The website of Ann Scherm Baldwin, affectionately known to the beadmaking world as Schermo. Not only does she make extraordinarily beautiful beads, but she just might be one of the best teachers out there. Ann, the former education director of the International Society of Glass Beadmakers, was my first teacher and gave me a wonderfully solid base on which to build, with emphasis on technique and fun as well as safety. If you have any thoughts about starting to make your own beads, start with a couple of days of reasonably-priced one-on-one lessons with Ann at her home in Virginia Beach. You'll have so much fun you'll wonder how you learned so much.
The Vidocq Society, a very cool nonprofit with which I have been associated for many years. Named for Eugène François Vidocq, founder of the French Sûreté, the organization is made up of 82 regular members (one for each year that Vidocq lived) and a number of special members. We gather over lunch once a month to assist law enforcement agencies to solve cold case homicides from all over the United States. Our members include present and former federal, state and city law enforcement officers, prosecutors, medical examiners, forensic dentists, a world-renowned forensic sculptor, and many other experienced and highly regarded specialists. Our work has been featured on 20/20, Dateline, CSI, and even a Nancy Drew book. Watch for a book about the Vidocq Society called "The Murder Room: The Heirs of Sherlock Holmes Gather to Solve the World's Most Perplexing Cold Cases," by Michael Capuzzo, to be published in December 2008.