Follow my blog with bloglovin Linda B's Blog: September 2012

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hanukkah Shopping! Upcoming Show Dates in Nov/Dec

It's time to shop for Hanukkah! I'll be at 2 synagogues in November and December for their holiday boutiques.

Wire Beaded Kippot

Come see me

Sun. Nov 4 from 9a to 4p
Congregation Beth Shalom
3433 Walters
Northbrook, IL 60062

Jewish Jewelry

Sun. Dec 2 from 9a to 2p
Temple Beth Israel
3601 W Dempster
Skokie, IL 60075

Sign up for my Newsletter (link is on the sidebar) and post on my Facebook page at that you signed up and I'll send you a coupon for a 10% discount.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

September BBA Team Challenge

For our September BBA Team Challenge, members were to create an item using a new technique. 

One of the beading magazines I read had a variation of these Cluster Earrings with 12 pearls and Swarovski crystals. I combined making earrings with wire wrapping to create the wire wrapped cluster earrings.

I chose to make these Pink Pearl Swarovski Crystal Cluster Earrings

I enjoyed the technique so much I made a variation in blue.

The blue earrings use a cluster of 4. The number 4 symbolizes the principle of putting ideas into form.  It signifies work and productivity.  The 4 energy is constructive, realistic, traditional and cautious. 

With my carpal tunnel and tendonitis, I had to take on a simpler technique. I really like the results and hope you do too. 

What colors would you like me to make these in for you?

Friday, September 21, 2012

October Birthstone: Opal Sept 23 – Oct 23 - Libra

The Opal derives its name from the Latin word "opalus," meaning precious jewel.  Prized for its unique ability to refract and reflect specific wavelengths of light, the Opal was called "Cupid Paederos" by the Romans, meaning a child beautiful as love.  One legendary explanation for this gemstone's origin is that it fell from heaven in a flash of fiery lightning. 

Opals stand in a class by themselves. Most of the world's Opal deposits are found in Southern Australia.  Other countries where opals are mined include Mexico, Brazil and the United States. A few have been found in parts of Africa.

Astrological sign of Libra  - The sign of the Scales

Ruling Planet of Libra: Venus

Ruling Element of Libra: Air

Quality Opal is very expensive, made more so by the caution that must be exercised in cutting, polishing and setting it into jewelry.  More than any other gem, each opal is distinctly an individual. No other stone has as rich and varied folklore.


Chrysolite Opal Heart Swarovski Crystal Bracelet and Earrings

Chrysolite Opal Heart Swarovski Crystal Necklace
opal_brac opal_neck
Gemstone Coin Tourmaline Necklace Set Aquamarine Swarovski Hearts Sterling Silver Earrings
fluor_ch2ear aqua_e3


Ancient monarchs treasured Opals, both for their beauty and for their presumed protective powers.  They were set into crowns and worn in necklaces to ward off evil and to protect the eyesight.  These gemstones were also ground and ingested for their healing properties and to ward off nightmares. 

The Opal dates back to prehistoric times.  It is a non-crystallized silica, which is a mineral found near the earth's surface in areas where ancient geothermal hot springs once existed.  As the hot springs dried up, layers of the silica, combined with water, were deposited into the cracks and cavities of the bedrock, forming Opal.  This gemstone actually contains up to 30% water, so it must be protected from heat or harsh chemicals, both of which will cause drying and may lead to cracking and loss of iridescence.  Opal must also be guarded from blows, since it is relatively soft and breaks easily.  

A gift of Opal is symbolic of faithfulness and confidence.  And the powerful energy radiating from this fiery gemstone will surely illuminate any occasion!

Those born under the sign of Libra possess positive characteristics and personality traits and are often described as:



Diplomatic Pleasant


Negative traits - apt in some circumstances to be: frivolous, flirtatious, indecisive, insecure, Deceitful

SPECIAL CARE INSTRUCTIONS Very heat sensitive, clean with warm or room temperature soap and water. Avoid wearing gem where it will get rough treatment.

