Saturday, June 16, 2012

Bead Show!

Welcome to another Saturday at Saturday Sequins!

It's hard to believe that this year's Bead and Button Show is over and I've already been home a week! Hard to believe, and a little sad -- this is the event I look forward to all year, and while I had a blast, it went by way too quickly, just like it always does.

But! Remembering the things I saw, the shopping I did, and the fantastic people I met, cheers me up and helps tide me over until the next show. So today I'm going to do just that! Here are some highlights...


Wednesday
  • Mr. Sequin and I arrived in Milwaukee in the evening, and one of the first things we did was take a look at all the Bead Dreams pieces. This is one of my favorite things to do every year because the work featured is always exceptional, and this time was no different.

By Kat Wisniewski of Elemental Art -- so cool!


By Vanessa Wailko of Kali Butterfly -- one of my absolute favorites!


By Ruth Jensen of Sparkflight -- another absolute favorite.

  • Then it was off to the Meet The Teachers event -- which was exciting because it was the first time we'd ever gone. I got to catch up with Joan Babcock and Susan Lenart Kazmer, and to meet some online friends in person. Kathy King and Cindy Holsclaw were both there and very nice to talk to.
  • I also had the experience of a lifetime when I met my bead embroidery idol, Sherry Serafini. When I stopped by to say hello, I assumed she'd be so swamped with admirers, hello was all she'd have time for. But then she saw I was wearing this necklace...

One of my first freeform pieces.

And she was really excited! She loved the colors and the design and said I should teach next year. And when I told her I'd been rejected for this year, she encouraged me to keep at it. It was so incredible that she'd taken an interest in me and my work, and I have to confess, I stammered a lot. And when I walked away from her booth, I almost cried. In a very good way.
  • And then one of my other favorite things of the trip happened. Mr. Sequin and I spent the rest of the night hanging out with Vanessa at her booth. We had so much fun laughing and talking, and in the midst of all the goofiness, Vanessa paid us a huge compliment and said that she considered us true artists. And yes, I almost happy-cried again! Because she's my chain maille idol and a spectacular person.


Thursday
  • On Thursday morning, Mr. Sequin and I went to a meeting related to one of my Top Secret Projects. As we were leaving, I ran into Lori Anderson! It was so incredibly cool to meet her in person -- she's adorable. I just hope that my low blood sugar and I weren't too incoherent. When Sarah Sequins doesn't eat, she gets loopy.
  • After lunch, Mr. Sequin and I drove to the Museum of Wisconsin Art. My friend Lisa Binkley's work was part of the exhibit, and I couldn't miss the chance to see Adoration up close. Let me tell you, it was worth the visit! Her work is even more amazing in person.Link
Adoration.


Going In.


Recapitulata


A closeup!

  • We also made a friend in Mary, one of the museum employees, who told us she planned to be at Bead and Button the next day -- and that she'd be on the lookout for us. This made me very happy.
  • It's hard work, looking at pretty things! After that, we got ice cream at one of our favorite places:
Yes, it deserves its own picture!

This place has the best Zanzibar chocolate ice cream, which is pretty darn tasty in a milkshake. For the record, Mr. Sequin, I could totally have handled the large size! ;)
  • Then it was time for... shopping! This time I actually had a shopping plan in addition to a pretty strict budget (made slightly less strict by a last-minute sale -- yay!!). I knew that I'd be looking for seed beads, seed beads, and more seed beads!
  • I hit Out On A Whim first. I was just about breathless with excitement over all those colors! My plan was to get beads I'd never bought before, since it's always better to see them before you buy them. I was also going to get lots of size 15 and 8 because they were underrepresented in my bead stash. I did just that... and more.
  • Then it was time for Bead Time! I realized I needed to get some more of their crystal beads before I ran out of money.
  • And then I went to Beyond Beadery and promptly wished I had ten times the money I'd brought. The selection is pretty different from Whimbeads, and just as nice. There were also things like rivolis and Ultrasuede that made my mouth water.
The line was long, long, long, which gave me an arm cramp from holding the tray, but also a chance to bond with fellow line-waiters. They loved this necklace:



And they were so amazing and kind, sharing beading tips with me and telling me about places to find small stones. Letting me ogle the amazing jewelry they were wearing. Bead Show people -- actually, beaders, in general -- are the coolest people ever.
  • After a quick dinner, it was time to get to sleep. There was a long day of classes and shopping ahead!


