Today we are celebrating two special Moms! Here's to Grandmothers, Mothers, Stepmothers, blended families and second chances!!
Full disclosure, Maria Elena is like a second Mother to me. Ana & I grew up together (yes, we have the same name). Our Mothers were (and still are) best friends since the year we were born which made this post all the sweeter. I had the honor of designing Ana's wedding jewelry last month. My good friend has gotten a second chance at love. She deserves it and it makes me so happy to see her shine!
Thank you Emily & Jasper Photography for capturing these special moments at Ana's wedding and graciously allowing us to share them with you.
Maria Elena, Ana, Victoria & Liz
What about you?! What's the best thing about being a Mom?
It's really special when you get to the point where you can be a Mom and a friend at the same time. Even better when you have a child that loves you unconditionally 'cause it's hard to be a perfect Mom. Knowing that you love another human so much that you would give your own life for theirs or even for their happiness.
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Our next Mom is one in whom I have always been in awe. She's my sister-in-law, Heather. She and my brother have opened their home to countless children over the past six years. They are tireless advocates for the Foster and Adoptive Parent Association and were proud to adopt my two new nephews this past October.
Heather and Daughter Zoey
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Agatha, Julie and Christy
The celebration continues this week for Mother's Day with artist and mother, Nanci Charpentier of Nanci Charpentier Art and daughter, Claire. I chatted with Claire on her first day home from the University of Alabama for summer break. What a nice gift for Nanci to have her home in time for Mother's Day. (They are proof that a Mother's love can overcome even the biggest of football rivalries!) Here's what Claire had to say about her awesome LSU Tiger Mom:
Nanci and Claire
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Julie and William
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We're celebrating Moms this month on the blog! Next up is a hard working mother of two. Here's what her soon to be high school graduate had to say:
Sondra and Kennedie
What would you like to tell your Mom for Mother's Day?
I just want to thank you for always being there for me and wanting to spend time with me. She's a single mom and she works really hard and put me and my sister in private school. And sent me to St. Joseph's, thank God! She worked really hard even though she was by herself. Alot of people couldn't have given us what she did. She just kept going even if it was hard for her so we could have all the things that we needed. Thanks Mom!
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It's May and Mother's Day is right around the corner (May 14th to be exact) This month I feature a few of our VIP Moms and their beautiful daughters! Check back over the next few days to meet some pretty amazing women and see what their daughters had to say about them!
Denise and Whitney
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Thrilled to announce that the Garden Gate Slide Pendant from the Collector's Series was awarded Best Jewelry Piece at the 2017 Big Easel Preview Exhibition! Honored and humbled as there are so many talented artists at the show.
The 2017 Big Easel will take place in River Ranch in Lafayette, Louisiana, Saturday, April 22nd from 9am to 4pm. Hope you'll come see us if you are in the area. It's a beautiful show in a beautiful setting!
Aquamarine, the birthstone for March and the anniversary stone for the 19th year of marriage, has long been prized for its soothing color ranging from translucent pale blue to blue green or teal. A member of the beryl family, Aquamarine is a sister stone to Emeralds, both beautiful crystals but deriving their color from trace amounts of chromium (emeralds) or iron (aquamarine).
The name “Aquamarine” comes from the Latin words for water and sea. In ancient times, Aquamarine was worn by sailors for protection on the ocean. It was also believed to be a healing stone for calming anxiety. It is believed to bring courage and happiness to the wearer, increase intelligence and make one youthful. It is also believed to reawaken love, making it a wonderful gift for any anniversary.
The largest producer of aquamarine is Brazil but it is found all over the world - Australia, Tanzania, Zambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, Russia and several locations in the United States, with India quickly rivaling Brazil for the top spot.
Although the clear variety is the most valuable, I prefer milky aquamarine. It is a naturally occurring aquamarine that is translucent to opaque instead of transparent. Milky aquamarine complements almost any skin tone making it a Jewel of Havana favorite. I’ve never seen it look anything but stunning on anyone regardless of skin tone or hair color.
Jewel of Havana has beautiful aquamarine necklace sets back in stock just in time for March birthdays or anniversaries. I’ve also added new aquamarine clips for our popular Leaf Bell Necklaces and just a few more aquamarine earrings are left as well. Add this stone of protection and calm to your jewelry collection. It is sure to bring you many years of happiness and natural beauty.
