If you have time, I'd recommend taking a look at the vendor list before you go:
The floorplan is online too. I always make a note of anyone I especially don't want to miss because once I'm there, surrounded by those rows and rows of beads, I tend to forget everything.
I'm not going this year, but I'm sure you'll have a great time. Be sure to post a report here when you get back!
Website: www.michellemach.comBlog: www.michellemach.com/blog/
You're very welcome. Would love to meet up with you somehow.
BTW - I wish you hadn't mentioned BP&J. I love BP&J (strawberry or raspberry jam only, and smooth pb, on a soft Italian loaf), and now can't get the taste of it out of my brain.
Please see my projects at Stoneheart Beads
Lita-- hahahahhaaaa.. I love that.. can't get the taste out of your brain.... I am SO like that. And i whole heartedly approve your PB&J preferences!
Lita, that's so funny! I am bringing PB&J for myself to eat for lunch all weekend so that a) I don't have to buy lunch and can spend more money on BEADS, and 2) so that I don't have to eat the notoriously bad food at VFCC! LOL! Oh, yeah, and the other reason I bring PB&J is because it's easy to carry around, and since I'm a vegetarian, I never know what is available without meat in it (usually nothing!).
Okay, so this morning I just have some last-minute packing to do, and it's the hardest part - what jewelry will I bring?! LOL!
"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift. That's why it is called the present." -Kung Fu Panda
Raspberry is my favorite, and my #1 reason for PB&J - it won't slow me down!
why waste time eating when their is so much Eye Candy to look at.
Thanks for the floorplan tip.
I went yesterday and it surely did NOT disappoint! (I took the day off:) We got there at 10:15 and parking was already a nightmare! I pull out the map in the booklet they hand out and do a walkaround before I buy anything (unless there's something that looks like it will be gone soon.) I make notes on space numbers where certain beads/vendors are.
I used Beadfest to buy some inexpensive stones ($3-6 a strand). Make sure to thoroughly check the stones for evenly spaced holes, even color, etc. I've made many mistakes over the years and finally have a system down. I also use Beadfest to buy seed beads, seed beads and more seed beads! There are 2 major vendors, Janes Fiber and Beads and Beyond Beadery. Janes has a good assortment and lots of books, too. Beyond Beadery is.............DIVINE! Be prepared to stand in line there - it's notoriously a long one even with 2 registers going at once. Folks are super helpful! Have fun! With the rain this morning I was tempted to go again............but resisted.
I stood in line at Beyond Beadery. Got lots and lots of my favorite metallic-colored seed beads. Woo-hoo!
I also bought an incredible glass fish bead from Ofilia Cinta, some wonderful raku donuts and pendants, a gorgeous glass and copper electroformed acorn pendant, a kit from Nikia Angel of Buythekit.com, a kit from Leslie Frazier, and (Carol Dean would be so proud of me) two huge spools of Fireline!
I got back to my room last night, put my feet up and called my husband. I told him that my feet hurt, my shoulders hurt, and my legs hurt and my voice was hoarse. He said, "What have you been doing all day?" I replied, "Shopping." He had no sympathy. Ha!
I saw those glass and copper electroformed acorn pendants they were stunning. My 1st beadfest was overwhelming but a dream come true. Good thing I don't carry credit cards - that would have gotten me into trouble for sure. I bought a lot of silver and cannot wait to get working. So much talent under one roof I can't wait till the next show!
Glad you all had a good time! I've bought from both Jane's and Beyond Beadery at shows before and I definitely would again. They have nice things.
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I'm back and I survived BeadFest, barely. Or at least my bank account barely survived.
The drive down was pretty okay - a bit of traffic on the NJ Turnpike, which was to be expected. We got to the VFCC around 11, and was shocked to see how crowded it was. I thought there was a recession going on!
What was equally surprising was the long line for check out at Beyond Beadery - I couldn't believe how many people were there waiting to check out. They had a great selection, but I didn't have the patience to wait - just too many other goodies to look at.
I like to walk through the entire show before buying anything - I just don't want to commit my budget so early in the day. This year, I had a pretty extensive shopping list, including pricing data for things like silver wire and certain tools, which was very helpful. What surprised me was the derth of copper findings this year - for the past few years, every metals vendor seems stocked to the gills with copper head pins, cones, clasps, etc. This year, I couldn't find a single copper headpin - okay, that's not exactly true - one dealer had copper headpins with the machined flat end - I was looking for something fancier. I couldn't find any magnetic copper clasps, and larger cone beads were just not there. Plenty of silver and vermeil, but not copper.
