Category: Canadian Arts & Crafts

The Bead Show Saga

This one gets a long post because I’ve spent the bulk of the last few months getting ready for the Oasis Bead Show and the Lilac Festival and now they’re done! I have one more decent sized show left in two weeks but it’s just across the road from me so none of the 500km of travel thing!

My Bead Booth Dragonfire Studio

This is my booth and the Dragonfire Studio (aka. Fran Davis) booth. She makes beautiful lampwork beads in whimsical designs. Chloe picked out another kitty bead this year so we now have a collection of cat beads. Looking at the booth, I think I need some sort of standing signage like hers. I couldn’t attach my banner to the wall due to the hall regulations and didn’t bring enough clips to hang it on my table front. Learning experience!

Dueling Cameras! Bedrock Supplies

Part of the fun of the show is seeing customers and friends again. I played dueling camera with Christine Bennett of Purple Pony Art. Her and her mom have often done the same shows as me over the years. And the booth with lots of goodies is Bedrock Supplies of Edmonton who will actually be carrying quite a stack of my beads now (insert “YAY”)

Customer Work Clay and Chain

As usual, I love to see what people do with my beads so when a customer from Saturday came back on Sunday to get more beads and show me what she’d put together so far I asked if I could take a few pics. (name) will be at the Calgary Folk Festival selling her pieces so do stop by.

Marilyn Gardiner was an instructor and vendor at the show and stopped by to show me a few of her beautiful chainmaille pieces made with Ontario-based polymer clay artist beads by Helen Breil and Barbara Colautti (I think! Correct me if I’ve got it wrong!). Since I rarely get to see other finished polymer clay art beads than my own offline, I really appreciated this!

Into the Storm The Bike Path

To add to the drama of doing my Very First Bead Show was the fact that behind me on the highway the week of rain at home had caused flooding in the surrounding communities. A part of the largest Canadian highway had washed out almost immediately behind the bus I took, stranding several of the rural communities. My family took a northern detour to get to Calgary after me and Monday we drove back via the rural roads. While the storm was ominous looking and we drove by quite a few washed out fields, our house was safe and dry when we got in. The second pic is the bike path along the usually shallow creek in front of our house though! This is about 4 feet up from normal.

Send me dry thoughts!

Canada, eh

I made another Canada Flag cane – it’s been a few years since the last try! – and this one came out somewhat more random and creative than I intended. It’s obvious what it’s supposed to be but the maple leaf looks more like a splat than a leaf in a lot of them!

Flag canes

However, the little sliced beads are going to be my bowl of giveaways at my show this weekend. If you slide it on a safety pin with a couple seed beads, they make cute little Canada Day pins.

Tray of Slices

Teaching Classes

Something I never thought I would enjoy – right up there with selling – is teaching classes. It has been one of those rare pleasures finding out that I was wrong about something in a good way. Teaching is now up there with one of the more fun parts of making and selling arts and crafts.

Making Things

I had my first class since my move this weekend and it was a bit of an introduction to polymer clay, caning and beadmaking all in one. I limited it to black and white so that I didn’t overwhelm everyone that first class (I’ll save that for next time) and we just stuck to how to make simple, fast canes.


The class was open to everyone from tweens on up – my line to the coordinator was: old enough not to eat clay or stab themselves with blades deliberately – and everyone cranked out beads, little covered tins and switchplates. Black and white jellyrolls, checkerboards, strips and flowers abounded. Some people made little hypnotized eyes.


Here’s a little of what the class made. I’m privileged to have worked with such a great group!

Student Work

We’ll be running more classes – on colours and canes and small objects covered in clay – in June. If you’re interested, give Laurie a shout at the gallery.