Bead Fest Recap

I am so sad it's over! I drove down on Friday morning, dropped my stuff off at the hotel and ran over to the show to enjoy some shopping time before it closed. I love walking through the show and saying hello to all of my favorite vendors and seeing fellow shoppers!  I did most of my shopping on Friday afternoon.  Here is some of the loot. I did forget to photograph the Green Girl beads. And I am not showing some other great artwork because it's touted for some publication submissions.... but here is the gist of what I brought home with me.

 Polymer from Second Surf- It was so fun to meet Barb Bechtel for the first time in person. She is drop dead gorgeous and a fun girl to chat with! I picked up some of her faceted rounds, and another Elephant.

 Stocked up on my Elaine Ray beads from Ornamentea. Got a bunch of a rounds, some double drilled rectangular beads, some flower beads, and small rounds (not pictured) I also got this set, and have so many cool ideas for it!

 My splurge beads at this show were these 2 sets from the uber talented Joan Miller Porcelain. LOVE THESE! And will most likely hoard them for an eternity!

 Finally got to meet Sue Kennedy of Sue Beads! She is such a doll, and her beads are some of my favorites. I picked up some ribbed rounds, sugared spacers, and cutie eggs!

 Got to see Sara of C-Koop Beads, and we chatted a long time. One of my favorite booths at the show and what made it even better was her booth partner, Kristi Evenson of CB&Co. My gosh, I wanted EVERYTHING at her booth, including the finished jewelry! It was amazing stuff! I did get a few pieces that I plan to use in an upcoming magazine submission! They are a lovely pair, and I do hope they pair up again for future shows!

 Anne of Gardanne Beads was at this show for the first time! She had a lovely display of both her enamel and her lampwork glass, I picked up a little bit of both! I love Anne, and wish so badly that we lived closer to each other. She's such an inspiration, and I love getting advice and talking shop with her.

These Raku beauties came from a new booth/vendor that I hadn't seen before. Xaz Bead Company offers raku beads from Amy Mealey. I loved the sets, and singles and their shop is definitely on my radar from now on! Check out their site!!!

 These were the only strands I bought, some small coral rounds and faceted rounds from Holy & Pure Gemstone Inc. I just love the color and they are tiny! The price was great too, all the strands were like 75% off.

I actually had a shopping list this time, and beading wire was at the top of that list. I stocked up on some beading wire from the Soft Flex Co. booth! Got some of their cool colored wire, and a few spools of the bronze and silver.

On Friday night we went out for our annual bead fest dinner at Legal Seafoods.  The food is always amazing there. Had a good time chatting with everyone. Amy Freeland and her husband came all the way from California for the show. I adore Amy and we had fun shopping together and hooting it up at the show. She is quite funny and I was in stitches, most of the time.  Her husband is a doll and I totally wish we were closer- I know we would be attached at the hip.

photo credit: Andrew Thornton

Got to see my co-author and friend Erin Siegel again. She brought along her mother in law, Nancy Siegel. Erin taught a class on Saturday morning and from what I gather it was a total success!  We signed some books at the Primitive Earth booth on Saturday afternoon. We were so thankful that they hosted our signing. It was a fun time.

While there, I roomed with new friend Karen Totten of Starry Road Studio! Loved chatting with her and brainstorming new ideas for beads.  We got up on Saturday and headed back to the show. I did a bit more shopping that day but most of my bead budget was blown on Friday so it was more about networking and chatting with people. Got to see Andrew Thornton for a short while which was nice. He wants Erin and I to come down to his shop in Ligonier P.A. to do some jewelry classes and maybe a book signing. Excited to talk more about this soon.

