I haven’t gone to the Bead & Button show since 2013. During the intervening years, I have gone to the Madison Art Glass and Bead Show which is smaller but a nice show and right in my own town. I didn’t go this year, so I’m going big and traveling to Milwaukee on Friday to spend a little time (and money!) at Bead & Button.

I hope to be able to meet some of my Facebook bead peeps in person. I’ve read several posts with tips about attending a bead show.  I’ve made and honed my master list of vendors I must visit. I love all beads and materials and get totally sucked in by everything, so I’ve tried to make my list with an eye toward things I will actually use (eventually) and can’t easily order online.  For example, I’ve identified a couple of vendors for gemstones and metal spacers.  Although I can get those things online, I find it difficult to pick them out because no matter how good the description, I often can’t picture size. 

And then there are the art beads. That’s a major part of what I’m in it for. When I went five years ago, I didn’t know all the handmade bead artists were grouped together on one side. I started on the other side, and by the time I got to the art beads, I was running out of money. That should not happen this year. Although I’m not necessarily going there first – because I actually have a pretty good stash of art beads and need the aforementioned gemstones and spacers – I won’t make the mistake of buying things I’m not in love with prior to getting to the art bead row! I have said for a long time if I get to go to Bead & Button again, I would immediately swoop down on Diane Hawkey’s booth. I feel a little less pressure because I got the above fabulous stash of her beads online last year. But they are not always readily available online (except some of her well know beads like word beads and a few others) so I will definitely be stopping there while feeling slightly less desperate!

I have little bottles of water, peanut butter and jelly Larabars (not too crumbly and possible to eat without water if necessary) and a list of other things to take. My sister and brother-in-law are going with me. I don’t think either of them has ever been to a bead show before, so I will be interested to see what they think. I’m excited and hope I find and pick all the right things. Tune back in next week and I’ll do a show and tell. See you then!