I went to the Best Bead Show yesterday... and I didn't buy any beads. I did spend $20, but it was on an Afghani necklace that caught my eye because it was made with some sort of green stone (maybe serpentine?) instead of lapis.
I feel like the September show is shrinking every year, and the vendor quality is definitely going down hill. There are less and less artists, and more and more importers. This is fine for people who want Chinese lampwork or Indian stone briolites, but I am not one of those people. I want artist beads! And unfortunately, while the few artists who are left are in fact nice and talented people, I either have enough of their beads, don't like their style, or get their beads by working for them.
So I'm actually coming out of this show ahead of the game, because I got called in at the last minute to booth-sit for a friend. This is my first time working a September show -- I haven't bothered seeking out work for it before, because I don't do a lot of shopping so I don't feel the need to make spending money. But if you're in Tucson and want to say Hi, you can find me at Anne Mitchell's booth in the afternoons.