The Creative Maximalist

I'm Kristin, an artist and jewelry designer constantly fighting the urge to veer off one creative path and into another. This is my space to unabashedly explore all the random objects and ideas that tickle my imagination. Join me?
  • Aquamarine, my summer stone

    August 02 2018

    Aquamarine, to me, is nature’s solution to the face-melting heat that pours from a Texas summer’s oven door. She's the wiser, older sister of the aggressively overzealous A/C unit that is at once a savior and a curse, as so many modern inventions are. At peace with her inability to physically provide coolness, she finds her younger sibling’s relentless blast of 65 degree ice-air to be tiring and obvious.

    As someone whose summertime indoor activities are always accompanied by an unseasonable jacket, I can appreciate Aquamarine’s subtlety. Its pale blue clarity splashed with seafoamy yellow-green has long been associated with the properties of water. Just looking through the stone is like a mental thirst quenching, internal relief from the heat’s agitative oppression – and the reason I chose Aquamarine as a focus of my upcoming collection.

    A stone’s power can be both personal and universal. The above reflections describe how Aquamarine resonates with me personally. As I delve into more research on the properties of stones, I’m often surprised by how the data and historic lore mirror my own instinctive reactions.

    Here's more information on common beliefs and uses for Aquamarine:


    Used to release fear and calm nerves.
    Filters information and removes extraneous thought, providing mental clarity.
    Helpful in understanding underlying emotional states and interpreting how you feel.
    Breaks self-defeating programming and leads to dynamic change.
    Said to be the treasure of mermaids and was often used by sailors for protection while at sea.

  • February Birthstone: Amethyst Meaning & History

    February 02 2018

    amethyst february birthstone meaning history

    AMETHYST HISTORY & LORE


    For centuries, amethyst has been a highly prized gemstone, commonly found in royal crown jewels and religious jewelry. They were considered equal in value to rubies, emeralds and sapphires until the 1800’s, when a large deposit was found in Brazil, making them more readily available and less “precious.”

    Its name is from the ancient Greek world “methystos”, meaning “not drunk.” Long story short, a poor girl named Amethyst was said to have been turned into a clear crystal as a result of a temper tantrum by Bacchus, the unruly wine god. Feeling guilty, he poured juice from his grapes over the stone as an offering (just what every girl wants) – giving the stone its purple hue and perpetuating the belief that it could inhibit the intoxication of all who wore it. My question is...wouldn’t preventing hangovers be the more desirable trait?

    Birthstone jewelry is a tradition that traces back to the biblical breastplate of Aaron, set with 12 gemstones that represented the 12 tribes of Israel. Amethyst was one of these stones, and has been associated with the month of February since ancient times.

    amethyst february birthstone folklore


    AMETHYST PROPERTIES

    PURIFYING
    Promotes contentment and clears the mind of negativity.

    HEALING
    Believed to relieve headaches, eye strain and skin irritations. It is thought to be particularly useful in regards to work-related stress and times of grief.

    INTUITION
    It’s association with the crown chakra is known to connect one with spiritual energy and freedom.

    amethyst birthstone history meaning


    AMETHYST USES

    MEDITATION
    Meditate with amethyst to rid yourself of stress and anxiety.

    SKIN RELIEF
    Moisten an amethyst and rub it over blemishes to help calm irritation.

    OFFICE
    Keep it on your desk to help with leadership, promote calm and work with your intuition.

    Many cultures have their own list of birthstones and legends associated with each. My fascination with historical traditions like these inspired me to make a birthstone collection of my own – available in both yellow bronze and white bronze with a choice of chain lengths. Customizable hand-engraving is also available to make these pieces extra personal. 

    You can shop my birthstone collection here.
  • December Birthstone: Turquoise Properties & History

    December 04 2017

    turquoise december birthstone meaning properties
    TURQUOISE METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    For centuries, turquoise has been recognized for its powers of protection against injury and evil. It is also thought to relieve mental tension and promote communication, especially beneficial to those who work in law, government, accounting and other anxiety-inducing professions.

