Summer 2022 Workshops

Heart of Texas Bead Retreat

Summer Zoom Retreat

June 2-5, 2022




All Workshops are 6 hour (Full Day) Workshops


Cynthia Rutledge

Cynthia is a contemporary artist and teacher focusing on beadwork as her medium. She specializes in peyote stitch and off-loom weaving techniques with an emphasis on developing sculptural unsupported shapes in beadwork.

Her work has been exhibited in national and international shows and has appeared in Nicolette Stessin’s Beaded Amulet Purses, Carol Taylor’s Creative Bead Jewelry, and Carol Wilcox Wells’Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide to Classic Off-Loom Stitches.

“My attraction to 3-dimensional shapes has created a fascination for me throughout my life and has fueled my creative spirit. My choice of beadwork as a primary medium has followed that same fascination. As my beadwork has evolved, my work seems to always lean towards the building of shapes and forms that are functional and wearable.

The choice to use beads as my medium was primarily influenced by my love of color. Beads reflect and absorb light, hold shape and dimension, and in so doing, offer chameleon-like qualities. It is not always the end result that is the most important to me, however. The process of working with beads and thread is meditative and calming, which allows time for reflection. Engineering each piece is always a challenge that thrills me, as well as giving me the power to make the decisions that need to be made for each piece. The more I experience the wonderful qualities of beadwork, the more I realize my relationship with beads will always be one of learning, experiencing and sharing.

The decision to teach grew from my personal desire to share my love of beads and all the wonderful things that can be created with them. The commitment that I have to teaching stems from my desire to share the knowledge I have gained while developing my own skills in this medium. Ultimately, my mission is to help to keep this art form alive and well.”    (photo of Cynthia by Mark Rutledge)

To view more of Cynthia’s designs, visit Cynthia Rutledge

Flower of the Sun


The thistle represents overcoming adversity and difficult situations. It’s a symbol of resilience. In Celtic regions, the thistle represents devotion, bravery, determination, and strength. Throughout history, many cultures have adopted the flower as a positive emblem, cultivating unique stories that tell the tales of past heritages.

For instance, Scotland has used this flower as their national emblem since the 13th century.

Without any natural enemies, it flourishes in the highlands, islands, and lowlands of Scotland. It attracts goldfinches, bumble bees and many varieties of butterflies.

In the Basque region of France, the thistle is called the flower of the sun as it always stands proudly to face the light, therefore, they consider this sturdy plant an icon that the sun sent down to protect others from harm and evil. Even today, as a symbol of protection, you can see pots of thistles by the front doors of many homes in this region.

My inspiration for Flower of the Sun derives from the description of the meanings for the thistle in the Language of Flowers dictionary published by Joseph Hammer-Purgstall in 1809. The words, overcoming adversity, and determination, came to mind because of COVID and how our lives all changed in an instant. The words, devotion, and bravery to all of those that we have lost and to those that have saved so many. The word, strength, and how we will make it through this, in the end, if we stay strong and work together. We lift our faces to the sun and hold fast!

A three-dimensional thistle, created from a peyote stitch armature, is embellished with baby magatamas, and variations of spikes and branch-like fringe to create the center component for this design. Spiky leaves are wrapping around the necklace core of tubular peyote stitch. The necklace comes to an end in a toggle and a unique way of making the loop.

Workshop: This is a one-day workshop designed exclusively for the Heart of Texas Summer 2022 Bead Retreat
Skill level: Intermediate to Advanced
Necklace length: 17 ½” long for my samples

  • Branch fringe embellishment variation;
  • Flat, even and odd count peyote stitch;
  • Netting variation
  • Picot stitch-in-the-ditch embellishment
  • Spike embellishments
  • Split circle technique for dividing a tube of peyote stitch into two tubes for the loop closure
  • Stitch-in-the-ditch
  • Tubular, even count peyote stitch with increasing and decreasing
  • Tubular, odd count peyote stitch

Kit: Mandatory $60 (+ Shipping)
Kit Colors: Click HERE Kit #1: Periwinkle/Lavender; Kit #2: Salmon/Pink; Kit #3: Fuchsia/Cherry
Students should bring: Lighting/Magnification, your usual beading supplies



Cindy Holsclaw

Cindy Holsclaw

Cindy Holsclaw has dabbled in crafts for longer than she can remember, but she’s always been most fond of geometric structures. After many years of exploring these mathematical forms in modular origami, in 2006 she learned that these structures could also be made with beads. From then on, she was hooked! In 2009 Cindy started writing patterns for her own beading designs, and in 2012 she dove into designing and teaching beadwork full-time.

