African Elephant Hair Bracelet



One day when Steve and I were selling our wares at a craft fair, a lady asked if we had any African Elephant Hair Bracelets. No, I replied, please tell me more. She said the bracelets bring good health and she wanted to purchase one for her father who was not feeling well. That was the beginning of my search to know more about the African Elephant Hair Bracelet. The following is what I learned.

Elephants have been part of African culture as far back as the cave art and petroglyphs.  The elephant is revered for its strength, beauty, spirit, cooperative nature, stamina, intelligence and loyalty.

People believe that wearing an African Elephant Hair Bracelet will bring them good luck and ward off illness. The legend of the African Elephant Hair Bracelet dates back some 1500 years.

Some Elephant Hair Bracelets have two knots. One knot represents the earth’s fertility and ancestors. The second knot represents nature’s spirits and forces. The bracelet is believed to create balance between nature and earth.

The four knot bracelet represents Mother Nature: fire, sun, water and wind. The strands of the elephant hair which pass through the knots represent the four seasons of the year.

The movement of the knots along the cord represents the forces of nature and continual evolution. It is believed that it helps bring strength, good luck, and fortune to the wearer.

The African Elephant Hair Bracelet is made from the tail hair of the elephant. This was originally collected from the bushes and tree branches along the trails the elephants used. The hair of a mature elephant is thick and long and may have to be cut into pieces for use. It is sturdy and lasts a long time.

I hope you have enjoyed the story and I could say that I can offer you an original African Elephant Hair Bracelet, but there is a second story.

The beautiful majestic African Elephant has been illegally hunted for their ivory tusks. Additionally, they are being poached for their hair and their skin that is made into leather.

Africa-facts.org states that in some parts of the world it is illegal to own an Elephant Hair Bracelet. For this reason, people have chosen to copy the style and make the bracelet using metals.

The bracelet we offer at Brogan-Arts.com is made of brass. It has four knots symbolizing the powerful forces of life: the sun, wind, fire and water. The strands, which circle through the knots depict the seasons of the year. Movement of the knots along the wire blends the forces of nature with life’s continuous evolutions and brings strength to the wearer.

I enjoy wearing my bracelet. When the knots move, the stands move and I am reminded how life changes daily. My bracelet has been a great source of encouragement to me.  I may not always understand what is happening when, but just as I move the knots and straighten out the strands, my life goes on. It is all good. There is always hope for a better tomorrow.

I like to think that one receives all the same benefits from a metal bracelet without taking the life of an elephant. Believing in a legend is sometimes what makes it real.

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Two people drive my passion and my husband is fully supportive of all my creative endeavors. Wow! That is quite a statement, but it is true. Let me explain.

Our son, Chris Brogan, never gives up. He will be the first to tell you that he has tried many things. If something doesn’t work out just the way he wants, he goes on to something else. Learn more, get his newsletter, ChrisBrogan.com.

Chris realized that one has to make money to live. His latest offering called the 20 Minute Plan is all about selling. One must sell “something” to cover the expenses. The plan is brilliant and it applies to me as well.

I have a small business called Brogan-Arts.com. When we lived in New England, Steve and I made custom gifts that we sold on the website and at craft fairs.  Life was an adventure. We met great people and they were so happy when they bought our custom made gifts.

Life took a turn when I developed allergies that weakened by body so badly we stopped doing craft fairs. We moved to Las Vegas for the climate. Thankfully I have recovered my health and enjoy life again. I am not doing craft fairs, but our website, Brogan-Arts.com is still active. In the days ahead, I hope to offer you even more creations.

Karen Putz is the second person who plays a major role in my daily life. Her Twitter name is @AgelessPassions and her message is “You are never too old to pursue your passions.” Lean more about this amazing woman here. http://www.agelesspassions.com/

With Karen giving me daily inspiration and Chris giving me encouragement to sell my products, I will be sharing with you the creative part of my life.

The most popular item Steve and I sold at craft shows was the name necklace. It comes in various colors with matching or contrasting adjustable neck cords. The reason for the popularity is that each necklace is made for a special person.


You can order a name necklace at Brogan-Arts.com.

My name is unique because it belongs to me. Your name is unique because it belongs to you. Name necklaces are a great gift because they give joy to the giver and to the receiver. There is one slight drawback in that they support, on average, only eight letters.

One lady asked for a necklace for her daughter Margaret-Elizabeth. I explained that the name was too long for the necklace to support. She argued that I did not advertise a limitation. I told her that I would be happy to make the necklace, but that it would fall apart. I asked if she always addressed her daughter as Margaret-Elizabeth or did she have a nickname. The lady told me they called her Maggie. We agreed that Maggie would be a better choice for the name necklace.

Since then I have learned how to make a name necklace to support a long name. That is my thrill of creation. The joy of being able to bend wire into a piece of wearable art makes me very happy. Even greater happiness is achieved when the receiver likes the piece.


