Join Bead Weaving Star Diane Dennis at Bead Fest

At Bead Fest you can meet a lot of beading celebrities. Diane Dennis is one of them! Diane has been working with Beadwork and teaching at Bead Fest for as long as I can remember and it’s always a pleasure to visit with her at her booth, drool over her new designs, and in general, catch up. But seriously—she is a rock star in the beading world and she’s right here at Bead Fest, sharing her knowledge, new patterns, and tips and tricks!

ABOVE: Luna Cab Earring design by Diane Dennis.

Diane humbly continues to innovate and develop pretty patterns, and shares them in a way that is so easy to follow. One of my favorites is her Brilliant Buckle Bracelet—it is timeless!

Brilliant Buckle Bracelet by Diane Dennis, Beadwork magazine, Feb/Mar 2011

Brilliant Buckle Bracelet by Diane Dennis, Beadwork, Feb/Mar 2011

Diane was kind enough to make time to answer questions so you can get to know more about her before stepping into one of her classes or visiting at her booth. Thank you, Diane!

Take it away . . .

Tammy Honaman: How long have you been beading and when did you know it was time to start your teaching business? What was the catalyst that helped you know it was the right next step?

Diane Dennis: I have been beading about 22 years and selling my beadwork at fine art shows. I was close to another booth selling beadwork and the gals invited me to join the local bead society. One of these lovely people told me I needed to start teaching and to submit some pieces for publication. This wonderful gal not only helped me to get started teaching at my local bead shop, she helped me to choose what to submit. I have been teaching locally for over 20 years and nationally for about 15 years.

TH: How do you fit beading into your everyday life? Is it your main focus and full time job? Or do you have another job and you turn to your passion at the end of the day or on weekends?

DD: I have always had some sort of ‘needle’ associated hobby since childhood. I try to bead about five days/evenings a week. I usually work on the writing of instructions and kitting in the afternoons. My husband has a contracting business and I am the ‘office manager.’ In the last few years I have found myself spending about 3/4 of my workweek on my business.

Bezeled Earrings by Diane Dennis

Bezeled Earrings by Diane Dennis

TH: Where do you bead and operate your business? Do you have a studio, or a separate area in your dining room or other room in your house?

DD: I generally bead in the family room off of a small table as my studio is in a totally separate space. This way, I’m in the same room as my husband. I ‘listen’ to TV, and do spend some time asking “what did I miss!” I use my studio for storage of beads and all related stuff, kitting out patterns, and kit storage.

TH: What type of storage do you like to use for your beading tools and supplies? Any tips you can share on this topic? Do you sort by color? Bead size? Bead shape or by brand?

DD: After spilling a factory pack of 2mm crystal AB rounds and then a 500-gram bag of beads all over the kitting table and floor, I had to change my bead storage ways. I now store them in glass jars. Small jars for the crystals and large jars for the beads I use the most. They are all sorted by size and then brands in roll out drawers.

TH: What inspires your beading designs and propels you into new directions? Nature? Architecture? Life?

DD: Often times something just pops in my brain and I go with it. And many times I am inspired by antique jewelry. There have been times I have been inspired by a focal component. So no one single way for me!

TH: Do you bead on the road? If so, what is your best tip?

DD: I will bead in the hotel room when I travel by myself. Beading in the car doesn’t work well for me.

Luna Cab Earrings by Diane Dennis

Luna Cab Earrings by Diane Dennis

TH: What would you like to share about yourself that others wouldn’t know about you? What else do you enjoy doing?

DD: I re-found knitting a few years back. I always keep it simple so I finish the project. I always have something I travel with. I’m also getting back into sewing. I have really missed this craft. I took a clothing and quilting class last winter and I had so much fun. It has inspired me to pull out my sewing machine and serger again.

My husband and I are greatly enjoying our 2-year-old grandson, Xander. I have forgotten how much fun a little one is. I take care of him often. And I have NO problems playing hooky from work to enjoy his company. We read lots of books and play with lots of cars. Xander is such a joy!

TH: Do you have any pets? How do they interact with you while you’re beading?

DD: We currently do not have any pets. My son’s dog Roo visits some. She once ate a Mak Raku spike that I needed for a project. And she for a season loved to pop open tubes of beads in her dog bed. Needless to say, this doggy grandma wasn’t happy!

Thank you, Diane. We look forward to continuing the conversation in person during Bead Fest!

If you haven’t signed up for one of Diane’s workshops, be sure to check all of her designs, as they are magical. Can’t make it to a class? Stop by her booth for a look at Diane’s work in person and to see all her available kits.

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