Monday, October 5, 2009

The Halloween Giveaway is Here!

And you only have one week!

I had some camera issues last week so I didn't get this up when I wanted to . . . and since it's now October 5th, we need to get a move on so the winner will have time to wear their prizes before Halloween!

This month, we are giving away 7 Halloween themed single earrings for you to mix and match! Here are the photos:

Here's how to enter:

1. be a follower of our blog (no need to do anything else unless you want more entries!)

2. purchase any item from our shop: between October 5, 2009 and October 12, 2009.

3. Post a link to our site on any social networking website (twitter, facebook, livejournal, blogger, myspace, etc.)

4. Post a link to this contest entry from any social networking website (twitter, facebook, livejournal, blogger, myspace, etc.)

So, you can get a maximum of four entries for this blog contest to win the earrings! Just reply to this entry with the link to where you posted for number 3 & 4. I will draw the winner from the fishbowl on Tuesday, October 13.

Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

More Saint Medals

Here are some new Saint Medals that I just got in:

St. Michael the Archangel
St. George
Holy Family
Immaculate Heart of Mary
St. John of God
Madonna of the Streets
St. Nicholas
St. Philomena

Stay tuned for the next giveaway. It's coming soon!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Focus and Connection

Lori Zwermann of the Oklahoma City Spirituality Examiner has written this lovely article on finding the time and tools to help you focus on your spirituality. I can't tell you how many people ask me, or repeatedly ask on message boards related to spirituality how they can reconnect to their path. Often the first step is just to remove yourself from the stress of everyday life.

I use Nag Champa incense and meditation. It's really the smell of the incense that works best for me. I don't know exactly why, but it almost immediately starts to bring my heartrate and blood pressure down.

Thank you to Lori for linking to my Hera Prayer Rope in our Etsy shop in her article!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Saints

Saint Medals are sort of hard to come by, especially ones that are affordable. I have a great many and I can get more, so I thought I'd post the list here to see if there is any that I have that you are looking for. I'll be making single decade rosaries, Saint amulets and earrings in the next few weeks, so if there is something you are interested in, please let me know. This list was made for my notes, so some of them don't actually say "St." or "Saint." The ones that have a slash, with another name are two-sided medals.

Here is the list of the medals I have:

St. Anna
St. Agatha
St. Agnes / St. Cecilia
St. Anthony
St. Augustine / Monica
St Barbara
St Benedict
St. Clare
St. Christopher
Divino Nino de Columbia
St. Dominic
St. Dymphna
Ecce Homo / Mater Dolorosa
St. Francis de Assisi
Francis de Sales
St. George
St. Ignatius
San Juan Batista
John Paul II / Our Lady of Czestoch
John the Apostle
St. Joseph
La Pieta
Maria Goretti
Martha / Mary Magdalene
Maria Rosa Mystica
Mary Magdalene
Our Lady of Knock
St. Patrick / St. Bridget
St. Sebastian
St. Therese

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Beading Times Article

I just wanted to share a link to Beading Times current Design Tip article: . The Bead Peddler, Sandy Paluzzi had included a photo of one of Phoenix's malas as an example of how rice beads can be incorporated into design. There are some other lovely pieces there too. Check out the pink one! I loooooove pink! :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

We Have a Winner!

Good luck everyone!

The Fishbowl . . . .

Drumroll please . . . .

Congratulations Digital Misfit!! You won a $25.00 gift certificate to!! Look for my email with details on how to redeem your gift certificate.
We are already planning our next giveaway. Be on the lookout!

Thursday, August 27, 2009


I'm now coming to you live from the living room! I needed more space for my studio and until yesterday, my office and studio were all cramped into one tiny space. I finally decided that since I never have company and my classes will be held in the kitchen that I should move my computer into the living room and turn it into my office. So, here I am!

I wanted to write a quick little post to explain our packaging policies. Nothing disappoints me more than to get a package from someone who makes all vegan, fair-trade, eco-friendly productt and then packs it in styrofoam peanuts. Last Christmas I ordered from a company that claimed to be all-enlightened and they actually packed a T-SHIRT in styrofoam peanuts. I couldn't believe it! Sadly, I can't bring myself to buy from them anymore and I really, really liked their products.

