Saturday, May 30, 2009

New York Bead Show


Check out Lisa Kan's blog to read about the great connection that she made at the Soft Flex Glass Art & Bead Festival in New York last year.

Day Trip

My day trip to Albuquerque was quick and fun. I enjoyed seeing a few of my fellow telecommuting co-workers and had a nice meeting.

Jenny Wilson (our trade show manager) was kind enough to pick me up and cart me around all day. She set up a nice lunch at her favorite Mexican food restaurant. Per Rashan's suggestion, at lunch I had a #1 combo. I can see why they both enjoy eating there, it was VERY good and I ate far too much for my own good.

I really loved the mountains that overlook the "burque" as my native friends call it. They are beautiful.

All in all, it was just a gorgeous day. Beautiful weather. Wonderful friends. Great work meeting. And THEN, I got to go right back home. That is my favorite kind of trip. FAST!

Gotta love the double mirrors in Jenny's van. She thought I was kooky for focusing in on them with my camera. Maybe I am. But, I think the double image looks so neat.

And finally, Jenny drove me the "Chevy on a stick" on my way back to the airport.

A big thanks to Jenny for putting up with me all day long. She is far too kind. We are very lucky to have her on the Soft Flex team.

Next week: Bead & Button in Milwaukee, WI. I leave Tuesday!

Bead & Button Show
Date:June 4 - 7, 2009
Midwest Airlines Center
400 West Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53203
Details: Thursday 6/4, 4pm - 9pm (preview night is only open to students and registered wholesale buyers)
Friday 6/5, 10am - 8pm
Saturday 6/6, 10am - 6pm
Sunday 6/7, 10am - 4pm
Admission: $9 each day

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

CHA Summer Convention

If you will be attending the Craft & Hobby Association Summer Show in Orlando, Jamie Hogsett and I will be teaching the project idea show above in a workshop (scroll to the bottom). It is Jamie's design (and picture), but I am always happy to help out! The project uses our new Extreme Flex Wire in champagne color. It is such a pretty color! This is a great project for using up small snippets of wire. It also used the world's first green beading wire. You don't need to bring anything with you, just yourself!

Room: W304FG
Sponsored By: Soft Flex Company
Make sparkling chain-style earrings using sterling silver findings and decadent new Champagne Extreme Flex wire from Soft Flex Company-a recyclable wire from the first wire manufacturer to go green! You'll learn all about the wire, how to use it to enhance your jewelry designs and how to use crimping pliers to make all sorts of fabulous jewelry!
Class level: Beginner but anyone will enjoy!
Items to bring: None

You will also be able to find both Jamie and I in the Soft Flex booth with lots of fun ideas and demos to share.

CHA Summer Convention
Date: July 28 - 30, 2009
Orange County Convention Center
9860 Universal Boulevard
Orlando, FL 32819-8706
Details:Tuesday 7/28, 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 7/29, 9am - 5pm
Thursday 7/30, 9am - 4pm
Admission: CHA Members are FREE, non-members must pay a fee per/person. There are no sales at this show, only order writing. This trade show is open only to those in the Craft & Hobby industry. You can register online or onsite. If you choose to register onsite you will need to bring your business qualifications along with you.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Color Your World on About.com


Check out:
Color Your World
by Tammy Powley on About.com

Tammy's design uses our Yellow Lemon Quartz Soft Flex and with 32 total color options between our multiple brands of wire, you can use yellow or branch out and try one of the other fun and brilliant colors. Soft Flex Company has the largest color assortment of any beading wire manufacturer. We chose our latest 10 colors (released in February 2009) to match some of our favorite gemstone colors. We literally picked the color by the gemstone (that was a fun project).

New additions for 2009:
Pink Tourmaline

Garnet

Spinel

Red Jasper

Citrine

Tanzanite

Green Turquoise

Fluorite

Chrysoprase

Peridot

Find these colors at a local bead store!


Remember ask for Soft Flex products by name as not all beading wire is created the same. :)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Painting Central


I'm not a great painter...in fact, I'm not even a good painter. However, it is so relaxing to sit and paint. I hope everyone is having an enjoyable Memorial day weekend.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BeadFX in Toronto


beadFX blog
beadFX website
Near Toronto in Scarborough - Canada

One of the nicest parts of my job is that I get to meet so many really cool people from all over the world. When I was in Canada, I got to spend some time with the ladies from BeadFX, who are always a pleasure to spend time with. Thankfully they were very forgiving because I was oh so tired from the time change. They went easy on me and just oohed and awed over the designs that I had displayed. They just launched the Trios and were very excited about all of the possibilities. Color, color....and more color.
They offer a wide range of classes and even private one-on-one classes.

