New Items…

A few new items will be hitting the shop this morning that I’ve created in between filling orders and custom pieces.

Here’s a short preview…more news soon!

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xx Stray Arrow

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Eye Candy.

No. This isn’t a post about rocks.

There will be one down the line, but not today!

I’ve been spending some time going over old photos, admittedly clearing space on my computer. I thought I would share some old and new that may not have made it to item listings, social media posts, or just been swept under the carpet of time…

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QUIVER

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I hope everyone has had a lovely Holiday Season, whichever you choose to celebrate!

For future notice on a packaging change:

I used to send all bangle bracelets and bracelets in general in plain sweet little muslin bags. They’ll now be going out a bit more spruced up, as such:

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That’s it folks!

NEW ITEMS will be hitting the shop throughout tomorrow, including two Chained in Turquoise rings, and two unique stacking ring types. 

xx The Stray Arrow

New Item Preview…

These couple of new rings will be hitting the shop today, ranging from size 6-7.

Check back to the blog late this afternoon or tomorrow to see the AMAZING new haul of gemstones and stones I got at the rock show yesterday!

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That’s it folks! Check back soon. The stones posted later can be reserved for custom orders

xx Stray Arrow

New Item Preview

I’ve spent a little time lately outside of the studio, doing inventory of the pieces I already have made up. A ton of jewels have been sitting quietly and patiently in the corner, waiting to be photographed and listed. I’ll be posting some of these throughout today (Sunday) and tomorrow. I’ve also reshot some oldies but goodies. Oldies will be posted first, followed by newer pieces. If you’ve been keeping up with my Instagram (@thestrayarrow), you may have seen some of these already!

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NEW JEWELS

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(ghost echo)

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Check back to the shop for these new pieces soon!

 

xx Stray Arrow

New Items, New Thoughts.

This post may be a bit longer, as I feel text has been slightly dwindling from this blog. Firstly, new items! These will be hitting the shop later tonight and tomorrow.

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Stone rings in natural old stock Royston and Manassa mine turquoise, and a luscious pink rhodochrosite.

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Other newer pieces include mini “Sweet Sayings” rings. These sterling bands feature delightful short quotes by yours truly. Each ring features a different quote, but they can be made to your size upon inquiry. Currently made are: “We are the brazen bold“, and “A darling day for rain” (for the English). These sterling bands are patina darkened and then  polished to a steel like finish, with the darkened quotes hidden on the inside of the ring band. On the outside is my jeweler’s mark. These also make great knuckle rings.

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A wampum necklace with mini wampum beads, old stock cut of green Manassa mine turquoise, wild horse magnesite Crossed Arrows dangles, and silver & rose gold stackers will be joining them.

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It’s also been pretty evident that I’ve been somewhat neglectful of the Stretched Ears Jewelry shop. The Arrow Vanes, signature Stray Arrow wear, will soon be available in multiple gauge sizes in the shop. I’ll also be making more plugs featuring rare turquoise (Blue Moon mine), and other designs quite soon.

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Now for my favourite new addition. Awhile ago I made a necklace for myself that, along with The Stray Arrow necklace, has become a signature daily piece. Out of bronze and silver sheet metal I made a 5 string banjo. Completed with a wrap around quote on the body, and sawed out arrow in the back. I’ll be offering these in the shop as of tonight as a *CUSTOM* piece. The quotes and backing design can be customized. Four string banjos are also available. They’ll put a little folk mountain life in you. No templates, all hand forged.

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That’s it for new items for the next few days. I’ve also been working on some custom orders that’ll be shown here and the usual outlets (Tumblr, Instagram @thestrayarrow, Facebook), once finished.

