Sunday, December 4, 2011

This new site is really SUPA!!!!

When I first heard about this new site offering FREE early bird boutiques, I jumped on it! (Offer is still available as of this post, so HURRY!!)

In setting up my boutique, here's what I found to be so wonderful:

Etsy listing import tool
Wide variety of page templates
Share buttons on listings
Overall "classy" look of the site
Ability to place your items in various collections that you choose and set up
Fabulous customer service

(I'm sure there's more, and I'll update you further as I continue to set up my boutique)

It's definitely worth checking out!!  Click  HERE for more info on setting up your own Supadupa Boutique.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Types of Coral Used in Jewelry

Coral has been used in jewelry for thousands of years and it remains very popular. Coral is an organic substance composed of tiny skeletons of coral polyps, which are tiny marine organisms that live in warm sea waters. The polyps pile up on one another over thousands of years, and create coral reefs. Coral is derived from the skeletons of the polyps. Gem corals have been divided into "calcareous" (stony) and "proteinaceous" (horny) types. With these two sources becoming scarce, two other types; "sponge" and "bamboo" corals are commonly seen.

There is a misconception that the coral used in jewelry is the same as that found in the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reefs that are important for sustaining marine life. These endangered reefs are threatened by warming ocean waters, harmful bacteria, pollution, and destructive fishing methods and are not harvested. The endangered reefs are composed of different species of coral than those used in jewelry.

The types of coral used in jewelry today are natural, but a different species than the endangered coral. Currently these species are available, but, in the future, it is believed that supplies will begin to dwindle. It should be noted that worldwide, governments are regulating the coral species used to make jewelry. Harvesting regulations mean that the supply of newly harvested coral is limited. Prices for coral have increased as supplies have decreased.

The good news is, in the near future it may become possible to "farm" coral much like we do with pearls. There are pilot programs attempting this in Japan and Hawaii.


 Coral Colors 
Red Coral


Coral occurs naturally in a variety of colors: red, lavender, black, blue, brown, gold, and white (which is usually dyed). The most popular colors are hues of red such as pink, pale pink and salmon pink.

The most expensive corals are the natural red, black and gold corals. The premier red coral color is "oxblood". Most of this highly desired coral comes from the Mediterranean, parts of the French and the Spanish coast and the Sea of Japan.

HIGH SUMMER Statement Necklace





Native Necklace with Turquoise Nuggets,Red Coral, White Buffalo Stone
Chunky Tribal Necklace with Red Coral by epicetera 



Black Coral

The other important group, whose houses are made of a tough, keratin-like protein called conchiolin or gorgonin, comprise the black and golden corals. Although not highly mineralized, the protein is very tough, so that properly prepared and polished pieces are near the equal of the stony types in durability and beauty, and sometimes exceed them in value. Colors range from black to dark brown to golden. The golden color is highly prized and can be natural, the result of injury or degeneration of the black coral organisms.







Natural Golden Coral

                                                                                 Triple Strand Rare Natural Golden Coral and Turquoise Necklace
  Triple Strand Necklace with Natural White and Golden Coral by epicetera                                                


Red Sponge Coral

Blue coral is also thought to be the result of coral decay. Blue Ridge Coral and Blue Denim Coral grow in the-pacific region have a soft denim color. Blue and sponge corals are more porous than the natural red corals. Because they are porous, these corals are often coated or lacquered. A new variety of blue sponge coral is denser with less visible pores.

Thai Sand Dollar Blue Coral Sterling Gemstone Necklace Handmade OOAK
Blue Sponge Coral Necklace by ShadowDogDesigns
  
Bamboo coral is known for its long branch-like appearance interspersed with scattered joints. It is naturally white with brown or black markings but it is not unusual for it to be dyed. 

Natural Bamboo Coral 
Fossilized or petrified coral from ancient colonies provide interesting beads with flower like patterns in a variety of neutral colors. Stones with shades of red are sometimes found.


Coral Care

Coral is porous so protective sealers are not unusual.
For example,wax or clear plastic coatings may be applied to improve its gloss and to seal the coral. This prevents stains from entering and permanently staining the coral.

