Tuesday, June 2, 2015

It's Bead&Button Show time!

What is the best week of the year?  Bead&Button Show week in Milwaukee!  Classes started last weekend and go through this weekend (I still have openings for my two: read about them and me as a teacher here).  Other events are Moonlight Madness (a vendor preview event held tonight, Tuesday), the Meet the Teachers Reception (tomorrow night), Marketplace preview shopping (Thursday night), the Bead Social and Auction (Saturday night), and the Artisan Jewelry Marketplace (Friday-Sunday).

Whew!  That's a lot of activity packed into about a week and a half, but that's not even all of it.  There are make 'n takes, demos, raffles, giveaways, gorgeous jewelry on display in the Bead Dreams contest and on many of the attendees, and people making jewelry and talking about making jewelry in every corner.

One of the places people are gathering for that last activity is the Gathering Place (see what I did there?) in the atrium of the Hyatt, where some of the classes are held.  There are kiosks from two local bead stores (Knot Just Beads and Eclectica), which provides students with tools and materials they might need for their classes and a lot of goodies for anyone hanging out, including the new Tango beads.  They'll be at the Knot Just Beads booth at the Show if you're going.  It's quite a neat shape!

I spent the day there yesterday beading a few color samples for my class on Saturday and meeting a lot of new people.  The first person I sat with happened to have grown up in and lives in my hometown, Waukegan, Illinois.  Unfortunately, though, she graduated from the other high school ten years before me, so we don't know any of the same people.  We talked about where she lives, where my mother lives, which hospitals we were born in, and the quintessential Waukegan food, Quonset pizza.

I also sat with some people from Germany and the Netherlands, and we talked about where the Germans live in relation to my German family as well as some of the differences between our countries.  The Bead&Button Show draws people from all over the world, including a very large contingent from Japan, where Toho and Miyuki beads come from.  There's always a map outside the Marketplace with pins where everyone is from.  It's quite amazing.

Later in the day I met a trio of sisters from Pennsylvania known far and wide as "the Sissies."  They were a lot of fun and brought a bunch more people to the table.  I say they're known far and wide because as I was heading back to my car I ran into Reenie Oliveto (you may remember her from a few of my blogs last year - here and here), who was heading in for a class she was about to teach.  She mentioned she had a few of the "Sissies" in her class, and I was a bit surprised.  I feel like I've been beading under a rock that I haven't heard of them before.

I wish I could have gone back to the Gathering Place today, but since I live only 15 minutes away from the convention center, I had to go home and deal with real life.  It started before 7:00 this morning as the street was being cut so the utility company could install a gas meter for our house, and later in the morning we had our ducts cleaned.  I would have preferred sitting around fun people beading instead of trying to find my cats who fled from the very loud noises that seemed to chase them around the house (from their perspective, that is).

If you're going to the Show and want to find me, I have a table at Meet the Teachers (Wednesday, June 3rd, from 8-10:30p), and I'll be at the Loose Bead Society table outside the Marketplace Friday morning from 9-11:30, and my husband and I will be shopping the rest of the day on Friday.  Then, of course, I'll be in class on Saturday all day and Sunday in the morning.  I'll probably end up back in the Marketplace after my class.  Monday night is the Loose Bead Society program, and Tuesday will be spent sleeping all day.  Wednesday, too, probably.  :)

Oh!  One more thing for those of you going to the Show.  If you have a smartphone, you'll definitely want to download the Bead&Button Show app (that link takes you to the iPhone version, but the app is available for Android phones, too).  You can view the show schedule and classes, view photos, search exhibitors, and more!  I love being able to search exhibitors.  When looking for my blog posts about Reenie, I found a picture of the Evvy Beads booth and remembered I wanted one of her gorgeous multi-colored class beads.  With a quick search in the app, I found out not only that she's at the Show but also where her booth is.  It will be an invaluable tool while wandering around the enormous Marketplace.

Next week I'll post some pictures and stories from the Show.  If you would like to send me some of your pictures and stories, e-mail them to traci@creative-pursuits.biz.

Now I'd better get some sleep.  I'm going to be very busy!


  1. I'll keep an eye out for you on the marketplace floor on Saturday. My friend and I will be there using FREE tickets acquired by a certain employee of Kalmbach. Pays to have connections!

    Looking forward to swimming in all those delicious beads!

    1. I'm so glad you get to go, Jill! You'll have a blast. Wear comfortable shoes. :) I don't know if I'll be at the Marketplace on Saturday. That's when my class is, and it's an all day one. There's a two hour break for lunch, though, so I might pop in. I hope you find some cool beads!

  2. Great info!!! I was not aware of the Gathering Place -- cool idea! Hope all went well at Meet the Teachers!! - Abby

    1. Thanks, Abby! It was fun! I've pestered Ashley and Angelica a few times in the Marketplace. We're looking forward to having them over for dinner, but we'll miss you! Next year, if you're in town early enough, we should go to the Gathering Place, and maybe I can get you to finish that necklace. :) Ashley said you wear the bracelet - it'd be nice if you had a matched set!