February 3, 2009

Tucson Gem Shows 2009

I usually save the Rapa River and Pueblo shows for the last and go enjoy looking at mineral specimens and what Mother Nature provides us. This year it worked out that I got to treat myself and go looking there first.

Beautiful large crystals and a ton of gemstone balls in all sizes.

The shows were rather empty this year. There were obvious vacant spaces where before there had been wall to wall booths. The parking lots were not crowded and parking spaces were easy to find. I overheard at least two vendor's comments of not making booth fees the first day and still not making those fees by this third day of the show.
Once again my impression was "dyed everything"! Gaudy pinks, purples and other colors Mother Nature never intended. I wonder if they were after the fashion statement for gem materials. It's unfortunate as those dyed stones will fade; quickly in the sun and slowly in other conditions - but fade they will.

I had an enjoyable half hour in one Andean booth looking at knitted and woven articles from Peru - as well as South American minerals. Then I sat in the sun, had lunch and listened to the Altiplano flute music. I thoroughly enjoy the haunting pan pipe melodies.
What did I get myself?
I found two jet balls from Russia. I'd never run across jet balls before and they were so warm and light when I picked them up. I actually went back just before I left to buy them as I knew I'd kick myself if I didn't.

I don't usually give Chinese seed beads a second glance as the quality isn't quite up to other seed beads. These I did look at and bought more than I had originally planned on buying. They were a two-color transparent 10/0 that reminded me of the colors in some rough Baltic amber pieces I had at home. I was right and they pair with the amber beautifully. They will need to be culled as I use them, but at $1/4 grams, it's worth the extra labor. I'd recently told a beginning beader to buy twice what you think you'll need and that way you'll be adding to your stash bit by bit. This time I followed my own advice and brought home 16 grams. I'm sure I won't see this particular color in a seed bead again.

I've cut back my own plans for visiting the different shows. I really don't need anything at the moment and need to use up some of what I have. I'll be doing The Best Bead Show on Thursday and maybe the Rhodeway. Then next Monday I'll do the huge Holidome show. That should keep me for another year.


  1. I wish I could have gone to Tuscon. I will never forget the sound of all those stones clanking together at the Holidome.

  2. Your Mini cards are just wonderful, but of course they would be with the beautiful, vibrant colors you crochet with!