Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Post BeadFest Summer Wrap up !!!!

So Beadfest Summer in Oaks PA came, saw, and conquered!!!

Normally when Beadfest comes I usually just go to shop and say hello. This year I decided to take a few classes... IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!! Did you know students get their own entrance? A student Lounge area? and AWESOME stuffs!!! Well they do!! A lanyard, a pillow cushion (which I forgot), a ruler, and a awesome zipper tote full of coupons!!! This year I attended a "TAILGATE PARTY" hosted by the amazing Candie Cooper, Jesse James Beads, Dakota Stones, and Stars Clasps. Talk about coffee, connecting, donuts and deals. The deals were amazing I did great. Hung out, danced to some old school music, met some amazing online friends in person, got a goodie bag from Candie Cooper from Beadalon full of amazing jewelry components and even more coupons to use from those I mentioned above. The tailgate started art 8am and ended at 9:30am. Then we all headed into Beadfest.

My first class started at 11:30am with Candie Cooper and it was a Doodle & Paint jewelry class, we got these awesome wood pendants, some acrylic paints, and colored pencils, and went to town. I made a cutey little Angel fish. Candie is an amazing woman, so very sweet, and a great teacher, I was so glad to have finally met her in person, after months of seeing her LIVE facebook broadcasts daily @2:30pm... on her facebook page Candie Cooper.  Jesse James Beads supplied the gorgeous beads we used to create our necklaces with.
  Below is my fish!!!

After Candie's class I shopped the Jesse James Beads Booth
where I found more  beadie goodness.....  This includes the goodies I got at the Tailgate party as well!!!

I then went across the way to visit my friend Michelle McCarthy of Fire Fly Designs Studio, she makes the most amazing ceramic creations!! So of course I came home with a haul!!!

 The lovely and amazing Anne Gardanne of Gardanne Beads just happened to be right next to Michelle and of course I had to say hello, but Anne found me first apparently she is quite the "stalker" lol Anne has stunning enamels and I urge you to check them out. Here are the cuties I brought home..

 I then went down Artisan Alley and stopped by to meet the gorgeously talented Diane Hawkey, I wanted everything she had including her pot people but alas I brought home these lovelies.... Be sure to stop by and grab some of her amazing items truly works of Art!!

After visiting Diane and missing Marsha Neal, I made my way over to see Staci of and her gorgeous polymer clay creations, she never ceases to amaze me after some chit chat and a surprise I picked up this amazing butterfly baby she is related to Lucian. She is black & White. and her name has not been revealed to you all but will be soon enough!!!

After chatting with Staci, I walked along the isle and found Green Girl Studios I had the pleasure to meet Andrew Thornton and William Jones of Allegory Gallery they carry Green Girl Studio pieces in their Etsy Shop here  
It was great to meet them as I follow there challenges alot, so check them  out..... here are my goodies ... the fox and the famed luna moth.. I also ordered a few things from their etsy shop!!!

After I left Andrew thinking I was slightly on the crazy side (total lack of sleep + lack of coffee+heat+loads of walking = slightly scattered Betony) I made my way to the other side of Beadfest and found this adorable little booth called Tibet Inc I believe and I could be wrong, they had all types of amazing things going on. So I snagged this amazing key and two of these decorative large beads that are going to become pumpkin necklaces :)

Sunday my class with Kate Richbourg started at 12:30pm so I got there around 12pm. Kate's class was a simple stamped brass ring class that I learned how to do some stamping, annealing, patina, and so much more in. I loved it and Kate is simply amazing..... When I grow up I wanna be like Kate!!!  Here are the rings I made during her class

and here are the goodies I picked up in Kate's class to get me started on stamping and some soldering and riveting....

