For what I have lacked in posts I have made up in preparing for my Summer Collection ("Huh?" you may ask, "What happened to your Spring Collection?" Good question, o' faithful reader. Due to crazy life changing events going on this spring, I am going to put everything I had planned to make this spring into a Summer Collection - and now that I bought tons of new supplies I have my work cut out for me!).
This week the hubs, the dogS (we adopted ANOTHER one!), and I drove to Tucson, Arizona to visit family. I forgot how much I loved suburbia when a HUGE Jo-Ann Etc. and Michael's greeted me in Arizona. The hubs and I went out of our way to schedule in a good chunk of time visiting Jo-Ann on our way out of town, so already I felt like the otherwise obligatory visit was advantageous to this beader.
However, on our way home I spotted a huge billboards that simply stated "GEM WORLD: Beads and Findings, this exit." I TOLD the Hubs that we would be making an unexpected pit stop at this promising place in the hopes that I will leave with a good story or two, especially considering that we were literally in the middle of the Arizonan desert near the California border (as evident in this picture). I figured I would find either some great trucker-stop-type souvenirs or a cool selection of over-priced turquoise. What I found in the fittingly titled town, Quartzsite, however, was MIND BLOWING.
Walking past souvenir merchants and locals who have set up shop out of the back of their trucks, I came across the store I was waiting for: GEM WORLD. I walked in and couldn't believe my eyes: aisles and aisles of gems and findings and coral and turquoise and necklaces and earrings and on and on and on! Not only was there a vast selection, but ALL THE BEADS WERE ON SALE! We are talking 75%-off turquoise and coral; $1 pearls by the strand, crystals for less than a dollar... in other words, it was like I was in China again!
Here's a look at what I bought:
I also bought something pre-made for myself. I can't remember the last time I bought a necklace for myself, but when I saw this one, I looked and looked over it for a good 5-minutes thinking of ways I could take it apart and re-string it. I could think of no ways I would want to change it! And best of all, it was only $5! I think I am going to take notes from this bold piece and make some similar pieces for Bead Up!
Whew! What a trip! I literally had an adrenaline rush to last for the rest of the trip thanks to the amazing deals in the middle of nowhere, Arizona! Now I have LOTS of work ahead! New pieces to come soon!