March is almost here, and bright Aquamarine reminds us that clear blue skies are just around the corner! Regarded as a stone that symbolizes youth, health, and hope, it's a perfect gift for March babies.
"Aquamarine" means seawater, and the stone certainly shows the range of blue water hues. We love the cool and tranquil light blue variety, as well as the deeper tones of Moss Aquamarine, shown above.
You can stop in store to see our full collection of Aquamarine beauties, or check out a few pieces online here! Happy birthday, March babies!
February is here! This month's beautiful birthstone is the bright and beautiful amethyst. Ranging in hues from light lilac to vivid purple, this stone is simply a classic.
These double drop amethyst earrings would make a great gift for any February birthday, but they're so lovely and wearable that we won't tell if you gift them to yourself...
Long considered a powerful stone of protection, amethyst has been a favorite since ancient times and its allure isn't going away any time soon! From Greek mythology:
Amethyst was a young virgin who became the object of wrath of the Greek God Dionysus after he became intoxicated with red wine. When Amethyst cried out to Goddess Diana for help, she immediately turned the girl into a white, shimmering stone (quartz). When Dionysus realized what had happened and felt remorse for his actions, his tears dripped into his goblet of red wine. The goblet overturned, and the red wine spilled all over the white rock, saturating it until it became the purple quartz that is now known as Amethyst.
Catholic bishops, Grecian kings, even Saint Valentine himself prize the amethyst for its powers of protection, healing, and purity.
Of course, for the more daring, Amy loves the striking beauty of the Amethyst Stalactite, which is formed when the purple crystal forms on the outside of huge cave formations. Now that's a conversation starter!
Tucson, Here We Come!!!
Julie and I are headed to the Tucson gem show, the biggest in existence. Vendors from the world-over attend and bring gems from every corner of the Earth. There are 50 separate shows operating at once, and it is a wild, overwhelming, and exhilarating time. Soon I will be wearing that pumped expression in the picture above, as I carefully curate the gems that I will use to create my jewelry collections over the next year. And soon, they will be available in the cases in the form of Amy Zane Jewelry!
We gave our website a much-needed facelift: updated photos, new shop features, and sleek new design. Check it out!
The February Art Hop is almost here!!!
We are hosting the ever-awesome Renae Baumgart, an artist whose work is both unusual and stunning. She creates Rip Art, using vintage wall papers, no cutting allowed, only ripping. It makes for art with such depth and textures that it almost seems alive. Come on down and see her new collection, and partake of the usual Art Hop treats!
See you soon!
January's birthstone is the beautifully deep and moody garnet. It's perfect for the first month of the year: garnet traditionally symbolizes rebirth, strength, and a fresh start. Garnet sprang to fame in the 18th and 19th centuries in Europe: the Victorian era of jewelry. From the Latin for seed, red garnet resembles the jeweled seeds of a pomegranate!
The regal red variety shown here isn't the only shade, however; we have lovely green, yellow, and orange-hued garnets in store as well. Grossular garnet comes in a variety of earthy tones, and Hessonite garnet is found in lovely warm hues.
Even if traditional red garnet isn't your style, there is so much diversity in the garnet family! Stop in store or shop online for the perfect gift for January babies.
Many legends surround the Christmas Pickle: some claim it as an age-old German tradition, some trace it back to the American Civil War, and some find its origin in the Middle Ages. Wherever it came from, it makes a sweet (and sour) tradition for Christmas morning. The pickle is hidden in your Christmas tree, and the first child--of any age--to find it on Christmas morning receives a little gift for their trouble. A bonus: Berrien Springs, MI calls itself the Christmas Pickle Capital of the World, so this worldly tradition has ties right here in the mitten state.
Our lovely Christmas pickle was handmade by Salusa Glassworks, and photos do not do it justice! It will surely add some fun to your Christmas morning, but it's also a wonderfully crafted piece of art for your tree. Happy Holidays!
We counted down to Christmas with a selection of our artists' lovely handmade ornaments. Our favorite part of Christmas is spending time with our families of course, but we also love trimming the tree! Each of these ornaments was lovingly crafted by one of our artists. We may have packed up our trees until next December, but we can't wait to put these ornaments back up!
