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The Beading Gem Celebrates 8 Years of Blogging!

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 


  1. Congratulations Pearl, you continue to delight me and all your readers with unique finds from all over the globe.I hope that this blog grows leaps and bounds in the following years. I really enjoyed reading about your studio too

  2. Congratulations Pearl! I look forward to see what'd new that you found to share. Thanks for sharing your studio, gives me some ideas on how to organize things a little better. Wish you the best in your next eight years of blogging. (-;

  3. Thank you for your kind words! I forgot to mention I love the cubicle storage unit - it is from IKEA.

  4. Happy New Year and congratulations Pearl! Your blog is the only one I subscribe to because your posts are so varied. I look forward to reading your column every day. Your workshop organization is wonderfully simple. Thank you for all the time and effort you put into producing your blog!

  5. Pearl, you brighten my morning every day!! Thanks!!! And Kudos on 8 wonderful years!:)))

  6. Congratulations on your anniversary! Thank you for sharing so many inspiring projects, tools and ways to improve my business.
    peace & love, natali

  7. Congratulations Pearl, I never go a morning without seeing what your up to. Thank you so much for all the tutorials and book reviews. Have another great 8 years of helping us all be our creative best!

  8. Congratulations, Pearl! I look forward to your posts every day and your blog is my "go to" when I'm looking for a technique. You've cost me a lot of money over the years, showing a learning junkie, new (requiring new tools!) techniques and products. And speaking of which, where did you get that nifty, tiny, Dremel work bench?
    Love your writing, your wonderful sense of humour and the high principles you employ doing reviews.
    Many more years please!

  9. Thank you for sharing all your work and research results. I look forward with anticipation to receiving your blog. The tutorials are especially helpful. You are an organizational genius with boundless energy to accomplish all you do on a daily basis. Thank you for being so unselfish and sharing your knowledge.

  10. I would be lying if I said it was easy to write this blog. It takes a lot of dogged persistence to stay on track and not get swayed with distractions. I do like to keep busy and have way too many ideas to land most of them!

    We are all at different stages in our jewelry making journeys. This blog hopefully reduces the learning curve and offers inspiration so you can explore your own style.

    That little Dremel workbench was a gift from family. I think it came from Home Depot. I wanted a portable lightweight vice that doesn't need to be clamped to my workbench. Works well for much of what I do.

  11. Congratulations - I have enjoyed your blog over the last few years - and one of the highlights of my jewellery making saga has been when I was featured on it. Thank you for your contribution to my learning process.

  12. Congrats on 8 years! Wow! I like the behind the scenes studio tour. It makes me feel better about my treasure hoard. :)

  13. Eight years! Wow!! Congratulations on such an incredible job!

    I am impressed with what you do every single day!

    I love sitting down with my cup of coffee and clicking on The Beading Gems Journal just to see what you have in store for me.

    You know I lean in to see the pics and to learn something new - every - single - day!!

    Your book reviews have given me the peek inside the books that no amount of advertising ever does.

    Your tool reviews are above and beyond what any advertiser gives and it's like standing right at a demonstration when you give them!

    Your own tutorials are simply amazing. I know how hard you work to give them and how long it must take for you to take all the pictures and write the tutorial in the first place. And they come off so beautifully and so professionally! I know they are hours and hours of work!

    And then there are the giveaways. I really enjoy throwing my name into those - you know that! They are fun!

    And let's not forget the Elephants Pearl. We both know they are such a good cause to keep putting out there!

    BTW - I loved this behind the scenes look at your place! Your studio is absolutely wonderful!(and so clean!!)

    Pearl - you are simply the BEST!

    And I'm so happy to call you my friend!

  14. Congrats Pearl! You've done a great job with your wonderful blog...and you continue to. I love getting your daily emails and look forward to reading your posts. You've always got something interesting going on! Congrats again! :)

  15. Congratulations Pearl!
    Lovely, always looking forward to your next posts :)
    All the best for 2015 and beyond.

  16. I still love your blog better than any other. Your hard work shows in your amazing finds, great reviews, and so many fabulous DIYs. Always a daily delight!

  17. I just want to tell you, thank you for your blog. I enjoy learning new jewelry techniques and being introduced to jewelry designers from your blog. I look forward reading your blog.

  18. Congratulations, Pearl! I am always looking forward to your posts and when I need to look for something, I start with your blog :) Wish you a very happy and inspired New 2015!

  19. Congratulations Pearl, I am always happy when I read The Beading Gem's Journal news, you make my day, thank you for sharing so much with us. And your Studio is fantastic, I can always learn something from you, Thank you so much and many many years more with the same craft
    Rita García

  20. It is a great joy to have such wonderfully appreciative readers like you all! Thank you!

  21. Pearl, I've been reading your blog ever since I started making jewellery and it's the only one I've stayed with. It is simply the best! Thank you so much for all the inspiration, information, and fun. Please keep doing what you do - we really appreciate it. And I love the pics of your work room!

  22. Yours is the only blog I look forward to. I read it and save to read again. Please keep up the great work. It is very much appreciated.


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