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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Let it Snow, Let it Snow-flake, Let it be snowflake Obsidian!

s34799 Stone Beads -  Keystone - Snowflake Obsidian (1)Appropriate for December, don't you think? Snowflake Obsidian is a naturally occurring volcanic glass. My sources tell me that it is formed when "Felsic lava that is extruded from a volcano cools without crystal growth." Which - of course - sent me off to my good friends, Google and Wikipedia, to find out what felsic lava is.

It's very easy for me to get all distracted by the stuff I find on Google, but the skinny is - when rock is molten in the ground, it is called Magma. Once it leaves the ground - it is Lava. Lava comes in three consistencies - thin and runny (Mafic), thick and gooey, (Felsic), and some that is somewhere in between, called, less interestingly - Intermediate Lava.

s34801 Stone Beads - 20 x 10 mm Double Drilled Rectangle - Snowflake Obsidian (1)It is the thick and gooey stuff that we are concerned with here - the Felsic lava - which has a higher content of silica, and when it cools rapidly - it becomes that glossy black stone we know as obsidian.

Snowflake Obsidian is the inclusion of small, white, radially clustered crystals of Cristobalite to give it the snowflake pattern. I looked up Cristobalite too - but honestly - did not get any answers I understood - except that it is named for Cerro San Cristobal, Mexico.

Obsidian is pretty cool stuff, and has been in use pretty much as long as humans have been picking up shiny rocks and hitting things, which is, essentially - always. It has been used as tools, knives, arrowheads, etc., since long before recorded history - as when it is prepared correctly, it is sharper than steel.

Metaphysically - it is said to calm and sooth, and teaches you to value mistakes as well as triumphs, to let go of unhelpful mental habits and promote dispassion and centering. It also is said to have many connections to "truth" - from use in scrying to bringing hidden truths to the surface in dreaming.

27753011260005 Swarovski Elements Bead - 4 mm Faceted Xilion Bicone (5328) - Crystal Silver Night (36)Design-wise - it is a handsome black and grey neutral look - so you could add small splashes of color, like red, to make it pop, or go with a classic look in the same palette. Try it with Swarovski Crystal Silver Night to stay with the same colours and add some sizzle.

s34786 Stone Beads -  Spike - Iris Quartz (1)If you are looking for something funkier, with more drama than escaped dachshund and a coffee s34785 Stone Beads -  Spike - Gold Quartz (1)table full of appetizers, I suggest you take a look at these Quartz Crystal Spikes. Each of them, the Gold and the Iris, have been gussied up, in much the same way as AB beads are blinged up.

And, finally if you are a fool for tools, then you should know about these four new tools.

s34827 Scissors -  Serrated High Durability Shears - Xuron
These Serrated High Durability Scissors are for cutting through those uber tough stringing materials like Fireline and Power Pro and Kevlar. One blade is finely serrated to grab onto the line as you cut it, and hold it in place.

s34826 Scissors -  Non-Serrated High Durability Shears (for Metal) - Xuron
These High Durability Shears are for cutting metal - up to 0.8 mm - and solder.

s34828 Pliers -  Tweezernose Pliers  - Xuron
These Tweezernose pliers have tiny, 1.48 mm, tips, small enough to get in there and squeeze down those annoying ends of wraps on earrings and dangles. We suggest hiding them, writing your name on them, or embellishing the handles with nail polish to prevent you-know-who from absconding with them. Either that, or buy them a pair too.

s34829 Tools -  Micro Shear Flush Cutter w Retainer - Xuron
And last, but most certainly NOT least - these Micro Shear Flush Cutters WITH RETAINER are da bomb, or the bees' knees, depending on your generation. (Bee's knees or Bees' knees? All the bees, or just one bee?) Anyway - the retainer grabs the end of the wire as you cut, and bingo - no small piece of wire zipping across the room to lodge in the carpet and lurk there, waiting for unsuspecting bare feet (or knees, bee's or otherwise). No awkward hand repositioning to catch the wire - just "snikt" - your wire is cut, and the end is still there. WooHOO!

So, as always, wonderful, wonderful new things - all over the site. I leave you to explore at your leisure. Click on a link or an image to go straight to the item mentioned above, or go to our massive list of everything and look for the "new" tags.

If that page seems overwhelming - which we freely admit it is! - then try for bite-size portions by checking out these categories: Firepolish, Pressed Glass, Swarovski Crystal, Seedbeads, Stone and Pearls, Preciosa Crystal, Metal Beads, Other Cool Beads, Findings, Metal Clay & Supplies or Books, Kits, Tools.
And don't forget to check out our free, yes, free projects. Over 300 to choose from - a new one every week!

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