To bead..or not to bead

That is never the question. This little lead in is my way of telling you that I’m all packed and ready for the 2016 To Bead True Blue in Tucson. This is my sixth year attending/teaching this show and it’s one I definitely look forward to all year long.

I spent some time in my studio this week making some new art samples to show my students. Mostly ideas I had for new techniques and ways of showing some of the ideas I will be presenting.

Take a peek at the necklace I made using crushed quail’s egg shells. I kept it simple by using our brand new tints to color the background. Then I added the eggs in a layer and then the words from one of my favorite poetry books that I cut up often for mixed-media jewelry. I have all the materials on hand, so my fast-moving students are going to be able to work on the pendant after they finish their “fly” bracelet.


This isn’t the first time I’ve used eggs in my work. I was with Susan in France the year in 2008 when she found some sweet little quails eggs at the weekly market. She bought a box for everyone and took them back to La Cascade so we could all make the most beautiful focal pendants. I loved the idea so much that when I returned home I tracked down some hollowed out quail’s eggs and started exploring other design possibilities. I made this bracelet for our first Explore, Create, Resinate book that came out in 2011. I’ve had a number of requests over the years to teach this bracelet, so I’m finally doing so this year.


By the way, did you know it is not easy to travel with fragile quails eggs for my students’ kits? Ahhhh, the things your instructors go through for you (grin!)

I’ll be teaching this bracelet class and two more at the To Bead True Blue Show at the Doubletree Hotel Sunday and Monday. There are some spots left and, as always, I made up the max kits so I’m prepared. The other classes focus on resin casting — an all time fav! Also wireworking and cold enameling. Click on Susan’s website to register.

I will be coming home Monday evening after teaching just in time to get my daughter into the doctor Tuesday morning to get the cast on her arm removed. Yes, for those of you who might not know, she broke her arm Christmas evening being stubborn thinking she’s big enough to ride her teenage brother’s hover board.

I’ll be back at the show and at the booth Thursday, Friday and Saturday. We have some meetings set, but I’m planning to spend a lot of time at the show demo-ing all the cool new products. If you are around Tucson next week, please come see me and say hello.



Off to CHA 2016

As you know, we have a brand new partnership with Ranger Industries. Susan Lenart Kazmer is the Creative Director of ICE Resin and my new title is the Director of Education for ICE Resin. These last five months have been a whirlwind of constant activity, but it’s all been behind the scenes stuff as Susan, myself and every single one of the amazing people at Ranger have been working on the brand new 2016 Susan Lenart Kazmer ICE Resin releases. The time is finally here!!! I’m heading to CHA — the Craft and Hobby Association megashow today (Friday, Jan 8th) to join up with everyone and see with my own eyes our brand new booth. I will also get to see all the new product packaged, displayed and ready to go. It’s an incredibly exciting time and, honestly, a dream come true.

Susan and I feel great about the new products and the entire SLK line. Her vision has never wavered, and she’s known from the get-go exactly what she wants to see on store shelves everywhere. Ranger’s commitment to quality has been outstanding. We’ve been testing the new products; coming up with brand new art techniques to show our students, friends and fans; working with their graphics team on all improved packaging and the branding expert and digital content manager and all the rest of the million and one little details that it takes to bring products to market.

Ranger did a sneak peek of the new products on Monday. If you missed it, here is the link to the press releases. Also, I did a series of beginning educational videos to be released this year. Here’s a link to the first one I did showing how to use the new 8oz kit. Others will be coming after CHA when everyone gets back to the office.

Susan is teaching an artisan class tonight at CHA. I’ll be teaching the ICE Resin Basics and Beyond class Monday morning. These classes are for the arts and crafts industry and taught to store owners so they can learn how to use the products and, hopefully, head home after the show to develop great classes for their people. You must be a CHA member to take these classes and gain entry to the show. Here is a peek at the necklace my students will be making. It uses the faux opal technique, collaging a bezel and also my absolute favorite thing to do with ICE Resin — casting!


Remember though we will at the To Bead True Blue show is Tucson teaching with our new products and techniques and Ranger will also have an ICE Resin booth were it will be the first time where people can purchase the new stuff, along with all the other SLK products and lots of ICE Resin, of course. Interested in registering? Head on over to Susan’s website.

If you’re interested in CHA and want to watch some of the goings on from your home, be sure to check out Charity Wings. My friend Elena Lai Etcheverry is doing free livestreaming from the show floor Saturday and Sunday. She’ll be interviewing us noon PST Saturday at the booth. Here is a picture of a new ICE Resin necklace I made her to wear at the show. Her organization’s logo is a heart with wings, which is one of my favorite art symbols too. It’s about four layers of resin, vintage mother of pearl buttons and uses Tim Holtz’ Ideaology wings covered in Iced Enamels.


Also be sure to follow ICE Resin Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts. To stay up on all the Ranger Signature Designers, be sure to follow their Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts too. Lots to see!

After the show is over, I’m heading to the Charity Wings Art Center to spend some time  at the first ever after-CHA designer party. So many friends only see each other once a year and it’s always so crazy at the show that Elena organized a get together where we can all have some downtime and just chat and relax. I’ll be returning home next week, take a long weekend with my family and then gear up immediately for To Bead True Blue.

If you are looking for art retreats this year, please check out my website to see where I’m teaching. I’ll also be adding new ones as they come up. 2016 is off to a busy start! How lucky am I???

Here’s wishing you an incredibly ARTFUL 2016 for yourselves.


Ho Ho Ho Necklace


Take a peek over on the ICE Resin blog to read the story of how and why I upcycled a Christmas card with a vintage Santa Claus image into a piece of holiday jewelry. I’ve been wearing this necklace a lot during this holiday season. Because it’s a long 36 inch chain, it goes with anything and feels both comfortable and festive.

Be sure to save your favorite cards after this holiday season is over and think about turning them into next year’s jewelry using ICE Resin and Susan Lenart Kazmer products.

I know this is the last weekend before Christmas and everyone is probably hopping and jumping with all the preparations. Me too. I do hope you are able to get a little creative time in the next few days to make something wonderful!


Time to think about 2016 classes

My 2016 teaching schedule for the national retreats is 99.9% set. I’m just waiting to hear from one more. If you’re a fan of making mixed media jewelry, please consider taking a workshop from me next year. I’ll be teaching all my favorite stuff — ICE Resin, wire working, chain making, resin layering, mold making and casting, incorporating organics in resin and well…lots more.

Most of what I’m slated to teach is, indeed, jewelry making. Here’s the thing though. What I teach can be used in other mixed-media applications. Before I did jewelry, I was always adding metal elements to my assemblages and collages. Now when I do work in these mediums I find myself  including something jewelry-related into my pieces. Of course, it looks nothing like jewelry, but that always makes me happy. Whenever I’m making art, I strive to naturally incorporate the techniques as organically as possible so what’s most prevalent is the story. Everything I make has a story – real or imagined. That’s just the way I roll.

Speaking of stories, I’m teaching at Art is You for the first time in 2016. I created all new classes for this retreat. If you live on the West Coast or have family to visit in California, come spend a day or two with me. I have some extra tricks up my sleeves for AIY. I had so much fun creating this PeepPie leather journal. It’s the perfect example of some jewelry-making techniques that I sneaked into the instruction but you’d never know it.


The rest of the year you will find me at the usual places. CHA (trade show only but there are still a handful of spots in my Resin Basics and Beyond 2-hour class) and then a few weeks later the To Bead True Blue show in Tucson. Susan and I are excited because for the first time Ranger Ink (our new business partners) will be manning the booth while we teach. There are some really exciting new products in the Susan Lenart Kazmer line that are debuting at CHA and Tucson. Be sure to stop by if you plan to come to the show. Register for my classes now.

I’ll also be returning to the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee and to Bead Fest Philly. For you Mid westerners and East Coasters, this is the time to find me. Bead and Button registration opens Dec. 15th. Bead Fest Summer should be opening for registration soon too.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you also know that I’m teaching an online class in 2016 too as part of the Art Jewelry Adventure virtual retreat. Registration for this one can be found here.

I have a few other irons in the fire that I’ll be filling in throughout 2016. As always, subscribe to my blog or check out my website under workshops to see the schedule.

By the time you’re reading this, I’ll be back from Ohio. Susan and I got together in person for five days to get some art samples made for the ICE Resin booth at CHA. I’m so stoked because Ranger is building a brand new booth and we are going to be adjacent to them for the show. We have LOTS of eye candy planned with all the new SLK line of products. It was amazing to roll up my sleeves with her in her studio and get messy. I came home with a to do list as long as Santa’s naughty or Nice list, but I’m excited to spend some real time in my studio now making art. To that end, I’ll probably be on the quieter side here on my blog in my social media while I do a little extra juggling.

I hope your days counting down to the holidays are not super stressful and that you’re enjoying the extra good things that come with the season.




Art Jewelry Adventure Incentive



Time is getting nearer and nearer for the 2016 Art Jewelry Adventure Virtual Retreat. I know I wrote about the event a month or so again when registration first went live, but I thought it was time to remind you that I’m teaching at this awesome online event next year. In fact, I’m one of an entire team of 18 instructors. As such, I’ve been able to see some sneak peeks at the projects that are going to be part of next year’s event. I got pretty excited about some of the new techniques I’ll be able to learn from these talented peers of mine.