Friday
  • While Mr. Sequin had his first class, I went shopping again, determined to spend the money I had left -- which, honestly, was about 10 dollars. I wore this necklace, which got lots of attention and made my ego very big for the day:


  • I went back to Whimbeads, in case there was anything I forgot, and also to Beyond Beadery. And who was in the checkout line in front of me? Mary from the museum! So we chatted awhile, until I got another arm cramp and decided I'd get some Fireline another time.
  • And then I thought... maybe I should hold on to my money. There was no law saying I had to spend it all. I had just convinced myself, when I saw that there was another sale on Chinese crystal beads! And just like that, my money went into the hands of the adorable Intrinsic Trading employee, who is officially the only person allowed to call me darling and get away with it. And I was off to wander some more.
  • By the time I got to Sandy Schor's booth, I was once again a poor, poor girl. Still, I had so much fun looking at the beautiful things they carried -- things like vintage sequins, buttons and cabs, and itty bitty seed beads -- I think they were size 18!
  • I also stopped by Gary Wilson's booth, which is a place I drool over every year. He has the most beautiful collection of cabs and itty bitty geodes! I recommend him to anyone who doesn't mind paying a little extra for fabulous stones, and one day, I hope that will be me!
  • I took a beading break after lunch, and I made some awesome new friends. There was a nice couple from Ohio, and we talked about being the kind of people who get bored easily and have lots of interests -- and how this wasn't a bad thing.
And then my new pal Maurice and I chatted about beadwork, and somehow, we discovered that we had something else in common -- we, and our spouses, love the comedian Steven Wright! We laughed so hard over our favorite Steven quotes.

It was awesome, getting to make that kind of connection -- especially for someone who can be socially awkward. But I felt like I'd known these three people all my life.

  • Next it was time for my scale maille class with Vanessa! I really thought I was in over my head with this project, but Vanessa's an awesome and patient (so, so patient!) teacher, and her instructions were very clear. By the end of the class I was grinning like a fool because I'd figured the technique out.
  • In class, I met Regine, a wonderful lady from Germany. We hit it off right away, and she gave me the name of a Swarovski seller, Sabine Reinhardt, who does a lot of business with Americans... because her prices are much more reasonable!

(The catch? The site is in German. I know a little, but barely enough.)


Saturday
  • Saturday meant saying good-bye to the bead show and to Milwaukee. It also meant getting lunch and cupcakes in Chicago at Angelfood Bakery, though. As usual, it was outstanding! I can't wait to go there again.

So that was my trip! Now it's your turn: did you go to Bead and Button this year? Or have you gone to any other bead shows? Tell me about it, or link to your blog post!

Thanks for reading, thanks for commenting, and have a sequintastic day!


29 comments:

  1. Sounds like a blast.. to bad it's so far away for me boo hoo. Sandy Schor is at Brimfield every year and he is definately one of my fav stops. Your free form peyote pieces are great and you should be very proud of them!! Beads East has great crystals from China and they rival the Swarovski and are a lot cheaper!!

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    1. I wish you could have gone! I think Bead and Button should set up a scholarship fund so people who live far away can afford to fly.

      Thanks, Shirlee! And I'll definitely check out Beads East -- you're right, the Chinese crystal really does rival Swarovski. :)

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  2. Sounds like fun! I'm glad you had a good time. Lisa Binkley's work is amazing! :)

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    1. It was awesome! Mr. S and I are already counting the weeks until the next one, and I'm already making out my shopping list in my head. :)

      Isn't Lisa's work awesome? I'm starting to want to learn to quilt. Maybe I can tame my feral sewing machine....

