Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

Summer isn't far off now (officially starts June 21, 2009 at 1:45 A.M. EDT) and that has me thinking of sandals and shorts, beaches and shells, bbq's and picnics. What summery ideas are out there in the Beadosphere this week?

Margot Potter's fun flip-flops project I don't have any rubber flip-flops but it still gave me an idea for sprucing up my plain black Reefs (my pair are the 'black/black' shown at the bottom right of the color choices - so very comfy and 3 summers old and still holding up, worth every penny)

Mad Designs, Marcia deKoster shared some kaleidoscope designs she captured from a sculpture at an outdoors San Diego art installation. What kind of summery beading project ideas could you get from kaleidoscopes? I immediately thought of a filigree assemblage with pearls and chain and glittering faceted beads - look at the diamond shape in the middle of the pictures she features - Swarovski gem, perhaps?.

Lima Beads lets you search through their listings and create a "Fresh Pick" montage. You can put different beads, stones, pearls and findings together and get an immediate look at how the colors and picks look together. Give it a try! (I ended up buying my picks - the feature puts them on one page together so you don't have to hunt them down again). You can also see other picks on the front page or browse pages of picks.

SmuTopia shares a Sailor's Valentine - made from shells

Heather at Art Bead Scene shares a whole assortment of sea-inspired picks

A Bead A Day would love to hear from you if you're familiar with the purple stone she featured last week. It's a great color for a deep hued design inspired by standing under the stars in the middle of a short summer's night - perhaps in the mountains near a clear lake or maybe on the beach of some tropical island?

Krista QQ posted about some bead and jewelry fashion trends on the SWCreations blog

Other blogs of note:

JustATish had an important interview and gave us some insight into how she created a 'tantrum' necklace to help her channel energy into something positive.

Artbeads products for May were sent out for review and although I got mine last week, I was too busy over the weekend to do much with the bead (or talk about it). I'll have a review up tomorrow, though. Meanwhile you can check out what Hammi Jammi Jewelry did with their Venetian glass, or what (and how) Jennifer Perkins did with the Garden Snail stoneware pendant, libeado used Swarovski rivoli's in a lush woven seed bead creation.

Sugee Andersyn published an important warning on her blog about the new Amazon Kindle Blog publishing service. I immediately went and claimed my blog. It was easy to do. Once it's up (48 to 72 hrs) I'll post more about it.

Would you like some back issues of beading magazines, or some how to books? Simply Shiny is de-stashing!

And, lastly, something that has simply nothing to do with jewelry design, beads or trends or summer - typewriter art posted on the Blankney Journal, a blog by Rodney Garlant. I found it via JustATish and became a follower (you should to, it'll bring a daily smile to your face). It's an adorable blog full of trivia and interesting tid-bits. I wish I could leave him a comment to say how much I enjoy his blog!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews - Review of Rings & Things Gemstone Beads Index

(image courtesy of Rings & Things)

Rings & Things was kind enough to send me a review copy of their printed Gemstone Beads Index. The price is $12 and can be ordered online from Rings & Things. It's a 8 1/2" x 11", Spiral bound book, with a plastic cover (clear in front, heavier black in back) with full color pictures of gemstone beads on pages 3 - 7. The book is 70 pages long.

The Gemstone Beads Index gives "insight into the origins and uses of 275 gemstones." They include, when possible, information about the chemical make-up of the stone, where it's commonly found, what metaphysical properties are purported to it and many other helpful and interesting facts.

Included in the "gems" indexed are Swarovski crystal pearls, man-made (lab grown, glass marketed as 'quartz', etc.) or enhanced stones (irradiated, dyed) and shells, such as Mother of Pearl. The guide is a fascinating read and very helpful resource.

What I appreciate most is the bluntly honest information presented. Rings & Things talks about the garnet they carry, for example, "Our stock of garnet beads is a lower-grade variety, which has a lesser gleam but also a more affordable price tag. These garnets may be dyed to achieve their attractive color..."