After Kate's class, I made my way to a new vendor at Beadfest this year TAYLORS FALLS BEAD STORE  located in Taylors Falls MN. Whom I met during Candie Cooper's "back seat beader" trip. I had the pleasure of speaking to Diane from TFB, if you were on during my LIVE Beadfest tour this is where I began, They carry an amazing selection of beady scrumptiousness,  including an impressive selection of rocks , recycled glass, and fossils. Cup chain, findings, and so much more. Their recycled glass is brought in from all over, tumbled, sanded, tumbled again , drilled with holes, and ready for use in jewelry design. The rock are found at Lake Superior by Jeff Plath the stores owner who then makes holes. Each item is just so amazing, so many colors, and textures. I brought home quite a haul, and I urge you to go check them out.... Let them know The Beadwench set ya!!!! or their FB page

After visiting TFB, I made my way over to visit the magnificent Jenny Davies Reazor an amazingly awesome clay artist. I could buy her entire table if I was able to. If you have not checked her out yet believe me you do not want to miss out.  Head over to !! I decided to go easy here and came home with this amazing face cabochon. I have never worked with a ceramic cabochon before and Jenny challenged me in a way that is awesome, I'm going to attempt a wire prong setting on this guy!!!! Thanks Jenny!!!

I then found PJ TOOLS & Impress Art... after Kate's class I wanted some items and a stamping set. I found alot of amazing Beadfest deals here.... and will be stamping away in no time!!!!

Down the isle a wee ways I found Sara Lukkonen of C-Koop Beads, who gave me some great pointers for riveting and where i picked up a gorgeous bright green enameled ring to use in an upcoming project....

I did get to visit with Marsha Neal of
Marsha has many amazing ceramic pieces to use in jewelry design, i love her rustic donuts and the glazes she uses are just stunning. I came home with some of her vibrant and strong silk ribbons as well as her amazing ceramic ring holder. She will have more of these coming to her Etsy shop in September and believe me your going to want one or 5 of them.....

Next was a visit to PARAWIRE.... one of my all time favorite places to visit...... If you head over to their facebook page let em know The Beadwench sent ya !!!!!

I picked up some copper metal sheet, a dimpling hammer, metal shears, a spool of raw copper wire, some antique bronze wire and one is twisted which I adore!!!!! LOVE ME SOME PARAWIRE

I also wanted to mention that during the Saturday "Tailgate" party I purchased an amazing variety of goodies from Dakota Stones. If you have never shopped with them before I am highly recommending you give it a whirl, their gemstones are absolutely stunning.....

I also picked up this awesome pair of really bent nose pliers from Xuron home of amazing tools for all kinds of stuffs

Last but most definitely not least is a package that I had been building up prior to Beadfest but was delivered at Beadfest. My amazing friend Candie Cooper often has items for use in jewelry making for sale in her Etsy Shop. Let me tell you this is not the first amazing package I have gotten from her and it won't be the last. The druzy is big honkin as she likes to say and absolutely stunning, the crystals are just freaking awesome, as is the picture jasper blab, the gemstone cut elephants, and my bracelet called over the moon that comes as a kit we put together.... STUNNING!!!! she has the most amazing items in her shop and well worth the purchase so head over and check out her Etsy shop!! (as a side note the colored pencils I purchased from Candie during my Beadfest class with her)

The bracelet kits are TO DIE FOR they are made using swarovski ravoli crystals, and a prong bracelet , she also sells the prong setting tools.  The sparkle is just freaking amazing!!!!!!! I want all the sparkly bracelets!!!!

So folks that concludes my shopping spree at Beadfest Summer 2016... not pictured here are some amazing items gifted to me from some friends, and a Polymer Clay oven from a friend.

I did not get the largest Beadfest selfie ever because well not many showed up but I do believe this is the longest Beadfest Blog!!!!

I met some amazing people this year, friends from out of state, one all the way from India. I met old friends too. Beadfest is our Happy place where the jewelry community comes together as one, where people understand your weirdness!!!! Here are some of the fabulous people I met and some I didnt get pictures of!!!
During Candie Coopers Class *photo credit to Candie Cooper*
During Kate Richbourg's Class *photo credit to Kate Richbourg*

Candie Cooper and I meeting for the first time in person!!
Michelle McCarthy of Fire Fly Design Studios
Anne Gardanne of Gardanne Beads
The Beadwench and The Beadhoarders, Robin Showstack and Lori Schnieder who came all the way from Boston!!! You can find their facebook group here 

Me at the end of the day looking quite frazzled but feeling so absolutely blessed to have all of these amazingly wonderful people in my life!!! Jewelry is & always will be my passion. So on that note my friends..... visit my wonderful artist friends above... try something new... leap into the unknown... create from your heart and soul.... and stay humble!!!!! ~ The Beadwench

Monday, August 8, 2016

Jesse James Beads Free Beads Program Part 2

Each month I am surprised with two gorgeous strands of Jesse James Beads . I am honored to be a participating jewelry designer in this program.  I never know what's going to arrive, though they do allow you to tell them your favorite colors , I have requested to be surprised each time.

