Wednesday, May 30, 2012

First Blog Hop Party Entry!

One of the main reasons why I decided to start blogging was to join the fun blog hopping parties going on.  I didn't know such a fun thing existed until last month!  There are different formats of blog hop parties.  Lori Anderson hosts a very popular blog hop where people from around the world are matched up in pairs and exchange a focal bead, clasp and any other complimenting components.  Her blog party was what inspired me to start blogging :)

Just like anything else, once you start paying attention to something you realize it's all over the place.  I just came across a blog hop party hosted on

1. A few Humblebeads featured in Heather Powers' book Jewelry Designs from Nature
2. A nature-inspired poem
3. A photo for color and design inspiration

I just couldn't resist putting my name in the hat at a chance of being one of the 10 lucky peeps to participate in this blog hop party.  I'm a bit nervous putting my name in the drawing but super excited at the chance of being chosen to participate!  I'm a huge fan of Humblebeads and looking forward to bee-lining to her booth at Bead & Button Show!  Come join in on the fun!  Winners will be announced June 6!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bucket List ~ Bead & Button Show

Bead & Button Show is less than a week away and I'm receiving e-mails from all the instructors regarding the classes I've signed up.  Such an exciting time with so much anticipation!  This is the third beading/jewelry making retreat/workshop I've signed up for and I have to say I'm more prepared attending the Bead & Button Show this year for the 2nd time.  Living on Kauai I've had to rely on learning techniques from DVD, online classes, and books.  While there are some awesome resources available, nothing can replace the hands on instructions you get from attending workshops/classes from fabulous instructors.

When I first saw the line up of instructors at the Weekend with Wiremasters in 2010, I signed up to take my jewelry making skills to the next level.  Sharilyn Miller, Mary Hettmansperger, Tracey Stanley, and Janice Berkbile-Thank you!   It was the best thing I've done to stretch my skills and knowledge and met lifelong friends with commonality that you simply can't replace.  So glad to have met you Heidi and Julie! 

After such a positive experience at Weekend with Wiremasters 2010, I put Bead & Button Show on my bucket list.  Something I will attend some day.  Then when our best man in my wedding unexpectedly passed away from cancer end of 2010.  I came face to face with reality of life.  I decided to make some day to today.  I signed up for Bead & Button Show 2011 and my dear friend Julie whom I met at Wiremasters decided to join me.  We shared a room at the Hilton and compared notes each night of the classes we each took.  We had such a good time last year so we are rommies again this year.  The experience of being surrounded with so many creative artists was simply amazing.  I also ran into Sheri from Wiremasters during registration.  I was so fortunate to have shared drinks, dinners, and laughters with her again.  At the time I didn't know her life would be taken away so suddenly early in 2012 and I would never see her again.

I read couple of Blog posts on how to prepare for attending bead shows.  Lori Anderson who hosts the fabulous Bead Soup Party wrote a great article about Going to a Bead Show-How to Prepare!  I printed the labels with my info and added it to my list of things to bring!  Then another great post by Art Bead Scene about Bead Show Shopping Tips.  I mapped out my shopping plan.  Two great posts and I'm ready to go!

So here are my two cents...
Don't just make a wishful bucket list, start living your bucket list rather than adding it on a piece of paper.  You never know when your number is up.  Follow your passion and your heart.  I'm so grateful I have a creative outlet to balance my life.  Not everyone can say they have a passion in life.  If making beautiful jewelry is what brings joy to your life, then welcome to my journey.  We are the lucky ones.

Live Love Laugh
From the Heart,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Julie Sanford

Julie Sanford

One of the techniques I haven't challenged myself is working with jewelry saw.   It will be a bit intimidating to take this class as I truly suck with the jewelry saw!  Last time I tried I must have broken half dozen blades.

Julie Sanford teaches in her studio in Michigan and her work is amazing!  Looking forward to learning sawing and metal fabrication from the expert at Bead & Button.

It was great reading about her on May 2012 issue of Crafts Report.  You can see more of her beautiful work and find out more about Julie at Julie Sanford Designs Website!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Chris Mode

Chris Mode

I actually wanted to take Chris' Hand Stamped Spinner Ring class last year at Bead & Button but didn't have time so I made sure I signed up for this class the first day it opened.  This was one of the first classes to sell out the day it opened so really glad I was ready by the computer!

Chris is one busy person. Her company Creative Mode started out as a rubber stamp company then added glass beads and jewelry. She recently purchased a 120 year old water paint company. Check out more details from Chris' Creative Mode Website. It's going to be great learning from an artist with such creative and business background!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Meet the Teachers ~ Cristina Leonard & Gail Lannum

Cristina Leonard & Gail Lannum

I've been seeing so many beautifully etched copper and brass lately and had to get on the bandwagon! By learning metal etching I will be able to transfer so many gorgeous designs onto metal and use it for so many components.  Possibilities are endless!  I found Gail's blog while searching for Bead & Button Show last year and fell in love with her work.  This will be Cristina and Gail's first teaching experience at B&B and I'm so excited to be taking their first class!  
Check out Cristina Leonard's Website which showcases her beautiful work and Gail Lannum's Blog which is so much fun to read!  Looking forward to meeting these two talented and fun ladies at Bead & Button!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Melissa Cable

Melissa Cable

Last year I took Melissa Cable's Wisteria Pendant class as I was intrigued by a material I was not familiar with.  Melissa was teaching several classes using Faux Bone which was developed by Robert Dancik.  You can find out more about Faux Bone on Robert Dancik's Website  This unique material is amazing.  You can shape it by applying a heat gun and apply colors with alcohol ink, acrylic paints and even shoe polish!  There are so many possibilities on how you can use this material.

When I saw Melissa offering this Tapestry Bracelet class this year I was in love!  She is such a sweet person and will patiently walk you through the steps in creating beautiful jewelry.  Check out her book Spotlight on Wire and find other goodies at Melissa's Website.  Come discover the world of Faux Bone!

Meet the Teacher ~ Linda Larsen

Linda Larsen

I fell in love with Linda Larsen's work and have been following her blog Objects and ElementsLinda's Website is full of tools and supplies to stock up your studio!  Her Tabbed Fossil Coral Pendant with great step-by-step instruction was featured on Lapidary Journal Jewelry Artist Magazine Jan-Feb 2012 issue. 
Looking forward to meeting Linda in person and take her Hinged Treasure Boxes class at Bead & Button Show in June!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Joan Babcock

Joan Babcock

I was so into macrame back in the 80's.  Yes I just aged myself.  So when my dear friend Heidi and I saw micro macrame jewelry while strolling through Main Street in Park City, I just had to learn how to incorporate the blast from the past techniques into my work.  Joan's work is amazing!  She uses the same knotting method and applies it towards jewelry construction.  I really want to incorporate more fiber (and I don't mean the ones you digest!) and this class will teach me how to add a different medium into my work.
Joan has two books that I know of:  Micro-Macramé Jewelry: Tips and Techniques for Knotting with Beads and Wired Micro-Macramé Jewelry: Enhancing Fiber Designs with Wire.

Here is a excerpt from Joan's DVD

Check out Joan's Website and you will have a totally different impression about macrame.  I'm looking forward to learning from the master of micro macrame at Bead & Button Show!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Kim St. Jean

Kim St. Jean

I've been wanting to take Kim's class since I bought her fabulous book Mixed Metal Mania.  I also took her Fold Forming online class at Beaducation and loved it!  I highly recommend both the book and her classes at Beaducation.  Kim's Simple Hammered Clasp Class is how I learned how to make my own clasp using wire with leather cord and it's free! 

Here is an intro clip by Beaducation about Kim St. Jean.

Since I work a lot with copper, learning how to solder with copper and bezel setting is a must on my list this year.  Find out more about Kim's work and teaching schedule on Kim's Website.  I've learned so much from her book and online classes and can't wait to take her class in person at Bead & Button!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Richard Salley

Richard Salley

I took Richard Salley's torch fire enameling class last year at Bead & Button Show and loved every moment.  I had no idea torch fire enameling was so fun and easy.  It's a really forgiving technique and if you don't like the piece after firing, sift some more and fire again.  A lot of my favorite pieces were a result of multiple firings.

I also love Richard's unique and distinguished jewelry designs.  This year I wanted to learn soldering and bezel setting and this class was perfect. Richard's Website features his work from 2005 and it's a collection of gorgeous designs.  You will also find great tutorials and all the workshops you can find him.  If you have an opportunity to take one of his classes, I highly recommend it!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meet the Teacher ~ Barbara Lewis

I truly value how much I learn from taking classes.  Personally I can only do so much from reading books and watching online videos.  I will be going to Bead & Button Show for the 2nd time and wanted to feature the fabulous teachers/artists I will be taking classes from!

Barbara Lewis with Painting with Fire

I am so excited to finally take Barbara's class to learn the immersion torch fire enameling method! I've been a huge fan of Barbara Lewis ever since I saw her work on Belle Armoire Jewelry Magazine.  Her book Torch-Fired Enamel Jewelry was the Best Craft Book of 2011 at Amazon and I have read it from cover to cover multiple times.  Barbara also hosts Painting with Fire Ning which is a wonderful and supportive torch enameling community.  I've met so many wonderful artists and great friends on that site.   If you are remotely interested in torch fire enameling, I highly recommend getting her book and join the Ning group. She just moved and opened her new studio in St. Petersburg, Florida. Barbara teaches the immersion technique which is different from sifting enameling on top of copper.  She is an incredibly supportive and talented artist who shares her knowledge.  For those of you who can't make the trek to St. Pete or other venues she teaches, she is offering a 2nd e-course this summer.  Check out the details about her e-course on her Painting with Fire Website!  You can also follow her blog at

 Here is a video of the immersion method that Barbara teaches.

I'm also taking Barbara's Surface Decoration for Enamel class while at B&B.  I just couldn't resist learning how to make those cute enameled birdhouses!

I'm sooooo looking forward to meeting Barbara in person!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Follow Your Heart

This truly captured why I create. Wishing you all the courage to follow your heart!