Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Baby's get Amethyst

Amethyst, the most beautiful of all crystal quartz's is an extravagance in violet.
It occurs in primary hues from a slightly pinkish violet, called "Rose De France" to an intense violet with red flashes, called "Siberian" which is the most sought after variety.
Amethyst may exhibit flashes in one or both of the secondary hues red or blue. The most valuable stones are transparent and pure violet in medium to dark tones with no shading toward red or blue.Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was largely employed in antiquity for intaglios, a type of carved gemstone in which the figure is engraved on the surface of the stone rather than left in relief by cutting away the background, as in a cameo.Ancient Greeks and Romans wore Amethyst and made drinking vessels of it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication.Medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle.Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England.Ranking members of the Roman Catholic Church traditionally wear rings set with a large amethyst as part of their office.Amethyst is produced in abundance from Brazil where it occurs in large geodes called almonds that are found within volcanic rocks. It is also found and mined in Austria, Brazil, Uruguay, Russia, India and Zambia. Amethyst occurs in areas of the United States and Canada but these specimens are not considered jewelry quality.Amethyst is the birthstone associated with February. It is one of the most common crystals found in the earths crust.Amethyst is sensitive to light and heat. These stones should not be worn while sunbathing or tanning and should be protected from extreme heat as they can lose their color or yellow when exposed to either. they can be cleaned with a soft cloth and gentle soap and water.Amethyst stones are beautiful when set in either silver or gold.They are particularly attractive when paired with diamonds and moonstone.The FamiLee Jewels uses amethyst in many of our pieces. The rich purple color appeals to jewelry collectors of all ages. We have used it in focal beads for pendants and chainmaille. We have used it as accent beads with moonstone and peridot. We have used it in stand alone pieces that feature only amethyst.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

SpotLight on Cassy Lain Totes

I have a real problem keeping track of all of the club cards in my wallet. You know the ones for the supermarket and the craft store. The Pet Store, the pharmacy and the greeting card store each have their own. Then there are the punch cards for subs and coffee and half gallons of milk. They are endless and difficult to find when I need them.

Not anymore! While shopping on etsy I found this wonderful tote. It's small, only 4 1/2 by 3 1/4 inches and has a key fob on the end. I was able to put 15 cards in this little bag and snap it closed. it now hands on my key chain for the next time I need one of my cards.

For those wonderful women that don't need a large purse this could be all you would need for a day of shopping.

Mom's of young children...put your drivers licence, debit card a little cash in this and throw it in the diaper bag. You are good to go.

Cassy Lain makes these little totes in many different fabrics and at $12.00 each it's hard to beat the price.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Color Theory

I have been playing around with polymer clay lately. It is a different medium than what I am used to so I decided to go about learning by following the book Polymer Clay Color Inspirations Techniques and Jewelry Projects for Creating Successful Palettes by Lindly Haunani and Maggie Maggio.

It is an interesting book that allows you to explore color as you learn to manipulate and mix the clay.

The first lesson was in Hue, Value and Saturation, the 3 properties of color. While learning to condition and manipulate the clay I was instructed to create a color test tile for each of my packages of clay. This allowed me to see the original color compared to the original color plus white before and after baking. Then I made a gray scale value sorter to make determining the absolute value of a color easier.

One of my favorite processes in the book has been making color palettes. This exercise involved tearing the color pages from magazines, sorting them into color groups and making collages to represent those colors. They are intended to be used as color guides for future projects.

Today's lesson is mixing pivot tiles. I think they will be an invaluable tool when trying to create a specific color. Each tile contains 12 variations of a single color by shifting the hue the value and the saturation.

Once the pivot tiles are completed I intend to use one of the color collages to inspire color selection for beads.