Retreat Time & Bead Soup Premier

Bead Soup Bracelet

After months of anticipation and planning, I had the pleasure of teaching my Bead Soup Bracelet at the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee’s Bead Retreat.The retreat was booked solid this year and I think everyone had a great time. Thanks much to the planners and fellow members of the LBS for their efforts in making this event a success. We especially enjoyed our beading room with a view of the chilly harbor in Racine on Lake Michigan.

The harbor in Racine, WI on beautiful Lake Michigan. Our retreat room with a view! (photo by Denise Uttke)

While the alleged spring weather was iffy, it was a perfect opportunity to enjoy three solid days of beading, eating, shopping, and conversation. My class on Saturday was loads of fun. I had such a wonderful group of enthusiastic beaders of all levels. I can’t wait to see how the bracelets turn out.

I got the opportunity to share some tips on cuff construction.(photo by Carol Surges)

With the retreat behind me it’s time to start gearing up for the next Funky Hannah’s Bead Camp. This one is also held in Racine, WI at the very historic (allegedly haunted) DeKoven Center.

If you’d like more information on the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee or Funky Hannah’s and the bead camp check out these links:





UFOs are Real!

Unfinished Objects! After I took a picture of this potential catastrophe, I decided it would be a great topic for a blog post. If you make stuff, you have a few projects waiting in the wings, all set to go and somewhat along the way to being complete. Some may actually reach the finish line while others end up on the scrap heap and get dismantled to retrieve the really good stuff.

Pile of creativity waiting to happen.
I’m going to assume you’ve got all the coolest containers for organizing and a state-of-the-art label maker. The projects in the example above have places to sit until inspiration strikes but what if it doesn’t? This pile grew until it go so I had no place to work and kept misplacing beads. I had to get ruthless and make some decisions. Here are a few tips for making critical creative decisions.
  1. Plan – So you’ve got all the trays safely tucked away. Now is the time to decide what to work on next. Personally, I like a good list. It gets everything out of my head and onto paper. Prioritize the trays. Do you have a deadline for any of them? Are they waiting for specific materials? Are you just tired of looking at it?
  2. Focus – If the project isn’t going anywhere, maybe it just needs to be dismantled. I’m not afraid to take stuff apart. I salvage the really good parts like the expensive cabs and crystals.
  3. Store – Lay the trays out and stack them. I built (thanks to Pinterest) a nice little shelving unit out of wire panels. They are usually available at Target or Walmart especially during back-to-school season. Add a few zip ties and you have a very nice place for bead trays. Here’s a link to the instructions to put a stacking unit together. Originally, designed for scrapbook paper, it works perfectly for trays and shallow containers. Cat’s Creations Storage Solutions
How my work stacks up.

While you’re making decisions, I’m going to work on a nice little project. I’m really going to finish this one!