September, 2007

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

From Team

In the fourth issue of our newsletter:

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Best regards, Team

Stone of September: LAPIS LAZULI

Stone of September:

Stone for acquiring wisdom, esoteric knowledge. Connection betweeen the physical and celestial. Awareness, attunement, intuition and psychic ability. Stone of protection. Zodiac signs: Sagittarius (Archer).

More Info

Lapis lazuli - Badakhshan gem

An Elephant carving in high quality lapis lazuli Lapis lazuli is a semi-precious stone prized since antiquity for its intense blue color. Lapis is a rock and not a mineral because it is made up from various other minerals. The main component of lapis lazuli is lazurite; it also contains calcite (white), sodalite (blue) and pyrite (metallic yellow), and some other constituents. The finest color is intense blue, lightly dusted with small flecks of golden pyrite.

Lapis is the Latin for "stone" and lazuli the genitive form of the Medieval Latin LAZULUM, which is from the Arabic LAZAWARD, which is ultimately from the Persian LAJWARD, the name of a place where lapis lazuli was mined. The name of the place came to be associated with the stone mined there and eventually, with its color. The English word "azure", the Spanish and Portuguese "azul", and the Italian "azzurro" are cognates. As a whole, lapis lazuli means "stone of azure".

The Mask of Tutankhamun with incrustation of lapis lazuli The best lapis lazuli is found in limestone in the Kokcha river valley of Badakhshan province in northeastern Afghanistan, and these deposits in the mines of Sar-e-Sang have been worked for more than 6,000 years. Badakhshan was the source of lapis for the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations, as well as the later Greek and Roman. In addition to the Afghan deposits, lapis has been found in the Andes in Chile, where it is usually pale rather than deep blue, in the Lake Baikal region of Russia, Angola, Burma, Pakistan, USA (California and Colorado), Canada and India.

A Bear carving in lapis lazuli In ancient Egypt lapis lazuli was a favorite stone for amulets and ornaments such as scarabs; it was also used by the Assyrians and Babylonians for seals. In ancient times, lapis lazuli was known as sapphire, which is the name that is used today for the blue corundum variety sapphire. It appears to have been the sapphire of ancient writers because Pliny refers to sapphirus as a stone sprinkled with specks of gold. Lapis jewelry has been found at excavations of the Predynastic Egyptian site Naqada (3300-3100 B.C.), and powdered lapis was used as eyeshadow by Cleopatra herself. The ancient royal Sumerian tombs of Ur, located near the Euphrates River in lower Iraq, contained more than 6000 beautifully executed lapis lazuli statuettes of birds, deers, and rodents as well as dishes, beads, and cylinder seals.

Many of the blues in painting from medieval Illuminated manuscripts to Renaissance panels were derived from lapis lazuli. Ground to a powder and processed to remove impurities and isolate the component lazurite, it forms the pigment ultramarine. Since the synthetic version of ultramarine was discovered in the 19th century (along with other 19th century blues, such as cobalt blue), production and use of the natural variety has almost ceased.

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Featured artist

Glass and beadwork artist Gail Kops Our first guest today is Gail Kops, a glass artist and jewelry designer from Germany. Of her creativity, she says, "The torch, its flame, some glass, and I met up a few years ago here in Germany with "Passing the Flame" and other publications in hand. Starting with a sampler pack of Moretti glass, they soon became "shorts" and I made my second purchase of glass. Every day at the torch is a learning experience - learning about the properties of the different glasses, learning not to swear, learning not to burn myself! I think I have finally found a niche to settle into after working in many different art forms.

I consider my focus to be organic in nature and tend to make more beads in that style, using metal foils, wire, CZ's, and other components to achieve more of a natural look. If you were to ask where my inspiration comes from, it would have to be outer space, the universe, and the galaxies, but also earth-bound nature in general. Fascinated by Debbie Pierce's moon beads, I started putting my own spin on them and have added "northern lights", CZ's, and other extras.

Working with molten glass is fascinating - watching the flame play with the colors, flow into interesting shapes, and react with each other to create special effects and designs. It is an artform that is dynamic and always challenging."

