Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Art Bliss 2012

Last weekend I attended ArtBliss for the first time. I remember reading about Lori Anderson's experience there last year and thought it sounded like the perfect creative weekend that would inspire me. That and I only live six miles from the venue; how could I not go!

My artistic journey began with the Meet & Greet/Author Signing Friday night. Not only did I get my books signed by the talented authors, but I got to mingle with a great group of women! It gave me a chance to meet some of the fabulous people that I interact with through blogs and Facebook. I also discovered that a few of these lovely ladies live close by. Creative play date anyone?

The lovely Erin Seigel signed her book "Bohemian Inspired Jewelry" and 
sold her kits and tutorials for her macrame bracelets and knotted earrings.

In between mingling, I couldn't resist the gorgeous bright colored lampwork
 beads that Kerry Bogert was selling.  She too was signing copies of her new 
book "Rustic Wrappings" as well as "Totally Twisted".

Saturday evening, I stopped at the Bead Destash organized by Lori Anderson. Lori contributes to the bead community in so many wonderful ways and this was just another one of her brilliant ideas! Thank you Lori!

 Erin Seigel checking out some of the beads.

My bead destash loot! 
If any of the artisans recognize their beads, please let me know as I like to credit artists in my design description.

The amazing Lori Anderson packing up the remaining beads. 
I love her pink hair!

Saturday evening was my class Heavy Metal Beads with Stacie Florer. What an incredible class and instructor! Stacie helped me overcome my fear of micro torches. I purchased a soldering kit a year ago and haven't used it since, due to my fear of butane and the tiny flame! Well, that fear didn't last long as I was soldering two days later at home! Woot for me!

 Stacie demonstrating a metal forming technique.

These are the beads that I made in class!

After Stacie's class, I headed to a trunk show held by Jenny Davies-Reazor and Carol Dee Meyers. 
I arrived with 15 minutes left and by that point few beads remained, little wine was left and much fun was had!

 Jenny and her gorgeous ceramic beauties!

Girls just wanna have fun...and they do! 
Some of Carol's stunning enamel beads in the foreground. I missed out on the 
tornado beads that I love...maybe next time!

As it was getting late and I needed to get up in six hours for my Sunday morning class, I bid everyone farewell. At least for the time being!

Sunday morning, bright and early, was my all-day class Color Your World with Christine Damm. I have been wanting to work with polymer clay for the past two years. I have already bought everything I need, just needed that creative nudge to get the spark lit. That spark has turned into quite the flame, thanks to Christine's class!

Christine demonstrates how to paint polymer clay with heat set oil paints.

Look what I made...

My homework: finish coloring the pendants that I made. Not a bad assignment at all!

This class was so much fun, not just because Christine was an awesome instructor but I was surrounded by a great group of students who inspired and encouraged one another.

 Carol Dee Meyers uses some antique buttons to create an impression in a mold she formed.

Cindy Wimmer, Kerry Bogert, Heather O'Brien and Carol Dee Meyers work on coloring their world!

Are we not the most awesome polymer clay class ever!

A heartfelt thank you to Jeanette Blix and Cindy Wimmer for organizing and hosting this fantastic event!
I learned some amazing artistic techniques, met some wonderful people and left with new friendships!  
A fabulous weekend-can't wait for next year!


  1. Looks like fun! I've been told that you can use my patinas on polymer clay but I've not seen the results...if you have something to try them on, I'd love to hear how it works out.


    1. Lisa, that reminds me to try the awesome patina's I bought from you at BeadFest! We did have a great time!

  2. Kathleen, thanks so much for sharing this. Now I want even more to attend!

  3. What a great time! Isn't it SO fun to learn a new technique and meet your online friends? So bummed I missed this year! Your copper and polymer clay components are fabulous!!

  4. Oh wow, thanks for taking me there! What a wonderful post! It looks like you had great results from both classes and a very full time of friends and eyecandy. Doing my best not to be too jealous

  5. Your creations are fantastic! What great fun to share your passion, learn new things, and be surrounded by others that love the art as you do. Lucky you!
    Thanks for sharing!

  6. Kathleen, these are really awesome photos of the class! You made me look so good-- thank you, thank you-- I usually hate my photo! So glad you enjoyed the class and your work makes me feel very proud-- it's wonderful! If I hadn't been there, I would have a great sense of the event from your excellent shots.

  7. Your Heavy Metal Beads are fabulous! And your polymer clay beads are gorgeous, too! I had the best weekend, too, and your post was spot on! BTW: the two circle lampwork beads in the far left if your Bead Destash photo are made by Unicorne Beads!

  8. Kathleen, this blog was fabulous. And I was wondering if it was time I came down from the mountain. Nope, not yet! Thanks for all the great photos and memories! Hope to see you again, soon!!!

  9. Great job, Kathleen! I can't get enough of the weekend! Great photos!

  10. Love your pics of the classes, and people, and beads, and fun!!!!
    What a great time, and I so love your pc creations.

  11. Looks like you had a fab time! Love what you did in Christine's class! Love that first fern piece, it's so Lovely!

  12. I have lived in NoVA twice, and wasn't a big fan of the area. I only heard about this Art Bliss conference as we were packing out this summer to move south to Chesapeake. It was one of the few times I said 'Oh man I wish we were gonna be here'.
    So glad you had fun and thanks for sharing your pics. I'm now a follower too. :-)

  13. I love, love, your metal beads. Just got my first torch yesterday and now I'm super excited (at least more excited than scared) to put it to use!! Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. Kathleen,
    I miss you already!!! It was so great to see you again and your heavy metal beads are beautiful!! I am kicking myself for not staying for Sunday's polymer clay class! Your components are great the colors are fantastic!!

  15. Lovely post Kathleen! It was fun meeting you and working across from you in Heavy Metal Beads...your beads are gorgeous!

  16. Oh, Kathleen, ArtBLISS was such a good time! I can not wait for next year's event! I so enjoyed looking at all your photos and reminiscing about it all. You did a fab job in all your classes. Your beads and polymer pieces are all beautiful. You are such a natural at any jewelry technique you try! So looking forward to running into you again soon, maybe the Bead Cruise, eh?!?! Come on, you know you'd love it! We'll have such a good time and we will get to hang out for an entire week on a huge cruise ship...Did I mention there will be beads there??? :)