A few weeks ago, I went to my storage unit and picked up a box of beads which had been in there for about 4 years.

When I got home and opened the box, it was like Christmas and a treasure hunt combined.  I mean, these were beads that, at some point, I had not taken the time to put away after whatever project I was working on. So, I just kept looking at that box. Just looking. Finally, I went out to Michael’s and bought a big bead storage box (Thank goodness I had a 50% off coupon – those things cost almost $14!)  The next day, at KMart, I found some utility boxes in the fishing section, for $6-something and bought 2 of those. Then, I came home re-organized my bead stash. Then, finally, with one box left empty, I tackled the bead soup. I went through each bag of beads and sorted them by color, and put the color groups in little bags and started filling the last box. The task is just one step under *overwhelming*.  I am planning to, every time I’m in another box of a certain color, take the color bags out and try to match up the beads in the bag with what’s in the box. So, I know I have a blue project coming up, and then I’ll get the blue bag out and match up the beads in it to their like in the blue box.

I was also excited to see, in the storage box, a bunch of vermeil and copper findings. Just in time, as my mom lost the vermeil earwire to one of the opal earrings I’d given her a few years ago, and I had no idea where to start looking for a replacement.

Good things to do while I am waiting for some projects to finish incubating.



A good while back, I posted about some “mystery beads” I had acquired.

       and     B Amazing Mystery Beads

The shop where I got them  didn’t know what they were.  I approached several folks who know lots about stones, but nobody had any idea what they were.

Time has passed, and, now, it seems, they have names!  I saw them in the Fire Mountain Gems catalog, listed as A) Blue Sky Jasper and B) Chrysocolla.

Of course, now that they have names, they are much more expensive. I bought 3 strands of the “Blue Sky Jasper”back then for $5 each.   FMG is listing similar beads for $30 a strand.

FMG has similar beads to B) listed as”Chrysocolla” for about $40 a strand. I got 4 strands for $7 each back then.





I have just learned today that CJS Sales is back!  I learned that they were closing back in the spring, and Elyse told me about the sales, but, with one thing or another, I just couldn’t make it there (probably me putting off grieving another loss on what used to be, for me, Bead Paradise Alley, a block between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, with all sorts of divine bead stores — most of which have just ceased to exist, or have moved to warehouses elsewhere and only sell on-line)

Anyway, somehow CJS Sales popped up on the screen today when I wasn’t doing anything special, and, to my great wonderment and joy, I find that they are not too far (390 Fifth Ave.) from where they were before.

I can’t wait to go see their new digs!

If you enjoy a treasure hunt, and/or are into vintage jewelry components, this is definitely the place to go (I’d recommend you wear something you won’t mind getting dirty, and giving yourself at least a couple of hours to rummage around for treasures beyond your dreams.


I made these bracelets to test the strength of the Stretch Magic against the power of me. These beads are much larger and heavier than the 8 mm beads I’ve been mostly using.  So far, so good (they’ve been through the wash (!), slept with me, run with me, and more… still hanging in there.

The one on the left is made of lapis/malachite beads with sterling silver beads.

The one on the right is made of lapis and turquoise beads interspersed with silver-plated spacer beads.

bracelet lapis malachite           bracelet lapis turquoise
9/10/17: This one is deceased
now. The Stretch Magic seems
quite stretched out. You can
see it between the beads. It
lasted 3 months. Could be
the wear and tear I deliberately
put it through.
It’s a good time to re-design
it and then give it another
torture trial. I’m thinking copper
beads this time.

What “torture” am I talking about?  See, I figure that, if I make one of these to sell, it would be good to know how much wear and tear it can stand up to, and for how long.  I wore that bracelet straight through for 3 months (Okay, I took it off three times). I wore it in the shower. I wore it to bed. I let other people touch it (and you probably know how people start pulling on your bracelets if you let them touch them), so, yeah, it’s been pulled at quite a bit.  Through it all, the knot held. That’s good to know.  The next torture series will be to put it on every day and take it off every night. I will probably take it off at the gym and put it back on again before I leave.

Meanwhile, I can say that the other bracelets I’ve been wearing (most for about 4 months) are going strong. Some of these bracelets are made with 8mm beads, and some with 6mm beads. Most of them are made with 1mm Stretch Magic, but the ones with pearls are made with .7mm Stretch Magic. I’m rather certain that the weight of the beads has something to do with the longevity of the stretch. That makes sense to me.

So what can I do? Most of the stones I work with have holes too small to accommodate anything larger than a 1mm cord.

Hopefully, the smaller beads will turn out to last much longer, and, then, I’ll just have to figure out how I want to use larger beads.

On with the adventure!


moms body guardThis is an elastic bracelet made with lapis, calcite, fluorite, amethyst, aventurine, moss agate, smokey quartz, pyrite, and copper.  It is a Personal Bodyguard from my Bodyguard series.

Playing in the Dark

This is Bodyguard Playing in the Dark.  It is an elastic bracelet made with black agate, obsidian, black tourmaline, kyanite, amethyst, jade. aqua aura, lapis, pyrite, hematite, fluorite, black labradorite, and moss agate.



executive body guard


This another Personal Bodyguard, elastic bracelet with jade, moss agate, crystal quartz, aqua aura, tourmalinated quartz, pyrite, tiger eye, aventurine, aquamarine, lapis, amazonite, and copper.


More Recent Work and a Tip

I’m posting a couple more photos of recent pieces.

bracelet black lab lapis Success bodyguard

On the left (or it may be on the top in your viewer), that’s a black labradorite/lapis/quartz/silver elastic bracelet The one on the right (or on the bottom) is a Success Bodyguard with aventurine, moss agate, crystal quartz, citrine, tourmalinated quartz, and pyrite and silver plated spacers.

My tip: to learn how to make a good strong knot, even with very thick elastic cord (I use 1mm), consider watching fishermen’s videos on how to make a “surgeon’s knot”.  Yes, that’s right. 1)Apparently fishermen use this kind of knot to secure a line that is going to have an angry fish on one end. 2)The fishermen who make the how-to videos make it seem much more clear than most of the beaders’ how-to videos. They are to the point, don’t hem and haw or tell charming anecdotes, and they show and explain what is going on very clearly.




Sadly, Robyn Harton has retired from the crystal info business and sold her oh so delightful and informative crystalsandjewelry website.  I personally find the new administration’s website changes rather unwieldy and more chatty than I’d like (Robyn’s descriptions were very to the point, which worked well for me). As a result of this upheaval,  I’m starting to keep a list of what I find for the uses I have in mind. (Meanwhile, I will probably start back-tracking and make a list of other crystal sites I’ve found useful. )

Right now, the list is composed of what I found in my research for a major project I’ve just finished. I hope I can update this list from time to time, as I find new uses to address and/or new things to add to the lists I already have.

There are no bells and whistles. If you want to explore, just scroll down.