Treasures from Tucson!

The Tucson bead shows are always a blast. And this year was no exception. I attended the To Bead True Blue show, the Best Bead show, and the Whole Bead show–a mere sampling of the dozens of bead, gem, and fossil shows that occur every year at this time. I go to the Tucson shows for two main reasons: to talk face-to-face with bead vendors and magazine contributors and to scout for new beads and beading materials. Though I told myself I had to be good this year (I have WAY too many beads at home that I haven't done anything with yet), I did come back with a bag full of eye candy. Let me tell you about my goodies (starting from the rabbit pendants at left and working clockwise):

The bunny-themed shibuichi and pewter pendants and clasps are from Green Girl Studios. I don't see the items on their website yet, but similar items can be found in Cynthia Thornton's Etsy store. So cute!

The pink glass beads are from Bead Biz. I plan to use some of these beads in a necklace for 101 Bracelets, Necklaces, and Earrings, a special issue we're working on right now (stay tuned–it will be available on newsstands mid-July). This year we're arranging all the jewelry in 101 BNE by color, which I am very excited about.

The green and blue sea glass beads are from ZNetShows. They are available in a ton of different shapes, sizes, and colors–all are gorgeous. These beads mimic the appearance of glass that has been worn by sand and water.

The decorative silver chain is from Primitive Earth Beads and Chain–a vendor that has about every kind of chain you could ever want. My favorite artist in The Sundance Catalog, Naomi Herndon, uses handmade chain like this in some of her designs, and I wanted to give it try.

The floral polymer clay beads are from Cherry Tree Beads–aren't they fun? I've already used them straight off the strand in a very simple necklace, which I'll share with you in another post.

The seed beads are from Beyond Beadery. I saw a pair of earrings with this color palette in a catalog and the wonderful Betcey Ventrella helped me find these matches. It makes me happy just looking at them! And the metal-clay birds are by Diane Sepanski. I have a thing for bird beads and thought these were darling.

The beautiful purple/green set of hollow lampwork glass beads is by Tennessa McLean of A Beaded Gift. I bought a similar set of beads last year–my favorite purchase from Tucson 2011. The bag of polyester cord is from NatureBeads–I'm getting more and more into using silk, leather, and other cords in my jewelry designs lately.

You might recognize the colorful enamel beads from Cathy Collison of Glass Garden Beads. I mentioned them in last week's post because I made a necklace with them for the Spring 2012 issue of Jewelry Stringing. I plan to recreate the necklace for a friend, so I was glad Cathy was back with more.

Finally, the gemstones! Carter Seibels Singh, a frequent contributor to Jewelry Stringing and co-owner of the, helped me pick out this collection from her booth. The pale blue stones are amazonite, the orange ones are carnelian with a diamond finish (already starting a wrap bracelet with these babies!), and the coral teardrops are plastic (maybe?) and fabulous (for certain!).

Did you go to Tucson or have you been to Tucson? I'd love to hear about the treasures you picked up.

Until next post…



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