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jade newThis is a lovely hand-carved pendant of natural Nephrite Jade from New Zealand. Maori designs carved in jade are steeped in religious and spiritual belief. They tell stories of ancestors long lost, depict spirits from the heavens, earth, and underworld, show historical lineage and paint images of the natural world that surround and surrounded them. They are no doubt beautiful, but they’re more than a form of art. For Maori they create a strong connection with their ancestors and the natural world they live in. It was believed by Maori that as a carving was worn against the skin it absorbed some of that person's essence. As carvings were passed down through the family they absorbed essence from each family member, creating a direct ancestral connection through the necklace itself. This is one reason why Maori design is so special, it is more than just an art form.

This special piece measures approx. 70 mm long (approx.. 2 3/4") x approx. 35 mm. (just shy of 1 1/2") at its widest point. Thickness is approx. 3 mm. Hole at top for hanging is approx. 2 1/2 mm. wide.

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X-ACTO knifeX-ACTO Knife2beaded barrette

Today's post subject is not nearly as sexy as the lucious beads and gemstones we've been discussing, but a X-ACTO blade is one of those down-to-earth necessities for some types of beading projects, and worthy of our note.  X-ACTO is a brand name, like Xerox, but the term has become synonimous with 'precision hobby knife' or 'craft knife'.  This handy tool can be used for cutting leather or fabric backing for beaded projects such as barrettes and belt buckles.  It also cuts leather into fringe, a common feature of Native American crafts.  I've included a photo of one, so you'll know what it looks like if you don't already know -- as well as a photo of a project it would be useful for.  Wish me luck on finding more interesting topics for 'Y' and 'Z' over the next couple of days!  In the meantime, look over our lovely selection of beads, charms and gemstones on The Bead Collection as well as The Bead Collection on Etsy.


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