Posts Tagged With: MoonRiver

Gloucestershire Makers are Glorious!

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For those of you in the know it will come as no surprise that I now have a space in the wonderful Gloucestershire Arts and Crafts Centre!

If you haven’t discovered it yet then I urge you to pop in and have a look around – whatever your taste there’s bound to be something that catches your eye, from paintings and photography to jewellery and ceramics and much more besides.

What makes it so special though is that all of the items are produced in Gloucestershire by local independent makers and artists. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to meet some of the people too as the shop is manned by the makers themselves. The shop also holds regular classes and workshops ranging from photography and painting to jewellery making and willow work.

I’d love to write about all of the makers and artists, but there are so many! Here are just a few – selected purely on the basis that I happened to have their business cards to hand!

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The shop can be found at 4 College Street, Gloucester, GL1 2NE (on the approach to the Cathedral) and is open Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm. Pop by and say ‘Hi’ soon.

You can contact the shop by phone on 01452 307161 or by email on  info@glosartscrafts.co.uk

http://www.glosartscrafts.co.uk/index.htm

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The Butterfly Effect

Silver Fingerprint Butterfly Necklace by MoonRiver

Available from my Folksy Shop – http://www.moonriverjewellery.folksy.com 

Love is like a butterfly,it goes where it pleases and it pleases wherever it goes” 

“Love is like a butterfly, hold it too tight, it’ll crush, hold it too loose, it’ll fly.”

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Recently I designed this new piece of jewellery for my silver fingerprint range. I based it on the butterfly. Little did I know that butterflies had quite so many symbolic meanings! It had occurred to me that everyone likes butterflies (except my husband who will not go into a butterfly house) – what person can fail to smile as a butterfly flutters by in it’s ephemeral, here today, gone tomorrow existence. I have a wonderful memory of seeing my daughters face watching as a butterfly emerged from it’s chrysalis – like magic.

People have often remarked to me how butterflies have always turned up at significant moments in their lives and looking through the many associations with butterflies it doesn’t surprise me at all.

Butterflies have different associations in different cultures. In China they are a symbol of long life while in Japan they are associated with marital bliss. They are often considered to be a sign of good luck.

Butterflies are a great symbol of change – how many of you remember the fantastic ending of the Very Hungry Caterpillar? The butterfly’s life cycle consists of four stages: the egg, the caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly. These have been compared with the life cycle of a human – in the womb, in life, in death and finally eternal rebirth. Butterflies are a symbol of the soul and resurrection in many cultures including Christianity.

Many cultures have associated butterflies with the souls of the departed. The Ancient Greeks called the butterfly, ‘Psyche’ which means soul and an Irish tradition holds that butterflies are the souls of the dead waiting to pass through purgatory. In Mexico, the migratory return of the monarch butterfly each year around the time of the Day of the Dead is seen as the souls of the departed returning.

Butterflies also symbolise change and transition, both inevitable and unexpected as we move through life.

When I designed my butterfly piece, I never imagined that it could be so symbolic. It certainly set me thinking about all the times a butterfly has appeared in my life. I wonder now what that butterfly was doing at my wedding! Indeed many people now choose to release a host of butterflies as a symbol at their wedding.

Whether you choose to think of butterflies as a symbol of the changes in life from child into adult, or as the souls of our dear departed, or just a wonderful sign of the beauty and variety of creation you can be sure you’re not alone!

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An Indian Butterfly Legend

If anyone desires a wish to come true they must
capture a butterfly and whisper that wish to it.

Since they make no sound, they can’t tell the wish
to anyone but the Great Spirit.

So by making the wish and releasing the butterfly
it will be taken to the heavens and be granted.

  

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Folksy Friday anyone?

I’m a fairly new Folksy Shop holder – I’d never really heard of Folksy before I started looking around for ways to sell my jewellery online. But now I’ve found it there is no holding me back! I simply can’t believe the sheer range and quality of the items on offer, not to mention the real individual nature of each piece. I hear-by vow never to buy mass-produced again!

For those of you who haven’t yet spotted the chocolate oval shapes dominating the shop shelves (along with the influx of cute bunnies), it really is fast approaching Easter – yes I know – in March?! So today I thought I’d share a few of my favourite Easter related Folksy finds – do please go and have a look at the sellers’ shops, they have so much more to offer than I could ever fit on here!

Hand knitted merino bunny rabbit

Hand knitted merino bunny rabbit
Designed by Jo Macgregor – Pickle-Lily
£10 plus p+p

Easter Rag Wreath

Easter Rag Wreath
Designed by Gillian Rumford – Bobbin Cottage Designs
£12 plus p+p

When you first look at Folksy – it’s really hard to know where to begin – just browsing the categories can be so interesting if you’re not looking for anything particular. If you have something in mind, you can always use the search box.

I’ve decided that since I now run my own small business specialising in handmade goods that I should show solidarity with my fellows artists and pledge to buy from small, independent outlets. I’ve always found this hard in the past – where I live, there aren’t so many of these sorts of shops and I haven’t always had the time to go elsewhere for presents. Now I need look no further – I’m fairly certain that I’ll be able to find something for everyone from now on.

Another great advantage of buying handmade is the amount of care and attention that has gone into each product at every stage. These items have been LOVED –  from the day they were designed, right through the development stage (and yes – that includes all the frustrating mistakes and mix-ups along the way), throughout the process of selecting the right materials and making, right up to the point where they are carefully packaged up and wing their way off to their new loving home.

Set of 4 Decorated Eggs

Set of 4 Decorated Eggs
Designed by Debbie Stevenson – Burley Beads
£10 plus p+p

Cute Easter Rabbit

Cute Easter Rabbit
Designed by Louise Alison Townley – Ellie May Designs
£18 plus p+p

Just recently I read somewhere that all handmakers suffer from a sense of un-worthiness at one time or another.  “I just don’t think people think they’re worth the money,” they cry. For anyone out there who makes and sells their creations, I’m sure this will ring true. The sad fact is that mass-production items can afford to be cheap BECAUSE they are mass-produced rather than the other way around. Each one of these items will have been hours and hours in the making and no other item produced by the same maker is ever likely to be completely identical.

Easter Bunnies

Easter Bunnies
Designed by Angela Wilkinson – Small Purple Hedgehog
£2.50 plus p+p

Golden magpie nest bowl with egg

Golden magpie nest bowl with egg
Designed by Jo Lucksted – Jo Lucksted Ceramics
£39 plus p+p

Really what I suppose I’m saying is that if you want a gift for a truly unique person that really says you care, then try and have a look around Folksy. And remember whilst you’re browsing just how much effort has gone into each and every piece.

Don’t forget that you could always buy yourself something too as a treat – after all YOU deserve it after all that hard work supporting independent artisans.

Find me on Folksy

MoonRiver Jewellery

And finally – a shameless little plug for my own Folksy shop (although I can’t pretend for a second that it’s Easter related)!

http://www.folksy.com/shops/MoonRiverJewellery

You can find some more fabulous folksy finds on my Pinterest board:

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Inspiration is all around for those who choose to find it.

Inspiration is all around for those who choose to find it.