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It was my birthday recently, and what is a great gift for a beader?  Beads!  I went with some family to a bead store in a nearby town that I had never been to called Meant to Bead.  I was pleasantly surprised at how big and well stocked the store was.  They even had art beads!  Even though I have this idea that I should be stocking up on findings and basics at the local bead store, I was drawn to the art beads.  (Although I did get some ribbon ends on clearance.)

MeantToBeadThere was a huge selection from c-koop, including the little green hand charm. It was such fun to see so much in one place. Later, looking at the store newsletter, it appeared Sara Lukkonen had been there to give a class or two.

I fell in love with this little strand of lampwork beads by Piccadilly Beads. I just love the mix of colors, shapes and patterns.

We lucked in the day we were there.  There had been a Unicorne trunk show that was just being packed up while we looked around.  We quickly picked out what we wanted. I got this lovely barrel bead.  I had previously only been familiar with Unicorne’s teardrop style beads.

I was also really happy to find these rubber rings for sale individually.  I’ve seen them used to good effect by many designers, but I never wanted to buy a pack in just one color.  Although the store did have single color packs for sale, I was also able to put together a multicolor pack for myself.

OringsI had also gotten a birthday coupon from Michael’s.  I guess when I signed up for emails, they asked for my birthday.  I wasn’t necessarily planning to go over there and use it, but I was with my Mom while she picked up a picture she had framed.  Well…since I was there.

MichaelsbirthdayThis is part of my on-going quest to use craft store beads in beautiful ways like jewelry artists I admire do.  (Think Erin Prais-Hintz.) I especially love that chain tassel.  I’ve seen those semi-frequently recently and just love them every time. I’m kind of lazy to create my own, so I thought this was a nice cheat.

I am on the look out for some Tim Holtz inspiration word bands to use in this Stampington project.  Although I did not find those, my Mom spotted some other good things.  (The Tim Holtz collection was on sale!)  So I got this package of ball chain in several colors.  Terrible picture, but nice supplies for my stash!

TimHoltzThis was a fun bead-filled birthday.  I’m hoping to have some time soon to make a few designs just for fun.