On the Set of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels!

I got to check one very exciting thing off my bucket list earlier this year: I was a guest on the PBS series Beads, Baubles, and Jewels! Never in my wildest dreams would I ever have imagined that I would get to appear on this long-running jewelry show, and the experience was one that I will remember forever.

I know, I'm a writer, so I should be able to put into words how it felt to walk on to that set, see the familiar backdrops, and finally get to meet Katie Hacker in person — but I can only describe the entire experience as awesome.

When I arrived with my roommate and fellow presenter Barb Switzer, we were greeted by Kellie DeFries, also known as the Crystal Ninja, and Patty Bullard, the inventor of Wubbers jewelry-making pliers. In a little while, Erin Siegel, the author of Bohemian-Inspired Jewelry stopped by to set up prior to her scheduled taping the following day. It was like a Who's Who of the jewelry-making world gathering!

The prep room was where we got our projects set up. Because we only had about an hour scheduled to do the taping of each segment, preparation was key. In reality, we had all spent a few days prior to arriving at the studios prepping and stepping out our projects so that the taping would go smoothly. You'd be amazed if you saw how much work went into prepping each fifteen-minute segment on the show, from the presenters like ourselves to the production team who shoot and edit the videos.

Sitting in the prep room, you could watch the other guests as they taped their segments via a closed-circuit television. It was fun to watch my fellow bead and jewelry artists present such a wide range of techniques, including lots of mixed media jewelry. After each segment, I was inspired to find a way to incorporate these techniques into my bead-weaving projects — a new challenge, for sure!

Finally, after lunch, it was my turn to be on camera! I don't mind admitting that I was more than a little nervous. The last time I was on television was back in high school, when I took classes like broadcast journalism and film making, and even then, I was always way more comfortable on the other side of the camera doing the actual taping and editing. But Katie and the producers told me everything I needed to know, walked me through each step, and made the whole experience easier than I could have imagined. And it was fun!

I got to present two of my favorite techniques for bead embroidery: how to make a bead embroidered gumdrop mandala using those Czech glass gumdrop beads that I'm so fond of, and how to use wood block stamps and inexpensive acrylic paint to jumpstart your bead embroidery using mixed media techniques. Katie and I talked about our favorite beading thread, our favorite tips for bead embroidery and bead-weaving, and shared a lot of ideas for design inspiration. If you had told me ten years ago that I would one day get to share what I know about beading and jewelry making on a television program like Beads, Baubles, and Jewels, I would have laughed, but there I was, and having great fun doing it!

Want to learn for yourself how to do these and other great mixed media jewelry techniques? Pre-order your copy of Beads, Baubles, and Jewels TV Series 1900 and get instruction from me, Jill Wiseman, Jean Campbell, Kate Richbourg, Erin Siegel, and more of your favorite jewelry artists! You'll learn how to use materials like leather, metals, wire, and of course, seed beads, in all of your favorite mixed media jewelry making projects. You'll learn how to bezel, stitch, glue, solder, and wrap your way to truly fantastic jewelry using all your favorite beading techniques, and maybe learn a few new favorites along the way.

Bead Happy,


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