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Archive for April, 2009

Explore The World of Beads at the British Museum

Posted by learntobead on April 30, 2009

EXPLORE THE WORLD OF BEADS AT THE BRITISH MUSEUM

http://www.britishmuseum.org/search_results.aspx?searchText=beads

 

Necklaces of faience beads and pendants

These fine necklaces from the Fosse Temple at Lachish illustrates the strongly Egyptianizing style of Cannanite art of the Late Bronze Age. During this period the southern Levant was under Egyptian domination. Lachish is referred to in the Amarna letters – a group of clay tablets written in Babylonian cuneiform found at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt and preserving diplomatic correspondence to Egyptian pharaohs from vassal kings. The ruler of Lachish was Shipti-ba’al, a vassal king, subject to th…

britishmuseum11

Necklace of lizard amulets, beads and pendants

Hollow gold lizards alternate with cornelian barrel beads and hollow gold date-shaped pendants. The central gold drop is inlaid with lapis lazuli and a cornelian cornflower pendant is attached at one end of the string. As well as being decorative, it was believed that these necklaces endowed the wearer with the powers and qualities symbolized by the amulets . For example, the fly was seen as a symbol of persistence and the lizard as one of regeneration because of its ability to re-grow wounded

britishmuseum2

Beaded crown (ade ileke)

Beaded and veiled crowns, ade ileke , are traditionally worn by those kings who could trace their ancestry to Ododua, the mythic founder and first king of the Yoruba people. The crown is called an orisha , a deity, and is placed upon the king’s head by his female attendant. Powerful medicines are placed at the top of the crown to protect the king’s head and thus his future. The veil that covers the king’s face hides his individuality and increases attention on the crown itself, the real centre o

britishmuseum3

‘Magical’ glass bead

This extraordinary ‘bead’ is made of opaque white glass with translucent purple marvered trails. It is exceptionally large and made in the shape of a bun with a flat base and the upper surface divided into six segments. It has a wide central piercing. The bead was found in 1860 in a woman’s grave. Also in the grave were a ring made from the burr end of a red deer antler, an iron purse-bar and a group of amber beads, some found at the neck and one at the right hand. The excavator indentified the

britishmuseum4

Beads and pendants

The archaeologist Leonard Woolley found these beads and pendants in the burial shaft and on the floor of one of the first Royal Graves at Ur to be excavated. The objects on the floor of the tomb may have belonged to human attendants, as discovered in similar tombs, while those found in the shaft may have been left as offerings, when the tomb was being filled with soil after the burial. Sumerian craftsmen were highly skilled in stone and metalwork. Beads found in graves of this period were gener

britishmuseum5

Beaded Neck Ornament

British Museum online tour: Sudan: from the Islamic Period to the Modern World

britishmuseum6

Painted wooden paddle doll with mud beads for hair

Female figurines were included in burials from the Predynastic period onwards. They were often highly stylized, emphasizing the sexual characteristic of the figure, such as the breast, hips and pubic area. In the past, there have been two opposing interpretations of these figurines. One argues that they should be interpreted as dolls, ignoring the emphasis placed on their female attributes. The other recognizes only these features, and the figurines are seen as ‘concubine figures’, intended to p

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Read full detailed descriptions of these and other beads on their website.

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Beading Needles – What Do You Prefer?

Posted by learntobead on April 29, 2009

4/29/09

 

Connie posted the following on ALL ABOUT BEADS group, and got some of these responses.   What do you think?

 

 

 

 

Warren I posted on All About Beads about the needles, and so far these are the answer
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 

At my bead group – we have been discussing beading needles. I know that is a subject with as many opinions as thread. So could you please tell what kind of a needle you use and why you like them.

I will go first – for general beading such as peyote, etc. I use Pony needles, or John James – which ever I grab first. I use long needles 99% of the time, but when I do bead embroidery I use short beading sharp size 12.

CONNIE

I use long size 12 loom needles when I loom (which I haven’t done for a while and should think about), and John James long size 12 or 13 needles for everything else. (What I really need is sewing needles because I keep using beading needles for mending.)

