Sunday, December 18, 2011

Faerie Painting in the Works!

FaerieCon Banner
 Attending FaerieCon in November was such a special experience. Very inspiring for my artwork, which you'll see a bit below. 

FaerieCon is a 3-day event which includes two balls (the Good Faeries Ball and the Bad Faeries Ball) with really great music (sort of Celtic/folk/rock), wonderful panel discussions with artists and writers, and amazing workshop sessions presented by world renown artists, truly talented artist vendors selling beautiful clothing, jewelry, artwork (paintings and prints), dolls, and all manner of gorgeous faerie related merchandise. The attendees dress in costume 24/7, which is highly entertaining, or maybe they sneak in from the bordering wild fields....

Wild Faeries Abound! Or should I say unbound?!

Vendors - If everyone wore a hat like this the world would be much more peaceful I'm sure ; )
Incredibly gorgeous "doll" or more of a decoration really.
So when my husband and I attended a few weeks ago, we had the most marvelous time, and the event is pivotal to my art career. Incredibly inspiring to be around so many others of like mind (the artists) and surrounded by such inspiration (the costumes). They also had a contest for Best Costume - a lot of fun. I couldn't decide which was more fun, watching the contestants, or the audience!

Costume Contest
I got to sit in on a panel discussion session that included Charles Vess, Helena Nelson Reed, Linda Ravenscroft, Brian Froud, Amy Brown, and Robert Gould - world renown artists sharing their artistic and business expertise with us, WOW, that was so SO wonderful.

Excellent Panel Discussion
One morning when I was having coffee outside I chanced upon a little blue faerie sitting on a bench - did you know faeries love coffee too? ; )
Little Blue Faerie Having Coffee - (Love her shadow, don't you?)

Back home in my studio I began a new drawing which will eventually be a beautiful watercolor painting based on "Sacred Law," which is the law of the Universe, or Cosmic law (Great Spirit's Laws), as opposed to human law. Here's a sneak peak (it's not done yet), and not the best scan since it's a bit larger than my scanner accommodates, but it'll give you an idea. The story/meaning behind it follows the image.

Faerie Queen of Sacred Law
This image is a blend of Celtic, Native American, and Faerie world influences. The message of it is based on my favorite material - Jamie Sams' Sacred Path Cards, and illustrates the section about the Crow, who is the keeper of all sacred law. I put a Celtic spin on it because that's my own heritage and it's the way I feel best expressing the teachings of this material. In all my studies of various peoples' beliefs the thing that most fascinates me is the common threads of truth that run through them. There's a lot of basic truth in the foundations of "tribal" and "primitive" beliefs, which are very beautiful and totally applicable to our lives today, with excellent results. 

Part of what crow teaches, which is written on the page of the Sacred Law book that the Faerie Queen is holding is that "the past is your teacher, the present your creation, and the future your inspiration." I just LOVE that!

There is a candle on the left, representing the light, or enlightenment, and the candle becomes the word "law." There will be more designs throughout the lettering and when I paint the color into it, it'll pop out so you can read it easily. 

The Faerie Queen is sitting on a carved wood throne which is inlaid with sparkling jewels. The interesting thing about her is that I drew her first, not knowing what the rest of the picture was going to be, and when I drew the candle after I had shaded her in, it turned out that her shadows are backwards. In other words, because of where the candle sits, where there should be light, there are shadows, and vice versa. I like that it turned out that way, as it's an apt statement on much of society today (HA!). The story of Crow that Jamie Sams tells lets us know that Crow can "bend the laws of the physical universe and 'shape shift.'"

It'll have a Celtic border around the outside inch (which you can only see a part of in the scan). Drawing this is pretty mind boggling and takes a LOT of concentration, but is very fun too. There will also be a flock of crows flying up between the candle and the Faerie Queen. Do you like her ears? When we were at FaerieCon many of the costumes were so cool, and the people who have been attending for years and are very into it take great pride in their ears - where they got them, who the original artist was who designed them, what they're made of, and how real they look. It's so fun walking around seeing all these people dressed up as woodland faeries. 