Chemicals, cosmetics, and ultrasonic cleaners can damage coral jewelry. Put your jewelry on after applying cosmetics and hair care products. Wipe off oil or perspiration with a damp cloth. Clean coral jewelry occasionally with a diluted neutral detergent and water solution followed by a rinse with clean water. Lay the item flat to dry.


Healing and Mystical Properties

Wearing coral is said to aid in the treatment of circular and blood disorders, prevent osteoporosis, promote healthy bone formation in children, and protect the wearer from negative energy or loss of energy. Coral is supposed to promote the formation and growth of all types of new tissue. The psychological attributes of coral include immunity from resentment and envy and allowing the individual to enjoy their life. It strengthens love and is the symbol of joy and happiness.


~A special thanks to the members of the JCUiN Guild on ArtFire for providing images of coral jewelry. Please visit their shops!~





Tuesday, September 20, 2011

epicetera ~ A New Brand of Handmade Jewelry

Now that I've branded myself, I suddenly realized I have not formerly introduced myself or my brand. What is epicetera jewelry?

epicetera is located in the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico. All jewelry is designed and created by me, Pamela Stultz. 
I am a single mother with 3 sons, the youngest is 17. My youngest son knows me well and named my studio. Pronounced e-peace-e-tera, it stands for "epic and etcetera". I'm a free-spirit from the 60's and 70's eras, and my individuality is reflected in my designs. 

Wen- Chunky Blue Lace Agate Focal Necklace with Floral Lampwork Beads
Free Sprit Lace Agate Necklace
I like to use unusual stones and beads for those who "dare to be different." My jewelry designs are meant to invoke conversation, feeling, and most importantly...the free spirit in all of us!
I enjoy Rockhounding (searching for gemstones in remote places) and I have learned a true appreciation for the natural beauty of these stones. A lot of my designs use gemstones in their natural form.
My passion is making jewelry. I believe jewelry should make a statement. It should be bold, sometimes funky, and fun to wear. Jewelry should be that item that glorifies even an old pair of faded jeans, and is able to invoke mood in the wearer. Jewelry should be able to tell a story about the wearer, without them having to say a word.
I create because I love to create. I started 30 years ago when I sold handmade designs to a boutique in Michigan. I was thrilled when Disney Productions bought some of my items to use in the movie "Tiger Town". My taste has changed over the years, but my desire to design and create has not.
I like colors from neutrals to brights. I love being outdoors...at the beach, in a forest, on a mountain, in the desert, or just walking in the rain. My favorite artists are usually chosen by color selection with a hint of mystery. I am always looking for unusual, unique beads and gemstones, and colors that appeal to me "at the moment." Certain colors will appeal to me at different times, depending on my mood.
Almost all of my designs are One of a Kind, or OOAK. My jewelry designs will come to mind in my sleep, when I'm out enjoying nature, or when I'm working on another piece. My beadboard is my palette. The beads and gemstones are the splashes of color that come together as a work of art.
My jewelry designs are placed in different collections, depending on what inspired them, or the statement they are intended to make.
Tivona~ An earthy collection, inspired by nature. Everyday designs for the woman who loves the outdoors.

Large Serpentine Jade Focal Fan Artisan Beaded Necklace
Serpentine Jade Necklace from my "Tivona" Collection. Visions of doves gathered  on a moss covered branch.
Gallery~ Inspired by my love of art. If I were walking through a gallery, I would be drawn to certain pieces of art by color and texture. A variety of designs for the woman who loves color.
Chunky Green Turquoise Necklace with Lampwork, Swarovski Pearls
Mint Green Turquoise and Copper Necklace From my "Gallery" Collection. Love the color!
Nativas~ My interpretation of the Southwest style, with a modern twist.

Chunky Stretch Cuff Bracelet Red Coral and Turquoise Magnesite
Chunky Red Coral Stretch Cuff Bracelet From my "Nativas" Collection.
Daring~ Inspired by my free spirited inner flower child. Bold, sassy designs for the uninhibited woman.
Striped Calsilica Jasper Focal Fan Necklace in Turquoise and Brown
"Bloo-Zoo-Loo" Calsilica Necklace from my "Daring" Collection.
Enchanted~ Inspired by the imaginary places or things I see. Mystical designs that allow a woman to live out her fantasies.

