Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday's Gem

It's another beautiful Friday morning. This Friday's gem is (drum roll please):


This man-made stone also goes by the name monk stone. It comes in brown, dark blue, and a very rare dark green color. I have to admit that I've chosen goldstone this week for slightly selfish reasons. A while back, when I first discovered the stone, I was told that it is a memory stone. It will hold the energy of anyone who touches it with intention. I don't often gravitate to goldstone, but this week, as I'm preparing to move away from a place that has become home, I have felt comfort when wearing my goldstone jewelry.

Goldstone has a tendency to stand out because it is so sparkly, so you may not find yourself using it a lot. It does, however, come in many interesting shapes and lots of different sizes. So when you do decide to get your sparkle on, or maybe create a memory peace for someone who is going away, give goldstone a try.

If you know and love goldstone, have tips on how to use it, or have a goldstone experience, please share it here.

Happy Friday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Friday's Gem

I LOVE working with gemstones, so I've decided to dedicate Fridays to these fabulous rocks. Gemstones add dimension to any bead piece. They add dimension in color, shape, weight, and feeling. The stone I'll showcase this Friday is the beautiful, yet unassuming,


This calming stone can range in color from a deep honey to a milky yellow. It is a calcite. It is said to have calming properties, and to encourage meditative states. I can honestly say that the experiences I have had working with aragonite have been very calming and meditative. This may be because I find beading calming, but I won't discount the energy of the stone! Aragonite originates from Molina de Aragon, in Guadalajara, Spain. It can also be found in Slovakia and the US. It forms naturally in caves as stalactites. It also forms naturally in the ocean, often on mollusk shells.

If you haven't work with Aragonite before, it's worth a try. It is a wonderful neutral tone. It presents a great balance for more vibrant colors. Because of its varied color range, and the milky striated nature of the stone, it also works well by itself.


Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Book Is Available

This post is totally un-bead-related, but I had to share. A book of my poems is now available on! Please check out the link, and help support me in this endeavor. Thanks!

Entering Into the Huichol Landscape

I live in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, a colorful place full of bead artisans. Much of what has inspired the new turn in my beading has come from the wonderful artisans I have met on Isla. It was Playa del Carmen, however, that introduced me to Huichol. On a long trip that ended up in Dangriga, Belize, a friend of mine and I stopped in Playa del Carmen for a night. We walked up and down Avenida Quinta, peeking into the high fashion shops that Playa is known for. In this swath of wispy fabrics and scantily-clad models, there is a colorful oasis of artisan work.

I wish I could tell you the name of the shop, but it has since slipped my mind. What I do remember, is that it was my introduction to the Huichol Indians of Mexico, and their amazing jewelry, waxed thread, and waxed bead pieces. I was in love, and could think of nothing else but learning this amazing art. I bought a book about the Huichol, and one necklace from the store.

I studied that necklace and my huichol book for months until I unlocked the pattern. The Huichol consider their art to be a meditative path to enlightenment. Often while travelling this path, peyote is used to heighten the senses. The peyote cactus is prominent in many of the Huichol designs.

I can honestly say, that after creating my first Huichol piece, I felt that I had lifted a veil. My beads made more sense to me. The Huichol also believe that the art you create is manifest into the world at the completion of the project. I like the idea that the flowers and mandala patterns in my pieces are now manifest in our natural world. Here are some of the pieces that I was graced with in this process. Enjoy, and please comment. Have you had a Huichol experience? Or a moment when beading helped you work through something bigger?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Results of my latest beading challenge

I, like many artistic types, get burned out at times. It's very easy to do when you labor over a piece and see it collecting dust on a shelf. The market is full of amazing artisans, which is a beautiful thing. It can also make you feel like one in a crowd though. Trying to kick myself out of that feeling, I challenged myself to make a new piece every two days. Crazy! I know. That challenge was to end on July 31, but I think I'm gonna call it quits at the end of this week. It was fun, but a bit intense. Here are the results of the madness:

Clockwise from left: Red Rose, Sun and Surf Cuff, Get Funky Necklace in Red and Turquoise, Huichol Poppy Earrings, Gold Head Band.

Please comment on the pieces. And please share any challenges that you've participated in. Did it help to kick start things for you, or was it just a pain?

Welcome to my love affair

I don't remember when I first fell for beads, but it's been the longest standing relationship I've had. I've done polymer clay, paper beads, wooden beads, gemstones, and seed beads. I've worked with wired, thread, and even fishing line. I'm always picking up new ways to bead in my travels, from pandanus braiding to the frenzy of huichol seed beading. I hope to showcase what I'm up to in the word of beads, tips, new techniques, and interesting articles. As far as I'm concerned, the world is a more colorful place because of beading. Welcome to my bead love affair.