I went to the Bead Blast 2005 this weekend, in my home town. What?! You've never been to the BB 2005? Nor ever heard of it? No worries, I hadn't either until this year.
Since I technically am in the "industry" (I make jewelry that happens to contain beads most of the time), I felt it my obligation to check out the newest and greatest trends in beading and jewelry making. Okay...okay...so I just wanted a day or two away from home and Goofy Junior. So shoot me.
Anyway, this bead show was some primo people-watching territory. There were many ladies (and it IS mostly ladies, as much as I'd like to think we live in a equal opportunity world) strutting around like peacocks, with their huge hand-made pieces of jewelry dangling perilously from their ears, necks, and wrists. Some stuff was neat, or fun...some stuff made you wonder what they were smoking.
There was a trade show of sorts, with probably about 50 vendors. Pick up your jaw off the floor...yes, 50 vendors. Beading is this huge trend now...which sucks because the prices of raw materials is now going up. But enough "shop talk".
Some vendors were cocky about their beads...and the prices reflected that. Others seemed more like family-owned businesses or friends that had gathered to buy the space, and they seemed to be having more fun (but not selling as much). They were more fun to visit with and seemed more open about their craft.
I never know what's a good deal in these places, so I end up with a potpourri of beads and other supplies that don't really go together to make one "piece" and that will sit in my storage containers until I buy something exactly the same and then find the others. Such is life...
I managed to drop about $200 on beads, snacks, and two classes (and materials). But I had a good time and got re-energized on a hobby that I have absolutely no time to do. Cool.