September, 2012

My Lovely Beads, e-Newsletter

Meeting with golden autumn...

We have already got Summer behind us, and Golden Autumn is coming! Read in our September issue:

Contact us with any questions at
Best regards, Team

Stone of October: LAPIS LAZULI

Stone of September:

Stone for acquiring wisdom, esoteric knowledge. Connection between the physical and celestial. Awareness, attunement, intuition and psychic ability. Stone of protection. Zodiac signs: Sagittarius (Archer).

More Info

Actinolite - mineral in many forms

Not many people have ever heard about actinolite that is a silicate mineral. The name "actinolite" is derived from the Greek word AKTIS, meaning "beam" or "ray" because of the mineral's fibrous nature. Fibrous actinolite is one of the six recognised types of asbestos, the fibres being so small that they can enter the lungs and damage the alveoli. Actinolite asbestos was once mined along Jones Creek at Gundagai, Australia.

Simple actinolite occasionally forms interesting crystal habits and specimens. Crystals can be similar to hornblende, but are always translucent or even transparent. Typically they are prismatic, flattened and elongated. Crystal specimens of actinolite can make very interesting mineral specimens.

Some forms of actinolite are used as gemstones. One is nephrite, one of the two types of jade (the other being jadeite). Jade has been used in China and Central America as an ornamental and religious stone of deep significance. The nephrite jade was used mostly in China, although both have been used in both regions. Nephrite is more abundant than jadeite and has few color varieties, ranging only from creamy white to green.

Another gem variety is the chatoyant form known as cat's-eye a ctinolite. This stone is translucent to opaque, and green to yellowish green color. This variety has had the misnomer jade cat's-eye. Transparent actinolite is rare and is faceted for gem collectors. Major sources for these forms of actinolite are Taiwan and Canada. Other sources are Madagascar, Tanzania, and the United States.

Golem Studio by Ivanovs duo

This year we were happy to meet this charming couple once again: Kremena and Vladislav Ivanovs were exhibitors at the Beaders Best Bead Art Fair in Hamburg. Their beautiful multicolor ceramic beads, cabochons and pendants couldn't leave anyone indifferent. Another great success of ceramic artists from the ancient capital of Bulgaria - Veliko Tarnovo! We are glad to have Kremena and Vladislav in our newsletter and hope you will like their ceramic elements and, of course, their history.

Vladislav Ivanov: How I became a ceramic artist

From my early school years I liked making small things from clay and plasticine and later from wax, which was probably my absolute favorite. In high school I have been studying wood carving for 2 years, so I became pretty familiar with the basic carving techniques and tools. At the same time my fascination with history and especially with archaeological artifacts has grown with each my visit to an archaeological site or museum.

Another completely different interest of mine was chemistry mostly because I was charmed by the magic of fire. The almost magical high temperature reactions between metals and non-metal elements still fascinate me. My last two years in the school were dominated by hesitation about what I wanted to do, what career I should start? I suppose this sounds pretty familiar for most of you.

In 1989, after I finished high school, I finally made a decision and started studying pedagogic at the Veliko Tarnovo University in Bulgaria bearing in my mind that there was a sub department "Fine and Applied Arts". I also started my own research and experiments in the area of reproduction of archaeological artifacts from different epochs using different materials and techniques.

Can you guess what I found out waiting for me on the crossroad between the art history and chemistry during this research? Yes, you are right - it was art of ceramics with all its unlimited shaping and decorating techniques, with all different clays and unlimited palette of colors, with the excitement of opening each kiln firing and the promises for even greater miracles each next time!

After I graduated with MA in Pedagogic, Fine and Applied Arts in 1994 I started working as a teacher in the primary school. Teaching had its great moments as well as bad ones, but it was far from satisfying for me. My desire for independence was also inspired by the traditions in my family, especially coming from my mother's side. Looking through my family tree I discovered they were craftsmen for centuries - blacksmiths, carpenters, wood carvers, silversmiths.