Lapis Lazuli Collar Gold Filled Necklace with Large Fan Focal
"Arabian Nights" Royal Lapis Lazuli Necklace from my "Enchanted" Collection.
(Inspired by my memories as an Arabian Princess)  
Bliss~ Inspired by my feminine side. Designs for everyday elegance. Shimmering, sparkling designs for a special event or an evening of romance.
Pink Mabe Freshwater Pearl Bracelet Sterling Silver Austrian Crystal
Pink Mabe Freshwater Pearl Bracelet from my "Bliss" Collection.
Rewind~ Inspired by times gone by, retro-vintage that can be worn with today's fashions.
Triple Strand Pearl Necklace Retro Vintage Style Crystal Cabachon
Triple Strand Pearl Retro Vintage Style Necklace from my "Rewind" Collection.

  1. You can find epicetera designs on ArtFire and Etsy

Monday, August 29, 2011

Precious Pearls: How They Are Formed, Colors and Shapes

At one time, many believed pearls to be the “tears of the gods.” Others thought them to be “dewdrops filled with moonlight that fell into the ocean and were swallowed by oysters.”  As mystical as pearls are, the truth is, a pearl is a natural gem created by a living organism.

There are essentially two types of pearls: natural, (freshwater and saltwater) and cultured. A natural pearl (often called an Oriental pearl) forms when an irritant works its way into a particular species of oyster, mussel, or clam. As a defense mechanism, the mollusk secretes a fluid (nacre) to coat the irritant. Layer upon layer of this coating is deposited on the irritant until a lustrous pearl is formed. Regardless of the method used to acquire a pearl, the process usually takes several years. Mussels must reach a mature age, which can take up to 3 years, and then be implanted or naturally receive an irritant. Once the irritant is in place, it can take up to another 3 years for the pearl to reach its full size. Often, the irritant may be rejected, or the oyster may simply die from disease or countless other complications. By the end of a 5 to 10 year cycle, only 50% of the oysters will have survived.

Natural pearls  are formed when something becomes lodged - like a piece of shell, bone, coral or parasite and the oyster starts nacre production. This is true for both Freshwater and Seawater natural pearls. Most natural wild pearls are off-round or baroque (a general term for irregular shape).

 Cultured pearls undergo the same process. The only difference is that the irritant is a surgically implanted bead or piece of shell called Mother of Pearl. Often, these shells are ground oyster shells that are worth significant amounts of money in their own right as irritant-catalysts for quality pearls. The resulting core is, therefore, much larger than in a natural pearl. Yet, as long as there are enough layers of nacre (the secreted fluid covering the irritant) to result in a beautiful, gem-quality pearl, the size of the nucleus is of no consequence to beauty or durability.
Although formed with the aid of human intervention, cultured pearls are still a product of nature. Typically, saltwater pearls tend to be higher quality, although there are several types of freshwater pearls that are considered high in quality as well. Freshwater pearls tend to be very irregular in shape, with a puffed rice appearance. Nevertheless, it is each individual pearls merits that determines value more than the source of the pearl.
Saltwater oysters have a round shell bead (usually from an American freshwater mussel) grafted in as the irritant. This is called 'nucleating'. Oysters are suspended in water from rafts and risk typhoons, parasites, predators and algae. Saltwater pearls are found or cultivated in salt water oysters in a bay, ocean, gulf, or sea. These also can be irregular in shape, especially when natural, although the best cultured ones are known for their fine round shape. The most valuable baroque pearls are South Sea and Tahitian. Due to the length of time under cultivation a high percentage of the pearl harvest is baroque.

Freshwater mussels have a small piece of mantle tissue (nacre producing tissue from another mussel) introduced as the irritant.
Freshwater pearls—are found or cultivated in freshwater mussels in lakes, rivers, creeks, or ponds. They are often irregular in shape, but also can be perfectly round and come in a variety of gorgeous colors. Natural colors vary by breed of mollusk. Other influences include diet, water temperature and pollutants. No-one can predict or control what color pearls will be produced in any hatchery.

pearl colours


Naturally colored black pearls come from the pearl farms of French Polynesia (Tahitian pearls) as well as Indonesia and the Philippines. Except for freaks, there are no natural black freshwater or Akoya pearls though these may be dyed or irradiated to simulate black pearls.
Black pearls are rarely jet black but blue, green, grey, peacock and more. Green is the predominant color.

