5 reasons to adopt a shelter dog

Many people want to have a dog in their lives. I understand, because they are the most amazing animals, full of love, and they love to be by your side! Many people are swayed by cute puppies, and don't really understand the reality of having a puppy in their home. That's why I am sharing with you my 5 reasons to adopt a shelter dog, and why I prefer a shelter dog over a puppy at a pet shop or breeder.

1. When you buy a puppy, one shelter dog dies

It sounds harsh, but that is the reality. The most amazing dogs are killed or left behind in cold shelters because people don't choose them but instead buy puppies from breeders, or even worse, from people who just want to make money and import the dogs from far away not caring about the health and wellbeing of the mother and puppies. If you buy a puppy (because he or she is "sooo cute"!) you are contributing to the problem and you keep unhealthy practices going. Dogs are being killed everywhere - even in my hometown of NYC - EVERY DAY. I believe that if breeders truly love their breed, they would rescue dogs of their breed, and re-home them (for a fee) until all of the dogs of their breed are out of the shelter, before they breed even more puppies that will add to the problem. 

2. You know exactly what you get when you adopt a shelter dog

A dog in a shelter shows you exactly who he or she is. You can meet them more than once, walk them, play with them to see if your characters match. The character of an older shelter dog has set, and he or she has been assessed by the shelter staff. Even though dogs until very old age can learn new tricks and rules, it is nice to know what your dog prefers or not. When you adopt a shelter dog, you know if the dog is a barker, will chew on your stuff, can be home alone, likes to run or has medical issues. A lot of inbred puppies these days are born with incredible complex medical issues, which most of them don't show up in the first year of the puppy. It's something many people forget. (If you can insure your dog for health costs, that is a good option) When you adopt from a shelter, you know if the dog is housebroken or not. (most of them are in fact!) All these things give you so much more information on how your life is going to be with your dog, than when you buy a puppy whose character and behavior is still a total mystery. It could go well (which all new puppy owners hope for, but is only possible with lots of correct and daily training) or totally wrong giving you a hard time and maybe even forcing you to re-home your dog, which will give you and your dog much heartbreak. It would also result in more dumped dogs in the shelters because they end up not matching the envisioned lifestyle of the owner. Be smart: Adopt a dog that matches your life! 

3. A shelter dog is less expensive to purchase than a purebred puppy

Adopting a shelter dog is very cheap! While a puppy with a breeder will set you back anywhere between 500 and 10.000 dollars, a rescued dog will only cost you between 100 and 500 dollars (senior dogs are much cheaper, and sometimes even for free). You also know if the dog has expensive medical issues, or has had a fairly good life so far and not too expensive in upkeep. For your financial situation is good to know what you are getting yourself into!

4. A rescued shelter dog is so thankful

A shelter dog has been through a rough time, and feel so happy to be with you in a safe home! They show you their thankfulness in almost human like affection. And a rescued shelter dog is just as cute as a puppy... maybe even cuter! No wonder the hashtag #rescuedogsrock and #shelterdogsarethebest are my favorite tags!

5. You become a shelter dog rescue hero 

When you do the right thing for yourself, for your community, and especially for the shleter dog, the feeling you get from that, is much more rewarding than that cute puppy. Everybody can buy a puppy, but not everyone can rescue a dog. It's a much more special achievement.This of course counts for adopting any animal: Cats, rabbits, horses you name it! And when your rescue a shelter dog we will salute you!

So rescue your four-legged friend from a shelter near you. And if you don't want to make a longterm commitment or want to have a trial period, you can always become a Foster Parent. Fostering saves many dogs' lives.

We loved our shelter senior dog Vito so much, he was the best. He passed away after a short illness because of cancer, 3 years after we adopted him as a senior dog from a shelter. Those were the best 3 years! We saved him, but he definitely saved us too. That's what shelter dogs do, they have a certain magic to them. Our current dog Bane was also a shelter dog from Animal Haven in NYC.. he chose us! and he has been with us for more than 3 years already. We feel blessed that we could do something so easy, with such a big impact

 

 


Organice yor Documents

Organize Your documents

Nothing is worse than losing all of your important information! Like what happened a few times in my life: My computer crashed. It is not only that I cannot regularly update this website when it happens, but also, all my important information is gone if I don't take the right precautions and "organice" my documents and paperwork.

What can you do to Organice your Documents?

  • You can get an external hard drive, which is a good option, but those can crash too... What I found is the best solution, is to save documents that I need in the future, or that I am working on, online!
  • Google documents is a great way to online work on documents, order them, and save them. Also, you can invite people to read the documents, and you can also decide who can work on them or not! There are many other, virtual places where you can save your information, like Dropbox.
  • Share documents and emails with loved ones so we all know what's going on. Like Facebook saves your friends, thoughts, pictures and words, Flickr saves your pictures, you can basically save anything! ( and have the world see it if you decide too!)
  • You can share documents and large files with Wetransfer.

Online you can find more places that are suitable for every bit of information you like to be saved, secretly or for everyone to see. I still love the old-fashioned handwritten documents though, nothing beats real paper documents in my opinion.

As you can see it has become so easy to organize your documents!

Love, Lonneke


CACAO VANILLA HALVA

Here's a little idea for you to get more cacao into your day as well as more calcium: Cacao Vanilla Halva!

About sesame

Sesame halva has long been hailed a beauty food in many European wellness clinics & for good reason! Lots of good fats, vitamins & minerals & so delicious & easy to make.

In my book I like to make it a little less traditional by topping it all up with the extra antioxidants & chocolatey goodness of raw cacao.

READ MORE: Model Chocolate book by Abigail

How to make a halva

To make halva, simply whiz raw sesame seeds in a coffee grinder or blender, placing into a bowl, add a little pure vanilla & raw honey to bind it into a sticky mass, not too much or it will be too sweet. Then simply halve the mixture & add raw cacao powder & a little maple syrup to one part. Layer the vanilla into a sealable glass dish & top it with the raw chocolate halva. DONE! An easy snack you can share with a friend & a pot of tea, or a satisfying raw dessert after a yummy green salad. I love it & it works wonders on my skin!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CACAO VANILLA HALVA
An easy snack you can share with a friend & a pot of tea, or a satisfying raw dessert after a yummy green salad. I love it & it works wonders on my skin!

Author:
Cuisine: vegan
Recipe type: dessert
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • sesame seeds
  • a little pure vanilla
  • raw honey (not too much)
  • raw cacao powder
  • a little maple syrup

Instructions
  1. To make halva, simply whiz raw sesame seeds in a coffee grinder or blender.
  2. placing mixture into a bowl.
  3. add a little pure vanilla & raw honey to bind it into a sticky mass, not too much or it will be too sweet. Then simply halve the mixture & add raw cacao powder & a little maple syrup to one part.
  4. Layer the vanilla part into a sealable glass dish & top it with the raw chocolate halva.
  5. DONE!

LOVE 7 CHOCOLATE XX ABIGAIL

First published by Abigail O'Neill on organiceyourlife.com on June 24th 2012, updated in 2020


Give a Tree

We love to give inspirations for gifts to your loved ones, and this is a great one!

Give a Tree

A fun gift, to give and to get is a tree. So why don't you give a tree?

You don't have to go to a florist, instead you go online and buy a tree or certificate at one of the many websites of organizations that plant trees, all over the world.

READ MORE: My top 10 charities to give to this year

These initiatives plant trees, for the environment. Young trees absorb CO2 and give back oxygen.So you do something good for the environment! Not only that, a tree has been the symbol of a new life for ages.So think about a tree next time you need to give a present to someone!

give a tree

Here are a few links I found online where you can adopt or give a tree to someone:

http://www.co2less.org/en/public/HowGiveTree.aspx

www.arborday.org

www.lovetrees.ca

Love, Lonneke

First published on August 28th 2013, updated in 2019


Drying laundry in an eco-friendly way

When I do my laundry, I use a dryer for towels, but most of my clothes I let dry on a rack inside my home, or I dry them outside, with nature helping me ( If the weather is good of course).

