Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Twisted Tuesdays - The Gathering

bead bazaar 1

Every year, the ISGB (International Society Of Glass Beadmakers) holds a week long conference called The Gathering. It travels around the country and this year it came to my hometown of Rochester, NY. Can you imagine how freaking stinkin' excited was I when I heard it would be here? All my most favorite bead people from around the world coming right to my door? It can't get any better than that! The day that registration opened (back in March) I was poised at my keyboard to make sure I had my place in the show. Unfortunately, as the months passed and July actually started shaping up, it became clear that I wasn't going to be able to be at the show. Too many things were working against it, like our first family reunion since my Grandpa passed away being held on the day of the Bead Bazaar. Talk about feeling conflicted about what to do!

So, I had to email the treasurer and ask for a refund, but thankfully, I was still able to keep my ticket to the Saturday evening banquet and I figured out a way to get myself over to the Bead Bazaar. Not nearly as awesome as having a table of my own, but still, I was able to be there for an hour and I got to oogle some of the most beautiful beads I have ever seen. I even held some of them in my own hands! And yes, I bought some of the beauties up and brought them home with me. Shhh... don't tell Ron... thankfully, I pay all the bills around here and he doesn't see them.

As soon as I walked in the door, I made a bee line for my cyber beady friend Nancy Puffer Sells. We have chatted online for years and this was our first opportunity to meet in person! We also had plans to sit together that evening at the banquet. It was so so great finally getting to meet her. First, she is just as tall as I am, which is awesome. She showered Lauren with recycled beaded jewelry, which is awesome. (Yes, Lauren came with me to the Bead Bazaar! Gotta start her young!!) Nancy has a never ending smile on her face, which is awesome. And, she makes cool jewelry. I hear The Gathering will be back in Rochester in 2013, but I hope we are able to get together before then though!! (Maybe this May when she has her annual cabin retreat?!?)

bead bazaar 2

After chatting with Nancy for a bit, the bead browsing began. I wandered past favorites like Stephanie Sersich (her new baby is such a doll), Heather Trimlett (she has a new video series out on dots!), Trey Cornette, and Brad Pearson. I wish I could have bought beads from every single one of them! Have you noticed the total lack of beads and jewelry around these parts though? The KABs bead buying account is a little dry at the moment. I should really get on that.

Anywho... as I said, I did get to buy up some goodies. The first was from the amazingly talented JC Herrell. (And you thought I was good at stringer work?) I added one of her meticulously created Prairie Series beads to my personal collection. It is perfection I tell you, perfection. I also picked up a couple of her Color Block sets (which will be used in a project for my book two pitch). Her use of enamels created such a unique rainbow of colors you just can't get when using traditional glass alone.

bead bazaar 3

I could keep gushing about JC, but the crowds were growing and it was time to move onto other tables. Can't keep ladies away from the beads, it is dangerous. So, note to you, if you ever go to a bead show like this, no long conversations with the artists, you might get trampled.

An interesting thing happened between my first purchase and my second one, Lauren started getting recognized. Yep. Several people talked to her, and one nice woman completely ignored me to tell her "Honey, your Momma takes the most beautiful pictures of you." She was grinning from ear to ear. Ya know, I write this blog almost everyday, and I know people read it, my stats tell me so, but it isn't until situations like this that it really becomes real. So, a personal THANK YOU for reading, from me to you all!! And any time you wanna say hi if you see me out and about, do it. I may not know what to say back, but it is nice to have faces to go with the stats.

Back to the beads though.

My second purchase was from the remarkable Jennifer Geldald. You see those sweet sculptural bird fellas up there in that photo, one with green pants and ivory polka dots and an orange body came home with me. As soon as I saw him he charmed me. He whispered sweet nothings in my ear and told me he must come home with me. He would have started to cry had he not. I just know it. And isn't her display just awesome! I love it!!

bead bazaar 4

While making my purchase from Jennifer, one of the ladies from the Rochester bead store Let's Bead recognized me and asked about a book signing and potentially a class. I will let you know when we have the dates narrowed down. My schedule is so full between now and Christmas, I don't know when it'll happen, but we'll figure it out.

Kinda kiddy corner from my lovely little birdman was the work of artist Kristina Logan. I am sure you know her work, it is on the cover of 1000 Glass Beads. In person, her beads are simply breath taking. I wanted to stare at them for hours. I wanted to dissect their layers and marvel at their symmetry and size. I almost walked away from her table empty handed, but I knew if I did I would regret it. So, I treated myself to the earrings pictured below. I love them so. Kristina, being a Mom of a little girl nearly the same age as Lauren, made my little one feel so special. She asked her lots of questions about being at a bead show when you are 7, and who her teacher is, and what books she likes to read. Then she pulled out this delightful bag full of simple encased disc beads and Lauren got to pick one. She was over the moon. And naturally, she picked pink.

kristina logan earrings

My spending spree had to end with those earrings, but the visiting didn't! I was able to visit with local beader Anne Lichtenstein. Plus, from the pages of Totally Twisted, my talented contributor Libby Leuchtmen was there too. We, of course, exchanged big hugs and talked about her Artist Spotlight for an up coming Twisted Tuesday. Oh yes peps, she will be doing a giveaway!!

I am starting to feel like I am rambling here. But I have to tell you quick about just one more encounter. I finally got to meet Amy from Zoozii's in person!! *sigh* I think we would be great friends if she lived closer. With both have a love of gardening and fibers and knitting and she makes the best tools ever. I got to hear the inside scoop on a new tool that has me really excited. I may even get to test it for her!! How cool is that?!? I tested the word presses a while back too. I love it. You should have seen the two of us whispering in the back of the banquet hall while the live auction was going on. We were conspiring and I know you could see it from a mile away. But not before she won an auction for some prime magazine ad space. Hmmm.... I wonder if some one's beads might appear in an ad sometime?

There you have it, my first ever Gathering experience. I can't imagine what my posts would have been like had I spent the whole week at the event. Look what happened as a result of just a couple hours!! Who knows, maybe by 2013 I can be a presenter!!


sandi m said...

Lucky you for attending The Gathering. And you visited some of my favorite lampworkers. Nice stash you selected.
What a lovely experience for Lauren, too. You're such a good mom! I see your future assistant in the making.
Um - returning in 2013? maybe I'll start savings.

mairedodd said...

i am so glad that you went to this! i am friends with patty lakinsmith and i knew that she was going to be there... your purchases are awesome - and emily is my event buddy as well!
those places make my brain feel like it is melting - so much to see... but i guess when you know so many people it is like a big reunion... which is cool...

Copper Diem said...

Looks like there was a lot of great stuff! Too bad NY is so far from me!! I bookmarked JC - I'll definately be buying some of her wonderful beads.

Nancy Sells Puffer said...

It was so fun finally meeting you face to face! ...lalalalalalala...

Libby Leuchtman said...

Can't tell you how great it was to see you! It really was one of my favorite moments when I spotted you in the Vendors area! Too funny. Hope to see you sooner but if, not see you in 2013!

Cindy said...

What a great tour of the ISGB event...just like being there. Oh my the beads you showcased are incredible works of art...no wonder you couldn't resist!

Tara P. said...

Don't you HATE when budgetary constraints dictate how many beads you can buy? What's that about?! Sounds like a great time, Kerry - glad you had fun!

Stefani said...

Wow - just wow! Thanks for the tour.