The Great Bead Extravaganza Fall Fest 2021 was an outstanding success! We hope you were able to join the amazing live jewelry making demonstrations. We hope you found a big sale and won a giveaway! The Great Bead Extravaganza is the world's biggest virtual bead show. This online beading event is a collection of jewelry designers and friends. We gathered together at the peak of pandemic quarantine and offered a unique online bead show. We wanted to create a community and social event that anybody could attend. This edition of the big show, Fall Fest 2021, was full of fun surprises and exciting adventures. If you missed the big show or just want to relive the fun, check out this blog!
Today, we will look at the exhibitors and designers that made the Great Bead Extravaganza so special. We have their presentations. We will give you their links. And we will check out some of the supplies they offer on their sites and stores. Get an intimate look at your favorite makers and crafters. Support small businesses. When you buy from the little guys, you are buying from artisans and crafters that are passionate about what they do and what they create! Big box department stores might have a huge selection, but they are staffed with people that are selling products, not people that adore what they do.
Fall Fest 2021 was an expanded edition of the Great Bead Extravaganza. In the weeks leading up to the show, each of the exhibitors had their own spotlight day on the official Facebook group. 'Takeovers' were scheduled where each exhibitor ran the group for a day. They shared their latest jewelry making demos. They paired their takeover with an exciting sale. Some had giveaways. And everybody had a lot of fun. Takeovers offered a chance to really visit with each vendor and get a look at their store and the fun artisan attitude that made them pursue a career in the jewelry industry. Finally, the week before the big bead show, we held a Great Bead Trade. Each participating vendor swapped goodies and we all made jewelry. If you missed any of the Great Bead Extravaganza, this is your chance to catch up!
The Great Bead Extravaganza
The world's biggest online bead show is back. The Great Bead Extravaganza was bigger and better than ever! We hope you were able to share the joy with our community. The wonderful designers and artists that take part in each of these amazing shows have decades of experience of selling at bead shows across the world. We have truly managed to recreate the high energy and buzz of the biggest bead shows in real life. If you have never walked the halls of a busy bead show, this is your chance to do it from home! Save money on hotel and travel and spend it on what you really want - BEADS!
If you missed any of the live shows. This is your chance to catch up. We have every moment of the show within a quick link. Simply join the Facebook group and enjoy the fun.
Make sure you save the date for the next show! Live viewers have lots of chances to win big giveaways. Live viewers can interact with creators and they are doing their jewelry demos. It is definitely worth the effort of being present. And not only that, the entire event is free!
If you missed the Great Bead Trade, the week before the show, click this link and you can read about all of the fun bead swaps and finished designs - Great Bead Trade
Note about videos: If you have any difficulty following a video link from this page, it is likely due to the new layout of Facebook. If you cannot view a video from this page, visit the Facebook group - The Great Bead Extravaganza - and watch the presentations there. You can find the videos in the topics on the bar at the top of the page. Select Presentations and you can find the shows that were live during the big bead show.
November 12th Project Preview Party
Preview night! Everybody was on hand and ready for the big bead show. Get a look at what was upcoming and what everybody was excited about. A lot of buzz in the air. It felt like the eve before a big holiday. Want to meet everybody and see what you are in store for? Check out this behind the scenes look. Before the show starts, everybody is ready for big fun and new experiences.
Trouble seeing video? Try watching on the exhibitors Facebook page or visit the Facebook group - The Great Bead Extravaganza - and watch the presentations there. You can find the videos in the topics on the bar at the top of the page. Select Presentations and you can find the shows that were live during the big bead show.
November 13th (Day One)
Allegory Gallery, Andrew Thornton & William Jones - AllegoryGallery.com
Products: beads, gemstones, Czech glass, pearls, original artworks & prints, laser-cut wooden pendants, luxury bead blends & inspiration kits, charms
From Allegory Gallery's site:
Join our Allegory Gallery Design Challenges Group here on Facebook! Want to join our Inspired by Reading Book Club? Hit the link to join the group! We've paused the club for COVID, but if you're in, you'll be ready when we start back up! Like Podcasts? Join our Allegory Gallery Interviews Podcast Page! We also paused this during COVID, but we'll be starting back up soon! See all of our latest projects on our website at www.allegorygallery.com!