A Note-

I’ve been noticing people imitating my work. While this is a touchy subject that seems taboo to talk about, this is getting unavoidable. Artisan one of a kind jewelry design is a difficult art to protect when compared to other art fields. Copies will happen. “One offs” are tolerated and occasionally flattering if the artist is *given credit* as being behind the inspiration. This is unfortunately not the case. I have been seeing people not only imitate my very specific signature materials (not that one can ever claim to own such a thing), but my writing descriptions, photography style, work title style and themes, and my overall aesthetic entirely. A continual ‘paraphrasing’, if you will. Most people have the grace to come up with their own designs, for those that don’t they bring down the work of others. I want to reiterate and remind everyone that if there is space to stamp my half inch “STRAY ARROW” logo onto an original piece, and it is not there, it is not made by me. This means that it is not backed by my quality guarantee, nor my 6 years of turquoise study experience. Just because a piece of turquoise is claimed from a mine does not equal good quality. I am an artist with eccentric interests, and my jewelry work is an extension of that. I try to be respectful of everyone’s creative and intellectual property, and truly wish the same in return.

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In other news, I’ve been in the process of taking some jewelry group shots of pieces for things like packaging, cards, and promos (hint hint *soon*). Below are some of those shots, as well as some really great folks wearing my jewels. Click on their photos for their respective work links and check them out!

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^lady Arlie, of Urban Revisions in 14k yellow gold and dark silver faceted sapphire gem ring. Paired with her new white glass jewels!

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^the extremely talented Rachel (photographer), in Royston turquoise and dark silver necklace.

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^Dominique of Couture Vulture wearing Stray Arrow No-see-’ems, and mini crystal rings by Concrete Polish.

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Cave Ladies, Shooting in The Dark,

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still a favourite.

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That’s all folks! I leave you with an illustration from one of my favourites, the Pink Fairy Book~

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xx The Stray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day and News-

For this double Rock Appreciation Day we have…

TOURMALINE & EMERALD GEMSTONES

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TOURMALINE:

Tourmaline is one of the most varied gemstones out there. It ranks a 7-7.5 on the hardness scale, and can come transparent to opaque, in any colour (colourless to black). The tourmaline gem is actually a group of mineral species, but because some of these minerals vary with varying colours, they are simply termed “tourmaline”.  Because there are so many colours, tones, and opacities to tourmaline, it can be mistaken easily and is usually termed solely by colour. There are many different varieties, for instance bi-colour, watermelon, chrome, etc. Rubellite tourmaline is a very rare type that was often mistaken for rubies in Russian crown jewels of the past. Tourmaline can hail from many places, including the USA, Russia, Sri Lanka, Africa, Brazil, Australia, and so on. Tourmaline has strong pleochroism, which means you can see different colours or depths of colour when viewed at different angles, such as when you rotate the stone in the light. Different varieties tend to have different clarities. Those of the blue/green variety can be eye clean, while the pinks of reds of the spectrum almost always have eye-visible inclusions. Tourmaline can come natural, or is sometimes heat-treated to bring out colour depth.

Tourmaline is both pyroelectric and piezoelectric. If a specimen is put under a pressure or temperature change, it will generate an electrical charge (how cool is that!?). When this happens, dust particles become attached to the crystal ends. For a long time tourmaline was known in Europe as aschentrekker (ash puller) as the stone was used by the Dutch to pull the ash out of their meerschaum tobacco pipes.

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EMERALD:

May birthstone, ranking a 7.5-8 on the MOH’s hardness scale. Personally one of my all time favourites… but being a May baby with green as a favourite colour, I’m biased. The colour of emerald (aka ‘emerald green’) is so unique it earns its status as one of the four “traditional” precious gemstones, along with diamond, ruby, and sapphire. The colour of emeralds is caused by small amounts of chromium and vanadium. It is in the Beryl family, and is essentially just the highest quality of beryl that can come transparent to opaque. Emerald is a particularly brittle gem. Natural emeralds almost always have inclusions and should be handled more gently. They are also almost always treated with oils, resins, or waxes. Exceptions are made for this treatment and for inclusions more than other gemstones. Inclusions and flaws are not always seen as negative, and can be an assurance that the gem is natural. Quality is determined by colour, and occasionally geographical origin. Emeralds can come from Africa, India, Russia, Brazil, Peru, among other places. Columbia is the center for mining emeralds, and South America in general produces the highest qualities. There a many stories and myths circling the emerald. The Egyptians mined it near the Red Sea, and it was said to be a favourite of Cleopatra. The Aztecs and the Incas both collected and valued emeralds, possibly regarding them as symbols for good luck and foresight.

