My work

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

BABE Comes to Town

Boy have I been busy for the last six days. BABE was here!

What is BABE, you ask?  Why it’s the largest bead show on the west coast, with over 150 artists and exhibitors showing handcrafted, vintage, ethnic or carefully selected beads, gems, stones, findings, jewelry making tools and completed jewelry.
All that combined with beading classes and jewelry-making workshops. BABE has stringing, bead embroidery, wirework, metalsmithing, torch enameling, metal clay, polymer clay, glass and more.

Why do I like the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza? Because it’s held at the Oakland Marriott Convention Center which is less than a hour drive from Petaluma. I also get to see my many
friends and take new classes. It’s once a year and a little like a reunion for me.

Last Thursday Judy and I took a Metal Clay class from Christi Anderson.  I will post photos when we finish the project.

Our friend, Catherine Witherell, was assisting.

Catherine is in our Metal Clay Group and we get to see her at lots of events.

Christi had two pieces chosen for Saul Bell finals this year. She won 1st place for her Fairy Queen Castle; Queen of Keys. She has been the recipient of many awards as well as being featured in several magazines.

Anat, always there to help
 On Sunday, I took another wonderful class from Joe Silvera called Fused Sterling Rings.

Who knew you could fuse sterling but I am here to tell you that you can.

The whole idea is to use your sterling scraps. We started out with pristine sterling, textured it, cut it up and put it back together. It was sort of like making a quilt. You take beautiful material, cut it up and make something else beautiful.


I still have to polish, tumble and maybe patina the ring but I am very proud of it. Pretty soon I am going to run out of fingers. Then I will have to make a ring wearing schedule and everything. Oh drat!

As I said, it was old home week for me. The first friend I ran into was Steven James.

Steven is a full-time elementary school teacher, who has made appearances on the DIY and HGTV network and teaches classes in creating at lots of Bead Shows including Bead and Button and BABE. He lives by the mantra - “what are you gonna make today”. He has endless energy and enthusiasm and is a joy to know.

Steven was the first one to teach me that you could enamel with a small torch and I have been stalking , I mean following him, ever since. To learn more about Steven go to his web site:

I will save the rest of the story about my time at BABE for tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day. I will see you soon.

Julie Panusis


  1. Can't wait to see what you made in Christi Anderson's class! Isn't it great to be able to fuse sterling? Joe is such a great teacher! Wish I was taking those classes with you!

    1. I wish you could hop an airplane and be with me. I miss you.

  2. "Ring wearing schedule"! Ha ha, I love that :) That gives me an excuse to make more, too! I love that you got to hang out with Janice B. She taught up here in Alaska, and I thoroughly enjoyed my classes with her.

  3. Yes, Janice is a hoot! I love taking classes from fun and talented people.

    My mother used to recite the poem: "Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes. She makes music wherever she goes." I love rings. They are just fun.