BeadFest 2011 – Cool Finds, Kind Strangers

August 20, 2011

This is the year of the mobile office. I write this from BeadFest in Pennsylvania. This time I didn’t have the extra day as last year, so no class. Also, the venue changed. The Expo Center at Oaks was chosen due to construction at the old space (Valley Forge Convention Center).  But there was plenty of room for all the vendors. One nice feature – everything is on one level, much easier on the knees. The room map came in very handy.  I was a little disappointed however: some of the vendors I patronized last year didn’t return. You & Me Findings–I missed you! Really needed some of those magnetic 3-strand slide clasps. Chain Gallery—missed you too!

For the vendors I missed, I found others that did return: Bead My Love –that ultrasuede looks nice and funky, Singing Cat Studio–love my new pieces!

Discovered some new sources also: The Queens Beads, Unicorn Beads and a few others.

What’s impressed me the most is the kindness of strangers.

The hotel clerk that gave me a pack of AA batteries when the ones in my camera died.

Sue, the lady who was lost looking for the Expo building. She pulled up to me as I walked through the enormous Lowes/BJ’s parking lot and offered a ride. We found the center, she dropped me off at the entrance then went to find parking. I didn’t see her the rest of the day.

My fellow passenger in the shuttle on Friday: he was from the area, and provided a wealth of information on where to eat. Turns out his wife was attending BeadFest also.

The flirtatious and funny shuttle driver: adding to the fun of my only vacation for the year.

BeadFest can be–okay, is–overwhelming if you don’t have a plan. I never go into the venue without a list, a budget (and I always go over), good sneakers, and a good breakfast. My shopping list is first. BeadFest is where I collect most of my basic supplies for the year. Sometimes I can’t get everything. As with this year, some of the vendors weren’t here, so I have to source it elsewhere. After my main list, then the fun starts!

I look for reasonably priced, yet different items. Sometimes pendants speak to me. Sometimes cabachons/stones do, sometimes new wire and thread. This year all of the above I found. But I had a budget.

What did I get? I can’t say of course! You’ll have to stay tuned and see the new items as they’re ready. 😀

But here is a sneak peek:

The Hampton Inn at Oaks was the perfect place to stay. As promised, it was walking distance from the event. A long walk, but hey  I needed the workout.  The staff welcomed me, checked in to make sure my room was okay, and called tonight to make sure I had a good stay before I checked out. My room is bigger than my old apartment. King size bed, huge living/dining area (with kitchenette, full fridge, and dishwasher!), flat screen televisions.

Beautiful Downtown Oaks PA

All in all, another sucessful trip! Now to rest my tired legs. 😀

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