Sunday, October 31, 2010

We Have a Winner!

Kimmie here:

A Big Thank You to Susan B., winner of the Magpie for Andrew.

I hope y'all will visit his blog and bid on some of the wonderful things being auctioned there.

I'm working at a big quilt market this weekend, one more day to go then home to Encinitas and then we are moving up to Mammoth Lakes on Tuesday! We're hoping to squeeze in one more surf before we take off. After unloading we will head up to Montana for a visit with my parents until I return for training as a lift operator on Mammoth Mountain for the season. I am SO excited, can't wait to snowboard myself silly this winter!

Sadly, I won't be able to take my torch with me, but I have a good inventory and will update my website with loose beads and finished jewelry, including some great new button pendants. We will return to the coast in June; I'm sure I'll be bursting with inspiration. Of course, I expect to be knitting and felting up a storm while in the mountains, so it won't all be stuff from my stash here in the blog and on the site.

And by the way,

Sunday, October 24, 2010

We're still here!

Kimmie here:
Joan and I have both had a lot going on the past month; I am moving in a couple of weeks to Mammoth Lakes, California to work on the slopes for ski season! I won't be able to bring my torch to make beads, but I will be updating my website with beads and jewelry from my stash, and I hope to be felting up a storm :-). A snowstorm, that is!

Our friend Andrew Thornton, a wonderful artist, has some big medical bills coming at him, so I decided to offer up my magpie wearing a monocle and sterling top hat in a silent auction to raise some funds. If you want to place a bid, you can email me through my website, not the blog: kim at cuteglassbeads dot com. You can also bid via facebook message to the Kim Van Antwerp page or to me. You can check out Andrew's work and see some other great things to bid on at his blog:
The high bidder as of Friday evening (central time, I will be in Houston) wins the bird. In a slight departure from usual procedure, if you are high bidder and get outbid, I will let you know!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Off To Connecticut!

I will be ehibiting at the CT Bead Society show this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 11 & 12. This is a very sentimental show for me. This was my first bead show Sept. 15, 2001. A customer at the Guilford Handcrafts Expo had mentioned there was a bead show in North Haven and gave me the info. It was all of $35 to exhibit and I figured what do I have to lose? I grabbed my friend Louise and off we went to CT. little hitch 4 days after the towers fell. I will never forget driving over the Tappan Zee and looking up the Hudson river to see the huge columns of smoke still rising. None of us knew what to expect at that time. We called to see if the show was still being held. Life must go on was the general feeling and the show was still going on, so off we went. CT Bead Society show was about 20 tables in a smaller banquet room at the Holiday Inn. We came. We set up too much display(you can take the girl out of the craft show but you can't take the craft show out of the girl) and we sold BEADS to NICE people! We were in heaven. Possitively giddy on the drive home we decided "We could run a bead show!" and Spring 2002 we held the first Berks Bead Bazaar. So giddy that we missed our exit and started driving into the city. Turn around. Back on track and on to countless bead shows which have been added and dropped over the years. The CT Bead Show is now about 3 times its original size and 2 days instead of one. It had quite a peak but like alot of shows has leveled off a bit. I have high hopes for this year. Just feel like it is going to be good, but even if it doesn't quite meet expectations I will continue to do the CT Bead Society Show for sentimental reasons.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Halloween Starts Early at Penny Michelle. Boo!

Halloween is Coming to Penny Michelle!
Get an early start on your Halloween designs...
All FINDINGS on the Halloween page are 25% off now thru September 13th
Discount will be applied when your card is charged and NOT reflected in the shopping cart. Discount does NOT apply to finished pieces or beads.

Grab 'em now and be the belle of the witch's ball for Halloween

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Learnin this Internet stuff

King's Canyon National Park

Kimmie here:

Sounds like Beadfest was great! And those starfish beads of Joan's are beautiful.

I had a great time at the San Diego Bead Society's Bead Bazaar, thanks to everyone who came, and especially to Cindy Lohry, who made a beautiful necklace using my Precious Metal Clay fairy pods and let me display it in my booth! She's going to have it photographed and email me the pictures; I will share them as soon as I get them. I'll also update the blog when I get some more pods made and posted on the website.

After SDBS, Morgan and I drove up to the Bay Area and across for a week of camping at Kings Canyon/Sequoia National Parks. The weather and the scenery were just spectacular, there's no other word for it. We didn't have any bear encounters, but there was a racoon who stole, and promptly rejected, a bag of rice cakes!

