Saturday, December 22, 2012

PSST! Craftsy Class Sale...

...Just popping in to say that all online classes at are on sale from today through December 24th!

I am so proud to part of the great faculty and class lineup. There are so many wonderful new classes that are on my wish list! Check 'em out and enjoy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Open Studio Tonight!

Just a quick reminder that tonight is open studio at my studio space. Happening from 6-8:30. The directions are here.

Come on by and bring a project or just to check out my newest project...BANGLES! (Inspired by a student in class this past weekend.) If you'd like to make one I'll teach you how and you'll have a cool gift for you or someone on your list. You don't need to bring a thing, just pay the $20 studio fee and solder away. We'll be using brass and copper.

BTW, I had my first class last Saturday at the studio and it was SO FUN! Thanks to the students who came. It was a great inaugural class. You can check out the upcoming classes I have on my schedule here.

Look for a full schedule to come out in early January. I have lots of cool classes coming up! I'll be sending out a newsletter soon with the details, so make sure you have added your info on it.

Here are a couple of snaps from class last Saturdays to share with you.

Fun times!

I am taking a well deserved break through the end of the year, so things are going to be a bit quiet here until the New Year. I just want to take a moment to thank all of you for your support and encouragement this year and to wish you all the happiest of holidays, however you celebrate. Here's to a terrific 2013. Be safe. Be happy. Be healthy. xoxoxox

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Well. The studio opening was a success! So many people came and there were so many good wishes. I was overwhelmed! Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a great day. I hope to see many more of you pass through the doors in the future.

My dear cousin made a great video to commemorate the day.  Thanks to Zoe for immortalizing the great day on video so I can share it with all of you.

Stay tuned to my studio page to check out upcoming classes and events. Lots of wonderful things are on the horizon.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Color for 2013 is...

Pantone  just announced THE color of the year for 2013. It's Emerald 17-5641.

This color is one of my faves.  I liked the color for 2012, well enough, and I was also a big fan of the color for 2010, but Emerald 17-5641 just makes me giddy.


Remember the scene when we get a glance at this?

Photo from the Wizard of Oz Wiki
It was the dearest wish of my six-year-old heart to cross that poppy field and go with Dorothy and the gang to see what treasures the Emerald City would hold. All that glittery green was so beautiful. MGM really got it right.

So here's to Emerald. I think I'll wear my Magic Shoes to celebrate!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Attitude Is...

...Gratitude. Seriously. So yesterday I sent a newsletter about my upcoming studio opening event. I sent it to the mailing list that I had lovingly maintained during my years as a bead store owner. When I closed my San Fransisco store in 2008 it was really bittersweet. The time had come, though and it was the best choice for me at the time.

However, I kept that list. I thought that someday, SOMEDAY, I would use it again. I would have a place that all of my cherished bead friends and customers would gather and do the fun things that we used to do in the store.

I was kind of afraid, though. As I wrote the email, I thought "Do people really want to hear from me? After all, it's been a few years..."

My finger hovered over the "send" button. I just closed my eyes and pushed the button.

And wow. I am tearing up as I write this. I want to thank you ALL for the wonderful, heartfelt and kind words from many of you. I have spent the morning reading the responses to the email. So many of you took the time to write and tell me that you are so glad that I am opening up a new studio.

So thanks. You have made me one happy lady. Love to you.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Beads for Sale!!!

Just a quick post as I am in the midst of my studio launch party prep. Plans are to host great Trunk Shows in the months to come, and to kick things off on Saturday I'll have a well-curated selection of semi-precious beads available for purchase.

Lovely Strands!
For those of you who will not be able to join me on Saturday and still would like to shop for beautiful semi precious stones, you are in luck! I have added a few of the juiciest strands to my Etsy Store. They are up now and ready for purchase. The best part is that they are priced at my special trunk show savings of 25% off list price.

Stones for sale.
Click on over and shop now. These strands will only be in the shop until Friday morning at 10 AM PST, then what's left has to go over to the studio for the show.

After the studio opening when Trunk Shows are scheduled, I'll host a mini sneak peak of the products featured in the show on my Etsy store, so those of you who can't make it can still shop. Sounds good? Great! I love to find new and interesting items for my students and customers and I hope you'll enjoy shopping my interesting finds.

