There are a lot of the things we love about spring:
return of birds and their serenades; the sounds and
smells of the first grass cutting; being able to do
things in the daylight after work, and many more!
Read in the first spring issue:
Contact us with any questions at
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).
Smoky quartz fact sheet
The original birthstones for March are
bloodstone, but we would like to talk about a
gem from the quartz family, smoky quartz. It has an
unusual color for a gemstone and can be easily
recognized and is well known by the general public.
Alluring in its clarity and color, smoky quartz
ranges from medium brown through warm grays to a
deep, brownish-black, with the darker colors being
Only a few other brown or black minerals are ever
cut for gemstones such as black diamond, smoky
topaz, the very rare black beryl or brown corundum.
Smoky quartz is also popular as an ornamental
stone and is carved into spheres, pyramids,
obelisks, eggs, figurines and ornate statues.
Smoky quartz, a variety itself of quartz, has a few
varieties of its own. A very dark brown to black
opaque variety is known as morion. Morion
is the German, Danish, Spanish and Polish synonym
for smoky quartz. The name is from a misreading of
MORMORION in Pliny the Elder.
Cairngorm is a variety of smoky quartz crystal
found in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland.
It usually has a smoky yellow-brown color. It is
used in Scottish jewelry and as a decoration on
kilt pins and the handles of sgian dubhs. The
largest known cairngorm crystal is a 23.6 kg (52
pound) specimen kept at Braemar Castle.
Coon tail quartz is a smoky quartz with an
alternating black and gray banding. Gwindel
is a smoky quartz cluster of nearly parallel
crystals, each rotated slightly relative to the
one beside it.
Natural smoky quartz comes from many sources around
the world. A few of the more noteworthy locations
include Brazil, the world's largest supplier; Pikes
Peak area of Colorado, USA; and the Swiss Alps,
which has produced many tons of fine specimens.
Fashion Colorworks - a few days to start!
Fashion Colorworks entry must use the three colors in one
of the palettes shown on the contest page, in any
combination. There are three color palettes and three
categories for entries:
• Seed Bead Jewelry: Entries include jewelry and jewelry-related objects. Each entry must be not less than 50 percent seed beads.
There are no entry fees, the contest is open to participants
worldwide, judging is by photographs, and the prizes are amazing,
what could be better? Entries are accepted since April 1,
and the last submission day is June 15. Read all the details
of the contest, including how to enter, and then get busy
• Finished Jewelry: Each entry must be less than 50 percent seed beads; and other materials such as, but not limited to, glass beads, crystals, semi-precious stones, wire, metal clay, found objects, etc.
• Seed Bead Objects: Entries include any not jewelry-related objects, accessories and sculptural objects. Each entry must be not less than 50 percent seed beads.
Fashion Colorworks 2011 Beading Contest Rules
Bold and bright jewelry by Tamuna Lezhava (Tbilisi, Georgia)
made from mixed materials could be classified as Pop-Art
style jewelry. She designs her works with beads, so we
decided to call Tamuna's amazing works Pop-Bead-Art. Maybe
that's not correct name for that style, but what another one
can you suggest?
Tamuna says, "I was born in Tbilisi, Georgia, and
I still live in this sunny and beautiful city. I often ask
myself the question: Why beads?? The answer is very simple -
all comes from my childhood! My grandmothers owned many
great kinds of crafting skills, and one of them was a
fashionable and popular dressmaker in Tbilisi. Watching
how to create incredible things: jewelry, clothes, I did not
even suspect that all this will be so important in my life...
Almost every day I work, creating new and new designs,
and each time I want not to resemble the previous ones
and try to do that, I don't like replicating the same ideas.
And, incidentally, I cannot understand beadworkers of
meticulously repeated design finds, even if they clearly
express the style of the artist who created original jewelry.
The reason is simple: design ideas and the style have
been worked out for years and are unique to the artist, so
I think that every creative person has to find something
different that would make him remarkable and outstanding.
I'm often asked about my customers, and sometimes I
am advised to create jewelry for the "average woman" - I
do not know what it is! Every woman is beautiful in their
own, unique and inimitable. The main thing is to find the
queen in each woman! I'm trying to highlight her
eccentricity, originality, and individuality. My woman,
my client is a clever, self-actualization, bold beauty
that is always in the spotlight. Sometimes she is a
little pretentious, but in any case - an extravagant and
not like at all!
I like working freely, when I'm not limited by the
commission though in any case I take into account
what the desired color gamut of a piece of jewelry is
and what is its functional purpose. I basically never
repeat already created items, so every my beadwork is
unique, as there is only one, though my jewelry articles
share a common aesthetic and a common identity -
that is my style of beading..."
