WHAT’S NEW

More Eye Candy!!
Being in the Studio Is Agreeing With Me…

I hope these pictures communicate just how much fun I’m having in my current design “frenzy.” Maybe I’ll just let them speak for themselves. Hope you like!

Pinwheels Necklace

Pinwheels

 

Linked-In Necklace

Linked-In



Check Out New Work in the Galleries
I’ve Been a Very Busy Girl…!
The Long of It Necklace

The Long of It Necklace

I know. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here. But in my defense, life has been wonderfully busy. In the past year I’ve seen both of my children marry wonderful partners and devoted most of my knitting time to creating what I hope will be family heirloom afghans for both couples as wedding gifts. I have to confess that taking a break from knitting on size 0, 1 and 2 needles (WITHOUT beads!) was really relaxing!

But once these projects were completed, I found myself bursting at the seams with ideas for new work. And just because I was back knitting with a gorgeous wool/silk yarn for more than a year (you MUST try Cascade Venezia – it’s a dream fiber to knit with) doesn’t mean I wasn’t collecting fabulous beads and new fibers to work with. And, of course, continuing to write down ideas and keep my eyes open for visual inspiration.

Button Up Necklace

Button Up Necklace

These two images are just two of the six new pieces, five necklaces and one bracelet, I’ve created over the last three months. I hope you’ll take a look in both the One-of-a-Kind Necklace and One-of-a-Kind Bracelet Galleries to see what’s new.

And there is a lot more lined up on the airport runway of ideas in my brain. This is FUN! Stay tuned!



Stop on In to the Studio B Store
First time Online Sale of One-of-a-Kind Jewelry!

One-of-a-Kind Sale Flyer blog

For the first time ever I am offering several of my One-of-a-Kind jewelry pieces for sale online. These pieces are from my earlier years as a designer and I remain proud of them all. But it is time to let them go as I develop and show newer work. As a result, all are deeply discounted from their original retail prices – at least 50%!! – and being offered as FINAL SALE. No returns will be accepted. Each piece comes with a signature, custom made, satin Studio B pouch that coordinates with your chosen piece. Perfect for gift giving AND safe storage.

Click on over to the Studio B Store to view additional pieces, original and sale prices, multiple images and purchase the pieces directly from the store. Contact me via email with any additional questions.

The Holidays are coming! Just sayin’……. Studio B Store



Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, May 2-3, 2015
Hope You’ll Join Me for Classes!

I’m getting ready to head out to Stitches West in Santa Clara and so excited to be teaching at this amazing Expo once again. My 7th year! (It certainly doesn’t hurt that it will be at least 50 degrees warmer than it has been here on the East Coast this week!) See you there! SOON.

I’m also thrilled to share that I have been invited to teach for the first time at the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, a fiber institution here on the East coast since 1974! Registration for classes is now open and you can sign up for all festival fiber workshops HERE. The festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 2 & 3, 2015. The MDSW website doesn’t have class related photos so if you’d like to SEE what we’ll be doing in class, you can link over to my Ravelry Group where there are lots of fun things to read about and look at or just link directly to my MDSW schedule (with visual aids!) HERE. I hope to see you in Maryland in the spring. It will be warmer then. ;-)



“The Creative Landscape of Aging”
A Book I’d Love You to Read

As many of you know, especially if you are familiar with my book “Betsy Beads: Confessions of a Left-brained Knitter,” the issue of creativity has been a lifelong interest of mine. Sharing what I’ve learned about it, with a focus on those left-brained folks among us (like me!), was well worth the two years plus process of writing the book and I could not be more proud of the impact that sharing my personal creative journey has had on so many of you. I am so grateful that you continue to share your own stories with me and they bring me so much joy. There is now a new book about creativity, with a somewhat different focus, that I can recommend to you wholeheartedly.
 
A year and a half ago, I was interviewed by Judith Zausner for her award winning blog entitled Creativity Matters. The blog consists primarily of interviews with varied artists, with a focus on how their creativity has been influenced by their aging and vice versa, how aging has influenced their creativity. She has now assembled 16 of these interviews along with 21 insightful essays and a lovely photo gallery of the interviewed artists’ work. I am honored that my interview was one of those she selected to include in the book.

With her keen eye, quick mind, facile way with words and years of experience studying and passion for her subject matter, Judith has created a book that has much to teach us, whatever our age may be. I hope that many of you will buy it and read what she has to say. Your creative lives will be all the richer for it.

You can find her book for purchase here.



Spotlight On New Work:   “Mud Cloth”
Around the World in One Necklace

I often talk about how unique materials inspire my work and this necklace is definitely a case in point. I found the ceramic beads that hang at the end of the knitted dangles at the Market at Stitches Midwest this past summer. I have to give a shout out to booth owner Jolanta Narejko of Elka Design (www.elka-designs.com) because she had some of the COOLEST beads, findings and fabulous finished jewelry pieces I’ve seen in quite some time. I fell in love with these two different patterns of black and white beads. I played with/swatched several different design ideas before settling on this one. I was told when I bought them that they are African beads, but later found out that they are specifically called “mud cloth” beads.

 

I had not planned on leaving the silk threads hanging. They are actually the tails of the individual bead knitted dangles. But they’ve grown on me. Definitely outside of my normal “box.”

