Now that it’s right around the corner, I wanted to post again about my upcoming Bead Simple book event at the downtown Powell’s Books here in Portland next Monday night — if you’re in town, I hope you can make it over!
I’ll do a short reading and show a bunch of the 150 jewelry projects from the book, and my Portland guest designers will be there with their work, too. Plus everyone who comes is invited to make a pair of Solo Earrings to bring home as part of a little jewelry 101 demo! I’ll bring pliers, supplies, and a big stash of vintage beads from my collection (like these sparklers) for you to choose from…
Please pass the word on to friends and I hope to see you next week!
I’m also planning some book events later in the year (with husband and baby in tow) in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Raleigh, and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, so stay tuned for updates on those…
I got the chance to stop by the preview of the Bead Expo last night and check out the many many vendor booths, gaze at all the pretty shiny things, and meet some of the teachers for the weekend’s classes. There is some gorgeous stuff to see!
I’ll be writing more about it later for CraftStylish, but in the meantime, here are a few things that might be handy if you’re planning to go:
-a $2 off admission coupon on the website
-the weekend class schedule — there are some fantastic workshops!
-the other cities that the Expo will travel to later this year: King of Prussia, Miami, Phoenix, and Philadelphia
I got to meet up with Mariko and Melissa for lunch at Pine State* Biscuits yesterday and… wow. I have to say that as a Southern girl living on the West Coast I miss the delicacies of home, and the luxury of biscuits like these in the adjoining zip code is a huge improvement to my day-to-day quality of life! Now if only I could have an occasional dose of my other favorites (fireflies, thunderstorms, Carolina home games, and hushpuppies, not to mention my family who all live three hours ahead of me), things would be perfect.
But back to the biscuits: they are awesome. I had a scrambled egg and cheese biscuit sandwich with Stumptown coffee and it was perfect for a chilly, rainy day. I was too busy eating to get a picture of my delightful food, but Mariko snapped one of me with about 2/3 of my sandwich left, and even had the willpower to photograph hers before starting in on it. Impressive! As a bonus, I got a bottle of Cheerwine to bring home, along with a biscuit for Andrew. I have not had a drop of Cheerwine in the eleven years I’ve lived out here and it was pretty fantastic… and speaking of Pine State excitement, I can’t wait for the Carolina game this afternoon, and the Davidson game tomorrow!
And on the subject of my adopted state, the always-wonderful Jill Bliss is having dual art openings in Portland tonight. Both shows run from today through April 20, and they’re both on Alberta St. From her announcement:
“the colors of nature” collaborative show with jill bliss, seth neefus and amy ruppel
reception: march 27, 7 – 10 pm
2314 ne alberta st. in portland
“califoregon” duo show with jill bliss and brittany powell
reception: march 27, 7 – 10 pm
office pdx shop + gallery
2204 ne alberta st. in portland
Jill says, “brittany’s a native oregonian, i’m a native californian. we met at c.c.a. in san francisco a few years back and have been planning the idea of this show ever since. now that we both live in portland, it’s the perfect time to make it a reality! collaborative drawings and paper cut-outs, gocco screenprints, and postcards — all relating to our favorite things and places in our two favorite states.”
p.s. Just wanted to mention that Kayte of Love Forever is doing a fun contest this week to celebrate the release of Bead Simple: just comment on this post and tell her about your favorite piece of jewelry, and she’ll pick a winner to send a copy of the book to on Friday. Don’t miss her beautiful Lacy Trio Earrings on page 39, too!
*the nickname for my native state, North Carolina.
I am so excited that Bead Simple is out in the world today! Yay!
I’m so happy that after two years of designing, writing, obsessive Excel-sheet-updating, proofreading, and waiting, it is finally out. I hope that if you buy it, borrow it, or see it at your library or local bookstore you’ll enjoy it thoroughly, and I’d absolutely love to hear what you think.
I’m really looking forward to doing some fun events, starting next month when I dip into my crazy collection of vintage beads to start hosting a few free jewelry-making parties. Here’s a sneak peek at one of my favorite beginner-friendly projects — sparkly Solo Earrings, as modeled by one of Moxie‘s delightful monsters!
I’m working on the details for my Powells event (Monday, April 7 at 7:30, more info to come very soon!), and really looking forward to doing book events at Twisted, Crafty Wonderland, and Church of Craft later in the year. I’m also planning some fun out-of-town stuff in San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Raleigh, and I hope a few other places too!
Last, a couple of quick things… if you make anything inspired by the book, I would really love to see it — please add it to the Bead Simple flickr group I set up!
