Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tucson Gem and Mineral Show

If you have been sitting around this winter watching it snow, and your only outdoor activity has been shoveling snow, you should consider an alternative for winter 2015.

In January, just as winter was ramping up, my husband, pet dog, and I hitched up the camper and headed for the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. The Arctic Vortex caught up with us in Louisiana and iced us in for three days.  When we finally broke free from winter's grasp we arrived in Arizona to one of the warmest winters on record.  While the locals were complaining about the heat, I pointed out that you don't have to shovel it.  One minor glitch was realizing that all of our clothes had been packed in 6 degree weather and were not going to be comfortable in the mid 80's.

This year I shared a room in The Windmill Inn with Beth Kraft of Nordic Gypsy fame. We both offered classes as well as project kits for sale.  My classes involved projects utilizing Delica beads and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS.

This show is always a wonderful opportunity to check out the newest materials and techniques in beading, and to network with other beading colleagues from around the country.

This show typically runs from a couple of days before Punxsutawney Phil (a rodent with the gift of prophesy) predicts six more weeks of reasons to be in Tucson, until late February.  Check out this year's websites while they are still up to see the wealth of activities and events that happen here.

Hope to see you in Tucson next year!

Beth Kraft and I at the show.

Melody Spense, Cathy Benton, and I enjoying dinner.

                                                         Leslie Rogalski and I at the show.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Joy of Teaching

A well known writer once said, "Those who can, do; those who can't, teach."  This was meant as a derogatory statement at the time, however since then several positive interpretations have emerged.  For example, some of our best athletes have no ability to teach what they do, yet some of our finest coaches were never our best athletes.

Recently, I taught Tucson Bangle II, which incorporates Delica beads and SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS and uses a new technique that I developed called Cross-Over Peyote stitch.  It is always exciting for me to watch my students "get it" and enjoy the process.

Several month after the class, I was back at the same bead shop (Bead Soup, Savage Mills, MD) and one off my former students, Jo Ray came to me with several bracelets she had designed using my technique.  This, for me, is the greatest joy in teaching when I watch my own students become designer and teacher.  So, a better interpretation of the old saying could be, "Those who can, do: Those who can appreciate, teach."
                                          Tucson Bangle II

Bracelets by Jo Ray, Bead Soup