free jewelry projects at the Knittn Kitten this month!

September 23, 2009 at 11:28 am | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, vintage bits and pieces | Leave a comment


I am a huge fan of the Knittn Kitten vintage craft supply store here in Portland, and I was sad to hear that they’ve been having a tough time lately. So a group of of us are contributing free weekly craft patterns (to make everything from necklaces and beaded hairpins to iron-on patches and pincushions) to shoppers who support the store… you just need to stop by the Kitten, ask for the free pattern sheet at the counter, and buy your supplies to make the project!

Every Tuesday there will be a new project sheet up for grabs. This week (starting yesterday, September 22), Heather Mann is offering up a how-to for making the lovely Anthropologie-inspired Statement Necklace above, using all Kitten materials. And her project sheet includes a bonus pattern for this necklace, too!


And next week Teresa Sullivan will be contributing instructions for this intricate Seed Bead Hairpin project — you can make flowers or skulls with wire and seed beads. (And if you haven’t seen Teresa’s beading work before, do yourself a favor and visit her site — it’s incredible!)

Wire Flower Hairpins3

Here’s the full schedule of free craft projects, a new one each week:

September 22 – Heather
September 29 – Teresa
October 6 – Diane Gilleland
October 13 – Joey Groendes
October 20 – Christine Blystone
October 27 – Me!
November 3 – Lee Meredith
November 10 – Bridget Benton


Stay tuned to the Knittn Kitten flickr group for pictures and details on the projects to come!

new Bead Simple projects – plus a sale on books and kits!

August 21, 2009 at 12:58 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book news, vintage bits and pieces | 2 Comments

Last month I taught a Bead + Button Jewelry class at PNCA, which was fantastic. My seven students made such beautiful things and I was really honored to be part of the Summer of Making! I wanted to share photos of some of the Bead Simple-inspired projects from the class, which were especially fun for me to see.

Sandra made some really lovely pieces, including Duo Earrings,

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

a Duo Pendant,

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

and a Beadweaving Bracelet.

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

And Marty made her own exuberant version of a Sparkle Cocktail Brooch!

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

Here it is (in progress) with its cousins from the book.

Bead + Button Jewelry - Summer of Making

If you make anything from Bead Simple, please add photos to the flickr pool or email me, I’d love to see your projects!

In other book news, Taunton is having a 25% off end-of summer sale — including signed copies of Bead Simple, which are now $14.96 instead of $19.95. Snap up a copy of my book or one of their other craft titles — over 600 of them are on sale, including Button It Up!

600 signed pages for Bead Simple

And CRAFT: is running a fantastic sale on all their craft kits in the Maker Shed, too, with at least 15% off everything in stock. Vintagesque Necklace kits are marked down to $5 (usually $12)

Vintagesque Necklace kit - smoky blue Lucite beads

and Solo Earrings kits are $2.50 (usually $6). So cool!

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

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!

new projects to do!

May 18, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, vintage bits and pieces | Leave a comment

Hey, it’s been a little while! I just posted a new jewelry project at CraftStylish — taking an old costume jewelry necklace apart and turning it into a necklace-and-earrings set with new chain and embellishments here and there.

Revamped Sparkle Necklace

So if you’d like to check that out, it’s over here!

Revamped Sparkle Earrings

Another project I did there recently that I really like is this re-sparkled flower-embellished handbag.

flower-embellished handbag

It’s quite a bit like the Blossom Book project color-wise (down to using the same favorite amber rhinestone on a black background for the flower centers!) but expands the idea into a more intricate design over a bigger palette.

materials for the handbag project

I have some more news to share later this week: I’m teaching a jewelry-making class later this summer that I’m very excited about! More on all that soon…

earrings + necklaces for holiday gifts – thank you, Sunset!

November 25, 2008 at 2:45 pm | Posted in beading and jewelrymaking, book news, magazines, vintage bits and pieces | Leave a comment

If you’re looking for some easy, crafty holiday gifts to make this year, some of my favorites are beaded drop Solo Earrings and the star of my book cover, the Vintagesque Necklace! Both projects are very beginner-friendly and a lot of fun to make.

necklace and earrings kits!

You can find the video tutorials for each of them right here on my site, and I’m excited to announce that I have just added some new kits for making them to my Etsy shop, too… they come with vintage beads, wire, findings and complete instructions all in one little package. The necklace kit ($10) comes with smoky blue vintage Lucite beads, and you can choose from wine red, lavender or hot pink for the earrings ($5).

beads for kits!

To celebrate the kits arriving in the world, I’m offering free shipping on any kit for the next week, and a free Solo Earrings kit if you order a signed copy of Bead Simple, too — both offers are good through December 2. You can also find my earrings and necklace kits in blue, brown and orange over in the Maker Shed, thanks to CRAFT: magazine. And I’ll be adding new colors of both kits to my Etsy shop for the holidays next month — I’m thinking black, silver, gold and sparkly!


A huge thank-you to Ivy Manning and Sunset magazine for featuring me and Bead Simple this month, and spotlighting some of my favorite craft classes, shops, and resources, too! I got to talk about some of my favorite local-and-everywhere resources for holiday crafting ideas, including DIY Lounge, Cool Cottons, Crafty Wonderland, and CRAFT: magazine. I’m on page 30 of the Northwest edition, and the interview is also right here on their site. Hooray!

I'm in Sunset this month!

And an extra thank-you to their fantastic photographer, John Clark, who was kind enough to include some of my favorite things in the picture with me and my Solo Earrings: our prized Justin “Scrappers” Morrison painting, my modern heirloom quilt, and my Cathy of California flower brooch and pincushion.


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…

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