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What Your Birthstone Says About You
January - Garnet Garnet, the birthstone for January, signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend. Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means “seed,” and is called so because of the gemstone's resemblance to a pomegranate seed. References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry. Constancy, Loyalty. February - Amethyst Amethyst, the birthstone for February, is believed by ancient Greeks and Romans to ward off temptation, also is said to keep the wearer clear-headed and quick-witted. Throughout history, the gemstone has been associated with many myths, legends, religions, and numerous cultures. English regalia were even decorated with amethysts during the Middle Ages to symbolize royalty. Serenity, Peace. March - Aquamarine The name aquamarine is derived from the Latin word aqua, meaning water, and marina, meaning the sea. This gemstone was believed to protect sailors, as well as to guarantee a safe voyage. The serene color of aquamarine is said to cool the temper, allowing the wearer to remain calm and levelheaded. Its pale, cool color beautifully complements spring and summer wardrobes. Courage, Health. April - Diamond As the April birthstone, diamonds are the ideal gift for a loved one, with more choices now than ever. These stones are strong, eternal, and came from time and extreme pressure. Innocence, Love. May - Emerald As the birthstone for May, the emerald, a symbol of rebirth, is believed to grant the owner foresight, good fortune, and youth. Emerald, derived from the word smaragdus, meaning green in Greek, was mined in Egypt as early as 330 B.C. Happiness, fertility. June - Pearl, Alexandrite For centuries, pearls have been used as an adornment., and were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire. Later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age. Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty. Balance, Joy. July - Ruby There’s no better way to demonstrate your love than by giving a ruby in celebration of a July birthday. Rubies arouse the senses, stir the imagination, and are said to guarantee health, wisdom, wealth and success in love. Nobility, Beauty. August - Peridot Peridot is said to host magical powers and healing properties to protect against nightmares and to bring the wearer power, influence, and a wonderful year. As peridot is a gemstone that forms deep inside the earth and brought to the surface by volcanoes, in Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the goddess of fire and volcanoes. Felicity, Protection. September - Sapphire Sapphire, the September birthstone, has been popular since the Middle Ages and, according to folklore, will protect your loved ones from envy and harm. Medieval clergy wore sapphires to symbolize heaven, while commoners thought the gem attracted heavenly blessings. Wisdom, Calmness. October - Opal, Tourmaline The name opal derives from the Greek Opallos, meaning "to see a change (of color)." Opals range in color from milky white to black with flashes of yellow, orange, green, red, and blue. Balance, Endurance. November - Topaz Topaz is a gemstone available in a rich rainbow of colors. Prized for several thousands of years in antiquity, all yellow gems for a time were called topaz. The most prized color of topaz is called Imperial topaz after the Russian Czars of the 1800s, and features a magnificent orange body color with pink undertones. Friendship, strength. December - Turquoise, Zircon The name turquoise, from the French expression Pierre tourques or Turkish stone, originated in the thirteenth century and describes one of the oldest known gemstones. Wisdom, wealth. What is your birthstone!?
DIY Macrame Bracelet
You’ll need: 4 yards of 0.5mm chinese knotting cord a connector or charm an embroidery needle a pair of scissors flat nose pliers (optional) a lighter (optional) Start by cutting the knotting cord into two 30 inch, two 20 inch and one 10 inch lengths. Fold the 20 inch piece in half, pull the loop through the ring, fold it over the ring, and pull the rest of the cord through the loop. Repeat the step on the other side of the ring. These strands will be anchored and remain stationary. Center the 30 inch cord under the two middle strands. Fold the right cord over the middle strands and under the left cord. Pull the left cord under the right and middle strands and through the loop on the right side. Pull tightly and slide the knot up to the top. Finish the 2nd half of the square knot by folding the left cord over the middle strands and under the right cord. Pull the right cord under the left and middle strands and through the loop on the left side. Pull tightly and repeat the steps – left, right, left, right . . . Continue knotting until the desired length is reached. Keep in mind that the clasp will take up approximately half an inch. To finish the knots, thread one of the cords onto a needle and sew up the center of 3-4 knots along the backside. Pliers will help pull the needle through the tight knots. Repeat the same step on the other cord. After sewing up both knotting cords, trim away any excess. Save the scraps and melt the tips with a lighter to seal it for extra hold. Repeat the same exact step on the second half of the bracelet. To make a sliding closure, shape the bracelet into a circle and overlap the middle strands. Use scraps to temporarily tie the cords together at each end. Take the 10 inch cord and center it under the strands. Start tying square knots exactly the same way the bracelet was executed. Stop at about half an inch and sew the knotting cords into the backside of the closure. Remove the temporary ties. The two sets of middle strands are now the adjustable ties of the bracelet. Adjust to fit the wrist and tie each end into knots. Trim away any excess. Your adjustable knotted bracelets are finished!! xx
32 Things You Didn't Know About Weddings
I'm not big into fancy weddings, but I LOVE learning about traditions in other parts of the world. Check out these 32 facts and traditions! Good Luck and Bad Luck 1. Wear a sugar cube tucked in your gown...according to Greek and Persian culture, the sugar will sweeten your marriage. 2. In English tradition, Wednesday is considered the "best day" to marry, although Monday is for wealth and Tuesday is for health. 3. Saturday is the unluckiest wedding day, according to English folklore. Funny -- it's the most popular day of the week to marry! 4. Rain on your wedding day is actually considered good luck, according to Hindu tradition! 5. For good luck, Egyptian women pinch the bride on her wedding day. Ouch! 6. Middle Eastern brides paint henna on their hands and feet to protect themselves from evil. 7. Peas are thrown at Czech newlyweds instead of rice. 8. A Finnish bride traditionally went door-to-door collecting gifts in a pillowcase, accompanied by an older married man who represented long marriage. 9. Moroccan women take a milk bath to purify themselves before their wedding ceremony. 10. In Holland, a pine tree is planted outside the newlyweds' home as a symbol of fertility and luck. It's Got a Ring To It 11. Engagement and wedding rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand because it was once thought that a vein in that finger led directly to the heart. 12. In the symbolic language of jewels, a sapphire in a wedding ring means marital happiness. 13. A pearl engagement ring is said to be bad luck because its shape echoes that of a tear. 14. One of history's earliest engagement rings was given to Princess Mary, daughter of Henry VIII. She was two years old at the time. 15. Snake rings dotted with ruby eyes were popular wedding bands in Victorian England...the coils winding into a circle symbolized eternity. Fashionable Lore 16. Queen Victoria started the Western world's white wedding dress trend in 1840...before then, brides simply wore their best dress. 17. In Asia, wearing robes with embroidered cranes symbolizes fidelity for the length of a marriage. 18. Ancient Greeks and Romans thought the veil protected the bride from evil spirits. Brides have worn veils ever since. 19. In Japan, white was always the color of choice for bridal ensembles...long before Queen Victoria popularized it in the Western world. 20. In Korea, brides don bright hues of red and yellow to take their vows. 21. Brides carry or wear "something old" on their wedding day to symbolize continuity with the past. 22. In Denmark, brides and grooms traditionally cross-dressed to confuse evil spirits! 23. The "something blue" in a bridal ensemble symbolizes purity, fidelity, and love. Food and Family 24. In Egypt, the bride's family traditionally does all the cooking for a week after the wedding, so the couple can relax. 25. In South Africa, the parents of both bride and groom traditionally carried fire from their hearths to light a new fire in the newlyweds' hearth. 26. The tradition of a wedding cake comes from ancient Rome, where revelers broke a loaf of bread over a bride's head for fertility's sake. 27. An old wives' tale: If the younger of two sisters marries first, the older sister must dance barefoot at the wedding or risk never landing a husband. Show Off at a Cocktail Party 28. In many cultures around the world, including Celtic, Hindu and Egyptian weddings, the hands of a bride and groom are literally tied together to demonstrate the couple's commitment to each other and their new bond as a married couple (giving us the popular phrase "tying the knot"). 29. The bride stands to the groom's left during a Christian ceremony, because in bygone days the groom needed his right hand free to fight off other suitors. 30. On average, 7,000 couples marry each day in the United States. 31. Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve are the two busiest "marriage" days in Las Vegas...elopement central! 32. Bachelor parties were first held by ancient Spartan soldiers, who kissed their bachelor days goodbye with a raucous party. Do you have any interesting wedding traditions in your family?