Beads of Whimsy


Image from the Minnesota Textile Center

The Beads of Whimsy Show is a national show, juried by Stephanie Eddie, and held at the Minnesota Textile Center from March 7th through April 12th. There are whimsical beaded pieces from across the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.

Carol and I went to this show today, and the image from the website and on the postcard (above) is of Laura Leonard’s Motorcycle Mama, image courtesy of the artist. I love her work, always have. She has a great sense of humor, and I see her work at local shows (including American Craft Council shows) probably once/year. This piece won first in non-wearable.

(I took the pictures below — I took others, and would have liked to share more, but the rest were unclear.)


This is the best in show piece, Beadgami by Jennifer Hastings. It’s a great structural piece of herringbone and peyote.


Ann Gilbert had a whole collection of fish, called Mobile Fish. This is one of my favorite fish.


Another collection of whimsical pieces was a collection of birdhouses, done by Diane Fitzgerald. This was second in non-wearables.


Second in the non-wearable flat category was Split Rail Analogy by Frances Holliday Alford. Carol and I stood there and identified things that were incorporated. It’s like Where’s Waldo!


This is Shell Game, a purse by Kelly Dorman, second in wearable, non-jewelry (I think I have these categories right). This is jasper, and she used trapunto for some of this; don’t see that much.


This picture’s not as good (window, etc), but I wanted to post this regardless. This is by Valerie Kuzma, and we loved these colors. That’s Peruvian opal in there, among other things. The title is Jump in, the water is fine, and this first in the wearable category – jewelry.


The colors and structure of this piece were really phenomenal. This is Festival by Karyl Lynch.


Sharon Wright’s Red glove and booted naked lady has great texture. It looks like the beads were colored somehow after embroidering, and then some wiped off the surface?


Look at this! This is Tatiana’s Crown by Brenda Brousseau, first in wearable, non-jewelry. Excellent construction, just gorgeous.


Another great headpiece. I wonder how this looks on? Sorry, lost the name on this one….  (eta, this is Fauna and Flora by Maggie Hamel McCloud, 3rd in wearable jewelry)

And finally, were Carol and I the jury, this is the piece we would have picked. This is Pirate Poem by Terri Allen. The sign by it said we could touch it and turn the pages. It’s an original poem, lavishly illustrated, and bound into a book. The artist will take the book to schools and such and show students. Enjoy!





Edited 6/7/08 — The Upper Midwest Bead Society has included pictures of the winners on their webpage.

12 Replies to “Beads of Whimsy”

  1. I love everything! What a treat for the eyes! My favs are the fish and Carnival and Motorcycle Momma got a chuckle. Thanks! Victoria

  2. I love Laura Leonard’s work. Going from memory, titles of previous works: Goddess of Love and Laundry, the Mother-in-Law cometh, Beadzilla. She has one of just a head — called Heads will roll. LOL!

    There were maybe 10 fish in the mobile, you would have loved the whole thing….

    There was a necklace made to look like a single peacock feather, it looked like it wrapped around the neck — it was amazing, and my photo was amazingly blurry.

  3. Thank you for sharing those photos with us. I cannot decide what I like the most because each one is my favorite. O.K. I think it has to be”Jump in,the water is fine…”

  4. I wish I could have gotten a better picture of that — between being by the window and in a plexiglass case, it was not good. I really enjoyed that piece too, and it looks really wearable.

Leave a Reply