Pearl Shapes Typically Found in Pearl Jewelry

Biwa Pearls come from Lake Biwa - a large freshwater lake near Kyoto in Japan.
Pink Biwa Stick Natural Freshwater Pearl Necklace in Sterling Silver
Pink Biwa Pearl Necklace by epicetera
Keshi Pearls are accidents which happen when the mollusk rejects the nucleus and grows a 'free form' pearl.
Natural Keshi Pearl and Swarovski Crystal Necklace, Sterling Silver
Keshi Pearl Necklace by epicetera
.  

Bead nucleated pearls (pearls seeded with a round shell bead) may develop a tail on one side. These unusual Keshi Pearls have a tail, but are flat and diamond shaped.
Natural Keshi Freshwater Pearl Baroque Bracelet in Sterling Silver
Keshi Freshwater Pearl Bracelet by epicetera
 
    
Baroque Pearl--asymmetrical free-form freshwater pearl. 

Morning Sky - Turquoise and Keshi Pearl Necklace
    
Button Pearl--freshwater pearl which is flat on one side.

Yellow Pearls Swarovski Crystals Sterling Earrings Handmade OOAK
Yellow Button Pearl Earrings by ShadowdogDesigns
  
Coin Pearl--round freshwater pearl, flat on both sides.

Genuine Coin Pearl and Pink Spinel Cluster Earrings
Coin Pearl Earrings by WindysDesigns



Circle or Ring Pearl--saltwater pearl with concave concentric lines.

Freshwater Pearl and Green Glass Earrings with Leaf Charms
Freshwater Ring Pearl Earrings by PrettyGonzo


Off-Round Pearl--nearly round fresh water or salt water pearl.

Garnet, Sea Pearl Earrings
Sea Pearl and Garnet Earrings by ShanghaiTai

Below are 2 examples of the latest trend in pearls: faceting. Faceted pearls require a pearl to age 3 years longer than normal to build up more layers of nacre.


  Oval Pearl--egg-shaped freshwater or salt water pearl.
Rutilated Quartz Necklace, Lampworked Pendant, Faceted Pearls
Oval Faceted Freshwater Pearl Necklace by LindaLandig
Faceted Pearl

Potato Pearl--oblong irregularly shaped cultured pearl.

Necklace Potato Pearl and Turquoise Lime Crystal and Pearl Pendant
Potato Pearl Necklace by PinkSunsetJewelryDesigns



 Rice Pearl--Irregular-shaped pearl with crinkled surface.


Mabe Pearl or Half-Pearl--dome-shaped pearl, flat on one side.
Blue Mabe Pearl Bracelet with Austrian Crystals in Sterling Silver
Blue Mabe Pearl Bracelet by epicetera


Mostly Round/Round Pearl--nearly perfectly round cultured pearl.

Triple Strand Pearl Necklace Retro Vintage Style Crystal Cabachon
Retro Vintage Triple Strand Pearl Necklace by epicetera


All designs featured in this article were handmade by members of the JCUiN Guild on ArtFire.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Branding Your Handcrafted Product Part 1 What is a Brand?

Are you ready to take your hobby a step further, and turn it into a profitable business? If so, you're going to need a brand.

What is a brand? How do you brand yourself?

1. A brand is not a logo, it's a feeling. It's a part of who you are, a reflection of your personality. It's how a customer will think of you when they hear your name.

For a long time, I tried to figure out what jewelry products were popular so that I could create something that would sell. I never copied anyone's work, but I would look through magazines for inspiration and create something with a little bit of "me" in it. I couldn't figure out why I hated working on those types of designs. More importantly, I couldn't figure out why they didn't sell. Creating a handcrafted, sellable product requires giving some thought to who you are. So, how do you do that?

2. Is there something that excites you when you create it? Handcrafted products are personal. You can get an idea of what your brand is when you are working on something you are excited about and can't wait to see the finished product. That excitement will be reflected in your listing description and appeal to that customer who will connect with you and your product.

