The last night

This final day for me in Tucson was spent running around to three different shows to pick up stuff that I had ordered earlier. All the shows were busier today, and people are still arriving to start their shopping. This has been overall the coldest week I’ve ever spent at the Gem shows. Would you believe this was a hotel fountain in an enclosed courtyard yesterday afternoon?! Yikes! Today was much more reasonable weather for Tucson. I spent over 2 hours filling out @#$%$ customs forms this afternoon. Everything has been carefully packed up by the great guys at the …

What I did on my Winter vacation – Tucson

I took a couple of courses at Swarovski as the vacation part of my Tucson trip. The first course involved rivetting large Swarovski fancy stones onto a bracelet blank. This involved the use of a new rivetting tool (which beadFX will be carrying in the near future, of course). It involves some careful measurement, but was very easy to use, especially with a table-top vise that you can get at any large hardware store. The next course was really fun. I got to embellish the top of a plain compact case with Swarovski flatbacks. I started with an argyle pattern, …

The beadFX Buyer in Tucson

I meant to blog yesterday, but as usual for the first full day in Tucson, I hit the Gem Mall running, overshopped and under-hydrated and ended up with a killer headache. You have to have water with you ALWAYS as it’s very dry here and we Canadians are just not used to that. Now that I’ve been coming here for several years and have learned the lay of the land, so to speak, I can cover the territory much more quickly. The Gem Mall and the neighbouring Holidome are two of the larger shows in Tucson and I use them …

Widening the Bead Horizons – CHA

I’ve just come back from the Summer Craft & Hobby Association trade show in Rosemont IL. This is a 3-day exhibition which is not open to the general public, but only to designers, store owners, magazine publishers and professionals looking for the latest and greatest in the craft world. There is nothing to buy here – it’s strictly an exhibition. In fact there are rules against selling any item in the booth. It’s also an enormous show. Probably at least double the size of the CreativFestival. The overwhelming impression that struck me was how much scrapbooking has taken over as …

Tools have arrived!

Eleven, count ’em, eleven biiiig heavy boxes arrived today. Almost 700 pounds of tools and other stuff. The UPS guy was NOT pleased. But you will be – because a lot of the tools that we were out of stock on, have arrived at last. Chasing hammers, beaders tool kits, punches, anvils, steel shot, steel ring mandrels, third hands and lotsa other tools and supplies. So come on down to the store and grab them before they disappear again.

Look out, Bead and Button, here I come!

Now that the renovations on our newly expanded store are almost complete, I’m off for a little R&R at the B&B. My idea of a relaxing time is to spend the day playing with teeny-tiny seed beads, so I’m taking some classes at the Bead & Button show before the market opens. First one will be on 3-D shapes with peyote with Diane Fitzgerald, based on her book Shaped Beadwork: The second one will be a loomwork course, and finally I’m hoping to take a course on doing Pave type jewelry using Crystallized Swarovski chatons and a new resin material. …

Renovations are almost done

The carpentry was finished yesterday and Rosemary and the rest of the staff are already busy moving stock into our new store section. We’ll have a whole wall of Japanese seedbeads, both Miyuki and Toho, with space left for the new colours as they arrive. The wall at the back of the room already has the wire and wire-working tools neatly displayed. Base metal findings are along the wall to the classroom and silversmithing and other tools will be along the back wall. It’s still a bit dark back there, but the electrician will be here right after the 2-4 …

Please Excuse the Dust!

…in the store, that is. We moved our offices to the new section last week, the new classroom has been set up (except for the lighting), so now we have started the expansion of the new store space. The old wall at the back of the store has been removed. New slat wall and cabinets are being installed, some miscellaneous repairs are being made, new lighting will be added throughout the store, and pretty soon we’ll be able to move product into the new section! But in the meantime, things are a bit chaotic around here. We’ve had to move …

Exciting things happening @ beadFX

Two exciting things, in fact. First of all, the shipment of silver-plated beads that I had ordered while I was in Tucson finally arrived, after being hung up for a week by the Icelandic volcano with the unpronounceable name. FedEx finally ended up routing it through Dubai. There’s over a hundred pounds of restock and new shapes and sizes of beads, toggles, S-clasps and tubes. The other thing is happening right now. Two guys are here (it’s almost midnight!) cutting and bending sheet metal for the ductwork to bring air-conditioning from our existing unit to our new office space next …