Four ways to minimize your carbon footprint when making jewelry
Use an ice tray as a quick make shift ring organizer – or storage for your leftover beads. You don’t need to spend lots of extra money on cleaning up your nightstand!
Here’s a hint: Get a large tray with many compartments. They take up less space than two trays and store more!
In hopes of getting everyone excited about our top resolution of 2013 (get organized!) – we are going to add one new way to organize your beads and jewelry every month!
Turn Vintage Tea Cups from the thrift store into bead displays.
Simply take out your specialty glass or metal beads and arrange them in 3 – 5 cups. Set the cups on an end table for quick clean up and a cute conversation piece.
Don’t forget bead organizers are available at 40% off for the rest of the week!
But what does “Hydro Quartz” mean anyways?
We are absolutely in love with these incredible cuts and colors of Hydro Quartz that we have in store but we often get customers asking us ” What is Hydro Quartz?” Here’s a look into what it means when a stone is labeled Hydro Quartz in our store.
The “hydro” is short for the process of Hydrothermal Synthesis. This process has been performed by geologists, geochemists, and mineralogists since the beginning of the 20th century. It essentially is a man made, fast process of creating crystals that would take much longer to form in nature otherwise.
To create these crystals, a substance or nutrient along with water is put into an Autoclave , or steel apparatus that can contain and withstand high vapor pressures and very hot temperatures. Usually one end of the autoclave is extremely hot while the other is cooler, creating the necessary environmental properties for the chemical reaction to spawn growth.
Once the crystal is grown to capacity it is removed from the Autoclave chamber and cut up to be made in to commercial stones. The clarity that is achieved by these man made crystals is outstanding and many colors can be created by adjusting the different chemical properties. It’s sort of like cooking up gemstones!
So does this mean that your Hydro Quartz has any less value than the real thing? Not necessarily. The main difference is that somewhere, man formed and grew your crystal out of the same ingredients that nature would have used. But, we just did it a bit faster. If you happen to be a fan of inconsistencies, matrix and cleavage lines, and cloudiness in stones, then Hydro Quartz pieces will definitely not strike to your tastes. However if you like perfectly clear colors and body of stones, you would definitely not want to pass this option up!
So you’ve survived the another so-called Apocalypse and finished all your holiday shopping now what?
New Year’s Resolutions of course! Wait, wait, I know what you’re thinking. It’s time for a break already! But hey, relax! Resolutions don’t have to be grandiose schemes that make you feel guilty when you can’t follow through. They can be simple and fun! We’ve come up with our top five New Year’s resolutions that are easy, fun and satisfying.
1. Get organized one small step at a time. Whether you are new to beading or an age old veteran, you will inevitably find yourself surrounded by beads at one point or another in your life. Vow to get just one beading organizer and fill it up! Cleaning up all your supplies could be daunting and exhaustive. That’s no fun! But it also gets hard to work on projects when you can’t find your crimp beads or claps. All this month we are offering 40% off of bead organizers to help you get into beading shape! Getting just one bead organizer you are more likely to finish sorting through a section and feel a sense of accomplishment. Getting organized can be easy – if you do it one step at a time.
2. Learn a new beading technique every month! Take a little “me” time each month and do something you can feel proud of at the end. Taking a beading class or looking up a technique online can be a great way to get those creative juices flowing. Classes are especially great because you have something tangible (an awesome to wear) at the end of your endeavor. Advanced or beginner we offer classes each month for everyone – so you can get out of your house – take a break from the kids and do something just for you!
3. Step out of your comfort zone and try new materials (We have a great selection of recycled silk, chain, and African Beads if you want to try something a little different.) After a while we tend to stick with what we know, working with new media forces the brain to think in new ways and often creates ‘happy accidents” and pieces you never though possible before. Don’t want to spend a lot of money on materials you might not like? Then try using found objects! Practice wire wrapping coins or vintage buttons. Turn magazines or fabric into beads. Even if your projects turns into a miniature disaster, there is usually a hidden gem we learn from the process.
4. If you’ve never sold a piece of jewelry before enter a local craft fair, start a jewelry blog, or put your work on Facebook or Etsy. You might surprise yourself with how many people are interested in your jewelry!
5. Resolve to make more homemade gifts! Making homemade gifts is a great way to make all your friends and family feel extra special. It’s also a great way to show off your work if you are a little to shy for resolution number 4.
Heirloom Jewelry is passed on from generation to generation within a family. They are often given at coming of age ceremonies such as an 18th/21st birthday or marriage. Some pieces are only passed on through a will. Heirloom jewelry typically comes with a story of it’s own and promises of luck. My own favorite heirloom pieces are filled with stories from the past. On my 21st birthday I was given the engagement ring of my great grandmother. This ring was given to her right before the great depression hit. This story is significant because during this time our family had next to no money, yet she refused to sell the ring my great grandfather had given her.
At Beadworks we have our own collection we like to think of as future Heirloom pieces. They are high end gemstones in impeccable quality. These are pieces you would want to give a bride on her wedding, a grandmother on her 80th birthday, or someone who has just achieved a great accomplishment. We can schedule individual showings of these pieces by request with advanced notice only. To have your own private viewing of our heirloom jewelry call our staff and ask if you can schedule a time to see our “Glass Top” products.
We are sure these pieces will be passed on to the next generation. Here are a couple items we keep in special storage for those special occasions.
This year we have decided to keep our Black Friday deals TOP SECRET. So secret even I don’t know what they are yet! That’s right the store staff have been kept in the dark about our deals to make sure it’s a fabulous surprise for everyone. We are planning on opening one hour earlier and are releasing the deal information Wednesday Night by E-mail ONLY. So if you want to be in the super secret loop sign up for our newsletter at www.BeadworksNorwalk.com
September’s Birthstone is Sapphire -but what exactly makes it a sapphire?
The mineral Corundum can be found in many different colors due to trace amounts of other elements. When those elements create a Red color we call this a Ruby, when they create a Pinkish-Orange color we call the gem a Padparasha. Any other color is usually referred to as a Sapphire. So in essence a Ruby is a Red Sapphire!
What makes it a Sapphire is the chemical make up. Corundums are a crystalline form of Aluminum Oxide (Woah, sounds complicated! You can just think of Aluminum Oxide as the ingredients that make the structure and hardness of Sapphire). However, Aluminum Oxide alone doesn’t create the wonderous array of colors seen in Sapphires. It is the trace impurities (that are not aluminum oxide) that contribute to the color creation we see in Sapphires, Rubies and Padparasha Gemstones.
Want another fun fact?
Sapphires are often used in sandpaper and nail files! So you may have small amounts of sapphires already in your home. Since corundum minerals have a hardness of 9.0 on the Mohs Scale they can scratch almost any surface.