HandMade Market and Blog Feature!

I’ve been a busy little elf, turning my studio in to a satellite branch of Santa’s workshop (I know, we have just made it through Halloween, but I have been on “Christmas Mode” since September!!). My first Christmas show is NEXT week (Nov 13, 14, & 15) at the HandMade Market in Jordan, ON (near Niagara).

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In preparation for that, I was featured in a blog post over at Lynn’s Lids, a fellow vendor at the HandMade Market (I am really looking forward to meeting her in person as we have become “computer friends” but have yet to ever meet in person!). Head on over here to read the post and learn a bit more about me and Studio Luma.

Meanwhile, if you are in the neighbourhood of Jordan, ON, or thinking that a relaxing weekend away in Ontario’s “wine country” would be good, come and check out the HandMade Market. The line-up of vendors is amazing and the weekend is sure to be wonderful!

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Recycled Silver!

 

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I am sper excited to announce that all silver used in my jewellery is now 100% recycled silver!

Since before I began Luma, I have always known that sourcing my materials ethically was a hugely important part what I want my business to be, do, and represent (12+ years as an environmental educator means that nature and I are rather connected and I care rather deeply about this planet!). 🙂

I recently opened an account with United Precious Metals in Alden, New York which I learned about through a recommendation by Ethical Metalsmiths. For me, “greenwashing” is far too prevalent in our world now and so I pored through all of the information on United Precious Metals’ website to make sure that they are the real deal, and not just on the “eco trend train”. Not that I am some authority on this, but after reading through it all AND talking with them on the phone, I feel satisfied that I am supporting a good business!

I will be purchasing all of my plate metal (flat metal) and wire from UPM (from which I make earring hooks, eye pins, jump rings, rings). Currently, the bulk chain that I purchase as well as already-made beads are not from certified recycled sources so I will continue to search for suppliers who can help me meet that need.

When I worked as the Nature Interpreter at Pukaskwa National Park in Northern Ontario, I lived in the town of Marathon, ON. The town’s motto was “Built on paper, laced with gold” because it addition to being home to a large (but now defunct) pulp and paper mill, there was a very large gold mine, the Hemlo Gold Mine. While I lived there, I heard all kinds of stories – from people who worked there to fellow park employees who went on tours there, about the HUGELY terrible impacts that gold mines have on not only the planet, but the people who work there. Because of this experience and how close to home it hit for me, I knew that finding a supplier of recycled and ethically produced silver was really important for me to feel good about what I make.

And really, what good is it to wear happy, shiny, colourful jewellery if it is weighed down with land deforestation, pollution, and injured and sick workers?

Head on over to the website to see what kind of ethically happy and sustainable treasures are currently available!

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Colourful Clusters

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It is amazing how sometimes, all it takes is a quick glance to see something in a completely new way… I have a large collection of my little hand made glass bead charms that I brought down to Panama with me. I love them. But they are driving me crazy! (Isn’t that always the case?!)

I have never found a way to successfully list these charms on the website – just thinking about the amount of time it would take to photograph and list every single one makes me exhausted! Then all of a sudden, the other day, I realized that I could cluster them up for you!! The most common thing I would hear in my show booth last summer was “Oh my goodness!! I don’t know HOW to decide!” as folks rummaged through the bowls of beads… So, I have done all of the hard work for you and made the decisions! (I know, so thoughtful of me!).

A wide variety of these charm cluster necklaces will be posted on the website in the coming weeks…

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Colour/Color

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:

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I’ve always known this deep down, but it recently dawned on me that colour drives me what I choose to design and what materials I create with… At past shows, people would walk in to my booth and comment on the colours of the jewellery. On rare occasions, I have had requests for neutral-coloured beads – GAH!!!! That goes against my very being… I have tried to make them, but I am just left feeling empty and wanting more… So, I go back to making glorious treasures that lift people up and feel great!

What do you love? What makes you happy and fills you up?

(Silk)Crush

Remember when I was having an affair? Well, now it how grown in to a full blown CRUSH!

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Perhaps it is because my beloved glass is all in Canada and I am here in Panama. Perhaps it is because of the textures (I have always had a fondness for textiles…). And I love colour. I REALLY love colour. So I am playing with colour by dyeing silks.

The Luma Shop is still “cerrado” as I get details sorted out. But stay tuned for an updated shop in the coming weeks!!

Oh swoon… I am happy over here!

Born-Again Jewellery

May is a time of re-birth – the flowers, the animals, the jewellery…

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While on a recent trip home to my mother’s house, I had brought many of my jewellery-making tools (to get some work done while I was visiting – there are no holidays!). One day, I noticed an old, tarnished baby bracelet on my mother’s bed. It must have fallen out of something as my mother had not seen in years. It had been given to her when she was born (being the first-born child of her parents, she was obviously more doted upon than her younger sisters – so typical, eh? Can you tell that I am NOT a first-born child?). The baby bracelet was engraved on one side with “Baby Rogers” and on the other side “Judy from Mrs Brown”. She has no idea who Mrs Brown is…

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With a few hours in the tumbler polisher, it was rejuvenated!

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And with some longer chain, this old baby bracelet was transformed in to a simple little necklace.

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My mother turns 70 years old at the end of the month. I don’t think that there could be a more perfect birthday present for her – the baby bracelet that she was given at birth transformed in to a new necklace!

If you have old jewellery filling up your drawers or jewellery box, consider transforming it in to something new. Mix up parts of different pieces to make something fresh and exciting. Add a new chain to create a whole new look. The possibilities are endless!

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Happy Birthday, Mum!

Flight of the Butterflies

Back in a previous life (one that I miss tremendously!), I worked as an environmental educator and nature interpreter and I used to spend LOTS of time with fellow Nature Nerds… Then I got a “better” job as a classroom teacher and the fun of going “mothing” at 1am at the light of vending machine of the park gates, taking 40 minutes to walk 25 metres as I identified mosses and lichens, and other such glorious adventures got pushed to the wayside. In the summer of 2008, I got involved with an organization where passionate educators trained other educators to use monarch butterflies to teach across the curriculum.

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One of the many monarchs I have raised in recent years.

Over the years since that first workshop I took, I have become involved by volunteering my time to help facilitate these summer workshops for other teachers, have brought monarch in to my classroom to connect students to these amazing little insects, set up displays at local “nature day” events, and the biggest one: turned my front lawn in to a Monarch Waystation.

My Monarch Waystation garden

My Monarch Waystation garden

When I started making jewellery, I knew that I wanted to find a way to create jewellery that represented my love for monarch butterflies. After much thought and trials, the Monarch Impression line from Luma came to be. I did such a small run for the first batch that I sold out rather fast and have some requests from people to notify them when they are back in stock.

The raw form of my Monarch Impressions jewellery.

The raw form of my Monarch Impressions jewellery.

For me, these littles butterflies mean so much: hope, faith, and determination as they migrate south and north; transformation and rebirth as they hatch from a tiny egg and grow from caterpillar to chrysalis, and then hatch again as a breathtaking butterfly; fragility yet strength as these tiny creatures search for nectar sources for the adult butterflies and milkweed, the only food source for the caterpillars.

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A finished Monarch Impression pendant. Each one is completely unique

Currently, I do not have these in stock, but just as the monarchs have begun their northward migration from the mountains of Mexico where they spent the winter, there will soon be a migration of monarchs in to my jewellery shop.

Yesterday, I loaded myself on a bus with fellow monarch enthusiasts and headed to the Ontario Science Centre to view the amazing film “The Flight of the Butterflies”. If you have not yet seen this fabulous Omnimax film, here is a little teaser to help get you there!