I spent a bit too much of yesterday at the Innovative Bead Expo in Clarksville, Md. (Thanks, Mandy, for alerting me to it. Although we weren't able to meet up, you'll see I was able to spend plenty on my own without any enabling from everyone!)
It's a small show that seems to travel to small cities in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic region, and it apparently comes to Clarksville every three or four months. Check out the link above for the schedule, if you're interested in learning more.
I've only been to a couple of bead shows, but I know enough to know this one is on the small side, with about 35 vendors. Still, there was plenty to see. I buy most of my supplies from Fire Mountain Gems and Shipwreck Beads, and support a local bead store (Accents Beads in Rockville, Md.). It's nice to check out beads and findings from small vendors in person.
Behold my haul. The real treasures for me were the beautiful brass filigree pieces from Kabela Design. They had filigree in several finishes and an astonishing array of designs, and I could have gone seriously crazy at that booth. The pewter flowers and leaves were from Talisman Associates. The purple loveliness in the right corner consists of four strands of tear-drop amethyst beads; I can't remember the name of the vendor. I'm anxious to see how these work up in a kumihimo braid.
The seed beads on the left are from BeadMyLove. Although the two vials may look the same, one is size 8 beads and the other is size 3.4 drop beads in the same finish--matte black AB. (Isn't it amazing what AB finish does? You would never know they had a black underlying base color.) Again, I want to try these in a kumihimo braid, using the 8s on both ends of the rope and the drop beads in the center.
Not pictured is a length of cool brass chain that I bought, and some bail-making pliers.
I'll wind up this post with a snippet of overheard conversation that made me smile. One woman was giving another some detailed instructions about some aspect of jewelry-making that I didn't quite make out, but she concluded with: "Then you have to put it somewhere where the cats don't get at it."