Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The 2010 Bead&Button Show!

Last year I was just a wide-eyed newcomer to the B&B Show. Steve works for Kalmbach, the host of the Show and the publisher of Bead&Button, Bead Style, and Art Jewelry magazines, so he got free tickets. Before we even got into the marketplace, I saw the table for the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee, and I haven't looked back since. I'm now the website coordinator (Webgoddess, even!) for our Society and attend as many of our functions and community projects as I can. I had thought I was too new to be so involved, but it turns out I fit in just fine!

Shopping at the Show last year was awe-inspiring. It's held in a very large room, and there are hundreds of vendors. I hadn't scoped anything out before going, so we just wandered around until my budget and feet were exhausted.

This year was quite a different experience. I took a class on Wednesday and learned that pounding steel wire on a baby anvil was an exhilarating experience, and I look forward to doing more of it! Afterward, Brenda (the President of our Society and the teacher of the class) and Kat (our Vice President of Special Events) and I went to lunch. I hung out for a while until I met up with Cindy (our Vice President of Programming), then we hung out chatting with pretty much everyone and setting up the Loose Bead Society tables. Here's what happened when I let Cindy get a hold of my camera:

We went to the Meet the Teachers event that night, which was a great experience. I talked with a number of people who I would see the rest of the weekend, and I even tried out a few of the Japanese words I know to some teachers who came all the way from Japan.  Here I got Cindy back by making her pose with the longest beaded necklace:

I stayed home on Thursday, but I was not idle in the slightest! I was supposed to work for a vendor on Friday, but they found someone who could work the whole show instead of just one day. I decided that I would use the day to market my new business, and I spent Thursday finishing up the list of vendors I wanted to talk to.

On Friday I headed to the Show after lunch and spent the afternoon on my "marketing campaign".  Some of them seemed interested in talking further, and I will be e-mailing them in about a week so they can get settled after the show.  Others weren't interested, but I still enjoyed chatting with them!  I had dinner with Judy, then I worked at the Loose Bead Society table until the Show closed.

I had "coffee" with Laura Timmons on Saturday morning before heading back up to the LBS table for the morning.  Here's a picture of the table during a lull:

Steve came after my shift was over for us to have lunch and to shop.  He hates this story, but I'm going to tell it anyway because it's so funny.  We had a few display cases out with pieces made by some of our members.  He had forgotten that I had the necklace I made for our wedding on display, and after glancing through the cases he said, "You don't have a piece in here?"  I made him look again, "offended" that he couldn't find it.  He very carefully looked at each piece until.... "Ah, hell."  I said, "Yeah, you should recognize that one!"  He smoothly retorted, "I was gazing into your eyes that day - I wasn't paying attention to your necklace!"  That got a lot of laughs from the ladies present, let me tell you.

The funniest part of this story... when I introduced him to Maggie Roschyk who designed and was wearing the cover necklace for the June 2010 issue of Bead&Button, he said, "Wait - I recognize that necklace, don't I?"  SO not fair!

Wow - this is getting long!  Hope you've stuck with me.  I bought some beautiful beads from Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan, pendants from Priscilla Marban, an adorable glass flower bead from Bronwen Heilman, and a purple heart bead I'd been looking at since Wednesday night from Christi Friesen.  Since I'm not working, I had a limited budget.  There were so many beautiful pieces from so many vendors.... I need to save my pennies for next year!

Steve made some purchases, too.  He's been into challenging me - getting pieces and beads that are different than my usual fare so I will experiment with new things.  He got some wonderful art deco-looking pieces and chain, plus some purple crystals.  Turns out that he thought about the design so much that he made the necklace himself!  Pictures of that will be forthcoming.

Saturday night there was a meeting for the Global Bead Society which is just getting started.  It was a good meeting, and we learned a lot about The Bead Museum which will be the host organization for the Society.  I found out that it's close to Steve's Aunt Lynne and where his Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Jay winter, so we're looking forward to a trip to Arizona!

Sunday I was back at our table for a final shift.  I walked around afterward and said goodbye to the vendors I had chatted with a lot during the weekend.  I'm starting to weed through the pictures I took along with a few other people who gave me CDs of what they took.  I need to get the LBS website updated and send e-mails out to people I talked to, either about my business, the Loose Bead Society, my blog, or just to say hi.

It was an amazing weekend, and I'm so glad I could be involved in so many parts of it and that I met so many wonderful people.  I already can't wait until next year's Show!

Sunday night I made a necklace with Nikki Thornburg-Lanigan's beads so I could wear it to Monday's LBS meeting.  I asked Maggie to take a picture so I could send it to Nikki.  Here it is for you to see, too:

Whew - I think I'm done!  Future blogs will feature the necklace Steve made plus more of my projects, if I can ever get that green tubular peyote necklace done.  I'm over 14", but I still have quite a ways to go.


  1. You do more than fit in, Traci! You're an awesome contributor to the Society (and hilarious to boot)! xoxoxo! -b.

  2. The post was worth waiting for. Love the new necklace!