What a summer! Did we have one? Here in my neck of the woods, there have been maybe 3 days that could be considered hot. Otherwise, it’s been cool nights and rainy days. I’m not complaining, I’m enjoying it. Anything is better than winter–anything.

One summertime event I’m bummed to miss this year is BeadFest in Philadelphia. BeadFest is a 4-day bead and art show full of classes and serious shopping. It’s my go-to event to stock up on supplies/tools, meet fellow beaders, and find new fun, funky pieces to create with. If you are in the Oaks, PA area, the show continues tomorrow and Sunday (Aug23-24).

As a consolation, I’m heading to my local bead shops in the morning, but it won’t be the same.

So what else is new?
Another fantastic event is coming up in September 27: Mrs Jax Shop & Sip is back in Elmont NY. Each event is a fundraiser for a specific charity. The past two were for BASICS International School. September’s event is for Heavenly Angels Animal Rescue. If you’re in the area, come by!

mrsjax

Tickets are $5, a portion is donated to the animal rescue. There will be raffles, certificates for free vaccinations, good food, music, and of course shopping! A donation box for pet toys, cleaning supplies, pet food will be onsite also.

I found some interesting artwork at the NYC Public Library. Peter Bynum’ Illuminated Paint. I may stop back tomorrow and take another look:

Bynum's Paint 1

Here’s another:Bynum Paint 2Wishing everyone a safe,  fun, remainder of Summer!

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

Help Beyond Beadery

August 31, 2012

I received this since I’m on Margie Deeb’s mailing list. Couldn’t believe it:

Help Beyond Beadery

A thief stole 2 days worth of cash from Beyond Beadery’s booth during BeadFest. That is a lot of money folks. As Margie noted, two days worth of sales could be several people’s paychecks. Beyond Beadery is one of the biggest, most friendly vendors at Bead Fest. To help them out, Margie suggests we purchase gift certificates. This gives them time to fill orders while replenishing stock.

 

“Mercury is in retrograde. That’s why everyone’s nutso.” This was the reason offered by a friend when she heard me talking about the weird things happening during the week.

Perhaps the planets do influence u, either via gravitational pull, electromagnetic activity.

Today a subway “preacher” ranted on about men’s pants hanging too low, and women’s tops rising too high. How we are ignorant and cuss at each other faster than being polite to each other. And he cursed the entire time. Yep the “preacher” cursed one sentence, then prayed the next.

Then one person decides to stand still on the left side of the escalator. Here in NYC, the left side of the escalator is for those who want to keep moving. If you can’t, the unspoken rule is to stay to the right.  This woman decides  she’s standing on the left. The man behind her screamed in her ear for her to move.

“Lady, EXCUUUUUUSE ME!! MOVE OVER!!”

She turned to stone. For a moment it seemed he was going to push her. Instead he huffed and rolled his eyes until they reached the top of the platform.

Then he pushed her. She just walked away. No cursing, no yelling, no swinging the umbrella into his crotch.

Now that was weird.  I’m going to stick with “people are just crazy”.  There cannot be any gravitational pull strong enough to make someone act like that.

While the freaks come out at night, allow me to update a few projects.

This coming Sunday August 12, 7PM EST  is the second installment of  The Pandorica Opens – a Doctor Who discussion show on SciFi Pulse via NDB Media.  This week we’re discussing David Tennant’s tenure.

My excercise/wellness plan is in it’s 2nd month. As of today, I’ve lost 3 pounds, and up to 2miles/week on the treadmill. 🙂

My new store Pond’s Edge Designs is under construction.  It’s taking longer than planned due to technical difficulties with the credit card processor. But it’s resolved so now I’m adding inventory.  I hope to be open before I leave for BeadFest Philadelphia.

Speaking of BeadFest- I can’t wait to visit my favorite vendors again. This year I’m taking a photography refresher class. With a new store it’s time to step up the photos.