What did I buy?
An assortment of silver wire. This is where my research paid off - Rio Grande hasn't been carrying higher gauge half-round for a while (they are selling "low-dome", which really isn't the same thing, and large gauge standard half round, which isn't what I want), and while I thought that FMG had good prices, the drawback with them is that they only sell in pre-packaged 5 foot lengths. One of the vendors (can remember the name) had excellent prices - $24 an ounce for half-round and square wire (which come out to $2.05 an ounce less than FMG, and $1.22 less than wire-sculpture.com), and they were only charging $.85 a gram for Hill Tribe silver. So I bought some.
Pearls. I am a sucker for pearls, and the guys at You and Me Findings always do right for me. More teardrop pearls, stick pearls, peacock green and pink/grey button pearls, and wheat colored rice pearls. I also picked out some nice, heavy copper "S" clasps, which they ended up giving to me as a gift.
Patterned Brass Sheets - Metalliferous was there, which kind of shocked me - they usually don't do shows. I'll use the patterns for both my PMC work and to incorporate into some designs floating in my brain.
Ammonites - I hope everyone who went to Beadfest stopped to take a look at Gary Wilson's booth (where my budget went to hell). He is a true artist, and I am a sucker for ammonites - particularly three-dimensional ones and reverse ammonites (I'll definitely post pictures of these soon). I'm going to make molds of them for a Copper or Bronze clay project, as well. I also couldn't resist a piece of Bubble Calcedony and a large rectangle of Druzy somethingorother (I'll check the name of the material, it's on my receipt).
The drive home was awful. We left around 4:45, and immediately got stuck in a traffic jam on the PA Turnpike. When we finally got to the NJ Turnpike, it was slammed as well. We ended up getting off at the ever-so-lovely Woodrow Wilson rest stop, and waited out the pouring, then torrential rainstorm. When we finally got back on the road around 6:10, the traffic eased up just a bit. We finally made it home around 8. I was exhausted and crawled into bed.
I can't wait until next year!
Lita, I wish we could have met up! I also stopped by Gary Wilson's booth and bought this absolutely beautiful drilled ammonite pendant - he irridized it so that when you tilt it in the light, it has these gorgeous opal and bright red flashes of color. So amazing!
I have to say, I had an absolutely wonderful time at Bead Fest this year. I was thrilled to see the crowds there on Friday and Saturday mornings, and the staff was friendly and helpful and fun. I got to meet Melinda Barta, who is an absolute sweetie, and I got to meet so many of the wonderful artists whose work I have admired for years! The Scanticon hotel where I stayed was wonderful, and everyone I met was friendly and helpful. It really makes me wish I could go to Bead Fest Portland, but alas, my bank account and my schedule won't allow it. Maybe next year!
Today I have a ton of work to do, but I have this whole bag of goodies sitting on the dining room table, just waiting for me! LOL! I wore my acorn pendant to dinner last night at my in-laws' house, and they thought it was gorgeous.
I'll be blogging about my artist bead purchases on About.com later this week - so much to write about!
My first set of photographs from Bead Fest Philadelphia are posted on About.com! Check it out under the Bead Shopping category: Bead Fest 2009 on About.com. What a great time that was!
Thanks for all the photos and great info you're sharing.
How were your classes? Did they fill up? I'm just curious as the only way I can afford to go to a BeadFest is if I teach.
MeganH:There are 2 major vendors, Janes Fiber and Beads and Beyond Beadery. Janes has a good assortment and lots of books, too. Beyond Beadery is.............DIVINE!
I have to say, I think it's crazy that one of the vendors you just mentioned is one of the closest bead stores in my area!!!! Jane's Fiber & beads is in Afton,TN which is about 1 hour from where I live. HA! Maybe I am not missing out so much......er...well...just let me tell myself that I'm not.
Mikki, my classes did not fill up. Not even close! But I went anyway, because it is good experience, and it is only my first year. We'll see if they ask me to come back next year. I haven't been able to get into Portland or Santa Fe (just got the rejection today for one of those, can't remember which one, though), but I'm just going to keep on trying. One of these days I'll get in!