Bead and Button recap

Peacock headpins

I returned Monday from Milwaukee from the annual Bead and Button Show sponsored by Kalmbach publishing. This is the 4th year in a row I’ve been at the show and my first time teaching. It was really quite incredible to have my own table at the Meet the Teachers night, a big event where all of the students purchase tickets to see and purchase work from the large cadre of instructors. To be in their ranks was, indeed, an honor. I had butterflies in my stomach as I was setting up my table and putting out all of my published jewelry samples, along with some of my work for sale and my books and DVD. My work elicited some of the best comments and I was walking on air at the end of the evening. I also got to meet in real life Jo Jones, better known as JoMama, a fab artist on our ICE Resin Creative Team this year. She is a hoot!

The ICE Resin booth was handled this year by our incredible associates — Carol LaValley, Misty Grosse and Cindy Moss. These ladies worked their fannies off for four solid days. Cindy and Misty did two make ‘n takes with Iced Enamels and Misty rocked the booth demos of them out of the park. I was just so proud of our team! My workshops were awesome and so much fun. I particularly loved my Cold Enameled Cuffs class because there were a couple of students who’ve done a ton of traditional enamel work and were blown away by the grace and ease of Iced Enamels on the curved cuff form. Susan’s two workshops were completely filled and I heard lots and lots of fun and laughter coming from her students.

I got a little time the last day of the show to walk the floor and buy a few goodies to use in my work. I had to see Green Girl Studios and ogle their great charms. I also ran by Heather Powers from Humblebeads to see her gorgeous handmade beads. The pic above are some of her gorgeous handmade peacock headpins that I absolutely had to purchase so I could make a pair of earrings for myself. The star of these earrings, of course, are Heather’s clay beads. It was simple to add some crystal rondelles and blue faceted crystals and wire them up really quick. The moment I put the sterling silver French ear hooks on them, they went into my ears and have been happily hanging out ever since.

I’ve had a few days to rest and unpack. Tomorrow I’m off again for Southern California where I’m teaching a couple of metalworking classes at the brand new Charity Wings Art Center. Next week, I’m home for about 5 weeks before I have to head off to Summer CHA in Las Vegas. I have plans to do some fun family things with my kids for the summer break, as well as get some samples made for next year’s classes.

I sincerely hope you’ve been able to eek out some creative time in your studios or art rooms. And for all you parents out there who find it much more difficult to make work during the summer months, just know I’m right there with you. As soon as I get a chance to clean my studio a bit, my daughter and I will be back to spending some art mornings together painting and drawing.

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful week!

In the Studio

This weekend has been spent in the studio making jewelry to sell next week at Adorn Me, the mixed-media jewelry retreat in Houston, Texas. I finished new samples for my classes.  Proposals for workshops are usually due a year in advance, so try to go in right before I teach and freshen up my work a bit. Since I bought some really wonderful new beads, charms and fibers to work with at the To Bead True Blue show in Tucson, I was itching to get into my studio and play.


I really adore Green Girl Studios and all their whimsical charms. My dear friend, Carol LaValley, was shopping with me and fell in love with a flying pig charm. I spotted these new chubby little potato fairy charms with sweet wings resting above a little rump and just had to have them. I kept the necklace design simple here by focusing on the Cold Enameled Heart bezel, where I used our brand new Iced Enamels in ivory and filled it with ICE Resin, of course, and then made a charm dangle using the fairy. A tiny bit of this gorgeous pink velvet ribbon from Thailand that I discovered at a friend’s booth in Tucson adds the final pop of color. This little wee baby will be up for sale at the Adorn Me expo.

For all you Texans out there, my Bangle Angle class is nearly full, but there are still spots open in my other classes. If you are around next weekend and want to make some jewelry with me, I’d love to see you there!

Here’s wishing you a truly Artful week.