...but I still had a terrific time at the show. My friend, Jenie, and I braved traffic, lost keys, exhorbitant parking rates and lack of air conditioning in search of beads on Saturday and we had a great time. However, if I were a vendor at that show, I'd refuse to pay up for next year's spot until I was given an absolutely iron-clad guarantee that NEXT YEAR the hall will have air conditioning! One end of the show had the doors open and was doing okay, but the other side - whew! I have no idea how those poor vendors hadn't passed out from the heat. In fact, I'd've bought more at one booth except I just literally couldn't stand there any longer without melting. I was already terrified I was going to "drip" onto the beads - yikes!
Saw some great new stuff, tho. Sadly, I didn't have as much money to spend as usual so I had to be content with getting business cards and looking instead of buying. Rats - that just sucks! Anyway, some of the highlights included beautiful shell disk beads dyed every color of the rainbow. I've never seen such a variety and I wanted a strand in each color to come home with me (well, okay, MAYBE not the orange ones)! Also saw some really gorgeous African ceramic beads from Kenya which I discovered (after a little judicious research and googling) are produced on the ranch that formerly belonged to Karen Blixen. You might remember her story from a little movie called "Out of Africa" starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. Fortunately, that vendor is coming to Costa Mesa in the fall so I still have a chance of getting some of those yummy beads. Another place was selling really unusual vintage Swarovski components (filigreed flowers, disks, etc. all set with crystals) that I could see would make up into some really pretty, feminine designs with an antique feeling. I think they'd be especially great scattered on a charm bracelet with other pieces. Sadly, those folks don't have a website and only sell at shows, but said they might come to Costa Mesa in October. I can only hope.
I was only partially successful in my mission at Glasscapes. They didn't have the red/green/gold combo in furnace glass that I was looking for, but did offer to custom make it for me (I feel so honored) if I send them a picture of the existing beads. Of course, while we were talking, I got hypnotized by all their beautiful glass which I can only say looks JUST like candy. I bought a couple of sets to make up into future pieces - one all in bright pinks and yellows for summer and one in darker jeweltone colors for the holidays.
After nearly melting inside the hall, Jenie and I were on a desperate hunt for an air conditioned restaurant in which to eat lunch and talk over our show experience. Unfortunately, we discovered that a dismayingly high proportion of the 3rd Street Promenade restaurants don't have A/C! Yucko! Which is of course, why I titled this entry "Santa Monica Ain't So Cool After All."
Finally, we did find a fun little French bistro/creperie where we had yummy sandwiches and a really wicked chocolate crepe for dessert. Things did get a bit weird when I headed off in search of the ladies' room only to discover that it was a PAY toilet! You either have to pay or, if you're a customer of the restaurant, the waiter will graciously slip you a "token" to put into the lock instead. I've never heard of such a thing!
So, I've added pay/token toilets to my list of things that are different between LA and the OC (where I live). I have an ongoing discussion with a friend of mine (who is really just jealous because she lives in the 909...sorry, Sparkle LOL!) about how life behind the "Orange Curtain" differs from life in the rest of So Cal. I've got some new things to add to the list after this weekend. OC's restaurants HAVE AIR CONDITIONING (with the exception of Avila's El Ranchito which I learned to my disgust on Friday night), OC's restaurants do not make you beg "pee tokens" from their waiters ('cuz that's just CRAZY) AND as what I think is a direct result of this policy...the sidewalks of OC DO NOT SMELL LIKE PEE! Oh, and in OC, you can find a damn parking spot without having to spend $8!! Even in Laguna on a Saturday night!
So, all in all, I think I'll stick to the OC bead shows from now on. The vendors are nearly identical, there's free parking and no pee which really ought to be their advertising tag line "OC Bead Faire - Free Parking and Fresh Air." Okay, I'm just kidding (because as everyone knows, I'll suffer through just about anything to get beads). I had a terrific time and it was great to get to know Jenie better - the girl is absolutely hysterically funny in addition to being a great jewelry designer.
I'm still slogging my way through custom orders and repairs being as how I didn't accomplish anything this weekend so no new pictures yet. Maybe later this week (yeah, in my dreams).
Take care all!