Marilee

  8867.3 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I too prefer John James and size 12.  Carol Perrenoud from BEADCATS in Wilsonville, OR just gave a presentation to our bead society (Bead Society of Northern California) on the History of Beading Needles and it was amazing.  The one thing that she told us that I had NEVER heard before is to match the shape of your needle’s eye to the “thread” you are using.  Most beading needles have skinny oval eyes which is best for NYMO-type threads that compress. BUT if you use FIRELINE which is more rounded and has a coating, to pick a needle that has a more oval eye.  The needle that she had, I had never seen before ~ they are called STRAW NEEDLES. The issue is that the skinny oval eye will squish/remove the coating on the fireline which can cause it to twist, kink, and eventually even break with the coating gone.  I wish I had picked up more packets. marilyn

  8867.5 in reply to 8867.1 
 
When I am doing a pin, or a doll or something “odd” shaped, I use my curved needles.   I do use more thread with them, but the curve allows me to get in to spaces I could not before.katieB

  8867.7 in reply to 8867.1 
 
For embroidery I use my curved needles and for regular beading like peyote I use my Big Eye needles because it is so hard for me to see to thread the dang things :)Dot

Size 12 John James are my standard needle of choice.  If I must stray I’ll use a Size 12 Pony, but I hate how brittle they can be.  And I am super near-sighted so will take my glasses off and bring my work right up to my face to get a “magnified” look.  When those puppies break it is a scary moment for sure!

I also like the Mary Arden needles…they are apparently made in the same factory as the John James, just in a prettier package.

When the project calls for it, I’ll move down to a size 13 John James.

I don’t like Sharps…I can’t seem to get a good grip on them.  But I have noticed over the years that customers with small, thin fingers enjoy working with them better than a standard length.

We were introduced to Straw Needles last fall.
I’m still looking for them.

I am sold out again….much to Thom’s disappointment.  =o/

  8867.13 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I use Pony 11’s most of the time. If I need something smaller, I go to a 12. The only John James I use with any regularity is the curved needles.Arline

  8867.14 in reply to 8867.9 
 
I don’t like Sharps…I can’t seem to get a good grip on them.  But I have noticed over the years that customers with small, thin fingers enjoy working with them better than a standard length.”Hmm, maybe that explains why I like them! :)Maia

Hi, Connie!

Usually I go for Pony or John James, which are the two brands I can find easily in Chicago. I also buy the Coats & Clark ones when I can find them, but I wish they came in bigger sets than just 4 needles as they last a long time – even when they are really bent, the Pony and Coats and Clark ones are still strong, my latest batch of John James ones were rather brittle this time .

I use the long beading needles for bead weaving, and also sharps and tapestry needles for bead embroidery.Most of the beads I use are smaller than size 8/0 so I tend to use 12s or 13 needles and I keep size 15 needles for beads with small holes.I also have twisted wire ones for stringing beads for pearl knotting.

I hope this helps a bit,

Love, Jan

 

 

 

For beadweaving, I prefer the John James 12’s, for dolls I like the John James 12 sharps.  For most other work, I think the John James 13’s are what I use.  I may try some of the straw needles, if I can figure out the sizing.  May have to buy a packet of each of two sizes to see which direction they go… are the large numbers smaller needles, or vice versa?

  8867.17 in reply to 8867.4 
 
I love straw needles. They don’t bend and break easily and they have an easy to thread eye.They are also known as milliner’s needles and I like the size 11.Both Richard Hemmings and John James make these and they are easily available on the internet for about $1.95 to $3.00 a pack.

Highly recommended.

Sylvia
  8867.18 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I prefer short needles unless I am doing fringe.  I don’t like Pony brand, so I stick with John James.  I’ll use the thickest needle that I can get away with for as long as I can, unless I’m beading into leather when I’ll grab the thinnest needle that I have available. 

Some people like the Japanese beading needles because they are stiffer.   Some people think that the John James needles went downhill in quality when they started making them in China, instead of England.   I prefer the John James regular English Beading Needles, and try to use size 10 and size 12.    I like that they are not super stiff.   The sharps needs are too small for my hand — my hand cramps when I use them.  — Warren

 

 

 

8867.19 in reply to 8867.1

 

 

 

 

  

I’m like Sandi, in that I like to use the thickest needle I can get away with. I do prefer long needles, though, it seems easier to pick up my beads with a long needle. Most of my things are done using a John James size 10 needle. I keep some JJ 13’s around as well as a couple big eye needles, but I only like the big eye for loom work and sometimes fringe. I’ve never tried a size 12 long or short, but I don’t care for the 13’s as they seem very fragile and never last very long for me.

I tend to muscle up on my needles, so they get very bendy. I can usually straighten them out by rolling them between my big anvil and a slab of steel I keep around. It does make them brittle, but I get a little more life out of them.