How utterly refreshing to see this, especially after buying stone beads at retailers where there is no useful information on the packaging, and the store employees don't have any knowledge of the beading stock at all. When I was very new at this I wasn't as concerned about the details but as I've gotten experience and as I attempt to sell my work, it's very important to the customer that I can give them accurate information about their purchase and how to care for it - and for that, you have to know what you're using.

A real life example happened to me at the recent Bay Con show. A customer asked about the stones in a necklace I made. They were aventurine and she wanted to know the metaphysical properties of aventurine, so I was able to check the listing and let her know. Made the sale, too!

I've bought stones in retail places because I liked how they looked and then later, when asked what they were, I had no idea because the package had given them a name like "camoflauge stone" which at the time, I couldn't find a reference to anywhere online until recently, and now I know it's Kambaba Jasper (page 34 of the Gemstone Beads Index).

The Gemstone Beads Index is well worth the $12 investment, in my opinion.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dawno's Weekly Wanderings Around the Beadosphere

I'm at BayCon this weekend, but I prepared this in advance so you wouldn't miss this weekly feature. I may pop in a post later on about the con, so check back!

This week is all about inspiration:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thursday Feature: Reviews & Interviews: Dave Robertson from Rings & Things

(Photo courtesy of Dave - this is him wearing a "toupee of iron chastity-belt tradebeads from Africa")

Today I am very happy to present Dave 'Optimator' Robertson from Rings & Things - seems like he's *everywhere* on the web, from Facebook to Twitter to our blogs (in the comments where he's always enthusiastic and supportive) to the Rings & Things forum, blog, and even behind the scenes in their online catalog (yep, some of the cool features there are courtesy of Dave and his 'leet' web-skillz).

It's always a pleasure to see his posts and Tweets (with his signature smiley face at the end). Dave has gathered a great group of Blog Partners, encourages you to post your business tips and blog comments at the Rings & Things site, tweets about crafty stuff and shares links via "re-tweets" from crafters everywhere - it's those little touches that mean a lot! I was very happy that Dave graciously accepted my offer to be interviewed! So, without further ado - here's the Q&A:

Dawno: Do you personally craft? If so, what? If not, is there any thing you would like to do, if you could?
Dave: Yes, I do some beading. (Tried knitting but I'm not so
coordinated.) We keep a big vat of beads, basic findings, and
stringing materials in the house. A lot of times at Rings & Things
bead shows, either I or my wife will find some bead that we just have
to have! Our stash comes in handy for making gifts, and it's a great
activity to do with the kids. Even our two-year-old has started
stringing his own necklaces, and he's got a very good eye for it.
Dawno: You've mentioned here and there that your degree is in Linguistics - would you tell us a bit about the path from that to Web Optimizer at Rings & Things?
Dave: It's more like two intertwined paths! I've studied Linguistics off
and on for years, and been at Rings & Things for big chunks of the
last decade. At the moment I'm lucky enough to finance my PhD
program by helping sell beads. This relates to the next question, as
you rightly foresaw...
Dawno: What is a Web Optimizer anyway?
Dave: A web optimizer is a person who works to make a website get noticed
more. This involves all kinds of work, from getting involved in an
online community to figuring out which words to use when we write
about our products. That last part has a close connection with my
linguistics training, because it involves researching how people
talk. It's a fun, surprising way to find college studies paying
off. (I'm just the kind of person to really, really enjoy questions
like "Does Google care if people search for us as 'Rings and Things',
or 'Rings n Things', versus 'Rings & Things'?") :)
Dawno: What do you like best about the R&T blogging experience?
Dave: Blogging is a creative outlet. Ideally it's also a challenge like
Twitter: I think you should have a good, clear idea, and say it in a
few powerful words. Be done before the reader is bored. It's
tremendous fun to engage readers & get them to comment on a blog
post. You'll notice, too, that certain kinds of ideas are
characteristic of Rings & Things' blog: new uses for jewelry
components, simple ways to grow your craft business, and other stuff
that we think we'd like to read if we were at someone else's
blog. So the job never gets old.
Dawno: What advice or suggestions can you share with independent artisans about getting their work "out there"?
Dave: I've met lots of artisans in person and online, and my conclusion is
that they're just like any other small business. (1) Make your
creations because they're something you'd love to own, not because
they seem like a trendy item. (2) The web optimizer in me says,
"just Google it". (3) Think about what "marketing" means to you. Persevere.
Dawno: Do you have a favorite story about Bead Tour?
Dave: My favorite stories are animal-related, for some reason. One of my
fondest memories of being on the road for Rings & Things bead shows
is of riding in the "bead truck" somewhere near the gigantic
fireworks barn in Wyoming, and watching an eagle and a pronghorn
antelope race each other. And once, we stopped by the road once in
the middle of the Everglades and walked onto a ramp to look at some
alligators lazing in the water. We got a good close look before we
realized the alligators weren't lazing anymore, and were swimming
toward us fast!
Dawno: Open question - share whatever you'd like to say to our readers.
I love it! If I could say just one thing, I'd ask everyone who has ever bought from Rings & Things to visit our online store...and review every product we've sold you. Your feedback goes straight to the next customer to look at that product, and helps them decide whether to order it. Other ways you can make your mark on our site are to comment at our blog, submit ideas via our craft business tips page, and ask questions or share tips in our discussion forum. (I guess I'm still answering that question about getting your name out there...!)
Don't forget, if you comment on the Rings & Things blog posts you get in on the chance to win their monthly prize. More comments, more chances!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Just added two new blogs to my list The Artistic Blogger - Julie Hampton aka Hampton Designs @Hamptondesigns on Twitter. She created the graphic for my new Moo-mini cards. Beautiful art and design. May I be so bold as to say you should be following her, too? On Tuesday she posted about a very interesting marketing tool and asked "What do you think?" - go let her know!