And if you are looking for a copy, you can find it at your local bookstore, any Michaels location, or on Amazon. You can find signed copies at the Taunton website or directly from me via my Etsy shop, too. And hopefully it will be on the shelf at your library branch!
Huge thanks for the support from my family, all my lovely friends and guest designers… and to everyone who reads my blog, thank you for putting up with my shameless self-promotion in between spotlighting other people’s cool crafty stuff.
ps: a special thank-you to my in-laws, Paul and Nancy, for surprising me with these beautiful flowers to celebrate the book release, and to Andrew for bringing me breakfast in bed today!
Just wanted to announce a super cool upcoming art-music fundraiser, the Buckman Bash, benefiting Buckman Elementary School here in Southeast Portland. I’m especially excited that my husband Andrew will be hosting the show… which will include performances by James Mercer of the Shins and Stephen Malkmus of the Jicks and a killer art auction featuring work from Storm Tharp, Joe Thurston, and a dozen other artists — plus there’s a gallery of student work!
I first heard about Buckman and their amazing art curriculum through my friend Cathy Pitters, whose son Levi is in fifth grade there. Cathy has volunteered tirelessly for the school the whole time Levi has been a student there, and she’s gotten the girls of PDX Super Crafty involved in the Art Show + Sell over the last few years as well. I’ll be a bit too preoccupied this April to be much of a presence there, so I’ve donated a signed copy of Bead Simple and a piece of my jewelry to the silent auction at the school. This is the first year of the Buckman Bash, and our friend Juli Wittenmeier is organizing the evening’s festivities, with lots of cool surprises (did I mention the dessert bar yet?). I’ll be helping Andrew out with the PowerPoint during his hosting duties — so please come say hi if you make it to the show, I’ll be the nine-months-pregnant girl with the laptop!
I saw my friend Carye Bye of Red Bat Press this week, and got to hear about her upcoming Bunny on a Bike ride, picnic, and party this Easter Sunday! Here’s a photo from last year’s ride (taken by participant dontbecreepy):
Carye says, “Join us for the 5th annual Bunny on a Bike Ride in Portland, Oregon. Bunnies on Bikes from North, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest, we are gathering for a Play-date in the Park on Easter Sunday. We’ll meet in 5 different parks and make our way to the “Great” gathering in the geographical center of Portland!”
Five Starting Destinations. Meet at 2 pm:
SE: Col. Summers Park (SE Belmont & 20th)
SW: Salmon Street Fountain at Waterfront Park (SW Salmon & Naito Pkwy)
NW: Jamison Square (NW Johnson & 10th Ave)
N: Peninsula Park (at the gazebo, N Ainsworth & N Albina Ave)
NE: Grant Park (by Ramona Statue, NE 33rd Ave & US Grant Place)
ps: Go Tarheels!
There are a lot of pretty cool things going on today! If you don’t mind the round-up format here are three things I am pretty excited about this morning.
First, in honor of Fred Rogers’s 80th birthday, be sure to wear a sweater today! If you haven’t already seen it, this video (starring Mr. McFeely the delivery man) inviting everyone to participate is so charming. I’m a big fan of both Mr. Rogers and cardigans, so I am happily putting one on for the afternoon. Happy birthday, Mr. Rogers!
I also just heard that Jennifer Perkins is teaching a new series of classes at Craft-O-Rama in Austin. If you want to make a super-poppy charm bracelet using a variety of wire techniques, or a fantastic set of fabric jewelry (a ring, ponytail holder and two different bracelets), zip on over and register. As a bonus, Jennifer says, “Not only will we be learning how to make jewelry, we can also chat about running a small business, marketing, correct ways to open a jump ring and more — for 2 whole hours I am yours to quiz on all your hot burning questions.”
To sign up for either or both classes, register through the store’s website, call 512-707-2405 or stop by (3100 S Congress Ave Austin, TX 78704). I love Jennifer’s work and I am so lucky that she is one of my guest designers for Bead Simple! I wish so much that I could take her classes myself, but they are both scheduled for the week of my due date, so not this time… but hopefully I can catch an encore series later in the year. At age 34 I still have not made it to Texas, I am sorry to say, and I definitely need to do something about that.
The Design-It-Yourself Revolution!
Here in town, Contemporary Crafts Museum is hosting a pair of excellent craft and design events this week with Ellen Lupton, author, designer, and curator at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum: one tonight and one on Saturday. Don’t miss them!
