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!

mending broken jewelry + a brand-new video!

March 23, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Posted in book news, resources and info | Leave a comment

I just published a tutorial over at the CRAFT: blog on how to mend broken jewelry, from re-attaching clasps to linking a snapped chain back together with a bead or charm!

mending jewelry: tools and materials
tools + materials photo from Button It Up by Burcu Avsar + Zach DeSart

I hope it’s helpful if you’re wrestling with a jewelry repair — it includes written instructions, some detail photos, and two videos I’ve made. And one of them, which shows how to open and close jump rings to securely attach a clasp or turn a charm into a pendant, is brand-new!

I’ve been swamped this year with a new book, a new baby, and my usual freelance jobs, so it’s been slow going uploading the handful of videos I filmed for Bead Simple last spring… I’m much more of a crafter than a filmmaker, to say the least, and wrangling file sizes and formatting are kind of an obstacle course to an amateur like me. I’m sure any 14-year-old would whip them up in a flash but it’s taken me awhile! I hope you like the new one, though — I put it on the technique videos + patterns page and it is on YouTube right here too. More to come one of these days, I promise.

organizing your beads + supplies

February 20, 2009 at 4:26 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, resources and info | 3 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I am constantly battling to keep my zillions of tiny jewelry-making and beading bits and pieces from taking over my whole craft room. I never had a good system until the crazy snowstorm we got in December kept me homebound for a week, and I finally had a chance to reorganize everything and get it whipped into shape!

I have always used simple plastic boxes with compartments inside to store most of my beads and charms, sorted by color. So when I got the chance to overhaul everything, I pared down what I wasn’t using and passed it along, and then made beaded labels to show what color or type was inside each organizer at a glance…

Organize Your Beads with Beaded Labels

and then I stacked them all on an open bookshelf so I could see them all at once.

Re-organized bead boxes, tools, and palette shelf

The photo above has notes all over on flickr, if you’re interested in even more of my nerdy craft room organizing details…

So if you’re looking for an easy way to get your stash straight, and want to try making simple embellished labels like these, I wrote up a tutorial over at CraftStylish.

My New Year's resolution posts on CraftStylish

All you need is cardstock, a hot glue gun, double-stick tape, and a handful of beads or rhinestones (that you have tons of so you won’t miss four or five), and you’re good to go! As a craft-room clean-up bonus, I started using a simple little plastic paint palette (89¢ from the art supply store) to round up all my loose bits and pieces in one handy spot — that way I can put them all away at once instead of one by one by one.

I’d love to hear your favorite tips for keeping your beads and jewelry-making stuff organized, if you have any to share…

hello again and some new projects to do!

February 8, 2009 at 9:52 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, resources and info | 1 Comment

Just wanted to check back in after a break of much longer than I’d planned (as usual) to say hello! I’ve always wanted to make this more of a cool-beading-stuff blog that’s more than just occasional announcements about the book, but it’s been a super busy year. So, starting now I’m going to post over here much more often, with project extras, spotlighting other jewelry-related things I like, answers to your questions about the book, and whatever else sounds fun. So please comment and let me know if there’s anything you’re wondering about and I’ll try to cover that, too.

In the meantime, I wanted to share some free beading and jewelry-making tutorials I’ve posted weekly over the last few months at CraftStylish. Here’s the one that went up today, a set of felt fortune cookies + rings just in time for Valentine’s Day. I really like this project — it is super fun to do and the teeny-tiny fortune-cookie ring is very cute on.

heartfelt fortune cookies + rings for Valentine's Day!

I’ve been contributing over there for the last year (mostly about jewelry-making and beading, with some general crafts and other stuff in the mix) along with some of my favorite crafters like Diane, Kayte, Linda, Lee, and Jennifer. CraftStylish has tons of great how-tos organized by type — crochet, embroidery, sewing, paper crafts, and a bunch of others — and you can search for what you’re especially interested in to narrow it down. It’s such a nice mix of stuff and I really recommend stopping by to check it all out!

Here are a good handful of my favorite jewelry and embellishment projects I’ve done for the site, if you liked Bead Simple and you’re looking for more projects to try. I would love to hear what you think of them! If you click the photo collage, it will lead you to direct links to each project tutorial, or you can see my whole archive of projects and other crafty posts here.

sixteen of my craft projects on CraftStylish!

I’ll be back this week with another book-related post and I am looking forward to hanging out here more often! By the way, if you are interested in more crafty stuff, I write a lot more frequently at my West Coast Crafty blog, just for fun, and you might like that too.

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