The second new blog is Orion Designs. Vicki came and left a comment on yesterday's post and I visited her blog - it's full of great photos and posts. Like me, she also shops at The Beadin' Path - look at these lovely hammered brass and copper charm necklaces she made with some of their charms and gives insight into how she created the finish on them - wow! I also love the "you might like these stories" widget (?) she uses at the bottom of her posts.

Shoozles is having a Wear Your Art event today. Wishing I lived in her part of the country! Have you ever had a bead party or independent showing (outside of a crafts fair or other public venue) How did it go? Would you do it again?

However, in my neck of the woods there's Maker Fair on May 30 - 31, volunteers needed. Via SoftFlexGirl.

Melissa at Strands posted her Art Bead Scene entry - what a beautiful piece. Her koi bead is perfectly complimented by the colors and beads in this necklace. On Wednesday she featured a Kate McKinnon piece she is the proud owner of. I would love to work in metal clay some many things I want to try, so little time.

Are you going to enter the Art Bead challenge? The prizes are beautiful beads from Mary Harding Jewelry, Chinook Jewelry and Humblebeads, which you can see at the Art Bead Scene blog.

Speaking of Humblebeads, check out her two Beadstar 2009 finalist enttries. Congratulations, Heather!

As hesitant as I am to toot my own horn here (you'll see what I mean when you read her post), I do need to note that Just A Tish has created a new blog recognition icon and award idea - do pass it along to those in the Beadosphere that inspire you.

Tish also responded to the latest Rings & Things goodie package a lot like I did - straight to the cell phone lariats - the pictures show exactly what clever things you can do with them - and you don't have to be an expert beader to make fun stuff (even though Tish is) for yourself and your friends. A shell, some buttons, a bead,or some chain, a couple of headpins and simple loops, and voilà!

The Artbeads "Blogging for Beads" bloggers (see the blogroll for the list) have been posting some of their work - I mentioned the Red Magma Swarovski disks I selected way back on April 10th - and today I see that Marcia at Mad Designs has posted about the beautiful bronze Alphabet Pendant she chose.

Lisa at A Bead A Day has shared great finds all week - earthy glass beads from Sedona, "mystery lanyards", fun daisy beads made into rings - you get the drift, be sure to read her blog every day for a new look at beads and beading *every day* and especially the featured designer - usually on Fridays.