As always, thanks so much for your continued support. It's because of YOU that my studio enterprise is succeeding.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Beads, Baubles & Jewels on DVD

I really love filming tutorials for TV. The lights, camera, makeup artists and of course the craft services food table all make it fun and interesting.

One of my best on-air experiences is filming for the PBS show Beads, Baubles and Jewels. Host Katie Hacker is just super in every way. It's amazing how she keeps everything organized in the midst of filming segment after segment.

Katie and I posting on set.
I go back in a couple of weeks to film the next season, but for now the entire current season is available on DVD.

The theme is "Thinking Like a Designer" and it is full of great ideas and projects that are sure to keep you inspired.

You can watch the episodes on the Beads, Baubles and Jewels website or better yet grab a copy on DVD. Buy it on the Interweave website at this link. The DVD has over 6-hours of skills, techniques and trends to keep you entertained. As a bonus it also has exclusive footage that features a special design from me!

And one last thing, you can see some segments right now on the BB&J YouTube channel if you have some time to spare. Great job, everybody! Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Kickin' It Oldschool

In between getting ready for my teaching studio launch, I have been doing some reading.

I got these old jewelry making books from my mom a while back. They date from the '20's to the '60's and are chock full of great information. I am experimenting with vintage jewelry designs and I think a couple of great classes are starting to shape up.

 I wish I could share all of the books in their entirety. They're really interesting.

Coincidentally though, yesterday in my Facebook news feed I saw a link from, the great online resource for metal and jewelry designers. Did you know that they have acquired a collection of over 40 old and rare jewelry design books and have made them available for $5.00 each as a digital download on their website? You can view all of them here.

I bought two and downloaded them into my Kindle. I am working my way through Copper Work by Augustus F. Rose 1908.  Reading a book from 1908 really makes me appreciate modern conveniences in the jewelry studio. Here is an excerpt from the book about preparing pickle:

"Pickle is a trade name given to solutions used in cleaning work. Different proportions of acid are used according to the work to be cleaned. For copper and silver a dilute bath of sulphuric acid is used of 1 part acid to 15 parts of water. The solution may be used cold but when used hot it becomes much more effective. When used hot a copper dish is necessary. The object being placed in the dish with enough pickle to cover it, it is then placed over a gas plate and allowed to come to a boiling heat. The pickle is then poured off and the object rinsed in clean water. A dilute solution of nitric acid is used for brass."

Umm, a copper dish? Placed over a gas plate? BOILED??? My goodness, give me the simplicity of a plug-in pickle pot any day. These books are a great peek at the past, however. I am really enjoying reading them.

Stay tuned for some vintage-inspired projects and don't forget to mark your calendars for December 8th. I'd love to see you at the studio and book launch party!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Classes & Party at My New Studio

It's almost ready!
The hammers are hung.

The metal is sorted.

The kitchenette is stocked.

So here are the details. Some of you may remember the days of my former bead store in San Francisco. It was fun. I hosted cool events, great classes and gathered the most interesting and fun students.

Well, that is what's happening here. Nope, don't get too excited. This is NOT a retail bead store. What it IS is, a place for people to gather and learn. A place for my classes. A place that will host terrific Truck Shows from special vendors that sell high-quality jewelry supplies at great prices. A place that will host guest instructors and special events (remember Bead Brunch?)

I have a page on this blog dedicated to the happenings at the studio that is updated frequently with the latest happenings. (Click this link) The address, directions and details are all on that page. Bookmark it so you'll always see the latest classes and events. Better yet sign up for my newsletter and get the news delivered right to your email box.

My classes are listed on the page above and are on my Etsy store for purchase.

Now all that is missing is you! This is an open invitation to join me at my kickoff event on December 8, 1-4 PM. I'll have my new book available for purchase, a FREE Make & Take sponsored by Tierra Cast and a TRUNK SHOW with beautiful semi-precious strands at great prices. Refreshments are served and the party is going to be GREAT! 

