AROUND THE WORLD IN 13 BEADS

We all deserve a little break, let’s take a trip around the world!

No need to lace up your shoes or put on your coat, only your minds will be wandering this time.

We acknowledge that there are an overwhelming amount of beads to choose from, so we limited this trip to some specific beads that we carry in our shop. We hope you have fun learning facts and challenge you to look into the origins & the stories surrounding your next beaded project.

CANADIAN JADE

British Columbia (BC) is the largest producer of nephrite jade in the world.

HERKIMER DIAMONDS

These diamonds are double-terminated quartz crystals found in and around Herkimer County, New York and the Mohawk River Valley. They are close to five hundred million years old. The crystals are found in rock and are naturally faceted, each having eighteen facets and 2 points. 

more info here.

PERUVIAN AMAZONITE

Amazonite is named for the Amazon River in Brazil, where the stones are thought to have been originally found, however they are not currently sourced from that particular region.

GHANA BRASS

There is a specific technique that dates to the old Ashanti Kingdom (18th-19th century) called “lost wax.” Each bead is created in a mold made of bee’s wax and then covered in clay. It is then heated and cooled, which tends to cause some breaks in the material, making each bead unique.

KAZURI BEADS, KENYA

more info here.

MALI CLAY WHORL BEADS

“…made from the charcoal black clay found in abundance in the hills around Mopti and Kati. Once collected, the clay is broken down…into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle, then sieved several times to rid the mixture of larger pieces that cannot be broken down. It’s not uncommon for pieces of old and broken clay pots to be ground in with the mixture to improve its overall strength. Once the powder has been prepared, it is mixed with equal parts water, oil and Gum Arabic to create a thick, malleable mixture that can be further shaped and refined by hand. beads are individually shaped by hand, then pierced…” –westafricanbeads.com

MILLEFIORI

Millefiori, are also called mosaic beads.

Millefiori comes from two Italian words, ‘mille’ (meaning one thousand) and ‘fiori’ (meaning flower). The technique of making millefiori beads has not changed over the years and all beads are still made by hand.

more details here.

CZECH GLASS

In the 3rd century BCE, Celtic craftsmen began to produce glass beads in Bohemia, now known as the Czech Republic. These beads were of great value for trade and personal ornamentation.

AFGHAN FLUORITE

extra reads here.

RUDRAKSHA SEEDS

“…dried seeds of a tree, which grows in select locations of South East Asia, botanically known as Elaeocarpus Ganitrus. It is also called ‘Tears of Shiva’ and there are many legends connected to Lord Shiva that describe its origin. The word Rudraksha comes from ‘Rudra’ (name of Shiva) and ‘Aksha’ meaning tears.” –more info here.

HILL TRIBE SILVER (HTS)

HTS from Thailand is considered fine silver, which is the trade term of 99.9% pure silver. Fine silver does not tarnish like sterling silver and lower grade silver alloys do (sterling silver is an alloy containing only 92.5%).

Come out and browse the HTS trunk show we are hosting Sept. 29th through Oct. 3rd, 2021!

MIYUKI SEED BEADS

Miyuki was founded in Hiroshima, Japan, in mid-1300’s. It Quickly became a renowned glass seed bead manufacturer. Since then, they have continued to strive for increased quality and improved artistry through innovation and state of the art technology.

ABALONE, NEW ZEALAND

Hope you’ve enjoyed the trip!

Grounding Gems!

by Tahlia, BDB Staff

Gemstones are enjoyed in many different forms for many different purposes. Every gemstone has a varying look and purpose (both aesthetically and spiritually) and many people keep them around to reap the benefits of their spiritual properties. Some people keep raw/larger stones around the house as decoration and others prefer their stones to be worn.

While I don’t revere gemstones as magical objects from another dimension, I do love them for their beauty and intentionality. I often struggle with a head in the clouds and sometimes need reminders to bring myself down to earth. Making gemstone bracelets and necklaces have been a fun way to bring around a more calm and collected reality.

Here are some of the grounding stones I’ve been enjoying most (and their properties!):

Black Tourmaline

Black tourmaline is a solid protection stone. It can help ward off any negative energy that could be hanging around. It also brings much needed reconnection to ground beneath your feet. Great stone for everyday wearing.