Theholybead uses 99% reused and recycled packaging materials. The only thing that we use that is completely new is tape--and sometimes I do get a bit carried away with tape. The folks at the post office sometimes call my packages "laminated" because I get carried away with the tape. Sometimes it's just hard to know when to stop!

All of the bubble wrap we use either came from friends who have ordered things mail-order and their package came with bubble wrap or from the packages of supplies we receive. Boxes and bubble envelopes are almost always from packages of supplies that we are reusing, with one exception. I often turn cereal and cracker boxes inside out to use them as mailers.

We encourage our buyers to reuse the packaging materials that we use--or recycle them if you have no use for them. Even better, if you know someone who does frequent mailing, "donate" it to them. It's a win-win-win.

Re-use, re-use, re-use and then recycle :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

OT: Being Nice

My Grandmother taught me that you "catch more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar." She also taught me that "pretty is as pretty does." I took those lessons to heart. When I was younger though, I was guilty of saying things like "I would rather someone be mean, but honest than nice, but insincere." I don't believe that anymore.

Even when I know someone doesn't mean it, I still prefer them to be nice, even if they are pretending. For one thing, it makes things just a little easier. A spoonful of sugar, so they say (I'm just full of cliches today!) For another thing, I believe that the more we pretend to be nice, treat others with respect and kindness, the more we will actually feel those things.

I also believe that there is just as much benefit for the giver as the receiver. Being nasty just makes you feel worse in the long run, whether you know it or believe it, or not.

I know this blog entry is going to make much sense. I've just been through a hard few weeks and people that have been involved have failed to just be nice. Being mean doesn't work. Next time you are tempted to smart someone off or tell them what you really think of their behavior, stop and think about how the ways in which you react will bring about different results.

I would consider it a personal favor it everyone out there in blogblog land could just give it a try.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

More Studio Space!

I had really hoped to post a photo or two from the fair on Saturday, but instead, I'm taking the day off to rearrange my house. I'm going to be moving my computer out of my workspace and into the living room. I just need more studio space. There are beads all over the place and I can't pull out what I need without knocking stuff over, it seems. I'm also working on clay in the living room and I would like to bring that stuff into the studio.

I think it's probably going to take today and tomorrow to get this move finished. I needed a break though and hopefully once my space is clean, I'll feel re-energized and ready to go.

I hope everyone is doing well!


Friday, August 14, 2009

What I've Learned . . .

. . . and what I'm still learning.

My number one Etsy selling tip is to be an Etsy buyer as well. I have learned so much more from observing the ways other sellers behave, market, sell, leave feedback, package, transport and communicate and generally serve their customers than from any FAQ, blog or purchased Etsy selling guide.

I have purchased and read those guides. Some of the info out there is even out of date now with all of the changes Etsy is making. It's hard to outsmart a system that is constantly changing. So, I've learned through participation. I buy as many of my supplies as I can buy there. If I need anything that I would have to go to a specialty shop for, I check Etsy first. I've bought more than I've sold on Etsy, but I've also done some important networking and made a few friends. Friends are crucial to support and morale if you are going to be an Etsy seller.

I'm still very green. I set up my shop on February 2 of this year. Buying from other Etsians is what has taught me the most and helped me to better serve my customers.

That's all I have to say for today. Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Our First Ever Blog Contest!

This is our first blog contest, so we are going to keep it simple. All you have to do is follow! At the end of the month, my friend's daughter will draw a name from the fishbowl and the lucky winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to our Etsy ( or Artfire ( store.

The Holy Bead is our collection of whimisical and reverent jewelry and prayer beads. The Sacred Alter is our sister project where we make hand-made supplies for mixed media projects and alter sacred objects to sell. I'm working on a bust of the virgin Mary right now. I've painted her to make her look more Earth Goddess-Gaia like. :)

We will be adding many, many items between now and the drawing time. I've got no less than 30 new sets of prayer beads that have yet to be put up and we are working on several komboloi and statuettes as well. If you don't see something you want now, you might find that if you follow for updates on new items, you will find something you like!

Good luck everyone! Tell your friends!

