Scenes From Bead Fest Philadelphia, Day 2

Aug 23, 2012

If you think it takes a long time to walk through the show floor of a huge bead show like Bead Fest Philadelphia, try doing it where you know just about everyone behind the tables in the booths! Bead Fest Philadelphia was a great time for me to catch up with people that I haven't seen since the Tucson gem and mineral shows back in February, as well as a great opportunity for me to scout for new beading supplies and jewelry making components.

Here are a few of my favorite scenes from Bead Fest Philadelphia 2012:

The first person I ran into was Suzanne Branca from A Grain of Sand. It was so nice to meet Suzanne in person and to chat about our love of all things vintage. Suzanne had some fabulous beads, jewelry making components, and metal jewelry making supplies from the famous Bead Hoard.
Good luck getting near Jill Wiseman's booth, Tapestry Beads! Shoppers flocked to Tapestry Beads to see samples from her latest book, Beautiful Beaded Ropes, and to see what kinds of fabulous beading patterns, beading kits, and kumihimo supplies she was offering.
Speaking of Jill Wiseman's Beautiful Beaded Ropes, I got to see Jill at her very first book signing at the Beyond Beadery booth! I met up with Beading Daily enthusiast Dona DeLaura as well as Bead Fest instructor Laura Zeiner, and we had a great time shopping and chatting.
Shopping at Beyond Beadery is always the highlight of any Bead Fest show. With their amazing selection of seed beads, shaped seed beads, Swarovski crystal beads, bugle beads, beading components, bead embroidery supplies, and Crystal Clay supplies, you better believe that it's a destination for many Bead Fest shoppers. The lines at Beyond Beadery are legendary -- one year, I waited for a good forty-five minutes to check out!
At lunch, I got to meet another fabulous Beading Daily reader, Kristen Stevens. She gifted me with a beautiful polymer clay Celtic knot beading component (that she made herself!), and then we all posed for a photo with Dona. It was great to meet my readers in person!
While I was running an errand for Jill Wiseman at Bead Fest, I bumped into the always awesome Andrew Thornton chatting with Jewelry Making Daily's Tammy Jones. Andrew has made us both promise to come teach at Allegory Gallery -- and he says he's going to hold us to it!
After years of corresponding through email and talking on the phone, I got to meet the lovely ladies of Mirrix Looms! Claudia Chase and Elena Chase Zuyok were fun and fabulous in person!
And speaking of Mirrix Looms...look at all the amazing fibers, hand-dyed silks, and 14kt gold threads that were available at the Mirrix Looms booth! I brought home some hand-dyed silk and 14kt gold thread for my next loom woven cuff bracelet project.
I was so thrilled to get a big hug from bead artist Leslie Rogalski! Leslie is one busy beader these days, with her new Sleepless Beader website, line of kits and patterns, and fabulous BYOBeads tins. If there was an award for Miss Bead Fest Congeniality, Leslie and her sister should definitely win that prize!
One of the things that thrilled me at Bead Fest Philadelphia this year was the amazing range of small beading businesses that had booths. I love buying my beads and beading supplies from small businesses, and places like Twisted Sistah offered both a great selection of some hard-to-find seed beads as well as gorgeous beading kits and seed bead patterns.
After totally knocking it out of the park during my first Quick and Easy Kumihimo with Beads class taught by Jill Wiseman, I was pumped to take her Advanced Kumihimo: Beyond the Basics class on Saturday afternoon. Here she is, showing us some great techniques for adding focal beads to our kumihimo ropes.
I couldn't believe how quickly I picked up kumihimo. My work table was spread out with all sorts of fabulous fibers and beads!

Someone else that I finally got to meet face-to-face was the fabulous Deb Moffett-Hall. Deb is a very talented bead artist who has created the popular Ornament of the Month and Bracelet of the Month Clubs through her website, Patternstobead.com. Here she is, demonstrating her latest invention, the Quick Start Peyote cards.

On Sunday, I decided to take it easy and signed up for an all-day class with my buddy Nikia Angel. Before I left class, I made sure to shop Nikia's amazing selection of vintage Swarovski and Czech crystal beads and stones, and I made sure to get a photograph of the two of us in the same room together!
Nikia's Scalloppini bracelet was a real learning experience for me. Stitching those tiny Czech glass spike beads into peyote stitch bumps was a great lesson in just how important proper tension is for bead-weaving.
Last but not least, I had a great time at the Meet the Teachers reception, where we had a 5th birthday celebration for Beading Daily, complete with cake and coffee!

Whew! Even though I was there for the entire Bead Fest Philadelphia show, it went by too fast!

Did you go to Bead Fest Philadelphia? Do you have a great picture that needs a funny caption? Email it to me at jvanbenschoten@interweave.com, and we might use your photo in our upcoming caption contest!

Do you have a favorite Bead Fest memory? Share it here!

Bead Happy,

Jennifer


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