That weekend, Klew hosted me at a trunk show in her Tehachapi store. What a treasure! (both the store and Klew)

Now I've been home for two weeks and summer has finally arrived in San Diego County. I have been filling orders and making beads for finished jewelry to show at the Ocean Beach Music and Art festival on September 11. Art Row is free, and there's a stage that's open too, so you don't have to buy a ticket to have a great day!

In the meantime, I have overhauled the look of my website and added both beads and finished jewelry, as well as an FAQ on the about me page. If you check it out and find any issues, please let me know!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back from BeadFest and Back to Work

Gater by "Fired Up Ladies"

First installment of starfish Beads for "Moonbabies"

I am happy to report I had an excellent show at BeadFest. Phili seems to be my town. Not sure if it is because I have been doing shows in the area since my art/craft show days or just because but I am on alot of people's "must see" lists.

I am very grateful to all my loyal friends and customers. We got a new booth location last minute so we were not listed correctly in the show program but everyone managed to find us.

I got very little time out of the booth for shopping and socializing. More due to being exhausted than not being able to leave the booth. My friend Dona Jones of Kindred Spirit Designs helped out all day Saturday and Sunday. I push myself so hard getting inventory ready for a big show that people at the show get the goofy barely able to function version of Joan but that seems to work. I think they find it amusing. Beads and entertainment.

I got to see Melanie Brooks of Earthenwood Studio briefly. I meant to go back and buy a piece for my bead collection but ran out of time and energy. Only purchase I managed to make was this great gater by fellow BOC'er Fired Up Ladies . I also got to see my cabs set in sterling silver as clasps by Clasp On-Clasp Off . They looked fabulous! and Dee sold alot. Looking forward to a long collaboration. I am going to send some pieces to be set for my own inventory as pendants and bracelet components.

Finally the back to work part. I am doing a large order of starfish beads for Moonbabies that will be part of a fundraiser for breast cancer. I put a pink breast cancer ribbon on the back of each bead. 50 down 250 to go. I am hoping to be at the halfway point by the end of Aug.

In closing happy to be done with my last "BIG" show of the year. Really happy to have so many great fun customers. And think I will be content to hole up back in my studio for a little while.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Update on BeadFest Phili Free Passes

Interweave has sweetened the deal with FREE WEEKEND PASSES !!! Get together with your beady friends. Book a room and shop til you drop! Bead Fest Philiadelphia is Aug. 20-22 at the Valley Forge Convention Center. Keeping this post short and sweet. I am trying to get as many studio hours in as possible. Still have to make owls!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

San Diego Bead Society Bead Bazaar

Wow, Beadfest sounds awesome!
But if you're on the west coast this weekend, August 7-8, come see me (Kimmie) and Penny Michelle at the San Diego Bead Society's bead bazaar!

Saturday, 10-6
Sunday 10-5

At the Scottish Rite Center,
1895 Camino Del Rio South
San Diego, CA 92108

Click Here for a printable coupon worth $1.00 off admission! (regular admission is $3.00)

This show has lots to see, including some of our favorite friends and artists: Mingo and Asho of Glasscapes, Bindy Lambell (aka 'the mad beader'), Judy Carlson, and wonderful Wayne Robbins!

Come! Shop! Say hi!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Almost Time for BeadFest Phili!

Its almost time for BeadFest Philadelphia. I have been holed away in my studio trying to make enough beads. Still got a couple weeks to go! As a special treat this year Dona Jones of Kindred Spirit Designs will be joining me at my booth with her great heat patina copper charms. I usually have some of Dona's charms on hand but this should be your chance for the best selection of Dona's work ( and hopefully mine too!) Dona is technically just along as a helper but I told her to bring as much inventory as she wanted. My official booth mates are Louise Mehaffey of the Glass Place and Alice St. Germaine of Succulent Glass. Louise is the author of Heritage Crafts Today "Glass Beads" Come by and buy a signed copy or bring yours in for Louise to sign. Louise is currently writing her second book. I will of course have plenty of Penny Michelle pewter and silver components and our collaborative dolls.

Finally.......Drum roll please............ FREE PASSES!!!!!!!

Interweave has generously provided us with free passes to distribute. If you would like a printable free pass to BeadFest Philadelphia. Please join my email list.

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 16, 2010

hey, it's summer!

