Product photography with Kimberly Gauthier: Coming Soon

Some of my blog readers had questions about improving their product photography- like how they could improve their jewelry photos, how to make photos different and bright and even about how important photos actually are to a craft business.

While I love taking pictures, I am still very much an amateur as I haven’t played around much with my camera’s features yet. And I personally know that jewelry of any kind is sometimes really hard to photograph. So, here’s where Kimberly Gauthier will rescue us from the drowning in the Sea of Bad Product Photos.  Kimberly will be guest posting about product photography real soon on Craftzy – so do check back to read her post.

Jewelry in a Tree by Kimberly Gauthier

Here’s a short note from Kimberly about her blog:

“I write the photography blog, Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier. It’s a blog for amateur photographers who didn’t read their manual. When I purchased my first DSLR camera in 2009, I quickly realized that I was out of my depth and it took me a year to figure out how to use my camera. In 2010, I was thrilled to discover that shooting in manual mode wasn’t as hard as I thought and that’s when the idea of my photography blog started coming to light. In 2011, I started writing in earnest and I’ve been enjoying connecting with other amateur photographers who experienced the same frustrations I had and trading tips and inspiration.”

Kimberly Gauthier, photographer / blogger

Why don’t you head over to her blog Through the Lens of Kimberly Gauthier and drool over the gorgeous photos she takes? You can also learn more about photography by following Kimberly on Twitter and Facebook. Don’t forget to read her guest post for Digital Photography School.

Join a Craft Class to Jumpstart Your Creativity

Are you tired of making the same thing over and over again (even though it’s in different colors each time!)? Have you been feeling blah recently and just too bored to make anything? Jump start your creativity and bring a pop of interest to your creative business -how you ask? Find a class that you like and take it!

Lots of cities have hobby centers and these are the perfect places to find an art and craft class or workshop to attend. Culture and heritage centers like Dakshinachitra often have workshops on weekends that you can attend. Spend a few minutes “Googling” for your perfect match in hobby classes.

Benefits of Taking a Class

  • Learn something totally new to you, re-learn something you knew long ago or you can improve on what you already know.
  • Safely experiment with new tools or techniques under the guidance of your Craft instructor.
  • You don’t need to restrict yourself to face-to-face classes – lots of great craft coaches offer online lessons/email lessons that will help you improve your creative business.
  • Get to meet great people with similar interests and network with them offline too.
  • Get encouragement for your creations and ideas.
  • Improve your products with the skills you’ve learned newly or take your existing business to a whole new level.
  • Keep your shop always fresh with new products (you’ll also get a break from creating things in one fixed way and you’ll get more avenues to explore).
  • I never know when a technique or idea I’ve picked up in some class long ago will show up in my crafts. Always good to attend classes and build up an idea powerhouse!
  • You may not take up what you learnt as a full-time profession but then again you just might!

Are you in Chennai? Then why don’t you kick your boredom to the curb by registering for any of the classes offered at the Kalpataru Hobby Centre.

P.S: I’m going to be teaching basic jewelry making classes there in July. Read this post for more details!

Handmade Jewelry Classes in Chennai at Kalpataru

A small announcement 🙂

I’m going to be teaching basic handmade jewelry classes starting this July.

Why Should I take the Class?

Most women, like matching their jewelry to their clothes and I am like that too. Earrings are my favorites because they’re so easy to switch around and are more comfortable to wear and are versatile too.What does a jewellery class have to do with that? If you buy your costume jewelry from big brand shops/malls, a pair of earrings would cost you 250Rs roughly! Imagine what a whole wardrobe full of earrings will do to your wallet!!
If you learn to make your own jewellery, you could make earrings to go with each dress and what more – you could probably sell your handmade jewellery creations too!

About Kalpataru

Kalpataru- the Hobby Center, is a hobby haven for people of all age groups to pursue various arts, crafts & life skills. The centre is located on ECR and is a treat for the eyes with its lush greenery. Toddlers, students, home makers, professionals & senior citizens are welcome to participate in a creative getaway from the hustle of daily life.

What’s in the Class?

In the basic earrings class, you will learn how to make different types of drop earrings using glass beads, metal beads, bead caps, and crystals. In the basic bracelet class, you will learn how to make a single strand beaded bracelet, a linked bead bracelet and a multi-strand beaded bracelet.
Beads will be provided for each class!

