Keep it cool, calm and crystal – the new homewares trend that isn’t so ‘new age’ anymore!

Hey everyone! I wanted to share my latest article for Furnishing International since it’s relevant to holistic healing! Have a read below to find out more about the amazing world of crystal homewares! 

xx love & light!

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Crystals have long been thought of as strange, mystic minerals, often associated with witchcraft, hippies or voodoo. Quite the contrary, these connotations couldn’t be further from the truth! In fact, in our modern society, these natural structures seem to be making their way into many people’s homes and office spaces. 

Thanks to the likes of many emerging and well established home and décor brands, the stigma around stones is slowly changing. Before I continue however, full disclosure should be made that I am a self-confessed crystal junkie, and you’ll often find me at the Mind, Body, Spirit Festival checking out all the goodies on offer.
That being said and bias aside, when it comes to homewares, not only do they look great, but they also have the added benefit of balancing the energy within your space. And if you don’t believe in all that energy stuff – as I said, they look great – so in my eyes, it’s a win-win!


It is no surprise that Melbourne based designer Christopher Boots and his work are making their way across the globe. His creations exude the utmost of creativity and uniqueness. Boots describes his pieces as being akin to jewellery within the space – imparting a celebration of both materiality and light.


As a child, Boots was always captivated by nature, constantly collecting rocks, pebbles, feathers and sticks. “What fascinates me is the geometric symmetry found throughout the natural world – branching and growth patterns, variation and simplicity, tone and texture and of course crystalline formations,” he explains.

“With apparent simplicity; elegance and form are merged in our choice of materials – burnished and polished metals – faceted crystalline clusters and the ‘fire’ lit from within makes for easy visual reference,” he says.


“Ensuring quality components are used within our handmade products is seen in the light produced. While the crystals will impart their own characteristics onto the finished product, we give careful consideration to the illumination method, light levels, direction and to the light colour itself.”


Integrating unique characteristics or materials are what continues to inspire him in both form and materiality, both of which are integral to his design process. He describes working with natural minerals and the heart of Industrial Design as being a complex process of managing ergonomic, technical, material and economic factors to optimise both function and aesthetic appeal.


Much like myself, Ashley Bellino, owner of Stoned Crystals, lent herself to the spiritual side of yoga and meditation, and crystals were a natural progression as a result of her love for these things. Raised in the inner city suburbs of Melbourne and coming from a modern family and home, she had never been exposed to crystal energy before.

“Under the direction of somewhat of a spiritual mentor to me, I visited a crystal city looking for crystals to incorporate into an old jewellery label I had back in 2015. I learnt to feel crystal energy for the first time and also found that there were very few websites clearly explaining what crystals are, how they work and how we can incorporate them into the modern day life style,” she explains.

“It was here that my obsession and experimentation with crystals began. There were so many road blocks for me to learn and also buy crystals for the first time. This difficult journey inspired me to start Stoned Crystals and begin to demystify crystals to the world.”

Thus spawned her quest to bring the world of crystals into the mainstream. In speaking with us, Bellino made point of crystals not easily being found in the common homewares shop, with few crystal shops surviving the retail game. Her keen interest in interiors was growing as she began to decorate her new apartment, beginning to adorn areas of the home with crystals to create beautiful sacred spaces based on their properties and rules of Fengshui.


“So many decor items and objects have been made out of every other natural material but crystals have somehow been swept under the rug. I decided that crystal homewares was something that had been massively overlooked and I relished the opportunity to rise to the challenge of changing the way people look at crystals and building products never seen before!” says Bellino.

Stoned Crystals are A-grade, born in Brazil and Madagascar and raised in Australia. Their HQ founders and design team are Melbourne based and they sell Stoned Crystals into an International marketplace, with stockists throughout Australia, New Zealand, United States, Asia and Europe.

