I'm making some changes in my shop. First, the sale announcement.
Everything in my shop (excluding medicine bundles and dream catchers) is 50% off. Yes, everything...every stone, every vignette, piece of jewelry, prosperity kit and palm stone. There are no restrictions other than needing to commit to $20.00 before applying the discount, which means you just have to spend at least $10.00, but their are no restrictions as to how much you spend! The coupon code is backtomyroots50 and can be entered in at the checkout.
I love gemstones and crystals with passion. When I first focused on my Etsy shop last year, I thought I'd offer a few stones in addition to Altar Vignettes and other handmade items. I was surprised by the immediate interest in the stones and excitedly began to increase my inventory. I am not much of a bulk buyer so it was fun to offer pieces from my own collection as well as many pieces I mined myself, old stock (pre-1970's) and many hand chosen pieces from various suppliers and friends I've been lucky to meet over the years.
The crystal and gemstone community is growing by the minute and while this is wonderful, there are many of us who are starting to feel uncomfortable about the amount of material being removed from the earth and of course, how it is removed. Some people are not as concerned with the methods, but more the idea that we are pulling out medicine that may be better saved for the earth herself. I agree, but am more in the "I don't like the methods" camp.
Before I go any further, please know, I am not condemning the use of stones. I love stones and want them in as many hands as possible. However, as a business woman, I'm having some problems. Mining gemstones is dirty work and in many cases it involves child labor. In recent years, Brazil has made changes and taken steps to eliminate child labor and pay miners a livable wage. This is very recent. Up until 5 years ago children were regularly hurt in mines, either through collapsing rock walls, inhalation of chemicals used to clean stones and in explosions.
I reconciled this with trying to source stones from hand dug pockets and making better choices about locations...for example, Jade mined in Canada is limited to certain months of the year and miners must take steps to preserve the surrounding Eco-system, whereas jade mined in Thailand has fewer regulations and rumored child labor.
I've paid more for my stones than many sellers and this has always been OK. It is part of doing business, however, as gemstones become more popular, I'm seeing trends that make me uncomfortable. I see many stones being marketed as rare when they are not, and I see disturbingly low prices as well as shamefully high ones.
I realized I was going to need to make some changes. I figured I'd gradually eliminate any purchases of stones that are not hand dug and from countries with sound practices. However, this is expensive and in the world of one dollar stones, It would be hard to sell stones at the prices I would need to if I wanted to make a full time living. I looked around and saw that there are plenty of sellers selling stones priced higher than average, but after asking some questions, it is clear the prices aren't high because they are ethically sourced.
I've also grown weary of the idea that "perfect" stones give better healing. This attitude floors me. Yes, specimens perfect in color and formation may be more beautiful aesthetically, but they are not more powerful than their cloudy or even chipped brothers and sisters. Buying for beauty is wonderful and I have no problem with it especially for jewelry, but selling "beauty" as more energetically potent? I have a problem with this. It seems we spend our days receiving messages that physically beautiful people are somehow more dynamic and now we are applying this to our medicine as well?
Don't even get me started on the trademarking of stones either. This makes me insane.
If you have spent any time at all in my shop, you know I almost always have some sort of earth offering listing or if you've ordered, it wouldn't be unusual to find some offering stones or a packet of scattering herbs in your order. I firmly believe in giving back to the earth because we take so much. If you've talked to me about stones, you know I usually encourage people not to hoard their stones and to keep them in circulation if they are not using them. Yes, we all love to collect, but if you have stones on your shelf or in a drawer literally collecting dust, consider giving them to a friend or even a stranger who may need the energy more than you do.
OK, so what does all of this have to do with the price of rhubarb?
Well, I want to get back to my roots; my original intentions when I moved on from paper wallets and into gemstone/altar/art love. I want to focus on my dream catchers, my small batches of bath and body, jewelry with mostly thrifted gemstones and components and to offer gemstones I know for certain are on loan from the earth without harm coming to a child, starving an adult or saturating the earth with more chemicals. I want to offer old stock, hand dug and polished U.S. stones as well as stones from other countries where I have a mine name and source. I may not offer many varieties, but what I will offer will be stones in good conscience.
In order to do this, I need to invest a bit, do some exploring (and of course sharing) and this is why I am offering such a generous discount of the stones I have on hand.
I may not be your go-to for every stone, but I hope to offer special peices and maybe even some of the newly discovered ones from Greenland that are being removed carefully and with reverence. Plus, I have all kinds of exciting mini projects planned for the next year, including rituals and gemstone books all in downloadable form.
