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!

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.

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…

links and thank-yous

March 21, 2008 at 9:35 am | Posted in book news, guest designers | 3 Comments

I’m so excited that the book will be out this Tuesday! March 25 sounded so far away for so long and now it’s coming right up… so now that things are getting so close, I wanted to link over to a few lovely previews, and a very generous giveaway from one of my amazing guest designers, too.

Bead Simple Earrings

First, Nancy Flynn, designer of the Beachy Duo Earrings from Bead Simple, has made a gorgeous new pink-and-white variation of her own design 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.

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.

Tricia Royal's Pop Organic Low + Swingy Earrings

Tricia Royal, who designed the Pop Organic Low and Swingy Earrings, wrote up a fantastic preview on her Bits and Bobbins blog… she picked some of her favorite designs, including Jennifer PerkinsBric-A-Brac Charming Bracelet and Vintage Button Brooches by me and by Laura Stokes.

And Jenny Ryan, creator of the Candy Shoppe One-Strand Bracelet, wrote up the book too with such nice things to say about the range of projects and their creators: “What’s especially cool is that Susan enlisted nearly 40 crafty pals (familiar names like Jennifer Perkins, Cathy of California, Faythe Levine and yep, yours truly) to put their own spin on her projects. It’s great seeing how different folks put their stamp on things and I’m so proud of Susan for putting together such an inventive and beautiful book.”

Linda Augsburg also let me know about this great review on the Make It Mine site this morning… after a really nice overview of the techniques and projects, Tea Benduhn finishes: “The choice quote from the introduction pretty much sums it all up: ‘Here’s to making jewelry that makes you feel gorgeous.’ And that’s really what it’s all about. So go ahead, gorgeous, and treat yourself to Bead Simple.”

Thank you so much to Nancy, Tricia, Jenny, Tea and Linda for the generous support! I really appreciate it.

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.

I also wanted to mention that I started an author blog over at Amazon, if you are into that kind of thing…

two weeks away!

March 13, 2008 at 3:25 pm | Posted in book events, book news, guest designers | 1 Comment

I just started a Bead Simple flickr pool for photos of any craft and jewelry projects inspired by the book, and I’m so pleased that there are already some fun things in the mix! Here are three of my favorites so far:

My creation

Left to right are Candy Shoppe Bracelets made by Jenny Ryan, Sarah Minshall‘s Circles in the Square Tote (made by Jessica Aframe), and the Triple Tier Filigree Necklace made by Linda Permann. If you’d like to join the group, or send me photos, I would love to see what you make!

I can hardly believe that the book release date is two weeks away (!) — March 25. So if you’ve pre-ordered it from Amazon or Taunton, it should be delivered by then, and it will be in bookstores (and Michaels) that week too.

And just a reminder if you are in (or near) Portland: I’m doing my first book event on Monday, April 7 at 7:30 at the downtown Powells location (1005 W. Burnside). I’ll have a bunch of the book projects to show, and my six Portland guest designers will be in attendance, too! I’m also bringing tools, findings, and vintage beads along, so everyone who stops by can make a pair of earrings. Hope to see you then!

I’ll be doing more free Bead Simple jewelry-making classes over the next few months at Church of Craft, Crafty Wonderland, and Twisted. More on those soon…

Andrew and I are also filming a little series of jewelry-making tutorials this weekend, which I’m excited about — everything from working with jump rings and forming loops to briolette wrapping and making clasps. I’ll be posting them here and on youtube and I hope they’re handy, especially if you’re just getting started. Meanwhile, my web designer is working on a new book site with lots more features — it will always live here at beadsimple.com. I’ll keep you posted!

Bead Simple at CHA

February 17, 2008 at 10:12 am | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book events, crafty events, guest designers | 3 Comments

I went to the winter Craft and Hobby Association show in Anaheim last weekend, which was amazing (I’m going to write up lots more about my favorites at the show itself over at West Coast Crafty), but exhausting! I walked the show for three days, and had lots of meetings and get-togethers throughout. The best part of CHA is definitely getting to see crafty friends there, and it was so much fun to hang out with Natalie Zee Drieu and Kathy Cano Murillo — both of them are Bead Simple guest designers, and I got to show them their gorgeous designs on the page for the first time!

natalie, kathy and susan

Here we are at Kathy’s craft table at the Duncan booth, where her beautiful new Crafty Chica line of craft supplies made its debut. It is an absolutely fantastic collection — look for it in stores and online in early summer. I’ll be posting more about it (and using it for tons of projects!) for sure.

I also did my first Bead Simple event as part of a party for CraftStylish, a new crafts website and magazine from Taunton (my book publisher), which will launch next month. I’ll keep you posted — I’ll be the contributing editor for the beading and jewelry-making section, which I am very excited about! Meeting the other CraftStylish contributors (Khris Cochran, Tina Hilton, Jennifer Stern, and Mary Ray) was especially nice. I can’t wait until the site is up and running, just a few more weeks…

susan at craft stylish
Did I mention over here yet that I’m seven months pregnant? I guess it is getting pretty obvious!

Here’s my jewelry table with lots of projects from both the book and the last few issues of CraftStylish. The CS team put together some nice promo instruction sheets for guests for making the Vintagesque Necklace, and even sent a box of books for me to sign!

Craft Stylish table with Bead Simple books and promos

It was so cool to show people the advance copies of the book now that it’s (almost) out in the world. I’m getting really excited for the end of March when it’s in stores — so soon! If you are in Portland, please save the date for April 7 — I’ll be doing a book event at the big downtown Powell’s and would love to see you there.

Thank you!

November 8, 2007 at 8:36 pm | Posted in book news, crafty events, guest designers | Leave a comment

Thanks so much for the nice comments and emails about the book — I can hardly wait until March! I just got the Taunton catalog in the mail, with a pretty photo-filled listing for Bead Simple, which was fun to see:

Bead Simple in the Taunton catalog!
Left to right, the projects they featured are my Duo Earrings, Sparkle Band, Wineglass Charms by Emilie and Jessica Zanger, Sparkle Rings, and Charming Bracelet.

I’ll also be at Felt Club in Los Angeles in a few weeks, teaching a free Bead Simple jewelry-making workshop like the one I taught at Maker Faire in May. I’ll post again when the time is set in stone, but if you’re in town, please mark your calendar for November 18! It should be a fantastic event.

Felt Club XL Holiday!

Thanks so much to Megan Reardon who interviewed me about Bead Simple and other assorted craftiness for her amazing Design*Sponge crafty business series, and then posted about the book again on her own blog, the lovely not martha.

design sponge

And a huge thank you to my wonderful guest designers who’ve posted about Bead Simple this week: Jennifer Perkins, Kathy Cano Murillo, Diane Gilleland, Faythe Levine, Christy Petterson, and Stacy Elaine Dacheux. I really appreciate the support!

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