Men’s Personalized Gold Bracelets

Do you have a man in your life, someone you love, appreciate, and respect but a man that is hard to buy for at birthday time? If so, you are certainly not alone. While some men are easy to find gifts for, others are tough. It could be due to the individual having no sense of style or that he is extremely particular. Regardless, you find yourself struggling to find a gift he would love, but also a gift he would use. Any man would be thrilled to receive the ever-popular birthday of men’s personalized gold bracelets.

One of the exciting aspects of men’s personalized bracelets is the vast design opportunities. By choosing a personalized piece of jewelry, you have the chance to give input into the type of metal or gems used, as well as the design itself. The benefit with this is that you, more than anyone else, know the man, you know his personality, lifestyle, and character so the gold bracelet would be designed specifically for him.

Obviously, you want the customized bracelet to be perfect so the first step is gaining some design ideas. As mentioned, this would involve looking at his life and personality but also looking at various bracelet styles and designs. For this, we recommend you spend time online, looking at national and international jeweler designers to see what is offered. Chances are you would take elements from a number of designs along with your own input and come up with something completely, unique.

After this, you need to find the right jewelry designer. For the ever-popular birthday gift of men’s personalized gold bracelets, you want a professional that knows all about men’s jewelry and jewelry design, but also one that has a creative mind. A good designer would consider numerous factors and then work with you to offer suggestions. This would give you absolute confidence that the final piece would be exactly what the man in your life wants.

With personalized bracelets, you could go with something elaborate, large, and detailed or, a clean design made of simple gold. The type of gold would also be a consideration. For instance, there is white and yellow gold, or the bracelet could be designed with a combination of the two. Gold also comes in different degrees of purity, known as karats, which include 10, 12, 14, 18, and 24.

For 10K, 12K, and 14K, which are the most common, the gold is strong, great for men’s bracelets. However, you could also choose a design made of 18K or 24K. The issue here is that the higher the purity level, the softer the gold. Therefore, the bracelet could be damaged or scratched easily. Now, if you prefer a bracelet made from higher purity gold, the jewelry designer might consider using a stronger metal with the gold, likely titanium or platinum.

Finally, the ever-popular birthday gift of men’s personalized gold bracelets could also be designed with or without gemstones. While using embellishments would increase the price of the bracelet, depending on the man, it might be needed to match his style. A good designer could come up with concepts for both options and again, get your input so the finished look could be designed.

Source by Heath Enslin

Debilitation of Lord of Ascendant

The Ascendant is the first house of the horoscope and the rest of the houses are reckoned from it. It indicates the general appearance, character and temperament of the native. The lord/house of ascendant indicates the native’s vitality, vigour and disposition, his natural tendencies and personality are judged from this house.

The planets are in the state of weakness if occupying a particular sign and fails to protect/promote the specific characterises governed by them, are said to be in the state of debilitation.

Lord of ascendant plays a very important role in assessing one’s physical, mental and emotional capabilities, hence in debilitated state; they are not capable of producing results expected by them.

The results of debilitation of lord of ascendant for different ascendant signs are shown below:

Aries:

  • Mars being lord of ascendant and 8th house, posited in 4th house, in the sign of debilitation.
  • Indicates rash and aggressive, attitude. The native will lose temper quickly, indicates lack of strength and courage.
  • Due to their impulsive nature they start any work in flash and end in a crash.
  • The native will prone to frequent injuries and accidents particularly to head. Surgery is advisable in many cases. Fear of drowning, and danger of biting from poisonous creatures.
  • The native is liable to suffer from headaches, chest pain, high blood pressure, burns, inflammatory diseases, affliction of the brain, migraine, small pox, malaria, thrombosis etc.
  • Differences with mother are indicated, loss of immovable properties, selling of conveyance and suffering for the usual transport, termination or suspension of job, loss of litigation and loss of mass-support.
  • This position of Mars is favourable for profession/carrier as it aspects the 10th house, its house of exaltation.

Taurus:

  • The Venus being lord of ascendant and 6th house, placed in 5th house in the state of debilitation.
  • The native will earn money by unscrupulous means, have extra marital affairs, may face imprisonment for his sexual advantages, loss in speculation, and separation from children, and have company of malefic persons.
  • Frequent suffering from tonsils, diphtheria, and pyorrhoea, pimples on face, and eye trouble, and constipation is indicated. The recovery from any ailments is usually very slow.
  • This position of Venus is favourable for income, as it aspects the 11th house, the house of its exaltation.

Gemini:

  • Mercury being lord of ascendant and 4th placed in 10th house in its debilitated sign.
  • The native will be a conceited, cleaver, cunning, showy person, lair and misbehaviour.
  • The native will utter falsehood or cheat others for his benefits and with constant mood- swings they will make mistakes due to their haste actions and fickle mind.
  • The native will face many obstacles in his professional life and lacks the art of mastering any subject. They may face hurdles from government.
  • Open difference from father is indicated, the native may face scandal and ill-reputation in his professional life due to his malefic speech. He is responsible for his own downfall.
  • The native may suffer from lungs infection, eosinophilia, T.B., pulmonary diseases, cold, and may have defective nervous system.
  • This placement of Mercury is beneficial for acquiring immovable assets, because Mercury aspects the 4th house the sign of its exaltation.

Cancer:

  • Moon as debilitated lord of ascendant, is being placed in 5th house.
  • Lack of patience and endurance, over sensitivity and indolence is indicated. The native may have fickle mind and selfish attitude.
  • Differences with children are indicated. The children may be ungrateful, disobedient, unfaithful and undutiful.
  • The native may have weak pulmonary and digestive system, heart problems, alcohol- addiction, afflictions of lungs, chronic cold, asthma, T.B., gall stone, nervous debility, worms, fear complex, compulsive disorders, dropsy, flatulence.
  • Sometimes lunacy and loss of memory is also associated with this state of Moon.
  • It is favourable for income as Moon aspects the 11th house, it’s sign of exaltation.