My Grandfather was a very skilled blacksmith and carpenter. So maybe my passion for creating life based on things you make with your own hands came from there. I quit my job as a teacher in 2000 and up to now I'm a self-employed artist. It looked like my ceramic "passion" was very "infectious" - my wife Kremena received the "clay bug" from me soon after we got married, she started making pots and other objects in 1997-98 and in 2001 she stopped her teaching career, too. That was the official beginning of "Golem Design Studio."

Full article by Kremena and Vladislav Ivanovs
Ceramic beads by Golem Design Studio
Ceramic elements by Golem Design Studio
Etsy Shop:

Interview with Elena Golovchenko

Second Place Winner in Beaded Jewelry category
for Awakening Necklace

My name is Elena Golovchenko, I live in Lugansk, Ukraine. I've been "talking" with beads for a little more than four years and since then beads have become more diverse, and I've also changed. Experience comes with every competition and with each new work. When there are so many great artists around from whom you can learn it's easier to develop your skills; you only need the will and tenacity, and any technique is mastered.

Beading for me is, above all, boundless imagination and the freedom to choose any material to work with. Maybe that's why beadwork is still a hobby for me. I do not like to make jewelry on commission basis, do not like to replicate my pieces and work only if I'm in good mood. Communicating with people who share your thoughts is priceless. This is a special world where we learn from each other. I'm glad I discovered this world.

Elena Golovchenko answers the questions of Maria Konoshenko

1. What place in your life does making jewelry take?

I used to write that making beaded jewelry is my parallel life. On the one hand I have a main job and the family that mean a lot to me, but the beads are always somewhere close to me. Beading is my hobby. At first I did not have enough time to bead because of my main work. Now there is no time to work because of beads; that is a joke of course. I look at every situation in my life through "bead glasses".

2. What is the source of your inspiration, do you stimulate it, and if so, how?

The inspiration can come from anything: a random movie, a magazine about architecture or other bead artists' designs. Any theme can be implemented, it requires only more attention and focus.

3. What are three words you could describe your creative work?

My work is my favorite hobby, freedom of imagination, a continuous challenge.

4. What do you first think about when creating jewelry: the entire idea, shape, color, or something else?

I did a conclusion for myself: beadworks is success if it's based on the semantic concept, and then you select shape and materials. But it is not always like that. When you use gemstones they can dictate the rules. I like either symmetry or asymmetry. It calms me down. I do not understand artistic dogmas about "right" color combinations. In nature, everything is beautiful: warm colors next to the cold, bright colors next to cool. It all depends on your vision and how you will design your work.

Full interview with Elena Golovchenko
Beadwork by Elena Golovchenko

Interview with Maria Konoshenko

Second Place Winner in Finished Jewelry category
for L'Oiseau Bleu Necklace

My name is Maria Konoshenko; I was born and now live in the city of Novosibirsk, Russia. I am a biologist by education, and soon I plan to defend my Ph.D. thesis. Nevertheless, an important part of my life belongs to my creative work and crafting. At different times, I was involved in many crafts from cross-stitching to knitting, but I was more captured by making jewelry. When I work with beads the process of turning together disparate materials into the finished work with an idea and aesthetics fascinates me.

I've always been attracted to the development of new techniques to create jewelry: different types of weaving, knitting, embroidery, soutache and felt techniques, but I was more fascinated tatting with beads. This technique of weaving creates elegant, airy and delicate jewelry that simply could not leave me indifferent. I learned about it in 2010, and could not resist learning the basics of frivolite using the information found on the Internet.

I wove my first item in this technique by a pattern from the book of E. Stepnaya, and... put my shuttles aside because I decided to learn other types of beading. However, the dream of gentle lace adornments didn't leave me completely, and at the end of last year I went back to frivolite with beads and immediately began to create my own jewelry designs. Now I'd like to continue to improve in this direction.

Last year I learned about the Fashion Colorworks contest and I was particularly interested in the main task to make jewelry or an object in the specified color combinations. Of course, I immediately decided to give it a try, but I also had doubt since I've never been involved in such a prestigious competition with such a high level of work. What was my joy when I found out that my L'Oiseau Bleu Necklace not only reached the final, but also finished second in its category! Participation in Fashion Colorworks gave me the creative impulse, and now my goal is not to lose it and to implement.

