Sunday, March 28, 2010

A New Shop on Etsy

Back in October 2009 at a bead show in Tampa, I met Alex. We were both shopping for beads, and I heard her inquiring about some gemstone beads and we got talking. I learnt that she enjoyed designing and crafting bead jewelry and was looking to launch a home-based business and searching for avenues to spread the word and market her jewelry. Since I have been selling my hand-crafted jewelry online for some years now, we had much to talk about.

Alex, once a landscape architect in NYC, now lives with her husband and two young sons in Tampa, FL, skillfully managing her time between her family and her jewelry business. It is not uncommon to receive an email from her timed 2.00 am! Many emails have been exchanged between us since October and she has now opened her new shop on Etsy!

Congratulations Alex! I love the name of the shop. Crystal Mango! it creates visions of luscious gemstones in rich tropical colors ready for the picking. Beautiful jewelry, love the contrast in colors and shapes in your pieces, very feminine, very desirable. Great photographs too, you are off to a very good start.

Here are some fruits of Alex's creative juices - for evening wear check out her Magical Moments Collection.

Crescendo of Freshwater Pearls and Crystal Quartz 

Jazz It Up - Crystal Quartz and Swarovski Crystal

Magical Crystal Quartz and Opalite earrings.

And for the women on the go, she has created the very modern and sophisticated - Urban chic collection for daytime wear...

Serenity with Agate and Onyx 

I invite you to visit her store and check out the rest of her beautiful jewelry! 
You can also fan her on FaceBook.

If you would like to leave comments and suggestions for Alex to encourage and help her in her new venture, please do not hesitate. She would love to hear what fellow beaders and shop-owners have to say.

Good luck with your new store, Alex!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Celebrating The Beauty of Spring!

Today, March 20, 2010 we celebrate the arrival of spring. We Floridians are all breathing a collective sigh of relief, no more cold fronts, no more freeze warnings, no more warm jackets, .. it's Spring! but wait, there is a cold front headed our way, and we are in for some rain and cooler temperatures. But that is tomorrow, today was a gorgeous day, a chamber of commerce kind of day, the kind of day that makes me glad I live in Florida!

Being an design partner, I received some beads of my choice from as part of their 'The Beauty of Spring' design campaign. So what better to celebrate the end of the coldest winter in 100 years in Florida, than to unveil my spring design collection. One look at these lime green handmade Venetian Glass beads and Spring comes to mind...

I love these Peridot colored glass beads with a center of gold foil and I have used them in many of my designs. I then added a large Cloisonné disc with an eye-catching pink flower on a blue background. The center of the pink flower is the same lime green as the glass bead, just perfect!  

Enameled Cloisonné beads are handcrafted in China, where artisans begin with a copper base, create patterns by soldering brass wire in cells. Enamel paint is filled in the patterns and fired to permanently fix the colors. The painting and firing process can be repeated as many as four times. The bead is then smoothed and polished, and the exposed brass wire edges are gold or silver plated. Since it is hand made, each bead is slightly different, not always uniform, but this just adds to their beauty. Unfortunately, has sold out their stock of Cloisonné beads, but promise that more are expected soon, so check in often so you will not miss them when they arrive. 

The two beads have between them a tiny Swarovski crystal. Of course, this pretty flower would attract a butterfly! The design is meant to put a spring in one's steps! 

To celebrate the arrival of spring in your very own style, hurry to, they have a store-wide Spring Fever Sale on right now, but only for a limited time, the sale ends at 9.00am (PT) March 23, 2010. carries an extensive collection of colorful Venetian glass beads. Make sure you watch the Handy Tip Video that explains how to smooth out the rough edges on the handmade Venetian beauties. Also check out my 'Under the Sea Earrings' made with Aquamarine Venetian glass bead.

Disclosure: I received the beads described above above free of charge from I have been asked to review these beads/supplies and give my honest opinion of them.  I am not being paid by for my endorsement of any of the products received and reviewed in my blog postings.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Great minds think alike or What?

Stringing Magazine has posted the entries to it's newest challenge 'Night and Day' for viewing and for voting. As I clicked through the snapshots of the jewelry submitted for this challenge one common theme seemed to emerge... most all of the jewelry designers have used an asymmetrical design of opposites, mostly in color and often in the choice of beads, to depict night and day...I guess it really is a no brainer, now that I think of it, night is opposite of day, dark and light, nothing complex about it....
(Note to self - got to think outside the box!)

Check it out and cast your votes for the one you like the best.
Hurry voting ends April 5th.

Also get your entries ready for the next challenge 'Rock and Roll', the closing date for this one is April 5th as well.
Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Sweet Sweepstakes and Great Giveaways!

Today I am putting together some chances to win, what else? Beads! Beads! and more Beads!

You have less than 48 hours to enter the 10th Anniversary Sweepstakes for a chance to win $1,000 worth of beads! Can you imagine my husband's face when I tell him I am bringing home $1,000 worth of beads? and my dream come true... You can enter the Sweepstakes by following this link to FaceBook, or clicking on the Artbeads Sweepstakes logo on the top left-hand corner of my blog.

Congratulations to on 10 years of great service to the beading community worldwide!

Doreen of Backyard Beads is celebrating the opening of her new shop on Etsy by giving away to one lucky beader a set of her groovy Wild Things beads. Congratulations, Doreen I wish you much success with your new shop.

Julie of Prairie Thistle has a wonderful giveaway, a great gift to any mom on Mother's Day. She is celebrating her 400th blog by giving away a mixed media Madonna and Child Reliquary made with such loving care and attention to detail. Check it out at her blog.

Good Luck to you all!

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