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.
Posted in Archives, Beads and Wire, COPPER, CRYSTALS, jewelry, PROJECT BOXES
Tagged bead soup, beads, crystals, my work, projects, stones
A good while back, I posted about some “mystery beads” I had acquired.
A and B
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.
Posted in Archives, Bead Pictures, Beads and Wire, Fun Things, jewelry pictures, Manhattan jewelry supply stores, my pictures, STONES, STORES
Tagged beads, crystals, gemstones, mystery beads, stones
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.
Posted in Archives, chain suppliers NYC, CHAINS, CRYSTALS, Designing jewelry, Fun Things, jewelry, Manhattan jewelry supply stores, New York City jewelry supply stores, pendants, places to buy, STORES, supplies sources, vintage beads
Tagged CJS, Manhattan jewelry supply stores, NYC BEAD STORES, stores in NYC, suppliers, vintage beads
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.
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!
Posted in Archives, Bead Pictures, bracelets, CRYSTALS, design, Designing jewelry, Elastic bracelets, jewelry pictures, STONES, stretch bracelets
Tagged bracelets, elastic bracelet, lapis, lapis lazuli, malachite, sterling silver
This 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.
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.
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.
Posted in Archives, Bead Pictures, bracelets, CRYSTALS, design, Designing jewelry, Elastic bracelets, jewelry, jewelry pictures, my pictures, STONES, stretch bracelets, TECHNIQUES
Tagged bodyguard, COPPER, crystals, elastic bracelet, elements, projects, stretch bracelet, TECHNIQUES