Note: I am not teaching kundan or traditional styled jewellery. The earrings and bracelets are of a contemporary style.

When are the classes?

Date(s): 9th and 16th July
Time: 10AM-12PM
Age Group: Above 15 yrs (small beads and wire should not be given to kids, so the age group restriction!)

Where is Kalpataru?

4/222, East Coast Road,
Chennai- 600 041

How can I register for the class or find out more info?

Register online at:

Seema Sanghi +91 96000 37773
Meenu Sarin +91 98845 62616

For more details, check out my page at Kalpataru:

Learn how to make silk jewelry

This is your opportunity to learn how to make silk jewelry – that too in namma Chennai!

Silk Thread Jewelry
Silk Thread Jewelry

DakshinaChitra is conducting a workshop on silk thread jewelry making on Saturday, June 11. At this workshop, you will learn how to make bangles, anklets and earrings.

The cost of the workshop is Rs. 650 and includes supplies. Conveyance to and from Dakshinachitra will be provided.

Note: The registration is on first come first serve basis- so you better hurry if you want a spot!

The Hindu newspaper has the article on how to Get Creative.


Dakshinchitra Heritage Centre
East Coast Road
Workshop Fees:  

Rs 650/- per person

For more details call: 24462435

Etsy Faves: Honeysuckle – Pantone Color of 2011

Honeysuckle: A Color for All Seasons

What can Honeysuckle colored jewelry or accessories do for me?


  • Honeysuckle is a bold reddish pink that will give you a rosy glow when worn.
  • Even a little bit of honeysuckle in your accessories can be eye-popping-ly attractive especially since summer’s here.
  • Honeysuckle will go with every skin tone and can be worn as a day-time accessory or a night-time one.
  • If you need a quick mood lift, slip on some honeysuckle colored earrings or a lovely ring and your ready to take on the world!

How to wear Honeysuckle Jewelry

As Pantone’s website suggests, you can wear these pieces of jewelry with black, navy, or gray clothes. Personally, I would prefer to tone down the contrast and wear them with a charcoal or light gray outfit in winter or for a formal occasion. For casual style, you could wear these gorgeous pieces with a pale buttercup yellow summery cotton blouse/dress or with a crisp white tee and dark jeans.
Other style suggestions from the Pantone site are:

  • Complementary bronze greens like Willow PANTONE 16-0632 and/or Tapenade PANTONE 18-0840 so that it calms down the pop of honeysuckle but keeps it cool at the same time.
  • Pinkish brown like Apricot Brandy PANTONE 17-1540 for a tonal variation on the reddish pink theme.

My Etsy Picks:

This time, I’ve classified my favorites under the style they come under! I am sure you’ll find one that you like – dressy, over-the-top, everyday or plain casual- Honeysuckle is a versatile color that anyone can wear at any time.

[Just a quick note:All the pictures in this post are NOT mine. They belong to the respective Etsy shop owners featured here. Most importantly,I am not affiliated to these shops in any way!]

Bold Style

Tagua (Tah-gwa) Nuts are seeds that are sliced, dyed and polished by families in the South American rainforest. They are lightweight and all the colors used in this statement necklace by decoratethediva are gorgeous!

Tagua Necklace in PINK Colors with Free Shipping
Tagua Necklace in PINK Colors with Free Shipping by Decoratethediva


Honeysuckle GOOD LUCK ELEPHANT Leather Wrap Bracelet
Honeysuckle GOOD LUCK ELEPHANT Leather Wrap Bracelet by theluckyelephant

A bracelet that can bring you luck and look good at the same time!!
This beautiful summery bracelet uses semi precious Jade beads in honeysuckle and features a cute little silver elephant too! I am partial to elephants and apparently an elephant with its trunk raised up is considered lucky! Who knew!


tenthings. lotus. honeysuckle pink. gold. earrings.
tenthings. lotus. honeysuckle pink. gold. earrings. by Tenthings

I LOVE LOVE these stunning earrings by Tenthings and I think I’m in love with all their other creations too! These beauties have dangles in Indian ruby glass surrounded by gold attached to swirly lotus ribbons in gold-perfect for a special occasion or a special day!


Glass Prism Ring in Swirled Amber Flame
Glass Prism Ring in Swirled Amber Flame by AshleySpatula

This beeeyoootiful ring has a pyramid faceted glass cabochon that is handpainted in a shimmery swirly pattern. The colors shift from an amber tone to a deep blush pink!! I could wear this every day for the rest of my life!! It’s so beautiful!


