Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CZ means Cubic Zirconia

It sounds like you claim to keep silence, "CCCCCCCC..." This sound reminds you of a bee buzz, "ZZZZZZZZZ..." If you put this letters together, it will be something strange, "CZ". Let's open Wikipedia for "CZ", and the first result returns you "Cubic Zirconia". We read, "Cubic Zirconia (or CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. It should not be confused with zircon, which is a zirconium silicate. Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important competitor for diamonds since 1976."

To tell the truth, I knew about Cubic Zirconia, but haven't tried those "diamondy" beauties until I received Cubic Zirconia Beads from They have a beautiful choice of CZs of any kind: beads, pendants, teardrops and so on. I decided to use faceted teardrops in my design.

According my idea, the necklace should have been pretty light and elegant, to wear for any occasion, and I added Amethyst, Garnet, Peridot, Olivine and Yellow CZ Faceted Teardrop Pendants to the main chain made using amethyst faceted round beads, seed beads and peridot chips. I wish I have wider CZ pendants color range, but for now it's fine. Ahhhha... Next time I'll try to combine those teardrops with Russian leaves...

The first picture displays my finished necklace, which I haven't named yet, and the second one - its close-up. What about name? Any idea?

Disclosure. Being a reviewer of products and a participant of its blogging program I received all CZ Faceted Teardrops free of charge. This post reflects my honest opinion; and is not compensating me for my endorsement as it pertains to the products received and reviewed.

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Flex Your Creativity: winners announced!

December started with good news that came from Soft Flex Company, the company announced the winners of the Flex Your Creativity Beading Contest, and my Bridal Flowers Necklace won First Place and Grand Prize. My another piece, Pearl Fireworks Necklace won the Seventh Place. Thanks to all who voted for me! My warmest congratulations to all winners, finalists and participants! WoooooooHooooooooo!!!

Winners List

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Friday, November 20, 2009

New life of old earrings

Recently a friend of my friend has brought me a pair of old vintage earrings (Sterling silver, labradorite and pearls) and asked me to create an unusual piece of jewelry using those earrings.

Create a new pair of earrings using the old ones? Oh, no! I decided to keep the old design, and put the earrings together on a blank beadwoven bracelet. I picked up seed beads matching labradorite and pearls for the bracelet, and added a few seed bead branches with amethyst rounds, pearls and some gemstone chips. So, here we are!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Lady Winter Necklace

Here is another Russian pendant, handpainted on a piece of black onyx and featuring a small part of the whole painting Winter, by Alfons Mucha.

And here is my another necklace featuring Russian pendants, its style completely differs from my Picasso's Dream Necklace. Not only shape, but technique and materials are different: I combined free-form and Russian leaves, as media I used seed and bugle beads, and a lot of Swarovski crystal pearls.

At last, here is a close-up of my lovely Lady! Maybe, too much gold, maybe I needed to add some silver color pearls, who knows, what would be better!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tropical Blossom Necklace

I had a dream - to create a necklace using mostly Swarovski crystals. Of course, with seed beads together! declared October as their month of Swarovski, and I didn't want to loose such a great opportunity. They have over 5,000 different items from Swarovski including beads, pendants, rhinestones, buttons, chain and more. In other words, everything you need to design the most dazzling jewelry!

I received from different Swarovski crystal beads (Margarita Bead Jet and Margarita Bead Siam of different size), rivolis (Rivoli Siam, Rivoli Padparadscha, Rivoli Black Diamond), and amazing Aquiline Pendants, added bicones I've already had, and started working.

I must confess, it was a pleasure to work with Swarovski! Though I'm not a fan of bright sparkling beads and elements, I can sometimes afford to work with such materials, right? The name was born easily: Tropical Blossom! I think, it's fine for my necklace.

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My daughter as a model

It can happen not very often when I make pictures of my jewelry on models. Here my daughter Ivanna is serving me as a model. At that time she was just back from the Burning Man Festival, she grabbed my necklace and put it on! I called that free-form necklace Southwestern Taste because of its color combination.

Burning Man website:

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Alexandria Festival of the Arts

Annual Alexandria Festival of the Arts is voted one of the top 100 art festivals in the country by Sunshine Artist magazine. As usual, it took place in September.

More than $15 million in art was on display, and more than 200 juried artists have displayed and sold fine art ranging from paintings, sculpture, prints and photography to pottery, glass, jewelry and ceramics. This year we noticed less sculpture artworks, but much more jewelry of any kind. Anyway, festival made a great success!

Pictures: Festival of the Arts

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Art Activated at the TFAC

I had to post that at least a month ago, but better late, than never! A great event took place in September at the Torpedo Factory Art Center, where visual art came alive during the Alexandria Festival of the Arts. Artists demonstrated throughout the day pottery on the wheel, drawing, bubble glass making, beading, spinning, weaving, knitting, limestone carving, etching, and much more. Visitors could try their hand at different art techniques including clay throwing, sculpture, and fiber art at special "Try Me" stations.

Hands-on projects also included Champagne Cork Chairs workshop, Bubble Gum painting, Create Your Own Button workshop, Screen printing workshop, Mask Making workshop and so on. Lots of fun for both, adults and kids!

