Thursday, June 30, 2011

Great B&B Finds

I finally got some pictures of my favorite things that I brought back from B&B for the shop!  Sorry it took so long...

 Jewel Beetle really.  Laura McCabe used these a few years ago in a necklace, and I've been in love with them ever since.  Tara and I are working out ways to use them now.  We know that we can put holes in them, but we're also thinking about encasing them in resin.
 Bullet Casings.  Can you say Steampunk?  These little beauties have been everywhere from belts to bangles, and everything in between since Steampunk became popular.  I want to tumble them to a high shine, and add Swarovski for a Steampunk Glam look.
 Sparkle Balls!  I admit that I avoided these like the plague for a while.  Why?  I guess I didn't want to appear too cliche' in the way of sparkle.  I already make some sparkle balls myself and didn't know if buying them ready made made me look lazy.  Methinks I'll be able to get away with it ;)
Pearls in fabulous shapes, colors, and sizes.  I love pearls.  Adore them.  Some of these colors just spoke to me, and I even ended up with really small and really big in the name of equality.  What will I do with them?  Likely stare at them until something jumps out at me like I usually do.  I kind of hoard them really....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

B&B The Shopping Commences....

Last year I didn't get a chance to really shop much, so this year I left open the whole weekend for it!  I still didn't get through all of it, but I feel I did alright.  The first thing I did was open a store account for Ice Resin.  I can't say enough good things about this product. It's easy to use, you can encase high near anything in it, and it dries to a glassy finish.  Me and the girls can't wait to get it into the shop to make fabulous stuff.  
Next, I found the Crystal Clay booth which was manned (or womanned) by Kellie DeFries aka the Crystal Ninja, and Swarovski Ambassador Stephanie Dixon, not to mention the wonderful owner Debra Saucier. 
 I bought the clay, the crystals, and the bezels, and even got a picture of their Crystallized cash register.  Yeah, I've gotta make me one of these. 
Should it be plain Crystal, or Crystal AB?  Decisions, decisions.....

Friday, June 10, 2011

B&B Day Two...

Thursday dawned bright and ridiculously early for those taking classes at Bead&Button.  The weather had dropped 30 degrees by the morning to settle somewhere in the low 50's, with an impressive wind that only served to tangle ones hair.  I was set to take my first metal-working class where I would learn how to cut out a skeleton key shape from a sterling silver sheet with a saw boasting a blade so small that it would take you ten minutes to hack through a stick of warm butter with it.  On practically no sleep, I set to the task.

I glued, I sawed, I patina'd, and even learned to make my own headpins with a little ball on the end with a torch (yeah, they gave me sharp objects AND a torch....they don't know me very well do they?).  And what did I have to show for it at the end?  A skeleton really.  I actually made one.  It ain't perfect, but it's passable, and was great for a start.  I even finished the project 3 hours early, and stopped by the hotel for a little nap before the big shopping preview that evening.  How's that for resourcefulness?

Bead&Button the first day...

Shannon and I got in very late on Tuesday, and it was still 80 degrees and extremely humid.  That didn't change on Wednesday, our first full day at the show.  The humidity was high, and the temperature was near 90, not to mention the extreme wind.  That evening, we took Melissa Grakowski's Sinusoidal Necklace, and this is about how far we got:
Melissa is an extremely talented beadworker who was super fun to be in class with.  I highly recommend that you take from her if you get a chance.

That evening was the Meet the Teachers reception.  It's basically the place that all the teachers show off their classes, and sell their newest kits.  This year there was a swag bag sponsored by Swarovski that had a lot of the following in it:

Don't know yet what I'm going to do with these sparkling beauties, but I'll think of something ;)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

B&B Preparations

Preparations for the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee start for me today (okay, they sort of started yesterday, but you get the point).  All my  most fabulous jewelry is being packed, clothes are being washed and sorted (yes, this is coming with me, no this is not), and I'm gathering my arsenal of beading tools to accompany me.  What's in the bag?  Mainly beading needles, fireline, medical tape, bead mats, a triangle tray, and more than one Ott Light.

As I learned my first year, if you want to bead at The Gathering Place (a pretty much 24 hour a day beading area) you need to bring a project or two....A PROJECT OR TWO ladies, otherwise, you'll never get anything done.  This year I'm debating between taking THE Bag, and a cuff bracelet that I've almost finished, and a pair of sort of 'secret' earrings that I've been working on that came up missing, but I'm sure I could begin again, and THE Bag.  Still not sure.

I've promised myself that I will try to treat this as a 'real' vacation this year, so I'm not really helping out at friend's booths or anything.  Just me, the beads, and maybe a massage or two ;)  Wish me luck!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bead&Button Show 2011

Those of you who follow my Facebook page are probably sick of hearing about it, but I'm heading to the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee,WI next Tuesday for 5 days where I do nothing but eat, drink, sleep, and bead.  I'll be taking two classes there:  The Sinusodial Necklace with Melissa Grakowski,

and Multilayered Skeleton Key with Robyn Cornelius, Andrea Haukedal. 

The rest of my time will be spent beading in the 24-hour gathering place in the Hyatt, and hanging out with my bead friends from all over the world.  I'll keep you posted as neat things arise, so make sure to check back often :)