Welcome Message

Marvel, Muse, Manifest, Materialize. Welcome to February Jones: The Blog. While you're here I might challenge some of your opinions, show you something you never knew before, or if you're lucky, I just might melt your brain and bring you a new way of viewing the world and your place in it. And I have accessories to help you remember these new ways of thinking! View my Etsy shop items just to your lower right in my CraftCult widget, or by clicking on the Merchverse tab above. See what some of my customers think in the Testimonial section, and check out all on my interweb featurettes in the Media section. You can even watch some awesome Etsy videos in the Etsy Fun! section. I hope you enjoy the World of February Jones and come back often, things are always changing.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Fantastageddon

Black Friday.

This was a term that never really had that much impact on me. I'm Canadian, and I'm not a big shopper, and it's taken a while for the events of this calendar date to trickle into Canadian retail. Before this week, "Black Friday" was just another day, except it usually had higher casualty rates for shoppers who found they couldn't keep their footing amidst human stampedes at the entrances to stores with mega sales on limited products ("But my kid NEEDS a Tickle-Me-Elmo!!!"). And so I find myself in an unusual place, because now I'm a little retailer, and of course I'd like people to spend the money that's burning a hole in their pocket on my products, but I don't promote senseless consumption. We are a collection of people who don't really need more "stuff"- we've got plenty of that filling our homes, storage units, garages, and garbages. So my perspective on Black Friday (and Cyber Monday) is that it's an opportunity for sellers to offer lower prices and increase their sales, and an opportunity for buyers to find meaningful products at prices that let their dollars go further.

 Cotton Candy Brooches - Currently only available at craft shows. Inquire if interested and outside of the Guelph area ;)

I put a lot of thought and effort into the design of my jewelry and accessories so that whoever wears it is doing so for a reason that is hopefully related to the intrinsic meaning behind the product. Each piece that I sell is handmade by my 8 fingers and 2 thumbs, and there is an added level of authenticity that goes into a handmade item that you can never get from a mass produced product. So on this shopping weekend that launches the holiday shopping season, I encourage you to spend your dollars wisely. When someone hands me a ten dollar bill in exchange for a pair of earrings or a cotton candy brooch, I am thrilled to know someone loved my product and to see exactly where my work is going, and my customer can see it on my face and hear it in my voice. Does Apple smile at you and shake your hand when you drop $200 - $300 on an iPhone?  You work hard for each dollar that you earn, you should spend it where you know that each dollar you pay is equally appreciated and deserved.

P.S. YES there IS a Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale and promotion going on in the February Jones etsy shop! Kaleidescope Necklaces, select Quantum Squiggle Earrings and Quantum Teardrop Earrings are all on sale. PLUS if you purchase 2 or more items I will send you a FREE pair of Quantum Rosette Earrings in the colour of your choice (include colour choice in your notes to seller when you purchase, otherwise you will get a random colour). Visit the Etsy shop to browse!

Happy Shopping!


Monday, November 22, 2010

Secrets and Symbolism

Sometimes you have a secret and you just can't wait to spill the beans to someone, but sometimes you have a secret and you just want to revel in it in solitude. Knowing something that no one else knows holds a certain je ne sais quois. Be it small or large, keeping a secret to yourself helps define you as an individual. In the same way that a secret between friends brings you closer together, a secret you hold dear brings you closer to yourself. Consider a lucky charm. You may tell others why it is lucky, but only you will truly understand its significance. A lucky charm is a symbol of an experience or a memory that is intrinsically tied to you as a unique person with unique ways of perceiving the world around you.

Quantum Squiggle Necklace - Light Blue and Dark Blue

I strive to infuse all of my jewelry and accessories with a kind of symbolism that you can latch on to. Because each item is handmade by me, each one is unique. I have some styles (like my Quantum Squiggles) that can never be exactly duplicated and so their unique symbolism is woven directly into the finished product. When one of these items becomes yours you know that no one else possesses it and it is free to become one of your signature items, just like a lucky charm.

