Ok, clearly I need to stop taking lazy pictures on my desk, because they turn out all blah-like. Nonetheless, here are some goodies from my Gem Mall trip. From left to right: A green stone carving of a bug on a leaf; an opalized ammonite, a teardrop of some pretty green and crystal stone, a turquoise carving with a lizard and flowers, a boulder opal, and another turquoise lizard. I picked all of these up from Intrinsic Trading, and they're all drilled to be used as pendants. With the exception of the first two, they're also all flat enough to be used as cabs if I prefer. I love versatile components!
So. Gem Mall. Always a must-shop for me. Has been ever since my friend Schermo snuck Chris and I in because she wanted to go say Hi to her friend Marie (yes, Marie from East of Oz, my favorite vintage supplier!). It's a very nice tent show, with a real floor and solid-ish walls and climate control and good lighting and good parking, and lots of quality vendors whom I frequent year after year.
After waiting in a long line to register, we popped in to the usual entrace, which I always go in because it's right next to Lanshang, where I get my crystal fix. I only needed a dozen colors of crystals this year, and they had them all. Nice. Then it was around the perimeter. Hit Sandy Schor again for more vintage keys. There was someone already digging through the keys when we got there. She proceeded to move on to watch movements. Clearly, a competitor in the steampunk jewelry business. Luckily, she did not take all of the good keys. I found some beauties. Chris helped. We even found a couple big, manly keys.
Next stop, of course, was Raven's Journey, where I chatted and shopped for pretty glass. I got some firepolished, some leaves, and these weird little spade-shaped drops in a weird shimmery green color. Plus gorgeous buttons and a ceramic raven pendant. At that point, I had purchased everything that I went to Gem Mall for, and intended to just browse the rest of the show.
The flaw in this plan is that I had Chris with me, and he is quite the little arm-twister. That's how I ended up with half a dozen stone carvings that I originally had no intention of buying, plus some pyrite, green kyanite, and seraphinite from the same vendor. I don't normally buy a lot of stone beads, but these were very high quality for what struck me as a nice price, and the pyrite and seraphinite match cabs that I already had at home. The kyanite is just something that I've personally wanted for a while, and since it's green, it will get used.
The other impulse stop was Da Beads, where there was lots more Czech glass to be had. Because their beads were by the strand, instead of by the hank, I was able to pick up some weird beads that I will really only use a few of. Plus more nice Czech buttons, and a handful of made-in-the-USA dyed silk ribbons, which are nice to put things like rivoli pendants on (I've wanted some for a while, and the price was right).
After that, I was pretty much done shopping. I looked at some cabs, but ended up deciding that I would rather buy a few very nice cabs (like what I got from Gary Wilson at the September show), than a lot of < $5 cabs that had no real "wow" factor. We didn't even go to the second tent, as it was a lot warmer than I had expected and I was roasting alive in my long-sleeved tee and just wanted to take my heavy bag-o-swag home.
Tomorrow: To Bead True Blue!