2015: The Year of the Sheep

Year of the Sheep

It should come as no surprise that here at Marty Magic we’re interested in all things mystic and astrological! Back in September of 2014 we wrote about the Sign of the Scorpion and its history, symbolism, and meaning in Western astrology. Heading into the new year, we thought we’d take a closer look at a related system of beliefs – Chinese astrology – and its predictions for the coming year.

Like Western astrology, Chinese astrology is built around a zodiac, or calendar wheel, that provides predictions for the future. In both systems the wheel is divided into twelve “animal signs” which align with the months of the year and are said to determine the temperament and luck of people born in each month. Chinese astrology takes this idea a step further however, and applies its zodiac to a twelve year cycle as well, meaning that every year has an associated animal sign that provides insight for the entire year.

So what does this mean for 2015 – the Year of the Sheep? Astrologers say that the Sign of the Sheep (or Goat or Ram, depending on your translation from Chinese) is associated with qualities of peace, kindness, loyalty, gentleness, and compassion. People born under this sign may also be timid or eccentric, however, and may tend to rely heavily on others for support. Looking ahead to 2015, astrologers predict a year full of healing, resolution, and peace – both on an international and personal scale. Ultimately, the sheep is a “calming sign,” that should provide a period of relief everyone.

Sounds like a good year to us! That said, Marty has a bunch of new designs in the works already, but won’t be designing a sheep charm at this time. We certainly have designs for you dragons out there, though!

新年快乐! Happy new year!

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Anglerfish Lurks Beneath Monterey Bay

Black Sea Devil Anglerfish - Photograph by the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Black Sea Devil Anglerfish – Photograph by the Monterey Bay Aquarium

The Black Sea Devil Anglerfish is a fearsome critter that lives deep in the undersea canyons in the Monterey Bay. Aptly named for its monstrous fangs, it becomes a little less scary when you realize it’s only a few inches long. Back in November of this year, scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) recorded the first video of a live female Black Sea Devil, and the news spread quickly throughout local and national media.

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Holiday Reflections from the Magic Crew

the lizards celebrate the holidays at marty magic

A Christmas Tradition at Marty Magic

There are a few distinct signs that the Holiday season is approaching in California: the thermostat registers slightly below the 80s; people begin to wear jeans and flip-flops instead of shorts and flip-flops; and our local markets are stocking certified organic, free-range, vegetarian fed, heritage breed turkeys (the folks at Portlandia hit it on the head). Though this might be laughable to those of you who live in the frozen tundra of the Midwest and East (seriously, how do you survive?), we Californians still follow most of the Christmas and Thanksgiving traditions.

This in mind, we thought that it would be fun to have each of the Marty Magic Crew share some of their favorite Holiday-related memories:

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Counterfeit Marty Magic Ear Cuffs

Today, most of us cannot imagine life without the internet and Google available to answer our every question and shopping need. Just five years ago, internet shopping was in a fledgling state and consumers spent most of their holiday budget at brick and mortar stores. Today, online sales account for a significant portion of retail shopping, a trend that has changed the Marty Magic business both for good and for bad.

On a positive note, I no longer rely solely on sales from Art and Craft Fairs and Renaissance Festivals. Today, sales from www.martymagic.com and our Etsy Shop account for nearly 60% of our sales. Many of my contemporaries without e-commerce websites are struggling as they grow older because although the Art Show and Renaissance Fair circuits can be exhilarating and exciting when young, they are exhausting and limiting when one gets older.

On the negative side, the internet has made artists and designers extremely vulnerable to plagiarism.  All of my work is pictured online for the world to see and to be inspired by. I write “inspired by,” because throughout time, art and culture have been influenced by what has gone before allowing for the natural evolution of art, design and innovation. Unfortunately, not everyone has creative ideas of their own and there are people and companies that have no qualms in stealing the intellectual property of another if the design or concept is likely to turn a profit.  Whereas the United States has strict laws governing I.P; the emerging markets of China and other parts of the world don’t have the same regards or laws governing intellectual property.

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Storybook Tales: The Owl & The P-Cat

storybooks - photo by marty magic - books by original authors

Selected titles from Marty’s collection of classic storybooks

This month we’re celebrating our Storybook Collection. In light of this, we’d like to share some interesting stories about the stories, including a comparison of famous story books vs. their movie counterparts, and  the account of how Marty once ran (innocently) afoul of Google’s profanity filter.

Classical children’s stories were a significant influence in the jewelry Marty creates. As a child, her parents read to her from Alice in Wonderland, Winnie the Pooh, Mother Goose and Arabian Nights….just to name a few. As Marty grew older, she became a voracious reader. She devoured Edgar Allen Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination, Jules Verne’s Fantastic Voyages, and adventured with Rudyard Kipling and Mowgli of The Jungle Book.  Her imagination was fueled at an early age.

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The Graveyard Monster Mash!

Frankenstein Pendant - Sterling Silver

Frankenstein Pendant – Sterling Silver

Dracula Pendant, Sterling Silver

Dracula Pendant -Sterling Silver

 

 

 

“Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!”

― Bram Stoker

 Have you noticed the daylight dimming, and the shadows growing? How the warm air is cut by a sudden, chill breeze? Autumn is here: withering our gardens, bringing death to mind, and setting the stage for…Halloween! And what better way to mark this day of spirits and fright, than with a look back at some of the great gothic monsters of yore: Dracula and Frankenstein.

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Scorpio Rising

Scorpion Pendant by Marty Magic

Scorpion Pendant by Marty Magic

In August we wrote about Marty’s childhood spent in the Mojave desert of Southern California, and how the critters she encountered there have inspired her jewelry. Scorpions were common in the desert by her family’s adobe cottage, and their strange, angular beauty is the inspiration behind this   “striking ” Scorpion Pendant.

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Maryland Renaissance Festival Photos

This gallery contains 27 photos.

Hail, fair lads and ladies! How now? Marty and Art have just returned from a weekend full of fun and frolic at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. There were oh-so-many corsets, knights in shining (and tarnished) armor and considerable pageantry and … Continue reading

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The Sting of the Scorpion Pendant!

Introducing my new Scorpion Pendant, pictured here in green wax, and soon to be added to my Arachnid collection.  Made in sterling silver, these scorpion pendants will be available just in time for those born under the the Scorpio sign of the zodiac (October 24 – November 22). This extremely lifelike and three dimensional pendant is 2 1/4 long, it’s tail curving upward and forward, realistically.

lost wax scorpion pendant marty magic

New Scorpion Pendant by Marty

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Ear Cuffs and Ear Wraps, Oh My!

Marty has been designing ear cuffs and ear wraps for 30+ years.  Her ear cuff and ear wrap line has come to represent the “signature style” of Marty Magic. Though there is much talk about this trend on jewelry blog sites today, Marty considers herself and her friend Tabra Tunoa to be pioneers of the current resurgence of ear cuffs and ear wraps that began back in the early 1980s. Continue reading

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