Friday, Margot Potter shared some big news, a beautiful necklace, and pride in her wonderful daughter's acheivement at school as a Student Ambassador. I know there are days when she probably doesn't feel like it, but she's quite inspirational as a mom, a crafter and a strong female role model. As she likes to say "Craft on with your bad selves!" Great advice.

Here's a design inspiring post from Design*Sponge. The colors and asymetrical composition give me lots of ideas.

Do you read the comments when you visit blogs? It's a great place to find new blogs, new friends - start a conversation by visiting a new blog and saying where you heard about them - along with something nice about the post you're visiting, of course! I discovered Bead Sisterhood in the comments on A Bead A Day - lovely site and team blog.

By the way, I'm archiving all these posts on a new blog Dawno's Beadosphere. I'm not sure what I'll do other than archive these there, but it may have a future utility I haven't thought of yet.

Today's Wanderings Brought to You By

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Debut of Thursday Feature: Reviews and Interviews - Presenting John A. Jacobs, CEO of Art Fire

Today I debut a weekly reviews and interviews segment and have the honor of presenting an interview with John A. Jacobs, CEO of ArtFire.

ArtFire, in its own words, is "...the premier online marketplace for handmade products designed by artisans around the globe. Our free community is designed for artisans to buy and sell their works, while celebrating unique handmade items and designs. It is always free for buyers of handmade products to search through our listed artisans, buy, or request for items to be specially made. No matter if you are looking for local handmade crafts, or handmade products from artisans around the world, is the marketplace for you."

You'll want to visit their "About" section to learn more about the people and history of ArtFire - it's a great story.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade
images courtesy of

Dawno: The love and respect you have for your mother is very obvious - if you are comfortable about it, would you talk a bit more about what kind of jewelry she created, if she is still active in crafts and what does she think about Art Fire?

John: My mother is very active in many different handmade genres and very much enjoys making custom jewelry with semi-precious gemstones and sterling silver. She is one of our biggest fans here at ArtFire and certainly one of our earliest fans! I recall when we were just getting going with ArtFire, my mother, Kay offered to start making handmade items for EVERY category and sub category of ArtFire so we could start filling all the categories!

That still makes me chuckle a bit as we now have over 200,000 items in thousands of categories and expect many millions of items to pour in over the next year! My mother taught me balance and though I find myself in the office six days a week, I always remember that family must come first! She really is the glue that helps hold our family together and has certainly guided my course over the years.

My mother's struggle to establish herself as a successful artisan has always been very frustrating for our family. ArtFire has really become an answer for all those artisan who, like my mother, are trying to get a foothold but just can't afford the fees and cost of starting a new business or stepping up to the next level with their businesses. There are not many venues or companies that are willing to help a starving artist and we think that's a shame. ArtFire was built for my mother and all the mothers (and fathers), sisters, and brothers out there that just need a hand up and deserve a chance at being successful.

Dawno: As an Air Force brat, it was rewarding to read about your service. You mention that you "worked hard to both fulfill my service to the country and attend college full time. I graduated from Louisiana Tech University and then returned to Tucson after an honorable discharge from the Air Force." Just to clarify, you went to college full time during your time in the Air Force or was it afterward? If during, when did you find time to sleep?

We worked very hard in the Air Force in fact most typical days at Barksdale AFB were 12 hour shifts, and we worked six days a week. Of course there were TDY assignments, training, etc on top of staying proficient at my duties and volunteering for the local SWAT and Emergency Services Teams.

Just making it to class was a challenge every day. Most days I was late to class or had to pull the undesirable posts to earn the right to go to school. I often say the Bachelor's degree that I earned while serving on active duty was substantially harder than the Master's degree I earned as a civilian.

That being said, I wouldn't have it any other way. Much like what I learned in the USAF, we pride ourselves on speed of execution of projects here at ArtFire, and our team understands that to be successful and to truly serve the ArtFire community, we must work harder than we are comfortable with, and accomplish our goals each and every day.

Dawno:What would you say was the most important thing you learned during your time in the Air Force that you apply to your current role?

John: I learned the meaning of discipline in the Air Force and decided that I would carry that with me in life. Not just in work though, but in my personal relationship with my family and my wife, with physical fitness, and in with the way in which I allow myself to think. Discipline to me means pushing yourself to do the right thing even when it is not the easy thing to do.

I think that most of us can point to dozens of missed opportunities each day that if we would properly motivate ourselves to do, could change our lives. I find that to live a disciplined life, the first step is to never make an excuse when a solution or action could be substituted (even if the action does not yield the perfect result), inaction can often be the worse course.

Dawno: It's no surprise, after reading "About our Founder", that you are passionate about supporting the independent craft artisan, and the Art Fire business model certainly proves that. Were there nay-sayers in that regard? If so, what did they tell you that you've,so far, proven wrong and what challenges are still left to overcome?

John: Sure there are always challenges to success and naysayers along the way. To build any business takes an overwhelming belief that no matter what the challenge, you can and will find a solution to it and push through. With every business I have ever built, we have been undercapitalized, understaffed, under experienced or just plain not as qualified as our competitors.

Here's the good news; in most situations, none of this matters. Success has nothing to do with money or experience, success is a choice that we each make every day. Make a list of what you can and will accomplish today and don't allow yourself to fail. If you are working on a large project, then break it down to daily tasks. If you do this with your business, with your relationships, or with anything in your life that you want to complete; there is nothing you can't accomplish.

Dawno: Other than it being your home town, what are the business advantages to being headquartered in Tucson?

John: Tucson has a strong history of technology and is the home of the University of Arizona which produces world class talent that we are fortunate enough to be able to draw on. We are not too far from California either and have seen an influx of technical talent in the past several years, which has really turned Tucson into a hidden technology gem than many companies such as Intuit, AOL, Ratheon, Reliasoft, and even IBM have greatly benefited from!

We have a burgeoning arts and music scene here and a relatively low cost of living as compared nationally. By being based in Tucson we can effectively compete through substantially lower operating costs as compared to companies based on the east and west coast. This allows us to keep our overhead and ultimately our rates lower for our members.

Dawno: How important do you think social networking, web 2.0, etc., are to Art Fire's success now and in the future - any thoughts about what that future might look like?

John: The reality is that social networking is how business will be done as we move forward and technology evolves. As many as 80-90% of fortune 500 companies are increasing their investment in social networking and online channels or virtual contact points with their base. If a company wants to lower costs, become more efficient and sustain growth it is now more important than ever to use social tools to connect with their customers.

ArtFire could be compared to a traditional Gem or Craft show like CHA, G&LW, GLDA, etc. in which a 10x10 booth might cost thousands of dollars for a weekend, or a brick and mortar collectables shop that might run thousands of dollars in overhead to operate each month. ArtFire utilizes emerging technology to connect member artisans to an enormous pool of buyers, which never would have been possible for many artisans because of the cost barriers.

We take it even further than that with ArtFire though. As costs continue to fall on bandwidth, servers, storage and with an aggressive system of management and a focus on ease of use for our members, we can deliver the absolute lowest cost solution for sellers available on the Internet. Our objective is to be substantially less expensive than even building your own Web site and thus far we have easily pulled this off. On ArtFire there are no listing, final, or hidden fees. Just $12 a month for unlimited listings in your full custom Fusion Studio with integrated features and functionality that help artisans and business owners easily utilize social media sites to promote unique handmade items.

Best of all, we do all the hard work for our member, with just the click of a button, items can be posted to sites like Twitter and or members can promote themselves by writing for sister sites like

ArtFire is young and the future is bright! We have shown amazing month over month growth numbers in traffic, members' sales, and market penetration that we expect will continue and accelerate. We have plans for many more facets of the community and even more sites and our commitment is to never stop innovating and executing ideas quickly. In fact some of the most innovative US companies are now following the lead of ArtFire and attempting to match our business model and features.

Dawno: You briefly mention your mother's and your experiences with eBay - where do you think they most went in the wrong direction for the independent artisan? Are they still the web's 800lb gorilla and if so, any thoughts on why that is?

John: I remember when eBay used to go around to gem shows and almost beg sellers to sign up and sell on eBay. Yep, an actual person would shake your hand and explain what eBay could do to help support your business. Over the years eBay changed and appears to have forgotten that their site was built on the backs of its members.

There was a time that you could find many independent artisans on eBay but changes to eBay which put substantial pressure on artisans and businesses to lower prices and offer free shipping just to get seen, have since driven many great artists and businesses away from eBay.

Several years ago we saw Etsy step up as a solution for many handmade artisans and most of us hoped that this would be a new approach and a potentially a venue that could support the true needs of artisans. Unfortunately I think that where a venue goes wrong is when they bring in Venture Capital and profits become more important than service. It may seem noble to go "public" with a venue, however when this happens the fiduciary duty of management by law must shift to protect the interests of the investors or shareholders, even at the expense of the members.

Yes, eBay for all intents and purposes is still the 800lb gorilla, they were one of the first to market and they do have momentum, however there has been a drastic shift in where the internet is headed and being the gorilla is not the necessarily the best strategy for survival anymore. Micro segmentation and customer service is making a comeback as companies like ArtFire can be built and serve communities better for far less expense, overhead, and operate with a flat management hierarchy that connects management with members.

We now see a thousand, one hundred pound gorillas that are fast and flexible taking market share from sites like eBay, and we think this is an exciting change that will prove to empower the seller/user/member/buyer and we will be a part of this change!

Dawno: What are the two or three most important things you thing an Art Fire artisan needs to do to get the most out of Art Fire - and not necessarily become the biggest seller or make the most money, but the whole package - community, collegiality, and yes, sales, too.


1. I mentioned this technique already but I think it is in fact one of the most important things you can do for your business. Commit to your business and your success and make a list every day of things you can do today to improve your business; then check those items off as you accomplish them each day. We make ArtFire as easy to understand and use as possible, but there is still alot to learn. The Internet is far easier to use and grow a business on now which means that every day there is an increasing amount of competition that you have to consider. It is simply not good enough to put up a Web site and wait anymore. You have to have a plan to promote and we want to be your partner in this endeavor.

2. Put a schedule on paper that plans for one hour a day to promote your business using social medial sites, writing a blog, submitting an article to and building Karma on sites like As a business owner you have many tasks on your plate. Stay focused on what needs to get done and how you will accomplish critical tasks like customers service, shipping, making listings, creating new product and budget time for each of these tasks. A venue or a web site does not sell your items for you. Your efforts are necessary to drive your success. Planning and managing your time effectively is critical to your success.

3. Embrace change and adapt quickly. If you see that one of your items is getting more views than others, what do you do? You should figure out why this item is getting more attention. Does it have a better picture or title or is it an item that is more in demand? Change the rest of your items to follow the lead of your successful items and look around you at your competitors for suggestions. Sometimes the items that you don't enjoy making, sell the best... You might have to make more of what the market wants. This can be hard for artisans, my mother and my sister have taught me this very well, but a balance can be found if you are willing to embrace change and adapt.

Many, many thanks to John for his time and wonderful answers. If you want to thank him personally, follow him on Twitter @ArtFireJohn and let him know you read about him here.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today, I don't talk about myself or my stuff, instead Sunday is dedicated to sharing the other great blogs and interesting news from around the Beadosphere this past week.

From Science Daily "World's Oldest Manufactured Beads Are Older Than Previously Thought"
"The newest evidence, in a paper by the authors to be published in the next few weeks in the Journal of Quaternary Science Reviews, shows that the Aterian in Morocco dates back to at least 110,000 years ago."

Lisa at A Bead A Day has a new featured artist post up - gorgeous work from Laura Trevey. Go look! I'll wait here.

Jan has started a new blog at Wire My Soul! Welcome to the Beadosphere, Jan. (I love that adorable amigurumi whale)

chocolate and steel - inspirational patterns from nature. Her blog is full of beautiful pictures that get the creative wheels spinning.

Some of the most beautiful wire work I've ever seen is Gravel Road Jewelry's. She doesn't blog, but you just *have* to visit her Art Fire shop. Be prepared to go "ooh, aah" a lot. Found her via Autonomous Artisans.

