*article copied from Pantone.com

Dance into the New Year with this Vivacious and Appealing Reddish Orange

The 2011 color of the year, PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle, encouraged us to face everyday troubles with verve and vigor. Tangerine Tango, a spirited reddish orange, continues to provide the energy boost we need to recharge and move forward.

“Sophisticated but at the same time dramatic and seductive, Tangerine Tango is an orange with a lot of depth to it,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®. “Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline  rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.”

Over the past several years, orange has grown in popularity and acceptance among designers and consumers alike. A provocative attention-getter, Tangerine Tango is especially appealing in men’s and women’s fashion. Fashion designers featured in the PANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2012, including Tommy Hilfiger, Nanette Lepore, Cynthia Steffe by Shaun Kearney, Elie Tahari and Adrienne Vittadini, are incorporating this attractive orange into their spring collections. A fun, lively take on a traditional autumnal hue, Tangerine Tango will surely carry through to fall fashion as well.

A winner in cosmetics because of its versatility, Tangerine Tango is a bit exotic, but in a very friendly, non-threatening way. Add a sultry flair to lips, cheeks and nails with Tangerine Tango. An unexpected eye shadow color, Tangerine Tango is a complementary opposite that flatters blue or green eyes. When paired with brown eyes, it brings out an amber cast.

Energize interior spaces with Tangerine Tango patterned home accessories. Pillows, bedspreads and tabletop accessories in this high-impact hue add spice to any room. Or incorporate Tangerine Tango appliances and personal electronics for an unexpected pop of color. Looking for an inexpensive way to perk up your home? Paint a wall in Tangerine Tango for a dynamic burst of energy in the kitchen, entryway or hallway.




Ok, so the Post Office has released their official deadline for parcel shipping.  Please mark your calendars to make sure you get your cyber gifts in time for Christmas giving!!!!



Domestic Mail Class Deadline
EXPRESS MAIL® DEC. 22 (Check your local Post Office)

Following is a list of related holiday dates:

  • First night of Hanukkah (Chanukah ) – Dec. 20th at Sunset
  • Christmas Eve – Dec. 24th
  • Christmas Day – Dec. 25th
  • Kwanzaa – Dec. 26, 2011 – Jan. 1, 2012


International Mail Addressed To: Global Express Guaranteed® (GXG)4 Express Mail International® (EMS)5 Priority Mail International™ (PMI)6 First-Class Mail International™
AFRICA DEC. 20 DEC. 10 DEC. 2 DEC. 2
CANADA DEC. 21 DEC. 16 DEC. 12 DEC. 9
MEXICO DEC. 21 DEC. 15 DEC. 9 DEC. 9
EUROPE DEC. 20 DEC. 15 DEC. 12 DEC. 9


Pandora is the hottest jewelry trend right now.  I sell a lot of Pandora style jewelry in my shop at phenomenally low prices, and I get a lot of questions from customers new to this type of charm bracelet.  I do have tutorials posted on my blog – but I thought I’d put out an actual blog post to get the information more visible to more people.

But before I get into that, let’s talk about “screw type” beads.  Screw type beads are just that – they are beads that you twist on and off over the risers on the bracelet.  You can tell if the bead is a screw type by looking at the inside of it – if you see ridges, it’s a screw type.  This type of bead is made to keep the other beads from sliding around too much on the bracelet.  There are also rubber ring type beads, which you have to gently force over the risers, and they do the same thing – they keep the beads from moving around too much. 

Lastly, there are also clip stopper beads.  This type of bead actually opens the same way as a snap clasp and you place it where you want it on the bracelet, again to keep the beads from miving around too much.  All three types of “lock” beads can be used to keep the beads from falling off the bracelet also.  I use the clip stop beads on all of my Pandora style bracelets – because who wants to go chasing after a bunch of beads that have scattered all over the floor?! 


First, if you don’t know what size bracelet you wear, get out a tape measure and measure your wrist. Next, add 1/2” to what you just measured to fit the bracelet you’ve just bought and that is the size you will need.  However, if you plan to add more beads in the future then add another 1/2” to accommodate them.  The bracelet will be a bit loose at first, but as you add more beads it will “shrink” in size.  The reason for this is that the diameter of the beads eats up space, and in effect it “shrinks” the bracelet.

(this also applies to stopper beads)

Look closely at the snap clasp and rotate it until you see two “lips” or raised edges along the width.  Next, use your thumbnails to gently pry apart the lips.  Place one thumbnail at each end of the lips, in the groove between the lips, and apply gentle pressure inward until the clasp snaps open. 

Now, take a close look at each end of the bracelet.  You will see the clasp end and also the end where you add beads.  Now take a look at the clasp end.  When it’s shut, can you see a hole on the end side?  Now open the clasp – d0 you see a “U” shape on the same end side?  Now look at the opposite end of the bracelet where you add the beads.   Do you see what looks like a tiny thumb tack on the end of it?  Now, fit the stem part of the “thumbtacks” end into the U part of the clasp end so they nestle together and then snap the clasp shut.  Make sure they are nestled properly or you can damage the clasp.  A good rule of thumb is to never force the clasp shut.  It sounds complicated, but you only need to do it once to earn how easy it is.  Also, sometimes when the bracelets are new they’re a little tight and hard to open and close, but they’ll get easier to open in time.


Lastly, let’s talk about care.  Very important – this care is for silver plated bracelets only.  (This does not apply to sterling silver bracelets!!!)

  • Rule #1 – do not get your Pandora style bracelet wet.  If it does get wet, dry it immediately with a soft cloth. 
  • Rule #2 – Do not use any kind of polishing compound on the bracelet.   Do not use a jewelry’s cleaning cloth.  If you want to shine it a little, it’s ok to use a jeweler’s polishing/buffing cloth.  You should not have to do this though, as silver plate will not tarnish like sterling silver will.
  • Rule #3 – The same care applies to beads and charms.

So, that’s it for today.  I am undecided about the next tutorial subject, so keep checking back for Part V.  Also, if you’d like to purchase any of the items in the photos, just click on it and you’ll go right to my shop.  Happy browsing!!


OK, I have a confession to make.  I have this certain obsession with lampwork beads.  I want to own them all.  I am a certified bead maniac.  I am  a bead lady bead addict, and you should see my stash!  I have boxes and boxes and yet more boxes filled with all the colors of the rainbow.   They are piled in boxes on top of my bedroom dresser and almost reach the ceiling – I need a small ladder to get to them sometimes.

Besides the lampworks (which I currently have 5 crammed full gallon ziploc baggies of) I have freshwater and biawa pearls, natural gemstones, Czech glass, cathedral glass, picasso beads, rhinestone spacer beads,  Swavorksi crystals, Bali and Tibetan silver beads, sterlings and silver plateds, seed beads, pony beads, Druks, faceted glass, rounds, squares,  cubes, ovals, rectangulars, triangulars,  rondelles, briolettes, tubes, daisy spacers – ye Gods! do I have beads!!!  And, I love them all!

Each type of bead has a purpose in the design scheme of things.  Beads add interest or blend in, depending on their shape, texture and color.  They can enhance a focal, and if used improperly they can minimize the focal by calling too much attention to themselves.  One of my design rules is to let the focals guide your choices as to what supporting beads to use. 

For example – take a look at the bead to the left.  I see a myriad of colors – the predominant color is red, the next prominent colors are black and white, and there’s also a smidge of yellow. 

So, now you have to ask yourself, what do I want this focal to do?  Do I want it to be the star?  Do I want a more diminutive feel?  How many different colors do I want to use to support the focal beads?  Do I want alot fo supporting beads, or a minimal amount?  Do I want boutique chic, sassy classy or dressed down?  And on and on and on….  As a designer, your choices are limited to your own imagination and color sense. 

For this particular piece, I decided to use black and red supporting beads, and for white and yellow I decided to use gold findings and clear rhinestones.  I had some smaller, fun red and multicolored lampwork beads that I used to support the focal.  I used the focal as a guide to choosing the shades of red, and picked out what I needed from my stash, and voila!  Here is the finished piece.

Currently available in my shop - just click on the photo to purchase!

