My weekend at Bead Fest: Philadelphia: Part 1

What: Bead Fest Philadelphia
Where: Valley Forge Convention Center, King of Prussia, PA
When: Aug 21-23

The Goals:

1. To replenish my bead stash
2. To not blow my entire wad on art beads
3. to restock my stash with stones and glass, you know, REGULAR beads
4. a little bit of networking
5. To meet some new friends and bead artists, and Jane Dickerson
6. To save a small amount of cash to buy food

Introducing my partner in crime:

We scoured every aisle. In search of the perfect chain, the perfect beads, the prettiest colors, the best facets, the brightest bling we could find. We were successful and bought a boatload. The first hour and a half was a bit overwhelming. It's important to pace yourself at a show of this caliber. The trick is not to spend all your money before the weekend is over. This is a very hard thing to accomplish. But we prevailed and I believe I've even come home with money left over. BONUS!

It all started a month or so ago when I was chatting with Kelley on Yahoo and threw out this comment: "You should totally fly up to Philly and go to Bead Fest with me!" I typed it out and thought to myself-"yea ha ha! that would be so great, but Kelley would need more notice, or have to really think that type of thing over...." and before I even got to the next thought on why it probably wouldn't happen, Kelley typed " I'm in!"

WHAT!??! All of a sudden before I even knew what was happening, tickets were purchased, hotels were reserved, plane itineraries were sent out and then the month flew by and Friday morning at 8 am I found myself in my car, and making the 5 hour trek to Philadelphia airport to pick Kelley up! Talk about a whirlwind!

Meeting Kelley in the airport for the first time, in person, was as great as I had imagined it! We get along great and have talked several times on the phone and chatted non-stop on Yahoo for months. We said hello and it had been like were long lost friends, just picking up on where we left off. We had a great time- we stayed at the Radisson that was attached to the convention center. We literally walked downstairs and through a series of hallways and the beads were right THERE! Millions and millions of beads. A bead shopper's paradise!

Friday night we went out to dinner with my friend Beth Anderson. Beth picked us up and we enjoyed a nice and laid back meal at Champs- a local sports bar/restaurant. Afterwards, we enjoyed some wine and Mississippi Mud cake that Kelley made, back at our hotel room.

After Chatting and giggling til Midnight, Kelley and I had a heck of a time getting up the next morning but coffee called my name downstairs to the hotel cafe. We were ready and raring to go by the 10 o'clock open of the show.

Before heading in, I bee-lined it to the Interweave Press vendor booth to look for Jane Dickerson and to see if they indeed had a copy of the Chain Style book on display. They did. And I was thrilled. But. No Jane in sight. :( I found out later that Jane was super sick and had to leave early. Luckily Leslie Rogalski, Chief Editor of Interweave- took a little video of me saying Hello, to show Jane later.

Here I am posing with the book. You obviously can't tell but, inside, I was jumping up and down and squeeling at the sight of it! It's so beautiful- every photograph, every piece of jewelry inside, and no I am not biased. I can honestly say that even if that wasn't my piece on the cover, and even if I didn't have projects inside the book, you better believe I'd still be buying it immediately when it comes out on shelves. You really don't want to miss it. It's a good one!

After walking through the aisles and aisles of beads, we finally found the Green Girl Studios booth. I have been waiting for this moment for a long long time and I am proud to say that I did not make a total fool of myself and kept calm and contained when finally meeting Andrew Thornton in person. He is so charming and funny and I just loved every minute that we spent chatting at the show.

Another really cool person I got to meet in the flesh was Marsha Minutella from Marsha Neal Studios. I have been buying Marsha's beads since (2007) the beginning of my beading days! We had the best time and I really enjoying laughing and being goofy at her booth. I of course, dropped some cash and walked away with some really awesome goods from Marsha's tables. But the personal connections that day were the best!

It took me a while to finally find Kristie's booth. Remember back a few weeks when I showed you the jewelry I made with Artisan Clay components for Kristie's booth display? The pieces looked so great amongst some other really great displayed pieces from other designers. Kristie was so sweet and super pumped to be at Bead Fest. I wish I could have bottled her enthusiasm and high energy spirit to bring home with me!! I could use a little bit of Kristie Roeder every day! About 3pm, when my day has just about fizzled to bleh. Here's a fab picture of the two of us.

Stay tuned for Part 2-

I'll show off my bead loot and more bead porn pics!

All photos courtesy of Kelley Wenzel and her new D90!


  1. Awesome - even though I did not go to the bead show I had an awesome time!
    Love the new profile picture - good work Kelley!

  2. Sorry I missed meeting you! I was hanging out with my friend Marsha (M. Neal Studios) on Saturday... and arrived back at the booth minutes after you left. Glad you had fun!

  3. I had THE most EXCELLENT time with you this weekend. Thank you SOOO much for inviting me AND driving out of your way to deal with nasty traffic to pick me up & drop me off at the Philly airport. You totally rock, Lorelei! I'm so glad you are my friend and I got to spend such a wonderfully fun two days with you! :D

  4. All I can say is that I'm jealous! I don't think I will ever have the funds to do something like this, at least for a few years.

    I'm glad you had fun!

  5. You look so happy! Friends and beads! What's better than that?

  6. Mel Mel8/24/2009

    That last comment has had me laughing all evening. You bring on the bead porn and i'll be here like a perv to look !! It must have been awesome meeting all those great artists, the rock stars of the bead world.

  7. Wow, looks like you had a wonderful time and how great it was to meet all those great talented folks!

  8. This is so super awesome! Yay! I'm psyched you posted pics of the artists and friends you met at bead fest!!! I've been looking forward to it! Great recap of your time, L! Can't wait to see more! :)

  9. How absolutely over the top was your weekend? I just read Kelly's post and I am so happy to see you both had a fab time. Wish I could have been there! Can't wait to see your new stash. Cheers

  10. Isn't it cool to finally meet in person the people that you have such a creative connection to? I felt the same way when I was honored to be Heather Power's buddy at Bead & Button. Such a wonderful inspiring time you had Lorelei! Thanks for taking us all on a tour with you! Can't wait for the bead porn...heheheh!
    Enjoy the day! Erin

  11. It was great to finally meet you in person! Feel free to come by any time in Brooklyn. We'll make some food and string some beads and drink some wine.

    Bead Bloggers... for life!
    Bead Show Buddies... for life!


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