Pictures: Art Activated

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Friday, October 2, 2009

"Flex Your Creativity" Beading Contest

Poll: Choose the Winner!
There are two my items (one is below), contest is open to vote!

Bridal Flowers Necklace

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Looking for colors

Last year when I worked on my Mermaids Garden Necklace I selected an unusual color combination of copper and aquamarine to pale blue - to express an ocean theme, and I haven't expected that many people would like that palette. From time to time I play with different colors - I love it!

Looking back at the Mermaid's Garden, I wanted to try colors like those, but of other shades. I got from Bronze Swarovski crystal pearls, Caribbean Blue Opal Swarovski crystal bicones, and Metallic Indigo Iris Miyuki seed beads, this combination seemed to be very interesting for me!

I was eager to challenge and when I received my order, I immediately started beading. Oh, no, I wanted just to try my idea! Look at the picture, here is my new necklace. I don't know how you like it, but yesterday at the Art Activation in the Torpedo Factory Art Center (Alexandria, VA), where I demonstrated beading to public, my necklace attracted a lot of attention. I guess, partly because of colors. Now I'm thinking how to name the necklace... Any suggestions?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

How is it on a model?

I like the visitors in my studio who makes the photos with my jewelry on. As a rule, they ask my permission to do so, and I'm always glad to see them modeling my beadworks. Sometimes in my turn, I ask them to pose and the answers are positive. Here is a sample: Dorothy from Maryland modeling my Phoenix Firebird Necklace. How is it on Dorothy? I think, it's a nice view!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Russian Pendants

The story with The Dream by Pablo Picasso will continue! Last week I bought seven more Russian pendants!

Birthday, by Marc Chagall

The Painter: To the Moon, by Marc Chagall

Judith, by Gustav Klimt

The Kiss, by Gustav Klimt

The Virgins, by Gustav Klimt

Winter, by Alfons Mucha

Renaissance - Mask Your Face

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Friday, July 24, 2009

Picasso's Dream Necklace

Not in a couple of days, but the necklace with the Russian pendant featuring The Dream by Picasso is finished! It was a pleasure to play with colors and texture. I decided not to round angles you can see in my previous post on the base of my necklace, because the pendant is rectangular and I wanted to keep the common shapes. I've tried to use the same colors as on the miniature, but without big bright spots, just to accent the beauty of the pendant. By the way, I used in my work seed beads I bought on sale at I hope people will like my new beadwork. Thank you,!

Here is the finished necklace live, I mean here is how it looks on. It seems to be pretty, and my model looks great wearing the necklace. Top secret: this girl is also Russian!

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Incorporating Art

Once I've already written, that I added to my list of on-line stores where I buy jewelry supplies. Surfing that website for some interesting things in June, I noticed the word "Russian". Hmmm... I wondered, what about Russia and Russians was there? I opened a page - OMG! Try to imagine: I found pendants replicated portions of famous paintings from artists such as Chagall, Mucha, Klimt, Botticelli, Matisse and Picasso, handpainted by Russian artisans! These Russian pendants feature just a small piece of the whole paintings, but in doing so, the essence of the artistry is captured!

For sure, my customers and I would love to wear a true piece of art with one of these gorgeous masterpieces, and I grabbed one pendant featuring The Dream by Picasso, first of all because I'm a fan of Picasso's talent. It doesn't mean I don't like the artworks of Chagall or Klimt, but The Dream reminds me of the traditional Russian folk art - Palekh lacquer miniatures.

The backing of the pendant is a piece of black onyx, and the pendant is drilled from top to bottom. It's great for a wide range of stringing opportunities but not for beadweaving. If we had those pendants drilled on top from side to side, it would add much more opportunities for beadworkers. Anyway, I found how I can incorporate a piece of art into my jewelry piece! I haven't finished my beadwork yet, it's in process, we'll see the result in a couple of days...

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New York Fashion Show

That's certainly a joke, I mean Fashion Show! Here is Paulina, my adorable and lovely granddaughter showcasing my beaded jewelry. On the first photo Paulina features Poppy Field Necklace.

On that photo Paulina displays Midsummer Night's Dream Necklace. What can I say? Though Paulina, my love and happiness, is a little bit more than 11 months here, she feels very comfortable with my beadwork on! Go, my lovely baby!

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Monday, July 13, 2009

The First Colorworks Challenge

The first Colorworks Challenge was held by Step by Step Beads Magazine. The orange-purple-green tertiary triad presents a challenge of bold and striking contrasts, and contest participants had to create a piece of bead jewelry with the predominant colors of that triad (any shades of those colors). Finalists were selected by Margie Deeb, Colorworks author, and the editors of Step by Step Beads. Today I received an email, that read,


Your work was chosen by Margie Deeb as one of the top ten finalists in our first Colorworks contest! Though you did not win first place, your piece will be showcased in a special Colorworks gallery in the November/December 09 issue of Step by Step Beads. Thank you for submitting such outstanding work!

Best regards,
Leslie Rogalski
Editor in chief, Step by Step Beads

Leslie Rogalski meant my Lush Spring Blues necklace...
Good news is good news!

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Sunday, July 5, 2009

First videoclip on YouTube!

My first videoclip on YouTube. Enjoy!

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