Winner of the Big Beady Book Giveaway!

November 18, 2012

Winner of the Big Beady Book Giveaway…Lea Avroch of LA Jewelry Design!”I was recently asked to review several Lark Books. Which to read and review first since they’re all idols of mine?? So, I randomly selected Rachel Nelson-Smiths’ Bead Riffs. What …

Read the full article →

WARNING – Some May Find This To Be Too Gruesome

November 15, 2012


Experience exquisite masterpieces and dynamic objects from the vast and diverse Pacific Islands in this special exhibition guest curated by Chris Rainier.
Photographer Chris Rainier guest curates this exhibition of art from the South Pacific. Spanning the geographic region collectively referred to as Oceania, this comprehensive exhibition highlights masterworks from the three cultural regions of Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. Particular focus is placed on New Guinea, land of the headhunter, and the rich artistic traditions infused into daily and ritual life. Submerge into a visually stunning world and come face to face with larger-than-life masks, finely crafted feast bowls, objects associated with the secretive Sepik River men’s house, beautiful shell and feather currency, magic figures and tools of the shaman, objects related to seagoing trade routes, gorgeous personal adornments, weapons of warfare and the most precious of human trophies taken in retribution.
 Watch this video taken by Bowers President Peter Keller on the island of New Britain, Papua New Guinea that features the Fire Dance Mask Festival. Several of the large spirit masks seen in this performance were collected on behalf of the museum and can be viewed in the Spirits and Headhunters exhibition.
So – YES – there was lots of gruesome stuff in this exhibit – if you have kids, they will LOVE it!   …I, of course, am concentrating on the Jewelry aspect because even Headhunters adorned themselves.
…the gorgeous marbled entrance

One really great aspect at the Bowers Museum is that they don’t crowd the exhibits.  There is a large open space between the two galleries and auditorium off the Garden Entrance that the Bowers uses for large pieces that can be touched.
This is an exhibit of tribal art and “spirit” boats…there is also an extremely long boat in the center of the room.

WARNING – Click to enlarge – Gruesome

Talk about a “bag of bones”

The details on these is amazing click on images to enlarge

2nd side of above display

This is MONEY!

Money – can you imagine having to cart that around!
Bark Belts 

Read the full article →

NatGeo’s “AMERICA’S LOST TREASURES” Unearths Fossilized Dolphin Skull

October 21, 2012


Extraordinary Scientific Discovery Confirmed at Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  A fossilized dolphin skull approximately 15.5 million years old, found in an ocean-laid deposit near Bakersfield, Calif., by an amateur paleontologist, has been identified as likely belonging to a new dolphin species. 

The discovery was made during an episode of National Geographic Channel’s series “America’s Lost Treasures” and confirmed by Dr. Lawrence G. Barnes, a renowned curator emeritus of vertebrate paleontology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.
“I have never before seen a dolphin skull like this.” 
– Paleontologist Lawrence Barnes

Unlike most dolphins we are familiar with today, this new species had relatively small eyes that were angled somewhat forward and small nostrils. 

The species was discovered in the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed near Bakersfield, Calif.,—one of the most prolific deposits of its age and kind in the North Pacific realm, making it the standard of comparison for other similar age fossil deposits from a time in Earth History called the Miocene. The area also includes the scientifically and culturally important Sharktooth Hill National Natural Landmark.

“This animal is globally significant to science,” says Barnes. He stressed that discovery of the new dolphin can help us to understand the relationships among other extinct and living dolphins in its group, to determine how many species of animals were living in the North Pacific when the Sharktooth Hill Bonebed formed, and has implications for modern species diversity and conservation.
In the series, hosts Curt Doussett and Kinga Philipps travel to 10 U.S. cities and invite locals to bring in their relics to find out what they’re really worth. 

Working with top museum curators, appraisers and other experts, Curt and Kinga each trace the history of three chosen items. When the investigation is complete, owners and their families learn the true story—and value—of their treasured objects. 

At the end of each one-hour episode, it’s down to two finalists, and a winner is awarded $10,000 as special recognition for the importance of the item in American history. 

Winning objects will be featured in a special exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.
The species was found by amateur paleontologist Lisa Tohill prior to a taping of an episode for America’s Lost Treasures at the Autry National Center and the Natural History Museum, both in Los Angeles. The episode aired on August 22 at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel. 

Tohill’s dolphin skull fossil is currently housed at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, and it will be featured in the special exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.

America’s Lost Treasures is produced by Original Productions, a FremantleMedia company, for the National Geographic Channel. 

National Geographic Channel
Based at the National Geographic Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., the National Geographic Channels US are a joint venture between National Geographic and Fox Cable Networks. The Channels contribute to the National Geographic Society’s commitment to exploration, conservation and education with smart, innovative programming and profits that directly support its mission. Launched in January 2001, National Geographic Channel (NGC) celebrated its fifth anniversary with the debut of NGC HD. In 2010, the wildlife and natural history cable channel Nat Geo WILD was launched, and in 2011, the Spanish-language network Nat Geo Mundo was unveiled. The Channels have carriage with all of the nation’s major cable, telco and satellite television providers, with NGC currently available in 84 million U.S. homes. Globally, National Geographic Channel is available in 440 million homes in 171 countries and 38 languages. 
For more information, visit

Original Productions 
…a FremantleMedia Company
Founded by Thom Beers, Original Productions produces authentic nonfiction programming featuring everyday heroes in extraordinary situations, including the Emmy® Award-winning “Deadliest Catch,” “Bering Sea Gold,” “Ice Road Truckers,” “Ax Men,” “Wild Justice,” “Storage Wars,” “Storage Wars: Texas” and “Black Gold.” Beers’ steadfast focus on top-notch storytelling with engaging personalities in high-risk circumstances has produced more than 1,400 hours of original programming. 
Read the full article →

October Blog-O-Sphere Think Tank – “Where would I like to travel to?“

October 20, 2012

October’s Topic: “Where would I like to travel to?”

1.  Sri Lanka’s Gem Mines (Sapphire)

     One of the world’s most beautiful and exotic islands, Sri Lanka, (formerly Ceylon) lies just below the southern tip of India. This pear-shaped bit of tropical paradise, about the size of Sicily, is a tourist’s delight offering British teahouses, rubber plantations, and gem mines.

Marco Polo wrote of his visit in 1292: “I want you to understand that the island of Ceylon is, for its size, the finest island in the world, and from its streams comes rubies, sapphires, topazes, amethyst and garnet.” Little has changed since Marco Polo’s time except that Sri Lanka faces overpopulation and a faltering economy.

Its gemstones, however, seem to occur in endless supply. Known as the “Jewel Box of the Indian Ocean,” Sri Lanka, like possibly no other locality on earth, has yielded precious stones and fine gems in a great profusion of gem species and varieties.

…from Peter Bancroft’s “Ceylon’s Gem Mines”  via Pala Gems

2. The Taj Mahal – India

In 1631, Shah Jahan, emperor during the Mughal empire‘s period of greatest prosperity, was grief-stricken when his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal, died during the birth of their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction of the Taj Mahal began in 1632. The court chronicles of Shah Jahan’s grief illustrate the love story traditionally held as an inspiration for Taj Mahal. The principal mausoleum was completed in 1648 and the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later. Emperor Shah Jahan himself described the Taj in these words:
Like one pardoned, he becomes free from sin.
Should a sinner make his way to this mansion,
All his past sins are to be washed away.
The sight of this mansion creates sorrowing sighs;
And the sun and the moon shed tears from their eyes.
In this world this edifice has been made;
To display thereby the creator’s glory.

3. …last but not least a Fishing Trip to Costa Rica!

Please stop by and visit this month’s other participants:
It’s a small group – but please stop by and say hello on their posts as well!

pencilfox :


Andes Cruz:

A Short Note from Our Fearless Leader – Andes Cruz:

What is this new “Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank” thing?  Andes and several friends formed a group of bloggers…named “Blog-O-Sphere Think Tank”…we come together from different areas of life, ‘once a month’, to do a blog circle on a new but specific topic.  So, check back in once a month, or join us as we all write about the same topic, and hopefully we all post at approximately the same time , on the 20th of each month.  

We get a new and different topic each month which keeps it refreshing, and it is always  interesting, to read everyone’s unique take on a new idea or topic. It’s fun, light, and gets your mind going. Everyone has  different thoughts; so you might learn something, or open your eyes to new ideas . In any case, I hope you’ll visit all the blogs and have a read!

Read the full article →

REVIEW: Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes

October 8, 2012

Cleaning up to move back home – my parents are doing much better Thank You…and I found this!

Jill Wiseman’s Beautiful Beaded Ropes: 24 Wearable Jewelry Projects in Multiple Stitches

4.75 of 5 stars 4.75  ·  rating details  ·  4 ratings  ·  2 reviews
Join popular teacher and designer Jill Wiseman as she presents 24 beaded rope designs in this wonderful entry in Lark Jewelry & Beading’s popular Beadweaving Master Class series. From dainty to heavy, and from simple to outrageously textured, these beautiful and wearable necklace, lariat, bangle, and bracelet projects (plus a few earrings!) utilize such popular stitch techniques as spiral rope, peyote, netting, herringbone, right angle weave, chevron, polygon weave, and oglala.