Candie Cooper, Candie Cooper - CandieCooper.com
Products: instruction, beads, charms & findings, African fabrics & beads
From Candie Cooper's site:
Hi, I’m Candie. I design jewelry and crafts, author books, teach classes and host television programs. I thrive on simple ideas that anyone can achieve. I also love projects made from unexpected materials that stand the test of time. Join me as I lead a creative life – check out my portfolio or blog.
Kate Richbourg Jewelry, Kate Richbourg - katerichbourgjewelry.com
Products: beads & gemstones, metal components (blanks, sheets, & rivets), tools, findings, buttons, online classes and more
From Kate Richbourg 's site:
Simply put, Kate Richbourg loves jewelry. She loves to teach it. She loves to make it. She loves to wear it. Teaching and designing jewelry since 1992, she teaches at national shows, bead societies, bead shops and in her studio in Redwood City, CA. She is published in a variety of jewelry magazines and is the author of the popular blog “We Can Make That at Home." She has also appeared on several episodes of the DIY and HGTV network shows “DIY Jewelry” and “Craft Lab.” Kate is the author of two bestselling books, Simple Soldering: A Beginner’s Guide to Jewelry Making and Metalsmithing Made Easy. Wanna make your own jewelry? Learn more about Kate's classes at her studio and nationally at www.katerichbourg.com
JillMacKay.com, Jill MacKay - JillMacKay.com
Products: Jill MacKay designed & manufactured jewelry-making components, findings, leather shapes, high quality beads, kits & instruction, inspiration
From Jill MacKay's site:
Jill MacKay is an accomplished designer, author and consultant. Her name is synonymous with innovation and inspiration. Jill MacKay designs product lines and licenses to national chain stores, manufacturers and television retailers. Jill is perhaps best known for having been the jewelry designer for the daytime drama The Guiding Light, and for her work on Paramount Studio’s Star Trek: The Next Generation. In addition, Jill is a celebrated Arts in Education (AIE) specialist and working artist having collaborated with many of our national art institutions and organizations on large-scale projects and residencies. MacKay also does Art in Public Places large scale, permanent sculpture installations.
Soft Flex Company, Sara Oehler & Kristen Fagan - SoftFlexCompany.com
Products: beading wire, craft wire, tools & supplies, crimps, beads, kits
From Soft Flex Company's site:
Defining Excellence Then and Now We lead our industry with simply the best products and services. We celebrate our innovative ideas and proudly inspire creativity with our passion to educate. We are dedicated to exceeding the expectations of our customers and are grateful for their continued loyalty.
From Sara Oehler:
Sara co-authored the book Show Your Colors, published by Kalmbach in January 2012 and Seed Bead Revolution, published August 2017. She has designed and written for numerous American publications including: BeadStyle, Bead&Button, Bead Trends, Stringing, Beadwork and Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry as well as international beading publications in the United Kingdom and Australia. Her designs have been featured on the cover of two magazines: 2011 September issue of BeadStyle and 2012 June issue of Bead&Button. Sara loves to connect through video. She has been a guest on Jewel School on JTV numerous times and most recently taped segments for Beads, Baubles and Jewels airing on the Public Broadcasting Station in Spring of 2019. Sara films videos for Soft Flex Company regularly. Her live videos can be found on their Facebook page. Most other jewelry-making videos can be found on their YouTube page.
From Kristen Fagan:
I create digitally, with beads, wire, pencil, paint and pastels on canvas, wood and paper. I want to see my art on fabric, stationary, home decor items and in collectors’ homes. When connected to creative source, time washes away, I find my truth, my peace and I’m free. I often paint nature because I feel loved and nurtured when I’m in the natural world. I am the oldest of three sisters who I wish I lived much closer to. I grew up on Long Island and spent my formative years exploring NYC as a “city girl”. I’m known to burst into fits of laughter and boogie my way to the center of a dance floor. I love anything created by my children. I volunteer as an art appreciation guide in my kids classrooms. I’ve traveled the United States to enjoy over 50 concerts by the band Phish. I met my husband, Bert, at a Phish concert in NYC in 1995 and again in Maine in 1997. I moved across the country to Arizona in 1998 with Bert and we have lived here ever since. Yoga has helped me to fully love and honor my body. With a large extended family, I grew up feeling loved by so many. It’s given me the courage to seek out love and happiness always. When I’m not creating, I’m spending time with my husband, our two kids and our dogs, Honey Bunny and Mary Bear.
