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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wax Seal Jewelry: MENs Pendant Necklaces - Finally!

Wax Seal Jewelry: Handmade MEN's Talismen - Finally! I am so excited to share several pieces from my new #mensjewelry line.

mens wax seal pendant from Your Daily Jewels
Use COUPON code: Take15- for 15% off. Expires 10/30.

FIRST PEEK: My long-awaited MENs Wax Seal Jewelry Line is almost complete. The first pieces are available now at #YourDailyJewels on Etsy.

The pendants are personal, meaningful, masculine and fierce. 

mens wax seal pendant from Your Daily Jewels

I am humbled by two recent sales, both to men who had never wore jewelry before, but were drawn to my pendants!

mens wax seal pendant from Your Daily Jewels

I use antique wax seals and European livery buttons from the 1800's to craft this line from recycled sterling silver.  The original relics are beautifully aged and I carefully preserve all of the well-earned nooks and crannies of the original artefact in my finished pendants.

mens wax seal pendant from Your Daily Jewels

Each handmade pendant features a strong iconic image and many are adorned with strong Latin proverbs that still resonate today. 

mens wax seal pendant from Your Daily Jewels

You will not find these anywhere else but at Your Daily Jewels. Please come on in and see the others.  You may just  connect with a perfect talisman for you or your man. Use COUPON code: Take15- for 15% off. Expires 10/30.

Stay tuned for more from my new  #MENsJewelry line in the coming weeks. 
Happy Autumn - it is good to be back to my bench.

Thank you for reading,

Friday, May 8, 2015

Alzheimer's Disease: The Long Goodbye, A Mother's Day Tribute.

about 1951

 In memory of my mom

 I am re-running and re-working  this post I wrote a few years ago about my mother's journey through Alzheimer's disease and its effect on the final years of our relationship. I still think about her throughout everyday and miss her, endlessly. I still wish I could smell her soft hair. I still crack-up out loud, by myself, at memories of some of our antics. My mother had a fantastic sense of humor; she was famous for her one-line wisecracks; and she traversed this devastating disease with humor, love, trust, and grace.

It has been seven years since Alzheimer's took its final ravage on on my mother's brain and body. I had spent eight years, (with lots of help from my three siblings and many caregivers), caring for my mom.

My mom on High School Graduation day
Caring for someone with Alzheimer's disease is just  like being back in school. Everyday you learn more, and try to remember what you have learned in order to apply it to the next lesson. You are constantly being challenged and tested by your loved one. Pop quizzes are numerous, and you are usually unprepared.

Nancy Reagan said, "When you have met one person with Alzheimer's disease, you have met one person with Alzheimer's disease". This is so true. Every patient has a slightly different presentation and every presentation changes by the day!  

My advice for those who are fumbling through the early stages of care,  and feeling like they cannot do anything right to protect their loved one is:
 "The only plan, is to plan for no plan to work as you planned".

It may sound odd, but the fondest memories of my mother are during the years she had Alzheimer's. She became a kinder, gentler mom; happy to be helped. Happy when I covered her limitations in conversation, or explained how I also forgot the same sort of things. Happy to laugh, and we did!  Happy to have her children there, and we were there, almost everyday.  

One funny memory is, in the early stage,  she developed a new-found, very enthusiastic love for shopping,  and urged me to take her clothes shopping everyday,  "like girls",  she would say.  At that point, she viewed herself as a young woman and I, her girlfriend.   Of course, she no longer carried a purse or money, so who wouldn't love shopping! I paid for all of her whimsical selections - happily. 

She had spent 30 years always providing for her children first, and during her illness a new pride in her appearance developed. She loved her weekly beauty parlor visits along with her "compulsive"  (and free) shopping jaunts.  She was so beautiful.  At 82 her skin was almost flawless.  Everywhere we went people would compliment her beauty and she would blush and beam. For the first half of the illness, she loved going out to restaurants and having cocktails - she would go everyday or evening if we were able to take her. And we usually did.  She was very persuasive.

She lived in the moment and enjoyed most of them.  Yes, she did have her battles, especially in the early stages when she had a good deal of self-awareness. I would crumple when she would ask me, "Why haven't I slipped away yet, why do I know this is happening?".
Because of Alzheimer's Disease
Because of Alzheimer's, my mom spent her last eight years surrounded by her children. Had she been healthy, we probably would have visited two or three times  a year. Instead, we moved her close to all of us, and few days went by when one of her children was not with her. Because of Alzheimer's', she saw her four adult children become bonded in the commitment to make her days happy and safe. A strong bond  we still have today.

