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,
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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).
The original birthstones for March are
bloodstone. There is another couple of gems some believe they
are March stones: jasper and hematite.
Jasper is an opaque form of chalcedony, usually red, yellow, brown
or green in color. Blue is rare. This mineral breaks with a smooth
surface, and is used for ornamentation or as a gemstone. The primary
sources of jasper are Russia, Egypt, Germany, Madagascar, Mexico,
USA (Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Washington).
Green jasper was used to make bow drills in Mehrgarh between
4th-5th millennium BC. Jasper is known to have been a favorite
gem in the ancient world; its name can be traced back in Hebrew,
Assyrian, Persian, Greek and Latin. On Minoan Crete within present
day Greece jasper was carved to produce seals circa 1800 BC based
upon archaeological recoveries at the palace of Knossos.
Hematite is a mineral, colored black to steel or silver-gray, brown
to reddish brown, or red. It is mined as the main ore of iron. While
the forms of hematite vary, they all have a rust-red streak. Hematite
is harder than pure iron, but much more brittle. Good specimens of
hematite come from England, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, United States
The red chalk winning of this mineral was one of the earliest in
history of mankind. The powdery mineral was first used 164,000 years
ago by the Pinnacle-Point man obviously for social differentiation.
Hematite residues are also found in old graveyards from 80,000 years
ago. Near Rydno in Poland and Lovas in Hungary, Paleolithic red
chalk mines have been found that are from 5000 BC, belonging to the
Linear Pottery culture at the Upper Rhine. Hematite's popularity in
jewelry was at its highest in Europe during the Victorian era, and
has since seen a strong resurgence in North America, especially in
the western United States. It is also used in art such as intaglio
Fashion Colorworks 2010
So, you can submit your entries for the Fashion Colorworks 2010 Beading
Contest! As one of the contest jurors, Kerrie Slade, said, "Now, there
are lots of good reasons to have a go at this contest, not only is it a
great personal challenge to work in set color combinations, but it's
free to enter, it's open to international entrants, judging is from
photos only (so you don't have to worry about packing and posting your
creation) and there are prizes to be won - how many beading contests
can say all of that?" We are looking forward to seeing your amazing
beaded objects at the contest!
Fashion Colorworks 2010 Rules
Featured artist - Lynn Davy
What can be harder than to create an amazing piece of beaded jewelry?
Yes, you're right, to create the ugliest beaded item! Our guest today
is Lynn Davy, the winner of The Ugly Necklace 2009 Contest.
Lynn says, "I started playing with seed beads at the age of about 10
(i.e. mid-1970s) and have never really stopped. My beading career
began by accident: my mother had a women's magazine with a free
self-assembly plastic bead loom on the front (it was blue) and we
spent ages tracking down the seed beads to go with it.
They weren't widely available back then and all we could find was
four little packs of Czech seeds: white, green, orange, and dark
blue (I still have some of them). By the time I'd made my first
bracelet I was hooked! Next birthday brought a more sturdy wire
loom and a book on Native American beadweaving, I learned daisy
chain and netting and started experimenting, and it all just carried
on from there...
...Seed beads are still my first choice of material, but these days
I also use lots of handmade lampwork art glass, freshwater pearls,
copper findings, crystals, turquoise, vintage buttons, found objects...
but generally not all in the same piece! I have a dozen or more UFOs
on my desk at any one time as I always find starting a piece easier
than finishing it. Every "major" thing I make seems to go through a
crisis about half way through where I absolutely hate it; 9 times out
of 10 if I can force myself to work through this point it turns out
fine in the end, though!
...In 2009 I was fortunate enough to win prizes in four beading
competitions, although oddly enough only one of these was a seed bead
piece! I entered the Step by Step Beads "Gemstone Challenge"
(for stringing and wirework using four different gemstones) mainly
because I'd been complaining bitterly that previous contests were
only open to US/Canadian residents, but this one was international
and so I felt I should put my beadwork where my mouth was!
...Where do I go from here? Well, I plan to continue publishing
projects and designing kits and tutorials, and would like to do more
teaching (it's hard work but I just love it). I would really like to
bring my work up to the next level now, and be placed in one of the
big juried US shows such as Bead Dreams. One of these years I'd love
to write a book but that would mean putting everything else on hold
and at the moment there are so many other avenues to explore! I've
come a long way over the past few years, and traveled in some
unexpected directions, so I'm looking forward to what my beady
Gallery on MyLovelyBeads.com
Full article by Lynn Davy
Etsy Shop: www.nemeton.etsy.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 egg symbolized the rebirth of the land in spring. Easter
eggs are specially decorated eggs given to celebrate the Easter holiday
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 Yulia Kapustina
Another artist we want to feature today is Yulia Kapustina. Born in Crimea,
she lives in Saint Petersburg now. Yulia had two passions in her childhood -
history and foreign languages, but when choosing where to study she
decided to go to the Faculty of Oriental Languages of the Leningrad State
University, and successfully graduated from it.
Each bead artist has its own
way in beadart. Yulia's interest in history with the classical humanitarian
education, and in crafts has led her to learning antique needlework and
bead crocheting techniques. Yulia visits any flea markets, antique stores,
museums, and exhibitions looking for old beads, patterns, and books and
magazines with articles on beadwork and bead history.
Yulia reads a lot of special catalogs and books on beadwork; she is not
only learning history of beads, but also writing articles on that, and
collecting bead artifacts. Another her passion is creating replicas of old
beadworks. She designs purses, belts, boxes and some other accessories.
Her intricate work inspired by antique beadart has exhibited many times
and it always attracts public attention; Yulia is a winner of many bead
Yulia says, that she has dreams: to learn an antique bead technique "sable"
almost forgotten; to see amazing bead pieces pulled out from museum
storerooms, to open a bead history society where bead amateurs will be
able to gather around a table and talk about beads. Yulia dreams to
continue learning old beadart and to apply old techniques to the modern
Yulia, let your dreams come true!
Gallery on MyLovelyBeads.com
Blog (in Russian): julia-72.livejournal.com
Step by step - Easter critters
There are many decorating techniques and
folk traditions to create symbols of new life - Easter eggs,
rabbits, birds, hens, etc. A small tutorial by Victoria Katamashvili
is on off-loom beadweaving of Easter critters:
How to make Easter critters
Easter critters by Victoria Katamashvili
April upcoming events
Smithsonian Craft Show
April 22-25, 2010
Thursday-Friday: 10 am to 8 pm;
Saturday: 10 am to 6 pm; 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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