Hazard duty?

The Plan for Saturday was to check out of the hotel, load up the truck, shop until around 2, then head back home.  So we would have time to price on the way, and have a nice calm drive back.  That was The Plan, anyway.

So at 3, when we were only half done shoping, there was a slight panic.  We had to go to the other place to find the Fluorite man, the Pendant Guy, and The Other Cool Clasp people.  So off we went.  After fighting freeway construction and parking lot squatters, we managed to mark the last few items off the list.  And by then it was 5:45.  Might as well eat a nice “lunch” since we haven’t had food since 8:30.

It was getting dark when we left, with a sliver of moon hanging in the sky above the palm trees.  (Very nice, but my camera is incapable of that kind of feat.)  No pricing in the dark, though. 

We drove through the night, past the signs still warning us that dust storms still might exist, until we were too tired to go on. 

In case you need to find a room in Van Horn Texas at 2:30AM on a Saturday night, don’t.  After some quick math, we figured out that this room costs 1/5th of what the Tucson room cost.  So was it 5 times worse?  Nope, more like 7.4 times worse. So we got out as soon as the sun was up, didn’t even comb our hair.  And drove.  We got back to Fort Worth late Sunday afternoon.  We unloaded the truck, and said “Stick a fork in us, we’re DONE!”  Our job is nearly finished.

As we unloaded, we realized that we bought a LOT of stuff.  As in “where can we possibly put all this stuff?”  Maybe there really isn’t enough room, and we can’t make the store bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.  But it’s all so gorgeous!  I mean, we got some awfully freakin’ amazing beads!  I want them all

Preview night is Friday, all these new beauties will be displayed and ready for you to take home!  There will be plenty left on Saturday, probably, but the ones that make me try to grab and hide them (because I turn into a Gollum-like troll that says “But I wants it, my precious!”), those will probably be among the first to go.

We’ll post the times later in the week, but it’ll be after regular store hours.

We’ll see you soon!


Can’t type, feet hurt

Sorry, long day, the feet tried to abandon ship sometime around 6, and the back has decided to say hateful things every time I try to lean to the left.

But the monumental pile of amazing pearls is priced.  We were going to take their picture, but after pricing them and putting them in their box, we were too tired to take them out again.  So you’ll just have to trust me, there are some truly amazing pearls, for unbelievable prices.  Imagine the champagne stick pearls that look gold dusted.  That’s what they look like.  And coins in a glowing chocolate and other colors. 

Also priced are the incredible new cuts of emerald, quartz, sapphire, and topaz.  New multi-faceted cut cubes, onion cuts, and twisty cool things.  I can’t begin to describe them, and my photography skills are not up to the task.  Just be prepared to get light-headed on Preview night.

We got a lot more today, but I’m going to collapse now.

Tomorrow is the last day, we leave for home as soon as we finish shopping.  Or when we run out of room in the truck.  That’s getting to be a concern, the boxes were all stacked together when we came here, and filled up they take up more space.  I may have to share the back seat with suitcases and tubs!

Turquoise day!

Another full day shopping, walking miles and leaning over tables and getting nasty stuff under the fingernails.  We don’t just say “give us three strands of these,” we dig through all of the strands of that size/shape and pick out the best ones.  We look for stones that match, even at other vendors.  We dig through mounds of strands, sometimes 6 inches deep, looking for the best stuff.  At worst, I elbow other shoppers to get to those last two hanks first, so we can pick out what we want. 

And the tents are either too warm or too cold, it seems.  Tents?  Big tents.  Like this one:


Actually, that’s only about 2/3 of the tent, and it’s wide.  Very wide.  This show has two of them.  Tomorrow’s show has three. 

So what did we buy?  Some great base metal big accent beads, and fun Chinese glass, including really nifty dice.  Several dark-sparkly black spinel strands, and some big faceted quartz pendants with big wow factors.  Lots of rhodochrosite with marvelous markings.

And turquoise, lots of turquoise.  Even a strand from the Bisbee mine, with that lovely blue. We got several large strands, and some smaller graduated strands, new carved pendants.  Like these:


That big round stone with the purple tassle?  That’s the teaser for this year’s Big Kahuna honkin’ turquoise strand.  The whole strand weighs over a pound.  And it’s all the same color. 

Thanks for the comments!  Now that I have Internet again, they show up for everyone to read.  And it’s nearly 11, so I think I’m going to have a nice collapse and rub my feet for awhile.



Good Stuff

We got a lot of stone and pearls today. Walked miles. Went to 3 shows, ate dinner, priced till now. It’s 1AM here.

But look at these ever-so-lovely tourmalines:
And these – amethyst, chrome diopside, London Blue topaz, and Champagne quartz.

