Archive for May, 2012

Amethyst – the Purple Quartz Gemstone

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Purple Amethyst Round and Faceted BeadsBrilliant. Regal. Royal. Purple. Amethyst is the queen of all the quartz gems. Just a trace of (more…)

Sheila Can See the Itty-bittiest Beads

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

We’ve all been reminded at one time or another that having the proper tools for any task will save us time and frustration. This is especially sound advice for beaders. The less we have to strain, the more we can enjoy the pure pleasure of our craft. Seed beaders, are you with me?

Sheila and her Head Loupe visor with magnifying lenses

Meet Sheila from Harlequin’s Beading Circle, a group of local beaders who gather on Tuesday afternoons to work on their latest beading projects. The regulars share good conversation, helpful insights and tasty treats with each other. It’s free, and anyone is welcome to attend. Sheila joined the fun about three years ago.

I dropped in on the Beading Circle for the first time yesterday, and (more…)

Good ‘ol Bead Bowl

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

bead bowl for loose beadsI was thumbing through my Facebook pages recently and saw a post from a fellow beader that asked if anyone else had a bowl that they threw all of their spare beads and jewelry parts into? By last count, she had 53 comments, all admitting to their various and sundry containers full of beads, clasps, wires, clips etc.

Yes, I also have a bowl. It is little and usually receives (more…)

World’s Smallest Beads

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Mangalsutra - the smallest beads in the worldThe smallest beads in the world are probably the Mangalsutra beads. Traditionally, these tiny glass seed beads are made by hand in small workshops in India. Strands of these beads are tied by the groom’s family and given to the bride to be worn throughout her married life. The beads are a symbol of love and fidelity.

You can find Mangalsutra beads at Harlequin Beads & Jewelry.

by Beverly

Scissors Substitute for Airplane Travel

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Another useful tool in your travel kit that is airline approved is a cuticle trimmer. This scissors substitute has a recessed blade on one end, making this makeshift tool just right for cutting thread. When you are looking for a specific bead in your pile, the cuticle pusher on the other end works well for sorting through beads.

by Beverly

Seed Bead Sizes

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Ever wonder about the size numbers on the beads you buy?  What is size 11/0 or 11s, 13/0 or 13s, or tiny 15s? Who created this byzantine code? (more…)

Rose Quartz, the Heart Stone

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Rose Quartz BeadsRose quartz contains trace amounts of (more…)

World’s Largest Beads

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

The world’s largest beads are actually coins. On the Micronesian island of Yap, money is made of stone. The stone is carefully carved into a disc and pierced through the middle. These coins can be enormous; in fact, one of the largest is over 10 feet in diameter. These coin beads are not meant to be worn, of course, but they are traded, bought and sold – which gives them an intrinsic value just like any other beads.

by Beverly

What is Quartz?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The most common elements in the earth’s crust are (more…)

World’s Oldest Beads

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

How old are the oldest beads?

In 2004, archaeologists found 41 tiny shells in Blombos Cave, South Africa. They were carefully pierced and showed wear marks consistent with having been suspended on a string or thread. These shell beads date to 75,000 years ago.

More recently in 2007, archaeologist Nick Barton suggested that the shell of a tiny mollusk, Nassaruis kraussianus, was made into beads as far back as 82,ooo years ago. These shell beads were found in a limestone cave in eastern Morocco. The shells were pierced, with wear marks on their holes revealing that the shells were once colored with red pigment, and that they’d been strung on a fibrous cord – all indicators that the beads were meant to be seen. A more recent finding in the same area may put the date at 110,000 years ago, but the reports have not yet been published. Stay tuned to this thread for the latest findings.

by Beverly