Drying your laundry in an environmentally friendly way

About 6% of annual total electricity use in a family home seems to come from drying clothes with a dryer. As the clothing dryer takes a lot of electricity each time you use it, it is the best choice for the environment to dry it with help of the Sun and wind. I like a clothing dryer like this one below (click on image), and of course you can also dry your laundry inside your home.

Besides that, the laundry dried this way stays better, longer. Yes a dryer makes the clothes feel softer, but it actually weakens the fabric ( the lint is pieces of fabric out of your clothes) And drying it outside doesn't do that. The Sun also helps clear up stains, and makes whites look whiter. (this of course if you live in an area with little air pollution).

I hang my shirts on a clothing hanger to dry.

It is good to think about things you do at home every day, and find ways to keep your clothing in shape longer, and saving money as well!

Love, Lonneke


Proud to be Gay

Joey Holthaus has been a singer in a boy band called "All of Us" for many years. Today he works as an illustrator and fashion consultant in the Netherlands. He is sharing his experiences as an openly gay man living in the Netherlands with Organice Your Life®.

... "Hey, dirty F*GG#T!"... Damn! I just did my best to look like a cool dude today. I'm wearing my baggy trousers, old school sneakers, big hoodie, Diesel cap and it's all in traditional masculine colors. Thought I looked like a straight guy, but guess I was wrong. When I look up I see some kids laughing at me, some are giving me the finger. Grrrrrr. Just another bunch of kids who think they have the right to call me dirty.

Strange. Strange because I'm never ever been a dirty boy (well, not in that way). I take a shower every morning, wash my hair, put on my Aussiebum's (for the straight guys & girls: it's the Bjørn Borg for gay people) & some new fresh socks, and as a final touch my everyday (Malin + Goetz) fragrance. Why? Because I can't stand dirty stuff. I gag when I smell sweat, mold and unpleasant odors I can't quite place have to disappear as soon as possible. I've heard too many dirty stories, told by my best friends, even though they know I can't stand them (so I run to the bathroom to throw up). I visualize every little thing. So funny, but not for me...

Well, I know that the kids are referring to that other 'dirty' something. You know, how gay people have sex. How they do it. Probably some of those kids also do it with their girlfriends, lovers, or maybe each other? But when gay people do it, they think it's more disgusting. That's why they call us dirty. And say f*gg#t. Right in your face.

I know that it's in fashion for straight people to have a*** intercourse. It's not a gay thing anymore, doing it "the Greek way". When I'm listening to all the many sex stories of my female friends (about their relationships) I know it's true, and they do like it (and quite surprising, some straight men too, if you know what I mean..)

Okay, back to the kids. I'm so surprised they outed me. When you look at all the straight men these days, I can't see a difference in style with the fashionable gay men of a few years ago. Famous metro men (like über metro David Beckham) set the trend, and half of the straight young men followed. It was hot to look good and fashionable for a straight guy. Before David, gay people created the most wanted styles in fashion. Now I can't spot the difference anymore. For me, a normal gay guy, it became very difficult to trust my "gaydar". I thought I had one, but these days I think everybody looks gay. Think my gaydar is really out of order...

Don’t get me wrong, I like to “dress up” for the nights, but my "Yoohooo... look at me, I'm gay" look lies far behind me right now.

I remember my first year in 1996 as a fashion student, when I transformed from a little young boy to a self-assured boy with waaay too much make up on my face. One of my classmates (and still my BFF) looked like the inspiration for Lady Gaga's looks nowadays (but in a so much better and creative way). He was the one who supported me to polish my nails. First I let them grow and then I polished them all black (how gothic). Then I used all kinds of colours and finally I was drawing all kind of little creations on my nails. How creative! My signature eyebrows before my first year Fashion Design looked like I was Bert's cousin (Sesame Street). An ugly unibrow.

During this first year I discovered the magic of a tweezer! First I pulled out a few hairs, then a little bit more, and then... Oi. I looked like I drew two stripes above my eyes. Yikes.

