I’m sure we are all up to our eyeballs preparing last minute gifts for family and friends – I know I am. For future reference, there are some really good websites out there that offer help in turning beads (handmade or commercial) into lovely gifts of jewelry or home accessories. One of my favorite such sites is www.mcduckcreations.com which is the work of artist Mary Poineal. Mary is a talented beadmaker, but her true flare is in the many many many amazing findings she has designed and had cast for her in silver. Check out the versatile ways that beads can be displayed. I use a great many of Mary’s necklace findings to turn beads into jewelry. Because they have themed tops, you can really tie a pendant with a bale (or is it bail?) into an overall design. I love her rings, and Mary is very flexible about giving you the combinations of finding and little screw on top that works best for you!
Another great site is www.karenthomas.us. Here is where you can find those beadable pens, letter openers and canape knives. In addition to selling on the web, both Karen and Mary sell at several major shows and so I have seen their merchandise first hand and can attest to its quality.
On a final note, the new Bead and Button catalogue arrived in my mail today, and registration for the show in Milwaukee in June opens January 15, 2008. It is worth getting just for the drool potential. If you have even a slight chance of getting to this show, check out the over 500 classes that have been amassed this year. It is truly incredible. I’m half-hoping they don’t fill my classes just so I can take some offered by other teachers!! If you can’t attend in person, at least consider entering the Bead Dreams competition. www.beadandbuttonshow.com
I wish you all a happy and healthy holiday and a HAPPY NEW YEAR! Jeri