The 2009 Rings and Things Bead Tour as Seen by Dawno
So, all I can give you is a few pictures and some of my own impressions of the San Mateo stop of the Rings & Things Bead Tour 2009.
The event opened at 1pm and I was there around 1:15, stayed until 3:30 - shopping through 50 long tables full of trays of semi-precious gemstones, pearls and various other types of beads - I focused on the stone, pearl and metal (and a few bags of Swarovski's), so I'm not sure what the other offerings included - I would venture to say bone, ceramic, wood and glass.
Here's the view at about 1:30 from the back of the hall - not many people there yet, did get a bit busier later, but it was never very crowded. I think I saw about 4 or 5 male shoppers, the rest were women.
Here's the first item of major interest to catch my eye - Tootsie Rolls!
Actually by the time I got to that table I'd already put quite a haul in my tray. I should have taken a picture of that, too, but I forgot.
Lots of turquoise - Nevada and Mexican were the two regions I noticed. Didn't get any, was not on my list of 'must haves' this time around, but the prices were good and the quality looked pretty good as well. I just don't use many turquoise nuggets or faceted turquoise stones in my designs right now.
Big glass pearls at the near end, and I think there were double drilled, large dyed stones at the far end - but I'm not 100% sure.
At the very back were tables overflowing with findings and components in gold fill, sterling, gold and silver plate and basemetals; cords, wire, chain, tools and a pretty good selection of Swarovski colors and sizes and shapes. I picked up some 4 & 5mm Swarovski bicones packages (the one that just looks like a white bag is some opal colored ones that I've been thinking about ordering, so I was really glad to see them there), some gunmetal chain and - oh, heck, let me just show you (not shown, two 100 ft spools of Beadalon 49 strand wire):
Freshwater Pearls, Hessionite, Opalite, Amethyst, Dragon's Blood Jasper, Prehnite, Onyx
All in all, I had a great time - a rather solitary one since my friend, who I met for lunch couldn't come and I didn't know anyone else there - but that gave me the chance to really take my time, examine things closely and make what I think were really good selections. I probably had about half as much again in my tray when I sat down to decide what I really wanted and what I could do without, as I had given myself a budget. I'm proud to say that I stayed in it!
I want to thank Dave for coming here and leaving a comment last October, that first introduced me to a real live person at Rings & Things. I'd bought some Scrimps from them when, via a Google Search they were the only supplier who had the ones I wanted, but I hadn't gone back for other beads or supplies with them yet. Based on his taking the time to come by and comment here, I started using them more and more. I feel like they (through Dave) are a partner in getting my little business growing, not just a place where I shop. The same goes for just a couple other supplier partners, but since the focus today is on the Rings & Things tour, I'll talk about them another time.
And that's it for my Bead Show reflections. Hope to see you back here tomorrow, and especially Sunday, when I'll have a *great* tour of the Beadosphere lined up for you!