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After months of preparation, a hectic day of travelling and setting up and 3 long days trading (plus the workshop I taught!) , the 2011 Melbourne Bead Expo is over.  The Expo was held at the Kingston Town Hall in Moorabbin over 3 days. Like last year we traded next to good friends and fellow traders, Kay from Kay’s Artycles and Jo from Cranberry Beads, however this year The Whimsical Bead had three tables rather than the two we had last year. This extra table served as a demonstration space so that we could show customers and potential students what the medium of polymer clay was all about. It was received well and most of the time drew a reasonably sized crowd.

On Friday the announcement of the Elly Feldman award took place. I was surprised but delighted when my piece, ‘Envy‘ took out second place. Congratulations to Alan Harris for taking out first place with his piece ‘Dark Bloom’ and to Christine Mole for her ‘Regatta’ bracelet. Both are amazing pieces of work.

Sunday morning I taught my workshop at the Expo, ‘A Tapestry of Colour’. This was essentially applying surface techniques to polymer clay to create beads and pendants. I had a wonderful group of 8 students and we had a great time (I do apologise though I forgot to take some photos!!).

Sunday afternoon, the winners of the Bead Challenge 2011 were announced. Congratulations to Jan Cahill who took out the top prize and also to Joanne Ivy (of Cranberry Beads) and Meg Sellers who won second and third place respectively. There were some beautiful entries.

Although busy, it was a fantastic weekend. It was great to catch up with those of you I haven’t seen for ages and also put some new faces to names. I need to say a huge thank you to my ‘helpers’ Lesley and Karen who manned the stand with me (and whilst I was teaching). They did a fantastic job and I couldn’t have done it without them.

For me, now comes the task of counting the stock we came home with (we’re nearly done!), re-setting up the studio, following up on customer requests and organising new workshops. Busy, busy!  Don’t forget, if you want to book in for a workshop either here at the studio or at another location (yes, I can come to you!), please email me. I am hoping to have some more workshops up on the website by the end of the week.

Here are some photos of the weekend, I thought I’d share with you.

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