Bead Show 2010


In an 18-hour day trip with my girl Nicole, I hit the Bead and Button Show in Milwaukee yesterday. After looking forward to it for months, I have to say: it was pretty wonderful.

Bead shopping weakness: aqua blue and carnelian red. I have a certain aesthetic. I think Nicole called it, “boring.”

Best vendors: while I LOVE to look at the shops that have treasures that look like they were just unearthed somewhere in the Gobi (still dirty), I usually get most excited by vendors with nicely-priced gemstones. This year I’m giving props to Bead Liquidator LLC from Chicago for strands and strands of interesting beads (amid a sea of repeats) and Hands of the Hills for their great Thai beads.

Big Pop count: 4. (I almost heeded the siren song of the beer booth halfway through the afternoon, but I didn’t want to mess with my bead-seeking mojo. And I knew that I could easily shout, “TheeserGREAT!” 140 times until close. You’re welcome, Bead and Button Show.)

Best score: a 44″ strand of bone skull beads. These will be perfect for the Dia de Los Muertos cha-cha bracelets that I make (favorite project ever?). I also scored some bright orange coral beads to use in these bracelets and that was great because outside of crystal, a good orange bead is hard to find.


Most excited about: brass cornerless cubes and aqua tumbled glass. I’ve been cruising these for awhile.


The one that got away: resin. I saw strands of large chunky resin and kept pricing them all day, but forgot to actually buy. They were large (about 22mm) and looked like rock candy or chunks of frosted glass. They came in a lot of bright colors like fucshia and citron and where lightweight. Very cool beads, and I hope I see them next year.