BONUS!!!!! All class sign ups are 20% off when you enroll at the Studio on the 8th. BUT if you want to make sure you get a spot in an upcoming class, you can take 20% off right now by using code OPENINGPARTY upon checkout at the Etsy store. (PSST...the code is good on everything in the shop... not just classes, but you didn't hear it from me.)

I hope you can join me and thanks so much for your continued support!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Craftsy Classes on Sale!

Happy, Happy, Happy Thanksgiving all. Hope your day was restful and full of food and fun. The shopping season has begun and to get in the swing of things the fine folks at let me know that they are having the biggest sale of the year on all their Craftsy classes. (Including my Metalsmithing At Home Class!) The sale ends on Monday, November 26, at midnight.

Craftsy Holiday Sale: All online classes are $19.99 or less. Sale ends Mon. Nov. 26th, at midnight!
Click on the picture and be whisked away to the website and choose your classes. I have taken quite a few, including The Top Down Icelandic Sweater and  Design Your Own Handbag. If you haven't tried learning with Craftsy, I REALLY recommend it. The classes are really comprehensive, well thought-out, easy to follow and have great handouts. Plus, you can get in touch with the instructor by just posting a question to the platform while you are watching.

Take a break from the holiday rush and choose a couple of classes. They'll be ready for you to watch at your leisure. Right now I am watching mine like TV episodes, one segment at a time, and plan to jump into my projects in the New Year. And please tell me that you have checked out the Deals section of the website. Great prices on fabric and yarn. Seriously. The selection is constantly changing. I have picked up a couple of collections for quilting at a steal. (Right now I am fighting the urge to put THIS in my shopping cart.)

Enjoy and watch this space... I have a big (BIG) announcement coming up later this week for more crafting enjoyment.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Another Book, and It's FREE*

Okay. Some of you may remember my shout out for beads for a super secret project. Now the project is complete and I am excited to share it with you.

It's an enhanced eBook from

And it's all about how to choose color for beaded jewelry in an innovative way. The book is based on a class I teach on color and I thought it was a great match for this eBook format.

And you know what... right now it's FREE!!!  (*Until December grab it now!) The only drawback is that it's optimized for the iPad, so all of you other tablet owners are out of luck for now. (However, you can check out one of the videos from the book on my YouTube channel.)

Get your copy of the book at this link. I am really excited about this new technology from I think the eBook is great for "How To" projects as you can add short videos, links and a lot of photos. You can learn more about making eBooks on their website.

Remember to grab my book soon, as the price goes up to $9.95 on December 15th. Let me know what you think and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

On Jewel School This Morning!

Just a quick hello! I am getting ready for my closeup this morning on JTV's Jewel School. Having a great time so far, in Knoxville, TN.

Torrance however is fussed that he was not in First Class. I tell you, traveling with that bear can be a trial.

If you watched my segment this morning and found your way here, welcome! Leave a comment below and tell me a bit about yourself. It's great to meet you. Stay in touch, won't you? Sign up for my newsletter. I have all kinds of cool stuff coming up, including a project video and a new metalsmithing DVD for Jewel School.

Have a great day, everybody!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Classes in Tucson 2013

Have you been to the Tucson Gem shows? It happens every year in February in Tucson AZ. You can find everything there, from the finest diamonds and jewelry to geodes sold out of an RV belonging to an old rock hound. It's all there.

This year I am going to be in the thick of it! I am so excited to teach at the J.O.G.S show. The fine folks at sponsor the Education Center at the show and invited me to teach a few of my best-selling classes. Click on this link to see all the classes and days I'm teaching. is an online tools supplier that carries the entire EURO TOOL catalog, including brands such as Wubbers, Lindstrom, Wolf, Lortone, and many more. Based in Utah, you may be familiar with their sister company, All the tools will be available at the show and you'll get to use many of them in class.
Simple Soldering Boot Camp
 Plus, I have discount codes you can use to save on taking a class! Just enter the code in the Promo box at checkout and the discount will apply to your total.
  • Buy 1 class, get $20 off: KR1320
  • Buy 3 classes, get $75 off: KR1375
  • Buy 6 classes, get $175 off: KR13175
Start making plans now as travel and lodging during the gem shows gets filled up fast. The classes are going to be great. There are 18 world-class instructors (see all instructors here) teaching a diverse selection of classes (see all classes here).
Ring Roundup
Hope to see you the biggest jewelry event of the year. I'll be there with torch in hand ready to make some jewelry. Come and join in, post-class margaritas are on me!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

I Have Dreams...

