Lapis Lazuli and Sodalite

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Lapis Lazuli Necklace

On one of my gemstone buying trips, I had a list of colors that I wanted to add to my collection.  Blue is a very popular color for jewelry, but I didn’t have much blue available in my stash.  Naturally, blue was on my list.

Since I didn’t/don’t know a thing about gemstones, I chose strands based solely on their beauty and affordability.  I found this gorgeous strand of smooth, almost silky, blue chips.  I have a bit of trouble designing with chips, so I knew I needed something to go with them.  On a distant corner table, I was fortunate enough to find a strand of carved rectangle focal beads that matched perfectly!  The tags on the two strands were labeled differently – the chips were Lapis Lazuli and the rectangles were Sodalite – but since they matched so perfectly, I figured this stone must have multiple names.

It turns out that Lapis Lazuli and Sodalite are in fact two different stones, but they are often mistaken for each other.  Lapis Lazuli can be found in many places including Canada, Colorado and California.  It is sensitive to strong pressure and high temperatures.  Sodalite is also found in many places including Canada and Montana.  It often contains white veins from white calcite.  (Interesting stuff (yawn), I know!)

Although I’m not sure how I feel about the validity of healing with gemstones, I am fascinated by the theory and would really enjoy learning more about it.  I did find that Lapis Lazuli is thought to help with headaches, sore throat, sciatica, varicose veins, and blisters.  Do you have a favorite book about healing with gemstones?  I’d love to hear from you!

Inspired by Vintage Vogue

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Prior to my new found drive for pursuing my beading career, I allowed my beading magazine subscriptions expire. I hardly took time to look at the magazines and almost never tried any projects or drew inspiration from them.  I found that I missed discovering the brightly colored pages in my mailbox and decided to renew my subscriptions, with one condition…

Vintage Vogue project by Jane Danley Cruz, Bead and Button Magazine, February 2014

Vintage Vogue project by Jane Danley Cruz, Bead and Button Magazine, February 2014

I told myself that I could only renew my two favorite subscriptions (Bead and Button and Beadwork) if I tried a new technique or drew inspiration from at least one project in each issue.  The February 2014 issue of Bead and Button Magazine has a lovely project by Jane Danley Cruz called ‘Vintage Vogue’.  Since my bead-embroidery skills could use some exercise, I decided to use this project to fill my quota for this issue.

Light Blue Hibiscus Flower Cameo Necklace with Light Blue PearlsI picked up some cup chain from A Cute Bead a few weeks ago specifically for this project.  I already had the other materials in my stash, and was able to sneak in a few studio hours to complete my version of this project.

I chose a light blue Hibiscus flower cabochon, silver and clear cup chain, and matching glass beads.  I wanted a little color and some additional texture against the cabochon, so I added a seed bead between each rhinestone in the cup chain.  Since I used seed beads in a different size than the pattern called for, I had to do some adjusting, ripping out, and reworking to get the peyote stitch bezel to lay correctly.  I started to make the Russian spiral rope, but then decided it wasn’t quite the look I wanted.  Instead, I strung some glass pearls and added a bit of ‘frill’ to the strand with some seed beads and am happy with the completed look.

Because of copyright laws, beading etiquette, and respect for the artist, I contacted Jane Danley Cruz and received permission to sell this design as my own.  However, I’d like to give her a huge ‘shout out’ for the inspiration and for getting me to try some new techniques.