LLaughrenAscensionSweetDreamsCandyCoatedNightmares2018C

Long ago and far away on the other side of this vast Northern Continent – lived a scrawny, filthy and always wary ginger-haired girl and her doll….Baby Ugly.

Baby Ugly was a constant naked companion. Ever present during the days with wild wide open eyes during the night. While spirits wandered through out the rest of the derelict house they could not or would not pass through the Dutch door into their bedroom. Quite possibly installed for this reason.

The house with it’s spotlight windows and deep dark chimney that sat on a hill. Whose view encompassed all of the Vancouver skyline disappearing into the fade of the distant ski-hill.

Though the split door hindered the ghosts and other entities, the cast iron air vent way high near the ceiling did not. The vent was usually shut but on occasions the wispy bony spirit limbs would rattle it open, usually as the brightest of bright moonlight flooded the small area. As the lumbering Popular tree branches danced and criss-crossed their grey shadows onto the curtain-less window. To the thud of some departed heart slowed with mud and sea grass.

Not only would Baby Ugly lay there unblinking, but so would the waif of the girl. Who’s eyes were the very same shade of Denim Blue as the doll. Eyes that during the day would seal shut tight to pretend what it was like to be blind wandering around the house… and quite adeptly. Considered good practice being that only one eye was good anyways and blindness may become a regular way of life.

Certainly Baby Ugly and the girl were not afraid of ghosts. They were afraid of the living. The constant threat of bloodshed. The confusion of others. The use of implements on parts that were not designed for such implements. The looks of muddled blatant hate swinging with veiled dirty looks. They were both the unwanted, the not needed, the sore bleeding scab that one picks unconsciously. Only to go to a mirror and pick at it again full of vengeance and with renewed vigor.

We must go back further at a later time, before the house, when the scab was new. To the one bedroom slum apartment situated at the race start of the tenement. Baby Ugly and the girl dragging a cereal box on a string and picking up litter with a stick. Neither spoke at that time, with the exception when some kid would kick over the box of trash. Then the girl became so alive and with a tremendously strong pitch, and would fire as many lashings at the neighborhood brat as possible. Nobody messed with her duties…

Hope everyone is enjoying Valentine’s Day and those who are alone or seeking reconciliation. It is my hope that you have been able to indulge yourself with a piece of Rose Quartz…the Stone of Love in all of it’s forms including self-love!

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Rose Quartz expresses itself in many forms…from very pure and pale pink crystals, milky opaque pale pink, banded, and very (sometimes called extra ) red otherwise known as Cherry Rose Quartz. Often the Cherry Quartz has been altered (cultured) to achieve a very pink color so buyer beware!

I like all of them though the most valuable to gemologists is the clearest, most purest, form. The pink color is clear Quartz that has trace amounts of titanium, iron or manganese.

Rose Quartz like all other Quartz have a strong vibration related to all Chakras for healing and is associated with the Zodiac sign of Taurus. Whether you wear it close to you in the form of jewelry or have a single rough or tumbled piece can be beneficial.

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Not just for Love-though this is well-known-it also absorbs energy such as radiation emitting from electronics, so having a piece near your computer can lessen any negative effects emitting from close and long term usage of these devices. It also amplifies the energies of other stones making for a powerful combination.

Quartz is one of the best conductors of energy thus the massive use in the electronics industry.  Quartz in the electronics industry is most often “cultured” otherwise known as Lab Grown from a small Quartz “seed” so that there are no impurities to interfere with  the electronic device being manufactured.

The mythology of Rose Quartz goes back to Egyptian and Greek eras. Adonis who was the lover of Aphrodite, was attacked by Aries (the god of War). When Aphrodite rushed to save Adonis she caught herself on a wild rose bush. The lovers mingled blood stained the white quartz to a pink. Zeus felt so sorry for the two and reunited them and thus Rose Quartz symbolizes reconciliation.

Rose Quartz is also the stone of a youthful complexion. Reportedly the  Egyptian Goddess Isis used to rub her face with tumbled stones in an upward motion as she believed this would preserve her beauty. To this day this is practiced by many Egyptian women and is part of modern ritual to connect with the Goddess in the Isis temple in Egypt.

That’s it for one of the most pretty of stones….have a wonderful Valentine’s!

roselaughren

Angelic Orange Calcite

February 6, 2017

Even though it is completely cold and gloomy out I’ve decided to focus my attention on Sunnier days ahead with Orange Calcite!

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Calcite and tumbler polishing don’t quite work together well. It is one of those stones that can totally disappear while being tumbled. Usually considered a tumbling process for advanced tumbler people!

I often begin my stone processing in my rotary tumblers. Any variety of Calcite that I tumble needs to be frequently checked on… I only tumble until the desired “softness” of edges has been achieved.

Then comes the handi-work, which is different for each stone. With the Calcites I use very fine grit papers first to remove the initial “crusty” appearance of the stone. I work this stage, sometimes over a period of months, for the glassiest surface shine as possible before using Titanium Oxide for the final polish.

During these steps I am consciously, unconsciously and intuitively deciding on what the piece will be:

Will it be a Wire Wrapped pendant?
A Drilled Specimen for pendant work?
A piece to be set in Polymer Clay?
Something to add to Encaustic Painting?
Or a stone for my own personal collection?

