Now it’s Crystal Clear: Aquamarine

Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! This week’s topic is all about Aquamarine.

aquamarine-1

Coming from the Latin name aqua marinus meaning “water of the sea”, the Aquamarine gemstone brings a calming and soothing sensation that inspires truth, trust and letting go. In ancient lore, it was believed to be the treasure of mermaids, and was used by sailors as a talisman of good luck, fearlessness and protection. [**]

The pale blue, transparent crystal is a member of the Beryl family. Its color is caused by iron oxides within the chemical makeup of the stone [**]

Deposits of Aquamarine can be found in Brazil, China, Pakistan, Burma (Myanmar), Nigeria, Madagascar, Namibia, and locations in the U.S. (Colorado, California, Connecticut, Portland and Massachusetts).  [***]

Aquamarine and diamond pendant necklace - Flaxccentuate.jpg
Exploring the Upper West Side the other day led me to this beautiful Aquamarine + diamond pendant by Lisa of @kabyco . I was immediately drawn to this piece & knew I wasn’t going to let it go! – photo taken by me

[**] = https://www.crystalvaults.com/crystal-encyclopedia/aquamarine

[***] = https://www.minerals.net/mineral/aquamarine.aspx

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

Exploring the neighborhood: Yorkville.

Exploring Yorkville NYC flaxccentuate.jpgI’ve made it to New York City! 🙂

I’m excited to finally be settling in and getting the chance to explore my new neighborhood, Yorkville!

Located on the Upper East Side (UES) in Manhattan, Yorkville consists of East 79th street to East 96th street as well as Third Avenue and the East River.

Walking along the avenues and the busy streets, I find that everywhere I turn there’s a new shop, restaurant and bar to explore!

I’m compiling a list of my favorite spots and will continue to update with my new finds!

H&H Midtown Bagels East – on 1551 2nd Avenue

H&H Midtown Bagels - flaxccentuate.jpg
There are so many bagel places in New York — how do you choose? Well, if you’re in the UES — this is a go-to! I was looking up local bagel shops for breakfast one morning and this place popped up. I walked over and found a line out the door — so I knew it had to be good! I have to say their kippered salmon on a bagel did not disappoint! Yum!

Five Mile Stone – on 1640 2nd Avenue

Five Mile Stone NYC flaxccentuate.jpg
Boasting a relaxed homey feel, this restaurant is a great option to meet friends for any meal! They also have great deals for happy hour!

Ice Cream Shop UES. – on 1707 2nd Ave

ues Ice Cream Speakeasy - flaxccentuate.jpg
This ice cream shops offers more than just sweet treats. 😉 Go ask to see the storage room!

Yorkville NYC - Flaxccentuate.jpg

Now it’s Crystal Clear: Labradorite

Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! This week’s topic is all about Labradorite.

Labradorite gemstones.jpg
Immediately recognized by it’s labradorescence, the Labradorite gemstone shines like no other! Being a gray to gray-black stone (with black specs embedded within the surface), light enters it and strikes a twinning surface within the stone. The colors seen is the color of light reflected from that twinning surface. Different twinning surfaces within the stone reflect different colors of light such as a vibrant blue, green, coppery red, orange and yellow shimmer. [**]

Discovered in Canada and named after its location of Labrador, Newfoundland — other deposits of the stone can be found in Australia, Madagascar, Finland, Mexico, Norway, Russia and the USA. [**]

According to the Inuit tribe, the last native tribe to arrive in North America, one of their legends state that the Northern Lights are captured in the minerals off the coast of Labrador. Like Tourmaline, the Labradorite is thought to be a magical stone that helps its wearer find their true path in life. It possesses protective properties such as: soothing menstrual problems, aiding disorders of the lungs, preventing colds, helping with digestion and regulating both metabolism and blood pressure. [**] & [***]

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Purchased this Labradorite ring a few of months ago — love the constant flash of color and endless sparkle it provides! – photo taken by me

[**] = https://geology.com/gemstones/labradorite/

[***] = http://firstpeoplesofcanada.com/fp_groups/fp_inuit1.html

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].

Empire State of Mind

Empire State building in New York City.jpgA year ago today I started my first big job after graduating from college. If you would have told me a year ago that this is where my life would be, I never would have believed you.

