Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ethiopian Opal Pendant and Roman Glass Pendant- Woven Wire Wrapped Mosaics in Bronze as $4.99 Auctions!

In honor of the official kick off the the holiday shopping season (right after Thanksgiving), I have been trying to list some more spectacular offerings for my fun $4.99 wire wrapped pendant auctions on eBay. I have these auctions ending most nights of the week during the holiday season. They are a great way to get a nice gift at a good holiday bargain price. Sometimes my auctions have several bidders participating and other times they seem to not bid up at all- but after doing this for many years I can honestly say that the auction ending price almost always ends up being deeply discounted from what the item would be priced at for sale in my shop. And these pendants are shipped first class mail for free, like everything else in my shop!

This week I made and listed a gemmy rainbow fire flash Ethiopian opal woven wire wrapped bronze pendant. I am very pleased with how it came out!

Ethiopian Jelly Opal: This stunningly beautiful and colorful opal occurs within spheres of nodular rhyolite mined in Ethiopia (first discovered in the 1990's).  As with all opals, it is a very energizing stone that is thought to increase productivity and spontaneity. It is believed to facilitate astral travel, conscious dreaming and clarity of perspective for difficult decisions.  It is also thought to help awaken your intrinsic psychic and intuitive abilities-excellent for inspiring creativity and releasing inhibitions. Called a "Stone of Joy", it is believed to activate the base, heart and crown chakras, bringing the joy of the non-physical realm to our world!

I am equally happy with a similar creation- a pendant using ancient iridescent glass remnants, which are commonly called "Roman Glass". Although it is not a gemstone, Roman Glass has been hiding within Mother Earth for so many hundreds of years that it feels like a gemstone in many ways (energetically). The beautiful iridescence comes from the "patina", a chemical reaction residue that has formed on the surface of the glass remnants over centuries!

Ancient Iridescent Roman Glass: These beautiful glass remnants are more than 2150 years old, dating to the Greco-Bactrain Kingdom in north central Asia from 350-150 BC! This kingdom represented the northernmost reaches of the Hellenistic Empire, essentially an extension of the ancient Greek civilization.  These glass pieces were once beads, bottles, jars, cups, vases, perfume containers and decorative tiles.  Over the ages they became buried and broken into small bits that began to collect mineral deposits from the earth that covered them.  These deposits then developed into what collectors call “patina”- beautiful layers of iridescent color. These ancient glass remnants have been said to carry an energy joyful living, perspective regarding one’s problems and allowing what is most important in life to become clear. Simply put, they seem to emanate happiness and the need to cherish life!

If you would like to visit either of these auction listings, just click them now to activate a link to the ebay listing for each item. They will each belong to someone in a few days, when these auctions close!

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Ethics of Crystal Healing Claims

I have a strong education in science. Most of my customers do not know this about me. Years ago, I underwent a very important paradigm shift in my life (one of many). It involved learning about the emerging implications of modern quantum physics. It was a very empowering thing for me, because I started to realize that there was much more to discover about the true nature of our reality. I began to understand the value of consciousness as it pertains to creating reality, or perhaps manifesting it out of an infinite probability cloud. With this new perspective, came the realization that many ancient spiritual beliefs had some grounding in scientific principles. Among these were the ideas of crystal healing.

Do crystals have an effect on living beings? The short answer is yes. When you fully understand science, you understand that we are living in a massively complex energetic ecosystem of frequencies (likely on multiple dimensions that we do not yet fully understand) so truly EVERYTHING EFFECTS EVERYTHING. But let’s examine this question on a more concrete mainstream level.

When most people begin getting interested in crystal healing, they will google about various crystals or stones and be barraged by some pretty fantastic claims. According to the internet, crystals and stones can fix our financial struggles, our failing relationships, even our diabetes! Just pay $99.99 for this special crystal right away and your life will be fixed, right? SO SO WRONG-So wrong on so many ethical levels it makes me want to cry.

Navigating my love for crystals, nature, science and spirituality in the ecommerce age has been an important challenge. My business began a few years after my own paradigm shift where these concepts took on great value in my own life. But I am trained in science. What that means is that I have a background that helps me understand exactly what a spiritual tool can and cannot do for me, at least in the world of provable results.
So back to the point- do crystals have an effect on living beings?  Yes, in several ways.

Crystals most definitely affect people from the perspective of personal belief- what science calls “placebo effect” and the new age movement calls “manifesting your reality”. If you personally believe that a big chunk of blue opal will help you sleep better, the chances are good that you will experience better sleep once you have that blue opal.