Yep. I am dreaming of my new studio space in South San Francisco.

Some of you will remember the days of my former bead store in San Francisco, Beadissimo. Boy, those were fun times. And sometimes hard times. But you know what. I missed it. Not the day-to-day grind of owning a retail store, but I missed having a space to call my own. I missed a great classroom where my students could create and learn. I missed hosting special events like trunk shows and having visiting instructors come teach.

So I did something about it and found the coolest space ever for my new little enterprise. It's not a retail store with regular hours. It's a cozy space where students can come and learn and buy a few things and hang out and be creative.

Saturday is moving day and things will be up and running by December with great plans for the New Year. You can find a schedule of classes and events on this page. The calendar is empty now, but not for long! Bookmark it and while you are at it how about joining my email list to stay in the loop? Your info is private, of course and you'll just get stuff from me about what's happening at the new studio.

Dreams? You bet. I have dreams.

(Thanks to my cousin Zoe... she made this video from our ring making extravaganza at this year's Maker Faire 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Today is the best day ever. Not only can I hear the cheers of the crowds assembling for the SF Giants victory parade in downtown SF, the Fed Ex man just delivered two boxes of MY BOOK!

Here they are!
They're heavy!

Here it is!!!
For those of you who have preordered the book, your signed copy will go out tomorrow. As a special thank you I have a few little gifts that I am tucking in your package, including my DVD that came out a few years ago on Basic Stringing Techniques.

For those of you who would like to place an order, you can jump on over to my Etsy site and make your purchase. If you make your order before November 5, I'll include the bonus gifts in your packages as well.

Thanks so much to everyone who supported me through this crazy, fun, intense, and rewarding experience. I love my book and hope all of you do, too. Now I gotta run and find a good autographing pen. I have a lot of signing ahead of me.

Go Giants!

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Clean Metal Jewelry Tools.

My tools work hard. They get hammered on. They get used in class. They get packed in a box and shipped across country. Consequently they are not the prettiest tools on the block, but who needs pretty when they are so solid and sturdy?

Sometimes though there is a blemish that I can't ignore...RUST!!! Once in a while when I unpack my tools from a class or if I accidentally leave them next to a corrosive (like Silver Black or other corrosive solutions) or get them wet and forget to dry them off, I spy little sections of rust starting to form on my beloved tools. Rust is the enemy of steel and it has to be dealt with before it becomes an issue.

If I see just a small bit on the surface I'll just buff it away with a swipe of steel wool, but that is just a temporary solution. Rust has a tendency to creep and needs to be eradicated before real damage is done.

No worries! The tool doctor is in and let's meet the patient that I am restoring to health today and the review the supplies I'm using.

My dapping block. Check out the rust. Ick.

Here are my supplies from left to right: WD40, 0000 Steel Wool, 1000 grit sandpaper, Scotch 3M Metal Finishing Pad (Find them in the paint section of your hardware store near the steel wool) and Pro Polish Pads (the best thing for polishing metal EVER. Period. I stock them in my Etsy store.)

First, lay an old towel or rag on your work surface and make sure that you are in a well ventilated area. Spray the effected area with the WD40.

Then grab your steel wool and buff the WD40 into the surface of the tool. See how the rust starts to disappear. Don't wipe off the WD40 yet. Keep it on for the next step.

Next, follow up with the fine grit sandpaper. This helps to refine the surface of the metal. Make sure to use 1000 grit or finer as you don't want to mar the surface of the tool. After this step wipe away the WD40 from the tool.

Use the 3M pad and buff the surface again. This pad is a great tool to bring metal back to life. It resurfaces the tool and makes it look almost like new.

And finally, grab a Pro Polish pad and buff the surface one last time. Make sure that the tool is completely wiped clean with no moisture on the surface. If the Pro Polish pads get wet they leave a gummy residue behind. But used dry they will make the metal shine like new!

