Labor of Love

As we celebrate this day free from our labors, I am reflecting on the intense process of birth labor and offer this touching experience. When I began writing this newsletter, the Texas abortion ban was not at the forefront, but as I prepare to send it today, sadly it is. I understand that this story may be a trigger, yet that should never silence the power of a woman’s story. When a woman is truly ready to devote herself to consciously birthing, providing for, and raising a child, whether alone or with a partner, let us celebrate that powerful right with all our might.

Last week I took great delight in helping a soon-to-be-mother, Christine Lindsay Miller, and her partner, Eli Back select a birthing gift. Not a “push present”, but something with personal and spiritual meaning to wear during the birth and to eventually hand down to their daughter. They browsed the Green Door Gallery and selected several possibilities. I gave Christine a Gem Resonance session to see if she and the baby could sense the best piece for them. Christine was deeply moved by the experience and could feel a soothing energy when this Watermelon Tourmaline and blue-green Diamond necklace was placed over her belly.

Two days later, Christine alerted me of her early labor and over the next three days as it deepened, I did several remote gem layouts to support her labor.  I don’t know if it helped or not, but at the precise moment I completed my gem process, I found out sweet Evangeline was born. Sometimes the Green Door leads to the most exquisite synchronicities. Christine sent me this lovely message about her experience:

“…Due to my water being broken long before an ‘active labor’ began… it was an epic journey. So many times I reached up to my neck, and felt the gems, remembered what meaning they held for me.. I drew strength from everything I’d ever Known, and every woman who’s power had touched me in the days before this moment…”
–Christine Lindsay Miller, Ithaca, NY

Congratulations Christine, Eli, and Evangeline!



Cherokee Compass Rose Art Deco Engagement Ring

Watercolor illustration of design.

The creative process takes time, patience, and stamina plus a precise understanding of modern technology to render a complex ring design on a budget.  I worked remotely with David to realize his dream design for Meg: combining a compass and a Cherokee Rose into a delicate, 14K white gold Art Deco ring to feature his heirloom diamond. After completing a series of drawings to arrive at the final design, the challenge was to find a talented CAD (computer aided design) artist who could translate and render my vision. After two companies attempted to digitally recreate my design and failed, I found success with the third, who did a beautiful job rendering, printing in resin, and casting in white gold. The delicate details on the leaves were hand engraved.

David and Meg provided wonderful testimonials of their experience working with us:

“I started out with an idea for a ring that included elements of the compass rose — to connect with a compass tattoo that both Meg and her sister have — and I also wanted to add elements of the Cherokee Rose, aka the Wild Georgia Rose, to honor Meg’s middle name of Rose and her home state flower. Talking over these elements with Lainey, she was able to elicit from me more of the true vision that I was not able to articulate, and she used our conversation to create the most perfect possible ring. She has such a natural gift for design and intention, that it is honestly exactly what I was hoping for without even having my own clear vision of a final product. Lainey was persistent in finding craftspeople to make our design possible, even from what at times seemed to be too intricate a filigree of Cherokee Rose petals, until she was able to achieve perfection. As you can see in the photos, we could not be happier with the results!” — David Leflar, Atlanta

“I could not have asked for a more thoughtfully designed and perfectly crafted ring for my engagement to David; it is absolutely stunning! The way he talks about the design process with you is precisely the experience I remember from years ago when we worked on a ring together – you have such a gift for combining aesthetic preferences and personal stories to create a perfect piece. How lucky am I to get to wear not one but TWO of your works of art on my fingers every day?!” — Meg Brooks, Atlanta

I can work with you no matter what your cardinal direction.





Ithaca Art Trail, “First Saturday” Open Green Door Studio

I’m excited to be one of 50 artists juried to participate in the Greater Ithaca Art Trail 2021-2022.  The Art Trail used to occur only two times a year, fall and spring, but now offers an opportunity for the Ithaca community to visit participating Artist Studios on the “First Saturday” of each month. This coming Saturday, August 7 from 11-4 PM provides the first public opportunity in over two years to peruse my entire gemstone, mineral, and jewelry collections in the same space, offering a glimpse into my creative marriage between the healing art of Gem Resonance and fine jewelry design. I’m delighted to finally present them as one cohesive unit! I hope you can visit this Saturday or make a private appointment by contacting me at (678) 662-6156. I’m requesting that all visitors please wear a mask.

Here is a link to the Art Trail website & a map to find the magical Green Door Studio for Elaina Designs, Gem Resonance, and Lainey Papageorge.

Atlanta clients can make an appointment to meet with me August 25-29.