Working for a company that has worldwide brand recognition in the beading industry is pretty neat. I count my lucky stars each and every day!

Oh wow, and after looking over the website a little more, I found this really neat example of steel tone Soft Flex vs. bright silver Extreme

beadFX.com


What a great representation of the difference a color or a metallic finish can make in a design! Kudos to them! If live in or are visiting the Toronto area, I suggest you check out beadFX.

Free Art


Soft Flex Company is blessed with the most amazing and talented graphic designers. Kristen Fagan our web graphic designer has most recently added a new feature on our website that I think is really neat. She added section in our School of Design with free art that you can download and print. She hopes to add to this monthly. There is a desktop/wallpaper, bookmarks, gift tags and design recipe cards. SO CUTE!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Simple & Elegant!

Design by Jo-ann from Weston, Canada
Blog: My Book and Bead Challenges

She used Soft Touch for flexibility and added a seed bead between each larger pearl to give the appearance of knotting without all of the work. This simple design can be warn in a variety of ways. I enjoyed it and thought I'd share with you.

Repost - BEADING CONTEST!


Giveaway prize includes:
3 FREE Trios of your choice!
That's right ANY 3 Trios. You choose the colors!
Total retail value = $50.85-$71.85

Here's what you gotta do:

Help us get the word out about our new contest.

To enter to win, please blog about our new "Flex your Creativity" Beading Contest.

For your convenience - Right click, Save & Post picture:

FIND OUT MORE HERE!
(link to: http://www.softflexcompany.com/BeadingContest.html)

Feel free to expand and say more if you like. The only big rule is that it must link to the details page on our website for your fellow designers to find out more.

In addition, if you use the fancy artwork that Kristen created in your sidebar, I will enter you again. 2 entries!

Grab the html code for the button artwork and display it on your blog at the bottom of the contest page. Then, leave me a comment with a link to your blog! I will enter you to win 3 FREE Trios in your choice of color combination! If you blog about it more than once, let me know. I'll enter you as many times as you mention and link to the details page.

All entries (comments) for this giveaway must be posted by July 1st, 2009.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rings & Things Bead Tour


I got to enjoy a treat today! I got to stop by the Rings & Things Trunk Show in Mesa, Az! If you are rock hound with a wholesale license and looking for good deals, this is the place to be. It was amazing, tables and tables of gemstone beads! There was far more than I had anticipated.

Of course, they had Soft Flex, Soft Touch & the Trios displayed. It is always fun to see our products in action!

To see when Rings & Things will be in your neck of the woods, check out their show schedule.

Here's more information....

Bead Tour

  • Catch R&T at one of almost 100 exclusive Rings & Things shows in the continental U.S. per year! They are the only vendor at these shows. Bring your R&T invitation, or a copy of your resale/business ID for admission – these shows are wholesale only.

  • The R&T bead show FAQ answers your questions and pictures examples of beads available exclusively at our shows.

BeadTour shows are Rings & Things-only shows. Their road crew pulls into town, fills a large hotel banquet room with thousands of specially priced bead strands, and invites you in.

Soft Touch Beading Wire

I received a copy of a nice customer testimonial today.
"I love your product and hand knot all my designs. Soft touch is the only product which will let me knot with ease and not kill my hands." --Quincie Hamby

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bead Museum SOS Event


Not too pretty - but they are all mine. These are the first glass beads that I made with my very own hands and I consider them treasures.

To see some historic bead treasures, you have to see the Bead Museum in Glendale. If you live in AZ and want to help a good cause, check out the Bead Museum's no frills SOS event next week!

For SOS at The Bead Museum
5750 W. Glenn Dr, Glendale, AZ 85301
May 28, 2009 5:30-7:30 PM
$50 Per Person

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Phoenix Farmer's Market

Now why on Earth don't I go to the Phoenix Farmer's Market every week? I really don't know. It is close by. It has the best stuff. Everyone is friendly and helpful. I need to make this a habit. This morning when we were lounging around, I decided that it was a great opportunity to get down to the market with my Mom and have a look around. We left with all the fixings for a really nice pasta dinner for tonight - handmade pasta and sauce, fresh garlic & oregano as well as some really tasty bread. Mmmmmm....We ran into craft superstar Crafty Chica. That was really a treat. Have you seen her new book: Crafty Chica's Guide to Artful Sewing. I have it in my queue for a book review this summer. WHAT A FAB BOOK!? Check it out!



This afternoon we are going to go see the new "Star Trek" movie and then cook up our great finds from the market before I have to say good bye and drop my Mom off at my uncle's house. She flies out early tomorrow morning (with my Grandma). So, she's spending the night with him so that he can drop them by the airport in the morning and let me sleep in!

