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Love, Cupid, hearts, chocolates, cards and flowers are everywhere--it's Valentine's Day! On February 14, Americans celebrate love and friendship. But where did this holiday of affection come from? The origins of Valentine's Day are murky. We do know that the ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia, a spring festival, on the 15th of February. With the introduction of Christianity, the holiday moved to the 14th of February--the saint day that celebrated several early Christian martyrs named Valentine. But somewhere along the way, Valentine's Day came to represent romance.

You can watch a romantic movie right here, "The Kiss," produced by Thomas Edison back in 1900. The romance we associate with Valentine's Day may spring from the medieval belief that birds select their mates on February 14th. During the Middle Ages, human lovebirds recited verse or prose to one another in honor of the day. "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" wrote William Shakespeare.  Poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning expressed love this way: How do I love thee; let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach. . .

Do you write poetry? We also hear these sentiments in love songs, such as this funny old tune, "Aba Daba Honeymoon." How many love songs can you think of that could send your message on Valentine's Day?  "Will you be my Valentine?" Nowadays, people often ask this of their loved ones in greeting cards. Probably the first greeting cards, handmade valentines, appeared in the 16th century. As early as 1800, companies began mass-producing cards. Initially these cards were  hand-colored by factory workers. By the early 20th century even fancy lace and  ribbon-strewn cards were created by machine. Perhaps you will give or receive a card today or celebrate your family or that special someone in another way. Valentine's Day also gives people a chance to reflect on the meaning of love. What do you think makes true love?  Source: America's Library

Come express YOUR love to your special someone with a unique, one of a kind, jewelry piece from Handmade Jewelry Haven. You will forever have her heart!

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The word “garnet” comes from the 14th Century Middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red. The word is derived from Latin “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate. The garnet is found all over the world, including Wyoming, Czech Republic, Greece, Russian, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and India. The folklore on garnet is extensive. Legend has it that the garnet can bring peace, prosperity and good health to the home. Some even called it the “Gem of Faith,” and it’s believed that to those who wear it and do good, more good will come. (Conversely, it was also said to bring very bad fortune to those who commit bad acts while wearing it.) The garnet also symbolized deep and lasting friendship. With that legend in mind, give a garnet to someone whose friendship you deeply value. The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. Other references go back to 3100 BC when the Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. The Egyptians even said it was the symbol of life. The garnet was very popular with the Romans in the 3rd and 4th Century. This gemstone was also used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battle and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague. Some ancient healers and wise men even placed garnets in wounds and praised its healing powers. Garnet jewelry has been a fixture throughout the ages. Garnets were often used as signet rings in ancient Rome, and the nobility favored garnets in the Middle Ages. The Victorians made garnets very popular during that time period. Some of the loveliest garnet jewelry from that era mimics its pomegranate namesake, with clusters of tiny red gems forming a larger statement piece. Today, the garnet can be found in a range of jewelry pieces and styles, from beautiful rings to stunning tiaras. Since the garnet can come in a range of colors, rare garnets in green or blue make breathtaking pieces, especially in pendants or drop earrings. Source: The American Gem Society

Are you stumped on what to get that special someone born in January? Let us send you a free January Gift Guide!

Also check out our Garnet colored Red Dragon Bracelet at Handmade Jewelry Haven!

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Round and round. Round and round. Spinning continuously until, at last, the life giving breath was given and it was born. Shaped narrowly near the top in order to help keep the bubbles from escaping, getting gradually wider towards the middle, continuing straight

down to the bottom to hold the required pint of golden liquid. The bottle was formed and shipped to the brewery where it was filled with the finest of brews. Along with its many brown brothers, the bottle of ale traveled by truck to one of many pubs along the route and was eventually dropped off. Stored in a cool cellar, the bottle did not have to wait long to fulfill its purpose. Brought up by the bar maid, and perched in front of a burly man who had worked tirelessly at the docks for the previous twelve hours carting trunks from the train to the many different ships that were in port. The porter was tired and glad to sit down to have his customary drink before heading home to the hot meal his wife would have waiting for him.

After the man left, the bottle was collected and washed, to be refilled from the tap that endlessly poured golden life from it, for, it seemed to the brown bottle, that every time someone would drink the ale, they would seem revived from the long day. People grew animated and talkative. The bottle marveled at the transformation and was so proud of his part in it all. He was a vessel of rejuvenation it seemed. 

Days and nights passed with the usual routine of filling, drinking, washing, and refilling. Of countless stories from people and objects of far off lands. Of different languages and strange clothing. Everything from the most casual of handling to pour the liquid into a glass to the firm grip of a sailors rough calloused hands worn thick by shipboard work. 

On his final day, the talk grew loud. Louder it got and he was picked up and slammed down by the angry man with such force that he shattered into many broken pieces. 

That night the bar maid, who was the first in the pub to introduce him to his first patron, swept him up and into a pail with so much other refuse, hauled him outside and pitched him over the bulkhead and into the cold water of the harbor.

For years the glass swept in and out with the tide. Over time being buried in the silt until it could no longer see the distant glint of the sun during the day.

Much time passed. New, and bigger ships were built and the harbor needed to be dredged to make it deeper for these new ocean going vessels. The dredging machine sucked the last remaining shard up and out into the churning water. It finally came to rest on the harbor floor near the moored boats. After a time a diver, who was hired to scrape the barnacles off of the keel of one of the boats, noticed something shiny glint on the dark sea bottom. He dove straight down and quickly collected it and shoved it in his rubber suit for later examination, as he wasn't paid to scavenge off the ocean floor. 

After his work day was at an end, he quickly rinsed and dried off and dressed into clean cloths and went to the tavern to have a drink or two with his buddies. Tonight there was a new waitress and she was the prettiest thing he had ever seen. He remembered his shiny treasure from the sea bottom and pulled it out of his pocket along with some spare wire that he had left over from rewiring a switch earlier in the day. As he sat at the bar he thoughtfully wrapped the shard of glass in the wire, carefully allowing enough to make a bale at the top so that it could dangle freely from a chain. He waited until the bar closed and offered to walk the pretty waitress home and just before he left her, he presented her with his creation. 

She was just as smitten as he.

Come and see a seaglass creation on Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy site here.

Brown Seaglass Necklace

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