April, 2009

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

Happy Springtime!

Happy Springtime, our dear friends! Read in April's issue of MyLovelyBeads.com newsletter:

Contact us with any questions at info@mylovelybeads.com.
Best regards,
MyLovelyBeads.com Team

Stone of April: CLEAR QUARTZ

April Stone:

Clear quartz is the universal stone. Everyone should have one! It is a pure and powerful energy source. It receives, activates, stores, transmits, and amplifies energy. Stimulates brain functions and activates all levels of consciousness. Excellent for meditation. Brings harmony to the soul. Zodiac signs: all of them.

More Info

Clear quartz - fossilized ice?

April gemstone clear quartz (clear rock crystal) has been used throughout the centuries to divine the future and commune with spirits. Nearly every ancient culture has revered clear quartz. The ancients believed clear quartz was actually water from the heavens that was frozen into eternal ice by the gods. Even as late as the 1700's many Europeans believed clear quartz was fossilized ice. There are a lot of legends connected to clear quartz to list all of them, but below is a few.

The Australian sky god, Daramulun, was long portrayed through art and sculpture as having a mouth full of clear quartz, a huge phallus, and carrying a stone axe.

In Australian Aboriginal mythology, clear quartz is the most common substance identified with their mystical substance called "maban". Maban is said to be the material from which wise men (called "karadjis") obtain their magical powers. During initiation ceremonies, maban is spiritually "inserted" into the body of the apprentice by the karadji.

The Aborigines and certain Native American tribes believed rituals with clear quartz crystals could bring rain. Clear quartz has also had a large part in ritual initiations of Oceanic and Australian shamans, they spoke of clear quartz as "a stone of light broken off from the celestial throne".

The Chinese decorated the entry ways to religious temples with rock crystal to allow the light to shine in. The Japanese revered rock crystal as the crystallized breath of the White Dragon (dragons represent powers of creation). As such, clear quartz was regarded as the perfect jewel and came to symbolize perfection or the pursuit thereof. Clear quartz graced their temples and was also found throughout the temples of the ancient Mayans, Aztecs, and many other earlier civilizations situated around the globe. An Aztec solid rock crystal skull weighing 475 troy ounces, resides in the British Museum in London.

Ancient Celtic practices, said to restore and maintain health, was to place nine small clear quartz crystals in water, boil it, cool it, and then drink the enhanced water for nine consecutive days. Clear quartz polished into spheres has long been used as crystal balls for divination purposes. It has been labeled the "Universal Crystal" due to its diversity and abundance of intense metaphysical properties.

Bead Dreams 2009 finalist!

We're glad to inform you, that Zoya Gutina's Christmas Eve necklace is accepted for the Bead Dreams 2009 final and will be exhibited at the Bead & Button Show that will take place on May 31 - June 7, Midwest Airlines Center, Milwaukee, WI.

This year in addition to the Bead Dreams and Convergence exhibition there will be two displays from Japan. The first one is an exhibit of 10-to-15 top award-winning pieces from the beadwork and jewelry contest held at the Hakone Open-Air Museum. The exhibit will include pieces that have won Awards of Encouragement.

Moreover, TOHO Beads and TOHO distributors are exhibiting a portion of the "Treasures of TOHO Emerging Artist Competition." The contest aims to cultivate new artists who produce artistic designs using TOHO beads. This is the first time a portion of the "Treasures of TOHO" will be showcased at the Bead & Button Show.

Don't miss Bead & Button Show, the largest jewelry and bead show in the world!

Featured artist

Beadwork artist Beverly Ash Gilbert

Interview with jewelry artist Beverly Ash Gilbert

Beverly is a bead artist living in the Pacific NW. Her work features the use of color and free-form style and a number of her pieces have been accepted in national competitions: Absolutely Beads and Bead Dreams. She teaches beadweaving, wireworking and metalworking workshops in shows and venues across the US and internationally and is currently writing her second book.

1. When did you start beading?

In 2002, I was a mom of 2 very young boys and feeling as if I had nothing to show for my time - I needed to find activities with immediate gratification! A sympathetic girlfriend took me to a bead store one weekend and it was love at first sight... the colors, textures and ability to make something that I could wear that night - intoxicating!

I began with stringing, immediately veered off into wirework, but craved the ability to pull together color in 3 dimensions. I was introduced to seed beads in a class at a local bead store and never looked back. I taught my first beadweaving classes 6 months later.

2. What is your creative process like?

I live within the creative process - am driven by the designs, ideas and possibilities that fill my head and thrive on the fact that they are always changing and evolving. Once my pieces are nearly completed and I see how they are going to look, I start to loose interest and am ready to move to the next idea. I have to force myself to finish. And I can't stand reproducing, which is why I tend to like freeform work better than structures or patterns. I almost always start with a color combination I want to play with and sometimes I sketch ideas in my notebook. But after that, I let go and see where my beads take me.

