Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Sunday morning and I can hear the Indy 500 on the television upstairs. I think of all the noise and hoopla of the racetrack and fans out for the kick-off weekend of summer, all the families heading to parades, picnics and BBQs.

I want to take a moment to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our Country. If not for them, our present and future freedom and way of life might not exist. Thank you!

OK ... now on to beautiful baubles!

I received a photograph from Mimi Dunski of Milton Ontario Canada. She recently bought some gorgeous red jasper beads from my little Etsy store West As the Crow Flies. Much to my delight, the photograph is of a necklace she has designed using the beads she bought from me.

I absolutely love seeing what other creatives do with the materials I'm selling!

Here is Mimi's necklace, which you can see and read about at You can also learn more about Mimi and her lovelies! Go take a peek!

Thank you, Mimi, for sharing!

For more stones, beads, other jewelry components and vintage pieces click on  I've also uploaded some new earrings incorporating vintage African Trade beads at

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Just getting better the older they are ...

In addition to the gorgeous assortment of beads to which I feel privileged to have access, I love their history. Take for example, the African Trade beads I used in a pair of tribal earrings I finished making this morning. As I worked with them, I was deeply moved by the realization that these beads have been in existence for so much longer than I have been, and will be around long after I become dust to dust!

Vintage Bohemian and Czech glass trade beads,
Nigerian brass, old Yemen silver, Ghana metal beads

That's rather a humbling thought. I feel like a facilitator in the ongoing "story" of these beads that were made far away and long ago. I think it's incredible that I can hold these bits of history in my hands and know that other hands made them, sent them off to Africa for trade, other hands received them and sold them or traded them for other goods. They've traveled farther than have I. And they're not done yet!

A number of years ago, I attended a historical bead exhibit at the Bowers Museum. They had a timeline displayed along the walls showing where different beads originated and where they traveled on the various trade routes of the world. Amazing!

These earrings, heady with history, are now available for purchase at