Beginning and experienced beaders alike will love these high-quality projects from one of the most fun and innovative beaders on the scene today!

Thought I would check it out and add it to the stack of books for the giveaway!!!
The most important thing to remember is that these are all part of the Beadweaving Masters Class Series from Lark Books.  What that means is that this isn’t the Big Book of Beginning Ropes – you have to have your basics down.  
With that in mind Lark provides a great refresher chapter that walks you through all the stitches used in these projects.  Then it dives right into the deep-end!  The first patterns are Spiral Ropes…I tried a couple and the directions are clear enough that a persistent beginner could grasp the ideas – that is not to say that the project would be wearable.  
But I am going to try a couple of these ropes because I was inspired to forge some endcaps and clasps while perusing my copy (Thanks Lark Books). 
Want an idea of what to expect?  Lark offered  2 Free projects on their blog – you DO follow their blog RIGHT?   Here is the link:
This would be a great gift for the Beader in your life this Holiday Season….
Read the full article →

HUGE! Beadweaving Book #Giveaway

October 3, 2012

I am feeling a giant #FAIL here – I have been so busy with an annual project (in my “spare” time I book authors for a Teen & YA Stage at the largest Children’s Book Fair in the country) and the subsequent much needed vacation…that I have been a s…

Read the full article →

Fossil Theft – Denver Merchandise Mart

September 18, 2012

There has been a THEFT ALERT Issued RE: Fossils Stolen at the Denver Merchandise Mart!PLEASE HELP US GET THE WORD OUT!Denver Fossil TheftPlease see email below and attached pictures. These items were stolen from Dave Anderson’s trailer at the Denv…

Read the full article →

Save-The-Date SoCal! Sept. 9th Is MASSC Demo Day!

August 27, 2012

This event is always great – even if it is only for catching up with friends you haven’t seen in a while…Demo Day 2012 Sunday, September 9that Long Beach City College Check in at 9:30 AM – Demos begin 10 AMYou do not have to be a MASSC memb…

Read the full article →

Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank – “My Favorite Things About Summer”

August 20, 2012
My favorite fisherman, Bobby!

The Blog-o-Sphere Think Tank topic for August is…(drumroll please)… “My Favorite Things About Summer” 

If you have been following my BOSTT posts and have clicked through the links at the bottom of each post to read my fellow BOSTT Bloggers’ posts (and I really hope you have), then you know that it is rare that we have a single favorite anything!  😉

First and foremost – Summer means all of the great outdoor activities are added to the schedule.  
Amber, Mia and Rollo

Now being a California Girl, the fabulous things like flowers and weather are pretty much year round (I hear the “haters” groaning now) so I am thinking Activities.  By know you “get” that there are so many things that we do all year round (too much?) that most would think of as “Summer” activities, but I am doing my best to only post the things that actually happen during the summer months.

Now, for the sake of space, I present my Top Five Favorite Things About Summer”! 

My #1 Favorite Thing about Summer is Camping and Fishing trips with my partner, my favorite fisherman and the love of my life!
#2 would have to be those fabulous photos of kids playing in the sun!  …these happen to be just one of Bobby’s gorgeous daughters (he has three) and amazing grandbabies (there are four, so far)!

I chose this photo to represent our Rockhunting Trips because I LOVE staying in the TeePee at the Spectrum Mine in the high desert of Oregon.  You will get your best night sleep after a day of digging for gemstones!

#3 – Summer means time for Rockhounding Adventures at some of our favorite spots!  Tourmaline at – the Himalaya Dig (CA) and the Oceanview (CA) also Spodumene; Virgin Valley Opal  at – Rainbow Ridge (NV) and The Royal Peacock (NV); Sunstone at The Spectrum Sunstone Mine (OR)…and this year we are adding Fire Opal at Juniper Ridge (OR)!

#4 – Gem Shows move outside!  nothing better than viewing gems and specimen under natural light!  …this photo is from the AFMS/CFMS Convention and Show, hosted by the North Orange County Gem & Mineral Society!

#5 – the BEST West Coast opportunity to connect with International Gem Dealers, Artisans , Luxury Lines and Jewelers – Jewelry Week in Las Vegas!   if you want to see more photos from Las Vegas check out the photo albums on The Daily Jewel’s Facebook page!

OK – I am heading out to see what my fellow BOSTT Bloggers posted, Join Me?
Read the full article →

Review: The Gem Merchant – NEW 3rd Edition

August 19, 2012

The Gem Merchant: How to be one; How to deal with oneThe Manual On How to Buy & Sell GemstonesThird Editionby David Stanley EpsteinIn this the third edition of Epstein’s manual for gem dealers and buyers alike, he tackles the changes in the Ge…

Read the full article →

WordPress Admin