Blue topaz is one of many accepted birthstones--you could also substitute turquoise or tanzanite, but we love the bright, vivid clarity of these lovely stones. These cool, almost transparent stones remind us of a bright December day. Traditionally a symbol of love and affection, we can't think of a more meaningful gift for a December baby.
Blue topaz is available in a variety of hues: Sky Blue, Swiss Blue, and London Blue topaz refer to the depth of color in the stone, London being the darkest. Of course you could also spring for Tanzanite, an increasingly rare stone found only in Tanzania, also an accepted December birthstone. Shop in store or online for your December gifts!
November birthdays are affiliated with two gems; Citrine and Topaz. Citrine is a warm, almost transparent stone that ranges from dark honey tones to pale light yellows. Its lovely warm color is said to be a gift from the sun revered for its healing powers.
Topaz is available in a variety of vibrant colors, like blue, pink, and yellow, but is most desired in its rich orange state. These wild mystic topaz earrings are a great example of the diversity of the stone.
Both citrine and topaz are available in many varieties in store and online. Get a gift for a November baby today!
Michigan has one of the best shaped states in America. While I am not originally from Michigan, I must admit that the shape of Michigan is pretty awesome. Let's face it, no other state citizens can use their hand to indicate their location as successfully as Michiganders.
Artists love incorporating the state of Michigan into their work. The people of Michigan are a proud people and artists are eager to represent the state's shape in new and creative ways. In the store, we have a plethora of examples of fun, creative ways artists have interpreted the shape of Michigan and the Great Lakes. Here is a list of some of my favorites:
Great Lakes Mugs by Ryan Taylor
These wonderful mugs come in two colors, green and brown. He does this wonderful glazing technique where the blue glaze from the top of the mug drips down into the recessed part of the Great Lakes which gives the appearance that the Great Lakes are filled with water. These mugs are microwave, oven and dishwasher safe. Also, he does not stop at mugs; he also has bowls, plates, platters and more!
Michigan Wooden Spoon by Nick Nacks
Bring your love of Michigan into your kitchen with a Michigan wooden spoon! This hand carved spoon with the shape of Michigan as the head will be sure to impress your guests at dinner parties.
Michigan T-Shirts by Michigan Outfitters
There are so many designs I cannot choose a favorite! Nonetheless, I love his designs. Michigan Outfitters uses the shape of Michigan as a base and incorporates an image, scene or setting into it in a very creative way. These shirts are preshrunk and we have mens, womens, and childrens sizes. If you find a design in the store you love but it we currently do not have it in your size, please let us know and we can order it for you.
"You're Great" Card by City Bird
This may be my favorite card in the entire store, but I am a sucker for puns. The card reads " You're Great" next to an image of all the Great Lakes. While this card is playing off of the Great Lakes, I am still including it in this list because without the Great Lakes, Michigan and its distinctive shape would not exist.
This is only a taste of the Michigan inspired pieces are available in the store.
I want to put the Amy Zane readers up to a challenge. I have shared with you my favorite Michigan inspired items, now it is time for you to share your favorites with us! Comment or post an image of your favorite Michigan regalia either from Amy Zane: Store & Studio or from somewhere else. Let's show our Michigan pride!
Amy Zane: Store & Studio
Fine, Funky Affordable Art
One of my favorite stones Amy uses for her jewelry is Labradorite. Just look at a piece and your mind will be tricked trying to figure out what color this stone is. Is it grey? Did you just see a flash of yellow? Blue? Green? Even purple? The answer is yes, yes you did.
Labradorite was first 'discovered' by Moravian missionaries in 1770 but the stone is mentioned in Inuit tribe folklore much earlier. According to one Inuit legend, Labradorite fell from the Aurora Borealis and is a magical stone that transcends worlds.
The magical optical illusion you see when looking at Labradorite is called labradorescence (Labradorite is the only stone with an optical illusion named after it). This affect occurs because there are internal fractures inside the stone that reflect light back and forth, making different colors. The mineralogy community disagrees with how Labradorite should be classified as a stone. Dana's System of Mineralogy lists Labradorite as an individual mineral, but the International Mineralogical Association lists it as a sodium-rich variety of Anorthite. It forms in igneous environments in diabase (fine-grained intrusive igneous rock) and when in contact with metamorphic rocks.
