Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bead Shopping

Denim Lapis 6mm 16 inch strands
    I spent the past weekend in New York City and had the opportunity to shop for beads. Before I ventured out, I researched different shops, read reviews, and planned my route.  All the shops I visited were in the same vacinity and within easy walking distance of one another.  Some of the shops were Fun2Bead 1028 6th Ave, Beads World 1384 Broadway, Bead Center 989 6th Avenue, Toho Shoji 990 6th Avenue, NY Beads 1026 6th Avenue, Genuine Ten Ten 1012 6th Ave.  There were a few other smaller shops, but I did not purchase anything nor did I record their names.  These shops were all very similar and had many of the same items.  The prices were also about the same in each one as well. I thought the prices were high, but considering the amount that they spend on rent, location, and overhead, I guess that is to be expected. I enjoyed looking at all the beads, charms, stringing materials, etc - being able to see and touch them first hand can make a difference.  
       When I returned to the hotel, I searched some of the Etsy shops that sell supplies. I discovered that even with shipping costs, the Etsy shops have beads that are much more affordable! For example, a 16 inch strand of 6mm lapis beads is only $5.45 at Etsy's Wildwood Bead Company plus shipping at $1.99.  The same strand which was about the same quality at any of the mentioned stores costs about 5 times that.  I recently purchased a strand of oval lapis beads at my local market for about $12.00. The exact strand - color, size, quality and amount of beads was $65 in NY.  Charms were sold by the piece, or a package of 12, or a package of 72. The least expensive individual charm at these stores cost $.65. Most small charms were $1.00 per piece. I bought some tiny fortune cookie charms for $1.40 each. On Etsy I found small charms in packs of 5 or 6  for about $.10 to $.50 each with minimal shipping.
Big Valentines Day Charm Pendant Collection in silver tone - C1101Check out   Superdraven: Destash (6) Elephant Head Charms  
                                                                or CharmEmporium:

A third example: 10mm resin flower cabochons.  NY stores were selling these for $1.00 each. The 20 mm flowers were $2.00 a piece.   Back2beads on Etsy has this collection of 24 10mm flowers for $3.40 plus shipping $3.20 to the USA.  Still a deal! This shop has an amazing assortment of colors and different quantities to meet your needs.

24 pcs Resin Flower Cabochons - 10mm Rose - Peach Mix Assorted Colors

I am going to enjoy shopping for beads and supplies on Etsy - from the comfort of my own home.  It's a great way to support these independent businesses. There are some great deals to be found on Etsy!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese Lunar New Year

        Gong Xi Fa Cai! It's the Year of the Dragon! According to one legend, Buddha hosted a dinner and invited all the animals. Only twelve came, so he named each year for each one of the animals. Although the Western world considers the dragon to be evil, the Chinese believe the dragon has auspicious powers, particularly over water, rainfall, hurricanes, and floods. The dragon symbolizes good luck, power, and strength. 
      Chinese Lunar New Year is the most important holiday in the Chinese culture. There are many customs, traditions, and symbols that accompany this special holiday.
       One custom is the giving of pairs or an even number of Mandarin oranges. The word for orange in Chinese is similar to word gold, as well as a homophone for "luck" or "fortune." This Bright Orange Shell Necklace from Absolutely Kismet is reminiscent of the popular Mandarin oranges - wearing it may bring you some good fortune!   The color orange symbolizes wealth and happiness.

Necklace - Bright Orange Shell 17.5"/44.5cm

       In preparation for the New Year celebration, it is a necessary custom to clean one's house before New Year's Day.  On New Year's Eve all brooms, dusters and cleaning equipment are put away as one does not want to sweep good fortune away.  Use this Pretty Pink Roses Apron from Stitch Princess to make the cleaning more pleasant. The pink in the flowers represents an auspicious color for the new year. Or save the new apron to wear while cooking the traditional New Year reunion dinner which would include fish and chicken for prosperity and noodles for longevity. Oranges are served for dessert for good health and long life.

