Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bead & Button 2012

I have a confession that’s going to make the beading die-hards scratch their heads in disbelief – I live in Milwaukee and in the nine years that I have been beading have only been to the Bead & Button Show … twice.  (I’ll wait as you all collectively pick your jaws up off the ground.)

The reason I didn’t really feel the need to go was twofold:  1) my teeny, tiny budget, and 2) my daily access to local bead shops like Eclectica, Knot Just Beads, Midwest Beads and Planet Bead.  (I could hop into my car right now and be bead shopping within ten minutes, but I won’t … I’ll stay here with you.)

This year, however, I saw B&B in a new light.  A light that has awesome, funny and talented artists in it; a light that has art beads.  This light is bright, people!  It’s got heart … it's got soul ... and it draws you in and leaves you wanting more. I have seen the light first hand and will never miss this show again!   I'm already saving for next year as a matter of fact but until then, here’s a little recap of my weekend.

Friday ----------

My intent for the day was to walk the entire show floor to see and meet as many vendors as possible.  My chronic pain had other plans and less than a quarter of the way through I knew I needed to streamline my visit.
Lisa Kan – She was the Designer Highlight in my first published issue of Bead Trends.  I chatted with her for quite a while about the stunning lampworked flowers she creates (as seen on the cover of the June 2010 issue of Bead Trends) and all the beautiful designs she had on display. 

Heather Powers – Her work is just magical and I have been a fan for quite a while.  Although she takes great pictures of her beads, there’s just something about seeing them in person that makes them even more irresistible!

As a matter of fact, these Humblebeads live with me now, and I plan on expanding the family very soon! =)

Carol Dean Sharpe – Her Etsy shop, Sand Fibers, was one of the first shops I “hearted” nearly six years ago and she’s the reason I taught myself peyote.  I have quite a few patterns of hers from either her shop or from magazines, but I have yet to work any up.  I think it’s time to change that!  While visiting Carol Dean I was drawn to the Lisa Peters Art ring kits she put together for the show and I had to purchase one.

This kit contains EVERYTHING you need to create this beautiful ring, except for perhaps a tiny little person to actually make it for you. 

Lisa Liddy, Lori Anderson and Ann Sherwood – As I approached Lisa’s Metal Me This booth, I saw a pink-haired gal taking photos.  Lori!!! =)  It was nice to meet and chat with them all a bit before the dinner the next day.  Also, Lisa’s work … amazing!

Saturday ----------
This was the big day for me because it was the day that I got to meet all the amazing artists at Lori Anderson’s dinner party.  While everyone else spent their day shopping or vending at the show, I was at home preparing beads for the bead swap and for the grand prize basket.  I also answered Lisa Peters Russ’ call to be creative with my name tag.  Based solely on home-field advantage (seriously, had the others not been living out of their suitcases and had access to crafty supplies, the results would have been veeeeeeery different), I ended up winning this awesome LPA bead ...

for this name tag:

And if that alone wasn’t awesome enough, everyone got a bead soup party favor bag from the ever generous  Lori Anderson.  I think they were all different, but these are the beauties I get to cook with.

We also did a bead swap and I was one lucky ducky to have received these beautiful beads from Golem Design Studio.

Crazy gorgeous, right?  I had seen Golem beads on blogs before, but there was a more intimate sense of familiarity as I held this treasure trove of beauties in my hands. Upon thanking Vlad for the beautiful beads, I discovered that he and his wife flew in from Bulgaria for the Bead & Button show!!!!  I just find that so incredibly awesome!  Even more awesome was that the familiarity I felt was the European design element that many of my parents’ treasures contain.  Turns out, Vlad and his wife live in a city in Bulgaria that is about a 6-hour drive from where my mother grew up in Serbia.  Such a small world ...

There were so many other wonderful things that happened at this dinner, but I will leave those details to be blogged about by those who experienced them firsthand.  So many talented people in one room.  So many new art beads to covet.  So much to learn.  I even have a new bead shop to visit during my travels (I’m lookin’ at you Amy Blevins!!!).   I was just in awe the whole time.

I think this video of Kristin Wiig, as Taylor Swift, best sums up how I felt about the people, the talent and the energy of Bead & Button.

Lori Anderson ... thank you for bringing all of us together and for giving me a wonderful reason to go to the Bead & Button Show this year.  That light I mentioned?  You're one of its brightest stars!

See you all next year!!!


Therese's Treasures said...

Wow Lola,
I am so glad that you had a wonderful time. I know that you had been looking forward to going to the Bead and Button show since before we met last October. I am thrilled for you that you were not disappointed. All the treasures you got are fabulous and I am drooling over the Golem beads. It is amazing the information you find out about some people that connects you in someways. I smiled when I read your name tag and now I can't get that song out of my head!
Enjoy your treasures my dear friend.

Pretty Things said...

I was tickled to meet you -- I think we're kindred spirits! And I completely understand about being local but not going to a show. We have a number of big shows that come through the DC/Baltimore area but I hardly ever go because of that pesky budget thing. I now save it all for Bead and Button!

Wasn't it cool to have people from the US, Canada, and Bulgaria in the same room?

CraftyHope said...

Lola, Thank you so much for walking us through your experiences and emotions through the course of the event. Like you, I think the dinner would have been the one main thing I looked forward to over the whole weekend. I'm so glad it was a memorable experience for you. And look at all the awesome swag you acquired!! So jealous. I am glad you shared it with us that didn't get to go though! Thank you!

Copper Diem said...

Sounds like you had a ton of fun! What a fun post to read!