August 27, 2011

Heating Up

You probably know that Magpie Gemstones is in the heart of Texas, but you may not know that we are breaking record temperatures right now. The weather person predicts 109 degrees for today and we've had over 70 days of 100 plus degrees this summer. This heat and the drought along with the small fish pond near the door of Magpie land attracts interesting critters. One discussion this week pertained to whether the long snake in the little pond was a good snake or a water moccassin. We're still trying to figure that one out. I think you're supposed to examine the snakes eyes to determine the answer, but we have not decided which one of us is going to get close enough to do that! Any volunteers?

We did much better getting close to and personal with the new beads that went into the store this week. We're pleased to have Gibby back from his trip and available to take pictures for you. I think he might be partial to the turquoise and this week quite a few new strands of it are available for you. Below you see Turquoise Hubei Heishis and Turquoise Ma"an Shan Nuggets. These would heat up most any of your designs.

I also wanted you to see the Baltic Amber that's available. These are really nice colors. While I'm stuck in the house away from the heat outside, I'm contemplating the interesting ways I might use this amber.

If you're inside too, why not take a peek at some of the designs shown in Magpie's Client's blog? I always find inspiration there and call it my "marketing research". Magpie Gemstones certainly has a plethora of talented clients.

You may live in a part of the world where it's also been heating up and that makes it hard to think about Fall designs. If you are lucky and the weather is more temporate where you live, you have probably got a jump on Fall. It's time! If you are preparing for the Fall and holiday shows where you sell your jewelry, you might want to heat up that process before much longer and we've got the beads you need in lucious colors for the upcoming season. By the way, the shows around here start in ernest around October first and (Yikes) it's almost September. I'd better quit reminding you and start heating up my own workbench.

. . . heating things up for your jewelry designs, we are Magpie Gemstones.

August 21, 2011

Leather Anyone?

I wanted to use this venue to let you know about Magpie Owner Szarka's video on YouTube where she shows us how to incorporate leather into our jewelry designs. For some time I avoided using leather in my designs because I didn't know what to do with it. This video shows just how easy it is to use leather and acquaints viewers with the many options for using it in designs. I now use leather often, but watched the video and it sparked several new ideas I want to try. Did you know you can even use leather in earrings? I'll be trying that one today. If you need any leather for your next jewelry project, we do carry it at the following link: The photos show a couple of necklaces Szarka has made using leather as a design element.

Here's my question about the video Szarka made on using leather. Why would a woman who makes her living selling beads show us a way that can save us money on our designs by using leather? Wouldn't you think she would want us to need as many beads as possible? I'm priviledged to have been acquainted with the Magpie Gemstones company long enough to realize that they truly want to help us as artists. Leather is a viable design element that can add interest and change the look of our pieces. Yes, it's true that means we may need less beads for a piece, but Magpie Gemstones simply wants to help us get better at what we do. I, for one, appreciate this attitude and look forward to whatever artistic help the company can share with us.

The next gem show date for Magpie Gemstones is the Enid Gem and Mineral Society show in Enid, Oklahoma. It will be held September 16-18.

On a sad note, two Magpies have been out of town this week attending an out of state funeral for a young family member. As usual, Szarka and Kateri have manned the fort well, but look forward to returning to normalcy by next Wednesday. If you've not seen quite as many informative posts this week you will now understand this reason for this.

Next week there will be a new newsletter out and new beads will go into the store so watch for updates and don't forget to consider leather in your designs.

. . . encouraging your artistic endeavors, we are Magpie Gemstones.

August 13, 2011

Beads, Beads and More Beads

The beads are here!!! I mentioned in the last blog entry that Szarka had been on a buying trip. It's always exciting to receive the results of her trip and this year, the boxes of beads came on a big truck. You can see the large number of boxes in the photo below and get a bit of an idea of just how many beads have arrived. I can truly appreciate the effort it takes to get the beads inventoried, photographed, described, priced and finally into the online store. This process will obviously take a while, but I hope you will watch for the new beauties.

One of the Magpie customers (Dora) volunteered to help Kateri with the show in Mississippi and we were able to get a photo of them setting up. Do they look like they know what they are doing? Of course they do! Kateria always does a good job for us. She loads, unloads, sets up the booth and is even friendly to the customers. The latter is really the most important thing.

I hope you had a chance to look at the new article/tutorial we published this week about multistrand necklaces. I certainly learned a great deal putting it together for you and hope it will be helpful. Part II of this topic should be published later this week. Multistrand necklaces are especially nice for the upcoming season and they make it easy to mix pretty Fall colors. Why not give it a try?

The new opal green beads that went into the store this week would work well in your new Fall deisngs. You know, it is just about time to get going on those pieces! Here is a piece Szarka made using the beautiful opals.

Kateri will be in Schertz, Texas this coming weekend (August 19-21) at the Schertz Convention Center for the AKS Gem, Jewelry and Bead Show. Schertz is between San Marcos and San Antonio, Texas and we hope some of you folks can make it out to say hello.

. . . procuring beautify beads for you, we are Magpie Gemstones.

August 10, 2011

Things That Fly

The title of this blog entry might suggest a contest. OK. How many things that fly can you list in two minutes? But, who wants to do that? I'd rather think about things that flew at Magpie Gemstones this week.

The most important things that flew this week were Magpie owner Szarka and the littlest Magpie. They flew away on a buying trip and I can hardly wait to learn what they found for us. We'll have to wait for the delivery truck to actually see the beads. Time after time, I am amazed at the variety of excellent quality beads that Szarka procures for the online store. After working with beads for so many years, you'd think I'd seen it all, but she always manages to surprise me. From some stones that I've never heard of to familiar ones in new shapes and sizes, the beads continue to bring life and add to the myriad of possibilities for our designs.

While the beads shown here didn't come from the trip this week, they do represent the description above - good quality, unusual type and interesting shapes. I continue to marvel at the beauty of green amber shown here in a single bead. The unikite has also been popular with my customers and these shapes come together very nicely. Don't wait to long to get the beads you want from the website. They fly right out of here and are seldom seen again when they're gone.

By the way, are you planning on flying into the Gem and Mineral Society Show this weekend in Mississippi? It's August 12-14 and you can get more information from this link. Kateri and Szarka will be there to help you with your bead selections. Don't miss out!

Did you have a chance to read the second part of the information we provided about The Healthy Bead Artist, Excellence Versus Perfectionism? In the second part, I included information about overcoming the type of perfectionism that is troublesome. It's good food for thought whether you have perfectionistic tendencies or not.

Here in Texas, we would really like for this hot dry weather to fly away. Much of the wildlife in the area clusters near whatever water they can locate and I would be remiss to talk about things that fly without showing you the "flying" birds I've seen here lately. I hope you can see the five turkey gobblers that are spending time here on our property. The photo is pretty dark, but I promise - they are there and "NO" they are not for Thanksgiving.

Since we gave up on making that list of things that fly, why don't we just make a list of beads we want to fly from Magpie Gemstones to our mailboxes. That sounds like more fun to me. Let's see now . . . amber, amythest, carnelian, turquoise . . .

. . . flying off to work for you, we are Magpie Gemstones.