Per Jamie Sams, the application of Crow's teaching is to "walk your talk, speak your truth, know your life's mission, and balance past, present, and future in the now." She writes, "shape shift that old reality and become your future self."
Cool Pirate Faerie Dude Walking His Talk
Faeries Being Captured on Camera - they like it!
Wow what a GREAT time! (Very good hotel, on-site with the event too.)

Quite exciting watching the painting happen. I'll post again when it's done - let me know what you think!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Doggies watching TV - HA!

Lil Bear looking out the picture window, one of his fave pastimes.

Benjamin after he just woke up xo
Sometimes when we watch TV my two dogs, Benji and Lil Bear get real interested if there are any animals on the screen. So one night I wrote a little "Dr. Seuss" type of poem about that. Here it is...if you read it out loud to a kid it'll get you both laughing : )

Snufflepups and Grumblerumphs

Snufflepups and Grumblerumphs!
My doggies LOVE to watch TV.

They hufflejump onto our laps
 where they drape themselves to doze
 until suddenly their ears pop up
and they tremble to their toes.

They rrrumble and grrrumph
rather fiercely I say
at lightflashing actors
with four legs or nay

“Oh who, oh who, and how, and when
will they come through the screen
and land in our den?
Will we lick them in greeting
right on their ear?”

“Grrrrrumph! GRRRRrrrrrrrrrr    rrr   rr   r rumble! Umphsnuffle!”
they cheer.

Snufflepups and grumblerumphs!

Smart as whips, my doggies prance
around the TV to the back,
all ashiver at the chance
to increase their doggie pack

If only
the actors
weren’t        so         FLAT
not round, just sound no smell,
oh well!

Snufflepups and grumblerumphs!

They dash across the room
over the table, across the rug
 and skid to a halt.
 And sit very still.
 With one paw up.

And say to the screen
 “Hey! Hey! Who IS that
in this very strange scene!?”

“How can we tell
if they don’t have a smell
if they’re friend or foe
and how do we know
to protect or reject
or sniff
or lick
or snuffle
or grumble
or rumph?
My doggies say.

~Jennifer Berghage 12/2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Happy Christmas

Sometimes life throws you a kick in the pants. That's what happened to my husband and me this month. He's quite young, but we experienced a real curveball when he had a heart attack early in November. All is well and he's recovering nicely, but we sure have gotten a new appreciation of life and all its beauties and pleasures.
Rob and Benji wrapped up in fake furbee
Make sure to hug your lovies and say what you want to say now. Appreciate every little minute, cause they're all so special. Hope the holidays are wonderful for you, make them so.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Getting ready for Christmas!

Ready or not winter's coming!
We had a super surprise snowfall on Saturday - don't you just love snow on Saturdays! It reminded me that winter's coming and along with it the special yummy smells good cookin' parties happenin' holiday times.

There will be no more swimming for quite a while....
Toooo chilly and besides the winter cover's on the pool now.
Lil Bear had just the right idea, sitting on the porch in a lovely warm sunbeam.

Best seat outside of the house! Smart pup!
We spent the weekend going out every so often to shake off our sacred trees - they haven't had a chance to shed their leaves yet and the snowfall was hard on their delicate branches. 

Then in the wee hours I began to dream about the holidays - I LOVE them, don't you? Special holiday movies - Hocus Pocus, Practical Magic, Witches of Eastwick, Heaven Can Wait, Bonneville, The Big Chill, City of Angels, Sixth Sense, lots of ways to celebrate the soul...during Halloween.

And right after Halloween comes Thanksgiving, then Christmas! So I've been creating like a maniac (my hubby figures I sleep about 3 hours a night but my math makes it at least 5 or 6). I can't not do it - take a look!
Beautiful antiestablishment pearl earrings!
I've been making earrings, necklaces, bracelets, light catcher car jewelry - all to prepare gifts for your friends and family and don't forget yours truly! If you're like me, it's one for you and one for me when buying =:o
Labradorite necklace glowing in the last of the autumn sun
Gorgeous dangle earrings....
Green teardrops with sterling silver chain
And doesn't Vix do a great job showing off! Check out my blog post about when she arrived to help me let you know how things look when you have them on. She loves being outside with the wind in her hair and the sun sparkling all over her Dreamkeeper Creations.