Jen

 
I prefer sharps (10?12?) for bead embroidery, unless I’m using charlottes and then I have to use a beading needle. As several people have said, I use the largest needle I can get away with – 10 or 12. For awhile I was using size 15 seed beads a lot and used the 15 needles – crispy critters! I’ve had a bad batch of larger John James needles also. That’s when I tried Pony needles, which I liked. And about the same time a friend who sells historical reproduction items for re-enactors gave me some beading needles – I think they are English, but I don’t know if they are JJ. They might be Japanese. They were great though. I really should get some more from her. The most of JJ needles I bought seem to be fine. I have more problems with losing needles than I do breaking them!Cathy

Fortunately, I don’t often lose needles.  Stepping on a few has made me very careful.  I tend to use JJ 12s and 13s most of the time and the 15s when necessary (for some charlottes and gemstones).  I will occasionally use the cheap Indian needles.  For me, they work as well and last as long as the JJ.  I have some sharps but I don’t care for them.  I’ve tried the big eye needles, but the ones I’ve tried have been too large for the beads I use (mostly 15s and charlottes).  I just accept that the 13s and 15s won’t last that long.  Needles aren’t that pricey, so that’s just the way it is.

8867.23 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I use size 10 Pony needles almost all the time. I can’t stand a bent needle and these stay straight most of the time!

 

SUZANNE COOPER
8867.23 in reply to 8867.1 
 
I use size 10 Pony needles almost all the time. I can’t stand a bent needle and these stay straight most of the time!

 

SUZANNE COOPER

 

8867.23 in reply to 8867.1 
 
  8867.27 in reply to 8867.19 
 
I like my needles getting a gentle curve; I can pick up beads easier that way. My first JJ 12 packet lasted for more than 10 years, and I bought some more from Sandi recently so I may never have to buy more of my regular needles.Marilee

 
I think it interesting that your first packet of needles lasted so long. I’m having a hard time with the finish flaking off the packet of needles I am using right now. It flakes off then gradually the thread snags on the uneven coating. I hope it is only this pack as I’m having to change needles several times for each project.

 
Karen, are they Delica needles?  I have a friend who used them once, and they wore off so quickly she would go through two or three in one small project.  We were thinking it might be something in her skin that caused it.
 
 
I loved my first package of 25 John James size 12 needles. They rarely broke, just got nice and bendy. And if I worked slowly and carefully, I could even gently straighten most of the bends with two pairs of pliers. That package lasted almost two years, and I’ve only used two from a package of 10 JJ size 13 purchased at the same time.About two months ago, I purchased another package of 25 JJ size 12. They are twisted, rough, and break easily, especially near the eye; 12 are already broken. After grumbling and muttering, I read the fine print on the package and see that JJ are now made in China. And JJ is now owned by Entaco Ltd.
 
 

from John James Company:

 

The John James factory was sold to new owners who are Chinese.  They did have a couple of batches of needles that were incorrectly annealed and snapped very easily.  They seem to have gotten that back under control again and are producing quality needles again.  We accepted bad needles back and exchanged them.  We also went through our stock and threw out any bad packages.  We lost a bit of money, but it’s nothing short of frustrating to work with bad tools and we were happy to make sure that the products functioned the way they were supposed to.

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Naming Your Business

Posted by learntobead on April 28, 2009

NAMING YOUR BUSINESS
What on earth do you think you would buy from The Flan Corporation?

Flan? The Spanish kind or the Mexican version?

Flans? Whatever they are – automotive parts?

Franny-Lisa-Alicia-Nancy kind of stuff?

Would you ever buy a Swarovski necklace of glass pearls, crystallized elements, 14KT gold clasp and real faceted emeralds from The Flan Corporation?

The Flan Corporation is a Chinese company that sells handcrafted, beadwoven jewelry. I don’t know what “Flan” means in Chinese, but, here in the US, it’s not a word that would immediately make me salivate about handcrafted, beadwoven jewelry.

It’s really difficult to pick a business name. It’s harder than naming your child. It’s harder than naming your dog. I’ve tried many times with varying degrees of success. And the first business name you pick might seem great and work great at the beginning, but will it evolve with your business as well? Maybe yes, maybe not. What’s important is not only how good your business name sounds, and how appealing it is today, but also how adaptable it is over time, as you grow or change your business.

I can’t claim 100% success with my tries at naming a business. Take “Land of Odds.” This has been my best name-selection to date, but it hasn’t been perfect.

I came up with that name 30 years ago for a hobbyist type business, where I refinished antique lamps, and some other antiques, for people. When James and I started our jewelry, beads and gifts business, I thought that Land of Odds would be good for that, as well. The name “Land of Odds” always gets such great responses from people. And it is memorable.