But I suspect it goes even farther than this. Based on quantum probability concepts about how consciousness concretely affects reality, I suspect that when a large group of people hold the same belief about something, that also has an effect.   The easiest way to explain this idea is to imagine “placebo effect” or “manifesting your own reality” magnified synergistically by a collectively held belief. An example: the “statins” are drugs that were introduced years ago for their ability to lower cholesterol levels in people. They work because the molecules of the drug interfere with an enzyme in the human liver needed for production and processing of cholesterol in our systems. But I suspect that statins may clinically perform even better than the confines of their physical form will allow because now there is a whole strong societal belief built up that they lower cholesterol. I believe that something can have even more effect when group consciousness believes it can do the job-it gets a boost of efficacy from the power of collective beliefs and how that interacts with reality on a quantum level. No on that I know of has studied this kind of an example concretely yet, but this is how I suspect reality and group beliefs function on the quantum level (and by the way, many theoretical quantum physicists suspect the same thing). The statins have only been with us for mere decades. Now imagine beliefs held about crystals and stones over many centuries! Does all that collective consciousness from over the centuries have an effect-probably.  That is my conjecture at this point.

Are there scientific studies that prove and disprove that quartz crystals have a measurable effect on living things? Yes, there are actually both. Studies can be a fickle friend to knowledge until the sample size gets big enough-in the several thousands. And large studies like that are EXPENSIVE. Right now there is no funding available from any organization to truly investigate, on a large reliable scale, some of the claims of crystal healing. There is no institutional profit in it (i.e. pharmaceutical companies and modern medicine have no vested interest in properly researching this).

The other issue I see in researching these claims is that we may not yet have the technology to even look in the right place.  It is likely that there are other multiple dimensions at play in living things beyond just the physical and mankind does not yet understand those dimensions or how to measure changes in them. I believe that there are all kinds of energy fields associated with living beings that go WAY BEYOND THE SCOPE of what our primitive science today can understand. The effects that crystals and stones have on living things may fall into this realm and be very hard to measure until we understand things better.

When I share about metaphysical properties of crystals and stones in my online shops, I try to speak in very general terms for a reason (this stone is thought to…….it is believed that). I do that because it’s not fair to say “this stone will heal your heartache and fix your relationship problems.” I also avoid bringing up the medical and health beliefs associated with stones because these things have not yet been studied or proven. If I was giving stones away for free, perhaps I would feel comfortable sharing beliefs from the past about how stones can possibly help our health. HOWEVER I am charging money for jewelry I have  made from healing gemstones and crystals, and so I cannot in good faith make any medical claims. It does not feel spiritually correct to do so. That information is out in the world for people to find in many other ways, if they seek it out. It is not proper that it should come from me when I am accepting money for a product made from a crystal or stone. One day, if there are scientific studies that one can cite along with the claims, then it may be a fair thing to do-but not until then.

Please remember, if  your heart is aching for a very expensive crystal or stone because of its metaphysical properties, you always have the simple option of getting (or even finding outside for free) a simple piece of quartz crystal  and infusing it with your own intention to “be like” the stone you desire in every way. This is a long held crystal healing practice that has worked for many. This is honest advice that can be given when people want a very expensive crystal or stone only for its presumed energies- they should be informed about this option. Melody and many other highly respected crystal healing sources have written about this technique, and the concept has been around for centuries.

I love crystals and gemstones. They are an important part of my life now. I feel many positive things when I spend time connecting with stones. I am very fortunate to be able to earn my living working with them. To me (and my customers) they are special. They enrich our lives in many ways. And the remaining mystery about them is exciting to me! I look forward to more that will be learned over my lifetime!

Our latest creations:

Angel Aura (Opal Aura) Quartz Crystal Wire Wrapped Sterling Pendant 

Pink Lemurian Quartz Crystal Wire Wrapped Sterling Pendant

Clear Petalite Crystal Wire Wrapped Sterling Pendant

Pink Lemurian Quartz Crystal Wire Wrapped Sterling Pendant 

Peruvian Blue Opal Wire Wrapped Sterling Pendant with Aquamarine

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Jail Dogs, Fairy Dogs and Vampire Guinea Pigs! Oh My!

  Happy Halloween! Today was a fun day. I got less work done than I would have liked, but the opportunity to parade your pets around town in costumes only comes a few times a year!

Furby, our Boston terrier LOVES dress up because she loves attention. She came from a home where the woman really disliked her. Furby lived knowing she wasn't liked for the first 6 years of her life, mostly sitting in a backyard trying to get people's attention through a fence. That is actually how I met her. I convinced the woman to allow me to start walking her and several years later, when she began running away from home, I adopted her.

Furby was a fairy dog today and she enjoyed  being showered with attention!

