The Moment is Now

I spend so much time thinking about what next that I often don't notice what I am doing at the moment. I am working on relaxing my mind so I can be open to the flow. Seems like when I am creating something the hours in my studio fly by.

My creative process, great learning resources, and ways to help the planet by repurposing are the theme of this blog. You are about to enter "the world according to Jan." Hope you find it a-musing.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cleaning Jewelry with Products from your Kitchen

Being a jewelry maker I have a heap of necklaces.  Often when I go to wear one it is so covered with tarnish that I just put it away and change my outfit instead.  I was so thrilled to find this jewelry cleaning recipe I just had to write about it.

Not only did I clean my jewelry, but all my mom's silver that we use every day got cleaned as well. The silverware looks brand new.  Wish I had known about this as a kid when I used to have to polish the silver before Thanksgiving dinner.

My neighbor told me this trick then I found it on the internet. had an article about it on their site.  So here's what you need.

                                                                                    1 tablespoon salt
                                                                                    1 tablespoon baking soda
                                                                                    1 tablespoons dish soap
                                                                                     1 cup boiling water
                                                                                     A piece of aluminum foil

Take a piece of aluminum foil that roughly covers the bottom of a small bowl.  Pour the boiling water into the bowl.  Add the other ingredients and swish them around.  Put your brass, sterling, silver, german silver, or goldfilled jewelry into the bowl.  The metal needs to be touching the aluminum foil . Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.  Take it out, rinse in water and dry.

I tripled the recipe and put it in a baking pan to do an 8 piece place setting of silver.  It only took minutes.  The more tarnished the piece the longer it takes of course.  There is a point when the solution no longer works.  I could actually smell the chemical reaction and saw small bubbles when I put the items in the water.   If you like to know the science behind why this works you can read that here.  In fact after reading this article seems like all you really need is aluminum foil and baking soda.  The dish soap does help clean up the beads and gems however. I'll probably leave out the salt next time.

If you have pieces of jewelry with porous gemstones like turquoise and pearls this seems to be safe.  At least my gemstones didn't seem to suffer.  On some large pieces that were really tarnished I had to leave them in the whole ten minutes.  Others I just dropped in and pulled out almost immediately.  You don't want to leave items that have been antiqued with liver of sulfur in too long or it will remove this black as well.  The chains were the best because some of them are so delicate that they are difficult to clean by hand.   Time to get off this computer and go gather up all those tarnished earrings.  Happy cleaning. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Healing Power of Sound

     As a child my friends and I would often chant, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."  Oh, how wrong we were.

 Sounds can hurt as well as heal.  In medicine,  ultra sounds are used to obtain visual images as well as heal tissues. While gentle sounds soothe the nervous system,  loud, angry dissonant sounds agitate and stress it.  The picture to the left was created by sounds and is the cover of a book about cymatics.

 A mantra  is word, a symbol, or a group of words that can bring spiritual transformation through their repetition.  Scientist believe the cosmos was created with a big bang in other words a sound.  The bible states that in the beginning there was the word. To some, the sound of creation is the word "Aum."

Tibetan prayer wheels have mantras  inside that are sent out into the universe when the wheel is spun.
After looking at the hand held prayer wheel I bought while traveling in Nepal, I was inspired to create a piece of adornment.  I call this pendant a prayer package because it looks like a little gift and a word is hidden inside.

I use recycled tins, recycled copper flashing and bench scraps to make my prayer packages.  The word sits next to the wearers heart and is activated by the breath or prana.  This is much like spinning the wheel to send out the prayers.

Click on photo to see more prayer pendants

While many of my prayer packages have the word already selected by me,  For instance the one below  says "Light",   I also like to give my customers a chance to choose a word that has meaning for them.
Click photo to view pendant
 One custom order was for the word, "wealth" as in plenty-more than enough.  I had wanted to use the word abundance in the past but six letters is about the maximum that words in a prayer package.  Wealth became the perfect substitute for abundance and I ended up making a pendant with that word inside. The top picture is of the pendant containing wealth.

I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word. Sometimes I write one, and I look at it, until it begins to shine.” ― Emily Dickinson

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Copper and Health

Copper is an essential mineral for the health of all living organisms.  Because of its role in iron uptake, copper deficiency can lead to anemia like disorders.   Many swear by the healing powers of copper for arthritis which may be due to its ability to conduct electricity.  What I know is that copper makes beautiful jewelry and here are some of my picks from the CJUIN guild on Artfire. 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Find Direction and Balance with the Stacking of Stones into Rock Caiirns

 Balanced stones can be found through out nature where just the right elements of wind and water leave a stone or boulder in a state of balance.  These stones are so intriguing that many people have taken to balancing stones as artistic expression.  

Check out his site Gravity Glue
Michael Grab of Colorado stacks stones using nothing but gravity. Just like in life if he tries to force the balance point, the rocks tumble to the ground.  Balance requires trusting nature and being willing to let go of control.

The balancing of rocks into cairns has been used for centuries as directional markers.  When hiking in the Cascades the trail can often be across rocky terrain.  Cairns are built by fellow hikers to help show the direction to follow.  So cairns show us the way home, a path to follow and help us connect to the earth. 

Oregon beach rock cairn in jaspers and recycled copper - Om Rock stacked stone pendant
Om rock cairn by janeojewelry
I love cairns and spend time stacking stones whenever I am camping along a river.  I also love the beach and find my coat pockets full of rocks after a visit to the coast. I have combined these two loves into a  piece of zen jewelry.     

I stack and balance the stones I have gathered on my bench and drill them the way they naturally want to balance.  I listen to kirtan music and the chanting helps me find my own inner place of balance where I am both connected like the stone and flowing like the sea. The stones spin on the wire and can also be used as a contemplative device.

 Om is believed to be the vibration of creation so I call my line of beach stone jewelry Om Rock Beach Stones.   These are an earth friendly product as the rocks are a gift from the sea and the metals are either bench scraps or recycled copper flashing..