Sweet Treats for Valentine’s Day

There are plenty of delectable delights in my Etsy store to help make your Valentine’s Day a little bit sweeter.  Here are a few samples to whet your appetite.  Click HERE for more details or to purchase.

Lots of Leather

Don’t take this the wrong way, but I am into leather these days.  Here are a few pieces from my Valentine’s Day collection.  There’s lots more where these came from.  Come check them out in my Etsy store!

Lapis Lazuli

Lapis lazuli is known as the stone of friendship and love.  Once believed to have medicinal properties and used in ancient Rome as an aphrodisiac, lapis is thought to have healing powers even today by those who practice chakra medicine.  I don’t know about all that, but when I saw a strand of polished oval stones at my favorite local bead shop, I fell in love with it.  Mined primarily in Afghanistan, its name comes from the Latin “lapis,” or stone, and the Arab “azul,” or blue.  Rarely found in pure form, most often combined with pyrite crystals, the stone is a striking combination of rich blue and brassy gold.

I created this necklace and its matching earrings using a simple combination of lapis beads and antique gold findings, which really bring out the gold flecks in the stone.  To find out more about these pieces, click HERE.

Christmastime is here!!

I am having so much fun creating Christmas items for my Etsy store!  Here is my favorite new piece.

I hope you will come and visit soon!

The Significance of Birthstones

Birthstones have been around since ancient times.  Traditionally linked to the zodiac, they were believed to possess a supernatural force that could protect the owner or wearer of the stone.

However, modern birthstones are linked to calendar months, each month having its own unique gemstone with its own special properties. Each birthstone has its own unique color and meaning, describing the possible characteristics of the person born during that month. Over time, birthstones have acquired different meanings; despite these slight alterations, influenced by culture and beliefs, the symbolic essence of the birthstones remain.  Intrigued with these stones, many people love to wear jewelry set with them.

Crystal birthstone equivalents are as follows:

  • January–Garnet
  • February–Amethyst
  • March–Aquamarine
  • April–Diamond
  • May–Emerald
  • June–Light Amethyst
  • July–Ruby
  • August–Peridot
  • September–Sapphire
  • October–Pink Tourmaline
  • November Yellow Topaz
  • December Blue Topaz

I have a complete inventory of crystal birthstone bracelets in two sizes in my Etsy shop.  Check them out HERE.

African Christmas Beads

I discovered African Christmas Beads during a local bead shopping trip with my sister in law several months ago.  Immediately attracted to their bright colors and diversity of size and shape, I grabbed a couple of strands even though I had no idea what I would do with them.  I just knew I had to have them!

As you might have guessed, the term “trade beads” refers to beads used in place of currency.  In Africa, trade beads were used by Europeans to trade with the native people for slaves, services and local goods.  Most were produced in Venice; others came from Holland and Bohemia.   Christmas beads – sometimes called  “peace beads” or “love beads” – date as far back as the mid nineteenth century and are Czech-made.  Imported from Ghana, they symbolize peace and goodwill.  Solid and striped, opaque and translucent, crafted from glass or plastic, some of these beads have tiny imperfections, which only adds to their charm.

I ended up using my beautiful beads to create a reversible pendant which has become a signature item in my Etsy store (click HERE).  Since then, I have purchased several more strands and plan to use them in bracelets, ankle bracelets and earrings.  In the meantime, I am always on the lookout for unusual components for my designs.


Mosaic Turquoise

I first discovered mosaic turquoise during one of my frequent trips to my favorite local bead shop, On the Rocks. Since I love the color purple, my eyes were immediately drawn to a strand of mottled purple beads hanging in the gemstone section.  They were labelled “mosaic turquoise;” I decided to purchase them first and ask questions later.

After I got home, I did a search on the internet and learned that these beads were made from tiny bits of turquoise that have been dyed, mixed with other bits of stone, coated with resin and shaped into beads.  The result is stable and strong, and the colors are brilliant and bold.  Turquoise purists might object to them, and I agree they are no substitute for genuine turquoise, but I believe they have their place in the world!

I combined the mosaic turquoise with with black Czech glass pillow beads along with some sterling silver beads to create a necklace and a matching pair of earrings.  I love the results!  Click HERE to see for yourself.

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