September, 2009

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

Happy Autumn!

September is a season of arts: shows and festivals are throughout the country, making art lovers happy. In September's issue:

Contact us with any questions at
Best regards, Team

Stone of September: LAPIS LAZULI

Stone of September:

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

More Info

Dark royal blue gemstones

September has two blue birthday gems, each of them is beautiful: lapis lazuli and sapphire. Sapphire is one of the four precious stones and one of the gem varieties of the species corundum. Blue is considered the normal color for sapphire, but it is found in the full range of spectral colors as well as brown, colorless, gray and black (fancy color sapphire).

We have noticed the sapphire on royalty throughout history. In olden times, King Solomon wore a sapphire ring, and in modern times, Prince Charles gave a sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana. The British Crown Jewels are full of large blue sapphires, the mark of prudent and wise rulers.

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 lazuli is called the ancient alchemists' "Stone of Heaven", the special mystical quality associated with lapis made it sacred to the Egyptians. For a time only the pharaohs, the royal family members, and the priests were permitted to wear it. Accordingly, Egyptian tombs were replete with carvings of Lapis, for it was believed that this stone would protect, guide and cheer the dead as they journeyed into the afterlife.

The main component of lapis lazuli rock, lazurite mineral is deep blue to greenish blue. Don't confuse lazurite with other blue minerals such as the carbonate azurite and the phosphate lazulite! They even have almost the same names, but differ from lazurite.

Lazurite has been mined for over 6,000 years in the lapis lazuli district of Badakhshan, Afghanistan. It has been used as a pigment in painting and cloth dyeing since at least the sixth or seventh century AD. It is also mined at Lake Baikal in Siberia, Mount Vesuvius, Burma, Canada, and the United States. The name "lazurite" is from the Persian LAZWARD for blue.

Two pieces of jewelry in lapis lazuli by Zoya Gutina

Featured artist

Bead artist Miriam Shimon

Our today's featured artist, Miriam Shimon, lives in Israel. She is a creative person and over time explored many different venues of artistic expressions, but it was only two and a half years ago that she by chance came upon a bead weaving class and decided to give it a go.

Miriam says, "It was absolutely love at first sight, I never knew that one could make such awesome things with all those tiny beads and to me it was a whole new world opening up, exciting, fun and extremely gratifying.

I was extremely fortunate to learn from one of the most talented artists I have ever met, Angelika Motzkin, whose work Opal Fantasy made the final of the 2009 Bead Dreams in the Seed Bead Jewelry category. From her I learned not only all the basic techniques but more important how to think outside the box; and she has been instrumental in helping me find my own unique style of design as well as encouraging me to start teaching myself.

What started out as making simple and fun jewelry quickly became a challenging adventure into more laborious and elaborate designs, learning from each piece of jewelry and gaining experience and insight into the many aspects of jewelry making. Though I've tried my hand and many different styles and techniques, bead weaving remains my first and foremost passion.

I love to experiment with many different types of design but I seem to naturally gravitate towards the more vintage and romantic looking jewelry and often take my inspiration from nature themes. Flowers, leaves and branches are especially favorable to me but I like to venture out into the unknown as well and make up new designs as I go along.

My creative process can often seem quite disorganized, I rarely draw my designs in advance, rather "doodle" with my beads until I come up with something that looks interesting, always thinking "What would happen if..." , while trying to look at new approaches to old techniques. I don't usually plan in advance what I want to make, often I get an idea that is either based on a certain color or shape and just start from there."

Full article by Miriam Shimon
Gallery of Bead artwork by Miriam Shimon
Gallery on Flickr:
Etsy Shop:

Top 10 colors for spring 2010

That's not about beads and jewelry, that's about colors for coming seasons. Pantone Color Institute is the world-renowned authority on color and provider of color systems and leading technology for the selection and accurate communication of color across a variety of industries. On September 10, Pantone announced its top 10 colors for spring 2010, a very interesting mix of bright and neutral tones. Remember these colors when making or buying jewelry or clothes, and you will be in fashion. Here they are!


First row from left to right: Violet, Tomato Puree, Fusion Coral, Amparo Blue, Tuscany.
Second row from left to right: Aurora, Turquoise, Dried Herb, Pink Champagne, Eucalyptus.

Pantone fashion color report for Spring 2010
Fashion color trends for each season by Fashion Trendsetter

Florals in beaded jewelry

Bead artist Oksana Kameneva

Oksana Kameneva, our featured artist, takes great pride in her unique work. She is a creative person and always wanted to express herself; to find something for her soul.

Before she learned to bead, Oksana had been sewing and doing macrame for a long time. Beading attracted her because it allows her to create unique pieces and seemed to her to be the best way to design unique works because of its colors and shapes.

For three years Oksana learned beadwork and different beading techniques, before she realized that she could create her own style of jewelry. Now, she is very dedicated to her work - often doing and redoing her art before she is happy with it.

She uses no patterns and will not use the work of others as an example; it is very important to her to have a style of her own. Oksana feels that her style is classical, but she likes to use unusual color combinations and free form to add a different tone.

Born in the Moscow area, Oksana has now been living in Moscow for 15 years. There, she often makes gifts for her friends as she does not like to do commissioned pieces because she feels that it limits her creativity. Generally, she uses standard materials - mostly beads and crystals - but always of the highest quality.

As with many artists, she does not hurry through her work and some pieces may take days or weeks to be finished. Oksana feels that success is often dependent on being in the right mood while working on her art. Though she is very critical of her own work, she loves the art - saying that her two sons are the most important thing to her, but beadwork is second.

Seeing the beauty and uniqueness of her work, you will understand why she says she feels like an artist painting with beads.

Florals in beaded jewelry by Oksana Kameneva

Season of arts

Two exciting events took place in Alexandria, VA in September. One of them was Alexandria Festival of the Arts, that is voted one of the top 100 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine.

More than $15 million in art was on display, and more than 200 juried artists have displayed and sold fine art ranging from paintings, sculpture, prints and photography to pottery, glass, jewelry and ceramics. This year we noticed less sculpture artworks, but much more jewelry of any kind. Anyway, festival made a great success!

Another event was at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, where visual art came alive during the Alexandria Festival of the Arts. Artists demonstrated throughout the day pottery on the wheel, drawing, bubble glass making, beading, spinning, weaving, knitting, limestone carving, etching, and much more. Visitors could try their hand at different art techniques including clay throwing, sculpture, and fiber art at special "Try Me" stations. Hands-on projects also included Champagne Cork Chairs workshop, Bubble Gum painting, Create Your Own Button workshop, Screen printing workshop, Mask Making workshop and so on. Lots of fun for both, adults and kids!

Alexandria Festival of Arts
Art Activated at the Torpedo Factory Art Center

Upcoming events

14th Annual Art on the Avenue Festival 14th Annual Art on the Avenue Festival

Saturday, October 3, 2009 10 am - 6 pm
Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA

14th 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.


If you don't see the newsletter properly formatted please click here: September Issue
If you want to read and see the previous issues please click here: Newsletter Archive

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.