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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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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BANGLEPACKAGING

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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

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Rock Appreciation Day.

For Rock Appreciation Day this month we have King’s Manassa Mine Turquoise. 

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Manassa mine turquoise has also been called King’s Manassa turquoise, King’s turquoise, and was originally called the Lick Skillet mine. It is located in South Central Colorado near Manassa. The Manassa mine is reputed to be the oldest turquoise mining deposit in Colorado, and was speculated to have been mined by the Anasazi Pueblo peoples. The mine was “rediscovered”, or founded, by Israel Perviose King when he was searching for gold in 1894. He filed claim on it the next year. The mine has stayed with the King family and is now with his grandson Bill King.

The turquoise from this mine is some of my favourite. It is known for it’s deep greens with host rock rhyolite golden brown matrix, but can produce turquoise in a range of colours.

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The turquoise can come in solid colour, bi-coloured, or with host rock webbing. It pairs beautifully with gold and some of the most saturated dark greens are among the most collectible. I love that turquoise from this one area has been used for over 1,000 years and is still seen as a prized and treasured finite commodity.

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Below are photos of pieces used with Manassa turquoise that have been sold or claimed.

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Below are photos of Stray Arrow jewels still available!

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In the works is another triple turquoise ring in the “Three Needles” horse shoe style everyone has been asking about! Coming to the shop soon.

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That’s all folks!

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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

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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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.

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

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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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.

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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 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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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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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.

Giveaway Results, New Item Preview, New Rocks…

LET’S GET RIGHT TO IT, SHALL WE?

For both giveaways I made a list of the names entered with numbers next to the names. The drawing for the Koroit Dirt Drop Necklace was out of 24 names, the Buffalo out of 64. I used a random number generator to choose the winners:

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WINNER of Koroit Necklace:

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SARAH HAYWARD.

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WINNER of Buffalo:

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LAUREN PROPER.

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Congrats to Lauren & Sarah! You’ll be contacted to confirm shipping info. Thank you so much to everyone who participated! Grazie Mille for the comments, compliments, shard stories, quotes, lyrics, and little diddys. We’ll have to see what I come up with next December!

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If you all didn’t notice, both shops are currently on VACATION. I had some panic last time that folks couldn’t “find” my shop on Etsy and thought I had been lost forever, so DON’T PANIC. They’ll reopen next week! Meanwhile I’m out on the road to see some good ol’Bluegrass banjo music. Speaking of banjos…..

*NEW ITEM PREVIEW*

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I’ve always liked some nice twang. While I listen to many, many different “genres” of music, I adore old Appalachian Folk, Bluegrass, Delta Blues, and old Country. Banjos in general are just neat. So, I’ve been bangin’ out some 5 string banjo-shaped pieces for keychains and little necklaces. They are out of thick copper and bronze in two different sizes. Each has my maker’s mark on the back, and a CUSTOM song quote or tittle on the front. There will also be a standard set of quotes to choose from. The key chains will be great for guys and gals alike, the necklaces shall veer slightly towards a steampunk fashion with antique watch faces for the banjo body, reading, “BANJO TIME”, on the back. These will be up in the shop for sale next week as a “first draft”at this new concept.

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BANJOS.

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These new goodies will also be in the shop next week:

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Olive Arrowring

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Also new will be one of a kind stacking ring sets, “The Cave Stack”. Each will feature two pieces of natural turquoise from a collectable mine. Each will have 4 rings in the stack total, often spur of the moment made stackers. These may be one shot items. They’ll all be patina rustic, echoing your inner cave dweller. The Cave Stack below features Castle Dome turquoise from the Southwest in a size 7.5. A set featuring Damele mine turquoise is also made up in a size 6, and a #8 Mine Cave Stack is currently in production in a size 8.5. These can also be custom made!

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NOW ON TO ROCKS.

Some sad news is I *WON’T* be heading to the fun and fruitful Tucson Gem Show this coming year. After getting slightly more organized this year, I’ve realized that I do have an extensive rock inventory that really does need to be used up before I buy oodles more. Because of this, I just snagged a HUGE, MASSIVE amount of natural old stock turquoise stones from a secret source of mine. In addition I’ve formed a couple of other selective sources for primo quality natural turquoise. A few days before I picked these out, the man I acquired them from had just had a mini summit of sorts with 5-7 different Mine *owners*, so this is pretty great stuff straight from their respective sources. Most are currently up for grabs for any custom orders (great for Cave stacking sets!). Feel free to inquire about any sizes, or custom ideas!

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^ABOVE FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: rough Manassa, rough Damele, Skyline Mine, Snowville Variscite from Utah.