Pink Roses Apron, adult one size fits all

      Another custom is to wear brand new clothes to welcome the New Year. The clothes should be red, which represents happiness. This Wings and Feathers Pink and Crimson Red Victorian Hair Fascinator from Poison Garden's shop would be the perfect accessory to add a little flair to  your New Year attire! Wear it in your hair, attach it to your purse, or as a brooch! The red and pink equal double happiness!

Wings and Feathers Pink and Crimson Red Victorian Hair Fascinator

If you are near a Chinatown, watch for the lion and dragon dancers, and enjoy the fireworks. May the Year of the Dragon bring you happiness, good fortune, and long life!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Beaches in Chile

Renaca Beach
Renaca Beach
It has been ages since I posted anything about life in Chile! Since I have the time now that I am on vacation, I thought I 'd post a little info on Chile's beaches. At the beginning of our vacation we drove an hour and half from Santiago to the coastal city of Vina del Mar!  There is a long sandy beach in Vina which seems to blend into  Renaca Beach. We settled on Renaca with its massive waves pounding the shore all day long.  Blue skies, hot sun, and the sound of the surf!  

Beach at Zappallar
One day we drove along the coast to Zapallar, about an hour north of Vina. After a delicious seafood lunch, we walked over to the beach - this sandy beach in a horseshoe shaped cove was much smaller than the beaches at Vina and Renaca, but the setting was beautiful.  The water was icy cold with rough waves.  We enjoyed a few hours in the sun!

BESTeam Feature - Accessorize!

Happy New Year!   Here is my first post of 2012 for the BESTeam shops - this week's feature includes Patty's Dream Designs, CK Silver, and Knitful Dezigns - all of these shops have great items to accessorize your wardrobe! 
Patty's Dream Designs is new to the BESTeam! Welcome, Patty!  Patty's shop has a wide assortment of jewelry - necklaces, bracelets, lanyards, and earrings.
I love this Gold Pearl and Black Rondelle 18" necklace!  The pendant gives it a Victorian touch! The graduated 12 mm-6 mm Swarovski gold pearl beads are separated with black crystal rondelles. Stunning!
Gold Pearls and Black Crystal Rondelle Necklace with Pendant

CK Silver has a large collection of jewelry in her shop - you'll find necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and anklets.  This beautiful Moonlight Sonata Moonstone and Green Fancy Jasper Necklace caught my eye! The rainbow moonstone and silver pendant is lovely and makes this necklace an elegant piece!

Moonlight Sonata Moonstone and Green Fancy Jasper Necklace

Knitful Dezigns has a variety of hair accessories to compliment your outfits! Bows, headbands, sunhats and beanies! My favorite is the Boogie Woogie Bugle Bow!A retro headband inspired by the Andrews Sisters! It is shown is multi-shades of pink, but it can be custom ordered in your favorite color! 
Boogie Woogie bugle bow

These are only three suggestions for accessorizing your current outfits - stop by these shops to find some more ideas to add a little pizazz to these cold, January days.

Friday, January 6, 2012


The mission of the Boosting Etsy Shops Team (BEST) is to help our fellow teammates boost their shop presence by promoting their shops primarily on our blogs, but also on Facebook and Twitter.

There are as many different reasons to become a member of a team as there are teams! The Boosting Etsy Shops Team (BEST) is a group of Etsy sellers from around the world, representing a wide variety of crafts, products and services sold. We have members who are young and just getting started in the business world as well as seasoned veterans of many different occupations, all with different experiences and life skills to offer each other to achieve our common goal of being successful in our business endeavors. We are team mates and we are friends, we encourage and we challenge each other to better ourselves and our businesses – and together, we are the BEST!

I have been a member of this team for quite a while now!  We are always happy to have new members join!  So if you have an Etsy shop and would like to be part of a wonderful, supportive group - please join us! Click here http://www.etsy.com/teams/5645/besteam-boosting-etsy-shops-team   
and sign up!