Friday, March 27, 2009

UFO night

Join us the last Friday of every month for Un-Finished Object (UFO) night! We'll provide some food and design help, just bring your projects and fun. We'll bead & bitch the night away!!! Festivities begin at 5pm, bring a friend!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Fun Friday

I had a great post started for Friday, but unfortunately, powers beyond my control were plotting against me. This photo was taken shortly after we lost power on Friday afternoon. Apparently a trunk took out a pole behind our shop & was hanging (literally by threads) waiting for the utilities to right it. We got our power back in time for our Artist Trading Card swap, but my blog post was lost to the ether (time I got that battery backup for the computers huh). I'll have ATC swap pictures & more later this week, and will make up for neglected posts this week and next.

Have a great day all...stay powerful!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Caring for pearls

Pearls are beautiful, no doubt about that, but they are also a bit of an abnormality in the gemstone world. Made from layers of calcium secreted by bivalve mollusks, pearls are hard enough to be beads but all those layers that give pearls their beauty also give them fragility.
Pearls come in a wide range of colors & shapes depending on the type of critter that makes them, the nutrients in the water and the growing time. Typically, pearls secrete approximately 1mm of nacre every year. That can decline with pollution, lack of nutrients or food, and water temperature. Most pearls on the market today are cultured, meaning that the pearls are grown in aquaculture “farms” where these factors can be more closely regulated. South Sea pearls or “wild” pearls are all natural, they are found by pearl divers (remember reading that in high school?) and are therefore more expensive and often larger since they are not harvested at set intervals like cultured pearls.
When designing with pearls, their fragile nature needs to be taken into account. Be careful about what type of beads are strung next to pearls…metal with sharp edges or faceted crystal can scratch the fragile nacre on pearls. Pearls have been traditionally strung on silk; the silk knots between each pearl cushion the beads so that they do not rub up against each other. The silk is fantastic for pearls, but does create some storage and wear issues. Strung pearls should be stored lying flat, not hung; just that little bit of gravity pulling on the knots can cause the silk to stretch. Pearls on silk are also more susceptible to dirt & stains. Pearls are really not great fashionware for gardening. The silk can get dirty quickly, and there is not cleaning method...once the silk is discolored it's time to restring. Even with careful treatment, pearls on silk typically need to be restrung every 5-10 years.
Look for lots of new pearls in the shop as well as tips on designing and knotting silk. Next week...the legend of birthstones.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I still love you...

I have been's not that I don't love blogging and have enough stories/pictures/opinions to share, it's just that time seems to always get away from me. I hate to put blogging on the official "to do" list because that takes the fun out of it, but it seems that unless I have a reminder, I will procrastinate the day away without getting to many things (both listed & unlisted). So, in order to try & rectify the situation, I am making a pledge- I will blog at least 2 times a week (with pictures) so help me....I will try to post at least once on what is happening at the shop-new in store, color or fashion trends, upcoming workshops etc.- and once about what I have been working on-new experiments and work, workshops & samples. Please feel free to email or comment suggestions for what you would like to see on this here blog...I am interested in getting some how-tos posted or even having some guest bloggers. Thanks for your patience, and I promise there is more to come! Beth