Happy New Year! I hope your 2017 is off to a peaceful and productive start!
The holiday season is an ideal time to reflect, dream and plan for the year ahead. This is when all my sketch books get reviewed, and all my ideas, notes and inspirations get a chance to become a new collection. I ponder how I can serve you better in the coming year, which designs to retire, and which really connected with you, my wonderful community of VIPs.
Many of you know that before launching my jewelry career, I was a Broadway actress in New York City. Recently I was asked by a young acting student getting ready to move to NYC, “What made you have a successful career?” This got me thinking…
To succeed you have to be willing to fail frequently and in spectacular fashion. But as I was taught from a young age, I never looked at my failures as failures, I looked at them as lessons. I looked at “failures” as gifts on the road to success & success as a journey not the destination.
For me, a successful journey is finding a way to find joy in all the lessons along the way, finding the places of gratitude, the connections to people, the shared experiences. In my experience, you never get to the end of success. I don't know about you but I just move the goal post every time I get close to the finish line. Who wants to be done learning & growing?
So to this young artist I say – prepare to approach both your failures and your successes as opportunities to learn and thrive. Your failures can be equally as rewarding as your successes if you approach them with the right mindset. The process, not the outcome, is where you find true meaning as an artist, and if you are lucky enough to have VIPs like mine, you have the great reward of sharing your creation and happiness with others.
Thank you to all who have been part of this awesome artistic journey. It’s been a great ride so far and I’m so looking forward to the next adventure!
Do you have any favorite Jewel of Havana pieces or collections? Are there any collections you would be sad to see retired? Are there any stones you would like to see added or wish we carried? Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to invite you to be a part of the artistic process!
With Gratitude! ANA
Shoppers often ask which is your favorite design? Well, it's like choosing between your children, you just can't pick one when you've made them all. BUT hands down, across the board, these bell necklaces seem to be the favorite of gift givers and wish list makers.
Recently redesigned, these bell necklaces have clip on gemstones that can be changed out. Choose one color or collect them all. The sterling silver bell slides easily up the chain for quick access to change out your stones.
I'll be adding more stone choices in 2017. Are there any stones or colors you would like to see added? Let me know in the comment section below!
Lapis Lazuli Leaf Bell Necklace
$12.00 - $195.00
Sterling silver philodendron leaf bell necklace. Available in ten changeable colors - lapis lazuli, aquamarine, peridot fresh water pearls, white pearls, gold pearls, black onyx, red coral, turquoise, peridot or amethyst. The pendant slides up the chain for easy access to change out your gemstone colors.
Price includes one color with 20 inch chain. (26 inch chain available. Just add chain to cart.) Additional clip on colors $30-$35 each. Add your main color choice with necklace to cart, then add any additional clip colors.
In case you missed it this morning, I was on WAFB Channel 9 The Big Xtra Hour talking all things Covington Three Rivers Art Festival in beautiful Downtown Covington, Louisiana this weekend, November 12-13. Check out this interview featuring Jewel of Havana Handcrafted Jewelry along side Baton Rouge artists Keith Andry of Andry Fine Art and Chase Mullen of Chase Mullens Studio.
Formed by deposits of silica in lava, onyx is a microcrystalline quartz called chalcedony. It has been used for carvings and jewelry since ancient times. Ranging in color from white to black and every color in between, onyx was popular for the carving of cameos and Roman seals.
Black onyx is known as a protective stone. Ancient Romans believed it supported courage and carried it into battle for protection. Many believe it repels negative energy and brings good fortune, strength and commitment in relationships. English midwives even used it for pain relief during childbirth.
Black onyx is the birthstone for Leo’s and the Anniversary Gemstone for the 7th and 10th year of marriage. It is mined in Brazil, India, Peru, Uruguay, Afghanistan, Madagascar, NW Mexico & Baja, California in the US.
The best way to care for your onyx jewelry is to wipe it with a soft damp cloth. Onyx is a relatively soft stone so soap or chemicals can build up inside and cause discoloration. You can rinse onyx in water but don’t soak it overnight and make sure to dry it well with a soft cloth.
This beautiful ancient stone is a classic favorite at Jewel of Havana. Black onyx earrings, slide pendants, rings, bracelets and necklaces can add a touch of sophistication to your favorite fall and winter fashion that will never go out of style.
It's that time of year again and we're hitting the road for fall festivals and holiday shows. To help with your planning, I thought I'd offer some holiday gift ideas from some of our most popular jewelry collections. Click on any of the inspiration photos for gifts of jewelry that I hope will make everyone on your list smile. I look forward to visiting with you at one of our upcoming shows! HAPPY SHOPPING! xoxo ANA
First described in 1813 in what is present day Romania, Rhodochrosite whose name means “Rose-Colored” is a rare mineral. In its pure form it is typically rose-red in color. The Incas believed it was the blood of their past Kings and Queens turned to stone and called it Inca Rosa.
The most interesting occurrence is in Argentina where Rhodochrosite forms in the 13th century Inca Silver mines into large stalagmites and stalactites. They formed as water dripped from rock rich with manganese inside the ancient mine tunnels and combined with carbonate material, growing over the centuries into large stalagmites beautifully banded with concentric growth layers in pink and white bands.
The Argentinian Capillitas mine is the only rhodochrosite deposit that produces banded rhodochrosite instead of crystals like other rhodochrosite mines. It had to be mined mostly by hand. This mine was recently closed so banded rhodochrosite stones have been steadily going up in value.
Rhodochrosite is the national gemstone of Argentina and the official state mineral of Colorado which produces a beautiful crystal form of rose red rhodochrosite. It can also be found in Montana, Peru and Quebec, Canada.
Rhodochrosite is a stone of love and balance. It is thought to bring love to the wearer, relieve stress, increase self-confidence and the ability to handle problems in life. Visit the Jewel of Havana Rhodochrosite page to see our collection of necklaces, pendants and earrings in this beautiful unique natural stone.
Recently I acquired some beautiful Turritella Fossil Agates to work in to some statement necklaces and earrings. I loved them at first site but the more I worked with them, the more I saw in the stone. They are filled with ancient history and warmth and I started to wonder about their journey to my jewelry bench.
WHAT IS TURRITELLA FOSSIL AGATE?
Formed over 50 million years ago, Turritella Fossil is the popular name used for a fossiliferous agate from the Green River Formation of Wyoming. It contains high spired fossil snails that stand out in a white to tan color in contrast to the brownish agate.
Turritella Agate formed in the Rocky Mountains and what are now Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. The area had rugged mountains separated by basins. Lakes formed at the bottom of the basins had the perfect food sources for the freshwater snail. Rains carrying sediments from the mountains to the lakes covered the snails leaving their shells at the bottom of the lakes. As groundwater moved through the sediments, small amounts of silica dissolved and filled the cavities of the snail shells and the spaces in between. Once silicified, the entire mass of fossils formed brown fossileferous agate (aka chalcedony) we now know as Turritella Fossil Agate.
These snails are not in the marine genus Turritella, (contrary to the common name). They are actually freshwater snails in the species Elimia tenera. The rock varies from soft sandstone to a dense chalcedony and is often referred to as Turritella limestone or Turritella Agate.
Turritella Agate is considered a stone of strength and protection, wisdom and healing. It is a stone of connection to personal roots and ancestry and even your own past and believed to attract good luck and foster love.
WHAT IS AMMONITE FOSSIL?
The ammonite mollusk which is now extinct was a shelled cephalopod, usually appearing in a coiled, spiral shape. Their extinction happened at the same time as the extinction of dinosaurs. Although many believe it to be the ancestor of the nautilus, they are actually closer related to coleoids like octopus and squid.
Ammonites inhabited oceans around the world and are now found as fossils in marine rocks. Because of their rapid evolution and wide distribution, ammonite fossils are a useful tool for dating and indexing rocks. They are mostly collected in the bed of the River Gandaki in Nepal where it cuts through Jurassic sediments.
Ammonite is said to be a powerful wealth stone and brings prosperity to the wearer.
The warm browns and creams of turritella or ammonite fossil jewelry make them a great choice for year round fashion. Pair with neutrals from white or cream to rich browns and black or try shades of green, blue, terra cottas or reds. These great neutrals from ancient times work with them all!
I just returned from an exciting gemstone buying trip to New York. For those of you who don’t know, I’m a former Broadway Actress and this past weekend was the Tony Awards aka the Super Bowl for Broadway. Not too long ago two time Tony Award winner, Donna Murphy, was spotted wearing a Jewel of Havana White Keshi Pearl Necklace and Earring Set on the Red Carpet! (You may know her as the Witch/Mom in the Disney movie Tangled or currently the PBS series Mercy Street as the Mother)
What Is a Keshi Pearl?