Leo:

  • Sun as the lord of ascendant, placed in 3rd house, in the state of debilitation.
  • The native may have complex nature, arrogant, bluff and have lack of courage. He will be over ambitious, self opinionated, jealous and insulting.
  • Lack of younger siblings or difference with them is indicated.
  • The native may suffer constantly from problems of eyes, spine, heart and bones. Palpitation, inflammation, sunstroke, giddiness, epilepsy, loss of speech due to cerebral infection, bile-complaints and diseases of head are some disorders resulted by this specific placement of sun.
  • This is a favourable placement of Sun for the fortune of the native, as Sun aspects 9th house, its sign of exaltation.

Virgo:

  • Mercury as the lord of ascendant and 10th, placed in 7th house in the debilitated sign.
  • Loss in profession, business or trade, constant betrayal of life and business partners, divorce, fake contracts and agreements, litigations, pending dues etc.
  • The native may face disgrace, discredit and scandal in professional life.
  • This position of Mercury is inimical

5 Steps to Crime Prevention at Your Marina

Spending the day or weekend on your boat is one of the pleasures most boaters look forward to all the time. Unfortunately, the marinas where vessels are stored at are just as susceptible to crime as our homes and places of work, if not more so. Criminals prey on two facts. (1) Many boats are left alone for days and weeks at a time and (2) when a boater heads out onto the water, criminals know that they have more than enough time to burglarize their parked car.

With that being said, it becomes important for boat owners to learn some common-sense practices for keeping the property on their boats and in their vehicles as safe as possible. Listed below are five steps that boaters can take to help protect their property from crime.

1. Mark It

This is a proven deterrent and you will have a better chance of having your property returned if it is stolen. Etch or engrave an identification number, such as you vessel ID number, onto all of your valuable items. This will enable authorities to trace lost or stolen items back to your vessel. Also, enroll in a crime prevention program, like Boat Watch USA. It is free, and you receive a Vessel ID decal which includes a warning for all would be perpetrators to avoid your vessel. Place this decal where it can be easily seen from the most common spot your vessel is boarded from. Boat Watch USA also offers smaller Boat Watch USA warning decals to affix prominently to your major equipment.

2. Record It

Secondly, record in detail all of your valuable equipment. Compile a written inventory of your boat, trailer, and all onboard equipment. Boat Watch USA includes with it’s free service a form to list unique details and other special identifying features of your vessel. If you have a trailer, you can include particulars about it too. List all electronics, outboard engines, and other gear by brand name, model and serial number. Be as descriptive as possible for both the police and insurance companies. Again, Boat Watch USA offers an online vessel equipment log where owners can record equipment information and keep it readily available for the law enforcement and insurance companies should they need it.

3. Photograph It

Photograph or video tape the interior and exterior of your vessel, showing all the installed equipment and additional gear stowed aboard. These photographs should show any identifying marks or scratches that can be useful in the recovery efforts of law enforcement. Include photographs of open drawers and lockers with all contents revealed. Date and sign the photographs and add clarifying or identifying messages as necessary. Store these photographs or video tapes in a safe location outside of your boat, such as your home.

4. Secure It

Most thieves are opportunists and seek out the easiest vessels to strike. Purchase and use quality locking devices for your boat to make entry and accessibility as difficult as possible for would be thieves. Also, remove as many items as feasible when you are going to leave your boat unattended. The best way to keep thieves from stealing property from your boat is to not leave it aboard. Remove high risk items like TV’s, radios, and CB’s. If you are not going to remove items, store them out of sight in a securely locked cabinet or locker. Lastly, you may consider having an alarm system installed on your vessel. Care should be taken to select security equipment that is resistant to environmental elements typically found near waterways.

5. Marina Security

Many thieves are successful because they look as if they belong in the area. Become acquainted with your fellow neighbors at the marina. A tactful offer to help assist a stranger to find a person or a boat will signal to thieves that you are looking out for each other and that nobody goes unnoticed. Urge your fellow neighbors to also be observant of strangers in the area and to question their presence as well.

Be sure to always lock your vehicle when parked at a launch site, marina or dock. Remember to keep all windows secured and to remove any valuables from sight. If you are not taking your purse, cell phone, or other property with you, lock it in the trunk while you are gone. Also, to lessen the opportunity a would-be-thief has to break into your vehicle, park it in an open, visible area.

Be mindful and alert of any suspicious vehicles or persons who are lingering in the area. Record license plate numbers and remember physical descriptions of these vehicles and persons you observe loitering in the area.

Remember, a marina with good security equipment and good security practices is a good start. Having marina members who actively carry …

6 Tips For Wearing Color in Summer

As the temperature increases and the sun begins to shine, it is time to put the Parka’s and Duffel coats back in the cupboard and fill your wardrobe with your summer wear for the light nights and hot holidays.

Menswear summer fashion usually an injection of color into the pallet most men’s wardrobe. If worn right this can really make you stand out on the beach whilst retaining a look of chic and keep you looking cool all summer long. Here are my top 6 tips for guys wondering how to spice up your like this summer.

1. Wear colors that suit your natural features

Summer is a time of enjoying being out sun and showing of your natural features and the colors you wear should help bring these out and really emphasize what god gave you. For example if you have not caught the sun yet and you are still quite white, don’t strut your stuff in pastel tones that could leave you looking washed out.

2. Don’t be afraid of loud colors

If there is a time that you can wear a lime green t-shirt or a pair of purple jeans then the bright summer days are it. The trick here is not to clash them all into one mish-mash outfit and end up looking like a Childrens T.V presenter. The trick to pulling off ostentatiously colored menswear is to neutralize the other half of the outfit with a neutral color. So if you are wearing those red shorts make sure you have a white polo or v neck T over the top.

3. Get some color on your feet

Its time to put away those black brogues from the winter time and jazz up your footwear with some new shoes that compliment any summer outfit to a tee. For casual wear, why not try Reeboks latest range of retro style trainers that add a twist of color to your footwear or for formal and evening wear check out Pointers range of desert boots whose timeless look can be dressed up or down.

4. Loud patterns are a big No-No

Its not 1984 anymore! If you are desperate to mix up the pallet of your clothes and have different pattern on your shirts then make sure that they are pastel tones as this will look less like your grand mothers wallpaper.

5. Use color to enhance your facial features

By choosing colors that are right for your skin tone and eye and hair colour your can really extenuate these features.

6. Versatility is key

If you pick the right colors it can make an outfit that can be used in a number of situations. A prime example being a classic red crew t shirt, which can be worn both as a casual day time tee or under a light weight suit in the evening time to really create a smart casual outfit.

