Friday, November 30, 2012

Beads, Baubles & Jewels on DVD

I really love filming tutorials for TV. The lights, camera, makeup artists and of course the craft services food table all make it fun and interesting.

One of my best on-air experiences is filming for the PBS show Beads, Baubles and Jewels. Host Katie Hacker is just super in every way. It's amazing how she keeps everything organized in the midst of filming segment after segment.

Katie and I posting on set.
I go back in a couple of weeks to film the next season, but for now the entire current season is available on DVD.

The theme is "Thinking Like a Designer" and it is full of great ideas and projects that are sure to keep you inspired.

You can watch the episodes on the Beads, Baubles and Jewels website or better yet grab a copy on DVD. Buy it on the Interweave website at this link. The DVD has over 6-hours of skills, techniques and trends to keep you entertained. As a bonus it also has exclusive footage that features a special design from me!

And one last thing, you can see some segments right now on the BB&J YouTube channel if you have some time to spare. Great job, everybody! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kickin' It Oldschool

In between getting ready for my teaching studio launch, I have been doing some reading.

I got these old jewelry making books from my mom a while back. They date from the '20's to the '60's and are chock full of great information. I am experimenting with vintage jewelry designs and I think a couple of great classes are starting to shape up.

 I wish I could share all of the books in their entirety. They're really interesting.

Coincidentally though, yesterday in my Facebook news feed I saw a link from, the great online resource for metal and jewelry designers. Did you know that they have acquired a collection of over 40 old and rare jewelry design books and have made them available for $5.00 each as a digital download on their website? You can view all of them here.

I bought two and downloaded them into my Kindle. I am working my way through Copper Work by Augustus F. Rose 1908.  Reading a book from 1908 really makes me appreciate modern conveniences in the jewelry studio. Here is an excerpt from the book about preparing pickle:

"Pickle is a trade name given to solutions used in cleaning work. Different proportions of acid are used according to the work to be cleaned. For copper and silver a dilute bath of sulphuric acid is used of 1 part acid to 15 parts of water. The solution may be used cold but when used hot it becomes much more effective. When used hot a copper dish is necessary. The object being placed in the dish with enough pickle to cover it, it is then placed over a gas plate and allowed to come to a boiling heat. The pickle is then poured off and the object rinsed in clean water. A dilute solution of nitric acid is used for brass."

Umm, a copper dish? Placed over a gas plate? BOILED??? My goodness, give me the simplicity of a plug-in pickle pot any day. These books are a great peek at the past, however. I am really enjoying reading them.

Stay tuned for some vintage-inspired projects and don't forget to mark your calendars for December 8th. I'd love to see you at the studio and book launch party!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Classes & Party at My New Studio

It's almost ready!
The hammers are hung.

The metal is sorted.

The kitchenette is stocked.

So here are the details. Some of you may remember the days of my former bead store in San Francisco. It was fun. I hosted cool events, great classes and gathered the most interesting and fun students.

Well, that is what's happening here. Nope, don't get too excited. This is NOT a retail bead store. What it IS is, a place for people to gather and learn. A place for my classes. A place that will host terrific Truck Shows from special vendors that sell high-quality jewelry supplies at great prices. A place that will host guest instructors and special events (remember Bead Brunch?)

I have a page on this blog dedicated to the happenings at the studio that is updated frequently with the latest happenings. (Click this link) The address, directions and details are all on that page. Bookmark it so you'll always see the latest classes and events. Better yet sign up for my newsletter and get the news delivered right to your email box.

My classes are listed on the page above and are on my Etsy store for purchase.

Now all that is missing is you! This is an open invitation to join me at my kickoff event on December 8, 1-4 PM. I'll have my new book available for purchase, a FREE Make & Take sponsored by Tierra Cast and a TRUNK SHOW with beautiful semi-precious strands at great prices. Refreshments are served and the party is going to be GREAT! 

BONUS!!!!! All class sign ups are 20% off when you enroll at the Studio on the 8th. BUT if you want to make sure you get a spot in an upcoming class, you can take 20% off right now by using code OPENINGPARTY upon checkout at the Etsy store. (PSST...the code is good on everything in the shop... not just classes, but you didn't hear it from me.)

I hope you can join me and thanks so much for your continued support!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Craftsy Classes on Sale!

Happy, Happy, Happy Thanksgiving all. Hope your day was restful and full of food and fun. The shopping season has begun and to get in the swing of things the fine folks at let me know that they are having the biggest sale of the year on all their Craftsy classes. (Including my Metalsmithing At Home Class!) The sale ends on Monday, November 26, at midnight.

