Posted in beachcombing, Breathe, CBD Hemp Oils, Delaware, Essential Oils, Health and Wellness, Nature, Photography, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

My One Word is BREATHE

November 11, 2018

On my drive down to Lewes, I started listening to the Audible book Just Breath Mastering breathwork for success in life, Business and Beyond by Dan Brule. I have been drawn to this book for quite some time, and finally bought it and downloaded it.  Once I started listening to it, I felt that I had found the missing piece of a puzzle that I have been looking for to sum up in one word the direction that I was going in.   Let me paresis this by saying that I also just finished the book One Word by Jon Gordon who talks about focusing on one word for a year. The simple power of One Word is that it impacts all six dimensions of your life – mental, physical, emotional, relational, spiritual, and financial. He also has a book out called Life Word. Which I think that I found, I also think it may be the path that I am being called to and my life purpose. That word is BREATHE!

As I was driving down today, Breathe just fit the direction my life and business is going!!! The obvious one is the Laughter Yoga that I have been practicing and sharing since March 2014. Which is right after the time my chronic pain started and I was searching for Something/Anything to help navigate through the depression, anxiety, and pain that I was feeling in all pillars of my life.

October 2017, I became very interested in Essential Oils and Aromatherapy which I have seen work miracles in my life as well as my Aunt Janice’s life since we have been caregiving with her.  I also thought about other aspects of my life.

Looking into other aspects of my life, my stones that I have collected, rubbed, carried, worried with, meditated on, photographed, and wire wrapped. Stones have always brought me comfort in a very natural way. In a holistic kind of way.

I do not consider myself “New Age” and the practices that some new age cultures lend itself. I see myself more as a naturalist, maybe a little naturopathic. Enjoying what Nature has already provided us.

I also look at my hobbies, I have always enjoyed crafts. Since I was about five years of age and my Grandmother taught me how to do the chain stitch in crochet. I remember sitting very still and kind of be in a calm state, just doing the chain stitch with a whole skein of yarn which usually was long enough to wrap around the whole outside of the farm house thank I would rip it out and do it all over again.

I have done crafts ever since, it has morphed into different crafts. I use to do latch hook, counted cross stitch, needlepoint, of course crocheting, wire wrapping and now I am even weaving. I am guessing that while doing these crafts my breathe also changes and slowed down. Doing this kind of repetitive action can also put you into a different kind of state of mind. All those crafts brought a calmness, and repetitive action that was comforting and relaxing to me.

Growing up and even now, I find peace and relaxation as I explored nature. Growing up I had access to a large working farm with woods and a large stream running through it. I would love to  breathe in the smells of nature, play with the farm animals and watch the birds as they flew overhead.  I used to collect nature’s treasures such as old snake skins, turtle shells, leaves, and but especially stones. Moving to Delaware that exploration just moved to the beach and collecting sea glass, and beach stones and breathing the salt air and listening to the rhythm of the waves crash on the beach. I always tried to pattern my breathing to the waves.

Mark, who has been with me on countless photographing nature walks, has mentioned that he observes me in a kind of meditative thought when I have a camera in my hand. I find the noise in my head stops, my breathing slows down, and I look at the world through whatever lens, I just happen to have on my camera at that time.

I have noticed that my life, my store which reflects me, has been evolving especially in the last year. I am getting away from the “gifty” side and moving more into the nature holistic side.  When you walk in my shop people have said “it is very relaxing in here”.  I have soft piano music playing in the background, you see the beauty of nature in all the stones and sea glass all around and my wire wrapping. Many people gravitate toward the moving sand art pictures, Exotic Sands, and just stand there and watch it, commenting that it is very Zen like.  l will always be focusing on my wire wrapping and my photography, but as you walk in now also see doTerra Essential Oils as well the HempWorx Hemp CBD oils. I am looking forward to seeing where this new self-discovery and new word BREATHE take me.

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Posted in Antique Bottles, beachcombing, Delmarva, Glass, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Real vs Man-Made Sea Glass

orange-sea-glass

Orange Natural Sea Glass, Orange is the rarest of the sea glass colors.

I have collected sea glass since I was six-year-old. One of my biggest pet peeves is that people are selling man-made sea glass as real sea glass. Several people have come into Sand N Stones asking me if there is a way to tell the difference between real sea glass and man-made sea glass. The answer is yes and no.  If we look at the definition of Seaglass…. Any piece of glass that has found its way in a large body of water, the waves brake it up, the current tumbles it along and it is the acidity of the water, eating away at the glass that gives it the frosting that we love. It takes 50 or more years to make a piece of glass into a piece of seaglass.