So, that’s it for this part.  Coming soon is part 4 – though I am not sure yet what the topic will be.  For that, you’ll just have to check back and see!!


Just in time for Easter! click on this photo if you'd like to own this sweet little bunny!!!

click to enlarge

Today I’m featuring a new item I’ve just recently listed in my shop – Pandora style add-a-beads!!  These are so cool.   What makes these so versatile is that you’re not limited to adding just Pandora beads – you can add any kind of bead you want!  You could even use the add-a-bead alone on a pretty snake chain and make yourself a changeable necklace!  How cool is that?!  It’s a great way to make your bracelet or necklace truly one of a kind.

This silver plated light weight pendant bead stacker measures 1-1/4″ from top to bottom and is awaiting your inspiration! The mandrel (rod) is approximately 1.0mm thick and works with most beads, pandora style or small-holed beads. It’s the perfect size to dangle from your pandora style bracelet or necklace. 

When you purchase this item from me you will receive 1 bead pendant and 1 lampwork bunny bead as shown in the photo, just in time for Easter! And when Easter is past, you can switch almost any type of bead in and out to compliment your pandora bracelet or necklace. All you have to do is screw off the top end of the stacker, add your bead or beads, screw it back together and viola! You’ve got a OOAK pendant or charm to add to your Pandora style necklace or bracelet. How cool is that?!

Cupcake add-a-bead set - click on the photo if you'd like to purchase one!

Pink Heart add-a-bead set - click on the photo if you'd like to own one!

Here are the other two add-a-bead sets I am currently offering in my shop – if you want to purchase one, just click on it’s photo and you will go right to the shop listing.  These are so neat I’m keeping a few for myself!!


For those of you who make jewelry you know what this means, but for those of you who don’t stringing is a term jewelry maker’s use to describe putting together a piece of jewelry.  There are different types of stringing media – which I’ve already covered here.  I use Accuflex wire because it’s very flexible and also very strong – I’ve never had a necklace or a bracelet strung with Accuflex break on me that I know of yet.

Pink Romance - If you'd like to own this gorgeous bracelet, just click on the picture and you'll go to my shop to purchase it.

Basically, stringing involves placing beads in a harmonious color combination onto the stringing media, adding crimp beads at each end and adding a clasping mechanism for keeping the bracelet or necklace around your wrist or neck.  Well, at least that’s the technical aspect of it.  In reality there is so much more!  The much more meaning the overall designing of the piece. 

I use a bead board when I’m creating a piece of jewelry.  First I lay out all my components on the board, then I play the shuffle game – I move different beads in and out, change their placements, add spacer beads and bead caps, and generally just have fun playing around until I happen onto a really beautiful combination.  Then I adjust again for size – sometimes I have to add or take components away to “fit” the size I want to make.  I find bead boards to be an immensely useful tool.  Not only do they keep the beads in place as you design, but they also have inch and half inch markings so you have a rough idea of size before you start the actual stringing.

When designing the bracelet above,  I started with the three focal beads.  They were what determined my choice of supporting beads.  The focals have the prominent color of burgundy and the supporting color of pink, and also a midge of white and beige.  Taking all that into consideration, I chose the colors of pink and white to support the focals and create a romantic feel to the bracelet.  I chose pink rhodochrosite round beads because they are associated with attracting love.  You can read more about this gemstone and why I chose it for symbolic reasons here and here.  I also chose plain, pure white round lampwork beads to add some break in tonal color between the burgundy and pink and lighten up the color scheme a little, and also make it more vibrant. 

My next consideration was choosing bead caps and spacer beads.  Personally, I love the Bali and Tibetan styles of  silver beads, bead caps, clasps and findings – and you will find them in the majority of my handmade lampwork jewelry creations.  I think they add a lot of character, texture and sparkle, and their intricate designs work very well with lampwork beads. 

To further enhance the romantic theme of this piece, I chose to use a Bali silver heart themed lobster claw clasp.  I find lobster claws to be extremely versatile when designing adjustable length jewelry because they provide a secure closure at different lengths and will be able to fit many different sized wrists.  Finally, to finish the piece off I added a “weighted dangle” (as I call it :D) to the clasp end of the bracelet.  This serves two purposes.  Most importantly, it acts to balance the bracelet on your wrist so the clasp stays underneath it and the focals stay on top.  Secondly, it adds yet another dimension of beauty and form, and it gives the piece a more finished and fancier, artisan OOAK (one of a kind) look.