Last but not least, my regular show on NDB Media is scheduled for August 29, 10PM EST. Have no idea what the topic will be yet, so stay tuned. 🙂

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. 😀

June Inspiration Station

June 28, 2011

Yes, I realize June is almost over. This month was a roller coaster. Work is great! Settling in and getting stuff done.  Finally adjusted to working 4 days instead of 2. 🙂

As for creative stuff, I’ve been writing more than beading these past few weeks. A story idea for E! fanfiction popped into my head. It was off to the races after that.  Finished 2 stories – one 11 chapters the other about 20. Fanfic chapters are not as long as standard chapters. It depends on how much the writer wants to fit onto the screen.

As of this weekend, back to the beads. There is a mandala in progress, and I sold two items today! Yay! So now I have to get new items ready. Hoping to hit BeadFest in August. It is up in the air due to home repair projects, but maybe I can do a day trip. Keeping fingers crossed. I really don’t want to mail order supplies. It’s so much better financially to get it all down there.

Inspiration is from the garden this season. Mom’s plants are in bloom, so plenty of color and natural designs to choose from.

Coming soon: more photos, my mandala update, and if I can get to BeadFest, product/vendor reviews.

Beadfest 2010 review

August 24, 2010

My wallet’s still recovering…

Had a nice time at BeadFest Philadelphia this past weekend. Decided to head down Thursday this time around, and it was  the best idea. Gave me an evening to relax before the madness of the bazaar on Friday. Thurday is MetalMania at the show–a day of metal-smithing classes from beginner to advanced. Since that’s not my thing I couldn’t say if they went well or not.

The Scanticon and Radisson hotels are the main spots for the attendees. Unless you have a car, they are really the only places to stay. The hotels are connected to the convention hall, so one doesn’t need to go outside. Perfect when the weather is a little too hot. The Scanticon Hotel is the older of the two. And it’s time for a refurbishment. The rooms are huge and kept immaculately, but wear and tear are evident. The friendly staff makes the stay enjoyable, from check in to check out. (Room service is a little expensive however. If you can get an outside restaurant to deliver, go for it.)

Anyhow, photography was forbidden except outside the bazaar, or if you were Interweave Press staff, so no crowd shots–sorry.  Saturday is traditionally the busiest day of the show. Most shoppers come in on Saturday morning. This year Friday seemed “hot”. By 11am, the crowd made its way to the lower level, and vendors were selling.

Tools for Beadfest: Good sneakers and socks

I personally prefer purchasing as many supplies as possible at the show. For me,  paying retail at the show is less than mail order or the local bead store.  Funny thing is, one of my best deals was from a vendor based in Manhattan. Duh! Made a point to have his card for my next trip to Midtown.

Some of my favorite vendors from last year didn’t come this time. However I found a few new ones that could make my “Best of” list at the end of the year.

The best news is I found some wonderful items for a men’s line. Not posting any photos yet, but I’m very excited about them and feel they’ll do well. Also discovered some new materials and tools.

Just a hint at what I found this year

Again this year I took a class, Char Jorgensen’s “Sidewinder” wire wrap. (Last year was Margie Deeb’s class) Char is very friendly and made sure everyone got the hang of her instructions. She is a visual learner (like yours truly) so her focus was on showing more than telling.  Considering her class was sold out, if you have a chance to take the workshop, grab it. Char teaches advanced classes also, check her website:

www.wirewrapper.com for more information. Here’s my effort:

I need practice, but it looks nice

Overall, had a great time, met some nice folks and went a little over budget. 🙂 Well worth the trip.

Back from BeadFest

August 23, 2009

All I can say is "What a weekend!"  I did a few things I did not expect to. Met some very nice people. Found a ton of bargains, collected a bunch of business cards from new suppliers, watched vendors hustle, and ate like I hadn’t  done in a long long time.

