Milwaukee? Its Bead and Button!

This is what it looks like when you are packed and waiting to fly to your first non local bead show: Bead and Button. With much coaching from my bead sisters (Marsha, Diane and Nikki) I was packed and as ready as I would ever be.

Bead and Button is a large retail and wholesale trade show – literally beads and buttons. But also so much more! Jewelry supplies – and the classes! Oh the classes! I haven’t ever attended for pleasure or education, but this year I decided it was past time for me to vend!

Waiting for Marsha and out trek to the airport.

Those 2 suitcases contain trays, table cloths, lights, packaging materials, all the display items, and a few of my cabochons I ran out of room… The green backpack? ALL the beads in my carry-on! Heavy, but safe. It all turns into this:

My Mythic Nature pendants.
Special limited editions shrine pendants.

My bead sisters have a routine – and welcomed me into the schedule, and the shared hotel room with open arms. Without them I would not have attempted this! We had a day to explore the city a bit… say Hi to the Fonz – as you do! Milwaukee has some gorgeous Art Deco buildings and a lovely River Walk. We headed to the Historic Third Ward for pedicures, and lunch at the Milwaukee Public Market.

Pretty trippy installation in the Wisconsin Center.
Proof I really was there.

The show was great fun! As always it was wonderful to see friends, and family from this beady tribe of ours. Old friends: Cynthia and Greg of Green Girl Studios, Lisa and Hank of Lisa Peters Art, Leslie Pope, Marianne of Maku Raku, Kayla at Dakota Stones… New friends : Joy Munshower, Anne Choi, Kellie Wiegand, Natalie Hanson,

A meal to remember at Third Coast Provisions!

A had a stowaway – and Mendel the Mandrake did get up to some hijinks while I was busy with customers!

And there was a little shopping. No really, not too much!

But I think the most exciting new thing was the FISH LEATHER! Lisa Peters is importing this stunning material. I will be interviewing her for the Art Elements Blog in the near future. We were designing with it at once! Stay tuned!

Whirlwind of beads. AKA Beadfest 2014

 Bead Fest was two weeks ago?! Where has the time gone? Don’t answer that – I know: packing, unpacking, sorting. Sleeping, fondling beads, visiting with friends, art camp, field trips… More on the latter soon.  

So here are the hightlights, and the loot. 


1. Bead Fest is social!  Hanging out with Staci and Linda on Wednesday, the annual AJE dinner! So much fun! 

BF14 social!

2. Bead Fest is colorful and diverse. My display is for sure! I always bring a few tiles as they run parallel to my Mythic Nature pendants. Sold a few too!

BF my display

3. Bead Fest is preparation – for me! So much to pack and remember for display, class, swaps…  This was my class room still life from set up. Even though it was early Sunday morning – it went so well! And everyone had a great time, it seems. 

BF class prep

4. Bead Fest is learning. Teaching. Creativity. Exploration.  I was thrilled to teach at my first Bead Fest. I taught a mixed media class that incorporated quite a few techniques – that I am confident the students will apply in their work moving forwards. Here you see student work-in-progress, my concentration face, and class samples below. 

BF class WIP


Beadfest is shopping. Art beads. Glass, clay, metal, polymer, gems…

BF loot1

(Diana/Suburban Girl, Anne Gardanne, SueBeads, Jen/Glass Addiction, Humblebeads, HMB Studios)

BF loot2

(Sue beads, Caroline/Blueberri beads, Karen/Starry Road, Kristen Stevens, Melissa Meman, Diane Hawkey, Staci Smith, Lesley/THEA designs)

BF loot3

(Caroline/BlueBerri Beads, Mary/White Clover Kiln, Basha Beads, Kristi Bowman, Staci Smith, Green Girl Studios)

Hope you enjoyed that whirlwind recap! Now off to the studio to make more stuff! Fall shows are around the corner… 

Back from Berks!

 Berks Bead Bazaar! 

What a fabulous time was had by all! There was threat of impending snow-mageddon, again… This was my first time vending at this great local show – I loved every second of it! My regrets: not buying any cabs; and not taking more pictures. But here it is: 

My territory

My home away from home: earthenware, stoneware, and polymer trays piled high. Class samples for Beadfest. And a great visit from dear friend Sally Russick. (Also great to see Sue Kennedy – who I have to thank for one of these booth pix.) 

Porcelain and glass

Porcelain and glass: (Clockwise from top left)

Louise Mehaffey, Joan Miller‘s robot cuties, Alice St. Germain beads, Joan’s sea creatures, Louise’s display. 

Marsha and Dona

Marsha Neal beads and seed pods at D7 Studios; torched copper and whimsy from Dona Jones. 

Staci !

My friend Staci and her amazing polymer creations. Happy to have her as a neighbor.

And a huge shout out to Diana of Suburban Girl Studio, and Patti Cahill – also neighbors. What a great weekend sharing time and space with these fellow artists; sadly with no pictures… 

Greg's cabs

Um – these are the cabs I wish I had… from Greg Graupp

Berks loot

But these are the treasures I did bring home! (Clockwise from top)

Top: Polymer and metal from Staci Louise Originals

Porcealin and stoneware form Marsha Neal Studio

Lampwork by Alice St. Germain

Enameled stunners from Anne Gardanne

Seed beads for my new obsession from Leslie of Twisted Sistah fame. 

Wee tiny porelain cabs from Joan Miller

Gorgeous ceramic pairs, and cabs from Diana/ Suburban Girl Studios. 


Thank you Joan and Louise for organizing a great show, and welcoming me into the collective. It was a pleasure, and made work truly fun! Sorry to be so breif – I have beads to go gaze upon…