Monday, August 16, 2010

Beaded Bliss in the US

For an Aussie jewellery maker, a bead shopping trip in the US is like a visit to a great big candy store where each hook or tray of beads elicits more oohs and aahs than the last! Ah, such bliss!

"Can I please have one of these, and two of those?" I asked the assistant. "Oh, and one of those too".

It reminded me of how I used to spend my pocket money at the local deli when I was a child: the shopkeeper would fill the small paper bag with the lollies I picked out - one of these, and two of those and some of these as well. Ah..... such sweet memories!

I can tell you that there were times I was drooling over some of the spectacular beads I saw. Look at these from Beadnix who had a stand at the CHA Craft Supershow in Chicago.
Image courtesy of The Bead Goes On

They had bowl after bowl filled with the most wonderful array of beaded beads like the one above. They were a little pricey, but worth it as you only need a few to create a spectacular necklace or bracelet and I'm pleased to say a few small ones made it into my shopping bag.I also found some native style beads in a quaint little store called Bead Gallery in Juneau, Ak. I nearly missed this bead shop as it was tucked away in a side street. This was the kind of shop that you can fossick in and find all sorts of interesting beads. I found some painted clay beads.....
these whimsical painted parrots......
and I just couldn't resist these two stone polar bears. I could have spent hours in this shop but alas, I was given just 15 minutes.Not all the beads I bought were unusual. There were plenty of great beads to be found at the chain stores like Michaels and Joanns. There I found lots of pre strung strands of glass and metal beads. Needless to say, dozens of these strands came home with me.

Here's a small (and I mean very small) sampling of what I liked the look of. Passing through customs at the airport on my return to Brisbane brought a knowing smile from the female customs officer who watched as I waded through the bags of beads in my suitcase to retrieve a particular item which required inspection. Quite obviously she was a fellow jewellery maker and we shared a joke about how addictive jewellery making was. She completely understood that these were souvenirs from my travels!

So as you can see, a bead shopping expedition in the US really is like visiting a candy shop - you just can't go past without wandering in and taking home some of the delights!

'Til next time.....

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Would you like to comment?

  1. you would've loved this shop in Montreal, I spent so many hours and dollars in there.... i can completely understand the feeling, and envy you :) have fun!

  2. France, you can't just leave it at that - you have to name names! How else will we know what we're missing out on?

  3. I couldn't remember the name, and then little by little it came back to me, but sadly it closed in Sept 2008, after 35 years (to the day) of operations. I didn't know that, I just found out. Sad. It was called The Bead Emporium on Victoria Street in Westmount (Montreal). I am still, to this day, convinced it was the best bead shop in the world (well, at least it was the best in most of Eastern Canada)

  4. What a shame! Not that I am headed to Eastern Canada anytime soon. But it's always good to know these things.... just in case!


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