The word Keshi comes from the Japanese word for “poppy seed”. The term is used in Japanese for pearls that are formed without a nucleus and are usually the by-product of the cultured pearl process. The keshi forms when the oyster rejects the nucleus and begins to coat the irritant with layers of nacre. Because keshi pearls consist of solid nacre, they tend to have a beautiful high luster. These pearls are not found in large quantities and can take 7 years to form. I love the unusual shape for making light weight pearl statement necklaces.
Keshi pearls are my most popular type of pearls and I’m often sold out. They aren’t easy to find in good quality at an affordable price but this last trip to New York, I scored some beautiful strands! I just put them out this week at Theatre Baton Rouge and have only a few left from the trip so rather than put them on the website, I’ve decided to offer them to my VIP list first. The necklace has one of my handmade sterling silver leaf clasps made from real impatiens leaves. This will probably be the last time I have Keshi’s at this price. I had to use every bit of Southern charm I could muster to negotiate the price for this quality.
Natural Blue Coral
Another rare find from my trip was natural blue coral in a coin shape. Many of you have seen the beautiful blue coral sets I had from Indonesia. They recently sold out but on this trip I was able to find enough to make a few necklaces. They are natural and legally harvested as they washed up on the shores of Indonesia after the Tsunami. The coins are 25mm in diameter and approximately 20.5” long, handknotted with silk and finished with one of my handmade sterling silver leaf clasps made from real lantana leaves.
If you are on the VIP list and are interested in the Blue Coral Necklace or a White Keshi Necklace and Earring set, just follow the link in your newsletter for your VIP private shopping access. If you'd like to see them in person, we are in the lobby of Theatre Baton Rouge for two more weeks during the run of The Little Mermaid.
If you would like access to the Keshi Set or Blue Coral Necklace and other very limited edition pieces, join the VIP list here. VIPs are always the first to know about new designs, have access to special stones not on the website and receive free shipping codes each month.
The rainbow-like iridescence of Mother of Pearl has been used as decorative enhancement in jewelry, clothing, furniture, musical instruments, and more for centuries. Mother of Pearl is nacre, the same material that lines the shells of mollusks like oysters, mussels, and abalones, and that forms the outer shell of the pearl. It’s wavy grain is a result of seasonal fluctuations in a mollusk’s diet: the darker organic material laid down in winter months, the lighter and whiter nacre laid down in the summer months. When Mother of Pearl is carved directly from the shell, no two pieces are alike. Jewel of Havana has carved Mother of Pearl cameos, earrings and necklaces that are unique in that way, and sure to be noticed.
While a pearl’s shape is made by nature, Mother of Pearl’s shape can be man-made. The shell can be powdered and reconstituted for any application. Through that process, much larger “pearls” can be created more affordably. Jewel of Havana has a full line of Mother of Pearl necklaces, bracelets, and earrings, in a variety of colors that are made in this way.
Mother of Pearl has been regarded highly by mystics, who believe it helps with clarity and decision making, and alters negative energy. It’s also believed to boost intuition and psychic sensitivity, and to heighten the imagination.
You should care for your Mother of Pearl the same way you do your pearls. Clean it with mild soap and water (or our recommended all natural jewelry cleaner) with a very soft cloth. And let it be the “last thing on, first thing off” in your routine to avoid scratches and the build up of make-up and hair products. If you already love pearl, you’re bound to love wearing Mother of Pearl, as well. Nothing else feels or looks quite like it.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I hope you enjoyed your holidays and the fresh start of a new year! If you are like me, January is a time to clean & ORGANIZE! I've been busy in the studio finishing phase two of my studio / showroom. If you stopped by during the holidays, you saw the new cabinets but another trip to Ikea & some amazing help from my MVP Dad & hero brother & the back wall is complete! (Have you ever put together anything from Ikea?...It takes a village & a keen eye for Pictionary)
7 JEWELRY CARE TIPS
If you are in organizing or cleaning mode, I put together this free guide as a thank you for being on my VIP list! It has some quick and easy tips on ways to keep your jewelry looking its best.
As a list member, you have access to shop the showroom by appointment, free monthly shipping codes to ship gifts anywhere in the US ($7 value per package every month), invitations to shows in your area, plus first access to new limited edition designs!
