August, 2010

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

Back to school!

A little bit more time - and we will leave summer behind us... Golden fall is coming, and somewhere leaves are turning to red and yellow. Read in the last summer issue:

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Best regards, Team

Stone of August: JADE

Stone of August:

Balances male/female energies. Stone of protection, provides barrier against attacks and illness. Encourages meditative travel. Helps in making the dream process productive and healing. Zodiac signs: Libra (Balance), Capricorn (Seagoat), Aries (Ram), Gemini (Twins).

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Alexander's alexandrite

Two unusual varieties of the mineral chrysoberyl have their own names as gemstones: cat's eye or cymophane, and alexandrite. Alexandrite is thought to be the August gemstone as well as green gems jade and peridot. Alexandrite exhibits emerald green, red and orange-yellow colors depending on viewing direction in partially polarized light. However, its most distinctive property is that it also changes color in artificial (tungsten/halogen) light compared to daylight.

Alexandrite from the Ural Mountains in Russia is green by daylight and red by incandescent light. Other varieties of alexandrite may be yellowish or pink in daylight and a columbine or raspberry red by incandescent light. The optimum or "ideal" color change would be fine emerald green to fine purplish red, but this is exceedingly rare. Because of their rarity and the color change capability, "ideal" alexandrite gems are some of the most expensive in the world.

According to a widely popular but controversial story, alexandrite was discovered by the Finnish mineralogist Nils Gustaf Nordenskiold, (1792-1866) on the tsarevitch Alexander's sixteenth birthday on April 17, 1834 and named alexandrite in honor of the future Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

Although it was Nordenskiold who discovered alexandrite, he could not possibly have discovered and named it on Alexander's birthday. Nordenskiold's initial discovery occurred as a result of an examination of a newly found mineral sample he had received from Perovskii, which he identified as emerald at first. While looking at the specimen under candlelight, he was surprised to see that the color of the stone had changed to raspberry-red instead of green. Later, he confirmed the discovery of a new variety of chrysoberyl.

The finest alexandrites up to 5 carats (1,000 mg) are being found in the Ural Mountains, but the largest cut stones are in the 30 carats (6.0 g) range, though many fine examples have been discovered in Sri Lanka (up to 65 cts.), India, Brazil, Myanmar, and especially Zimbabwe (small stones usually under 1 carat (200 mg) but with intense color change). Overall, stones from any locale over 5 carats (1.0 g) would be considered extremely rare, especially gems with fine color change. Alexandrite is both hard and tough, making it very well suited to wear in jewelry.

International Bead Award

International Bead Award

To bead or not to bead, that's not a question for thousands of people whose passion is beading. They face another question: to enter a beading contest or not to enter. Our answer is positive: of course, to enter! Not every contest, but promising a great challenge. It seems that the First International Bead Award held and supported by Beaders Best Publishing (Beaders Best Verlag) is what you don't have to miss!

The contest is open to all bead artists around the world. Five international jury members select a first, second and third place winners in each of nine categories. The jury will judge by photos only. The winners will be announced at the Beaders Best Fair for Bead Art in Hamburg, August 20-21, 2011, and shown in the following issue of the Perlen Poesie Magazine. All submissions will be showcased on the Perlen Poesie website after the jury has voted. Out of all submissions the website visitors will be able to select People's Choice Award Winner. Deadline for submissions is the 15th of December, 2010.

Join the international bead competition IBA!
Conditions of participation

Fashion Colorworks 2010. Third Place Winner

Bead jewelry artist Larisa Berenshtein

Third Place Winner - Midday Set
Larisa Berenshtein, Ramat Gan, Israel

Interview with beadwork artist Larisa Berenshtein

Larisa, exactly two years ago we featured you on It seems like it was just yesterday, but we left two years behind us, that's not a short time! You took part in Fashion Colorworks Beading Contest and your Midday Set won the Third Place. That's a great success! We'll talk about the contest, but first we'd like to ask you other questions.

1. Larisa, we have just noticed that you haven't shared your creative plans, but you had them, of course. Tell us please what made success and what didn't?

I agree, the time is flying! Yes, I didn't tell you about my plans at that time because I haven't had any particular. I bead from time to time, it depends on my inspiration and materials I've got at the moment. Beading is still hobby for me, and I work when I want to work, when I have a wish to catch and feature gemstones beauties, to make "unknown" color beads play, to get pleasure from the process of looking for the only right combination of materials, shape of an item, and its colors.

The exception is when I design jewelry for a special event and clothes. Unfortunately, not always I my dreams come true. I work slowly and don't have much spare time, and one idea follows another... I'd like to give a try to many things! For instance, I didn't have a chance to design free-form, but one day I'll come to that. Maybe, I'll learn to work faster, for now I've got a weak hope for that.

2. Larisa, what new unexpected discoveries have you made for the last two years?

Unexpected? Sooner, I think, I've made "expected" ones. I found out, that working with high quality materials is a real pleasure. If two years ago I thought that Czech beads are the best, today I work mostly with Japanese beads. I started using a lot of 15/0 size seed beads; it opened new possibilities for me. I felt that I like complicated color combinations, they allow many more interesting designs.

