Hi! It’s Molly Schaller here today. Ask a beader what her favorite part of beading is and you’re likely to find that one of the things she’ll say is “The people I meet!” If you’ve ever been to a bead show or taken a beading class, you know just what I mean. This past week, I was lucky enough to get to travel to tape an episode of Beads, Baubles & Jewels, an amazing television show devoted to these lovely little sparkling things we all love to play with. It is produced in a brand new studio in Cleveland, Ohio by KS Inc. Productions. Click here to search and see when Beads, Baubles & Jewels will be showing on your own local PBS station.
The host is none other than Katie Hacker, an accomplished designer and TV personality with a special gift for calming even the most camera shy person–like me. Katie can make me feel comfortable and confident, and she has a great sense of humor. I wish I could fit her in my pocket and carry her with me at all times!
This time I had the opportunity to meet Lauren Andersen, The Chain Maille Lady, who taught me about tatting with beads and shared her creative chain maille designs. Have you ever seen anything as beautiful as these earrings? I love it when someone makes my grandma’s craft cool again!
Brenda Schweder arrived while I was taping, and I’m always so happy to see her. She brings an exciting energy to wherever she is. Her new Now That’s a Jig is a tool that is versatile and fun to use, and her wire designs always inspire me.
I’ve been to Cleveland to tape episodes for the show a few times, but I still get jitters before I tape, so I’m always sure to go through my project over and over so that I know it forward and backward. My first feature was a style board. Style boards are a great way to get your creative juices flowing. I usually start by clipping images that I like, then I organize them by color or specific motif or feel.
How I use them depends on what I need. Sometimes I’m aiming for a specific type of project; other times I use it when I’m in the mood to bead, but I just don’t know where to start. I use a dry erase board with a small line of cork around the outside for pinning bead strands that coordinate with the images I’m using, and I also sketch on the dry erase board. As I was working, I realized that I wanted something special for the show, so I used some gel super glue, small but strong magnets, and some sliders with flat backs to make magnets for my board. I love how these acrylic beauties turned out, and they took only moments to make. If you’re looking for a quick gift for a friend at the office, these are a great place to start.
My first project was the Crystal Lacing Bracelet. If you want something that is stylish and makes a statement with a lot of possibilities for different versions, this is the design for you! I made a bunch of versions with different focal stones, different types of leather laces and different colors of wire for the show. These are a blast to make and would make a great girlfriend gift in different birthstone colors! I made it through taping this with only one stop: I accidentally poked my finger with a wire and blood started flowing! Here’s a quick TV tip: super glue over a little wound like this can get you back and taping in seconds! I learn something new every time I tape this show!
My second project tutorial is a sneak peek. The beads in this project won’t be available in Michaels Stores until the spring, but I thought you might enjoy a little looksie! The Blossom Necklaces use monochromatic color schemes for maximum punch, and the blossoms are made using a metal gear for structure. Watch Beads, Baubles & Jewels this spring for tricks on how to make this spring necklace with an unexpected stringing material!
For my fourth segment I did something a little different. Each episode of Beads, Baubles & Jewels is going to include a Tool Tip in the upcoming season. The featured designer gets to talk about his or her favorite beading tool. I’ll let you wait to see which tool I chose for my segment, but I’ll give you a hint right now: I used it on every single one of this season’s projects. What’s your favorite beading tool?
Hey Molly! Thanks for going ahead of me . . . ! It didn’t make me less nervous, but gave me more time to study your poise!