Shopping Opportunities: American Science & Surplus
Before I start, I have to issue a disclaimer. These geodes are not from American Science & Surplus. They are from the handful that my friend Carolyn and I cracked (see my post here about them) - they come from Illinois. (These are some of Carolyn's geodes. She gave them to me when we met for lunch, since they are all sized nicely for jewelry. Where was I? Oh, yes:) However, after writing that post, I thought it would be nice if I could find an on-line source for geodes, and, lo and behold, one of my favorite stores happens to sell them.
If you live in Illinois and know an engineer, chances are, you already know about this store. I kind of think of this as a rummage store or emporium for engineers. (Possibly, I am biased, as I was introduced to the place by the Husband, who is an engineer, when we were dating.) The taglines to the store says "Incredible Stuff! Unbelievable Prices!" and "Unlike Any Place On Earth!", and it's pretty much true. It has the oddest inventory you are likely to find in any retail store - everything from parts for electronics buffs, to miniature build-your-own-volcano sets for kids, to Pyrex beakers, to yarn in psychadelic colors, to, well, geodes (imported from Mexico). And, in the bricks and mortar store, you are likely to find the yarn placed next to, say, automotive parts and fishing tackle, which makes the whole experience even more surreal.
Well, yes, Melissa, but what does all of this have to do with beads, you ask (apart from the geodes)? Well, due to the unconventional inventory, if you do a little digging, you are likely to come across some Very Useful Items disguised as seconds or technical junk (if you'll pardon the term). How about a set of dentals tools that are "slight seconds" and not usable for teeth, but could be good for other things, like working with clay (of different types)? Forceps in a variety of sizes meant for medical purposes that could be astoundingly good for working with cabochons? Triple-magnifier visors that frankly, I, being of a certain age, would be able to use pretty handily when doing detail work? All of which are offered at pretty reasonable prices? Sound good? Then I suggest checking out this store. They have three bricks and mortar store locations - two in Illinois and one in Wisconsin (addresses are on the website), but the website itself has a comprehensive catalog of goodies and is worth exploring. (Actually, it's worth exploring just for the descriptions of some of the items for sale.)
I am an intellectual property lawyer by training and have a background in English Renaissance literature. I love science fiction. I primarily watch Sesame Street these days and find myself humming "Pop Goes the Weasel" at odd moments (guess why). I can happily eat ice cream in the middle of winter when the wind chill is 20 below 0. I have been making beads and designing jewelry since 2007.
2010 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Other Finished Bead Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay Jewellery 2010 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2010 - Grand Prize, Gold Medal Winner, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Metal Clay, Metal Beads, Wirework and Chain Jewelry-Making Contest
2010 - Finalist, Bead Star, Stones, Plastics and Designs with Heart Categories
2009 - Winner, First Place, British Bead Awards, Metal Clay
2009 - Winner, Second Place, British Bead Awards, Beyond Glass, Handmade Beads and Components
2009 - Winner, Second Place, Bead Arts Awards, Necklace
2009 - Finalist, Bead Dreams, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist Fire Mountain Gems and Beads Beading Contest, Metal Clay
2008 - Finalist, Bead Star, Pearls
A word about copyright
As indicated in the copyright notice, the contents of this blog are copyright by me. To the extent that instructions to make jewelry, beads, knit items or other instructions are included in this blog, they are free for you to use to make the projects for personal use. They should not be used for commercial purposes, ie, to make items for resale.