Eye Exercises to Relieve Eye Strain and Fatigue

Protect yer peepers from Computer Vision Syndrome (and from too much crafting)!

Recently I’ve seen several articles about Computer Vision Syndrome: eye and vision problems resulting from long time periods spent staring at a computer, mobile phone, tablet, e-reader and other digital screens.

closeup brown eyes with minimal makeupThough in my case–and possibly yours–the C may as well stand for Crafting! I’m sort of joking, because looking at a flat, back-lit screen is different from looking at hands moving around using tools. But I’m not joking when I admit that I have an easier time turning off social media and putting away my phone/computer than I do trying to stop weaving when I’m in the middle of a project. (“Hello, my name is Rebeca and I’m a chainmaille addict…”)

Symptoms of CVS include eye fatigue, blurred vision, neck pain, headaches and more. Those symptoms are similar to what happens if I craft without stopping to take care of my eyes and upper body. With CVS, lack of adequate sleep (due to staring at a digital screen into the late evening hours) leaves the eye muscles unable to recover from strain. Hmm, that also sounds familiar, because I’m probably not the only chainmailler who’s stayed up just a little too late, trying to finish “one more ring … oh, well, actually just one more row…OK, now it’s just one more row … ”

The American Optometric Association’s website lists tips for protecting your eyes and treating Computer Vision Syndrome. Do check it out.

If you have eye strain, whether it is more due to crafting or the digital screen (or, most likely a combination of both!), remember to check out the Blue Buddha video on eye yoga. These are real techniques for strengthening and relaxing your eye muscles. These tips are great for crafters who experience eye strain or worsening vision, and great preventative exercises to keep your eyes healthy and strong as long as possible. Have you tried eye yoga? Let me know in the comments!

Ask An Artist Returns! Submit your Questions for Tony Moeller

This chainmaille artisan is a prolific portrait maker, and here’s your chance to ask him about his work!

artist tony moeller holding framed chainmaille tiger inlayTime to meet another fantastic chainmaille artist who has agreed to let us pick their brain for our “Ask an Artist” blog series!

Tony Moeller is an incredibly talented artist in Georgia. He’s captivated me with his gift for making portrait inlays out of chainmaille. Yep, each of the lovely pieces of artwork you see here is made one ring at a time!Ā  See some of his work below, and let me know what sorts of questions you’d love to ask him.


starry night chainmaille inlay by tony moeller cherry blossom inlay made of chainmaille chainmaille inlay of happy couple

While many of his art pieces are about 8-12 inches across, he also creates plenty of smaller pieces:

veteran holding POW MIA art made of chainmaille
And, Tony is no stranger to a furry supervisor who likes to be close to the action!

red pliers on a cat with a chainmaille project in the background

It’s your turn to pick Tony’s brain. Submit your questions from now until Friday, April 13th! Here’s how to get your question to Tony:

1. Write it in the comments section at the end of this blog entry
2. Post it to our wall on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BlueBuddhaBoutique
3. Email it to [email protected]


heath ledger as the joker made out of chainmailleConnect with Tony:

Facebook page: Tony’s Ring Art
Patreon: Tony Moeller
Etsy Shop: TonysRingArt

National Craft Month Giveaway – Around the World With 80 Artists

Enter For Your Chance To Win This Book Of DIY Projects From Around The Globe

UPDATE April 1 – Congratulations, Breanna O of IL – you won! Thank you everyone who entered; I really enjoyed reading all of your responses. :-)

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions expressed are my own.

Around The World With 80 Artists header over watercolor map of earthAround the World With 80 Artists by Mahe Zehra HusainMarch is National Craft Month! To celebrate, I’m giving away a stunning crafts book featuring dozens upon dozens of step-by-step crafts projects to get your creative juices flowing. Eighty artists from 22 different countries contributed to Around The World With 80 Artists: DIY Projects From Around The Globe. The 220-page book features a huge variety of projects: coloring pages, mandala making, watercolor techniques, origami, mixed media, monoprinting and more! You’ll even find a few of the artists’ favorite recipes scattered throughout the book.

The book was created by Mahe Zehra Husain. She writes, “This book was compiled at a time when narratives of hate, intolerance and destruction pervade the airwaves. Even minor differences have acquired the power to ignite raging fires, and far too many people have become distrustful of anything they find unfamiliar. Around the World with 80 Artists is a message of hope in these testing times, a testament to the richness and strength that lies in diversity… [This book is] an exuberant celebration of creativity – in all the various forms and styles it adopts around the globe.”

around-the-world-various-projectsTwenty percent of the proceeds go to The Malala Fund to help educate girls who might not otherwise have a chance at an education.