Kimmie here:
My felt bead came back from Bead and Button with the 'finalist' ribbon:

LOL I am glad that felt is unbreakable...poor sad ribbon all creased and crumpled! I hope Joan's big beautiful red one made it home okay.

Here in N County San Diego we were socked in with chilly, grey weather for all of June and July. I'm not complaining; I love 'June Gloom', and find wearing a hooded sweatshirt on the Fourth of July is just fine with me.

But the sun finally came out and it's warm and beautiful. And we are all complaining about this crazy, 75-degree heat. I am from Texas. I just spent four days there enjoying the summer sun. Seventy-five degrees is NOT heat. But it's incredible how quickly I got un-acclimated. Just moving some furniture this afternoon made me feel the intense need for a popsicle and a nap!

Didn't make a lot of beads this week, but I have some fun pieces from my workshop with Kate McKinnon (pictures in her blog). Learned to create a rivet post ring to hold my beads; the one I used is a vintage Michael Barley that I got at Embellishment (remember that?) in Austin(!) in about 1995. I have several pieces like that, that I've collected and held on to for Joan Miller beads have their very own box ;-).

Also a staggeringly cool Feltzilla ring (again, see Kate's blog for pics): a tiny building in the process of destruction. FZ doesn't quite have all his details attached yet, but somehow I must make it a priority and get it done before the San Diego Bead Society show in August!

I ordered some more buttons from Anne Choi. I didn't know it but she has several styles. Going to make some great beads to go with them, and I'm thinking of writing a quick how-to on using buttons for bails. Oh, that's the other thing I worked on at the workshop: a new idea for a snazzy bail that will hide those boring wrapped loops. Yes!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

How will it show?

Lots going on this week; I went surfing 3 times with Morgan over the weekend. There is nothing like getting tossed by the waves as you paddle out, then finally making it out past the breakers to sit for a while just contemplating the ocean. Yesterday we were blessed with major dolphin sightings. There were less than a dozen surfers out, and each of us had a close encounter. The dolphins would surface and slowly move down the line, playing in the waves and surfacing all together, en masse, rolling around with each other. Mating season? One surfer got the surprise of his life as he paddled out and two leaped out of the water within feet of him! I was lucky enough to have one surface about 5 feet from me, then he playfully swam under me as I sat on my board. I think I could have touched him with my foot. Then he jumped out of the water just a few yards away. We are paddling out again today, hope they come back to see us!

(okay, so I didn't see a baby dolphin sticking his tongue out at me, but if he had done it, I'd have seen it!)

Then this weekend I expect to be taking a metal clay and metalsmithing workshop with Kate McKinnon. I think it will be a good investment in new skills, and I already have a project in mind! Not to mention the pleasure of seeing Kate again :-).

I'm interested to see how these new experiences will show up in my may take a while for them to be absorbed, but I'm sure I'll be feeling their influence soon.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Good Morning

I have a few pictures of new beads to share; after Bead and Button, my head is full of new ideas and things I want to do, but I've only had a couple of days at the torch to try some of them out.

Inspired by the few but precious treasures I brought home from the show, I am experimenting with new motifs and jewelry designs. I bought a button from Anne Choi, some koi from Bob Burkett, and a neat crab from Greg Ogden, of Green Girl Studios (some of Bob's things can be found at Green Girl too). As always, I lament my lack of shutterbuggery when I visit the blogs of friends who were at the show. Not only do they seem to have found all of the very latest and neatest things, they photograph them and everyone who crosses their paths! What a nice way to recap and share memories. I have vowed to do better in the past, and here I go again ;-).

Anyway, here's a picture of my first piece with the Anne Choi button:

It wears nicely, and I love how it hides the wire and jumpring. I like this idea so much, in fact, that I dove into my stash and dug out some of the cool buttons I have collected over the years to use in jewelry designs. More to come!
I also can't resist sharing this guy, ordered at the show and shipped out yesterday:

I was a little daunted at the thought of doing a Shar Pei when I started studying all those wrinkles, but it turned out great. From the side he looks like he ran into a brick wall, just like he's supposed to.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Baltimore Best Bead Show

Heading to Baltimore this Friday for the Best Bead Show! This show is new to Baltimore and I am excited to see how it goes. I am very happy with the number and quality of art bead exhibitors. So many shows are getting overwhelmed with imports; it is great to see a promoter doing their job and balancing the show, especially a first time event. Some other lovelies you will find at this event, Alice St. Germaine lampwork glass, MyElements by Yvonne Irvin, and if we're lucky Lisa Peter Art. Check the complet list of exhibitors here. Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bead and Button, 2010: The Day After

Kimmie here, about to get opinionated:

It's Monday after the Bead and Button show, and we are all tired, exhilirated, and ready to go home.

