Sunday, December 28, 2008

Clawing at the Window

My sister is a beader. She has had a few interesting hobbies in her life, but one she really is actively involved in right now is beading. She started me on my "need for beads" about a year and a half ago, when I was thinking I was going to ask her to make me a bracelet like one I had seen in a catalog. The original was $135 (in Robert Redford's Sundance catalog--what would you expect it cost?) I figured the most unusual piece of the bracelet was the Indian Head nickel button they used for a closure, AND I HAD SOME OF THOSE!

My sister had made some beautiful things for me in the past. But sometimes, she didn't get around to getting the projects done in a timely manner. I should talk, since I have at least three or four sewing projects promised to her that never have been completed.

So, I figured the best way to get the bracelet as quickly as I wanted it was to do it myself. Another hobby for me was born on that day!

I went to Michaels, and for a mere $150 in supplies, I got the materials to make that bracelet for myself. I learned to string beads and attach findings. I created that bracelet, to proudly display it in my drawer (don't know if I have ever worn it.) But, more importantly, the need for beads was created in my heart on that day, and the lust has continued until now!

My sister has always told me of her experiences at bead shows, and at bead stores. Until this spring, I hadn't experienced a bead show, and the only bead store I go to is Michaels. I do shop several on-line bead shops, and so my inventory of beads has grown exponentially over the year and a half of my hobby. It has about outgrown its alotted shelving in the closet it has been assigned to. No problem, I can add more shelves!

We were very interested in going to a bead store together, and on Dec. 26, we had a little window of time to fit this in. MonkeyGirl also beads, although not as much as she scrapbooks, and she had spotted this bead store near her work one day when they were out for lunch. It is in an area I pass frequently, but it is positioned way back in the corner of a U-shaped strip mall, so it is hard to see from the road. But we found it Friday.

Alas, even though the lights were on in the shop, there was a sign on the door that they were closed Dec. 24, 25 adn 26th. The entire front window was filled with clear cases housing every color and size of Swarovski crystal beads you could imagine. So my silly sister started clawing at the window, pantomiming her desire to get at the beads. Up popped a head from the rear of the store, who slowly edged forward to see who the crazies were who were trying to enter her store! I guess we must have looked like friendly faces, because she did open the door and talked to us. "Yes, you all are cordially invited back tomorrow morning at 9 a.m., when we open up after Christmas." My sister in her most forelorn voice said, "Oh I'm from out of town and won't be here then", so the conversation continued, "Where are you from?", "Portland, OR" --I just nodded in hopes that two sad ladies from out of town might win over her heart to just let us browse. Well, it worked, and she did let us in.

We were like kids in the candy store, and the candy was crystals, gemstones, gold and silver findings, interesting ideas. We gingerly asked if we could make a purchase that day, and the owner said, "sure". Why not? She was doing some set up for future classes, and we were drooling over her many unusual bead sets, an awesome inventory of difficult-to-find stuff and very unique items. The floodgates of ideas opened as we viewed the different bead sets, and we helped each other with ideas of things to use to complete our projects. The floodgates of ideas meant the floodgates of financing our ideas had to also open.

We made her day, it was 2 hours spent in fun and great entertainment, and a net sale of over $300 for the store owner. I guess it was worth her while to respond to two ladies clawing at the window to make her sales quota on that day, even though she was closed for business!

More on her store in future blogs. Glasshopper Studio LLC

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