This winter in California has been really cold. I know others around the country laugh at me, but for us, it’s been cold. And rainy. But the last week has been a beautiful 70 degrees, and the poppies are showing their bright colors! I saw my first poppy yesterday, which means spring is just around the corner.
The California Poppy Necklace is available in my online store!
I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of all insects. In fact, in one of my early prototyping phases, I tried to draw a spider. Just a normal, completely harmless house spider. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t draw a spider; it just gave me the willies.
Beetle however for me are different. They remind of me of tiny machines or tanks; when you watching them walk, they just plug along, marching over obstacles in their way. I love their shapes: the shapes of their carapace, their little shiny legs. I also love that they come in all colors of the rainbow, and black; in fact, some iridescent ones are every color of the rainbow. There are more beetles than any other creature on Earth.
Why did I then pick the Stag Beetle for a necklace? I think the Stag Beetle, with it’s exaggerated pincers, is kind of a perfect symbol of beetles, a shape instantly recognizable. I think other bug lovers will love this piece!
My Stag Beetle Necklace is now available in a smaller size: 1.25 inch round. You can purchase it here! You can purchase it here!
Photographer Joel Sartore is working on a project called Photo Ark to photograph endangered animals that are currently held in captivity. His portraits are engaging and beautiful. In total he’s already photographed 6,000 animals.
Looking at his photographs, I’m in awe of the amount of diversity in nature. I’ve read all sorts of commentary and opinions on animal extinction, but one thing I think all people can agree is that the amount of diversity of nature on Earth shouldn’t be allowed to perish, especially at the hands of man, and not when we can actively work to reverse it.
I wouldn’t call myself a good skier. I’ve been downhill skiing once, cross-country two times, and snowboarding three times. When we decided to take my daughter skiing this weekend, I decided to take a lesson because I’m committed to learning to do it right and have fun.
I love being in the snow and especially outdoors. It was a gorgeous day: 55 degrees, sunny, and lots and lots of snow. We’d postponed our ski weekend for years because there wasn’t enough snow, so this year we had to go because there is more snow in the Sierras than has been for a very, very long time.
I wore my California Redwoods necklace because the sparkly mica looks like winter snow. (The California Redwoods necklace is available in my store; follow this link!) The snow in the Sierras looked like whipped buttercream icing. It really was beautiful.
Our selfie didn’t show my necklace! Oh well, we got our smiling faces.
If you think the desert is just a barren wasteland of sand and rock, you’d be wrong. I have a special love of the desert, especially the Mohave and Joshua Tree area, and I know the desert is home to a vast diversity of beautiful plants that happen to also be extremely water efficient. Most of the year these plants hunker down and survive, having access to very little water, but in the spring after winter rains, the desert blooms like a many hued carpet. I have never seen the desert bloom: it’s hard to time, since it doesn’t happen at the same time every year. And with a child in school, it’s hard to drop everything and head out.
That said, if you do have time and are close to southern California, you can go now and experience one of the most spectacular blooms, being called a super bloom, in a long time. We’ve had a lot of rain this winter, considerably more than the last 10 years, and it’s resulting in a explosion of life in the normally driest areas.
At a conference at the Vatican, biologists warn half of all animals will be extinct by 2099. Currently 20% of species are at risk of becoming extinct. That means 1 in 5 species are at high risk now, but in 83 years, one out of two species will be at high risk of extinction. Topping this list is rhinos and tigers, of which there is some awareness, but for many species, there is no awareness at all.
Our very lives and the lives of our children depend on diversity in nature, to purify water and air, absorb carbon, and enrich our lives.
It’s hard in the face of global problems to conceive of what one person can do. It feels sometimes insurmountable. I do feel like in the past 5-10 years we have made a lot of strides globally to bring countries together to combat climate change, and what we’re experiencing right now is a dangerous, but temporary, set back.
- Donate money to non-profits that are working to save ecosystems: NRDC, Audubon Society, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Sierra Club. Even $10 or $20 dollars will help. These groups have now been around for a long time, and have efficient administrations that can apply the money quickly and where it’s needed.
- Call your government representatives on the local and federal level. The reality is this problem is now much bigger than the actions of any individual. No matter how hard you try to walk more or consume less, at this point it’s going to require the action of governments, and especially global governments working together, to change where we are. That means its the responsibility of individuals to get unite to try to move government in the direction we want. If you’re in the US, you can find your list of representatives here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and a list of senators here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
In the Fall of 2016, I started working with the Vertical Bar shape. I love this shape as it’s a larger size, but the slimness of the bar makes it feel like a smaller necklace.
My sister lives in Utah and often when I visit we hike up in the Wasatch range. In winter or summer these forests are so striking and starkly beautiful, I wanted to reproduce that look in a necklace. Birch trees are graphically dramatic, with their black and white trunks, and also symbolize northern and mountain regions, hushed winters covered in blankets of soft snow. Birch trees also symbolize new beginnings and adaptability, as they survive harsh winters to be renewed with fresh, bright green leaves every spring.
Click here to go to my store to purchase or see more pictures of the Birch Vertical Bar necklace.
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Here’s an interesting article: the argument is that in order for humans to start of manage the destruction to the environment in which we’re currently engaged, we need to reshape our thinking from being just local citizens to being global citizens. And in order to accomplish this, we need to embrace the concept of dual citizenship.
Humans are now entering the Anthropocene Era: this means we are entering an era dominated by human’s manipulation of the environment. Some scientists believe this started around 1950.
In today’s global political arena and global challenges, it’s comforting to revert to small, local communities. While this is natural and there is also a need to support people in our own community, we also need to challenge ourselves with global thinking in order to take responsibility for what is happening on a global scale, not just to climate and animals, but to poor and vulnerable people that will bear the brunt of climate change.
The concept is to join the Antarctic World Community and become not just a member of a country and a region, but a member of a worldwide community, dedicated to tackling global issues. Sign me up!
The California Poppy is one of my most popular pieces, because these bright orange flowers can be found all over California and their lovely orange-golden color brings brightness to even the greyest day. I have been offering the necklaces in the round shape for some time, but just started producing the oval shape in the fall. It’s now available in my online store. Click here for more info!
One of the new pieces I worked on in the fall is the Grey Wolf Necklaces, which is now available in the store.
Why do I feel the Grey Wolf is an important piece? I think wolves in many cultures symbolize strength, intelligence and loyalty. They symbolize strong family connections that we wish to mirror in our own families. I think it’s also important that wolves are in danger of no longer existing in the lower 48 states. The disappearance of these beautiful animals marks a dark time in our human history, that in order for us to prosper, we must cause other animals and plants to die out. It’s not a zero-sum game; we can co-exist.
10% of the revenue from the sale of this necklace goes to the NRDC, which works to protect open spaces for animals.