It has been great hanging out with friends and developing new ideas. I think that's why we all come; sales are good and important, but the quality and quantity of artists at this show make it unmatched as an inspirational experience. I hope it can stay that way. Economics have made it hard for many of us to come, especially with increasing numbers of non-art-bead vendors at the show, but we are all optimists and fully expect things to improve with each passing year. I hope Bead and Button pays attention to what people are saying and needing, because so-called 'gem and jewelry' shows are a dime a dozen, and really not what this show is supposed to be about. It's supposed to be about artistry, like the wonderful work in Bead Dreams! I saw a booth here selling cheap sunglasses and fake pashmina scarves. That is NOT Bead and Button. Enough rant; but the mixed feelings of excitement and frustration are hard to keep in. Maybe keeping them in is a bad idea, anyway. The more people express concern about the direction the show is taking, the better, I think.

But about those new ideas: I'm really bad about keeping track of ideas, never having a sketchbook at hand when something percolates up. I have, however, learned to trust that if I put something into the flowing waters of my brain, it will swirl into the appropriate eddy and come back when it's ready and I'm ready to make it a reality. Tentative new projects will involve learning to carve wax for casting jewelry, recomitting to my metal clay/embroidery pieces, and designing some exciting jewelry pieces with my own beads. Can't wait to get started--and come back to Milwaukee next year with a suitcase full of exciting new work!

*also want to add extra thanks here to Kate McKinnon for offering to share booth space and a hotel for the show. She is talented, nice, and above all, fun! I wouldn't have been here if she hadn't given me the opportunity, and I really appreciate it.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Seeing Red is a Good Thing- Bead Dreams 2010

Seeing red is a good thing! I got the news Wednesday from my friend Lisa Peters who snapped a picture on her way to set-up. Second Place Handmade Beads or Buttons, Bead Dreams 2010. Very excited to place especially in the new category sponsored by Whole Lotta Whimsy . Ceramic art beads have been bounced in and out of the glass bead category which left us ceramic bead artists either unable to compete or taking one of the glass spots. I love the new category as it not only provides a space for ceramic bead artists in the competition but allows handmade beads or buttons in any media. Kimmie was selected with her fabulous felted Koi Beads which I hear looked great in those big glass cases. Still missing all my friends cavorting around Milwaukee, but very proud of how my buttons on their wacky little tree are representing me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Time and Beads

I can hog the blog a bit since Kimmie is either packing or in transit to B&B. One of the most influential teachers in my life used to say "Life is short and Art is long." I was in my 20's at the time and although I understood what she meant the older I get the more that statement comes home to roost. I thought I was pretty focused. I settled on porcelain over 20 years ago. I have been a beadmaker for 10. Creating mostly art beads and very little finished jewelry. And yet there is still not enough time. For recent customer request I made a large set of beads in only two patterns. Black and white with color accents. I really didn't want to put it in the box and mail it. I wanted it to stay with me for a while longer. I make beads nearly every day but rarely to I take the time to make large sets. Its just too time consuming and they become too expensive for my average bead customer. Most that do get made eventually get paired down into smaller sets so I can afford to buy more kibble for my darling mutts(I'm including hubby in this group which if you knew me is a great honor. He gets better than kibble though.) I always think I am driven by my inner muse and not the demands of business and life. To an extent this is very true or I would never have made a single bead in my life. My inner muse has a habit of telling me to make EVERYTHING more complex and detailed; not exactly the recipe for quick cash. But on the other hand "Why are there not more large sets?" Crap! Life really is short and Art really is long. After 20-some years that still pretty much sums it all up.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Taking a Break

