Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The "How Ya Doin?" Ring

Created by Lubna Saif Abbas

After the kick off the New Year and season with last week’s Kashmiri Dreams Cuff that Bettina had developed and concocted, Lubna was intent to continue with the benchmark raised. This class continues to celebrate the Peyote Stitch adding the new technique of bead embroidery and creating a beaded bezel with Circular Peyote Stitch.

This class will focus on embellishing, some more embellishing, and then some! Special Vintage German Cabochons have been selected for this ring. We will be using our sought after special Japanese Cylinder beads, to create a captivating bezel and the ring strap. More embellishing will be introduced with Czech seed beads and special Precious Metal coated charlottes. Our Czech crystals will create the showcase. This ring is a definite eye catcher and conversation piece.
Once you master this technique it can be modified as a pin, a pendant or the main focal point for a bracelet. The kits will come in a range of opal blues and turquoise in celebration of all things blue.

Six seats will be available for this class that will be introducing a whole new technique.

Workshop registration will be taken until Thursday January 28th. You may either leave a comment here or email us:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kashmiri Dreams Cuff Workshop (Rescheduled)

The long-awaited beading workshops are finally in the pipeline. Our 1st workshop/class for year 2010 will be focusing on the very therapeutic stitching technique called Peyote. And to make it even more interesting slight twists here and there have been added to embellish and enhance the learning experience and give you a more celebratory piece.

In this workshop the basic Peyote stitch we will be teaching is called the Two- drop. Almost identical to the regular Peyote stitch in technique but the end product comes out more vivid in its pattern. My design and color palette inspirations have been the very joyful, and uplifting Kashmiri art culture with all its vibrant energy and ever-enduring beauty.

I look forward to teaching this workshop along with my beading partner Lubna:
Date: Saturday January 23, 2010
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Only a few more seats remain. If anyone is interested in experiencing something different and walking out with a similar piece as what is seen in these photos, and made by "YOU", or just getting more information, you can visit us at our shop, or contact us via email at

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A "Vintaj" Oasis

Sometimes you come across something that is so artistic and unique that you can not help but delve into it further. That was the case with the hand-made 100% brass metal findings, filigree, beads, charms and chains made by Vintaj. What caught my attention in particular were the artful filigree elements they offer. They can easily be bent, twisted, and twirled into breath-taking settings. Rich in color and almost identical to vintage brass, the fine detail etchings and raised-relief designs make this product range a piece of art in it own right.

You may ask, “Why brass?” Well, I would say for several reasons. From a usability standpoint, when polished, it can give you a gold-like appearance. It is a softer metal than most others and is relatively tarnish-free, hence making it ideal for decoration. In this respect, Brass elements can have many applications, such as in jewelry, in scrap-booking, in ceramic/pottery, in woodwork and so forth; imagination being the limitation. On a cost standpoint, Brass today is far more reasonable in price than the other metals more commonly used in jewelry making for instance, such as Silver and Gold. And on a manufacturing level, it is an easier metal to cast. And being a malleable metal makes it easier to form into a thin sheet by hammering for example. I can go on and on, but will spare you the essay-format for now.

My partner Lubna and I are proud to have Vintaj on board LB o J’zazz. Beside the fact that we love the intricate designs, environmental considerations were taken into account when selecting this product. And we are happy that the production process used is environmentally-friendly, and all items are both Nickel-Free and Lead-Free.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Resolution Year 2010: BUY AND GIVE HANDMADE

A handcrafted artisanal bead by Dustin Tabor,  part of the  LB o J'zazz Private Collection

One of the ideas that emerged as the art and crafts movement witnessed a recent rebirth and resurgence particularly in the US, Europe and the Indian Subcontinent and countries such as Thailand is that as we are moving away from our fascination with mass production of the remnants of the Post Industrial Revolution that is now witnessing a form of "devolution", the creation of microeconomies that are essential to fostering creativity and innovation in addition to stabilising economies are flowering.
Etsy is all about that.  Established in 2005 with the running mode of existence which is:  Buy, Sell and Live Handmade. It is a market place that enables folks to create their own storefronts and create communities with a common vision.  You can learn more about Etsy at

As so many gift items today are mass produced, with no unique attributes as retailers scramble to emulate and imitate all the way down in a diluted and trickle down effect, one of the most rewarding activities is buying something that has been recycled, upcycled and created by hand.  Most of the gifts this year that my friends and loved ones received from me were handcrafted.  What happened in the process, is that thinking about what the gift recipient liked and cared about took some time and I had to put myself in their shoes so to speak.  Since making something was going to take considerable time, it had to be worthwhile after they received the gift. This in itself in the moment of gift giving seemed to have an impact that did not feel as short lived, at least not to me!
So, in this vein, when we acquire a piece of art, handmade paper, fiber arts and more, the time that the craftsperson took will outlast the moment of purchase and giving and this is also why vintage and antique beads, fabrics and buttons are avidly sought out. 

The buttons to the left are all vintage and many of us may have beautiful buttons, ribbons and papers stashed away in drawers.  Little treasures to be dusted off and celebrated in a new context.  
You can add them to a sweater or a coat and have a completely new piece.  When making bracelets or necklaces they can also be easily used as clasps.

In the case of the pink flower Vintage Brass Button in the right side of the image above, it was used as a focal cabochon.  By removing the shank and embellishing it became something new.  This piece is a sample of a new workshop that is being concocted in our LB o J'zazz Beaders Kitchen. 

Bezeled Island Jasper Completed

Here is the piece that was bezeled in peyote stitch upon completion.  This project triggered a flurry of off- loom weaving branching out into at least four new projects underway. The idea was to keep the focus on the actual properties of the color ways and shape of the stone.

The clasp is the bronze finishing hammertone clasp by Tierracast.  It created an interesting contrast to the piece. Japanese seed beeds were used in the strap in the Spiral Stitch Technique It is now in a private collection.