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The Goddess of Bad-Assery

A spiritual mentor we'd like to celebrate in honor of Earth Day and Mother's Day is the Indian Goddess Durga is a force for our time! In Sanskrit (the oldest known language), Durga means "a fort" or "a place that is difficult to overrun," an apt metaphor for this deity's protective superpowers that eliminate suffering.  Durga is considered the protective mother of the universe by the Hindu. She is one of the faith's most revered deities, a protector of all that is good and harmonious in the world. Sitting astride a lion or tiger, the multi-limbed Durga battles the forces of evil in the world. We commemorate her here in our delicate sterling or bronze necklace that features a lovely primitive Durga relic from India. Durga's Appearance...

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Art Can Carry Us in Hard Times

It’s hard for me to admit, but I am a news junkie, always have been. But within the current state of affairs, consuming the news takes on a whole new connotation, like being in the grip of high drama. There is so much devastation in the world – so much consternation and animus. I am overwhelmed by the scenes of destruction, loss and grief that flash across my screens every day. It imbues a sense of hopelessness. When I see this kind of sad ruination I have to ask myself is what I do for a living is worthwhile. Is jewelry, and its expression as an art form, really making a contribution to the betterment of our planet, our humanity,...

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Why We Travel

Travel isn't easy. And sometimes it's not even fun. But tell me where you've been and I'll see who you are. We venture forth from our bubbles full of anticipation, expectations and a bit of trepidation—there’s the best case scenario and the worst case. My experience is that most travel lies somewhere in the middle. When we traveled with young kids, vacation was simply relocation…with a better view. Now we’re traveling with a young teen where each new experience can be an exercise in emotional jujitsu, and this time I was seeing things through two lenses—mine and hers. My daughter has traveled since she was 6 months old and loves it. But this was her first European trip to a country where English is...

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Be Kind and Pass the Hygge Please

At Relica we love a good story and the meaning behind what people value--so we enjoy occasionally sharing these interesting anomalies (and commonalities) that make us all human. This Thanksgiving, pass on Uncle Morty in the lampshade and indulge in the hygge! In college I majored in International Relations. By far, my favorite class was Cultural Anthropology, where we immersed ourselves in and studied cultural traditions and idiosyncrasies from around the world.  The tradition and value that stayed with me the most was a Danish tradition called Hygge (pronounced "hooga" -- imagine how the Swedish Chef on the Muppets would say it). Below is an excerpt I borrowed from that I feel most accurately captures the essence of hygge. How many times have you been...

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Wabi Sabi

  The Japanese have many words for interesting concepts--one of my favorites is Wabi Sabi. It is an appreciation for the imperfect, the subtle, the humble. And it is seeing the profound beauty that time bestows on all earthly things; a reverence for the cycle of life. In her book about this very concept, Robyn Griggs Lawrence outlines the meaning of both words; wabi is harmony, peace, balance and tranquility--sabi refers to "the bloom of time" or the dignity and grace that accompany the natural progression of aging. I have long been fascinated by this subject of imperfection--both in design and in humanity. Think about it; isn't it really our idiosyncrasies, flaws and vulnerabilities that attracts us to one another? It's what makes us unique, interesting and...

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