 

 

So along with the African mud cloth beads, the thread used is from the USA (Kreinik Silk Serica), the small beads are Japanese (Size 8 Miyuki seed beads and Size 10 Miyuki Delica beads) and the three large beads are German (vintage resin with crystals set in the recessed equator of the beads – I’ve had them for years, just waiting for a fun place to use them.)

 

Four continents represented in one necklace! Pretty fab, no?



Another chance to make a difference with Halos of Hope
“Celebration of Hope” Scarf Raffle

 

I am very excited to share with you that my bead knitted scarf (shown above) is going to be raffled at the upcoming Stitches Midwest Expo (8/7 – 8/10/14) as a fundraiser for Halos of Hope, a charitable organization I’ve written about before and that is truly worthy of our support.

But I wouldn’t “tease” this raffle if there weren’t a way that all of you could have a chance to win the scarf, whether you can attend the Expo or not. Good news! Raffle tickets, at $5 each, which will be available at the event, are now also available for purchase online here: “Celebration of Hope” Scarf Raffle.

Know that you must purchase your online tickets no later than August 3 for them to be included in the raffle!!

You can learn more about the work of Halos of Hope HERE Continue reading



Spotlight On New Work:   Unusual Inspirational Materials
Uni I and Uni II

  

I’m often asked about where the inspiration for my creations comes from. My feeling is that inspiration is everywhere and often where least expected. I have to confess, however, that my inspiration often comes from unusual materials like those seen in the two new one-of-a-kind necklaces seen here. The top photo is Uni I, the bottom photo is Uni II. The “spikey,” multicolor pieces are actually the calcified spines of sea urchins! I loved them so much that I had to use them in two different pieces. A few friends have told me that they both have a sort of tribal feel. I guess that’s true, but what you can’t tell from the pictures is that they also make a lovely sound effect when they move around – a sort of tinkling, almost musical sound that I find very soothing. Unexpected and delightful.

There are a few more new pieces in the Necklace Gallery that I haven’t turned the Gallery Spotlight on here in the What’s New section, so as time permits, please click on over and take a peek. As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts about this new work.



Making a Difference. Something We Can ALL Do.
In this season of giving and all year round…

It is the season of giving and I’m hoping some of you may have something left over after your holiday shopping to help support Halos of Hope, a truly deserving organization that was founded by cancer survivor Pam Haschke, who is doing amazing work with an all volunteer staff. These are people we can all admire.

You can read more about Halos HERE, but the short story is that they collect hand knitted and crocheted chemo hats and caps to send to cancer patients around the country. Folks continue to be truly generous in making and donating hats but the organization still must bear the not insignificant expense of shipping out the hats to over 180 centers around the country. So fundraising is CRUCIAL! They’re always happy to receive cash donations but also sell lots of wonderful hat patterns on their website for folks to use to make these much needed, much loved creations.
  

Here’s where I come in. :-) Several years ago Vogue Knitting sponsored a contest to help promote breast cancer awareness, asking knitters to design scarves towards that end. I submitted my first original bead knitted design, a cashmere scarf covered in pink beaded logo ribbons and was thrilled to win the grand prize in the Mixed Media category. For years I made the pattern available as a free download on my website. I have now decided to put the pattern to more productive use and have donated it to Halos of Hope, where 100% of the proceeds will go to support their work.

If you want to read a bit more about the story behind the scarf, my good friend Benjamin Levisay, who sits on Halos Board, kindly wrote a blog entry about it. You can read it HERE. If you would like to purchase a pattern to make the scarf or any of Halos’ wonderful hat designs, you can look at and buy them HERE.
 
 

I hope that some of you will consider supporting Halos of Hope in whatever way you can. Knitting a single hat makes a difference. Buying a pattern makes a difference. A donation of any amount makes a difference. Bottom line? We can all make a difference.

Thank you and happy holidays to all! <3      



Stitches South 2014 – Exciting New Location and Classes are Still Available!
Join me in Atlanta from 4/10 – 4/13/2014

It always makes me happy when my classes sell out when I teach around the country. Apparently not everyone feels the same way… More and more, I have students telling me how UNhappy they are because they have been unable to enroll in my Stitches classes because they sell out so quickly. Sorry! Kind of… I guess… ;-)

But for awhile at least, as of today (12/9/2013), there are still places available in all four of my classes at Stitches South this coming April 2014. Are you a Bead Knitting newbie? Check out my “Bead Knitting Sampler Class”. Want to learn my new ABACUS bead knitting technique and make a bracelet in class? Then “Get Hooked on ABACUS Bead Knitting!” is the class for you. Are you the kind of knitter who wants not only to make a bead knitted jewelry project but wants to know all of the design secrets as well? Spend the whole day with me in the “Betsy’s Beaded Bracelet” class. Or take your bead knitting to the next level by joining me for “Be a Bead Knitting Show Off” and learn how to analyze and work beads into your favorite mixed-stitch patterns.

This year Stitches South is being held at a brand new venue that we are all really excited about. Get all of the Stitches South 2014 details HERE and I hope to see you in April. Don’t get closed out this time!
Tick tock, tick tock…