Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bead Fest Philadelphia

by Staci Louise Smith

This Friday is the first day of the last Spring Bead Fest to take place in Philly.
(don't worry, the August show will still be held here)

Bead Fest Spring is where it all began for me.  It was my first big bead show AND my first time visiting friends I met online (gasp!)

2013???  2014?  Spring meet up

It has since become something I look forward to each year, and I will sorely miss the chance to come out of winter hibernation and get to see my beady creative friends in April.

I am not vending, and there are no planned meet ups or swaps this year.  However, there are still friends I plan to see there, and I am teaching all day on Sunday as well.

If you have not been to this bead show, and you are in driving distance, you should come out.  It is such a nice show.  I know I like to stock up on my gemstone strands at the beginning of the season.

If you have online friends in the area, have them meet you for lunch.  Diana Ptaszynski of Suburban Girl Studio used to organize a fun bead swap and it was a great way to score some new beads and make new friends.

Not only did I meet a lot of great people that way, I made actual friends!  I love connecting with people from far and wide. 
I am not sure what year this was....maybe 2012?

Don't even get me started on the FUN parties that Melinda Orr would put together for the August Bead Fest.  That was a whole other bonding experience!



 Anyhow, I love that we all can find something we have in common and can remain friends online.  These ladies I have met at Bead Fest has not only been online friends, but they have been REAL friends to me.  Giving me rides to a show, staying over with me before my first time teaching for moral support, watching my booth for me while I teach, that is just a small example of the great friendships that have grown over something as simple as a love of beads.  I am so thankful for their friendship and support.  All because someone like Diana took time to organize a swap!  

here we were doing a mini practice class with Erin Siegel


Diana our lovely swap host
photo by Dianne Bachelor Miller

So just do it.  Yes its awkward at first, for like 5 seconds, when you meet someone from online, but then you see beads and you start to shop and talk and time just flies!!!  It is so very worth it!


I will be around shopping on Saturday, so if you want to meet up, shoot me a facebook message on my business page.

You will probably find me lurking around 
Jenny Davies-Reazor # 522 

and Marsha Neal Studio's # 520 booths!  

So make sure to stop by and say HI to them and make sure to fondle all their lovely beads.  I know I have a list of what I need to get from them!

If you need a coupon to get in, save and print this picture and save $$$ at the door!



On Sunday I will be teaching all day.  Here is a link to the classes. Online registration is closed, but you can still sign up at the show if you are interested.


First thing in the morning, 8:30-11:30 am I will be teaching this Wild Wire Choker.

It's a really fun class that introduces you to working with larger wire in long pieces to create large focal pieces for your beads.  It is also a great class to practice those wire wrapped loops and learn to work wire while it being free form enough that there are no real mistakes!  Let go and have fun with wire!

Then, at 1-4 pm I will be teaching this Polymer Clay Carving Class.  Carving polymer clay is one of my most favorite things to do!  There are a million ways to use it.  This is an intro class, that will give you the basics, your play and creativity can take it anywhere!

So, I am frantically prepping for my classes (making kits is a laborious task, but I love it!)

 bead blanks to carve


 wire rolls for kits


 student practice blanks to carve


polymer kits sponsored by Polyform

 bronze for wild wire choker kits

wood blocks to raise carving surface for carving class

I am also trying to get some bead inventory made to sell in my classes.  


I am sure to be tired if you see me wandering around, but I will be ready to shop and talk anyway.  Look for my bright turquoise hair and flag me down!  
me- turquoise hair!!!

I would love to meet up and chat.

I do hope you will come out.  Organize a meet up.  Make a friend, shop for beads.....you won't regret it.  Even if you get really really lost (you know who you are!...lol)

 Hope to see you this weekend!

3 comments:

Linda said...

I'll always remember that 1st BF when we met, shopped, bonded and laughed together. Such good memories. Always puts a smile on my face.

Melinda Orr said...

Have fun! :)

Karin said...

Wow, that looks like a lot of fun! Too bad I'm not within driving distance. You are so right about online friends becoming "real life" ones. Creating jewelry is fun, sharing the experience with like minded friends is awesome!

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