Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 3 in Tucson (written on day 4)

We started out the morning at JOGS since that was the last day for the show. My first goal was Sunwest Silver since they had good prices on bezels and decent prices on charms. Their selection of charms is HUGE!!! However, just as we went in the door we noticed a mad rush to buy things at the first booth area. Well - we just had to see what all the fuss was about. So we started checking out the various tables ($10/strand table, $8/strand table, ...). My mom wants an multi-strand necklace inspired by one she saw at River Park but hers is going to be really eclectic based on the "ingredients" she has purchased for it thus far. So as she was digging for beads for her necklace I was looking for good buys. I found a few, she found some strands she wanted, we paid and continued into the depths of the show.

The next distractions were EARRINGS!!! My mom loves southwest style jewelry and is quickly sucked in when she sees turquoise! Needless to say there are MANY jewelry vendors and most have turquoise. This time she found some beautiful inlay jewelry (and yes EARRINGS!) at Select Lines. She was tempted to buy several pair - but we decided to wait until I heard back from a colleague to see if she wanted any for her stored. So we went on to Sunwest Silver (finally!). There I got bezels and charms and my mom found more EARRINGS! She did manage to resist temptation so we left with only my sterling findings in hand.

Sunwest Silver was the only booth I had on my to-do list so we decided to do a bit more looking around, coupled with a bathroom break, before heading over to the Gem Mall. As we headed to the restrooms what did my mom's eye behold??? EARRINGS!!! Now these earrings actually stopped me too. The design was all in wire with pearls and CZs and other beads. It was very free flowing and so artistic! The artist is Alex Simkin and I was enthralled and inspired by his design. The company is Designs by Alex Simkin and Alex makes the most wonderful combo of earvine and drop. Now Alex's wife, Cynthia, is a wonderful salesperson. She must be if she sold me a pair! She immediately started talking with us, somehow figured out I was the hard sell and offered to put some in my ear to show how they look. I was absolutely intrigued by them so I gave in. She found a wonderful pair for me (vine and dangle) and out went my little turquoise posts and in went these fun, fancy and sparkly ear vines with dangle. She pointed out the dangle could also be worn behind a post earring to add a bit of flair to a plain post earring. I loved them! I looked at all the other designs and even tried on a few and the ones she first picked were perfect for me - just CZs and silver. My mom had her eye on a much more elaborate pair, a lovely ear vine with pearls and then a swirling cloud of wire and pearls for the drop. Cynthia found a vine that would wrap around my mom's second piercing and we were hooked. Here is a picture of Alex and Cynthia in their booth:

Aren't they a cute couple!

With new sparklies in our ears we headed over to GL&W Gem Mall. I checked out a seller of vintage beady items - Sandy Schor Co. A neat place if you're looking for steampunk things or mixed media. I was hoping to find some brass bead caps in a certain style but had no luck. I did get to dig through bin after bin after bin of vintage rhinestones (and thank you Mom for helping out!) looking for some rosaline octagons and and cardinal rhinestones. Unfortunately our search only got us dirty hands ...

We then wandered around just to see what else drew our eye. Not surprising turquoise pulled us both in next. Turquoise Jewelry Mfg., Inc had gorgeous turquoise from Kingman, Narcozai, Bisbee and many other famous mines. All was guaranteed that it wasn't colored and it was all gorgeous. We wandered here, there through the show and then I had to do a quick run through SII Findings. I've purchased a few things from them and yesterday I found a great price on 2mm round, seamless, sterling beads. I snagged those along with some interesting bails. And then - LUNCH!

We had a quick bite at the one of the little food tents outside the Gem Mall tents. After that we went into the other Gem Mall tent where I visited my favorite sterling seller Kalpataru who always has some of the best prices and interesting beads. We wandered around for a bit and then headed for Holidome. We did a quick pass through Lucky Gems (on the suggestion of some fellow residents at our hotel) and then on to Holidome. We only had about 45 minutes there so I made sure I visited CGM Findings and Opex Opal. We got some gorgeous boulder opal there in years past - but they were very picked over by the time we got there this year. However ... they have some GORGEOUS, FIREY opal strands and I may have to go back and get some of the 2mm beads. Even in that small size they are full of flash and fire. We did a quick walk through the big tent and I did visit Tripps to see their settings since I contemplate buying from them regularly. They didn't bring sterling settings with them, but I did buy a prong setting tool. As we left the Holidome tent I was again amazed to see trays of precious gemstones sitting on tables. All the colors of the rainbow with so much sparkle and just laying out for the world to see and for anyone to run their fingers through! A moment at the Tucson gem show can be just breathtaking!

Since I've been quite verbose tonight I'll do a quick recap of dinner. If you have a lot of time to burn then eat at the Javalina Cantina. The food is good but the service is not. I did like the saguaro glass they used for the margaritas and my mom did enjoy it!

And here I am posing with the glass and a picture of the beautiful food presentation!

And that's it for now. I'll tell you all about todays happenings tomorrow!

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