This name bracelet is one of my latest creations. I am very pleased with the look and feel of it. If you want one, it is available at Brogan-Arts.com.


As we enter the Thanksgiving season, I hope you find much to be thankful for. This is the Thanksgiving bracelet I created. A simple ring design, but color gives it meaning. The bracelet is also a constant reminder of how much I have to be thankful for.


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First Cruise


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Steve and I embarked on our first ever cruising adventure last Sunday. We went to the Mexican Riviera with the Nevada Poker League.

Friends have been telling us for years how much fun we would have if we went on a cruise. The major reason we have not gone before is that I am prone to sea sickness. I figured if I got sick, I could stay in the cabin and Steve could play poker. I had the “fool proof” patch that goes behind the ear that my friends say will “guarantee” no sea sickness. Fortunately, I did not have to use it and I was not sea sick. Everything should have been fine, but it wasn’t.


We boarded the ship on Sunday afternoon and the first 24 hours or so, I wasn’t very happy. I was convinced that this would be our first and last cruise. Steve was quite agreeable to that idea. AND I didn’t like not being in contact with family and friends. I had major social media withdrawal.

We had purchased extended Verizon service to Mexico, but that only worked when we were in port. We purchased internet access from the ship, but that was only good in our state room, or so we thought. Then we learned that we could disconnect the wifi from the state room and use it on my cell phone. Life was ever  so much better after that. I had limited use, but I was happy.


On Tuesday the ship stopped in Cabo St. Lucas, Mexico. One of my greatest fears in life was going to Mexico and being kidnapped and not getting home. We took the Costal Highlight Tour through Carnival to ensure our safe return to the ship. We had a great departure from the pier and through the city. We saw the modern buildings and the stores like we have here, including Burger King, McDonalds, Dominos, Starbucks, the Hard Rock Café and many more.


Our first stop was at “The View.” We were strongly admonished that the stop was 15 minutes and that we MUST be back on the bus and ready to ride at the appointed time. Everyone was back on the bus, but the bus didn’t move. We eventually learned that the bus had backed into a taxi parked behind the bus and could not move until the police arrived. We had to wait until another bus arrived to pick us up.

A little over an hour later, a second bus arrived to continue our journey. As we took off, the driver backed into a wall and broke the tail light of the bus. Fortunately it was not an accident that required him to stop.


The audio in the second bus was very poor so it was difficult to understand what the guide was saying as we traveled through the countryside. One of the highlights of the tour, and a major reason we took the tour, was a stop at a glass blowing factory. Sadly, that stop got cancelled.

The boats that took us to shore and back to the ship.
The boats that took us to shore and back to the ship.

Our tour guide, Claudia, had a lot of spunk and was determined that we would have a good tour. She informed us that the Carnival personnel had been informed and that they would be waiting on shore to take us back to the ship.

Leaving the ship, there is a big sign that says: “Be back at 3PM.” Claudia assured us that the ship would not leave without us. Logically I knew that was true, but my anxiety level continued to rise as each minute past 3PM ticked by.

The Carnival Shore Excursion hostess met us at the terminal and informed us that the ship was waiting and that each of us would receive a 50% return. We made it back to the ship after 4PM. Steve and I went immediately to our cabin. Just was we opened our door, the captain said “Now that everyone is aboard, we will haul anchor and set sail for Puerto Vallarta.”

I cancelled our “on shore” excursion for the next day.

At dinner that evening we learned that Joe Pane, from the Nevada Poker League, had planned a private excursion the next day and we were invited to attend.

We met the next day at the dock in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Joe, who has a great deal of knowledge from previous trips, lined up three extra-large vans and drivers to take us to lunch, sightseeing, shopping, and a stop at the Tequila Company.

Bill Naugle, Ricky Ricardo, Steve Brogan
Bill Naugle, Ricky Ricardo, Steve Brogan

We had a fabulous day with the group. Our van driver was Ricky Ricardo. He speaks perfect English and was lots of fun. We stopped at a very expensive jewelry store that had beautiful merchandise.


We then went to the city center for shopping and beach appreciation. We saw the statue of The Boy on the Seahorse. According to travelbymexico.com, “The statue was Inaugurated in 1976,the Caballito de Mar, is a bronze figure approximately 3 meters in height, created by artist Rafael Zamarripa. This little boy riding a sea horse, has become the symbol of Puerto Vallarta.”


We also visited the beautiful Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I used this picture from Wikipedia as it is much better than the one I took.


On our way to lunch in the country, we stopped at a roadside vendor that had great merchandise at reasonable prices. The vendors were fun and friendly. This is a picture of Steve modeling the hat he bought there.


We had a fabulous lunch on the large veranda of a building. We were having such a good time, I did not get all the details. We were serenaded and offered merchandise to buy. I took a picture of the sign to recommend the place to others, but it only says welcome in faded letters. After lunch we walked by the river. It was so peacefully wonderful.


