Saturday, August 6, 2011

10 Things...

Hello, and welcome to another post at Saturday Sequins!

I don't know what it is about me, but I really love doing a series of posts on the same topic. First there was Do What You Love, a series of posts on how to do what you love for a living. Then there was the first in my Creativity Challenge series. And now there's 10 Things -- a series of lists of my favorite resources, people, books, etc. Today's post is:

My 10 favorite suppliers

1.) Cartwright's Sequins.

You know they just had to be first on my list. I've been ordering from Cartwright's for over five years now, and I continue to be surprised at both the variety of sequins they offer and the incredibly, amazingly reasonable prices. If I had my way, and enough money, I would order something different every day!

2.) BeadAlgo

Speaking of sparkly things, this is the company whose selection of Chinese crystal beads impressed me so much at this year's Bead and Button Show. And I wasn't the only one! The table was crowded with women. In order to pick anything out, you had to get at the end of the line and shop on your way to the register -- which, incidentally, worked out to the perfect amount of shopping time. I was also very happy when the saleswoman recognized me when I came back a second time. You can bet they'll be first on my list if they're in Milwaukee next year.

3.) Blue Buddha Boutique.

I've mentioned Rebecca and her shop before. Well, here it is! Her store carries an insane variety of rings, from aluminum to steel to colored copper. I find that these are perfect for making sequin chain. She also offers classes in Chicago, which I highly recommend. The atmosphere is relaxed, the instructors are wonderful, her instructions are precise and easy to understand, and her level of knowledge of chainmaille weaves is extensive. Oh, forget extensive -- it's unbelievable!

4.) Rio Grande.

They have a huge selection of tools, display/packaging items, and they're my first place to go to for copper and sterling silver wire in just about any shape and size available. I also trust the quality of their bead strands -- I don't usually order strands online, since I like to inspect each one carefully, but they have never disappointed me. And have I mentioned that they recycle precious metals for cash or store credit? I plan to take advantage of this soon. I'll let you know how it goes.

5.) South Pacific Wholesale.

Remember Willis, the bead store owner I mentioned in my post on support systems? This is his online store. Again, I don't usually order bead strands online, but I know him, and I trust him. He's very upfront about the quality of his beads, as well as whether they're popular with customers. I miss his sense of humor and conversation, and visiting his site, which is infused with his personality, always cheers me up. And if you're ever in Montpelier, go see him at Cool Jewels! I paid him a visit last summer, and it's still a great place to hang out. I scored some gorgeous bead strands, too.

6.) Beadsmith.

Beadsmith tools are sold in many jewelry stores, and even in craft stores, and it's no wonder. I've had their wire cutters for four years now, and they're still in excellent condition and still perfect for getting into tight spaces to trim wire. I'm also in love with their chasing hammer. Some hammers can scratch the surface of your wire, but these ones produce clean results every single time.

7.) Beyond Beadery.

I first met the Beyond Beadery people at the bead show two years ago. I was very happy with their selection, which led me to purchase yet more beads from them online. The great thing about them is that they indicate which of their seed beads have been dyed -- something that's really important to me. I also have plenty to say about their prices and quality, but I'll just say, its good. ;)

8.) Fire Mountain Gems.

Theirs was the first beading catalog I'd ever ordered! The same goes for Mr. Sequin. They have a wide variety of things, from Swarovski crystal to stone beads to displays, and their quantity pricing is pretty awesome. They also host beading contests and post the winners both online and in their catalogs. My only complaint is the quality of some of their stone beads. If you're looking for high quality, opt for some of the other places I've listed today.

9.) Dakota Stones.

I visit their booth every year at the bead show, and they get a lot of my (and Mr. Sequin's) money. Their selection is incredible, and the quality is excellent. I see a lot of really pretty stones there that I don't see in other places. I have never ordered from them online, but if I needed any more stone beads (yes, I've bought a lot from them) I wouldn't hesitate.

10.) Artistic Wire.

I was disappointed not to find them at the bead show this year because they're one of my regular stops. I love their selection of colored copper wire, which is just perfect for making my own colored jump rings in any size I want. Make sure to tape or Tool Magic your pliers before working with it, though. If you use a Death Grip on your pliers the way I do, the color can flake off. Otherwise, it stays on nicely. I especially like this stuff for multimedia -- and yes, sequin -- jewelry projects.

And that concludes this installment of 10 Things. Please note that none of these companies is paying me to do this. They don't even know about it! I list them out of love and respect for the products they offer and all the fun I have using them, as well as to help the new or seasoned jewelry maker find the Good Stuff.

Thanks for reading! Have a sequintastic day. Check back soon for lots of eye candy! Last night we took some awesome pictures, and I'm just itching to show them off.

No comments: