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Ringing in the New Year

 

As the year winds down, I want to take a moment to reflect on all that has happened and look forward to the potential of all that can happen in the upcoming new year.

I do have to say 2016 was an interesting and exciting year for fail!

I was most excited about reaping the rewards of some serious streamlining in the studio over the previous year. All of our hard work definitely paid off and we were able to take out the peaks and valleys of the workload, resulting in a stress level that was at an all-time low for me and my staff. It doesn't get much better than that!

What took me by surprise, even though it shouldn't have, was the willingness of my staff to step up when we were thrown an unexpected curve ball in my busiest month, November.

I’m most thankful that we dodged a bullet with the weather and pulled off the inaugural Origin Designer Market! The overwhelmingly positive feedback from both customers and vendors alike, along with partnering with some bad ass designers made this holiday market a super high note to end the year on.

2017 should prove to be just as, if not more, exciting!

I’m hoping for more time to design and be creative, and to actually have time to act on all of my ideas!  

And, I resolve to continue to learn! I could coast for a while with the business and be fine, but I know there are opportunities I will be better prepared to tackle if I continue to study and learn more about myself and my business. 

Happy New Year to all of you in the fail family! May 2017 help you realize all your dreams and hopes.

Birthstones: December - Turquoise

 

Once again, there is an abundance of birthstones in December: Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise. Let's focus on Turquoise; a gem many can currently find in their jewelry box, or at least hope to be gifted this holiday season.

Identification

Color  Admired since ancient times, turquoise is known for its distinct color, which ranges from powdery blue to greenish robin’s egg blue. It’s one of few minerals to lend its name to anything that resembles its striking color. Turquoise is colored by copper, which creates some of the most vivid blues.

Mohs Hardness – 5-6

History

Appreciation of turquoise spans the globe, from Egypt to Mesoamerica to China. It is one of the first gems mined and used in jewelry. Archeologists found it buried in ancient Egyptian tombs, where it was referred to as “mefkat,” which means “joy” and “delight.” Chinese artisans were carving it more than 3,000 years ago.

The gem’s name, which originated in the thirteenth century, comes from the French expression pierre tourques, or “Turkish stone,” reflecting the fact that the material probably first arrived in Europe from Turkish trading routes. - GIA

Pre-Columbian Native Americans mined turquoise throughout the present-day southwestern United States. Shamans used it in sacred ceremonies to commune with the spirit of the sky. Apache Indians believed that attaching turquoise to bows improved a hunter’s accuracy. Turquoise became valuable in Native American trade, which carried North American material toward South America. Consequently, Aztecs cherished turquoise for its protective power, and used it on ceremonial masks, knives and shields. The turquoise-studded silver jewelry that’s commonly associated with Native Americans today originated in the 1880s, when a white trader convinced a Navajo craftsman to transform a silver coin into turquoise jewelry.

Turquoise is found in arid regions where rainwater dissolves copper in the soil, forming colorful deposits when it combines with aluminum and phosphorus. Copper contributes blue hues, while iron and chrome add a hint of green. Some turquoise contains pieces of host rock, called matrix, which appear as dark webs or patches in the material. - American Gem Society

Physical, Mystical and Spiritual Properties

Turquoise is the national gem of Tibet, and has long been considered a stone that guarantees health, good fortune, and protection from evil. For thousands of years, Turquoise has spanned all cultures, prized as a symbol of wisdom, nobility and the power of immortality.

It has been recognized as possessing the power to protect riders from injury due to falls. First used as amulets by Turkish soldiers, it later came to be used for protection against falls of any kind.

Turquoise is also reputed to be influenced by the physical condition of the person who wears it. It is thought to grow pale when its owner is sick or sad, lose all color when the person dies, and gradually recover its color when transferred to a new healthy owner.

Turquoise is a strengthening stone, good for exhaustion, depression, or panic attacks. It enhances physical and psychic immune systems, supporting the assimilation of nutrients, alleviating pollution and viral infections. It is anti-inflammatory and detoxifying, reducing excess acidity and benefiting gout, rheumatism, and the stomach.

It also assists in problems of the brain, eyes, ears, neck and throat, especially cataracts, migraines and headaches, and problems with balance. It is thought to be helpful to the respiratory system and aid in healing lung disorders and allergies.

Turquoise is a most efficient healer, providing solace for the spirit and well-being for the body. It benefits the overall mood and emotion by balancing and inducing a sense of serenity and peace. It is a stone for finding wholeness and truth, and communicating and manifesting those qualities.

