Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bead Fest: blood, beads and beady friends!!!

Well, Bead Fest is done and I miss the ladies already.  
It was a great weekend with lots of laughs, a few injuries and plenty of beads.  I have found that there is just nothing like the camaraderie of a bead show.  Whether you know someone or not, you can walk right up to them and fondle their jewelry, chat, and walk away laughing as if you were best friends.  Everyone is there for the same, obsessive reason......must have more cool beads!!!  Its a great time that I both look forward to, and miss when it is over.

(Forgive my long post, I will take you through the weekend via mini stories, and lots of pictures.)

I am still recovering, because it is also a marathon, begining on Thursday for me and ending sunday......then I come home and unpack and swing right back into Mom mode.


I got there early on Thursday to set up.  

I moved the table around in my group to try to maximize the space. 

I think I was one of the first people to show up in my aisle.

Then Lisa and Hank arrived (Lisa Peters Art).  It was her first time at Bead Fest and we were all thrilled she was there.

Look at all those new beads!

So since I got to set up very early, I had time to just relax at the hotel.  The rooms were nice (I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn, just minutes from the show) and I had an entire room to myself.  I just enjoyed some quiet time.  Then I got to go for a swim and hang out with Hank and Lisa a little bit more.  

After my solo dinner and yummy drink (Kraken dark rum and ginger beer with lime) 

I went to visit Lisa and help her price some beads.  Now, I had that yummy drink at dinner, and then had some of my cider.  (there is a little story coming, you needed that info...)

I told her i would pair up little sets of earring charms.  So she got me string, but they could not find the scissors.  Hank had a nice huge steel knife (the Bulgarian) he said I could use.  Lisa protested, but I assured her I would be careful............

Probably wasn't a good idea....should have listened to Lisa!!!

The funniest part, I got to the show on Friday morning to find Hank like this.....
I asked him if he too had a slip with the Bulgarian, and he said no, that he was going through a drawer and found the scissors!

Lisa was about to wrap us in bubble wrap.  So, Bead fest started out bloody even before it began!  But we were not going to let it get us down!  LOL!

My table buddies were finally set up and I got to see every-ones stuff all laid out.  Here they are putting the finishing touches on the booths before they let in the customers

On this side we had Marsha Neal and Nikki Thornburg

 and on this side was Diane Hawkey and me

We were way back in the corner.  I faced the very last row and curtain that was the back end of the show.  I was a little worried no one would find us back there.  However, I forgot how determined bead shoppers were, and we had a busy corner all through the weekend.  If people weren't shopping they were hanging out to chat!
I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked to.  It was a busy show!  But here are some of the ones I snapped from the show
(Or I borrow from friends who took pics at the show)

Kathleen and Marsha getting first dibs

Diane and her funky booth.
 I love her style!

Marsha chatting it up- our little group could chat- that's for sure

Thomas Mann doing a sawing demo.  I hate sawing, and I knew it was because I was doing it wrong.  In a 10 minute demo I got sooooo much from him.  If you ever have a chance to take a class with him, do it.  I have heard they are amazing and from the little tid bit I saw here, I am sure they are.

 some of his work below

This is Amanda (of Brassy Peacock Designs).  She was my bathroom break and bead shopping break gal.  Man, she can run a booth!  She was the BEST booth helper, and even organized things while I was away.  I cannot tell you how much I appreciated it!
 This is Linda.  I met her at my very first Bead Fest.  I was just a shopper then, and a little overwhelmed.  We bonded over beads.  She also helped me in my very first class and I just love seeing her smile once a year!!!!
 This is Cooky (shepherdess beads).  She is a creative force to be reckoned  with.   I love her natural organic style.  Someday we hope to be able to take each others classes.  Or maybe we can just hang out before or after Bead Fest and play.  
 My son Aiden, who make jewelry, wanted to shop for beads for his birthday this year.  So he joined me on Saturday.  Amanda gave us at least 2 hours to shop together and we had a blast!  I think he is hooked.  He helped out at the booth on Sunday too after Amanda went home.
 (picture by Lesley )
Here is Hank, all set up and ready to go!

 Lisa's beads were my first Art Bead Loves
 Lisa and her mom being the fun gals they are!!!!
 (last three pictures were taken by Lisa Peters)

Marsha having a good time as usual!!!!  LOL!
 (photo by Marsha Marsha Marsha)

Booth mate selfie- this was the corner to be  in!  Fun and lovely ladies- always laughter going on in here

Tracy Bell seems to have acquired alotta cash there.....wonder how that happened.....
 Well, what happens at Bead Fest stays at Bead Fest

I taught my Wild Wire Gypsy Choker class on Sunday.  Aiden was a great assistant and the ladies just loved him.   He hammed it up for them and all.  I had no idea he was so good in front of a crowd!!!

