Beaded Wrap-up for Fiesta 2014

From fireworks opening evening,

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, AIBF Fireworks 10/4/14

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, AIBF Fireworks 10/4/14

 

to the gas balloon launch on Monday, the eve of the Lunar Eclipse,

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, America’s Challenge Gas Launch field, 10/6/14

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, America’s Challenge Gas Launch field, 10/6/14

to the banquet celebrating Team Spain’s win in America’s Challenge Gas Race,

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, America’s Challenge Gas Awards Banquet, Angel Aguirre & Anulfo Gonzales, pilots

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, America’s Challenge Gas Awards Banquet, Angel Aguirre & Anulfo Gonzales, pilots

it was quite a week at the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

After a full complement of Balloon Fiesta activities, on Sunday I beaded with my friend Rachelle.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Rachelle Disbennett-Lee & Mary Ellen

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Rachelle Disbennett-Lee & Mary Ellen

Cares and concerns melted magically away as Rachelle and I chatted and played beads. Our conversation might have sounded disjointed to some, or to non-beaders, but we were on the same wave length.

“Does this necklace look old? I love these beads … my grandmother’s.”
“What kind of crimps do you use?”
“I’ve never used purple SoftFlex! Wow! ”
“Who do you bead with?”
“How can I engineer this to make it work?”
“How do you wire wrap without a stick?”
“What kind of classes do you take?”

Rachelle concentrated on a purple necklace project and I laid out a multi-strand with African Trade Beads. She did her favorite thing: updating special beads/memories with a spash of bling. I did my favorite thing: explore variations on the theme of vintage African trade beads in black and white.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, layout for five of seven strand necklace

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, layout for five of seven strand necklace

We conferred on technical questions about the broach she was incorporating into her necklace. We digressed. We got up briefly and immediately returned to our respective projects.

At one point, she reached for her box of treasures and pulled out a fabulous orange pendant. I added the perfect milliflora chips and orange spacer beads for a future project. Our magical afternoon included deer, frequent visitors to the waterfall on the north side of my studio.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, three deer north of studio

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, three deer north of studio

Throughout the day we asked and responded to each others’ questions, made small talk and brought each other up to speed on our lives. We discovered a mutual love of estate beads, black and white, and all things bead-related. All too soon our “beady-full” day was gone. Although we’d spent several hours together, it felt as if we’d just begun.

While I didn’t take dozens of pictures, I’m confident that I’ll have trouble looking at my purple Soft Flex spool without pausing to remember a wonderful afternoon.

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Empty Purple Soft Flex Spool

©2014, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Empty Purple Soft Flex Spool

An empty spool…doesn’t that say it all?