3. Be original, and true to yourself.

In order to figure out your brand, you have to know who you are. It sounds easy, but it's not. I know this about myself: I'm free-spirited. I never quite "fit the mold" and I'm not afraid to be myself. That was easy, but figuring out my brand took some time. I'm lucky to have a local beadstore that carries a huge selection of beads and gemstones. The owner has been excited about beads since he was a child and travels all over the world to purchase inventory for his store. When looking for supplies, the items that appeal to me are the highly unusual gemstones. A unique shape, unusual colors, etc. practically jump off the wall and into my cart. Because of this, I have a connection with the owner. We share the same excitement when he gets something new and unusual. Although most of his sales will always come from common supplies, he enjoys my visits. He now sets the unusual, bold, and often "one of a kind" strands aside for me. He enjoys showing me these unusual stones as much as I enjoy buying them.

4. Your business name should be a sneak preview to your brand.

I was a little worried about this one, because I had my name before I figured out what my brand was. Fortunately, my son (who knows me well) helped me with the name and I'm breathing a sigh of relief that it fits. "epicetera" was born when my son said my creations were "epic" which means "unordinary" and the word "etcetera" describes "limitless", which describes my personality. My business motto is: "extend beyond the ordinary, a number of things unspecified...............and everything in between."

So, what does all this mean, and how will you know what your brand is?

For me, it was like a light bulb lit up. I knew I was free-spirited. I knew I was drawn to highly unusual beads. The light bulb got brighter when I created this piece

 Chunky Tribal Necklace with Turquoise, Coral and White Buffalo Stone

I was excited about creating this necklace from the time I saw the beads until the time I took the photos to list it. Is this piece for everyone? No. But there is someone out there who will identify with me. This necklace tells a story about me, the artist. The more I stayed true to myself and created the things that excited me, the more I learned what my brand is....bold, daring, unusual. For you, it may be repurposing a vintage brooch, or creating something with so much sparkle that you need sunglasses to view it. Only you know what your brand is. Once you figure that out, you will be ready to market your product.

Watch for more on Part 2 "Marketing Your Brand" on my ArtFire blog.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Swarovski: The Diamond of the Crystal Industry

Glass is made by combining sand (silica), soda (a form of salt), and lime (burnt limestone). When heated at very high temperatures, the materials melt together, forming common glass. By adding iron oxide (rust) the glass will turn a pale green, manganese oxide produces red, and cobalt in the melt turns the glass blue. Almost any color is possible, depending on the amount and combination of trace elements.

It was discovered that adding small amounts of lead produced a glass that was exceptionally hard, highly refractive and easier to cut. The amount of lead added along with cutting and grinding techniques used will determine how much sparkle and brilliance the crystal has. Even though lead is a known toxin, the wearing of crystal jewelry containing lead does not pose any health risks. Many fine crystals are available, but only one is known as “the diamond of the crystal industry.”

Daniel Swarovski was the son of a glass cutter who owned a small glass factory. Young Swarovski served an apprenticeship, becoming skilled in the art of glass-cutting and grinding. In 1892 he patented a hydroelectric cutting machine that allowed Swarovski to cut crystals with extreme precision and speed, producing the finest quality crystals available at an affordable price. Founded in 1895 to make use of Daniel Swarovski’s patents, the Swarovski Company has its own secret recipe for producing the world's finest crystal. While some components remain secret (and withheld from competitors) it is known that Swarovski Crystals are a man-made product of raw materials using natural minerals and pure quartz sand. The minerals and sand are combined and fired for an undisclosed period of time. Once removed from firing, they go through a very slow cooling process. The slow cooling process reduces flaws and imperfections in the final product. These specialty crystals have a lead content of 32% which enables them to be categorized as full lead crystal. To create crystal glass that lets light refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its products with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or "AB", is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow appearance. Other coatings are named by the company, Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.
Red Swarovski Crystal and Silver 3-Strand Bracelet
                 

Ladybug Necklace with Swarovski Crystal Pearls
In 2004 Swarovski released Xilion, a copyrighted cut designed to optimize the brilliance of Roses (components with flat backs) and Chatons (diamond cut). Swarovski has recently re-introduced Crystal Pearls to the marketplace. These simulated pearls each contain a crystal core and have a lustrous shimmer achieved by using a unique coating technology developed by Swarovski.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Why Are We So Fascinated With Beads?

