October, 2007

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

From MyLovelyBeads.com Team

In the fifth issue of our MyLovelyBeads.com newsletter:

If you have any questions or suggestions please contact us at info@mylovelybeads.com.
Best regards,
MyLovelyBeads.com Team

Stone of October: OPAL

Stone of October:

Represents purity and intensity. It assists in emotional and mental balance, calms the inner soul. Excellent stone for progress, expansion, and development. Helps one connect the conscious and subconscious, providing for a clearing understanding of oneself. Zodiac signs: Cancer (Crab), Libra (Balance), Pisces (Fish), Scorpio (Scorpion).

More Info

Opal - mineraloid gel

Boulder opal carving Opal is a mineraloid gel, the water content sometimes is as high as 20%, but is usually between three and ten percent. Opal color ranges from clear through white, gray, red, yellow, green, blue, magenta, brown, and black. Of these hues, red and black are the most rare and dear, whereas white and green are the most common. The word opal comes from the Latin OPALUS, by Greek OPALLIOS, and is from the same root as Sanskrit UPALA(s) for "stone", originally a millstone with UPARA(s) for slab.

Multi-color rough opal specimen from Virgin Valley, Nevada, USA Opal is truly amorphous, but precious opal has a structural element. At the micro scale precious opal is composed of silica spheres, that produce a variable interplay of internal colors by causing the interference and diffraction of light passing through the microstructure of opal. The term opalescence is commonly and erroneously used to describe this unique phenomenon, which is correctly termed play of color. Contrarily, opalescence is correctly applied to the milky, turbid appearance of common opal, that does not show a play of color.

Blue banded opal Besides the gemstone varieties that show a play of color, there are other kinds of common opal that don't have this effect, such as the milk opal, milky bluish to greenish; resin opal, honey-yellow with a resinous luster; wood opal; menilite brown or gray; hyalite, a colorless glass-clear opal; geyserite, deposited around hot springs or geysers; and diatomite, the accumulations of diatom shells or tests. Other varieties of opal are: fire opal is a translucent to semi-opaque stone that is generally yellow to bright orange and sometimes nearly red; peruvian opal is a semi-opaque to opaque blue-green stone found in Peru; boulder opal consists of concretions and fracture fillings in a dark siliceous ironstone matrix.

Until the nineteenth century the only source of precious opal known to Europeans was the mining district in Slovakia. Opal without play of color is very common and can be found all over the world, unlike precious opal deposits that are in greater scope found today only in Australia, USA, and Mexico. Australia produces around 97% of the world's opal. Boulder opal is found sporadically in western Queensland, Australia. Fire opal is found mostly in Mexico and Mesoamerica. Other significant deposits of precious opal around the world can be found in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Turkey, Indonesia, Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Ethiopia.

Opal facts

1. The opal is the official gemstone of South Australia and the Commonwealth of Australia.

2. Australia country's women's national team in basketball is nicknamed "The Opals".

3. The official state gemstone for Nevada is precious black Fire Opal, in recognition of the black opal found in Virgin Valley, Humboldt County, Nevada.

4. The largest black opal in the Smithsonian Museum, possibly worth in excess of $1 million, comes from the Royal Peacock Opal Mine in the Virgin Valley.

New on MyLovelyBeads.com

Bracelet "Carmen" Bracelet "Charm" Bracelet "Lone Flower" Bracelet "Fresh Green"

If you have looked through the site and have not found that perfectly glorious MyLovelyBeads.com design for an upcoming event, or to go with your favorite outfit, place a custom order to discuss your needs with us. We love to design for specific individuals, incorporating their energy and personality into the piece. Many of the spectacular pieces you can see on the site are the result of a custom order that undoubtedly inspired a higher level of creativity. There are just a few steps to place a custom order.

Featured artist

Wooden beads by Ernie Morse and Joan Jensen Joan Jensen and Ernie Morse of Tazwood Creations create beads from native, exotic, and historic woods. Every bead is made by hand, using most of the machines in the work shop! Some of the bead shapes, such as the rectangular flats, are made with the table saw, router, and drill press, then sanded and finished by hand. Triangular prism beads require precise measuring and extreme caution on the table saw. Most of the bead blanks are first cut on a band saw, and then turned on a wood lathe using highly sharpened turning tools at speeds of more than 3900 RPM. The beads are then hand sanded to at least a six hundred grit, and finished accordingly. Depending on the wood species and its intended use, we use one of several different oils, waxes, shellac, lacquer, resins, and sometimes dyes. A final buffing with three different compounds completes the creation of a bead.