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OTHER IMPORTANT NEWS:

My work load has become exceptionally large, and I can no longer be accepting any custom orders from May through the end of July. Unless I have already started conversations with you regarding a project, I simply don’t have the extra time for them right now. This doesn’t include “made to order” items. Essentially what is listed in the Etsy Shops is what’s available. This hiatus does not apply to wholesale or consignment orders.

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A congratulations to the two winners of my Instagram Giveaway! For those of you unfamiliar with the application, you can do a little snooping and follow me @thestrayarrow, or check updates by clicking on the photo below.

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LAST BIT OF NEWS:

10% OFF ALL OF MAY!

For the entire month in the Main Shop, there is a 10% off deal on your order with the coupon code in the photo below. PLEASE do not forget to apply the code at purchase. I cannot issue refunds for those that forget to do so. Enjoy!

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Merry May all!

xx Stray Arrow

In the works…

I have been slowly compiling an inventory of the growing amount of different stacking rings in my shop. There are an awful lot, aren’t there? Nothing can be so classic or complex as the little stacker. In homage to this timeless trend, and for a bit of organization, I’ll be posting a guide next week on all of my signature stackers and the different ways they can be worn! Looks will be divided by themes like “Cave“, “Arrow“, “Floral“, “Class Act”, etc. In addition, I’ll be adding some new stackers to the shop. Many of these will be *one of a kind* stackers; non-resizable one offs.

Another post in the works will be an inside scoop-what kinds of jewelry do jewelers collect? My personal vintage collection will be shared. Expect some bragging to ensue.

***NEW ITEMS***

Will be hitting both shops next week. New turquoise, as ever and always, along with some warmer toned pieces for Springtime. See you then!

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Tulip Stackers. image for Blog

xx Stray Arrow

Preview Night

All of these new pieces will be sprinkled throughout the main Shop late this evening and throughout the day tomorrow…

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New ‘made to order’ Quiver Pack Rings feature little arrow vanes dangling from molten sterling and fine silver openings on a horse shoe shape. These can come either high polished or darkly oxidized. My jeweler’s tag for authentic Stray Arrow Wear joins the chevrons in the center. Each arrow vane is hand sawed with no template. The sides are then filed, sanded, and polished down so they are comfy and wearable-there’s no pricking here! While making the first one on a whim I was concerned they may be hard to wear, or get stuck on things. I was proven wrong. These are comfy, don’t get tangled, and make the sweetest sounding noise. They remind me of seeing little feathers sticking out of quiver packs. The dangling effect has a gypsy and belly dancing appeal.

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Main Quiver Pack pic

Quiver Pack reversed

Quivers modeled

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Another Oak Bark Ring, like the previous sold, will be in the shop. This one features a lovely spotted natural turquoise stone from the Cerillos mine. Set in a gold fill bezel on sterling hand sawed oak leaf. The texture and patina mimic the changes of colour in Autumn, and the rose gold fill veining also hints at a Futhark Algiz Nordic Rune.

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Green Oak Ring

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To accompany the Wild Flower Ring in the shop that’s ‘made to order’, a Wild Flower Bangle Bracelet! Featuring a deep and dense blue natural Kingman turquoise stone on a hand sawed bronze domed flower. The bronze and silver bracelet have been patina darkened for a lot of subtle rich tones. More Kingman Wild Flower Hair Ties will also be joining these within the next few weeks…

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Wild Flower ring bangle duo

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Also, a double dose of The Archer

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Double Archer Necklace

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Agate Cave Lady main pic

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This is a new favourite. Another Cave Lady Ring with an incredible agate slice that looks like a cloud being taken over by the earth around the edges. Could be the cloud is hovering OVER the earth, but that’s less dramatic. This stone has many layers, and rests on a hand sawed sterling backing. Four arrow vanes shake from either side. The back features a spiral cloud motif. This lovely is huge, and a serious statement piece. A perfect combination of the primitive foundations and delicate romance hidden in us all.