SilverSilk, Nealay Patel - SilverSilkOnline.com
Product: SilverSilk unique knitted wire jewelry chain, custom findings, instruction/kits
From Nealay Patel's site:
Silversilk is a very versatile, super fun, fetchingly fresh, knitted jewelry revolution! Simply put, SilverSilk is a knitted wire jewelry chain. But, it’s like no other jewelry chain out in the craft market. SilverSilk is made by many tiny latch-hook needles that spin around with wire, intricately machine-stitching the wire into an elegant yet strong and supple knitted wire chain. This knitted wire stitchwork offers the crafter new and unusual ways to use it. You can string large-hole beads on it, sew through it, wire-wrap it, glue it, put it in resin or just leave it as a draped jewelry chain. And best of all, you can do it yourself with the easy-to-follow tutorials on my channel, where I cover all the different product lines. Lucky for you, all the tutorials are available for free so you can just browse through the different playlists on the SilverSilk & More YouTube channel to learn how to best use each type of knitted wire lines I carry. It's fairly simple, and great both for beginner jewelry designers as well as those looking to expand on their use of materials. Just pick a knitted wire chain, explore and get creating. You can also head on over to Amazon to get my books on jewelry making that spell out everything you need to embark on your jewelry-making spree.
Kellie’s Bead Boutique, Kellie Sutton - KelliesBeadBoutique.com
Products: beads: Czech glass, seed beads, wood, crystal, semi-precious, buttons, findings, charms & pendants, tools & supplies, kumihimo supplies, kits
From Kellie Sutton's site:
Kellie's Bead Boutique is a full service bead store that opened in December 2009. Owner Kellie Sutton created a successful line of jewelry, Kellie Sutton Jewelry, that was sold to over 80 stores across Canada and worn by women in the US, Japan, Australia, England and more! Kellie has been featured in many local and national newspapers, been seen on local TV and has had her designs shown in several issues of Bead Style magazine. Watch Global TV news to see her designs being worn by Deborah Hope, Kristi Gordon, and Wesla Wong. Opening a bead store seemed like a natural progression to Kellie with her love of beads and a yearly pilgrimage to Tucson in February helped fuel that passion. Kellie strives to carry the best quality beads, have a great selection and will hopefully have something that will inspire you to make your own unique jewelry!
November 14th (Day Two)
The Bead Place, Abbi Berta - BeadPlace.net
Products: yarns & fibers, beads & jewelry components, artisan components, TierraCast, kits & patterns
From Abbi's site:
Rhonda Berta and her daughter, Abbi were bitten by the bead bug years ago while vacationing with their family in West Palm Beach, FL. Abbi, (then 8 years old) noticed that a woman was wearing a very intricate and beautifully beaded necklace. This woman, pleased that her hand-beaded design was appreciated, was kind enough to take them to her favorite bead shop and the rest is history...
Humblebeads, Heather Powers - Humblebeads.com
Products: curated collection of Czech glass, metal pendants, charms and findings, artisan beads, beads, spacers & findings, metal pendants & charms, ‘Faux Tin’ copper components inspired by nature, instruction
From Heather Powers' bio:
My jewelry and beads have appeared in the pages of BeadStyle, Beadwork, Bead Trends, and Stringing Magazine. My work has also been displayed on HGTV and PBS’s “Beads, Baubles, and Jewels”. I'm the author of three books, Jewelry Inspired by Nature, Beautiful Elements and the Beadmaking Lab.
Whether through teaching, hosting events, writing, or making beads - it is my goal to give out as much inspiration as the world has gifted me! Nothing makes me happier than seeing someone’s creativity spark to life after using my beads, taking a class, or reading my book.
Green Girl Studios, Cynthia Thornton - GreenGirlStudios.com
Products: original artworks & prints, artisan-cast metal beads, pendants & charms, artisan articulated paper art
From Cynthia Thornton:
The Great Bead Extravaganza is a wonderful example of the creativity and generosity of the beading community. Sara and Andrew worked together to fill the void caused by canceled shows and retreats; gatherings that many of us find really inspiring - it’s a fantastic way to meet fellow makers and to learn new techniques. This event brought those things together in an accessible way, that was fun and easy!
