Where do I start with this post? The jewellery market was very well represented with beads and findings ranging from top of the range Swarovski crystals to pre-packeted plastic bead kits and every other kind of bead and finding in between. Beading and jewellery making is thriving!
Some notable finds were at Beadalon where they had a number of new items. My favourite was the wire twister which can twist up to 5 strands of wire at once into a single length of multi coloured wire. Turn the wire into jump rings using the jump ring mandrel and then you have some really funky, and very strong, rings to use as unique connectors for your jewellery. Beadalon also has the wire twister packaged as a kit with the round and oval jump ring makers - a neat idea.
They have also added connectors to their range which are used to attach fancy rings to each other without the need for jump rings and another new addition is the stainless steel loop crimp - an eye loop with a hollow shaft that you insert beading wire into and then crush to secure - no crimp required. Very tidy indeed!
I fell in love with Plaid's range of resin disks and metal word components all ready to be attached to each other for a multi layered effect. The motifs include birds, leaves and chandeliers etched onto resin plaques and the collection includes coordinating beads, cords and frosted silver frames.Jolee's Boutique, famous for their 3D scrapbook embellishments has released a range of Swarovski crystals called Jolee's Jewels and I was able to do a make and take bracelet using these little lovlies at the EK Success stand..... just gotta love the sparkle of crystals!
Another favourite was the unfinished wooden bangles from Indus Trading Company. Let your mind run riot with the possibilities here. Paint them, decoupage them, spritz them with any of the mica mists, use markers or a combination of any of the above, but just let yourself go wild with these ultra smooth bangles which come in 4 sizes from small to extra large (to fit those who usually have trouble sliding a bangle over their knuckles). I have some fun ideas for these so look out for a class later in the year.
Apart from the great range of beads and findings, there were also many exhibitors using their products to handcraft beads: felt beads, fibre beads, paper beads, and more. At the Rupert Gibbon and Spider booth, Marie Segal was creating pendants using Cernit polymer clay (I'll blog about that in a separate post) and at AMACO, Jana Ewy and Linda Peterson formed a wonderful team creating spectacular pendants with Friendly Plastic and pewter. Many attendees were lucky enough to walk away from the booth with one of these little beauties. I'll blog about the AMACO Friendly Plastic Challenge later on too.
Another make and take I enjoyed was at the Sakura stand where they introduced their UV Cure 3D Crystal Lacquer. This product cures in the sun or under a UV Lamp in just minutes. The sparkly faux dichroic look is achieved by adding Sakura Gem Particles. How stunning!
Judikins also released a similar product whilst Lisa Pavelka released her product Magic Glos and UV lamp at last year's Winter Show.
So anyone who doubts that beading and jewellery making is alive and well need not be concerned as it is one craft that looks like it is well and truly here to stay.