Similarly, Christopher Boots has found success on a global scale. “Being 2017 and a global market, the internet means countries and borders are not necessarily an obstacle thus we have clients contacting us regularly from around the world,” explains Boots.
“As an Industrial Designer and someone committed to the continuation of hand-made and local manufacturing, our success internationally makes me very proud.”


The nature of using an intricate handmade process with earth-born minerals is something Stoned Crystals can also relate to. “Our expert lapidists (stone cutters) have produced thousands of crystals in all sorts of geometric shapes and have it down to a fine art. Each crystal is hand cut and polished to perfection,” says Bellino.
Stoned Crystals have two collections available:

GEO GEMS-

Stoned Crystals is the world’s first Natural Crystal Decor Line for the Home & Workspace. Launched in the spring of 2015 as Stoned Crystals’ first collection, encompassing 5 geometrically shaped crystals. The Geo Gems range provide a fresh and modern take on crystals that create Zen within oneself and bring balance into the spaces around you.

CRYSTAL CRUSH-

The Crystal Crush collection is a continuation of a journey to seek Zen and Balance. Obsessed with the concept of fusing crystal, light and ritual this collection harnesses steady crystal vibrations and brings them into everyday use. Stoned Crystals have innovated a technique using Grade A quality Crystal sheets against a glass backing that transforms the crystal into a high end designer platter. Practical, functional and stylish. Hold each platter to light and see it glow.

The Crystal Crush Platter and Geo Gems range is perfect for use in decorating the home and workspace. They can be used to showcase home items such as candles, makeup and toiletries, vases, flowers, jewelry and other tidbits. You can even serve food and cheese on the glass side of their platters!

No doubt, Bellino is achieving what she set out to accomplish, her customer base ever expanding from women aged between 25 and 45 and a surprisingly large segment of boys aged from 7 to 12.

“Some of our best sellers for the GEO GEMS are the Clearboy Clear Quartz and Love Triangle Rose Quartz. Our Clear Quartz is of impeccable quality as are all our crystals but Clear Quartz is not as easy to find with the rainbow cracks and inclusions. The Rose Quartz was the Pantone Colour of the year last year so is very on trend right now. Many of our customers will also add on a Stoned Bell Jar to their order for easy styling,” she says.

“From our Crystal Crush Collection so far the Labradorite and Sodalite Trays have been the front runners. They have been recognised for their groundbreaking design and unusual color spectrum. The Labradorite has the composition of ‘flash’ running through the crystalline veins. The flash has the color of peacock feathers and changes from gold to blue, green and purple depending on the light. The Sodalite is a deep royal blue with the most magnificent white cracked markings.”

Gems are even in the inspiration behind The Jewel Collection by Melbourne based fragrance house, Scented Space. Managing director, Helen Armstrong says they were inspired by the translucence and the sparkling reflections of light when they saw the first samples of the new Scented Space reed diffuser bottle they had designed.

In speaking with all our stone inspired brands, crystals commonly seem to have a habit of taking people back to their childlike selves. “It reminded me of crystals hanging in my mum’s kitchen window when I was young. The idea grew from there,” says Armstrong.

There are 6 fragrances in the collection, each fragrance represents a coloured stone and the fragrance takes its direction accordingly.

“For instance, Peridot – a box featuring a lime chartreuse tone, has a fragrance with notes of Tahitian lime, vetiver and black pepper. The colour suggested light, citrus and sparkling scents. For the Amethyst, the fragrance has notes of violet and orange blossom. Again, the mauve tones of the box inspired the direction of the fragrance.”

The scents in this collection are more in the direction of fine perfumes, so are quite complex. The collection features Amethyst, Aquamarine, Rose Quartz, Jade, Tourmaline and Peridot. My personal favourites being the Aquamarine and Jade!

Armstrong explains that certain scents are better to use in some rooms than others. Here is a breakdown of what type of scent you should incorporate in any given space for the most ideal ambience.

Bathroom: citrus scents.

