Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I Survived...

...the 2008 Bead & Button Show. I had a terrible allergy attack Saturday night and considered canceling, but ultimately decided I wouldn't let a slight sniffle (this is an understatement - my nose was draining like Niagra Falls, if you'll pardon the image) keep me from all of those glorious beads. It worked out okay. No one actively edged away from me (except one gentlemen, and this was understandable, as I was in the middle of a dramatic sounding coughing fit), and Diane Hawkey, being the nice woman that she is, offered me Claritin, Sudafed and water in succession, to help me get through the day. Enough about my sinuses, though.

The show actually seemed a touch on the quiet side (this is all relative - there were a decent number of visitors, but it just wasn't as crowded looking as I have seen in past years), but this could have been due to issues involving inclement weather. I was told by several exhibitors that Saturday night, during a spate of heavy rain, flooding and tornado warnings, the show closed the convention hall and did not permit anyone to leave for a couple hours. Of course, if one has to be trapped indoors with the threat of tornadoes outside, I'd imagine one would rather do so while surrounded by beautiful beads, but I'm sure people must have spent a few uncomfortable minutes. As it was, my beading buddy Carolyn and I were worried we'd have trouble getting into the city on Sunday, but we ended up having no problems at all.

I have to say, it was a really enjoyable show. I had the opportunity to catch up with Diane and Melanie Lukacs of Earthenwood Studio (and finally managed to see some of her Steam Stone beads, although many had already been sold. They are even better in person!). I visited long-time favorite bead artist Michele Goldstein's booth and ordered a copy of Kate McKinnon's new metal clay book (she was sold out by Sunday). Incidentally, if you have not seen Kate McKinnon's work in metal clay, I highly recommend a visit to her website. I aspire to be her when I grow up. I also met and had a lovely conversation with Andrew Thornton and Jessica Wiesel at the Green Girl Studios Booth. Really, just having the opportunity to visit and buy beads from artists who are normally scattered throughout the country is wonderful.

Anyway, this is what I acquired by way of stones at the show. If you are wondering whether perhaps I was a touch feverish to be so unusually (for me, at least) restrained in my purchasing, let me say that the art beads I purchased will show up in a few days on Art Bead Scene. I'm quite happy with these beads. The strand at the top is called solar quartz - I had never seen it before. There were both rough cut slices and faceted versions available, and I decided I liked the faceted ones better. The strand at the bottom is multicolored sapphire - the beads are so dainty and unlike my usual style, but I fell in love with them the minute I saw them. The stone in the center is a baby geode that has been cut, polished and drilled through. It is far more brilliant in person - I had trouble capturing that in my photo. Finally, I purchased more elongated teardrop onyx beads from a vendor who also does shows local to where I live.

Oh, and Melanie told me that she actually saw someone wearing one of my koi pendants at the show. To whomever you are - thank you so much!

Obviously the show has a lot more to offer than just shopping. Once the SO is older, I hope to take a few classes myself, including Jennifer Heynen's ceramic class, which I understand was wonderful this year. If you haven't attended the Bead & Button Show in the past, but would like to learn more (including show dates for next year), you can visit their website here.

Thanks for stopping by!


Christina J. said...

I love the sapphires - so pretty! It's fun to see what other people bought at the show.

Jean Katherine Baldridge said...

thanks for the great tour! I love Kate's book too!

Andrew Thornton said...

It was very nice to meet you! I'm glad that you could stop by the booth and say hello! You also picked out quite a nice piece. I'm glad you were able to come by.

Thanks again for saying hello and chatting for a bit!

Melissa J. Lee said...

Thanks, Christina! I love the Green Girl resin pendants that you and your Mom bought! You have great taste!

Hi Jean - Oh, have you read Kate's book? I haven't actually seen a copy yet, but I love her work, and I'm sure I'm going to love the book when it arrives (hopefully by Friday, yay!).

Hi, Andrew! Thanks so much for visiting. It was great to have a chance to meet you and Jessica. I really love my new pendant!