We became close siblings because of Alzheimer's disease, we became more patient because of Alzheimer's disease, we learned how to selflessly give to others because of Alzheimer's disease, and we learned of the healing power of laughter when you just do not know what to do next.

During the long goodbye to our mom, we became better people in the world.  We graduated "Alzheimer's University" with honors. I am so proud of my entire family. I thank my mom for living through the long goodbye with graciousness, humor, and trust. I thank my siblings for loving so unconditionally. I thank God that we could all find the positive in a situation that many cannot bear. 

My mom had the brightest blue eyes you have ever seen. They shone bright and sparkled all throughout the disease while the light in the eyes of others fell dull. At the moment of her passing, after seeming to be asleep for over a day, she opened her sparkling eyes with her last breath and looked up toward Heaven. With her children around her; I believe her message was:  that her light shines on in all of us. This was my mom's final lesson to her children.

 My mom and her sisters

Thank you for reading,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Send In Your Smiles: - Wax Seal Initials and Jewelry - Customer Appreciation Days at Your Daily Jewels

New Spring Promotion for Your Daily Jewels' Wax Seal Jewelry Customers

For all of my customers, past and new: 

A 25% off coupon awaits you. 


Please email me a smiling photo of you, or the recipient of your Your Daily Jewels'  wax seal initial or wax seal jewelry purchase. I may (or may not) use the photo in a collage on my website. No names will be attached. Upon receipt, I will email you your coupon.

<img src="wax seal jewelry from Your Daily Jewels. jpeg" alt= "wax seal jewelry">
Wax Seal Jewelry by Your Daily Jewels

<img src="wax seal initials from Your Daily Jewels. jpeg" alt= "wax seal initials">
Wax Seal Initials by Your Daily Jewels

Thank you for visiting and reading!

**send your photo(s) to me at www.yourdailyjewels.etsy.com or yourdailyjewels@gmail.com

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Diamonds: The April Birthstone - How Did They Become "Forever"?

Diamonds are Forever (and they're April's Birthstone)

The first "A Diamond Is Forever" Ad from 1947
Copywriter Frances Gerety wrote "A Diamond Is Forever" for an advertising campaign for De Beers in 1947, and continued to  write all of the company's ads for 25 years.

During a post-depression generation, when most viewed diamond engagement rings as a luxury for the ultra wealthy, women would rather see men use their money toward a washing machine than an engagement ring. Miss Gerety's ad agency, N.W. Ayer of Philadelphia, set an ambitious goal: 
“to create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”
Today, even after a decade and a half of bad press about blood diamonds and inhumane working conditions in the mines, 75 percent of brides in the United States wear one, according to Kenneth Gassman, president of the Jewelry Industry Research Institute. 

 “A Diamond Is Forever,”  has appeared in every De Beers engagement ring ad since 1948. In 1999, two weeks before Ms. Gerety died at the age of 83, Advertising Age named it the slogan of the century.
source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05 

The slogan, "A Diamond is Forever" has been used in every De Beers ad for diamond jewelry since 1947. In short, Ms. Gerety sold us on diamond engagement rings and we bought in hook line and sinker. Now, how did it become April's birthstone?
Ok, back to the internet.

Conflict free and eco-friendly diamonds and diamond-alternative gift ideas for April birthday lucky-ladies.

<img src="April Diamond Birthstones Your Daily Jewels.jpg" alt= "April Diamond Birthstone - Your Daily Jewels on Etsy"
Herkimer Diamond Crystal Ring in Rose Gold by LexLuxe on Etsy.com

<img src="April Diamond Birthstones Your Daily Jewels.jpg" alt= "April Diamond Birthstone - Your Daily Jewels on Etsy"

Your Daily Jewels - Sort-Of Orb with Crystal Cubic Zirconium

<img src="April Diamond Birthstones Your Daily Jewels.jpg" alt= "April Diamond Birthstone - Your Daily Jewels on Etsy"

White Gold Rough Diamond Engagement Ring by PointNoPointStudio on Etsy.com

<img src="April Diamond Birthstones Your Daily Jewels.jpg" alt= "April Diamond Birthstone - Your Daily Jewels on Etsy"
Conflict Free, 14K Gold, Tiny Diamond Ring by LiliEmme on Etsy.com

<img src="April Diamond Birthstones Your Daily Jewels.jpg" alt= "April Diamond Birthstone - Your Daily Jewels on Etsy"
Molten Lava Rough Diamond Ring in Sterling Silver - by artifactum on Etsy.com

Thank you for visiting and reading!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

How to Catch Spring Fever When the Snow Won't Stop Falling

Waiting for April showers to bring some May Flowers!