There are many general symbols that speak to us on a deep and intuitive level. When you take a secret and turn it into a symbol you embody it, you permit yourself to connect with something on the foundation of emotions and intuition. You make it a part of you in a very intimate way that no other person can touch. A symbol represents so much more than what it is made out of. The levels of intangible meaning far outweigh the visual representation. As Tiffany Jones aptly wrote in her article "Revealing the Secrets of Symbolism", "symbolism allows for the unspoken to exist". And doesn't it make a secret that much more delicious when you wear a symbol for it openly knowing that the hidden elements are still yours alone to enjoy.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Treasury Tuesday! Gifts for the Young at Heart

Let's face it. We all still love some of the things that we loved as kids. Who says that you have to stop enjoying that stuff just because you've gotten a little bit older and wiser? I hope you enjoy this week's treasury, a handful of handmade gift ideas that'll make you smile and say, "remember when...."

Gifts for the Young at Heart Treasury


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Confession: I'm a Geek

A lot of people are surprised when they find out that, well, I'm really a geek at heart. If you hadn't started to get that impression already (how many people do you know who will happily discuss the implication of quantum physics on our ability to determine reality, which of the two Star Wars trilogies is better, how awesome it is that Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are making a Bill and Ted 3, and the frustrations of waiting for comic issues to be published as trades all in the same conversation?), well, I'm laying it out in the open for you.

I am a geek. See?

Fan Expo 2010 in Toronto- no I am not dressed up as anything specific, just me. Fewer heads turn at an event like this ;)

Really, it isn't liking specific things like comic books, or cult movies, or anime conventions that makes me or anyone else a geek. It's the willingness to openly share the things that you love and the unstoppable urge to totally "geek out" about those topics for which you hold a passion. Don't be ashamed of the things you like! So what if your friends don't like all those things too- if they're your friends they'll love you anyway (and maybe even because of those things!), and if they leave you in the dust because you like to dress up in fox ears and mentioned that you can't wait to obtain the matching tail, then you're better off without them. Don't allow yourself to become empty because you're afraid of what other people might think. The coolest people I have ever met are the ones who not only wear their hearts on their sleeve, but their passions as well.

My fiance Jim's daughter proudly showing off her super geeky Dr. Who Sonic Screwdriver at Fan Expo 2010

Being passionate about something means that you think of it as more than just a now-and-then hobby. It's something that you always want to learn more about, something that you want to pursue whenever the opportunity arises, something that you really wish everyone that you knew loved too because it's just so awesome that you want everyone else to experience it. I'm able to share and spread a lot of my geeky interests through my February Jones products, which are all inspired by the many things I consider not only interesting, but also important. I think the term 'geek' is so often relegated to the domain of comic books, video games, Magic: The Gathering or other collectible card games, and epic films because the people who love those things aren't afraid to show it and often have to actively seek out others to share their geeky passion.

 Our haul from Fan Expo! I love that bread t-shirt... (some of those comics will be used for Bubble Danglers!)

My mom is a singing geek (she finally followed her passion and took vocal lessons so that she could join a choir which she has been a part of for about 5 years now) and a nature geek (never traveling without copious books to identify the local flora).
My dad is an astronomy geek (we once had an hour long discussion that began with "Dad, what is a black hole, really?").
My fiancee is an independent music geek (he is an encycolpaedia of knowledge about local and not so local independent Canadian bands and isn't afraid to go to a concert alone if it means he gets to see one of these coveted groups).
One of my aunts is a book geek who once said, "I can't be without a book to read. I'll go crazy. I'll even read a bad book before no book at all. I'm finishing this one very slowly because I don't have another one lined up yet."

So consider this my challenge to you. Find your inner geek... then for god's sake RELEASE IT! Let it out! Introduce it to the outside world and be proud of your quirk. It contributes to the awesomeness that is you, and the people you love shouldn't be deprived of the knowledge of something that gives you so much geeky joy. And you just might start getting more thoughtful gifts too ;)

Please share your geeky passions by leaving a comment!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Marvel, Muse, Manifest, Materialize

If you ask me, there is nothing more fun and rewarding than to be part of the creation of something, from start to finish. When you make something, there’s no mystery about how it came to be. You marvel about something wondrous, rolling it about in your mind like a dream you’re afraid you’ll forget. Then you muse about it- it pops into your head unbidden and you start to think about ways to make it real. Then you take action and that dream of intangibility begins to manifest. It comes out of your mind through your fingers and into this tangible world of reality, and before you know it, something that never existed before has materialized through no other actions than your own. 