With a background in academia and a doctorate in biochemistry, Cindy takes an analytical approach to her design style; she likes exploring different bead shapes and variations on the established beading techniques, and she’s constantly thinking of new ways to put beads together. Biochemistry and mathematics continue to inspire her and often show up in her finished work. As an educator, Cindy challenges her students to learn something new in every class, while giving them the tools they need through her very detailed beading patterns.

In 2015 Cindy was named Designer of the Year by Beadwork Magazine, and a series of her beading videos were published by Interweave in the same year. Cindy has taught at the Bead & Button, Bead Fest, and BABE! shows as well as at several bead stores and bead societies around the country. When not on the road, Cindy makes her home in San Diego, California with her musician husband and daughter.

To view more of Cindy’s designs, visit Cindy Holsclaw



If music be the food of love, play on! In classical music, the concerto features a soloist or a group of soloists accompanied by an ensemble that all flow together in harmony. This piece is my tribute to the live music that fell silent in these past few years, and reminds me how joyful it is to have it back.

This necklace features a detailed glass cabochon bezeled with delicate layers of Japanese seed beads and Czech glass beads. A collection of rivoli, teardrop, and etched glass crystals accompany the focal. Sections of twisted DRAW weave through the piece to connect everything together and complete the necklace.

Workshop: Designed for the Heart of Texas Summer 2022 Bead Retreat
Skill Level:  Advanced
Techniques: Right Angle Weave, Double Right Angle Weave, Peyote Stitch, Netting, Fringe Technique
Kit: Mandatory $89  (+$9 Shipping)
Kit Colors: Click HERE
Students should bring: Fireline thread, 6lb (smoke or black satin), Size 11-12 needles, beading awl, scissors, lighting/magnification, work surface



Betty Stephan

Betty Stephan

Betty Stephan’s beading classes are focused on learning but at the same time are relaxed and a lot of fun! Her years of beading and teaching experience and the detailed, illustrated instructions provide the guidance needed to finish her beautiful class projects.

She has won numerous international awards for her bead embroidered collars including Bead Dreams, Bead Star and Battle of the Beadsmith.  Betty’s work has been published in several books and magazines.

Betty teaches throughout the year, from Detroit to France- and anywhere in between! Of course these days, Zoom classes have taken the place of travelling.  Hopefully in person classes will be resuming soon.

When not travelling or designing jewelry in her Western New York studio, Betty and her husband travel around the country in their little teardrop camper – fully equipped to bead as she goes!

To view more of Betty’s designs, visit Betty Stephan


Forever Joyful


This necklace just makes me happy!  Beautiful colors and lots of flowers combine in this necklace; first in the peyote bezel around the flower cabochon, then in the variations on daisy chains in the border, fringe and the chain.  An all-around fun necklace!

Workshop: Designed for the Heart of Texas Summer 2022 Bead Retreat
Skill Level: All Levels
Techniques: Peyote, Embroidery, Daisy Chain & chain variations
Kit: Mandatory $95 (+$9 Priority Shipping)
Kit Colors: Click HERE
Students should bring: 
Lighting/Magnification, your usual beading supplies.



Cliff Swain-Salomon

Cliff Swain-Salomon is an off-the-loom seed bead weaver known for creating non-traditional jewelry shapes and pushing the boundaries of color exploration. After injuring and losing use of both of his hands for over three years, he began beading when a friend recommended he try it as part of his hand rehabilitation therapy. Once he started, he was hooked.

In all of his pieces, Cliff integrates over 30 years of study in multiple fields, including graphic design, painting, sacred geometry, and chromotherapy, as well as apprenticeships with several medicine men and women.  He has exhibited his work internationally, including at the Toho Bead Galleries in Osaka and Tokyo Japan. Several publications have featured his jewelry, including Bead & Jewellery UK (Issue 112, 2021 front cover), Beadwork Magazine, Facet Jewelry, and Bead & Button, to name a few.