(head pins from Gardanne Beads booth)

On Saturday afternoon we all got together in the concession area for our annual Art Bead swap! I had two partners for this,  Karen Totten and also Jan Onipenco. It's always fun to swap beads, and get something new to play with.
Karen gave me a baggie full of her own beads, and some of Joan Miller's porcelain beads, and I also was a lucky recipient of some of this fiber coated wire from Karen's daughter's shop, Yarn Sweet Yarn. She doesn't have any of this awesome handspun Fiber Wire listed but if you want some, let Karen know!
 above: Starry Road Studio bronze charms and ceramic components

 above- Joan Miller Porcelain

Fiber Wire from Yarn Sweet Yarn

Jan Onipenco is a lampwork artist. Check out her shop, Molten Mayhem when it reopens. Her work is lovely and I had a great time selecting beads from my stash to give both of these talented girls.

Here is our fearless Bead Swap leader, Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio.  Diana pulled some great prizes together for a giveaway at the end of the swap. I won a wonderful copper component from Kristi Bowman Designs. Of course, I forgot to photograph it but it looks a lot like this.

On Saturday night we all got together again at the Marriott Courtyard for some drinks and appetizers. It was a nice warm night and we chilled out on the patio in the courtyard. It was a great time. Here are a few candid shots that I took with my phone that evening.

As always, I am looking forward to next year. I missed having my partner in crime with me, Nancy Schindler so hopefully next year she doesn't take any last minute trips out of the country. :)

If you ordered any jewelry from my Etsy sale this weekend, I will be shipping these out tomorrow morning, Tues Aug 21. Sorry for the delay, but this blog post took forever to write and now I have to race to work!


  1. Gorgeous!! Lots of great art beads! I missed the Xaz booth!? :( Wish I could have made the swap on Saturday but I was just glad to make it to the show on Sunday.

  2. I had such fun with you too! Maybe i can get bead and button on the travel list sometime soon *fingers crossed*

  3. Love seeing everything you bought and hearing about the trip it sounds awesome!

  4. Sounds like so much fun! That fiber wire is too cool!

  5. Glad you had a good Bead Fest Lorelei. As always, you brought home such great finds. I always buy from Holy & Pure Gemstone - pricing always fantastic! I have those exact same color of coral beads from Bead & Button. Love that fiber wire too! I think I have to get a hold of Karen. : )

  6. I picked up some Xaz beads at Pasadena earlier this year. I combined them with some C-Koop enamel and some waxed linen for some earrings that were sold as quickly as I could make them! I love seeing everyone's booty! You got a great selection.

  7. What a great stash to add to help fill up that new cabinet. So many wonderful bead artists attend Bead Fest, I so wish I could have been there! Looks like a great time and a nice shot of inspiration for lots of new work. Have fun playing with all your new goodies.

  8. So many goodies! I love Pam Miller's beads, C-Koop's clasps and the Raku beauties and of course all the juicy Soft Flex colors. Looks like a great show.

  9. Ooooooo Ahhhhhhhh.... Thanks for this lovely post. I really enjoy looking at everyone's stash from the show. AND it was so wonderful to get to see everyone and chat. Lots of creative mind melding going on.

  10. Maybe I will make it back there next year. It seems like everyone had a wonderful time.

  11. Oh, this just made me re-live the fabuous time we had in April at Bead Fest. You bagged some great loot. Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  12. What a wonderful time I had - my first Bead Fest and I got to spend a good part of with you! I was thrilled we had a chance to get to know each other and chat up some awesome ideas. I'm super excited and inspired!

  13. Loved meeting you and getting my book signed. Had a wonderful time. Can't wait till next year!

  14. Thanks for this long post so I could live vicariously through you. I would love to go to this show someday!

  15. Thanks again Lorelei, I seem to be thanking you all morning. I also appreciate all the great links that I can visit. Its a good and a bad thing taking care of my booth by myself, its great for the budget and torture not being able to visit with my beady friends and see all their wonderful wares. I did get a chance to purchase some wonderful raku beads from Xaz, very nice people.

  16. Awesome beads-love them all! I really like the ones you got from C-Koop (I didn't have enough time to get to their booth) and XAZ! I can't believe you went through your bead budget in one afternoon! Actually, yes that is believable! I really enjoyed the dinner at Legal Seafoods and the happy hour Saturday evening. It was so much fun getting to know everyone outside of the two dimensional realm of blogger and Facebook! Great to see you-I look forward to Bead Fest 2013!


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