Friday, August 30, 2013

Bead Fest Friends And Fun

Last year I made a very spontaneous decision to fly across the country, from Washington State to Philadelphia, for the April 2012 Bead Fest.  I had the best time meeting and hanging out with beady Facebook friends that I was meeting for the first time.  Everyone told me that I should come back the next year in August, because that is the larger Bead Fest and I would have the opportunity to meet many more people.  

Having just returned from the August 2013 Bead Fest, I can tell you that I met many more online friends and had the most wonderful time imaginable.  I could go on and on about it, but I'll make sure that my mental editor is in firm control today!

Perhaps this "Sh-h-h" from Diana is a reminder to avoid writing a short novel here!

Before I left, I withdrew my budgeted amount of bead money from the bank.  I figured that if I had the money as cash, I would stay more in control of my spending.  Its just a little too easy to lose track of your spending when using a credit card (I speak from experience at other, smaller bead shows).

I had a few shopping goals in mind.  First and foremost, I wanted to stock up on artisan beads and components.  Secondly I wanted to get some of the more unique, higher-end Czech glass beads and then, if I had time or money left, there were some tools that I hoped to pick up.

I wanted to visit all my friends' booths on Friday, so I could give them big hugs and get first dibs on their creations.  I had told Jenny Davies-Reazor that I would lend a hand in her booth, so I started there. It was so great to meet Art Jewelry Elements team members Jenny, Jennifer, Kristen, Melissa, Karen and Susan for the first time! We talk online all the time, but now I can picture the "real person" when I am reading their posts!

I knew beforehand that I wanted one of Jenny's new Russian nesting doll pendants and I also picked up a delightful house milagro.

Marsha Neal brought me a bag full of goodies.  I was so delighted to meet her for the first time!  We've been Facebook pals for a long time.  I met Staci Klinger-Smith last year, so I gave her a big hug and got some goodies from her booth.  I met Diane Hawkey for the first time and got an assortment of delights from her too.  This is Friday night's loot laid out on my hotel bedspread.

I've already made a pair of earrings with the black ceramic headpins (above) from Marsha Neal.  Come back for the earring reveal this Sunday, to see them.

By 2:00 on Saturday I had blown through almost my whole budget, just on handmade items.  Needless to say, the Czech glass and tools just never happened.  But it was worth it. Handmade beads and components make my world go round.

On Saturday, I chose glass beads from Jennifer Cameron and Sue Kennedy.
Jen - Glass Addictions

Susan - Sue Beads

I indulged my ceramic lust with goodies from Diana Ptaszynski, Jenny Davies-Reazor, Karen Totten.
Diana - Suburban Girl
Jenny - Jenny Davies Reazor
Karen - Starry Road Studio
Gathering all these fantastic beads was wonderful, but I have to say that meeting and getting to know these talented, warm, funny and generous women has been one of the most wonderful experiences of my life.  I feel welcomed and at home in this creative community.  I'll be forever grateful.

Left to right: Sue Kennedy, Linda Landig, Karen Totten, Jen Cameron, Jenny Davies Reazor and Diana Ptaszynski.
(Melissa Meman and  Kristen Stevens came to Bead Fest on Saturday , but weren't present on Sunday when this photo was taken.)


  1. Yeah! It was great to finally meet you in person! An dI was grateful for the help as I often scampered off to shop and swap. Great loot!

  2. Finding your blog post in my Inbox gives me a feeling of happy anticipation. Reading your post gives me a warm hug. Thank you.

  3. It looks like you all had such a fantastic time! Lots of lovely smiles as well as lovely loot!


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