Matariki

Matariki is the name the Native New Zealand People, Māori give to a cluster of stars also known as the Pleiades. Every winter the rising of the stars of Puaka (Puanga) and Matariki herald the end of the lunar year and the start of the next within the Māori World.

Traditionally Māori viewed the rising of Matariki as the time to farewell those who have passed in the previous year, celebrate the arrival of the New Year and prepare for the coming year in the custom of the local people. But it was also a happy event – crops had been harvested and seafood and birds had been collected. With plenty of food in the storehouses, Matariki was a time for singing, dancing and feasting.

Matariki literally means the ‘eyes of god’ (mata ariki) or ‘little eyes’ (mata riki). According to myth, when Ranginui, the sky father, and Papatūānuku, the earth mother, were separated by their children, the god of the winds, Tāwhirimātea, became so angry that he tore out his eyes and threw them into the heavens.
Matariki, or Māori New Year celebrations are very popular. It is a time for honouring the ‘New Zealand Thanksgiving’. A special feature of Matariki celebrations is the flying of kites – according to ancient custom they flutter close to the stars.

The stars have always been a large part of Māori life. Planting, hunting, harvesting, gathering and navigation were all guided by the stars. Over the past twenty years there has been a rejuvenation in these practices. Māori have turned back to traditional practices guided by the stars.

Star Stud Earrings

I would like to honour this age old tradition myself by telling you a little about our special pieces of unique New Zealand Jewellery in our range which are stylised on cosmic influences.

PE215/PE115 – Star Stud Earrings
JE215 Star Stud Earrings – Greenstone

The cold clear crisp winters nights here in New Zealand means it is the perfect time for star-gazing. Dark, clear skies; unique celestial features and otherworldly landscapes make stargazing in New Zealand a breathtakingly magical experience.

Star Stud Earrings PE215 Star Stud Earrings (Jade) JE215

In the heart of the South Island the sky is so clear and vast that millions of stars seem to appear right before your eyes.

Unique to the Mackenzie Region, the clear skies found in this part of the world are like nothing else in New Zealand. Very limited light pollution means the views of the night sky seem to stretch on as far as the eye can see.

In 2012, the 4300 square kilometre area was declared the Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, with light pollution strictly controlled in the area. It is the only one of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and one of only eight in the world. It has been labelled as one of the best stargazing sites on earth.

I have been lucky enough to visit this region and seeing this sky through a telescope was an experience unlike any other. Keen stargazers in this region see amazing constellations that can only be seen in the southern hemisphere, including the Southern Cross, to the Magellanic Clouds and the Milky Way
The absolute best place to observe the celestial fireworks of a meteor shower is Lake Tekapo in the South Island of New Zealand. This idyllic lake side town can boast one of the darkest and starriest night sky’s in the world. Tens of thousands of people flock here annually to see the southern stars and transient phenomena such as aurorae, meteor showers and the zodiacal light in all their pristine glory.
I urge you all to the time to look up, study the galaxies and stars, and feel connected to the awesome history of the universe.
My delicate wee Star Stud earrings always sparkle and shimmer like these stars when I wear them and remind me of the truly precious and unique experience I had star gazing in the Mackenzie region.

 

Changing of the seasons!

It is autumn here in New Zealand – heralded by the ever changing colours of the leaves on the trees and more especially here in Marlborough, on the grape vines. The annual harvest has been and gone, the vines have produced the best fruit they could before hibernating for the winter ready to do it all again in the next harvest season.

As I drive around our idyllic countryside I am reminded of the myriad of colours I see every day in our New Zealand Paua Shell Jewellery. Not quite the same colours as the autumn trees but every bit as beautiful.

I am taking changing of the seasons as an opportunity to share with you my most favourite products of our extensive New Zealand Jewellery range – which also happen to be some of our best selling items all over the globe so obviously my impeccable taste is mirrored by our customers!
And of course I can’t resist showing you the latest photo of my grandson playing amongst the autumn leaves in our local park.

Grandson New Zealand

PE488/PE388 – Leaf Earrings

The perfect set of earrings for this time of year the Leaf Earrings remind me of the falling leaves on the beautiful autumn trees here in Marlborough New Zealand. I have always thought of this time of year as particularly stunning in New Zealand as the trees shed their leaves in hues of gold, brown, red and yellow leaves in preparation for winter and the Leaf Earrings would be the perfect New Zealand Jewellery Souvenir to savour the memory of this season.

Leaf Earrings PE488

GP747/PO747 – Dragonfly Brooch
PE497/PE397 – Dragonfly Earrings
GP572/PO572 Dragonfly Pendant

The benefit of the cooler weather means I can show case my range of brooch pins, especially my dragonfly brooch. I love to wear this brooch with my favourite scarves or have it adorn my warm hats. With its colourful graceful wings it seems to be just about to fly away off my clothing and the colours change and shimmer when seen at different angles.
Oh and how could I forget our Dragonfly earrings and Pendant?? The dragonfly’s exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body, showing itself in different colours depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it. – Just as the Paua Shell wings on our dragonfly earrings change and shimmer when seen at different angles.

