bead + button jewelry in the summer of making

June 5, 2009 at 1:57 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, crafty events, resources and info, vintage bits and pieces | Leave a comment

I’m very happy to be teaching a new jewelry-making class as part of the Summer of Making next month at the wonderful PNCA here in Portland!

summer of making

The Continuing Education department has put together a fantastic line-up of classes, and they’re offering a very generous giveaway this week if you help spread the word about them

Button It Up - cover!

from the blog:
We have a nice package of promotional items to give away. This includes a signed copy of Susan Beal’s Button It Up, Denyse Schmidt’s Quilt-It Kit, a yard of County Fair, Patchwork Promenade Print by Denyse Schmidt and a Summer of Making Poster. To win leave a comment on the blog, become a fan of Summer of Making on Facebook or mention us on your Facebook profile or blog. You will get one entry for each of these (maximum of 4). We will randomly select the winner June 21.

I am very honored to be one of the teachers alongside some of my favorite crafters. Denyse Schmidt is coming to teach a two-day workshop, which I am so excited to take! Jess Beebe is teaching By Hand: Needlework and Macrame, Sarah Schlosser-Moon is teaching Artful Blogging, Brenda Mallory is teaching Contemporary Fiber Art, and I am teaching Bead and Button Jewelry.

mending jewelry: tools and materials

I’m so excited about this class. We’ll have four days to work on jewelry, beading and embellishment techniques of all types, a luxurious amount of time to make things! Bead + Button Jewelry meets Monday through Thursday, July 20-23 from 10-3 in a nice big classroom with natural light at PNCA — all the details are here.

my finds from The Needle

from the website:
In this hands-on class, students will learn and practice a range of beading, jewelry-making and embellishment techniques, including wirework, stringing, weaving, knotting, gluing, hand-sewing, and other craft methods. Bring in your own favorite pieces to design around, complementing them with vintage and new beads, buttons, findings, chain, fabric, and other materials from Susan’s collection.

vintage beads for earrings - black white + red

Aside from the nuts and bolts of practical making, we’ll focus on color, balance, arrangements, and intuitive design – creating a collection of jewelry and other crafts that bring your treasures to life. With four days to work together, we’ll create a collection of instant favorites for gifts or for yourself, while building a strong foundation for designing future projects with your new skills.

buttons in search of their hairclips

The projects we create will reflect each student’s personal sense of style and other favorite elements – instead of a cookie-cutter approach, each designer will enjoy the flexibility to focus on what he or she prefers.

Pages from Bead Simple

If you want to know more about any of the classes, you can download a syllabus for each one on its page at the Summer of Making site. And if you have any questions about mine in particular, please ask away over here!

vintage beads for earrings - brights

One last thing: if you are interested in taking Bead + Button Jewelry, I would be thrilled to have some crafty friends in the class. If anyone who registers mentions that they read my blog or either of my book sites (or have checked out my flickr, or know me through Portland stuff) I will put together a special package of vintage beads and buttons as a thank-you! You can leave a comment here or just let me know the first day of class, and I’ll put something fun together with some of your favorite colors and styles and bring it for you to craft with the second day and beyond.

p.s. I’m cross-posting this announcement on West Coast Crafty and Button It Up, so sorry for the exact repetition if you see it more than once, but since the class ties together techniques from both of my books, I’d like to spread the word in all directions!

button it up + artful sewing

March 16, 2009 at 3:32 pm | Posted in book events, book news, guest designers | Leave a comment

I have a new craft book out this month, Button It Up, and I’m planning some crafty events to celebrate!

Button It Up - cover!

It has 80 projects to make with vintage (and new) buttons — plenty of jewelry, plus housewares, gifts, accessories, and embellishments — along with a techniques and materials section, a resources guide, and a short history of buttons. I’ve made a book website for it with lots more information and some bonus patterns and tutorials.

And starting this week, I’ll be doing a few crafty book events — if you are local, I’d love to see you at one of them!

Button Crafts at Powell's + Bolt!

Friday, 3/20: make button hairclips at Powell’s Books, 1005 W. Burnside St. in downtown Portland, 503-228-4651

Saturday, 3/28: make button magnets at Bolt Fabric Boutique, 2136 NE Alberta St in Portland, 503-287-BOLT

Here’s a little Bead Simple news, too: first, the Bolt event will have some crafty prizes up for grabs, including a store gift certificate, a button collection, fabric, and a signed copy of Bead Simple. Everyone who comes to the party will be entered in the drawing!

And I’ve made all my Bead Simple kits in my Etsy shop part of the fundraiser to benefit Baby Ike and the Roy family in Austin, Texas.