Honeysuckle Teardrops Statement Necklace
Honeysuckle Teardrops Statement Necklace by InHonorOf

Inspired by Grace Kelly- this simple and formal necklace by InHonorOf puts together Honeysuckle Pink Faceted Teardrop beads and copper wire. (Can be made in silver or gold on request!)
Do you have a favorite color combination that includes Honeysuckle??

Seed Jewelry: Beejika by Shradhanjali

“To see things in the seed, that is genius.”
-Lao Tzu, Chinese Philosopher

The use of seeds in jewelry is nothing new I suppose.

Ancient Indians probably adorned themselves with neck pieces and earrings made with colorful seeds and I am sure most other ancient civilizations did too.

I’ve been making jewelry from 2008 but I came across modern seed jewelry only in 2009. My mother gave me a beautiful pair of seed earrings for my birthday that year. Here they are –three seeds have been used in place of beads– would you believe that the large brown one is a tamarind seed!


Seed Earrings by Beejika
Seed Earrings by Beejika

I wear these earrings quite often and on the last occasion, I suddenly remembered the name of the brand- Beejika- so I tracked them down on the internet and here’s all the info.

[Note: Except for the photo of my earrings, all other photos are from the Shradanjali website. I am not affiliated with them in any way and I haven’t taken those photos.]

About Beejika

Beejika – The Seed range-  is a line of jewelry handmade by the members of Shradhanjali. Shradhanjali is a 30-year old handicrafts unit (they also make handmade paper products) located in Auroville, an International Township located in Pondicherry, Tamil Nadu. What I like about this endeavor, is that they work with natural materials and employ and empower many village girls in India. Shradhanjali’s profits are routed back into its community and used for its maintenance and development.

What are Beejika’s products?

“With Beejika, Shradhanjali showcases the marvels and uniqueness of Nature, reflected in the seeds of Auroville’s trees, planted over the last 40 years. Profits from this range go towards supporting sustainable, indigenous forest plantations.” – Taken from the Auroville website.

Beejika (meaning seed) jewelry is handmade and eco-friendly because it’s made with Seeds that are varnished to make them water-resistant. Many different locally grown seeds are combined together in colorful, trendy jewelry pieces that are lightweight and beautiful.

Beejika -Jewels of Nature
Beejika Earrings

The products:

·         Earrings
·         Bracelets
·         Key holders
·         Necklaces
·         Hair pins

Beejika Earrings
Seed Earrings from the Beejika range
Curvy Seed Earrings from the Beejika range
Curvy Seed Earrings from the Beejika range
Gorgeous Brown Seed Earrings from Beejika
Gorgeous Brown Seed Earrings from Beejika

Seed Bracelet from the Beejika range

Seed Bracelet from the Beejika range

Seed Necklace from the Beejika range
Seed Necklace from the Beejika range

What Seeds do they use?

Some of the seeds that are used are:
·         Adenanthera pavonina (Red Sandalwood)
·         Polyalthia longifolia (Ashoka)
·         Delonix regia (Gulmohar)
·         Canna indica (Indian shot)
·         Canavalia (Jack-bean)
·         Albizia saman(Rain tree)
·         Leucaena leucocephala (White Leadtree)
·         Mimusops elengi (Spanish Wood)
·         Enterolobium cyclocarpum (Elephant Ear Tree)
·         Sterculia foetida (Wild Almond Tree or Tropical Chestnut).

Contact Details:



Auroville 605 101,
Tamil Nadu, India

P.S: My mum got me the earrings from Cane and Bamboo shop at 45, Ethiraj Road, Egmore, Chennai – 600 008. Their phone number is         +91-44-28211649.

I hope you were inspired and woo-ed by these beautiful little seeds. What do you think about these? Do you know anyone else who makes handmade jewelry using seeds?

Etsy Picks : Modern Indian Jewelry


Today, I have a new kind of post for you! I’m going to show you my favorite jewelry from Etsy sellers. And what better way to kick start my blog series than using an India theme in honor of my country!

An Indian woman probably wore only gold and precious gems in olden times,but nowadays most Indian women have embraced modernity in lifestyle and fashion.

If you ask me, I would say that a Indo-Western “fusion” kind of jewelry is what most modern Indian women wear on a daily basis- though the metal of choice for most women remains Gold.

