Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Hop-Hop Day

And all that stuff. Hope you had a good one. Nate’s off on Spring Break but is SUPPOSED to be staying with Jeff the whole week annnnnd guess who’s asleep on the couch? Yeah, Nate. Anyway, had my big bead trip to Columbus on Saturday. Twelve hours. Since it’s only a three hour drive, I guess you could say, I got my money’s worth. And, a lot of money it was. However, I can make that back with two pieces and I got enough beads for ... a lot. The prized conquest of the trip was a cabochon, defined as a highly polished, convex cut, unfaceted gemstone, of charoite. Charoite : Charoite is an unusual mineral and of rare occurrence. It is found to date in only one location: along the Chary (Chara?) River at Aldan (Siberia) in Russia. It formed from alteration of limestones by the close presences of an alkali-rich nephline syenite intrusion. The heat, pressure and more importantly, the infusion of unique chemicals into the rock is responsible for the transformations into new minerals such as charoite. Why charoite has not been found in other locations is not fully understood. But it is probably due to a combination of a chemically unique limestone reacting with a chemically unique intrusion and subjected to unique physical conditions. Charoite is used as an ornamental stone and as a gemstone. It forms a swirling pattern of interlocking crystals. The color of charoite is described as a stunning lavender, lilac, violet and/or purple. All can be used as all are probably present in every swirling example. The look of charoite is unlike any other mineral and can't be mistaken. It has the appearance of purple marble, but really defies description. Its popularity would probably be much greater if not for its "synthetic" character. It simply looks unnaturally beautiful. Yes, I have pictures. I also picked up a smaller cabochon of seraphinite (also spelled: saraphinite). Also from Russia, also iridescent, but green and iridescent white. No pic right now. I visited three different bead shops in the Columbus area, picking up a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and a whole lotta that at one in particular - Byzantium. *Sigh* I spent over two hours in there. I could have spent 24. Anyway, since peeps always want pics and they always want to know, “How do you do that??” A pictorial/tutorial for you. Hop Hop! First, cement your cabochon to a piece of felt. Then get your beads ready and your pretty matching thread. (The lightest lilac was not used) Then you backstich beads around the cab. Then again... And again... Cut the felt away and add loops... Intertwine another loop and this part is done. More as the project progresses.
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