Despite Calcite being difficult to tumble because of it’s harness of 3 (out of 10 on the Mhos Scale), once it is polished it is quite durable.

My sources of Calcite comes from Brazil and rock hounding trips in Northern Ontario.

Perhaps I have such an affinity and Love for Orange Calcite, and Calcites in general, because it is the stone of the Zodiac sign of Cancer. The Orange variety especially emphasizes attributes for Cancerians of which I am a text book example.

Orange Calcite has an important effect on the 2nd Chakra. It is useful in all new beginnings, including birthing, new projects or changes. Orange Calcite is also a gemstone of wisdom, especially for those in charge of other’s fates.

                                How do you imagine Orange Calcite’s effect on you?

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Rock n Roll

January 16, 2017

This week all of the rocks are a rolling!

My lapidary cart has everything I need for the gemstone tumbling process, including two Lortone double barrel rotary tumblers.

I spend on average up to 10 hours a week on maintenance: oiling the machinery, changing the slurry and grit, cutting slabs and pre-shaping rough rock to be tumbled. 

Mondays and Fridays are my rock days.  I get to witness what trans-formative wonders are revealed through the tumbling process.  Today is Monday so after I write this I will be checking on my tumblers.

This month they contain Emeralds, Indian Rubies, Laboradite, Amethyst, Extra Red Rose Quartz, Yellow and Black Jaspers, Carnelian and Tourmaline among others.

The tumbling process can take up to 8 weeks…so patience (and caution) is a must!

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Starry Jasper

January 9, 2017

This week’s rock is “Starry Jasper” who’s name was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s epic masterpiece “Starry Night”.

Which happens to be (the painting not the rock) exhibiting in “Mystical Landscapes: Masterpieces from Monet, Van Gogh, and more…” this month at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) http://www.ago.net/ .

So how many of you love Gold? How many don’t like the price? The perfect substitute is Pyrite! Pyrite is made even more beautiful as inclusions within and on the surface of Red and Blue Jaspers.

The most prized inclusions are one’s that look like confetti sprinkled through-out the stone. I was very fortunate  to acquire Grade A rough Red Starry Jasper to work with.

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After a bit of investigation on-line I discovered that it is not readily available at this time-could not find a source elsewhere that was in stock. Did see some small tumble specimens but nothing like the specimens I had the pleasure to work with. And not only that the available finished products were not all that inspiring for me and pricey. One of the perks for me as a creator!

The solid color Jaspers are so nice to work with. They polish well and in a relatively short amount of time (4 weeks in the tumbler-more on tumblers in the future- then hand finishing).

Starry Jasper was named after Van Gogh’s painting however has been well known by ancient cultures of all kinds through out history. Including Egyptian Kings, Jewish Priests and Shamanic Healers.

Worn as a protective talisman and buried with the dead for a safe passage to the after-life.  All Jaspers have a slow and steady energy attuned with the Earth.

Wearing such a pendant may encourage a spiritual relationship with all things living and a greater appreciation for all of Earths elements and wonders. A great stone for grounding oneself, dream recall and meditation. Vibrationally complements Aquamarine which is also another Chakra stone.

Hope you enjoyed reading about the wonders and some of the history related to Starry Jasper!

Ugg…Summer is over!

November 6, 2016

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This is me picking through rocks down at Ashbridges Bay, Toronto, for beach glass and other interesting finds.

I lost baby ugly at White Cliff Beach near Vancouver B.C.  Actually, I set her afloat to become a mermaid one year at a “family” picnic.  Not real family, not bio family.  My Step dad’s friends.  A concoction of alcoholics, thieves, bikers and just out of jailers.  They were as close knit as any other woven family.

Those were the highlights of my summers as a kid.  Crossing the Lions gate bridge onward to the “far away” beach.  Roaming freely on the ocean rocks-fearful the tide would come on fast and we’d be trapped at sea.  Amidst a never ending blue neither ending at sky or sea.  Bringing home hermit crabs, smoking with my “cousin”.  Pondering the drug addled almost adult topless girls making out with their boys.

Always loved the beach….perhaps being a water sign has something to do with it.

Summer is over once again.  Throughout the Winter I will be transforming my finds, my precious beach finds,  transforming them wondrously into jewelry and sculpture. Humming the still haunting tune of baby uglie’s lullaby.

 

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As usual I could not let this glitter flutter by.  I held it in my hands not sure what I would do with it but all that glitters intrigues me.  Though it is meant for some form of nail sculpting I fantasized the sparkling shapes and colors running through my hands, being applied to clay, paper and seashells.  Further decorating my current bower.

My first bower was an old nut tree.  A tree cave whose center branches reached upwards to the distant blue sky.  The outer branches heavy with prickly nuts swooped down to the ground in a graceful arch.  It was my secret place.

This is where baby ugly lived.  My baby ugly, a naked and dirty doll with holes punched into her lips and crotch.  So she could eat and then defecate wild choke cherries, their purple blood forever stained her chest where it dripped in sticky rivets.

Sometimes I’d wrap her in leaves or a toilet paper dress while I swept the bare ground, it’s gnarly roots poking out far enough to trip the not-so nimble.  A broom made out of branches that blew the dry summer dust all around inside the bower.  What I would have given to have glitter back then.  I had popping green seed pods and sickly sweet cotton tree fluff instead…….

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