March, 2011

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

Happy springtime!

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
Best regards, Team

Stone of March: AQUAMARINE

March Stone:

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).

More Info

Smoky quartz fact sheet

The original birthstones for March are aquamarine and 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 most desirable.

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 2011 Beading Contest

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.
•  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.
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 beading!

Fashion Colorworks 2011 Beading Contest Rules


Bead artist Tamuna Lezhava

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

Bead artist Julia Turova

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 people indifferent!

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 greatcoat..."

Full article by Julia Turova
Beadwork gallery by Julia Turova
Website (in Russian):

Fashion Colorworks. Meet the sponsor
Offering Inspiration with Quality Products at Competitive Prices 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, also offers tips on jewelry making, and offers over 800 free bead and craft designs. 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. also ships orders to Canada for $1.99.

They have also created, 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 website helpful.

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, will donate to Conservation International to protect 25 square feet of tropical rainforest. owners Devin and Cynthia Kimura
Visit online at
For friendly customer support call (253) 857-3433 OR toll free at 1-866-715-BEAD (2323)

Upcoming events

Smithsonian Craft Show 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 Nathan.


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