SIGNET OF THE TIMES

270 Signet of the Times

(I’m back, friends!)

Ever since publishing my last post, I felt reinvigorated – enough to consider what the next post was going to be about. And it came to me quite simply (they have only been on my mind for the longest time)… Signet rings!

The history of signet rings (how they came to be, basically) is what is most interesting to me. Back in the olden days, illustrious folk used to seal important documents and maybe, secret letters (each) with a glob of sealing wax that was impressed upon with their coat of arms. I don’t quite know if typically, it used to be first, a stamp (with the wooden handle) and then later was turned into something convenient, i.e. having the seal set within the bezel of your ring (it would have been easier to have your stamping ring on you at all times). (Speaking of which, I have been longing to make my own sealing wax kit!)

To have your own trademark in the form of a seal is very exciting to me, and from what I have deduced, people usually opted to create motifs that are only theirs, much like a logo that forms the signet. Maybe a fleur-de-lis or rose combined with perhaps their monogram or something else representational like an animal, object or ornament etc. These motifs tell you about the individual, what they stood for or were associated with; which is perhaps why it may have been restricted to certain sects of people (kind of sad because I am a common woman and had I been born then, I would certainly have loved to have the means to forge a crest as part of my legacy).

Getting to the jewellery bit (sorry it took forever) – I do have quite the thing for antique and heirloom pieces, could you tell? Signet rings are exquisite to have and hold; of course, in today’s day and age, it might not be the simplest to get your own such ring made (it would be fairly expensive, for one)… Even so, here are a few I spotted on the interwebz that left a lasting impression on me (see what I did there, heh):

Cosma Signet Ring, KATKIM – $990

Femme Ring, Wolf Circus – $140

Giulia Ring, CINCO – €45

Grande Dame Signet Ring, Maison Mayle – $250

Morena Saint Ring, Five and Two –  Rs. 3,039.71

Signet Ronde Gold, MIMI ET TOI – €80.00

Slim Signet Ring, Ariel Gordon – $450

Wyatt Signet, Merewif – $66

Closer to home, I’ve spotted one on Sreesha’s website, SHOP LUNE and something kinda sorta like a signet ring on KICHU (I mean, the signet ring has Egyptian roots and this could very well pass off as one!). I also have a ring from Forever 21 (not pictured here). I bought it a few years ago, and I love the almost arabesque inscription; it is even better that the signet opens up (like a locket) to reveal an embossed symbol of a Roman cross. I’ve been wearing it a lot, recently; I’ve come to think of it as my very own Papal ring (ha)!

P.S. This post has been exceptionally long but if you’re still here and reading, I should tell you that year’s Met Gala theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination contributed further to my thinking about heirloom-like, almost Victorian fashions. I would have loved to see close-ups of anyone wearing signet rings at the event but sadly, when I was researching for this piece, I didn’t find any. Should you have any information, I beseech you to share it in the comments below! (In order of their appearance, the picture credits are as follows: Wolf Circus, FINE LIFE CO, Marko MacPherson, LUV AJ, The Deeps, Merewif, HONESTLY WTF, Merewif.)

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

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THE LIGHT IS COMING

269 The Light Is Coming

Or is it not… Did the light take a cosmic detour? 

Hey, hey, so, I’ve been away. – Oh, and this is a picture I took (of my reflection in a floor-length mirror at Café Cassia in Bangalore) on my 31st birthday, etc. I know it is unusual to share pictures of myself on my blog but I thought, Hey, why not? (It was a lovely day, and I liked my outfit.) I don’t usually photograph well and hate posting pictures of myself on a public forum unless I have taken the picture (and think it looks fine) or yeah… I know, so finicky and weird. Well, that’s me in a nutshell for you! (Nothing alluring/inviting, there.)

So back to the topic at hand, I thought I’d drop some gems (much like in the photograph)! Or maybe just tell you what has been going on, which is, basically, nothing. I am still looking for a job, so there is that. May has been complete mayhem to say the least, I have never before felt the depth of emotions so destructive and distressing, as I did, last month. How’d I escape its confining clutches? (I tried.) There was a two-hour DMT (Dance/Movement Therapy) workshop and a spooky story-telling sesh that I attended (on different days); I met some friends (Ashwita and Krutika) and worked on a mini-series called #mermay (just for kicks, or uh, fins), etc.

