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Monday, June 27, 2011


I spent a fair amount of time on the shopping floor but actually spent very little money. I tried to buy--I really did--but everything that I needed was not what the merchants brought.
I did buy some seed beads for a commissioned snake bracelet that has to match other bracelets that the client owns. The olive, brown, and orange beads are for that, the shiny blue/green beads are just because.
I managed to snag some of the new Tulip beading needles, which were flying out of the booths. For those of you who haven't heard about them, these needles are a result of a collaboration between Carol Cypher and people at the Tulip Needle Company in Japan.
The new beading needles are flexible and springy so they don't bend as quickly, have an eye that is easy to thread, and have a rounded tip to avoid splitting the thread. They come in a little glass tube inside a cardboard box. The needles may seem expensive but I went through 7 John James needles on the Melanie Potter Wild Flower project before I changed to a Tulip needle. The Tulip needle is still going strong. For more information you can visit Carol Cypher's website at Carol is the U.S. distributor of the needles. On the shopping floor, I saw the needles at Knot Just Beads, Beyond Beadery, and Out on a Whim.
My one mad purchase was two pieces of leather--from fish. Yes, this is tanned tilapia skin. I got it at the Nature Beads booth.

Here is a closeup shot.
One of my favorite things from Bead and Button was actually a gift from my friend Merle. Merle bought a bunch of these adorable minature dolls in Peru
to put on a hatband. I was lucky enough to get the left-overs!
So that ends the highlights of my Bead and Button experience. I took some great classes, had fun socializing, met some wonderful people, and did some shopping. Now I am counting the days until Bead and Button 2012.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


After Carol Cypher's class, I finally had a few minutes to check out the Bead Dreams exhibit. Here are photos of a few pieces for those who didn't make it to Bead and Button.

This is a piece by my friend Yoshie Marubashi which won second place in the Objects or Accessories category.

Another stunning bracelet by my friend Suzanne Golden.
NOTE: The bloggspot editing program and I are not getting along and text is ending up in the wrong place. Susan Matych-Hager's necklace is the yellow lampwork glass one. Sherry Serafini's lovely necklace is the one made with brushes.

Susan Matych-Hager Lampwork/Glass category
Vilma Dallas Lampwork/Glass
Barbara Caraway Lampwork/Glass
Yuka Matsushita
Seed Bead Jewelry
Photo below:
Sherry Serafini
Finished Jewelry
Congratualtions Sherry on a very imaginative piece. Who knew brushes could be so glamorous?
This was part of a Ukranian exhibit.
As was this necklace.

Saturday, June 25, 2011


Friday brought Carol Cypher's
Complex Cane Hand-Felted Beads class, the most fun class of my journey. For those who don't know Carol, that is her (complete with felted hair) in the photo at the right.
Here is one of Carol's necklaces that she brought as an example of what we would be making. Her goal was that we could walk out of the six-hour class with a completed (but wet) necklace.
Here are some members of the class working on their projects. We made a series of long fleece pieces, bundled them together, wrapped more fleece around that, and started felting our "cigars." Carol brought squares of the the ribbed felting surface that she has developed for us to use and they made the job much easier than bubble wrap.

Here are the beads of one of the students after the "cigar" has been felted and sliced into beads.

Here is another set of beads resting on the rubber square used to felt it. These were very interesting because she sliced her cigar on the diagonal and then turned each slice inside out to make a round surface instead of a flat one.
These are my beads. I was surprised at how much darker the fleece was after it was felted. That pretty pale green was a neon, lime green when I started.
Carol brought beads and stringing material for us to make neckalces but I decided to wait to buy beads for my necklace. She also brought the new Tulip doll needles for us to use in stringing and those were a godsend in getting through the felt beads.
I found some perfect vintage, plastic beads at Sandy Shore's booth. When I got home, I tried rinsing an extra felt piece with lemon juice but didn't see any difference in the feel of the felt. I also tried putting acrylic floor polish on the underside of each bead but didn't like the fact that it made the surface darker.
I finally strung the necklace but the round shape didn't look right on me. Thanks to an inspiring late-night bead spill, I sewed the 3 center felt beads together, added more green beads, and put burgundy Swarovski pearls as spacer beads at the back.
Here is a closeup. Unfortunately, I forgot to buy a clasp and will have to search for something.
Now, what colors do I want to felt next?

