Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Bead Shop Hop

Let me start by saying where I live there really are no bead shops other than the simple chain craft stores. My mother and I often take trips at least an hour in ANY direction to get to one. So this was what we did this weekend and boy what an adventure it was....

It's called the bead shop hop and it's located in Northeast Ohio. The names of stores that are involved are listed on the front. The addresses and phone numbers to each place are on the back. The goal is simple... visit all participating spots, get a stamp or signature for visiting, then at the final stop you turn in your card to be entered into a drawing of 1-3 prizes. Each shop either has an event (IE: trunk show) or sale and a promo for your purchase. I am going to share my hop and experience with anyone interested in reading my blog. So here goes!! 

Embellish in Rocky River, was the first place I stopped at. It was early yet still exciting. The store had an event going, as did most of them. It was the Grace Lampwork Trunk show. (You can click the name to see her website.) The staff is really nice, been there 2x now, and the shop has a great feel and set up.

What specimens they had! Good Gravy this lady's work is amazing..buuuut not what I'm looking for so I finally broke down, bought some kumihimo thread bobbins and moved on to the next stop.

(I've been using old cross stitch bobbins that are pretty square and like to tangle, hopefully these work better)

 So I moved on down to Grand River Beads! Literally! Down the street to the right not but 1 minute driving distance!!

What an awesome place this was!! Such beautiful quality pieces and such artistry around the store with student and employee made pieces. The store had a great feel to it and everything was just lovely.  I also met a lovely woman who it turned out I was already following here on blogspot. Her name is Eva Sherman and you can follow her BLOG too. What a talented lady she is and a very inspiring artist!

Grand River was having a Czech glass trunk show. I didn't buy much just a few strands.

The promo at Grand River was pretty sweet. (Embellish had one too but I didn't spend enough.) Eva taught me (a beginning wire-wrapper) a pretty awesome wire bangle design.


I loved this design! It was so simple and definitely sparked something in me to try more often. I'd like to do this and fire one with a torch or use different patina dyes. Here she just dipped it in the liver of sulfur to oxidize it and what a feel it has afterwards. I definitely am inspired from this piece and can't wait to make more as stackers!!!!

 Moving on the next stop was one of my favs and frequent shops... Bead Q in Chagrin Falls.

Love me some Bead Q!! What a great team they have here with quality items in every area!!! Lots of knowledge in that brain of Kieu too!!!  They had a pewter trunk show going on and left over pieces from a sea glass trunk show.

 I definitely got in on some sea glass. Have a pretty good idea what I want to do with these. I just hope it works out!

I also recently got into embossing metals with the Cuttlebug so I got some blanks to play with and fire as well! Looking forward to that one!

I also got these BEAUTIFUL feathers. I haven't had much luck working with feathers before but I absolutely LOVED the colors and couldn't help myself. 

So then my promo for spending at Bead Q was this GORGEOUS green banded agate pendant I picked from a basket.

I then moved along to the next and final stop for the day which was where I got the mother-load!!! The last shop we could squeeze in was Jazzy Gems of Kent Ohio.

 What a FABULOUS energy this store has! Truly!!! So welcoming and willing to help and inspire! I had read on the shop hop newsletter they were having a Lucite Flower trunk show and OH-EM-GEE were they ever!!!!!!

Have you ever been to a Lucite Flower trunk show? I haven't and oh my gosh the restraint it took for me to behave!!! 

Oh my gosh the pieces I got had me instantly ready to get home and get moving on designing! I was flabbergasted!! The colors, the shapes, all of it was almost too much to handle.

Needless to say, I went a little overboard and yet have NO regrets on it whatsoever!! Lucite can enrich anyone's life. In fact, I've had 4 designs published using Lucite so I figured I just couldn't go wrong getting more.

My promo at Jazzy Gems was probably the best. Well... actually, nah they all brought something new to the table for me. Be it inspiration or knowledge, every promo was wonderful.

I picked this bag of toggles out of a soup mix of others. I just really liked this one and the amount that was in there!

My final promo was I got to stamp a piece of metal. Any of you who know me know I've been wanting to try this for a long time. What a blast this was. SERIOUSLY!! I blasted this ring off the block like 3 times!!!! It was so simple and fun. Can't wait to fire it or play with it. 

Meanwhile I met an amazing woman. She runs Love Links Jewelry. What a great conversation we had just chit chatting about jewelry and such. Fabulous overall energy in this shop and the employees!! 

Ahhh so at the end of the day... I'm $129,873,497 dollars broke but hey it was a blasty!!! Ok so I'm more like close to $100.00 more broke but even still a girl can dream of spending $129 MIL on beads right? **sigh** 

Now that I've shared this wonderful experience with my followers I am off to create with my buys!!! I need something to burn off the frustration of a 4 hour blog!! That's right, blogspot pictures did NOT want to load today, refresh, refresh, refresh, coffee... breakfast...refresh...ah you get the picture. 

So this concludes my Bead Shop Hop and I hope it will inspire other shop owners to do the same thing because in this field it is SO important to work together and promote one another; not work against each other! Ciao!