Lounge and sitting areas: florals are ideal especially if they complement the flowers in the house.

Family rooms: Fruity Florals.

Study or retreat areas: Woody earthy fragrances.

Bedrooms: lavender and soft herbal scents are very popular as they are perceived to have a calming effect.

A 100ml diffuser will last up to 4 months, depending on the environmental conditions. Their diffusers contain no water and have minimal alcohol so they have great longevity. They have been independently tested by Eurofins and found to outperform many world leading brands. Armstrong says that unfortunately, there are a lot of poor performing products on the market that are little more than water and alcohol. For these products, you generally get what you pay for.

I personally have had my Scented Space diffusers for around three months, and can vouch for the fragrance being as strong as the day I opened it, not something I’ve ever witnessed in any diffuser before.

Believe it or not, Armstrong was the first to bring the diffuser to Australia, after having travelled overseas in 2003. She saw a product that stopped her in her tracks, a bottle with fragrance sticks in it, based on the concept of spaghetti in a bottle. She showed a number of colleagues when back in Australia, including a buyer at Myer.

“They all thought I was well ahead of the market and told me to put it in the cupboard and forget about it. A couple of years later that same buyer contacted me and asked me how quickly we could make the product as they needed a new concept on the floor. Three months later it was on the shelves at Myer and selling very quickly – the rest as they say, is history. We now export more than 60% of our production and sell in more than 25 countries,” she explains.

So as you can see, Armstrong certainly knows what she’s talking about when it comes to world of home fragrance!

Perhaps what interested me most in speaking with each brand is each individual take on the rising trend of crystals in homewares. Once perceived at mystic and ‘hippy’ – do the owners still see it as such? Or are we perhaps witnessing an emergence of such minerals into the mainstream norm?

For Scented Space, crystals has never been hippy. “We see crystal as being cut and with light sparkling from every angle. It is about chandeliers, elegant candlesticks, and beautiful glistening bowls. There is a place for a crystal in everyone’s life – whether in raw form or polished and glittering.”

Christopher boots tries to not to take too much notice of any trends as that can distract him from achieving his best.
“I do believe that people are inevitably drawn back to the beauty and permanence of natural materials and natural forms. Who am I to say one way or another? Crystals have been used for thousands of years by cultures across the globe, principally for their beauty perhaps but also for their apparent healing properties,” he says.

A topic most passionate to Bellino and the team at Stoned Crystals, their hope is to test the conventional use of crystals by making them more accessible and more fashionable to the everyday person.

“We hope to be instrumental in making crystals on trend and giving people simple steps on how they can integrate them into their lives by sharing tips and concepts on how to style them as well as keeping the integrity of their energy and tradition alive,” says Bellino.

“The rough and fractured texture of crystal is becoming so popular right now not only for its spiritual context but also its earthy connections. That said, I think there is still a while to go before people begin to see crystals for what they are, irrespective of their energetic principles. If for nothing other than their tactile benefits, rolling these shapes around in your hands releases our mind from the more mundane and automatic reactions we have to almost every object we pick up these days.”

“I believe Stoned Crystals is paving the way for people to see the obvious benefits of decorating our spaces with crystals, just as we do with natural objects like plants. It is brands like ours with new to the world products that need to challenge the ‘new age’ interpretation. Crystals have for so long been boxed in as ‘hippy’ and the jargon that surrounds them has ultimately made them difficult to understand and undervalued by mainstream,” she explains.

No doubt brands such as Scented Space, Stoned Crystals and Christopher Boots, are shattering the new age stigma associated with natural minerals and stones for home and office use. Don’t be afraid to start off small, perhaps a small cluster on a side table in the corner of your home. Perhaps purchase one of the Scented Space diffusers from their jewel collection.

Regardless of your belief system on the healing properties of crystals, I encourage you to have an open mind when it comes to incorporating them into your home, if for nothing other than aesthetic appeal. Who knows, you might be surprised!