EXCELLENCE IN CRAFT LECTURE
The Design It Yourself Revolution
Thursday, March 20, 7 PM at PNCA, 1241 NW Johnson
$5 (Free for members and students)
Ellen Lupton wants to bring design to the masses. In the much-discussed books D.I.Y.: Design It Yourself and D.I.Y. Kids, Lupton shares design concepts with writers, teachers, crafters and children. Now she’ll deliver her message in person. Lupton’s Excellence in Craft Lecture investigates how increased access to desktop publishing tools, paired with the growth of “do-it-yourself” culture, has changed the way we think about design. Drawing from her books, she will share ways to use design principles in everyday life.
SPECIAL FAMILY EVENT
D.I.Y. Kids Day
Saturday, March 22, 1-4 PM, Free, The Lab at Museum of Contemporary Craft
Work alongside Ellen Lupton and crew to design a button, a book and magnet art. These fun creative activities will engage all kids — and adults will have a blast too — making unique items from an exciting array of materials.
Nancy Flynn of belleepoque just announced a very generous giveaway: she’s made a new version of her Beachy Duo Earrings from Bead Simple and is offering them up to one of her readers to celebrate the book’s release on Tuesday! Just stop by her lovely blog and leave a comment on the post and you’re automatically entered to win them — she will draw a winner on the 25th. I love the original earrings she designed, but the new ones are just gorgeous — and so spring-y, too…
Thanks so much, Nancy! I can’t wait to see who wins next week.
p.s. If you make something inspired by the book, I’d love it if you’d add a photo of your project to the Bead Simple flickr pool! Seeing what everyone makes is definitely the most exciting part of the whole thing. Six more days… I’m so excited!
Desperation crafting struck this morning: at eight months along, it’s finally time to admit that my wedding ring has gotten too tight to wear comfortably. But I just couldn’t stand the thought of not wearing it, since I love it so much — it was my grandmother’s from her wedding in 1943, and it’s very precious to me. So I made it into this little temporary pendant with a single pearl dangling in the center. I can’t wait to slip it right back onto my ring finger, but until then I’ll be wearing it around my neck!
If you have a similar band ring or open circle that you want to remake into a simple pendant, here’s how I made this one:
Pliers (flat-nose, round-nose and wire clippers)
One center bead (I used a 6mm pearl)
4 inches of 24 gauge gold-filled wire
1 gold headpin
1. Slip the bead onto the headpin and form a wrapped loop above it to create a simple dangle. Clip the end of the wire neatly.
2. Form a medium-sized loop that will be the first (lower) half of a double-wrapped loop using the piece of wire (ie: one lower loop catching the ring/pendant, one upper loop catching the chain, as in the photo), but do not start wrapping the coil yet. Slip first the ring and then the bead dangle onto the open loop so that the bead hangs neatly inside the ring or circle. Once those are in place, complete the wrap, winding the wire into a neat coil above the loop.
3. Now form a second wrapped loop above the first one, slipping your chain into the open loop before completing the wrap. Finish your pendant by coiling the wire around two or three times, until it meets the first wrap in the middle of the coil, and clip both ends at the back. Use your flat-nose pliers to flatten any edges that poke out.
Note: you can use wirework instructions and illustrations from any beading book to learn how to make the pearl dangle and double-wrapped loop. They’re on page 21 and 23 of Bead Simple, and I’ll be posting short technique videos for both (plus a dozen others) later this week, too — I’ll come back and post links then! Until then, I hope the text instructions make sense… looking at the photo can help you see the process, too.
It’s a fairly unexciting day here weather-wise, but with the longer, brighter spring days approaching, and daffodils and even some little azalea buds peeking out already in our yard, I have just fallen in love with these gorgeous spring-y crafty things my friends Jessica and Christina are making!
I have two of Jessica’s chocolate bunnies and they are the cutest things ever. I love all the great color combinations she’s made this year, along with the rest of her amazing stuff!
And Christina’s jewelry is so lovely… the new bird earrings she’s been making are especially charming.
I could just look at those super cute photos all day — I think I’m particularly starved for pretty things since I’m down to stretchy clothes only and there’s a total lack of vintage and handmade cuteness in my current wardrobe. I’ve been wearing totinette earrings and Charcoal Designs necklaces to counterbalance the plainness, since bright, pretty colors and interesting shapes just look so good after the unrelenting stretchy t-shirt/sweater + maternity pants/skirt combination day after day. Oh well, only five weeks or so to go, and then I get to have fun with baby clothes! They’re considerably more exciting than late maternity options, to say the least…