And we would’ve taken a picture of the huge pile of stone, including two new ones that we haven’t seen before, but the camera battery died. So just pretend. It was all mounded up on the desk, big pile. Now all of them are priced and tucked between layers of bubble wrap, ready for the trip home. Some of the pearls are just too pretty to imagine. There are a lot of colors of keishi pearls (little potato chip looking puppies) and some round ones in colors to make you sigh. I want to keep them all for myself, I have fantasies of grabbing them out of people’s hands and saying “No pearls for You!” or something.

And, to make me stop whining about my feet, I got to go to see Sharon Peters, and bought a wonderful WONDERFUL flatfish. Here she is, holding my new fish. Now I’m not allowed to whine for at least 36 hours, so it’s a good thing I like him so much.

Tomorrow we do it again!

See? I told you the signs said that

Yesterday we told you about the really cool road signs. Here one is:

After that, we passed our last landmark on the way, the big rocks.
A Mobil geologist told me once that there were only 4 kinds of rocks. Jewelry rocks, throwing rocks, desk rocks, and rocks that are too big to do anything with. These are clearly the latter kind. Oh, and if you look closely, there’s some kind of white frozen water-stuff scattered on the ground and rocks. The low was below 25 last night, and it seems to have caused that stuff. In the desert outside Tucson. We’re not thinking about it.

On our first day of shopping, we got some really cool turquoise hearts, and some fat turquoise disks with big holes across them. And some nice coral in lots of shapes and colors. And some hugely glittery butterflies.

Then we had a nice sushi dinner. Very nice. Tempura bananas are a lovely dessert.

Oh, and if nobody comments on anything (by clicking on the “comments” below) I’m just talking to myself out here. Which is worse than talking to my cats, because at least they talk back. Hello?????

Driving Driving Driving

We left Fort Worth at the crack of 9, and drove and drove and drove, and we were still 100 miles from El Paso.  Where we ran into sandstorms, wind, and more wind. 

Just outside Deming, we saw our favorite roadsigns ever:  “Dust storms may exist.”

Really, that’s what they say!  Others say “Zero visibility possible” but the fact that dust storms may or may not exist, it seems so Quantum Physics or something.

If we can get a picture of one tomorrow, we’ll post it.  If the signs exist.

New Horizons in Fiber 2008

The Dallas area fiber artists are having their 2008 meeting Friday February 1st through Sunday the 3rd, in Plano.  Click here for more information: http://www.dallasfiberartists.org/StateConference.html  or to sign up.  Why are we mentioning this?  Because our teacher Elizabeth Harkins is teaching The Art of Bead Embroidery and 3-D Bead Techniques at the conference!

And it’s 10 days until we leave for Tucson!  We plan to have nightly posts here, to let you in on the fun and show you what we bought that day. 

Knitting Markers

While hanging around in a local knitting shop, I saw some lovely beaded knitting markers.  (You know, those things that slide over needles to mark a specific place in the pattern or to count a block of stitches.)  Then I saw the prices, and noticed that for me, at least, they weren’t quite tough enough.  And I thought “Well, heck!  I can do better than that!” and came home and figured it out.  Total cost for 25 markers, 15 dollars, but I used expensive beads.

Materials:  8mm-12mm glass beads, 18 gauge wire (I used copper) (20 gauge will also work, or even 22 for small needle markers)
Tools:  Round-nose pliers, wire cutter, big fat marker or knitting needle or something else to wrap around


  • Cut around 4″ of wire, and make as teeny a loop on one end as possible.  (Hammering the end flat to widen it also holds the bead, but snags yarn unless you have a good way to smooth the wire.)


  • Slide on a bead, bend the wire 90 degrees to start your wrapped loop.  Wrap the wire around the big fat marker, or large knitting needle, or whatever template you’re using.  (The wire looks twisted, but that’s just the picture.  It’s NOT twisted.)


  • Wrap the wire two or three times around the “neck” of the wire above the bead.  I find it easier to leave the loop over the template while wrapping.


  • Cut the tail off and use your chain-nose (flat) pliers to squash any leftover bit into the coil.


I made some with two beads, to mark the centers on my kntting.  There will be some samples at the store after Friday.

Why so many new faces?

Well, that’s the sad part.  Kathy Meredith, known as Poptart, is leaving The Artful Bead.  Her husband has a job in Kansas, and he thinks that it’s too far away to commute daily from Fort Worth.  So they’re moving soon.


This is NOT OK, but we’ve decided that since she’s been with Woody longer than she’s been with us, we aren’t really in a position to insist or anything.  We are going to make sure we can get color consultations by email, though.  And we’ll do our best to make her send us pictures of her newest creations, just as soon as she gets unpacked.

We’ll miss you, Poppy!!!