What I’m hoping is that June is better. That I can finally get somewhere, be doing something (I promise to pay it forward). I’ve been in the same place for so long, and everyone, everything is just passing me by. Adding to the overall despondency of this post; I had a few bad depressive episodes this month and do you know what’s even sadder? I don’t have enough to see a counsellor on a regular basis or anything (don’t worry; there is something else that could perhaps work out). Anyway, I know they say that it gets worse before it gets better… So, I definitely won’t stop trying. (Please don’t be laughing at me, I’d cry harder if you were to. All the best, ¡mis amigos! May June bring out your compassion and courage, confidence and creativity… I wish you the warmest of viiiiibes.)

(Should you be interested, the marigold-themed silk blouse is from H&M – it was a gift from my mother and my jeans are the 711 Skinny from Levi’s; I wore Minila’s gold Kolhapuri chappals on my feet, a beautiful coral reef necklace from SHOP LUNE on my neck, hoop earrings from H&M in my ears, and a new watch on my wrist (my friend Magali helped me snag this babe from Casio at an excellent price!). 

P.S. Look, don’t get me wrong… I know I rarely get into a super sad mood here on the blog, and that too, on the first day of the month! But know this, I’m always forthcoming on here, and I couldn’t pretend things were better. I mean, yeah, there’s so much to be thankful for. Even so, I do feel emotionally/mentally drained. I’d like to have done something. I’d like to be seen as worthy; only I am not and I feel like I am the human equivalent of the song Fix You by Coldplay. I mean, it’s utterly desperate but kinda hopeful too. That is what I am, right now. Hoping against hope, as Ogden Nash once wrote. (Okay, that brought a smile to my face; it was a crazy poem, wasn’t it?)

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Artwork and picture by Roanna Fernandes

THE FOUNTAIN OF FAIR FORTUNE

258-the-fountain-of-fair-fortune

It has taken longer than expected (or so I thought) for me to resurface. I went on a two-week holiday with my folks (early June) and yet when I came back, I could not muster the will to work on any posts. I enjoy publishing these stories and knowing that someone out there is reading them or even not, basically I like the feeling of having done something. Something I really want to. Why did I need four months away? Was I developing ah-mazing content, was I revamping this webzine of sorts, was I going to be back with a BANG? Was I sad, and needed time to collect my thoughts? No, no, no and no. I just wanted to take a break; it felt good, four months was goooood and long.

And here I am! We went to Europe, visited four cities/countries there, and I could not be happier that it happened. It was not so much the food or the men, but the sights/sites that had me intoxicated. I definitely want to cover my travels in a series of smaller posts, soon – and I hope you will like reading these tales. But yeah, extremely grateful that everything worked out, and we got to visit some truly wonderful places. :-) Since coming back, I have been working on writing assignments, one illustration project (the business has come from a dear set of friends so I am happy), and another (that I hope to acquire) etc.

Erm, I am also learning a new language online (it has been two months, and I am happy with my progress so far); and I have been watching a lot of movies and shows. I need to stop! But first, let me say this – I discovered the best series yet this August, Stranger Things, it was so fucking good that I re-watched the entire series immediately after completing watching it, the first time. Uh-huh, that level of psychitude, homez!

What is with the title of this post, and the illustration?

Well, I think sometimes we all need space and time to figure ourselves out. And journeys! Not just to places, but within our minds as well. We need to breathe, be free, let go and just be. Experience things or not, develop our wits, learn lessons and move forward. We might feel like we have deeply unsettling problems and that we need cures, and yeah, maybe we do but sometimes we also do not – we are good yet missing the point. Much like the folks in this story; should you dig J.K. Rowling, you will know.

So whether you are hoping to chance upon magical keys or mirrors, ingest a few drops of a magical elixir or potion, interpret the patterns the tea leaves form in your cups, wear some quartz to tap into its energy etc. – also know that you have it in you. Failures and mistakes are okay, I am learning this better with every passing year; plus it does not seem all that nasty when I think of who I am becoming or growing into. I like this person. I have liked me for a long time now, more than I thought I could admit. I have flaws, and want to make the best of all this lesson-learning. I do not want to wither away, I would not like my work to be forgotten or deemed worthless.

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes

DROPS OF JUPITER – PART DEUX

255 Drops of Jupiter - Part Deux

Hello, hello.

(This post concludes the two-part mini-series, if you were keeping up.)

What did Jupiter Skye do for you?

(Erm, more like what Jupiter Skye made me do!) What it did do was give me an outlet to express myself creatively. When I started the blog in 2010, I was working my first job; being employed helped the growth of Jupiter Skye for various reasons. I had an income (funding impromptu explorations around the city and shopping trips, providing fodder for the blog, etc.); and I drew inspiration for the posts from my friends at work, or from the conversations we had. Jupiter Skye did not help me land writing jobs; but I did learn about creating editorials, photographing products, styling mood-boards etc.

