May, 2008

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

From Team

Summer is coming! We love summertime because of a hot sun for swimming, fishing, eating outside, and much more! In the last issue before summer of newsletter:

Contact us with any questions at
Best regards, Team

Stone of May: MALACHITE

May Stone:

Balance and transformation, spiritual evolution. Stimulates intuitive power. Also represents fidelity, loyalty, practicality, and responsibility. Eases delivery in birthing, and also facilitates the re-birthing process, as it helps one to recognize and clear past negative experiences. Zodiac signs: Capricorn (Seagoat), Scorpio (Scorpion).

More Info

Forest green malachite

Malachite is an opaque semi-precious stone with alternate irregular bands of light and dark green. Malachite often results from weathering of copper ores and is often found together with azurite, goethite, and calcite. Except for its vibrant green color, the properties of malachite are similar to those of azurite and aggregates of the two minerals occur frequently together. Malachite is more common than azurite and is typically associated with copper deposits. The stone's name derives (via Latin and French) from Greek MOLOCHITIS, "mallow-green stone", from MOLOCHE, variant of MALACHE, "mallow".

Large quantities of malachite have been mined in the Urals, Russia. It is also found in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Namibia, Mexico, England (New South Wales), and in the Southwestern United States (Arkansas and Arizona). Malachite is extensively mined at Timna (Israel), often called King Solomon's Mines. Archeological evidence indicates that the mineral has been mined and smelted at the site for over 3,000 years. Most of Timna's current production is also smelted, but the finest pieces are worked into silver jewelry. Malachite was used as a mineral pigment in green paints from antiquity until about 1800. The pigment is moderately lightfast, very sensitive to acids and varying in color, the natural form was being replaced by its synthetic form amongst other synthetic greens. For a long time malachite has been also used for decorative purposes and in jewelry making.

Malachite facts

1. One of the best samples of using malachite for decorative purposes is the Malachite Room in the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia, which features a large malachite vase.

2. "The Tazza", one of the largest pieces of malachite in North America and a gift from Tsar Nicholas II, stands as the focal point in the center of the room of Linda Hall Library, Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Rings & Things jewelry design contest

Rings & Things "Your Designs Rock!" Jewelry Design Contest

The annual "Your Designs Rock!" contest is held for the best creations made from Rings & Things products. This year the contest was in six categories: Glass, Gemstones and Pearls, Metal Clay, Polymer Clay, Mostly Metal, Alternative Materials; the winners were announced the 1st week of May. We are glad to inform you, that our designer Zoya Gutina submitted two pieces of jewelry and won First Place in Glass category (the second year in a row!) for Mermaids Garden Necklace and Honorable Mention in Gemstones and Pearls category for Egyptian Nights Necklace. The other First Place winners are: Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg (Ansonia, CT) - she also won Grand Prize, Cindy Forrester (Deltona, FL), Linda Inhelder (Sammamish, WA), Ping An Brouwers (Den Haag, The Netherlands), Kris Howell (Spokane, WA). Our congratulations to all winners!

Featured artist

Valentine Moon (Val) lives in Brighton, England, and can see the sea from every single window of her home. When working, she sits at a table in a large bay window with a fantastic view of constantly changing water and sky - she feels this has an enormous influence on the colors she uses and the designs she creates.

Originally she studied Fashion and Textiles at Newcastle College of Art and Industrial Design, then moved to London, married and worked as a knitwear designer and illustrator, winning 2 Courtaulds awards for hand knitting design.

Gardening and anything related to plants was (and still is) her great passion, so after 20 years in the fashion industry she changed direction completely - took a 3 year course in garden design and started working for The Chelsea Gardener in London, during which time she won a silver medal at Hampton Court Garden Exhibition. Her work began to involve designing garden structures and furniture and this, in turn, led to a position with a furniture retailer, designing and sourcing furniture for their 9 shops. Val eventually moved to Brighton (with her husband Ken and their beloved cat Carmen) and opened her own contemporary Italian furniture, homeware and jewelry shop - Plan B.

