Tucson Bead Show Sensory Stimulator

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beadaholic tote

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Beadaholic tote

The largest gem and bead show in the world – Tucson – whispered:

“Check this out!”

“Get a load of these gizmos! Fascinating.”

“Savor the moment! Relish your time here.”

“Try this. Sample that. Find out how you can apply that technique, idea, thing to what you’re doing!”

“Don’t miss X! Be sure to visit Y!”

The tote bag (pictured above) from Ayla’s Originals made me laugh aloud because it so aptly described me.

My eyes relished row after row of beaded glory in every size, color and combination of stones and complementary materials.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, banjara bells

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, banjara bells

 

I breathed in the multitude of conversations, sounds, smells, and experience of each tent and room and presentation.

More than once sensory overwhelm threatened my equilibrium.

Stop. Think about what appeals to you.

Breathe. Sip water and reflect.

Regroup.

Chat with vendors.

Meet beading friends.

Breathe.

I signed up for specific classes to expand my techniques, forcing myself out of the usual comfort zone, adding more competency with leather, additional technical skill with mixed media, more proficiency with wire.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Elegant prong pendant class

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Elegant prong pendant class

A world of color, found objects and created inspiration collided and from the chaos, wonderful ideas emerged.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, ice resin class

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, ice resin class

 

After five days I’m bursting with projects ideas, notes, bags of goodies and an ache to create. The glimmer of a spring collection is on the pages of my journal.

I’ll be in the studio today, birthing some of these inspirations.

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Tucson Show Guide

©2015, Mary Ellen Merrigan, Tucson Show Guide

How did the Tucson Bead Show affect you?