Solo Earrings kit - wine-red, lavender, and hot pink Lucite beads

If you are interested, you can find out lots more information at the Ikeasaurus website. Thanks to everyone who is part of this effort.

And today is the last day to enter to win a copy of my guest designer Kathy Cano Murillo’s new book, The Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing, over at CraftStylish! You can enter here and read a review I wrote here. Congratulations, Kathy!!

Kathy Cano-Murillo's Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing!

Holiday Cheer and kits for a good cause

December 5, 2008 at 1:46 pm | Posted in book events, crafty events, guest designers | Leave a comment

Hi Portland folks! I wanted to let you know that I will be signing my book and showing people how to make earrings at the Oregon Historical Society’s Holiday Cheer authors event on Sunday, from 1-4. I would love it if you could stop by and say hi! If anyone who reads my blog mentions that you found out about the event here, I will be happy to give you one of my new earring kits as a thank-you for visiting.

Holiday Cheer - Oregon Historical Society

It should be a really cool afternoon, with dozens of Oregon authors who write in different genres there — I am super excited about meeting Chelsea Cain, seeing Caren and Carl of Velveteria, and getting my copies of The Portland Bridge Book, Portland: People, Politics and Power, and An Architectural Guidebook to Portland signed. I’m sure I’ll find lots more good books, too — all the sales benefit the Oregon Historical Society, which is a nice bonus. Anyway, I’d love to see some crafty folks there! Thank you to OHS for having me, and especially to Lucy for suggesting me as a participant.

Also, my friend (and Bead Simple contributor) Linda has organized a fantastic fundraiser to benefit her sister Ann’s family while her brother-in-law Jasenn fights kidney cancer. Her Etsy shop, Hope for Jasenn, has a really lovely array of crafty gifts from lots of people in this community, with more on the way. Linda says, “100% of the profits from every item sold in this shop will be donated to Jasenn, Ann and Tegue to help with their everyday expenses. All of the items in this shop have been donated by generous crafters and friends, and I’d love to show my sister’s family just how supportive we crafty folks can be.” So I wanted to mention that I have two sets of my new earring kits for sale there, if you happen to be interested. Thanks!

Bead Simple event at Crafty Wonderland – 9/14

September 11, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Posted in book events, crafty events | Leave a comment

I’m excited to announce that I’m teaching a free Bead Simple solo earring-making workshop at the Crafty Wonderland DIY table this Sunday!


I’m bringing along my vintage beads and findings,

vintage beads for earrings - brights

plus some chain for making longer, swingier earrings if you want to get a bit more adventurous.

Low and Swingy Earrings on AM Northwest tomorrow

Just stop by, grab some pliers and pick out your favorite beads, and make yourself something pretty to wear home. I’ll have books for sale if you happen to need one, and I’d love to sign one if you already have it!

Meanwhile, there will be fantastic handmade things from 40 crafters to browse… one of my favorite artists, Jill Bliss, will be there with her work, and you can check out the complete list of vendors here. Hope to see you!

Bead Simple earring-making @ Crafty Wonderland
Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E. Burnside St. in Portland
Sunday, September 14 from 11-4

Low and Swingy Earrings on AM Northwest tomorrow

August 14, 2008 at 1:21 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, crafty events | Leave a comment

Hey, just wanted to mention that I’m going to be on the AM Northwest show again tomorrow (Friday, 8/15), making earrings from Bead Simple — a pair of sparkly Solo Earrings and a dangly pair of Low and Swingy Earrings, too. They made a special request for me to bring Pearl along so she might co-star again… we’ll see!

Low and Swingy Earrings on AM Northwest tomorrow

The show is on from 9 to 10 am on KATU, and my segment will probably be at either 9:20 or 9:35. I should get a DVD of it next week (along with the earlier one I did, making a Pink Floral Ribbon Choker) and I will definitely post them online if you would like to make yourself some jewelry, too!

I’ll post more about it closer to the time, but I’ll be teaching a free Solo Earrings workshop at the September Crafty Wonderland here in Portland, which I’m really excited about! Please mark your calendar for September 14 and stop by the DIY table to pick out your favorite vintage beads to make a pair of earrings, and shop for crafty delights from more than 40 vendors.

Beading tips and a crafty party!

May 28, 2008 at 7:16 am | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, book news, crafty events | Leave a comment

Hi, just wanted to check back in after a few weeks… I had my adorable baby girl, Pearl, on May 6 and have had such a great time getting to hang out with her! So I’ve been a bit distracted lately, but wanted to mention a few cool things going on in the jewelry-making realm:

I was recently interviewed about beading for Seventeen magazine and the article (with lots of tips and resources) is up on their site if you want to check it out. I started making jewelry in high school so I was really pleased to pass on some ideas for getting started beading and re-styling your own stuff. Thank you to Neha Gandhi for the great piece!