The acid is what gives the glass a frosty look and gives it that nice almost “gritty” feeling, which is so desirable.  However, as we also know the acid in body of water varies from place to place. Making it a bit more difficult.

When glass is tumbled in a rock tumbler, which is one of the ways that people make so-called sea glass, it has a silky smooth feel to it, very much like tumbled rocks would.

blue-sg-101815Natural Turquoise blue sea glass wire framed pendant from Sand N Stones in Lewes, DE

Another way you can tell sea glass from man-made seaglass is the shape.  Glass fractures in a triangular like shape. It does not break in a perfect square or circle shape. If the object has been broken and it is in any other shape other than a somewhat triangular like shape you can question that it may be man-made sea glass. However, if the object has not been broken by the waves, or the glass hitting something like a rock, and it was originally round such as this brake light it could be true sea glass.  The brake light pictured is an example of that, which you can see at Sand N Stones.  Also if you find two pieces of sea glass that are identical, glass does not fracture the same twice, you want your red flag to go up, and start asking questions is this real sea glass or man-made.
Richard LaMotte who is known as the God Father of Sea Glass wrote the first true book dedicated to learning about these vanishing gems Pure Sea Glass and is know as the Bible of Sea Glass he has also published the Lure Of Sea Glass and Pure Sea Glass Identification cards.
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Another good book about sea glass is CS Lamber’s book Sea Glass Hunters Handbook.  This also gives you a list of beaches broken down by State and Country where you may be able to find Sea Glass. However, I have found that sea glass is getting harder and harder to find even at some of my personal best beaches, that is why I believe “man made sea glass”  is being made.

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

Posted in beachcombing, Delaware, Delmarva, Lewes, Nature, Pebbles, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Delaware Bay Diamonds – Sand N Stones

Delaware Bay Diamond found on one of the Delaware Beaches. It is wire framed in gold and silver.
Delaware Bay Diamond found on one of the Delaware Beaches. It is wire framed in gold and silver.

AKA Cape May Diamonds

The Delaware Bay Diamonds are quartz crystals, resembling translucent pebbles. They begin their lives truly “in-the-rough” in the upper reaches of the Delaware River, in the areas around the Delaware Water Gap. Pieces of quartz crystal are broken off from veins and pockets by the water current from mountain streams that feed into the river. Thus begins a journey of more than 200 miles that takes thousands of years to complete. Along the way, the sharp edges of the stones are smoothed as they are tumbled along the river bottom to the bay on rapid river currents. Eventually the stones come to rest on the shores of the Delaware Bay in South New Jersey and Southern Delaware.

Thousands of vacationers from Cape May and the Delaware Beach area come each year search for these sparkling crystals that, when cut and faceted, have the appearance of real diamonds. The largest concentration is on the sands of Sunset Beach in Cape May Point. The ship wreck, Atlantis and a rocky jetties trap the stones, which are forced ashore in large quantities just prior to being swept by the tides into the Atlantic Ocean.

Some days the stones are more plentiful than others. Would-be prospectors should come equipped with a beach bucket, sand shovel, and a beach sieve to shake off sand. Typical stones are about the size of a pea and come in different shapes and colors. “Much of the time, larger stones the size of marbles are just underneath a layer of smaller ones,” advises Kathy Hume. Finds as large as eggs have been reported. On one occasion, a gem weighing over one pound was found. Prospectors may also find sharks’ teeth, Indian arrowheads, agates, and black quartz.

Cluster of Delaware Bay (aka Cape May) Diamonds natural and tumbled
Cluster of Delaware Bay (aka Cape May) Diamonds natural and tumbled

Some gift shops at Sunset Beach sell Delaware Bay Diamond jewelry. These pieces are made from gems that have been smoothed and polished in rock

tumblers or cut and faceted.  When they are faceted, these gems have the appearance of a genuine diamonds and before the advent of modern gem scanning equipment, many a pawn broker was fooled by the “Delaware Bay Diamond.” Sand N Stones, Delaware and Nature Shoppe in Lewes, Delaware likes to wrap the stone in its natural state, as well as tumbled and they make wonderful souvenirs from the beach.

Delaware Bay Diamonds may have more than just monetary or sentimental value. In an earlier time, the local Kechemeche Indians, a part of the Lenni-Lenape tribe, believed the gems had supernatural powers to influence the well-being and good fortune of their possessor. The bonds of friendship and lasting goodwill were often sealed with gifts or exchanges of the sacred gems or for trading with other tribes and with the newly arriving European colonists.