One thing is for sure with modern menswear this summer, you cannot avoid the fact that color is everywhere, from men’s streetwear to suits, designers have been injecting color into their lines and placing a twist on some classic. I hope these tips help with the problem what to wear this summer.

Source by Chris Fensome

Pearl Jewelry – Mother Nature's Jewel

It is hard to believe that the rarity and the value of the pearl have been recognized for many centuries. The ancient Egyptians understood this value, therefore they used pearls in the making of their own jewelry. Perhaps the ancient Egyptians did not understand the rarity of the pearl, but they clearly understood its beauty.

We all know that pearls are a natural occurrence via the oyster and although there are approximately 8,000 species of oysters, only about 20 of those species can produce a pearl. Yet not all of the pearls that are produced contain the required spherical shape, so this explains why pearls hold a very significant value and also explains why one strand of pearls can cost you hundreds of dollars.

But what about those strands of pearls that usually cost around $ 50? Those particular pearls are called 'cultured pearls.' These cultured pearls are synthetically produced and are the primary method of production of today's pearl jewelry. This method was actually discovered in the 1800's and involves the surgical implantation of a synthetic agent into an oyster that promotes pearl growth. Depending on the type of Oyster used it will determine the type of pearl produced, but, since the type of pearl Oyster, that spherical shape that is desired by pearl lovers can be achieved via this method.

Even an experienced jeweler is going to have difficulty telling the difference between an authentic pearl and a cultured pearl. Chances are the jeweler will not know at all without he can give the pearl an x-ray and you can rest assured that he is probably not going to have an x-ray machine in his store. Yet, if you're shopping for pearls, you can most likely tell the difference in the pearls based on their prices. The size of the pearl can make a difference, but if you compare a natural pearl and a cultured pearl of the same size, you are going to see a huge price variation.

So when shopping for pearls, you now know why some are affordable and some are not. If you want rare pearl jewelry, then sometimes you should seek out a natural pearl, but if you just want a pearl without the expense, maybe a cultured pearl is the way to go. Just think of it, that in a way, that no one will ever know the difference when looking at it and will believe your pearls to be as natural as you are.

Source by Debby Donaldson

Is Your Heart Committed? Is His?

Women, in particular, are looking for commitment. Hollywood, the media, and dating websites all focus on getting a marriage proposal. The art of seduction pre-dates expert Cleopatra. Dozens of books have been written about getting an unavailable man to say, "I do." For six years, Carrie Bradshaw of "Sex in the City" tried to get Mr. Big to commit.

But is there a commitment of the heart? It's one thing to get married, it's another to have a deep emotional connection. Both men and women often create obstacles to getting the love they want. They may avoid inconvenience with time spent at work, watching television, engaging in hobbies or sports. Addiction by either spouse blocks intimacy. Women complain their husbands spend too much time on the computer or watching sports. Yet, women may spend time cleaning, volunteering, or criticizing their husbands or boyfriends or be over-emotionally involved with their children. To be clear, I'm not talking about the demands of raising young children or the necessity of working two jobs to pay the bills. Stress makes intimate harder, but does not need to eliminate it, unless it's an excuse.

Fear of discomfort may show up in the bedroom. One man complained about his wife's coldness. He had an affair, only to discover that he was now impotent with his new lover. As walls build, the lack of communication usually will ever affect sexual intrusion.

Not infrequently, one spouse is unconsciously married to someone else. In one marriage, the husband's heart was still committed to his late wife. It was as if her ghost slept between them. In another, the husband cheated, but it was not the lovers who had stolen his heart – it was his mother! In another case, the husband was unfaithful, but the real cause of their financial problems lay in the wife's emotional marriage to her older brother, who died when she was a child. It sometimes happens with twins who are so close that no one else can share that intimate. It also can be a problem in step-families. One single mom found fault with every boyfriend, but she was not ready for romance. She did not realize her overly-involvement with her son was the problem. Similarly, in a marriage one parent may avoid intimacy by using a child of the opposite sex as an emotional surrogate. In these cases the unavailable partner is unconscious of their contribution to the very maritime problem about which they complain and think it's their own mate's fault. Frequently, they must grieve and let go before they can open to their spouse.

People rarely believe that getting the love that they seek might be a problem. Connie finally overcame her pattern of loving abusers, and found Mark, a kind and gentle man. Being loved proved to be more terrifying to Connie than the familiar abuse. Her entire life and personality had been built around the belief that she was unlovable. She was sure that Mark would leave when he discovered the "truth" about her that she imagined was bad. Mark had his own self-esteem issues, and before Connie, he had always dated overweight women, in whom he ever lost sexual interest. He worried Connie would leave. Sharing their fears, not only helped them to heal their wounds, but moved them closer to a commitment of the heart.

What makes intimate so difficult? It requires vulnerability – risking openness. Everyone's been hurt before, and I mean everyone. From childhood onwards, people get hurt even by well-intentioned parents, by friends, teachers, and lovers, and by losses due to death, illness, rejection, and divorce. Animals, including humans, are programmed to avoid pain. It's hard-wired into your brain in order to survive. It requires awareness, intention, and courage to feel everything that may arise once the heart is open. If it's been wounded before, no one wants to re-open an old wound. Opening your heart to love will open those wounds. But it's also an an opportunity to heal, rather than seal them it over.

Copyright © Darlene Lancer 2010

Source by Darlene Lancer

Why We Wear New Clothes on Easter – A History of the Tradition From a Fashion School Perspective

Many of us can remember our parents dressing us up in new clothes every Easter so we could parade around the neighborhood in our finest. It was a fun tradition to look forward to (or avoid, as some fashion-phobic children were known to do), whether we went to church or not. But where did this tradition come from? A look through history shows that its origins are not what we might expect. And examining the custom from a fashion school point of view, we see how changing retailing patterns have altered its significance.

Origins in other cultures. Although we associate wearing new clothes in spring with the Easter holiday, the tradition dates back to ancient times. Pagan worshipers celebrated the vernal equinox with a festival in honor of Ostera, the Germanic Goddess of Spring, and believed that wearing new clothes brought good luck. The Iranian new year, celebrated on the first day of Spring, has traditions rooted in the ancient pre-Islamic past. These traditions include spring cleaning and wearing new clothes to signify renewal and optimism. Similarly, the Chinese have celebrated its spring festival, also known as Lunar New Year, by wearing new clothes. It symbolized not only new beginnings, but the idea that people have more than they possibly need.

