Sunday, April 10, 2011

THE BEADING GEM'S JOURNAL

THE BEADING GEM'S JOURNAL

Link to The Beading Gem's Journal

Ancient Egyptian Collar Necklace Inspirations and Tutorial

Posted: 10 Apr 2011 04:00 AM PDT

Egyptian Necklace, close-upAncient Egyptian Faience Necklace by PittCalebAncient Egyptians used both gemstones and an early form of ceramic called faience for their jewelry making. They placed great significance on color, not just in jewelry but linked it to the very nature of anything - inanimate object, person or god.

For instance green symbolized abundant crops and fertility. So did black, the color of the rich silt left behind after the Nile flooded. White meant purity and silver represented the moon and stars. Blue as the color of the heavens where the gods lived, was the color they used for the gods' hair in their paintings. the deepest blue was obtained from grinding up lapis lazuli. For more, read Colors of Ancient Egypt.

One of their most striking necklace designs are the collars. Many of them would look stunning with modern sheath dresses, proving good designs stand the test of time even after a few thousand years! These necklaces remain a wonderful source of inspiration.
Egyptian NecklaceImage by PittCaleb 

Their tiered bead work is simple yet impressive. Shown above and right is a detail from a faience bead necklace ca 1363-1336 B.C. (18th Dynasty)  now at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Each row represent different fruit and petals - the white beads are supposed to be lotus petals.

Another broad collar going back to the 12th Dynasty is this burial necklace for an official. It was never meant to be worn as there is no clasp and the ties are too flimsy. It too is made from faience beads which are shaped rather like bugle beads. It is now at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Broad collar necklace of WahAncient Egyptian Faience Necklace via Wikipedia

The Ancient Egyptians used gemstones in jewelry designs but favored glass because of the greater range of colors. The choice of colors was very important for many hues signified something. Green symbolized new growth life.

Altes Museum (Berlin) - Nefertiti 01Nefertiti by Jorge-11 The best way to get the look of an Egyptian necklace is by beaded netting styles. Mortira, who writes the Inspirational Beading blog, has an outstanding post on how she was inspired by the necklace featured on the bust of Queen Nefertiti to create her own beaded collar.

Another inspiration is this original crochet cotton, pearl and sterling silver collar necklace by Durova.

Necklace made from crochet lace, pearls, and s...Crochet collar necklace via Wikipedia

Making Beaded Jewelry's easy Cleopatra necklace tutorial shows how you can make a spectacular Egyptian style collar with the right sort of beads.


Archaeological Inspirations
For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips

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Reader Question - Tips for New Jewelry Bloggers ?

Posted: 09 Apr 2011 04:00 PM PDT

Blogging Tips
Part 2 of 2
The Reader Question thread is where I pick an emailed question from a reader to share with you. I don't claim to know all the answers but I do my best to help. 

Question
Christie of Charis Designs : You're such a great resource for other things, so when I saw your contact email, jumped on that as well! I LOVED the last Bead Soup Blog Party- so much so, that I want to start blogging so I can participate in the August go round. 

Grabbed a name on Blogger.com( not my first choice but it'll do) but having never done this before, have no real clue as to how to proceed. What advice/sites/hints/tips can you offer? I know you're a busy lady, but for a newbie are there any "wish I'd known that/done that" things you can throw my way?  

Answer
Pearl : There are many advantages to blogging. It's not just fun, but it is a good way of keeping connected with your community, friends and perhaps customers. Blogging is also a creative outlet if you like writing.

Blogging Platform
It's a good thing you chose Blogger. I've used both and I recommend Blogger over Wordpress for beginners. Be aware there are 2 types of Wordpress:

Wordpress.com is free like Blogger and everything like hosting and software upgrades is taken care of.  A lot of comments I see on the internet extolling the virtues of Wordpress are usually from technically proficient individuals who are talking about Wordpress.org. This version is not free as you will have to host your blog with some company and take care of everything yourself including software upgrades, backups, SEO (search engine optimization) etc.  If you are technology savvy or know someone who can really help, then Wordpress may be for you. There are many beautiful themes and plug-ins available for those who prefer total control of their blog and wish to do a lot behind the scenes. Some people though, have told me they struggle even with Wordpress.com.  

So it is preferable to start with Blogger. You can always move it to a self-hosted Wordpress site later if you wish. In the last two years, Google has started to put a lot of effort into Blogger, adding many improvements and seem determined to do more than play catch-up in a highly competitive field. Royal Pingdom rated a number of free blogging platforms and Blogger came out as the most stable.


Blog Name/URL
One tip I have for aspiring bloggers who also have shops is to consider branding right from the beginning. Branding is not a logo but a consistency with all your online and business activities. For instance I am known as beadinggem everywhere - Blogger, Twitter, Facebook etc not Pearl1345! The banner of my Etsy store reflects the design of my blog. Red and white are the colors I use on my business cards and my packaging.
 
I personally don't mind if someone's blog still has the "blogspot" in the URL. It's the content that matters. However, it is better from a business and branding perspective to register a domain name and point the Blogger blog to it so viewers do not see the blogspot. The blog is still hosted on Blogger.

Blogging Frequency
I come across dead and dying blogs all the time.  Blogging is a long term venture. So decide on a realistic posting frequency and stick with it.

Behind the Scenes
Writing is only one aspect of blogging. Blog maintenance, trouble shooting and design are also your jobs! There are plenty of free design themes and helpful sites online if you search for them. Try this one - Tips for New Bloggers.  It hasn't been updated for a long time but there are some useful tips.

Remember, learning to blog doesn't happen overnight.  Experiment with new designs and blog elements until you get something you like so you'll be in time for that Bead Soup Blog Party in August!

Past Posts :
6 Questions to Really Ask Before You Start a (Craft) Blog
7 Easy Ways to Grow Your Jewelry Blog
 
For more tutorials check out my Jewelry Making Tips
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