Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 2 in Tucson (written on day 3)

I remembered to take pictures yesterday! So now you'll see some faces to go with the places. We started off the day at Magic Mountain Gemstones at the Pueblo Gem and Mineral Show. I found some more cabochons I just had to have. But, when they figured out my total, there were some I didn't need so bad since the total was a bit more than I budgeted for. Nevertheless what I got is wonderful and I can't wait to use them in designs! Now, silly me, I didn't get a picture of Colin - the guy who patiently answered my questions and waited while I agonized over what I couldn't afford and then kept track of my running total - LOL! At least I hope his name is Colin since I'm terrible with names, but that's the business card he gave me ... Here are pictures of the wonderful cabs I just had to sit and pick through ...

And I just had to share a picture of the very vibrant bumble bee jasper. A beautiful yellow and black!

Next we headed just down a few booths to Larimar Conlight. Jens and Cynthia are the owners but Cynthia is the sales person. She is absolutely wonderful to work with, is clearly proud of what she designs and sells and has wonderful things in all price ranges. I was looking for larimar since it is a beautiful stone and sells well in San Diego. I had an idea of what was "good" and what wasn't but wanted to check with her just to make sure my ideas were right. Fortunately - for those of us who just can't afford the price point of absolutely round beads, she had some nice faceted, not-quite-so-round beads, nice cabs in a range of prices and quality and some loosed beads which allowed me to get some different shapes without buying an entire strand. Here is a picture of Cynthia and my mom.

Aren't they both lovely ladies! And here are some of the lovely larimar necklaces and pendants available at Larimar Conlight.

After I did my picking and choosing of larimar we wandered through the show to see other vendors I thought might be interesting. I wasn't doing well at choosing vendors from the book description, but during the wander to find them I did find some other interesting vendors - including one where I got some nice diamond files and diamond tipped drill bits. Then we had lunch there at the show where they were barbecuing hamburgers/hot dogs/veggie burgers fresh on the BBQ. I do love a fresh BBQ'd hamburger and these were good.

Our next stop was at the Tucson Bead Show where I hoped to reconnect with one of my favorite lampworkers, Colleen Girard. I just LOVE her twisty beads!I wasn't sure I would find her there since the website for the show and her website disagreed on whether she would be there. Alas! Colleen was not there, but the visit wasn't a total waste.

On our way to look for Colleen we walked by PJ Tool Supply. I couldn't think of any tool I just had to have, but my mom wanted to check out the metal stamps. I'm so glad she did because we found the funnest stamps for sale there. I'm not going to tell you what they are since I'm going to use them for some future designs. But they are unique as far as I know. I did get a picture of all the helpful young men (am I dating myself by calling them young? LOL!) working hard to answer questions, help customers out, run a cash register (this was their first show with a cash register so they didn't know all the ins/outs of it yet), dig out inventory, ... As I was waiting for them to total everything up I did find a tool I had to have - a small brass caliper. Magic Mountain let me use theirs to measure beads/cabs and it was just so handy. I have a larger digital one at home - but this one I can leave in my gemshow bag (along with my loupe) and no batteries are required. Here are all those helpful guys!

I checked out the clasps by Star Clasps to see if I liked them, totally forgot to stop by Ezel findings (drats!), my mom found the gal who does beautiful beadwork. A few years back my mom bought one of her gorgeous, mega-beaded bracelets at the Pasadena Too Bead True Blue show. Next we were off to JOGS!

I specifically went to JOGS to find You and Me Findings since I hit them up for sterling beads and things at just about every show I go to. I looked them up in the JOGS show pamphlet and couldn't find them. I asked about them up front and fortunately one of the JOGS people knew where they were located in the building and led us there. Apparently they changed their name ... to Merico Corp. Unfortunately they were already packed up!! What was up with that??? The show still had another day to go. Not only were they almost completely packed up - the guy doing the packing had no idea if they were showing anywhere else. I was not happy and made sure I sent them an email about this when I got home. I haven't heard back from them yet - who knows if I will.

And that was it for day 2 in Tucson. Well we did have a very nice dinner at the Metropolitan Grill. Good food, nice atmosphere and the only issue was a very pleasant server who was in a hurry to leave - even if we weren't done talking to her yet. A little odd (she rushed off, after asking for our orders, before my mom gave her order ... kind of strange since what would she have served my mom if she didn't take her order?), but in every other way the service was great.

Day #3 will have to wait - the sleep beckons ...

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