For casual jewelry however, these 5 are my picks for a modern, feminine look that’s global yet unique!

[Just a quick note: All the pictures in this post are not mine. They belong to the respective Etsy shop owners featured here. Most importantly, I am not affiliated to these shops in any way!]

Groovy Silk Thread Bangles

Purple Silk Thread Wrapped Bangle Bracelets (Set Of 6)
Purple Silk Thread Wrapped Bangle Bracelets (Set Of 6) by Exotic Bangles

I love this shade of Oriental Violet! (I have acrylic paint in somewhat the same shade of purple  which is called Oriental Violet…so I’ll be using that term to refer to this color.) I would team this with a black blouse and jeans or a skirt – these bangles from Exotic Bangles would be such a nice pop of color!

A leather bracelet/ anklet?

Clay - Double Wrap Rainbow Jasper on Leather
Clay - Double Wrap Rainbow Jasper on Leather Bracelet by MadRiver Designs

I ABSOLUTELY cannot resist this earthy wrapped bracelet by MadRiver Designs that can also be worn as an anklet.

One chunky ring

India Inspired Ring
India Inspired Ring by Hempsteadhouse

This beautiful India inspired ring from Hempsteadhouse is made by Heather using Sterling Silver and custom colored resin. I feel like eating it 🙂

Big Earrings with a twist on classic shapes

Sitaara (Star) Earrings Vintage Rhinestones Matte Goldplate
Sitaara (Star) Earrings Vintage Rhinestones Matte Goldplate by Minou Bazaar

I have no words to describe how these sparkly Celestial earrings by Meenoo of Minou Bazaar make me feel! Maybe it’s because I am a Cancerian who is governed by the Moon but  these aurora borealis rhinestones are so soothing to my eyes. Great for an evening out, don’t you think?

The Statement Necklace

Maya Necklace in Gold fill with Chrysoprase, Turquoise
Maya Necklace in Gold fill with Chrysoprase, Turquoise by Mosaic Design

This necklace by Gurmukh Khalsa of MosaicDesign has such oomph factor with its gorgeous green Chrysoprase pendant  surrounded by little Turquoise ray. I would wear this with a simple white shirt and blue jeans any day!!


Tambourine - Single Wrap Faceted Jasper on Leather
Tambourine - Single Wrap Faceted Japer on Leather Bracelet by MadRiver Designs

I’ll leave you to drool over this peaceful, dreamy yet strong leather cuff bracelet also by MadRiver Designs.

These bracelets are too hot to handle! I’m sure you don’t want to miss out on the fun. Head over to the Art Bead Scene Blog to try out their free Memory Wire cuff bracelet project. Let me know how it goes. I’d love to see your creations.

P.S: I am planning to post my favorite Etsy picks from now on. If you think your Etsy shop could do with more customers discovering it or if you have a great product that you would like me to feature- please email me at!

Bead Table Wednesday – 17 May 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Bead Table Wednesday
Join the Bead Table Wednesday Group on Flickr!

This is just my fourth Bead Table Wednesday and I’m really really enjoying just being able to see so many different bead tables and jewelery projects from all over the world!
Last week, something malicious happened to my website and caused me a lot of trouble 🙁 -my site was inaccessible for most of the week and so- no BTW post 🙁 I managed to get my photos into Flickr though- so I can show off my favorite blue pendant to you now! I made it last week.

Handmade Blue Swirly Pendant
Handmade Blue Swirly Pendant

This week, I made some more pendants… I didn’t start out with any particular theme in mind, but as you can see- it looks like the predominant theme is Nature.

Green Fields-A handmade pendant with a leafy design.
Green Fields-A handmade pendant with a leafy design.

Here’s the second pendant I made – it’s a hand stamped epoxy pendant that I painted with acrylic paints ( chrome green, white, and oriental violet).

Indian Lily- A handmade pendant
Indian Lily- A handmade pendant

I hope I haven’t ruined its beauty with my yucky painting skills…What do you think of it?
I made the floral design using this wooden stamp (hand carved block) that is traditionally used in India for block printing fabric.

Wooden block used for textile printing.
Wooden block used for textile printing.

I have a small stash of stamps like this one.[Note to self: Pick up more of these blocks :)]
I made a little crocodile pendant too just for fun! Here he is:

Small crocodile pendant
Small crocodile pendant

And one misshapen, geometric pendant that was just my attempt at finishing up the epoxy before it dried out. Blehhhh-maybe I should paint it? Might look a little better then!