Have you ever wondered where this fascination (or bead addiction) comes from? I have a theory! Beads play a significant role in cultures all over the world, and are an important part of history.

In his book, The Dawn of the Human Culture, archeologist Randall White of New York University, indicated over 30,000 years ago the creation of beads required a great deal of time and effort, implying profound symbolic meaning. White claims a single bead typically took one to three hours to craft.

In Russia, 3,000 beads were discovered in an adult male grave; and 10,000 beads were found in the graves of two children. (Remember, a single bead required as much as three hours to craft, meaning this collection of beads could easily have taken as much as 39,000 hours to create, or five years!) The large numbers of beads are thought to signify that the children buried in the graves were of special status in their society.

A handful of fragile ostrich eggshell beads were excavated from a Kenyan site called Twilight Cave, established 40,000 years ago. According to writer Mitchell Leslie, “…they appeared to be the earliest known jewelry. But some anthropologists think they are much more. The people of the Twilight Cave may have exchanged them as ritual gifts or tokens making them the oldest known example of symbolism. …” (Mitchell, July-Aug. 2002)
The ancient Egyptians used beads as a means of bringing luck, dating back to 3,200 B.C.; Native American beadwork honors their spiritual ancestors; African history reveals beads were used as a form of communication and in rituals evoking the power of gods; Hindus used prayer beads for counting breaths and repeating mantras; Buddhist bead practices served to attain enlightenment; Islamic bead practices helped Muslims praise Allah.

Discovering how our ancestors around the world gave purpose and meaning to their beads helps provide remarkable insights into our continued fascination with beads.


Click here for more bead facts!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Valentine’s Day: Legends and Fun Facts

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap." According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)
History of Valentine’s Day – The Man Valentine
Some say the day is named after a bishop named Valentine, who was stationed in the Roman Empire.  Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, and outlawed marriage for young men.  Valentine took pity on the ostracized soldiers who were not permitted to marry or see their sweethearts. He defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death on February 14, 270 AD.
According to another legend, Valentine actually sent the first "valentine" greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with his jailor's daughter, who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed "From your Valentine," an expression that is still in use today. Because of his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.
After his death, Valentine then became what is known as a “Patron Saint.” Some considered him the spiritual overseer of an annual festival in which young Romans would distribute cards of affection to those they wished to formally see. February has been the month to celebrate love ever since the Middle Ages, and February 15 was celebrated in ancient times as a fertility festival. There are Valentine cards in museums worldwide that date back to 1415.


Valentine’s Day Symbols

Roses


Rose is one of the most popular flower and one of the most powerful symbols of Valentine's Day. Roses represent beauty, passion and love.

Legend behind Valentine's Day Roses
According to legend, there was once a beautiful maiden by the name of Rodanthe, who was pursued by a number of impassioned suitors. In their desperate pursuit, the lovers broke the doors of Rodanthe's house. This enraged goddess Diana. She turned Rodanthe into a flower and her suitors into thorns.

According to another popular legend in Rome, Cupid was carrying a vase of sweet nectar to the Gods on Mount Olympus and some nectar spilled on the ground. From the spot where the nectar fell emerged the beautiful Rose flower.

An interesting point to notice is that if the letters of the word ‘rose' are rearranged, it comes out to Eros - the God of Love. Red roses are also considered to be a symbol of love and passion and the favorite flower of Venus - the Goddess of Love.

Meaning of Different Colors of Roses
Red Roses - Love and passion
Yellow Roses - Friendship
White Roses - True love and purity of the mind
Pink Roses - Friendship or Sweetheart
Black Roses – Farewell
Lavender -- Enchantment and Uniqueness
Orange – Fascination
Red/White -- Unity or Engagement
Yellow/Orange -- Passionate Thoughts
Peach -- Modesty, Gratitude, Admiration and Sympathy
Pink (Pale) -- Grace, Joy and Happiness
Yellow/Red -- Congratulations

Tea Roses -- "I'll Remember Always"



Hearts
The heart symbolizes love and giving a heart means to hand over one's existence to someone. A piercing arrow therefore symbolizes death and vulnerability of love. Some people also believe that the heart and arrow symbolizes the uniting of male and a female.