I also put too much make up on my face to cover up the rings underneath my eyes and pimples, and I've made my eyebrows more colourful with a black eyeliner. On top of that you must know that it was very hot to be a fan of the SPICE GIRLS (well that is, if you were a four-to-twelve year old girl, or a screaming young gay like me and my BFF), so imagine what we looked like. Dressed in shirts that were too small, low bootcut jeans,  high (20cm) plateau shoes and blond spikey hair (aaaargh!!!) I was clubbing in Arnhem's gay club Entre Nous every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Like every night we waited (after whining for a long time) till the DJ played our favorite song: "SPICE UP YOUR LIFE"! Shake it, shake it, shake it... ENCORE!

Okay, maybe I looked like a drag queen, but at that time (1996!) I had never been bullied openly on the streets. No one had ever called me "dirty F*GG#T", no matter how flamboyant my outfit was. It’s so sad that the times have changed.

READ MORE: Inspired by MADONNA: Regret is a waste of time by Joey Holthaus

May 2012: On the cover of Dutch magazine "L'Homo" you can see two straight famous Dutch male actors kissing each other, with their tongue. The magazine is telling us that you don't have to be ashamed when you kiss another guy.

                 * Cover Dutch gay magazine "L'Homo" 2012 *

This cover made headlines in the Netherlands. In 2012! Why? Just because of that kiss. Even though the Netherlands seems very accepting of homosexuality to the outside world, in fact gays get bullied here everyday when they walk hand in hand. Some gays get beat up on the streets when they come out of a club. When you kiss your boyfriend, EVERYBODY is watching you. Like you're an attraction at a carnaval.

That’s why "L'Homo" magazine had to make that cover. Those covers HAVE to make headlines. We HAVE to talk about it. We have to get used to it, because most of the people are sadly not.

I’m so proud of president Obama when he told the whole world that same-sex couples should be able to get married. BAM! Thank u Mr. Obama. We (the gay people) just need that kind of support.

So, how can I support myself and others gays? How can I tell the world that I’m an openly gay man for more than 18 years, and that I'm proud of it? That I love the way I'm living my life, and that I'm not ashamed for being gay? I think this self-made picture of me and my ex-husband says enough!

 

I tweeted this picture to the magazine L'Homo, and they started a contest: Share your kiss & win! .

I am glad you all can see I'm gay. Looks like I haven't change a bit since 1996. Minus my nail polish, but plus spicing up (& organicing!) my happy life.

Be proud. Be yourself.

 

X Joey

Follow my work for Haus of Joey!

First published on May 13th 2012, updated in 2019

 


5 tips to stay warm!

In most areas in the World it is very cold right now! How do you stay warm during Fall and Winter just like my dog Bane. I have a few tips:

Bane in Washington Square Park by Fairest Photo

5 tips to stay warm in the Winter

  1. Layer your clothes. 1 shirt and 1 thin sweater on top of each other will be warmer than 1 super thick sweater! This as the air gets in between the 2 layers and keeps you warmer. Make sure you bring your hat, scarf and gloves everywhere you go.
  2. Don't go outside right after taking a shower. You will feel warmer right after the shower, but your pores are open, and maybe your hair is still wet, so when you go outside right away, you get (a) cold faster!
  3. If you are cold a smart tip from a model: use your blowdryer to warm up your clothes before you put them on! You can also do this with your coat before you go outside. Plus put your shoes next to the heater, they will warm up.
  4. Working out will make your body and blood move, and therefore all blood will be circulated better to all your extremities, and you will be less cold!
  5. Bring a large scarf or blanket everywhere you go, so when you are cold you can wrap it all around yourself! Enjoy the cold days!

READ MORE: 5 tips how to avoid catching a cold

Love, Lonneke

 


Savory Seasoning

These delicious cheesy savory seasoning mix sprinkles are great on just about anything. From soups to tomato on toasted wholegrain bread to salads! SOO YUM. I've just made a delicious organic spinach/goats cheese/potato/portabello mushroom bake for the family which I'm topping with my Savoury Sprinkles for extra delish & nutrients too!! :)

 

Savory Seasoning Sprinkles
Savory Seasoning Sprinkles Recipe Type : seasoning mix Cuisine: vegan Author: Lonneke Engel A cheesy savory seasoning mix to add to many recipes

Author:
Cuisine: vegan
Recipe type: seasoning mix
Serves: 4

Prep time: 
Total time: 

Ingredients
  • 1 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon himalayan salt
  • 1 teaspoon chives, dried
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary leaves, dried (optional may use oregano)
  • 1 tablespoon savoury yeast flakes
  • ½ teaspoon tumeric, ground (optional)

Instructions
  1. TOAST sesame seeds lightly in a frypan without oil, stirring constantly until a subtle golden brown. Cool. Place seeds & all other ingredients into a blender (or coffee grinder)
  2. Dry blend on high until fine.
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge until needed.
  4. Keeps for ages!

How to serve

Serve as mentioned or try over steamed or stir-fried vegetables or sprinkled over whole baked sweet potatoes, slit open,  & stuffed with greens such as rocket & finely chopped parsley & lashings of my  Tasty Hempy Dressing! YUMMMM!

LOVE & chocolate xxx Abigail

PS. To make these sprinkles 100% RAW simply soak sesame seeds to activate 4hrs & drain. Dehydrate them until completely dry & continue with recipe! My fave.

First published on organiceyourlife.com by Abigail O'Neill on April 13th 2012, updated in 2020.


Behind the Orca Smile

I would like to share with you the following story that is close to my heart.

Orca Tilikum and SeaWorld Orlando

In 2010, a veteran orca (killer whale) senior trainer was killed at a SeaWorld park in Orlando. Dawn Brancheau was killed by the largest male orca in captivity, Tilikum. Tilikum, for the past decades, has had an army of fans. Being a magnificent orca whale, he has been mesmerizing people young and old ever since his move to SeaWorld Orlando in 1992 (he was at Sealand of the Pacific – now closed – prior to that). However, darker truths are starting to emerge revealing the more obscure side of the captive whale and dolphin industry. For those of you who have seen The Cove, captivity is another facet of what happens to whales and dolphins caught, in this case, for the art of entertainment.

Changing the lives of the orcas kept in captivity

On April 25, 2011,  an incredibly important hearing took place between SeaWorld and OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) which helped change the laws and regulations governing captivity forever.

Updates

UPDATE 2013: The documentary Blackfish was released about Tilikum:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLOeH-Oq_1Y

UPDATE 2016:

In 2016 the Orca Welfare and Safety Act was signed into law.

In the battle with Seaworld, the Orcas have won.

UPDATE 2017: Tilikum died after a bacterial lung infection.

UPDATE 2019: A former SeaWorld trainer blows the whistle on the terrible lives of Killer whales in captivity

It is said that Seaworld is going to end their shows with orcas at the end of 2019

I have been researching and documenting whales and dolphins in captivity for the past 19 years, and hope they will all one day live a good life again!

I currently support the Whale Sanctuary Project:

We're building a model sanctuary where captive whales and dolphins can be rehabilitated and live permanently in their natural environment. - Whale Sanctuary Project

On behalf of all orcas, thank you so much for your support!

Anne-Marie

First published on February 14th 2011, updated with new information in 2019


Easy Clean with soap nuts

Did you know you can wash your laundry with soap nuts?

My introduction to soap nuts

WOW. Now I really know nature has it all. I'd never heard of these clean as a whistle little munchkins until I attended a soapmaking class. The information shared was AMAZING. Afterwards, people lined up for ages to purchase soap setting boxes, natural ingredients to make soap with...AND the best thing ever! SOAPNUTS. They look delicious don't they, & yet they are, SOAP?? Yes. Soap, in a nutshell! I'm still wowed out that these grow on trees (actually they are soap berries or Sapindus mukorossi) Anyway... All you do is boil 6 of them up in half a liter of water for 20 minutes & you have your very own, liquid soap. Strain before filling a pump 'foaming' bottle & keep near the kitchen sink, bathroom vanity or laundry to wash your hands without chemicals!


Isn't that simply 100% genius from mother earth? I think I'll add a little essential oil to mine...& apparently, you need to use it up within two weeks. That's because there's no nasties!!!! No evil preservatives. MMMM I like this soap.

