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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Confessions of a MAD BEAD JUNKIE...


Recently I found a studio owner on Etsy who shares a mutual admiration of all things beautiful, bright, sparkly and shiny and naturally given by mother nature. I was so enchanted by her bio I asked permission to share it as a "public service" for fellow bead junkies the world over!
She spoke words and thoughts that I (and I KNOW many others) have had for so many years that I hid from my family, friends and sometimes my own consciousness...so now without further adieu I share this "confession"...
How I got here-

At first I would just go to the neighborhood bead shop and spend my allowance on seed beads also known as the gateway bead.
When the high from acquiring every size shape and color of seed bead no longer made me feel good I took the next step to czech fire polished glass, I told myself I would only buy the 4mm size, I really thought I could handle it, but by the end of 8th grade I had fallen into a world of czech beads of every size and shape imaginable, I justified it by telling myself that it wasn't the hard stuff, no Swarovski’s or gemstones for me, no way, never. This was just recreational. Hey I was only stringing the stuff it’s not like I was doing bead crochet or any thing intense like that, no needles for me.

Then in high school things got serious, there was a new dealer, she hounded me by flaunting gemstones and exotic foreign beads that I had never heard of like “murano” and “bali sterling silver” the lure of it was too intense to resist. I had fallen into this new world so quickly, my friends all said I had changed, but I didn’t see what the problem was, no I didn’t need help. They were the ones with the problem!

Like many addicts I hid my addiction for years, I cut my own hair and carried fake designer bags to have more money for beads. I even volunteered to work overtime to support my habit; now that is really low. But truly the height of my shame was the day I bought store brand cat food for my kitty only to have more cash for beads.

The biggest escalation into my bead addiction came the day I sold my first piece of finished jewelry! Wow, 100% of my earnings went straight back into buying more beads. This new feeling was exhilarating. I found myself suddenly selling at craft shows and doing home parties, and even though my customers were paying me cash, I didn’t care about that. In the back of my mind all I could think about was the next score, by this time swarovski cubes couldn't take the edge off, it had to be real hand cut gemstones direct from India - still smelling of the incense that the original cutter burned while he strung them up!

You would think that by now I would have hit rock bottom but the stuff they have now is much more potent and addictive than the stuff I got started on in the 70's. Back then it was so innocent, just a bunch of kids having fun, but now this really potent stuff coming in from India...well there is no escaping it.

If my story hasn’t scared the bejeezis out of you I’d like to welcome you into my little den of desire……….enter with caution, you just may end up like me.

*Top 10 indicators you have a bead problem*
1) Your dealer knows you by name
2) You would rather buy beads than shoes
3) You will go farther to buy beads than you will go to go out to eat.
4) You have considered insuring your bead collection
5) You have a “bead room”
6) You hide how much money you spend on beads
7) You have taken time off work to buy beads or sell jewelry.
8) You have a bead “budget” which you always go over.
9) 1 through 8 are true but you don’t care.
10) You have actually read all of this!

This shop started for selling off destash and overflow items I have. I have been an avid crafter, beader and jewelry maker for over 20 years.
I suffer from a hoarding mentality of all things art craft supply! (or perhaps I should say my husband is the one suffering) So, I am now ready to let go of some of my huge personal stash of beads and gemstones.



Shop Owner

neatothings Portland, Oregon,
United States
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Friday, July 8, 2011

Jun-July Created Jewelry Slideshow...

Oh look!!! NEW Stuff!!

Some Cloisonne' Jewelry I have available

I just love this art form. It seems quite tedious, but when done right very beautiful and so very unique. I have some beautiful cloisonne' bowls and other decorations in my home. I think it is absolutely fascinating!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fine Art of Cloisonne'

Cloisonné
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia is an ancient technique for decorating metalwork objects, in recent centuries using vitreous enamel, and in older periods also inlays of cut gemstones, glass, and other materials. The resulting objects can also be called cloisonné. The decoration is formed by first adding compartments (cloisons in French) to the metal object by soldering or adhering silver or gold wires or thin strips placed on their edges. These remain visible in the finished piece, separating the different compartments of the enamel or inlays, which are often of several colors. Cloisonné enamel objects are worked on with enamel powder made into a paste, which then needs to be fired in a kiln.



The technique was in ancient times mostly used for jewellery and small fittings for clothes, weapons or similar small objects decorated with geometric or schematic designs, with thick cloison walls. In the Byzantine Empire techniques using thinner wires were developed to allow more pictorial images to be produced, mostly used for religious images and jewellery, and now always using enamel. By the 14th century this enamel technique had spread to China, where it was soon used for much larger vessels such as bowls and vases; the technique remains common in China to the present day, and cloisonné enamel objects using Chinese-derived styles were produced in the West from the 18th century.

Cloisonné objects were intended primarily for the furnishing of temples and palaces, because their flamboyant splendor was considered appropriate to the function of these structures.

Source: Chinese Cloisonné | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art





Foreign influence contributed to the development of cloisonné during the early fourteenth to fifteenth century in China. The earliest securely dated Chinese cloisonné is from the reign of the Ming Xuande emperor (1426–35). However, cloisonné is recorded during the previous Yuan dynasty, and it has been suggested that the technique was introduced to China at that time via the western province of Yunnan, which, under Mongol rule, received an influx of Islamic people. A very few cloisonné objects have been dated on stylistic grounds to the Yongle reign (1403–24) of the early Ming dynasty.

Source: Chinese Cloisonné | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art