AND I've discovered a new style of necklace, so new that I don't even have photos yet. But it has to do with briolette beads and sterling silver wire wrapping - took me about 3 hours to learn that this weekend - looks much easier than it is. Check back to see!

Til then,


Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Style of Necklaces - YAY!!

So by accident I discovered a new style of necklaces to make for you! A gift from my wonderful artistic muse in the wee hours of the morning between Friday and Saturday. Aren't artful accidents sometimes so lucky....

Gorgeous First One of the New Style!
Doesn't Vix do a great job of showing off the new style?! For more details on Vix's story check out the story of when I bought her. (Use your browser back button to return here.)

New Style of Necklace, First One

I discovered this style late in the wee hours of Friday night/Saturday morning when I was making a bunch of leather necklaces to put with the pendants that don't yet have any on my Etsy site, Dreamkeeper Creations. I saw the leather sitting there and put on this gorgeous green bead, then put some complementary beads on either side, and voila! The new style was born. I hadn't before designed necklaces on the leather without having the end pieces all done first. Then I found myself staying up all night doing a bunch more. Yes, I greeted the dawn, lovely foggy morning with birds tweeting the sun awake.

The new style of necklaces aren't interchangeable with sterling silver chains, but the pendants are, and I spent a bunch of time making leather necklaces for all the pendants that don't yet have them.

Vix Showing Off the Nile River Goddess Necklace
The goal is for all of the pendants I sell in my Etsy shop to be ready to wear. So putting the pretty leather necklaces on the pendants has been good for that. Most of these are interchangeable with sterling silver chains, which I've been able to buy at fairly affordable prices so you can have your everyday wear, and pop them onto sterling chains for specials.

The other good thing I've discovered is that I like putting lobster clasps on instead of the old style of silver hooks. I think they hold up better. I'm toeing the line between small enough to look good and not weight them so much that the clasp wanders down where it doesn't belong - and big enough to grab with your fingers to maneuver. Let me know how you feel about the lobster clasps as that'll help future design.

Current Lobster Clasp
I'll be putting tails onto the necklaces soon, look for updated photos. My friend told me her significant other thinks the tails are sexy, and that's always good!

Check back soon,



Sunday, October 9, 2011

New Earring Style Yay!!

So I stayed up all night again all inspired to create earrings. I should say the ones I finished are available and up on Dream Keeper Creations at Etsy. The ones I did last night are all about freedom.
Red Bamboo Coral and Hill Tribe Silver Dangle Feather Earrings
Years ago, when I realized my 16-year first marriage was over and there was zero, zilcho, NOTHING I could do to save it, in-between getting the children all taken care of and a new place for us to live, I took a little detour to a gorgeous jewelry store in the middle of the pristine mountains of Colorado, the place that restored my heart and soul. I had no money to speak of, started our new lives with a lot of balls, no secondary education, and $5,000 dollars, which isn't a whole lot, but more than many people begin with....

There, I bought myself a ring, handmade by a Navaho artist - it was a golden feather based in sterling silver that encircled my middle finger, to remind me that I now had the freedom to really spread my wings, to remind myself to be strong, to reach for the stars, fly high, and never again let anyone tell me "you can't."

My Freedom Ring
Sometimes you just need something to remind you that you can believe in yourself, and you can accomplish what you barely ever imagined, given half a decent chance. Sometimes you have to make that chance come about. It takes a whole lot of courage, belief in yourself, and maybe a little stupidity. 

I found it all does come out right in the long-run, though now there are "chapters" in my book of life, instead of the uninterrupted story I imagined as a young girl. Chapters are good. Really good.

So I've created for you some feather earrings, each with its own kind of gemstone energy - quartz, bamboo coral, amethyst, onyx, turquoise, agate, pearl - and in the end it's up to you to see which one will give you wings. Just believe that you can ... and you will!
Blue Quartz Dangle Feather Charm Earrings
Go for it, big or small, never give up!

