Sunday, February 03, 2008

Look at these KEYS! aka Gem Show, Day 1

We just got back from Gem Mall a little bit ago. Man oh man did I blow my budget. As usual, my first stop was Lanshang for crystals. The only problem was, I forgot to bring the list of what colors I needed to buy! At first, I just picked out some colors that I knew I needed... but then, I decided to just stock up on everything. Due to the international market and the dollar being weak versus the euro, the price of Swarovski crystals is supposed to go up significantly this year. So in the long run, it just made more sense to buy loads of crystals, and then I won't need as many when the September shows roll around.

After that, I was making my usual circuit, heading over to see Raven's Journey and East of Oz, when I passed by this place that sells a lot of vintage, and they had tons of brass stampings. Well, I started looking at stampings, and was debating whether I wanted any, when I saw a tray with a single vintage key in it. And so I said to Chris, "we should see if they have any more!" That's when we saw it: a plastic shoebox 3/4 full of old keys! Well, we both descended on it with great glee. There was a mix of your standard modern-style keys and the older, more elegant style. Of course, there were no prices, so we had to ask, and discovered that we had $50 worth of keys, so I winnowed them down a little bit to what you see above. Aren't they beautiful?

The funniest part was at lunch, when I called my friend Lois to let her know that I'd only been able to get half the crystals she wanted. She asked how the show was, and I gleefully told her about my shopping, and how we scored a bunch of vintage keys. The conversation went like this...

Lois: "Keys? Like the kind you open things with?"
Me: "Yeah! But vintage skeleton key style ones!"
Lois: (in a not very convinced voice) "Oh-kay."
Me: "It's a Goth thing!"
Lois: "Oh, okay, I see."

I love Lois like another mother, but she and I have completely different tastes. Unfortunately, she's not at Gem Show this year, but in previous years, we'd hit Gem Mall together, and show each other things. There were a few things we'd agree on, but mostly she'd respond to my enthusiasm with "Sorry, it leaves me cold" and I'd respond to hers with "Eh, it's OK, I guess." Of course, the nice thing about that is that when there's a limited amount of something, we don't have to fight over it.

Anyway, keys in hand, we continued on. At Raven's Journey, I said "Hi" to Jamey and Lenka and picked up some gorgeous Czech beads. I actually only picked up one type of leaf this year, but I also nabbed some beautiful lentils and windows. Then I went over to East of Oz, and I chatted with Marie, and I got some great vintage beads. Black glass Japanese spiderweb-y rounds, and huge green droppy things, and some opaque flat drops with a Deco look to them, and some foil-backed flowers... All very nice stuff. Plus I found a vendor with some cool bells, and brass and copper clasps that practically glow.

By the time I bought all that, my bag was heavy (actually, the strap came unstitched!), I was starving, and I'd spent more than twice what I intended to. We didn't even go to the other tents -- I had all that I'd come looking for, and then some, I didn't need any impulse buys!

Now I have to figure out where to put all these beads! Yikes!


  1. Those keys are awesome! What a great find!

  2. I know! I'm so excited! I can't wait to play with them!

  3. The keys are very cool! And it sounds like you guys had a great first day!

  4. We did have a great day! I love shopping for beads, and Chris loves enabling me ;) I know that I'll stick closer to my budget for the rest of the show because I'll talk myself out of a lot of things that he'd talk me into.

    I did promise him one of those really cool, huge, realistic Japanese encased spider beads, though!

  5. The spider beads sound cool! How much are they? I have a friend who would like one, but she's on a budget.

  6. When we saw them in Sept, they were priced in Yen, and we guestimated it came out to about $90... so definitely not a budget bead. They're amazing, though, and Chris always spoils me at Gem Show, so I promised him something nice this year.

    I almost bought him a big red squid with buggy-out yellow eyes today!

  7. Yikes! No, Jenna's budget is not that big. The squid sounds pretty cute, though!

  8. The squid was really cute... and the spider beads aren't at this show, so I guess I should have bought the squid after all!