It's hard to believe today marks my 8th blogging anniversary! When I first started writing back in early 2007, I never even dreamed it would grow to what it is now. I didn't even enjoy writing back then but I thought it would be a neat way to showcase the work of my beginner students! Who knew I would end up teaching and help inspire through it?  And reach out far beyond where I live in Canada.

This blog would also not be possible without the combined contribution of wonderful jewelry makers in the blogsphere who freely share their ideas and howtos. My thanks too to the amazing featured jewelry designers who showed us how far we can reach.

I also couldn't have done it all without you, the readers. Your support through the years is much appreciated.  With so many posts - 3300+ -  I am grateful for those who took the time to let me know of dead, wrong or even forgotten links in older posts so I could correct them. Many also shared their own finds, tips, tutorials and observations through comments, emails thus helping make this community stronger for it. Even if you don't have a blog, send your tutorials and tips anyway especially if you think they are a good fit for this blog.

Please drop me a comment when you can and give me valuable feedback so I write what YOU want to see.  Email subscribers can scroll to the bottom of the post and click on Share Comment.  Note : freshly published posts will not reveal comments. All comments are moderated so you will not see your comments until I approve them. 

You can follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter where I share not just my daily posts but other fun stuff which don't make it to my blog.  My Pinterest is full of other useful things - like the recipes I collect,other craft tutorials, home tips, gardening etc.  I highly recommed readers use Pinterest rather than the inbox to save your favorite Beading Gem posts as the visual bookmarks are easy to categorize (into boards) and find.

If you are a regular email subscriber and find daily updates too much, please switch to weekly newsletters. The choice is given when you (re)subscribe.  Some ISPs (internet service providers) also don't like clients to receive too many updates.  So if yours is complaining, switch to weekly newsletters. Even better, consider using a feed reader to keep track of not just my blog but others.  Check out this post on how to use a feed reader - I use Feedly myself.  It is very easy.

My desk and laptop in a spare bedroom
Alas, there are no helpful elves behind the scenes at The Beading Gem's Journal. Just me. I do all the research, all the writing (except for a handful of guest posts), curating, editing, blog maintenance, promotion etc. All opinions, commentaries, reviews and any errors are mine and mine alone.

Truth be known, this blog also constitutes my own notes for future reference! It is my journey as a jewelry maker just as much as it is yours.  It is a tremendous investment of time and effort on my part. So if you are new to the blog, please note there are ads and affiliate marketing links to help it grow and still remain free for all. Advertising is my main source of revenue.

I do not accept money as a condition for writing reviews and spotlight features which accompany many giveaways. But I do exercise editorial discretion in what I accept for review and giveaways. Whenever possible, jewelry items made from reviewed products are sold to raise money and awareness for my favorite causes (some items in my Etsy). Giveaways now occur on a regular basis - it is a good way to help reward loyal readers like you.

My basement workshop
What's my workshop like? I am fortunate enough to have dedicated space for creating jewelry but it is in a windowless part of my basement. This may be a good thing because it is not always in the neatest condition! I keep my common supplies and tools as close as possible to my desk using a variety boxes and containers collected over the years.

My tools are easily accessible 
This never happens to me, right? (snort)

A few people have asked me about bead organization. Here is how I do it.  I keep all metal findings in compartmentalized containers.

Otherwise, I keep my beads in zip lock bags and put them in inexpensive clear containers sorted by color. Seed beads are in their own separate group of boxes.  Crystals are in zip locks in small plastic drawer containers. Everthing else is organized either by material type - for example, all copper wire is together in a scrapbook supply box or by technique, for example, clay tools and supplies are together in a box.

I've now completely switched over to iphoneography - much easier than using my compact camera which has some dSLR functions.  My tutorial pictures are created on a separate nearby desk bearing my Modahaus light studio set up - I use the TS400 with steady stands.  I use the light studio with or without the diffuser cover in the workshop.  As I have no natural light in this part of the basement, I use daylight CFL bulbs. The angle poise lamps allows me to change the direction of the light to avoid reflections and shadows. I am also able to move them further away from my iphone if I see interference bands.

Jewelry tutorial photography Modahaus TS400 set up with daylight bulb lamps
Modahaus Steady Stand for overhead tutorial pictures - hands fit in from the side!
I still prefer natural light though for final jewelry photographs.

Modahaus TS300 with light tunnel instead of diffuser case - my old compact camera

Bertha the mannequin modelling earrings - Modahaus TS400 diffuser case in upright position
There you have it - behind the scenes at The Beading Gem's Journal.  Onwards to another year of jewelry making. Join me?

Before You Go:
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM
Jewelry Making Tips - Jewelry Business Tips