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).
In a cave in Kenya, Louis Leakey, the famous anthropologist,
uncovered the earliest known opal artifacts. Dating back to
about 4000 B.C., they most likely came from Ethiopia.
Historically, opal discoveries and mining progressed similarly
to the ways diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire were produced.
As early humans found various gemstones, they slowly learned
to work them into decorative shapes. As communities developed,
gems became symbols of wealth. In the Old World, Hungary mined
opal for Europe and the Middle East.
Mexico, Peru, and Honduras supplied their own native
empires with the gemstone. Conquistadors introduced New World
opal to Spain when they returned with stones in the early
Since the late 1800's, Australia has dominated opal production
with more than ninety per cent of the global output. Opal of
differing qualities occurs in more than twenty other countries,
including Zambia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Poland, Peru, Canada,
New Zealand, Indonesia, the USA, Brazil, and Mexico.
Read more on the history of opal
Ancient legend says that tourmaline is found in all colors
because it traveled along a rainbow and gathered all the
rainbow's colors. For centuries, various cultures have had
different beliefs about what virtues the tourmaline can bring
to the wearer.
In 18th Century literature, Barbara Walker
cites references, which considered this stone to be helpful to
artists, authors, actors and those in creative fields. In the
same century, a Dutch scientist claimed that a tourmaline
wrapped in silk and placed against the cheek of a feverish
child would induce sleep. In Africa, tourmaline was once used
as a stone to awaken one from "the dream of illusion".
Ancient ceremonies in India included the use of the gem as a
tool to bring insight and help in the discovery of that which
is good. It would also serve to make known who or what was the
cause of troubles or evil deeds. Native Americans have used
pink and green tourmaline as funeral gifts for centuries. In
modern times, the stone is used by tribes in Africa, Native
Americans, and aboriginal groups in Australia as a talisman
that protects against all dangers.
In fact, at one time in history, pink and red tourmaline were
thought to be rubies. Pink tourmaline tends to be pinker in
color than ruby. However, their similarities in appearance
are so strong that the stones in the Russian crown jewels
believed to be rubies for centuries, are now thought to be
Have you ever heard of the Etsy BeadWeavers Team? Maybe you
have heard of it once, but you're not sure where and when?
Or perhaps you have no idea what Etsy is and what it stands
for? Make yourself comfortable, I will tell you all you need
Etsy was born on 18 January 2005. Its parents, Robert Kalin,
Chris Maguair and Haim Schopic, have no idea why their little
e-company got this name. Time passed, and the little private
company with the funny name became one of the largest
Internet-based portals for selling and buying handmade
creations and the supplies to make them.
Moreover, it is
currently considered the main alternative to eBay for selling
handmade items. On Etsy you will find paintings, art prints,
handmade postcards and fridge magnets, make-up, pre-made
homepage banners, fabrics, yarn, clothes, and, of course,
jewelry and accessories.
Anybody can open a store on Etsy and sell their unique creations.
Shop-owners often form mutual support groups called Etsy Teams,
based on the techniques and materials they are using in their
creations, their common interests, or the geographic area they
live in. One of these groups is the Etsy BeadWeavers Team, of
which I am proud to be a member.
The group was founded in 2007 and it currently consists of more
than 200 members. Who are those Etsy BeadWeavers? We are a group
of free-spirited artists who use tiny seed beads to make their
creations: jewelry, accessories, and even interior design. Most
of the members live and work in the USA but we have EBW members
spread all over the world.
Etsy BeadWeavers is quite a diverse bunch of personalities. Among
our members you will find representatives of various ethnic and
age groups, professions and religions. Despite being so different in
our geographical locations and lifestyles, all of us are united by
our passion for beading in any form - from traditional and folkloric
to modern and experimental.
For sure, you know the name of Adele Recklies from Brooklyn, NY,
whose article was published in the last issue of the Bead & Button
Magazine and who is the author of the Bead Crochet Snakes: History and
Technique book. When we invited Adele to our newsletter and she agreed,
we were really happy. Adele says on her bead passion, "I came to
beading via my work as a theatrical costume maker. After I received
a Ph.D. in theater, I decided that I really wanted to make the gorgeous
costumes that I saw in the movies and theater rather than study them,
so my husband and I moved to New York.
I soon landed a job at Barbara Matera Ltd., one of the premier
costume houses in the world. There I learned many couture
techniques while making spectacular gowns and historical costumes,
but it was the beading done at the shop that caught my eye. Working
for a second costume shop gave me more hand-on experience with
beading on fabric. That led me to take a series of seed bead jewelry
Although I eventually left the costume shops to open my own
business making knitted and crocheted costumes for theater and film
(my other love, and my work has been seen in films such as "Lemony
Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," "Big Fish," "Charlie's
Angels: Full Throttle," "M:I:3," and "Memoirs of a Geisha," my
knitting has also been part of "CATS" on Broadway as well as
productions at the Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet),
I have continued to explore beading.
A bead crochet class with Miriam Milgram opened my eyes to the
possibilities of tubular bead crochet and prompted my study of
antique bead crochet snakes. Miriam had made her own version of
the bead crochet snakes produced by women in Balkan villages and
promised to teach a class in making a snake.
When that didn't happen, I started my own research, discovered
photos of antique bead crochet snakes made by Balkan villagers and
Turkish prisoners of war during World War I, and figured out my own
bead crochet snake pattern. I, however, didn't want something that
would just sit on a table so I made snake necklaces and bracelets."
The story of bead crochet snakes is a rich one that involves the
geographical area formerly referred to as the Balkans and known
today as Southeastern Europe. Crochet, with or without beads,
was well established in the Ottoman Empire by the 1870s. Most
bead crochet items made before World War I were done by
women for their own use, but the bead crochet snakes that
intrigue people today were made after 1915.
