Happy blossom time!
How can you not love spring - birds singing, flowers blooming, the rest of
snow finally melting? Do you have any fun plans for a break? Not yet? So,
read MyLovelyBeads.com newsletter!
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The stone of courage, protection. Aquamarine stimulates
intellect and spiritual awareness. It also accelerates the
intellectual reasoning process and makes one unconquerable
thru learning - not only of knowledge passed thru teachers
of the past and present, but of oneself. Zodiac signs:
Gemini (Twins), Pisces (Fish), Aries (Ram).
Bloodstone - heliotrope
Bloodstone is the original birthstone for March. Today, bloodstone,
jasper and aquamarine are all considered the
gemstones for March. The mineral bloodstone, also known as
heliotrope, is a form of chalcedony. The "classic" bloodstone is
green chalcedony with red inclusions of iron oxide or red jasper.
Sometimes the inclusions are yellow, in which case the mineral is
given the name plasma. It also occurs in shades of dark green with
red, brown and multicolored spots.
The red inclusions are supposed to resemble spots of blood; hence the
name "bloodstone". The name "heliotrope" (from Greek HELIOS -
Sun, and TREPEIN - to turn) derives from various ancient notions
about the manner in which the mineral reflects light. Perhaps the
appearance of the gem reminded the ancients of the red setting sun,
mirrored in the ocean.
The primary source of the stone is India. It is also found in Brazil,
China, Australia, Kathiawar Peninsula in India, Germany, Scotland,
Czech Republic, Russia and the United States (Wyoming).
In ancient times bloodstone was thought to have the ability to stop
hemorrhages by merely touching the stone. Ancient warriors often
carried a bloodstone amulet which was intended to stop the bleeding when
applied to a wound.
Engraved bloodstone was used by the Babylonians in divination, and both
they and the ancient Egyptians used it to magically defeat enemies,
usually by employing the stone's abilities to increase personal strength
and yet make its wearer "invisible" when they wanted attention focused
strategically elsewhere. The Leyden Papyrus declared that "The world has
no greater thing than bloodstone," it opens all doors for its owner,
breaks down the walls of prisons and averts many disasters.
In the Middle Ages the red spots were thought to be the blood of Jesus,
according to a legend, it was first formed when drops of Christ's blood
fell and stained some jasper at the foot of the cross. Boccaccio writes
about making one "invisible" in his Decameron. Medieval Christians often
used bloodstone to carve scenes of the crucifixion and martyrs, and in
sculptures representing flagellation and martyrdom, leading it to also
be dubbed "martyr's stone".
Mentioned in Washington Post
Raw Materials, Talent in Old Town Alexandria - this article in The
Washington Post (Friday, March 20, 2009; Page WE05) is not about Zoya
Gutina. Holly E. Thomas' story is on the
Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA, "home to
more than 160 artists tucked away in 82 studios, as well as five
cooperative galleries, two workshops dedicated to printmaking and fiber
arts, and an art school where adults and children can channel their
inner Picasso." And at the end of the article talking about maze-like top
level of the factory, Holly advises to "visit jewelry designer Zoya Gutina,
whose intricate, hand-beaded necklaces are nothing short of stunning."
Thank you, Holly!
Raw Materials, Talent in Old Town Alexandria
Featured artist - Scarlett Lanson
Have you ever heard about Scarlett Lanson? Not yet? There is no wonder,
that young jewelry designer from Sedona, Arizona, is only 18 years old!
And we are sure, she has a great future!
Scarlett says, "I first came on to the bead-scene when I won the International
Swarovski Crystal "CREATE YOUR STYLE" Design Competition 2007, in February 2008.
This was my very first contest attempt, and I placed "Fourth in the World" /
Amateur Division. I was seventeen at the time, and competing against many
seasoned adult designers.
...My mother introduced me to beads at age three. We would make little dragonflies and
flowers with seed beads and wire. I taught myself the varying beading techniques,
and made up many of my own. I passionately studied beading magazines and experimented
creating new stitches. I dreamt of someday working with one of these magazines.
Today, I am a contributing editor to Interweave Press' BEADWORK magazine, with
my own department, called "Scarlett's Style." I also participate often in their
Beadwork Challenge and contributor's Q & A sections.
...My labor of love is my "Use the Muse" beading design contest, that I produce. As I
have so enjoyed participating in contests and the BEADWORK Challenge, I have created
this contest series to share my zest for beading. The contest will be going
international, in the future. The first one was open to US residents, and exceeded
all our expectations! We invited beaders of all levels of expertise and specialties
to purchase the online components kit, and email photos of their submissions. 60+
beaders did so, and the results were vast and extraordinary. It was the first contest
experience for many.
...I find much of my inspiration comes from nature and brand new materials. My mother
and I recently attended the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show for our second time. I am
really blessed to have it in my home state. It is amazing to peruse the seemingly
endless sea of gem and bead laden tables and racks. My favorite finds were
semi-precious polished cabochons.
...As for my beading future, I am working on my book proposal. I have a lot of
exploration to undertake. Ultimately, I aspire to have a bead store and I'm often
working on my business plan towards that goal. I am most passionate about designing
and staying connected to the vibrant beading community. It is those interactions that
make this life's path so meaningful!"
