Rhodolite w/ Bee

Reverse of bee intaglio

Bee intaglio on my hand for size and jewelry reference

 I'm still contemplating going back and adding a vine and flowers... but sometimes it's best to "leave well enough alone"

So my next attempt was an equilateral cross in a very purple Rhodolite / Umbalite Garnet. I wanted it to be deep and beveled so that it would look like a "church" almost.
Equilateral Cross in Purple Rhodolite Garnet
Equilateral Cross intaglio on my hand for size reference

I need to work on getting crisper lines but for a second attempt not bad. I also work in very small pieces.

view from side 10x magnification
3/4 view

Next, I carved a dove into a vintage Lapis oval cab that had been sealed with something...pine scent when grinding...but it turned out ok. I have a lot more time to start expirimenting.

Lapis Dove w/ Olive Branch

 If there is anything you'd like to see let me know. I was thinking of working on a tiger next.


Global Resources

I have been amazed with the generosity of the International community. Our resources, when pooled, can be extremely effective. That said we also need to safe guard those resources. We need to make sure that the applications of our resources are done in a responsible manner (i.e. recycling)
Living in Florida during my youth instilled a sense of environmentalism that has yet to wane. Every drop of water, ever ounce of metals and earth that we extract must meet with balance.
I truly hope through the ups and downs of gemstone procuring I will eventually have the co-op of my dreams. I have honestly, always wanted to do something to not only help our environment but also the human lives connected to it.
This is one company I want to help succeed!
If you didn't already know, I home school my boys. Therefore to provide them with a glimpse of the environment which created me, I have deemed Fridays and Sundays Documentary Days. Fridays will be dedicated to environmental studies. Whereas on Sundays we will focus on "social studies" history, art, religions, architecture, exploration, etc.

Well I'm off to rally the troops now.
Have a Great New Year!
I know it'll be full of adventure! Even changing diapers can prove to be an amazing accomplishment (anyone diapering a baby on their lap @ Disney World can attest to that *wink)