Monday, October 18, 2010

Musa, from Portland, Oregon, came back to do his trunk show of beads from Africa. We had perfect weather and many folks who do not normally attend our bead meetings came out for this event. We all such a grand time oohing and ahhing over the splendid beads. We tried to close down at 4 but people just kept coming.

Here I am modeling a string of museum-quality amber beads. It was such a joy just to touch (and wear) these moments of history that had gone from Germany to Africa and now to the states.
At the much calmer business meeting we decided to continue the group (with lots of enthusiasm for this idea). Sue will continue as our liaison person with Gualala Arts and Vicki, who does the ordering from Fire Mountain will take over the monthly notices. Six people signed up for the Festival of Trees booth and my suggestion that we display our jewelry on faux fir trees found mixed acceptance. At least they were okay with me using the trees so I came home and ordered them from ChristmasCentral. I got one 2.5 tree for 8.99 and another for 7.99 plus I also got some of the tiny trees from them. They are not the ones that light, but I prefer the greenery on these. I think I only paid 2.99 for a 9-inch tree. It seems the Christmas season is starting - and it is good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

After that huge shopping trip for beads in Tokyo, I return to Gualala, to The Loft, to shop for curtain material and what do I find? These beads with kanji burned into them. They may be Chinese for all I know, but they do look Japanese! I have often felt that our coast, rugged as it is, is the vestige of the break that separated Japan's landmass from ours. Somehow finding these beads here and the very modern 'Western acrylic" beads in Japan brought our two lands back together.

I am still not beading, even though I go on buying beads! since I am crocheting on the big dollie for the GAC show in January. Each foot is 28 inches long. I am sure that by the time I get her done, I will be so glad to return to beading. I am finding out that crocheting makes my hands and wrists tired more quickly and I cannot crochet as long as I could bead. There is something to be said for the tiny weight of seed beads.

Friday, October 8, 2010

I am back home from Japan and this is what I brought! I noticed the airlines put a special tag on my suitcase that had in big bold letters HEAVY. So that is what happens because B. and I went shopping in Tokyo.
Finally on Saturday we had enough time for the big trip to the bead quarter. It turns out all the bead shops are centered in one area - Akakusabashi. All we had was a map in Japanese on the little net book that had no printer so B. went down to the hotel lobby and asked for help in finding the web site and printing a map. She noticed how slowly the young girl worked and that she made two copies of the map. She was smiling very broadly when she gave B. the one copy!
So we got a taxi, gave the driver the map, and 40 minutes later had crossed the larger part of Tokyo to arrive in a welter of bead shops. He dropped us off in front of a larger one - West 5 - and we began! They also had many buttons, lace and threads but also some great chains. As we were paying we saw a copy of the map we were using on the wall! Later we saw a shopper with the same map in hand.
Japan does not rely on street signs or a proper number system, so we just began wandering from shop to shop. Many had crystals and seed beads such as we could get from Fire Mountain, so we concentrated on the weird little shops with unusual things. We probably spent the most in a shop with horn and shells and in another that had a huge selection of acrylic beads. I thought I did not like acrylic beads but they had so many different kinds and at such low prices I had to give up my opposition to them.
It was here I had my best experience with Japanese shop keepers. I went up to the two female cashiers and asked in my best Japanese if they had a toilet. They looked at each other in complete bewilderment. Then I grabbed my crotch and grimaced and they broke out in peals of laughter and pointed me upstairs! For one shining moment, we as women, completely understood each other. And we were surrounded with beads.