I love challenges!! Most of you reading this who know me would probably giggle thinking that this isn't much of a challenge for me. I started out a bead stringer and have grown into any mediums my favorite being wire and metal work. However this was actually quite a challenge for me. You see since I picked up wore a few years ago, I haven't strung beads since. I actually forgot how much I enjoy the design process and the final look of a strung bead necklace.

I wanted this necklace to be one that could be worn over head so that it didn't need a clasp. She is rather long measuring in at 36 ish inches. I'm also at an age where chain,  metal, and beads aren't always comfortable on my neck. Hence the recycled Sari Silk. I love the lightness of it and how it feels when it's worn.

Jesse James Beads has an entire mermaid collection that is exclusive to their online site only, and living in Philadelphia I'm close to the Jersey Shores, but don't get there too much these days, so I was inspired to create this design with the memories of walking on the beach and collecting seashells.

Jesse James Beads are gorgeous, and elegant. They are classy and perfect for all ages and occassions. They are easily addicting to jewelry designers.

I also wanted to add a different element to this design which are the crystal beaded loops , I created three loops also using beading string (Beadalon 7 strand in Satin Copper) in various sparkly and matte colors to give it some added elegance and texture. The focal is absolutely amazing, the bead is made from crushed shells!!! I added a bronze bead cap and a length of cupchain for added mermaid sparkly awesomeness! !!

There will be earrings and a bracelet as well!!!

The strands used in this design are
Inspiration Mix in Pacifico
Pacifico strand #2

In addition I added 2 artisan made lamp work beads seen in the strand mix, and gold matte bicone beads used on one side of the sari silk.

I hope you have enjoyed this Jesse James Free Bead Program Design...
Can't wait to see what they send me next :)

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Going To Beadfest??? Some helpful Tips!!!

So your going to Beadfest? There are a few Beadfests that take part in several areas in the United States and at different times of the year for more information please visit .
Beadfest is held in Oaks, PA Summer August 17th-21st , ,  Tacoma ,Washington Fall October 13th-16th and Sante Fe, New Mexico Spring March 23rd-26th 2016!!!!
It's one huge motherload of a festival which I often refer to as " Adult Disneyland". If your a jewelry designer or  bead addict like me you'll get that reference. I happen to live about 40 minutes from the Beadfest that takes place in Oaks Pa at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.

What IS There To DO At Beadfest?

Well my lovely , let me give you a first hand experience (please note I do not work for or am not involved in any process of Beadfest, I am just a Beadfest lover, buyer, and attendant) Beadfest offers a variety of affordable classes ranging in prices from $5 and up. There is something for everyone and at all levels of experience.  Many well known artists prepare yearly for classes they host during Beadfest. It's an amazing experience, I highly recommend taking one class or 10 lol. This year I am taking two $35.00 classes because as a mom of three that's what is in my budget. I am taking a Saturday class with Candie Cooper on how to doodle and paint on metal findings using gold leaf, and color pencils as well as sealing techniques. On Sunday I will return to take a class with Kate Richbourg on simple stamped rings where I will learn to anneal metal (softening it up to get a better stamp impression) using  a torch, creating a cigar band style  brass ring to create gorgeous stamped rings as well as  a sealing technique for brass. Each class we get to finish a completed project to take home. Though I've been creating jewelry for nearly 10 years and selling for 7 years there are many techniques  that I have not tried. Candie and Kate are both artists whom I admire that offer techniques and design inspiration  on different mediums. I don't create  using only one medium , I use them all.

Classes start on Wednesday and run until Sunday, not every class is available each day , some instructors teach over 14 classes while at Beadfest. So if there is something that interests you check it out , join a class.

