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Bead of the Week

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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haitiHave you heard about the Bead Cruise? I can't say I've had the pleasure of going on one of these, but I just heard about it and wanted to share with you. In my writing life, I was lucky enough to attend the incredible Maui Writer's Conference, and I can vouch for the great jump start an event like this can give you when you're looking for motivation, information, guidance, and inspiration.


Here's the link to the upcoming 2015 Bead Cruise so you can read more about it if you're interested in going:

As their byline reads, "Make jewelry, make friends, make memories that will last a lifetime.


On February 14, they will set sail for an 8-night eastern Caribbean cruise, sailing from Ft. Lauderdale to St. Maarten, St. Kitts, San Juan, and Royal Caribbean's private beach Labadee. While on board, travelers get the chance to enjoy the views while learning basic skills in beadwork and jewelry-making – from a selection of skilled instructors and mentors.


bohemianThe credentials of these folks are amazing – here's just one I think I would love to learn from – Erin Siegel. She is an accomplished jewelry designer and bead instructor with a passion for sharing her knowledge, experience and ideas. She loves creating casual, everyday jewelry with rustic, organic materials such as antiqued metals, gemstones and waxed line cord. She teaches locally as well as nationally, and is a regular project contributor for String Magazine and Co-Author of Bohemian Inspired Jewelry.


Folks who went on previous cruises say they were FABULOUS. One cool event I read about was a cocktail party (which they may do every year – I'm not sure). Anyway, they had this medieval inspired disco called the Dungeon, and they encouraged everybody to make/wear a crown, fascinator or masquerade ball style mask. Winners were named things like 'the Duchess of Filigree' and the 'Countess of Crystal'.


queens ball

These are some people who really have FUN with bead work. Here's an example of a gorgeous item someone made for this event – a 'Fairy Queen Crown'. Josie from Montreal made this, and sells it and items like it on her Etsy shop:


Then there's the pleasure of having time devoted to working, learning and playing alongside like-minded individuals and talented mentors. I am definitely thinking about getting this event on my bucket list. What about you all? Has anyone been on this cruise, and if so, can you share your experiences with us? Is it as good as it sounds? Maybe because it's so (relatively) cold here in Corrales, NM this morning, I'm thinking the Caribbean experience sounds like Nirvana. But again, if I can get away with comparing this to the awesome writer's retreat/conference in Maui, it is truly inspiring to be in a beautiful place while you focus on work you love – at the same time. I do think in some years they have sold out, so if you're interested, go to their web site and contact them soon!


Until next time,




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