Visit Joan and Ernie's website at www.TazwoodCreations.com to see a multitude of hand made wooden beads, pens, bowls, vessels, and finished jewelry. Do not limit yourself to the selections currently in stock, though, as custom orders with your choice of wood and shape are encouraged, usually at no additional costs.

Do you know? Silver

When choosing a piece of jewelry, you always pay attention at the materials. If you see a white metal some parts are made of and ask a vendor about materials, you often hear - silver! And that can be not a pure silver, but silver plated or silver filled. Do you know the difference between them?

Silver filled is a mechanical bonding with a silver alloy of at least 92.5 percent fineness. The bonding must be equal to at least one-twentieth of the metal in the article. This can also be called silver overlay, but never silver plate.

Silver plate is a fine silver film deposited on a base metal by electrolysis, in the same kind of electrically-charged bath used to make gold electroplate. The film can be as thin as seven millionths of an inch. A silver plate item cannot be called Sterling or marked as silver.

Sterling Silver (SS) items are made of 92-1/2% pure silver and 7-1/2% copper or other alloy proportions fixed by law. In time Sterling color will take on an "antique" look. Fine silver = .999 or 100% pure silver.

Russian beaded icons

Russian beaded icons The art of Russian icon painting is known worldwide. As a general rule, these icons strictly followed models and formulas hallowed by Byzantine usage, but as time passed, the Russians widened the vocabulary of types and styles far beyond anything found elsewhere in the Orthodox world. Russian icons are often small, though some in churches and monasteries may be as large as a table top. Most of them are painted using egg tempera on specially prepared wooden panels, or on cloth glued onto wooden panels. Gold leaf is frequently used for halos and background areas; however, in some icons, silver leaf, sometimes tinted with shellac to look like gold, is used instead, and some icons have no gilding at all. Russian icons may be highly embellished, sometimes with pearl, semi-precious and even precious stones.

Russian beaded icons Painting is not the only technique used for creating Russian icons. When glass beads came to Russia, beadwork started to be used by monastery icon artists. All iconography traditions are kept and developed by many Russian modern artists. Two sisters - Anna Bandurkina and Olga Yantovskaya live in Central Russia, in the very old city of Ryazan, that is rich in history, art, and culture. Their mother is an arts critic, about 25 years ago she learned the art of beaded icons, created her own techniques and methods and inspired her daughters. Anna is an artist, Olga is a musician, and both of them have now two passions: Russian icons and beading.

Russian beaded icons The size of sisters' icons is usually 8.3 x 11.4 inches (21 x 29 centimeters). Faces, hands and some other elements of the icons are painted on thin canvas and glued. Anna and Olga use in their work glass beads of many sizes, types and colors, rhinestones, Swarovski crystal, pearl, amber, and gemstones; they donate icons to local Russian Orthodox monasteries. Surf the gallery to see the beaded icons by Anna and Olga. Visit their website to see much more wonderful Russian beaded icons. If you are interested in beaded icon art, please contact Anna and Olga at ikona.72@mail.ru, or you may contact us at info@mylovelybeads.com.

Step by step

Have you ever tried to make a small piece of jewelry of your own, just for your own pleasure? For those who want to try it since that issue we will tell about the small jewelry making secrets of Tatiana Van Iten. Tatiana has a great experience in designing and creating beaded jewelry, and she has kindly agreed to share with us some of her skills. Today Tatiana shows us how to make a simple Cuff Bracelet.

Upcoming events

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

November 9, 10, 11, 2007
Hartford, Connecticut
Connecticut Expo Center


November 16, 17, 18, 2007
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Mont. Co. Fairgrounds

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!

The Greater Cincinnati Folk Art & Craft Show
November 2 - 4, 2007
Sharonville, Ohio


Holiday Craft Show Reading Berks
November 3 - 4, 2007
Reading, PA

The York Folk Art & Craft Show
November 16 - 18, 2007
York, PA


Artworks Indianapolis
November 10 - 11, 2007
Indianapolis, IN

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