3. What inspires you to create?

I am driven by color, how different colors play against each other, how a single color can be given depth by including shadows and highlights. I love making bead soups - the beader's equivalent of a palette of paint. My designs and preference for free-form beadweaving is all about playing with color.

4. How do you create color combinations for your jewelry?

Color inspiration comes from all around me - nature, magazine pages, other art-work, fabrics, scarves, flowers. I have a wall with photos and bits of colorful things that are inspiring. Sometimes there is a specific color I want to work with and need to find other colors that will look good with it. Still other times I am working on a project with nice colors, but it looks flat and I need to find something to give it life.

I think the best tool for working with color is the color wheel. There are lots of wheels on the market, most designed for painters who are interested in color mixing (red + yellow = orange), but not as useful for those of us pulling existing colors together. So I designed a color wheel system, Eye For Color that focuses on color combinations - to help people visualize what colors look good with each other.

Once I know what colors I am going to use, I create mixes that include dark shadows and bright highlights. I also make sure to pull the colors together by transitioning with color, value and saturation. Here is a sample of how I go from inspiration, to defining the colors on the color wheel, to bead soup.

Full interview with Beverly Ash Gilbert
Email: jewelry@gilbertdesigns.net
Website: www.gilbertdesigns.net
Blog: www.beverlygilbert.blogspot.com

Win a give-away!

Beverly Ash Gilbert says, "Working with color drives so many of us creative souls! Drawing inspiration from all around, gushing over the plethora of photos, paintings, collage, fiber and bead work across the blogosphere - we launch into our own creations excited by the infinite array of possible color combinations.

With color in mind and in honor of Zoya Gutina who is graciously featuring me in her current newsletter, I am offering a free give-a-way... or two!

To enter to win a signed copy of Eye For Color, here is what you need to do: tell me what your favorite color combination is (I'm sure you have many, but what is your favorite today, right now?).

Another chance to win a bead soup from my Bead Soup Collection: visit MyLovelyBeads.com then come to my blog and tell me what my color inspiration was for the necklace in the 6th photo.

The winners will be chosen at random on May 6 (after I return from the Art & Soul Retreat!)."

Beadart by Albina Polyanskaya

Bead artist Albina Polyanskaya

Zoya Gutina says, "I was very lucky, that in the beginning of my beadweaving career I met a few people, whose beadart impressed and inspired me. One of them was Albina Polyanskaya, a bead master from Ukraine."

So, we are glad to introduce our another featured artist this month: Albina Polyanskaya is one of the most talented professional jewelry designers we have come across. She has been designing jewelry for much of her life and her beautiful work reflects that. Albina's first experience in beadwork was associated with creating so called "gerdans", locally designed ribbon necklaces with traditional Ukrainian ornaments (first five artworks in her gallery).

Albina, who lives in Kharkov, North-East of Ukraine, has said that jewelry design is her way to express herself. For the next years she has developed her skills in beading techniques learning peyote stitch, square stitch, cross stitch, and so on. When we asked Albina about her favorite materials, she said that she didn't have any; Albina likes working with beads and gemstones, pearls and shells, creating impressive free-from designs.

Albina is a very cheerful and life-loving person and feels that surroundings are great influencers our emotions and behavior. She is a winner of many local and international jewelry design contests. Smiling, she said that she cannot put together her works because they are always exhibited at the art shows and galleries. She is also an experienced teacher and a writer: last year Albina published a book "Beadwork: 100 patterns" (unfortunately, only in Russian). Visit Albina's gallery, and we hope you agree that she is an amazing talent!

Gallery of bead artwork by Albina Polyanskaya
Email: admin@beads.com.ua
Website: www.beads.com.ua

Step by step - Russian Leaves

How to make Russian Leaves
Sweet April! - many a thought
Is wedded unto thee, as hearts are wed;
Nor shall they fail, till, to its autumn brought,
Life's golden fruit is shed.
by Henry W. Longfellow

We love spring with the sun shining, birds singing and flowers blooming! It's time to take off winter clothes, to put on short and light and to pick up appropriate adornments. One of the most favorite jewelry theme in spring is floral. Using seed or bugle beads and directed by a free tutorial you can try to design a piece of jewelry, incorporating so called Russian Leaves. Good luck!

Tutorial by Victoria Katamashvili: how to make Russian Leaves
Russian Leaves in beaded jewelry by Victoria Katamashvili

Upcoming events

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

May 1, 2, 3, 2009
Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, Virginia

Juried Fine Art & Craft Festivals since 1976. Find the unique handcrafted artwork of thousands of American Artists! Decorative creations for home & garden, exceptional fine art & designer crafts!

Old Town Arts and Crafts Festival and Volunteer Fair

May 30, 31, 2009
Market Square in front of City Hall
301 King Street, Alexandria, Virginia

This popular annual event offers juried hand-made crafts with each artist present.


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