What's coming up in Dreamkeeper Creations soon? Gorgeous Friday or Saturday night earrings - definitely not for work. Take a peek--
Luscious Gemstone Earrings
These are totally luscious! I'm wearing the ones you see here, but will make lots more so you can have some too. They're extra empowering with loads of gemstones, including goldstone, agate, aventurine, jade, onyx, fluorite, labradorite (one of my faves), and a ton of others. Keep in touch, Christmas is coming and maybe you know someone who would love some yummy gemstone jewelry and all that comes with it!


Saturday, September 24, 2011

New Bracelets!

I've been busy making Pea Soup bracelets. They're so fun. The hardest part is not popping them all right onto my arm to keep LOL. I've saved some for you and they're in my Etsy shop Dreamkeeper Creations.
Faces of Humanity Pea Soup Friendship Bracelets
At first I only kept two, which I wore along with a wonderful stretch gemstone bracelet, also available at Dreamkeeper Creations on Etsy.
Gemstone and Silver Stretch Bracelets

But then I fell in love with another one, so now I'm wearing four. They're fun because each one is different.
Jasper, jade, agate, a fun mood bead, speckle glass cube, and spiral of life beads.
These make great friendship bracelets because they each include a "Face of Humanity" bead, but the other beads on each one are all different. So you have a mix of what we have in common with what makes us unique. How fun....

Thanks for checking in! 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Flying with the Fairies

My watercolor muse has been visiting again. Ah, sweet hours with music and color and line and the peace of unbroken concentration. My husband had to remind me to eat....

Flying with the Fairies

The story behind this watercolor, inspired yet again by my lovely and entertaining friend Anita, is that she found herself enchanted by a huge, fuzzy, furry flying object (HFFFO) in her beautiful garden. She posted about it on Facebook and a friend of hers, Stan, who's a phenomenal photographer, put up some photos he'd taken of another HFFFO, which turned out to be a hummingbird moth. I did some Internet research to find more closeup photos, and the ones by novembergale at Wonderphotos are the BEST.

We'd never seen anything like it - the fuzziness of its tiny feathers are charming. Anita and I got together to extol its virtues, and here's how the conversation went -

Anita: Doesn't it just make you think of fairies! Jen, you've got to paint this.
Me: YES! I can just imagine a little elf friend going for a ride.
Anita: Me too, but how would he stay on?
Me: Well, he could hold onto those fluffy antennas.
Anita (eyes big, hands pressing hard on her cheeks): I don't know if I would want someone tugging on my antennas if I were a hummingbird moth. 
Me: Do you remember when you were a kid and you'd ride your bike and hold your arms out to the sides just feeling the wind?
Anita: YES!
Me: That's what the elf will be doing, I'll do it. I'll paint it. Perhaps my muse will find a way for him to hold on.

The result - when I drew it in pencil, the little elf's feet were nicely tucked under where the wing joins the shoulder on the hummingbird moth. But while I was busy painting the colors, he untucked them. Fairies can be a bit mischievous that way, you know. I don't think his friend will let him fall off, do you?

The drawing took about 5 hours and the painting another several. I lost count. The size is 7 x 9 5/8 inches. Nothing like a nice round number, eh? That's gonna cost when I frame it. Am sooo running out of wall space in my house.

What fun : )


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Meet Vix, Jewelry Model Extraordinaire!

Say hello and introduce yourself, here she is! It's Victoria!
She's a tad shy but warming up quickly....
She arrived yesterday in a Very Large Box, all the way from Roxy Display in East Brunswick, New Jersey. I'll bet she has some stories to tell, being from New Jersey and all, where I spent some "interesting" years growing up. 

I must confess, I had put off bringing in a mannequin because, frankly, I was a little spooked by the thought of some naked graven image just waiting like something out of a scary movie to catch me unawares in the sacred recesses of my studio where I spend plenty of time during midnight and wee hours.... 