So, that’s all for today.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and found it both educational and interesting.  Next up in the series – Bead Mania!!


So, to add some spice to the blog I’ve decided to start a series called, Let’s Talk Jewelry.  What I plan to do is share my knowledge and technique for jewelry making.  Each installment post will cover a different topic – and today we’ll start with the basics  of “findings”, beads, clasps and stringing media.

Findings can be bead caps, crimps and crimp covers, earring hooks, end pins, eye pins, jump rings, bails, drops, links – basically everything that doesn’t fit into the categories of beads, clasps and stringing media.  Findings may seem to be inconsequential, but they play a very important role in jewelry creation – I like to think of them as the nuts and bolts, or what holds the piece together.   Findings are the most critical part of the strength and durability of the piece.

I think of beads as the “guts” of the piece – the part that is most visible and most critical to the success of the piece visually.  The combination of beads you choose to create a piece of jewelry can either make the piece sing sweetly or make it off key and out of tune.   Color combinations are probably the most critical to success, but different textures and sparkle also play a very important part.  When I design a piece of jewelry, I start with the focal beads.  I think of focals as the stars of the piece, and the beads I add around them as the supporting cast.  (And of course, I am the director *wink*). 

The beads I use are generally handmade artisan lampwork beads.  They are hand shaped and formed in an open flame using long “canes”, or cylinders, of different colored glass.  I am in awe of lampwork bead artists, and I have developed a love affair with their creations.   Lampworks can be as simple as a single color, or they can have chaotic patterns of color and depth.  I can literally spend hours studying a single bead, marveling at it’s colors and wondering how the heck these talented artisans make such wonderful things!  Each bead is a OOAK (one of a kind) piece, and though they come in matched sets each bead in the set is a tiny bit different from it’s family.  I could go on and on about beads, but that will be for another part of this series.

Clasps are what opens and closes a bracelet or necklace – I think if them as the “gates”.  There are many types of clasp – hook and eye, lobster claw, toggle, magnetic, slide lock, “S” hook, snap, spring ring – there are a lot!  I choose my clasps for function and for decoration – if you look at my handmade jewelry almost all of my pieces have clasps that are somehow decorative and they are another way to add dimension and beauty to your jewelry. Clasps are added to a bracelet or necklace by making loops at the end of your stringing media with crimps.  You can hard wire them into the loop or connect them with jump rings.  I go the route of using jump rings – this way if the piece happens to snag on something and break there’s less chance of the strung part breaking.  It will break at the jump ring, and all you’ll have to do to repair it is replace the jump ring – it will save you having to have the entire piece re-strung and avoid the possibiity of losing any beads.

  Speaking of stringing media, there are many different types – semi precious metal (sterling, gold, argentium, aluminum, copper, brass, etc), steel wire (Accuflex, Tiger Tail, etc), fiber based  (waxed thread, hemp, leather, string, ribbon,etc), wire mesh and memory wire to name a few.  Selection depends on several factors – the weight of the finished piece, whether you want the piece to drape loosely or hold a certain shape rigidly, the type of beads you are using.  There’s a great blog post that goes into greater detail about semi precious wire types and how to select them here if you’d like to learn more.  I use Accuflex for my handmade lampwork creations, and semi precious wire when making hand forged pieces.  For a little history and more about stringing, here’s a good article on Squidoo here.

Putting all this together, this is what you can get.  When it comes to designing jewelry, the sky’s the limit on creativity – whatever you can imagine you can create!  A piece of jewelry can speak in subliminal ways – it can make a bold fashion statement or be a demure but noticeable eyecatcher.  It speaks to other people about who we are – your choices will tell  if you are shy or outgoing, fun or somber, organized or unpredictable, romantic or etheral.   Jewelry invites conversation and sometimes, if the piece is exceptional, awe and envy.  Jewelry can be a very powerful addition to your person – it can make or break an outfit – and it’s no wonder that even when times are tough we still buy jewelry.  It makes us feel better – it’s a way we can pamper ourselves when we need a little spice in our lives, or set the mood of who we are that day.  It’s a status symbol.  It’s to be loved, worn and admired, always.