Look! The surface is shiny and clean and there is no trace of rust to be found! The WD40 helps the metal resist further rusting. While you're at it check out your pliers, too. I'll bet the tips of your chain nose and round nose pliers might need a little love, too. 

My Xuron tools were looking a little sad, but are now revived and ready to work on an upcoming wire wrap project. 

Taking a little time to tend to your tools will give you many years of use. Do you have any tips on how you care for your tools? Share them in the comments, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are You Innovative?

Then the Nunn Design Innovation Team 2013 is looking for you!

Nunn Design is a purveyor of marvelous, high-quality jewelry components. The company is the brainchild of Rebecca (I call her Becky) Nunn, a designer and jewelry artist that I admire greatly. Her company makes lovely and unique jewelry components that are really inspiring to work with.

I got an email the other day from Becky asking if I would pass along the word about the search for new members for her 2013 Innovation Team. Would I? You bet.

Photo from the Nunn Design Project Gallery
Here is a bit about the requirements from the Nunn Design Blog "...We are seeking artists who love to push the envelope. Are you an innovator? A trendsetter? Do you work in varied mediums (paper, resin, polymer, epoxy, metals, fiber, and more)? If you’re a creative powerhouse who wants to work on the inside of innovation, an artisan of any medium —we want to know about you."

If you would like to read more and to submit an application click this link and check out the full post on the Nunn Design Blog. Good luck!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

My segments on Beads, Baubles & Jewels.

Newsflash! Do you watch the PBS series Beads, Baubles & Jewels? It's a great show on all things bead and jewelry-related. The super-talented Katie Hacker is the host and she creates a great line-up of interesting shows with jewelry experts from around the country.

I filmed three segments back in July that are airing soon. It was a lot of fun! The show shoots just outside of Cleveland, OH. But luckily I did not have to travel alone. My trusty sidekick, Torrance was there every step of the way.

While I worked hard on set...

Torrance lounged around the hotel and called for room service. He eventually made it to the studio and took over for one of the camera guys...

It didn't take the crew long to notice that a bear was trying to run the overhead camera, so he was banished to the green room...

...where he consoled himself with some beads...

...and hooch. (I am not sure how he got it. I should check my credit card statement. Do liquor stores deliver in Ohio?)

Torrance and his hijinks aside, it was all great fun and I can't wait to go back in December to film more segments. The previews for the current season are on YouTube and available for your perusal. The Sampler project and Ruby Tag Pendant are from my new book, and the Rolled and Wrapped Bead and Patina project is a class I teach at bead stores and national shows.

Click on each link to view: You can take a look at the entire schedule for this season on the BB&J website

Color On Metal Beads with a Torch
Ruby Tag Pendant
Soldering a Jump Ring

Thursday, October 18, 2012


Guess where I am??

I am standing in my brand new studio and teaching space!!!

That's right! As of November 1st, Kate Richbourg Jewelry Educator will have a space to call home. I have rented a great space in South San Francisco and classes will be starting soon!


Okay, so it's empty...but not for long! It's in a chic, secure and centrally located space. Oh, gang... I have great plans for this cozy and creative space. It's really well situated near the 101 and 280 freeways as well as just a short walk from the San Bruno BART station.

I am going to kick things off with a studio-warming and book launch party in mid-November. Those of you who live in the Bay Area (and those who don't!) are all invited.

More details to come soon!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Casting About...

Yep. I just can't get enough of broken foot puns.

But the reason for this casting about is I am looking for a studio space. I have come to the point where I am ready (READY) to find an art/jewelry/teaching studio and thought I'd enlist the help of my friends. I gotta have a space, you guys. I have so many classes in my head that I HAVE to get out into the world... but I need a place to make the magic happen.

So if you are local to the San Mateo, CA area and have any leads/ideas/info on a small-ish, inexpensive-ish space, would you contact me please? I'd like it to be close to home, but I would consider anything on the Peninsula if it is the right fit.

Think it over. My rolling mill is getting antsy. It doesn't like sharing the same table as my flex shaft. I fear there might be a rebellion.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bead & Button 2013

I'm in. It's official! I have 5 wonderful classes on the docket. Bead & Button 2013 is a go!

More info to come soon, but if you have not attended, then let me just tell you, '13 is the year to go! Save your pennies and start planning 'cause it the most bead fun ever.