Surf the gallery to see where the flame is leading Gail Kops. Visit Gail's website to see much more wonderful glasswork. Ebay auctions are uploaded regularly under the beadlesglass id, or visit her Etsy shop to spoil yourself with one-of-a-kind artglass beads and jewelry!

Do you know? Swarovski

Swarovski AG Swarovski is the luxury brand name for the range of precision-cut lead crystal glass products produced by companies owned by Swarovski AG of Feldmeilen, near Innsbruck, Austria.

Swarovski crystal was born when Bohemia born Daniel Swarovski invented an automatic cutting machine in 1892. In 1895 the Swarovski company was founded when he established a crystal cutting factory in Wattens (Tyrol, Austria). Here he could take advantage of local hydroelectricity for the energy-intensive grinding processes he had patented.

Swarovski crystal contains approximately 32% lead to maximize refraction. The Swarovski Crystal range includes crystal sculptures and miniatures, jewelry and couture, home decor and chandeliers. They also sell beads and rhinestones, encouraging other manufacturers, artists and consumers to create their own designs.

In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or "AB", is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance. Other coatings include Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.

Interesting facts on Swarovski

1. The original Swarovski logo was an edelweiss flower, but was replaced with the current swan logo in 1988.

2. The company runs a crystal-themed indoor theme park, Swarovski Kristallwelten (Crystal Worlds) at its original Wattens site (near Innsbruck, Tyrol, Austria).

3. Swarovski was also a sponsor for The Phantom of the Opera (2004 film), in which the "standing model" of the chandelier was composed of Swarovski crystals. A Swarovski shop window is also visible later in the film. However, the current swan logo, instead of the edelweiss flower which would have been the case in the era the film was set, appears.

4. In 2007 Swarovski formed a partnership with electronics giant Philips to produce the "Active-Crystals" consumer electronics range. The Active-Crystals Range includes four USB Memory keys and four In-ear headphones, all with some form of Swarovski crystal on them as decoration.

Playing dolls

Shulamit Grintsaig We naturally assume that dolls are only played with by young girls. You may be surprised to find that some adults still do! Shulamit Grintsaig lives in Israel. She started working with dolls a few years ago to keep herself busy. In the beginning, she bought a few dolls and sewed dresses, blouses, skirts, and other accessories for them. She liked what she created, and decided to design and make beaded clothes for them. Not only clothes, but hats, purses, umbrellas, and belts, all made from beads. Enter the gallery to see part of Shulamit Grintsaig's collection of beaded dolls and accessories. If you are interested in Shulamit Grintsaig's beadwork, please contact us at any time at

Casual remark

Sometimes it takes so much time! One of the most beautiful gemstones of very rare intense lavender to purple color is charoite. The boulders with inclusions of unknown violet mineral were found in Siberia, in Russia, in 1948. The area charoite was found was completely uninhabited and very difficult of access because of rocks, mountains and wild Siberian forests. The first deposit of charoite was discovered 12 years later, in 1960. And only in 7 years, in 1977 charoite was officially recognized as a new mineral.

Upcoming events

12th Annual Art on the Avenue Festival 12th Annual Art on the Avenue Festival

Saturday, October 6, 2007 10 am - 6 pm
Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA

12th Annual Multi-Cultural Arts, Crafts & Music Festival, Art on the Avenue celebrates community diversity though the arts in the Potomac West area of Alexandria, Virginia.

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

October 5, 6, 7, 2007
Timonium, Maryland
MD State Fairgrounds

October 12, 13, 14, 2007
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Mont. Co. Fairgrounds

October 19, 20, 21, 2007
Novi, Michigan
Rock Financial Showpl.

October 26, 27, 28, 2007
Somerset, New Jersey
Garden State Exhibit Ctr.

Juried Fine Art & Craft Festivals since 1976. Find the unique handcrafted artwork of thousands of American Artists! Sugarloaf Craft Festivals are designer craft shows and fine art fairs with a difference. Decorative creations for home & garden, exceptional fine art & designer crafts!

Virginia Fine Craft & Art Festival Virginia Fine Craft & Art Festival

October 27-28, 2007
         Saturday 10 am - 5 pm
         Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
Cultural Center of Northern VA Community College, Annandale, VA

This eclectic show features artisans from around the country who create fine traditional arts and crafts, contemporary crafts and authentic folk art.

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