The colorful table of contents showcases all the projects in this book:

Table of Contents for Around the World With 80 Artists - DIY Crafts ProjectsYou can purchase your copy of Around the World with 80 Artists on Amazon or directly from the author from her website MZCreates.

Visit MZCreates.com/around-the-world for free downloads of templates and printables from the book.

For Your Chance To Win

As I was one of the first people to help crowdfund this book, I received 2 copies. I’m keeping one copy to enjoy with my mom, and giving the other to a lucky Blue Buddha fan!

Two ways to win:

1 – Leave a comment on this blog post by Friday, March 30. I’d love to get to know you better, so tell me something about yourself! If you’re a chainmailler, I’d love to know your favorite weaves or how you got started. If you do other crafts – what do you make? What are your favorite colors? Why do you craft? Essentially, just tell me something crafts/chainmaille related about yourself! :-)

2 – For a BONUS chance to win: If you purchase anything in the Blue Buddha Boutique Etsy shop from now until Friday, March 30, write “Around the World” in the message to seller section when you checkout, and I’ll add an entry in your name.

Good luck!

Rules & fine print:

1 – You must be 18 or older to enter.

2 – The book can be shipped within the US, all territories included. (If you’re in another country, you can still enter if you have a US address the book can be shipped to, or if you’re willing to pay for 100% of all associated shipping/customs/duties costs to get the book to your country.)

3 – Everyone has 1 or 2 chances to win (depending on if you comment on the blog, or make a purchase with a comment on Etsy, or both). Note to tricksters: Even if you write lots of separate comments, or place multiple Etsy orders for single PDFs and include the message to seller each time – only ONE of each of those will count. Nice try, though. šŸ˜‰

4 – Be sure to double-check your email address, as that is the method by which I’ll contact the winner! (And then remember to check that email. The notification will come from [email protected])

5 – Contest ends at 11:59 pm Pacific Time, Friday March 30, 2018. Entries received after that time are ineligible to win.

6 – Winner will be randomly selected on Saturday, March 31, 2018 and notified by end of day Monday, April 2. If winner does not respond by Friday, April 6, winner forfeits the prize and another winner will be selected on Saturday, April 7.

Purple Power In 2018!

Limited-Edition Purple Chainmaille Kits Pay Homage To PantoneĀ® Color of the Year Ultra Violet

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no cost to you, I may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. All opinions expressed are my own.

power to the purple banner with ultra violet chainmaille designsInspired by the rich Ultra Violet Color Of The Year 2018 from PantoneĀ®, Blue Buddha Boutique will be launching a few DIY chainmaille kits throughout the year in purple anodized aluminum or enameled copper. (The colors in the kits won’t be exactly ultra violet, especially depending upon the dye lot, but they’ll be pretty darn close.)

Every few months, we’ll release a limited-edition version of one or two of our chainmaille designs featuring purple jump rings along with accent colors or neutral rings in aluminum, brass, copper or steel. Some of the purple kits will be for newly released designs (Mngwa, we’re lookin’ at you!), some will be B3 classics and others will be selected based on popular request.

Keep checking in with this blog post for links to Purple Power kits available in the Blue Buddha Boutique Etsy shop!Ā  Currently available are:

jens pind chainmaille bracelet in purple, violet and lavender Jens Pind
Celtic Spikes
purple, pink and turquoise dodecahedron Purple Dodecahedron pendant
pink to purple to black fade mngwa bracelet on mannequin arm Purple Mngwa bracelet
Zig Zag Byzantine
(purple is a regularly stocked color for this kit)

Which kit(s) would you’d like to see us release in purple? What are your favorite accent colors to use with purple? Leave us a comment below and we might just make your kit!

In the meantime, check out some purple tools & accessories, including purple pliers and a nifty purple tool holder for all your (purple) chainmaille pliers! More purple accessories to come. :-)

Rebeca Mojica’s Interview with VoyageLA Magazine About Starting A Chainmaille Business

Inspiring Stories of Hollywood: Rebeca Mojica, founder of Blue Buddha Boutique

I’m honored to appear in the Most Inspiring Stories: Hollywood section of VoyageLA Magazine.

In the article I discuss starting, growing, closingā€”and then re-openingā€”my chainmaille supplies business, Blue Buddha Boutique as well as the challenges of continuing to stay creative with my own jewelry line, Rebeca Mojica Jewelry while I grow a third brand, LinktĀ® Craft Kits, the first line of DIY chainmaille jewelry kits geared toward kids 8 and up.

Some of my students and customers have asked these same questions, so I hope you enjoy reading my responses. Plus, there’s an answer to a question I don’t think I’ve ever been asked in an interview: What were you like as a child?

Read the full in-depth article in VoyageLA Magazine to find out more.

Rebeca Mojica in VoyageLA magazine article