    The color turquoise is often associated with water, sky, and the connection of the two, imparting the therapeutic benefits of tranquility, calm, grounding and healing when used during meditation.

    TURQUOISE HISTORY

    Turquoise is one of the oldest stones in history. Beads dating back to 5000 B.C. have been found in Iraq, and Egyptian tombs that contained elaborate turquoise jewelry date back to 3000 B.C. Most notably, King Tut’s iconic burial mask was extravagantly adorned with turquoise. Ancient Persians decorated extensively with turquoise, using it to cover palace domes with its sky blue color representing heaven.

    Meanwhile, pre-Columbian Native Americans mined turquoise throughout the present-day southwestern United States. Shamans used it in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky. Apache Indians believed that attaching turquoise to bows improved a hunter’s accuracy. Turquoise became valuable in Native American trade, which carried North American material toward South America. Consequently, Aztecs cherished turquoise for its protective power, and used it on ceremonial masks, knives and shields.

    TURQUOISE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    Turquoise is found in arid regions where rainwater dissolves copper in the soil, forming colorful nodular deposits when it combines with aluminum and phosphorus. Copper contributes blue hues, while iron and chrome add a hint of green.

    Some turquoise contains pieces of host rock, called matrix, which appear as dark webs or patches in the material. This can lower the stone’s value, although the uniform “spiderweb” pattern of Southwestern turquoise is attractive.

    BIRTHSTONE HISTORY

    December is a month with many birthstone options. Turquoise, tanzanite and blue zircon are the most common modern birthstones, with blue topaz as an alternate, and zircon and lapis lazuli being the traditional options.

    The concept of associating a gemstone with each month of the year is an ancient practice, believed to trace back to the Bible with the breastplate of Aaron, a religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Later, writings in the 1st century linked the 12 stones in the Breastplate and the 12 signs of the zodiac. The idea was proposed that each of the gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding astrological sign, and that wearing these stones at the right time would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits.

    The concept of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of their birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders to the region. Yet the modern list of birthstones was not defined until 1912, by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.

    Information sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

    december turquoise birthstone necklace

    Many cultures have their own list of birthstones and legends associated with each. My fascination with historical traditions such as this inspired me to make a birthstone collection of my own. Available in both yellow bronze and white bronze with a choice of chain lengths, I designed this necklace to be an everyday wardrobe staple, personal for each woman who wears it.

    You can shop my birthstone collection here.
  • November Birthstone: Citrine Properties & History

    November 04 2017

    citrine november birthstone
    CITRINE METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    Carrying the power of the sun, citrine is warm and comforting, energizing and life giving. It clears the mind and stirs the soul to action, with its frequency awakening creativity and imagination. Natural citrine does not hold or accumulate negative energy, but rather dissipates and grounds it, transforming negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones.

    It's a stone of abundance, attracting wealth and prosperity and encouraging generosity. As a professional support stone, citrine improves productivity and is a fortifying crystal for medical personnel and healers.

    CITRINE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    Brazil is the largest supplier of citrine, and different geographies yield different shades of citrine.

    A key discovery in the 18th century gave citrine a boost in popularity, when mineralogists realized that amethyst and smoky quartz could be heat treated to produce lemony and golden honey hues of citrine, contributing to an abundance of affordable enhanced gems on the market. Natural citrine is now very rare.

    CITRINE HISTORY

    The name comes from the French word citron, meaning lemon, and was used to refer to yellow gems as early as 1385. However, since the gem’s color closely resembled topaz, these two November birthstones have shared a history of mistaken identities.

    From the earliest of times, citrine was called the "sun stone" and the gemstone was thought capable of holding sunlight and useful in the protection from snakebites. Its color was associated with gold and it became known as the “merchant's stone”, thought to improve communication and to attract wealth. To the Romans, it was the stone of Mercury, the messenger god, and was used for carving intaglios.

    BIRTHSTONE HISTORY

    Citrine and topaz are both modern November birthstones, however topaz and pearl were the traditional birthstones for this month.

