Over the past few weeks, I received not one but two Arte y pico blogging awards - first from Emma of Glitter Glow Beading and then Mei who is the author of WireBliss. The phrase "Arte y pico" according to the original Mexican blog translates approximately as " Wow. The Best Art. Over the top." So coming from two readers, it is an honour indeed.

As with such things, I will pass on the awards and rules (below) to five deserving blogs. There are so many great blogs out there so it has taken me a while to select another five (see previous award post) bloggers who amply demonstrate the blogging spirit. I have come up with five sub-categories :

Laura Kay of the Bead Jewelry Blog has a number of good articles. A recent one was about "Making Bead Jewelry for Older People". She has just started her The Bead Board - Beading Supplies blog which aims to help beaders find the best deals on supplies.

Writing a blog requires a focus or angle. A jewelry blog could be all about your designs and your experiences or about the business of selling jewelry and so on. Christine of How to make Jewelry gets right down to business with her blog. Her blog title is a natural for search engine optimisation and a magnet for jewelry artisans. Her website is also full of useful information.

Story telling
A blog post should tell a story in order to engage the reader. Some of the most endearing blog posts I have read are those which explain how designs came about, what the inspiration was and even when things go wrong! Cynthia of CND Jewelry Tales has taken the story telling part literally for her designs and those of feature artisans inspire original short stories. Some of her stories are moving indeed. We still like a good yarn no matter how old we are.

Visual Appeal
Eva of ALilSumptinSumptin has tinkered with her blog design as we all do. I really love her current one which is clean i.e. has a lot of white space and yet has bold colors to draw readers in. She also combines her jewelry making with her "pet" charity - dogs - with her Paws for a Good Cause campaign.

Blog Help
I knew next to nothing when I first started blogging. HTML was like Greek to me. So I had to rely on the internet to learn as much as I could about blogging. I am still learning. Thanks to Bette Jo of A Bead a Day whose blog I follow, I was recently introduced to Amanda of Blogger Buster whose tag line says it all - "Helping you build a better blog". I wish I found her sooner!

Amanda helps those who use the Blogger platform which is free and easy to use. The Google Blogger team has been churning out many new features lately which should make Blogger much more competitive with Wordpress, the other big blogging software out there.

I often see articles about which is better, Wordpress (WP) or Blogger. The choice depends not on the software but the user. Pick Blogger if you want to start blogging quickly, can't be bothered to upgrade software and don't wish to pay - this last point is very important for beadaholics who need every cent to feed their addiction.

Wordpress.com also offers free blogs but it is a harder platform to learn on. Most WP users go with Wordpress.org where they host their own blogs where they chose. There are a lot more Wordpress templates and useful plug-ins to pick from and many of the designs use professional looking magazine styles. The downside is you need to be technically capable to take care of a WP blog.

There is a third blogging platform which I don't have any direct experience with, and that is Typepad. There is also a free service but you really do have to pay a monthly fee to get all the best features. Sharmadesigns is a good example of a jewelry Typepad blog.

1. Pick 5 blogs which you think deserves this award for creativity, design, interesting material, and also contributes to the blogging community, no matter which language.
2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3. Each award-winning has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4. Both the selected blog and the person who awarded the prize have to show the link of Arte y pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
5. Show these rules.
The Beading Gem's Journal
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