Keep it cool, calm and crystal – the new homewares trend that isn’t so ‘new age’ anymore!

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

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All you crystal junkies out there, listen up! If you have never been to Byron Bay before, what I’m about to show you will BLOW YOUR MIND!

The Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens are located about 30 minutes away from Byron Bay in the town of Mullumbimby.

FUN FACT: Iggy Azalea was originally from Mullumbimby.

DOUBLE FUN FACT: Iggy Azalea’s actual birth name is Amethyst!

Well how bout dat, COINCIDENCE? I think NOT!

Crystal Castle is basically a theme park for all spiritual / crystal lovers out there. If you’re not open minded or into this kind of thing, save yourself the $28 entry fee. I understand it’s not for everyone. Wish I could say the same for me, but we all know that I loved every minute of it and walked away with $200 worth of crystals (special mention goes to Nick for the early Christmas present). Hi, my name is Catherine and I’m a crystal-holic. Don’t judge.

Ok, I promised myself not to ramble on with this post, I’d rather bombard you with beautiful pictures so you can all see the tranquillity and beauty of this place for yourselves. Make sure to visit if you’re ever in the area!

img_6152Crystal Guardians: World’s tallest geodes standing at 5.5m tall and weighing 20 tonnes.

  Rose quartz: Feeling the love.

Flower up: Garden walks.

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The Castle: How’s the serenity?

Om: World Peace Stupa.

Happy place: Crystals.

Oh Look!: More Crystals!

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Who dat, who dat?: Amethyst Cave.

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Last but not least: cash me outside in the bamboo reeds. So zen.

Hope you all enjoyed the humour and happy snaps within this post!

Remember to laugh & love this week.

Until next time,
Love & Light –

x Cat.

Crystal Castle & Shambhala Gardens

The power of crystals and your heart

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 As a young girl, I was always fascinated by glass gems, you know – the ones commonly found at the bottom of a fish bowl? It’s a pretty strange thing for a child to obsess over, but there was just something about their shape, colour and the feeling of energy when holding one in my hand that intrigued me. Although these gems are synthetically made and not sourced from the earth, they definitely acted as the catalyst for my fascination on all things crystal.

Throughout my current life transition and healing journey, I should not have been surprised when I started to feel a pull toward entering various crystal shops and exploring the vibrational power crystals can emit. Crystals have been used as a form of healing for hundreds of years and I wanted to find out more about this phenomena, particularly regarding their power to help the healing of a broken heart. I spoke to Jac Calvert, owner of The Little Crystal Shop to help shed some light on the beautiful world of crystal healing.

When dealing with matters of the heart Jac believes that many crystals can help with heartbreak specifically. Any heart energy stone will assist the healing process.

heart chakra

“By heart-energy stone, I mean any that are either pink or green, as both of those colours resonate with the heart chakra,” she says. As Jac explains, the heart chakra is where we hold onto our heartbreak until we let go of it.

Specifically, Jac recommends the following stones due to their healing properties and benefits:

  •  Rose Quartz

rose quartz

“Rose Quartz is the ‘love’ stone, it helps us to connect to unconditional love, and can help to feel love when the broken heart feels so unloved.”

  • Clear Quartz

clear quartz
“Clear Quartz is the Master Healer crystal, and using it with any of the other crystals mentioned will amplify the energy of the other crystal.”

  • Green Calcitegreen calcite
    “Green Calcite is a beautiful heart-opening energy and again helps to connect to feelings of love. It is so important to open the heart chakra and feel love – what we feel is what we attract into our lives, so if we feel unloved, that is what we attract; if we feel loving and loved, that is what we attract.”
  • Rhodochrositerhodochrosite“Rhodochrosite is a deep, gentle, loving healing crystal – it can help bring to the surface deeper issues that need to be resolved that may be blocking the flow of love into your life.”
  • RhodoniteRhodonite“Rhodonite is a heart chakra crystal and also a ‘feel better’ crystal – it has been called the Bach Flower Remedy of the mineral world.”