In the store we have told you Labradorite is from Labrador, Canada; but through this research I have learned there are deposits of it in other places around the world as well. Finland is blessed to have a good supply of Spectrolite, which is Labradorite with dark reds, orange, yellow, blues and green color flashes. Other places Labradorite can be found include Ukraine, Madagascar, and in the United States it can be found in New York, Utah and Texas.
If Labradorite was not already fun enough, here are some awesome facts and affects it can have on you:
-Rainbow Moonstone is actually white Labradorite
-Labradorite is considered the stone of transformation and magic
-Labradorite provides protection
-Labradorite attract Success
-Labradorite reduce stress and anxiety energies by boosting self-confidence energy
-Labradorite is associated with the solar plexus and brow chakras
Come into the store and check out our selection of Labradorite--we have an amazing selection to choose from!
Amy Zane: Store & Studio
Fine, Funky & Affordable Art
Let's face it, it is easy to walk into Amy Zane: Store & Studio and find something we instantly love. But flip the mirror around and try to find something for someone else and things may get a bit tricky. Here are some helpful tips we have learned over the years that can help guide you towards the perfect gift.
1) Price Point.
Amy's jewelry starts around $30 and goes up from there, with many things to choose from in each range. Prices vary depending on the type and quality of the stone. Typically, but not always, the smaller pieces are less expensive.
**Please tell us your price range and we can guide you towards items within that range.**
2) Hair Color. Pick a color that will stand out against her hair color
Blondes look great in green, blue, purple, red, black, and other dark or bright colors
Brunettes look great in pink, red, orange, yellow, white and other bright colors
Red Heads find that purple, blue, green, black, and white stand out.
Silver or white hair looks awesome in purple, blue, red or whatever color you want!
3) Silver, Gold or Leather.
-Does she have an allergic reaction to any metals?
If you do not know the answer to this question go with silver or 14k Goldfill. Almost all of Amy's silver chains and ear wires are sterling silver should not cause any allergic reaction, unless there is a sever allergy. Keep in mind anything with a bird or flower on it is sliver plated which is a layer of silver placed onto another metal. Ours is of a very high quality, but people with base metal allergies will react.
-Have you seen her wear gold? Leather? If so you have a golden ticket to get something in gold or leather!
Amy's gold chains and earring posts and hooks are 14K gold fill, which means a layer of gold is fused onto the metal creating a permanent bond. As mentioned above, any of the gold birds or flowers in gold are also gold plated.
4) Earrings or Necklace. Are her ears pierced? Don't know? Don't go there; go with a necklace.
4) Sparkly, Earthy, Simple, Elegant...
From here you have hopefully narrowed it down to a section or area of Amy's cases. Now it comes down to the personality of the person finding something that is best for them. Try and think what they typically wear, both clothing and jewelry. How would this person wear this? Everyday or on a night out? Can you see this going into their wardrobe well? Think of how to describe this person and find a piece that makes you feel the same way. Does it scream "________" to you?
Any questions? Need help? Amy, Julie and I are always here to help you! And if love something but want it slightly changed, Amy can always customize something for you. We want you to love the gift you are giving! We will even gift wrap it for you!
Amy Zane: Store & Studio
Fine, Funk & Affordable Art
Hello! My name is Megan and I work at Amy Zane: Store & Studio in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan. It is a wonderful store filled with the work of about 90 different local and Michigan artists. Its really more like a gallery than a store because there is so much to see. I love being surrounded by so much great art all the time, and I want to share it with you!
During these posts I will be updating you about new artists we have added to the store, along with new work our current artists have brought in. For me, artwork is a marvelous display of how the human mind works, and how many different ways it works. Each artist in the store has a different technique and a different point of view--I hope to share that and my impression of their work with you.
For anyone who knows of Amy Zane: Store & Studio, they know that the woman who the store is named after makes the most spectacular jewelry, using the most beautiful stones and gems in the world. As my curiosity grows about the stones she is using, I will share my research (and maybe even my potential confusion) with you all.
Please feel free to comment in any form on these posts! We want to hear from you here at Amy Zane: Store & Studio!
Amy Zane: Store & Studio
Fine, Funky & Affordable Art