The Perfect Gift for Mother's Day - a colourful resin bracelet with a sparkly magnetic clasp.

The Perfect Gift for Mother's Day - a colourful resin bracelet with a sparkly magnetic clasp.
These stylish bracelets feature a selection of crystal focals and silver beads and have a strong, crystal-encrusted magnetic clasp, making them perfect for the girl who can't get a regular bangle over her knuckles. They also come in larges sizes for girls with bigger wrists.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Summer CHA

I've just returned from Summer CHA in Orlando, Florida - the craft industry's twice yearly trade show in the US. I'm not going to give you a full rundown of the show but instead I'm going to share some of the highlights from my trip.

I was really excited to be taking a workshop with Bead Queen of the Universe and craft personality extraordinaire, Margot Potter.
Some of the many hats Margot wears include being a DT member for Beadalon, and an ambassador for Create Your Style with CRYSTALLIZED-Swarovski Elements. She is also author of 5 books including The Impatient Beader, Beyond the Bead and Bead and Wire Jewelry Exposed (co written with Fernando DaSilva and Katie Hacker). There is another book in the pipeline at the moment and it's sure to be just as delectable as the others. Amongst her other credits she is also a public speaker and TV host - in short, Margot is a very accomplished designer, so you can understand why I was so pleased to be taking her class at CHA!
So, on to highlight number 1 - a workshop with Margot!
Margot is a wonderfully patient teacher, very methodical, making sure we all got the hang of each step before moving on to the next. The piece we created in class is called Zig Zagged - a Swarovski Crystallized elements necklace threaded on Beadalon Silver-Plated beading wire. Mine, pictured below, doesn't quite have the zigs and zags that Margot's had but that's not a bad thing because Margot's philosophy is that perfection is not required.

Zig Zagged Necklace designed by Margot Potter
Don't you love these gorgeous crystals? The way they catch the light just has to be seen in person to appreciate how pretty this necklace is.
To finish off the ends of each beaded length, we used findings from Beadalon's E-Z crimp range - an all in one crimp and jump ring component. Brilliant idea! The E-Z crimp eliminates the possibility of the beading wire slipping through the jump ring if the ring hasn't been completely closed. Of course, we all know that there shouldn't be a gap in your jump ring, but none of us are perfect and sometimes it happens. But you'll never have to worry about that again if you use a Beadalon E-Z Crimp.
Whenever I'm in the US I always try to slot in a trip to Michaels and the other day whilst I was there I found E-Z Crimps that also have the clasp attached. What a bonus!
Here's a rather grainy little snap taken after the workshop on my mobile phone. My trusty Ricoh camera decided it too was on holiday on just the second day of my trip. It wasn't until after CHA finished that there was time to buy a new one, so this little snapshot is the best I can do.
There was a prize give away in class too and I was the lucky winner. Who said number 13 was unlucky?!! And my prize..... I got to keep all the tools we used in class - what more could I ask for? Thanks Margot and Beadalon.
You can read more about Margot in the feature article of this month's issue of Get Creative, available from Spotlight and selected newsagencies. Check out her website and blog too - her posts always make interesting reading!
And don't forget to tune in to my next post for another CHA highlight.

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