Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rings Galore

I made some rings!
Botswana Agate, Turquoise, Ocean Jasper, Sterling

With gorgeous stones like these, only a simple setting will do.  Every one of them are a different size, they will be available in my shop later this week.

 This green speckled ring is my personal favorite..so much so that I've decided to keep this for a little while.  It looks like a wonderful painting by mother nature, soft sunlight filtering through a secret garden.  And with fall just around the corner now, I think this beautiful ring will be a summer reminder of the abundant, lush greenery all around me now.  The different shades of vibrant green just takes my breath away..

Vintage Japanese Millefiori Beads, Sterling

And some adorable Japanese lantern earrings!  Made of vintage, Japanese millefiori beads and oxidized sterling, currently available in crimson and pumpkin.

xo Blue Gnome

Monday, August 15, 2011

For Bachan.

I designed this ring with my Japanese grandmother - or bachan, in mind.  She passed away a year ago in August of 2010, quite suddenly of a stroke.  It was a shock for those of us left behind but in retrospect, she left this world in the same way she lived her life, on her own terms.

Her life is a story of family tragedies, hardships and survival.  But it's also the story of an extraordinary woman who stood no taller than 4', whose pride and determination helped her to raise four daughters as a single, working mother during post war time Japan in the 1950's.
I'd like to tell you about her life someday - you'll be horrified as I was to hear some parts, cry tears of frustration and sadness at others.  But most of all, you will feel your heart swell with joy and triumph, as mine did.  I come from a family of strong, proud, hard-headed women with bachan leading the way.

The blood that binds us runs deep and fierce and it's with this close to my heart that this ring came to be.

Our family crest is represented by three cherry blossom or sakura petals, with three daggers in between.  For this ring, I've hidden the daggers on the inside of the dome as a rose hides its thorns amongst its bright green foliage and delicate crimson flowers.  Inside the hollow of the dome sits eight, oxidized pods.  Each of the pods represents the women of our family, my three aunts, my mother, my cousin and her two beautiful girls.  And me.  All of us girls fiercely loved and protected.  Because even though she's no longer here, it doesn't mean that she's not everywhere.  Her blood runs through all of our veins, her smile in the sun that touches everything around us, watching out for any storm clouds ahead.  Next January there will be another one for her to watch over...another pod may have to be added to the ring, only time will tell.

Not available in my shop or anywhere else..because I made this one just for me.

xo Blue Gnome

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Can't See The Forest For The Trees

My holidays are sadly coming to an end, the past little while in beautiful British Columbia has been a refreshing change from the daily ritual of domestic duties and the humidity of the hectic, city air.

Coming home truly is about rejuvenating your soul; the endearing family banter, home grown comforts that you never tire of no matter how old you are.  We all seem to fall right back into our family roles, even a high ranking executive working in a busy, fast paced city becomes someone's son or daughter, older or younger sibling, granddaughter or grandson.   No one here cares how important you are at work, you still do the dishes after dinner and get yelled at for forgetting to turn your parents sprinkler off all night.  It's where that dish you made out of paper mache in the first grade still holds the spare car keys and paper clips in the kitchen drawer, where you still find yourself calling your friends parents "Mr & Mrs Gray".

CHBC News, August 2003

There was a huge forest fire here in 2003 caused by a lightening strike during a hot August day when the forests were tinder dry.  Although the landscape here is slowly and surely recovering, it saddens me to know that things will never look the same in my lifetime.  The fire seems to have cleared the way for rapid development in these parts, the old secret campgrounds have been replaced by new roads trying to keep up with the ever growing population here.  Faint noises of construction equipment can be heard above the sound of the trickling stream in the early morning air.

Things are changing..times are changing.

My parents are thinking of moving on, not unlike the wildlife on this mountain who are being forced onto higher ground and into the slowly diminishing cluster of forest to escape the blanket of residential communities slowly making its way into what once used to be dense pine habitats.

I hope that this city never forgets how beautiful it is here.  I hope they realize before it's too late that what they're tearing down on these mountains is what makes this place heaven on earth.

But nature will persevere.  The lake is still cool, clear and pristine, the mountains majestic and proud.  I've seen a couple of bald eagle nests on this trip, claiming real estate with the best 180 degree lake views this side of the Rockies Mountains.  The quails still criss cross the mountain roads with their mind boggling number of chicks in tow and my parents have woken up to find moose in their backyard.

Folklore Series:  Sterling, Labradorite

With this in mind, I've created a distinctly Canadiana pendant.  The labradorite was first found in Labrador, Canada in 1770 and this sterling pendant houses a particularly gorgeous, flashy labradorite specimen.  Part of my Folklore Series, available in my shop.

xo Blue Gnome