Ticking Off a Bucket List Item: Bead-a-Palooza in Tucson!

Well, I just experienced an ultimate “bright, shiny objects” event: I took a stroll through the gem and mineral shows in Tucson, Arizona last week with my long-time friend Ginny.  This renowned event has been on my radar for years and, now that I’m an Arizona resident, I can indulge! And, I used my trusty smart phone camera to share the abundance of gems, minerals, beads, findings, and other beautiful objects on display. Believe me, just as our tour covered a slice of the whole, these photos capture a mere fragment of that slice. The mind boggles at the possibility of hitting every venue!

Here’s your head’s up: at the end of January and the beginning of February of each year, international and national vendors gather in Tucson, Arizona to sell their sparkling wares. It’s a wholesale event for the most part, but there are vendors who do sell to the public. It’s a combination of sales and exhibitions and the venues are spread throughout the city. The Tucson shows are part of a larger exhibition/sales universe, but they are the Big Kahuna of the gem & mineral events in the U.S.

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

So, what do you think about trays filled with sparkling gems? Don’t you just want to pick them up and let them trickle through your fingers? I can’t say that it’s show etiquette, but it’s certainly a temptation. Did I purchase? Nope. I may have a modicum of jewelry-making talents, but setting gems is not one of them.

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

There were yards and yards of bead strands in every conceivable type and color spread throughout the two venues I visited. The trend in matte-finished beads surprised me, but waxy, matte-like finishes are a rising trend in kitchen and bath design for natural and manufactured stone counter tops. Well, duh, makes sense then.

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

Here I offer you only a portion of the rainbow array of wire-linked bead strands. The greens and blues really spoke to me. I wish I’d had a good reason to buy yardage because the selection was stellar, but alas, I decided to stick to my buying plan/budget–a not fun, yet necessary strategy when visiting a bead mecca or even a quilt show!

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

Here we have a bonanza of gold and silver findings which provide decorative elements to jewelry design. Love, love, love them!

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

I’ve got a soft spot for Swarovski crystal beads, especially this latest generation of crystal-bedecked beads. This vendor took those beads in a new direction for me:  multi-colored ones! She said some of her designs are directed specifically for collegiate use and thus the school colors and sports gear (i.e. those baseball/tennis ball beads) models.

Tucson Gem & Mineral Shows 2016

Ah, my favorite photo. I could dive into this pile of colored-glass beads. I have a recurring fantasy of wearing all of them at one time stacked on my neck, running up my arms, and wrapping my ankles. Ludicrous and heavy, but fun! Thanks for the fun day Ginny!

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6 Comments

Filed under About, Crafts, Inspirations

6 responses to “Ticking Off a Bucket List Item: Bead-a-Palooza in Tucson!

  1. Barbara

    You haven’t lost a beat since you left CA – we miss you here but it looks like you have settled right in. What an interesting venue. And I admire your restraint. Must have been really hard to walk away without a purchase.

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    • Jennifer

      That’s so nice of you to say Barbara, I am stepping out and learning about a new city, but I’ve not unpacked any quilting or jewelry-making supplies yet. I’ll do that, just not yet. I do miss California!

      Like

  2. Karen Steen

    Hi Jennifer, Is it Ginny Rood from SouthPas who was with you at the bead show ? On Feb 17, 2016 8:35 AM, “Chasing Bright Shiny Objects” wrote:

    > Jennifer posted: “Well, I just experienced an ultimate “bright, shiny > objects” event: I took a stroll through the gem and mineral shows in > Tucson, Arizona last week with my long-time friend Ginny. This renowned > event has been on my radar for years and, now that I’m an Ari” >

    Like

  3. Rudi Canine

    fabulous blog !!!!!! i must order many beads from the show, how can i do that ? i need to make a fabulous turquoise collar for Rudi.
    woof woof

    Like

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