March 26th, officially Spring, 38 degrees.  It is really hard to get into the frisky mood of Spring.  Spring fever hasn't even teased its way into the breeze yet. The lawn is still covered in taunting brown blotches of snow and it was sleeting yesterday.  How is your Spring so far?

In lieu of my own extended case of S.A.D. which has hung in through Daylight savings this year, I am looking for ways to force Spring fever into my soul. 

I've chosen  fun Springy goodies to show you.  If you are suffering through an extended Winter, maybe these will help you too!


Soft, pastel colors always remind me of Easter. The first official Spring dress-up day. It is time to put these on, now. Switch your clothes to trick your brain.

Earth Energy Weddings - Pastel Sapphire Chakra Dangle Earrings

I am going to buy a gorgeous Spring dress. and try something really new with my hair. (But both must be worn with a smile or it does not work- attn: miss model )

Found on Pinterest.

If you're not the dressy-dress type, go for a new Spring separates outfit that you can mix and match. Pastels make you feel extra feminine which helps usher in that lovely Spring feeling. They also are the polar opposite of the dark colors you have been wearing all Winter. Its time to change your clothes to help inspire your brain.

Just Cavalli - Gorgeous for Spring

Following the pastels of early Spring are the flowery and fruity Spring and Summer colors. Everything goes, except the classic jewel-tones which bode best in Autumn and Winter.

Don't forget to change your makeup and get freshly colored manicures and pedicures.

Found on Pinterest

Bee Stickers by Kate Broughton on Etsy

Get a jump on Spring with these incredible Easter, art-cookies from Rolling Pin Productions, strait outta Brooklyn.  Hand crafted by master baker - Susanna Caliendo.  Send them to friends or family, or even better, treat yourself.

<img src="yourdailyjewels spring fever" alt="Rollingpinproductions your daily jewels">
Customized Easter Cookies from Rolling Pin Productions - Order Yours for Any Occasion

Order via email:   order@rollingpinproductions.com 

<img src="yourdailyjewels spring fever" alt="Rollingpinproductions your daily jewels">
Susanna Caliendo can make ANYTHING Deliciously Edible!

Look up the top songs from your high school graduation year, when Spring meant Summer, and Summer meant freedom. Especially in senior year, when Spring meant the beginning of the rest of your life. 

Mine was "Call Me" by Blondie. It still gives me a knot in my stomach when I hear it; bringing me back to sitting in a circle with my girlfriends on the lawn of my high school, eating lunch on a gorgeous breezy Spring day, waiting for the rest of our lives.

(Now I am on a quest for an authentic vintage tee on Ebay.)

I presented part of my Spring line of jewelry and this always gives me a Spring fever-ey feeling. I think its time to roll-out Summer, just to really give Spring a kick in the butt.


Beach Wedding Time?

Beach Wedding Beauties - from Your Daily Jewels


BLOOMING  SILVER Earrings  - Contact YourDailyJewels.etsy.com

Rainbow Beach Glass

I know it will be here before we know it, but it does seem like everyone has been saying , wait until next week.... for a lot of weeks.  I am not waiting any more and am going to 'act as if" and hope my nervous and endocrine systems follow, with those little jolts of the zeal of new beginnings, motivation, and feelings of invincibility that come with Spring.

Thank you for reading

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wax Seal Talisman Pendants for Men

 Meaningful Personalized Talisman

Mind you, these are just a small fraction of the new line I am bringing out this Spring, just in time for Fathers day. Antique wax seal pendants to suit men of every style. Even men who have never worn jewelry love my rustic, historic, heraldic pendants.

The talisman, many with ancient Latin mottoes, are crafted from wax seals made between 1800- 1870, and their sayings still ring true today.  Even without mottoes, the pendants are brimming with meaning drawn from Heraldry.

The elephant often appears in Heraldic crests and with accepted symbolism of great strength, wit, longevity, happiness, royalty, good luck, and ambition. 

The elephant pendant above  has a motto that reads "Tenax en Fide" which means "'Steadfast in Faith'. To me, this means one who has strength in their convictions.

See the elephant trucks below!

Print made by Barthel Beham Formerly attributed to Sebald Beham Coat-of-arms of Melchior Pfinzing; roundel with an escutcheon with two donkeys; surmounted by two helms with an ass in the left crest and two elephant trunks in the right. c.1530 via Pinterest

Beneath the elephant pendant is another pendant with a Latin motto, featuring a sword and a crescent moon in the "horn" position. The crescent in this position, (depending on your source,) has been said to mean,
"One who has been honored by the sovereign; and hope of greater glory, (horns to the chief.)

