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red agateJust perfect for your Halloween creations -- these Red Agate Evil Eye beads are of stone that was formed from layers of silica from volcanic cavities. Agate is named after the Achates River (now known as the Dirillo River) on the island of Sicily, Italy, whose upper waters were an ancient source of this gemstone. Each strand offered here has 16 round faceted beads, with colors ranging from red to amber, as shown. Each bead is approx. 10 mm. with an approx. 2 mm. hole. Each strand is $10, but for a limited time, take 10% off with the code HALLOWEEN at checkout.

 

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This year, the famous (& infamous) Mardi Gras celebration of New Orleans takes place on Tuesday, February 9. I'm a Cajun, so naturally this is one of my favorite excuses to party. We've done a couple of previous posts on this bead-intense event (The Beads of Mardi Gras and Mardi Gras Beads), but since we're headed into another year's festivities, I thought I'd expand on these by sharing some of the most cool Mardi Gras beads and creations I've found on Etsy and elsewhere.

mardi gras 1Here's a "Mardi Gras Necklace" by epicetera of Las Cruces, New Mexico -- incorporating amethyst nuggets and oblong beads, bali beads and silver rounds -- all in classic Mardi Gras colors.

Next up, a lovely bracelet called Leafy Greens that evokes the spirit of Mardi Gras -- by Keirsten, found on Art Jewelry Elements. The artist says she paired this one with rhyolite, prehnite, Czech glass, dragon's blood jasper, Indonesian glass, and green opal. 

mardi gras 2She explained her distinctive knotting technique, where she puts one strand through the bead, and the other one around the bead, ties a half hitch at the end, and then a regular overhand knot with both strands, and then on to the next bead, alternating which strand goes in/around the bead. It makes for an interesting jumbly, nubbly, irregular pattern. I can't say why exactly it evokes the Mardi Gras spirit for me, except that it's colorful, pagan and festive -- and that's really what the season is all about. There's also the celebration of 'Fat Tuesday' and abundance, and I think this wonderful creation 'says that' too!

mardi gras 4Finally, another favorite from Cindy King of cskingjewelry on Etsy -- a piece she calls a "Long necklace of bright colors -- a Carnivale, carnival, Mardi Gras, circus clown, jester, or just plain happy necklace". I couldn't agree more. She has incorporated copper, vintage lithographed tin, handmade copper beads, handmade fabric covered copper beads, African trade beads, Indonesian recycled glass beads, an antique padre bead, silk ribbon, brass, and glass beads for incredible effect. I WANT it, or at least I want this talent!

I hope these lovelies inspire you and get you in the Mardi Gras mood!

Until Next Time,

Sheila


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