MATTER OF LOVE

encouraging you to share your love

Dreaming and Wanderlusting

Kelsey Ayres2 Comments

So I wanted to explain to you all about my logo, the moonflower.  To do that though...I have to take you to Panama.  It was Panama that led me to discover the moonflower and it's meaning (dreaming of love), which subsequently became the mascot of my company.

Moonflowers

Moonflowers

You see, a few months ago I had a hankering to travel someplace.  Once I had decided to quit my job and start my business, I figured it was perfect timing to take a trip someplace. Only one problem...I was quitting my job and investing my savings into starting a business.  Wonhhhh wonhhhh.  Have no fear...I did a little research on how to travel inexpensively (and safely as a woman alone) and stumbled upon WorkAway.  You can travel pretty much anywhere in the world and a host provides you with room and board in exchange for you working about 25 hours a week. Which meant all I really needed was money for my airfare and travel once I got there. I think it's amazing because you also get to experience and learn about a culture far more authentically than if you went to a resort or a hotel, even. I chose Central America because airfare was comparatively less expensive than say someplace in Oceania, which was my first choice.  Once I created a profile and that I planned on travelling to Central America, a wonderful host, named Emily, contacted me and thought I would be a good fit for her coffee finca (farm).  The pictures of the finca looked amazing and Emily seemed very sweet and genuine so I trusted my gut and planned a trip to Panama.  I ended up staying on a little piece of paradise and my work was painting murals for Emily's coffee and honey tours for her eco-tourism business, Boquete Bees.  Emily is a beekeeper who has a passion for gardening and creating fantastic honey!

Casita de Miel...or Honey House. This is where my room was and where they would do honey tastings.

Casita de Miel...or Honey House. This is where my room was and where they would do honey tastings.

Prior to this experience I had very little knowledge about bees and honey.  One of the unexpected by-products of my stay on the farm was learning so much about an incredibly integral part of our eco-system as well as the wonders of honey. It turns out, because of all the bio-diversity of plant-life in Panama, bees are thriving and producing all kinds of wonderful honey. Unfortunately, the same can't be said for many other parts of the world where they are losing abnormally large amounts of bee colonies every year. Which means they aren't pollinating the plants necessary in many eco-systems including our own food sources. It's suggested that bees and other pollinators help produce up to 1/3 of our food. 

Mural I painted for the honey tour where kids can match the pollinators with the plants from the farm that they like to pollinate.

Which makes the work that Emily does as a beekeeper and on her farm incredibly important.  She's created a little natural refuge filled with all the pollinators favorite plants including coffee, passionfruit, hibiscus, roses, daisies, lemon and orange trees, cashew trees, lantanas, and orchids...particulary a type of orchid which specifically attracts the orchid bee. More importantly she gives daily tours to educate people on pollination, flowers, and of course bees and honey to spread awareness on how important they all are. Not to mention, her honey is not only delicious but it's raw benefits include being a great natural form of sugar and anti-bacterial.  She recently started a medicinal line where she mixes other natural ingredients such as turmeric, cacao, lavender, and cinnamon with the honey as a way for the body to absorb and more effectively reap the benefits of their medicinal value.

Orchid which specifically attracts the Orchid Bee.

Orchid which specifically attracts the Orchid Bee.

One of the many beautiful Gardens at Boquete Bees.

One of the many beautiful Gardens at Boquete Bees.

So my month in Panama was a perfect experience. I got to stay in an incredibly peaceful and beautiful place. I learned so much about honey, bees, and plant biodiversity.  I met incredible people, including Emily, a truly amazing woman. She's an ex-pat living and starting a business in Panama. She's doing something that she is so passionate about and is so important for our environment. She's a fantastic inspiration for me.

It also allowed me, for the first time, to do something creative as my job. It forced me to work through any of my creative road blocks and get over some of my self-doubt.  It was a good way to ease into making jewelry as my job, not just a hobby.

Mural I painted in the "coffee hut" where tourist will roast and taste the coffee beans from the Finca.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better experience and would recommend WorkAway to anyone. I would still caution you to really do your research about your host. Just because I got a good one...doesn't mean they'll all be like that.

Basking in the sunshine of Panama and making new friends.

Basking in the sunshine of Panama and making new friends.

 

Sorry, back to the topic at hand, it was my first day on the coffee farm and I saw this beautiful flower that I had never seen before so I asked Emily what it was.  She advised that it was called an Angel's Trumpet, but quickly warned that I shouldn't eat it. Now, I typically don't eat flowers so I thought that was an odd comment.  She further explained that the flower is a hallucinogenic and she had a previous volunteer who ingested the flower (I'm assuming purposefully for the hallucinogenic properties) and ended up quite ill.  Well, this curious cat had to find out more.  So I looked up Angel's Trumpet and read somewhere that it meant "Dreaming of Love"...well turns out it's not the same Angel's Trumpet that was on the farm, but a different one that's also known as the moonflower.  And I fell in love. 

Angel's Trumpet...The one from the farm.

Angel's Trumpet...The one from the farm.

Oddly enough, when it came time to figure out a logo, I completely forgot about the moonflower.  It wasn't until after my wonderful graphic designer, Jen, had sent over a handful of ideas, but none of them felt right, that I was wracking my brain trying to figure out a symbol that really embodied what I wanted for the company, and I remembered...that beautiful, night-blooming, sweet-smelling, dream-inducing flower. A symbol of hope and beauty coming from darkness.  The perfect logo for Matter of Love Jewelry.  She also incorporated the color red which symbolizes passionate love and the color purple which symbolizes compassionate, selfless love.  Jen at DahlHouse Design really did an amazing job of turning my vague vision into a very concise representation of this company and my work. 

Moon Flower Pendant Necklace

Moon Flower Pendant Necklace

So now you understand my logo and it's origin.  I encourage you, if you feel the inclination to go somewhere, to go.  You never know what you will discover that you never knew, you never knew.

If you want to know more about Emily and the work she does, please check out BoqueteBees.com.

 

All my love,

Kelsey

boquetebees.com

When Irish Eyes are Smiling

Kelsey AyresComment

I am always proud to be Irish, but these Irish eyes are particularly smiling on St. Patrick's Day when I have a very valid excuse for eating corned beef reubens and frying cabbage in bacon fat.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who feels that way!

In honor of my Irish heritage and because I love you, I am sharing with you one of my all time favorite shows. For those of you who don't already know....please allow me to introduce you to Father Ted.  It's a sitcom about 3 priests who were banished to a remote island, Craggy Island, off the west coast of Ireland. It's really more of a parody of a sitcoms filled with over-the-top characters, whom I adore. 

It may not be for everyone's sensibilities and I apologize if it offends you, but it always provided a good chuckle in our house so if you have a similar sense of humor....you're welcome! 

Also, in honor of my Irish heritage and because I love you, the Ogham and Gra necklaces will be on sale this week, March 13-19th. So celebrate with me and share your love with yourself and your Irish friends and family (and we all know everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day)! Just enter Promo Code: Irish  for a 10% discount.