New Stones…

Throughout my years of collecting and research, I’ve established some really wonderful contacts for the materials and supplies I use in my work. This goes especially for my cabochon and gemstone collecting. I feel extremely fortunate with how wonderful the folks in the mining and lapidary business I’ve met are. Them enabling me to provide the best choice stones for my customers and my work just makes this full time gig of mine that much more delightful!

Below are new recent turquoise and variscite scores with their respective origins listed. All are currently up for grabs for custom orders, but please know I have a cap on how many commissions I can take at this time. 

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A few new items also hit the shop this morning

xx The Stray Arrow

New Items

A few new items will be hitting the shop throughout Sunday, made again in between filling orders. Long term custom orders are almost all complete so more pieces will be filtering in soon!

AND FOR THIS WEEKEND ONLY:

In the main shop enter in coupon code: FIREWORKS, for 10% off of your order.

(not applicable to custom orders)

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Check back to the shop tomorrow for these sweet and simple new pieces!

xx Stray Arrow

Tucson Gem Show!

Alright folks. This is going to be a fairly long post, so hold tight.

To give a brief summary, I’m sharing my experience and rock haul from the Tucson Gem Show this year. Anything marked N/A in the photo is not available for custom orders. All other stones are up for grabs and will ONLY be fully reserved once you nail a design down with me and a deposit for said design has been paid. Please be aware that unless you’ve sealed a piece with me, I may be showing the same stones to others.

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So. I started in New England, looking at this:

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Packed up jewels from my personal collection to sport in the sun:

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Took a few planes…

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….and entered a region where aliens are abundant. Aliens. Yes. They are everywhere, in bizarre variations that look inviting yet are secretly hazardous…

And yes. I’m talking about these:

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I swear these are the weirdest, coolest things. I got so many, “Uhm how many photos of cacti is this girl going to take???” stares. I don’t even care.

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Oh yeah. There was also the huge gem show all over the city, that was cool too.

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(^natural rough Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise)

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Now, onto conquests.

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^Broken Arrow mine variscite. natural. straight from the mine owner.

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^Burtis Claim Cripple Creek mine turquoise. natural.

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^Royston turquoise and Royston ribbon cut turquoise. natural.

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^Royston turquoise. natural.

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^White Buffalo turquoise. natural. Straight from the mine owner.

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^Blue Moon mine turquoise. natural.

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^Royston ribbon cut turquoise. natural.

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^ left to right: New Lander mine, Peacock mine, Carico Lake mine, Number 8 mine (!!! truly!), Damele mine.

All natural.

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^the amazingly tight webbing in this one is hard to photograph.

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^this one has a very high dome.

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^ Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise. natural.

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^Fox // Cortez mine turquoise. natural.

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^old stock Number 8 mine turquoise. natural.

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^Royston turquoise. natural. Along with some strays.

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That’s the haul folks! I hunted and enjoyed the skies of the Southwest

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Then I returned home to a series of snow storms. Fantastic.

Keep a look out as I’ll be posting NEW ITEMS to preview here on the blog this coming Sunday before they hit the shops!

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SALE NEWS

From tonight until next Thursday at midnight, enjoy 15% off of your order in the Main Etsy Shop with coupon code:

SNOWVERDOSE

in honour of there being too much snow here and wanting to empty the shelves in the shop a bit for new items! Sale does not apply to custom orders, minimum purchase of $25 required to apply.

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KEEP POSTED FOR SUNDAY.

In the meantime, if you aren’t in a sunny land, stay warm and bundle up!

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xx Stray Arrow

Giveaway and News!

Well folks, it’s the first of the month. I think it’s time to bring back the Rock Appreciation Days, what about you? Today VARISCITE will be highlighted. See the feature and photo examples of current and past jewelry pieces using variscite at the END of this post.

For now, I’d like to update you all. Studio access has been slightly limited in the recent past due to construction on the building. A big thank you to all who have placed orders for your immense patience during this time! The studio is now at full speed again and any work in my space has finished. Due to the slower production speed I have solely been keeping up with “made to order” items and custom items. I will finally be updating the main Etsy shop with new items next week. To stay posted on exactly when you can follow any of my social media seen at the right side bar.

In more exciting news,

I will be going to the Tucson Gem Show! 

This is a big deal for me, because it is absolutely huge and spanning a month’s time, and I wasn’t able to go last year. I will be gone from February 9-13th. Please note that I will keep both Etsy shops open during this time, but some “made to order’ items may be deactivated. All orders will ship upon my return. As I am shopping for rocks, I’m giving you all an opportunity to weigh in. What kinds of stones would you like me to use more? Have a custom piece in mind with a specific kind of stone you want me to hunt for? If you have a serious hankering, please list your desires in the comment section below. I’ll be adding it to my ‘treasure hunt’ list. When I return all new scores will be photographed and posted here. For the most up to date Gem Show experience you can follow my Instagram: @thestrayarrow.

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GIVEAWAY NEWS

This giveaway will primarily be for Instagram. Any comments below on THIS post will also be included into the giveaway! Comment with stone opinions! Win the Feathered Band with Arrow Vane below, in your size. Winner will be chosen Feb. 14th.

STRAYARROWGIVEAWAY

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On a more serious note…

I want to bring up something that often goes unsaid by most jewelers. It goes unsaid because of backlash. Because of people getting defensive. Because you take something that is “fun” and “aesthetically pleasing” to the general public and shed light on a negative aspect of the industry. That’s right. Industry. This is a trade, not a hobby. I’ve mentioned this before and I want to mention it again. Creative rights are constantly being infringed upon. It is not okay, and should not be supported. It is morally bankrupt. Yes, there are others out there with technical skills, no, they do not have my mind, or the mind of a peer. If you see something that you *immediately associate with my work or think is mine initially* chances are fair that my creative toes are being stepped on. If you see someone using ALL of my main themes I’ve been working hard to curate for years-

(turquoise.wampum.myth.literature.Native American.Nordic.)

then yes. There’s no respect being shown, and my hard work is being stolen. Unfortunately there is little to be done, and speaking with people who clearly have no respect for others OR respect for themselves is most often a dead end. Again. This is a message for you to be aware. Not to dictate whom you should be buying from. When folks purchase my work along with that of my peers I get excited customers enjoy our work all around. There are wonderful, talented, respectful artists out there with some true integrity. They spend years creating work that evolves into a personal aesthetic. I will always fight for my creative rights and the rights of my peers. Please be respectful of the creative rights of other artists. Please be aware of what you’re looking at and who you are supporting. Lastly, please take this message as a celebration of those who know themselves and stay true.

ROCK APPRECIATION DAY

[DISCLAIMER: I am not a lapidary (stone) artist, gemologist, mine owner, or any other kind of authority on gems, stones, or minerals. I am simply an enthusiast who likes to share the information I’ve gathered in my goal to attain the perfect rocks for my jewelry pieces].

VARISCITE.

Broken Arrow Parcel.

Variscite is an aluminum phosphate mineral, ranking about a 3.5-4.5 on the MOH’s hardness scale. It is often confused with turquoise, although more often than not much greener. It is another popular southwestern stone for jewelry use. The most popular can be found in Lucin and Fairfield, Utah, and Esmeralda and Lander counties in Nevada. It also hails from Australia, Brazil, Spain, Poland and Germany. Many kinds of variscite, especially from the USA, can have host rock webbing in them again making it easy to confuse with turquoise.

Below are pieces I’ve made with different varieties of variscite:

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(^from Australia)

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variscite sea ring

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That’s it folks!

Have a good weekend~

xx The Stray Arrow

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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Picture 15

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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 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.

Cave Ladies

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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

PREVIEW NIGHT plus Rock Appreciation Day!

Below are some of the jewels that will be going into the shop on Wednesday and Thursday…

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Blood Dagger Arrows

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be sure to enter in the discount code if you make a purchase in the shop from now until Monday the 8th at Midnight!

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ROCK APPRECIATION DAY:

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For this month, I could only chose one stone. I’ll be highlighting Castle Dome Mine Turquoise, as its become a staple for my Mini Cave Lady Rings! I thought about doing black pyrite for a second stone, but don’t have enough jewelry pieces to use as examples. I’ll have to plot and cook up something big for August!

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Castle Dome turquoise is quite rare as it is a closed mine. Depicting bright light blues as it’s signature, it is located near Globe, Arizona. Castle Dome is also referred to as Pinto Valley Mine turquoise, and it is similar to it’s close neighbor the Sleeping Beauty Mine. Natural material of this is hard to get as most of the rough from when the mine was closed was stabilized and/or used for beads. It started, like many other turquoise mines, as a copper mine. Because of the mining methods used initially (aka blasting. yikes), many of the veins and structures of the turquoise later uncovered were extremely fractured. There wasn’t much solid rough available for lapidary artists to cut.