Craftsy Holiday Sale: All online classes are $19.99 or less. Sale ends Mon. Nov. 26th, at midnight!
Click on the picture and be whisked away to the website and choose your classes. I have taken quite a few, including The Top Down Icelandic Sweater and  Design Your Own Handbag. If you haven't tried learning with Craftsy, I REALLY recommend it. The classes are really comprehensive, well thought-out, easy to follow and have great handouts. Plus, you can get in touch with the instructor by just posting a question to the platform while you are watching.

Take a break from the holiday rush and choose a couple of classes. They'll be ready for you to watch at your leisure. Right now I am watching mine like TV episodes, one segment at a time, and plan to jump into my projects in the New Year. And please tell me that you have checked out the Deals section of the website. Great prices on fabric and yarn. Seriously. The selection is constantly changing. I have picked up a couple of collections for quilting at a steal. (Right now I am fighting the urge to put THIS in my shopping cart.)

Enjoy and watch this space... I have a big (BIG) announcement coming up later this week for more crafting enjoyment.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Book, and It's FREE*

Okay. Some of you may remember my shout out for beads for a super secret project. Now the project is complete and I am excited to share it with you.

It's an enhanced eBook from

And it's all about how to choose color for beaded jewelry in an innovative way. The book is based on a class I teach on color and I thought it was a great match for this eBook format.

And you know what... right now it's FREE!!!  (*Until December grab it now!) The only drawback is that it's optimized for the iPad, so all of you other tablet owners are out of luck for now. (However, you can check out one of the videos from the book on my YouTube channel.)

Get your copy of the book at this link. I am really excited about this new technology from I think the eBook is great for "How To" projects as you can add short videos, links and a lot of photos. You can learn more about making eBooks on their website.

Remember to grab my book soon, as the price goes up to $9.95 on December 15th. Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On Jewel School This Morning!

Just a quick hello! I am getting ready for my closeup this morning on JTV's Jewel School. Having a great time so far, in Knoxville, TN.

Torrance however is fussed that he was not in First Class. I tell you, traveling with that bear can be a trial.

If you watched my segment this morning and found your way here, welcome! Leave a comment below and tell me a bit about yourself. It's great to meet you. Stay in touch, won't you? Sign up for my newsletter. I have all kinds of cool stuff coming up, including a project video and a new metalsmithing DVD for Jewel School.

Have a great day, everybody!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Classes in Tucson 2013

Have you been to the Tucson Gem shows? It happens every year in February in Tucson AZ. You can find everything there, from the finest diamonds and jewelry to geodes sold out of an RV belonging to an old rock hound. It's all there.

This year I am going to be in the thick of it! I am so excited to teach at the J.O.G.S show. The fine folks at sponsor the Education Center at the show and invited me to teach a few of my best-selling classes. Click on this link to see all the classes and days I'm teaching. is an online tools supplier that carries the entire EURO TOOL catalog, including brands such as Wubbers, Lindstrom, Wolf, Lortone, and many more. Based in Utah, you may be familiar with their sister company, All the tools will be available at the show and you'll get to use many of them in class.
Simple Soldering Boot Camp
 Plus, I have discount codes you can use to save on taking a class! Just enter the code in the Promo box at checkout and the discount will apply to your total.
  • Buy 1 class, get $20 off: KR1320
  • Buy 3 classes, get $75 off: KR1375
  • Buy 6 classes, get $175 off: KR13175
Start making plans now as travel and lodging during the gem shows gets filled up fast. The classes are going to be great. There are 18 world-class instructors (see all instructors here) teaching a diverse selection of classes (see all classes here).
Ring Roundup
Hope to see you the biggest jewelry event of the year. I'll be there with torch in hand ready to make some jewelry. Come and join in, post-class margaritas are on me!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Have Dreams...

Yep. I am dreaming of my new studio space in South San Francisco.

Some of you will remember the days of my former bead store in San Francisco, Beadissimo. Boy, those were fun times. And sometimes hard times. But you know what. I missed it. Not the day-to-day grind of owning a retail store, but I missed having a space to call my own. I missed a great classroom where my students could create and learn. I missed hosting special events like trunk shows and having visiting instructors come teach.

So I did something about it and found the coolest space ever for my new little enterprise. It's not a retail store with regular hours. It's a cozy space where students can come and learn and buy a few things and hang out and be creative.

Saturday is moving day and things will be up and running by December with great plans for the New Year. You can find a schedule of classes and events on this page. The calendar is empty now, but not for long! Bookmark it and while you are at it how about joining my email list to stay in the loop? Your info is private, of course and you'll just get stuff from me about what's happening at the new studio.

Dreams? You bet. I have dreams.

(Thanks to my cousin Zoe... she made this video from our ring making extravaganza at this year's Maker Faire 2012