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Ripples

“Your grandmother was an activist, you know…”  Mrs. Bailey cocked her head to one side and waited for me to respond. I just sat silently. 

“I have to admit that she might not understand what it is you are protesting….”  I sighed. Apparently,not under my breath like I had Intended. “But truth is, her parents and grandparents did not understand or agree when she took off to the south to march for equality, either. The important thing is not if she would agree with your stance, but that she would be proud of the fact that you are taking one….”

We carry generational values out into the world- and in every generation, the ripples are larger , travel farther and are more inclusive.   

What  are the values that you internalized from generations of your family, but you have re-interpreted to make the world a better place?

If you know someone who is making big ripples in the stream of humanity, this piece might speak to them. 

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Supporting all Creatives

David Braun Cabochons have featured prominently in many of the pieces that Nan has made for Twisted Dreams.  He has been on quite a roll lately, finishing more than a handful of pieces while working over at SHAK Makerspace.  We have decided to list some of his finished Cabs and Stones in the store for anyone – jeweler, rock hound or lover of beautiful things to purchase.  

Check out the new space and watch as we release new stones at least once a month. 


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Mindful

Verdant. 

She suddenly understood the real meaning of that word. 

The jungles of Belize surrounded her, were alive and growing and moving everywhere she looked.  Even in the still of the day, she could feel the jungle like a living organism, with a million  interacting parts. 

It fascinated her, but she knew there were dangers here too.  Entire Cultures had thrived and died here, before she was conceived.  She was thrilled to her core to be visiting the Mayan ruins, but she could not let excitement make her careless. 

She focused on the deepest green growth around her and centered. Moving alert, but with mindful intention. 

Don’t let the complexities of your life distract you from the purpose you have chosen.  This malachite /amazonite set are the focal point you need to remind you to stay mindful. 

More about the Mayan ruins in Belize
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Drifting

She leaned back against the inner tube, her head resting on the edge and her hair dangling into the river water.

She traced little eddies in the water with her hands as she drifted freely. There was a long, slow piece of the river coming up. She looked over to make sure that Barb was still with her, and then briefly closed her eyes. The sound of the cicadas echoed in the August heat, and a gentle breeze whispered in the trees.

Her breathing was slow, easy. She was pretty sure that this was the only time she was actually calm.

She felt the water gaining speed around her and opened her eyes to watch for rocks or trees. Nothing. She looked up, and spotted an elephant and a dragon in the cloud, along with a silly little gnome whose hat was turning to puffs. She smiled widely and lavished in the warmth of the dappled sun filtering onto her face and body through the overhanging leaves.

Without question, Drifting was her favorite summer pastime


Even in the blowing cold snow of winter, the dappled blues and whites in this pendant will remind you of the clouds on a summer day as you drift down the river.  The ripples of wire are a reminder of those small water ripples when you toss a rock or dangle your fingers and toes.

Pause just a moment and the memory of that summer heat will come to your body.
 

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Floating Lotus Caravan

We are excited to add some Jewelry Art by Floating Lotus Caravan to the store. 

Gypsy, the artist behind Floating Lotus Caravan, is a trained  metal smith with a background that crosses many religions and philosophies. This diverse background is reflected in her work and we know you will enjoy her creations. 

For the Holidays, we have added in some of her lower priced line. These put unique, wearable art in your hands without breaking the bank. These are not lower quality, the price is kept low because they are mostly made using reclaimed materials. 

Enjoy!

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Layers

It was late.

Her body was exhausted, but her mind kept racing. Her back screamed to lie down in bed, but she knew if she did, her brain would never slow.

Sleep would elude, once again.

She tossed another log on the fire, turned down the lights and settled into the deep rug that laid in front of the fireplace.

“Alexa, Play Native American Mediation Music”

https://youtu.be/jO01kemz1kY)

Calm flute sounds tumbled from the little Echo Speaker and she focused on her breathing.

She followed how her breathe flowed in and out, through all the layers of her body. She allowed the energy to flow past her solar plexus and into her core. Although her body was upright, legs crossed into a triangle, she felt her whole being relax, felt herself settle back into her body, like a blanket that had been shaken to lie on a bed.

Breathe in.

Breathe out.


She knew that the demands of tomorrow would wreak the same havoc, but she also knew that the process of working through it made a difference in people’s lives.


Her racing mind calmed. She noticed that the log was burned down to embers- had she really been sitting that long?

She unfolded her legs and climbed back to her feet ( let’s face it, she was not a young graceful thing anymore, but she refused to stop moving).
now her brain and her body welcomed sleep, and she headed toward the bed.


