Butterflies, Dragonflies & Hummingbirds

After I received my latest piece of Native American butterfly jewelry in the mail the other day (the Vincent Platero pendant with no stones inside the necklace), I decided to take a few moments out from the rat race to take a look at my butterfly collection. I threw in a couple of dragonflies for good measure. Each piece came from a different place. Clockwise from the top, the large Albert Cleveland enhancer pendant with beautiful green stones came from one of the Facebook groups. It was a great price and I could not pass it up. I have not had the occasion to wear it yet but I will! The enhancer pendant with single green stone came from a Facebook group contact as part of a larger lot of jewelry. Most of the pieces have sold but I just loved this one and decided to keep it. It's a great casual piece which looks good with Navajo pearls. The dragonfly locket pendant to its left came from my first trip to the Tucson Gem Show in 2018. It was oxidized but would not stay closed. I took it to a jeweler to fix but the only solution was to permanently solder it closed. He polished it by mistake. It is pretty in the shiny form but I preferred the oxidized look. It is more of a summer piece now. The dragonfly below it also came to me through a Facebook group. I love to wear it in the winter.

On the left side counterclockwise from the top, I recently purchased the Dean Sandoval adjustable ring. The butterfly is larger than I am used to wearing for a ring. I thought about having it made into a pendant but I do not have the heart to change it. It should really stay a ring, Dean Sandoval is a great artist and his work should stay intact. The onyx and turquoise pendant by Chimney Butte is another pendant which is good for winter. Mother and I met Chimney Butte at the Tucson Gem Show this year, we were so surprised to see him manning his own booth. He is a very talented and prolific artist. The butterfly to the left was purchased from Sunwest Silver in Tucson, 2018. I have not worn it lately but it is good for summer so I should break it out. The butterfly below it came from a great gift shop in Fountain Hills, AZ this year. Mother said "DO NOT BUY ANY MORE BUTTERFLIES!" but I bought it when her back was turned. This is a summer pendant as well so I need to wear it before Fall arrives. Finally on the lower left is an amazing butterfly enhancer pendant I bought at a Tucson antique mall which was a stone's throw away from where we stayed for the Gem Show. That mall has the greatest collection of vintage Native American jewelry I have ever seen. I purchased several interesting pieces there and had to restrain myself from buying more.

In my opinion the necklace in the center is the highlight of this collection. It came from an antique mall in Scottsdale, AZ which was not far from where we stayed in 2019. Mother took the first leg of the trip and Kuochun took the second. I was on my own for a day and overnight after Mother left and before Kuochun arrived. I spent the day looking for interesting items at antique malls. I did not need a second opinion on this necklace! It is so versatile because I can wear it as is, the pendant with Navajo pearls or the necklace by itself. The ring on the left is definitely going to be a new favorite. I have not worn rings in a long time, I used to wear two every day, one on each ring finger when I was married but when I got divorced I did not have the heart to wear rings anymore. It has been 19 years now (I cannot believe it has been that long!) and it is definitely time to start wearing rings again. I gained weight and my left ring finger went from a size 6.75 to a 9. I felt like rings just did not look good anymore. However, this one fits perfectly and the butterfly is the perfect size, not too large or too small. The ring to its right is not Native made but I found it on Facebook as well. It has a wider band so it is a little snug right now but I plan to grow into it!

I wondered why I gravitate to butterflies so much. I am definitely not a "bug" person! I recently learned that in Native culture, butterflies symbolize rebirth and renewal. This makes perfect sense to me now. I am a positive, glass half-full person and always look forward rather than looking back. I am always looking to improve, personally and as well as with my work. Looking at this collection, I am sure it will evolve. We sure hope to be able to travel to Arizona next winter, even Kuochun wants to go! There is no doubt that I will be looking for more butterflies and maybe will let a couple of the smaller ones go. There were definitely a couple that I passed on that I wish I would have purchased now.

