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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.


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stonehenge 2Calling all natural stone/gemstone enthusiasts! I'm seeking feedback on a little book I'm working on, titled as you see: "Stoned:  My Addiction to Gems, Crystals, and Just Plain Homely Rocks". I recently ran across one of those webinars too good to be true (Read:  FREE) -- on "Write a Best-Selling Book Over the Weekend". I thought what the heck, I'm a good writer, I can do that. I got pretty inspired about this topic -- mostly because of my aforementioned "addiction". But it turns out I couldn't really slam out a bestseller over the weekend -- it's likely due to an annoying little perfectionist streak I apparently have.  But I'm still working on it!

What I'm going to do over the next several blog posts is attempt to explain:  a) How I developed this addiction; b) What I'm doing about it; and c) What the expected recovery prognosis is. What I'm hoping you, my dear readers, will help me with, is: a) share your favorite stories about gems, crystals, and/or rocks, b) if you're addicted like me, confess it publicly via the comment section below, and attempt to explain why and how you think it happened (you can do it -- just start by saying "My name is ___________, and I'm addicted to [gems/crystals/rocks] because____________); and finally, c) give me feedback on my little tome as it develops, starting with the whole idea of the book itself.

I heard a radio announcer the other day profusely thank her audience for calling in with requests, because, as she put it, it reassured her she wasn't out there all alone in radio-land.  I promise I will thank you profusely if you engage in this activity, and will go one better! 

For the very best  story (let's say 1 to 3 paragraphs) about your history with gems/crystals/rocks that I can use as good material for the book, I will provide a very special 30% discount coupon on any item of your choice in our Etsy shop:  You'll have to contact me via Etsy to give me your e-mail if you submit something and want to win, but I will also reward you by putting your e-mail on a mailing list so you can regularly enjoy The Bead Collection's blog.  This contest will run for TWO WEEKS and then I will select a winner, give them the secret code, and we'll keep moving.  If we have good submissions, maybe I will run the contest again later!

In the meantime, here's my confession:  My Name is Sheila, and I'm addicted to gems, crystals and just plain homely rocks.  Where it all started was when I was kid hiking around in the foothills near my house, and coming upon these massive granite rocks that formed a sort of natural teepee where I could hang out.  I would stay out there for a long time and think (now they might call it meditation) and try to figure out if those big rocks had an appreciation of and awareness of me, the way I had for them.  They were definitely warm; they soaked up the New Mexico sun and it was soothing to lean against them and take it all that lovely warmth.  They were something I could count on.  If things at home were weird, I could go hang with the rocks and they never said anything mean-spirited, they were always there for me -- and they were, above all -- calm.  Now that I think about it again, I guess they were calmING as well as calm. 

I was just reading an explanation of why some folks believe stones are healing; I thought their answer was very good. They said: "Anything and everything is a potential healer and helper. Anything with an inherent harmony can act like a tuning fork to our poor patterns and challenge us to retune ourselves. A good piece of art can work wonders, as well as music, dance, a pleasant person, or anything else exhibiting integrity."

In a previous blog post you may have seen ( "Why do we love beads?" ), I grapple with this question as well. It does make sense to me that gems, crystals and stones can radiate pureness, beauty, and integrity. Are they living beings?  I doubt if I'll go there. But in as much as we should bring ourselves closer to people with high integrity, I believe it can only help us to view art, nature, and yes -- even stones -- with integrity. In another part of this book-in-progress I'll also talk about a sort of guiding image I have of Stonehenge -- a circle of stones that has served as an ancient (and modern) site for healing and pilgrimage. So ultimately, as you can see, I have my tongue in my cheek as I call my obsession an addiction.  I actually think it's a healing activity to collect, learn about, and make objects of beauty from stones. But my title idea seemed so much catchier than anything serious I could think of.

:-)   Let me know what you think!





0 # Ellen W. Gonchar 2013-03-13 03:05
This is soooo exciting Shelia!! And I know if anyone can do something like this it will be you. Your personality is captured in your writing! I could see you sitting out by the rocks and receiving comfort from them as a child. I am new to "stones" but have been addicted to making jewelry for a bit now. I love the pure beauty of a piece of vintage crystal jewelry lol! I can't wait to read your next insert and the title of the book is fabulous!! I would buy it based on that alone!
Ellen :)
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0 # Sheila McLaughlin 2013-03-13 23:20
Thank you, Ellen! I have received two or three submissions so far and I think they're great! I think we're all going to have fun with it. Send me a story on vintage crystal jewelry if you want -- I want to have some guest bloggers!
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0 # Ellen W. Gonchar 2013-03-16 06:04
Thanks Shelia! I will see if I can gather some information on this for you!
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0 # Eric Zipf 2013-05-30 12:00
My name is Eric, I'm an addict and I may as well add rocks and stones to the list.

Rocks are good for throwing. They make a delightful "BIZHINGGG" when they hit a metal garbage can, they ricochet impressively as they cause brakes to squeal when they hit a moving car, they draw real blood when they get embedded in your brother's head even though you were aiming at the window in back of him.

Rocks are our first toys. They define childhood.
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0 # Sheila McLaughlin 2013-05-30 18:39
Eric, you are too silly. Plus I'm so afraid you are speaking from true experience. I'm sorry to dredge up that trauma, especially if your brother is reading this. Anyway, we love all kinds of attention to our blog, even this kind. Thank you and good day!! ;-)
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