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FULL CAVE LOOK:

A Cave Lady Ring, flanked by Quiver Packs, and topped with Arrow Vane stackers. 

only for the bold and brazen.

Full Cave Look*

Check back to the shop to see more pictures and descriptions of these pieces.

xx Stray Arrow

Rock Appreciation Day

For this double Rock Day we have Imperial Jasper, and Lace/Banded Agate. The usual disclaimers apply-

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(Royal) Imperial Jasper

Jasper and agate are two of the most varied stone types out there. Jasper is of the quartz variety, almost always opaque, and reaches a 7 on the MOH’s hardness scale (for reference, diamonds are a 10 on the scale). It is said to be an impure chalcedony. Jasper can come in any colour. Because there are so many different colour and pattern variations, there are beyond dozens of “types” of classified jasper. Some other types besides imperial jasper would be Ocean jasper, Plume jasper, Picture or Landscape jasper, and so on. Jasper is found worldwide, but the majority of the beautiful type known as “Imperial Jasper”, or “Royal Imperial Jasper”, comes from Mexico. A light pastel version of the deeper colours associated with imperial jasper can also come from the Willow Creek Mine in Idaho. The main defining characteristics of imperial jasper are any combo of green hues, warm red/pink hues, and cream/brown hues. Rarely seen are the colder hues like grays and blues. There is a soft creaminess to the colours, and the highest grades show distinct banded patterns of colour. The bands or lines within this jasper can be referred to as “streamers”, when the jasper fractures and is then filled in with more jasper. Colours can swirl and merge from the rock forming process yielding amazing patterns. The most prized of all imperial jasper, are “Royal Imperial Jasper Nodules”. These nodules have a variety of colours in a banded pattern like an orb, stemming from the center of the stone.

 

The imperial jasper below is my own collection. All are up for grabs for custom orders except the small oval with rust and deep green colours of the same value. This is being used in a large ring…

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Imperial Jasper group pic

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Imperial Jasper group no. 2

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Lace and Banded Agate

Lace agate is quite close to jasper. It is also in the quartz family, and another variety of chalcedony. Classified as microcrystalline quartz, it measures a 6.5-7 on the MOH’s hardness scale. It can be opaque or translucent, and any degree in between. Like jasper, there is an inmeasureable amount of different types. Lace agate is close to banded agate and striped agate. Crazy lace agate is a more specific type only found in Mexico. Crazy lace agate can also be known as the “Laughter Stone”, or “Happy Lace”. Agate is said to start as a nodule in volcanic rock and ancient lava. From formation, the insides of agates are often left hollow and can form druzy quartz on the insides. This type will be saved for another Rock Day. The stones below are my collection of lace and banded agates up for grabs. The bottom left is crazy lace agate.

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Agate group photo

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Below:

Pieces made with lace and banded agate.

An example picture to show the difference between some plume and lace types…

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Agate jewelry group

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Plume & Lace type examples*

In the SHOP now:

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New Cave Lady Ring with agate in the works, and in the shop tomorrow:

Lace agate ring in works

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In other news:

New ITEM PREVIEW on the blog tomorrow morning.

New items in the shop tomorrow night and Monday-

xx Stray Arrow

Changes, New Item Preview, Commissions…

Well after spending several hours cropping photos and finishing new items last night, I did something I haven’t done since college. I LITERALLY fell asleep on my computer. Sorry all! 

This year has had a rocky start to say the least, but I won’t be getting into personal details. I’ve been making a series of required family trips, as well as planned trips (for sanity and all that). We all know how I love to drive! Now that things have settled down again I’m turning my full focus on the shop AND the Brand itself…

Changes. My Process.