I started my new career with high hopes. I took on as many challenges as I possibly could, and worked hard to achieve recognition from my peers and upper management. I moved on to new programs and kept receiving a plethora of assignments, each just as daunting as the last. I took them in stride and completed each task, waiting with bated breath for the next one to come my way.

The funny thing is though, that sometimes, with all of that rush and excitement — it can take its toll. Instead of feeling energized, I had felt tired and drained. I was being worked level grades above my years of experience and knowledge, and I was starting to feel the strain.

However, when you least expect it, life has a way of telling you that when the time is right — to keep working hard and stay true to yourself and your goals — you can create the outcome you wish to see for yourself and make your dreams a reality.

And I’m here to say … Dreams really do come true!

Ever since I can remember, New York City has always been such an important influence in my life. I don’t remember a day after my first visit to the big city, where I wasn’t constantly inspired by its eccentric energy.

Whether in my artwork, stories, on my graphic t’s, pictures I put up on my bedroom walls … the city was everywhere.

It was hard to escape from — featured in almost every movie, various songs and as a popular backdrop for many novels, this beautifully crazy city is a force to be reckoned with!

I’m very excited to say that because of an amazing opportunity … I am about to call this place home!

I couldn’t be happier to start this new adventure and take this big new step in my career!

More life happenings to be featured soon! 🙂

xo. Britt

Now it’s Crystal Clear: Tourmaline

Welcome to ‘Now it’s Crystal Clear’ series! This week’s topic is all about Tourmaline.

Cluster of Tourmaline gemstones

Tourmaline gemstone is a semi-precious mineral similar to granite. With colors ranging from magenta to teal-blue, meadow-green to vibrant yellow, and even black, tourmaline gets its name from the Singhalese phrase “tura mali,” which means, “stone mixed with vibrant colors.” It’s believed that no two tourmaline stones have the exact same color!

Historicaly revered as a “magic” stone that is capable of protecting its wearer, it is said that Tourmaline has powerful effects such as: helps with detoxification, supports fat loss, reduces water retention, improves circulation, supports the liver and kidney, promotes a healthy mood, helps eliminate toxic metals and reduces lactic acids and free fatty acids. [**]

I’d have to agree that these stones are magical — just by looking at the colors they naturally form in are absolutely incredible!

Many tourmaline color varieties have inspired their own trade names:

Rubellite is a name for pink, red, purplish red, orangy red, or brownish red tourmaline, although some in the trade argue that the term shouldn’t apply to pink tourmaline.
Indicolite is dark violetish blue, blue, or greenish blue tourmaline.
Paraíba is an intense violetish blue, greenish blue, or blue tourmaline from the state of Paraíba, Brazil.
Chrome tourmaline is intense green. In spite of its name, it’s colored mostly by vanadium, the same element that colors many Brazilian and African emeralds.
Parti-colored tourmaline displays more than one color. One of the most common combinations is green and pink, but many others are possible.
Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the center and green around the outside. Crystals of this material are typically cut in slices to display this special arrangement. [***]

Deposits of Tourmaline are in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Russia, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka (Ceylon), and the United States (California and Maine). Several African countries have recently become big producers of gem Tourmaline, specifically Madagascar, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Malawi. [****]

KKB Metal Studio Tourmaline sterling silver pendants

KKB Metal Studio blue Tourmaline sterling silver pendant
Ever since I first saw Kristen’s work on Instagram, creator of KKB Metal Studio, I considered her to be an inspirational metalsmith! I’ve been waiting to find and snag a piece of hers that I could call my own and this was it! I saw the first photo above of all three pieces and my eyes immediately gravitated towards the blue/grey tourmaline with the reticulated/textured pebble charm that reminded me of the ocean waves. She perfectly describes these pieces as “a perfect mix of grit and glamour, these pieces make for easy, everyday wear; a wabi sabi piece” and I couldn’t agree more! If you act fast the pink tourmaline is still available in her shop and she has some other great pieces listed as well! 🙂 – photos by Kristen, KKB Metal Studio

[**] =https://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/benefits-of-tourmaline-gemstone/

[***] = https://www.gia.edu/tourmaline-description

[****] = http://www.minerals.net/gemstone/tourmaline_gemstone.aspx

[All photos and information are linked/credited to the original authors and sources unless otherwise stated].