Beads, Baubles, and Jewels TV: Behind the Scenes

Feb 2, 2009

Behind the Scenes at Beads, Baubles & Jewels
Marlene Blessing and Leslie Rogalski 

A few weeks ago, we taped thirteen segments for the 2009 spring season of the PBS-TV show Beads, Baubles & Jewels, which airs in June. Our theme this time was “Taking your jewelry-making to the next level,” and all our final projects and step-outs were completed immediately following the December holiday celebrations (that alone is taking things to the next level!). Shutterbug Leslie took lots of photos while we filmed to give you a little taste of what it’s like behind the scenes.


Leslie demos all the seed bead techniques and projects. After three seasons of filming in the Cleveland studio, she really has things down. Each step is created with a threaded needle still attached and taped to an index card with her notes.

  We have to prep ourselves, too. A good manicure is a necessity for our close-ups. And Karen, the makeup artist, greets us at 7:30 a.m. to make us look our best!

Here’s Marlene in the “green room,” where we lay out all the materials, tools, steps, and samples for each presentation.

When it’s all ready, we move everything to the set and get “miked-up” along with our lovely host, Katina Forte, an experienced shopping network fashionista. Katina changes her colorful wardrobe for each segment of the season—we both try to keep up with some outfit changes of our own, plus jewelry, of course.

  When Leslie is on air, Marlene can relax in the green room and watch her segment as it’s taped. Here Leslie demos her fun “Poodle Beads” from the upcoming March/April 2009 issue of Step by Step Beads.
For each segment we tape, we get expert coaching from our producer, Kathie Stull. She talks us through our presentations, often reorganizing things so they make more sense to our viewers! (“Marlene, don’t forget to point at instead of pick up your samples.”) She also describes the sequencing and where to aim the cameras for the director and camera people. The lights are bright, and there are two cameras in front of us and a large one on a boom for an over-the-shoulder point of view. The entire crew is patient, professional, and fun!
When we finish a segment, our demo tray looks like this! At the end of the day, so do we.

We love sharing our passion for beading with our viewers. Each season that we do this, we both learn so much from the crew, each other, and all the great guest artists. Yep, we love our work.  We hope you love it, too.  Buy a copy of the Beads Baubles and Jewels DVD of our first season (series 800) and look for new episodes on your local public TV station. 

Marlene Blessing is the editorial director of Beadwork magazine and co-author of Create Jewelry: PearlsCreate Jewelry: Crystals, Create Jewelry: Stones, and Create Jewelry: Glass.  She is also a presenter on the PBS-TV series Beads, Baubles & Jewels. 

Leslie Rogalski has a degree in illustration and design, and she sold wearable art and handwoven beaded art at the American Craft Council Shows and Buyers Market before joining Interweave in 2005.  In addition to being editor in chief of Step by Step Beads, she often teaches at Bead Fest and is a presenter on the PBS-TV series Beads, Baubles, and Jewels

If you have comments or questions for Marlene or Leslie,
please post them on the website.

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rachelle@15 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 8:48 AM
I must tell you since I have "stumbled upon" your program I am an ardent fan. BB&J is aired in Vancouver, British Columbia on Saturdays and when preempted, I am so disappointed! I have been a fan since 2 years. I love the presenters and the projects and have learned many new ways from Katie Hacker and the others. I love all of the beading mags and ofcourse, the beads!!! Keep up the great program with Katina Forte and thanks for letting us in on the background programming. Suzanne from Vancouver, Canada...
JudyP@4 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 8:48 AM
I love reading your "newsletters". I look forward to them, they make my day happy and exciting and I cannot wait to make the pieces. Keep them coming. Judy,
MariaP@27 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 8:50 AM
I mailed my check for $19.95 for a one-year membership to Step by Step Beads on Nov. 1, 2008. I never received a copy of their magazine or a response to my e-mail inquiry 2 weeks ago. I e-mailed them the name of my bank and check number. Are you in any way associated with Step by Step Beads? I would greatly appreciate receiving a response. Thank you. Maria Pflum
IreneB@25 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 10:32 AM
I recently signed up for the website for the Beads, Baubles, and Jewels television show, and somehow, I am now receiving duplicate Beading Daily newsletters. I clicked on the Unsubscribe link at the bottom of one of the emails. Is this going to just remove me from one of the duplicate newsletters, or am I going to stop receiving them at all? (Not what I want of course!) One other issue: I recently changed my EMail address for Beading Daily, due to an IP change. My newsletter now comes to the new address, but my login still requires my old address. Will this change eventually?
Iris@5 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 10:36 AM
When watching your program, I loved the Origami Bracelet. Leslie said that it was made of size 6 seed beads. I made my strip. It didn't quite look right. Then I noiticed that the printed out instructions say size 8 seed beads. Which is correct? We all make mistakes. ~Thank-you ~Iris Stewart
LisaC@90 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 7:35 PM
Hi there! Thanks so much for sharing a behind the scenes look at the show! It's amazing that you film so many of them in a row and can keep all of that information AND BEADS straight! Very impressive! I can't wait to see the poodle beads, I must say I am intrigued! Take care, Lisa C.,
kimi10 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 11:51 PM
Please cancel my membership.
kimi10 wrote
on Feb 2, 2009 11:51 PM
Please cancel my membership.
Barbara Jean wrote
on Feb 12, 2009 9:29 AM
Hello Maria P., I sent you a private email and everything has been taken care of. Thanks for checking in with us. Best regards, Barbara Naslund Circulation Manager: Beadwork, Stringing, Step by Step Beads, and Step by Step Wire Jewelry