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I spent some time with family this weekend, one of my favorite things to do.  My sister and brother-in-law picked me up from work on Friday, and we stopped at my house to feed the cat before we went on to my parents.  I got beads in the mail! I had placed an order from Bead Box Bargains, a discount bead site I think I heard of from a mention by Shaiha Williams.  Thanks, Shaiha! The stock varies, but you can get some really great bargains.

When I was ordering, they had gemstone random picks. They have a variety of strands of a certain gemstone and you buy it ($1.99!) sight unseen and get a random size and shape. I am really pleased. I got two citrine and two aquamarine.

Bead Box Bargains random pick gemstones

I also got some Czech glass.

bbb czech glass

I am on their mailing list, and they also had a coupon code.  My whole order came to just over $16 with shipping!  For me to get any bead order for less than a $20 bill is amazing!  BUT, I’m going to have to start being more conservative in my buying habits because I’ve decided to go to Bead & Button next year. I need to start saving!

In addition, I got a beautiful ceramic and glass pendant from a new-to-me artist, Kat Townsend.

Kat Townsend pendant

Back to the family weekend. We went to Stoughton, a nearby town, to visit some shops.  One was the studio of an artist a co-worker told my sister about, Bill Amundson.  Really loved his style and anti-corporate bent.  Here is one subtle example; he had more that were quite a bit more salty! They all made me smile.

Bill Amundson

We also stopped in Cheesers.  I don’t have any pictures, but they deserve a mention because they have a wonderful cheese selection, and that’s saying something in Wisconsin! They are quite convenient because they are downstairs from a great bead store, Diakonos Designs.

I am very proud of my first purchase. I (like many people, I suspect) keep buying a lot of the same stuff.  Diakonos has a lot of wonderful African beads, but I have strands and strands of those hanging in my studio.  Even though that is the first thing I am attracted to, since I am not using them at a great rate, let me buy something else! I bought a little strand of blue quartz points.  So pretty!

blue spike quartz

I also bought some Czech glass drops for a specific project I have in mind.  I hope it turns out!  If so, you’ll see it soon!

Czech drops

Of course I couldn’t resist some rustic pieces and a couple clasps.

Stoughton metal

My dad was debating delving into a new media – leather! He was wavering, so I told him I’d like to buy some supplies for his birthday.  Happy early birthday, Dad!

Dad's birthday present

Then we went home and hung out, my favorite thing. So cozy and relaxing. Here is a photo of one of my dad’s mini flower arrangements.

Dad's mini flower arrangement

I didn’t get in any swimming like I planned, but next time!  Today I’ve got to catch up on stuff, but weekends always seem longer (in a good way!) when I get to spend some fun time with family.