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Thursday, May 11, 2006

New Features Added to Noble Ramblings

Greetings and Salutations!
This is just a brief posting to let you know that I've added some new features to my journal/blog.
Comments
I have enabled comments at the end of each posting. Click on "Comments" at the end of a posting to add a comment that can be seen by everyone on the site. Your comments won't show up immediately since they will be moderated until I get a sense for whether the posts actually need moderation (With this marvelous community of people, I'm not expecting to need moderation. We're all kind and thoughtful people, right?) I encourage you to share your candid feedback, whether it's on a subject of one of my posts, a response to a question I may ask in a post, feedback about my creations, a question you'd like me to answer in a future post, or just to say hello and to let me know you've stopped by Noble Ramblings.
Mobile Posting
Since both my day job and my family commitments frequently keep me on the road, though certainly not to the extent of my previous position, I'm very excited that I can now post to my journal while I am traveling. If I've set this up correctly (fingers crossed!), I should be able to share some thoughts or news, or just say hello using my Blackberry from anywhere it receives a signal. This is an example of why it's so much fun being an artist *and* a geek! This posting is actually my first test posting on the road. If you're reading this now, it worked! Now if only I could find a way to maintain the rest of my website from my Blackberry, you'd never have to put up with stale content ever again!
Gratitude Progress?
How is your Gratitude list coming? Have any of you been able to list 100 things for which you are grateful? I'm going to start a new list so that I can play along with you. If anyone would like to share their list or the Top Ten from their list, please send me email at info@noblegemsjewelry.com If you'd prefer to share your list anonymously, simply let me know and I will remove your name. If the Comments feature of my Journal is working, you could even try posting your Top Ten as a comment.
My best wishes to each of you,
Mary-Elizabeth

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Life, Love and Hospitals....

Greetings and Salutations!

My, goodness. So much for my good intentions of keeping my blog current! Please accept my apologies as well as my thanks to all of you who have been checking Noble Ramblings for news, only to find the same old post collecting cyber-dust. And special thanks for the terrific supportives email during the last couple of months.

More and more, I turn to one of John Lennon's most famous lyrics, "Life is what happens while we're busy making other plans." Just when we think we've got things running smoothly, the unexpected crops up and our best laid plans are altered by this wonderful adventure we call Life. (Think of how boring life would be if we could plan everything.) I can assure you, Life has been happening here!!

I am incredibly fortunate to have been raised by remarkable parents who gave so much of themselves in order to provide us with a foundation for happy, fulfilling and worthwhile lives. For example, both Mum and Dad, blessed with the gift of humor, showed us that the ability to laugh, to laugh at ourselves and to laugh at life, would help us endure even the most difficult circumstances. Perhaps an even more precious gift they bestowed upon us was Gratitude, teaching us to fill our hearts with thanknfulness for all of the blessings in our lives, no matter how small. Those of you who know me have hopefully seen how hard I try to follow these principles, by seeking the good in all people and all things, by bringing as much joy and laughter as I can to people, and by appreciating all the wonders of my life.

Other sage words that help me keep perspective are attributed to none other than Mother Teresa, someone I greatly admire. "I know that God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish He didn't trust me so much."

I can also assure that not only is Life happening, but God must really, really, really trust my family! LOL To give you a sense of just how much, I'll share some of the "opportunities for growth" that have been entrusted to us since February of last year. Three generations of women -- my godmother (our family matriarch), my Mum and I -- collectively have undergone more than 12 major orthopedic and neurological surgeries since February 2005, have spent 37 months in rehabilitation and have probably funded the college education for at least 10 offspring of medical professionals.

I'm thrilled to be able to share with you that we are all doing splendidly. Exhausted? Yes. Stressed? Yes. Still a long way to go? Yes. But we are also overwhelmed with gratitude and can share with you hundreds if not thousands of examples of kindness and generosity and thoughtfulness shown to us. Not to mention all of the humorous episodes that went right along with it. We're still laughing and we're still counting all those blessings.

So, here I am, I'm back. I have survived. I have grown. I have laughed, cried, loved and lived. And boy does it feel good. Frankly, I hope I'm done with hospitals and doctors' offices for at least the next 50 years. It's much more fun spending my time creating Works of Art and Things of Beauty. I did try to create jewelry as often as circumstances allowed (I now have a fabulous mobile "studio"!) and I've been thinking that I ought to give silly names to the pieces I created during this period. How about "Waiting for the Doc" or "General Hospital Gems" or "Treasures from Trauma" or "Intensive Care Chainmaille". If you have any funny suggestions, please drop me a note at info@noblegemsjewelry.com (I always love hearing from you.)

I will try to get my latest pieces photographed and added to the Gallery within the next couple of weeks. (There I go again, making plans.... :) Do please send your thoughts!

Until the next post, I send you my thanks and best wishes. Create happiness, surprise someone with kindness and try to make a list of 100 items that fill your heart with gratitude.

My very best to each of you,
Mary-Elizabeth

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Noble Heritage

Greetings and Salutations! It's wonderful to see you back at Noble Gems.

I promised to share with you a little more background on Noble Gems, this fabulous adventure that has allowed me to share some of my creations with you.