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Personally, I’m not particular to ‘plain blues’ in turquoise. This mine in particular, (and its similarly hued cousin the Blue Moon mine) has grown on me. There are very subtle hues in a lot of the Castle Dome mine turquoise that you don’t find in your standard robin’s egg blue or Sleeping Beauty mine turquoise. It has light “watermark” patterns, that aren’t webbed or water webs. I adore pairing it with darkened silver, as it gives it contrast to highlight the stone. It also makes for a macabre pairing, and always reminds me of the bottom of pools.

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I’ll be using more of this turquoise in fresh designs soon. What’s pictured is all I have left!

xx Stray Arrow

Brimfield Antiques Show

This past week and weekend I visited the show at Brimfield. For those who don’t know about it, Brimfield is an expansive antiques show in Western Massachusetts that occurs three times a year. The Brimfield Show happens in May, July, and September, and always from a Tuesday to Sunday. People travel from all over to go to the show. I normally go twice to cover all of the fields. While my main objective each time is to go and cry over all of the beautiful vintage jewelry I wish I could afford, it’s always fun to see what other treasures people are offering up to the sunlight. Below is an offering to you if you couldn’t be there in person! I’ve compiled a few photos from each day.

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Tuesday. Day 1.

Brimfield rows

middle eastern

artifacts

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Steel Punches

squash blossom setup

The Stray Arrow decked.

*Jewel wear for the day.

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Saturday.

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grand Brimfield tree

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native case

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Hopi Rope Dance Ring

*Hopi rope dance ring.

The Stray Arrow NWCoast

*took this beautiful bracelet home with me! A sterling silver piece from the Northwest Coast. This stunner is completely hand etched, and unique in the it has two heads instead of a head and tail theme. The back is joined by tail feathers from each head. Inside is stamped AND signed! A rare find.

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Stray Arrow.

*jeweled get up second day, including a large genuine wampum necklace.

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I also walked off with a couple tidbits for display during the upcoming Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn.

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In other news things will slowly be changing in the shop. For the next two months I’ll be doing some slight alterations, and during the month of June it is possible that some of the “MADE TO ORDER” items will be temporarily or permanently taken out of the shop. These items include mini stacking rings, stud earrings, and nose screws. If you have any concerns about this feel free to ask! (email: StasiaArts[at!]yahoo.com). If you’re pondering an item, best to snag it soon! Especially with the MAY SALE almost over.

Cheers!

xx Stray Arrow.

Old Loves…a peak at vintage pieces

The innate desire to adorn our bodies has carried on throughout the ages. Over time most folks acquire collections; each piece visually expressing a piece of their person. Tonight I’ll be sharing a few pieces of mine that have stuck, clinging to the depths of my many jewelry boxes…trunks…drawers. Most have been passed down from my grandmother. One of the signature 1950’s American ladies with drawers chock full of costume jewelry and old treasures, drifting near their gold tubed bright carnelian lipsticks… 

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Costume, war pin.

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A pocket watch from my grandfather, engraved with his initials…

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Vintage silver and natural turquoise cuff bracelets. All except the larger silver piece from my grandmother…

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Vintage seed bead necklaces from my grandmother and great nana from Carpathian mountains…

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A lovely vintage French lace and shell button necklace I found in a tiny antique store in Avallon, France. Paired with a vintage Greek bronze necklace, and old locket…

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Southwestern jewels, including a most beloved “Story Teller” ring, and old Navajo green turquoise ring…

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An old (Turkish?) belt, and an all time favourite. I’m not a fan of wearing belts in general, but one of my friends who shares a love in antiquing captured this beauty for me. This Victorian belt is made of old black velvet and silver. It hooks gingerly and because of the era, actually fits me. It’s such a lovely piece with fine detailing…

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Ancient dynasty Chinese earrings made with silver and other metals, paired with Middle Eastern earrings…

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Last but not least, my squash blossom. I’ve always wanted one of these grand pieces. The one I was lucky to find is of a smaller scale compared to others I’ve seen which is perfect for me. The silver work is beautiful, and each hollow bead is handmade unlike squash blossoms that came along in later decades. The natural turquoise is a high quality deep blue, possibly Morenci mine (definitely from one of the Arizona mines). This piece is stamped and signed by the artist which is important to me on old pieces. Not only for authenticity, but because the artist cared enough about their work to claim. This piece is Navajo made.

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That’s all folks! Stay tuned to the blog for a Stacking Ring guide coming soon. New items will also be hitting both shops this Sunday morning!

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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Agate Cave Lady angled

Agate Cave Lady frontal shot

Agate Cave Lady Back

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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.

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

xx Stray Arrow