Now, this brings me to my next "share". There is a movement starting that I want to invite you to be a part of. Evangeline Summerville of The Lunar Fae makes it easy with her invitation and explanation. The only thing I add is that in my opinion it can be any stone, not just quartz. And, please do two at a time. If someone yanked me out of Brazil and I sat in a warehouse for a few years and then in a bin in a new age store and then in someone's pocket and then in a bowl with a bunch of strangers, I know I'd want to go back to the earth or water with a buddy. Yes, this is what happens when you anthropomorphize stones...it is just me, but I can't help it! So, if you have any stones you can give back to the earth, please try to do it in groups! :)
I also want to thank each and every one of you for your support of my shop this past year. I love this journey and I am not stepping off the train....I am just going to travel on in a direction that feels better to me and hopefully to you as well.
Much love and light,
I was a saltwater girl and now am a saltwater woman. I lived on a sailboat for many years and always off the coast of somewhere. We began in Maine and eight years later landed in the Virgin Islands. I was fine giving up the livaboard life when my parents divorced, but I never made any promises to give up the ocean.
I need water. Fresh will do, but saltwater waves are the ones I hear crashing into my dreams at night. If you've been here before you know this.
I love the selkie story Sealskin/Soulskin as interpreted by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. It is my spirit story and when things are not right with me I truly dry out, just as the selkie of the story does when her skin is kept hidden from her and she is forced to live out of her element. My hair becomes lifeless, my scalp flaking and chapped.
My mother and father came from families where everyone else had pristine skin. While they were not plagued with acne as teenagers (nor was I), they were the only ones who developed skin issues and even shared some...psoriasis, eczema, irritations etc.
It appeared as if I might have gotten lucky and skipped some sort of hereditary sensitivity until my scalp began to dry out as a teenager and my complexion became increasingly ruddy as I matured. Several years ago I developed something both my parents had been spared...seborrheic keratosis. Little (sometimes not so little) brown growths on my face that I call my "brown spots". They embarrass me, cannot be covered with make-up as they are patchy and raised and not great candidates for dermatological procedures as they are numerous and known to come back.
Everyone who knows me knows my affinity for selkie and mermaid lore. When we lived in Maine, our harbor was filled with seals and one night my father spotted me from a large picture window wading into the water in the middle of the night. I was five.
My mother and my father are talented and gifted people. My mother is a wonderful story teller and my father, before he died, was an unexpressed artist and romantic poet. Neither belonged to the families they were born into and both were raised in vastly different environments, but creativity wasn't appreciated in either. They were uncomfortable in their skins. It makes sense that they'd both be plagued with one skin issue after another.
They had successes and failings in their roles as parents, but I think each had too much invested to do much encouraging of my early creative exuberance. My father projected his fear of humiliation onto me and my mother feared my success would happen before hers, I think. There is no blame here, but as a result of their issues, I too, became uncomfortable in my own skin and to this day, cannot say I've really found my home.
I was always called sensitive and cannot tell you how many bosses, friends and family members have taken the liberty of telling me I need to grow a thicker skin. Can't they see I have? Literally?
The other day I had a powerful realization. There are no genetic markers for all of the skin issues only the three of us have shared. Everyone else has or had glowing Irish, German or Scandinavian complexions. My grandmother's skin was olive like my dad's, but there were no real issues.
I realized I must break an energetic marker to finally be comfortable in my skin and body...to be and live as I must.
I thought of the seals and their beautiful brown spotted pelts. It made me wonder if perhaps my seal spirit made the spots emerge as a warning that I was drifting dangerously away from my core. I'm still not sure, but I had a dream recently and it signified healing...not just healing of my spirit, but healing of my skin.
It was too long to write the whole dream, so I wrote a poem about it. Something tells me the sea understood I was waking up and knew it was the right time to take me away for some physical and energetic body healing.
As of now it is untitled.
The sea rolled in and paid a call on me, she spoke not of debt or charity, instead
presented me with periwinkle shells.
blue gray deep, through currents formed by exhalations of the moon.
from her hands, the one woven through with stinging purple flowers.
mattered more, it was solace while her creatures scraped and burned me.
renewing than the next, time in salty water is never wasted.
Laura McCullough DeLorme 2015
I recently had the honor of creating two fairy magic themed medicine bundles and as I was doing the write-up I realized I haven't posted about what I know for certain about fairies.
Being able to say you know something for certain about fairies is a treat so I thought I'd share.
Fairies do not dream.
While fairies enjoy the idea of dreaming, they have no need to heal on an unconscious or subconscious level. They are beyond us in that way, but still, fairies do envy our ability to dream and fantasize. It seems novel to them, even if a bit archaic. They don't need to create healing picture puzzles in their minds or to try to figure out their "issues" in distorted dream code when their realm is so vibrant and layered on its own. Plus, who has time for dream analysis when your world is disappearing?