Holly & Phoenix

Friday, August 7, 2009

Favorite Etsy Shop: Daisybones

First thing's first, here is the link to her page: and a link to her fanpage: http:/ . She also has a blog: and a Twitter page:

Heidi Richardson Evans works with a variety of different mediums. She's been working with digital art lately. You can see that reflected in the items for sale in her Etsy shop. I have a copy of her Yoni Prayer, which you can see here: and here is a small clip of part of the work (I don't want to show you too much here because I don't want to violate her copyright ; -) )

Her color choices are bold, and often beautiful-when the subject calls for it. I'm also very fond of her piece called "Labyrinth:"

Heidi's work is feminist, bold, reverent, sometimes dark, and always potent and meaningful. She commonly depicts themes of birthing, nursing and motherhood in terms we don't normally see. She is uncommonly talented at digging right to the heart (sometimes literally) of her subject and giving us a new way to look at what we think we already know.

Please check out her shop and drop her a tweet. She loves making new friends and meeting new, inspiring people.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

See us at the Psychic Fair -- Everyone is Welcome!!

I promise to start posting more often very soon. I've been a bit overwhelmed lately! :)

For any of you who are in the area of Charleston, WV:

Psychic Fair
Saturday, August 15, 2009
2-4 PM (will most likely run later--depending on turnout)
Unitarian-Universalist Congregation
720 Kanawha Blvd W
Charleston, WV
Psychic Readings and Alternative Healings available for donations of $10.00 each.
Free metaphysical mini-lectures and group meditations throught the Fair times.
Arts and Crafts for Sale (that's us!)
Refreshments available.
Contact me for further details and questions.
I happen to know several of the readers personally. It will be well worth the dontation!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Coming to a WitchCamp Near You!

WitchCamp 2009Reclaiming Brigid
July 25-August 1, 2009Four Quarters InterFaith Sanctuary, Artemas, PA

This week, our friend David has taken free samples and loads of coupons to WitchCamp with him. We also donated several items to their auctions to raise money for scholarships for next year's camp. I believe that next year, the Goddess will be Isis.

I'm really hoping to get to go myself next year and set up a vending table. I think it would be so exciting!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

HUGE SALE!! Woohoo!

I'm really excited about this sale!

I'm ending Christmas in July with a BANG!

Until July 22 at midnight, all earrings are buy one, get one.

All malas are 50% off.

Check out the earrings here:

Check out the malas here:

Just send me a convo and let me know which earrings you want as your free earrings after you've completed your purchase. OR You can put it in the message to seller as you checkout.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Why I Create: An Artists Statement

by Holly

Creativity, to me, is nothing short of sacrament. It brings us closer to the Divine, especially if you believe in a creator god. How else can we come close to understanding what the Divine is than by imitating him, her, or however you think of It?

Creating puts us into an altered state. We meditate as we create. The mundane world falls away and we are left with our own thoughts and that internal spark of Divine in us all.

For the most part, the things I create are also intended to imitate and honor the all-powerful creative force of the Universe. For this reason, I prefer organic flow as opposed to imposed pattern (not that there aren't crazy patterns in nature, read Metapatterns by Tyler Volk). I prefer earthy colors and natural materials such as shell, bone, wood, clay and stone. I have a fondness for skulls and anything that reminds us of the transformations we go through that align us with the Earth and show us what it means to be alive. This also translates to other common themes in my work, like butterflies and spirals.

I also have a fondness for using keys in my work. Keys are symbolic of guidance and answers--two things that I think we all seek. So keys, to me, are a powerful symbol of our interconnectedness with one another because of the things we have in common. I believe that Art is an exploration of the qualities that make us feel different and "other." Yet, if you scratch the surface, art becomes really an expose of the things that make us alike, connected to one another and in harmony with the Universe.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Explanation of the Love Beads

With every purchase from our online stores or, I send out a love bead necklace with a small note. The necklaces are hand strung by me (Holly) on hemp in all different colors, tied off with a knot and a drop of glue. They are all about 30-33" long and each one is completely unique. I take a mix of colors and then randomly select them as a move along the string. Well, randomly, yet controlled :)

Back in December my mentor and friend passed away suddenly at the age of 50. It was devastating to me and my friend Annette. It has almost been six months now and I still can't believe it. He was one of the most passionate, caring, intelligent people I have ever known. He taught me about seeing connections instead of differences. He taught me to look for the things that we have in common with other people, cultures, and religions; to not see people as "other" but to see them as "same." He taught me that it was okay to make my own path on the way to the same goal we are all working toward.

