Thursday, December 26, 2013

The History of Kumihimo

Lustrous Lavendar & Blue Mix Kumihimo Braid Bracelet
with Silver-Tone Findings
Kumihimo can be translated as ‘gathering of threads’ and the earliest Kumihimo in Japan is generally believed to date back to the Nara Period (645-784 AD). Braids were used for securing clothing.

Lustrous Gold with Black Kumihimo Braid Bracelet
with Gold-Tone Findings
In the Heian period (784-1184) the braids became more complex and elaborate.

Lustrous Lavendar & Blue Mix with white or gold
Kumihimo Braid Bracelet
with Silver-Tone Findings
A major a major change in use came with the rise of the Samurai Warrior class which happened during the Kamakura (1185-1333 AD) and Muromachi (1333-1573 AD) periods. Samurai armour was made up of lacquered iron plates joined together with braids. As much as 250-300m (800-1,000ft) of braid was required for a single suit of armour and in addition kumihimo braids were used for binding on swords, horse armour and horse harnesses. The braids were produced in a wide variety of designs and widths, with interesting details and textures.
Lustrous Silver with Black & White
Kumihimo Braid Bracelets
with Silver-Tone Findings
$36.00 each
It was in the Monoyama period (1573-1614) that kumihimo started to be used in Kimono wearing. With the introduction of the wide obi sash a braid was needed to hold it in place. This braid is called the obijime and it is still in use today.
Glossy Earthen Mix Kumihimo Braid Bracelet
with Silver-Tone Findings
During the Edo period (1616-1867) most of the traditional patterns were developed. The earliest published patterns date back to this period.

A serious decline in the production of kumihimo braids took place towards the end of the Meiji period (1867-1912) when samurai culture saw a decline and it was forbidden to wear armour.

Contact me for more information 
using the Contact Form to your right.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

December Birthstone

The Myth and Lore of Lapis Lazuli

December's Birthstone

HMS Victory
Lapis-Lazuli Handstitched Soutache Pendant 

In the ancient world Lapis-Lazuli was as valued as gold. Egyptians sent out legions of soldiers with with traders to collect Lapis. The word Lapis-Lazuli comes from the Latin Lapis meaning stone and Lazuli meaning blue.  The Arabic word L'azulaus is translated as blue, heaven and sky.  It has been mined in Afghanistan for more than six thousand years and is widely referenced in many ancient texts.

In the third millennium, BC, Puabi, a Sumerian queen dressed in a robe of Lapis & Gold.  In the middle ages Lapis was crushed and mixed with oil to create an exquisitely deep blue paint which served as a pigment for illuminated manuscripts.  The blue stone flecked with gold appears to in itself represent royalty.

Though there are references to Lapis as a healing gem, particularly as a cure for depression or a weak heart, generally the richness and color in itself has been associated with royalty and authority.


Other stones are listed such as Turquoise, Blue Topaz and Tanzanite.  Blue Topaz being the most popular was believed by the Greeks that its cooling effect could have the power of calming one's temper and balancing one's mental state.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

What Is Soutache Jewelry?

Golden Tiger Eye Soutache Pendant

Soutache embroidery is a technique which dates back to 14th century in France. It was initially used for making decorative elements sewn on to clothes and elaborate military uniforms.The name comes from the French word 'soutache' which means a silky braid used to decorate cut fabric.  Textile artists have used soutache embroidery to create luxurious one-of-a-kind jewelry.

Lovely model Kelly wearing  Golden Tiger Eye Soutache Pendant 
The soutache braids are meticulously stitched together with fine threads while combining a variety of cabochons and beads, resulting in an amazing combination of color and style of royal character. Since soutache embroidered jewelry is a very precise, laborious and demanding technique, the end result is a unique, one-of-a-kind work of art.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Two New Sea Shell Soutache Necklaces

Marco Island, Florida
Scallop Sea Shell
Natural Color

Sun Ray Venus
Sea Shell
This one reminds me of the best Gelato ever on the cruise ship MSC Divina!

Contact me for more information 
using the Contact Form to your right.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

I'm Back!

Had a wonderful cruise on the MSC Davina!
We will be posting more about it soon at
So be sure to follow us there.
I will also soon post my new Seashell Soutache Necklaces & Kumihimo Bracelets.

Contact me for more information 
using the Contact Form to your right.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Last Show Of The Year

Announcing My Last Show For 2013

Heritage Bay Country Club
Naples, Florida
December 3

I am presently traveling and will supply more details upon my return.
Receive a 10% discount for mentioning this post.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Next Art Shows Announcement!

Three More Shows For This Season!

Holiday shopping?
A lovely handcrafted gift for yourself?

Come see me at the shows listed below:

Thursday November 21, 2013
Encore Art and Craft Show
10:00am - 1:00pm
Audubon Country Club
625 Audubon Blvd.
Naples, Florida


December 3, 2013
The Showcase
1:00 - 4:00pm
Heritage Bay Country Club10154 Heritage Bay Blvd.
Naples, Florida

Mention my Blog for 10% off
Contact me for more information 
using the Contact Form to your right.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Florida Seas Scallop Shell Soutache Necklaces

I'm very pleased to say that my Florida Seas Scallop Shell Soutache Necklaces are being well received in the Art Show circuit!

Mermaid Song

Working on a couple new designs.  Can't wait to show them to you! 

Contact me for more information using the Contact Form to your right.

Monday, November 4, 2013

And the winner is... And Art Show Listings For This Weekend!

We have a winner 
for the aqua crystal bead-woven bracelet!

Nettie Bennet

Many thanks to the ladies and gents that attended 
the Longshore Lake Arts and Crafts Fair!

