A Day at The Bead Show

Today was my local bead show and I was excited to see what new treasures I could find. I arrived armed with a list of the things that I wanted to get, mainly findings, wire, threads and if I was lucky some affordable sterling silver. I promised myself that I’d use the show as an opportunity to try something new so I did my best to ignore the mountains of gemstones and look at different things. I saw some nice lampwork beads, beaded kumihimo designs and pretty seed beads.

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I usually love bead shows, everything you could want under one roof, hours spent wandering around looking at every stand, but this time there was a problem – it was just too busy!!  Every stand I stopped at had 30 other people there first and I had to push and fight (or sometimes wait patiently) for a chance to look at a strand of beads or to have a rummage through a discount bin. I love a bit of aggressive shopping when it’s necessary to grab a bargain but unfortunately today’s bargain’s just weren’t big enough. It’s a shame that because London has a ridiculously low number of bead shops and a local show only twice a year, you end up with tons of bead starved jewellery fans like myself and no event space is big enough. It made me think back to my bead shopping in New York where I was spoilt for choice with store after store and all the time in the world –  now that’s the way to shop for beads!

Despite the crowds I still managed to have a good time and pick up a few things (although I was very restrained). This pic shows some two toned and faceted glass beads and brightly coloured wood beads.


I didn’t manage to get any affordable sterling silver (is there such a thing right now??) but I did find some fab coloured hemp cord, wire and clasps, so a few crosses off my list. For my “something new” challenge, I picked up some clay. I’m more than excited to start using it and I have a few ideas in mind already so I’ll let you know how that goes.

Right now I think I need a lie down, it’s been a long day!

Until next time



6 thoughts on “A Day at The Bead Show

  1. I can relate to your experience. The bead show I attended recently was fortunately open to the public for 3 days so I took a day off work on a Friday to go – what a pleasure!! Previously I had gone on a weekend and it was madness – totally claustrophobic and you couldn’t get near to some of the stuff. I am amazed that London does not have many bead shops…. The bright wooden beads look fun 🙂

    1. We need a 3 day event too!! I arrived at 11:30am and it was already packed, next time I’ll have to be waiting outside when the doors open. It’s crazy that there aren’t more dedicated bead shops here. There are a bunch of general craft stores that sell beads but they are really expensive. I might have to set myself a little mission to branch out in search of more stores.

      1. It can be a lot of fun to venture out on a “discover new bead stores” mission. My beading buddy and I did that a few weeks ago and found two new fabulous stores to add to our repertoire. It did however mean we were both completely broke by the end of the day. Happy….but broke!

      2. I can relate, beads have given my credit card a battering on more than one occasion, but like you said it’s what makes us happy. I’m excited to think that there are some little stores just waiting to be discovered, I definitely prefer them over shopping online.

  2. What fun, I am afraid I lost my mind when I went to the bead show in Dallas a few weeks ago !! I found the same thing on Saturday, very over crowded, when we went back on Sunday, it was all but empty, a much better experience !! Some of the booths I had not even tried to squeeze into on Saturday and was able to get into on Sunday, so I undertand what you are talking about !!
    Bead markets are so much fun !! I am glad you got to go and get some fun things !!

    1. Thanks, I wish ours was a two day event too, it would make a huge difference to the crowd numbers. It’s such a shame if people aren’t able to enjoy the experience, especially when it’s so rare. I’m happy I got to go and get few bits though.

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