It didn't help when I opened The Box to find her wrapped in white foam like a mummy. I hesitantly kept going, removing the mummy wrap and the little white spongy face mask she was wearing like women sometimes sleep in (to protect her nose I think), and once she was born, I was very pleasantly surprised - yay! Naked she was, but not creepy at all. I picked her up (she doesn't weigh a thing - I'm jealous) and brought her over to where the latest jewelry for Dreamkeeper  Creations awaits upload to Etsy.

It wasn't even a minute til I was draping her in earrings, necklaces, shawls, hats, and all manner of mood makers. I swear her smile increased and she loved showing off for you.

Victoria begins to show off....
So I practiced dressing her up so you can see how the necklaces hang, and how long the earrings are, and practiced taking photos.
Sexy Vic showing off her love of sandcastles.
Vic played along nicely, and I was having the time of my life, announcing to my husband, who went searching for hats until her wig arrives, that it was like playing dolls again, only better! 
Vic waiting for her wig, which will be just the right touch....
So here's Victoria all dressed up in Dreamkeeper jewelry, almost ready to party, but for the arrival of her wig. 

Which, happily, arrived today, hurrah!
Vic, happily showing off her Dreamkeeper Creations Jewelry!

So here's Vic, maybe I should call her Vix cause she's such a vixen, all dressed up with her hat, her hair, and her Dreamkeeper jewelry. We should all look so good! I know we can feeeel this good! You'll see Vix (she's now officially christened) helping me in my Etsy shop to let you know how our jewelry looks on the body to help make your mood! Such a nice employee, she works for free : ))

Saturday, July 9, 2011

White Paper and Black Ink = Magic

When I see a perfectly smooth, blank piece of pure white paper, my hands begin to tingle and my mind goes to its happy place, opening to the magic of the trance state that doing artwork brings about. I'm never quite certain how an image is going to come out, but I can tell from the first line if it's going to be any good.
Rose in Full Bloom
Several years ago, one of the houses I lived in in California had 25 rose bushes planted around the perimeter of the yard. The neighborhood was low-income, near an airport, so the planes would fly low overhead and regularly drown out the sounds of the TV or music, and there were strong iron bars on all the windows and doors. I spent time nurturing those roses, and they bloomed for me in the most beautiful rainbow of colors. I loved them so much that I couldn't resist drawing them.
Rose Untwirling
I used a pointillist technique, with a set of very fine Rapidograph pens, capturing the shadows and light across the petals and leaves of the roses. Each beautiful flower had its own expression, almost like a personality. I felt I was capturing a moment in time.
I fell in love with each of them, and when I look at these drawings that I did so many years ago, I can still see the vibrant colors of each rose in my mind's eye. Each drawing took about 12 hours, and it was so peaceful to work on them while listening to my favorite music. Sometimes early in the morning, sometimes late at night, sometimes with my children watching at my elbow in the evenings.
Seated Girl
  Here's a drawing of a seated girl - which turns out years later to look just like my beautiful daughter does now. Maybe I was dreaming her future alive.

Wolf People (Group Think)
I also love to work in color, and this is an image I did for a series of Native American myths. I loved spending time at the Museum of Man in beautiful Balboa Park, doing research to find out about the clothing, architecture, and traditions of these people. They were very wise. This painting depicts what happens to people when they don't think for themselves, instead, subscribing to the shallowness of "group think."

Part of the story behind this image is that the two little boys, Coyote's grandsons, that this village had kidnapped and tied to the centerpole, have escaped. The village men had kidnapped them in order to capture their light (enlightenment), because the village had no light (stuck in group think). The woman is Tildee, a holy woman, who is clucking at their stupidity. The men were seduced into sleep by Coyote's bees (guardians of life) and while they were sleeping Coyote glued their hair with pine pitch and escaped with his grandsons with the help of the Mice Men (mouse represents scrutiny; Coyote is always the teacher who makes things obvious when we don't pay attention - often using humor, he tricks us into realization).
The Light is Protected
 What happens next in the story is that the Wolf People chase after Coyote and his grandsons, but they can't find them because Coyote and his grandsons have jumped into the middle of a buckeye tree, which is protecting them. The tree, with its roots that go deep into the Earth, and branches that stretch to the sky and soak up the sunlight, represents the joining of the physical with the spiritual to make wholeness. The story teaches that without the grace of Spirit, we are in the dark, like the Wolf People.

