Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Charles Dickens had it right – this is the time for helping out those in need – but as Americans, we already know that.  A few years ago, a Canadian wrote an article enumerating some of the international crises to which Americans had been more than generous.  We give – for the catastrophic disasters and the smaller, more personal ones.  This blog will be short of pictures, but there will be a number of links to local merchants who are sponsoring collections and reviewing a couple of larger ones that are so consistent and personal.
Let’s start with a young man who spent his summer making earrings to earn a little money.  He approached Couture Angel Consignments in Auburn, California to find a sales venue.  They agreed and he was all set to earn a little extra money.  Then his cousin was diagnosed with bone cancer.  Now all profits are dedicated to a special fund to help his cousin.  If you would like to help these two young people, contact Couture Angel
Kovar’s Satori Academy has been known throughout the Northern California community for their generosity to a number of causes.  This year, as last, they are collecting toys for the Sacramento Sheriffs’ Toy Project.  The Granite Bay location collected the most toys last year and is working on beating that record this year.  You can find more information about Kovar’s Santori Academy at:  For more information on the Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project, check it out at:
Exotic Treasures Jewelry is a very small on-line company run by a mother and son team.  They will donate 10% of any sale made from December 6, 2011 through December 31, 2011 to either The Wounded Warrior Project [ ], or Make A Wish [ www. ] .  Anyone purchasing from either of their web stores, and  can decide which one will receive the donation.  They have a side bet going between them – the one who gains the most donations gets out of doing dishes for a week.
Western Feed and Pet Supply [ ], will give anyone who brings in a toy a 10% discount.  The toys will be given to the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Program, .  And while we are on the subject of the annual Marine Corps program, let’s take an extra minute and think of these men and women who have been on the front lines for 10 years.  They go from combat to collecting toys for children who will not have a Christmas without the generosity of those who donate toys and Marines who donate their time and talent.   Semper Fi.
News10 is collecting coats for kids again this year.   This writer worked for quite a few years in neighborhoods where those coats were distributed.  Seeing children coming to school coatless on the coldest days of the year is sufficient proof of the need for this program.  But you will have to hurry – the drive ends December 9, 2011.  For more information, call (916) 441-2345 or look at their web site -
Finally there are two year round organizations that consistently help.  Divine Savior Church’s St. Vincent de Paul provides food, clothing and monetary assistance all year.  The Salvation Army is more than their annual Kettle drives.  They provide food, counseling, missing persons assistance, housing - - - well, you get the idea.  You can find them outside many stores this time of year and always at this web address: 
So this was a little long for a blog – and probably filled with what you already know – but it doesn’t hurt to hear all this repeated, just as a reminder.  But no matter what, we can take pride in being a giving people – a people who give not just from our surplus, but also from our substance.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jewelry with Religious Symbols – Special Gifts for the Holidays and After

Jewelry with religious symbols is as old as time.  The first humans wore religious signs and symbols for protection and identity.   Today, we continue that tradition.  The Star of David, the Cross, and the Buddhist word “Om” are frequently seen.   When represented in beautiful, unique, one of a kind   jewelry made by artists and craftsmen, they can take on additional very personal meanings.

Cross Earrings in Navy Blue by
The Cross is represented in many ways.  When it has a rose on it, it adds a symbol for Mary, Jesus’ Mother.   Crosses made of natural stone bring to mind the solid foundation of Christianity resting on the word of God.
Dalmation Jasper Cross by

The Star of David has several meanings – all centered on God as the center of all.  One symbol is God’s rule over all six directions – North, South, East, West, Up and Down – with the solid inner core representing the spiritual core.   It is a 12 sided figure, representing the 12 tribes of Israel.  And of course, it is in the center of the Israeli flag and appears on synagogues all over the world.
Silver Star of David Earrings by

Om is a religious symbol and mantra chant for Hinduism and Buddhism.   It is a sound that is used for centering oneself for meditation.    According to Tibetan Buddhist beliefs, all material objects, all living beings came from the Primordial Vibration which is represented by Om. 
Tibetan Pendant, Turquoise, Coral and White Buffalo Stone Necklace by

Jewelry Based on Movies and Movie Characters - Ideas for Gift Giving

Daytime in Fork, Washington - Labradorite and Crystal Necklace by

We all know the obvious pieces of movie based jewelry – the “One Ring” from Lord of the Rings, jewelry with pictures of characters from the Twilight series, and of course all the jewelry based on Disney classics and Harry Potter come immediately to mind.   There is another type of jewelry that is movie based, and that is the more subtle, almost subliminal reference that can be found in some uniquely designed, original pieces of jewelry available in craft shops on the web.

