Fast forward to 2013. And my last minute decision (June!) to vend at Bead Fest (August!). When you read this, I am probably already on my way to Pittsburgh to pick my handsome husband up from the airport before we continue on to Philadelphia (yes, you read that right....it's kind of complicated).
And I literally went shopping for my bead display stuff yesterday afternoon. Because I work better under pressure. Also, I procrastinate. So it's sort of still a cobbled together display.
I went shopping with the thought that I would buy cheap wood trays from the craft shop and fill them with something to create a nice soft bed for my beads...rice? seed beads? coffee beans? Definitely NOT sand. I did that the first bead show. It was a disaster.
I stopped at Kohl's first so I could buy some jeans for hubs. And I took a quick look in the cookware department. And I found the perfect solution to one of my major problems....small inventory.
The small square bowls are very simple, elegant, and only about 3" or 4" across. Because I mostly have focals, each bowl will be a perfect showcase for a focal bead. I bought 3 trays of 3 bowls. So I only need to put out 9 focals at any given time. I can add a few to the long rectangular tray as well.
Because my deep dark embarrassing secret is that I just don't have very many beads. It's been a crazy summer (I long for kids whining about being bored and me not having to drive miles and miles and miles every single day) and I signed up late. Oh well. Call this a learning experience and have fun. Meet new people. Buy beads.
I decided I wanted a black or dark brown filler. There are several reasons I went that direction. Because my entire set-up is black, white, wood, and metal. Also, it would have driven me insane if the white rice was "off" from the white of the dish. So I ran next door to Walmart to look for something black. Black beans? Black wild rice? I decided on the rice.
But I was worried about my glass headpins being too heavy for the rice to keep upright in the 8 oz. canning jars I had put in the cart. I bought 4 bags at $5 EACH to try (which seems kind of expensive for rice! But what do I know? I rarely eat rice and have never eaten this kind.)
The next stop was Michaels (just a few doors down from Walmart) where I found...sand. Yes, I know I said I wasn't going to use sand. But PEOPLE! This sand is coarse. And black. With a little bit of sparkle. And it didn't stick to the sides of the plastic bag it was in...a very good sign.
And at only $3/bag at nearly twice the amount in the bag as the rice, I was certain this was my answer.
I rushed home to try everything out.
This particular style murrini really needs to be seen top down. Laying on their sides on my table looks pretty unimpressive
And in the jar:
An additional benefit of the jar of sand...easy to pack away:
I'll be returning that wild rice when I get back from Bead Fest.
Check out the postcards we ordered to give out:
Stop by and say hello if you're going to Bead Fest. If not, say hello in the comments below.
Have a great week!