Cliff’s beadwork has earned him several awards—he was the grand prize winner of Bead Dreams in 2018, where he was chosen for the People’s Choice Award, and he also received the Facet Jewelry Reader’s Choice Award in July 2019 and Judge’s Award in November 2019. His work has also been featured in ad campaigns and in a blog article for The Museum of Beadwork in Portland, Maine and Toho Beads in partnership with Bobby Beads & Starman. Toho Beads has also invited him to be a featured artist for their 2019 and 2020 Toho Bead Challenges. He is also a permanent ambassador for the Beadworker’s Guild and International Beading Week who featured him in their January 2022 Journal, as well as the international tutor for Melbourne, Australia for 2021.

Cliff teaches beadweaving at various stores, for bead societies, and for retreats internationally. Before becoming a full-time artist/teacher, Cliff had worked as an instructor for a college of natural medicine, as a chef, and had held a private holistic medicine practice. He is married with a 4 year-old daughter and lives in California, near San Francisco.

To view more of Cliff’s designs visit Cliff Swain-Salomon

The Lovers


This piece features two lightning bugs that are situated in a field of trumpet flowers.  The head and bodies are constructed using Preciosa pearls and Japanese seed beads—including precious metal plated beads—which are all strung together using a combination of tubular peyote and netting.  The glowing butt is created using a custom-made Murano glass lampwork bead.  The bead is formed using Effetre glass cane, famous for its color and quality. They are hand-made using traditions and techniques that have been passed down over centuries from one Venetian glassworker to another. (Some sources say that the techniques started in Venice as early as the 8th century though Murano techniques became popular in the 15th and 16th centuries.) The pattern on the Murano beads is designed to reflect the millefiori style flowers in Klimt’s painting “The Kiss” which was originally titled, “The Lovers” (Liebespaar) when it premiered in 1908. Around the field of flowers on the bead are colorful flecks of “frit” and it is lined with either 24kt gold or platinum (depending which colorway you choose) which were both used in the original painting.

While no one knows who the lovers were in the original painting, there are several theories.  One theory is that it is Klimt himself with his companion, fashion designer, Emilie Flöge.  Some have argued that the piece represents the kiss between Apollo and Daphne, while other scholars have argued that the piece represents the moment when Orpheus turns to caress Eurydice.

There are many reasons why I chose lightning bugs (fireflies) to represent the lovers in this bracelet. According to folklore and several different native traditions, fireflies teach us the value of living simply¸ and relying on our own inner voices for illumination.  These qualities are important in relationships as it is important to maintain our sense of self and know that our inner light will be amplified through relationship with our partner.  In nature, the firefly primarily uses its light in mating ceremonies, and it is quite elaborate an intricate when used. Light signals are precise and exactly timed in order to attract the right mate.

Regardless of who the couple was in the painting and which partners inspire you or if you resonate with the metaphor of the lightning bugs, they can represent whomever you love in your life and how your light shines when you are with them, whether it is a spouse, partner, your child, or your fur baby.

This is a fun project that combines some of my favorite stitches including peyote, herringbone, netting, chenille, and branch fringe and a lot of really innovative beading techniques. Please note that this piece uses a lot of size 15º beads so please have proper magnification and lighting if needed. It is also a very versatile pattern that can be used to make a bracelet as pictured, trumpet flower earrings, a brooch or pendant, or you can make a full set of matching jewelry pieces by taking different elements of the patterns to make multiple pieces of jewelry.  For those who prefer a lightning bug free piece, they can be set aside for a different project and the focal can consist of the lush flowers and leaves only.

Workshop: Designed for the Heart of Texas Summer 2022 Bead Retreat
Skill Level:  Advanced
Techniques: Peyote, chenille, herringbone, netting, branch fringe, wire work (minimal taught in class)
Kit: Mandatory $105  (+ $9.95 USPS Priority Shipping)
Kit Colors: Click HERE   Golden core or Platinum Core
Students should bring: Beading surface, good lighting, magnification if needed, Round nose pliers, chain nose pliers, and wire cutters.  Kits include One-G or KO thread, but if you prefer fishing line, you will need to provide your own.  No more than 4# test weight of Fireline or 6# Nanofil (or the equivalent weight) may be used.


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