Pasadena Bead and Design Show Recap

The Pasadena Bead and Design Show is quite a visual feast. I know that’s a cliche, so you’ll have to pardon me just this once. But, as you know, cliches often arise from a certain kind of truth, so I’m sticking to my metaphor, especially since,  like a feast, the Show gave me too much to digest and left me staggering home in a dazed stupor.

There were at least one hundred exhibitors with the most amazing beads made of every conceivable material and in every possible shape. Many of the booths featured hand-made jewelry and other kinds of wearable art, as well as all the fixings for making your own beaded items. I didn’t attend any of the classes, but the offerings looked intriguing and I saw some amazing handmade items being worn by exhibitor and attendees alike.

My favorite jewelry and bead exhibitors included: Dancing Turtle Studios (Asian enamel designs), Casalinda Studio (simple, elegant jewelry based on designs inspired by nature), Taina Hartman Studio (alas, no web site), and Imagine Unlimited (beautiful hairsticks similar to Mei Fa, but half as expensive).

My favorite fiber artists included: Pluckings (the fashions are a little over-the-top for me, but really fun, and I support anyone who can make a living with handmade knitted and crocheted items),  Stella Page Design, Material Things (OK, the last two are not technically fiber artists, but beautiful accessories), Shibori Girl (amazing hand-dyed scarves), and Kyoto Kimono (they sell new and vintage kimonos and accessories, and, more important for us crafters, they rescue beautiful fabric scraps from vintage kimonos that can be used for quilting, sewing, backing a cross stitch project… the list is endless).

I love the latest trends towards Asian design in fiber arts; the colors, natural themes, and elegance of the lines are simply sublime. I’m currently working on an sashiko-inspired needlework design of my own. More to follow. Soon, I hope.

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