In case you are wondering about Art Jewelry Adventure here’s a few answers to some of the common questions I’ve been asked –

What is it? A virtual art adventure that lasts all year long. You can take classes on your time, in your home and even wearing your pajamas if you wish. You will be able to slow down, stop, freeze and replay the video tutorials at your leisure.

How does it work? Every few weeks a new class is released. When it is released you will have access to a virtual forum where you can interact with other students and also the instructor. You can ask questions, show your work, get clarification on technique or a part in the video where you may need a little extra help or just say hey!

How many total classes are there? 18 instructors and 24 videos.

How much? $99 for the entire year, which comes out to less than $5 per class.

How do I register? Click my instructor link here. As long as you click this link then you will be signed up through me and I would be sooo appreciative!

What are you teaching Jen? I’m teaching a beautiful necklace project using an open-backed bezel, a fun transfer technique for imagery, layering ICE Resin, using organics and also making a wireworked bronze chain with handmade clasp to bring it all together in a 100% unique wearable art necklace. Here’s a pic in case you missed it.


Who else is teaching? So many cool peeps! Brooke Bock, Ilysa Ginsburg, Kira Slye, Laurie Mika, Cat Kerr, Barbara McGuire just to name a few. You can look at the instructors page here.

And now for a little incentive to sign up. Whoever signs up for AJA Virtual retreat using my link will get a little handmade gift from me. This key chain includes a small resin-filled hobnail heart and a wirewrapped bead dangle attached via jump rings to a key chain. You can use the key chain as is, or pull off the charms and incorporate them into one of your jewelry pieces. Please give me until after CHA and the To Bead True Blue Show in Tucson to get these made and out to you, but I will get them created and mailed. See the photo at top for sample. Offer good only from Nov. 30 – December 31st. 

I hope to see you online in one of the forums soon.


H.A.M Pop Up Shop Now Open

My Handmade Art Market Holiday Pop Up Shop is now open over on the H.A.M. Facebook page. I wrote a post the other day that I was planning to offer some of my handmade jewelry for sale. I just loaded up my shop with 32 pieces of wearable art. I hope you get a chance to take a peek. The sale starts midnight Nov. 27 and runs until Dec. 13th. If you’re doing holiday shopping, I suggest you shop early in order to make the shipping in time.

The way this virtual shop works is that participating artists each have a storefront shop. Handmade items are up for sale in the shops. The first person to type SOLD in the comments section of the item and provides a valid Paypal address gets it. I will send an invoice and payment is due immediately.  I promise to send out the piece by USPS within the week. Sorry, shipping only to valid US addresses at this time.

Here is a sneak peek of many of the necklaces available.


I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Can’t wait to see you on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” my business page if you haven’t already!


Own a piece of my art


I have some fun news to share. I was invited to participate in an online juried art market to sell some of my handmade art this holiday season. Dozens of artists will be hosting an online store from Nov. 27th to Dec. 13th on the Handmade Art Market Facebook Page.  To participate, log into your Facebook account and then click to “Like” the H.A.M page. This is a limited shopping event for handmade items and you must have a Facebook account to participate.

The way it works is that the participating artists will display a photo of the item for sale, along with details like description, size, price, shipping costs in their shop on the Facebook page. The first person to type “Sold” and give a valid Paypal account will buy the piece. The artists will invoice immediately and items will be shipped out within 3 days of purchase. Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Plus an easy way to do some holiday shopping in your jammies.

I often get emails from people wondering where they can purchase my work. At this time, I don’t have a virtual store for my jewelry. I just last week finally opened my Etsy shop so people can get a signed copy of my book, but I’ve always needed to keep the jewelry I make with me when I teach. That’s because I use many of the techniques I teach in the pieces I make, so when I’m demoing particular techniques I can point to components of my work for a visual reference. I do sell my work to my students and also at the vendor nights of the retreats.

But here’s the good news. I’m ready to let go of quite a few necklaces and earrings. Susan has some wonderful new products to debut next year with Ranger, so I’m going to be busy in my studio making all new jewelry (aka art samples). I also developed a lot of new classes for 2016, so you’re going to find me hunkering down here pretty soon. (Registration has begun for many of them. Check out my website and click on Workshops to see a list of confirmed workshops).

Here is a sneak peek of just two of the necklaces I’ll be selling over on Holiday Art Market. I will be sure to have pieces in a variety of price points. Since I am ready to let these babies go, I decided to not price any of my work over $100 for this special sale.



There are A LOT of amazing artists participating in this event to sell their unique work. Be sure to look around at all the shops. My jewelry might not be the thing for Aunt Martha this holiday season, but I can bet there is something wonderful to be found for just about everyone on your shopping list who appreciates handmade. Below is a picture of my shop storefront. Hopefully this makes it easy to find me.


Here’s wishing you a truly Artful day!