Why, yes. Yes, it is.
So with a very limited budget and a full tank of gas in the Punch Buggy, we headed towards Philly on Friday.
Attending a bead show, a craft show, or an antique mall with a kidlet can be a recipe for disaster or an exercise in futility if you aren't prepared. I had no expectations for this show -- I didn't NEED anything -- and I really just wanted to spend some quality time with my son. Zack loves going through my beads and he likes to shop, but I'm also not entirely stupid, so there had to be a plan.
#1 -- I wrote down the numbers of the vendors I HAD to see. Most were friends I wanted to say hello to, some were just for massive longing (ie, the Fretz hammers.....oh my!) but I knew I wouldn't have a chance to see everything.
(Zack was impressed that I knew not only the names for all the colors without looking at the tags, but that I also have almost every color he named. I used to run massive crystal bulk buys years ago, so I don't think I've met a crystal I didn't like!)
The favorite "peanut butter spoon".
#3 -- I planned on spending what money I had on him. And boy did Zack have good taste. He came out with some amazing lampwork beads (a mermaid and a dragon, to name a few). He takes care of his treasures, too, with a bookshelf just for these special finds.
(Shoe beads Zack claimed from the 5th Bead Soup Blog Party.)
#4 -- Know when it's time to go. Friday, Zack determined that, and we went to dinner and then a swim in the hotel pool before a long night of digging through our beads and playing cards.
What was wonderful was not only spending time with my son, but sharing him with friends who've met him on this blog. The list of people we met is so long I'm terrified of forgetting someone, so rather than list you all out, let me tell you all -- it was fabulous to see you, I loved your amazing work (what you were selling, what you were wearing -- wow!), and I appreciated so much how kind you were to the Zack-man. There will be lots of thank you notes heading out the door this week!
Unfortunately, Zack and I had to leave early on Saturday (my back started going out and it's still out, along with a killer migraine to keep it company -- I can hardly see while I'm typing this) so I missed the bead swap, but I did get my beads to the hostess so I hope my partner liked what Zack and I picked out! OH! And fun factoid: I'll bet I was the only person walking around the show on Friday with a vintage toy typewriter! (Thank you, Cynthia!!!!).
Now I'm fighting pinched back nerves and a migraine and deadlines but I'm happy! You have to take the happiness when it comes your way and embrace it and then, when you're stuck in bed with an ice pack over your eyes, you have wonderful things to remember.
Lori Anderson creates jewelry and bead kits as well as collaborative mixed media art with her son, Zack. Visit her shops by clicking here. She is also the creator of the Bead Soup Blog Party® and author of the book Bead Soup.
Join her at the Facebook group Bead Soup Cafe for bead chat, swaps, challenges, and lots of eye candy!