I’m doing a short segment on AM Northwest this morning (on KATU 2) showing how to make jewelry from Bead Simple! If you are in Portland or anywhere nearby and want to tune in, I’ll be on at 9:40 am making the Pink Floral Ribbon Choker and showing some other projects and techniques from the book, too. Hope to have a video segment to share soon — I’ll keep you posted!

Pink Floral Ribbon Choker
photo by Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart

And I’m also looking forward to the CRAFT: magazine release party Diane and I are hosting this upcoming Sunday, June 1 for my official re-entry into the crafty world! If you are in Portland, I hope you can make it by to say hello and make a jewelry project with us. It is at the marvelous Twisted again (like last time), and we’ll have some fun door prizes, a fully stocked project table, discounted magazine subscriptions, snacks, and free crafty giveaways, too.

magazine release party - June 1!

The project we’re teaching this time will be my Cute as a Button Bracelet from Bead Simple, which CRAFT: was kind enough to excerpt in this issue! We’ll have all the supplies for you to make your own bracelet to wear home, and Diane and I will be handing out prizes every hour on the hour, too. More on those later — but we’ll be giving away books from Chronicle and Taunton (including Bead Simple) and some of my new jewelry kits plus some fun surprises.

cute as a button bracelet - Bead Simple
photo by Burcu Avsar and Zach DeSart

Hope to see you!

thank you!

April 9, 2008 at 4:09 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, crafty events, guest designers | 3 Comments

I had such a great time at Powell’s on Monday — thank you so much for the good-luck wishes, and to everyone who came out to make earrings with me. It was such a fun night! I loved seeing all the sparkly things that people made and it was fantastic to meet so many new crafty people.

First, I chatted a little bit about beading and jewelry design and showed a few pieces from the book from the forty or so I had out on display.
view from the back of the room - me chatting about jewelry

I have such a goofy expression on my face here, but what can I say, I was showing off one of my favorite designs ever, created by my nephew Julian! He was five when he made this necklace and I absolutely love it.

Then I asked my lovely Portland guest designers to come up so I could introduce them and show their gorgeous designs too… left to right are Bethe Mack, Tanja Alger, Caitlin Troutman, Diane Gilleland, and Torie Nguyen. Thank you, ladies!
My Portland guest designers!

I did a quick earrings how-to, and then everyone got to choose their vintage beads and pick up their jewelry kits…
Craft table in action during the Bead Simple event

…and people jumped right into making their pieces. My friend Ryan even created a fancy sparkly necklace using pipe cleaners and 24mm pink faceted beads!
Crafting in action

I got to chat with so many people, admire lots of new designs, and even sign some books. I think this is one of the few moments I was sitting down all night… that was nice, I have to admit.

There are a good handful of photos from the event in the Bead Simple flickr pool… thank you so much to Lee and Andrew for snapping these great ones. And for another review of the whole thing, be sure to check out the guest blogger over at paperdollygirl, who created an especially gorgeous pair of earrings himself!

A heartfelt thank you to everyone who came out to get crafty with me and to Powell’s — it was so much fun to get to celebrate the book together. I’m so looking forward to doing it again at Church of Craft, Crafty Wonderland, and Twisted! Just give me a couple of months to have this baby in the meantime, and I’ll see you later in the summer for sure.


April 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, crafty events, vintage bits and pieces | 4 Comments

bead simple @ Powell's Books

vintage beads for earrings - brights

vintage beads for earrings - black white + red

6 pliers out of 60

my book event mentioned in the Oregonian!

Bead Simple event at Powell’s April 7!

March 31, 2008 at 11:39 am | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, crafty events, guest designers, vintage bits and pieces | 2 Comments

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!

Bead Simple event at Powell's Books - make your own earrings!

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…

Vintage beads up for grabs!

Please pass the word on to friends and I hope to see you next week!

Bead Simple event at Powell’s (upstairs in the Basil Hayward Gallery)
1005 W. Burnside St., downtown Portland
Monday, April 7 at 7:30 pm

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…

book release day!

March 25, 2008 at 12:55 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, book news, crafty events | 1 Comment

I am so excited that Bead Simple is out in the world today! Yay!

Bead Simple is out today!

I’m so happy that after two years of designing, writing, obsessive Excel-sheet-updating, proofreading, and waiting, March 25 is finally here and the book is 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!

moxie earrings

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!

Celebratory flowers!

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