One of the things everyone knew about him is how much he loved the Beatles. He and I used to regularly debate which was "the best" album . . . as if! Haha. I'm not sure how the idea came to be, but making love beads to honor his memory feels right. I feel like promoting peace, love and understanding is the best way I can honor the things he taught me and the impact he had on my life.

Love is a blessing. We can share it freely or we can hide it away. I prefer to share it freely because you never know what's coming at you just around the bend. I don't want to have any regrets.


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Christmas in July Sale!!

Some of the motivated sellers on Etsy have decided to have a Christmas in July sale starting today, July 8 and lasting until midnight on July 22. The Holy Bead has decided to jump right in and participate even though this is our first July on Etsy. It sounds like fun!

We have more earrings than we can count. It's our largest category and I've got even more to list. So, we can help you start accumulating your stocking stuffers and small gifts and you can help us decrease our inventory!

So here is the offer: Buy 2 pairs of earrings, get 1 free. Buy 4 pairs of earrings, get 2 free. Buy 6 pairs of earrings, get 3 free and so on. If you plan your order right, that could lead to significant savings!

All you have to do is go ahead and go through the checkout process. After you click "commit to buy" you can go on to paypal and pay for the full amount and I will refund you the price of the lowest priced earrings. -OR- If you would rather, I can send you a revised invoice through paypal. Just send me a convo and tell me that you'd rather do that.

Your third option is a little bit trickier. If you want to make you choices and let me know before hand, I can make a combined reserved listing for you with the earrings of your choice.

If you have any questions, comment here or send me a convo on Etsy.

If you would like to shop the Christmas in July sale at other Etsy shops, just type "ChristmasinJuly" or "CIJ" into the search box at the top of the Etsy main page.

Happy shopping!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Holy Bead: An Introduction

I thought I would start out our new shopblog by writing a smallish bit on why Phoenix and I created The Holy Bead.

The Holy Bead is an Etsy shop, which can be found directly through . After trying to set up a Yahoo shop and failing miserably at the technical aspects, I started our Etsy shop because it freed us up to work on the beads, rather than consuming all of our time with the website maintenance. We both have "day jobs" so our time is limited.

We have many friends that self-identify as pagan, but I affectionately refer to them as "omni-religous." In our close circle of friends, we have a Christopagan, a Hindu-oriented pagan devoted to the god Murugan, a couple of Native American descent who regularly practice with the pagans in our area, several new agers and so many more. All of whom have rich and diverse religious practices, all of whom have drastically different beliefs, but who get along just fine.

One of the reasons for this is that there are certain aspects of religion that nearly all faiths seem to have. Not all, but almost all. Prayer is one of those components of faith that most people have in common. We meditate, we cast spells, we converse with God, we plead with Universe--all of these things bring us closer to what is Divine.

I have held meditation groups and, especially in the beginning, people have so much trouble focusing. Prayer beads are an excellent tool to aid in focusing because you can focus on the beads, which involve your sense of touch, sound, and sometimes smell, and then turn that focus to the task at hand.

I realize though that there are not many types of prayer beads available that suit people with practices that draw from different traditions. After reading several books on different types of prayer beads, I arrived at a conclusion: since they aren't out there, I was going to make them.

I found that I really love beading. I've always done some beading on and off. Mostly I'm a painter and a sculptor, but beads are hard to resist. There are so many different types of beads. It's mesmerizing. I have learned that beads have been made by nearly every culture since the beginning of time. So, in addition to prayer, we all have beads in common. I love feeling like I get to participate in something that has been going on for so long with my art.

So why did I choose "Holy Bead"? Well, beads are sacred; the art of making and using beads is a sacred act. Beads also have holes; that's what makes them beads. And finally, my name is Holly. I have been called "Holy" my whole life. People will look at my name and call me Holy, instead of Holly because my last name is Cross. So to me, it's a triple word play.

I plan to use this blog to discuss trends in prayer, beading, discuss types of prayer beads, conduct promotions for the shop (so follow if you want to get the big discounts and do fun contests!) and explore the things that make all humans *similiar*.

Our next post will be my artist statement and shortly thereafter, we'll get one out of Phoenix too!