For example, a pirate’s treasure map can bring to mind Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean  movie series.  A wizard can be from either Dumbledore from Harry Potter or Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings [and soon to be released Hobbit movie].
Goth Black Lace and Crystal Choker by

Twilight movies and books can be represented by the most obvious Goth/Vampire styles or by something a little more understated, like a necklace that is evocative of the weather in Folk, Washington, or a deep moonlit night sky.  Just be sure there is no silver in those pieces of jewelry – we don’t want  Edward to burn his fingers as he slips the necklace around Bella’s neck.
Daytime in Fork, Washington Earrings by

Whichever you choose, be sure the jewelry is well made, original, unique, and special to you. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Amazing Amber

Amber is amazing. It’s not a true gemstone because it isn’t an inorganic mineral like diamonds or lapis lazuli. It’s million year old tree sap. Just think, something as common, sticky and sometimes annoying as tree sap is converted over time into a warm, translucent, softly gleaming precious jewel.
It comes in several natural colors, from a clear, sun filled light lemon to a mandarin orange to a deep rich red brown cognac color to an olive green. Some pieces even encapsulate tiny insects and plant life from prehistoric times. Remember Jurassic Park?
Another wonderful quality of amber is its versatility. It can be worn with casual, business and formal clothes. The lighter colors, particularly the very bright, lemon yellow is perfect for casual wear. Slip it on with a t-shirt and a pair of jeans and go out to lunch or to a ball game. Tuck a mandarin orange colored amber necklace in the neck of a business blouse or over a turtleneck sweater and you are ready for work. Slip a warm, silky, cognac colored amber necklace around your neck for a luscious look as you go out for an evening on the town. And as for the green amber - well it is so fantastic and gorgeous that it can go anywere.
Whenever you wear amber, you can be confident that your natural beauty is sure to radiate.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bones TV Show Inspired Jewelry

When we began making jewelry, we were inspired by the beauty of the natural gemstones and glass beads we found, by history, but also by the TV show, "Bones."  The three main female characters are strong, independent, professional women who wear a continually changing array of beautiful necklaces and earrings.  Natural gemstones and metals are featured in each piece and the style for each character is strong, and unique. 

We wanted to design jewelry that would follow this trend, rather than trying always to be on the cutting edge of the super high fashion industry.  Our jewelry is designed for those who are self assured, independent, strong.  We use natural minerals, freshwater pearls, and gemstones for our necklaces and earrings, blending different stones into unique designs.

Our second goal was to make this jewelry affordable, versatile, and timeless.  Please visit our store on at

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lady Justice Necklace 

Amazonite, Black Onyx, Red Jasper & Silver Plate beads accent a beautiful, deep rust Red Jasper Cabochon pendant. The small black matrix within this natural gemstone makes this a unique, one of a kind necklace.

Red Jasper represents fairness, equity, justice, truth - hence the name. Perhaps this would be the perfect piece for an attorney?

I had fun designing this - it almost came together by itself. Maybe there is something in the myth that onyx is for happiness, amazonite enhances creativity, and red jasper balances one. Maybe it is just the beauty of the stones, the almost hidden matrix within the jasper cabochon that I found inspiring, but whatever it was, this turned out to be a really beautiful piece.

We liked the combination of gemstones so much that we made coordinating earrings. You can find them listed in this store.

Necklace measures 23 ½ inches with a 4 inch extender chain & lobster claw clasp. Pendant measures 2 inches by 1 ½ inches. All silver items on this piece are silver plate.
For more jewelry by Exotic Treasures Jewelry, please see our store at:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Tourmaline - A Different Birthstone for October

Sure, we all know that opal was determined to be the official birthstone for October by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912, but how many know that TOURMALINE was chosen as a co-equal birthstone?  Not many, unfortunately. 

Tourmaline is a fantastic jewel.  The name comes from the Sri Lankan language and means “stone of many colors.”  An ancient legend says that tourmaline got its color by traveling through the rainbow, gathering all the colors found there as it passed through.   How true that is.   This gemstone ranges in color from deep almost opaque deep green to a translucent raspberry red.  

Because of the many colors found in this wonderful gemstone, it is very versatile.  It is the perfect accessory for most colors and styles of clothing, and can easily go from morning to evening, from a formal affair to a sports event.