As some of you might know, I play a “computational linguist” during the day. And if you’ve noticed that I’ve been neglecting my shop lately, that’s because I have been working … ’tis the season for conference papers. (And there’s this threat of losing my job if I do not publish at least two papers this year. Just leave it up to us Koreans to institute this very no-nonsense approach to the “publish or perish” maxim. Ha ha.)

Anyhoo, my current work is about developing an automated proof-reading tool for non-native speakers. Specifically, my system targets errors in preposition usage. And I need your help in evaluating its performance! Basically, when my system makes this recommendation:

      “My friends are good [in] soccer, too.”
      ==> [in] should be changed to [at]

a human then needs to review it and judge whether or not the machine’s decision is correct. And that human could be you! What I will do is send you a text file containing 100 system output samples like above, which you can edit and send back to me. It shouldn’t take too long for native speakers of English. And in return, you get:

So, what do you say? You can help me by flexing your grammar muscles and get fabulous jewelry for yourself! I need 4-5 volunteers. If you’re interested, email me at email image or leave a comment here, and I will get back to you. The time frame for this is between now and 02/20. Thanks everyone!
Another series of necklaces in my store: THREADABLE pendants and chains. If you are in computer science (like I am, partly), you will know that the term “threadable” means something completely different (read: nerdy) in software architecture; in my Etsy store, however, it means excellent necklace choices. :-)

I have been making quite a few simple pendant-style necklaces lately, and I got to thinking: wouldn’t it be nice to be able to purchase favorite pendants and favorite chains separately and wear them interchanging-ly? So, voila! Pendants are available in this section in my Etsy shop, and chains in this section. I’ve got quite a few pendant choices up including some briolette drops and others (endless choices to come, of course); as for chains, I’ve got: ball chain, cable chain, curb chain, satellite chain, and my signature double-strand chain with an extender. The smallest bails that I use on these pendants have a 3.5mm hole, so I made sure to use all chain parts that are small enough for them. As always, more photos after the jump! ( continued… )

Well, it pours when it rains! I have a barrage of new stock coming into my Etsy store. I have accumulated quite a big lot of new pieces during my recent down time, but I haven’t had the time to take photos and list them. But wait no more.

Most pieces are not new designs per se… They are rather familiar affairs with some twists such as: simple briolette solitaire necklaces and briolette drop earrings. There are my hugger earrings in exciting new shades of orange and emerald green. And then there are some pieces incorporating some fresh design elements. Highlights of this new stock after the jump. Enjoy! ( continued… )

Not a moment to soon! Here are the remaining six birthstone TAB necklaces: amethyst for February, aquamarine for March, emerald for May, peridot for August, sapphire for September, and pink tourmaline for October. Again, coy and cheerful triples of gemstone rondelles coupled with a lone Hill Tribe silver charm.

The scene stealers in this group are the May and September stones: emerald and sapphire. I had my doubts as to whether or not I will be able to succeed in sourcing reasonable quality stones in just the right size and shape. It was wrong of me to doubt — after some initial difficulties (and a few dropped jaws at discovering just how expensive these stones can be), I was able to find just what I needed. It was a worthy effort: what will birthstones be without emeralds and sapphires? (Diamonds are an entirely different matter… people are more forgiving when it comes to that stone. ^^)

Anyhoo, this completes the Birthstone Edition of TAB necklaces. These will start appearing in my Etsy shop in a few days. As always, larger photos after the jump. Enjoy! ( continued… )

October has quietly come and gone (that was fast!), and I am happy to usher out a new line of jewelry before the year passes.

I have always fancied making a series with birthstones; I have finally gotten around to it, just in time for Christmas 2008, no less! I was going to use rondelles, as I already had the most variety of stones in that form, and I knew that the design needed to be consistent and kept as simple as possible. So here are the precious birthstones, accompanied by a single lovely Hill Tribe silver charm. I am calling them TAB necklaces. I used different charms for different gemstones, and together they look like one happy family.

This is part one of my post showing 6 of them; the remaining six will be posted in part 2, which include amethyst for February, aquamarine for March, emerald for May, peridot for August, sapphire for September, and pink tourmaline for October.