Gallery on MyLovelyBeads.com
Full article by Scarlett Lanson
Website and blog: www.thebeadersmuse.com
Faberge Easter eggs
The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in Pagan celebrations of
spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth.
The egg is widely used as a symbol of the start of new life, just as new
life emerges from an egg when the chick hatches out. The ancient Persians
painted eggs for Nowrooz, their New Year celebration, which falls on the
Spring equinox. At the Jewish Passover Seder, a hard-boiled egg dipped in
salt water symbolizes the Passover sacrifice offered at the Temple in
The pre-Christian Saxons had a spring goddess called Eostre,
whose feast was held on the Vernal Equinox, around 21 March. Her animal
was the spring hare. Some believe that Eostre was associated with eggs and
hares, and the rebirth of the land in spring was symbolized by the egg.
Easter eggs are specially decorated eggs given to celebrate the Easter
holiday or springtime.
For Orthodox Christians, the Easter egg is much more than a celebration of
the ending of the fast, it is a declaration of the Resurrection of Jesus.
Traditionally, Orthodox Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of
Christ, shed on the Cross, and the hard shell of the egg symbolized the
sealed Tomb of Christ - the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection
from the dead.
Easter eggs are a widely popular symbol of new life in Russia, Romania,
Poland and other Slavic countries' folk traditions. A batik (wax resist)
process is used to create intricate, brilliantly-colored eggs; there are
any other decorating techniques and numerous traditions of giving them as
a token of friendship, love or good wishes. The celebrated Faberge
workshops created exquisite jeweled Easter eggs for the Russian Imperial
Carl Faberge and his goldsmiths designed and constructed the first egg in
1885. It was commissioned by Czar Alexander III of Russia as an Easter
surprise for his wife Maria Fyodorovna. On the outside it looked like a
simple egg of white enameled gold, but it opened up to reveal a golden
yolk. The yolk itself had a golden hen inside it, which in turn had a
tiny crown with a ruby hanging inside, reminiscent of the matryoshka
Empress Maria was so delighted by this gift that Alexander appointed Faberge
a "Court Supplier" and commissioned an Easter gift each year thereafter,
stipulating only that it be unique and contain a surprise. His son,
Nicholas II of Russia continued the tradition, annually presenting an
egg each spring to his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna as well as his then-widowed
Sixty nine jeweled eggs were made by Peter Carl Faberge and his assistants
between 1885 and 1917, they were produced almost every year. Once an
initial design was approved, the work was carried out by an entire team of
artisans under Peter Carl Faberge, among them Michael Perkhin, Henrik
Wigstrom and Erik August Kollin. The eggs are made of precious metals or hard
stones decorated with combinations of enamel and gem stones. Most of these
creations themselves contained hidden surprises such as clock-work birds,
or miniature ships. The term "Faberge egg" has become a synonym of luxury
and the eggs are regarded as masterpieces of the jeweler's art. They are
Bead artwork by Victoria Katamashvili
Another artist we want to feature today is Victoria Katamashvili. Born in
Moscow, raised in Soviet Georgia, since the age of 13 she has lived in
Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod). Victoria graduated from the State University
and has worked as a computer programmer.
When the youngest Victoria's daughter started beading, Victoria also decided
to try, it was in 2000. She says, since then beading is her passion and she
spend all her spare time designing and creating beaded items of any kind.
Victoria doesn't have any preferences in style or technique. As she says,
she is always learning and feels comfortable using any media: beads, wire,
gemstones, crystals. Mostly she makes beaded jewelry, but recently in
collaboration with fashion designers she started working on incorporating
bead embroidery into fashion clothes.
Victoria is a winner of many jewelry
design contests and a veteran exhibitor, she also contributes her tutorials
and articles to bead magazines. We think, you will like and enjoy the pieces
of beadart by Victoria Katamashvili, as we did!
Gallery on MyLovelyBeads.com
Step by step - Easter Souvenirs
As we mentioned above, there are many decorating techniques and
folk traditions to create a symbol of new life - Easter eggs. One
of the most popular is beading around plastic or wooden eggs.
As celebration, beadweavers include various themes on her eggs
such as churches, birds, animals, and crosses.
Victoria Katamashvili can teach you how to make the easiest beaded
Easter eggs. She says, that it is not as hard as it seems to be and
even a beginner can do that. The same technique can be used for
creating some other souvenirs like small beaded toys. If you want
to learn, try! Since you have any questions, don't hesitate, ask
Victoria, you may reach her at
and she will be glad to help you!
How to make Easter Souvenirs
Easter Souvenirs by Victoria Katamashvili
April upcoming events
Smithsonian Craft Show
April 23-26, 2009
Thursday-Saturday: 10 am to 7pm; Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
National Building Museum,
401 F Street, NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20001
Show - The annual Smithsonian Craft Show is a juried exhibition and
sale of contemporary American crafts. Three jurors who are experts
in the field and newly selected each year choose 120 artists from a
large pool of applicants.
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