Yet, they love to view our dreams and if you fall asleep outside, be assured that fairies are gathered around with their versions of popcorn and Junior Mints to see what kind of entertaining madness you'll unknowingly share. Our dreams are like drive-in movies or fairy television!
Green opal under your pillow will help you reach a deep state of sleep and this invites the fairies in…not only to watch what is as captivating to them as Downton Abbey is to us, but also to (occasionally) be of service.
Sometimes, when we're sorting out an issue in a dream, a fairy might become impatient and think the whole “movie” is predictable and exasperating. It's like us rolling our eyes when the girl goes back in to the house where the axe murderer is and doesn't turn the lights on. Sometimes certain fairies might become so disenchanted with our storyline that they cannot be held back by the others and quickly reach in and do a little shifting so we’ll move on to something more interesting!
Did you ever wake up with the solution to a problem that seemed impossible the day before? Perhaps with a feeling of lightness and relief over an issue that only hours earlier caused stress and maybe even panic?
Well, this usually means a fairy was terribly bored and essentially reached for the remote because your mysterious and complex (to you) problem was horrifically boring.
Don't take it personally, just be appreciative and accept the magic.
Fairies also love the softened up human versions of fairy tales, (which they find sidesplitting-ly hilarious by the way), but they do take our animal spirit medicine seriously and because of this, they agree that green opal is a good stone for people with bear and rabbit totems.
And that is what I know for certain about fairies. Do you have any information to share about fairies or mermaids or selkies or unicorns or dragons? Please feel free to share.
I've been going through a difficult time lately. Not one thing in particular, just kind of a pile up of things ranging from health to project overwhelm to everything in between.
I'm fortunate and have had several friends ask the magic question.
What can I do to help?
What a blessing.
I almost never respond with a list of things they could do, but I appreciate being asked.
Ever since my husband and I separated, I've been feeling this horrible pressure to BE ME. To throw myself into work and make up for lost time, which isn't fair because my life with my husband was not time lost or wasted. In fact, I've been enjoying certain aspects of him so much in the past few weeks. I've appreciated his humor.
Yet, I recently realized the old adage, "Wherever you go, there you are." applies.
I can run, but I can't hide.
So, faced with the overwhelm, pressure, mental and physical exhaustion, I found myself answering the magic question.
I wrote to a friend, "How can you help? Don't give up on me. Trust in my ability to heal myself and figure it out. Hold space for me and have faith. Let me share my fears or even daily failures, but don't hold them against me. Remind me when I'm sinking that I always come up to the surface... always. Right now I'm using my fins to navigate this time in dark water, but never stop believing that I do have wings."
After I sent her my response I realized that I need to do a little trusting too. I need to have faith and not hold my failures against myself. I need to remind myself that I always come up to the surface (and even higher because I do have wings).
I thought long and hard about what would help me most now and I realized that aside from earning enough income to support myself, I really don't want to do anything big or career building at this time. If I want to BE ME, I should accept the fact that I like waking up and taking my days slowly. I like working from 10-3 with joy and having fun wrapping orders, but I do not like feeling pressure and comparing myself to other shop-keeps who clearly have more of a long range vision for their businesses.
I named my shop Precious & Peculiar (my friend actually came up with it in conversation and I grabbed it right away!) because not only does it sound nice to me, but it also combines two words which embody my love of all things dear and unusual.
I'm gradually getting back to the heart of it. I'm willing to do without salon trips, new underwear, mindless grocery shopping without a list and sometimes even gas for my car. I'm not interested in being the stone queen, I don't need that affirmation at this time in my life, I need to remember why I fell in love with crystals and gems in the first place and share my love of stones in the small ways that make both me and my shop visitors glowingly happy. I find my bliss in creating. . .so creating at my own pace is crucial now. A woman I like, but don't know very well recently described herself as a, 'full-time creative." BRILLIANT.
That is what I am. A full-time creative and this means not only creating art and ebooks, but it means creating a life I want to embrace rather than run away from. This means being OK with less, both in my shop, but also in my bank account for the time being. Keeping my days simple, manageable and mine.
Overall, I know I'll surface and get that burst to make twenty five pieces of art and finish several books, but for now less structured days and more rest are the secret to finding my way back up. Small acts of self-care help too.
Tea and I have been friends. I've been burning candles and making trips to the lake. How about you? What are a couple of the things you do to make your days light even when you are gestating in the deep? Odd, I just looked up the word gestate.
