Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bead & Button Show - Connections

Really, one of the best parts of Bead & Button Show is getting the opportunity to meet up with friends that you normally don't get a chance to see face-to-face. Even after three years, I am so completely hopeless about the blogging thing, half the time I forgot that I was carrying a camera at the show. (Last year was even worse - I had my camera and didn't take a single pic of friends.) So, unfortunately, I missed my opportunity to get candid shots of many friends and colleagues. However, I do have a few!

Here's Melanie Brooks, helping a customer at her Earthenwood Studio booth. I wish the photo were a little clearer, as the necklace she is wearing is so completely fabulous. You can click on it to get a closer look, though. Melanie was the first person I really connected with at Bead & Button. I think I met her first at the 2006 show. I wasn't beading back then, so I was only shopping for buttons for my knitting. She had a ton of beautiful ceramic buttons that year, and I bought several sets.

Melanie later introduced me to Diane Hawkey when they traveled together to a Chicago-area bead show:

Here's Diane in front of her booth. I love the inspiration jewelry she had set up behind her bead trays this year. It's a little hard to tell from the photo (once again, you can click on it for a larger image), but one of my favorite pieces of hers, the mermaid, is the focal in the center necklace. The one on the left incorporates one of her new skull beads which I completely love (I purchased one of them myself at the Suburban Bead Bazaar this spring).

I was also happy to visit with Kate McKinnon, the metal clay artist whom I admire most and a lionhearted individual. I wish I had thought to photograph her hands, as well, as she was wearing some of her beautiful rings at the show. As much as photos of the rings are lovely to look at, seeing them actually worn on the hand - well! They are so dramatic and beautiful. As it is, I snuck around trying on various rings she had for sale at her booth, like a little kid playing dress-up, while she chatted with her other friends and customers. Oh, and note the beautifully weighty chain she is wearing around her neck.

No visit to Bead & Button would be complete without seeing Andrew Thornton, at the Green Girl Studios booth. I also met Andrew for the first time at Bead & Button, I think it was two years ago now. Andrew is really one of the kindest, most generous human beings on the planet, as well as an incredibly talented artist and jewelry designer. I actually have the good fortune to have one of his finished pieces in my private collection. Before I met Andrew or Cynthia or Greg, I won a giveaway Cynthia held on her blog. I can't even remember what the giveaway was about, but the prize was one of her brother Andrew's necklaces. His work is both so delicate and precise, it's amazing to see in person. My only regret in visiting Green Girl Studios this year is that I missed a chance to see Cynthia with baby Max.

I would also like to say how lovely it was to meet everyone at the Fire Mountain Gems and Beads booth. I had a photo taken with the group, but of course, idiotically, it didn't occur to me to ask anyone to take a photo with my own camera. They made me feel like family, which was wonderful.

And, of course, I enjoyed seeing some of my favorite lampwork artists like Michele Goldstein and Stephanie Sersich (whose baby, Amos, has the cutest curly hair on the planet), as well as Sara Hardin and Jamie Hogsett at the Soft Flex booth. I had the good fortune to meet artists such as Anne Choi, Katie Hacker, Jennifer Heynen of Jangles, Heather Powers of Humblebeads and Erin Prais-Hintz in person for the first time and also chatted with the good folks at Art Clay World.

So it was a full day! I even managed to squeeze in some shopping in between - and all this within about four hours. I didn't have time to photograph my stash acquisitions today but will try to add them in tomorrow. (I managed to nab one of Greg Ogden's fabulous articulated crabs, among other treasures - you can see a photo of them on Cynthia's blog, here.)

In the meantime, here are your beady links for the week:

The Writing and Art of Andrew Thornton
Andrew hosts the BIGGEST prize in Thursday Giveaway history ever! Find out how you can win a set of beautiful lampwork glass beads by Barbara "Basha"!

Jean Campbell
Check out Black Crow's Gothic Contest winners...fantastic!

Carmi's Art/Life World
Carmi recycles a beautiful tea box to create this necklace..

Cindy Gimbrone, the Lampwork Diva
The Empress models a statement.

Art Bead Scene
Join the Art Bead Scene Carnival Bloggers as they pay tribute to Bead and Button by creating a statement necklace

Barbe Saint John - New Jewelry from Forgotten Artifacts
Look at all the fun I have have playing with fire.

A Bead A Day
Do you have crafting or beading get togethers with friends and family? Lisa shares the anticipation of "Craft Night"!

Beading Arts
Shhh...don't tell Cyndi's Mom! Cyndi made her a necklace from some wonderful lampwork beads from!

Snap out of it, Jean! There's beading to be done!
Lydia Muell's mesmerizing art beads and her free giveaway this week! Jewelry Making
Tammy is proud to announce some of her jewelry designs were recently published in BeadStyle magazine

Lorelei's Blog: Inside the Studio
Lorelei started up a new website, and would love to hear your input on it

Strands of Beads
Melissa shows off her entry that won the Grand Prize Gold Medal in the 2010 Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest

Thanks for visiting!


mairedodd said...

that sounds like so much fun! i only wish i could have seen a picture of you - though i am so happy to see the faces of so many others... while i am sure what you bought is really special - i am most glad you got to meet face-to-face with some of the wonderful people that we blog with...

Melissa J. Lee said...

i know what you mean! Actually there's a photo of me on Kate's blog. Kate and Andrew and I all exchanged photos - otherwise, I probably would have forgotten to take them, sigh...

Michelle Mach said...

Sorry we didn't get to meet in person. I loved seeing your metal clay pieces in the display case!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Michelle. I hope you had a great show! I'm determine to get up there for two days next year, so maybe we can meet up then (you ARE coming back, right? ;) ).

Softflexgirl said...

It was really nice to see you in person! Thanks for stopping by to say hi. :)

Melissa J. Lee said...

It was nice to see you, too, Sara!

Andrew Thornton said...

It was good to see you! I wish that we could have talked longer.

I think the picture you took of me is funny. You can see multiple cups of coffee in it. People sometimes ask me how I make it through such a long weekend... and the answer is simple... LOTS OF CAFFEINE!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hey Andrew! I almost cropped the cups out of the photo, but then I thought - the truth is in the caffeine... Good seeing you, too. I'm thinking of actually staying overnight one night next year, so I actually have time to chat...