In traditional thought, Turquoise unites the earth and sky. Spiritually, Turquoise heals and cleanses both the energy centers and the physical body. It acts to induce wisdom and understanding, and to enhance trust, kindness, and the recognition of beauty.

Turquoise enhances the ability to see all aspects of ourselves, good and bad, and to integrate these aspects into a cohesive whole. While it is tempting to try and rid ourselves of the traits of self that are not entirely enlightened, Turquoise, like an ancient Grandfather ally, reminds us that all experiences are valid and that mistakes are simply another experience. Wholeness can only come when we are willing to embrace all of who we are and what we have learned. Crystal Vaults

Origin Desginer Market - This Weekend!

 
  
Its here! Origin Designer Market is happening this weekend!!!!!
We have so much in store for you, I can't even contain my excitement {and nervousness}. Enjoy a craft cocktail from the AMAZING Sourced Craft Cocktails, while shopping from 35 designers who all call Texas home.  We have lined up the best vendors to make your last week of holiday shopping a breeze. To help inspire you, we've curated a Holiday Gift Guide. You'll find all of these designers at Origin Designer Market, along with plenty of additional delightfully unique gift options.
HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
1. She’ll love dressing up the walls with fail’s 3 Strand Organic Mobile, $323
2. She can travel in style with this Drawstring Travel Bag Set from Little Minnow, $34
3. On trend and only available in person, snag her a one of a kind vase, mug, or plate from Era Ceramics,  $28-$78
4. She is worth a splurge with a handmade quilt like the Cascade Quilt from Initial K studios, $425
5. Let her entertain in style with Eliana Bernard’s Marble Round Serving Tray, $160
6. Nourish and feed her skin to keep the winter at bay with Boyd’s Farm Soap & Serum Bundle, $48
7. Dress up her arm with Elisha Marie’s Dawning Bracelet, $146
8. Help her stay in the holiday mood with this spicy Orange and Clove Candle from Slow North, $34
  
We still need help getting the word out so please follow us on InstagramRSVP to our Facebook event, and definitely share the word.  We need as many people as possible to make this one amazing event we want to bring back year after year!
  
Interested in doing more?  Sign up to be one of our volunteers and get to know us, and our community even better.  I can't wait to see you all there!

Trail of Lights - Night Lights Preview Party

  
I am having my first Austin holiday show this Friday evening, December 9th, at the Trail of Lights Night Lights Preview Party!  I am honored to be one of the vendors selected by Edible Austin as a part of their maker's market from 6-10pm.  
  
If you are not familiar with the Trail of Lights, you are not from Austin! Our iconic holiday party is back with a vengeance and is bigger and better than ever!  If you want to beat the crowds, see live music by Greyhounds & Shiney Ribs, drink some fancy hot drinks, and snag a few presents, this event is for you!  Buy tickets now before they are all sold out!
  
What began as a small gathering in 1965 known as the "Yule Fest," a gift to the city of Austin from Austin Parks and Recreation Department, has now grown to be a community-wide celebration of the unique spirit and people that make Austin the place we love to call home. In the 52 years since the first Yule Log was lit, the Trail of Lights has expanded to more than 40 displays, 2 million lights and holiday activities that create countless memories. Each new display, community performance and lighted tunnel has added a new layer to the holiday tradition and brought us together more as a community. Today, the Trail of Lights is one of the three largest events in Austin and receives national accolades while remaining a deeply cherished local tradition. 
  
I hope to see you there!

EPIC men

  
Just in time for the holidays, EPIC men is here!  Grit is a small capsule collection of rustic and simple jewelry with the guys in mind, but don't worry ladies, you won't mind stealing from their nightstands!
  
I was inspired to design a collection for men who do not necessarily gravitate to wearing jewelry, and exude a relaxed attitude coupled with a rustic yet refined sense of style. These are heirloom quality pieces that are meant to be worn as an addition to the daily uniform, that looked lived in, and that only get better with age.
  
So, check out our lovely lookbook below and shop the collection online now!  If you see something perfect for giving {if even just to yourself}, snag it!  Orders placed by 12/4 will have guaranteed delivery in time for Christmas.  
  
Cheers!
  
  

Origin Designer Market

I am thrilled to let you all know about a little project I've been working on!

Origin Designer Market began in Austin, Texas when a group of designers (including fail) came together to create the best kind of marketplace that they could imagine.