4. ges•tate (ˈdʒɛs teɪt) To develop slowly
There was a time when the thought of doing anything slowly would have been unthinkable to me, but now I'm so in.
Please bear with me while I develop slowly.
This is the way I love my stones best...in those moments before or after taking pictures for the shop...when they are just being. .The definition if imperfect is lacking completeness. I'm OK with being incomplete. I see it as not quite finished, but certainly not missing anything.
You are looking at some of the most glorious green kyanite you've ever seen. It's in the shop now. The amethyst and gemmy orange calcite will probably make it in tomorrow.
"If you rest, you rust." Helen Hayes
I'm sorry, Helen. I love you girl. but while I know what you mean, it's just the wrong one for the day.
How about this one?
“If you desire healing,
let yourself fall ill
let yourself fall ill.”
Now that's more like it.
Where did the summer go? I cannot believe we are into fall (my favorite season!) already. I know when I was a kid people said that as you get older the time will pass with lightening speed, but I think what is happening goes beyond that. Even my grandma used to say that time really does seem to be moving so much faster because we fill up every minute. When I was a kid it seemed like an eternity for the "rice to be done", now if feels like I can barely leave the kitchen without the water boiling away!
I have much to share. The first is about a project I've been working on. It starts with a quick explanation about "Aura" varieties of quartz.
First, they are pretty, almost unreal looking and the combination of the metals and stone can be wonderfully healing. However, with the exception of Flame Aura (rainbow aura) the treatment needed to bond the gold, titanium or copper to the stone is exceptionally harsh. The high heat makes the quartz brittle and prone to breakage, plus while the enhancement can be lovely, it is a processing of the natural stone that I am not a big fan of. I love technology, but my crystals are my babies and I do not want them heated anywhere but deep in the earth (note: most smoky quartz and citrine on the market today is heated for color or irradiated).
Do you think we could get a movement started requiring gemstone suppliers to label all of their product as artificially enhanced by dyes, radiation (yes) and heat?
I know, I hear you, we're still trying to make progress on labeling our food! It is an important issue though because many of these stones are for jewelry and worn against the skin and I shudder to think of people making gemstone elixirs out of them and don't even get me started on yoni eggs...though most people selling them are extra careful.
OK, so what does all of this have to do with the price of rhubarb?
Well, I do think gold can combine well with gemstones to enhance their healing and spiritual properties, but as I said, the process most "auras" go through is troubling to me.
I've wanted to combine my stones with metal to make my own version of "auras", but in a way that is more organic. I knew gold leaf would be a good choice, but some of the adhesives and sealers felt caustic to me...(not to my senses, but my sensibility!). I was inspired a couple of weeks ago and began experimenting with gold and stones and came up with a way to adhere the gold to the stone without chemicals! Yay!
I also like the idea of simply enhancing or highlighting the beauty of a stone, not completely covering it.
Gold amplifies and gold symbolizes flexibility, encourages you to take that dive into the well of self because we all know our thirst will never be quenched until we drink from deep within.
I will be listing more over the weeks, but here are a few pieces I sold in last night's Facebook Friday event.
I hope to share more as I experiment with different gemstone surfaces. In the meantime, please Pin and share any pictures from my website as you can. Every little bit of PR helps! )
I also launched my first batch of candles and couldn't be more pleased! There will be more.
Plus, I finally have one of my "Freebie" downloads ready! Yay! Bravo! Give that woman a prize!
Bright lights, people! Bright lights!
It feels good to be me again in some small ways. Since moving I've struggled with a few things. One of the main things has been feeling like I need to keep a clean and perfect apartment as proof that I've grown up and matured enough to no longer be the girl who had both boyfriends and girlfriends begging her to let them clean her bedroom.
A few weeks ago I realized that I was basically living in fear that my neighbors would come over and I'd open the door and be judged if the place was a mess...not a filthy mess, but a cluttered mess. This is a small one room apartment that I live in and work in with a cat no less! I realized that while clutter stresses me out, it is usually more because of how I feel others will view me rather than how I view myself.
I decided to ease up on myself a bit. There are going to be times this place is a mess. Making things, packing orders, displaying stones, beads, altars, my habit of leaving cups and nail polish bottles on the floor...I can cope.
Here are some pictures of the things I choose to focus on most of the time. It's true, I am not showing you the cat box or the dirty dishes, but I am showing you some very real mini scenes of my life the past couple of days! The first pic is of some pages I took out of one my beautiful textile books to make stickers for shop packaging.
I have been listing gemstone deliciousness in the shop and have so much more to add...take a peek now and again tonight to see scattering herbs, gemstones, wedding or hand-fasting smudge wands and some vintage goods too!