I hope to see or hear from you soon,
Lainey and Star



Elaina Designs at Aurora Spa

Founded in 1789, the storybook Village of Aurora, New York, is situated on a picturesque inlet on the north shore of Cayuga Lake.   This spot has always been favored, originally by the peoples of the Iroquois Nation who tended its magnificent 500 year old peach, apricot and apple orchards they lovingly referred to as “Peachtown”, and later because of its proximity to the Erie Canal. During the mid 1800’s auspicious friendships developed in this small hamlet between native Aurorean, E.B. Morgan and his best friend, Henry Wells who together became co-founders of the American Express Company, and the pony express teams that became Wells Fargo.  Henry also founded Wells College, funded by his friend, E.B., to become one of the first institutions of higher learning for women. Aurora also became a center for the Women’s Suffrage movement as suffragettes met at the home of Philanthropist, Emily Howland, a prominent educator for black children of freed slaves, and a community leader for the displaced Tuscarora Native peoples.  A hundred years later another amazing woman, Pleasant Rowland founded the American Girl Doll empire, and after selling her franchise to Mattel, she invested much of her formidable fortune into renovating the splendid old mansions built by the financial Tycoons who came before her. The fabulous water features housed at the Aurora Spa is the latest addition to the 230 year old residences that under Rowland’s philanthropy have become the Inns of Aurora in the heart of New York’s Fingerlakes wine region. The simplicity of the stunning barn-like facility perched on the hillside high above Cayuga Lake is a reservoir of natural light, and with every aspect attuned to a client’s needs, it evokes deep inner peace.

Please see the Aurora Spa philosophy and menu of services on their website.

It is a true honor to be invited to develop the only jewelry to be sold on site for its signature Aurora Collection.  For my first series, I focused my inspiration on the yin-yang dance of light entering and leaving earth’s sphere reflected on the land, the lake, and all that it nourishes. The Roman Goddess of the Dawn is Aurora for whom the town was named; I chose to title my collection “Eos, Bringer of the Light,” the same entity from the Greek Pantheon that more closely aligns with my heritage.  Each piece speaks to this ethereal quality of light as night transitions into day. The opportunity to show in this exquisite architectural masterpiece aligned to sun/moon/star rise is a rare treat for my jewelry.  You can purchase pieces through the Aurora Spa (315) 364-8850, or through me (678) 662-6156, and I will give them the commission they richly deserve.

My hope is to introduce my work to a new audience who will recall their serene Aurora spa experience every time they see and wear their Elaina Designs jewelry.  As those of you who have enjoyed wearing my jewelry for many years are aware, we are all “bringers of light.”

Left, earrings: “Wave Reflections on a Blue Sky Day”: Blue Tourmaline, Chrysacolla Quartz, sterling. $1080
Right, earrings: “Green Beans Under a Turquoise Sky”: Turquoise Nugget Splits with rare Pyrite Cube Inclusions, Carved Labrodorite Drops, sterling. $1600. 

Left, pendant: “Once in a Blue Moon, Geese Gather and Bald Eagles Mate Over Cayuga Lake”: Montana Agate, Blue Akoya Pearl, Blue Flash Moonstone, sterling $1670.
Right, earrings: “Hills Scraped by Glacier”: Montana Agate, Black Faceted Mother of Pearl, sterling $1330. 

Upcoming Shows and Events: 

For those in the Finger Lakes area, I was accepted into the 2021 Ithaca Art Trail and will have an Open Green Door Studio on the First Saturday in August, 8/7/21, 11AM – 4PM, as well as the two traditional open studio weekends Oct 9-10, and Oct 16-17. Please visit their website, www.arttrail.com for more information.

For my Atlanta clients I will be available to meet with you in person the last week of August into the first week of September.  I am dedicated to continuing to work with you year-round with the help from Aalia Mujtaba, my Atlanta assistant extraordinaire.

With Eos Holding the light and the darkness,



Two Decades and Three Couples Celebrate Love and Equality

LGBTQ+ couples have had to overcome societal and legal prejudices to live open and full lives. It was only 6 years ago that the United States Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. The joyful love between each couple and their struggle for equality and dignity was an inspiration to me as I worked with them to manifest their rings. Elaina Designs is proud to stand with the LGBTQ+ community any day of the year, but June is Pride month and I wanted to share these photos of my happy clients and their beautiful rings, each created in a separate decade.

Kyra and Constance on a recent visit to Joshua Tree National Park. They were married in 2013.

They wanted bold and durable rings that would suit their active lifestyle of sailing and world travel. Sapphire is their favorite stone and I found these stunning natural color Ceylon blue Sapphires that we set in a knotched honeycomb pattern in Palladium, a durable alloy of Platinum.

Gita and Lourdes were married in 2003.

The couple wanted to represent the alchemical marriage between white metal and gold and incorporate the snake, an ancient symbol of healing. The rings beautifully feature intertwining snakes, one in 14K white and one in 14K yellow gold with distinctive hand engraved patterns, and nestling heads of Lapis and Black Onyx.

