Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vacation, continued...

Whew! Now, the meeting is over and it’s time for my vacation to begin. I thought the best way to kick it off would be to go on a tour of the Scottsdale area bead stores. Then I came back to reality and figured out that I could maybe hit two of them before I had to head to the airport, turn in the rental car, get through security and catch my flight to Palm Springs.

I started off at Bead World. A very nice store, but for someone like me who’s been doing this for almost 10 years and has a very large stash of beads in place already, they didn’t offer any “wow” factor (i.e. nothing that I’d not seen before). Still, clean, bright and well-organized with a great stock of Czech glass, Swarovski crystals and gemstone beads. I would definitely recommend it if you need basic supplies.

If you’re looking for the “out of the ordinary”, though, I’d recommend the next store I visited (and my real reason for going on this mini-tour to begin with): Scottsdale Bead Supply. I’ve been in love with Kelly Charveaux’s gorgeous, handmade clasps ever since one of her silver toggles was featured in a necklace on the cover of “Bead and Button” magazine a few years ago. In fact, I have that exact clasp (a friend who lived in Phoenix at the time picked it up for me) and it’s still in my stash because I haven’t come up with a cool enough design to use it with.

Since then, Kelly’s work has expanded far beyond mere sterling silver – although she still makes some beautiful silver pieces. The store’s inventory now boasts a dizzying array of clasps and beads with stunning inlay work on them. There’s so much to choose from that I had a hard time knowing I only had an hour at the store before I needed to take off for the airport. Budget limitations were a problem also (aren’t they always) because her work is not cheap, but it’s my opinion that using high-level materials like this really elevate one’s work to the next level and that makes them worth the price.

I wanted to take pictures of the entire store, but when I asked, the staff was not keen on that idea – I guess free publicity doesn’t go as far as it used to. Still, the allowed me to photograph the exterior and I did because I thought it was so unique for a bead store:

Here are some close-ups of the patio area and the fun little fountain that makes it such a wonderful oasis for beaders.

I can imagine sitting at the table and oohing and ahhing with friends over what you’ve just purchased or even doing some beadwork while enjoying a nice, cool drink.

And while you’re sitting there enjoying the shade and the fountain and your iced tea, here’s a picture of what I bought at the store:

One is a square toggle clasp inlaid with mother-of-pearl and the other is a toggle set with black dichroic glass. I had to leave so many beautiful things behind. Half of the store is dedicated to gemstones and there were some really gorgeous things that I’m now kicking myself for not bringing home.

After my bead interlude, it was off to the airport and then to Palm Springs where my dad picked me up and I joined my family at our time share condo at the Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert. We’ve gone there for a week in the spring every year for the past eight or nine years and it’s a wonderful break for all of us. The lakes on the golf course are stocked with black swans and flamingoes and they also attract other visitors and their families:

This mama duck had somewhere around 10 babies (not sure all are in the picture), but the kid and I ran across another duck whose eggs had JUST hatched and she had either 14 or 15…I could never get an exact count.

I can barely handle one kid. But, he has a fantastic time in the pool all day every day while we’re out there and there’s a lot to do over at the main resort including boat rides and live parrots to look at.

The finale of our trip was an amazing dinner at The Falls Prime Steakhouse in La Quinta with my boyfriend, my brother and sister-in-law. This restaurant is famous for its amazing steaks and “smokin’ martinis.” They put dry ice in the martinis and serve them in VERY TALL martini glasses. There are about 20 or so different flavors you can choose from – I had a Blue Falls martini which is their version of a “Blue Hawaii” (one of my favorite drinks).

Then, sadly, it was back to reality. And laundry. And unpacking. And work.



Music: “Do You Wanna Hit It” by The Donnas


Kaos Siberians said...

I'm sorry...I was reading quickly...finale was dinner with whom??? ;-)

Silver Parrot said...

The word you're looking for is B-O-Y-F-R-I-E-N-D