During quiet spells in the shop, Val began to design and make her own designs for soft furnishings, quilts and jewelry which she then sold in the shop. When Val closed the shop, after 6 years, last August she had been designing and making jewelry for 2 years and decided to pursue it as a full-time occupation. Her work is often inspired by her love of flowers and plants and, of course, the sea. She loves using all sorts of materials - acrylics, Swarovski crystals, Tibetan Silver, semi-precious stones, freshwater and faux pearls, glass beads, shells, hemp and leather to name but a few. Very recently, she has started modeling flowers, mermaids and fairies in polymer clay and incorporating these in her pieces. Although some of the components are bought in, she designs and makes each piece of jewelry herself. Val's dream is to eventually live in France and to run courses in various aspects of jewelry making.

Gallery on
Gallery on Picasaweb:

Early jewelry function & design

The first jewelry was made from readily available natural materials including animal teeth, bone, various types of shells, carved stone and wood. It is believed that jewelry started out as a functional item used to fasten articles of clothing together, and was later adapted for use as an object for purely aesthetic ornamentation, or for use as a spiritual and religious symbol.

As mankind progressed, jewelry was used as a symbol of wealth and status, as well as to protect against harm, ward of evil, and heal ailments. Jewelry was used by early man to adorn nearly every part of the human body, and has been made out of almost every natural material known to mankind.

Prolific jewelry making began with the ancestors of Homo Sapiens, the Cro-Magnons over 40,000 years ago when they began to migrate from Africa and the Middle East to the continent of Europe. Cro-Magnons eventually replaced the Neanderthals as the dominant species.

Jewelry from the Cro-Magnon period includes crudely fashioned necklaces and bracelets made of bone, teeth, mother-of-pearl, shells and stone strung together with a piece of twine or animal sinew. The earliest signs of metallurgy occurred around 7,000 years ago when humans began using forged copper to make jewelry.


Bead embroidered handbags

Bead artist Guzell Bakeeva

Last month we featured a young professional jewelry designer - Liana Tsaturyan. Our guest today is another young bead artist. Guzell Bakeeva lives in Moscow, she works as a marketing specialist and she is also studying at the Moscow branch of the British School of Art and Design.

Guzell discovered the world of beads seven years ago when she worked as a textile designer. Her first experience in beadwork was associated with bead embroidery. For the next five years she has developed her skills in beading techniques learning peyote stitch, square stitch, cross stitch, and so on. The first Guzell's attempts in beadwork were wearable items, mostly free-form necklaces, but her dream was to design bead embroidered handbags. She doesn't have enough time to bead for leisure, and she created just a few of them, but each Guzell's handbag is a piece of art. We admire her beadwork and hope, that you will join us!

Read the full article on bead embroidery by Guzell Bakeeva.

Guzell's work can be seen at her gallery: bead embroidered handbags.

Butterfly Handbag closeups: Butterfly Handbag.

Contact Guzell at

Guzell's blog:

Step by step

We believe you don't mind, that the process of designing and creating artwork is always impressive. What inspires an artist? What helps him to choose particular media and technique? And, at last, what are the steps of design and make? Today Guzell Bakeeva tells us the history of her the most beautiful and amazing creature - Butterfly Handbag.

Upcoming events

2008 Bead & Button Show 2008 Bead & Button Show

June 1-8, 2008
Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Do you love fashion and jewelry? Do you have a passion for beautiful accessories? The Bead & Button Show is the largest jewelry and bead show in the nation. Over 370 vendors will be selling one-of-a-kind finished jewelry plus precious gems, pearls, art beads, gold and silver, beading supplies and books. The show will also feature a juried exhibit Bead Dreams 2008 of inspiring bead art and over 500 bead and jewelry classes. Among artists from all over the world at the exhibit are beaded jewelry designers Zoya Gutina and Tatiana Van Iten.

If you do not want receive our newsletter and you wish to remove your email address from our mailing list, please click the following link to unsubscribe.