Native American stories are not just for children. They have layers of teaching that offer deeper meaning depending on one's stage in life. Some of them are very funny too. I love them. I love to illustrate them. Will be doing more of this - keep in touch to see!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

New Treasures at Dreamkeeper Creations

After I finished the watercolor last week, I went right back to the lovely beads, and have some new treasures for you up in my Etsy shop, Dreamkeeper Creations.

Lotus Necklace
This lovely blue and green necklace reminds me of the peace of Monet's gardens - Nature holds the best kind of peace and healing for us in so very many ways. The lotus flower is revered by many cultures. It represents enlightenment because it begins its growth in the mud, which is akin to our physical world and lower level experiences here on Earth. When it reaches maturity, the beautiful blossoms reach up for the light of the sun, signifying purity; the growth gained from experience in the in-between world (water for the flower that eventually reaches the air, Earth for us until we reach the spirit world).

Red and Gold LOVE Necklace

I LOVE this necklace - it's spunky and bright, happy and carefree. Red is the color of vitality, held in the base chakra. It is what makes our hearts sing and lightens our steps. The focal bead is a very tactile chunky glass cylinder shape with a speckled square glass bead above, and a red circular bead which to me, always represents the continuation of life, or wholeness.

Amber Glass and Jade Earrings

These Amber Glass and Jade earrings show off the new style I've been playing with. I love the dangly beads on the bottom, and have found a place to get beautiful silver caps that finish off the ends so nicely. You'll see a lot more of this style at Dreamkeeper Creations.
Silver End Caps on Amber Glass Teardrop Earrings
 And here's a sneak peek at a new Light Catcher piece I made. Some people like to use these as bookmarks too. This one's made with a handpainted Peruvian monkey bead and a carved bone accent bead. It includes wood and glass beads as well. Sparkles like nobody's business hanging in the car from your rear view mirror.

Peruvian Monkey Light Catcher
 I'll close for now, and get back to work on more treasures. Thanks for checking in!

Little Mole's Journey To Heaven

I got a bit distracted from the beadwork and had to paint for a couple of days. Here's the result along with its story - it may eventually turn into a little children's book.

Little Mole All Dressed Up To Go To Heaven

This painting is called All Dressed Up To Go To Heaven, and it's inspired by my friend Anita's somewhat macabre photos. She came across a poor little mole in her garden that we think had been killed by a cat. Anita, with her soft heart, wrapped him in a soft green leaf and picked special flowers for his grave. She placed them with him before his solemn interment and took a couple of photos along the way (she can't help it, camera fever's got her through and through). When I found out she had photos of the little mole I asked her if she'd send them to me because it's always really valuable for an artist to see an animal up close so we can draw them accurately.

We both agreed that something about this little guy reminded us of children's book characters, so I promised her I'd paint him as one. Little did I know my artist's muse would dress him up and restore him to life - YAY!

In the painting, he's wearing red suspenders and a little black vest. This came into my mind because my husband has been cleaning out the basement this summer and we came across some adorable red suspenders that his son wore when he was not even two years old, and a little black vest as well.

The story behind the painting is that the little mole is in his spirit form, saying thank you to his old body, which served him well. He's bestowing a beautiful orange flower upon it before he hops off up the hill to play in the garden in the sky kingdom. 

Happy journeys Little Mole....

The painting took about 9 hours, and is done with Winsor and Newton watercolors. I dream of the days when I have enough time to paint. I don't allow myself to do it much right now because I tend not to sleep (or eat or anything else) when I'm painting, and I have to keep enough discipline about myself for my full-time job. But someday I'll be able to devote much more time, and it will be marvelous fun.

This little painting is important for the message it brings about the spirit continuing on after it no longer needs the physical body. If I do write a children's book, the story will begin with the end, and it will have little Angel Moles and other creatures in the Sky Garden. Because of this belief I have in the continuation of life, I like to sign off with the acknowledgment of the recognition of the spirit in all people, the spirit in you,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Quality Beads - Which Ones Are Best?