Here is a little video for you to get an idea what you can do with soap nuts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q315kdYxr9M

More information on Soap Nuts you can read HERE

Or buy soap nuts HERE

Xoxo

Abigail O'Neill


The Cove movie

A few years ago I watched this movie that was an eye opener for me. That movie was The Cove (2009). If you haven't seen it, you should watch it, as the topic is still current today.

The cast of The Cove

I got interested in the movie, because I saw 2 familiar names on the film poster: Mandy-Rae Cruickshank and Kirk Krack. Mandy Rae is a World famous, World record free diver, who also happened to be the one who taught me how to dive. (She was my teacher for my PADI certification which I got in the Cayman Islands).

Kirk and her worked with David Blaine in helping him to hold his breath for his record he did on Oprah. And in 2009, together with a team of activists, they went to Japan, to unveil the truth of what really happens in Taiji"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olKlc4Bv6CA

The Cove storyline

The story starts with Ric O'Barry, who was the trainer of famous dolphin Flipper. For years he didn't think much about it, and enjoyed training dolphins. Then he started to realize that keeping dolphins in captivity is wrong. "Dolphins are very smart, and are very aware of what is happening to them. Some become depressed or even commit suicide when kept in captivity" He says. But the damage had been done: Everybody in the World loved Flipper, and zoo's and aquariums worldwide wanted one of their own. The capturing and trading of dolphins becomes big business.

Dolphins in captivity

During the 35 years after his realization, Ric has been trying to fight people to capture Dolphins in nature, and selling them for enormous amounts to different places in the world. If that dolphin was lucky I must say, because the ones that aren't lucky, are killed. The killings they show in the movie are terrible to watch....

Besides that the killings are bad, the flesh of dolphins also contains many, many times more the allowed amount of Mercury, and is therefore toxic for people to eat. So eating it, is not a great idea either.

Taiji Japan

One place Ric says where that happens, and in his opinion is the core of the problem, is The Cove. The Cove is in a little place called Taiji in Japan, and is a small bay, in which dolphins are caught by using sounds to throw off their sonar system. The good ones are sold for about 150.000 dollars, the "bad" ones, all of them, are killed for about 600 dollars per dolphin.

Together with a team of camera crew, free divers (Mandy-Rae and Kirk) and other activists, they try to uncover the truth of the Cove. That is not easy because nobody that is involved, wants anybody to know about this place. Let alone film there.

Bringing awareness of the killing of the dolphins in Taiji Japan

The movie, which was directed by Louie Psihoyos, shows the struggle of Ric O'Barry to bring these dolphins killings to the attention of people and governments, and make it stop. Plus it shows the struggle of the team of activists to capture everything on film. It is about the dolphins of Taiji, but also about sea life all over the World.

READ MORE: Behind the orca's smile by Anne-Marie van Dijk

10 years after the Cove

I think the Cove is a very important movie to see, and I am sure it will move you just like it moved me. Since I watched it, I look different at Zoo's like Sea World. Ric O'Barry, his the Dolphin Project and Oceanic Preservation Society are continuing the good work against the practices that have been exposed in the movie. more than 50 million people saw the movie, and no child seems to be eating the toxic dolphin meat anymore. But the barbaric killings are still happening and so I thought it is important to spread the Word about this important movie.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KRD8e20fBo

 

www.thecovemovie.com

Follow RIc O'Barry's the Dolphin Project

Love, Lonneke

First published on August 2009, updated in 2019

Cover Photo by NOAA on Unsplash


Cat's Healing Jewelry by Carolina Fontaneti

There are these moments in life when you discover a passion that is so strong it really overcomes you... that the only way is to totally immerse in that feeling.

My love for jewelry

I was a very loved child by my grandparents, I had the best time growing up with them by my side - it was just pure happiness. They have taught me a lot from their life experiences. But the kindness my Grandma had with everything around her,  always amazed me. She used to put her heart into everything she did and I learned not to take that for granted. We should value it. So when I've decided I wanted to create my own jewelry line, her love and vision was the starting point of all.