Mark your calendars as online class registration opens on Tuesday, January 8 at 12 PM CST.

Here is a peek at a couple of my classes...

Crystal Clay the Vintage Way

Patinas & Cold Connections
Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Psst...My Craftsy Class at a Discount

Hey, this post is meant only for you, so keep it under your hat. I mean I just can't have EVERYONE taking my latest online Metalsmithing at Home class on at a discount.

So uh, it's regularly $39.95, but um...if you click the link HERE, it's yours for $19.95.

But WAIT there is more. Did ya check out my FREE class on Micro Torch basics??? If you are not familiar with Craftsy you might want to hop on over and check that one out first, so you can get the hang of how this whole online class thing works.

Then if you love it (AND I think you will) then consider jumping into Metalsmithing at Home and I'll teach you some cool stuff to make with your jewelry tools and torch.

Like this lovely jewelry. Here are a few more snaps of the action...

If you purchase the class your access to the class will never expire plus you can play and replay it at your convenience as well as post questions to the platform so I (and other students) can interact with you and answer questions.

Hope to see you in class!

Monday, October 1, 2012

My Footie...

got broke.

It's such a bummer. I have never in my life broken anything major except a couple of wineglasses and a vase against the wall in a Scarlet O'Hara moment.

Now I go and broke my 5th metatarsal on my right foot. You know they say that the kitchen is the most dangerous room in the house and you know what... they are right. Stupid puddle of water on my stupid tile floor. But I digress.

The whole point of telling you all this is that only my beader friends can relate to what happened to me at the hospital.

So, I am sitting in the patient room in Emergency waiting for the X-ray tech to come and get me to take a pic of my throbbing foot. (Gosh that metatarsal HURT!)

Fine. They wheel me in and maneuver me onto the table. Francine the X-ray lady is super nice and chatty. She positions my foot (OW!) then snaps a pic, repositions and snaps again. Then her conversation stops. She comes over with a worried look in her eye and asks, "You ever have any surgery on that foot? Anything? Pins? Stitches?"

Now that made me nervous. I thought, "Oh geez... what can be wrong?" "Nope", I told her, "Not a thing."

She replied that something was showing up on the film that she didn't like. As I began to panic ever so slightly... she examined my foot, checked the bottom and started laughing and pulled a sterling silver daisy spacer off the bottom.

Crisis averted. Embarrassment ensues.

And foot is indeed broken. Ah well. I've got six weeks of sitting and beading ahead of me. I just hope I don't need that stray daisy spacer. I think it's still at the hospital.

Friday, September 28, 2012

New Leather Bracelet Tutorial

I promised this tutorial a while back and kept pushing it back on my blog topics list. I figured it was past time to share it, but I just couldn't (COULDN'T) write it up with all of the writing that I have been doing lately.

As I reviewed the pictures I realized that they speak for themselves, so you know what? I am just going to post this tutorial with a few prompts. Click on each picture to enlarge.

I really love how these bracelets turned out. They are a great companion to my wrapped bracelets tutorial. I had a lot of the materials in my stash. I picked up the leather cord at my local JoAnn Fabrics store. The wire I used for the beads was 24-gauge, but 20 to 26-gauge will work just fine.

If you have questions on specifics, post 'em in the comments and I'll get back to you.

Materials. I used 2mm leather for the base and 1mm for the wraps.
Use whatever you like. It doesn't make much of a difference.
Cut about 4" or so for the wraps. About 12" for the main bracelet.
Make the wraps tight!
To close thread the end through the loop and tighten.
and tighten...
...until the loop pops under the wrap. Pull on both ends to finish tightening.
Let the glue dry and snip off the ends of the cord.
I used a knitting needle that was slightly larger than the cord
as a mandrel for the wire beads.
Twist ends to close.
Snip ends and tuck in twist.
They slide around on the cord.
Make a bunch.
Make a sliding adjustable knot.
Wrap the cord around twice.
Poke the end of the cord from the left and through the loops to the right.
Repeat with the second end of the cord in reverse.
Add a bead to each end and tie a knot to secure.
That's it!
Make a bunch and enjoy!