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That’s it! Hope everyone has had a Happy Holiday season, whether you’re celebrating Channukah, Christmas, Yule/Solstice, or what have you. See you all January First for Rock Appreciation Day!

xx Stray Arrow

Preview Day

The Giveaway necklace has been decided upon and finished! For the lucky winner chosen December 26th, the Koroit Opal Dirt Drop:

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NEW ITEMS:

These goodies will be added to both Etsy shops tonight and tomorrow.

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Head In The Clouds

Head In Clouds Modeled

Fool's Traingle 4gs

Fool's Triangle Plugs

X Marks Spot Ring

X Marks Spot Modeled

X Marks Spot Kingman

Bronze Buffalo Hoops

Bronze Buffalo Hoop Backs

Damele plugs

Arrow Vane Stackers

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And now, a new favourite.

Quality White Buffalo Turquoise, old Kings Manassa Turquoise, peridot gemstone, and a little poetry bring:

The Storm Caller

quote from William Cullen Bryant’s, “To The Fringed Gentian”

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Storm Caller Side View

Storm Caller Back

Storm Caller Modeled

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That’s it folks! Check out the shops later on~Don’t forget Holiday shopping deadlines!

xx Stray Arrow

Mini New Item Preview

These lovelies will be in the main shop and in the plugs shop later this evening. Another item preview will be next Sunday~

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xx Stray Arrow

DECEMBER GIVEAWAYS

For the month of December, I’ll be having *TWO SEPARATE* GIVEAWAYS.

*each person’s name will only go in once for each giveaway, regardless the amount of items purchased or the amount of comments made.

Giveaway 1 will be for this buffalo bracelet (currently unfinished). The bracelet will fit a small to medium sized wrist, and pictures will be posted when finished, when the winner is announced. All purchases made in BOTH Etsy shops, Gauged by Stasia and The Stray Arrow, from December 1 through December 25th at midnight, will be entered in to win. The winner will be announced on the blog on the 26th, and be contacted for shipping information.

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GIVEAWAY 2  won’t require any purchased items. To have your name entered, simply leave a comment on EITHER this blog post, or the corresponding post for this announcement on my Facebook Page (liking my page won’t hurt either!). The comment can be anything you want, a favourite quote, a picture, your favourite colour-anything at all. All comments on this blog post or the facebook post will be entered and a random name drawn on December 26th. The prize is *UNDECIDED* at this time! I’m thinking some kind of necklace, possibly a koroit opal Ice Shard, have any ideas? Get to commenting before I start making it quick! Once the prize is completed this post will be edited to list it.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!

xx Stray Arrow

Holiday Frenzy

This post will feature new pieces and new stones. With all the Holiday shopping frenzy going on, the studio has been busier than ever. This month in particular has been quite tumultuous, between the hurricane, losing power, having the near-lack of a car or transportation of any kind, constant guests, and gearing up for the Holiday season. I want to thank you ALL for bearing with me if I’ve been at all disorderly. Regular Preview posts will now resume before new items hit either shop (instead of listing one new item every few days unannounced). Rock Appreciation Day will be posted once again on the First of December, along with secret special details. I hope you all enjoy the new lovelies I’ve been hammering away at. Other pieces in the near future will include an Icarus Ring, Storm Earrings, ornate dangles for tunnels, more of the To Make Much of Time and Towards Mountains series, and more! During the Holiday season, its best to take a few breathers. Remember what and who are important, take time to do what you love most, and support handmade small business-or make something yourself!

All of these will be in the shop today or tomorrow for the Cyber Monday Sale.

~*ENJOY*~

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NEW CABS~

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^*TOP ROW, left to right: beautiful quality high grade Bisbee Arizona district Azurite Malachite, premium fossilized Dinosaur Bone, Royal Imperial Nodule Jasper.

BOTTOM ROW: 16mm chrysocolla, Russian serpentine.

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^*the ever popular high grade Australian Koroit Opal from Queensland.

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^*a new absolute FAVOURITE stone. This is Pietersite, from Namibia. This stone actually glints like labradorite, spectrolite, or larvakite. They remind me of a study painting for Gericault’s Raft of the Medusa. Pietersite is the perfect stormy mood stone. For those that follow my INSTAGRAM (username TheStrayArrow), you’ll know that I’ve been working on a pair of pietersite earrings since last weekend, posted a few days ago. These large loves will feature moons, morning stars, chevrons, among other dangling elements.  Follow me there for the freshest previews, inside studio pics and stone finds.

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All of these new stones are up for grabs for custom orders. Check back to the blog DECEMBER FIRST for Rock Appreciation Day, a special announcement, and more. I’ll be working longer hours in the studio from now until the end of next month so production times for items do not slow down for gifting! See the results on Instagram and my Facebook Page.

Better start snagging the plugs you want and gifts while the sale is still up folks! Don’t forget to put in the coupon code: BLACKCYBER!

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xx Stray Arrow