The sword is traditionally believed to mean " justice and military honor." I love this pendant because at first glance it looks like an anchor, (which has an accepted heraldic meaning of salvation, hope, and steadfastness).

The Latin reads "Per Ardua Ad Alta" and is best translated to: 
"Through toil - to great heights"  which I construe to mean "hard work pays off".

I have many more pendants coming out. I will keep you posted with a big announcement when I am ready tointroduce the whole line.

Thank you so much for stopping by and following.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Golden Gemstone Jewelry at Your Daily Jewels - It's not all #WaxSealJewelry!

There's Much More than #WaxSealJewelry at Your Daily Jewels on Etsy!

Aside from popular #waxsealjewelry, you will also find lots of affordable golden, gemstone jewelry and my every-growing Men's Jewelry line.

Take a peek! Be back with more Wax seal jewelry blogs and a new Spring blog coming on the "Language of Flowers."

Monday, March 9, 2015

Antique Wax Seal Stamps { and Gorgeous Wax Seal Jewelry } PART 1.

Wax Seal Stamps

<img src="wax seal initials from Your Daily Jewels.jpeg" alt= "wax seal initials">
A collection of wax seal initials made from antique wax seal stamps in my collection, dated:1750 - 1974


Personal Wax Seal Stamps from 3500BC to Today

If I could get back the hours I have spent scouring the earth for #antiquewaxseal stamps... well, I wouldn't really want them. I love the thrill of the chase, the hunt, and especially the catch. 

<img src="wax seal Compass Pendant  from Your Daily Jewels.jpeg" alt= "wax seal Compass Pendant">
Lost at Sea Compass - Wax Sea pendant - Your Daily Jewels

To say I revere antique wax seals and other tiny tidbits of history is putting it mildly. OK, I hoard them. Not just because I can make silver wax seal jewelry using them,  but because I lose myself in the history behind them and all the stories they have to tell.

The history of the wax seal is long and romantic. They have served many purposes over centuries. They have been  used to identify a sender, authenticate documents, and to insure privacy.  Seals of one form or another were used by royalty, government officials, religious entities and military officers.

From my Personal Collection - I Have Drawers and Drawers of These!

As a pre-teen and teenager in the seventies, we were not quite as genteel as the Aristocracy.  We bought our wax seal stamps in the “head shop”  and used them  as signs of the sheer grooviness of the times.  Peace signs, zodiac signs, dragons, unicorns, the moon and stars and the like. No proper letter to a best friend at camp was sent without one... or six.

<img src="wax seal  Peace Sign necklace - Petite Peace Sign wax seal necklace  from Your Daily Jewels.jpeg" alt= "Antique wax seal Proverb pendants">
PEACE! ....dude. circa 1974

Seals have served as a stamp of indisputable authenticity throughout history, just as a signature is accepted in the world today. Seals can be traced back to the Old Testament, wherein it is written that Jezebel used Ahab’s seal to counterfeit important documents.  

(From my collection) Ancient Turquoise - Turkish Carving Used as a Wax Seal

The use of seals can be traced all the way back to the world’s first civilizations, and have been found in Mesopotamia; believed to hail from 3500BC. They were made with clay that was impressed with engraved cylinders or rings. 

In the Middle ages, when illiteracy was rife, wax seals were used to keep a letter closed, ensure it hadn’t been tampered with; and confirm it was indeed written by the supposed senderHowever, widespread use of the seal did not really take off until the post-medieval period. 

In these years, they were used in place of a signature to authenticate agreements, contracts, wills, letters or any act executed in someone’s name. 

The seal itself often bears a distinctive emblem or symbol specific to the sender. Because these seals were symbols of power and used to authenticate a person’s wishes, they were typically destroyed after the owner died to prevent posthumous forgeries. This is one reason why they are so rare today and so precious to collectors.


Several of My Beautiful Wax Seal Wheels from the Early 1800's

When utilized in an official capacity, seals were sometimes placed directly on an official document but were often attached in the “pendent style" so not to become lost. The seal was applied to a cord, ribbon, or strip of parchment and hung loose after being threaded through a hole or slot at the lower edge of the document.

 (above) When the Swiss decided they were going to war, they removed its wax seal from this Treaty for Peace that they had signed with Burgundy in 1467.  Look closely, you can see the two holes left by the absence of the Swiss seal. 