In the 12th Century, people were not aware the function of heart was to circulate blood inside the human body. What they knew was that heart begins to beat faster when a person is upset or excited. They, therefore, derived that heart was the seat of emotions and feelings. Poets also eulogized the role of heart in feelings of love and romance and over the years, and this make believe connection between heart and love became deep seated in the minds of people. A heart pierced by a Cupid's arrow means that when someone presents a heart, the person takes the risk of being rejected and feeling hurt.

The popular expression of 'Wearing one's heart on one's sleeve' comes from a tradition in America and Britain practiced in the 1800s. At that time, young men used to wear slips of paper pinned on their sleeves and had their girlfriend's name written on it.

Cupid


The winged and mischievous little angel called Cupid is one of the very famous Valentine's Day Symbols, which can be traced to Roman mythology where Cupid has been described as the son of Venus - the Goddess of Love. It is believed that Cupid had a bow with a quiver of arrows and anyone hit by Cupid's arrow fell in love. According to the myth, it was Cupid's mother Venus who would  send him on such errands.

In Greek mythology, Cupid is known by the name of Eros and as the son of Aphrodite - the Greek Goddess of Love. In Roman and Greek mythology Cupid is always shown as a youth and not as a fat baby with wings. In Latin, the meaning of the word ‘Cupid' is desire. Latin mythology shows Cupid as a chubby, naked, winged boy or youth with a mischievous smile and as someone who made people fall in love.

In certain mythologies it is said that anyone shot with a Cupid's arrow falls in love with the first person he/she sees. It is also said that Cupid's arrow was invisible to his victims so that they would not be aware that they were shot until they fell in love.

Lovebirds & Doves

This symbol traces its origin from a belief in the olden times that birds found their mate on February 14. In the Middle Ages, February 14 was described as “The Pairing of the Birds.” Lovers across the world still hold on to this belief.

About Lovebirds
It is said that lovebirds got their names because they sit closely to each other just like people who are in love do. People say that lovebirds can't think of their lives without their mates. Lovebirds are known to keeping in pairs and keeping to themselves just as the young lovers want to live in privacy.
About Doves
A special characteristic of doves and pigeons is their extreme loyalty to their mates. Doves remain with one partner all through their life. Doves signify purity, loyalty, fidelity and love, which is why they are recognized as a symbol of love and loyalty on Valentine's Day. According to a myth, Roman Goddess Venus considered doves as sacred because of its fidelity towards its mate.

Love Knots

Representing love that will last forever, love knots are actually a series of winding and intertwining loops that have neither a beginning nor an end.

Valentine's Day symbol of Love Knots traces its origin to early Arab traditions. Young Muslim women living in strict orthodox households used to express love to young men through secret messages woven through the knots of a carpet. Lovers read the messages by turning the knot around and around. The tradition of sending messages through the knots gave birth to the concept of love knots that exist even to this day.

Some people believe the custom of love knots began with the sailors several years ago. This is because sailors were skilled at making fishnets and so making intricate knots was their forte.


Lace


Laces and ribbons are associated with love and romance and can be traced to ancient times. At that time, when kings and knights went to battle, their ladylove presented laces to them.

Another reason lace is attributed to Valentine's Day as a symbol is due to the fact that hundreds of years ago, a lady who accidentally dropped her hanky was accustomed to the  courtesy of a gentleman picking it up for her. Sometimes, ladies would drop their handkerchiefs deliberately in front of a man they liked and wanted to meet. Lace therefore became a tool in the hands of ladies to encourage romance. Gradually, people began to associate lace with romance and started using paper lace to decorate chocolate boxes and Valentine cards. Even in present times laces are used in Valentine's Day Decoration and Cards.
Jewelry
Jewelry is becoming increasingly popular as a token of love on Valentine’s Day. The ring has always been a symbol of eternity. Jewelry that incorporates Valentine’s Day symbols such as love knots, hearts, birds, etc. are popular.
Visit my studio for Valentine's Day gift ideas!