Sunday, June 19, 2011

Bead & Button Show 2011

It has been a busy two weeks.  Every June for the last nine years I have been going to the Bead & Button Show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  My sister, Virginia, owns a bead store and I go and work in her booth.  The first year I went I flew, but since then I have driven every year, and brought the booth infrastructure with me.  So, on June fifth I loaded up my Element and headed north by northwest.
This photo is actually from the 2010 trip, and was taken on the return trip.  Virginia had ridden back to Yellow Springs, Ohio with me (where our parents live), so the Element had more cargo than usual.  That was quite a trip.  We spent four hours and 200 miles driving in a terrible thunderstorm in Indiana.  Although you can drive from King George, Virginia to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in two days, I stretch it out to three, stopping for a day in Yellow Springs, Ohio to visit with my family and rest.  I don't like to push myself when I am driving alone.  So, I drive to Yellow Springs on Sunday, rest and visit on Monday, then drive to Milwaukee on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, at noon, we start to set up the booth.  They ship the stock, and I bring the hardware.  After nine years we've gotten pretty good at setting up the booth.  Wednesday night is "Meet the Teachers" from 8pm to 11pm.  All the teachers sit at their own tables set up in one of the ballrooms at the Convention Center and students come around to talk and look at the pieces on display and shop.  I usually don't go, but this year Virginia and Carol each had their own table and Virginia wanted an extra pair of eyes to keep tabs on things.  I wore my In Dreams shawl, and it was quite a hit.

I picked up a couple of beads at Meet the Teachers, even though I really wasn't planning on shopping.
The first bead I bought was this lamp-work bead by Andrea Guarino-Slemmons.  I was drawn to the red and gold of the flowers.  The second bead that I bought was this steam-punk bead from Bullfrog and I Ching Beads.
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but it is pretty cool, and totally different than anything that I have ever bought.

Thursday morning we went down to the 3rd Ward and did a little shopping.  I picked up this cool dish made from Uranium glass at an over-stuffed junk store.
The color comes from the Uranium in the glass.  And, yes, it is radioactive, although I'm not sure how radioactive, yet.  I'm going to take it to work where my favorite scientist can check it with his Geiger counter.

We finish setting up Thursday, and then we start selling.  We sell from 4pm to 9pm on Thursday, from 10am to 8pm on Friday, from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and from 10am to 4pm on Sunday.  Then on Sunday we have to pack everything up.  This year we packed in 4 hours, which is probably our best time yet.  During the show we like to dress up, and last year we made outfits just for the show.
This is me in my outfit.  The shawl is Avira, and it was a big hit.  You can see some of the booth in the background.
This is my sister, Virginia, in her outfit.  This was taken at the end of the day, as you can see the booth is covered with drapes.  Virginia is wearing Diadem.  I gave it to her for her birthday and she loved it so much she hardly took it off.  It was a huge hit at the show, and she was constantly getting stopped by people complimenting her on the shawl.  The shawl is being held closed by one of her beaded pieces.
And last, but certainly not least, here is Carol in her outfit.  I think of her as a sister.  I gave her the Summer Flies shawl, which she is wearing in the picture below, looking tired after a long day in the booth.
The beaded necklace she is wearing is her signature piece.

I got back from the show on Wednesday June 15, and Bruce and I took the rest of the week off, and I needed it too.  It has taken me until today to really recover.

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