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  3. Sarah! I love that green and blue stranded necklace. So whimsical! I am glad to hear about the positive feedback from another talent in your medium..I bet that felt so good!!

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    1. Thanks, Annie!

      It was incredible. She'll be teaching in Chicago this fall, and now I really, really want to go!

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  4. Such a busy, but enjoyable week for you. I love your green and blue necklace and the one you wore on Friday.. what a show stopper! I also must thank you for sharing Lisa Binkley's work.. it's gorgeous.

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  5. It was such a blast! I slept for twelve hours straight once we got home, but it was worth it. :)

    Thanks, Tori! And I'm really glad you like Lisa's work. She's one of my favorites. :)

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  6. Oh Sarah, it sounds like you had an absolutely amazing time, lucky you. I would love to go, but not sure if that is possible. I will just have to live vicariously through my lucky blog friends. I love your free form , puts mine to shame and at the same time gives me inspiration.

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    1. It was amazing. Honestly, I think I'm still recovering!

      I really hope you can go sometime! You'd love it. Until then, I'm happy to share my experiences through the blog!

      Aww, you're so sweet. I think your freeform is awesome! I hope you do more of it. <3

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  7. OMG Sarah, great post and thanks for the run down on the show. Loved it! And thanks for the links, can't wait to check them out.

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    1. Thanks, Mandy! I'm happy you enjoyed it, and I'm glad I could introduce you to some new artists and suppliers! :)

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  8. Goodness gracious. . .it sounds like you had a simply fantastic time. And you talking about being socially awkward cannot be right. Just counting the number of friends you made and mentioned is more people than I actually talk to in a week!! Thanks for sharing your experiences, I hope you show off your scores as well!

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    1. Every year is awesome, but meeting Sherry made this one of the best, I think.

      You'd be surprised at how socially awkward I can be. I have to sort of test people out and make sure they can handle my weirdness before I open up. But once I do, I'm pretty rowdy! ;)

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  9. Sherri is so talented it's scary! And I loved that necklace you were wearing!

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    1. So talented it's scary -- that's a good way to put it! :)

      Thanks, Lori! I was going to sell that one on Etsy, but now I'm sentimentally attached to it.

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  10. Wow! Everything is so gorgeous Sarah! Wish I could have gone to this. Milwaukee is just an hour north of where I am. Maybe next year.

    Pam

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    1. I hope you can go next year, Pam! I think you'd have a great time -- there are so many pretty things that would be perfect to embellish quilting work. :)

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  11. Wow Sarah! Thanks for the amazing trip report! I feel almost like I was there along with you! I love that your wore your freeform peyote pieces two of the days - way to promote the medium! Ambassador Sequin, love it! :)

    And thank you in particular for sharing your friend Lisa Binkley's work. I'm drawn to it and it's lovely.

    I'm hoping to apply to teach at Bead and Button for next year, too. Wouldn't it be fun if were both taught there at the same time?

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    1. Karen, I'm so glad you enjoyed it! And doubly glad that I could spread the freeform love -- so many people were interested in how I did it! I think that if you taught a class, it would be a huge hit. :)

      Isn't Lisa's work lovely? I'm happy to promote her.

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  12. Thanks for the mention about my contest piece! Yay, I placed 3rd this year!!

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    1. Kat, you're so welcome! Congratulations on third place -- I was so excited to see that ribbon!

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  13. You are a true artist. You feel free to happy cry if you want to, but that's the truth!

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    1. And you're a true friend in addition to a true artist! <3

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  14. Also, thanks for hanging out with me at Meet the Teachers. I needed the company, and I couldn't have asked for better companions in goofiness.

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    1. You're so welcome! Thanks for inviting us to hang out -- it was one of the highlights of our time in Milwaukee this year. :)

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  15. oh wow! I love that cat necklace -- so lovely!

    And of COURSE you're a true artist! There is no doubt about that!

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    1. Isn't it amazing? Ruth is the one I nagged several times to enter the contest. I'm so glad she listened! :)

      Thanks, Andrea! You're awesomesauce. <3

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  16. VERY pretty! I absolutely adore the necklace! Great job!

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