    The concept of associating a gemstone with each month of the year is an ancient practice, believed to trace back to the Bible with the breastplate of Aaron, a religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Later, writings in the 1st century linked the 12 stones in the Breastplate and the 12 signs of the zodiac. The idea was proposed that each of the gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding astrological sign, and that wearing these stones at the right time would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits.

    The concept of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of their birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders to the region. Yet the modern list of birthstones was not defined until 1912, by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.

    Information sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

     november citrine birthstone necklace

    Many cultures have their own list of birthstones and legends associated with each. My fascination with historical traditions such as this inspired me to make a birthstone collection of my own. Available in both yellow bronze and white bronze with a choice of chain lengths, I designed this necklace to be an everyday wardrobe staple, personal for each woman who wears it.

    You can shop my birthstone collection here.

  • October Birthstone: Opal History & Properties

    October 12 2017

    october opal birthstone properties

    OPAL HISTORY

    The name "opal" comes from the Sanskrit word upala, meaning precious stone. During Roman times, the Latin word opalus came into use. As it possessed all the virtues of the gemstones whose colors reside within it, opal was considered by the ancient world to be the most bewitching and mysterious of gems, worn for its virtues of soothing and strengthening the sight, healing diseases of the eyes, and capable of providing great luck. In the Middle Ages, opals were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight and even ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares.

    But in 1829 a book by Sir Walter Scott transformed the opal’s lucky perception. It featured an enchanted princess who wore an opal that changed colors with her moods. A few drops of holy water extinguished the stone’s magic fire, though, and the woman soon died. People began associating opals with bad luck and within a year, opal sales in Europe fell by 50%. Despite the superstitions, opal was redeemed in the twentieth century, and is today a coveted gem.

    OPAL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    The opal dates back to prehistoric times. It’s a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed. As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica and water were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming opal. This gemstone contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence.

    Since opal was discovered in Australia around 1850, the country has produced 95% of the world’s supply. Opal is also mined in Mexico, Brazil, Honduras, Ethiopia, the Czech Republic and parts of the U.S., including Nevada and Idaho.

    OPAL METAPHYSICAL PROPERTIES

    In the metaphysical world, opal acts as a prism to bring a full spectrum of light energy to the system, soothing and clearing the emotional body, and boosting the will to live and the joy of one’s earthly existence. It enkindles optimism, enthusiasm and creativity, and allows for the release of inhibitions inspiring love and passion.

    Opal is known for its ability to bring one’s traits and characteristics to the surface for examination and transformation. Just as it absorbs and reflects light, opal picks up thoughts and feelings, desires and buried emotions, amplifying them and returning them to the source. While magnifying one’s negative attributes may prove to be uncomfortable, it allows for understanding how destructive these emotions can be and assists the process of letting them go.

    BIRTHSTONE HISTORY

    Opal is the considered the modern October birthstone, with tourmaline being the traditional October birthstone and a modern alternative.

    The concept of associating a gemstone with each month of the year is an ancient practice, believed to trace back to the Bible with the breastplate of Aaron, a religious garment set with twelve gemstones that represented the twelve tribes of Israel. Later, the writings of Flavius Josephus (1st century AD) linked the 12 stones in the Breastplate and the 12 signs of the zodiac. The idea was proposed that each of the gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding astrological sign, and that wearing these stones at the right time would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits.

    The concept of each person always wearing a gemstone corresponding to the month of their birth is a modern one that scholars trace to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders to the region. Yet the modern list of birthstones was not defined until 1912, by the National Association of Jewelers in the USA.

    Information sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

     

    opal birthstone necklace

    Many cultures have their own list of birthstones and legends associated with each. I find historical traditions fascinating, especially ones as long-running and evolving as the birthstone. That combined with my interest in stones and meaningful jewelry made creating a birthstone collection of my own a must-do. Available in both yellow bronze and white bronze with a choice of chain lengths, I designed this necklace to be an everyday wardrobe staple. You can shop the birthstone collection here.

HEY, FANCY!

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