Bead Show Adventure

This past weekend I ventured out in the pouring rain to the Whole Bead show in Providence, RI. I’ve been attending this show for years and it’s always been easily accessible off of Route 95, at the Holiday Inn on Atwells Ave. This year, however, they decided to change the location to the Rhode Island Convention Center on Sabin Street. I got lost going by the Mapquest directions but quickly stopped and asked for directions. Ah, why didn’t the directions mention that second left? Argh. Back on track, I found the parking garage and followed the signs up to the 4th level. Thinking of that Seinfeld episode where they get lost in the parking garage, I made a mental note of where I parked my car and headed in.

To say that the halls at a convention center are monstrous is putting it mildly. The booths were set up in a square grid with extremely bright lights illuminating all. The combination of the vendor lights with the hall lights bouncing off the tables of glittery beads gave me an immediate sense of disorientation as I stepped through the hall entrance. I decided to do a walk through to give myself a sense of who was there and what they had to offer. I was also on the lookout for my favorite vendors. Alas, with the change in venue came a change in vendors and I couldn’t locate my favorite stone bead seller, Raj from Oregon. My favorite seed bead seller was there, however, but his inventory of seed beads was half of what it usually was. I did manage to acquire some unique muted fall tones.

I feel another free-form piece starting to brew.

I got some good deals on pearls (75% off) and a beautifully unique bone pendant of Guan Yin’s head cradled in a hand. As I have a pretty extensive bead stash at home, I’m always on the lookout for a unique seller besides the usual stone and crystal beads and precious metal findings. I found one on my way out. Susan K. Nestor Studios from Ann Arbor, MI creates stamped resin pendants in various muted colors like I’ve never seen before. What really caught my eye, however, were the stainless steel and colored silk neckrings she had on display. I’ve been searching for something simple to highlight some free-form peyote and polyclay pendant ideas I’ve been gestating and these were just perfect.

I’m looking forward to playing with my new beads!

6 comments on “Bead Show Adventure

  1. Arline says:

    Don’t you just love buying new beads. It seems to give our creative urge a wonderful boost. Nice stash, Karen.

  2. artandtea says:

    Thanks Arline, I love a new stash! It’s definitely inspiring!

  3. Ruth Ann says:

    Congratulations on almost being a new grandmother! I have just become a great aunt and the excitment is overwhelming!

    Can you tell me where I could purchase the Guan Yin bead that you bought – or a similar one? Ti Quan Yin is my very favorite tea!

    I’m still enjoying the earrings you made for me. Love them!

    Thanks bunches!
    Ruth Ann

  4. artandtea says:

    Hi Ruth Ann, Thank you so much, I’m really excited, too. Enjoy your new little great niece/nephew.

    I’ll look up the name of the company in my file and get back to you about that.

    I’m so glad to hear that you are enjoying your earrings!

  5. LB says:

    I have never been to that show! Must have been fun!

  6. artandtea says:

    It’s always been a pretty good show. It comes to town in the spring and the fall. I recommend giving it a try someday. 🙂

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