Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas!!!

Here's to wishing you all love and blessings during this holiday season from BeadJewelryShopgirl! Thank you for all your suppport and encouragement.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

At the Women's Museum

It began to look a lot like Christmas last December 4-5, showing off my wearable art at The National Museum of Women in the Arts holiday gift show. Showing my work in the same building housing the works of great female artists like Mary Cassatt, Georgia O'Keeffe, Frieda Kahlo is quiet a heady experience for me. I also met 2 fellow Etsy CREST gals, Bella Luna Designs and Cavanaugh Craft.

Now I have to prepare for the American Craft Council Show in February 2008 which is an even bigger show. I was accepted to be part of their New Wave Artist Exhibit (15 artists were chosen out of 90 applications). This is totally unexpected as I entered an application last minute. I thought I could rest after the museum show but it looks like I'll be beading like mad from now till February.

Happy Beading!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Celebrate the Season with Bead Jewelry by Shopgirl!

National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to recognizing the contributions of women artists. I’m proud to announce that I am one of the selected artists to participate in their annual holiday gift show featuring talented women artists and designers. The show is juried meaning artists apply and show their work which is reviewed by the Museum Committee. If you happen to be in the area, please drop by. There’s lots of things to buy to get your holiday shopping started!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Tis The Season Starting!

Holiday Season has started. I've already had a couple of shows with good results - more of my jewelry have found new homes and here are a few of my favorites that are now adorning their happy new owners.African Opal Cube necklace with sterling silver beads and toggle clasp
Mother of pearl chips with glass beads
Chaos Freeform beaded pendant
This necklace is one of my early works. Copper delicas with glass beads.
Freeform Peyote with wire frame bracelet
Sophisticated Squares Bracelet (Step By Step Beads magazine Nov/Dec 2007).
I made several of these and they all sold!
Dragon's Lair Freeform Peyote Bracelet
My entry for the October Etsy Beadweavers Challenge "A Study in Monochrome"

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Amazing Talent!

October's Etsy Beadweavers challenge entries are all in and it's amazing what artistry can bring to a simple theme "Study in Monochrome." Monochromatic pieces are usually boring but not to these jewelry artists and here is the evidence!

Don't miss out on voting for your favorite piece. Visit the EBW blog to vote.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Reflections Competition by EJA artists

It seems the 2 street teams I belong to are both in competition mode. This time Eclectic Jewelry Artisans ( is holding a competition with theme "Reflecting." Entries are being posted as we speak and voting will begin tomorrow. Of course, I entered my piece for the competition. Check out all the entries in our TeamEJA etsy store, after you've picked your favorite, go to to vote by click on Mailing List and enter who you vote for in the note. And by the way, when you vote, you will be entered into our free giveaway drawing!!! How much fun is that!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A New Home!

Yesterday, I was at the Ballston Arts + Crafts Art Market (the last one for the year-sniff, sniff). It was a good day, a bit chilly but people were still out for a walk shopping for handmade goodies. I was happy that quite a few of my pieces found a new home with ladies who fell in love with them. Several of my buyers simply put on the jewelry, not bothering to have me wrap it up for them! I was happy to see them smiling :)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

My Newest Babies

I've been toying around with triangles in my latest jewelry designs. Pendants, earrings, bracelets and now these rings. You say it's a diamond pattern but really what is a diamond but 2 triangles put together?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Once More In Print!

Step By Step Beads is a bead jewelry-making magazine from Interweave Press, in publication since Spring 2003. The magazine is published bi-monthly and features 12-20 bead jewelry projects per issue.

The November/December issue of the magazine will hit newsstands on October 9 and my bracelet design is featured in this issue!

I was asked by the editor to write a tutorial for my Embellished Square Stitch Bracelet and it is finally published! The editor chose this bracelet for the article and I wrote a tutorial showing how to create the bracelet. I actually had to create another one, writing down my instructions, taking pictures for the illustrations, revise, edit, edit again and finally mailed off my article and samples to the magazine.

