Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Follow: A Celebration of Followers – April 30

Welcome to the April 30 Friday Follow celebration hosted by One 2 Try, Hearts Make Families and Midday Escapades! We invite you to join us every Friday to get more blog followers and to follow other interesting blogs. It is all about sharing and having fun.

Visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Shop to see our beautiful beaded jewelry creations!

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Bead So Beautiful...You Could Just Eat It!

Amethyst Lampwork Beaded Necklace
It was in Murano that lampwork beads first became widely produced in the 19th century. To this day, the most famous style of lampwork bead is the 'Venetian' or wedding cake bead. the secret of the glass making process was jealously guarded. Many countries tried to lure glass makers away from Italy. While some succeeded in producing lampwork beads, they did not typically put up a challenge to the Murano lampwork beads. In the mid 19th century, a few Bohemian (now Czech Republic) citizens traveled to Italy to work in the glassworks and learn the secrets. They returned five years later, frustrated by the wall of secrecy they had encountered. However, they did learn something and glass bead making was started in the Czech Republic.
The Czech also became masters at making lampwork beads and rivaled Italy on the national market. In time, the Czech and Italians taught the Indians how to make lampwork beads. Today the majority of lampwork beads come from India. The Czech and the Italians still make beautiful lampwork beads in much more limited production.

Handmade Jewelry Haven's beautiful 'Swirl' necklace, bracelet and matching earrings are made with lovely amethyst colored Italian Wedding Cake beads, and is set off by a gorgeous blown glass pendant in soothing colors of purples golds and silvers.
Find them all at Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Shop Here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Fascination With Flamingos

Flamingo Earrings and Bubble Bath Lampwork Bracelet
Nearly everyone knows what flamingos look like ---pink birds with long legs. You can see them at just about every zoo. You can find them in storybooks. Alice uses flamingos as croquet mallets in Through the Looking Glass (by Lewis Carroll). Images of flamingos, standing under palm trees, appear in paperweights and snow globes. Plastic flamingos make colorful lawn ornaments!! But did you know that some flamingos live high up in the Andes Mountains of South America? Flamingos can swim, and flamingos can fly. Ornithologists (scientists who sturdy birds) spent many years arguing whether flamingos are more like ducks, or more like storks, until they decided that flamingos belong in a group by themselves. There are 5 species of flamingos that occur throughout the world. The greater flamingo is as tall as a grown-up person is. The lesser flamingo is as tall as a first-grader. Bet you didn't know that!!
Come and take a gander (oop's! that's a male goose) at our cute Flamingo Bubble Bath Bracelet above at Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Store Here.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Hypnosis of Hibiscus

Hibiscus Lampwork Beaded Bracelet
Many Hibiscus plants are grown for their showy flowers or used as landscape shrubs. Many species are used to attract butterflies and bees. Hibiscus is also a primary ingredient in many herbal teas. It is used as a vegetable and to make herbal teas and jams, especially in the Caribbean. All over the world, the tea drink is consumed hot or cold. It is known as Bissap in West Africa, Karkady in the Middle East, flor de Jamaica in Mexico, Gongura in India and Brazil. Some refer to it as roselle, a common name for the hibiscus flower. The Hibiscus is used as an offering to goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.The Hibiscus is used as an offering to goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship.Hibiscus, especially White Hibiscus and Red hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis), is considered to have medicinal properties in the Indian traditional system of medicine, Ayurveda. Roots make various concoctions believed to cure ailments such as cough. The flowers are boiled in oil along with other spices to make a medicated hair oil to prevent greying and hair loss. The leaves and flowers are ground into a fine paste with a little water and the resulting lathery paste is used as a shampoo plus conditioner.A 2008 USDA study shows consuming hibiscus tea lowers blood pressure. And I bet you thought it was just another pretty flower!!