Allentown IBE show this past weekend
In a few days Kimmie will be embarking on her journey to the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee. I know she is excited and has been working hard. She has lots of wonderful beads and I know she will do well. I am in a different place. Having done the show for 7 years running I decided to give it a break. I know the excitement that Kimmie is feeling as she packs up her wonderful creations. The feeling that is isn't enough. You never feel like its enough. All the organizing an planning for the trip. Getting everything you need and can't buy there to Milwaukee by plane. Stuffing what's left and heavy into flat rate postal boxes and praying it is there at the hotel waiting for you. Deciding on clothes(to wear in public! a challenge for a studio mole) for 5-7 days and then rejecting the ones that are too bulky for the suitcase. Pondering how many days a pair of jeans can last that you notice they're not clean but no one else does. Its a fine line. I'll actually miss all of that. Not to mention seeing all the wonderful artist beads some of which I won't see at all this year. I usually aquire at least one special bead for my collection. I won't see the Bead Dreams or ISGB Exhibits. Seeing old friends Meeting new friends. The dinners out. Our "penthouse" room at the Hampton Inn. Why would I give all that up??? First of all, it wasn't easy. It is never easy to decide to move on even if it may be temporary(I haven't ruled out next year.) It boils down to time. I've come to a place where I positively loathe the push to get ready for a big show. Ironically I probably have enough inventory that I COULD have done the show, but making it was a much gentler process. New work came out of this period that I am really excited about. Some new opportunities are visible on my horizon. The only way I can get to B&B is to put blinders on for months before the show. I have really enjoyed taking the blinders off. Maybe I have finally learned to work steadily. Maybe next year I can keep the blinders off and still make it to the show. Maybe. We'll see.

For now I am really happy and relaxed. I am wishing all my bead buds that are going to B&B
their best show EVER! Knock 'em dead for me!

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Kimmie here, in the final days before the biggest consumer bead show IN THE WORLD!!!

LOL I love that tagline for B and B. For me it is, as someone on Facebook noted, like summer camp. It's work, but it's also about friends and familiar faces that I haven't seen in far too long. The show itself can be overwhelming. So much to see, even the view from my booth will have my eyes dazzled by the end of each day. It is great to see beaders come out wearing the boldest, most beautiful work, eyeballing the Bead Dreams display (rooting for me and Joan!), and seeing what some of my favorite artists have brought to show.

It will be bittersweet this year, some of my very favorites won't be there, not the least of whom is Joan! Maybe next year. She's at a show this weekend,
in Allentown, PA at the Fairgrounds. If you are anywhere near there, stop by and say hi for me!

Time to get some finishing touches put on the BronzClay, for firing tomorrow, maybe some more silver fairy pods too. And more glass on Monday! Eek! Get to work, Kim!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Just a post

Kimmie here:

I don't have any pictures to share, as I'm not posting from my home computer. The batch of silver fairy pods turned out nicely, just need to drill and patina and they will be ready to go. Time is running so short here before B and B! I have reached that point where I have some of everything and get perplexed about what to make I make some of something I don't have? should I make bunches more of something I think will be popular? Why aren't there more than 24 hours in a day (and in my fingers)?

The first batch of BronzClay didn't turn out at all. I am hoping I have figured out the malfunction, because the new pieces are looking great. I added some sculptural elements and hope to get molds made from them before we go to Milwaukee. That's how much I like them! I actually got so involved and the ideas were flying at me so that it was hard to stop, come down to Earth and get some production going. Time to experiment will come in a few weeks...

On a happy note, I found new batteries for my old camera online. The old one holds a charge for about 5 minutes and I had put off finding a new one thinking they'd be expensive. Wrong! Just $6 each, including shipping. I ordered two and plan to have lots of pictures from Bead and Button to share!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New and Fun

Kimmie here:

That's what I always try to have when I post to the blog, things that are new and fun! I have taken a couple of days away from glass this week to make some Precious Metal Clay components that I hope the shoppers at Bead and Button will enjoy. I form these hollow pieces over some very interesting burnout materials. Beader Cindy Lohry christened them 'Fairy Pods', and I think that's a great name for them.
I'd love to find some more of those nice riverstone findings at B and B! The pods sound great all jingling together in a necklace or as a pendant,. I'm making some in BronzClay too, can't wait to see how they come out. Firing them Tuesday, I'll try and post pictures next week.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Life + Art

Kimmie here:
It is interesting to see how our lives influence the art we make. Sometimes the connection is hard to spot...for example, I have been making beads featuring koi fish for years, even back in my fimo days, but haven't had so much as a goldfish in my life for years! Where does that come from? I think it has to do with the colors and the way a beautiful fish in a pool of water is evocative of peace, elegance, tranquility--totally imaginary for me.