FullSizeRender
My two 'Muses" Grandma and Ninis Cat

I took her old jewelry box looking for vintage treasures that used to strike me as a little girl. I saw my grandma's beauty in those ornaments as she was a proud Leo Woman but her vanity was pure and innocent. Of course I've learned from that- cause I believe there is a bigger reason for women to feel beautiful wearing all types of ornaments: We are empowered by them in many ways. And that's something I really believe in: to be empowered and to be able to self-healed.

Craftmanship

I simply love working with my hands : writing, drawing and crafting. My dear friend and OYL founder Lonneke Engel asked me a few questions that I will answer to all of you in the QA below:

IMG_7389 2
The art is a drawing made by my mother. The caligraphy for the name is a courtesy of my father. I thought of having their touch would be special.

Q & A with Carolina Fontaneti on her jewelry

OYL: Why and when did you decide to start to make jewelry?

First of all I started thinking that crafting my own jewelry would be a great idea because I have the smallest wrists in the world and no bracelet ever really fit me... and I'm crazy for bracelets. So about 2 years ago, I started putting a lot of thought to this idea. It was something I really could work with my creativity and my love for vintage amazing finds.

OYL: What or who is your inspiration?

I have travelled to many amazing places working as a model. So I've collected little treasures such as shells, rocks, pieces of wood, indians ornaments. I use them alongside with my grandma's old jewelry pieces ( the ones that broke, feel apart, or still intact) and I transform that into new pieces mixing with also brand new components. Nature and natural elements definitely are big inspirations but I also have a 'live' one that is my dearest, the one I dedicated a whole line for it, called " Catnecklace" : my cat Ninis. My closest friends were also my first breath of inspiration, since I've made my first pieces thinking of them to give it as a present, representing my belief of 'give it to receive it'.

Lonneke and I wearing our one of a kind necklaces made with vintage components
Lonneke and I wearing our one of a kind necklaces made with vintage components

OYL: Who is your costumer, for who are you making Jewelry?

Like I said before, I believe we are beings that have the ability to self-heal, and who can be empowered by natural resources such as crystals, gemstones and fossilized materials. We can create a supernatural power at the palm of our hands. People who search for this kind of connections and 'powers' or those who are aiming to reach well-being, a wholesome life - they are my intended audience. I also have a big passion for two other groups, they're the children and the animals - who can also benefit from the power of healing stones.

OYL: What is your jewelry made with?

Meaningful vintage components; healing gemstones and crystals ; natural findings ; tiny very delicate seed beads; hemp and satin cords; and LOVE.

Fontaneti Jewelry works with the power of crystals and gemstones to make you beautiful and protected.

OYL: What is your personal motto or quote that reflects your jewelry line?

'Believe you can and you are halfway there' . Adding my personal touch to the quote I would say:  The other half consists of doing what is in your hands to do it... then if it's meant to be work out for you, it will. If it doesn't, it's just not the right time yet. Learn how to wait and follow life's signs. That's the way I see life and try to understand it. So everything that I ever accomplished was due to believing myself, trusting I was capable of.

OYL: What is your favorite piece , and/or your signature jewelry  piece?

I would say my signature piece is the 'Cat necklace', and my necklaces with amber. They are necklaces made for Cats, my beautiful exotic shorthair Ninis been wearing them for a while and he looks so adorable while also benefiting from the healing stones properties, since animals are also affected by their power.

IMG_6585
Ninis Cat wearing his Anchor Cat necklace made with healing Tanzanite gemstones.

OYL: What are you hoping for in the future and for your jewelry line? Any dreams of pieces you want to make? And for who?

I wish that I could be able to make positive changes in the way people see and wear their ornaments. It's important to recognize how inner energy is affected by outside factors. I do believe that everything in this world is made of the same ever changing and transforming matter. So everything and everyone could 'transform' or 'transmute' into anything desired... I do aim for the day I would be able to bring this transmutation into my jewelry and people are able to feel , almost touch the 'power' of my pieces and use them as empowered tools , customized for their needs and wishes. Every single person that connects with that idea, is the one I would love to see wearing my jewelry.

 

If you want to check out my current collection, visit Cat's Healing  *****

Xoxo

Carol