Rocks-n-Gems
I have loved rocks and gems for as long as I can remember. One of my fondest memories of elementary school was our annual field trip to Herkimer Diamond Mines, where we were allowed to grab a hammer and chisel and spends hours banging rocks in the mines in search of the beautiful and inimitable "herkimers" -- double-terminated quartz crystals found mainly in
Herkimer County, New York. Imagine cracking open a rock and finding a vug (hollow space) full of naturally faceted quartz crystals! What a kick! When I first shared the experience with my son, then 7 and a devoted rock and gem collector, I was overjoyed to see him get bitten by the bug. We now make an annual trip to Herkimer Diamond Mines so that he can attend their summer "Rock and Gem Camp." But I digress.

My love of gems naturally led to an interest in jewelry, as did my love of arts and metalworking. (See, Dad? That liberal arts education wasn't a waste at all. ) It was intoxicating and dare I say addictive to discover that I could create beautiful jewelry from as little as a length of wire. It became my favorite stress-relief and pastime to make jewelry for my family and friends (and me too, of course!). And the more jewelry I made, the more people would encourage me to sell my creations. I'm a perfectionist, though, and wanted more experience before I contemplated selling, so I spent a few years exploring, experimenting and "finding my groove" -- and enjoying every single moment. Only when I finally felt my creations were ready for prime time, did I decide to sell them.

"A rose is a rose by any other name...."
Then came the fun question of what to name my business. All sorts of questions were running through my brain like a stream of consciousness: Should I use my name? Should I incorporate my location into the name? How do I convey the uniqueness and the quality of my jewelry in just a few words. Slowly, little puzzle pieces began to come together in my brain and I was about 90% convinced of a name when a random memory came to mind. One of my sweet Jewish friends had said to me once in an exaggerated Yiddish accent, "Vot? Eddlestone, Edelstein? Vot's the big deal?" In German, if you were to literally translate Edelstein, the first part, "Edel" would be "noble" and the second part, "Stein" would be "stone" ... hmm... noble stone .... gem!
This fit together nicely with the chainemaille that I had begun using as a central point in my work, something that stems from a time of chivalry and nobility. And when I think of noble, I think of quality, magnificence, elegance - all the qualities I strive to achieve with my jewelry creations. So, yes, in a way, I am using my name, but in a cleverly disguised way, which I think is cool!

Lastly, I wanted to honor my father, a remarkable, loving man who supported me in all my endeavors and who was described by all who knew him as a true gentleman, a noble man, and my mother, my dear sweet Mum who is rarer and more precious than any gem. To both of these remarkable people I owe so much. I lost my Dad to cancer before I could get my store
launched, but he is as much a part of it as my Mum who shares my love of art and who made for me my very first chainmaille bracelet and necklace many years ago. They are the noblest of gems in my life.

And so, Noble Gems & Jewelry came into being, as a little internet store and the occasional arts & crafts sale booth. But it's a dream come true never the less!

Stay well, share kindness and make it a great day!

All the best,
Mary-Elizabeth

Monday, February 20, 2006

Inaugural Journal Entry

Greetings Noble Visitors, Customers, and Friends!

It is wonderful to see you here at Noble Gems and I'm delighted that you took a few moments to stop by.

It's a ..... BLOG!
I have decided to join the trend and add a journal/blog to the Noble Gems website so that I'd have an opportunity and a venue to share with you more about my creations, my motivations and challenges, and a little something about me. I'll also answer the questions people frequently ask me in case you , too, are curious but too shy to ask.

Et tu?
I'd also like to get to know you better and hope that you will eagerly join the the fun and send me comments containing everything from feedback on my jewelry and website, links to fun websites, tips and tricks not just limited to jewelry and jewelry-making but for just about anything. I'd even love to add photos of you wearing your Noble Gems. (In case I don't get the feedback part working right away, you can always send me email at
aimee@noblegemsjewelry.com )

What's to be found here?
Here is also where you will find Specials, learn about new Charity Campaigns to raise funds for selected charities, and participate in some fun Contests and win Noble Gems jewelry.

How often?
I hope it will be brief, witty, fun and worth your time to read on a regular basis. I can't promise that I will be able to update it on a regular basis, but I will try to post whenever I am able to provide a few worthwhile words, thoughts or photos.

Why isn't Noble Gems advertised in all the hot fashion magazines?
Although I typically energetically jump into new challenges with both feet running at a high speed, I've made a decision to grow the dot.com side of NobleGems slowly an carefully. I truly love my "day job" as a software engineer and hope to continue that career for many years. I am planning to grow the web site and the web store at a pace that I can manage and still have the best fun doing it all. Art is not only my creative release, but my stress release as well and wouldn't it be silly if I let it become a source of stress? :) Sure, some days I spend as many hours in the studio after the sun goes down than I did in the office all day, but I'm loving ever minute both.

Gracias, Danke, Thank You!
Thank you again for visiting Noble Gems and for your support, which has come in many forms: invaluable moral support, helpful technical support, encouragement, and patience. And let us not forget those special people who have purchased Noble Gems for themselves or for gifts and who keep sending me wonderful referals so that I have the financial support to continue this marvelous venture. You are all quite dear to me and I am grateful for you.

In the next installment...
Where did the name "Noble Gems" come from?

Make it a great day!

All the best,

Mary-Elizabeth