Click here to get your free guide 7 Jewelry Tips Every Woman Should Know plus a bonus gift of instant free shipping!
Thank you for being a part of the Jewel of Havana community! Stay tuned for phases three & four in the studio / showroom. Only two more walls to go!!
Today my parents completed one of their yearly Christmas traditions. In Cuba, the nativity was the center of Christmas decor instead of the Christmas tree. Not unlike we enjoy seeing Christmas light displays in different neighborhoods, in the Cuba of my parent's youth, you would go to see nativity scenes from house to house for the holidays.
Our nativity wasn't as large as this when we were little but each year it grew and grew and has now become something people start calling about before Thanksgiving - "Is it ready yet?!" with each call or run in on the street.
It takes my parents three months to build and is so detailed, I still find new things every time I go. If anyone ever wondered where I get my creativity and attention to detail... watch this video of my parent's Christmas Nativity. The figures are a collection of Fontanini figurines but all the details are painstakingly created by my parents.
I hope you enjoy this Cuban Christmas tradition
Merry Christmas from my family to yours! xoxo Ana
(P.S. An update has been added below the video by request)
Update! More Photos from our Cuban Christmas Tradition
The name “Amethyst” comes from the Greek word, “amethystos,” which means, “not drunk.” For centuries, Amethysts were worn by ancient civilizations for protection from intoxication and seduction. In the middle ages, amethyst was a popular wedding gift as it was believed to bless the couple with happiness and good fortune. European soldiers wore Amethyst amulets in battle, believing they offered protection and healing. And throughout history, both royalty and religious leaders treasured Amethyst for its beauty and value.
Amethyst owes its color to the presence of trace minerals and iron impurities, coupled with exposure to radiation. Because of its stratified crystal structure, some varieties of Amethyst can be not just solid in color, but banded purple and white, giving it a variegated appearance. Jewel of Havana carries necklaces and rings in Amethyst, that will make a stunning gift or a welcome addition to any jewelry collection.
Amethyst changes color when exposed to extreme heat, and its color can fade with prolonged exposure to intense light. So, care must be taken not to steam clean amethyst, or to sunbathe while wearing it. Amethyst can be safely cleaned with warm, soapy water.
Amethyst is said to promote peace, happiness and contentment. There’s a reason St. Valentine always wore it. Whether you choose a ring, earrings, or necklace, wearing Amethyst is bound to bring pleasure to you and those you encounter.
Wearing a single birthstone associated with the month you were born is a more recent custom, beginning several centuries ago in either Germany or Poland. The modern birthstone chart was not developed until 1912, when the National Association of Jewelers adopted the official list most people are familiar with today. Either list can guide you to a special piece of jewelry to celebrate the birth of a special someone.
Jewel of Havana carries jewelry featuring many modern and traditional birthstones, including ruby, amethyst, jasper, agate, opal, peridot, turquoise, and lapis lazuli. A birthstone ring, bracelet, necklace or pendant feels special to wear and makes a very personal gift, whether you purchase it for a friend, a loved one -- or for yourself!
A cameo can have any scene or subject, but the most popular motif is the profile of a woman. Ancient cameo carvings came from Greece and Rome. In the modern era, Italy has prevailed as the cameo cutting epicenter of the world.
Jewel of Havana’s current line of cameos come predominantly from Italy, and were carved in the early 1900’s. Artist Ana Maria Andricain blends the old with the new, pairing vintage cameos with modern settings in rings, pendants.and earrings. Jewel of Havana has cameos in mother of pearl, and conch, both of which, are characterized by their subtle contrasts in colors, and which make a beautiful compliment to their fine silver settings.
New pieces featuring modern, blue agate cameos, carved with lasers by a German artist, are so stunning that the majority have been bought before they could even be photographed.
Cameos are very delicate, and they require special care. They should be cleaned regularly, as dust can collect in ridges and scratch the surface. Never use soap or jewelry cleaner on cameos. After dusting they can be rinsed in plain warm water and dried with a soft cloth. Oil your cameos with mineral oil once a year and they will stay beautiful for decades. You will enjoy them and want to pass them on.
Ana Maria Andricain
Ana is a metal clay certified artist creating handcrafted nature inspired artisan jewelry from her Baton Rouge studio. If you love natural gemstones and metal, welcome home!
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