Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Bead Fest: A Feast For The Eyes

Bead Fest was held over the weekend.  It's one of the highlights of my year and I've been attending since 2004.  I've even been a vendor at it 3 times (and might again in the future).  This year I went for fun; to see friends and do some (lots) of shopping.

Welcome to Bead Fest
You need to be careful at Bead Fest.  It's easy to go waaaaaaaaaay over budget in a short period of time (ask me how I know).  I told myself to lay off so many art beads this year...hahahahahahahaha!  Ok, yeah that didn't happen.

Gardanne Enamel Components
Explain to me how I'm supposed to do that with such fabulousness like Gardanne Beads enameled pieces?

Thornburg Bead Studio
Nikki/Thornburg Bead Studio brought some of her gorgeous lampwork urchins with her.  I ended up buying a bunch of lampwork headpins from her though to assist me with our AJE headpin challenge.

Penn Avenue Pottery
Tracey/Penn Avenue Pottery had oodles of fun ceramic beads to choose from.  I found myself trapped (totally against my will) at her booth for awhile, with my hands stuck (yes, I couldn't pull them out) in those trays.

Staci Louise Originals 
After my escape from Tracey's booth, I ended up at Staci's booth (that's a lie, I'd been there probably 500 times already by Saturday apologizes to Staci).  Her booth looked like a magic unicorn had visited with all the beautiful rainbow colors.  I added more beads to my gigantic Staci-collection.

Staci's bags
In addition to her beads, Staci also brought some of her hand-dyed and stamped bags with her.  I own a luna moth bag and it was perfect for shopping the show.

In fact, several bead-makers brought other art with them in addition to their beads...

Diane Hawkey
Diane Hawkey had some of her whimsical pot head planters and house sculptures for sale in her booth.

Beaded Chic Fused Glass
Donna/Beaded Chic has been playing with fused glass lately and brought some new pieces along with her table full of lampwork!

Marsha Neal
Marsha Neal had beads, tiny pottery and her needle-felted creations at her booth.  

Jenny Davies-Reazor
AJE's own Jenny Davies-Reazor had some of her gorgeous tiles and needle-felted/bead-embroidery pieces for sale at her table.

Firefly Design Studio
Michelle/Firefly Design Studio had her beach-inspired dishes with her!

And of course there was gorgeous jewelry at the show...

Marcia Balonis and Pam Garbig
Marcia Balonis and Pam Garbig had a table full of beautiful samples and kits for sale.  I brought home one kit and will be writing about it on here in the near future. 

There were also great tools for sale!

New AJE member, Cooky Schock had a booth and I came home with a lucet and some cord from her. You might recall the recent blog post that Cooky wrote for us about the lucet.  This great little tool helped make my 5+ hour car ride home go much quicker!

Treated myself to a new Xuron plier.  Soooooo comfortable!

Funky Chain, ParaWire, Gemstones
This was just the tip of the iceberg of what was available at Bead Fest!  You're probably wondering what I brought home with me, right?  Let's take a peek...

Pottery Purchases
A bunny pot head planter from Diane Hawkey, a ring holder from Marsha Neal and a dish from Michelle/Firefly Design.

Tools and Kits
The lucet, cord for the lucet, some dyed Stiff Stuff (Bead My Love), spiffy new XBow Series Xuron pliers and a fab kit from Marcia Balonis.

Art Bead Haul
And this is the art bead haul.  So many beads, pendants, headpins and cabochons!  

Bead Fest 2016 was fabulous as always and while I hate to see it end, my wallet requires a year to recover.  See you in 2017, Bead Fest!

Happy Beading!


  1. Loved this post, your sense of humor and all the eye candy. Thanks.

  2. Awww... thanks so much for that show summary, your energy is amazing! I would have had to have that bunny head bowl myself. Lucky you!

  3. So sorry I missed seeing you this year. I had a blast, luv all the pictures in your post, my wallet too needs a year to recover, lol, but its going to be so much fun designing, huggs

  4. So jealous! First BeadFest I've missed in years and you have amazing treasures!

  5. Great write up! You certainly did buzz all around and visit. Loved the visits.

  6. Next year I AM GOING!!! Been putting it off for too long! In the last shot, do you know the info on the creator of the bead ?cab with the sheep on it? Bottom center of the pic/ I would so love to be in touch with that vendor! Thanks in advance.

  7. Great post Diana, thanks for the support. I don't have to say see you at the next bead fest anymore, now that we are minutes away from each other. See you soon.

  8. Thanks for all the eye candy, Diana! I'm sad to have missed it this year... maybe next year!


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