Agate Focal Bead with Jade and Agate Accent Beads
In my research, I come across many bead artists' blogs and I'm always surprised when I find posts that express a dislike for beads from China or India. What I find most important is the condition of the beads - are they well taken care of? Or are they chipped, cracked, badly shaped, poorly cut? Those are the ones I consider unsuitable for my work. Some beads, such as the gemstone agate bead in the necklace above, have their own little quirks and foibles, like a rough spot or a color splotch, and this always reminds me of the Native American saying that nothing is perfect in this world, perfection only lives in the world of Spirit. In fact, in many of their artistic beaded creations you can find what they call a "Spirit Bead," one that doesn't fit with the rest of the design, which is added to honor that understanding.

The origin of the beads I use isn't necessarily a factor in my decision when purchasing them, in fact I love the exotic origins of the beads I work with, and the ones I get from China and India are exquisite when set off by accent beads that complement their colors. Like people, they really shine when they're in just the right setting.
Oblong Puffed Glass Swirl Focal Bead from China
 I could tell from the energy when I was making the necklace above that this bead really wants to be a necklace. Everything went so smoothly when I was doing the metalwork and choosing the sister beads that would go with it. And when I took the photo and saw how the bead catches and throws the light I knew it was made for someone special. Beads are like that - they hold energy, they have "personality" in that some of them really love to twirl around on their sterling eye pin, and they warm against your skin when you wear them.
East Indian Flat Oval Glass Bead
Here's an example of a Rainbow Necklace I made with East Indian Oval Glass Beads. These beads are somewhat heavy, with bubbles and imperfections in them, and sometimes the sides aren't perfectly smooth. But when I wear my Rainbow Necklace it feels so good, the weight of it and the little nuances of shape that entertain my fingers. The necklace feels earthy and lends a wonderful grounding energy, plus I can wear it with anything, even, on occasion, some of my other pendant necklaces, or just plain silver chains.
Czech Oval Glass Beads
In contrast, here's another Rainbow Necklace I made, this time with oval glass beads that come from the Czech Republic. I bought them, not because I thought they were better, but because I couldn't find the ones from East India! It was very interesting to create the same design using different quality beads. These are very well manufactured, as you can tell by the uniform shape of each bead, its smoothness, the color saturation, and the form. Of course they are more expensive to buy, but they're not necessarily "better." When I wear this necklace, it feels much lighter, doesn't have the same weight and heft as the other one when you pick it up, and when I run my fingers over the beads, they feel uniformly the same, which is neither good nor bad, but definitely different. The level of color saturation is neither good nor bad either, but it makes a difference when I'm choosing what to wear. Some outfits (and moods) lend themselves best to the clean lines and uniformity of the Czech necklace, and others meld best with the earthiness of the East Indian Beads.

So there you have it - my thoughts on which beads are best. A beautiful bead is a beautiful bead, and like people, the beauty is in the eye (or mood!) of the beholder.

Both necklace designs are available in my Etsy shop, Dreamkeeper Creations.

Garden Gnome with Handpainted Chinese Focal Bead

Speaking of earthiness, I've been busy making lots of new necklaces, and you can see many of them in my Etsy shop. I spent a great deal of time figuring out an affordable way to wear them, and have found good vendors for round leather in a multitude of delicious colors, so I can make the necklace part. I think many other beaders are doing the same thing, because I find that the sterling silver hook and eye fasteners are mostly out of stock. Don't worry, I have a good supply, so you'll see more necklaces becoming available. I love these leather necklaces because it allows me to choose the best color that will enhance the colors in the overall design itself. I don't sell the leather necklaces separately, but you can request a different color for a pendant you're considering if you have a preference - just convo me on Etsy.

Thanks for checking in. If you'd like to stay in touch, sign in and "follow" my blog.

Ah sweet spring with summer just around the corner! Back to the enchantment of gorgeous weather, soft sunrises, fireflies, and gorgeous earthy creations.