So, that’s enough for today I think!  I hope you enjoyed reading this post.  Next up – Stringing!!!


Today for some of us is a holiday, for the not so lucky it’s back to the grind.  For me, every day feels like a holiday because I’m retired and I make my own schedule.  Retiring was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. It ranks right up there with earning a Master’s of Science degree in Computer Technology.  I have done other wonderful things for myself, but these two things stick out in my mind as being the most accomplished. 

But, back to reality – the tooth is still singing, the dentist can’t see me until Wednesday, so it’s 2 more days of liquid meals and pain killers.  *sigh* I really need to get this tooth taken care of! I’m dreading going, and  I’m keeping my fingers crossed I won’t have to get it yanked.  I really do not want to ose a tooth and have to destroy two more teeth to make a bridge, and the tooth is on the upper jaw – not sure gravity would affect it as far as it coming loose, but it’s a consideration. 


On the business side, I’ve been included in more treasuries here  and here and here and here.  I love creating treasuries.  I find it fun and addictive – and if you follow this blog you can see I make a lot of them!  They’re a great way to promote, one of the few, within Etsy.  And you make friends along the way, and if you get lucky and feature a shop owner who believes in karma, they’ll feature you in their treasuries as a thank you.  And it’s even better if they take a moment to click on all 5 of the social network buttons to promote the treasury.  It equates to free advertising.  It’s win-win for everyone included in the treasury – and very symbiotic!

I added a new page to the blog called “Tutorials”.  So far, I have added instructions on how to select the proper size Pandora style bracelet and also how to open and close it for people who are new to this style of charm bracelet.  I get a lot of questions from customers about Pandora style, so I thought it would be a great idea to put the how-to’s on a page by themselves.  In the future, as I come across things that I think will be helpful to you I’ll post them there, too. 


I joined another team.  I know!  I know I said I was cutting back to a manageable number, but this team was created to replace the promotional forums that Etsy just recently shut down.  There are no requirements – it’s strictly for promotions – so this is very do-able for me.  Yay!  I hope to see more teams like this come into being. 


I’ve decided to extend my sale of Pandora style bracelets and charms until March 19.  Historically, January through April are my slowest months, so I throw really good sales to keep the orders coming in.  Another symbiotic setup – you benefit with saving some money and getting some new jewelry to wear, I benefit by keeping the shop active.  True, I am selling at rock bottom prices and making almost no profit (honestly!!) – but I am moving stock and keeping my customers interested.  My benefits are intangibles, but they count for a lot. 

So, that’s it for today.  Enjoy the President’s Day holiday if you’re off, and happy shopping!

BESTeam Feature Article of the Week – All About Cats!!!

This week I have the honor and privilege of writing about my BEST team mate Linda’s Etsy shop, All About Cats.  Personally, I really love this shop – it has some of the cutest toys for both cats and people in it!  😀 You can’t help but smile when you look through Linda’s shop – everything is so cheerful and colorful!  And it’s also very useful!  She makes every item in her shop with loving care and attention to detail – and everything is really well-made.  All items are made in a “Smoke Free” “Cat Filled” home.
If you would like to order a plush catnip toy without the catnip, just contact Linda and she’ll be more than happy to make up a special order for you

Marabell The Mouse Organic Catnip Cat Toy

Are you looking for a little something to perk up your kitty?  Why not get this adorable little catnip mouse?  Your precious kitty will get hours of enjoyment from this wonderful toy! How cute is that?!  Marabell is ready to “play cat and mouse” with your kitty.
She is made from gray and pink fleece. Her eyes and nose are black felt. Her whiskers are made from black thread. Marabell is stuffed with potent organic catnip, two bells encased in fleece, and fiberfill. She measures approximately 2″ in diameter. Her tail measures approximately 6″ long, and Marabell is an original of Linda’s own design.

