Monday, February 01, 2010

Glorious Tucson...

I have been enjoying myself here in Tucson most ardently. The weather is amazing and everyone has been just awesome! It has definitely been a nice trip so far and it is the perfect way to escape the cold of the North.

Last night we went out with the Fusion girls and it was such a blast. I love spending time with them and hearing about all the new things about Fusion Beads. We ate at a swank suishi bar called, Ra in the foothills and it was most enjoyable. We even squeezed in a little bit of dancing at Pearl. It was an off night for the venue, which meant that we had the entire place to ourselves.
Staying here has been absolutely perfection.  The pear pancakes were fluffy, sweet, and totally delectable. I drenched mine in maple syrup. The eggs, sprinkled with fresh chives from her backyard, were yellow clouds of deliciousness. And certainly worthy of recognition, the andouille sausage was a spicy and simply put, a flavor explosion. Now that's a great way to start the day!

Another reason why I love Tucson is that I get to see the amazingly talented Candice Wakumoto and her husband, Paul. They are so sweet. Both of them have a knack for making me giggle. Not only are they stellar people, but Candice is a wizard with PMC and makes some really unique pieces. For Christmas, I sent Candice the Skull King necklace. The necklace features a ceramic focal by Lisa Peters Art. Candice loved his "gimpy" eye and was inspired to make her own masterpiece, entitled: The Mumu King! Isn't it awesome? I covet it so hard.

Above is one of her spiky hearts. The fine silver heart is embellished with 24 karat gold. I love how edgy and sculptural this piece is.

Here's another piece that Candice made. Aren't the cut-outs and the egg-like shape wonderful? It's just gorgeous.

This piece is killer! I love the color she's incorporating into her work. The flower looks like an encrusted antique jewel and I am just a smitten kitten with the sweet honey bee flying off. It's another favorite of mine.

Also at the To Bead True Blue show are the newlywed couple, Carter and Aveesh of Bead Trust. They've got some really juicy strands that I can't wait to get my hands on some. I am especially enamored with their pink opalite. You can just barely see it off of Aveesh's right shoulder. I love how it looks in the light. I'm thinking of making one of THESE necklaces, but in the pink opalescent glass.

Tonya Davidson of A Whole Lotta Whimsy dropped by. It was good to see her and meet one of the behind the scenes people, Sarah. Tonya is based out of Tucson and her shop is loaded with all kinds of jewelry-making goodness.

Two authors of helpful and totally inspirational books just happened to drop by the booth at the same time: Liz Jones of Beaducation, author of Jewelry Studio: Silver Wire Fusing and Denise Peck who's the editor of Step-by-Step Wire Jewelry magazine and also penned Wire Style: 50 Unique Jewelry Designs. They are just delightful!

The new editor of Beading Daily, Leslie Rogalski, stopped by as well. It was nice to see her and learn about her new DoodleBeads DVD.

Sassing it up for the camera, Lisa Niven Kelly and Kate Richbourg of Beaducation pose for a picture. They were really sweet and made sure that I had plenty of water (in a handy Beaducation stainless steel water-bottle), French fries, and headache medicine. We joked around about making a clay-mation commercial of me saying, "When you're looking for inspiration, hop on Beaducation!"

Ask Sara of Soft Flex Company swung by the booth. Sara is an absolute gem and is just the sweetest thing! She told me all about the new colors of Soft Flex that are coming out and how they'll correspond with the seasons. That's so clever! (She also gave me the scoop on finding really awesome succulents while I'm in town.)

I'm looking forward to the show tomorrow! I'm sure there will be many opportunities to see more lovely people and find more incredible goodies.

To end the evening, Greg broke out the grill and cooked up some tilapia and asparagus. I used one of the meyers lemons from the yard to add a little sweet-and-sour-tangy goodness to the smoky flavors. He served grilled dishes with a fresh mozzarella and tomato salad drizzled with some lip-smacking-good balsamic vinaigrette. Yum! We sat around laughing, enjoying our meal, and talking about gem show hijinks and it was just glorious.


Barbara "Basha" said...

The next best thing to actually being in Tucson is to virtually be in Tucson through your pictures and wonderful descriptions. Thanks Andrew, I'm having a great time.

Adventures with Millie Making Jewelry said...

Wow! You are NOW the Official Tucson Correspondence/Reporter! Enjoy your time there...jealous.

Jeannie said...

My heart hurts that I'm not there. Andrew, sounds like a great time. What a "glorious" way to laugh, share, enjoy, joke with such talented kindered spirits.

FunkyMonkey Girls said...

It was so great to see you again:) I was drooolllinng over those ckPMC pieces also. yummy!!! Of course, like usual reading your blog and now I am hungry!!! Hopefully I will be able to see you more this weekend. Back to the day job tomorrow:(

Mom told me that I can not put any treasures away in my studio yet because I like to hide them, there maybe such an idea like that in my head LOLOLOL!!

Funky Monkey Girl,

Jean Hutter said...

Oh Andrew what a great post - I am glad you are enjoying the bead show - I wish I were there - if not for the beads the warmth and sun. Great food pics too!!!!

A Fly On The Wall said...

I love this viewpoint of the show - from a vendor with a view of all the luscious people that are this talented industry.

BTW - I am in love with that flower and honeybee piece also! May be making another trip to TBTB!

thebearaffair said...

Andrew - wow, what a great blog. I live here and you made me proud to be a Tucsonian. I only wish I could have been a part of the festivities at Kate's with everyone because the food pictures made me hungry and I know there were plenty of laughs to go around
;0. Welcome to our city and I will introduce myself when I visit your booth this week. Have a great week, great show, and great friendships!! Sally

lisa peters ART said...

Andrew - I just loved reading your blog about Tucson,
see ya soon