The lentil animals are challenging to design and fun to make in bunches. They are snappy and quick and pack a lot of punch in their tiny package. When the design is right it just hits you all at once and pushes all the right buttons. I think that's why I enjoy making them so much. I've historically been really bad about not wanting to make the same thing twice. The fact that I actually like making these by the dozen has got me pondering their nature here...I guess there's nothing incredibly profound about them, but when you're staring at the flame for hours at a time it's easy to let the mind wander.

The past six months or so have been very active and exciting for me; I've been spending lots of time outdoors, learning fun new sports, and I think all that adrenaline is informing my new work.

It seems like the more I do, the more creative and inventive I feel! There's a long summer of surfing and mountain biking ahead, and when winter comes, more snowboarding. Tons of inspiration under the sun, I hope you will enjoy seeing what comes next!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

One Happy Koi Bead

Although it is always important to me that my beads go to good homes, some of them are especially blessed. This Koi bead found its way into the extremely talented hands of Dini Alves.
My fishies could not have hoped to swim in a better pond. This necklace is just a stunner. Be sure to check out her blog too. Dini's work in incredible and I am honored she chose to work with my beads. This is why I love selling art beads.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Midweek Quickie

Kimmie here:
This is where colored yarn comes from! LOL, if Ihad been able to keep a straight face, I would have had my boyfriend Morgan convinced this is true. But I went and said that they look like they have sweaters on and started cracking up and blew it ;-).
I got my felt bead sent off to Milwaukee and won't see it now until June. I have a second one almost halfway finished, but it is hard to find time for it what with glass and PMC projects also knocking on my door. It almost makes me feel guilty to just curl up with my big bead and some wool! But there's a whole month between me and B&B and I hope to have two big beads on my table to share, along with all these fun glass beads.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Whoooo's ready for the weekend!

Kimmie here-

I really can't complain, this week just flew by. The creativity has really been flowing; I am so excited about these little (10mm) lentil animals, I have about ten different ones already! I'm going to make myself a bracelet with one of each...might have to make it two strands the way things are going.

These owls will be posted on my site tomorrow, keep visiting the blog to see the rest of my tiny menagerie!

**and if you have a request or suggestion, please let me know! Post it in a comment here in the blog :-).

I have been asked recently how I my pictures turn out so well, and I must say it is pure luck. The workshop where I'm set up has a big skylight so all I have to do is plop the beads down and snap a photo. My camera is so old that it will only hold a charge for 10 minutes or so, so it's a good thing I don't have to do a lot of fidgeting! I do have one good tip though: instead of a spendy gradient sheet or tricky backdrop, I use parchment paper from the baking section of the grocery store. Just unroll it -drape it over something if you need a background- and roll it back up when you're done. Great stuff, and it keeps cookies from sticking to the sheet... ;-)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Bead Dreams Come True

Kimmie: Here's my entry for Bead Dreams, a 3 1/2 inch tall wool bead!

Joan suggested I enter the new Handmade Beads category with some needlefelting and this is what I came up with. I really like it! I have already started on another, and hope to have at least 3 for my booth at Bead and Button. They're very lightweight, should be great for designing with.
Joan: Super thrilled that both Kimmie and I are finalists in the same Bead Dreams category, Handmade Beads or Buttons. I went with a veggie theme and buttons. I always think since the magazine is still called "Bead & Button" there should be a few buttons. Here is my set of Buttons that made the cut. I won't be at Bead & Button in person this year so I am glad my veggies are representing for me :)

Thanks OC!

The Art of Adornment was a great show, thanks to great beaders, great weather, and a beautiful venue. Our booth sits in a corner with gorgeous tea roses bordering two sides, next to a giant palm tree. It doesn't get any nicer than that. We're already looking forward to next year! Thanks as always to the Bead Society of Orange County, who really treat us right.

These little guys are just so happy it's Spring that they are apparently joining together to sing! They'll be posted on my website today.

Joan and I both had our entries accepted for Bead and Button's Bead Dreams competition! We will be putting our virtual heads together for a joint post to show them off. I'm so excited to see my bead in that big glass case!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Art of Adorning - Orange County Bead Society Annual Bead Bazaar

OC Bead Society Show this Saturday in Santa Ana, California. Come out and see lots of great beads and meet Kimmie and Penny in person. My beads will have to speak for me but I sent ALOT of them. Like I said on my FB Page ...Come and pet the beads! They love it and the drool just makes them a bit shinier.
Wishing I was there. Joan

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mad about Mad Hatters!

