Love, Chains and Other Stuff

photo by Gio Petrucci

I use a lot of hearts in my jewellery designs. They’re a symbol of life and love and other good things.  Consequently, I’m always on the hunt for the unusual in hearts and this one with all of its sparkle blinded me (just as love has been known to do) the instant I saw it. I had to have it, especially as it came with what I think of as a set of ‘Cupid’s Arrow’ keys. To achieve a look that is edgy and very Toronto, I decided to showcase the heart and keys as pendants on a black wooden chain with some silver-coloured metal hardware.

A young woman who recently saw this necklace giggled because of the juxtaposition of the symbol of love, and the chain which, in her view, symbolizes the loss of freedom and being held against one’s will. Here’s a view of the whole piece.

photo by Gio Petrucci

Here’s another piece I designed, this time using resin chain and a Jasper stone heart. The resin chain is in colours of rust and brown and the heart is Brecciated Jasper stone with gorgeous colours that complement the chain – brick red, cream, gold, black, brown, grey and cream.

photo by Gio Petrucci


The gold-coloured hardware that holds the heart pendant and clasps the piece picks up on the gold in the heart.

The name jasper means “spotted or speckled stone”. It comes in so many colours and so many varieties with names like ocean jasper, picture jasper, picasso jasper, autumn jasper, banded jasper and so on. Picture jasper is the stone with markings that look like landscape paintings. This stone is mined in Australia, US, Canada, India, Brazil and Russia.

photo by Gio Petrucci

Brecciated Jasper is considered a stone of strength and vitality, can be used to bring mental clarity and focus, and is a good stone for removing negativity from one’s space. It is also helpful for developing creativity and finding outlets for expressing this creativity.

The Seven Sisters

I’ve mentioned my sisters before – four older and two younger than me. Here they are in the picture below which was taken in front of my parents’ house at Whitefish River First Nation – also known as Birch Island.

This photo was taken on the occasion of my parents 50th wedding anniversary. I’m third from the left. My parents were married for 65 years less a month when my dad passed away. Theirs was an arranged marriage – arranged by their mothers. My mom used to talk about “the two old ladies who got together and decided your dad and I would get married”. My parents had no choice in the matter – my mom was fifteen and my dad was twenty-one.

When I had reached a certain age and was still single, my dad used to threaten that he’d have to find a husband for me. I knew – or at least I hoped, that he was joking. He’d have a twinkle in his eye, his mouth would purse up and his whole face would light up. My dad was quite a trickster. I’d look at him, he’d look at me, then he’d give in to the smile that would soon turn into an outright laugh. Then he’d turn serious and he’d talk about the commitment, respect and communication needed to make a marriage work. My parents had twelve children – eleven survived – and I’ve lost count of the number of grandchildren and great grandchildren. I know they had one great-great grandchild.

I have four brothers and lest they feel left out, here they are with my mom on the occasion of a family reunion.

And this photo below was taken by a friend from England who travelled to northern Ontario including to my community. The photo was taken at the foot of Dreamer’s Rock, a calm and serene place unless the annual Pow Wow is going on.

The Pow Wow happens the third weekend in August, and Fancy Dancers, Shawl Dancers and Grass Dancers in their brilliant regalia bring so much colour to the area as they dance to the beat of the drum, what we call the heartbeat of our nation.  The smells of frying fish, Indian Tacos, fry bread and fresh-baked pies tempt the palate. And it’s hard to resist the gorgeous hand-made quilts, beadwork and leather goods. While it’s too late to attend the Pow Wow this year, mark it in your calendar for next year. Everyone’s welcome to this wonderful cultural experience!


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