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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Man Up! And Wear Your Jewelry. Part I

Jewelry hasn't hurt Steven Tyler's Image

The earliest evidence of jewelry comes to us from Africa, where ancient adornments made of shells have been found.

This mollusk jewelry was discovered in a cave in Blombos, South Africa, and dates back to the Middle Stone Age, some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago.

Nassarius Shells:

For we jewelry makers, it is interesting to note that beads  were the first material object not necessary for survival, and they have been considered an indicator of when early hominids, or bipedal primates, developed the ability to symbolize, thus becoming “modern man”.  Adornment was indicative of the beginning of symbolic, higher order thinking.


Jewelry started out as a functional adornment used to fasten articles of clothing together, and was later adapted for use as an object for purely aesthetic ornamentation, or for use as a spiritual and religious symbol.

Early Europeans also prized jewelry made of stone and teeth. These pieces of jewelry were worn by both men and women, and had cultural, spiritual, or tribal significance. 

The Vikings are just one of countless historical cultures who loved bright ornamentation. Their metalworkers highly skilled at intricate decoration of jewelery. Both men and women wore brooches, pendants, bracelet cuffs and more.


It was the ancient Egyptians who were  the first to craft fine jewelry out of gold combined with gemstones. They wore gold jewelry to showcase their wealth, and as talismen and amulets. Gold possessions always went with the owner to the grave. Egyptians paved the way for creative fine jewelry all around the world. As with all cultures previously, jewelry was worn by both men and women.

from the tomb of Tut-ankh-amun, http://archaeology.knoji.com

I am still researching how this puzzling changeover evolved.  In modern society, (the last two hundred years or so), men, at least in the West, have become confined to cufflinks, tiepins, and watches with all other jewelry being regarded as feminine or ostentatious. 

This pressure for men to  "de-adorn" prevails, regardless of  countless examples of iconic, non-feminine, hardly ostentatious men, proudly displaying their bodily adornments.

The greatest warriors in history never "went out without their jewelry".  Commanche warriors were close to changing our history to "How the West Was Lost." The annihilation of Western settlers by the fully adorned Commanche warriors was the single reason our US Marshal system was instituted.

Commanche Warriors, the baddest asses of the baddasses.

And the Marshals who took on the toughest weren't afraid to wear their own style of bling.
Commanche Warrior - The Fiercest of Native Americans  - in traditional tribal adornment

Another iconic warrior, fully jeweled and adorned, the Maasai
Killing a lion in Maasai culture is a test of manhood, still today.

And moving away from warriors, we have iconic men: men's men. Wearing jewelry, looking none the fem for it.

Paul Newman

Delicious Steve McQueen

I make jewelry for a living. I live with a man who is constantly telling me, "I love this, I wish I wore jewelry!".  I get no where with him, but if you have read this far, maybe I can make convert of you? 

Have you always wanted to give it a try?  Well, remember the power of jewelry–for better or worse it sends signals about who we are, our commitments, and our status in society.  

Women get to mix and match  their clothes and jewelry at will and men appear to be governed by a myriad of strict rules. Any women can squeeze into a pair of skinny jeans. But very few men should try to pull this off. (one woman's opinion - no men should). Women have a lot more fun but it does not have to be this way.

My next post is jammed packed with tips on how men can subtly get into jewelry. What to start with and how to do it totally right! Additionally,  lots of gorgeous examples to choose from.

Don't miss it!

Thanks for visiting and reading. Please leave me a note and tell me your thoughts on men and jewelry.

"Before written language, or the spoken word, there was jewelry."

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish, S.M.A.R.T Goal Setting, 2014

Yep, its the New Year and we are all sworn to losing weight, drinking more water, less booze, or whatever is on our list of "resolutions". This year, why not look at "resolutions"  differently and see if we can do more than "resolve" to eat less sugar. 

What is missing in all of these "resolutions" ? A unit of measure and time frame to start. We tend to think of resolutions in the 'self-help' realm and "goal-setting" in our business lives. Well, lets leave resolutions behind and just  focus on good goal setting.

If you break down goal setting and you will see how it is a key component to success in every aspect of our lives, not just business.

What makes a goal useful?  Specifics:

The following  visual helped me a lot. I never thought about goal setting in terms of my attitude, for example. But this is an area that needs work, so, this is an area where I can set goals. Take time and write down smart goals in each area below. Share some or all with friends, family or co-workers. This helps with accountability.  Someone may be keeping an eye out for whether or not you are working on yourself.

It is simple yet daunting at the same time, like many of the greatest things in life. So, take the extra time you "resolved" to spend on the treadmill today, and think about and write down your goals. 

If you really want to delve deeply, start a goal-based journal. You'll be amazed as you read back and see all you have achieved if you keep reading and reaching toward the goals on page one. Oh, on that note, page one is just a work in progress, you can always add to it, and cross goals off the list when they are achieved. "Crossing off" is the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

I would love to hear how you do! 
Thanks for visiting and reading!

Monday, December 30, 2013

My International Sales for 2013 - Thank You Etsy and The JETS

Your Daily Jewels is Worn Around the World!

Each day or two I make my way to the post office to ship my handmade jewelry and one or two days a week I have the dreaded International package to ship. It comes with so many worries: how should I ship it, is it packed well enough, will it get there in time, will it even make it there?  With each successful transaction (99.5% of the time!) I am surprised and relieved, but, I don't think I will ever get used to it and not be nervous.

When I first opened my jewelry shop on Etsy,  I did not ship internationally! I was so certain no one would even bother ordering from overseas and I had a lot of anxiety about losing packages. 

I recently took a look back over my orders and I can't believe I have shipped all over the world in less than two years.  I am honestly astonished that women (and some men) world-wide, are wearing small pieces that came from MY hands and heart. I am so thankful for Etsy, and especially for my JET teammates who told me I was crazy not to ship internationally a few years ago.

Thanks for visiting and reading.

One World, Cai Yuan, www.tagfinearts.com