Our inaugural event is a one-day shopping event, taking place in Austin, TX. Enjoy a cocktail while shopping from over 30 designers who all call Texas home. We have lined up the best vendors to make your last week of holiday shopping a breeze.  

 

Bonus, be one of the first 50 people in line and you will be the proud new owner of our of our swag bags!  

As it is our first year, WE NEED YOUR HELP to getting the word out!  Find out all of the info on the market on the Origin Designer Market website, follow us on Instagram, and don't forget to RSVP to our Facebook event!  

Renegade Craft Fair San Francisco

Not to be missed! I will be in San Francisco at the largest independent craft fair in the world November 19 and 20. The Renegade Craft Fair is a vibrant and lively marketplace that reflects the work of today’s modern makers with a focus on the highest quality and freshest voices. Dedicated to creating meaningful connections between makers and enthusiasts, it is a celebration of DIY spirit and is a pioneer in the indie-craft movement.

I’m so excited to participate in this highly curated showcase of the very best in modern craft and design. Described as one part entrepreneurial incubator and one part community gathering space, it is a festive celebration featuring maker-designed goods, interactive features, artisanal food and drink, lively music and good vibes in an awe-inspiring setting.

I’ll have some of my favorite pieces from my collection in booth 172 at Fort Mason Center Festival Pavilion. Swing by this free event to say hello, and get a head start on your holiday shopping!

Birthstones: November - Citrine & Topaz

Illustration: Dream Marginalia

In the month of Thanksgiving, you can be thankful for an abundance of birthstones. November darlings get to choose between two gems: citrine and topaz. These sunny gemstones can look very similar and have often been mistaken for each other. They are actually unrelated minerals, and topaz occurs in a wide spectrum of colors far beyond the yellow and orange hues of citrine, which are produced by traces of iron in quartz crystals.

The gems are known for their calming energies, bringing warmth and fortune to those who wear them. - American Gem Society

Identification

Color - Citrine ranges from pale yellow to brownish orange in color. Its name originates from the citron fruit because of these lemon-inspired shades.

Topaz is most desired in its rich orange Imperial Topaz color, but is found in a variety of colors including blue, pink, and yellow.

Mohs Hardness - Citrine 7, Topaz 8

History

Throughout history, people believed that citrine carried the same powers as topaz, including the ability to calm tempers, soothe anger and manifest desires, especially prosperity. To leverage these powers, Egyptians used citrine gems as talismans, the ancient Greeks carved iconic images into them, and Roman priests fashioned them into rings. - American Gem Society

The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. In Europe during the Renaissance (the period from the 1300s to the 1600s) people thought that topaz could break magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty, and intelligence.
 
The name for imperial topaz originated in nineteenth-century Russia. At the time, the Ural Mountains were topaz’s leading source, and the pink gemstone mined there was named to honor the Russian czar. Ownership of the gem was restricted to the royal family. Today, topaz sources include Ouro Prêto, Brazil, and Russia's Ural Mountains. - GIA

The state gem of Texas, topaz is also found just a stone’s throw from the fail studio.

Physical, Mystical and Spiritual Properties

In the metaphysical world, citrine is known for manifestation, imagination, and personal will. Its frequency awakens creativity and imagination, and sustains the process of making dreams and wishes come true. With its pure yellow energy, citrine encourages fullness of life, fresh beginnings and new pursuits. Natural Citrine does not hold or accumulate negative energy, but rather transmutes, dissipates, and grounds it, making it extremely protective for the environment. It works out problems on both the physical and subtle levels, transforming negative thoughts and feelings into positive ones. It is one of only two crystals that never needs to be cleared or cleansed.

For thousands of years the mere mention of Topaz has conjured thoughts of opulence and luxury, influence and generosity, vibrancy and strength. It brings true love and fidelity, friendship, and a gentle nature, bestowing the gifts of courage and wisdom, and success. Its energy, harnessed from the sun, transcends both time and space, and is one of the most loving, beneficial crystals. It brings solid, lasting energy, joy, generosity and abundance. - Crystal Vaults

Crafty Bastards Nashville

  
  
Thats right, I am heading out for my first retail show in Nashville, Crafty Bastards!  If you live in the area, join me at the Gulch this Saturday from 10am - 4pm for this inaugural event.  If not, tell your friends that do!  You can get all the details on their site, and I hope to see you all there.