I will be giving away another piece of jewelry or accessory this weekend.
Attend an Art Show listed below to register.


This is the time of year when our talented local artists and craftsmen are most easily accessible to the public.  Show them (us) your support by attending as many shows as you are able and purchasing unique handcrafted gifts for friends, loved ones and of course for yourself.


Where will the French Mermaid Collection by Suzanne C. Suber be this weekend?

Friday 8 November
9:00 am - 3:00 pm 

The Commons Club At The Brooks
Annual Arts and Crafts Show 

                              9930 Coconut Road - Bonita Springs, Fl                                 

Saturday 9 November
10:00 am - 1:00 pm

The Renaissance Center Of Palmira
Art In The Park Show

28121 Palmira Blvd - Bonita Springs, Fl   


Sunday 10 November
Noon - 4:00 pm

The Quarry 
1st Annual Arts and Crafts on Stone Lake

 9080 Siesta Bay Dr - Naples, FL  


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Art Show Season Has Arrived In Sunny Southwest Florida!

Stop by my booth at the 
Longshore Lake Arts and Crafts Fair this Saturday.
11399 Phoenix Way off of Immokalee Road, east of I-75
Mention my Blog post for 10% off any purchase!

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Myth and Lore of Opal

October's Birthstone

Long, long ago, when the earth was young and elements were divine, the Storm God lolled about, playing amidst the wind and clouds in his luminous sphere. The rain came down in sheets, whipped through the sky, pelting the earth. Amid the lightning strikes, with black clouds riding the mountains and plains like emboldened dragons, the sunlight broke through the darkness. A rainbow appeared. The storm god grew angry and jealous of the rainbow's power. In a moment, he petrified it. Pieces of rainbow fell to the earth, becoming opals. 

Flash forward several tens of million of years into the fifteenth century. Imagine in another life time that you were a blond maiden. You were traveling through Cernowitz, Hungary where a community of about three hundred miners was mining for opals. You purchased one for a necklace. It would not only make you quite the fashionable rage, but give you talismanic power to protect the lovely color of your hair. 

The name of October's birthstone comes from the Sanskrit word, upala, which simply translates to "precious gem." From the Sanskrit came the Greek word, opalios, and the Latin, opalus. October's birthstone suggests the turn of leaves, gold, yellow, red, in the autumn months. I believe there is no gem more exquisite than a fine opal, and yet many people are reluctant to own one because they are believed to bring bad luck. 

Opals are fragile and brittle. In Arab myth and lore opals were held to be created when lightening strikes the earth. When lightening strikes sand, glass is formed. So like glass, opals are extremely brittle and fragile. 

The second origin of opals being bad luck comes from the notion of the evil eye. Lapidaries in Europe in the Middle Ages call the gem, ophthalmios, "eye stone." The eye of a dragon. or any malignant god was said to be bad luck. A Scandinavian story Volondr, the equivalent of the Roman god, Vulcan, described another source of opals. He was said to have created them from the eyes of children. 

The notion of the evil eye is widely held. The evil eye can seduce, which is why you should take care when you see the eyes in peacock feathers. In an ancient cavern with Roman columns under the streets of Istanbul is a column with a Medusa carving. The origin of this "evil eye," was the ancient story of this snake headed demon goddess that turned heroes into stone.

Yet opals were also held in high esteem. One gem, called the Orphanus, was set in a crown of the Holy Roman Empire. Said to glow with inner fire in the darkness, the opal represented the empire's regal honor. Opals were used as the eyes of deities. The Roman's knew opals as "cupid stone," symbolic of purity and hope. 

These stories suggest the true power of opals deals with a kind of visioning. Going back to the original story, the rainbow is metaphor for purity and blessing. At the end of the rainbow is the pot of gold-gold being the final alchemical process, the manifestation of one's own divinity. Rainbows also are about understanding something from many different perspectives. 

Opals contain the full color range. The view of orange is different than the view of blue or green. A rainbow is white light broken into various hues. Some esoteric traditions hold that colors represent the various qualities of souls. Shamanic practitioners in the Americas and Australia have used opals as a type of medicine that enables clarity. 

Perhaps opals enable you to dream a different vision of your life, one based on the universal perspective of the rainbow. While this path may not make you popular, it certainly will give you the satisfaction and radiance of fulfilling your inner duty. 

References: George Frederick Kunz, The Curious Lore of Precious Stones, New York; Dover Publications, Inc. 1913, 1971 edition. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

My Mermaid Song Necklace in the Jewelry Making Journal

Mermaid Song

I was just notified that my Mermaid Song Soutache and Swarovski Necklace has been posted in the online Jewelry Making Journal by Rena Klingenberg

Contact me for more information using the Contact form in the right column.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Meet Kelly

Lovely model Kelly wearing my Tigresse Soutache pendant with matching earrings.

Contact me for more information using the Contact form in the right column.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Recognition From S.O.S Autism Association

My award received from the Animalia Contest in Romania has been donated to the S.O.S. Autism Association.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

1st Place Winner In The Animalia Contest Held in Romania!!!

Wow!!!  My Tigresse Soutache Set just won the Animalia Contest out of Romania. I am privileged to have talented artist friends from so far away thanks to our Facebook connection.  Thank you Mark Zuckerberg

Felicitari Suzanne C. Suber - SUA
Premiu (produse de margelit la alegerea castigatorului) in valoare de 100 ron oferit de:
Felicitari Suzanne C. Suber  - SUA
Premiu (produse de margelit la alegerea castigatorului) in valoare de 100 ron oferit de: