Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bead and Button show

The Bead and Button show has been on my list of "I wanna" for several years.  350 + vendors, beady people and gorgeous artwork all in the same place = of course.  So, on the spur of the moment, and armed with some fundage from the bead stash, J and I headed across the Big Lake.

 The first purchase, moments after walking in the door?  Lisa Peters Art!  What a wonderful, friendly artist.  I've wanted some of her work for quite awhile.  

Then, the search was on for chinese glass deals.  I needed 6mm and 8mm shiny beads.  Prices on these were all over place on Saturday.  By Sunday, they had largely all come down to $1 a strand.

Love those opagues!

From here, it kind of begins to blur together.  And get a bit testy.  We ran into a few vendors that weren't lovely to deal with.  I fell in love with these lampwork rare to see lampwork in cabochon form.  The vendor was really helpful and nice.  The bead store he was sharing the booth with - not so much.  (In 20+ years, I've never had someone give me such a hassle about using my resale license. Grrr.)

Check out Robert's stuff!
As we wondered around, we did bump into (search out) several artists that I've been wanting to meet and/or re-connect with.  Yvonne, from MyElements  (so wonderful!  so welcoming!), Joan Miller (who had lovely treasures that I hope to see soon in her Etsy shop!), York Beads (so friendly and didn't poke at me for continually losing my password on their online site) and Green Girl Studios (so much fun to look through all those trinkets!).  It was also lots of fun to have the gang at Fire Mountain make such a fuss over the jewelry we were wearing.  :)  Meeting Gary Wilson and ogling some of his stonework was lovely, and, I admit, a bit stressful, as I tried to decide on what my modest budget would allow.  He truly is a master.  And it was lovely to meet Diane Hyde.  She was one of the first people that I bought from, all those years ago, when I first started bead embroidery.  She encouraged me at a time when very few people were playing with beads and embroidery.

We stayed in the Hyatt, right across the street from the venue.  WAY over-priced.  I should have done my homework better on finding a place to sleep, but I was looking for easy rather than practical.  And, honestly, I thought for the price, I'd get some amenities, not nickle and dimed with charges.  Never did get internet access or the television fixed.  Sigh.  And parking = OUCH. 

Can you guess?  I will not ever be staying here again.

But Sunday came and we were relatively refreshed.  And the spirit of beady-love was alive and well in the venue.  Maybe it's because we started our shopping with Mak, of Maku Studios.
Oh my goodness.  I came home with these pieces, but really, I wanted about nine more!  And she is just the most lovely person!

Working on our bead buzz, we crossed the aisle to Raven's Journey.  (Thank you, Sarah, for the tip!)  I found a good deal on some little clay faces.
But there was lots of czech glass here, as well  - fun sizes and shapes.  

Then it was on to Electica.   Crazy busy booth, but VERY well staffed and organized.  I went a bit cabochon greedy.  Mother of pearl (need a funky piece of white coral for the center piece to use with these), kyanite (my favorite stone), gold moonstone, abalone, and some jaspers.  Yum.

As we headed out, we FINALLY found seed beads at a reasonable price.  Got lots o'hanks of 11's, 8's and bugles.  And found this funky glass strand (plus metal) at North Lake Trading  (wonderfully friendly!) right next door to the seed beads.

Also found at the seed bead shop (which I believe is "Victorian Lace")  - some flat chunks of copper from Michigan's upper peninsula.  I'm anxious to use these, maybe mix 'em with some petoskey stones.

I also found a felting kit, which I'll talk more about later on, as I begin to play with felt.  (This is also on my "I Wanna" list.)

Last, but definitely not least, is this gorgeous lampwork focal.  The artist gave me an excellent deal and I'm disappointed to say, I can't find her card anywhere!  But I'll keep looking!

All in all, I'm glad we went. But I'm not sure I'll need to go again.  It's a great venue to see and be seen, to meet up with fellow beaders and artists that you admire/hear of.  The Bead Dreams display is just amazing!  So much talent.  But if one is looking for deals, not so much. 

I think, if I go again, I'd like to take some classes - in polymer, in felting.  Definitely, stay at a cheaper, more welcoming hotel.


  1. Great to hear your experience. I went last year for the first is overwhelming. I actually had great luck in Memphis last fall with great deals....and we got to travel the parkways full of beautiful color.

  2. Yep, you need to come to Cali. And we'll make the rounds at Quartzsite. Like I've told you before big shows are AWEsome and a great selection of Everything beady and some of the setups are as beautiful as the beady's, but it's exhausting trying to get as many places as possible and very little " special prices" at those events. Sounds like you had a fabu time, though......except for the hotel being so Rude and Not making your stay perfect.....which they SHould have for an upgrade/expensive place. 'fraid we'd have been "asked to leave" had I been with INTERNET.....NO pay....mucho bitchin' to managerial person!! Love you, Sally Head cowpoke at the Triple R ranch....that's for Retired - Restored & Rowdy!