Christian beginnings. In the early days of Christianity, newly baptized Christians wore white linen robes at Easter to symbolize rebirth and new life. But it was not until 300 A.D. that wearing new clothes became an official decree, as the Roman emperor Constantine declared that his court must wear the finest new clothing on Easter. Eventually, the tradition came to mark the end of Lent, when after wearing weeks of the same clothes, worshipers discarded the old frocks for new ones.

Superstitions. A 15th-century proverb from Poor Robin’s Almanack stated that if one’s clothes on Easter were not new, one would have bad luck: “At Easter let your clothes be new; Or else for sure you will it rue.” In the 16th Century during the Tudor reign, it was believed that unless a person wore new garments at Easter, moths would eat the old ones, and evil crows would nest around their homes.

Post Civil War. Easter traditions as we know it were not celebrated in America until after the Civil War. Before that time, Puritans and the Protestant churches saw no good purpose in religious celebrations. After the devastation of the war, however, the churches saw Easter as a source of hope for Americans. Easter was called “The Sunday of Joy,” and women traded the dark colors of mourning for the happier colors of spring.

The Easter Parade. In the 1870s, the tradition of the New York Easter Parade began, in which women decked out in their newest and most fashionable clothing walked between the beautiful gothic churches on Fifth Avenue. The parade became one of the premier events of fashion design, a precursor to New York Fashion Week, if you will. It was famous around the country, and people who were poor or from the middle class would watch the parade to witness the latest trends in fashion design. Soon, clothing retailers leveraged the parade’s popularity and used Easter as a promotional tool in selling their garments. By the turn of the century, the holiday was as important to retailers as Christmas is today.

The American Dream. By the middle of the 20th Century, dressing up for Easter had lost much of any religious significance it might have had, and instead symbolized American prosperity. A look at vintage clothing ads in a fashion school library shows that wearing new clothes on Easter was something every wholesome, All-American family was expected to do.

Attitudes today. Although many of us may still don new clothes on Easter, the tradition doesn’t feel as special, not because of any religious ambivalence, but because we buy and wear new clothes all the time. At one time in this country, middle class families shopped only one or two times a year at the local store or from a catalog. But in the last few decades, retailing options have boomed. There’s a Gap on every corner, and countless internet merchants allow us to shop 24/7. No wonder young people today hear the Irving Berlin song “Easter Parade” and have no idea what it means.

It’s interesting to see where the tradition of wearing new clothes on Easter began, and how it’s evolved through the years. Even with changing times, however, the custom will surely continue in some form. After all, fashionistas love a reason to shop.

Source by Lily McCallister

Heirloom-Quality Jewelry (Part 1)

What makes a piece of jewelry worthy of being called “heirloom-quality” and what is meant by the term? Simply speaking, heirloom jewelry is recognized as jewelry that is passed down through generations, where as a “heirloom-quality” piece may or may not be passed down but exhibits several principle qualities that one should expect from jewelry meant to withstand many many years of wear. An heirloom-quality piece is best described as high-end jewelry exhibiting quality materials, precise craftsmanship and solid construction. The most precious heirloom jewelry also exhibits unique design, special treatment and sentimental value. This two-part article will help readers distinguish between precious pieces meant to be treasured for a lifetime and pieces that are less valuable.

Quality Materials

The most obvious characteristic of heirloom-quality jewelry is that it is constructed with quality materials. Such materials may include but are not limited to high-karat gold, fine and sterling silver, platinum, precious and semi-precious stones, and organic gems.

The precious metals gold, silver and platinum, are valued for their rarity and beauty. Although they are malleable, these metals are remarkably resistant to corrosion, which makes them highly desirable for jewelry making.

Pure gold is measured as 24-karat and is generally considered too soft to be worn as jewelry, therefore it is commonly alloyed with other metals such as copper, silver and titanium to strengthen it. The result is gold of varying karats and shades, and generally the higher the gold content the more precious the piece is considered to be. In the U.S., 14-karat gold is predominant. In Europe, 18 karat is most common, and in parts of Asia and the Middle East, 22- or 24-karat gold is the standard. On high-end jewelry, the karat content is usually stamped on the piece.

Silver is the most plentiful of all precious metals, and when given a high polish, its reflective properties are unrivaled. It has been perhaps the most sought-after precious metal throughout the ages, likely due to its durability in combination with its beauty. One of the secrets of silver is that it easily flatters all skin tones. Though it is more durable than pure gold, like gold, pure silver on its own is too soft to be worn as jewelry. Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. This combination strengthens silver while retaining its precious metal properties.

Platinum’s popularity as high-end jewelry began more than 2,000 years ago in South American Indian cultures and like silver, it is prized for its highly reflective color. Another defining feature of platinum is its durability, which is unsurpassed by any of the other precious metals. Even the most delicate of styles fashioned with platinum permanently retain their shape; this allows jewelry artists extensive creative freedom when forming intricate pieces. Most platinum jewelry is manufactured with at least 85 percent pure platinum. Palladium, ruthenium and iridium, which are also members of the platinum family, are often alloyed with platinum to enhance its brilliance and durability.

Beside metal, heirloom-quality jewelry can feature a variety of skillfully set stones and organic materials. These materials can range from the very expensive and rare to the semi-precious and lusciously colored. What is most important is how well these materials are incorporated into the overall design and how securely they are set into the piece. Just because a 5-karat diamond is slapped into an 18-karat gold ring does not mean it qualifies as heirloom-quality.

Expensive gems such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires represent precious stones. Although diamonds enjoy instant recognition as being rare and precious, sapphires are theoretically four times as rare as diamonds. Sapphires are very durable, second only to diamonds in hardness and sometimes come in rarer colors than blue, called “fancies” or “party colors. Treasured by the ancient Inca and Aztecs, emeralds are the most valuable precious stone in the world – by weight. Colombian emeralds are among the world’s most beautiful, prized for their undiluted pristine green. Incredibly deep red luster is the signature of the gorgeous ruby with the finest and rarest being referred to as “pigeons blood” due to their unsurpassed intense red color.