As for my other dog, Lancelot the rescue husky was a VERY NAUGHTY BOY yesterday. He took a good 10 years off of my life by bolting out the door as I was coming inside from running errands. I have had him for two years and he has never done this. He actually has extreme separation anxiety so I was shocked. (I think he was angered that I went out without him and without walking him first, as I usually do prior to errands). He almost ran into a traffic filled street and made me chase him all over the neighborhood! This was my absolute worst nightmare- I was terrified while he was loose. I was finally able to grab him by the collar when something up a tree distracted him and I pretended to also be interested in the tree activity. My trick worked, thank goodness!

Fortunately, I have the perfect costume on hand for recent events...the jail dog costume that says "Bad Dog" on the back. You can see him rolling his eyes at having to wear it, but I feel it is highly appropriate for right now:

As for our CEO, Puppy the Guinea Pig-while he is a highly skilled model and world renowned celebrity, he is not really into dressing up at the moment. So he is represented on social media via his virtual costume of Count Muskula:

Tonight we enjoyed having several trick or treaters stop by- I filled my walkway with color changing fairy butterfly lights to attract them! 

I hope you also did something fun today. I try to do something to make each holiday memorable. Life is for enjoying. I find that living life by honoring what was most important in childhood has a way of keeping joy in my heart. If we get too busy and take ourselves too seriously, before we know it the years will have passed us by with no joy-filled memories to cherish! These small moments matter.

Today's Creations:

A fun $4.99 starting price auction: Aqua Aura Spirit Quartz Wire Wrapped Pendant in Bronze

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Handmade Artisan in the Ecommerce Age

Well, it’s been a looo-o-o-o-ng time since I posted on this blog! Why? Because when you make your living creating one of a kind treasures and then photographing them and programming them into online venues so they can sell....there are not enough hours in the day!

I love what I do! I am so grateful for our precious little business, Puppy Love Jewelry. I say "our" because I am not alone in this endeavor. I may be the only human, but I consider this business the baby of our little family which consists of me and several different kinds of animals that people had let down. I created a family out of rescues, and they are all part of this business. And if you hadn't heard by now, Puppy the Guinea Pig (International Rodent Superstar) is our CEO. He is an amazing being that fills my heart up in so many ways!

I have always been very active on twitter-it is where I share bits and pieces of my life. But recently I have decided to revive my blog and also become more skilled at pinterest and instagram. Pinterest is FUN...it is a giant sparkly happy black hole that will suck time out of your life if you love fairies, animals, crystals and creativity (so I'm pretty much doomed)!

Being an artisan earning a living from her craft is challenging. It requires skillful time management, if you are going to truly do all the things a business should do. Most people making a living at ecommerce simply buy what they sell from factories. Sometimes the stuff even comes with pre-manufactured photographs for them. As an artisan I spend the majority of my life making the jewelry, sourcing the materials to make the jewelry, photographing my work and then programming it into online venues. To keep up with search engine optimization and social media promotion too- it’s almost like having two or three jobs all going at once! 

But as I said earlier, I LOVE what I do. Handcrafted artistry is a fading presence in the ecommerce world because we are getting buried by junk from other countries selling for one cent. It has become more and more difficult to get customers to see what we are selling amidst all the fake garbage. I am sad to say that all the wire wrap artisans whose work I admired when I started this business are gone from ebay and many are gone from online selling altogether. Maybe they are selling locally-I hope so. 

While artisans struggle more and more to sell their wares on the major ecommerce venues, at the same time it seems there is a growing demand for what we create. But we cannot easily connect to the customers and the customers cannot find us amidst the sea of cheap mass-manufactured stuff. The big companies pay to direct traffic their way and are given contract advantages on the large ecommerce venues. Also factories have started trying to make their items look handmade (yes, there is machine/factory made wire wrap jewelry all over the internet for sale, trying to fool the less experienced shoppers...and don't even get me started on the glass and plastic being sold as gemstones and crystals.)

I just want to earn an honest living. I want to work hard at something I love and in the end feel satisfied at earning an honest living. This is the path I choose. Every day of my life I spend moments considering how fortunate I am to do this for a living. Most people cannot say they truly love what they do...most people suffer in unhappiness at their work. Most people have to compromise their ethics and values to some extent when they work for someone or something else.  So I'll take the lean times, the tech challenges and the constant struggle to keep current with social media....I'll take it all in stride with a smile because I know how fortunate I truly am!

I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all of our customers who make this precious little business a reality!

Today's creations....

 for sale in our Handmade at Amazon Shop!
Aqua Aura Spirit Quartz Crystal Pendant in Sterling 

 For sale in our Handmade at Amazon Shop!
Giant Pink Lemurian Quartz Crystal Pendant in Sterling (the crystal has a channeled message from a crystal healer too!)

For sale in our eBay store!

Aqua Aura Quartz Wire Wrap Pendant in Sterling

Bedtime for us now!