My teaching table with samples (and breakfast)

 The kit table
 Feeding the helper

The ladies in class were wonderful.  They came ready to learn and worked hard.  I think they left some tips and techniques to really help further their designs!  

After Aiden (who will be 14 next month) had helped me with practice classes and the actual class, he was inspired to make a charm necklace.  He shopped and then sat down and worked hard on it.  This is what he made
(thanks Nikki Thornburg for getting such a great picture of it)
Proud mama here!!!!!

And then of course, there is the loot.  I shopped, I traded and I was gifted very awesome things!

Here is a tray of gemstones to use in my jewelry that I need.  Amber and labradorite are staples for me, and I loved those huge center drilled crystals.  These were from intrinsic trading co and Holy and PUre gemstones

This journal was hand made for me by my friend Kathleen....isn't it great?  The ribbon and button are a book mark to use.

These were my treats for having a good show.  I had to have these druzy beads- malachite and azurite top drilled.  The pyritized ammonite is for ME.  And the smaller ones are to make earrings for my mom!  Because she deserves awesome things!

Electroplated stones- love these.  got these stumpier silver ones and the longer bronze ones below

Just a fun mix of colors I use alot

Gigantic pyrite nuggets and some great ocean jasper nuggets too.  Oh, and some brass bells from hands of the hills

Ok- on to the trades and gifts.  Diana P.  of Suburban Girl Studio traded these to me (and gifted me those big chunky wood beads)

These are from Tracey Donoughe- i had more from her but my son snagged them all

I HAD to have this firefly pendant from Jenny Davis Reazor, and the owls just called to me as well

These are by Laura Souder- love them!

These are Thomas Mann pocket charms, I had to have a handful

Of course, Lisa Peters Art

Michelle McCarthy Firefly Design (I had more of her beads too but the kids took them as well)

Anne Gardanne Enamel- swoon worthy

Diane Hawkey (who was my neighbor)

Marsha and Nikki had me make them some jewelry for them to wear and be samples.  I traded them jewelry and beads for  I love doing it.  Here is the one I made Marsha, but I only got a picture of the layout, though she is wearing it in a few of the above pictures

I got these beauties and a bracelet kit for Julia

I loved working with Nikki's glass beads.  Here are the necklaces I made her- and we also traded beads.  I guess you can say we like each others stuff

Lots of swoon worthy goodness.  I love beads and I adore my beady friends!

And although I love Bead fest, it is always awesome to come home to the kids.  

It seems the ladies gave all the opened snacks to us to bring home, so once they were done hugging me, the kids sat down to eat the goodies!  Thanks Nikki and Marsha!

The dogs also missed me, and  Tocchet, my newest babies reaction was just darling.  Even the next morning he was all over me.

So now we are taking a relaxing week before they go back to school.  Julia got a Marsha Neal bracelet kit and we both played with it yesterday. 

 I made mine too big so she is now wearing it as a necklace.
She is also modeling the bracelet she made.

Now I need to unpack.  But that can wait.  I have rest and family time planned this week.  so what if I can't move in the studio?

Next week the kids go back to school.  I plan to get the beads I have left listed on my website.  I also need to sit down and see what I need to do next.  Lots of classes to prepare, and videos to plan......AND JEWELRY TO MAKE!  

Thank you to everyone who came out and shopped and made me feel like a real artist!!  Thanks to my friends who were helpful, and made me laugh, and traded and treated my son like he was some sort of celebrity.  Let me tell you, he loved it!  I think he is hooked
(did I mention he has always loved beads and jewelry?  check these out from when he was a baby)

We are off to school shop today.  They just don't stop growing!  
Thanks again for allowing me to do what I love. 


  1. Looks like an awesome time, can't wait to see what you make with your new beads.

  2. What a great Bead Fest wrap up! Love all of the photos (I kept forgetting to take photos of the venue-too focused on the beads). It was so much fun hanging out with you, buying your beads and doing a little shopping for bold gemstones. I too purchased the chunky electroplated agate strand! Good thing they had more than one, right. ;) It was also lots of fun meeting your son, he is very talented (and enthusiastic about jewelry design). You must be very proud! Can't wait for next year! As Marsha stated when I was leaving, next year is too far off. Maybe we should all meet up for Bead Fest spring! I better start saving my pennies. Lots and lots of pennies!