Geometric pendant
Geometric pendant

P.S: The epoxy compound I use, has a drying time of 90 mins at 27 degrees C.
What’s on your Bead Table?

My Creative Passion

Fire Twirler by Saperaud
Fire Twirler by Saperaud (Image from Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve always been interested in craft for as long as I can remember. Craft class at school was my idea of heaven and I spent most weekends cutting or gluing some thing to another!

I started with paper crafts and made my way through embroidery, cross-stitching, macrame, sewing, a bit of crochet, jewelry making, origami box making, journal making, baking cakes and now I’ve landed back into the world of jewelry making. I don’t know if my “Jill of all crafts, master of none” tendencies will benefit me in the future but I know that I’m probably never going to stick to one thing for too long!

I’ve subscribed to April’s posts over at Blacksburg Belle. One email in particular got me thinking about what really ignites my creativity and what fuels my crafting urges. I wanted to record my answers to some questions that really got me thinking.

What can get me out of bed at 5 a.m even when I’ve had a late night?

New beads can do this 🙂 New rolls of fabric or sheets of paper also have this effect on me! Fortunately, since I feel that sewing is too labor -intensive a hobby- I think it is safe to say that making jewelry or earrings really wakes me up.

What keeps me thinking at night?

My blog keeps me up at night. I have tons to share and many posts in my Drafts folder but I often chicken out from posting them! Apart from this, I love making jewelry at night and I could probably continue till morning if I haven’t exhausted my supplies.

What do I get the most complements on?

The earrings I make are definitely complimented whenever I wear them or when one of my customers (friends) wear them. I’ve also got many requests from friends to make them custom earrings to match their clothes.

When do I get a creative high?

I think I have a ‘Cheshire cat’ grin plastered over my face whenever I’ve just bought more beads or supplies to play with. Just the thought of all the possible outcomes drives me wild with joy and the passion to make something soon!

What are my core values?

-I want to make unique wearable jewelry

-I want to price my products fairly (to my customers and to myself)

-I want to do it well

-I want my customers to love each piece and return to me for more!

Nothing else matters when:

I’ve got an idea or two to chase into finished jewelry- I can think of nothing else!

I am sharing some of the questions and my answers to them – as a record for myself and so that you too can ask yourself the same questions! I am sure the answers will kick your business up a notch or two. Head over to Blacksburg Belle and improve your blogging+ creative business+ a lot more!


Bead Table Wednesday 4 May 2011

Join the Bead Table Wednesday Group on Flickr!

Hello there! Happy Wednesday!
I’m really thrilled that I remembered to take pictures for my second Bead Table Wednesday
This week, on my bed (I do most of my jewelry making on my bed as I mentioned in my previous post)- there are some blades, some play-dough, grid paper, rollers and some completed pendants.

The paper with the grid is one of my newest finds. I got the idea from the Crafty Goat website- from this post on how to make perfect squares of polymer clay.Basically, you use a grid outlined with a Sharpie as a guide to cut your clay into perfect squares or rectangles for pendant projects. This way you can get many pendants of the exact same size! Isn’t that a lovely tip?

My work surface
My work surface- with a roller, play dough, a blade and grid paper

I started making swirly pendants from epoxy putty on Saturday. All my grand plans of buying more beads and supplies on the weekend flew out of the window as I managed to fall sick with the flu. Right now it looks like pendant week on Craftzy!

My favorite swirly pendant
My favorite swirly pendant

So let’s see – this one’s my favorite cos it’s probably the one with the most defined swirlies. I am not going to paint it as I feel it’s pretty as it is. I somehow like the grayish white look of the putty when it hardens. (I would love to imagine it as some kind of ceramic or marble!).

Epoxy pendant with an angled stripe design
Epoxy pendant with an angled stripe design
More epoxy pendants that I made
More epoxy pendants that I made

I made 3 other pendants and I am planning to paint these with Pebeo Acrylic paints and am considering giving them a gloss coat too sometime…

Practice pendant that I made from play dough
Practice pendant that I made from play dough

By the way, I had mentioned play-dough being on my work surface today (no, I didn’t flick it from my nephew!). I use it to practice my pendant designs and other ideas that I want to try without messing up my epoxy compound. The texture is smoother on the epoxy and the play dough is more squishy and delicate but I like to practice this way all the same.

How about you, what’s on your Bead Table?