And of course, the birthstones leave out so many of my (and my customers’) favorite stones (chrysoprase, for example!). TAB necklaces will be made available for these stones later on. Don’t miss the big photos after the jump! ( continued… )

I have been pretty much neglecting my pompom earrings ever since I wrote about them in my blog last year. Three reasons: they are rather tricky to make, I have been unsuccessful in finding new exciting stones in the form of smooth-surfaced (i.e., not faceted) rondelles of the right size, and my general aversion to leverback earwires. The classic pompoms use leverback earwires, but nicely shaped leverbacks are rather hard to find, and I personally prefer fish-hook style earwires. The leverback requirement is due to the fact that the ball-shape is woven tightly with classic pompoms, so fish hooks won’t leave much room between them and the pompom clusters, making the earrings hard to put on and off.

OK, that’s enough technical details… The news today of course is that I managed to go back to my “roots” and have made a few new pompom designs with an array of colorful gemstones. Yay! This time around the stones are mostly faceted, and fish hooks have been used. The clusters are made looser than those in classic pompoms, so they are easy to put on and remove. Available in: Caribbean blue apatite, peacock blue apatite, pink tourmaline, sunstone and amethyst. Some of them are available in my Etsy store now; some of them will be listed in a bit, because I don’t want my shop’s first page totally plastered with pompoms. :-) Larger photos below. ( continued… )

The weather was sunny and sweltering, I had set a few days of down time, so I sat down, with my AC blowing in full, with my beads. It was heaven! This is my idea of a perfect vacation: far from sitting in a car for hours, waiting to move up an inch in an endless queue of cars, getting to some resort literally swarming with people. Yep — this is a notorious vacation season in Korea, when everybody rushes to places filling up the roads and vacation spots. After one day of vacation hell, I was ecstatic to be able to stay home with my stones. But I digress…

This time, I was in the mood for simpler, stream-lined compositions. There are a few gemstone solitaire type necklaces, pendant necklaces with Thai Hill Tribe silver charms, and wire-wrapped earrings. Some of them have been already listed in my Etsy store, some of them have already been sold, and the rest are yet to be listed. More photos below! ( continued… )

Truth be told, I can’t keep my hands off labradorite. I buy too much labradorite. I spend too much time staring at and admiring my labradorite stones. I make too many labradorite pieces. As a result, I always have new labradorite pieces that are on a cue waiting to be photographed and listed, because I don’t want the front page of my shop plastered with the stone. Luckily they are single best selling stone of mine too (probably not unrelated to the sheer listing volume ^^), so the turn around time is shorter.

As much as I love the stone, it gives me tremendous headache, because it is notoriously hard to photograph due to its labradorescence, commonly referred to as “flashes” and “fire”. Moreover, the labradorescent quality is unique to individual stone pieces, which makes using stock photos for a design almost impossible. Nevertheless, all these qualities are what makes the stone particularly well suited and attractive in handmade jewelry. The love goes on.

Here I have a few new labradorite pieces that I will be listing in my Etsy shop shortly. Normally I would put up some nominal effort to sprinkle other stones in between labrado listings, but this time I might just let myself go. :-) Enjoy! ( continued… )

I love my necklaces small and simple, so mini solitaire necklaces featuring a single drop of colorful gemstone are just my style. Plus, I enjoy making that little coiled bail top on briolettes — there is something extremely gratifying in topping little briolettes off this way. :-) There is no shortage of briolette stones in my possession for these projects, of course, and in time I will be rolling them out in a necklace form.

As a starter, I have a few mini solitaire necklaces ready to be listed in my Etsy store. Some are in 14k gold-filled and others are in the usual oxidized sterling silver. Enjoy! ( continued… )

My silver-loving customers, of which there are many, don’t need to worry about a thing: the rustic beauty of oxidized silver is not lost on me (NEVER!). :-) I have a few new silver pieces coming up in my Etsy store. Additionally, most gold designs of mine can be made in silver, although the other direction does not work too often. So if a customer of mine sees some design in gold and would rather like it in silver, she can always ask me. (Please do!)

There are many pieces featuring labradorite. My suppliers have been doing a superb job luring me with their exquisite labradorite acquisitions. It’s one stone that is super hard to purchase online, since the chatoyancy of the stone is difficult to accurately represent in photos. I am very lucky in that regard to have such wonderful brick-and-mortar stores right in the city.

Enough with words… here they are. Enjoy! ( continued… )

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