Sunday, November 9, 2014

New beads and things

A few weekends ago, I went to a bead show in Albany (The Innovative Bead Expo) and found some beauties that simply had to come home with me.  Some gorgeous findings, dainty & colorful enameled pieces, and a gaggle of carefully chosen lampwork beads are now amongst my stash.  I keep looking at them and sketching designs in my mind  The truth will be in the pudding, as they say, when I actually use them to make some jewelry.  

I met some really lovely women at this bead show, artists and vendors alike, who were quite generous with their time and their energy.  It is so worthwhile to arrive early enough where truly engaging with the artists and purveyors is an option.  This is when I learn things, I notice trends, I can make a quick turn around the space in order to focus on who has the best stuff.  And it's also when I often get to chat about what I'm admiring.  It certainly can influence what I end up taking home and what I then create.  It can be an opportunity to find out what else that particular artist is up to.  Or it can be that dorky fan moment.  You know, when you actually get to meet someone whose work you've seen in magazines or on a blog.  When they are right there in front of you so you may tell them how amazing and talented they are.  I'm all about telling people how wonderful they are!  Why not?  Doesn't everyone want to hear praise?

These came from Kabela Design.  LOVED this booth.  I wanted to look at each and every piece Beth had to offer.  Check out her website:  You won't be disappointed, and she is authentically excited about her products.  I enjoyed meeting her.
These lovelies (and a few other sets) were found at Anne Lichtenstein's booth - Gardanne.  Her work is gorgeous, colorful and...precious is the word that comes to mind.  And she is lovely - kind,friendly and happy that I recognized her name from bead blogs and published designs.  I can't wait to turn these into something special.

These are all from pjBeads and were made by Patricia Dugmore (  She had bowls and bowls and bowls of beads to look through.  I could have been there all day, but she was busy and I had a spending limit.  The glass beads below came from her booth as well.  We talked about color combos and collecting beads.  She was fun.

Owlets.  Sweet little owlets.
These immediately made me think of Van Gogh's painting of blossoming almond trees.

This same weekend, I also got to spend some time with my family.  We needed to make plans for the upcoming holidays, and we just wanted to hang out.  There's nothing like reading the Sunday paper and perusing the sale fliers while eating breakfast and shooting the breeze with them.  Since my move back east, we haven't spent as much time together as we might like as we've all got busy lives and our own pursuits going on.  But being less than two hours away by car is a lot easier than being on opposite sides of the continent.  Next weekend, we'll get together again to celebrate some birthdays.  That should be fun.

Here is a necklace I made some time ago.  I had been thinking of changing out the stone donut, but I may keep it as is after all. There are so many fun beads in this piece - glass from Africa, wood, vintage glass, porcelain, Czech glass, seed beads, stone discs, faceted agate, etc.  I don't recall where I found that large chunk of turquoise used as the focal, but I've carried it in my pocket as a talisman of sorts a time or two.  I tend to do that with smooth stones.  I've been toting a thin disc of greenstone from a beach in Hokitika for a few years now.  It is a reminder of a country I love to visit and my connection to nature.


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