In addition to some amazing classes. Beadfest is open to the public Saturday and Sunday for shopping. It's a huge building, with a ton of amazing Vendors. There is a vendors list on the Beadfest website as well as a list of classes, instructors , and a FLOOR PLAN which you may want to look at prior to going.
There is alot to see & do. It is air conditioned, there are restrooms located in several areas that are clean and tidy, there is a food court that offers a variety of foods, snacks, and beverages with fair pricing and tables to sit to eat . There is free wifi available as well. Which I love because I will be doing some on the spot LIVE facebook broadcasts (with permission of the artists that is) !! There are vending machines , and lots of Beadfest Staff and volunteers to make your Beadfest visit nice and smooth. This is an all day event , there is so much to see and do that I've often found myself in one booth for over an hour without even realizing it. So be prepared.

Helpful Tips !!!

1. Wear comfortable Shoes and clothing (it is air conditioned and your on your feet for hours)

2. Bring a water to carry with you as well as a light snack (ie: crackers, protein bar, granola bars, pretzels, anything that won't melt while in your bag)

3. Bring a bag that you are comfortable carrying on your shoulder or a backpack to carry your Beadfest purchases in. ( I believe there is a bag check that will hold items for you as well but I have never used it) Some people bring a small roller case (looks like a mini suitcase) however I do not recommend this unless your really doing some mega bulk shopping, the booth isles are small and can be crowded with people making it hard to use a roller case. I do recommend stopping over Artisan Alley and purchasing a handmade bag from Staci Louise Smith of her bags are hand dyed, hand stamped with her original art designs, they are  the perfect size for storing your Beadfest goodies. (if you go tell her the Beadwench sent ya :)

4. Be sure to bring your Photo ID and Credit/Debit Cards (if that's your choice of payment method) , Cash, Tax ID/Wholesale paperwork if you have it.  There are ATM's located in the venue. (a lot of vendors use Square and Paypal so if your unfamiliar with either of those please familiarize yourself prior to going)

5. I'd say make a list of general things your looking for, however there is so much that you end up buying more than you thought you would lol

6. Take a small notebook to make notes on Booths you may want to return to and also what your spending not every Vendor gives a receipt and you may not remember what vendor your purchased something from. I make notes all day lol


Can Beadfest Be Done On A Budget?

Something I hear and am asked quite often is "I don't have enough money to buy anything, so I can't go" and "How can I budget for Beadfest? I have no willpower"

Well then I'd say your missing out on a wonderful experience.

Beadfest absolutely can be done on a budget. I'm a mom of three, with bills, necessities, etc.
I don't save money leading up to Beadfest (normally thought this year I managed to stash away some bucks  ( now if only Candie Cooper would stop listing beautiful items to use in jewelry making I'd be good to go hahahaha) But its not even alot and compared to most Beadfest shoppers I've got pocket change lol  However it can most certainly be done. Every year I have a budget, one year I had $75.00 that had to include gas to get there, coffee I made at home, I packed water and snacks, as well as a cooler with my lunch in it. That costs also included my entrance to Beadfest Fee. Normal admission is $15.00 Beadfest has a $3.00 off coupon if you sign up online bringing your admission to $12.00... but...... if you hold out many vendors will post on their websites/blogs/facebook/instagram/pinterest pages with a coupon for $10.00 making your admission fee just $5.00 ...... so that saves you $10.00 right there!!!!
 That left me with approx $55.00 ($10 for gas & $5 for admission)
I knew I'd have no will power lol but I made a general list of things I needed not wanted , needed in order by which I needed the most. There are many Vendors with amazing deals on items such as crystal strands, fresh water pearls, gemstones etc They can run $1.00 and up,  if your going on Sunday there are alot of discounted deals going on.  What I did was take my list of needed items , walked thru all of Beadfest , kept notes of which vendors had what I needed , what their prices were, then compared & went thru a second time to make my purchases.

I must say that I made out very very well, I came home with quite a haul that even my husband was impressed. I had strands of gorgeous fresh water pearls, gemstones, crystals, I had gemstone focals (like 8 different types of Jasper, Jade, Laboradite, Amazonite) , wire from Parawire 3 small spools, a rubber bench block, a new chasing hammer, my 6 in 1 looper tool, Lampwork beads, ceramic beads, and some swarovski crystals beads and focals.