Semi-precious stones are by definition more plentiful than their higher priced relatives and are primarily valued for their beauty. Examples of semiprecious stones include turquoise, amethyst, bloodstone, cubic zirconia, garnet, onyx and opal. Although coral and pearl aren’t technically stones, they are considered semi-precious as well.

Other materials considered semi-precious include amber, ivory, fossils and exotic woods. These materials are often referred to as “organic gems” and present a unique and unusual treatment for jewelry of distinction. Amber is fossilized pine tree sap, most of which comes from the Baltic states of eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.

Ivory can come from a variety of animals including prehistoric mammoths, but for …

Which Real Butterfly Jewelry Is Best for Me?

In recent years, it has become quite popular for various vendors to advertise and sell real butterfly jewelry. Although many vendors are careful to only sell jewelry made from butterflies born, raised, and passed away naturally on humane butterfly farms, some vendors are not so careful so if you are environmentally sensitive, be sure to ask the vendor where they get their butterflies from before purchasing.

Historically speaking, there have been three types of butterfly jewelry on the market: laminated wings, wings encased in cases covered with glass, and wings dipped in resin. All of these are typically used for earrings but they are occasionally found for use in necklaces as well. Only recently has a fourth version of real butterfly jewelry arrived in the marketplace. Before addressing the newbie, let’s consider the advantages and disadvantages of traditional real butterfly jewelry.

Laminated Wings

While laminated butterfly jewelry varies somewhat in quality, the biggest difference that you may want to consider is selection. All laminated products yellow with age so prolonged exposure to the sun will eventually render the jewelry unattractive – prolonged exposure to the sun will slowly fade the colors on the original butterfly wing as well. If you are wearing them in primarily indoor venues, they should last quite a while before yellowing and losing their beauty. Although they are fairly durable as you might expect, the lamination will eventually start to curl or peel apart slightly and will produce a frayed edge. Of course, with lamination comes glossy texture, so you also lose some of the natural beauty of the butterfly – but not much. Generally speaking though, these are minor critiques – the big differences between vendors is their selection of butterfly wings. Look for a vendor that carries dozens of species rather than only a few. Of all butterfly jewelry, this type is often the least expensive, so finding a vendor with a great selection and a good price is not too difficult.

Wings Encased in Glass Cases

Real butterfly jewelry encased in glass cases makes durability a non-issue when compared to laminated products. Although some few vendors carry cheap cases that may even unexpectedly pop open if you are not careful, most butterfly jewelry sold in this fashion comes in attractive (usually silver) cases that surround a portion of the butterfly wing. This preserves the natural beauty of the butterfly wing for a very long time. However, jewelry of this nature almost never allows you to see the entire butterfly wing and often produces a fairly heavy earring. Further, when real butterfly wings are used, prolonged exposure to the sun will slowly fade until the original colors are lost forever – this is a problem with laminated products as well. Despite the fact that UV protected acrylic sheets are available on the market, it appears that no vendor uses this technology to make this type of butterfly jewelry last longer or to make the earrings less heavy. In short, your taste in which cases are the most attractive is the biggest factor when looking for butterfly jewelry encased in glass cases – the selection of butterfly wings is less crucial with this genre of jewelry because the whole wing is almost never used so many people will not even notice that the jewelry is made from real butterfly wings. Of all butterfly jewelry, this type is often the most expensive.

Butterfly Wings in Resin or Lucite Cases

Real butterfly jewelry dipped in resin or Lucite varies drastically in quality. Some butterfly wings are so badly damaged in the process that you can barely tell that it is a butterfly wing encased in a plastic coating at all. Others preserve the beauty of the wing fabulously. Generally speaking, the better the product, the higher the price; there are some exceptions but you will have to shop around to find them. Although this product is more durable than the laminated products, it has the same problems with discoloration – both the resin/Lucite coating and the butterfly wing discolor over time – and it tends to make a heavy earring as well. Few vendors offer much selection with this product so you may not have the same ability to be picky about which species that you would like to wear.

The Newbie: Natural Looking Real Butterfly Wing Earrings

There is only one vendor in the world that offers these fabulous products. Like the laminated wings described above, this product features whole butterfly wings rather than a small portion of the wing, which allows for a better view of the butterfly’s natural beauty. There are at least two big differences between the treated butterfly earrings and the standard laminated earring: first, the butterfly wing (in its pristine natural state) is exposed for viewing, which uniquely preserves the natural …

Radley Bags and Handbags – How to Spot a Fake Radley Bag

Radley bags may not be as well known as other designer handbag manufacturers such as Gucci, Fendi, Coach, Louis Vuitton etc… but since the company was created in 1998 it has grown in popularity regularly every year since, and Radley bags are now the best selling UK designer handbag brand. They are also famous for their Scottie dog logo.

They are based in London in the UK but their bags are also available in the USA in stores such as Bloomingdales and Lord and Taylor. They also have websites in both the UK and the USA where they are rapidly becoming well-known by women who like quality and slightly unusual designer bags for a reasonable price.

Their motto is that they are devoted to “making beautiful things that women can fall in love with”. Their handbags are known for reflecting the exceptional creativity of the Radley designers, who strive to ensure “original design, exceptional hand-crafting, distinctive pattern work, extraordinary colour schemes and unusual textures”

Creativity is a very subjective concept of course so what do Radley mean by ‘creativity’? Well in their own words creativity means “lighting fires of inspiration and doing our job with passion and …. being stimulated by the world outside the window as well as the world inside our head.” In their opinion their handbags must be “works of art” and they see themselves primarily as artists, and vision as their greatest asset.

Radley bags are also well-known for being colorful. In their words color is “the essence of Radley” and they make use of color to “capture humor, or display an emotion. To give off attitude or make a statement. To add character and enrich. To bring fun into our lives and onto our products.”

Their bags are always designed to stress originality and surprise as they prefer “to fail in originality rather than succeed in imitation”.

They also aim to make their bags affordable and in this respect are very much like Coach in the USA. They refuse to cut corners but are not extravagant, striving for “Creativity without extravagance”. Their handbags are consequently high quality products that won’t break the bank that tend to be bright and colorful and incorporate distinctive details and shapes. They are manufactured from fine colored leathers plus a variety of other materials. Their craftsmen pay extreme attention to detail throughout the manufacturing process.

