Inspiration Station – Sept 2013 BeadFest Review

September 4, 2013

Had a great time at BeadFest this year!  Before I discuss my beady adventure, I must rave about the Reading Terminal Market   in downtown Philadelphia. My friend Liz kindly picked me up at the train station and treated me to lunch there.

This place is amazing, especially if you are a foodie. Just about any kind of food you crave, they have; Cajun, soul food, Chinese, sushi, middle eastern, vegan… They also have several butchers and organic produce shops that accept Food Stamps (SNAP). The program helps people afford healthier food.

We decided on a New York style sandwich shop–Hershel’s. The owner relocated from Brooklyn and opened the stand with his family.  The pastrami sandwich melted in my mouth. It was better than any pastrami I’ve had at home in New York. A “medium” soda cup is what a “large” is at home. You definitely get your money’s worth.

We also picked up some Amish treats. I couldn’t resist the red velvet cake, and hand made donuts.  Later that night I dived into the red velvet with a cup of hotel coffee. I had a radio show to do and needed a boost. Well, between the sugar and the caffeine, I didn’t fall asleep until 1 AM.  😀  I still dream of the red velvet cake.

The next morning–Knotting Class with Reenie of Designs by Reenie. Reenie was a patient, fun instructor. There were seven of us in class, but we all received individual attention, and all of us finished our necklace project. I’d seen the Easy Knotter before, but never up close. Now I’m happy I did. Someone has already asked me to make a necklace like the one I did in class:

Pearl knotting project

Pearl knotting project

After class, it was time to hit the show! Can’t share photos, since they were not allowed, but you can visit the BeadFest page on Facebook and see some highlights. One of my favorite artisans, Singing Cat Studios wasn’t there this year (I missed you Kimberley!), but I discovered a new one, Bokomo Designs.

Their specialty is leather and special clasps/sliders for leather. It’s the new thing this year, and fortunately a lot of their items were on sale. That seemed to be the theme this time around “Everything on sale”. Another favorite supplier is retiring. (Good luck S&L Lapidary!) Snatched up as many cufflink stones as possible. Good quality is hard to find.

At the end of the day, I spent 50% less than I did last year, paying retail at that. (The tax Id number doesn’t always help, some vendors require a minimum purchase.) Next weekend, I’m settling in and designing some wonderful stuff for the store and my next show…

That’s right! I’m doing another personal appearance–November 16th, location and time TBA.  As the date nears, the info will be here.

One other thing I must rave about: The new Hilton Garden Inn. It opened this spring, right next to my usual haunt, the Hampton Inn. Couldn’t get a room this year, so I had to book the Hilton.  It did not disappoint. Comfy king-sized bed, flat screen television (I want one!), microwave, fridge, and coffee maker. The bathroom has no tub, just a huge walk-in shower with massage shower head. Had breakfast, cooked to order eggs, delish! The staff bent over backward, even with two wedding groups and the BeadFest attendees, just what one would expect at a Hilton.

Well, that’s all for now. And I did fill in for Tanya Mercado on 8/23 for Raise Your Glass

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