Saturday we went to the Pasadena Bead Show. This year I spent a lot less, and lot more selectively than I have on previous trips. Perhaps that's because my budget is limited. Perhaps it's because the one vendor I wanted to really visit, Out of Our Mines, wasn't attending the show this time.
Pity. I really wanted a shot at their wonderful cabochons. Although they have lots of items up on their website, there's just no substitute for fondling the stones in person.
Anyway, I had a good time, frugally speaking, and found some lovely old undyed coral branches, only $20 a strand!! And also some wonderful raku porcelain beads and donuts by Amy Mealy of Xaz Beads. These beads are gorgeous up close. The play of color is incredible, and the beads are light, since they're made of porcelain. The price is also great.
I found some lovely coral rounds and turquoise teeny almost heishi strands for reasonable prices as well. I picked up some ear wires, as I've been plunging into earrings lately. No silver, other than a pair of silver spiral earrings that I'll probably just keep for myself, since silver prices are going through the roof.
Mineral Treasures, we found some Russian rockhounds who just love their rocks. They know every mineral intimately and are glad to share the details. In depth. They kindly dismantled a necklace when all I wanted to buy was the wire-wrapped dendritic quartz pendant. The rock is similar to the one pictured here. They have kick-butt labradorite, too. Great prices, as well.
And then there was the one, truly evil, item. Dichroic coated seed beads. Yipes! I won't say what I spent for them, but they come in tiny 1 gram vials just like crack cocaine. They're about as expensive, and just as addicting. I found the website for Dichro Beads, who makes them. Turns out the coating company she uses is right down the road in Orange, CA. Hmm. Wonder if I could get them to coat things for me? $8 per gram is steep. On the site, it says "use sparingly" but I guess that's just because using them in masses would break the bank, hey? You need as little as 6 grams to spice up a necklace, they say...well, using my old-school math, that comes out to $48 just for accent beads. Yipes again!
Since dichroic material is so hard to photograph well, I suspect the sample pieces you see on the site are spectacular in person. The worked beaded beads I saw at Paula Radke's booth, where I purchased them, were quite lovely. I only bought two vials, and I'll report back on how using them turns out. A single gram has between 180 and 200 beads, so I will indeed have to use them sparingly.
What's this about quotes, you say? On our way home we saw this sign. I sat there staring at it, still kind of stunned from the sensory overload of the bead show. Then, slowly, something penetrated. I scrambled for the camera before the red light changed.
"7"??? What did they mean, "7"? Were they not open seven days a week? Did they think there were other days? Did they want to emphasize the number 7 even more than just making it bigger and bolder than the rest of the text in the line? Did they not understand the use of quotes?
I'm still confused. But I'm guessing so is the sign-writer.