Jac recommends also adding various other stones to help in alternative ways – including Sunstone, Moonstone, Black Onyx, and Lepidolite (among many others).

“Sunstone is the best stone for lifting you out of any depressing thoughts. It has a beautiful uplifting energy and is an excellent crystal to pop under the pillow at night. Moonstone helps ride out the emotional ebbs and flows – they come, they go, just like the tides and when we can step back, detach from them a little while still feeling them, we can let them go without forcing them away or holding onto them,” she says.

 

“Black Onyx is a good crystal to strengthen the separation – so if you’re harbouring any thoughts of reuniting with your ex, leave this one out. It’s great for closure and getting on with life. Lepidolite is a wonderful energy for icky feelings – any sort of anxiety or worry, sadness or depression, all things that can arise in the heartbroken stage.”

 

It’s all well and good to know which crystals to bring into your life, but how can you make the most of their healing properties? Jac explains that there are a few easy ways to make the best use of crystal energy. “It’s always good to carry a piece on you if you can, which could be either a small piece in your pocket or if you can find your crystal as jewellery, you can wear it. This is especially good if you can get heart chakra stones in a necklace that sits at about the place of the heart chakra.”

 

 

Jac also suggests putting them under your pillow at night, so you can be get the benefits while you sleep. This is particularly a great way to use both Sunstone and Lepidolite.

“Holding a crystal during meditation is a very powerful way to work with their energy and this is where you might start to really ‘feel’ the energy of the crystal,” she says. “It might start to really buzz or pulse in your hand, or you might feel it working strongly on a certain part of your body. You can make crystal healing grids or layouts, if you have a few stones to work with. A nice option to help feel love again is to meditate while surrounded by a few Rose Quartz pieces, so you’re sitting in the centre, and allow yourself to really feel and sink into the loving energy and feel it merge with your own energy.”

 

As Jac explains, the heart chakra can often become poorly aligned fairly easily. Whether it be that it is over-functioning (too much giving and not allowing oneself to receive love) or under-functioning (closed, not open to love and not giving of love). “Working with any heart chakra crystal will help to re-balance the energies of the heart. It is often that we close our hearts after a painful experience, like a relationship breakup, which is simply a protective response to prevent us from getting hurt again. However, when we close our hearts, we close ourselves off to experiencing and feeling all love, so it’s really not beneficial at all.”

“Keeping an open heart means that we can let ourselves feel whatever we feel, without having to protect or defend ourselves – we just feel it, let it be and move on. Feelings pass surprisingly quickly when we let ourselves feel them, rather than pushing them away or bottling them up. Working with crystals can help in the heart opening part, as can visualising the heart as being open, and using an affirmation such as ‘my heart is open, it is safe for me to love’. Doing all of these things together is very powerful, and is a practice worth doing regularly.”

Such practice can really help in all areas of life, not just for relationship breakups but also with family, friends and work.

bampw-colors-firework-hahah-heart-light-prism-favim-com-86689

 

Out of curiosity, I asked Jac whether any crystals harvest bad energy. Sure, we hear about all the positive benefits of working with stones, but I was intrigued to find out whether there are any that people should avoid.

“There’s not really any such thing as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ energy – there is just different ranges of energy,” she says.

“Some are higher, some are lower, and yes, higher is preferable, but most of us go through phases of lower energy, and this is where we learn how to move out of it, and into higher energy. So no, crystals don’t harvest any ‘bad’ energy – not unless they have absorbed so much lower or toxic energy from their environment that they are giving off that energy, and this can happen. Usually, you will get a sense that a crystal has absorbed lower or negative energy and needs a cleanse, and it is good housekeeping for your crystals to clear them regularly anyway.”

rose-quartz-422715_1280-e1441357784117

Jac stresses that caution should be used when using some crystals, especially when working with higher chakras such as the third eye, crown and soul star. If you are not very well grounded, working with strong, higher energies can leave you feeling ungrounded. This is an unhealthy state to be in and can prove functioning in daily life to be more difficult.

