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Art Glass program

Today I went to the Art Glass and Bead Show in my city of Madison, Wisconsin with my mom, dad and my sister’s girlfriend, Lisa.  My sister and Lisa happened to be visiting, and Lisa said she would enjoy going.  My sister stayed home and held down the fort.

We were discombobulated at this show for a number of reasons, but it didn’t keep us from spending our money or getting good stuff!  I thought I would go straight to Dakota Stones and spend my entire budget first thing because I’d been planning that since last year.  But when I got there, they didn’t seem to have the stones I wanted, although they had some beautiful things.  I would have loved to get a strand of citrine similar to what I bought last year, but they didn’t have that shape.

I went to check out CB&Co because I love her stuff, and I got sucked in (along with my mother) to an old case of found objects and sale things.  It’s stuff the artist picks up at antiques stores while traveling to and from shows.  This is the sort of thing I love.  Back in the day I went to all sorts of flea markets and antiques shows and stores, but now I’m old and tired and happy that someone else has done it for me.

CB&Co. found objects

Lisa bought me a super cute stamped sea glass pendant from Taylors Falls Bead Store.  I love it. Yellow – a favorite bead color of mine!

Lisa's gift pendant

I’m not very observant, and they guy who waited on us admitted the signs were very “home made” but everything in the booth was 30% off!  Well, that sent me over to the African strands.  So, I bought some of those.

Taylor Falls African strands

Then I was helping my Dad pick something out at the same booth, and this crusty metal piece caught my eye.

Taylor Falls crusty pieces

Lisa told us about a booth chock full of African beads she thought we’d like.  It was one of those booths with no prices.  That always puts us off.  I hate to ask the price of every single thing.  Also, I think those folks kind of size you up and base the price on that rather than really have everything memorized.  But my mom was in the market for some vinyl beads, and this guy had a big ton of sizes and colors.  Totally cheap!

vinyl beads

She’s sharing these with me, so you get to see them.  I am kind of obsessed with these.  I never get tired of them.

So then we started asking him the price of other strands.  He had some really gorgeous stuff.  Giant shell beads I kept petting.  Big, fat amber we didn’t even bother to ask the price of.  But his prices were actually good, so…

African beads 2

That strand on the right is my favorite strand from this show.  LOVE!  I can’t even tell you the business name.  No card, receipt – I don’t even think his booth had a banner.  I’m glad Lisa led us there because I don’t think we would have bought otherwise.  That no prices thing is so off-putting.  But my mom bought several strands, too.  Next year, we might go there first.

So we were pretty spent out by this time (money and energy).  But another booth I wanted to go to – East of the Sun (no website) – was on our way out, and my mom wanted to stop.  When I recognized it, I went in too.  I saw these fab strands of mixed beads wired on cord and fell in love.  My mom said she’d get a price.  I waited with Lisa, telling her, “My mom is getting a price on this thing none of us is going to buy.”  It was a fraction of what I thought it would cost, and I ran right over to buy it. I knew I’d regret it if I passed it up, but now I’m on a bead diet.  I am, really!

broken bead necklace

The proprietor explained that this technique is to use up broken beads.  It is a mix of cheap and more expensive beads (and I see shells) many of which are broken.  They are wired to cord and so lush the breaks don’t matter.  I thought it was a closed strand, and I would have to take it apart and try to reassemble it as a necklace.  My dad showed me that it’s not.  I’m extra thrilled.  I’m wearing it to brunch tomorrow!

But even as we left, that wasn’t all!  Lisa reminded us to check our wrist band numbers to see if we had won a door prize, and my dad had!  A beautiful lampwork bead made by a Wisconsin artist.

Dad's prize

A fun day was had by all, and Lisa is invited to all future bead shows!