Yep I got all of that for $55 !!!! Did I want everything I saw???? Well YEAH OF COURSE I did lol who wouldn't it's Beadfest. It's chock full of Yummalisciousness!!!!
I still don't eat lunch in Beadfest, I always bring lunch and go out to my car to eat ,this gives me a chance to leave what goodies I have so far if I need to and also get some fresh air for a few minutes, I check over my list think of what I have and what I would like to go with it etc.

I highly recommend going even if you have only $20 or less to go. Just the experience is amazing, the vendors are all wonderfully nice and a joy to talk to, the staff is always friendly and happy , the artists are all amazing, I have met the most amazing artists just by having a small conversation even as busy as they get,  as long of a day as it is everyone is so super nice and friendly. Just getting out and socializing is worth a trip. You can always collect cards and visit many of their websites to make purchases later down the road.

As a side note if your from out of area go visit the  Beadfest Facebook  site many times people carpool together and share hotel rooms/expenses to keep costs down as well!!!

So I hope this was helpful!! I hope you go to Beadfest, and I hope you have as much fun as I have.

 If you see me Betony aka THE BEADWENCH come and say Hello :) I'm the short, squat one with a skull and rose tattoo on the left side of my neck , as well as tattoos on both lower arms :) I can be found wondering all over, drooling hahahahahaha!!!! But seriously come say hello, I will be doing on the spot LIVE facebook broadcasts and taking selfies for my after beadfest blog !!!! Where I will share my goodies, experiences, and pictures from the weekend.

My goal is to get the largest Beadfest Selfie ever so let's see if we can make it happen!!!!!!!

That's Michelle McCarthy of FireFly Designs Studios and me at Beadfest last year :)

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Jesse James Free Beads Part 1

Hello friends , fellow artists, fans, and those who like to take a glimpse inside my mind!! It's been a wee bit since I have blogged. My son Liam who is 7 had the unfortunate event of being home from school for a week battling strep throat and an ear infection,  I too am not feeling so well. However Art never ceases for me. It is a constant companion like no other that offers me a creative outlet for my thoughts and emotions. So I welcome you to yet another glimpse inside my mind.
Very recently it's been a running joke of many of you asking for only a few minutes to see inside my mind. I am not sure however if this is a good thing or not as I have many hidden very dark areas surely not even acceptable for even a rated R movie lol, though I am able to offer you some small semblance of things you may see. Take inspiration from it, may it help you to think outside the box, for being outside the box is truly where you find yourself , it's where all of the creative's play before jumping off into their own realms, faery lands, and world's where our art is formed and stories are written.
This journey in particular is a walk in a forest and metaphorically speaks of our journey in life.

Let me start by saying that I don't typically use these types of beads that are in this design. However I fell in love with them after using a set to create a mother's day gift for my mother. It was then I saw that Jesse James Beads has a Free Bead program open to jewelry artists, you apply by giving your basic information and letting them know all the social media outlets you use. You tell them a bit about yourself and your art. I waited a few days very anxiously I may say for the email stating I had been accepted into the program. I was then asked to tell them which colors I would like, to which I responded (as many of you know me knew I would) that I didn't have a preference for colors, I love to be challenged, so they should have fun surprising me. To which they did. Ahh, however they sent me a combination of my favorite colors.. gorgeous browns, creams, and golds....
I received two gorgeous strands that coordinated with one another, they were Brown Sugar #1 A and Brown Sugar #2
 You can see for yourself how gorgeous they are!!