Sally and Lisa celebrated their 17 year partnership by getting married in 2020.

Active in their gardens, hiking and biking, the sky-earth patterning in these Boulder Opals resonated with the couple. The Diamonds were once in a pair of earrings given to them from Lisa’s Mom — a symbol of family love and blessings. The fluid design was cast from the interior curves of an ocean-worn seashell. 14K yellow (left), 14K rose (right).

“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions.  They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.” — quote from Obergefell vs. Hodges Supreme Court decision, 2015.

Celebrating our free country,


What’s in a Pearl? June’s Luminary Birthstone

I’ve been a member of the International Light Association for 20 years due to my interest in color and light as seen through the lens of precious gems. In 2018, I was invited to present “Body Brilliant”, a Gem Resonance workshop at their international conference in Oslo, Norway. Though most presenters are cutting edge scientists, lighting designers, and health professionals from all over the world, they find my artful studies viable and fascinating.

I am a founding member of the North American chapter called ILA-NA and this year we are opening membership to anyone interested in learning about the application of light, sound, and color technologies in architecture, medicine, and health. I was asked to write an article for ILA’s June newsletter about this month’s birthstone, Pearl, which is included below.


Top left: Gold South Sea Pearl set on Sunset colored Keshi Pearl with Rutilated Quartz, 14KT Yellow Gold brooch/slide. 
Top Right: Fossilized Opal Clam Shell, Pink Spinel, Saltwater Pink Pearl, set in 14KT Rose Gold Brooch/Pendant. 
Bottom: Purple Freshwater Petal Pearl, Morganite, Champagne Diamond, 14KT Rose Gold Enhancer on a strand of white saltwater pearls and pink metallic freshwater pearls. 

In my art jewelry I love designing with pearls of all kinds. The most iconic use of pearls are the perfectly round white necklace strands, but more intriguing to me are the oddities; the weird shapes that form from non-nucleated pearls with iridescent overtones of rose, blue or green luster. Pairing these unique pearls with a natural gemstone creates a succinct language of light, where something more than beauty occurs, within, without, and all around us.

Any pearl’s mesmerizing outer surface belies a long struggle with something that at first felt alien and threatening. Natural Pearls are caused by the reaction a mollusk has to an irritant like a grain of sand.  To address this irritation, an oyster, clam or mussel secretes nacre the same color as the inner lip of its shell.  The nacre smooths and surrounds the debris, bathing it continuously to reduce internal friction. Over years the nacre builds layers that create the lustrous substance that we recognize as Pearl.  Because a pearl emerges as the “solution” between an invasive force and its environment, these inherent qualities can be absorbed as calming energy radiating into the human body.  It is even said that Cleopatra plucked a precious pearl from her earring, ground it up, popped it into her wine and drank it to entice Caesar.

My observation is that in addition to emitting peace and romance, all trace elements in jewels resonate automatically with the trace elements in our bodies, opening energy pathways between the various organ systems. In pearl, the trace elements of calcium(Ca) and strontium(Sr) are the same minerals that support bone growth and protect against osteoporosis in humans. I’ve been conducting research for many years on the phenomenon of gemstone resonance, focusing on the beneficial aspects inherent in a crystalline structure when used in conjunction with applied light on a person. I offer individual sessions and workshops as a means of grounding and as a design tool to create therapeutic jewelry in collaboration with the clients’ health needs.  In this application I often use a pearl as a conduit to reduce inflammation.

Furthermore, trace elements in the water and diet affect the mollusk, and subsequently, the pearl’s particular hue. For example, copper = golden yellow;   silver = creamy yellow; sodium = peach;  zinc = pink, bronze or lavender. These overtones are due to overlapping translucent crystalline layers containing aragonite and conchiolin, the microscopic pigmented glue holding the aragonite layers together. When white light strikes and penetrates the surface of the pearl and its layers, the light beam is refracted back at the viewer in its entire spectrum, allowing the viewer to see the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet. Some naturally unattractive freshwater pearls are artificially dyed after the oyster is dead, greatly reducing pearl cost while dulling its energetic vitality.  In general saltwater pearls are never dyed and also emit more natural energy because of the ocean’s added mineral content.

A pearl is seen as a symbol of the Moon offering light in darkness. It is said that a pearl knows the moon like no other, organized by its pull of gravity and tidal force. Formation in saline fluidity evokes faint memory from our time spent in the womb. Try wearing pearls and notice the subtle difference in your mood.  Maybe Kamala Harris always wears pearls to remain calm?   Everyone needs a pearl or two in their life, even if you only carry it in your pocket.

