Just returned from a four day meeting in Tampa. We were hoping for warmth and sunshine (even packed swimsuits), but the weather turned cold and rainy. Still had fun catching up with old friends and making new ones. I took advantage of a free afternoon to check out Tampa Bead Café, where I headed straight for their wall of seed beads. Lots of colors I haven’t seen up close before, and I had a great time picking out a few tubes for upcoming projects. Walked over to the wall of semi-precious stones and found, tucked way in the back, a strand of faceted hessonite that was actually affordable! This citrus and caramel-colored stone is my current favorite and I was thrilled to have some for my stash!
Earlier that day, my friend Bev and I were strolling through the stores in Tarpon Springs’ Sponge Exchange, and came across these paper bead bracelets from Nairobi, handspun from recycled magazines. Bev remembered her mom picking up outdated wallpaper books from local merchants and teaching her how to cut, roll and lacquer paper beads just like these. I’m inspired! As soon as I finish my inventory for my April trunk show, I am going to investigate this art form. The idea of turning all my junk mail and department store catalogs into unique pieces of art, and incorporating them into my finished designs…how great is that!!!