Friday, February 3, 2012

Tucson - Day 4

It's getting colder in Tucson in the AM now.  It was 45F degrees when we headed out to breakfast at the Waffle House next door.  Check out my post from last year for pictures - most of the same people are still working there and they still make the food exactly how you want with no complaints.  After that we made a quick run to the Best Bead Show.  I happened on some lampwork disks that would match the wonderful blacks/browns/white in the black agate with quartz beads I bought so I got those.  Then I met a gal who owns San Fran Arts & Craft and has some true vintage Czech and Japanese glass beads.  She had some very unique beads that I wanted for my stash.  And, of course, I forgot to take a picture.  Her store is in Sonoma though so I can keep an eye out for more unique beads when I go up there to visit relatives - yay!  The folks I really wanted to see - Blue Heeler Glass - weren't able to come after all.  Wah!  Another impulse buy nipped in the bud!

Next we were off to To Bead True Blue to visit my favorite lampwork twisty maker Colleen Girard.  She is CLG Lampwork and you, too, can buy her twisty beads (and focals of course) online.  We found her at the show and what should we find?  She didn't bring any twisties!!! Ack!!!  I was so disappointed!  (like I really need more lampwork beads)  We chitchatted with her a bit and she told me to send pictures of whatever I wanted twisties to match and she would make custom ones in the appropriate glass.  Of course I knew this already - I just wanted to do some impulse shopping!  Her twisties are just so touchable and fun to peruse!  We went looking for a gal who does gorgeous bead embroidery on cuffs and such.  My mom bought a beautiful bracelet from her a few years back at the Pasadena Bead show and wanted to say hi and show her the bracelet she made.  We could not remember her name so we checked out most of the rooms but couldn't find a sign of her.  As we were looking for her we ran across BeadsAddict and their absolutely wonderful drusy!  Widya's (on the left in the photo) family, in Indonesia, creates these beauties!  She was able to answer any question we had on the stone and the guy helping her (did I get his name??? no - agh!!) is a consumate salesman.  He kept helping us find more drusies in the style we seemed to prefer and then would show us other things "just in case" we might like them.  They were both very gracious and helpful.  It was a definite pleasure doing business with them - and you can too!  I also included a picture of one of the trays of drusies.

Next stop was Starbuck's - yay!  We were feeling Starbuck's deprived since there isn't a single one to be found in south Tucson.  Since we were in the central Tucson are for TBTB we knew there was one somewhere and found it.  The hot mocha was yummy!

Then it was down to JOGS.  I had a list of folks to see and found most of them.  Fortunately I found some new ones too!  Last year I didn't actually wander up and down every isle so I figured it would be a good thing to do this year.  I was sure glad I did because I wandered into the turquoise section and found some wonderful beads (that I had to have) at the Eljen Group's booth.  Elven and Linda (pictured below) were absolutely wonderful people to buy from.  Linda was especially helpful since we both had similar tastes in colors for design.  She showed me some absolutely luscious turquoise beads they'll have next year and I just have to get them.  You'll have to wait until next year to find out what they are!  Years ago Elven was able to buy the last remaining rough from the #8 mine (perhaps I should say - known rough - who knows what might be hiding in some warehouse somewhere?) and he developed a way to harden it to make it useable.  You can read more about the Eljen process which is used if you google it.  The GIA has classified turquoise treated with this process as "impregnated natural turquoise".   Here are Linda, Elven and some of their beautiful turquoise!

We wandered around JOGS until I think we covered every square inch.  I did see some gorgeous rhodocrosite and sugilite at Kameyab - but just couldn't afford them!  My mom found a Bisbee turquoise cabachon that was calling to her too but just couldn't afford it either.  Neither of us dare walk into JOGS tomorrow - or we might give in to temptation!  Since we finished up a bit earlier than expected we went back to Holidome to wander through the ballroom area.  We also made a quick run through another room where my mom found some wonderful multi-tourmaline rondelles and I found some interesting iolite square brios.  I'm always looking for interesting cuts and these drew my eye.  I can't wait to make something with them. Next we headed into the big tent to get some wonderful sterling findings from Stones and Findings.  Some of my other jewelry designer friends found this booth yesterday.  I got sidetracked with the rhodocrosite heart brios at the booth across the aisle and by the time I was done there I had to leave and didn't get to check out the sterling.  So today I took time to peruse all their beautiful sterling findings and make some selections for my own designs.  You'll be seeing those at some point in the future when I design with them.  My last stop was Azur Global Imports.  I am always on the lookout for 22" sterling finished chains.  They are incredibly hard to find and only seem to be available in Italian chain.  I have no idea why - but when I find a source for them I rejoice.  My last source, found at a San Diego Gem Faire, just disappeared off the web.  Today I got to rejoice again!  Yay!  I now have more 22" sterling snake chain in stock.  - OK - so small things make me happy - what can I say?

At that point my mom and I were both done in so we headed off to get dinner, came back, packed and are now heading off to sleepy-land.  Sleep well everyone!  Tomorrow night I may have time to take good pictures of my finds and share the beauties with you.

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