In Pearl We Tryst, and We Trust,
Lainey Papageorge for ILA-NA


Earth Day Offerings of Gratitude

I design a few pieces of jewelry on Earth Day each year to pay homage to our ‘Blue Dot’ spinning on its axis in an infinite vastness.  I can’t sense the turning, but I do feel the changing light, evidence of our radiant Sun as we orbit around it. It is snowing today as I design, each snowflake a blessing on my upturned face. Here are my creative offerings of gratitude to the Earth:

Tiny Sleeping Beauty Turquoise faceted to display its preciousness, to be set into two 14KT mixed metal, dainty, signature orbit pendants.

This ring celebrates the resilient weeping cherry blossoms, challenged by April snow, yet apparently impervious to the icy coating.

Happy Earth Day!
May we protect that which we cherish most,


Anniversary Renewal Rings Celebrate the Patina of Time

When you have lived with someone you love for a long time, say 10 years, 30 years, 50 years, rebirth takes on a new meaning. Becoming a part of a couple’s renewal process with an anniversary or refurbished wedding ring, especially during a pandemic, takes on a reverence I had not anticipated. Each ring celebrates a relationship forged through joy, hardship, sickness, and devotion to one another. Just as a relationship develops its own patina, so does a ring, reflecting the wear and tear of time. When I design I want them to feel the wonder of unearthing a buried treasure, discovering something both familiar and treasured, a glow that emerges through human touch.

May you soon touch all that you love and protect.
Happy Spring,




Lady Winter

Allowing elation then deep sighs of relief to sink in, the Muse finally landed on Inauguration Day. The vibrant colors worn by powerful women on the Capitol veranda shook me from my slumber, their authentic presence proclaiming change. Amanda Gorman’s crimson and yellow ensemble, her expressive fingers dancing along to the cadence of her words, Kamala Harris’ ultra violet suit zapped the Third Eye with intuitive wisdom, Jill Biden’s pale turquoise emitted a razor sharp brilliance in contrast to the soft velvet of her mature beauty and Lady Gaga’s gold peace dove in flight above her flouncy red skirt as she belted out “Our flag was still there!” was a jump start after months of low creative energy.

Massive snow showers have given my Ithaca studio a compelling, reflective quality of light, surprisingly immersive. As I work, I’m also able to observe birds diligently trying to survive this record-breaking winter, their colors pure nourishment against the stark white backdrop of diamantine meadows. Cardinal families and red-headed pileated woodpeckers feast at the suet feeder. Yet the most transcendent of all is a visitation from the rare white and charcoal colored Goshawk that lives and hunts around my studio. She, like the women of Inauguration Day, is so magnificent in stature and flight that I bow in reverence to her potent presence.

I’m grateful that these shots of creative passion have been strong enough to counterbalance the aching isolation that has blanketed me for an entire year. I am shy to reveal these unfinished designs, and to admit that my creative juice has been at a slow drip, but there is beauty in the thaw before the spring, and I believe we are all made stronger when we share our process and experience.

With perseverance and patience,







To go in the dark with a light is to know the light. To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight, and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings…
—Wendell Berry

I’m pondering this thought as we enter the darkness that surrounds the Winter Solstice Monday, December 21. On the evening of the Solstice another heavenly phenomenon occurs on the western horizon, precisely at sunset. Saturn & Jupiter, our two gas giant planets align and appear as one exceedingly bright star. Two as one…it won’t happen again in our lifetime, so try to view it if you can!

Gems formed in the depths of the earth or inside a seashell on the lake or ocean floor, bloom and sing to us. Their beauty revitalizes though it originates in darkness. Even as we gravitate toward light, darkness is something to know and to embrace.

Working with the beauties of the Mineral Kingdom each day, I am indebted to all of you who are reaching out to virtually shop with me during this strange season in our lives. Thank you for your trust and your loyalty, and may your holidays and those of your loved ones be safe, bright, and blessed.

In Darkness and in Light,

Amulet Pendant: Quartz with Hematite inclusions that appear as a starry sky, Champagne Diamond marquis, Lavender Petal Pearl, hand engraved stars on sterling, $1050.
Pendant featured on Black Rhodium plated sterling chain with 14K Rose Gold Diamond pave clasp, 18”, sold separately, $440.

Black Spinel, Pyrite Cube beads, Black Rhodium magnetic clasp 17”. $160

Moonshell Fragment Earrings with natural color Freshwater “Fireball Pearl”, sterling, $330.

Seven sided step-cut Fibrolite (rare gem that looks like an icy blue diamond) with irradiated Blue Diamond on cast sterling shell fragment band.
(Sapelo Island, GA). Size 8.5. $1630.

“Beacon In the Darkness”. 24K Pure Gold Nugget from Chicken, Alaska with flush set Diamonds with detachable White Topaz drops set in 14K white gold.  $1800

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