It's been a wonderful weekend so far and I look forward to another relaxing day tomorrow for my birthday with Joshua. A big thank you to all of my friends and family that have wished me a happy birthday. I'm really lucky to have so many wonderful and loving people in my life.

Phoenix Art Museum

After we spent a few hours at the Sprint/Nextel store sorting out my phone issues, I decided to take my Mom (who is visiting from Montana) down to the Phoenix Art Museum. We were just in time for a tour of the modern/contemporary wing of the museum. That was a huge treat. It is so nice to have a little explanation to go along with modern art. With a painting, it is usually a little bit more clear what an artist was thinking or feeling. With modern art, it can be a little bit more complex to understand. Here's a few of my favorite things (sorry the pics are little fuzzy):

Louise Nevelson
"Royal Tide V" 1960

My Mom

Cornelia Parker
"Mass (Colder Dark Matter)" 1997

Philip C. Curtis
"Gift Bearers" 1971

Odilon Redon
"Vase of Flowers" 1905-10

Ernest L. Blumenschein
"Moon, Morning Star & Evening Star" reworked 1931

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Sparkly Bridesmaids' Necklaces

Jennifer Worick contributed a nice idea for bridesmaids' jewelry on Craft Stylish. I tend to agree with her that simple is better for bridesmaids. They won't take away from the gorgeous bride and if the bride decides to make the jewelry as a gift for the bridesmaids, she won't get bogged down in some long, drawn out and difficult beading pattern. This is just quick and easy.

Take a look!

If you haven't checked out Jennifer Worick's humorous blog: "Things I want to punch in the face" - DO! I read it every day. She's hysterical.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Toronto

There are no better host and hostesses than the folks at John Bead. They truly are so hospitable and I can never thank them enough for taking such good care of me when I visit! We've aligned with distributors that are on our same wave length. They have family owned and operated distributorships. In North America, with John Bead, Foreign Source and Eurotool - we just absolutely cannot go wrong.

I was happy to meet the Editor of Canadian Beading, Alison Savage. I was even more delighted to see that the cover project for the latest issue (#6) uses our Serenity Trio. Wowza!

I got to meet and spend time with Pam from Tierra Cast as well as Doug from Unicorn Beads. They were both a treat for chit chat. I got to learn a lot about their product lines as they each introduced John Bead as their Canadian distributor. Here's Pam helping some customers with Make-it-Take-its. She was so sweet, all of the staff at Tierra Cast that I've had the fortune to meet seem sweet. What a neat company, full of neat people!

Designer Adela Kodonova from the Czech Republic was on hand to showcase the Jablonex beads. She was the designer for Runway 2008 at John Bead and is always full of smiles. She was excited to try our Trios in a few designs. I'm sure that she will make something fabulous!

Last night, we were treated to dinner at Wayne Gretzky's restaurant and tickets to a comedy show at The Second City in downtown Toronto. SEE - those John Bead'ers are REALLY great hosts and hostesses! It was so nice to laugh and I laughed hard. Although, I did not understand some of the Canadian jokes. But, there was a pretty funny impersonation of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton. All in all, it was a long day and I was really exhausted last night but it was a happy exhausted.

Today, after I finished demo-ing and packed up I decided to drive back downtown and check out the CN Tower. It was really windy today and the clouds were moving around the city at the speed of lightening.

Isn't it just amazing?

Lake Ontario from the Observation deck.

Downtown Toronto from the bar/cafe. I stopped in and had a really yummy bowl of wild mushroom french onion soup and a beer. Mmmm! This was the point that I really missed sharing with my special somone. I wanted to bob my head or blink my eyes like "I dream of genie" and have Josh appear in the chair across from me. It was such a lovely view, I wanted to share it with him.

Then I headed up to the Sky Pod. Now this was COOL. It is supposed to be the world's highest observation deck. With all of the wind blowing, I could feel the building moving. I've never felt a building move underneath me. I tried not to think about it too much and just focus on the view.

The all glass sky pod offered a really neat 360 view of the city!


And then on my way out, I checked out the glass floor on the Observation deck. It was so strange to stand and look down. I'm not in the least bit afraid of heights (I jumped out of a plane for crying out loud). However, when I stepped out on the glass floor, I was shocked to find my heart skip a beat.

All in all, it was a succesful and fun trip to Toronto. Did I get much sleep? No. Did I get to spread the word about our wonderful products? Yes. Did I get to see some eyes light up at the sight of Trios and our new Extreme? YES. Did I have a good time? Yes. I call that successful!
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