I spent the best four hours in months at the beach by myself on Saturday. I brought stones with me to cleanse in the water, sand and sun. It was a great time. I wish you could have been there! Honestly, I do!
Today I have orders to pack, more to list, a few errands to run, dogs to walk and not one single clean cup left in the house...my schedule is tight, but I'm going to the beach again for an hour or so to muse a bit. I have so many ideas and you know, for the first time in ages I feel pretty hopeful that I may actually get them out of my head and into the real world.
I'm feeling a little Carly Simon today. How about you? What throwback music might help you as you navigate a working summer Monday?
Hello friends! I have a treat of a post coming for you tonight or tomorrow, but for today I wanted to share a little about this blue beauty of a stone. I think I'm going to share more listings. It is a good way to let you know what's new, but also to share a little gemstone knowledge.
It may surprise many of you to know how much of a skeptic I am. In fact, it may surprise you if you heard the language that comes out of my mouth when it comes to the mass marketing as "high vibration" of certain man-made "stones". Not that I don't think they may have value in some ways (color magic), but I resent the idea that people are paying high amounts for what is simply pretty glass marketed as special. A good example of this is Andara. Let's face it, it's glass and not natural glass...it is man-made and colored glass and people are making thousands of dollars passing it off as a real mystical magical "only for special people" healing crystal. Ugh. I'm energetically hurling all over the room.
OK, I got off track! Are you surprised? Stick around, because I haven't even begun to show the ways I can get off track!
So, let's get back to the blue beauty. Blue Aragonite. This is a natural stone, though sometimes it arrives on the market dyed to enhance color.
I appreciate the value of gemstone bibles as manuals, but always know that I write my own descriptions for stones based on my experiences. Stones work differently for different people which should not come as a surprise! I love discovering an aspect of what a stone offers and my work with blue aragonite feels important.
Here is a description lifted right out of the listing in my shop. Sadly, I only have one piece of this lovely left, but I feel it is good to get the information out and about!
If you are hurt, lonely, sad and feeling lost it is like pulling into a gas station for directions and having someone say, "I'm going there now, follow me."
The lines from O Holy Night sum up the gifts this stone can help you tap into.
"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
Fall on your knees, oh hear the angel's voices".
Gratitude, recovery, love, starting over...it is all there...and the energy to do it is there too.
Blue Aragonite can help you finally see the lifeboat when you've spent more time than you care to think about feeling pushed under water. It is a guiding hand...it helps you look up and away from any situation causing you stress or pain and pluck up one of many lifelines being offered...you must realize...they are not invisible or new. You never saw them before now.
There is a certain of reverence we should have when we witness miracles in our lives. A moment to literally drop down, shed some tears and whisper, "Thank you, thank you, thank you" even for the smallest things. We know when we are in the pits of despair or heartbreak how the tiniest thing can help us up...a gesture, a note, a kiss on the forehead.
This stone is that kiss, this stone is the St. Bernard with the brandy after an avalanche and hours under snow. Basically...morning has broken.
WOW! Do you see why I wanted to share?
Speaking of sharing...stay tuned for some sharing this weekend and for right now....just a little reminder that on a clear day you really can see forever. I see this view every day...Oh Lake Michigan blue, take me away!
Are we allowed to admire our own shops? I sure hope so. One of the things I'm most proud of when I list gemstones is the fact that each piece has been carefully chosen.
I buy more by the piece than I do by the pound. I sometimes choose stones simply because of how they feel rather than how they look. I am not much for grading stones and sometimes I don't even see the "imperfections" others would notice right away.
I like what I feel and most of the time it works perfectly.
Occasionally though, I like what I see.
It is so much fun to look in a bowl or bin and have a stone just pop out at me, overlooked by all the others who were there before I came. I have two recent examples.
The first is the piece of pink agate shown above. Depending on the angle from which you view it, it could simply be a pink stone with the "imperfection" of a little clay lodged in a mini crater on its top. However, at the right angle you can see what I see right?
Pink agate is a blossoming sexy love stone. To find a piece with heart layers? Perfect!
And here we have a piece of blue lace agate, a stone often associated with angelic communication and emotional calming, but one that also works well for emotional balance and gentle transitions. Now, look closely.
Do you see the gentle yin/yang symbol in the middle of the stone? What a perfect piece for someone who needs balance in all areas of her life, but not all at once! Both of these pieces have gone their merry way, but you know I always have more gemstone gorgeousness in my etsy shop! Bright lights, people! Bright lights!
I wish I could show you...
when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.