And to think this is my SECOND national publication to be in this year! (In case you missed the first one, see my August post for Belle Armoire magazine where I was also mentioned in a collaborative project with a group of jewelry artists.)

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bead Heaven!

Give a group of talented beaders, like those in the Etsy Beadweavers, a creative theme and you come up with as many variations you can imagine! Each and everyone of these beaded creations took hours to create with so much love and talent! My thanks for my friend, SandFibers, who prepared this collage featuring all these beaded creations.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Etsy Beadweaver September Challenge

Artistic Challenges are so much fun especially with a group of highly talented artisans. Etsy Beadweavers' latest challenge is to "Show Your Colors." For my entry, I created this Pearlescent Purple Freeform Peyote Cuff featuring my favorite color, purple. 20 other beadweavers came up with gorgeous creations is various styles to whet your appetite. The public also gets a chance to pick their favorite. Be sure to visit the etsy beadweavers blog and put in your vote!

Friday, September 21, 2007

DC Craft Mafia in Ballston Arts + Crafts Market

It's been a fun summer. Every second Sunday of the month, I've been able to hang out with my new DC Craft Mafia friends. As Arty4Ever always says, "We're crafty and we're connected!" This October 8th will be the last Ballston A+C Market so if you haven't visited Ballston lately, be sure to come!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Hot August Nights Etsy Beadweavers Challenge

One of the street teams I belong to in is ETSY Beadweavers. A group of very talented artisans equally obsessed as I am about weaving teeny tiny seed beads into gorgeous wearable art. We have a monthly theme going on now. The above creation was done by NoEasyBeads, titled "Midnight On The Bayou Raku Necklace"as her entry for this month's challenge on "Hot August Nights." Check out the other hot artisan jewelry and vote on your favorite!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Crafty Helper? Crafty Businessman in the Making!

I'm fortunate that I'm never alone when I go to craft shows. I always have my son with me. Why? That's because he has his own craft to sell - origami. My son has been doing origami since he was 5 years old. He has always been fascinated with paper - cutting it, crumpling it and finally discovering the joys of folding. Now at the veteran age of 11, he can do large origami figures from one long sheet of paper or the smallest crane I have seen from a 1cm square piece of paper (click here for my previous post on this). So when I started doing craft shows, he sets his origami table next to mine. It's great moral support to have him by me!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chiaroscuro – a play on light and shadow

(Another edition for Etsy Bloggers' Blog Carnival!)

When I first took Humanities in college I first learned the word “Chiaroscuro.” A technique made popular during the Baroque period by Caravaggio, I think. Simply put, it is a bold contrast in light and dark. In shooting my jewelry, I instinctively go for this look. Now you can’t altogether be too dark since buyers need to see details, but play on light gives your presentation a little drama – which hopefully hooks your buyer.
I like to see where the light is coming from and usually it comes from one direction in my photos. Take the first photo above (Carnelian Quartz Gold Lauriat). I shot this in the morning, right by a window sill, with the blinds partially down but with some slots open to let the light hit the carnelian quartz and catch the gleam of the crystals so that it reflected on the dark leather. The right to left contrast of light to dark also gives the piece depth so you can just see how round those stones are.
Understand, I am not a professional photographer and I have never taken a photography lesson. My best photos have been taken by a simple Fuji FinePix A345. I also have a “newer” Olympus FE-170 but for some reason the Fuji just does the job for me. My rules are simple: I use natural light, morning or late afternoons. I use a tripod. And always, always Macro!
Another way to play with light and dark is use of background like in the beadwoven bracelet (Beaded Scallop Bracelet). The light once again is morning light, sourced from the right. The yellow background offsets the dark beads of the bracelet at the same time catches the natural light and reflects if back into the black leather surface. Again, this creates depth. But more importantly, when you are looking at thumbnails on the etsy site, light & dark contrast like this helps to make your picture stand out which is exactly what you want.
The third photo (Beads on Copperwire Bangle) is a similar example of this play on light and shadow. This time the contrast in background colors of blue and black, contrasts with the piece itself with the light holding all the elements together.
Finally, the best tip I think anyone can ever show you – CLOSE-UPS! Beware of close-ups though. You need to make sure your jewelry is perfect because taking extreme close-ups is literally putting your jewelry under a microscope!
I bid you adieu with these close-up shots.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

I'm in Print!

