Friday, August 17, 2012

Bead Fest!! A Bead-for-All!!

I am happily at Bead Fest Philadelphia this week...not as a vendor, but as a happy ecstatic buyer! I got to meet some very cool people today, *and* buy lots and lots of beads!

If you don't know, Bead Fest is one of the biggest bead shows held each year. It's total Bead Overload. It's more beads than you know what to do with. It's heaven.

Even my hotel room is amazing. I wanted to make sure I had a fridge, and last time I came, I stayed in a suite, which had a fridge and sink. I figured this hotel room would be similar. Wrong!

That. is. a. fireplace. I was seriously tempted to crank up the air condition so that I could snuggle in front of the fire...but that would be such an egregious waste of energy I would suffer from bad karma for months. I don't want bad karma.

I know no one really cares about my hotel room, even if I am incredibly excited about it. You all want to see some beads, right? I apologize for the phone pictures, but I didn't drag my photo set-up with me! ;)

I have fallen in love with porcelain beads this trip. They are my *thing* to over-indulge in this year. And what's better, is that I am supporting fellow handmade artists!

My first haul came from White Clover Kiln (they have an etsy shop)! I just fell in love with the colors and patterns on her pieces and will make some beautiful earrings with her beads. The one salmon colored bead is all mine. I fell in love with it, and will probably just string it on a black cord so it can be showcased as the star it is.

My next stash of handmade porcelain were found at Suburban Girl Studio LLC's booth. Her beads are so original and unique, and since I love all things Egyptian, I will be claiming the pharaoh head pendant and scarab earrings for my own person stash! I'm thinking of hoarding the paw print pendant as well. I need some new jewelry as much as anybody!

I will be visiting a couple more porcelain artists tomorrow--I actually ran out of time today at the show!

Next, I picked up a kumihimo kit. Kumihimo is a type of Japanese braiding, which makes a great complement to lampwork beads. I have been wanting to try this technique out for a while, but waited until BeadFest. Better yet, I found a artist selling the kits, so even though I didn't get any of her lampwork beads, I was still able to support her! I bought the kit from Emerald Artistry, who makes adorable animal beads!

This is only the board and rattail...lots more was in the kit!

I also got a few base metal findings, but didn't take pics of those. And of course, I had to hit some of the bigger vendors to replenish my supplies of crystals and a few gemstone strands.

My camera couldn't capture the gorgeous colors in these beads!

Gorgeous lead-free pewter!
Some chain, lapis and other good stuff!
Tomorrow, I am taking two classes. One on soldering components. I am a little worried that I may solder myself, since I am running on little sleep, and class starts at 8am tomorrow! Then, I am super excited to take an enameling class with Gail Crosman Moore! I hope to have some fun experiments to share in the next couple of days!


  1. I shopped a bit, too! Have fun in class!

  2. So jealous...but so happy you're having a great time and finding awesome beads!

  3. you found some awesome beads! enjoy your class tomorrow!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Rachel. I thought your excitement about your room was so cute - I'd feel the same way too. Ah, the bead shopping...sounds wonderful. I went to Bead Fest in the spring and took a 1/2 day class with Gail Crossman Moore - her work is just amazing. Have a great time in class tomorrow! :-)

  5. How wonderful! Thanks for sharing and good luck with your classes, tomorrow !

  6. Love what you found at the Bead Fest ~

  7. Love what you bought at Bead Fest ~ Keep us posted about your class.

  8. Awesome haul - loving the porcelain and the kumihimo kit is on my radar also! I love it when the hotel room is what I consider superb so thnx for sharing!

  9. Sounds like so much fun, I have never been but one day I will make it! Love the pewter stash!!

  10. Those are some great finds! Wasn't Bead Fest fun!!

  11. SO wanted to be there, but it just wasn't meant to happen. Thanks for sharing your goodies!

  12. Oh dear, you DID shop, didn't you!? LOL I think I'm with you on the porcelain beads and pendants; I just LOVE their look!

    I'm so jealous that you're taking a soldering class! I've wanted to learn how to solder for awhile now, but haven't found the right class or time.

    Have fun in both of your classes tomorrow! :)

  13. You made out like a bandit! Learn as much as you can, meetasmanypeople as you can, and love every moment of it all....wish I could be there - perhaps i can save up enough to try next year... Have fun and Iwill live vicariously through you, so don't miss anything in the telling ;)

  14. Very nice haul! I bet you had fun in those classes. I had planned to go and take those same classes, or at least the soldering one, but we had to cancel this year as my husband needed knee surgery. Hoping to make it next year!


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