How I watch the BB&J TV Show

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Paka wrote
on Apr 3, 2010 11:47 AM

Before I ever saw the Beads, Baubles & Jewels television show, I had fully explored the show's website.  This was useful when there were downloadable PDF files that showed projects and explained how to do them.  It was less useful when there was bare text and few images and certainly no video to help understand what is being discussed. 

The show is broadcast at 4:30 a.m. each weekday on our local PBS.  No way I would ever have arisen at such an hour to watch it.  When we finally got a DVR, however, I immediately programmed the thing to record BB&J--and learned that there is also a Saturday broadcast that I would never get up early enough to watch.  Now, however,  I could sit down for lunch and watch BB&J while I took a break from other responsibilities.

That was fun for a while, but I began to realize that the show is quite diverse in the information that is being presented, even in one show.  It can be a challenge to retain everything that's being presented, some of it fairly quickly.  The DVR is also getting full, so it has stopped recording new shows.  I still need to learn more about what I've seen, so I am certainly not ready to delete anything.  What to do?

An easy solution would, of course, be to buy the DVDs.  Can't afford that right now.  And, so far, the DVD issues are focusing on the most recent seasons of the show.  My PBS is showing the series in more or less random order and seems to include some of the earlier seasons.  (At least, I think I remember a show from the 600 series.)

My current solution is to treat the show as a class.  I sit down with a notebook and pen to take notes on what is being shown (and begin a much needed index of the show's contents).  To make the task easier (I'm a long way from being in a classroom now), I coordinate with the show's web site.  Of course, I would have to scan forward on the recording to find out which number the program is since the number is not announced until the very end.  If I am quick enough, I can go to my PBS station's website to find out what the show number is (or was, since I am always behind in watching the shows). Once that essential (but annoying) chore is taken care of, I can go back to the computer, locate that program on the website, and print or download whatever information is available.

  • Show #804 (for example) has Leslie Rogalski demonstrating the "Original O-Ring."  The website directs you to the for-pay How-To Online TV site to see the show, but it also provides a downloadable PDF file of Rogalski's demo.  I may never use a brick stitch in my life (indeed, I pretty much intend not to), but I have still downloaded the file for the inspiration that comes regarding materials and enhancement potential.  I can also print the file out if I want to have it available while watching the show. 
  • The same show also has a beading lesson from Katy Hacker on using a crimp tool.  Even though I had been using a crimp tool for some time, I still learned something new during this segment (and now live in terror of crimps gone wild, broken necklaces, and on and on).  The BB&J website has the text of Hacker's demonstration (without her personal commentary or flourishes).  As it happens, the links in that text are broken, but, if you go to the Beadalon website, you can find what looks like all of Hacker's Beading Lessons there, including the text and the actual video.  (And Hacker has her own links to these videos on her personal website.)
  • The third segment of the show has Sherri Haab demonstrating how to combine different mediums (crochet, metal clay).  There is no PDF nor easily accessible video for this segment, but the website does have a list of materials and step-by-step instructions that can be printed out.  This segment piqued my interest in metal clay even further and seemed within my reach.  You can bet I will want to watch it more than once--and be very grateful for the website's help in speeding my learning.
  • The final segment is the Tool Tip, again presented by Katie Hacker (who knew there were so many kinds of crimp tools?).  The website, in this case, presents more notes from Hacker's presentation and photographs of the tools that she discusses (no video, no PDF).  This can be printed out for reference if desired.

With this wealth of information, I can watch the program (again) and see things that I missed on the first viewing, solidify my learning of the lessons presented, and get one step closer to acting on the thought that "I can do that."


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Cathy wrote
on Apr 3, 2010 12:12 PM

Good ideas!  You're very lucky you get it.  I used to watch it a few years ago then my PBS station quit carrying it.


Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 "What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love." - St. Therese of the Child Jesus

"The laughter of a child is the light of a house" - unknown

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Lody wrote
on Apr 4, 2010 12:37 AM

We don't have it in our PBS too...:( It would be heavenly if they'll include BB&J...

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JSmaz wrote
on Apr 4, 2010 1:16 AM

That's good advice.  The only BB&J's I've seen are a couple segments here and there posted on the web.  I've never seen an entire episode. I don't think Armed Forces Network carries it, and we don't have a recorder for AFN anyway.


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Paka wrote
on Apr 5, 2010 12:03 PM

*reminding self never to navigate away from a post in progress ever ever again*

Second try.  Now cutting a lot of background verbiage.

I don't have access to the earlier shows either, but I am curious about what they taught and what inspiration might come from them.  My strategy (which will likely keep me occupied for some time to come) is to start researching the artists who appear on the show.  Some of them have websites; some photos of their work still show up in web searches.  Even if I can't see what they had to say on the show, I can see what kind of work they do.  With luck, they may even have instructions or tips.

To do this, I made my own program guide to BB&J, starting with Series 100.  I went to the BB&J program notes page, copied, and pasted to a word processing program.  I then fiddled with the formatting until I was happy.  Then I printed out.  By reducing the font size, I got it down to 21 pages and then printed out 2 pages per sheet.  This all took a bit of time, but it goes pretty fast if you do all of your copy/paste work at one time and then mess with the formatting.

From the final printout, I started highlighting the names of people on the show and then googled them.  I have only just started, so I've only looked up a few.  There are some dead ends, people who don't have a web presence, but then there is Katie Hacker's blog, with links to a stash of her BB&J beading lessons, and Lisa Pavelka's whole line of products that I never heard of before but might now try.  One wrong name (I think) led me to an anthropological study of clothing ("The Naked and the Clothed," Esther and Jack Goody, in The Cloth of Many Colored Silks, ed. Nancy Lawler, et al.).  Fun!


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JillS@56 wrote
on Jul 29, 2010 7:39 AM

Having read your post, I wanted to let you know that you can copy any or all shows from your DVR to a a Video Cassette Player.

Hope this helps.

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