Months ago, I participated in a collaborative project as a call for artists by Belle Armoire magazine. Together with a group of etsy artists, we created a charm necklace with each charm representing each artist's concept of the Etsy Community. Lo and behold, our submission was accepted by Belle Armoire and is now featured in their Sept/Oct 2007 issue! I've included a picture of the necklace and a detail of the freeform beaded pendant I submitted for the project. I also include the published article that goes with the necklace. Read on!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Le Chic! Le Wicked!

I just found out that my Embellished Gold Bracelet is featured in!!! They have a Daily Ditties sections (see under August 13) featuring some neat handmade stuff. This happens to be the same bracelet I did an article on and will be featured in the holiday issue of Step By Step Beads magazine! Wicked!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Etsy Bloggers Street Team Presents a Carnival of Colors!

It is my honor to host this week’s edition of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team Blog Carnival – Carnival of Colors! Take a peek at my post about this just yesterday. Now treat your eyes and surf the Etsy blogoshere for a rainbow of colors and interesting stories from talented indie artists!

Yazmin shows how she tackles a challenging project in a Ring of Colors posted at A Pretty Rock Jewelry - blog.

Ginger Black opens a little window into her world in her own Carnival of Colors! Read on for An Adventure in Glass.

MrsDragon features a parade of talented Etsy artists in All the Colors of Etsy posted at Mrs. Dragon's Wares.

Purple is my favorite color and I found out Alicia Mae loves it, too, with her article Purple!! here in AliciaMae's Xanga.

Judy raves about Fuchsia In All Its Glory as featured in Artsy Clay.

Sue confesses she is “quite addicted to Altered and Mixed Media art” in A Carnival of Colors with ZNE Etsy. Read about it at The Lily Pepper Blog.

Enjoy an eye-popping experience with Christine as she shows how My life is a carnival of colors featured in Eye Pop Art.

Lis reveals to us the inner workings of a favorite Etsy "toy" in Secrets of the Etsy Color Picker as seen in Etsy Shops.

We have a radical (aren’t we all?) in Karen who dares to showcase the glamour of the UN-colored in her post at faded willow.

Shannon talks about her favorite season in her article Carnival of Colors: Getting Ready for Autumn featured in Anodyne Design.

Jen of Baby Friendly Beads tells us why blue is her favorite color in Tangled Up in Blue posted at Mama's Magic.

Confections presents Colorful Custom-Carded Rolags and Needlefelted Flower. Find out more in her blog Stelladanza.

And by photo finish, TantalizingStitches presents Tantalize Your Baby with Crochet! posted in Tantalizing Creativity.

My thanks to Linda James of Flame On Glass for her photo of Orphanz beads which goes so perfectly with our Carnival of Colors theme. Linda makes the most beautiful lampwork beads I've ever seen.

Next week’s carnival titled “Picture Perfect” will be hosted by Heather in her blog, Humble Beads Blog, with tips for taking pictures - interesting! That’s it for this carnival parade of colors!

Carnival of Colors!

This week's Etsy Bloggers Street theme is "Carnival of Colors." It is also my first time to host so it should be exciting! (I'll be posting the carnival by tonight so don't fret). I beat my brains out for what to feature (I suggested the concept I should be able to think of one - duh!) till it dawned on me as I was setting up for a show yesterday morning. I had dumped my bracelets on the table - voila! my carnival of colors photo. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Lemonade Stand.....NOT! or How To Prepare for a Craft Show

Don’t we all wish that selling in craft shows is as simple as selling lemonade when we were kids? Never that easy! I’m preparing for another craft show next weekend and it’s great timing that the theme this week for Etsy Bloggers Street Team is “How To Prepare for a Craft Sale/Show.”

