I'll try to be heavier on pictures and lighter on words because I know you guys just want to see the loot. So let's get to it. First stop for Bead Fest is always Artisan Alley. I tried not to go too wild because I shop so many of my favorite artisan Etsy sites throughout the year that I really just wanted a chance to meet many of the people behind the beads. It was so fun to see Linda Landig selling her beads this year - go Linda! And one of my favorite Artisans to buy from flew all the way from England to join the show; Lesley Watt. What fun to meet her! She is just as nice in person as I thought she would be.
I also have a tiny thing ... ok kinda a problem with findings. I am absolutely in love with the ball clasp thingies. Can you tell? And then there were these cute little fish and bird clasps ... the bird ones open when you push down the tail. How cute is that? My young assistant, aka The Bead Girl, just had to have those. My absolute favorites were the fish with hooks in that yummy patina. Can't wait to match those up with some turquoise or something.... hmmmm
Ok, where next? Oh right, seed beads! Oh the seed beads. I could spend hours upon hours just digging through the colors, and sizes and shapes! There are so many new shapes these days with tilas, and duos, and superduos and what have you. I picked up beads by the half tube, the full tube, the hank, the strand and cluster. Look at those ones in the center called Picasso (right next to the half tubes). Aren't those gorgeous!
I got completely distracted by the stones, as I always do. I lost my bead show partners in crime (Melinda Orr and Linda Younkman) more than once. You know when you try to call or text a serious beady lady at Bead Fest they don't pick up? whatsup with that? I absolutely HAD to check out the jasper again this year. I picked up quite a lot of it last year, and seriously didn't need any more, but I couldn't help myself! Look at the reds in that Red Creek jasper. Then I found a total steal on strands of stone at 75% off. Say what? I picked up some green turquoise, lemon chrysoprase and I think that was picasso, but I completely forgot what the others were. I just love those rich earthy colors! The pendants aren't stones, but they sure are sweet.
Ok just one more set to show you all. It wouldn't be Bead Fest without a little swapping. You can see all the people swapping in the pictures I posted over at Creative Bead Chat on my article Behind the Scenes of Bead Fest. I got these awesome closures from my friend Linda Younkman and that cool leather snap closure from Melinda. The rest of the swap items were The Bead Girl who was running around handing out beads to everyone. A beader in the making to be sure. Bead Fest can be a bit overwhelming, to say the least. We were all talking about the 'Bead Hangover' come Monday morning. But I wouldn't miss it for the world. It is so much fun to meet everyone in person.