crystal beads wholesale

The great ghost Jangkin

Jangkin haunts the old Lozada house at Ylaya in Dumanjug municipality, 73 km south of the city. It haunts it still although it has been many years since anybody reported a sighting. From most descriptions, he is only a dark shadow, gigantic by local standards, the average height of locals being only 5 feet, more or less.

Many stories tell who he was and where he came from. One goes that he was an African American left here by his comrades when the country fell to the Japanese at the start of the last war. His real name might have been Jenkins. He died by drowning one dark night when a squall hit the small “sakayan” he was riding in the middle of Tanyon Strait between Guihulgnan and Dumanjug. As their boat began to fill with water it became obvious the boat could not carry two people. Jangkin’s companion threw him into the water and hit his head with an oar as he tried to climb back in.

He was always reputed to be a big man, friendly and much respected while he was still alive. Even as a ghost he was not all that bad. If they feared him it was only as a matter of principle. That principle being that all ghosts must be feared because they are not allies of God. They must be feared along with the sigbin, onglu, kikik, all the dili-ingon-nato who inhabit the agate beads.

The local religiosity equates these creatures with Yawa. This word now means “devil”. But Pigaffeta, the Spanish chronicler of Magellan’s voyage, defined the word differently in his short vocabulary of 16th century Bisayan words. Yawa meant simply pagan. Only in the run of the Catholic-dominated colonial culture would pagan be equated eventually with devil. This equation by way of text is unfortunate. It ensures the inevitable death of all creatures of local mythology. If they were not equated with superstition they were equated instead with devilry and witchcraft. And it was short work making people afraid of them as surely as they were afraid of even heroes like Leon Kilat.

They were equally afraid of Jangkin even if mostly secretly. For as one might eventually observe in these parts, those who are most loud in announcing their lack of fear of ghosts are often the most afraid of being left alone in the dark. And nobody wandered alone and at night into the old Lozada house. Stories abound of children thrown out of windows in the middle of the night waking up by morning on the ground below completely unhurt. The Lozada men slept in the house only after they were completely plastered drunk and only if there was absolutely nowhere else to sleep.

But there was once when one member of that large family got thrown out of their house in the city. Having nowhere else to go he returned to the old house bringing with him his few belongings and an aide. Everything went well for a few days. The house seemed comfortable even if the toilet left much to be desired. But quite mysteriously one day the aide told his boss he was resigning and planned never to return to the house.

The young boss was surprised and quite bothered he would be sleeping in the old house alone that night. But he was brave, well-educated and did not believe in ghosts. He was quite optimistic not only of surviving the night but of eventually finding his fortune here. He was wrong. That night proved inordinately warm and humid for him to sleep under the cover of his blanket. But without his blanket the mosquitoes attacked him not just with bites but also by the loud noise of their buzzing. Try as he could, he could not sleep until the morning breeze came and things became cooler.

But as he came to the edge of sleep he saw a procession of little creatures crawling through the dark sala and out through the main door. He was struck by their colors like little beads of light. How beautiful they were and how filled with a secret life, each like an untold story or poetry that had yet to be written. And then one of them flew and landed on his chest. He was no more than gauze or just a squiggly little black ball of lines so light it flew with the slightest breeze. And it spoke to him.

It said: “When you walk through here be careful where your steps fall. We are very frail creatures who easily die. We do not understand why people are so afraid of us. We cannot possibly harm them. But easily, they can kill us or make us disappear forever.”

The young man returned to the city that same day. He had too many stories he needed to tell. Yet to this day he still wonders. Is this all only a memory of a dream? Or indeed if finally, did he come to meet the great ghost Jangkin?

 As with their sitcom predecessors, the existence of these two women has always cheered me, though I have never met them, nor even glimpsed their coordinating pixie coifs in person. Maybe that’s because they’ve been close since they were sorority sisters at the University of Virginia, despite moving to a town where friendships can curdle faster than Ms. Levine’s clotted cream at high noon in August. Maybe it’s because, long before That Book, they hoisted the torch of top-shelf retail femme-trepreneurship aloft through marriages and pregnancies, even as pioneers like Selma Weiser of Charivari and Linda Dresner bowed out of the race.

Or maybe it’s because, unlike some temples of high fashion (Comme des Gar?ons, I am looking at you), they don’t seem to be taking the whole enterprise too seriously. Like the Shotz Brewery’s madcap duo, they’re doing it their way, yes their way, making all their dreams come true, for me and you. If me and you have cash flow.

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Hollywood's New Orleans Misconceptions

A few nights ago I was having trouble getting to sleep, so I turned on the TV and watched a rerun of "Las Vegas" in hopes that it would bore me to sleep. Now, on any other night this might work, but for this episode, the cast just so happened to be taking a field trip to New Orleans. As I continued to watch I got more and more wound up at how they chose to portray our beloved city; whoever wrote the script had surely never been to New Orleans, but instead found creative inspiration from a Wikipedia entry.

The show itself was on a few years ago and it starred James Caan and Josh Duhamel as casino security CSI-type guys. The show wasn't that great, but TNT replays it late at night sometimes. Anyways, I was caught up with a club scene, where everyone was dancing as you would to electronic or dance music, but they were playing zydeco music. It was very bizarre. I mean, I've been to plenty of dance clubs around here but I've never grooved on the dance floor to zydeco music. Am I missing something?

The other thing that caught my attention was a line from the show where one of the "local" girls talked about Mardi Gras masks. She said, "In Las Vegas you have 'What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,' but in New Orleans we say, 'What happens behind the mask stays behind the mask.'"

And this is a problem I've noticed whenever I'm watching a TV show or a movie that is trying to convey a New Orleans feel. Sometimes they get it right, but usually these kinds of things tend to be cringe-inducing.

So I'd like to clear up some of the misconceptions that "very special New Orleans episodes" spread across the nation year after year.

The only time anyone would wear those masks would be during Carnival season and these days you're usually only masked if you're riding in a parade. Mardi Gras costumes tend to be more modern these days, with people coming up with their own like you would for Halloween. Many costumes are current-event-themed or satirical, though you do run into people who are kickin' it old school.

If you're watching a movie set in New Orleans, you better believe they're serving up gumbo (unless it's a Monday, then it's red beans and rice). And it's true, we love our gumbo, but it's not all we eat. Most of the gumbo I eat is made for special occasions like someone's birthday or my mother-in-law's very special Christmas Gumbo. And I have to say that most of the China beads you find in the "tourist traps" are pretty sub-par with the best gumbos being off the beaten path and in surprising places, like my husband's favorite which is at a gas station by the airport.

The linked article is for a "hip" New York restaurant called "The Boil" that "brings the bayou to the Big Apple." They call crawfish "crayfish" in the review and describe handing out plastic bibs and blue disposable gloves so that the patrons don't have to actually touch anything or make a mess. I'm pretty sure that if any of the New Orleanians I knew actually went there, they'd probably either double over in hysterical laughter the whole time or just stare in horror at the $13/lb "crayfish."

Don't let anyone fool you into thinking this is the way to get Mardi Gras beads. Whenever someone comes for a visit and sees our collection of Mardi Gras beads hanging on our porch they usually say something like, "Are those REAL Mardi Gras beads? Wink wink." He or she is implying that the only way to authentically procure cheap plastic beads made in China is by flashing drunk frat boys who rented a room above Bourbon Street for their buddy's bachelor party. Oh, hell no.

A word of advice to anyone with breasts vacationing in New Orleans:  You do not need to flash anyone to get Mardi Gras beads. Don't let these guys talk you into showing anything you don't honestly and expressly want to show. During the weeks leading up to Mardi Gras Day and at any parade in New Orleans, including St. Patrick's Day parades and/or Mid-Summer Mardi Gras, you will have the ample opportunity to score a veritable treasure-trove of beads. And in fact, this is the "real" way to get Mardi Gras beads, by having someone on a float almost give you a concussion by aiming at your head and fast-pitching a bag of beads in your general direction. Anyone gearing up for Mardi Gras needs to practice their catching and/or ducking skills. But I digress.