Whimsical Cat Print Clasp Change Purse

Or how about this sassy and fun change purse for yourself?  Keep your change handy in this adorable clasp change purse, which would also be perfect to hold small items that otherwise might be lost in your purse!
This change purse depicts whimsical cat faces crowded together. There are gray, black, orange and brown cats. The coordinating fabric on the bottom and inside the purse is small white dots on a black background. Measures approximately 3″ high, 4″ across the bottom with a 1 1/2″ depth.  The silver colored metal purse frame is nickel and measures 3″ by 1 1/2″.  The 100% cotton cat print fabric is “Whiskers and Tails” by Robert Kaufman.

.Four Large Abstract Fabric Cat Magnets

I personally love this next item – they’re so colorful and I can’t help but smile when I look at them.  These four abstract cat magnets are stunning! All The cats have pink ears. The yellow cat that is standing has blue eyes and black, olive green and maroon circles on it’s body and tail. The brown cat has yellow eyes and green and green and black striping on it’s body. The white cat has blue eyes and yellow, blue and black stripes on it’s body. The yellow cat that is sitting has green eyes and green and black striping on it’s body and tail. They are made from fabric and magnets. The magnets cover the entire back sides. 
Approximate Measurements:
Yellow Sitting Cat: 2 1/2″ by 2 3/4″
Yellow Standing Cat: 3″ by 3″
Brown Cat: 3″ by 3″
White Cat: 3″ by 2 1/2″

The fabric is 100% cotton print called Dan’s Cats.  It is designed by Dan Morris and manufactured by Michael Miller. This fabric is retired and hard to find.

So why not take a few moments and bring a smile to you face by looking through Linda’s shop.  It’s a nice little pick-me-up for any cat fancier at any time of the day.  Here’s the link to her Etsy shop again, All About Cats.  If you’d like to know more about Linda, please check out her blog, also named All About Cats.  

Have a meowy day!!!!



I recently joined an Etsy team named Handmadeology.  I think if it weren’t for the promotional forums closing down on Etsy that I may not  have found them.   I have to say that after beginning to sift through the many posts in the team forum in the last few days, and also after taking a look at the Handmadeology blog, I am dumbstruck by the wealth of free, helpful and educational material that exists. There are so many answers to questions I have that it’s amazing.  It truly spins my head.  I feel like a kid in a candy store, kind of overwhelmed but thoroughly delighted by all the brain candy laid out before me and free for the taking!

Every time I visit the team page to participate or read, or go to the Handmadeology blog, I come across so many fantastic articles on how to grow your shop, like the technical aspects of blogging, best business practices, marketing tips and strategies, increasing traffic, SEO…  Heck, there are articles written for topics I hadn’t even thought about, but yet so important to growing my Etsy business.  I so wish I had found Handmadeology years sooner!  There’s no knowing where I’d be right now, but I’m sure I’d be light years ahead of where I am now!

This excerpt is taken from Handmadeology’s About page:  “Handmadeology exists for the purpose of teaching artists how to successfully sell their handmade goods online, and to feature the newest handmade, vintage and supply items found on Etsy.” Handmadeology’s Editor is Timothy Adam, and he is one aweome guy!  You can learn more about Tim here.  And though Handmadeology is geared primarily towards Etsy shop owners, it still has an awesome transferrable knowledge base that would benefit the independent shop owner as well.

So thank you, Handmadeology!  You get my GTU(Golden Thumbs Up) Award for helpfulness. I cannot sing you enough praises.  Consider me an advocate because I am so exceedingly grateful to everyone who has unselfishly shared their hard earned knowledge in the spirit of giving back – your insights will undoubtedly help me grow my shop. I am going be very busy reading and learning from your articles for months to come!  

I  feel compelled to share what Handmadeology is about with all my readers.  Knowledge is power, and if you are a Etsy shop owner like myself, this is one team you should make it your business to join. 

If you’re an Etsy shop owner and you’re interested in joining the Handmadeology Team, here’s a link to the Team Page

If you’re a business owner who’s interested in learning how to grow your business, here’s a link to the Handmadeology Blog.

Happy reading!   Hope to see you there soon!

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