Monday, April 14, 2008

Happy Accident

Let me be up front and say that I am pretty disorganized about my beading. I have two big plastic organizer drawers (from the Container Store - one of my favorite places to shop!) filled with beads and findings and then I have one big plastic shoebox filled with recent acquisitions and project bags. The mess in this area has been growing, as I get more and more backlogged on what I want to do, bead-wise. I was rummaging around in this box over the weekend, trying to find one of my projects to start up again, when I happened to look down at the table. By pure serendipity, I had placed a bag of pale coral roses on top of a strand of turquoise. Although I often mix turquoise and coral together when I design, I usually use the deeper red apple coral color and not the lighter salmon colored ones. I was completely surprised - I love the way these look together. (So, I tucked a rose in with the strand and added yet another unfinished project to my pile. Sigh.) I suppose it makes sense that when one buys, one ends up creating opportunities for complementary combinations completely unconsciously. I'm just always so pleased when something like this happens. Incidentally, the turquoise in this photo is Sleeping Beauty turquoise (ie, from the Sleeping Beauty Mine in Arizona), and the color of the stone is completely natural. Sleeping Beauty turquoise is known for being a beautiful robin's egg blue color, similar to what I think of as Persian turquoise - the clean turquoise that is so prized (and expensive) and is cut so that the beads contain no matrix (the darker lines you usually find in turquoise) at all.

I love turquoise. I spent part of my childhood in Oklahoma and have a tiny collection of fine Navajo and Zuni jewelry (of course, with this jewelry, it is usually the quality of the silver-stamping that sets is apart, but I have collected pieces where the artist has set fine turquoise in the jewelry as well). Most of the turquoise you see (or at least that I've seen) in the bead shows today come from China, much of it has been stabilized (the beads in the photo are stabilized), and some of it has been reconstituted and/or dyed. But I must admit, I have a real fondness for turquoise that comes from the Southwestern United States, such as Bisbee turquoise and Sleeping Beauty turquoise. They are usually more expensive than the Chinese turquoise, but I particularly like the color of Sleeping Beauty.

On other fronts, the tax returns are in!! Woo-hoo!! Hope your taxes are done, too. Less happily, the Short One is still quite sick with his head cold (really, one of the worst ones he's had), and I woke up this morning with a sore throat and a runny nose myself, so it looks as if we'll be lounging around being sickies together today. Ah, well, there are worse things than eating oranges and watching Sesame Street.

Thanks for visiting!

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