“Moldavite is a big one to be aware of, and it’s probably best avoided if you’re just starting out with crystals. Selenite can be ungrounding if you’re sensitive, and any other crystal you find that works strongly with higher chakras can leave you feeling ungrounded.


That said, most common crystals are fine, like Amethyst, Kyanites, Calcites – they work with higher chakras but not so intensely as to be ungrounding.”

 CRYSTAL CLEANSING 101 with JAC CALVERT @the.little.crystal:

As Jac mentioned earlier, some crystals can absorb the energy from their surrounding environments due to clearing their environment by absorbing lower energies. Once the crystal becomes clogged with this lower energy, that is what they start to give off. This kind of energy is not helpful and your crystals will require recharging and cleansing.

“Just keeping up a regular cleansing routine your crystals should be enough (like a full moon cleanse) but from time to time, you might just start to feel that a crystal needs an extra cleanse. For instance if you wear Black Tourmaline to work and you work in a fairly negative environment, then it would be worth giving that crystal some extra clearing. Always listen to any feelings that tell you a crystal needs a cleanse; its your intuition guiding you.”

cleansing

Crystals that don’t absorb energy from their environment include Selenite and Kyanites and therefore do not require cleansing. You can actually place other crystals on a piece of Selenite and leave it for a day or two as a method of cleansing.

 

 

  • The simplest method to cleanse crystals is to put them outside under the full moon each month, and leave them out for the night if you can. Some crystals don’t like water, so be mindful of weather conditions, if it’s raining, keep them under a window inside the house or otherwise sheltered.
  • Other cleansing options are putting them outside in the dirt for a few days, like under a tree, and letting them just be cleared by the energy of the Earth (much like when we get out into nature to clear our energy).
  • You can also smudge crystals with sage until you feel the energy has cleared
  • Hold them under running water until you feel that their energy has shifted (again, only for crystals that are not water soluble).
  • You can even use sound to clear them, like with a singing bowl.

“I give my crystals reiki as this clears them and gives their energy a boost, so if you are attuned to reiki it’s a good method to practice. Even if you’re not attuned to reiki, you can hold your hands over your crystals and visualise white light going from your hands into the crystals to clear them, and pray that their energies be cleared – everyone has the ability to heal with their hands and use prayer and it’s a surprisingly powerful method,” explains Jac.

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If there’s one takeaway from all of this useful information that Jac has provided, she asks you to remember the following;

“The world of crystals is huge, there are so many different crystals and minerals out there, and all with unique energetic vibrations that affect us in different ways. They are always helpful, and are nature’s gift to us to help us heal and grow. The main thing I would say when working with or using crystals is always to follow your intuition – if you’re drawn to a particular crystal, even if it doesn’t seem logical or it’s not the one you’re looking for, it’s worth paying attention and honouring that calling. The intuition knows best, the mind does not.”

To see Jac’s vast array of crystals, check out her shop here and be sure to follow her on Instagram @the.little.crystal for daily crystal inspo!

The power of crystals and your heart

Sorry, its crystal charging night

IMG_2822
The full moon is upon us! Don’t forget to leave your crystals out tonight on a natural surface. Lady Luna will help to cleanse and recharge your crystals from the negative energy they have absorbed throughout the month.

You can also place a bowl full of water outside and collect the water in the morning. Pour it in a jar, and there you have your own magical cleansing liquid for use at any time during the  month!

Given this months full moon falls on the date 222 – it’s meaning is a reminder to keep faith, and that all of the letting go and releasing that that you are doing is on the right path. This is the most cleansing moon of the year, so let go of everything that’s dimming your shine. 

x Peace, love & light.

Sorry, its crystal charging night