Now that you've had a chance to get all stocked up with our big annual sale - you're probably thinking that you don't need any more beads.
Well - let's see about that. ;-)
First up - I want to show you these pendants - I'm pretty excited about these. I was wandering through a tent at Tucson - in search of wonderful stuff to bring back for you - and I spotted these.
At first - I thought they were embossed leather - but no - they are wood!
Not just any wood, but cherry and walnut and maple and alder. Alder surprised me - because my father was a wood-worker, and he sneered at alder - called it a weed that was good for nothing. But the gal making these loves it - and you can see why.
But then - she showed me something that blew my mind. A coloured version. Not complex stains or a lengthy process - she was colouring them with oil-based sharpies, just for fun and the look of them!
They look great as is - or you can customize them! How cool is that! Two different shapes, four different woods to make different shades - from dark walnut to reddish cherry - or colour your own!
Oh, and in other woody news - we restocked the lovely wooden beads that we had last year too.
OK - on to the Amber! First up - a little background. We have been very reluctant to carry amber in the past - despite getting a lot of requests for it - because of the practice of adulteration. "Baltic Amber" is generally heavily processed - melted down and mixed with extenders and re-hardened and then shaped and formed.
Historically - the most valuable amber was the clearest - because that was the hardest to find, and amber that had entire bugs and leaves trapped in it was also extremely valuable. Laws in the countries that produce a great deal of the Baltic amber permit very high percentages of additional material to be added and still label it as "Pure Amber." It's pretty easy to skim out the chunky bits, or trap modern insects in the resin from extinct trees if you re-melt the stuff and throw in handfuls of resin powder.
At which point - I have personally always looked at it and said - "How is this different from buying plastic?" Especially the very clear beads. What is the point?
(Note: What is Amber? Amber is a fossilized plant resin - not tree sap per se.)
OK - call me an amber snob - but there it is.
So - when I came across a source selling Mexican amber - it stopped me dead in my tracks. Mexican amber comes from small deposits in the south end of Mexico - and is mined, polished, cut and drilled and strung on site by the locals. And it is as it comes out the ground. Clear, not clear. Inclusions and all. The colour of a warm sunny day. Light weight, warm to the touch, and as happy as a buzzing bee. The real deal.
So - we are happy to bring to you this amber - real amber. Of course - real amber is a little more pricey than the mass-produced stuff. That's how it goes. But - less processing, less folks in the middle and more support for the people at the bottom. And a better item for you.
Ok - so with those two items of awesomeness - what else could we possibly have to tempt you? Well - we have some stuff scooped from a vintage stash - some Mother of Pearl carved items and some one of a kind carved coral pieces. Kewel, eh?
So check out all the new items here or click on a link above! Go forth and create and be happy!
Easter Closing: We are closed Good Friday and Easter Sunday, and open on the Saturday, and the Monday. Our online store, of course, never closes. ;-)