Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Opportunities Knocking: Bead & Button Show

"Tell me what company thou keepst, and I'll tell thee what thou art."
- Miguel de Cervantes
Have you ever walked into a room and just knew with all your heart that you were meant to be there? Like the mother-ship has landed and you have finally found your home? {Bead-er! Phone home!}

That is what it feels like to walk into the expo floor at the Bead & Button show.

I don't know about you, but my family thinks I am just shy of crazy with all this beading and jewelry stuff {my Dad, God love him, always asks how my 'playing with beads' is going}. So it is with great pleasure that I can abandon, I mean, take a vacation and converge on Milwaukee for the first week in June every year. With over 600 classes and at least that many vendors, this has to be like Mecca for people like you and me.

Lucky for me, Milwaukee is only a 3 hour drive away, and my sister has lovely accommodations {read: FREE!} just north of there in a quaint town called Cedarburg. I wish that you all had that sort of proximity because I would invite you all to stay with me {we may have to kick my sister and her family out for the week, or maybe rent her house for a premium, but it would be worth it!}.

I came down late on Tuesday night because I had a class bright and early in Milwaukee that morning. Unfortunately, the traffic made me late {that and I have a sever case of chronic imalwaysatadlatitis}. The class I was taking was with the incredible Sherri Haab. Actually, I took two full day classes with her {and her beautiful daughters!}. More on that another time...

Heather Powers flew in from Texas and we met up at the show. She stays with me and this year we also welcomed her Aunt Rosanne {hi Aunt Rosanne!}. Everyone needs an Aunt like Rosanne {I told her that I wanted to be her honorary niece}. This is the first year that Heather would have a booth at the Expo for Humblebeads. And she was in the Art Bead aisle {which is where I like to spend all my time...and money!}. That is the aisle that the Art Bead Scene mothership is parked on. Sweet!

I had grand intentions of interviewing all of these artists, but I didn't want to take precious time away from their true reason for being there, and had planned to come back on Sunday, when it was sure to be slower. Unfortunately, there was a little snafu with a dead battery and my car being left overnight in downtown Milwaukee. So I missed out on that last day {and never made it back to Green Girl for my fix of their new components...and Andrew ;-( I even came home with money in my pocket!}. But I thought that for those of you who have never been to the Bead & Button, you might like to see what some of the fuss is all about.

I had so many people come up to me on the show floor and give me the 'beader's handshake' {you know when someone is a beader because they will walk right up to you and fondle your necklace or earrings or bracelet and ooh and ahh...before they look you in the eye and say hello!}. So many also stopped me on the floor because they recognized my picture. There were many hugs for new friends and old.
Staying with Heather and Rosanne was a wonderful experience in and of itself {don't even get me started on the Qdoba experience!}. We are dangerous shopping partners, that's for sure! But we also cheered each other on and got to go gaga over each others' purchases each night. That is something my family just wouldn't understand.

So if you ever get the chance to go to the Bead & Button show, or something like it
near you, be sure to
...take all the classes you can
...wear your walking shoes
...carry cash
...bring photocopies of your seller's p
ermit for discounts
...drink lots of water {bring a bottle to refill otherwise it is $3.50 each! That is a whole bead somewhere!}
...have a plan of attack...or you will be broke before you get to the second aisle
...and share it with friends!

Enjoy the day!

Erin Prais-Hintz writes about all things that inspire her at Treasures Found::Inspiration is Everywhere . Her jewelry designs are one-of-a-kind made one-at-a-time. She collects quotes and dust and invites you to send her your favorite (quote - not dust!) to Check out a gallery of her work at (but don't laugh too hard because she is working on a new website soon!).

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