Beading in the Storm

You may be deceived if you trust too much, but you will live in torment unless you trust enough. ~Frank Crane, Presbyterian minister and writer

I’ve heard that when a healing bracelet breaks, it’s a sign the stones have done all they can do for you, and you need to move on.

Recently, my bracelet did just that, so I used a gloomy, stormy day to make another:

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Rainy Day Beading Redux

My last couple of posts have been on the serious side, so I thought it time to lighten up a bit.

How about I display some new beaded jewelry pieces, created during a recent day of thunderstorms?

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More Healing Bracelets

I just realized it’s been awfully long since I posted pictures of the jewelry I’ve been beading, so let’s remedy that, shall we?

If you’re not into beads or jewelry or creativity, that’s okay. We don’t all have the same interests. You can skip reading right now.

Sure, you’ll hurt my feelings, but I’ll get over it. As Henry Rollins said, “Being an artist is dragging your innermost feelings out, giving a piece of yourself, no matter in which art form, in which medium.”

Just don’t leave forever, ‘k? Come back and join us next time, when I’m not writing about beads!

Still here? Great — thanks, and let’s get right to it.

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Beading with semiprecious stones

Thanks to several days of rain and thunderstorms, I recently had some time to myself, and I chose to pass it beading.

There’s something peaceful about working with beads, string, metal, and such. Something rewarding about creating a bracelet or earrings from rocks and wire.

I derive infinite satisfaction from fingering the beads, researching their healing properties, and knowing that, if I make something I don’t particularly like, I can either dismantle it and start over or I can squirrel it away for someone else to purchase one day.

We all have different tastes, you know, and one person’s trash is another person’s treasure!

Here are a few of the items I designed (and if you’re tired of seeing beaded jewelry, forgive me, but I’m up to my ears in Commencement preparations and this is the best I can post in my scatter-brained state!):

Citrine bracelet

Citrine bracelet

1) This bracelet contains 8 Citrine chunks (helps with digestion and is known as the “Merchant’s Stone”) interspersed with 4mm round Hematites (increases intuition and improves relationships).

Unakite bracelet

Unakite bracelet

2) This bracelet features 10 oval Unakite discs connected with 4mm round Unakite beads. Unakite is a combination of Red Jasper and Green Epidote. It’s said to lift your spirits, help you see the beauty in life, and uncover deception.

Healing bracelet

Healing bracelet

3) This “healing” bracelet contains 3 each of faceted Crystal beads, Sodalite, Turquoise, Jasper, Blue Averturine, and Howlite. All are 6mm round beads.

  • Crystal is said to enhance the energy of other stones
  • Sodalite brings inner peace
  • Turquoise is the symbol of friendship
  • Jasper is worn for protection, luck, and to ease emotional stress
  • Blue Aventurine helps with self-discipline and inner strength
  • Howlite relieves stress and aids in sleep.
Healing bracelet #2

Healing bracelet #2

4) This is a healing bracelet featuring round stones sized 8mm each. Included gemstones are Crystal, Carnelian, Aventurine, Rose Quartz, Purple Striated Agate, Yellow Striated Agate, and Fancy Jasper. And here’s what the stones are said to do (minus, of course, the ones I’ve already listed):

  • Carnelian increases energy and guards against poverty
  • Green Aventurine is the stone of luck
  • Rose Quartz is the stone of universal love
  • Agate has so many positive qualities that everyone should have one (or more!)
Jade bracelet

Jade bracelet

5) This bracelet is comprised of 8 Russian Jade oval-shaped beads and 11 round, 4mm Fancy Jasper beads with a silver toggle clasp. Jade helps the body to heal itself. An ancient protective stone, Jade helps in clear reasoning.

Do stones in and of themselves really ‘Heal’? Who knows, but it’s fun learning about them anyway!

Isaac Inspired Me to Create

The remnants of Hurricane Isaac blew through my area over Labor Day weekend, giving us some much-needed rain.

Not what the old-timers call a drought-buster, but we’ll take what we can get.

It’s the “side effects” we can do without — you know, the lightning and thunder, tornadoes and wind.

Have you ever been in Church and heard the tornado warning go off? I hadn’t either, until Saturday evening. What better place to be during wicked weather?

Anyway, with a holiday weekend and bad weather roaming around, I powered down the laptop and turned to some beading. Without further ado, I present some of my new creations (and the stories that go with them!):

1) These dangly earrings each feature three 6mm denim blue cat’s eye beads, interspersed with a 4mm hematite bead, antique round silver beads, and an antique silver tube bead in the middle. They remind me of summer — denim usually does — and what better way to celebrate the end of summertime than with beads?

2) This pair is made of seven 4mm rose bicones, interspersed with silver spacers and a silver circle spacer in the middle. This color is just so flattering to most skin tones! They’re light and delicate, and I imagine they’d look perfect worn with shades of blue or black.