Full article by Tamuna Lezhava
Bead artwork by Tamuna Lezhava
Love affair with beads
Another guest, Julia Turova, lives in Russian
Siberia, in the city of Krasnoyarsk. Her detailed
beadworks inspired mostly by nature attract
bead lovers with their simplicity - and intricacy at
the same time. Anyway, Julia's jewelry doesn't leave
Julia says, "My flirting
with beads began about 30 years ago. Yes, it was then,
in the late seventies, when I was 5 years old and my
mother's treasure box with her beaded jewelry made from
the amazing Czech beads fell into my hands. I still
remember this blue-bronze-silver bead strand of
Jablonex. When it finally broke, my mother gave it to
me, and at this moment a child, showing promise in the
field of tree-climbing, downhill on the roofs and
skinning knees, finally disappeared as a future tomboy.
I had spent hours with a thin needle, stringing these
beads on a string.
Years passed. There wasn't bead shop in my hometown of
Krasnoyarsk, and my interest in beading shifted to more
practical sewing and knitting (highly acclaimed by my
loved craftswomen, mother and grandmother), intricately
interwoven with the interest in technology (the
influence of my dad). And I was still dreaming of beads,
weaving something out of... segments of the plastic wire
insulation, which replaced bugle beads for me!
And here in the late eighties, when the first ugly and
shapeless beads appeared in the market, and favorite
magazines Make Yourself and Science and Life published
excerpts from the book Fairy Ornaments by Engelisa
Litvinets, I went back to the old, methodically
studied uncomplicated scheme.
Frankly, I remained dissatisfied with the result.
Ugly beads of acid colors and primitive weaving -
it was so far from what I remembered from
childhood! But my enthusiasm was encouraged, because
a child at the difficult age, sitting at home, like
Cinderella, and poking with a homemade needle made
out of twisted nichrome wire in a handful of beads,
was happiness for the parents!
I was given fragments, scraps and bits of beaded
jewelry, discarded every self-respecting women, and
among them crumbs luxurious Czech beads appeared.
Using those "treasures" I have already begun making
more serious pieces of jewelry that my mom was happy
to wear to work. Material was scarce, so I tried to
use all the crumbs, "inventing" embroidery with
beads, making pendants on scraps of cloth left over
from sewing of my grandfather's military officer
Full article by Julia Turova
Beadwork gallery by Julia Turova
Website (in Russian): tjn-bead.ucoz.ru
Fashion Colorworks. Meet the sponsor
Offering Inspiration with Quality Products at Competitive Prices
Artbeads.com is one the web's largest suppliers of
beads, Swarovski crystal and jewelry making supplies.
The company offers a variety of beads from all around
the world, including Thailand, Israel, and New Zealand,
and works closely with Swarovski to provide
high-quality crystal to its customers. Along with
providing quality products with competitive prices,
Artbeads.com also offers tips on jewelry making, and
offers over 800 free bead and craft designs.
Artbeads.com prides itself on being able to sell
products to amateur jewelry makers on a budget and
wholesale buyers, including offering free shipping on
orders of $10 or more. Artbeads.com also ships orders
to Canada for $1.99.
They have also created
Beadsnap.com, a new website dedicated to artisan
jewelry designers and bead stores to make wholesale
ordering easier. Those buyers who spend over $2,000
a year on jewelry making supplies will find this
The company started in 1999 by owners Devin and
Cynthia Kimura, and has grown to become one of the best
known online retailers of supplies to create wonderful
jewelry and crafts. Their idea was to serve their
customers by providing quality products, outstanding
products and the inspiration to create something
beautiful. The company continues to make contributions
to its local community in Gig Harbor, Washington, as
well as making global donations. For every order
received, Artbeads.com will donate to Conservation
International to protect 25 square feet of tropical
Artbeads.com owners Devin and Cynthia Kimura
Visit online at www.artbeads.com
For friendly customer support call (253) 857-3433 OR toll free at 1-866-715-BEAD (2323)
Smithsonian Craft Show
April 14-17, 2011
National Building Museum, Judiciary Sq Metro (Red Line)
401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
Smithsonian Craft Show is the juried exhibition and
sale of fine
American crafts featuring 120 artists,
including 55 first time exhibitors.
Preview Night Benefit (Wednesday, April 13, 6:30 to
9:30 pm): cocktail buffet, first choice shopping,
valet parking available, and music by Ensemble L'Enfant.
Online Auction: bidding opens at noon on Wednesday,
April 6 and closes at 9 p.m. on Wednesday, April 20.
Special Event "Food as Craft": Sunday, April 17 at
1:30 pm in the Auditorium, tasting and talk by a
panel moderated by Sally Swift and featuring Joan
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