Now bare with me while I tell you a story, an incredible story about life & all its beauty, sadness, trials and tribulations.
This one of a kind design I named " Sacred Garden"
We all have a sacred garden where we store memories of our past, our deep dark ugly secrets, our happiest most uplifting moments, moments of love, loss, accomplishment, failures, where we keep our one true self, the one we rarely allow the world to have a glimpse of, where our vulnerabilities reside, where the things that haunt us,  the things that broke us, the things that have made us grow, live. They play with one another among the lavender fields, and at times break away to remind us of who we are, where we have been, and where we can go.
 We alone are the only ones who can unlock that garden. The garden is more of a Forest area, where we begin our walk among the path of the unknown, this is where we learn early on who we are, who our loved one are, we learn how to speak, to dress, to become a part of our society as a whole, but also learn who we are as a person in life, this path turns and twists, it has hills, and mountains so high it almost seems impossible to climb it. Oh but we do... We do this in the face of adversity, we do this when we are knocked down, when life throws us every dam thing at one time so much so that we feel as though that mountain is indeed sitting on our shoulders, and yet we persevere, we climb that dam mountain thru treacherous terrain and we indeed become the victor, knowing that it's but one mountain to overcome but also finding comfort in the fact that we did it once, we gained knowledge and strength, should we need to face these mountains a thousand times over we will know that we can and will indeed do it!! Coming off that mountain we find ourselves in a meadow, that meadow is filled with the most beautiful flowers one could ever imagine, so beautiful we find an overwhelming sense of peace, gratitude, lust, and love. We begin to feel so comfortable that nothing could ever hurt us again, until we stumble upon the most beautiful of all the flowers and we watch it wilt and wither away, and in shock we cry, we feel broken, we cry so hard that our souls lift from us for a glimpse in time and we feel totally and completely shattered, so much so that we don't for a time realize that the winds of time have held us in it's grasp, that they  pulled the sun from the sky to warm us , and slowly put us back together again... we sleep then as only we can after being broken and torn and our world crashing down around us... we sleep...
Upon the next morning we awake ready for the new day, but we have grown , we have learned that even broken, we can be put back together ,we are just different now and view our world in a new way,  this feeling gives us hope!!
We awake on that plateau, we are given hope,  courage,  opportunity to move forward or remain where we are, which would be rather boring as life is the most precious gift of all, regardless of what paths we chose, Life in itself is meant to be lived, your given the chance to fail in order to truly live, to see beyond the twists and turns, to walk into the unknown with your head held high, to know who you are, to always be proud of yourself, to pick yourself up and dust yourself off. To plant seeds of wisdom, knowledge, love, happiness, sadness, successes, failures, kindness, compassion, flaws, in your sacred garden, as a reminder of your life!! Hold this sacred Key to your Sacred Garden and unlock who you are, do not hide among the thorns, but blossom and grow among the stars, it's okay to fall, remember that mountain we defeated earlier? Well he will always be there waiting for you to defeat him again and again.

And this my friends is but a small glimpse into my mind based on recent events in my life that had me contemplating how many times I have defeated that mountain alone and how many more times I will do it again, and how each time I grow stronger and wiser.

Thank you for staying here and reading the story that inspired this design, a huge thank you to Jesse James Free Bead Program for allowing artists to create and tell stories.


-The Beadwench!!!!!

(p.s. As a side note this one of a kind design will be available for sale during my upcoming trunk show held on facebook at LBA Artists Limelight here  June 29th & 30th with my wonderful friend and fellow artist Kim Sloan)  #JesseJamesFreeBeads

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


First I wanted to apologize for the lateness of this blog post. It's been a whirlwind of happenings here at home. I have a daughter who is a competitive Irish Dancer who was out for 2 weeks due to a pulled groin muscle, my oldest daughter getting ready to graduate 8th grade, a wedding to dress a family of 5 for, I also had to finish three design challenge pieces, a secret project, three Irish dance events and well you get the point I've been crazy busy, also its been dreary , rainy weather here and I've been unable to take photos.
 I was also waiting on a package to arrive. And this fifth segment wasn't easy as I wanted to challenge you all by giving you some different things to chose from that are sort of off the normal path which as many if you know is where my best thinking comes from... I'm always outside the box in thought and wanted to give you things to really consider....

So without further adoo... your winning vote for Texture was.....

Wahooo... congrats... what an amazing texture for sure....

Now we move onto choosing components to add into the final design. 
I've given you many choices here.. My friend and fellow artist Eleanor (Nellie) Thomas creator & owner of Wooly Wire.... has graciously donated some of her amazing Chiffon Ribbon and some freaking out of this world Wooly Wire in blue, pink, and purple which are the colors you voted for to be used in the final design. for more information on Wooly Wire or to visit her Etsy Shop please go LIKE her facebook page and let her know The BeachWench sent ya!!!

So here are your choices::

As always please leave your vote here in the comments section. If your unable to comment on my blog post please feel free to send me an email at Subject: YTD5