  • Opal Care
    Opals are delicate, but well worth the care. Their most significant weakness has to do with the water content. If an opal is allowed to dry, it will crack and craze. In most cases, they do not need any special care while stored. However, if you live in a very dry climate, or keep them in a dehumidified room, some precautions are necessary. Keeping them in a tight plastic bag, with a damp piece of cotton or fabric will prevent dehydration.
  • Storing an opal in oil or glycerin is not recommended. It is unlikely to damage the opal, but it is unnecessary and requires tedious cleaning.
  • Because of their water content, opals are also highly sensitive to sudden changes in temperature. I know of a woman in Pennsylvania who wore a brooch on the outside of her coat. As she passed from the warmth of her house to the winter cold, there was an audible "crack" as her opal self-destructed.
  • Opals do not mind being hot or cold, it is the rate of change that damages them. You need to avoid situation like the one above, going from a warm house to the winter's cold. Simply wearing an opal under clothing will protect them. Also, do not store opals near a heat source, an open window, etc., where they can be exposed to sudden temperature changes.
  • Being somewhat soft, they scratch easily. Realize that a large component of dust is quartz at 7 in hardness. At 5.5 to 6 in hardness, simply wiping the dust off an opal will gradually reduce its polish. The solution is to clean your opals using a soft cloth or brush, a mild detergent, and room temperature water. Then rinse the jewels to remove any residue.

Healing Properties of the Opal
The healing properties of the Libra birthstone are reputed to be effective for health problems relating to:

  • Eyes and eye infections
  • To enhance the healing process

Celebrities born under the sign Libra
Julie Andrews
Charlie Brown
Truman Capote
Ray Charles
Angie Dickinson
Michael Douglas
George Gershwin
Rita Hayworth
Charlton Heston
Jesse Jackson
John Lennon
Mickey Mantle
Johnny Mathis
Luciano Pavarotti
Mickey Rooney
Signourney Weaver
Gore Vidal

Alternate Birthstones: Peridot, Agate, Aquamarine,  Tourmaline and Sapphire
An alternate birthstone for October, Pink Tourmaline has the seemingly magical property of pyroelectricity.  Scientifically speaking, this means that when heated, the gem takes on a static electric charge, making it capable of attracting lightweight objects. No wonder this gemstone was revered for its mystical properties centuries ago!  It was believed to stimulate the creative process of its wearer. Pink varieties of Tourmaline range in color from pastel pink to ruby red and are mined in Brazil, Afghanistan, Burma, and India.  A gift of this stone is symbolic of hope.

Note: I was taught to give the person giving me an opal gift a penny not to cut your friendship. A wives’ tale, probably, but I still do it.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Leaves - Artfire Collection

Thanks to Quilt Tops for including my earrings in her collection.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Jewish High Holidays

The Jewish High Holiday season is here. I attended Selicot services last Sat. night and began my admissions of sins and asking G-d for forgiveness. The harder part is asking my family and friends for their forgiveness, for if an issue is between people, it must be resolved between people.

Rosh HaShanah, the Jewish New Year begins on Sunday, September 16 at sundown. My shops will be open, but I will not be checking them or responding to requests or orders until Wed. 9/19.

Did you know that there are 5 names for Rosh HasShanah?

1. Rosh Hashana literally means "Head of the Year" because Rosh Hashana marks the point when we begin the new calendar year (e.g. from 5772 to 5773).

2. Yom Harat Olam means "The Birthday of the World."

3. Yom Hazikaron means "The Day of Remembering."

4. Yom Hadin means "The Day of Judgment."

5. Yom Teruah means "The Day of Sounding (the Shofar)." This is the actual name that the holiday is called in the Torah.*

The Jewish High Holidays mean:

• We get a chance for teshuvah (return to G-d), turn over a new leaf and begin again doing the right thing.