Many jewelers, shop owners…business folks in general…never really talk about the inside details. I’m going to do a little sharing, so I’m sorry if this bit is boring! Photography wise, I use a simple SLR that I focus, point, and shoot. It’s all natural daylight. No tripod, no lighting, none of the fancy stuff. Unfortunately in these winter months, the sun yields a blue tinged light here in New England to everything no matter the time of day. I feel completely frustrated when trying to shoot work, even trying to keep it in focus with this old busted camera seems tough. SO. I have officially bought some more legitimate equipment to shoot in…and by legitimate, I mean real little lamps with daylight bulbs. Hopefully I’ll be reshooting *most* of my items with this to better represent the jewelry. The daylight bulbs allow me to shoot anytime, which also adds appeal. In addition I’ll be considering a new camera a few months down the line. Digital is a whole new world to me, and I’m pretty shameless about that. Up until needing a camera to shoot my jewelry I just used a 35mm manual Pentax in a darkroom. In summation, any good SLR camera any of y’all could recommend would be helpful! I’ll also be shooting my pieces in less cluttered set ups. Don’t worry. The leather, leaves, flowers, feathers, and all around Earth Essence will still be present. I couldn’t pull it out of me or the jewelry itself if I tried.

Commissions.

This year, I did something new. I told folks I was filled up on commissions to not overload myself and keep a steady pace. I put some proposed commissions on hold as well. Why did I do this? Without going into complicated details about the metal smithing process in general, there is some wait time in between technical steps. I’m one of those folks that truly just love to physically work, so I always have an extra 5-10 projects going on the side while working on everything else to keep beyond busy. Because of this, dozens of lovely ideas get made up to a point, but I never end up having true time to dedicate to finishing them. By only taking a certain number of commissions the past two months, I’ve been able to finish several projects that have been mer whispers of metal in the studio. All new items posted today have either been in progress, abandoned for the past few months, or stones I’ve been hankering to use for what feels like ages. For everyone wanting to get something specific done and waiting for it, THANK YOU.

I currently have some pending commissions that are still being worked on, but I’m completely open for more now! I’ll be contacting folks who’ve been waiting patiently-and yes. You’ll all get little extras for being amazing.

Rock Appreciation Day.

Was missed. I had Royal Imperial Jasper on the menu…and realized I’ve never made a piece with it! It’ll be done for March First in ADDITION to another stone type. Any requests are welcome!

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Feb Group Photo

New Items.

A brief description of the goodies below, which will be hitting the main Etsy shop this Sunday. I’ve been working on more pieces veering towards a “Stray Arrow” mindset. What exactly IS that? The entire concept behind The Stray Arrow, which has always been difficult for me to word, is in essence individuality. The Stray Arrow is alone from, or ahead of the pack. The Stray Arrow can be the one arrow in the quiver that makes the bulls eye shot. It’s me and you.

These pieces have a more rustic, Cave Time feel. Little arrow vane chevrons, individually sawed/sanded/stamped by hand, adorn each piece enthusiastically.

The Stray Arrow Necklace-

Made of pure molten silver with a beautiful weight to it. Little arrow vanes fan out, deciding which direction your path will eventually lead. These huge, low swinging necklaces will be made to order upon purchase. They are true Stray Arrow Wear, reminding you never to get boggled down. You always have options.

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Stray Arrow Necklace.

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Stray Arrow Necklace with rings

*pairs perfectly with Arrow Vane Stackers & Studs, Feathered Bands, and Crossed Arrows.

Stray Arrow Necklace...

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The Archer Earrings.

Made literally on a whim in the studio the other night, these will be “made to order” upon purchase. I had a thick arrow sawed out on the bench for another Robin Hood necklace. While listening to Paganini’s 6th Caprice, somehow the shapes of violins, cellos, and violas entered my mind. All those lovely curves while staring at the arrow immediately brought my mind back to bows. I’ve been craving to make some kind of arrow earring for awhile now. Over the past couple months arrows seem to have BOOMED in the world of popular shapes. Thinly walled base metal castings of basic arrow designs are everywhere. It’s time for something of quality and substance, don’t you think? These earrings are completely hand sawed, and stamped with tiny details reminiscent of obsidian stone arrow heads. When everything used to be made by hand, and it was necessity. All sterling silver, these are totally darkened. Thick arrows rest on bows, with their sterling silver chain “strings” pulled back. This is a simple, unique design. A companion necklace will also be in the shop Sunday.

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The Archer..

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Cave Lady Rings.