Layers is a custom cut piece of Agate, cut and finished at SHAK Makerspace by David Braun. The undrilled stone is wire wrapped with rose gold coated wire so you can have a focus and sink into your layers anywhere you wear it.

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Deep Cut

“What are you listening to?”

He stopped when he walked in the door of the tiny house, tilting his head and pondering.

“It is a Pink Deep Cut from “I’m not Dead“.

He shook his head. “Can’t you just listen to the popular hits like everyone else?”

She looked at him in surprise. “When have you known me to do anything that ‘everyone else’ does?”

She laughed a little, a sound from her belly, not some delicate Tinkerbell chime. “Besides, the Deep Cuts are the ones with real meat. They are too complicated to be popular- Kind of like me!”

He laughed and stepped forward to hug her. “And I would not have it any other way… now tell me more about this deep cut…”


Some pieces do not have convention glitz but are fascinating and versatile all the same. “Deep Cut” is an Agate Oval with some slight irregularities in the cut, but rich color palette. The colors are highlighted by a simple Rose Gold coated wire wrap setting. 

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Hear me Rawr…

“Girls don’t play with Dinosaurs!” 

Those words echoed in her mind, even today. Although she was currently studying for her Prelims as a Doctoral Student in Paleontology, that small nagging voice in the back of her head too often made her pause. 

Sigh.  It came with an exhale that made her long bangs “poof”. 

Wow, that came from the depths of something deep in her core. She was tired of being a “Pioneer” in her field.  She wanted to just study what she loved and make discoveries like any of her male colleagues.  She got up to move, setting aside the piles of scientific articles and texts she had been studying.  She moved over to the portable record player she had saved to add to her cramped apartment, her bell bottoms scattering the index cards she had been writing notes on. 

Some people might think it corny, but she really liked that new Helen Reddy Album.  She reset the arm and started it up, the words helping her shake her self doubt. 

https://youtu.be/Gpu_PV3BTfI

As the song finished and the album shifted to calmer tempo, she settled back down and lost herself in the scientific papers once more.

When you wear these earrings, you will not need Helen’s words to remind you of your inner woman power.   The “faux” fossil leaf cut from Pink and Green Moss agate dangle with a bronzed T Rex Charm. 

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Photographing Jewelry

Good product photos are critical for being able to clearly communicate what is for sale. 

And they are indeed, one of my biggest challenges. 

I photograph jewelry that is a mix of metal, glass, and stone.  Much of it has reflective surfaces and some of it is absolutely not.  Lots of semi-precious stones, like blue sandstone, and members of the Tiger Eye family have life that sparkles in the reaction to light. A light you have to catch. just. right.  For some stones, their appeal is in how they play with light, how they transform it- things that are exceptionally hard to capture. 

I started on the dining room table, with natural light when possible.  But we have moved into the grey days here in Indiana, and sufficient natural light is rare. 

I knew I needed a good way to shoot them in artificial light, without getting horrid reflections and glare. 

Our makerspace had a product lightbox donated, and I experimented with that the day after Thanksgiving. 

Lightbox setup at SHAK Makerspace

While the picture were not reflective and were low on shadows ( a big achievement), one light was out and the replacement light gave a distinct color shift in all of my photos.  In the picture above, the base is actually a grey cloth, but in all the photos it ( and all the jewelry shot) shifted to tan.  

It was a real problem for about half the jewelry I shot that day, the colors in the photos were just not accurately representing real life. 

Today, David reminded me that years ago we had a green screen setup and there were some glare free light setups in that kit.  I dug them out of the bottomless closet in the hall, set them off and did more shooting in the dining room today.  I am leaving it set up for more shooting tomorrow ( as we prepare for cyber monday around here).  I am MUCH happier with the color quality in the photos, but there is slightly more shadow.  I think I need to move them out of the dinning room, and set up with a different angle on the lights.  For now, good enough. 

Photography setup at home

We have now entered the meta phase of making art by photographing the wearable art… 

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Twinkle

Her nerves were stirring up the butterflies in her gut as she drove toward the new assignment. 

She loved the freedom of working temp, choosing her hours and getting new assignments, but the first day always made her a little nervous. She jittered the bangles on her wrist, trying to settle, but it was not working.

Those first five minutes, when she walked in the door, were always so critical for setting the tone of the whole assignment.

She parked, took a deep breath, but left the power on. She swiped through her iPod, looking for the right song. There it was. She hit play, sat the iPod down and a smile snuck onto her face as the sounds of Love, Inc played at volume 8 through the Bluetooth speakers in the car.

She took another deep breath, and as the group reminded her she was a Superstar, she knew everything was going to be just fine.


Need a reminder that you are a superstar when music is not appropriate? Wear these Twinkle earrings and the slight flash of the goldstone beads will remind you of your Superstar status.

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