Star’s Beads and Clasps, Kay Goss - StarsBeads.com
From Kay Goss:
It is so incredibly refreshing to see an amazing community come together to enjoy a common passion. I am grateful join industry leaders to push our passion into the next generation. The best things can come with change and although it may not be what we know, it is leading us to create a colorful path in the virtual world. This event is the most innovative of its time and I am proud to be a part of it! Continue to create. Thank you for all those that joined me! To pre order any of the kits please join our FB group at www.facebook.com/groups/starsbeadsspecialdestash.
TierraCast, Tracy Proctor - TierraCast.com
Products: Original metal beads and findings, unique supplies & jewelry making kits, collections & themed beading supplies, finished jewelry, leather & leather crafts, earring posts, ear wires, jump rings & more
Our talented and dedicated staff currently possesses over 350 years of company service, averaging 14.5 years for each employee! Long-term relationships with our vendor partners, contractors, and service providers also play a critical role in our success. Most importantly we acknowledge the tremendous relationship we have with our customers.
After 40 years, the company is embracing another new chapter. With a fresh cohort of design, technical and production talent on board, TierraCast is stretching in new directions. At our core we remain a passionate group of people who love making quality parts for you to use. We make every effort to ensure your experience with TierraCast is pleasant, professional and adds value to your endeavor.
The Bead Gallery, Jamie Yoshida - TheBeadGallery.com
Products: Hawaiian themed beads, artisan glass beads, gemstone beads, beads: wood, glass, crystal and more, kits & mixes, supplies, findings & tools, instruction
From Jamie Yoshida:
Aloha everyone! We are so excited to get a part of this exciting extravaganza and we wanted to send you a warm welcome from Hawai’i!
Since it’s our first time to meet many of you, I wanted to introduce the three of us- that you will meet on our The Bead Gallery YouTube channel and The Bead Gallery, Honolulu Facebook Lives! You can also catch me making late night jewelry on IG!
We thought we’d bring a bit of Hawaii to you, with ALOHA themed projects featuring pineapples, pikake, and techniques we’ve been teaching for the past 24 years.
Christi Friesen, Christi Friesen - ChristiFriesen.com
Products: Swellegant metal coatings/patinas/dyes, unique tools & supplies, found objects, curious collections & special things, originals artwork, beads, focals & brooches
From Christi Friesen's site:
Christi Friesen is an award-winning artist, who works in mixed media. Her work has been showcased in numerous books, magazines, and exhibits. She is the author of over a dozen how-to books on creating with polymer clay. She teaches throughout the world, using humor and positive energy to encourage students to stretch their creativity, technical skills, and artistic confidence. "It seems to me that one of the joys in life is to be interested. Interested in what you do, interested in what surrounds you, interested in what you experience. Creating interests me. And I find joy in creating things that are interesting to look at."
That's Not All! Check Out The Great Bead Trade!
If you missed The Great Bead Trade, catch up here! The Great Bead Trade was a 4 part series of videos, each containing a pair of designers, all making from the same kit. Follow the link below and see the creative finished designs the participants made!
The Great Bead Trade was a ton of fun! We wanted to share our love of jewelry making with our friends from the show. Everybody that had the opportunity to participate in the Great Bead Trade was sent a bag of beading supplies. Each bag had the same contents. We wanted to see what everybody made with the same materials. The results did not disappoint! Each design was as unique as the designers themselves. Sharing a fun social moment and being creative with friends is a great way to learn new tricks and get inspired to try different techniques.
The Great Bead Trade was an idea that was considered for previous Great Bead Extravaganza shows. But scheduling and life always seemed to redirect us. We were glad we could finally enjoy this trading event. There is nothing better than sharing a quiet beading moment with a buddy after a long and stressful day. We hope you have friends that you can bead with, if not, make sure you join us on Facebook and make a virtual buddy. The internet has really allowed us to connect with like minded people. We love being able to string a necklace with a friend that is a thousand miles away.
Join our Facebook group – VIB. Stay in the know. Stay up to date. From our bead shows to our video shows and sales, you can stay in touch with us. The community is full of artistic and helpful beaders and crafty people. Inspire and be inspired. Share your pictures and get the beading bug from others!
Visit the Soft Flex Company YouTube Channel!
Blog contributor Thomas Soles loves Jazz Age writers and crunchy french fries. His favorite gemstones are Lapis and Pietersite. His favorite hobby is day dreaming. And his favorite mustache is Freddie Mercury's. As you can see, he has a healthy (or possibly unhealthy) sense of humor. You can write to him at Thomas@SoftFlexCompany.com