On the way back we stopped at the Baston Del Rey Tequila Company. We learned how tequila is made from the plant to the bottle. The different types of tequila were offered for tasting and sale. It was a great adventure.

Special thanks to Joe Pane for making our outing to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico so special.

The Carnival cruise ship itself offers great food and entertainment throughout the day and every evening. There is always something to do and food is available all day and night. If that is not enough, room service is available 24/7.

Thanks to Sissy Murphy and Joe Pane of the Nevada Poker League for making this cruise possible. We had a really good time. Who knows what the future holds.

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Fruitcake Rose

Most people either like fruitcake or make a face and say how much they hate it. I make the kind that most people like. Steve is also very involved in this process. He helped me do the shopping, the food prep, and the mixing.

I use the recipe I got from Aunt Mable. I have had it for over 50 years. I call it my “Fruit Cake” recipe, but she was very specific that it was her “Apple Cake” recipe.

Using an old recipe can be tricky. We learned quite a bit in the process. Some things were confusing. We bought “unsulfured” Molasses.


Until now, I had no idea there was a difference in Molasses. If you want to know more, here is a link that Steve found that will tell you all about the difference.

And I just learned that elephants love molasses. It says so right on the label.

We went to three stores to find sticky raisins. Steve and I are both old enough to remember sticky raisins so we know what they are, BUT they are no longer sold.

Steve found another valuable link that explains how sticky raisins used to be made. By reading the material, you can understand why they are no longer made.


While writing this, Steve was busy at his computer. I am so excited. Steve just found a number to call the market department of Sunmaid.com and ordered us some Muscat Raisins. We will make another batch of fruit cake to test the Sticky Raisins. To order simply call 800-786-6243 and ask for the market department.



For this cake, we used regular Sunmaid raisins. It is amazing how much one can learn from a package these days. If you have an iPad, an iPhone or a computer, you can learn about Sun-Maid’s “century of experience.” Free!

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The next challenge was to buy the fruit. Thankfully I knew that the recipe was referring to candied fruit. There is no measurement of how much fruit to buy. The recipe just says “Fruit: (usually one package).” If the recipe says “usually one package that could mean that sometimes, one could use more than one package. If I bought the big package, I reasoned would be all set. Hmm… we bought the big one and are hoping for the best. It contains two pounds of fruit.

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If you bake a lot, you probably have already encountered these marvelous little one cup containers of shortening. Yes, they cost a little more, but the convenience is well worth it to me for this once a year adventure. The one cup measure was great, but look, even more minute measurements are on the side. It is times like this that I wonder what my mother would make of all this if she were here. She passed away over fifty years ago.

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Normally we hurry through life and never stop to read the added information on items we use every day. But this is a special shopping day because this fruitcake is being made for a very special person.

Who knew that common baking soda now offers 30 FREE Recipes from Martha Stewart Living. Yeah me! Such a deal.

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We were on the home stretch. We bought disposable bread pans. Once again we had to experiment. The recipe says: “makes three breads dependent on size.” OK, how big are the breads? We bought some medium and mini size disposable pans and decided to punt.

The last item on our search was cheese cloth. It is not an easy item to find. Tired and worn out from searching through four food stores, we were ready to go home. The happy young lady at the checkout asked, “Did you find everything OK?” When we replied that we could not find the cheese cloth, she instantly replied that it was in aisle 4 on the right. Yahoo! Our list was complete. Steve and I were ready to cook – tomorrow.

After the cakes are baked, we will wrap them in cheese cloth and apply brandy until Christmas time, when they should be perfect.

Do you make fruitcake?

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By special request – The recipe is as follows:

Fruitcake – Diane Brogan

3 cups apples – cut in cubes

1 ½ cups molasses (12 oz)

½ cup water

Put on to boil – stir constantly – (don’t cook like applesauce)

2 cups of Muscat raisins – the sticky ones

3 ½ cups of candied fruit

8 oz of chopped dates

Put fruit in boiled mixture as first ingredients come from stove. Let cool.


1 ½ cups sugar

1 cup melted shortening

2 eggs

1 cup sour milk

2 tsp soda

2 tsp salt – 1 use 1 tsp salt

½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup walnuts

4 ½ cups flour

Mix all together and place in bread pans.

Batch makes 4 medium breads 3.75 x 2.5 x 8 plus 2 mini 3.5 x 2 x 5.75


8 mini and 2 large

Cook the mini loaves for 1 hour at 350 degrees

Cook the medium loaves for 1 ½ hours at 350 degrees

When cool, wrap in cheese cloth and drizzle with brandy. Wrap in aluminum foil. Keep the cheese cloth damp (about one tablespoon weekly for 6 weeks.)  Store in refrigerator. Keeps up to 6 months.