Archive for the ‘Animal Charms’ Category

Black Cat Charms And Pendants

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

With Halloween around the corner, I thought this would be the perfect time for a post featuring black cat jewelry. I have to confess that I’m not a huge fan of Halloween myself; I actually think it’s kind of creepy (I know that’s the point, but I still don’t like it). But I do love cats!

Cats as symbols have a long history, as long as civilization itself. Through the ages, there have been many powers attributed to them – they have been considered good and evil, gods and witches, healers and bringers of disease, and some of the things that were done to them are too horrible to even think about (Google “France cat burning” and you’ll see). Black cats in particular were and are viewed with suspicion – we all know that a black cat crossing the street in front of you is supposed to be bad luck, and even to this day, rescued black cats are only half as likely to find new homes as their white, calico, gray, etc. siblings.

But, fortunately, they have also been considered good luck. In ancient Egypt, the cat Bastet was a goddess of love and protection; killing a cat was a crime that brought a death sentence, and many cats were mummified and buried in coffins, just like humans (archeologists found a cemetery in the city of Bubastis with over 300,000 cats in it!).

In England they were thought to bring fisherman back safely from the sea, and sailors believed that a black cat on the ship kept storms at bay. Receiving a black cat as a wedding gift is good luck, and there is an English proverb that goes “Whenever the cat of the house is black, the lasses of lovers will have no lack”.

And in Japan, Maneki Nekos, very popular cat figurines that come in all kinds of materials, shapes, sizes and colors (including black), are believed to bring good luck and protection to their owner.

As I mentioned above, I personally love cats, and certainly think they are good luck, whether black or any other color. And their grace, beauty and air of mystique have always made them perfect models for artists of all disciplines, including jewelry. Here are some of my favorite recent cat charm and pendant finds:

1. Porcelain Maneki Neko good luck charm from Dandan Designs

2. Black polymer clay kitten with Czech crystal rhinestone eyes by Gabiscuits

3. Scrimshaw (pre-ban) ivory pendant with a hand-etched cat portrait by Linda Layden

4.Sterling silver and crystal two cats charmfrom AME Jewelers

5. Antique Czech glass cat charm with rhinestone eyes and a brass collar from Thistle & Bess

6. Playing black cat charm necklace from Trost Jewelry

7. Black cat resin charm necklace by Jessica Meyer of Treasured Charms

8. Enamelled metal playing cat charm from N2

9. Black enamelled sterling silver clip-on cat charm with a freshwater pearl from Thomas Sabo

10. Vintage (1960s) Wells sterling silver and black enamel cat charm from Princess Charming (Ruby Lane)


Guinea Pig Charms And Pendants

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

In honor of March being Adopt a Guinea Pig Month, I thought we’d do a post featuring Guinea Pig charms and pendants. I love guinea pigs, they are so adorable, friendly and personable. It’s so cute how they start “talking” to you (more like squeaky happy little guinea pig sounds) as soon as you walk into the room, and how they sometimes jump straight up in the air (“popcorning”) when they are excited or happy.

Guinea Pigs, whose scientific name is Cavia porcellus, (they are often called Cavies) originated in South America where they were domesticated around 5000 BC already (although not so much for their cuteness but as a food source). The Peruvian Moche people worshipped them and often depicted them in their art, and statues of Guinea Pigs dating back to 500 BC to 500 AD have been found in both Peru and Ecuador.

They made their way to Europe in the 1500s where they became popular pets (Queen Elizabeth 1 of England was very fond of them). Today, they are popular all over the world, and it is estimated that there are around 3.5 million guinea pigs kept as pets in the US.

Unfortunately, many of those pets end up in shelters for a variety of reasons – changing family and living situations, unplanned guinea pig babies, lack of time, failure to understand the extent of the commitment of owning a pet before getting one, etc. It is such a shame, because guinea pigs really are wonderful pets, quite low-maintenance, and so much fun.

Typical guinea pig life expectancy is around five to seven years (although they can live longer) and they are very social animals (they live in large herds in the wild), so if you consider adopting, please don’t get just one, your cavy needs a friend.

They will need a large cage with a solid floor to live in, toys to play with and a house to hide in, bedding to sleep on, and lots of time to exercise outside of the cage. Their diet should consist of lots of top quality hay, pellets (especially made for guinea pigs) and a variety of vegetables, especially those that contain a lot of vitamin C – guinea pigs do not produce vitamin C on their own, but they need it for their survival. The ASPCA has lots of great information about caring for guinea pigs, and a downloadable pdf with care tips.

If you are interested in adopting (or fostering) guinea pigs, contact your local shelter or go to Petfinder.com and type in your zip code to search for available pets in your area.

Collage by Charms Guide

1. Sterling silver necklace with a tiny handmade guinea pig charm by California artist Sue of Lulu Bug Jewelry

2. 3D charms in 14k yellow or white gold from Esquivel & Fees

3. Sterling silver necklace with a trigger clasp pendant by Graham Gillett. From The Winking Cavy

4. Sterling silver charm bead (fits most European-style bracelets) by Ohm

5. Sterling silver clip-on charm from Charms by Carol

6. Custom-made (from your photo), hand painted Polymer clay charm by Michigan artist Jen of Blue Desert Rose

7. Pendant with a Beatrix Potter illustration of gardening guinea pigs by Funck Love Designs

8. Fused glass pendant with a tiny painting of a guinea pig. Handmade by Canadian artist Fanny Dallaire

9. Stainless steel Italian charm bracelet link by Clearly Charming

10. Sterling silver necklace with a hand detailed guinea pig pendant by Rochester-based artist and metalsmith Mary Walke

All content: © Charms Guide