Monday, June 11, 2012

Bead and Button Show, 2012

I just got back from the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  I had never been ... and to tell you the truth ... I really didn't quite understand what all the excitement was about.  I mean, bead people were bordering on lunacy, or so I thought!

Now I get it! I had a wonderful week of inspiration, physical hugs that were followed by cyber-hugs.  I absolutely LOVE to teach and I got my chance to teach four workshops!  I joke about having an unfair advantage because I teach the Painting with Fire Method of torch-firing! The technique eliminates several of the tedious steps that discourage people from even trying enameling.

Tim McCreight, who was teaching a Masters Workshop in Forging down the hall, wandered into my room.  I said, "Hi Tim. I took my PMC certification with you in 2001!" We both smiled.  He started looking around and expressed an interest in what I was teaching.  I said, "Let me show." Well, after my demonstration, he said, "I'll never look at enameling the same way!"  He continued to say that he had been been discouraged from pursuing enameling because of all of the tedious cleaning of metal, sifting of enamel, pickling, etc.  What a mind blowing experience!  I signed a book for him and glowed for the rest of the day ... and maybe week ... but he had a lot of competition.  Giggles and hugs, giggles and hugs for the many days that followed!

I got to meet some PWF Ning friends, met some new friends ... and just had an all around blast!  So did my husband, Jim, who was with me!  Chris Connolly, a Painting with Fire Team Member, was with us every step of the way ... and many times was steps ahead of us.  He's younger!

This is what greets you when you walk into the convention center ...  Gorgeous, gorgeous work!

Breathtaking aren't they?

My workshops were at the Milwaukee Area Technical Center ... a school where they teach wonderful things like the culinary arts!  Between the aroma coming from the students in the program and the "Feed My Sheep" caterers, we were all looking forward to breakfast and lunch ... which were free btw! My classroom was the chemistry lab and was perfect for what we were doing.

Here's my photo of the Soar project.  It was challenging, but fun.  Everyone's pieces seemed to come together at the 11th hour!  Whew!  Talk about pressure!

Julie's great project!

 From the Forging Ahead workshop ... 

We had a great time.  Unfortunately, we couldn't stay as long as we had originally planned because of the opening of our St. Petersburg gallery/studio.   But next year, we'll be in for the whole deal ... assuming my workshops are accepted ... forgot about that little part!!! :-) 


  1. The jewelry is amazing. And the rest of the photos are stunning. I have heard that these shows are loads of fun.

  2. Omg!
    Your photos are stunning!
    It seems that you spent great time at this show!

  3. Thank you for sharing. I am living vicariously through all my wonderful beady friends. Someday I will be in attendance and look forward to meeting all of you.

  4. Ooh maybe I can tke a class next year with you!!

  5. I missed those on the class list. Hopefully, I'll see yours next year and be able to get in. Pouting now.

  6. Looks like a great the necklace you day I will fly over!

  7. So sorry to have missed all the fun (while playing with hubby and grandkids)! So much can be said for priorities, but I know I missed a great adventure in art and friendships! Thanks for sharing!


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