To match my exquisite brooch I pair it with our Dragonfly Earrings and Dragonfly Pendant. As a set they complement each other perfectly and every time I wear them I am reminded of the magical insect that inspired these elegant designs. Dragonflies are some of the most colourful insects around, and come in a variety of different colours just like our unique Paua Shell.

The dragonfly has an agile flight and its ability to move in all six different directions gives it a sense of power and poise. The best part is that the dragonfly does it with elegance and grace that can be compared to a veteran ballet dancer. It exhibits iridescence both on its wings as well as on its body, showing itself in different colours depending on the angle and polarization of light falling on it. – Just as the Paua Shell wings on our dragonfly jewellery change and shimmer when seen at different angles.

One of the most charming of flying insects, it is believed that the humble Dragonfly inspires spirituality and creativity they help us on our path of discovery and enlightenment. Reminding us that anything is possible. Having flown the earth for over 300 million years the Dragonfly symbolises our ability to overcome times of hardship, to take time to reconnect with our own strength courage and inspiration.

So if you are lucky enough to be visited by one of the 5,000 species of this insect, or you are drawn to purchase a Dragonfly Brooch, Dragonfly earrings or Dragonfly Pendant it may be a sign that it is time for you to stop and reflect on your own spirituality and inspiration.

Dragonfly Brooch Dragonfly Earrings PE497 Dragonfly Pendant GP572

GP716/PO716 – Butterfly Brooch – Large
GP749/PO749 – Butterfly Brooch – Small
GP811/PO811 – Butterfly Pendant
PE281/PE181 Butterfly Earrings

Just like my beloved dragonfly brooch, my butterfly brooch is just as captivating.

The butterfly reminds us of summer, freedom and happiness – nothing says this more than seeing a beautiful butterfly on a hot summer’s day fluttering carefree and effortlessly through the air. Wearing my beautiful butterfly Paua jewellery pieces gives me sense of these lazy hazy summer days. Especially important to remember when our cooler autumn days are upon us.

If you have ever stopped and watched a beautiful butterfly you will notice that they appear to dance as they flitter among the flowers. They remind us not to take things so seriously within our lives. These captivating insects awaken a sense of lightness and joy. They remind us to get up and move, for if you do not move, you cannot dance.
To me personally the butterfly symbolises transformation and joy. Its dance reflects the need for movement from where we are in our lives to our next phase of our journey. With their graceful agile flight they seem to urge us to approach life with grace and light-heartedness.

Butterflies also bring colour and joy with them. Just like our shimmering Paua Shell jewellery, butterflies come in a myriad of special and unique colours. Their bright vibrant techno colours show us the true beauty of nature and in turn the beauty of life if you live it to the fullest.

My Butterfly brooch, Butterfly pendant and Butterfly Earrings capture these qualities in a magical and unique way. The sleekness of the 22 carat gold or palladium plated jewellery panels give a lining to the iridescent colours of their delicate Paua Shell wings which shimmer and shine in the light like precious jewels when viewed at different angles.
The Butterfly range is another perfectly matched set of Paua Shell jewellery to wear on any occasion to remind me of the graceful fragile butterfly.

Butterfly Earrings PE281Butterfly Pendant GP811

GP791/PO791 – Peacock Brooch

Next on my ever expanding list of my favourite Paua Shell Jewellery is my Peacock Brooch – I have always thought of the unfolding of a Peacock’s tail feathers as being effortlessly beautiful and captivating – – as elegant as a ballet dancer telling a story of romance, sensuality and allure.

The peacock is a showy bird with its bright colours and beautiful tail feathers. The saying “proud as a peacock” certainly rings true as it struts around flashing those feathers to attract the females these majestic animals show off their exquisite plumage to all that are lucky enough to witness it. A sign that we too should embrace our true colours and approach life with the same confidence and pride.

The peacock loves to be noticed – he is gregarious and talkative – he sparkles and loves to be the centre of attention.
Peacock reminds us sometimes it’s totally okay to flaunt our stuff and show off our skills. This is particularly true in situations when we want to gain attention for our betterment. Peacock energy can remind us we are amazing, and we should fan out our assets to land the opportunities we are seeking.

To sight the vibrant iridescent blues and greens of a Peacock’s tail feathers is truly a beauty to behold.
We have replicated this natural beauty on our elegant Peacock brooch with a large etched Paua Shell panel of almost the exact same vibrant colours. The 22 carat gold or palladium plated panel frames the iridescent myriad of colours of the peacock feathers perfectly and the body of the peacock in the same precious metals stands with pride in the middle of the piece, showing the feathers behind as a perfect replica of this majestic bird.

Whenever I wear it I admit that it does instil a wonderful feeling of pride in our Paua Shell Jewellery range and of the small part I play in creating and selling the unique and special hand crafted quality Paua Shell jewellery to the world.

 

Click to view Paua 22ct Gold Plate