For the past 21 years Betty has participated in craft shows throughout Indiana (22 shows in one year at the most). She hosted shows herself for 16 years at her local 4H grounds, offering 70 booths for artisans. She chose the very best crafters and was complimented as having the best show in the area. Then, her husband said she needed to slow down. Now, Betty and her husband are retired farmers in Boone County, Indiana. The land they live and farm on belonged to her great grandmother and previous ancestors. Betty and her husband raise hogs and cattle and grow corn, soy beans, hay, wheat and oat, alternating yearly.
Prior to creating jewelry, Betty made crafts including decorated collars, vests and denim jackets and wooden jewelry created with wood beads and cut-outs. Betty painted the background of the beads and another artist would paint the detail. She has always been a seamstress--having designed clothing for her daughters and son, even her husband. Betty used to buy and sell collectibles and antiques. She has lots of precious family keepsakes, including family furniture and dishes, as well as a beam from the original barn on the property that now has a place as the fireplace mantle in her home. Betty and her husband enjoy playing card games. Her husband does volunteer work. She visits the beauty shop every Friday.
Betty enjoys working with all types of beads: metal, gemstones, glass and crystal and has just recently started using acrylic. Her favorite beads are Swarovski bicones and her favorite colors to design with are pink and blue. She has always shared her jewelry with others she cares about. The first person she remembers giving a piece of jewelry to was her massage therapist, then she kept giving to those she loved and new friends she met--she even gave two pairs of earrings to her mail carrier.
Betty currently has some of her pieces on commission at local stores, and recently began donating her pieces for charitable purposes. She participates in a bead club that meets once a month at the library in Clinton County. The club held a Show and Tell and Betty took in three necklaces and earrings. A lady in the club held a fundraiser for fire victims and Betty donated a blue necklace and earring set.
Betty's most memorable charitable jewelry donation was for the Boone County Cancer Society. Betty's high school friend, Dane, has a wife and three daughters. All three developed breast cancer and one daughter died from it. In memory of the daughter who passed away, the family volunteers with the Boone County Cancer Society which has an annual dinner with an auction and raffle. Betty donated a necklace and earring set created with all pink beads and a carved rose to the auction. They earned $18,000 in 2010 through the event.
Here is Betty's advice for beginning beaders: