Monday, May 24, 2010

Storing and Caring for your Beading Supplies



Storing and Caring for your Beading Supplies

While it is great to have little helpers, sometimes organizing your beading supplies is a one person task :) After some trial and error (well really a lot of trial and error), I have found that some of the best ways to organize and store beads are found at your local hardware store or pharmacy.

A small tackle box is great for tools like pliers, rulers, watch crystal cement and more. I am in love with clear plastic pill sorters. They are easy to see and they keep my beads securely sorted for future use. And the pill sorters fit into the tackle box easily.

As you collect more beads and supplies, it is also a good idea to have a written inventory. A simple spread sheet program like MS Excel can do wonders! Just entering in the specifics for each type of bead you have on hand will save you hours of searching for them. I like to make sure that I note the stone type, shape, size, cost of strand, cost per bead, vendor and date purchased. Using MS Excel, you can sort by the column to find similar shapes, sizes, stone type and more. And when you have finished your project, you can look at your MS Excel spreadsheet to calculate the cost.

Happy Beading!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Creating a Focal Bead Bracelet

video

Creating a Focal Bead Bracelet

Its not often that we see clear skies in Washington! Usually they are some shade of gray :) So we picked these two colors to create a lovely bracelet. I used Hemimorphite (7654c) for the focal bead and Cat's Eye Quartz (9201) beads for the accents.

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Monday, May 3, 2010

May Birthstones - Emerald, Agate & Sapphire

May Birthstones - Emerald, Agate & Sapphire



Both the Traditional and Modern birthstones for May is Emerald. Emerald is a member of the Beryl family and is 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Emeralds in antiquity were mined by the Egyptians and in Austria. A rare type of emerald known as a trapiche emerald is occasionally found in the mines of Colombia. A trapiche emerald exhibits a "star" pattern; it has raylike spokes of dark carbon impurities that give the emerald a six-pointed radial pattern. Emeralds come from three main emerald mining areas in Colombia: Muzo, Coscuez, and Chivor.

The Ayurvedic Birthstone for May is Agate. It is a microcrystalline variety of quartz (silica), chiefly chalcedony, characterised by its fineness of grain and brightness of color. Although agates may be found in various kinds of rock, they are classically associated with volcanic rocks but can be common in certain metamorphic rocks. Agate is a 7 on Mohs Hardness scale.

The Mystical Birthstone for May is Sapphire. Sapphire is a member of the Corundum family and is 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Sapphire is one of the two gem varieties of corundum, the other being the red ruby. Although blue is the most well known hue, sapphire is any color of corundum except red. Sapphire may also be colorless, and it also occurs in shades of gray and black.

See more Emerald, Agate & Sapphire Beads here.