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Tuesday started bright and early with Melanie Potter's WildFlowers Necklace class. Here is Melanie getting ready for class with one of my fellow students in front of her. We are in the Hilton Hotel, which has elegant meeting rooms.

Here is most of our class project; I am still working on the neck chain part. This was my first exposure to the chevron chain stitch and I love the fact that it looks like lace done in beads. It didn't hurt
that Melanie was a patient teacher and her instructions were very clear.
Tuesday night was a get-together for Facebook beady friends and anyone else who wanted to join us. Here is Suzanne Golden showing off some of her understated jewelry.

Here is a lovely purse embroidered by Liz Thompson.
Here is a shot of part of the Facebook group. That is Stacy Creamer in black. She was wearing a very intriguing necklace made of lightweight metal rings.
Wednesday's class was "Light and Shadow, The Art of Phtographing Glass and Jewelry" taught by Doug Baldwin, photographer and glass artist. This is a photo of part of his postcard for the
class. Doug showed us how to build inexpensive light boxes, explained how to take good photos, and demonstrated how to make them even better in Photoshop. I learned a lot in this class.
After class I spent some time with some of my new friends in the meeting place in the Hyatt Hotel. Here are (from left to right): Katharin Pfannschmidt, Petra Tismer (in back), Evelyn La Hirschel (showing off a little leg), Sabine Lippert, and Elke Leonhardt-Rath. They are all carrying the same purse as
members of the Bonn beading group.
After dinner, it was off to "Meet the
Teachers" in the Frontier Airlines,
where we had a chance to meet the teachers, buy kits and supplies from them, and catch up with friends. The Toho Bead people were doing a nice thing this year as they set up a table where you could donate to the Japanese Red Cross by buying donated kits and glass beads. All of the proceeds went to the Red Cross. I bought a fun bracelet kit donated by Dallas Lovett.
Thursday brought a class in
freeform netting at the Frontier Airlines Center--you can see why I called the Hilton's classroom elegant in comparison. I am reluctant to say much about this class because I was not happy with it but I am not sure that it was the teacher's fault. How can anyone who brings chocolate to class be bad?
This was the class project. I think
part of my unhappiness lay in the fact that I was expecting a class in freeform netting and got a class where you did 2 rows of netting, piled on fibers and then tried to pin everything down with more loops of beads. Since the teacher kept saying that we could do anything that we wanted to do, I decided that what I wanted to do was leave class early and redesign the necklace to my satisfaction. Still working on that.
Thursday night was the shopping premier and we all spent 5 hours browsing, buying , and chatting with friends.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


I arrived in Milwaukee before it was time to pick up my badge for the Bead and Button show so I decided to explore a bit. I walked over the bridge on Wisconsin Ave. and found ladybugs!

A closer view.

The River Walk looked inviting so I wandered along that for a while. This is a statue of Gertie the duck. Explanation below.

If you can't read the explanation, Getie and her babies held up replacement of the pilings on the bridge and captured the city's heart in 1945.
There are ducks everywhere!
A long view of the river.
Even the bridge was decked out in beads.
Some sculptures had been erected along the River Walk--this was one of them.
This was another. The round objects in each circle are big rocks.
I even managed to find a beaded bead on the bridge by the Hyatt Hotel.
During registration I ran into my friend Sabine Lippert (on the left). Sabine is a fabulous beader from Germany who was in 3 of my classes last year. Here she is sitting with Jill Wiseman of Tapestry Beads.
Here is a closeup of Sabine's ring--or a hand-hider, as she called it--that she made with a cabachon by Linda Roberts. The hand-hider was actually quite comfortable and hides any spots on your hand.
Sabine had taken a precious metal clay class and was showing off the ring that she made in class. So cute!
To see more of Sabine's work, visit her blog at
For more of Linda Roberts' cabochons, visit
For Jill Wiseman's website, go to
Now I have to go finish a project from one of my Bead and Button classes. More about my trip later.