Friday, January 04, 2013

Lavender & the Color Purple

Every year, when I harvest my lavender I bring it into the studio to dry for several months before removing the little buds or whatever they are called from each stem. I love having the lavender inside especially when I sit at one particular location of my workbench. As I work, my feet jostle the ends of the stems under the bench and with just the slightest movement the soothing scent of lavender is released into the air. It’s heavenly.

As you can imagine, I have little pillows and pouches filled with lavender all over the house – including the bedposts! I just think I sleep better with the scent of lavender winding about my head at night. Don’t laugh, but I have also placed a few little pouches in Beatrix’s beds in hopes that she has sweet dreams as well!

Not sure if it’s a coincidence or if there is some cosmic connection, but many of the rocks and gemstones I favor in my jewelry designs are similar to lavender in both color and in their soothing nature. I love the colors of lepidolite, natural purple agates and the variety of amethysts found around the world. Lepidolite, the lesser-known of these three stones, is said to support the wearer in the areas of joy, peace, serenity and love. Wow, that makes it pretty powerful in my mind. I favor the lilac variety and use it frequently in my jewelry designs. Its gentle color is very feminine and soothing to the eye and the energy and healing properties from the stone – well, enough said. For all you fashion types out there, in the Spring 2013 Color Report, Pantone African Violet is quite close to that of lilac lepidolite. Makes me wonder if Mother Nature is moonlighting…again!

While I love all agates, natural purple banded agate is one of the more unusual colors found. In general, agates are considered power stones. They are said to be grounding, solid and stable and have excellent protective and healing energy. I’ll take all I can get, thank you very much. While you might find simple strands of small agate beads made into bracelets, I love using unusual cuts and mixing the rocks up, putting my style spin on the overall look. Of course, I love the idea that I won’t see myself coming and going every day of the week when it comes to jewelry. I have never been one to buy off the rack – especially when I see dozens of the same item being sold. I blame my mom and aunt for this – they custom-tailored every piece of clothing (with the exception of undies) I wore until I was old enough to sew for myself. Every piece was a masterpiece, usually constructed from a drawing of mine. Pretty spoiled girl, right? Would you believe I had to beg for a store-bought dress in high school? What the heck was I thinking? But back to jewelry and agate in particular – the purple banded nuggets in this bracelet are so soft and feminine – deceiving really for such a powerful stone.

Ah, amethyst. Always a favorite of mine and from what I can tell a strong favorite of yours. This gem is thought to be a stone of the mind – it helps to bring calmness and clarity where there is anxiety and confusion. And, let’s face it…it’s just darn beautiful to look at. I love all varieties of amethyst – from the clear deeply colored Zambian variety, which is usually cut into faceted or smooth cabochon stones, to the wispy white on lavender Cape Amethyst found only in the Cape region of South Africa. There is also a variety called chevron or dogtooth amethyst which is quite vibrant with chevrons of white in the mix. When I can find it, I always snatch it up to work into designs for you…and me!

Along with the few pieces highlighted here you can find many other purple, lavender, and lilac colored stones in one- two- and three-of-a-kind jewelry pieces on my site. I do hope you’ll take some time for a little look-see over there and perhaps choose a piece or two to start your New Year in a colorful, calm yet powerful way!