As our business grew and grew, Land of Odds – the name – grew with it. We added more handcrafted jewelry, unusual greeting cards, some neat clothing, collectible lines. The name still worked.

Then our business hit a wall. We were located downtown, and the city of Nashville took away 6,000 parking spaces within an 18 month period of time. The city had renovated this downtown historic district, and for various reasons, cars and parking got in the way of continued development. Our business dropped precipitously. I had to put us into Chapter 11 for awhile. James and I dissolved our business partnership, and we put most of the assets in a new business for him that we called Be Dazzled, and we put most of the liabilities under the Land of Odds name.

Now we were functioning with two names used to describe similar businesses that emphasized unusual, often hand-crafted jewelry, gifts, collectibles, gourmet foods, posters, clothing, and beads and jewelry findings.

I shut the physical Land of Odds store down, and continued the business as an internet company – http://www.landofodds.com . The online company was still called Land of Odds. At first, I put all our merchandise online – beads, jewelry, gifts, clothing, posters and gourmet food. Only two categories did well – beads and posters. I slowly began narrowing our focus to beads and posters, and eventually beads only.

As an online entity, we needed to get top placements in search engines in terms of key words like beads and jewelry findings. Search engine robots that indexed a business name with the words beads and/or jewelry findings in the name, would automatically assign it a higher ranking for those terms. A better online name would have been Beads At Land Of Odds or Land of Odds Beads.

Land of Odds” was still a name liked by all, but it no longer had the same strong association with beads and posters, and then with beads only. The business grew quickly online, and “Land of Odds” began to have a strong “brand” following. But again, no longer the most strategic business name, given what I was doing now.

Be Dazzled” was another popular name. The image James had for this business was jewelry that was hand made and wowed people. The business faltered, however. We got rid of most of the merchandise, turned Be Dazzled into a bead store, and eventually recombined Land of Odds and Be Dazzled. At the time we recombined them, both had strong brand identities, so we kept both names. We managed the physical store called Be Dazzled separately from Land of Odds – the online store. When Be Dazzled became all “beads”, I added the word “BEADS” everytime I referred to Be Dazzled — “Be Dazzled Beads” — , from our stationery to answering the phone to setting up its website — www.bedazzledbeads.com .

In the bead business, there are many variations on the name “Beadazzled”. Most people, even regular customers who visit the shop everyday, think that’s our name. We were lucky that Be Dazzled/jewelry morphed so well into Be Dazzled/beads. But we would have been better off if we had worked “beads” into the name somehow. There are a couple of small chain operations called “Beadazzled.” For awhile, someone opened up a bead store in Nashville called “Beadazzled”. There’s always some confusion for and with our shop name.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Bead Museum In Danger Of Closing

Posted by learntobead on April 21, 2009

from Beading Daily enewsletter by Interweave:

Help Save The Bead MuseumThe Bead Museum in Arizona is in danger of closing after 23 years. The Bead Museum in DC has already closed; the Arizona museum is the only one to showcase beads and beaded artifacts from around the world. Here at Interweave we decided to help by making it easy and quick for you to make a $5 donation to help keep the museum doors open. There are 90,000 dedicated, passionate beaders receiving this newsletter and together it’s possible for us to make a huge difference. Give now. If you are interested in making a larger contribution, please contact The Bead Museum directly.

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Southeast Asian Beads and Beadwork

Posted by learntobead on April 18, 2009

The SouthEast Asian Bead Circle

http://www.thebeadsite.com/SEAC-DEX.html

This website details some of the important beads and beadwork found in Southeast Asia.    Some of the images are a bit grainy, but it’s very informative.

Beads from Vietnam

Beads from Vietnam

 

A Thai Pinakol

A Thai Pinakol

 

Making The Thai Pinakol

Making The Thai Pinakol

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Glass Beads Found Off Coast Of Georgia

Posted by learntobead on April 18, 2009

FROM CNN:  Glass Beads Found Off Coast Of Georgia Shed Light On Spanish Empire

Roughly 70,000 beads said to provide clues to the social structure and wealth of people from the 17th century Spanish empire have been excavated by a team of scientists, an archaeologist said Tuesday.

Since 1974, scientists at the American Museum of Natural History have been digging beneath the Santa Catalina de Guale Mission, a remote outpost of the Spanish empire on St. Catherines Island off the coast of Georgia and “the largest repository ever from Spanish Florida,” museum spokeswoman Kristin Phillips said.