This afternoon one of my jewelry contacts stopped by to show me his new finds for me to potentially purchase. I could not believe it when the first thing he showed me was this hummingbird. He had no way of knowing that Dad has been coming to us in the form of hummingbirds and Mother has been looking for a piece of hummingbird jewelry to signify this. This morning I helped Mother purchase a fabulous Zuni inlay statement necklace on eBay. She was not sure how to justify the cost and was looking at a small pendant but I told her she is not a small pendant person. Every piece of jewelry she wears makes a statement. A photo of the necklace is below, this is not our photo, it was on the eBay listing.

Since I spoke about hummingbirds last week, my cousin reported in that a hummingbird came to her and her two young daughters. Her oldest has been feeling melancholy lately, realizing that she will never see her Uncle Ray again and also missing school and her friends. They live an apartment and they had never seen a hummingbird there before. We cannot explain why hummingbirds keep coming to us. Now the only one who has not had a hummingbird sighting is Rachel. I hope she will receive one soon. Now on to discuss the jewelry postings for the week!

I posted this fabulous lot of Mexican jewelry last Sunday. The opaque stones are green chrysoprase and there is malachite and a bit of onyx represented as well. Some of these pieces are from Mother's personal collection. There were a lot of admirers but only takers on the statement earrings and ring in the center. All of the other pieces are available. This day also marked the first day to shoot the group photos in my giant light box using Replica Surfaces. This one is called Slate. The one in the butterfly collection photo is called Terrazzo. It was a project to take the huge 32x32 inch light box apart in order to move it from the breezeway to the basement but the breezeway is not air conditioned and it has been too hot to work out there. It is nice and refrigerated downstairs! I took a number of group shots with black glitter foam sheets but they were not large enough so I cut a 4-inch piece to fill my smaller light box. Maybe some people would not notice it but I am a perfectionist and I hated the way I could see that seam in the photos. I love the black glitter paper that I use as a background in single product photos but I have only been able to find it in 12x12 inch squares. It is not large enough to support a group shot. It took some time and effort but I am pretty happy with the result. I may need to invest in the medium size light box as the lighting is more impersonal for jewelry in the giant box than the small one.

The next lot is of Southwest Style jewelry. This background is called Beechwood and it was my first time to use it. I love the color. I could not make this shot square because the Michael Redhawk statement necklace in the center is so long. As a result there is more space on the sides than I like but I really wanted to include the necklace in this group. I am glad I did because I was able to sell the necklace. There are so many neat pieces in this lot but the only other pieces which have officially sold are the vintage elongated oval turquoise ring and the Carolyn Pollack necklace with the barrel beads. The agate statement earrings in the center and the larger pendant on the far right are pending sale.

The final lot of the week was this assortment of Native American pieces. The name of this background is Weathered Wood and it was my first time to use this one as well. I originally posted the turquoise and coral pieces back in May but for some reason two of the largest groups did not approve the posting. I decided to mix things up and combine the unsold pieces with the remaining pieces from our Arlington Heights estate as well as a newly repaired barrette and cuff bracelet and one of my personal pieces. Unfortunately just the skinny cuff bracelet sold for me but when I get the chance they will be the next to be posted to the online store, eBay and Etsy. These are some really fantastic, unique pieces. I reduced the Arlington Heights pieces by 25% and they all sold except for the little sterling and 18K yellow gold boot scarf slide. This one is mysterious to me but should also be successful online.

My next jewelry lot posting will probably not be until Friday evening with some new arrival Native American pieces. I will be on lockdown these next three days because I need to do my taxes. It is strange to have to do them in July but this has been a year like no other. I was not able to do them sooner because it has been a constant hustle to keep up with bills since the stay at home order started in March. But I am proud to say I accomplished it, all bills have been paid on time all the way through without assistance! After the 15th, I will be more than ready to get the estate sale paperwork completed and start posting all this beautiful jewelry online. I am determined to be ready for the holidays this year and my plan is to have all the silver posted this summer. The next phase will be vintage costume jewelry. I am looking forward to it because it will go a lot faster, I will not have all the reflective issues I have with silver jewelry. Until then!