To buy our Hibiscus Bracelet and Earrings, visit Handmade Jewelry Haven's Etsy Page Here.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lampwork Beads

To my eye, lampwork beads are the most beautiful of all. Each one is individually handmade and no two are exactly alike. Lampwork beads are made on a metal rod called a mandrel. The mandrel is coated with a white powder that will allow the bead to be taken off the rod when the bead is finished. Molten glass is wound around the mandrel and the mandrel is placed over the flame (originally it was the flame of a gas LAMP). The bead is shaped and decorated. It is then annealed (allowed to cool evenly and slowly) to add durability.
There are lampwork beads designed to fit your every mood, from fun to funky to elegant or classy. There are lampwork beads made to fit every fashion trend and there are lampwork bead styles that have endured through the centuries.
While lampwork beads have been made since 1300 BC in Greece, Venice is considered the birthplace of modern lampwork beads. During the Renaissaince, Italy was the undisputed glass capitol of the world. The glassworks were centered in the city of Venice and glass making secrets were jealously guarded.
Glass making was divided up into tasks so that each person only knew part of the process. Telling the secrets of glass or bead production was considered an act of treason punishable by death. In the late 13th century, the glass making industry moved from Venice to the island of Murano, Italy. Folklore says that the reason glass production moved from Venice to Murano was that an island was better able to isolate the craftspeople and thus the secret process. While this is a romantic notion, it's a myth. In fact, lampworking was extremely dangerous and resulted in many fires. The glass production was moved out of the city of Venice to the Island of Murano to control the spread of fire. It was in Murano that lampwork beads first became widely produced in the 19th century. Lampwork bead making is a cottage industry all around the globe.

There is a huge disparity in the price of lampwork beads. Some can be bought for less than .10 USD. Others fetch prices in the hundreds. Several factors account for this difference.
First of all, the more detailed the bead and the more colors used to make the bead, the more expensive it is.
The type of glass used also contributes to the price of the bead. Murano (Effetre) glass is more expensive than Indian glass. It is also much more beautiful, giving the most gorgeous colors.
Another factor that goes into the pricing of the bead is its country of origin. Labor is cheaper in India than it is in the USA. Also, different countries typically produce different quality levels. The key word is typically. Some Italian bead makers import cheap glass and then label their beads as Made In Murano. It is also possible to get some Indian beads made from Murano glass.
The preciseness of the size and pattern of the beads will also weigh heavily into costing a bead. For example, the handwork on the Czech beads is beautifully done. By comparison, most mass produced Indian beads are sloppy. While each lampwork bead is hand made and they all vary slightly from each other, this variance will be more pronounced in a cheaper bead. The final factor that gets weighed into the costing mix is the annealing process used to finish the bead. Today there are kilns available with computerized temperature controls that allow precise annealing. Ideally, lampwork beads are annealed overnight.

When selecting lampwork beads for my personal collection, I look first for a bead that 'calls to me'. Then I ask what type of glass was used and how it was annealed. I personally have bought some very inexpensive lampwork beads that I love. On the other hand, I have spent a great deal of money on one single bead that I just had to have. In my humble opinion, there is a use and a need for lampwork beads in all different price ranges.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

The Beauty Of Byzantium

Byzantium began when the fourth century Emperor, St. Constantine, Christianized the Roman Empire and established Constantinople in Byzantium as the capital. During this era a synthesis of classical Greek, Roman, and Christian culture gave birth to unparalleled achievements in art, architecture, and jewelry. Many of these achievements can be seen in the magnificent Byzantine jewelry and Byzantine cross pendants found in archeological digs.

Our Byzantine Necklace is a wonderful marriage of round quartz beads and freshwater pearls. Quartz can strengthen all things positive. It amplifies intention, reduces stress, helps with balancing and healing, and surrounds you with protection. The best way to use the
properties of quartz is to keep it close to you at all times. This will attune it to your frequencies. Cultured or freshwater pearls are considered to offer the power of love, money, protection, and luck. Pearls are thought to give wisdom through experience, to quicken the laws of karma and to cement engagements and love relationships. They are thought to keep children safe.

Early Chinese myths told of pearls falling from the sky when dragons fought. Ancient legend says that pearls were thought to be the tears of the gods and the Greeks believed that wearing pearls would promote marital bliss and prevent newlywed women from crying.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

The First Post

Hello everyone! My name is Lisa Verde and I have created this blog to let everyone get to know me a little better. I am a working single mom to two wonderful children that are my main inspiration in life.

I am now starting to market my custom handmade jewelry online on my blog and hope to have a dedicated website in the future . Please stop by and see my creations....more will be listed in the coming days!

Thanks for stopping by!!

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