March, 2012

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

Happy blossom time!

We are officially in springtime, and no more heavy coats, snowfall or barren trees. Birds return and sing serenades, the first cut grass smells with freshness, and we can do things in the daylight after work! Read in the March issue:

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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

Larimar - Caribbean gem

The original birthstones for March are aquamarine and bloodstone, but we want to tell you about another blue gemstone discovered in XX century, it's called larimar. Larimar, also called "Stefilia's Stone", is a rare blue variety of mineral pectolite found only in the Dominican Republic, in the Caribbean. Although pectolite is found in many locations, none have the unique volcanic blue to deep blue coloration of larimar. This blue color, distinct from that of other pectolites, is the result of copper substitution for calcium.

The Dominican Republic's Ministry of Mining records that on 23 November 1916 Father Miguel Domingo Fuertes Loren of the Barahona Parish requested permission to explore and exploit the mine of a certain blue rock he had discovered. Pectolites were not yet known in the Dominican Republic and the request was rejected.

In 1974, at the foot of the Bahoruco Range, the coastal province of Barahona, Miguel Mendez and Peace Corps volunteer Norman Rilling rediscover larimar on a beach. Natives, who believed the stone came from the sea, called the gem Blue Stone. Miguel took his young daughter's name Larissa and the Spanish word for sea (MAR) and formed Larimar, by the colors of the water of the Caribbean Sea, where it was found.

The most important outcrop of blue pectolite is located at Los Chupaderos in the south-western region of the Dominican Republic. It is a single mountainside now perforated with approximately 2,000 vertical shafts, surrounded by rainforest vegetation and deposits of blue-colored mine tailings.

Larimar jewelry is offered to the public in the Dominican Republic, and elsewhere in the Caribbean as a local specialty. Most jewelry produced is set in silver, but sometimes high-grade larimar is also set in gold. Quality grading is according to coloration and the typical mineral crystal configuration in the stone. Larimar also comes in green and even with red spots, brown strikes etc. due to other matters. But the more intense the blue and the contrasts in the stone, the higher and rarer is the quality.

Here we go! Fashion Colorworks 2012

Fashion Colorworks 2012 Beading Contest

It's already time to submit entries to the Fashion Colorworks 2012. Contest 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, it is not late yet!

Fashion Colorworks 2012 Rules
Submit your entries to Fashion Colorworks!

Mayan culture inspiration

Bold and bright jewelry by Sigi Contreras from Mexico made from different materials reminds about his sunny country with its rich history, culture and traditions. Sigi likes handcrafting since he was a child and in 2003 he discovered his true passion: designing and making one-of-a-kind jewelry. The result is outstanding!

Sigi writes, "It's funny how God guided the course of my life because I started making jewelry recovering from a serious illness, it was like a therapy for me! I think everything was worth it! Even though I could have never imagined myself working in this wonderful field I don't seem to want to stop now as I feel an insatiable desire of learning new media and techniques.

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.

My designing style has evolved through the years. I started making very casual designs but inspiration has led me to make more elaborate and intricate jewelry. Most likely it was in 2008 when I made my first bead woven necklace with seed beads, it was inspired by the Bead Dreams finalists' catalog I saw in the Bead&Button magazine. The very first techniques I learned after that were brick stitch, beaded crochet and fringe, and the result of these was "Monique", the very beautiful necklace in gold and green and tiger eye beads.

When I am about to start a new design I like making drawings of it first, this way I can get a better understanding of what I have in my mind. Sometimes I even jump out from my bed late night to make at least a sketch of my new inspiration. When I finally like it, I move on to selecting colors and materials, and I never stop changing some of them or adding the new ones as I go. I've always got trouble selecting the colors since I am color blind to some greens, browns, red and deep purple, and sometimes I need to label my beads and ask for help to recognize their true colors..."

Full article by Sigi Contreras
Bead artwork by Sigi Contreras

IBA 2012. Cast your vote!

The second International Bead Award (IBA) 2012 is in process, and Perlen Poesie website announced online voting for People's Choice Award. The theme of this contest is POP ART. Strong colors and shapes, two or three dimensional, certain simplicity, a reference to everyday objects or free abstraction, all is possible at the same time as well as a smooth succession of objects. Trivial things become original and refreshing. Humor is very important!

International Bead Award 2012. Cast your vote!
Article about Pop Art style and jewelry

Nature on miniature brooches

Bead artist Lyubov Tyurina

Born and living in Moscow, Russia, Lyubov Tyurina focuses her passion to beadwork on creating tiny brooches featuring flowers, cats, birds and other nature critters. Lyubov's amazing jewelry pieces don't leave people indifferent and we are happy to introduce her beadwork and her story to you today!

Lyubov says, "In my opinion, nature is an endless source of inspiration for any creative work, even as a child I wanted to work somewhere in conservancy area or as a tour guide at the zoo, but... I'm a teacher at the elementary school. I love my job, but would not advise others to choose this profession.

Working with young children is also inspiration: fairy tales, funny poems and stories by A. Barto, S. Marshak, K. Chukovsky, N. Nosov and V. Dragunsky, children's lively pictures, the world of fantasy and imagination.

I like drawing, sewing, writing poetry, collecting and making different models and other things from paper. Apparently, this creative energy accumulated in me over the years and finally led me to the beads; it's a pity that I haven't known about them for a long time! At first, I was fascinated by the toys made using wire and beads. They were simple but very cute little critters; I've woven them by patterns from the books. When I felt I became pretty experienced in this technique I myself started making up and drawing patterns.

I am seriously attracted to beadwork and have got children in my class interested in that, too. So, I founded bead classes at my school and they were attended not only by girls, but also by boys!

Gradually, I felt I "overgrew" my critters, and I switched to the flowers from wire and beads. Then beaded jewelry seemed to me very simple and trivial yet... until I saw amazing beadworks by Svetlana Dubinskaya (Israel), Svetlana Sametis (Riga, Latvia), Julia Turova (Krasnoyarsk, Russia), Uliana Volkhovskaya (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine), Irina Belinskaya (Moscow, Russia), Alla Vizir (Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine) and other talented artists, and then I fall in love with beads forever!

It was then I felt a desire to create something of my own. I wanted to have my own unique style by which my beadworks could be recognized. You can create any number of items by patterns from books and copy lots of jewelry pieces designed by well known artists but the "soul" and individuality come in only when you "feel" your beadwork, pass ideas through yourself and create it from the very beginning..."

Full article by Lyubov Tyurina
Beadwork gallery by Lyubov Tyurina
Website (in Russian):

Upcoming events

Smithsonian Craft Show Smithsonian Craft Show

April 19-22, 2012
National Building Museum, Judiciary Sq Metro (Red Line)
401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

Founded in 1846, the Smithsonian is the world's largest museum and research complex, consisting of 19 museums and galleries, the National Zoological Park and nine research facilities.

Widely regarded as the country's most prestigious juried show and sale of fine American craft, the Smithsonian Craft Show is produced by the Smithsonian Women's Committee to support education, outreach and research at the Smithsonian Institution. Join the 30th Anniversary celebration and enjoy dazzling exhibition of creativity, innovation and technical mastery at the elegant and historic National Building Museum; 121 distinguished craft artists, 44 of them new to the show this year; one-of-a-kind or limited edition works in 12 different media - from furniture and ceramics to glass and wearable art.


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