First things first: What is this BeadFest? It was a 3-day extravaganza for beaders, originally in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania. After the convention center closed, it moved to Valley Forge Convention Center, (near the King of Prussia mall). I say "was" because this year, it was 5 days. Yes, 5 days of classes, 3 for shopping. This year, metalsmithing classes were added on Wednesday, other beading and jewelry business seminars started on Thursday. I met several people who came in for the entire week. That is dedication. Three days suited me just fine.

Next: What happens there? Well, there are two tracks: classes and the bazaar. Most of the participants took classes this year. They range from beginner to advanced, covering subjects as varied as metalsmithing 101, torch work(or making glass beads), bead stitching (using needle & thread to connect beads into art/jewelry), jewelry marketing, copyright and trademarks (one of the classes I took), and color theory(the other class I joined).

Don’t discount the bazaar however! At least 60% of the attendees come in for a day or two just to stock up on supplies. Or they tag along with a friend just to get out of the house, and BAM! –they’re hooked. Tax ID numbers were flying. Vendors were telling people "get a tax id–next time I can give you a bigger discount". They never told people that before. Of course stupid me left my tax certificate at HOME in a safe place.  But it’s okay–some vendors already had below wholesale prices so it worked out fine. Two huge floors of  vendors, bead societies, and the sponsors, Interweave Press, Beadalon, Cherry’s Beads, and SoftFlex–they had a $1000 gift box up for a drawing. (Wonder who won?)

I found some amazing artists offering items at such reasonable rates, I couldn’t resist. The good thing was, I found everything on my shopping list first. Yes folks, you have to bring a list, or you will buy stuff you don’t need first.  There were a few overpriced vendors, but they did well too so to each her own.  One of my favorite vendors I had to skip because another vendor just undercut them. I felt bad, but the second vendor’s colors and quantity were just too good.  To attest to the second vendor’s quality: Friday, the first day of the show, at around 5PM, the line for her register snaked back almost to the stairs leading up to the hotel.  We’re talking around 100 people, on line, no complaining, no one put down their tray and gave up. (Beaders stack their purchases in trays) One woman had FOUR 2-foot trays of supplies–she got the wholesale deal, and the owner personally rang up her order.

You see, when we go through and choose colors, sizes, and supplies, it’s a pain to put it down and come back later. The colors may not be available, and the line never stopped anyway, so coming back later would have no advantage.

Next question: What else is there to do besides shop and class? This year was the Moonlight Bead-in. Anyone could come to the ballroom with a project, work on it, and mingle with instructors and other beaders. Cash bar, and light snacks.  It was relaxed and fun.
Another event–and my personal favorite–was the Instructor’s Reception (or Meet the Instructors). It was Friday night–in a ballroom, cash bar, but free lemonade, ice tea and some snacks. (Don’t ever attend on an empty stomach folks) But in the ballroom, the instructors had tables offering kits, finished work, and books. Best of all if you liked the instructor, you could sign up for the class, (if they were teaching Saturday or Sunday). I met two of my favorite artists: Susan Nestor (she puts the art in artsy beads) and Margie Deeb.

It’s so cool to see work up close after only seeing photos in a magazine. It gives a greater appreciation for the time and effort to design, and create beaded art.

I met Margie, and she was so warm, friendly and just plain cool. I ran over the the BeadFest table and said, "Here’s cash, put me in Margie’s class Saturday night." Margie Deeb is the color theory queen. Her book "The Beader’s Guide to Color" was the first book I purchased when I began beading. Still have/use it. The class was so much fun! I finally learned the proper way to read a color wheel, what proportion really means, and met some very nice people. That’s the best way to meet fellow beaders, take a class.

Beading is usually a solitary endeavor. So to be able to meet and bounce ideas around with like minded folks is a benefit.

My other class was "Copyrights and Trademarks". That was helpful, yet the class was very small. Shame, the information on how to copyright, and getting protected is so important. And it’s not expensive at all. One can do it yourself through the Copyright office website.

Whoo!! I did not want to come home. But I’m glad I am because now I get to put theory into practice.

Oh yeah, my other plan was to visit the Valley Forge National Park. Never made it–rained almost whole weekend. Ooops.