It's about time I post something about beads!  If you are bead obsessed, and on the road, of course you look up the local bead shop.  A quick Google Map search in Austin pointed us to Bead It. It looks like a sleepy little cottage, but had many rooms behind many rooms filled with all kinds of goodies.  Here are my Czech glass purchases.  I was buying the second to last strand of those blue coins, and their policy is to sell the last strand for half price.  "Would you like that one too?" Of course. Those green nubby beads were too cool to pass up.

They had tons of metal components.  I loved this copper disks and the large beads, the copper dangles and keys begging to be parts of earrings.

I first found these saturn-like links as individual components - the copper beads roll around freely inside the frame - and then the helpful sales lady mentioned that is comes in chain. "One foot or two?" Two, definitely.

After our trip to Austin, we took a trip last week to Houston for the annual meeting of the International Society of Glassbead Makers. Wow, was that ever an awesome experience.  I took one class and then attended a day of the conference, with much shopping in between.  Even though the artists making formal presentations were a billion light years ahead of me, just watching them work and hearing them speak was inspiring, and I learned so much!  I took a class from Donna Felkner, the lovely lady behind CG Bead Rollers.  I bought both the one we used in class and two more.  I also bought that cool marver/rake tool from Karen Leonardo.  She makes lots of fun lamp working tools.

Here are the beads I made during Donna's class.  She loves using EDP (purple) glass so we played with that a lot.  There was a lot of talk of verifying and devitrifying that went well over my head, but I learned from her that I hold my glass too close to the burner, and learned some tricks for using rollers.  Yay!

There were a couple glass vendors but I really liked  Glass Sorbet - a shop that happens to be based in Houston.  They were so helpful (and always 25% off retail!)

For the last three mornings I have been making beads between the "take Emma to basketball camp" and "pick up Michael from golf camp" time - today I made a mostly round hollow bead - yay!  I will post them here when they come out of the kiln.

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