Black Tourmaline beads available at BDB!

Tiger’s Eye

Tiger’s eye is all about balance. It’s a calming stone that can help with accepting the ebb and flow of life. Helpful for keeping a level head during stressful times and can clear the head of clouding emotions.

Tiger’s Eye available at BDB!

Hematite

Hematite is a strong and supportive stone, helping bridge gaps in mind, body and spirit. It’s so grounding that it’s known to boost confidence, perseverance, and willpower. I like to combine tourmaline and hematite for that extra boost of protection (they also look great together).

Hematite available at BDB!

Agate

Agate is a wonderful stone in general because it comes in such a wide variety of types. Each of these types have their own properties, but overall, agate is calming and gentle. It inspires rest and is great to pair with more intense grounding stones for contrast in color and feeling.

Agate available at BDB!

Smoky Quartz

Smoky Quartz is last but certainly not least! A personal favorite of mine for the crystal clarity it provides. Quartz is an amplifying stone, and this version of it clears negative energy and supports positive. It’s a great balanced stone.

Smoky Quartz available at BDB!

I hope these stones can help bring around some much needed rest and relaxation. If not, at least they look pretty. If you’re interested in more gemstone fun, check out Gemstones Personified! Who Is your gemsona?

Resources:

Grounding stones

12 Stones for Grounding, Calm, and Comfort

Wish[ful thinking] Bracelets

A wish bracelet is a simple bracelet crafted to break down, come apart, or fall off. There are many ways to construct a wish bracelet, check out Guided Patterns: 16+ ways to make your own. Have a friend tie it to you, three knots. With each knot, make a new wish. Overtime & with wear, the bracelet’s fibers will break down….until…one day….you’ve worn it to its last thread, & all that wish energy & positive thinking is released into the universe.

Remember to be kind to the planet; if you witness the bracelet’s demise, pick it up and dispose of it properly.

All wish hocus pocus applies, or does it? You decide.

so many pretty colors to choose from.

During this month of June, Blue Door Beads is selling rainbow wish bracelets. All profits of the bracelets will be donated to the Oakland LGBTQ Community Center at the end of the month.

#wesupport you & hope all your wishes come true.

Resources

Wish Bracelets & the Law of Attraction

Guided Patterns: 16+ ways to make your own wish bracelet

CHAINS STYLES, part 2

Hello!

Welcome back to the continuation of CHAIN STYLES, part 1. Here lies information about chain styles that you could come across. You can refer to the first post (part one) for information on the most common styles (curb, cable & snake, etc.) and the differences between plated, sterling, and gold-filled materialities

Let’s get into it!

*Please enjoy the visual aids of our store’s current inventory. 🙂

Figaro Chain

An italian chain style similar to curb, where the links lie flat. Compromised of 2 or 3 short circular links alternating with a long oval-shaped link.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities (1mm), as well gold-filled & sterling silver.

Rope Chain

A chain with links twisted into a pattern to resemble a rope.

We currently only carry this chain in gold-filled.

Twisted (Singapore) Chain

“…constructed using a series of flat diamond cut chain links. Several of these links are interwoven to form a diamond shape, and then in turn these diamond shaped links are twisted and flattened to form a chain.”

bigbeadlittlebead

We carry this chain in a copper (shown) & a silver-plated satellite chain.

Satellite Chain

The chain itself can vary in style, but it is ultimately identified by the small beads placed intervals ( e.g.1″) apart.

We carry this chain in a selection of sizes and plated materialities, as well as sterling and gold-filled.

Paper Clip Chain

Uniform elongated links with a rectangular frame; mimics a sequence of connected paperclips.

We carry this chain in select sizes in silver plated, matte gold plated, and sterling.

Chevron Chain

Named after the v-shaped links.

We carry this chain in a selection of plated materialities.

Bar Link Chain

Links alternating with a proportionally sized elongated rods.

We carry this chain in a selection of plated materialities as well as in sterling.

Resources & Further Reading:

Jewelers of America: Guide to Chain Styles

Big Bead Little Bead: Chain Glossary

Merriam Webster Dictionary: Chevron

What is Figaro Chain?

Do you like chain & fringe? Check out the link below for a tutorial on how to make this chain fringe necklace, made by staff: