Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bead Fest Santa Fe

So, this is really surprising, but I have a few more spaces in my Night at the Opera class at Bead Fest Santa Fe on Thursday, March 18. Those of you who couldn't get in at Bead & Button can still take it in Santa Fe!

I also have free passes for admission to Bead Fest Santa Fe - saving you $10! Just email me at and I'll send one your way.


Rut Ro. I'm in trouble with Mom for not updating the blog lately. Whoops! She's totally right, of course (shhhh...keep that between us, will you?) and I've got a lot to catch you up on!

First off, I just spent last weekend teaching in the Houston area. On Saturday I made my second trip to Lake Jackson, Texas, where there's an feisty and active beading group for such a small locale. We had 13 ladies working away on Night at the Opera bracelets, and I was so thrilled to see all the enthusiasm! We even had 3 baby beaders in the group that stuck with it - NATO is a challenge for a beginner, but they all left with finished clasps, and that's the hardest part. I have faith the more experienced members will help them with completing their projects so I can see them all when I return again in September!

Sunday was spent at the lovely bead store, Beadoholique, in Spring, Texas. I stayed the night with the owner, Glynna White, and her family, including her adorable fur children. Rudy the poodle is often at the store during the week, and he's a hoot! He and I got along like fast friends, and if Glynna isn't careful, I'll be sneaking him out with my luggage next time. We had 18 in class on Sunday and it was a joyful noise. You know exactly what I mean, don't you? Some of the students I know from various classes and events over the years, and others were new beady friends. We laughed all day and teased each other mercilessly. I felt right at home there, and happily they have asked me back for a class in September also.

Royalle Giddings is one of the regular instructors there, and she had the most AMAZING shoes on! I couldn't help but snap a photo. She was too diligent for me to crawl under the table and actually snatch them off her feet. Maybe I'll get lucky next time!

I haven't talked about the end of the Tucson extravaganza yet either, have I? As per usual, it was a whirlwind of all my favorite people in one place, and a struggle against the elements and exhaustion. We had pouring rain the last day that flooded some vendor spaces out in the tents, and made our break down and loading of our cars a muddy mess. But since controlling Mother Nature is not in the plans, we all made due. I stayed over a few days to shop for kits and supplies, but honestly, I never even left my casita on Monday. I slept roughly 20 out of 24 hours that day. By Tuesday I was recovered again, and made my way to my favorite show for some spending. Just like a rookie, I managed to spend all my money at that one show, so to keep myself from spending beyond my means, I decided to avoid even looking at any of the other shows I normally would have attended. I know myself too well. Me and temptation are not a good mix.

I was dreadful about taking photos, but here's a shot of me and Brenda Schweder who kept me company at my booth for a while on Wednesday. She's got a new book coming out with Lark Publishing in the fall on Steel Wire Jewelry. It's SO COOL!

And another of me with Rashan Omari Jones, who makes amazing boro glass beads, pendants, and perfume bottles. He's also very important because he is the Assistant Show Director, and he's in charge turning the heater on and off in the tent. So I suck up to him a lot. I have to keep warm!!

Monday, February 15, 2010

This and That

From June:
Jill did get back from Tucson last week. She tried to drive all the way in one fell swoop, but the incessant rain made her decide to make it a two-day trip instead. Safety first, always.

Since she’s gotten back, she’s been working on filling the orders that came in while she had all the kits in Tucson. I also forced her to work on the bead room yesterday. For 30 minutes. With a timer set. It’s been so overwhelming, and we’ve been so busy, that we’ve been reluctant to even go in there. But we had to start somewhere. We really should take before and after pictures, but I think the “before” picture would be too frightening. (Ever watch the TV show “Hoarders”?) So that’s the goal – at least 30 minutes every day.

While Jill was gone, I painted the entire living room and dining area off the kitchen. We didn’t hate the color it was when we moved into the house, but it needed to be repainted. Jill and I decided to change the tint a little. Guess what? Jill likes the original color better than the new color. I ain’t repainting it. I’ll just wait for her memory of the original color to dim!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Mid-Tucson Report

What a jam packed few days it's been since I posted last! The days in Tucson are always long because you're working all day, and then gathering with friends at night. A few hours of sleep and then I'm up to do it all again!

Wednesday was the start of our show and it's traditionally one of the busiest days. Unfortunately, we had some pretty strong rain showers off and on all day so it wasn't quite as busy as usual. I can't imagine the rain deterring ME from getting out to shop for beads, but evidently not everyone is as dedicated as I am! I got to see many of my usual customers, and the editors of Beadwork and Step-By-Step Wire. (Don't tell, but I sold a seed bead kit to Denise Peck, the Step-By-Step Wire editor - she's a seed beader too!!) The ladies from Fusion Beads stopped by, and they'll be carrying some of my new kits on their website before long too.

I enjoy my neighbors, Janice and John, so much. Crazy Australians with spunky personalities and cute accents. We've been neighbors for years now and it's amazing how they become close friends even though you may only see them once or twice a year.

Thursday was slower since one of the major shows down the road opens on Thursday, but we had warm temperatures and sunshine so some of the stragglers from Wednesday showed up finally. Friday was more of the same perfect weather with many more people coming through. Friday night was a Karaoke party for our show, and I have to say I'm impressed with how well some of these folks sing! Not to mention impressed with out BADLY some of them do! It was a fun time and I'm pretty tired.

But there's no time for rest yet! I'm quickly updating this before I head out for Saturday's show. It's going to be 70 and sunny in advance of a cold and rainy day tomorrrow. I need to go soak it up!!

PS - it's quite amazing, but I've only managed to buy ONE bead so far! Only because I'm always at my booth and don't get shopping time...but I'll manage before the weekend is out...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

It was the night before the Big Show...

Hello from Tucson! The bead and gem and jewelry forces of the universe are gathering in this corner of the Earth to show off the best we have to show for the next few weeks. There's simply nothing else like it. Interested in huge fossils and geodes big enough to hide small children inside? No problem! Want to see more pearls than you've ever imagined existed? Yup, we've got that! Acres of tents filled with beautiful and unexpected wonders await. Lampworkers have trotted out their best designs from the past year with which to tempt you. And every person I know in the biz is here. I can't wait for my show to start in the morning!

Here's how it has been going...
I left Austin on Sunday - had planned to leave by 10am, but hit the road around 11:20. That's practically early for me! I'm about 45 miles down the road when Mom calls. I jokingly answer the phone by saying, "What did I forget?" Except it wasn't a joke. I'd left behind a box of jewelry that needed to be with me. ARGH!! So I turned around and Mom met me half-way with the goods. My day just got 40 miles longer, but at least I had the jewelry. Thanks, Mom! The delay meant I was pretty darned tired by the time I arrived at my hotel in Van Horn, Texas at 11pm or so at night. So tired that I tried to check into the wrong hotel! I just knew my reservation was at the Hampton Inn, but they couldn't find it. So I whipped out my confirmation email...from the Holiday Inn Express. If it hadn't been pre-paid, I would have just switched to the Hampton. Reloading my luggage in the car and driving the extra quarter mile took my last bit of energy. I hit the bed like a rock and didn't move for 10 hours.

Monday was a shorter driving day, and I bebopped along the road while listening to my iTouch. Remember my last post about the cables in my world? Well, the saga continues! Since I updated the software on my Blackberry Storm phone, my wall charger no longer works. The only way I can charge it up is to connect it to my computer right now. And the cable I had to connect the iTouch to the car speakers? Yeah. Wrong cable. I haven't yet stopped to buy the one I need, so I was using my headphones to listen to the iTouch in the car. Why, oh, why can't they do something useful like make all cords and connectors universal?? WHY??

Anyway, as I was saying - Monday night I got into town around 8:45pm. Dropped my stuff at the Casita I'm renting for the second year in a row, and then headed around the corner for food. I was five min. too late to get the Chinese takeout I'd been hoping for, so instead I stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on a week's worth of meals. Another 10 hour sleep coma later brings us to...

Tuesday! Set up at the Best Bead Show day. But not until 2pm. Originally I'd planned on driving over to one or two of the other shows for the first part of the day, but honestly I'm pretty well out of money at this point and I knew I'd find things I wanted to purchase. I'm not good with temptation, so I figured it was best to stay locked up at the Casita and chill out.

When I finally got to the Kino Veteran's Center to start getting my booth all decorated, I was more than ready to get going! Right off the bat I started seeing friends left and right...Rashan Omari Jones, Amanda Jeffries, Janice & John (who's last name I can't think of at the moment) from Australia, Susan Nestor, Lori Dixon Greenberg, Margaret Zinser...and I didn't even go into the main hall yet! I got most of my set up done before my energy just dropped out of the bottom. I'll finish up in the morning.

So the show opens at 10am! Come see me!!! I know I'll get to see Brenda Schweder, who will be coming to spend a few hours helping me in the booth. I'm going to pitch a collaboration project while she's there...iron and seed beads...intriguing... And the various editors from the bead magazines will be coming through too. Jill MacKay is in town and promised to stop by to say Hi. Marsha DeCoster and Shelley Nybakke are in town, and I'm sure I'll see them at one spot or another. Gail Crosman Moore has made the trek here despite having broken her leg by falling on the ice last week. Can you imagine?? She's got spunk, that gal does!

I'll try to report in every few days at least. Wednesday is going to be a loooong day for me, since I need to get there early to finish set up, and then the show is open until 8pm. So after 12 hours in the booth, I'm guessing there will be no update tomorrow night. never knows...I will have photos!!