The majority of beadwork reptiles made in the Balkans can be
divided into three types: snakes and lizards made by Turkish
soldiers imprisoned in British military and civilian internment
camps during World War I, snakes made by villagers in parts
of Southeastern Europe for their own use, and less elaborate
snakes made to be sold at markets as souvenirs or made
specifically as jewelry.
Some of the 150,000-250,000 Turkish soldiers captured by the
British, Australian, Russian, and French armies were housed in
camps located in Egypt, on the island of Cyprus, and at Salonika.
To combat the boredom of imprisonment, prisoners of war were
allowed to craft souvenirs that could be given as gifts, bartered
for amenities such as extra food, or sold in local shops and by
Many Turkish soldiers used beads to make handbags, purses,
necklaces, bracelets, bookmarks, belts, covered bottles, snakes,
and lizards. While most of the beadwork snakes and lizards were
undoubtedly made in Middle-Eastern camps, some of them were
made by the one hundred Turkish men interned at Knockaloe
Camp on the Isle of Man. Family legends tell of Turkish
prisoners trading beadwork snakes to locals for food.
Galina Bursuk says that working with beads has not only filled an
empty part of her life, but has helped her provide an outlet to
express her emotions. Beading is just a hobby for her, but Galina
devotes all of her spare time to it - not for the purpose of
selling her work, but simply to make women happy when they wear
Since an early age Galina has been crafting; frivolte, macrame,
knitting, lace and more. She discovered beading in 2006 when she
saw beaded gemstone jewelry and was impressed by this unusual
media combination. She knew right away that this was what she
wanted to do. So, she took classes where she learned basics and
continued studies on her own. She found the Wonderful Moments
Magazine (Chudesnie mgnoveniya) the most valuable reading at that
time and she loved to purchase each new issue as it came out.
Then she started looking for books, and she learned a lot from
those she found. Galina then began using the Internet to find
beading resources and found more than she expected. She found
interesting tutorials and patterns there as well as shared ideas
and learned from others' experience. The ability to contact other
beadworkers is a great find for any beginner. At first, she
created her beadworks using patterns of other designers.,
but soon understood that she got much more pleasure working on
her own designs.
Galina lives in Chernovtsi, Western Ukraine and graduated from
the Medical University, MD in roentgenology. In her beadwork she
takes her inspiration from almost anything, and the style of her
beadwork is very unique. She has so many ideas that sometimes
designing a piece takes more time to create it. Her favorite
colors are shades of yellow, green and brown, but in her later
works she began to use other color combinations as well.
is the highest priority for Galina so she devotes much attention
to each piece. Since the end of 2007 Galina has been participated
in beadwork contests and exhibitions, where she has won a few
awards. In addition, photos of her beadwork have been published in
many magazines and she takes part in beadwork communities, sharing
her experience as others had with her when she began.
Flex Your Creativity is an interesting beading contest that is
being held by
SoftFlex Company now. Contestants had to create a
pieces of jewelry using one of the suggested so called "trios"
beading wire. Zoya Gutina selected Extreme Trios, created two
pieces, Bridal Flowers Necklace and Pearl Fireworks Necklace,
and submitted them to the contest.
The price of the Extreme Trios didn't seem to be low and we have
decided to know more about Extreme, that's why we've written an
Sara Hardin, marketing manager of SoftFlex. The response
was received next day. Sara wrote, "The new Extreme is our only
brand that is not using steel in the core. We are using 19
strands of a softer alloy in an innovative way to create a wire
that strong but also easier on the environment.
There is a lot
less waste and pollution in the manufacturing process when the
machinery isn't working such a hard material (steel). The silver
and gold are plated, the champagne is nude and then the entire
product is coated in our premium nylon coating." When we asked
about 19 strands, Sara said, "19 itty bitty strands of a metal
alloy braided together, plated in 24 karat, 925 sterling silver
or just bare (champagne) and then coated in a nylon coating. It
is hypo-allergenic & non-tarnishing."
Zoya says, that Extreme wire is a nice material to work with.
Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest is still open to vote.
Choose the Winner!
Recently we've understand how old
passementarie and vintage Czech beads look like. The story
of our research began when
a friend of Zoya Gutina, gifted her a few pieces of some beadwork
that Nancy found out in her trunk. According Wikipedia,
passementerie or passementarie is the art of making elaborate
trimmings or edgings (in French, passements) of applied braid,
gold or silver cord, embroidery, colored silk, or beads for
clothing or furnishings.
Passementarie pieces, Zoya received from Nancy, were made using
vintage Czech beads - mostly real charlotte and 3-cut beads, and
they are more than a hundred years old. Beads are sparkling with
blue and brown and look gorgeous! We'd like to share with you these
exciting pictures demonstrating an old beadwork on passementarie.
No doubt, many people like jewelry that look like corals. Making
them seems to be very complicated, but in general, it's not so
difficult to create "corals" using beads. Victoria Katamashvili
says, that it's as easy, as 1-2-3! You can try!
November 6, 7, 8, 2009
Walter E.Washington Convention Center
801 Mount Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001
A premier event of contemporary craft in America, the Washington
Craft Show is recognized for presenting masterful work, beautifully
displayed. Each piece is one-of-a-kind or limited edition in a range
of prices, each designed and made in artists' studios across America.
At the Washington Craft Show, you'll find 190 of the nation's top
craft artists, and 190 new ways to consider objects for daily or
special use, home decor, or what-to-wear — from hard-edged metals,
silken ceramics and lustrous woods to shimmering scarves, witty
jewels, and ultra craft couture.