Wax Seals in Private Correspondence

 Seals were eventually used by families and individuals to seal handwritten letters.  For a great part of our history, this was the only form of correspondence available to express ones deepest feelings and thoughts. I am sure many a Victorian-Era parent intercepted and cracked the waxseal of a letter from a suitor to an anxiously awaiting  daughter.

"Am I Welcome"?  1790 Wax Seal  - from my personal collection 

Wax seals take me away. I feel like an Austen heroine or a Dickens character.   I can't help but envision a young, proper Victorian lady seated at her vanity,  opening a letter from her beau with a wax seal that reads "Am I Welcome"? hinting that he soon shall be in her area of the country, and would love to stop in and see her. The  wax seals pictured above are all from my collection. See the loops? They were often worn as necklaces, on charm bracelets or as watch-fob adornments so they were always handy.

Wax Seal "Etui" (container for double sided seals) from my collection - early 1800's

The Disappearance of the Wax Seal

 As travel, emigration, and colonization increased, wax seals were not simply applied to keep communication confidential, but as a practical necessity. Before the British and American postal reforms of the mid-19th century, sending a letter was quite expensive; it cost 25 cents in the US to send a letter over 450 miles – quite a lot in those days.

Furthermore, postage was based on distance and number of sheets
An envelope would have counted as an additional sheet – and was considered a frivolous luxury

 Letters were written on a folio of paper (a double-wide piece of paper folded down the center). The contents of the letter were written on the front side (recto) of the first leaf.

Three Antique Wax Seals from my collection, primarily used to create Sterling Wax Seal Jewelry

The second leaf of the folio wrapped around the first leaf, forming a protective enclosure, which could then be sealed with sealing wax and addressed to the recipient, thereby avoiding additional expense of an envelope.

The use of wax seals largely disappeared long before the popularity of handwritten correspondence did. The disappearance  corresponds with the invention of the sticky envelope in the latter half of the 19th Century, when automatic envelope folding machines, and more importantly, pre-gummed envelopes were developed.

After postal reforms, the use of the wax seal slowly diminished.  The cost of postage was significantly reduced and reforms changed its basis from the number of sheets, to overall weight. Waxseals only added more weight, and thus, added more cost.  Letter writing became much more accessible to the masses and the sheer volume of letters being mailed increased fivefold, but sadly, not the use of the faithful wax seal. 

The Wax Seal Meets Sterling Silver:

<<Check back for my next installment wherein I will be covering the making of wax seal jewelry from these historic relics >>

Your Daily Jewels has the largest collection of Wax Seal Stamp Initials and Monograms on Etsy

<img src="wax seal necklaces - Four Leaf Clover Pendant from Your Daily Jewels.jpeg" alt= "Antique wax seal Four Leaf Clover Necklace">
Erin Go Bragh! Four Leaf Clover Wax Seal Necklace ~ From Your Daily Jewels

Custom, contemporary, reversible Family Coat of Arms from Your Daily Jewels:

<img src="wax seal jewelry -Phoenix Rising Pendant -  from Your Daily Jewels.jpeg" alt= "Antique wax seal Phoenix Rising Modern Family Crest Jewelry">
Modern Wax Seal Jewelry with an Olde Soul

Thank you for visiting and reading!

<<< And, If you’re interested in creating wax seals as in days of olde, check back for Part 3 when I will post a photo tutorial how to create a wax seal >>>

  More Sources on the topic:
1.  The University of Notre Dame has a large website showing Medieval Seals from their collection  of facsimiles of the originals. 
2.   Durham University Library displays a collection of Medieval Seals                        3.   The History Box web site, presented by a former head of seal  conservation at the National Archives, displays a range of seal facsimiles.
If you prefer a book, try:

1.  A Guide to British Medieval Seals London: British Library and Public Record Office. A number of black and white drawings of seals in this section have been derived from Bloom, J.H. 1906 
2.   English Seals London: Methuen and Boutell, C. 1899 English Heraldry London: Gibbings and Co.

The complete catalogues of seals in the British Library, or the British Museum as it was when these antique tomes were produced, can be found on the Internet Archive.

For a slightly different perspective, The Weekend Wanderers Metal Detecting Club shows an assortment of seal dies and matrixes that people have lost in the fields of old England over the centuries.

The Portable Antiquities Scheme records small archaeological finds, which include numbers of medieval seal dies and matrices.

If you are interested in the heraldic aspect (like me,) or want a seal identified, try the College of Arms or The Heraldry Society.