• We hear the shofar – a wake-up call to jostle us, to seriously taking stock of what we’ve done all year and make sure we are worthy of being written into the Book of Life. “God sits in judgment, deciding whether or not we have merited to be inscribed in the divine book of life.“ **

I like Rabbi Berkowitz’s commentary and he says it so much better than I could:

“Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter (1847–1905), also popularly known as the Sefat Emet, writes, “Inscribe us for life.” There is a holy point in each Jewish person’s heart. This is the living soul, of which it says, “God has implanted eternal life within us.” But over the course of each year, as we become accustomed to sinning, the material self overpowers and hides that holy point. We then have to seek compassion from the blessed Holy One, asking that this imprint in our heart be renewed on Rosh Hashanah. This is what we mean when we say, “Inscribe us for life.” (Arthur Green, The Language of Truth, Torah Commentary of the Sefat Emet, 343)

While ostensibly—according to a more traditional understanding of the liturgy and rabbinic teachings—we are pleading for God to inscribe us in God’s Book of Life, Rabbi Yehudah Leib Alter encourages us to adjust our perspective. While we do acknowledge that God sustains us in life, our hope and prayer is that we, ourselves, rediscover life. As Alter perceptively points out, numbing routines obscure the ”holy point” in our soul. We lose sight of our will to live and our aspiration to realize the ”eternal life” (hayyei ‘olam) that is implanted in each of us. Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and the 10 days in-between known as Aseret Yamei Teshuvah (the “10 Days of Repentance”) gift us with an annual opportunity for renewal and self-discovery. More important than asking God to bless us with a positive inscription is the need for us to open our hearts and bless ourselves with optimism and the possibility of life-affirming changes in the coming year.”**

Shanah Tovah u’meitukah,

Happy and Sweet New Year!

Linda B.

*Source: Jewish Treats

** Source: A Taste of Torah, by Rabbi Matthew Berkowitz

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thanks Artfire Collection Creators

Thank you to these Artfire shop owners who have included my work in their Collections. I’m featuring 1 items from their shops, but please show them some love by visiting their shops to see their others items.

Darkness Falls Handsewn Iphone Case
t-darkness iphone
Hallowed Accessories Tuscan handmade purse
t-hallowed tuscan_purse
A little of this Carved Bone Earrings
t-little carved bone


Thanks again.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Etsy Treasury Love

I’m so grateful to these Etsy shop owners who have included my jewelry designs in their Etsy treasuries. In appreciation, I’m showing 1 item from their shops. Please have a look at their other items. 


A September to Remember Football Kippah by Maybe Sew
t-sept football
Partly Sunny Oven Mitts by Pasque Flower
t-party oven
First Friday Artwalk – Free Ship Duck Cell Phone by Christie Cottage
t-fri-free duck
First Friday Free Ship Rose Pink Gemstone SS Earrings – Eluna Jewelry
t-fri1 rose-pink
First Friday Artwalk 3 Patina Copper Earrings by Judys Designs
t_fri3 patina
Reddy for Christmas Miracles in Bloom by Ana
t-red-xmas miracles

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Need your Votes in a Contest Please

Today I found out that my Apple Charm Silver Plated with Red Glass Beaded Earrings  are in this Back to School Inspiration contest

From the site:
"Each participant created a special piece to celebrate the start of a new school year and it is your job to pick your favorite.  Just to make things a bit more interesting, if you post a comment (please be sure to register with your contact email information) you will be entered to win a fabulous prize as well.  A random poster will be entered into the drawing to win a Sea Glass pendant wrapped in sterling silver provided by Makin the Best Of It."
Thanks, I appreciate your support.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Feline Friday

It's Friday! There are a couple of things going on. 

Free Shipping Friday - Use Code FFETSY until midnight 12/7/12. 

New cat earrings 

Buddy always poses for the camera

Fritz avoids looking into the camera 

Fritz on my photo studio table

Fritz: "Haven't you taken enough pictures already?"

Sammy: Hiding out and ready to pounce

 Calico Cat beaded lampwork earrings

Show me your cats!