3) Native American cultures have long hung dreamcatchers over beds to catch bad dreams in the net and filter good dreams down through feathers to the sleeper. That lovely tradition is what this pair of earrings is based on. I used two faceted turquoise Czech glass beads with a silver spacer in each one and a leverback closure for increased security.

4) More feathers! I saw these silver “feather” dangles at Hobby Lobby one day and they spoke to me. These chandelier earrings are the result. They might look heavy, but they’re incredibly light and make the most delicate whispering sound in your ears when you move your head.

5) A bracelet/earring set in Hematite. This stone is incredibly slick to the touch and is the gem form of iron. When cut or ground, Hematite gives off red dust that runs like blood when mixed with water. People have used this “red ochre” for thousands of years to paint caves and tombs. Here, I separated the Hematite stones with 4mm silver beads on the bracelet and used a toggle clasp. Trust me, it’s heavier than it looks — that’s why the earrings are shorter than I’d usually make!

6) Can you tell the Fighting Irish have been on my mind this weekend?? This pair mixes several different shades and sizes of green beads, silver spacers, and of course, a lucky four-leaf clover dangle. They must have worked because the Irish beat the Navy in Dublin on Saturday, 50-10!

Beaded Jewelry, Part Two

I figured it was time for another beaded jewelry blog so here goes (for those who don’t appreciate beads and jewelry, come back another day, okay?):

Aventurine and silver bracelet

1) This bracelet is silver with a toggle clasp and pale green beads of Aventurine. Also known as Adventurine, this gemstone is said to bring good luck, particularly in financial matters. Who doesn’t need good luck there?? Aventurine stimulates creativity and intelligence, too, so perhaps I should glue it to my wrist!

“Y” necklace

2) Next is a silver chain Y-necklace, approximately 12 inches in length. Named for the way it forms a letter Y around the face, this style of necklace gained popularity two decades(!) ago with TV shows like Melrose Place and Friends. I’ve been seeing quite a few of them in jewelry stores lately, so it must be making a comeback (if it ever left!) Anyway, mine features 6mm peach and forest green beads, interspersed with faux pearl and peach beads. Its matching earrings dangle about two inches in length and have a fishhook ear wire.

Lapis chandelier earrings

3) Chandeliers, again! This pair, frankly, was a horror to make, thanks to the teeny-tiny space for inserting the beads. Nine dark blue (well, in reality, they’re darker than the picture!) lapis lazuli beads decorate this delicate silver-shaped piece, bringing the total earring length to about three inches. A leverback ear wire provides safety from accidental loss. Surprisingly, this pair is lighter than it looks and, because of all the lapis beads, it makes a delightful tinkling sound when your head moves. By the way, lapis lazuli is a perfect gemstone for emotional healing and stability. Also, it’s said to cleanse the spirit, bringing out inner truth and peace.

Anklet

4) This is an anklet in natural shell stones and various colorful beads. The clasp is interesting in that you unscrew one silver piece from the other to open it, then screw them back together to close. I imagine that would make for a very secure piece of jewelry. I photographed it on a beach towel because to me, these khaki-colored shells scream for a suntan (yes, even a “bottle tan” will suffice!); besides, anklet bracelets are made for sandals, not snow boots!

That’s all for now. I’ll post some more pieces at a later date, if anyone shows interest in seeing them!

Beading in the Rain

In my little part of the world, we’ve had nothing but rain for days on end.

Downpours. Cold. Wind. Thunderstorms.

But I’m not asking for sympathy. No siree. When the weather gets bad, some people read; others sleep.

I bead.

And since I had to attend a special dinner on Saturday evening with Mom, I used that morning to whip up a new pair of earrings to match the outfit I was planning on wearing.

Here’s what I came up with:

Earrings by me

You can’t see the pretty detail from this picture (blame the cloudy skies and the flash on my camera insisting on leaving a gaudy white spot on the black background). But they perfectly matched the color in my top. . . .Wait, I have a better idea! I’ll write a fancy sales copy paragraph describing them.

Simple and elegant — The bottom half of this handmade pair of beaded dangling earrings features five matching, 5 mm round, pink pearls separated by a 1/8-inch ornate silver tube bead. A figure 8 connector attaches the bottom portion to a half-inch long antique silver tube bead. Silver leverback findings provide an easy and secure on/off. Perfect for dress occasions! Flirty and attractive, just in time for summer!

No, I don’t sell my jewelry online — yet. I’ve been told I should, but as it is, I have more than enough on my plate running a business and writing. And the thought of taking every single piece I’ve made out of its protective bag, photographing it in the best possible light, writing sales copy, designing a Website, and placing all those items on it — not to mention the actual selling of the pieces, boxing them up, shipping them, etc. — just makes me weary.

So, for now at least, I’ll just continue to love beading. It’s relaxing, and there’s something that satisfies me to the core in selecting beads, playing with colors and textures, molding them together, and rejoicing in the pleasure of being creative.

Is it wrong to love doing something, just for yourself?