It’s a bit like magic- learning to command different forces around you to come together to become something greater. Visit my Etsy shop to see what has come of the spells that I have woven ;)


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Treasury Tuesday! Rainbow Tree

Today's treasury is the result of a random search. I used the search term "Rainbow Tree" and picked my 16 favourites. At a time of year when the leaves have mostly fallen and nature's favourite theme is overcast and grey to remind us that winter is coming, we all might need a little more colour in our lives. Enjoy browsing through these wonderful artists and their colourful work!

Rainbow Tree Treasury


Friday, November 5, 2010

Quantum Jewelry Collection

I love thinking about the nature of existence and this body of my work is founded on philosophical symbolism and subjects that encourage you to think about your place in the world and how you influence and are influenced by your surroundings and the nature of existence. I guess you could classify some of my pieces as commentaries on existential philosophy. In particular, I would like to share some details about the thought and influences behind my Quantum Jewelry Collection.

Current styles in the Quantum Collection include: Squiggles, Teardrops, and Rosettes.

     1. (Physics / Atomic Physics) Physics
          a) the smallest quantity of some physical property, such as energy, that a system can possess according to the quantum theory.
          b) a particle with such a unit of energy

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

"Quantum" as a source of inspiration: On a fundamental level we are all examples of a Unity of Opposites. We are all unique examples of a Unity of Opposites. We are built of matter and energy and at the most fundamental level we are both. We hum with our own signature of vibrations of energy, our own unique quantum squiggle.

Visual Theme
Visually, all of these pieces are free-formed by wrapping, twisting, twirling and curling wire in different ways. The wire often follows an orbitally inspired path around some central point or area. I have used a wide range of colours in this early collection because I love the full spectrum and I'm still experimenting with the interaction of different colours and new wires as they become available to me. The dominant tones are pastels mixed with silver and gold, and some bright and vivid colours to satisfy my need for full spectrum inclusion and reflect the joy I find in bright colours.

Symbolic Theme
The orbital swirling is reminiscent of the interactions between very large bodies of stuff (planets and galaxies) and very small bodies of stuff (atoms and quirks and quarks). Our solar system is the sum total of all planets that orbit our star, the Sun. Every particle that we and everything else is built of are the sum total of all of the atomic "solar systems" that combine to form matter.

This collection shows different interpretations of the push-pull relationship that makes up our world. A balance between push and pull is what shaped each piece of jewelry- the symbolic relationship is built into the resulting object. It is this same balance that governs our planetary movement and physical make-up.

Each piece of jewellery has a central area around which the wire orbits. It is a piece of wearable art that is a symbolic commentary on the relationship between the smallest stuff of which we are made, and the largest stuff of which we are just a part.

Thought Wave
Atoms and compounds behave like solar systems and galaxies. You are made of many atoms so you are the same as the universe, and so is everything else. You are distinct and yet you are also an interconnected part of a much bigger whole. You just need to recognize that.

How might our behaviour change is you started to acknowledge that you were one with everything? How would you act towards others? How would your thoughts about consumption change? Would you see your job differently?

How would you change, if, every day you remembered that the whole world is a part of you?

I wear these earrings because I'm smart and unique.
I'm not afraid to ponder the unimaginable. Bring it on.
I think it's cool that atoms and planets behave in similar patterns. Coincidences rock!
I love being conscious and aware of the world immediately around me.
I love the idea of wearing thoughts on my ears... or around my neck... or on my wrists...


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Treasury Tuesday! "Movember I Salute You!"

Well, it's November. Or as it has been dubbed in recent years, "Movember"- the month of the mustache. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this new tradition, men who choose to participate grow a mustache this month in support of men's health in general, and also to help open up a dialogue about testicular and prostate cancer. So support the guys this month! And if you find yourself on the arm of a participant, love him for growing such a ridiculous thing on his face in support of a good cause ;) And if you want to participate without growing a 'stache, well, I have some ideas for you in this ticklish treasury.


For some extra fun, here's a photo of my sweetie Jim and the 'stache he just started sporting!

 James, my fiance, has sacrificed his standard beard for a ridiculously awesome Movember 'stache.

If you want to learn more about what Movember is all about, check out the official website: Movember Worldwide. Happy Mustache Month!