Maria Konoshenko answers the questions of Anria Opperman

1. When did you discover your love of working with beads? And what was the first beaded project that you ever made?

My first steps in beading I did when I was 14, those were the most unpretentious beaded bracelets, which are still intact and are stored to remind me about beginning of my bead career. The second step was weaving netted necklaces, and then - flowers and leaves using peyote stitch.

2. Which type of beads is your favorite to work with, and why?

I prefer to work with small beads and Toho 15/0 is my favorite. I also like Charlotte Czech beads with exquisite glow on the only facet, and the smallest Czech beads. I think that is the best material for fine work.

Full interview with Maria Konoshenko
Beadwork by Maria Konoshenko

Interview with Anria Opperman

Second Place Winner in Beaded Objects category
for Love Takes Flight Suspenders

Anria Opperman lives in Bloemfontein, South Africa. Her beading career doesn't count many years but Anria's submission to Fashion Colorworks 2012 made great success! Her Love Takes Flight Suspenders won the Second Place in Beaded Objects category. We wish Anria best of luck in her future challenges!

Anria Opperman answers the questions of Elena Golovchenko

1. How long have you been working with beads and designing beaded jewelry and what inspired you for that?

I am self taught beader and still an amateur, I found my love for working with beads little over a year ago. I was walking through a fabric shop when my eye caught a piece of luggage strap, and because of my love of cuff bracelets, I thought that this would be perfect to create my own beaded design on it. Since then I have been hooked on beading!

2. How does your inspiration come to you and where is your Muse at this time? Is it quietly watching from around the corner or is always with you and ready to help?

Inspiration hits at any time. During any spare moment in a day, I will be sketching ideas for a new beading project, or rummaging through my bead collection trying to find new color combinations to use.

3. Did you have a desire to invent a new beading technique?

It would be wonderful to create a new technique, but I still have many techniques to master and start incorporating in my work.

4. How do your country features influence on you in the selection of colors and shapes of your items?

I am not influenced much by the features of my country, rather by my personal preferences. I love watching Bollywood movies - their use of bright colors and all things shiny, the beautifully embroidered saris has definitely influenced my choice of beads.

5. Do you prefer to create a collection or a line of items, or to design a single piece?

A single piece. I like no two pieces to be similar. I've found that once I've finished a piece I already have an idea for a new piece and want to start working on it as soon as possible. I made an earring about a year ago, and I still haven't got around to making the other one (oops!)

Full interview with Anria Opperman
Beadwork by Anria Opperman

Lace beadweaving challenge

Create your own vertical netting stitch necklace!

This challenge is open to all participants, the sending of your photographs will validate your participation. We suggest you to create a necklace of your own design in vertical netting stitch with increases and decreases using bead insertion or bead embroidery. Your netting beadwork has to be done with seed beads and any other fancy beads (round, faceted, bicones, bugles, etc.). Please no cabochons and nor other elements added except listed above.

Deadline for sending your photos is Friday, October 26, 2012. Your photo should be no more than 800 Kb, we ask you for a high resolution photo in order to create an online gallery. Please send your emails with attached photos at:, please send us also the following information: first name, last name, nickname (if you want) and a link to your blog or website.

It's not a contest and the winners won't be selected. The pictures of all submissions will be published in our newsletter and in the blog Perles et Dent'Elles. Learn tutorials by Coco L'Hopital-Navarre for your inspiration!

Lace beadweaving basics. Part 1
Lace beadweaving basics. Part 2
Lace beadweaving basics. Part 3
For French speaking subscribers: Lace beadweaving challenge

Upcoming events

Sugarloaf Craft Festivals Sugarloaf Craft Festivals

October 12, 13, 14, 2012
Gaithersburg, Maryland
Mont. Co. Fairgrounds

October 26, 27, 28, 2012
Somerset, New Jersey
Garden State Exhibit Ctr.

Juried Fine Art & Craft Festivals since 1976. Find the unique handcrafted artwork of thousands of American Artists! Decorative creations for home & garden, exceptional fine art & designer crafts!


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