This was especially true of those gems which were larger and free of any flaws. One of the largest “Cape May Diamonds” was presented to an early settler, Christopher Leaming, by King Nummy, last chief of the Lenni-Lenape. King Nummy received the gem from the Kechemeche as a tribute to him and as proof of their faithfulness and loyalty. Mr. Leaming had the stone sent back to the old country, Amsterdam, Holland. A lapidary expertly cut and polished the stone into a most beautiful gem.

Historically, the southeast portion of New Jersey contained many glass manufacturers, and Delaware Bay Diamonds are often attributed incorrectly to glass remnants, or sea glass discarded by these sources, which were then washed down the Delaware River until they were tumbled in a smoothed on local beaches. Delaware Bay Diamonds are more rounded like that of a grape or pea, where as sea glass tends to be more triangular in shape.

A gentleman came into Sand N Stones, one day, and I was telling him about the Delaware Bay Diamonds, AKA Cape May Diamonds.  He told me of how the Cape May Diamond truly got it name. There was a gentleman, who dated his Aunt, who was a rock hound and had been collecting these clear quartz off the beaches of Cape May. One year a Gem Show came to Cape May, New Jersey, and this gentleman wanted to participate in the show. So he filled out the application, when he was asked what he would be selling he put clear quartz stones found on the beaches of Cape May. They would not allow him into the show because the sponsors did not feel that they were the type of stones/gems that they represented in their show. that it was a gem show. He took his case to court.  He told the judge that these beach stones were actually Cape May Diamonds. He stated that a Presidential figure (he did not remember which one) was walking the beach and saw these stones that when he held them up he saw a rainbow like are ”fire” in the stones, very similar to what Diamonds have, and he called them Cape May Diamonds.  He won the case and participated in the show. The gentleman in the store told me that Rock Hound made up the story so that he could win the case and  participate in the show.

The one that I have wrapped pictured are still in its natural rough state. I have not tumbled it, I personally like that frosted natural state of the Delaware Bay Diamonds. To me they have the texture like sea glass, yet they are from the mineral world.  If you would like, I will be happy to wrap one that you have found, however, it needs to be close to the size of a dime for me to be able to wrap it.

Recently I have learned that you can also find Bay Diamonds in the Chesapeake Bay as well, however they are a bit darker and some are even a bit greyish black.

Michele will be caries Delaware Bay Diamonds in our store on a regular basis at Sand N Stones in Lewes, DE   Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

Posted in beachcombing, Glass, History, Nature, Pebbles, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Why is it important for me to know the Gemstone Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness?

I have been working on my website lately and have been including the Moh Scale of Hardness as part of the description. My father was looking over my website, and asked me what the Moh Scale was. I tried to explain it to him, and thought maybe you would like to know as well. It is important to know the Moh Scale for jewelry to determine how durable the stone is, and how you would wear the piece of jewelry. For example you may not want to wear a soft stone as ring, since we are usually hard on our hands and a soft stone would scratch easily, but you could wear a softer stone as earrings.

In 1812 the Moh’s scale of mineral hardness was devised by the German mineralogist Frederich Mohs (1773-1839). He selected the ten minerals because they were common or readily available. The scale is not a linear scale, but somewhat arbitrary.

Some minerals are very soft; others are very hard. The degree of hardness is an aid in identifying the minerals. Diamonds are harder than quartz and will therefore scratch quartz, quartz will scratch calcite, calcite will scratch gypsum, and so on. To help identify minerals, geologists have assigned numbers to the hardness of several minerals. In this hardness scale, the softer minerals are assigned a low number and the harder minerals a higher number.

In the field, an easy way of estimating the hardness of a mineral is by trying to scratch it with common objects such as a fingernail with a hardness of 2.5, a penny is the hardness of a 3, or a pocketknife, hardness 5.5. Glass has a hardness of slightly less than 6 and will scratch most minerals. Anything on the Moh’s scale that is less than a 7 is easily scratched.

Hardness Mineral Associations and Uses

2.5- Fingernail,
2.5-3 -Gold, Silver
3 -Copper penny
4-4.5 -Platinum
4-5- Iron
5.5- Knife blade
6-7- Glass
6.5- Iron pyrite
7+- Hardened steel file

To test a mineral for hardness, try to scratch it with one of these common objects. For example, a sample can be scratched by the knife (H=5.5) but NOT by the penny (H=3). Therefore, the sample has a hardness of about 4. Using other property tests that you will learn in lab, you then determine that the mineral is calcite.

The Moh’s Scale of Mineral Hardness goes as follows….

