Monday, January 5, 2009

Ms. January

I have the good fortune to live in an area of the country that is pretty much replete with nice local beading stores. Okay, perhaps this is a slight exaggeration, but there are a good number of them within reasonable driving distance, and I think it safe to say that I have checked out all of them at one time or another. Out of these, I have three I tend to frequent the most, and Chelsea's Beads is one of them. I hope to do a more in-depth profile on the store later, but I will say that this is a friendly, down-to-earth, family-run enterprise. I go there primarily for their nice selection of stone. Also, when I started getting interested in vintage lucite, I knew that Chelsea's would be a great place to check out, as they have quite an extensive collection.

Anyway, if you peer through the store's windows this month, you might see a familiar visage (well, familiar if you've checked out the contributor photos in any of the magazines in which I'm published - I don't think I've ever posted a photo of myself on the blog. Although, come to think of it, I guess I'm doing that right now...). Chelsea's has started a rotating window display for local area designers, and I'm on for January.

Isn't this nice? This display was artfully arranged by Dawn, one of the friendly and helpful folks you will meet at the store. Chelsea's Beads is located on the North Shore of Chicago, in downtown Highland Park (just a block north of the Metra station). If you live in the area and have ever been gripped, for whatever weird reason, with the desire to see any of the stuff I post here up close and personal, a number of pieces will be on display through January (including some of the first necklaces I ever made - I swear, I must have been rolling all of my clay about 8 cards thick back then, the beads are so heavy - terribly embarrassing). And even if you have never been gripped by the insanity (and why would you have been, truthfully), do you really need any other excuse to go bead shopping? I mean, really? (Much of the store's inventory is available on-line, for anyone living in the rest of the country, by the way.)

Thanks for visiting!

ps. Of course, if you do visit the store and see a harried-looking customer chasing a hyperactive little boy in circles while trying to bead shop, that will probably be me, so please do say "hello", as I would love to meet you.


TesoriTrovati said...

You are so funny!
I love the image of bead shopping while chasing a little boy in circles!
I appreciate the link to their online store, as I don't have access to much where I live a few hours north of you. I will check it out. And when I do manage to travel one of my first stops is any bead store I happen to find so it is great fun to have one recommended.
Congrats on the Ms. January title and what a great way for the store to promote the wonders of beading!
Enjoy the day!
Erin, Tesori Trovati

Melissa J. Lee said...

Hi Erin,
Oh, the entire store is quite used to us by now (and amazingly tolerant - the SO is my litmus test in that regard). It's a nice place. I understand that most of the vintage lucite stock is now on-line, but I'm not so sure about the stone. They also attend the major shows, so you can see them in person at Bead & Button if you go.
Happy New Year!

RupaB said...

When we lived in Singapore a few years ago, I took my very very active 2 yr old to Hong Kong for one of the biggest gems/jewelry that was a challenge as he was all over the place...luckily for me (the venue was so huge + we had a nanny) that he could run along the corridors and got tired soon...but I don't think I would ever do it again!

Christina said...

I'll have to try to get over there to see your display!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Rupa, you are a braver woman than I! I have seen young children at the shows, before, but not at the age when they could seriously run around. I saw one couple in the wholesaler's room of a show plop what looked to be their 18mo old little girl down on top of a huge stack of beads while they talked to a dealer.

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Christina! No worries if you can't make it, but it is a nice store, if you haven't been there before.

Christina said...

I've been there, but it's been a while. I don't get over to Highland Park very often. There's a new bead store in Deerfield I'd like to visit one of these days.

Melissa J. Lee said...

I've been there - it sort of took up the mantle of...thingy. Rats, I'm drawing a blank on the name of the store now. The one that was in HP that offered all of the great seed bead classes etc. (that I never managed to get to). NanC Meinhardt! That's it. They have a nice selection of seed beads but are sort of light on other types of beads.

Bev's Jewelry / said...

Congratulations on your showing.
I took my two grandhildren to a bead store once with strict instructions to keep their hands off the stones, Then I decided to give one of those little baskets for shopping to each. They patiently waited as I picked out what I wanted and let each one hold my goodies in their basket. They were good for quite awhile and then ... They are kids.