I have friends who flat out refuse to even go near Bourbon Street, let alone drink the "Big Ass Beers." Nay, the people who go to Bourbon are tourists and the people who make their living off of tourists, like bartenders, street performers, strippers and pick-pockets. You might find some cool places closer to Esplanade, but locals don't generally hang out there. Though, sometimes it is fun for people-watching and grabbing a slice of pizza or a Lucky Dog.

Other misconceptions about New Orleans that Hollywood perpetuates may include (but are not limited to): All we eat is bread pudding or Bananas Foster for dessert; we have special crosswalks for alligators; everyone calls each other "chere"; we're all friends with vampires and pirates; the only New Orleans professions are "jazz musician" or "chef"; our brothers are all named "Bubba"; we play zydeco music at our raging dance parties; we all hop a "streetcar named Desire" to go to work in the morning; and we all drink Bloody Marys for breakfast on the weekends.

The lettering on the outer edge of the coin indicates the time period and king, as well as the land he owned. And although the words are too tiny to read, Weingast said, the face might be that of King Henry VI (1422-1461). “Whoever ruled at the time also had their image imprinted on the currency and if you look closely, you’ll see that the king pictured here is smiling (or at the very least pleasant-looking), much like King Henry VI,” she said. “His predecessor Henry V, scowled and had a thinner face, and during the reign of Edward III, people didn’t often use coins, instead trading items such as bread, cloth, beer, wood, or animal skins.”

Most striking is the coin’s pristine condition. “It’s likely made with very thin sheets of silver and very bendable—it as thick as a sheet of thin, pliable metal,” says Weingast. “Back then, many people bent and clipped the lettering off the coins and sold them at higher prices—the fact that this coin is unclipped means it may have been buried right after it was minted. Even if you saw this coin in a museum, it likely would have been clipped.”

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Bead Production and Use Has Been Found in Africa

"The most extensive evidence of early bead production and use has been found in Africa. The oldest beads that have been discovered on the continent are drilled ostrich egg shells from southern Africa that have been dated to the Middle Stone Age (280,000 to 45,000 years ago) and perforated shells from northern Africa that are 80,000 years old. In addition to ancient beads, prehistoric paintings of humans wearing elaborate beadwork adornments have been discovered on cave walls in Southern Africa and the Sahara Desert. Among the earliest items used for domestic and religious purposes and body adornment, beads are some of the first material signs of symbolic thought, an indicator of modern human behavior.. Although we have no way of knowing the full meaning of these ancient beads, we may conjecture that they were not only a means of adorning the human form but also an expression of social identity or religious practices."

Glass beads are thought by some to be a by-product of the discovery of glass making said to have occurred in Egypt some three thousand years ago. The Egyptians were probably the first to peddle glass beads to South Africa in exchange for gold, ivory and slaves.

Glass beads were valued because they were products of a technology unknown in Africa at the time. Beads became a precious commodity in their own right and became a symbol of the status of the people who crafted them into a variety of objects worn according to custom. They became tokens of social status and political importance.

Various stitches found throughout the world such as peyote and vertical netting are found in many African cultures, but perhaps the most distinct stitch found in Africa is the Ndebele stitch (also known as herringbone) named for the African tribe to whom its origin is attributed.

The Ndebele are a branch of the Zulu and like the Zulu, their beadwork and art are a visual form of communication. Each color, shape, how they are positioned, how the colors are arranged all carry a message.

Ndebele beadwork, often sold in the streets of Pretoria and Johannesburg, is well known. Certain beadwork is worn to distinguish a girl from her older sisters, denote engaged women, adorn brides and new mothers.

What makes Zulu beadwork unique is the way in which individual colors are combined in various ways and shapes to form messages. The craft of beadwork becomes an intricate communicational system expressing the feelings and facts related to the relationships between the genders.

Beadwork among the Zulu is at once, a craft, an art and a communication form similar to language written in symbols. Beadwork as an art form mingles with the fields of social relationships and the practice of law and the communication of ideas.

Bracelets are made with sparkling rhinestone beads and macrame cord. The cord is usually knotted between the beads using a macrame square knot, and the square knot is also used to create a sliding fastening to open and close your beautiful bracelet.

You don't need to stop at bracelets, you can use the same techniques and components to make a variety of sparkling, beautiful shamballa fashion jewellery.

Shamballa fashion gemstone beads come in many varieties. The highest quality ones are made from clay and use a good quality crystal such as Czech crystal. Beads are also higher quality if they have plenty of inset crystals, but sometimes you can save a few pennies by opting for beads with slightly less crystals set into the clay. Which you choose depends on whether you are a perfectionist jewellery seller or a beginner wanting to get to grips with the techniques.

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Beads on the market today

I have been to bead shows, yes, they exist, bead shows actually are a great place to get really great beads at a very low cost, vendors come from around the US, some, this is their lifestyle. So search online, I'm sure there are shows near you! And, remember, bring cash, as some don't take Credit Cards...and really, do you want to give your Credit card information to a vendor with no machine? The machines are becoming more available to us little guys, but they are still pretty pricey and we have to use our phone or other device. Personally, I look at it as taking your Credit Card to a flea market!!..just saying..

These are cast metal beads often adorned in rhinestones, enamel and Austrian Crystals and plated in a variety of metal tones can add a spectacular look to your beading creations with little cost! Taking your great beading ideas to a new level and customer's LOVE them!! Many contain a beautiful vintage bead look, due to the metal tone combination. Vintage style beads are hard to come across, and if originals are very expensive and can be damaged. The beads we offer are rare and hard to find, even for us! Most are designed in house and reproduced to the highest quality. Typically we have over 1000 different designs displayed on our website at any given time. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter as well, it gives you great discount codes, project ideas and a little fun on life (come on, we can't be all business..we are a family run and operated company...let's have some fun!!)! Sometimes it can get quite interesting!

Double strand slider turquoise beads are so simple to use, be sure to see some of our other lenses that explain more on how to use them. They typically contain 2 holes on each side for stringing, but can contain more. Some have loops for strings and some have holes on the side. Many people even use the intricate ornate desigs within the beads to wire wrap within the design.

There is a wide range of slider bead styles, metal tones and stone colors to meet your needs. Some would work great as a focal or pendant, others would look great strung up with some bi-cones . Wire wrap things to them and you have a masterpiece! There are so many options for their use, it's just amazing and beautiful!

We are a family owned and operated company located in the United States. And, the entire family does get involved with the 2 hole slider beads and beading that needs to be done! (Currently, the kitchen table is covered with beads, clasps and findings to make our next launch for the newsletter, tomorrow!!) Our slider bead designs are our passion, but we also carry a long line of fold over magnetic clasps which are amazingly easy to use, and apparently the passion of our clients, as they sell out quickly! Be sure to check out our lens on the foldover magnetic clasps . These clasps are strong, and your car door won't steal your designs right off your wrist. The tops were made thick, so the magnet doesn't affect their use when it comes to your car door, fork, grocery cart (you get the idea).

They can be used in necklace designs, watches, bracelets, so many things! We have even had customers use them for purse closures and doll clothing! We take great pride in our customer base and know many of them and their families through just simple chatting on the phone or e-mail, we are people and we look at our customer's as people as well..not just a number! If you are a regular purchaser, we will know you by name :). We are not only a bead company, we are people that care and are always here to help, whether it be regarding beads or your going through a rough patch in life and just need a friend to listen (who doesn't know anyone or anything that your talking about)..maybe we should start up a therapy phone line as I do care, and typically, I, the owner, answers the phone. I think it's important to know my customers, their personalities and needs!

Often times our customers only think of using our 2 hole slider beads in bracelets and watches, but they can be used for so many other things, one just has to think outside the box a bit. Rings, necklaces, earrings and lancets, along with brow bands for horses have all been things our customers have created. Along with decorating candle holders, liven up their scrapbooks and even decorating their pets, although, not recommend, as these should not be swallowed, it could be dangerous. Hair accessories are another great idea for slider beads, it can take just ten minutes to turn a regular boring bobby pin into something beautiful!

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