This Artist's Journey - tagged for a meme, she answers four "8 Things" questions and shares eight of her favorite blogs. Now I can add even more beautiful, crafty blogs to my reader!

Do you ever think about the backside of your jewelry work? Lora Hart Jewels' blog "Such and Such" discussed this in her Weekend Eye Candy post. Definitely a tip I'll start taking to heart.

Breathtakingly beautiful artisan lampwork beads can be found at Beadabundant The Bead Blog these are so rich looking - and the colors! Wow.

Have you visited Just A Tish lately? Her newest family member, Chance (aka Newd Og) needs surgery. Her request to you is to send just 50 cents, there's a Pay Pal donate button on her blog. She's past the half way point, let's help her and Chance over the finish line. You can follow her on Twitter @JustATish and join her Facebook fan page, too.

As mentioned earlier this week, Art Bead Scene's May Challenge: Monet's Waterlilies. If you find yourself inspired by this painting to create something that includes art beads, you should consider entering the contest - the prizes this month are wonderful as well.

Artbeads had their first Twitter contest for Venetian beads, ended yesterday, winners announced tomorrow. From the way the rules read, I think they'll be doing more of these, read here how to participate. (if you are on Twitter you should follow @Artbeads and @BeadGuy)

UPDATE: Breaking news! Tish won the Artbeads Twitter contest! see the lovely bead she won:

The Beadin' Path is having a moving sale - but you better hurry, ends tomorrow night at midnight (Eastern?), Monday May 11th. They tweet @beadinpath

Leave a comment on Rings & Things blog (tell @Rings_Things (Dave) I sent you) to be entered in the May give-away. Comment often, improve your chances! And sometime next week I'll be posting about the goodie pack I got on Friday. Please come see!

Auntie's Beads reminded me I'd let my Beader's Advantage lapse and provided a nice little discount code for me in their "we miss you" email, so I renewed (extra % off for club members + Advantage points) and I grabbed a few good deals there on Swarovski 4mm bicones for my new favorite necklace/bracelet design. Aunties was one of the first online bead stores I purchased from when I got addicted to beading went bead insane started beading. They have a blog, too. They tweet, @auntiesbeads.

And a message from our sponsor!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Let's get on with the wandering!

I'm going to start off with a great giveaway at SmuTopia. Beautiful bracelet to a lucky winner at the end of May. Visit her blog for the contest rules. Be sure to add her to your reader or follow her, too, when you get there.

This week on Tish's blog she's talking about DIY display ideas - look at the great ideas and *hear* her on her first video post!

Lisa at A Bead A Day has another week of beautiful beads to share - the week started with the new Swarovski color "Indian Pink" and musings about how they come up with their names and ends with a featured artist who makes beautiful woven wire pieces. Don't skip the days in between, though!

Aladdin's Lamp, Russ Troll, A Snowy Day Commuting Option and Thanks to Bloggers Mentioning R&T are all part of the Rings & Things week of blogs.

On the Artbeads blog there's a birds-eye view of the Artbeads building, an interview of one of their staff designers (there's a dream job!), and the most current post showcases a striking beadwork necklace and a link to info on how to submit to their Customer Gallery of Designs

Robyn Hawk's blog, Gem Shows provides a great service - Gem Show listings (May). Click on her profile link and visit all her other blogs, too.

And a welcome to my blogroll (and Google Reader) for Wendy, who blogs at the lovely, informative and fun Craft Dinner. She also has a beautiful studio blog at Winged Heart Studio. Check out these cool black and white earrings (she says in the post, "I have another pair just like them" hee hee)
Would you like to see your link up there next Sunday? Mention this Sunday's post with a link to this list of blogs & links (or feel free to copy and paste the info with link to this blog), on your blog this week, leave a comment with the link to your post here, and I'll feature at least one of your recent posts in next Sunday's list!

Check the blogroll in my sidebar for some of my other favorite places to visit. Remember, you can add me to your list of blogs to follow, if you're a Blogger user, by visiting your dashboard and adding my URL.

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