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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Snake Class Added at Beaders Best

We interrupt the regularly schedule review of my Bead and Button adventures for an exciting announcement:  Beaders Best had added a bead crochet snake to my classes.  Florencia la Serpeinte will teach you how to do the single (European double) crochet stitch with beads, how to increase and decrease, how to crochet on both sides of a foundation chain, and how to draw a pattern that looks straight.  So join me on August 22, 2015 in Hamburg, Germany to explore the making of a snake.  More info and registration here at Perlen Poesie.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bead and Button 2015

       As usual Bead and Button Show was a real adventure, one that started this year with major travel trauma.  I was scheduled to leave on Monday afternoon but awoke to the news that my flight was canceled due to the effects of heavy rain (up to 3 inches of rain/hour at one point, flooding, etc.) the day before in NYC.  Since I had a class on Tuesday, I needed to be in Milwaukee on Monday.
      I rebooked a 3 pm flight that was cancelled and snagged a seat on a 4 pm flight that had a 1.5 hour layover in Minneapolis.  Then our flight was delayed 1 hour because the plane that was scheduled couldn't get to the airport and they had to find a different plane.  We got to Minneapolis in time for me to run past a kiosk and buy my mom a souvenir key chain, get my new boarding pass, and board the plane.  Whew!  We got to Milwaukee with no problems, but then the baggage carousel broke and we had to wait 45 minutes for our luggage.  After that fun, the airport shuttle was delayed because of airport construction.  It was 11 pm (NYC time) before I got to my hotel room, but at least I was in Milwaukee.  New York friends were still having trouble getting to B&B the next day.
       Tuesday was the Queen Margot Cuff class with the lovely Kinga Nichols of Crimson Frog Designs.  This project is a bead embroidery cuff with labradorite cabochons, brass imps, and various stones and seed beads.  Below are examples of what we are aiming for.

Queen Margot Cuff

Wednesday was a busy day with 2 classes almost back to back.  First was the Filigree Riveted Cuff class with Gwen Youngblood of Metal Art Lab, one of my favorite teachers.  We cut out and textured a strip of copper that was riveted to a brass sheet to make a cuff.  Then we riveted filigree flowers from Kabela Design to our cuff.  Again, here are the class samples because I am still working on my cuff.

Filigree Garden Riveted Cuff

Then, it was off to another metal class, this time a wire wrapped, tumbled stone pendant with the talented Kaska Firor.  Since I am a newbie at this kind of wire work, I didn't finish my pendant and I may finally have to buy a torch to finish the ends of the wires.  Still, it was an interesting class.  Our class samples below:

Tumbled Stone Pendant class

Then it was time for a quick bite and the fun of Meet the Teachers, where I looked at a lot of lovely bead and wire work and chatted with many friends.

Thursday was a free day for me and I had a great time with old and new friends.  First we had lunch at the the Uber Tap Room, where I had the gourmet toasted cheese sandwich with gruyere cheese, cheddar cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic aioli accompanied by a lovely pear cider.  Here is most of the lunch bunch.

  The decorative theme of the bar is cows and we found one that was apparently a little too popular.

After lunch, we wandered next door to the Wisconsin Cheese Mart, the source of all of the cheese in our lunches.  Of course, we bought cheese but we passed on the aged cheddar for $180/pound.

part of the Wisconsin Cheese Mart

As we wandered back to the bead show, we ran across another hallowed destination:  The Spice House.  This is an amazing purveyor of spices and herbs, their own culinary blends, and other goodies like freeze-dried corn.  Since I can get a lot of items in NYC, I didn't go crazy but I did buy a few things that I knew I could use.  Here are my purchases:

beer cheese, smoked cheddar, smoked paprika, Saigon cinnamon, freeze-dried shallots, unground Garam Marsala, and a Creole spice blend.

Thursday was the shopping preview, which they shortened by 1 hour so that I didn't have as much time to shop as I wanted.  I foolishly didn't allow a lot of time to figure out and buy what I might need for future projects-thank goodness for online purchases.  Here is my meager haul:

A copy of Beaded Chains and Ropes (with 1 of my designs on the cover) for my mom and Kaska Firor's wire book

Blue and green rubber-coated beads, big-hole pearls, the new Toho semi-glazed seed beads, 2mm fire-polish beads, seed beads, Matubo 3-cut seed beads, and a tool that cuts hole for riveting that are the exact size of the wire you are using

Friday was back to class with Finger Crowns, taught by the incomparable Nikia Angel.  Who could pass up making a small crown for your finger based on the crowns of Henry VIII's wives?  Here are the class samples:

 Finger Crowns

This is the one I am working on.

Friday evening I had fun doing a wire flower demonstration at the ParaWire booth.

some of  the wire flowers I played with at the ParaWire booth

Saturday I did another wire flower demo and took the Ginkgo Cuff class with the inventive Stephanie Eddy.  This project required us to make separate ginkgo leaves, embed them in epoxy clay, and decorate our cuffs to our hearts desire.  This one I finished- I had to because the clay starts to dry in 3 or 4 hours.  Here is my finished bracelet:

my finished Ginkgo Cuff on it's little drying form

Then it was back to the airport on Sunday for an uneventful plane ride home (thank goodness), carrying my new goodies and many memories of good times with the talented beaders that I am fortunate to call my friends.  Next post will be a few shots of the BeadDreams 2015 finalists.

Monday, June 1, 2015


I am shortly leaving for the airport, but I took a quick photo to let you know that I will be demonstrating wire techniques at the Parawire booth at Bead and Button.  Stop by on Friday from 5-6pm or Saturday from 12N-1pm to see how to make some of these simple wire flowers.  See you there!