Saturday, June 2, 2007

Bead and Button Show

Here's the article the Milwaukee Journal/Sentinel published today about the Bead and Button Show.

Strings of beauty

Simple ways to enhance your beading experience

Special to the Journal Sentinel

Photo: Kalmbach Publishing

Posted: June 1, 2007

Have you ever been called crafty?

If so, you're not alone. According to the Craft and Hobby Association, interest in crafting has increased in recent years, and beading is among the most popular crafts.

Whether you've just dabbled in a bit of bead stringing or are a beading pro, you'll be amazed at the variety, beauty and size of this year's Bead and Button Show, expected to attract more than 14,000 people to Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center next weekend. The show will feature more than 360 vendors selling beads from all over the world.

Figuring out which beading project fits your skill level can be tricky. Linda Augsburg, editor-at-large for BeadStyle Magazine, a sponsor of the show, suggests sticking to a budget and browsing the entire selection before you decide on purchases. Then, follow these simple guidelines to expand your beading experience:

Use techniques you know. "Once you know how to crimp and make loops, you can make all kinds of jewelry," says Augsburg, adding that projects that combine at least two basic techniques are a good way make more advanced beading projects.

Invest in quality basic tools.
While there are specialized tools out there, a handful of basic tools will allow you to create more complicated projects without complicating your budget. "My personal four-piece basic tool kit for most of my jewelry-making contains wire cutters, chain-nose pliers, round-nose pliers, and crimping pliers. You can find a good-quality set of the four basic tools for less than $40," Augsburg says.

Take a class. "I really believe that taking classes is more than just learning to make a certain project," she says, noting the 480 classes available at this year's bead show. "Besides the skills you learn, teachers offer tips in conversation, you overhear solutions to other people's problems, and you share ideas with classmates who have the same core interest."

Practice your skills. Before you take a big leap to a new technique or tool, practice the skills you learn. Solid stringing, crimping and loop-making will set a solid foundation for advanced techniques.

Start with a pattern. Starting out with an established pattern will help you build your skill set. "Though I like to design my own projects, I have found that it's not the best idea to try to learn a new technique while still working the kinks out of an original design," Augsburg says.

Experiment, play, have fun. "I think the biggest mistake that an eager beader can make is not letting themselves experiment or play with different sizes, shapes and types of beads," Augsburg says.

Right next to this article the paper had an ad obviously placed there to help me get out of debt after the show...

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The Lone Beader said...

I wish I could go to the show...

Any Smith said...

If the show wasn't in town (or in the vicinity) I wouldn't be going, either. I wouldn't be able to afford it.

I'll take pictures for you and I'll write about it. In some ways it is stimulating, in some ways it is overstimulating.

I'm hoping to go to the Tucson show someday...