So here are a few pointers on how to prepare for a craft show. I sell jewelry but some of these pointers apply to whatever type of goods you create.

  1. Rehearse – if you are a newbie to craft shows, do like a dress rehearsal. Practice setting up so you know how long it takes you. Set up your booth at home. See how it looks, make adjustments. Imaging your buyers going through your booth, what do they see first, what do they see last? Take a picture and bring the photo with you to the show to help you remember your set up. Then pack up your stuff as if you were ending the show. I added a candy dish to my booth with mints or chocolates.
  2. Tags – I like to tag my pieces, although I find a lot of people don’t. The tag not only states the price of the item but also the materials. As a shopper, I’d like to know what materials were used in any handcrafted item. The price on the tag makes it look professional and not something just thought of on the spot by the seller. Besides, I have a poor memory so I can’t really remember all my prizes!
  3. Have a door prize raffle – have a sheet and pen in hand for customers to enter their name, address, phone and email address for a chance to win a prize. Tell them you’ll contact the winner after the show. This also helps you to create a customer base/distribution list for your newsletter. Just because someone didn’t buy from you at a show doesn’t mean they won’t buy online from you later.
  4. Simple Displays – I like to keep my display simple. I’ve seen too many displays where there was just too much going on that you could hardly make out the jewelry. So keep your display simple, drawing the eye to your jewelry/ merchandize. And they need not be expensive. I use decorative gold colored radiator screens to display my earrings and short necklaces (found them in home depot for $5!). They can hold about 50 – 60 pairs of earrings with room to spare!
  5. Jewelry and tools – I like to bring my beads and tools to a show. My bracelets are often on the shorter side because it’s easier to lengthen rather than shorten. When a customer needs a bracelet longer I can easily do that on the spot with beads and tools on hand.
  6. Bring something to eat and drink, especially if you will be alone. Some craft show organizers are thoughtful enough and bring snacks to their vendors but more often you’ll need to feed yourself. You really don’t want to spend time away from your booth (other than that unavoidable bio-break!).
  7. Bring your smile with you! Ignore rude and grumpy people!
  8. Sleep well the night before and be at the show on time!

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Passion for Purple

Purple is one of my favorite colors so it's not surprising that I create a lot of jewelry in this color. Just look at some of these pieces! There more not featured in this photo but I think you get the drift. What's you favorite color?

Friday, July 20, 2007

The Wire Competition by EJA – Your Chance to Vote and Win!

Here's your chance to vote for your favorite wire project by the artisans of Eclectic Jewelry Artisans (EJA) and your chance to win a free gift bag that will include hand made jewelry and other goodies!!

Just visit EEJA web site and fill out the form. On July 25th, we will draw a lucky e-mail address from those that have voted. One vote per person. Voting on an item will sign you up for our newsletter that will inform you of future sales and other prize drawings.

Thank you,
Team EJA

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Big Guy, Sweet Guy - Phil Mickelson

I admire Tiger as a golfer but as a person, there is none other than Phil Mickelson. This is a man with a BIG HEART! Like Arnold Palmer, he enjoys his fans and knows not to neglect them. After his pro-am round today at the AT&T National he spent at least half an hour signing EVERYONE's memorabilia. Now that is class! More pictures loaded in my flickr page or or copy and paste to your browser: .

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Today, I followed Tiger Woods Around

I'm a bead-addict, aikido-addict, golf-addict and Tiger Woods addict. My hubby, son and I spent the day following Tiger Woods today as he had his practice round in the golf event he is hosting this week in Washington, DC - AT&T Invitational at the historic Congressional Golf and Country Club. It was fun and exciting to watch him play in a relaxed mode. Here are a few shots. For more pictures, visit my flickr page or copy and paste to your browser:
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