Bead&Button show update! Mon – Wed morning

I’ve been here at the show for a few days. Monday night, I taught Celtic Visions bracelet. Everyone left with a finished bracelet! Lots of satisfied smiles all around.

Additionally, one of the students was from Germany, which I knew before class since we’d corresponded by email. What I did not know, is that she is one of the editors of Perlen Poesie, Germany’s first beading magazine. Some of you may know that I love Germany, and in fact, it was while I was living in Germany that I first began itching to do chainmaille! The magazine posted some photos of the Celtic Visions class on their website.

Yesterday, Tuesday was a relatively quiet day. The weather was cold and miserable in Milwaukee, and I had a headache for most of the day, but luckily was feeling my usual cheerful self by the time my 7 pm class came around. I designed this class specifically for Bead&Button and titled it 3 Earrings in 3 Hours, but in my head, it’s always been known as the Instant Gratification Class! There was only 1 student signed up for this class, so we had a nice, intimate private lesson. Very cool! She made some earrings for herself and 1 as a gift for her sister. She’d never made maille before, so I was glad to be the one corrupting, er *cough*, educating her.

This morning, I am madly finishing up a sample bracelet for our kit board while I wait for the rest of the B3 crew to arrive so we can set up the booth, and later, set up for Meet the Teachers.

Chainmaille Jacket by Vanessa WalilkoI snuck over to the Bead Dream exhibit and saw that Vanessa’s Jacket had a nice 2nd place ribbon next to it! Woo! Way to go, V! I’ll of course take more photos when I have an actual camera, and when the chain barriers are gone, so I don’t have to lean over and stretch my arm out to get the shot. :-)

Whew. The calm before the storm…..

Congratulations, Alicia!

Our random number generator selected you as the winner of our cookbook giveaway. We’ve contacted you via email, so check your inbox!

Thanks to all who particiapted—we’re thrilled about your enthusiastic response to The Everything Cast Iron book. (We know our mouths have been watering since we got our hands on the book! Rebeca’s got plans for one of those jumbo cookies this weekend. Mmmmmm….) We encourage you to purchase the book via an independent bookstore on or through Thanks again, all, and have a fabulous weekend!

Lastest (and last!) Newsletter Published

In the midst of our Bead&Button show, we posted the latest Newsletter to the website. You’ll notice that the newsletter format will be changing after this issue. We’ve had the same format for about 4 years, and, well, we’re itching to deliver information, coupons and updates to you in different ways. We’re pretty sure that you’ll like these changes, but we always like to check in with you as we make changes, so feel free to leave a comment here to let us know what you think.

This edition contains project ideas for size T14 (14ga 3/8″) — mongo-size maille! We’ve also included a quick finger ring project, color palette ideas and a listing of some upcoming classes and products.

Win a free book!

One of my fellow Chicago Craft Mafia sisters, Cinnamon Cooper, has just released a book called The Everything Cast-Iron Cookbook.

Not only am I excited about this book because one of my friends wrote it, and there are so many delicious, culturally rich dishes (300 recipes, whew!), but also because I was lucky enough to be one of the food testers! On a hot Chicago evening last summer, I enjoyed cornbread, seafood stew, crab cakes with spicy mayo, hush puppies, scallops seared in clarified butter, grilled vegetables and fresh fig muffins. Delicious. I would be Cinnamon’s food guinea pig any time. :-)

I know most of you B3 blog readers like to create things with your hands, and for many of you, that crafty urge extends into the kitchen. So to celebrate the release of her book, I’m offering you the chance to win an autographed copy.

All you have to do to win it is leave a comment on this blog entry. On the morning of Friday June 4th, we’ll randomly select one person to receive a copy of The Everything Cast-Iron Cookbook.

If you want to order your own copy, you can do so via an independent bookstore on or through (I also encourage you to write a review on Amazon.)

I must let you know that Cinnamon is one of the most generous and warm people I’ve ever met. What she has done for the Chicago craft scene is amazing. As one of the founders of the DIY Trunk Show, she’s worked hard to promote the handmade culture in this city. All of the purses she sells on her website are made by hand with a percentage of the proceeds donated to various charities. She works hard to find American-made components (trust me, this is not easy) and she only uses sweatshop free, fair trade, and ethically produced fabric and supplies. I admire her business and am proud to call her my friend.

So leave your comment below for a chance at winning this mouth-watering cookbook by a remarkable lady. Good luck, and happy cooking!