3. Thinking of past works, we value them differently. What can you say about your beadwork you have created 2-3 years ago?

Of course, I see my mistakes and try not to repeat them. But I'm happy to wear some of my old pieces; they become "a part of my life".

4. Have you changed the style of your beadwork? What do you think are your achievements?

I think, yes, I have. Maybe, that's because I've taken new experience and I'm more serious when designing new pieces, I try to create harmony and well balanced composition. My today's works have become more complicated, they have more elements. Nonetheless, I understand that I still have to learn the world of beauty with its own rules.

Full interview with Larisa Berenshtein
Gallery of bead artwork by Larisa Berenshtein

Fashion Colorworks 2010. People's Choice Award Winner

Bead artist Alexandra Sydorenko

People's Choice Award Winner - After The Rain Set
Alexandra Sydorenko, Cherry Hill, NJ, USA

Nobody will tell you about the author of the People's Choice Award Winner better than Alexandra Sydorenko herself. She says, "Since I was a child only a few years old, I've always tried to make something beautiful with my own two hands. I learned from my father the arts of woodworking and beekeeping. Thanks to my grandmother and my aunt, I started embroidering and needle working. My mom showed me love for literature and books, and good music. And finally, my grandmother Anastasia, it was from her that I inherited my passion for beads and my grandmother's gerdan (a type of ethnic necklaces in Eastern Europe). I am still safekeeping that treasure today.

I've always believed (and still do so now) that if one really wants to learn something, he or she will, undeniably, do so. That was how different periods came into my life: designing and creating clothes, different forms of knitting, patchwork and quilting, working on sewing machines, decorative wood burning, pencil sketches of people dear to me, and many other crafts... and beading! Beads - they are my entire life's song. Everything I make - clothes, quilts, woodworking, embroidery - has at least a few beads somewhere.

My mother had bought me my first bag of beads in the distant days of my childhood. The beads were terribly uneven and the worst shade of a kind of dirty green imaginable, but the miniscule glass spheres literally charmed me. Along with the small bag of beads my mom bought me a book about beadwork. It was a thin, black-and-white copy printed on sad-looking gazette-type paper, but it held something precious: a peyote rope pattern. At seven years of age I made my first rope.

Unfortunately, my happiness did not last long... Nobody told the naive child that I needed to use a special, strong thread, not regular sewing thread. But this didn't stop me. I kept on beading, slowly grasping the concepts of new techniques.

I was reincarnated as a beader about one and a half years ago. It all started out very simply. My younger brother accidentally ran in with the website and sent me a link with a message attached: "Look at this - there are lots of interesting things here. You'll like this." Like?!!! That was a huge understatement! I fell in love and I was charmed. I couldn't stay away from the local libraries, especially the Arts and Crafts section for two years before discovering this Internet society of beaders.

I'd looked at so many different books about beading and semi-precious stones with thoughts of, "How beautiful! How talented, lucky, and happy people who create such great, amazing pieces of art must be! But why can't I do things like this? Can't I? Oh, no!! Now I simply must try!" I bought a few gemstones and began working..."

We would like to congratulate Larisa Berenshtein and Alexandra Sydorenko one more time and to wish them success! We are looking forward to seeing your new stunning beadworks in Fashion Coloworks next year!

Full article by Alexandra Sydorenko
Gallery of Beadwork by Alexandra Sydorenko

Step by step - Waves Bracelet

Waves Bracelet

Do you like earrings shown on the picture? If so, set your imagination free and learn a new tutorial by Victoria Katamashvili. Today she is teaching you the wavy jewelry designs, that can vary depending on the materials.

           Tutorial: Waves Bracelet

           Victoriya Katamashvili. Wavy jewelry designs

Upcoming events

Alexandria Festival of the Arts 2010 Alexandria Festival of the Arts 2010

September 11-12, 2010
         Saturday 10 am - 7 pm
         Sunday 10 am - 5 pm
King Street between Union & Washington sts., Alexandria, VA

Voted one of the top 100 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. The 8th Annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts is one not to be missed! Discover spectacular paintings, life-size sculptures, jewelry, photography, ceramics and more.

The Alexandria Festival of the Arts transforms the streets of Old Town Alexandria into an outdoor art gallery featuring 200 of the nation's top award-winning artists. The free outdoor art festival will line six blocks of King Street showcasing different artworks. This popular outdoor event will feature art with prices ranging from $20 to $20,000. The show is set up along King Street and stretches all the way down the street to the Potomac River.

Art Activated at the Torpedo Factory

September 11, 2010, Noon-4 pm
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

Let your creative side play at this 4th annual event taking place during the Alexandria Festival of the Arts! Become a part of the creative process with hands-on projects, artist demonstrations, and special taking place throughout the afternoon. Enjoy artist demonstrations throughout the day including pottery on the wheel, painting, sculpture, and much more. Visitors are also invited to try their hand at different art techniques including clay throwing and fiber art at special "Try Me" stations. Guests will get creative with hands-on projects including the popular Champagne Cork Chairs Workshop, Bubble Gum Painting, and Screen Printing.


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