Beads, Baubles, and Jewels TV: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes at Beads, Baubles & Jewels
Marlene Blessing and Leslie Rogalski 

A few weeks ago, we taped thirteen segments for the 2009 spring season of the PBS-TV show Beads, Baubles & Jewels, which airs in June. Our theme this time was “Taking your jewelry-making to the next level,” and all our final projects and step-outs were completed immediately following the December holiday celebrations (that alone is taking things to the next level!). Shutterbug Leslie took lots of photos while we filmed to give you a little taste of what it’s like behind the scenes.


Leslie demos all the seed bead techniques and projects. After three seasons of filming in the Cleveland studio, she really has things down. Each step is created with a threaded needle still attached and taped to an index card with her notes.

  We have to prep ourselves, too. A good manicure is a necessity for our close-ups. And Karen, the makeup artist, greets us at 7:30 a.m. to make us look our best!

Here’s Marlene in the “green room,” where we lay out all the materials, tools, steps, and samples for each presentation.

When it’s all ready, we move everything to the set and get “miked-up” along with our lovely host, Katina Forte, an experienced shopping network fashionista. Katina changes her colorful wardrobe for each segment of the season—we both try to keep up with some outfit changes of our own, plus jewelry, of course.

  When Leslie is on air, Marlene can relax in the green room and watch her segment as it’s taped. Here Leslie demos her fun “Poodle Beads” from the upcoming March/April 2009 issue of Step by Step Beads.
For each segment we tape, we get expert coaching from our producer, Kathie Stull. She talks us through our presentations, often reorganizing things so they make more sense to our viewers! (“Marlene, don’t forget to point at instead of pick up your samples.”) She also describes the sequencing and where to aim the cameras for the director and camera people. The lights are bright, and there are two cameras in front of us and a large one on a boom for an over-the-shoulder point of view. The entire crew is patient, professional, and fun!
When we finish a segment, our demo tray looks like this! At the end of the day, so do we.

We love sharing our passion for beading with our viewers. Each season that we do this, we both learn so much from the crew, each other, and all the great guest artists. Yep, we love our work.  We hope you love it, too.  Buy a copy of the Beads Baubles and Jewels DVD of our first season (series 800) and look for new episodes on your local public TV station. 

Marlene Blessing is the editorial director of Beadwork magazine and co-author of Create Jewelry: PearlsCreate Jewelry: Crystals, Create Jewelry: Stones, and Create Jewelry: Glass.  She is also a presenter on the PBS-TV series Beads, Baubles & Jewels. 

Leslie Rogalski has a degree in illustration and design, and she sold wearable art and handwoven beaded art at the American Craft Council Shows and Buyers Market before joining Interweave in 2005.  In addition to being editor in chief of Step by Step Beads, she often teaches at Bead Fest and is a presenter on the PBS-TV series Beads, Baubles, and Jewels

If you have comments or questions for Marlene or Leslie, please post them on the website.

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