Sunday, December 19, 2010

Let's Go Bead Shopping

I took a much-needed trip yesterday two hours down the road to pick up my friend Cindy Wimmer of Sweetbead Studio and head to an enormous bead show.  I honestly didn't need to buy anything, but I really needed the girl-time and a diversion in the shape of a bead show was just too hard to resist.

My own stash of larimar.

I take it back.  I did need one bead.  Over the summer, I'd made Zack a necklace with an Ojime bead featuring a pair of turtles.  Ojime beads are intricately hand-carved boxwood beads from Japan, and I picked the turtle bead because Zack really wanted a real turtle but that just wasn't going to happen.


Unfortunately, the necklace met its demise when Zack took it off, was holding it while in the school bathroom, and dropped it in an automatic flush toilet.  He was devastated when he got home -- "Mom, that was so special to me!" so I waited for this show to hand-pick another one.  Here it is.


I got him a little turtle ornament for the tree to go in the box with the necklace, too -- I think he'll like that.

Cindy and I did a LOT of ooohing and aaaahing over things but mostly spent time talking and walking and catching up.  She introduced me to a COOL vendor who sells geodes, both held together with a rubber band AND uncracked, perfect for the boys.  I snagged one for Zack to open on his birthday.

While standing in line at a vendor stand, my eye started wandering and lit upon a lovely fat strand of glass pearls.  I'm used to seeing these 16mm pearls in the traditional round shape, but these?  Jelly beans.  The ultimate impulse buy.  (Note to self -- when standing in line, keep those eyes FORWARD, m'k?)



There's a Turkish silver vendor I never miss -- White Cloud.  Their silver is always more expensive than traditional Bali silver but they have pieces I don't see everywhere else, so to me, it's worth it.  But folks?  This is 27.00 of silver.

To put size into perspective, the rectangles are 20mm tall.  

Here are two tips when buying silver (and click here to see the live silver price, to keep you gasping).  One, check the beads carefully to make sure there's no damage to the design.  Two, check to make sure both holes are HOLES.  Nothing worse than coming home only to find out that one hole is filled in with silver.  And is that hole going to be big enough for the wire you want to put through it?


OK.  Last thing to show you.  I'd seen this sort of pendant this spring at BeadFest, but finally bought one.  This is a bonded piece of amazonite and Red Creek Jasper.



Are these two natural gemstones?  Yes.  Did they naturally occur attached together?  No.  Do I care?  Heck no.  I just love the look.  You can do some cool things with gemstones.  Just look up "red creek jasper intarsia" and you'll see some amazing picture frame-style pendants.

My two-hour drive home alone was good -- I alternately cranked music or turned it completely off.  I came home, took a long soak, and skipped dinner in lieu of going to bed early with a book.  I had a complete escapist day, and honestly?  I think everyone needs one now and then, don't you?


Lori Anderson creates jewelry for her web site, Lori Anderson Designs, and writes the blog An Artist's Year Off.  She's also a contributor to Art Bead Scene.

31 comments:

  1. Lori that sounds like exactly the perfect "prescription" you needed. A great day away enjoying girl time and beads...priceless. Zack will love his new turtles. Enjoy your holiday and be in the moment.

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  2. Absolutely, those escape days are essential! Glad to know you had a good time with a good friend and a bead show diversion.

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  3. it sounds like the perfect perscription to what was ailing you, we do all need some me time every now and then, glad you had a friend and a bead show for your little escape from everything!

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  4. Hey what a great day and excellent bead finds. What bead show was it?
    We all need those day of just the bead pals on a bead excursion. Glad you were able to go.
    Nicole/Beadwright

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  5. Sounds like a fun day!

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  6. Perfect day in my opinion! Glad you got away and found some "me" time. Love the turtle bead.

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  7. Wonderful! I'm so glad you did this for yourself. Still lighting candles for you and Zack.
    Cenya

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  8. Sounds like the perfect day! Girl time, beads, and a little R&R. Wow! What a big stash of Larimar you have.

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  9. Sounds like a great day and I love that last bead.
    Still praying, Shannon C

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  10. Oh I love a good escapist day! It feeds the soul and sparks the imagination.

    I drive 2 hours to go to the nearest bead show and look froward to it every time. Next month I'm driving to one with the girls and we'll be gone several days. Can't wait!!

    Happy beading, dahling, with your new pretties :)

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  11. What a wonderful day! And I love that new turtle. Zack is a lucky boy!

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  12. I'm so glad to hear that you had a little getaway, Lori...nothing like a wonderful friend and a bead show to make you feel happy! :-)

    I love the little turtle bead you bought for Zach, and I'm sure he will too! ♥

    B.
    -xo-

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  13. Everyone does need a day off, a girl day, whatever you call it! Good for you, fun times and good company cure what ail you!

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  14. Bead buying, even just browing beads is very therapeutic!! Love that last combo pendant, gorgeous!

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  15. I love all the things you got. What a great day you seem to have had. That ojame turtle bead - very "cute". Good idea to get a nice looking and special item when it comes to pets for the children. Arabella needs rabbit things ...

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  16. Heck, yeah, escapist day, we all need them, maybe even more than once in a while. The geode to crack open is such a perfect birthday idea for a young one Zach's age. I know, I think I cracked open my very first geode at that age. It's magick!

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  17. Sounds the perfect day..the beads are gorgeous..the carved turtle is especially nice.Someone's going to be a very happy boy

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  18. Sounds like a great day, part of what I love about a great day is the bath at the end! Cute ojime bead, I've been trying to avoid collecting them but I'm not sure how much longer I can resist and that bonded bead is SUPER cool!

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  19. I love the turtle bead! I hope Zack will like his new necklace. I went out of town to a bead show today too with my beading girlfriend, and I thought I would only get a couple of things, but of course wound up spending a small fortune. But I did get some great stuff. Sounds like your day did wonders for your frazzled spirits. I hope the feeling lasts :)

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  20. Some girl time and bead therapy - what could be better? Good for you for using the evening to pamper yourself as well. You deserve it.

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  21. Lori, it was the ultimate escape for me too. So-much-fun! All of it. Wish we could get together more often.
    I'm so happy, btw, that the little turtle bead was found and that there will be a happy ending to that story.

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  22. Honestly I laughed out loud, when I read that you didn't buy anything. That couldn't be true! We're addicts! ;-)
    And yes, everyone needs to escape sometimes. Everyone!

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  23. Ahh - shopping, especially a bead shopping spree, can really be a cure. They should subscribe us that from time to time at the doctor's office:-)

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  24. Love the larimar and that bonded bead is amazing!

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  25. ~big smiles~
    Sharon

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  26. That sounds like a little slice of heaven. Shopping with a friend? Beads you don't need but can't live without? Uninterrupted moments for yourself? A good book and a long soak? Thanks for sharing this faboo day! Glad it did good for you.
    Enjoy the day!
    Erin

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  27. Oh my! that first photo just had me in an instant drool...the colour is so breathtakingly beautiful!

    isn't it fun to surround yourself with pretty things? hehehe.....I think so!

    happy to visit..and thankful for yours!

    ciao bella

    Creative Carmelina

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  28. Thanks for sharing this. It will be a couple of months before I can go to a bead show and this was a nice (and cheap) way to get my fix in the meantime.

    I'm glad you had a chance to get away for a little while--it's amazing what a difference that can make.

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  29. That turtle is amazing! I love ojime but I haven't found any good dealers online-- any sources? or just ones that go to shows? And the intarsia-- what a fabulous mix! We don't have large beads shows in VT so thanks for the inside view.

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  30. You betcha! I need an escape, i'm going on 5 weeks of company, closed the restaurant for the holidays, Christmas eve dinner for 15 coming at me, just got tree up and no packages wrapped yet! Escapist day here I come!!

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  31. girl, where did you get your larimar? i purchased earrings and ring in the islands but haven't seen any beads anywhere. thanks

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