Read the full story:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/04/14/spanish.beads/index.html#cnnSTCText

beads1_t1port

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HOT LINKS – From Connie Welch

Posted by learntobead on April 8, 2009

 

Well we have an interesting winner with the beadstudies – we now have Jean Power giving us her comments along with Diane – So anyone else who would like to chime in – please do so
…Bead StudyII       By the way last time at Bead Studies – Lily was there and barked at Warren until he got up and got her a chair – she then sat at attention  and became a member of the discussion. We need a picture of our own Ewok pup at BEADS
 
Today is so cold here in Nashville – 42degrees at my house I am going to give you something to do
 
 
 
Paper Puppet Palooza  for Kathleen
 
 
 
That should keep everyone busy for a while.
  C

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2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest SemiFinalists

Posted by learntobead on April 7, 2009

2009 The Ugly Necklace Contest SemiFinalists
have been announced

The Ugly Necklace Contest

In early May, images of their necklaces will be posted online at Land of Odds.   Along with these images, each contestant also had to submit a list of materials and write a poem.    These too will be posted.   Voting will begin at the end of May.  Stay tuned for announcements.

 

The 6 SemiFinalists Are:

 

Lynn Margaret Davy
Dorset, England
The Story of My Beading Life…

ugly7davywear

 

Jolynn Casto
Logan, Ohio
Four Seasons Necklace

ugly7castowear

Sarah Allison
Gresham, Oregon
Walk In My Garden

ugly7allisonwear1

Lori-Ann Scott
Spokane, Washington
Sweet

ugly7scottwear

Juli Brown
Wells, Minnesota
Coffin Nail Necklace!

ugly7brownwear

Deborah Eve Rubin
Rockville, Maryland
Ode To An Ugly Necklace

ugly7rubinwear

 

 

Entries for the 8th Annual The Ugly Necklace Contest 2010- A Jewelry Design Competition With A Twist – will be accepted beginning September 1, 2009.  Deadline: March 15th, 2010.

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Web-Surf to the Primavera Gallery

Posted by learntobead on April 3, 2009

THE PRIMAVERA GALLERY
210 11th Avenue at 25th Street, Suite 800, New York, NY 10001
http://www.primaveragallery.com/index.asp

Jewelry

Jewelry is a major part of Primavera Gallery. They offer fine, rare and collectible jewels spanning over 200 years of jewelry design, with pieces dating from the late 17th century up until the present. Their  emphasis, however, is on unusual signed pieces, Art Deco through the 1960’s.

They are not interested in large diamonds or masses of precious stones — this, for them, is geology rather than jewelry. They are interested in great style, exciting design and integrity of workmanship. Their collection includes all of the major individual designers, as well as the great jewelry houses. In their spacious new Chelsea gallery, they are also showing jewelry by both well-known and emerging Studio jewelers.

Dali-Ruby-Lips-With-Teeth-L.jpg (Small)

They also offer the work of individual contemporary jewelry designers of special merit, among them Pol Bury, Bruno Martinazzi and Andrew Grima, and they are adding interesting contemporary and studio jewelry from many talented designers working today.

Some things in the Gallery:

 

MARCHAK TURQUOISE AND DIAMOND RING
primavera1
A very unique cocktail ring. The sugar-loaf turquoise set in a domed turquoise and diamond base creates, literally, high drama. The House of Marchak excelled at creating unusual pieces, and especially this kind of jewelry in the 1950’s.
Marchak, Paris

ART DECO BRACELET WATCH

primavera2An elegant and refined bracelet with great Art Deco style in 18k gold set with damonds and calibre-cut rubies. The clasp is also set with rubies, and the central motif cleverly conceals a watch.

 

BOIVIN “LILAC LEAF” BROOCH

primavera3The House of Boivin is well known for beautiful jewelry based on natural forms. This leaf shimmers with the colors of aquamarines, peridots, citrines, and amethysts. It will bring Springtime to any season.
French, ca. 1938

 

 

 

 

 

BUCCELLATI DIAMOND RING

primavera4A wonderful vintage Buccellati, with their famous exquisite gold and silver work, and a 4 carat diamond of unusual and mysterious color.
Buccellati, Italy
 

 

 

 

 

SUSANNE BELPERRON RING

primavera5Pale blue chalcedony was one of Suzanne Belperron’s favorite materials. Here, it is finely carved and centers a fine pearl. Belperron’s jewelry is in great demand, and there are few pieces around. This is a beauty.
France
 

 

 

 

Lot’s of pretty stuff to admire on their website.

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