I did some new Mad Hatter doll pendants featuring Penny Michelle sterling silver top hat, arm and boots. I have been doing the white rabbit and queen of hearts for some time. Mad Hatter was a bit more of a challenge. He will be travelling to California for The Art of Adornment at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana on April 24. Come join the tea party!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Glass and felt from Kimmie

I added these guys to my etsy store last week, I think they are so happy! It will be challenging to figure out how to display such tiny animals at shows, but I have a few ideas.
Speaking of shows, set your calendar because I will be appearing at Bead and Button in Milwaukee in June! Joan and I have both sent in entries for their Bead Dreams contest, which Joan WON in the handmade beads category a couple of years ago. Maybe she will post a picture of those prizewinning beads for us. That was an exciting year at B and B; my friend Wayne Robbins and I received the People's Choice award for our collaboration, "The Collector":

He was my first big felted project; creating him really reiterated the importance of having a good stash to draw on! He lives in Palo Alto, California now, in the library of a home up on a hill. I'm sure he is very happy there, but I do kinda miss him sometimes.
**Don't forget to go see Joan at BeadFest Wire this weekend!
-and wish us luck on our Bead Dreams entries for this year...I think we are both going to be superstitious and not post pix till we know if they've been accepted ;-).

Friday, April 2, 2010

Free Passes to Bead Fest Wire

I will be exhibiting at Bead Fest Wire at the Valley Forge Convention Center, April 8, 9 and 10.

I have Free Passes! Just join my email list and I will email you a printable free pass.

I will have new beads, pendants and dolls. I have a supply of Penny Michelle pewter bead critters. Of course I have some of my beads in stock that go great with these. I also have a nice assortment of hippo bellies. Hope to see you there!

***Hi, Kimmie here, just wanted to let you know that if you clicked on the link to my website at the bottom of the page and found yourself on the wrong site, don't give up! I have fixed the link, and it now goes to my website,

Monday, March 29, 2010

More Springime Beads

Kimmie here, with more lentil-based animals from my torch.

Is it just me, or do they seem to be conversing?

Whenever I put two or more animal beads in a picture they end up looking to me like they are talking, or at least relating, to each other. I don't know if it's because they are so similar, or what, but it always tickles me! Maybe I have been looking in the flame too long. What do you think? Well, I hope that's not the case, because I am logging many hours working on new and fun beads for the Bead and Button show in June. By the time the show rolls around, it is entirely possible that I will be having whole conversations with these little inanimate objects, but at least I'll have lots of them to share!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Welcome from the West Coast side of the blog

Hi all, Kimmie here,
Thank you Joan for setting up this new blog, we are going to have a lot of fun here sharing our latest work and ideas! I am also hoping that we will be able to get together in person before too long.

I have been working on some new beads this week, adding to my selection of animals based on a small lentil shape. My current favorite? The frog, seen above. I think the belly button adds a lot but don't always remember to stick it in there. The guy on the left seems to be wondering why his buddy doesn't have one!
I already have bunny rabbits, sheep, cows and ladybugs on my roster, and along with the frogs have added penguins and baby chicks. More to come, for sure. I love this concept, and these little beads look great in bunches. How small are they? The base lentil shape is about 10mm, a bit smaller than an M&M candy. Sweet!
My focus has been on a springtime theme, not counting the penguin, but if you have an animal suggestion or request, please post a comment and I will try to make it.
It has been a super productive week for me, and I look forward to sharing pictures of my latest work, including a pretty cool new project...stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Welcome to East Coast-West Coast Bead Blog

Welcome to East Coast-West Coast Bead Blog. I have two friends who have the good fortune of living in sunny California. I am here in Pennsylvania which thankfully is starting to see a little sunshine although its pretty gray today. Long story short we have all been working together long distance for years. We have websites and we're connected but it just didn't seem like enough. Blogging can be one of those things that is just too hard to keep up with on your own. If you don't get the studio time in there's nothing to blog about. So.......................we said "Lets blog together!"Hopefully we will be more interesting as a team. I guess I should introduce us by now. Meet Kim Van Antwerp, Glass beadmaker, PMC artist and all around creative wonder. Penny Michelle designer of fabulous whimsical sterling silver and pewter components and the lonely East coast member of the team, Joan Miller, porcelain beads.