This year their spring collection is a choice of soft leather bags with creative hand-crafted detail that emphasize light Summer shades of yellow, pale pink and ivory, with “vibrant apple green highlights”.

The spring collection was a great success with the fashion press and has been featured in the main fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Elle Accessories and Marie Claire.

How to Spot a Fake Radley Bag

The growing popularity of Radley bags has unfortunately led to the creation of fakes and replicas.

Radley take the problem of fake bags very seriously and have taken steps to combat the forges.

In the Autumn/Winter of 2008 they introduced a new authentication label in the form of an LCD printed label containing a form of Mirage technology. The Radley dog logo changes color from light to dark when you lift it up to the light.

Radley bags are the manufacturers of designer handbags to introduce this form of advanced security.

All Radley bags have an aluminum dog logo inside, on which is embossed the RADLEY name. Radley is also embossed on the leather square beneath.

The Scottie dog tag on a Radley bags is attached to the bag in such a way that you can remove it easily. With fake Radley bags it is often difficult or impossible to remove this tag.

Radley bags have a glossy, cardboard label on the outside, there is no dog on this label.

The word ‘Radley’ is only embossed on the dog suspended on the tag on the outside of the bag.

Radley bags are sold with a set of leather care products. They are also supplied in a dustbag with drawstring.

Prices for Radley bags in the USA range from $150 up to $400

Source by Adva Jones

Decorative Functional Accessories – The Dual Purpose

A home has a limited amount of space, and within that space you need certain items to live. Each room has its own set of unique necessities, without which the room would be less functional.

However on the other hand, a house is also a living environment, and beauty is important in life. You can’t just ignore the artistic aspects of your home in favor of Spartan utility. Luckily, there are a wealth of design choices, including various colors, models, sizes, patterns, and shapes, available for even the most functional and common every day home accessories.

Take for instance the trash can. This is probably one of the most base and common objects in your home, and yet it is absolutely necessary, and in fact multiple trash cans are probably necessary in various rooms throughout. However, rather than being an embarrassing eyesore, you can actually make your trash stand out, by purchasing can which feature unique designs, or exotic contrasting colors.

In the kitchen, many people will match stainless steal trash cans to stainless steal utensils and appliances to bring the ambiance of the space together. This is a trick which can be used in a variety of spaces throughout the home, and in most rooms simply having the various functional pieces all matched up will be enough to give the space an attractive look.

The bathroom is one of the best examples of using functional accessories as the decorative part of the space. That is because most bathrooms are way too small to add very many decorative pieces too. Instead, the wide variety of functional pieces can combine, contrast, and congregate with one another to make up the look and feel of the room.

This is not just limited to soap dispensers and toothbrush cups either. Even the linens, the towels, the wash clothes, the carpet itself, can all be mixed and matched in color to contribute to the overall attractiveness of the space.

Another place where you can add beauty to a functional piece is with clocks. Whether its wall clocks, mantel clocks, or little desk timepieces, the wide variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and prints, allows you to choose something that will do more than tell time, it will act as a centerpiece of the entire room.

Larger pieces are also part of this mix. Coffee tables, sofas, even beds with their bedding are all major aspects of the rooms in which they reside. By coordinating colors and patterns, you can achieve an integrated effect which will naturally enhance the look of the space.

The most important thing is to never overlook the art and beauty that can be found in even the most base and functional accessory. Just because it is useful, doesn’t mean that it can’t be gorgeous. Keep your eye open, and coordinate these items with the rest of your décor, to achieve a fully rounded decorative effect.

Source by Joey Pebble

Cross Necklaces – The History and How Wearing Religious Jewelry Can Express Your Christian Devotion

The history of cross necklaces used to display Christian devotion can be traced back at least to the 2nd century. Tertullian, a great Church Father, described the faithful Christian followers as cross devotees. And, it was noted that it was the center of the Christian’s life.

In the 3rd century St. Clement of Alexandria again describes the great devotion of Christians to the cross of Christ and defines it as the symbol of the Lord. St. Paulinus of Nola, at the end of the 4th century noted that it was recognized as both a sacred symbol of the passion of Christ and also a sign for protection and defense.

Archaeologists have found numerous items marked with a cross from many civilizations dating to the 5th and 6th centuries. These articles included: drawings and etchings on walls of burial chambers and catacombs in Rome, paintings in Egypt, coins, earthenware vessels, mosaics, devotional medals and saint medals, necklaces, rings, and liturgical vestments. They were even placed on documents from the 10th century believed to be used as signatures. They have been depicted on Christian Churches and monuments from the 4th century, and of course beautifully decorate our Catholic and Christian churches and Basilicas today.

Crosses were not only seen in artwork. As early as the 6th century beautiful necklaces were shown to be worn by Christians to demonstrate their devotion to Christ. Large pectoral crosses were worn by Catholic, Anglican, and Protestant clergy as a sign of reverence, devotion, and often to designate the level of the clergy in the church hierarchy. They were made of gold, silver, platinum, and often contained beautiful gemstones.

The use of a cross necklaces to display relics was identified as early as the 6th century. These reliquaries contained relics of the True Cross of Christ or relics of the saints. They were worn by clergy, royalty, and lay persons. One very interesting discovery demonstrates this use among Christians as a demonstration of their faith and devotion. St. Cuthbert was a monk and later a bishop of Lindisfurne, England. He was responsible for many miracles even prior to his death in 687. In 698 when they exhumed his body they found it uncorrupt. During the Danish invasion monks fled in fear of their safety and carried the body of the saint with them, wandering for years to Cumberland and other cities before it was finally taken to Durham, England. Another miracle occurred here. According to tradition it was believed that this miracle was St. Cuthbert indicating his desire to have his burial spot there. The incorrupt body of the saint has his final resting place in a cathedral in Durham. Interestingly, they also found in his tomb a very beautiful jeweled cross necklace.

Tombs of queens and kings were also discovered with fine religious jewelry of gold, silver, and gemstones. Another famous historical account identified both a reliquary and gemstone cross necklace in a tomb of a queen in the middle of the 6th century. Queen Theodelinda of Lombards received a very precious gift of a reliquary containing a relic of the True Cross of Christ from Pope St. Gregory the Great, an early Church Father and Doctor of the Church. Both of these wonderful expressions of Christian faith in jewelry are still preserved today in the treasury of Monza.