Close friends always have a handful of nicknames for each other. One of my favourites given to me is “Cave Lady”. My hair is fluffy and curly, made up of separate tendrils/tentacles that jut out in spools of crazy. Over the years (and through much trial and error) I’ve found a couple products that “tame the tentacles”, but I’ve come to terms with this nickname in all it’s appropriateness. Cave Lady for me also ties back to the primitive (note: I am NOT using this term in a derogative fashion as it so often is when applied to tribes or nations). When I was little I was obsessed with cave paintings (Lascaux), and trying to find arrowheads. Just the idea of putting that much time into the making of such a small object was fascinating. Fast forward into the future and I am now the creator of small things. I truly adore sawing and making these little arrow vane shapes, and thought…why not COVER something in it? So, in homage to the nickname, the old ancestry that ties us all together, and of course my obsessive love of rocks, I give you Cave Lady Rings. Two are currently made, one using a beautiful White Buffalo Turquoise stone and one a unique Koroit Opal stone. These rings feature little dangling Arrow Vanes, that also give them a Gypsy feel (another obsession, as a chunk of my family are from the Carpathian Mountains). Each ring has a wide band with “Cave Lady” stamped on the inside. These can be custom made with your stone choice in your size. The two current rings will fit a US size 5.5-5.75 (Buffalo), and US size 8 (Koroit).

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Cave Lady White Buff

Cave Lady White Buff Back

Cave Lady White Buff ring

Cave Lady Koroit Opal ring

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Three Needles. Bracelet.

This piece is pretty substantial. The Three Needles (as in Pine tree needles), features three different kinds of old stock, natural, rare and collectible kinds of American Southwest Turquoise. I obtained these three stones from a man who deals directly with the mine owners, so these are from old stock collections of the owners themselves! Each mine name is stamped on the back of it’s respective stone. Each stone has a different bezel type, with a different etched in textural design around the bezel. The horse shoe shape that two of the turquoise stones rest on is also filled with dangling hand sawed arrow vanes. These make a fantastic light noise when in motion, and add a little movement to the piece. It will fit a small to medium wrist. This is a serious unique statement piece.

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Three Needles Bangle

Three Needles Back

Three Needles in Ice

Three Needles Bangle Close Up

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Zig Zag Steerer. Necklace.

This necklace has been on the work bench half finished for a long, long, time. It ties back to my Romantics Line, featuring quotes of poetry or literature. The quote is from Ralph Waldo Emerson’s, “The Humble Bee“.  Featuring three nicely coloured old stock natural Royston Mine turquoise stones, wampum, and chalcedony gems, this is a massive piece. The wampum is an amazingly coloured chunk that my mother actually found on the beach last year. For anyone out there who knows about wampum, you know what an impossible feat that is! I set the wampum in pure silver bezel on a sterling backing just as it was found. The wampum dangles from the massive three turquoise stone pendant. The great quote from Emerson’s poem, “Zig Zag Steerer, Desert Cheerer“, is stamped on the back of the turquoise and wampum. Little oceanic flowers of faceted sea foam chalcedony gemstones join the pendant on the blackened silver chains a ways up. The necklace length is adjustable by using the tiny amethyst gem clasp, or the plainer silver clasp at the end. This piece oozes feelings of royalty, beach colours, bookworm appeal, the Southwest, and even latches on to my “Along The Dark Shore” themed pieces that combine turquoise and wampum. There’s something in it for everyone, and it has an amazing weight and presence to it.

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Zig Zag Steerer Necklace

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Sunday.

All of these fresh lovelies, PLUS MORE, will be in the main shop on Sunday. Any new pieces joining those that have been previewed here may make an appearance on my FaceBook Page or Instagram (username: TheStrayArrow). Anything can be reserved ahead of time if you have your heart set.

I have been neglecting the shop for those with stretched ears, and will be pouring my efforts into breathing back some life into it in the coming week. Stay tuned.

In the meantime, it looks like we’re expecting ANOTHER snow storm here in New England this weekend. For those in it’s path, stay warm.

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Archers Crossed.

xx Stray Arrow.