I'd stopped going to the Pasadena Bead Show over the last year or so because I hadn't seen anything new there for a while. I did still have a couple of favorite vendors that attended, but it's an awfully long drive from the OC to buy more stuff I already have.
However, a certain beading buddy was planning to go and I really wanted to catch up with her so I decided to make the trek.
And boy, am I glad I did! Not only was it great to see Julie and not only did my old favorite vendors have great new stuff, but I found some terriffic new vendors this time as well!
I also did my part for the economic recovery (debt ceiling, schmebt ceiling).
And yes, I really did just type the word schmebt.
These pretty mermaid beads are from Jewels by Jules. They appear to be paper decoupaged onto rectangular beads (not sure what the material is...it's very lightweight) and then sealed with some kind of lacquer or possibly even resin. The seams are nearly invisible and the beads have a great shine to them. And I was a sucker for the mermaid image.
Another favorite vendor, Primitive Earth Beads, sold me some colorfully printed aluminum chains at a previous show and this time I discovered that they now have clasps to match! Next time, I'm hoping for headpins and jumprings and I'll be all set!
They had some new colors of chain, too. I guess I was in a "blue sky" kind of mood.
You & Me (now known as Merico Corp) is a staple at all the Southern California shows. I used to get all my Bali silver from them, but since the price of silver has skyrocketed, they've gone into a whole new line of base metal chain. Here are a couple of different styles of copper chain I got from them - one is pretty basic and all-purpose and the other has those distinctive patterned disks and oblong links.
They also had some great silver-plated chain...I especially love the bubble links on the left.
These are some silver plated rose filigree beads and Bali-style large bead caps.
These beads have a textured finish that sparkles, but unfortunately, the effect doesn't show up in the photos. I call them "stardust" beads. The strand on the left is in a gunmetal finish and the one on the right is brass. They come in copper, also.
This large stone teardrop came from Royal Quality Gem.
I could NOT get my camera (or Photoshop) to accurately portray the color on the bottom strand of beads in this picture. It's actually a much darker blue-purple than it appears to be here...which is why I bought it. I love colored jade rondelles as filler beads and I already have MOST of the available colors, but I didn't have this one. The orange strand was just for fun.
Then it was on to the new vendors. Eriko Page of Heart & Hand in Tehachapi, CA, is a polymer clay vendor who I hadn't previously seen at the show. And would you believe...this bead was the FREEBIE she gave me?
She had these wonderful grab bags of poly clay flowers and leaves - this is only about half of the bag!
This gorgeous bead is sanded and polished perfectly and sealed with a lovely finish.
But this one is my favorite. Reminds me of the hibiscus bush in the front yard of the house I lived in on Oahu when I was a child.
I don't have a website for Eriko, but I do have her business card with an e-mail address and phone number so if you're interested in her work, shoot me an e-mail and I'll share the info.
Grace Beads is normally known for her lampwork beads (and they are fantastic), but she had a small collection of ceramic beads (that I think come from a different vendor) at her booth, too. I liked these two - a hawk and an owl.
Then I saw the colors on these water lily beads...LOVE that deep teal background!
These butterflies with the gold edging reminded me of antique china.
And then there were these delicately detailed hummingbird beads...LOVE!
Loot is another favorite vendor. And, after picking up yet more of her gorgeous glass on Saturday, I decided I finally needed to stop hoarding it all make those earrings that I posted about on Monday. This is the new stuff I bought from her.
Unicorne Beads has long been a favorite of mine for their gorgeous glass and large selection of ocean-related beads (shells, dolphins, turtles, starfish, etc.) Now they have owls! Some small, some larger, different colors and all with a bit of a metallic sheen to them. I picked out this zebra-striped guy to send to a special friend who has an owl obsession (but I'm not telling who...who...whooooooo).
I thought I'd already seen everything Paula Radke could do with dichroic glass, but I love these new nugget shapes. On top of that, she had dichroic glass seed beads which, I will admit, were super-spendy at $35 for a teeny little tube. However, if you are a seed bead junkie and looking for something REALLY special to work with, these babies are definitely the ticket. I saw a bracelet she had made up with peyote-stitched tubes using these seed beads and it was stunning.
She's also developed the next great clay innovation: Art Glass Clay. I'll talk more about that in a future post because I got a flyer, instructions and a whole demo. It's pretty darned cool!
Aren't these florals stunning? They are from Kyoto Studio. I've seen her work on Etsy before, but this was the first time I'd seen her at a show. Online bead buying is great, but really, it still can't compare to being able to touch and see things first hand. These sunny, yellow flowers had me at hello!
I saved my very favorite purchase of the entire show for last. I will admit, this is not a great picture. I was trying to get close enough to show the incredible sea green and gold effects in the center of this borosilicate tube bead from Beau Barrett of Evolving Creations. Have you ever been at a bead show and had a bead literally shout your name from across the aisle? That's what this bead did to me. The way the light plays off this and Beau's other creations is just magical in real life...trust me when I tell you that even the pictures on his Etsy site do not do justice to these amazing creations. I saw a piece similar to this one at the show and it just glowed! Prices are a little up there, I know, but if you're looking for something special as a design focal point or to add to your collection, this is the place to get it.
Hope you enjoyed the trip to Pasadena with me!