What a marvelous tradition we have as Christians in demonstrating our faith and devotion to Christ by proudly wearing cross necklaces whether it is a simple design of silver or gold or elaborate gemstone. We can follow in the footsteps of our early Christian brothers and sisters who were unafraid to display their Christianity daily by wearing this beautiful religious jewelry.

Source by Marianne Buzzelli

How to Get an Aries Man Back – Surprising Strategies to Reclaim His Heart

You want to get back an Aries man. Obviously things didn’t work out the way you hoped for with your boyfriend. Relationships have a way of careering off course when we least expect it. After the dust has settled, and the break up is behind you, you may come to an awakening. Realizing that he’s the guy for you is difficult enough. Figuring out how to get him back in love with you is where the real challenge begins. If your guy is an Aries you’re going to have to approach things from a specific angle. You need to regain his trust so he can open his heart up to you all over again.

There’s a big misconception among women that they feel the brunt of the emotional turmoil after a break up. That’s simply not the case. Men feel things just as passionately. They experience the same pain that we do and it naturally leaves them wary of trying the relationship again. In order to get an Aries man back you have to show him that he can trust you with his heart once again. To do that you must be strong and emotionally stable. You have to work towards getting him to see that you’re the only woman for him.

The first thing you should be doing to get him to feel closer to you is initiate a platonic friendship with him. This is important for two reasons. First and foremost it ensures that you’ll remain a positive influence in his life. You already know him very well and so becoming a friend to him will feel comfortable and natural to both of you. Aries men are very open to the idea of maintaining contact after a relationship ends, so he’ll likely welcome the idea with open arms.

The other reason you want to become a friend to your ex is you need to work on showing him the improvements you’ll be making to yourself. You’re going to work on being more confident and self sufficient. Aries men go wild for women like this. You’re also going to be mature enough to recognize that the past needs to stay in the past. Drudging up the break up time and time again will only alienate him more. He wants to move forward and away from that pain, just as much as you do.

As your new friendship develops show him that you’re definitely someone he can lean on. Be there for him but keep the romantic feelings at bay. Your focus needs to be on demonstrating to him that you’re a strong and reliable presence in his life. Once he senses this, his heart will be much more open to the idea of the two of you moving from friends to romantic partners again.

Source by Gillian Reynolds

Popular Designer Salwar Kameez Styles for Spring 2011

Salwar kameez still in trend

Fashion is never constant and for women it's changing every day or rather every hour from clothing to hairstyles. For Indian women despite the costumes vary as per the occasions but surely salwar kameez is ageless piece of elegant clothing. With cool and pleasant atmosphere around this summer suddenly has lots to offer. Designer salwar kameez are great authentic pieces of a professional innovative works for every festive season. This outfit is exclusive and is for every occasion from a cocktail to reception. It's preferred because of its easy to carry drape rather than other outfits. It's a must buy for every women. Spring collections are made from fabrics like crepe which is apt for climate transition phase from winter to summer too.

Reasons to own designer salwar kamiz:

Many designers have presented this spring collections in many fashion weeks like Lakme, Wills lifestyle and several new collections are expected to arrive. To own a designer salwar kameez is a desire of every woman. The specialty in them is the intricate sequencing and patch work done in every piece without any two costumes of a kind. As designer work is not cheap so the clients are specific on their purchase. This adds a unique element to their personality and wardrobe too, making the person a trend setter in surrounding. The best part of designer product is the unmatched comfort fitting, the research they put in creating a single piece due to the label value. The differences are very evident from the local pieces and a designer work from prints, stitching; quality of fabric, sequences, delicate hand and machine work stands always apart. In kameez the low neck line are very trendy and hot this spring season. Above all the final look of attire which is because of the pecicular design and finishing from the choice of threads in the color of sequences makes the costume timeless and can be worn several times. Designer salwar kameez for spring is forever multi utility costume. Salwar kameez are categorized as per different events like exotic salwar kameez, trendsetter salwar kamiz, Patiala, chudidar salwar kameez to simplify choice.

Let's have a look at the fabrics used by designers for salwar kamiz collections:

Chanderi jacquard, semi crepe, chanderi silk, cotton, pure crepe and rayon material! Many designers have their specific likes which are clearly visible in their collections. Like Manish Arora will always keep black color as base is filled with various bright colors. Another prominent designer is Neeta Lulla who spring collections are inspired by the life around her and her fashion forecast is fusion wearing making kurta's give every girl and women the very classic Indo western look. Ritu Kumar too is very fashionable and leading designer clothes clothes offer a range for fashioners from 18 years till 70 years.

The prices vary as per designer brand and fabrics used. Normally initial range is not very expensive and starts from 3000 / – above. I know it's hard to stop yourself after reading this. Gift yourself this Christmas a good designer salwar kameez and fall in love with the exclusive wear.

Source by Vikas Chaudhary

A Tribute to Seafarers!

Somewhere around 1500 BC, the Lapita people (ancientors to the Polynesians) moved across the ocean carrying their plants of food and domestic animals. This marked the beginning of true seafaring skills in the Stone Age. The traditional craft used back then is what we now call a catamaran. These seafarers knew how to read wind and wave patterns, and navigated by the sun and stars. Once could say the Lapitas studied the flight pattern of birds as they headed towards landfall, the drift of vegetation, and even cloud formation; skills old salts still use today.

In the mid-14th century, European Sailors ventured out into the Atlantic. On August 2, 1492, sailing the Santa Maria, Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue leaving the Canary Islands. Financed by the king and queen of Spain, Columbus sailed westward in search of silks and spices in Asia only to discover America instead.

In the 1600's:

— 1620, December 21, wind-battered and weary, the Pilgrims anchored in Plymouth Harbor, MA after being at sea for approximately two months. They spend the winter on their crowded ship (Mayflower) and lost half the people due to disease. Over the next several years the population in Plymouth great due to new arrivals from England.

— 1659, the first homesteaders (two men, 1 woman, and six children), arrived on Nantucket Island traveling by open boat through seas churned high by winds of approaching winter. Farming and fishing were main activities till 1712 before whaling became popular.

