Five Takeaways From Tucson 2013

How do you describe a week in Tucson during the internationally known Bead, Gem and Mineral show?

For me, five “i-Words” capture the experience.

  1. Incomparable
  2. Immersion
  3. Infusion
  4. Impetus
  5. Inspired

1. Incomparable. No one show matches the multiple presentation of Tucson.

Find your medium and join in. From beads to gems to wire to glasswork to raw materials, an amazing array of vendors and products awaits.

Acres of booths and a mind-boggling number of large shows threaten overwhelm. Thank goodness I’d thought about what to do and where to go prior to my arrival at the show.

More than once my list went out the window and I gave myself over to the experience.

Funny, I seem to be laughing in every picture.

Incomparable! Mary Ellen Merrigan, Soft Flex Booth, Whole Bead Show, 2/7/13

2. Immersion. Pick your medium and go.

My love of beads pointed me in the direction of “To Bead True Blue.”

More than 500 vendors participate in the show. I could have spent days wandering the aisles of well known artisans and emerging designers.

My habit of walking the show and noting booths of interest helped me cope with the huge variety of embellished trims, wearable art, and handmade masterpieces.

I shopped with people from all over the world as well as vendors from New Mexico.

And, of course, I saw people I know including New Mexico Bead Society member/sponsor and Lodi’s Bead’s owner, Lodi Adi.

Immersion! Lodi Adi, Lodi’s Beads with Frances, “the purse lady,” To Bead True Blue Show, 2/4/13

3. Infusion. Every pore of my being soaked up the creativity from those passionate about their craft.

Six days of beading infusion reminds me of a famous Mae West quote, “Too much of a good thing is wonderful!”

I indulged in two classes from L.A.S. Fibers guru, Lorri Scott at The Whole Bead Show: A Rainbow of Ribbons and Nuno Felt Wrist Wrap.

Not only did I learn new techniques, I met great people as well.

Infusion! Rainbow of Ribbons class – Joni Russell of Mrs. O’Leary’s Mercantile, Lorri Scott of L.A.S. Fibers, and Mary Ellen Merrigan of Mary Ellen Beads at Tucson Bead Show, 2/5/13

4. Impetus. Lorri’s classes ignited other ideas.

I found myself drawn to a cord maker tool as well as a knot-shaper tool. (More on “the tool of the week” in later posts.)

As we travelled back to Albuquerque, I made two new fiber necklaces using techniques I’d not been aware of prior to the show.

I’d love to tell you I finished my felted wristband, but that didn’t happen.

It’s next on my list, though, and fodder for yet another blog post.

Impetus! Felted wrist wrap by Lorri Scott, surrounded by Rainbow of Ribbons, Tucson Bead Show, 2/5/13

5. Inspired. Who could end the show on a different word?

I soaked in new ideas, met wonderful people and participated in a total passion indulgence.

Thanks to my iPhone, I captured many of the experiences.

Incredible! Mary D’Angelo and Mary Ellen Merrigan beside amethyst display outside the JOGS show, Tucson, 2/8/13

What “i-Word” would you use to describe Tucson?