To sum up (er, ROSS), the blog has constantly helped me tap into my potential and recognise my core strengths. (This product as a whole serves as a wonderful portfolio of – and testimony to – all my learnings from then to now.) That is not to say that the path has been remotely easy, nor does it mean I have achieved the highest levels of success. No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no! Writing was something I got into, after college; it was never given a lot of thought. The jobs that I have held so far helped hone my writing skills; especially my first (which ended, July 2011) and second (which began, August 2011) jobs. (The editor at my first job would silently nod his head, if he were reading this – as in about me not being a good writer before, he wanted me to give it up altogether and pursue something artistic instead.)

The illustrating bit happened randomly; I always liked arts and crafts, and drawing, making greeting cards etc. from when I was a little girl, I just never pursued art or illustrating as a subject in college because I didn’t know I could – and was guided otherwise. Through my experiments with the blog, especially with regards to the artwork and layouts – the posts got me some recognition, I learned how to channel my artistic skills in a digital manner. Folks began to notice, and appreciate my work; though I had zero experience in the field, the blog got me most of the illustration projects I have worked on, till date.

What kind of space is this, now?

Well, it still really is the same space, also somewhat different. (There is some progression, I would like to believe – from being random to developing a better structure, content-wise.) As of now, I would like the core focus of this blog to be formed around: BOOKS, FRAGRANCES, HOMES, JEWELLERY, LOVE. These are subjects I like best (and most), and while they are fairly specific and somewhat huge as areas of interest, they possess minute details of all the other related things I like.

What are your intentions, now?

(They are subject to change.) I never did any pre-planning of sorts before I went ahead and started off with this blog, so I think it’s wise to not have too many intentions now. I do have intentions, a lot of them good – but with the kind of personality I have (being lazy in general, and also how long I want to do this versus shutting it down completely etc.) – let’s just say that I don’t want to make any false promises (or have unrealistic goals).

Some of my short-term goals are:

1. To make this blog more user-friendly by way of developing a better layout, and so that folks may find what they are looking for, easily;

2. Create professional landing pages (the ones describing what I do, and how to get in touch with me for collaborations and commissions, giveaways and greetings, and such);

3. Sell accessories (jewellery, brooch-pins etc.) and stationery (greeting cards, stickers etc.) through The Jupiter Skye Shop – I really suck at marketing my wares, and definitely need to figure this bit out;

4. And oh, of course, create more interesting content (it is what I do, after all).

What do you do, how do you balance what you do with the blog?

I am a features writer (because that is what I do for the most part, professionally), and a part-time illustrator (you know about this). Currently, I do not work anywhere on a full-time basis; I do undertake freelance and part-time projects involving writing and/or illustrating. With regards to striking a balance, it is not too bad RN – never mind the other bit of me being lazy AF and choosing to publish only two or four posts a month. I never left any of my jobs to pursue this blog on a full-time level; I have not made any money off of it yet (I would like to), and none of my jobs posed a conflict of interests with what I was doing here and what I was doing at work.

Irrespective of whether you are working or not – it is nice to have a sound ecosystem around you. There is so much that you can learn about yourself, and from the people around you on a daily basis… Everything that will either inspire or suck the energy out of you (you do not want the latter). (This has an effect, especially when you have a personal blog on the side, too.) I understand this better because I’ve had my share of depressing, personal situations and/or crappy jobs, gone through it all again; the circle never ends.

During such times (or after), try to float out of your body for a few seconds when you feel saner and see how best to remedy it. What do you like? What do you really want? What has changed? What won’t? As long as you are learning, you grow; do not work at a conventional job if you do not want to – find something else that keeps you grounded, and uh, busy. (It’s the keyword, here! Pharrell Williams should have picked the title of his track, and er, lyrics better, heh.) Working hard is rewarding in itself, leading you to better times; it gets easier over time, to separate what you want from what you don’t, the realisation of which can be gained only by experience.

P.S. Racile (my youngest sister) thinks this drawing might was deceptive. I do not have very long hair, nor I do not possess a boho blouse like this, etc. Like, uh, I did mean for this girl to resemble me but I drew it because I was unsure of what the artwork for this post should be. Okay, I will do better in my acts to follow; but this was not so bad, now was it?

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Artwork by Roanna Fernandes