— 1675, Boston Harbor Islands had historically been places where society had set apart unwelcome institutions and people on the margins. American Indians were interned on Deer Island during King Philips' war.

— 1684, the English purchased the Rumney Marsh and Pudding Point properties from the Native Americans. Then between 1753 and 1763, a fishing industry was located at Point Shirley and 300 people stayed and worked there.

For millennium Northeast coastal Indians fished, farmed and hunted on the islands, and European settlers used them for much the same purposes. The large natural harbor and New England's transportation network have made Boston a thriving seaport since. The port had its share of sea tales, as ships plying the harbor's sea-lanes intercepted pirates.

The pirates would ride up and down the Atlantic coast between Newburyport and Winthrop. It was here they would hide out at Pudding Point waiting for other ships to come down then attack and sink the boats. Before the boats would sink, though, the pirates would take the treasures of gold and jewelry off the boats, then sail back up towards Newburyport where they'd bury these rewards. Where exactly no on today really knows. However, if you come and visit Winthrop, be sure to walk the three-mile path around Deer Island and stop dead center at the tip. In front of you is a tiny island with a light on it called Nix's Mate. It is here where the pirates were actually imprisoned and some are believed to have died there. On a dark, windy day you can hear them cry revenge. Today boats make it a point to stay clear of Nix's Mate. The actual structure is a ledge and meeting place for four different channels; Nubble, Narrows, South, and North. The tide swirls pretty strong there and if you get caught, you may end up with the pirates.

Boston was also a port of entry for early settlers and alter immigrants seeking a better life in a new world.

In the late 1960's Winthrop had lots of mud flats surrounding their three yacht clubs. There was a problem at that time with some of the overflow from Deer Island coming back into the harbor. This "fertilizer" was causing sea lettuce to grow. Unfortunately, the sea lettuce was covering all the clam-flats causing the clams to die off. The odor and pollution from the clams were permeating the neighborhoods and peeling paint off the houses. A doctor was brought in to find out what could be done and he recommended putting everything under water by dredging.

Clamming is a lively industry in Winthrop and supplies many restaurants in the area. In fact, Boston chefs have claimed the best clams are the ones from Winthrop.

Every week the biologists at Plum Island's Purification Plant sends out an email to all the clam diggers in Quincy, Boston, and Weymouth. This email notifies clam diggers where and when they can dig for soft shell clams. According to Massachusetts State Law, a clam digger is allotted five racks of soft shell clams per day. This really is not a lot of clams in the scheme of things, but it's back breaking work all the same. Rules and regulations keep changing making it more difficult to support a family this way.

So, no matter if …

Horse Jewelry

Dan Fogelberg's "Run For The Roses" speaks of our love for horses; our enchantment of a graceful warrior and trusted friend to man. As the Western theme starts to reappear in clothing, and boot cut jeans become a preferred style, horse themes are taking their prominent place once again. From artwork on T Shirts and air brushed designer jackets, to horse jewelry in a shining sterling silver finish, adorned with rhinestones and turquoise, or the more stoic leather and stainless steel – equine shapes are everywhere.

Who can deny our admiration of a beautiful stallion, his mane glistening, tossing in the springtime breeze, as his soulful equestrian eyes search for a friend. This graceful animal, raises it's head along its beautiful and muscular lines, to proudly proclaim it's graces, its strength and its confidence.

Merchants across the country have taken notice of this increased interest interest. Retailers are seeking to add items to their shops, while others add a wholesale horse jewelry category to help fill displays at local shops. From the simple to the elite, inexpensive to quite a bit, the variety keeps expanding as the demand grows. It seems like the fascination and adoration for these majestic creatures is growing daily.

Horse jewelry allows us to keep our love for these incredible animals in our minds and close to our hearts. Distributors are beginning to pick up on this trend, and adding wholesale horse jewelry to their collection of offers. From the lovely and steadfast palomino, to the sturdy strength of a thoroughbred, horses elegantly represent an ability for us to live and move forward, to work hard and make our dreams happen. As many of us are facing questions on how best to move forward, possibly seeking the comfort and joy of watching one of these beautiful creatures may give us an insight on our own path that lies ahead – as we pursue our own "Run for the Roses . "

Source by Julie W Hall

Celtic Jewelry – Symbols That Tie The Present And Past

If you weren’t paying attention, it may have seemed that the sudden popularity of Celtic jewelry was something that just burst on to the scene. But those that know better understand that this revival of sorts was actually thousands of years in the making.

If you are looking for jewelry that is both striking and makes a statement, it’s time for you to take a look at what this jewelry has to offer. This bold, stylized type of adornment is derived from the art of the ancient Celtic people of Europe. It has a variety of different meanings and it is no wonder that this kind of jewelry has become so attractive and desirable in recent years.

Celtic art, which is reproduced in silver and can easily be found on earrings, rings, bracelets and pendants, is ornamental, but it could be found in a wide variety of different locations. Perhaps most famously, it has been found on large stone monoliths and posts, but the distinctive, intertwining knotted designs have also been seen on jewelry and on the illuminations of the day, done up in bright and vibrant colors as well as in gold and silver paints.

Today, Celtic designs can be seen primarily on silver and gold jewelry, and there are many reasons why it is so popular. During the middle part of the nineteenth century, there was an Irish revival that featured a reclaiming and reassertion of Irish identity. It was, in many countries, called a Celtic revival. As a result of this movement, there were many showcases of Celtic art that exemplified the twisting designs of the art that is so very distinctive.

This notable form of Celtic art is important to various people in various ways. For some, it is an important part of claiming their Irish or English heritage, one that goes back more than a thousand years. As such, it can put them in touch with their roots in a very visual manner. Similarly, other people are fond of the Celtic designs because of their unending nature; the long loops without breaks are very striking and can be quite meaningfully interpreted by the people who choose to adopt them as personal symbols.

Still other people like the symbolism of specific pieces of artwork themselves. For instance, one example of an ancient engagement ring was the claddagh, a representation of two hands holding a crowned heart. Many couples have adopted this piece of jewelry as a personal statement of their commitment to each other and as an assertion of their bonds with the past.

It is no wonder that Celtic jewelry has made such an impression on people today. Along with a fascinating intriguing design, it offers a great deal of insight into the past, and like any good adornment it decorates and beautifies the wearer!

Source by Ned D’Agostino