August’s Birthstone :: Peridot

Unassuming Peridot, the “Evening Emerald”

Welcome to this month’s birthstone post! My youngest child was born in this hot summer month, so the this month’s stone is very special to me. Peridot is said to be lucky and guard the babies born in August, which I might just have to call upon, as my little guy is a risk-taking daredevil! This folktale gives me even more reason to love the earthy green of a well-cut peridot.

“Peridot is the rare gem-quality variety of the common mineral olivine, which forms deep inside the earth’s mantle and is brought to the surface by volcanoes. In Hawaii, peridot symbolizes the tears of Pele, the volcano goddess of fire who controls the flow of lava.”

-The American Gemological Society

  • Color: Yellow green to olive to lime brown and is often called the “evening emerald” because it looks beautiful any time of day.
  • Care: Measures 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, and is prone to breaking during cutting, but once it is cut, the finished gemstone is relatively durable and easy to wear and care for.
  • Meanings & Properties: Said to ensure peace and happiness.
  • Uses and Folklore: Provides protection against nightmares and evil.

Fun Fact: Peridot is rarely found within meteorites!

Because peridot is an expensive gemstone, I’m using green cut Czech glass beads as a substitute (see the strands above), which I found at my local Michaels Store. By selecting the lime green beads from the strand, some of which have an aurora borealis coating, I was able to collect a group of beads with some varieties of greens which more closely emulate the natural differences in real peridot.

Earrings are always a great place to start with birthstone gifts. They’re one-size-fits-all accessory that people have fun with. I found these beautiful earring connectors to serve as the base for my sparkling green earrings.


Green and gold is one of my favorite combinations.

Click to read more August’s Birthstone :: Peridot

DIY Ocean Gem Jewelry Set

DIY Ocean Gem Jewelry Set – The gem of the ocean is the pearl.  Pearls are formed within a mollusk that has some type of irritant inside its shell (natural – piece of sand or cultured – insert mother-of-pearl bead).  The Mollusk then tries to protect itself by forming layers of nacre around the intruder.  Most pearls we see today are cultured or man-made. Natural pearls are extremely rare and costly because most have been harvested. The quality of a pearl is dictated by luster, shine and shape.

The “Ocean Gem Necklaces” may look complicated, but if you can form a simple loop you can create this set. These necklaces are handcrafted using Bead Gallery® natural freshwater pearl 12mm lentil and white  freshwater pearl 3mm ovals.  All Bead Gallery® beads and findings can be purchased at your local Michaels store.

Click to read more DIY Ocean Gem Jewelry Set

Pretty Palettes :: August 2017 Inspiration

Welcome to Halcraft’s Pretty Palette August 2017 Inspiration post!

Thank you for joining me for the August 2017 Inspiration post! Halcraft hosts this “play along” design challenge each month. Here’s how you can play along:

  1. On the first Wednesday of each month I use an image to create a color palette. (Check and done, right? You’re here!)
  2. I choose coordinating beads from the Bead Gallery line available at Michaels so we can all play along with the same beads to create a beading project (see the image below). If you want to create your own project using your own beads and art beads, that’s fine as well. We welcome all beads to the party!
  3. The final Wednesday of the month–August 30th–is the reveal. Visit the blog and use the link-up at the end of the blog post to add images of your own project to our collection of Pretty Palette projects!
  4. Peruse the collection of Pretty Palette projects by hopping from blog to blog or by checking out the Pinterest board we create to share all of your amazing work!

Last month’s palette was quite vibrant, and I found myself wanting the August 2017 Pretty Palette to be more subdued. My local farmer’s market is held at the Minnetrista Center, a museum, garden, and gathering place here in Muncie, Indiana. Part of the joy of the market is seeing friends, another part is all of the great local produce, and a third is getting a chance to stroll around the grounds and enjoy the plants as they grow and bloom.

This past weekend, a small pond with lily pads was sporting these gorgeous blossoms amid dark water that reflected the white clouds and light blue sky. I fell in love.

A quiet corner in Minnetrista’s gardens inspires the August 2017 Pretty Palette.

Click to read more Pretty Palettes :: August 2017 Inspiration

Pretty Palettes :: July 2017 Reveal

Welcome to the Halcraft Pretty Palettes July 2017 Reveal!

This month I was inspired by a Marimekko swimsuit I scored at Target last year. To read more about Marimekko, the Finnish design company, visit our July 2017 inspiration post.  If you’re new to our challenge, that’s a great place to start. Essentially, I choose an inspiration image and beads each month and share it on the first Wednesday. You and others play along by creating a piece of jewelry using the same beads and colors as me. Then we share our creations on the final Wednesday of the month on the blog, hopping from one blog to another using the LinkUp at the end of this post.

Here are the Bead Gallery® beads I chose from my local Michaels Store to complete the challenge. They’re bright and filled with a juicy vibrance and energy that is just like summer. I hope you enjoyed them, too! I chose a variety of shapes, materials, and sizes to give everyone a lot of opportunity to play with color.

Click to read more Pretty Palettes :: July 2017 Reveal

July’s Birthstone :: The Magnificent Ruby

The magnificent ruby: summer’s sweet heart

Welcome to this month’s birthstone project post! July’s birthstone is none other than the beautiful, bright red of the ruby.

The ruby is in the corundum family of stones. One other gemstone in this family is the sapphire. Other than the difference in color, there is not a strong distinction between the two. Chromium is the element present in the ruby that gives this variety of corundum its signature red; sapphires are colored by iron, titanium, copper, or magnesium and can be blue, yellow, purple, or green. Click to read more July’s Birthstone :: The Magnificent Ruby