1 is Talc- Talcum powder.
2 is Gypsum- Plaster of Paris. Gypsum is formed when seawater evaporates from the Earth’s surface
3 is Calcite- Limestone and most shells contain calcite
4 is Fluorite- Fluorine in fluorite prevents tooth decay.
5 is Apatite- When you are hungry you have a big “appetite”.
6 is Orthoclase- Orthoclase is a feldspar, and in German, “feld” means “field
7 is Quartz
8 is Topaz- The November birthstone. Emerald and aquamarine are varieties of beryl with a hardness of 8.
9 is Corundum- Corundum Sapphire and ruby are varieties of corundum. Twice as hard as topaz.
10 is Diamond- Used in jewelry and cutting tools. Four times as hard as corundum

Sea glass is on a Moh scale of a 6-7 and that is why I do not recommend sea glass for rings. We are extremely hard on our hands and wrist and tend to bang them around, and as we all know glass will break. I do recommend using seaglass in pendants or in earrings.

Delaware Bay Diamonds are clear quartz crystals and have a Moh scale of a 7 and is fine to make jewelry out of.

How to Perform the Test

1. Select a fresh surface
2. Hold the sample and attempt to scratch it with the point of an object of known hardness, start at the higher (harder) end of the scale and work down. In this example, we use a sharp quartz crystal (Hardness = 6)
3. Press the object firmly but lightly against the unknown sample
4. If the test object is harder, you should see and feel a definite “bite” into the sample
5. Inspect for an etched line
In this case, we notice a deep scratch in the sample, which indicates it’s hardness is less than 6 . Repeat several times, always with a sharp point and a fresh surface.

From the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

You Might Be A Rockhound If….

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

Posted in beachcombing, Bone China, Glass, Lewes, Nature, Pebbles, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

History of Wire Wrapped Jewelry

No one really knows when or where the ancient art of wire wrap originated. It is known that Egyptian and Phoenician artists practiced the art over 5,000 years ago. It is the only known metal jewelry that is created completely without soldering or casting. The wire used may be from many different alloys such as copper, brass, sterling silver or gold.

Surviving records indicate that jewelry from the 17th century and earlier was made by braiding, twisting and knotting as part of their design motifs, similar to what you find in wire wrapping today.

Certainly jewelry of any sort was rare in that time, but what was available was usually in silver. It was mostly worn by merchants or someone with some social and monetary standing. Many people were farmers and merchants so their jewelry needed to be very wearable and sturdy.

Although this art was lost for a while in history, it reappeared during the Victorian Era, where its popularity surpassed traditional cast jewelry. In the last 30 years, wire wrapped jewelry has continued to increase in popularity due to uniqueness, flexibility, and the “create ability” of its artisans.

If you enjoy wire wrapped jewelry, Sand N Stones in Lewes, Delaware offers a collection of 14k gold-filled and Anti-tarnish Sterling Silver wire wrapped jewelry. Each design is handcrafted by Michele Buckler. You can choose a gem out of the case, or Michele will custom wrap a special gem, sea glass shard, fine bone china, Cape May Diamond, or give a handcrafted look to something you already own.

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page

Posted in beachcombing, Bone China, Bone China, Delaware, Delmarva, Glass, Lewes, Nature, Pebbles, Photography, Sand N Stones, Delaware & Nature Shoppe, Sea Glass, sea glass / beach glass, stones, Uncategorized, Wildlife, Wire Wrapped Jewelry

Sand N Stones

Several people have asked me why I changed the name of the store from Just For You Unique Gifts to Sand N Stones, Delaware and Nature Shoppe. I want to tell you why and maybe you will also understand why I have started this blog. Right now in my life, I am at a cross roads, I am finding that I am re-creating myself once again. Perhaps it is because I reached a mild milestone in my life hitting the big 40, or perhaps it is just because the world today is a very different world then what it was just five years ago.

Today, I am enjoying simpler things, like spending time with my love ones that includes my two yorkies, Topaz and Jasper, wire wrapping gemstones, and taking pictures of the world around me, spending time walking the beaches and the gardens of Delaware picking up Sea Glass, Sea Pottery, Cape May Diamonds, Beach Stones, and Shells. I have a shop, Sand N Stones, in Lewes, Delaware where I sell my wire wrapped or what I like to called wire framed jewelry, and my photographs, along with some Nature and Delaware books and gifts. When I think of Lewes, I think of Cape Henlopen State Park where I spend countless hours walking and photographing my surroundings. I also think of the rich history that Lewes has to offer. Lewes was the first Settlement in 1631 as well as the first town in Delaware.

My vision for my blog at this time, is to tell you about Delaware, talk about the wildlife that you would find on Delmarva, what is going on at Sand N Stones, and a little bit about what is going on with me, but like everything else in this world, it will always be evolving.

I would like this to be an interactive blog, it isn’t much fun to hold conversations with myself.

Michele

Visit Michele shop in Lewes, DE and her website Sand N Stones  also Follow Sand N Stones Facebook Page