Thursday, August 25, 2011

Treasures From Bead Fest.

I have returned from Bead Fest with knowledge in soldering, after taking a metalsmithing class with Kieu Pham Gray, and a bag full of treasures! The class with Kieu was very educational and entertaining. After getting over my anxiety of using a torch, I created this fun spiral link bracelet that Kieu designed. I am very excited about my new skill! I even bought a soldering kit that her shop Urban Beader was selling. I can't wait to create with it!

This is the bracelet I created in Kieu's class!

The rest of my time at Bead Fest was spent shopping! The one thing I regret is not starting at the back where the artisan vendors were. I started in the front and was left with little time to check out all the wonderful creations they were selling. Here are some of the lovely artisan treasures that I purchased...
top left: toggle clasp from Earthenwood Studio
top right: pewter pendant and toggle from Green Girl Studios (I love the owl and twig toggle)
bottom left to right: 
ceramic beads and pendants from Firefly Design Studio
creamic beads from Elaine Ray at Ornamentea
flameworked glass from Nitabeads

Once I made my way to the artisan area, I started out at Ornamentea where I met Tracy Thomasson and the Uber talented Elaine Ray. I am now absolutely addicted to her beads! I had a really wonderful time talking with both ladies. Bead people are so awesome!
Check out all those gorgeous ceramic beads! 

I also purchased a gorgeous toggle clasp from Melanie Brooks at Earthenwood Studio. I don't think I will be able to part with the clasp, so the design I create will have to be added to my personal collection!

A lot of her creations were sold out. Mental note for next time: start with the artisan vendors!

One of my favorite vendors is Clever Treasures. Treasures, I certainly found!

The last stop was Silver Silk. The only reason it ended up being the last stop was because I couldn't find their booth. I kept getting turned around in the square maze of vendors! Did anyone else have that problem? I normally have a good sense of direction, but not this Bead Fest. I blame it on the new location. That is my story and I am sticking to it! By the time I made it there, they were sold out of everything I wanted. But Becky gave me some samples of their gorgeous new burgundy and bronze knitted wire. Both have been added to my must buy list!

The awesome Becky Machinski cleaning up after a busy weekend of selling.

This year, I was drawn to teal, earth tones and beads that had a tribal characteristic to them. 
Here are some of the highlights...

recycled glass from African Beads
dyed faceted rectangle agate from Star's Clasps
dyed fire agate from Commercial Resources (NJ) Corp
pyrite from Chico Silver
panganto wood from Priscilla Marban 
agate from Commercial Resources (NJ) Corp
agate and antique soo chow jade from Bead Plus Silver 
giraffe pattern agate from Commercial Resources (NJ) Corp
porcelain cubes from Cherry Tree Beads 
trapezoid shaped wood from J&M Gems and Things
colored lava rock beads from Cherry Tree Beads

Some of my fun findings:
 decoupage pendants from Prascilla Marban
polyester link chain in gray and olive from Beadalon
knitted wire in bronze and burgundy from Silver Silk
brass leaf pendants from Sonoran Beads 
words and leaf pendants from Lipstick Ranch

Metal beauties:
Thai silver, brass, silver brass and brass heishi from Hands of the Hills
sterling silver plated copper chain and rhodium plated copper rectangle beads from Bead Palace
patterned chain from Primitive Earth Beads

Another year, another shopping trip gone by all too fast! But I am giddy with excitement over my new treasures!


  1. Oooh, that toggle from Earthenwood is really nice. I learned to solder at cha last year in a make-it-take-it. I still haven't purchased the right tools and supplies to do it on my own, but I do have them on my wish list. We made a really interesting ring by soldering layers of filigree together.

  2. I will have a hard time parting with both the toggle I bought from Earthenwood and Green Girl Studios. What ever I design, will probably be added to my personal jewelry collection!

  3. What amazing finds! And learning to solder! How exciting!

  4. Really great haul, I will have to check back to see what you have created with all those yummy beads!