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Cecile Raley Designs

Our Own Christmas Story

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Our Own Christmas Story

In the spirit of this season of giving, we would like to dedicate this blog to our friends in Madagascar, Tanzania and Kenya and express our gratitude for the support and hospitality they have offered us.  They have opened their doors and their hearts, freely sharing what they have in spite of their less fortunate circumstances.  My life has changed forever as a result of meeting them. Our Family in Madagascar About 15 years ago, my travel partner Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Minerals decided on the adventure of traveling to Antsirabe, Madagascar in the hope of finding interesting minerals.  In...

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Sparkle the Holiday with a Gift

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Sparkle the Holiday with a Gift

Yes, it is that time again.  Are you ready for the holidays?  Our Thanksgiving sale starts this weekend with 10% off the entire shop.  From Tuesday the 20th to Friday the 23rd, we have a special treat with 25% off all of our wedding jewelry! Our specials section will be resurrected for Cyber Monday with extra surprises.  Calendars: our 2018 calendars are ready and already shipping. They will come to you upon request, or with any purchase over $200.  All of our VIP’s will receive one, as well as a little thank you gift from us for being such loyal supporters....

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Custom Inspirations - Earrings

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Custom Inspirations - Earrings

Do you realize that, as a retail business, I am already getting holiday advice emails from our industry?  Etsy, Manta, and even FedEx are sending around fact sheets on how to prepare for holiday business, or how to boost it.  For my own part I’ve never had a ton of it, probably because most of you are shopping for yourselves.  So maybe then I need to think differently – i.e. propose some ways in which you can get others to find you the perfect gift from my shop, either with a gift card or with starting early by planning a custom...

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Finding New Minerals in Kongwa

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

So this is going to be a longer story, and it starts a few billion years ago.  As my geologist friends tell me, when you have a flat plateau and there’s a hill on it, you have two possible explanations.  Either there’s a young volcano on the plateau – where the word “young” has to be taken within a certain context - or there’s very hard rock underneath, rock that refused to erode over the last few million years.  In either case, if you are a geologist, this is interesting.  Fast forward to the late 1950s when a few British...

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Visiting Kenya and Tanzania

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Visiting Kenya and Tanzania

Kenya Our next destination after Madagascar was Nairobi, Kenya, where I planned a long overdue reunion with my friend Doreen.  Doreen Kawira is the niece of a Franciscan sister whom I met during my teaching days at Felician University.  Sr. Francesca, as she was called, was born in Meru Kenya and belonged to the Nazareth Sisters of Annunciation congregation. She was sent to study at Felician through her sister institution in Kenya.  She took one of my classes and we quickly made friends. When she graduated, Sr. Francesca confided in me that when she came to the United States, she had...

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