June 25, 2011

Learn with Us

If you have read our blog previously, you know that I'm Dr. Karen and I write for Magpie Gemstones. Yet, that's not how I found my way into this company. I started as a learner. After purchasing beads from Magpie, I discovered the wealth of information that is available on the company website. Have you looked at all the free information that's yours for the taking? I found it to be quite helpful.

I've been fortunate in being asked to write a number of articles about making and selling jewelry and I hope you have also seen some of these. For example, did either the article on patinas http://www.magpiegemstones.com/copper_patina.html or the riveting article http://www.magpiegemstones.com/rivitinng__cold_connect.html help you?

I also learned a tremendous amount from writing the website's stone properties, found in the About Gemstones section http://www.magpiegemstones.com/properties.html . It was really interesting to learn where various stones come from and I finished with a new respect for many of them. This week, Szarka threw me a loop when andalusite appeared in the new beads. At first glance, I thought it was smokey quartz. See what you think from the photos below.

Anadalusite, a metamorphic mineral, is shown in the first photo. It was first found in Spain and contains dark inclusions of carbon or clay. Wikipedia tells us that the faceted stone gives off red, green and yellow. Who knew??? I guess this is a chance for us to learn even more simply by looking at the beads. I can do that. What a deal!

By the way, many of the articles and tutorials that appear on the Magpie Gemstones website were initiated by you, our readers. Your questions prompt our thinking and research followed by an honest effort to help you. Please don't ever hesitate to write and pose questions about beads, jewelry making or selling jewelry. (Sorry, we're not qualified to solve personal problems!)

It's not unusual for my phone to ring with Magpie Gemstones on the other end anxious to tell me about something new they discovered or eager to describe how they just located a hard-to-find stone. I hear the same cheeriness when they describe how they were able to help a customer solve a problem. That customer might just be you the next time!

. . . learning along with you, we are Magpie Gemstones.

June 19, 2011

Think Fall

It's supposed to be 104 degrees here in South Texas today and here I sit trying to plan for Fall. Many of you will get wrinkled brows considering the idea of thinking about Fall right now. Maybe you just got into your bathing suit and are still trying to figure out how to handle this summer's activities. After all, it's only June. Yet, if you vend at any Fall events, it really IS time to think Fall. These shows usually start in late September and early October. If you are trying to think about filling a booth with your treasures, it's time to start.

Luckily Magpie Gemstones is ready to help us out. I'm drawn to brown and black for Fall creations and am going to grab some of the new beads in the store. Why not take a peek at the Black Tourmaline, Black Agate and the Black/Brown Agates that are available? I can visualize these will all sorts of Fall creations.

Another stone that especially caught my eye this week is an Amolite Canadian Slab Red Cabachon. It's 28mm and has FALL written all over it.

While you are busy looking at those new beads, don't forget to checkout the close out beads. This great buys go into the store and then end without notice. Different beads go into this group often and I try to keep an eye out for what's happening in that category. www.magpiegemstones.com/closeout.html

By the way, while you are congering up images of Fall jewelry, keep drinking that lemonade and wear plenty of sunscreen! Fall may be coming, but Mother Nature isn't quite ready for it.

. . . helping you plan ahead, we are Magpie Gemstones.

Don't forget that your purchase of $500 of beads, including those in the close out category, wins you 30% of your purchase. I guess it just pays to shop at Magpie Gemstones.

June 12, 2011

The Family That Stays Together

I think there is a saying about how "the family that plays together stays together". At Magpie Gemstones, we could write that saying several different ways, but the results would still be positive. Just in case you don't already know, let me tell you about the business.

Magpie Gemstones is the epitome of the family run business. Everyone in the family is involved in some capacity and each person takes his or her role quite seriously. I guess that's why it works. Observing this family business for several year, I am struck most by the their ability to work hard all day and then enjoy one another's company at night. They seem to do a good job of keeping the business in perspective with family life.

Since I've run a cattle business with my husband for the past 13 years, I can truly appreciate how well all those Magpies work and play together. There is just that one thing. During a meeting last week, the youngest Magpie suggested they take more time off, but don't worry, following careful consideration of this suggestion, the elders prevailed and you will still be receiving your orders promptly.

You might want to think about ordering some of the gorgeous pendants made by Clay Genie that just went into the store. Just in case you don't know about this artist, Jean Christen, I enjoyed writing an article about her which you can read at the following address: http://www.magpiegemstones.com/clay_genie.html Magpie Gemstones has stayed with this artist for many years largely due to the fine quality of her work. It is not like that of any other clay artist I've seen.

I also wanted to mention the amazonite that is in the store now. I was particularly inamored with the lovely rondelles and showed them to one of my customers. She also liked the nuggets; so I guess I will be ordering both since "staying together" with my customers makes sense to me.

We hope you will "stay" with Magpie Gemstones and appreciate this family business. I know that the family appreciates the customers!

. . . staying together to serve you, we are Magpie Gemstones.

June 5, 2011

Things That Grow

The sun is out and the weather's hot in Texas, but things are thriving at Magpie Gemstones. I snapped this photo yesterday during a meeting at the headquarters. Look at their great garden! Those green plants seem to be quite happy living only a few feet from all the beautiful beads. As I looked at the lush plants, I couldn't help but wonder what critters might lurk beneath those leaves.

Perhaps a turtle would enjoy the shade . . . or . . . I've actually seen the big Magpie cat walking amongst the greenery. We can only imagine other animals that could lounge within this garden.
Although I haven't heard of any bears in these parts, you just never can tell what might show up.

As you can see, I've grabbed photos of some of the wonderful fetishes that are available at Magpie Gemstones. I just wanted to be sure you hadn't missed looking at these on the website. Honestly, when I first examined these I wondered what in the world I would do with them; but years later, I can truthfully say I've used them repeatedly in necklaces, on key and cell phone fobs, for purse charms and many other things. Folks are usually attracted to these creatures and they hold deep meaning for some. Imagine what you might do with them.

While you are looking at the fetishes, take a peek at the new beads that recently went into the store, I think you'll like what you see. Here are just a couple of them.

I hope you will seize the opportunity to grow a few beauties of your own this week. The bead seeds for your garden are ready and waiting at the store.

. . . offering you the joy of growing beautiful things, we are Magpie Gemstones.