Beads, Classes and new techniques, Swaps and exchanges

Bead Fest or bust!

view from the deck
The view across the valley, Marble Colorado

I’m off on a big overseas family holiday to the US in a couple of weeks, to visit the Rocky Mountains in Colorado with family, roadtrip through the Southwest to show the kids the Grand Canyon and other amazing things! There’ll be a few days in New Orleans, a week of Orlando adventures at Walt Disney World and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter (my kids are so excited!) at Universal Orlando and a week in the San Francisco Bay Area where my husband and I lived for quite a few years.

But one of the things I am most looking forward to is Bead Fest! I have been dying to go to either Bead Fest or Bead and Button — the two biggest bead shows in the US — since I first heard about them. We have bead shows in Australia of course, but they are much much smaller and only offer a handful or two of classes, not a whole week’s worth. So I’m booked in for a couple of longer classes — enameling with Sara Lukkonen and fold forming with Marti Brown, and also a couple of 45 minute classes featuring some techniques I’m keen to learn. I’m really hoping to meet some of my online bead friends too.

And then there’s the bead shopping of course. Oh the shopping. Just looking at the list of vendors is enough to make me start drooling.

Of course the Aussie dollar has gone south this year, was it really only a couple of years ago that it was on par with the US dollar? Well, now it’s below 75 cents, and the prognosis isn’t good. Sigh. So I’ll be madly converting and calculating prices while I’m there, and focusing on things that I can’t get at a reasonable price here. Oh and art beads of course!!

If anyone wants to recommend bead shops in the Rockies (especially around Glenwood Springs), the Southwest (we’ll be vaguely working our way from Marble CO, through Moab, Cortez, Gallup, along Route 66 to Flagstaff, to Sedona and the Grand Canyon, and finally Vegas, baby!), New Orleans, maybe Orlando (although I think we’ll be mostly doing theme parks, no time for beads there) and the Bay Area (SF and Berkeley/Oakland area), I’d be very grateful.

I’d love to set up some bead swaps with anyone who is going to be at Bead Fest — I’ll bring you some of my favourite Aussie art beads (pssst, did anyone mention Peruzi?) if you like and you can swap for some of your favourites in return. What do you think? Leave me a comment or message me through Facebook or email me (the address is on this blog’s About page).

Also, stay tuned for a SALE later this month! I just need to load a few more things on my Etsy shop. It would be nice to have an excuse to spend a bit of money on new beads after all!

7 thoughts on “Bead Fest or bust!”

  1. Sounds like the trip of a lifetime for you and your family! I’m sure you’ll have a fabulous time, Melissa. I envy you going to Beadfest. It’s on my bucket list if I ever save enough. I have to stop buying beads and Clay but can’t seem to, LOL!

  2. Sounds fantastic and there is something for everybody to enjoy! Before I started making jewelry, the Grand Canyon was #1 on my bucket list 🙂 I’ll be looking forward to future posts about the trip and the fest and the classes. Have a fabulous time!

  3. Melissa I’m looking forward to meeting you at Bead Fest! Let’s do lunch and a bead swap while you are there one day. As for bead shops – in New Orleans it’s an hour drive but it will be the most amazing bead shopping trip of your life! There is a little store called Turquoise Coyote that sells beads wholesale to the public. You could only go there and be get your entire bead fix. It’s my favorite place to shop when I’m in the area and I stock up on piles and piles of beads. The prices are unreal. They have stones, pearls, glass and lots of crystal. I highly recommend a stop. I’ve hosted bead field trips there before, it’s that good. Safe and happy travels!!!

  4. So excited for you, and I kind of feel I’m going too vicariously as you’re taking some of my beadies with you for the swaps. You’ll love the Grand Canyon too – words can not describe how ridiculously awesome it is.

  5. is such an enchanting place!
    We just went to Santa Fe and Taos on our way home from vacation and really enjoyed wandering the (to us) ancient places. Lots of jewelry and oddities in Santa FE, but if you don’t get there, the next best place is Gallup! Thunderbird has been there for a long time (70s?) and is a wonderland 🙂
    if you are driving??? go through Santa Fe, and to Taos on your way, even if it is out of the way to wherever you are going. Taos has Pueblos that date back to the 1200s, and are still occupied. Check out the website for calendar of sacred days because they close to the public on those days… but if you can, go through, it is amazing for kids and adults as well. Santa Fe is just magical, and they have a Georgia O’Keeffe museum and tons of art museums, and did I mention jewelry shops?
    On my list is Holy Ghost, NM, which isn’t really a “place to go” but as a relaxing place to camp, and to wonder at nature!
    Also if you are driving…. the Cadillac Ranch near Amarillo… bring a can of spray paint…
    Six Flags in Arlington, Tx is fun, though not as big as Florida’s fun, but it is an amazing thing to be at the top of the tower and look for miles and miles of land and the roller coasters are fun! and there is a bead shop…. Wild Beads in Arlington… by the Six Flags mall (my only reason to go near that part of town!)
    Hope you have fun, and be safe! Remember to drink a lot of water, and sunscreen is a must, especially in the Rockies!

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