Beads + Baltimore = Happy Me

My husband and I traveled to Baltimore yesterday to get away from the normal surroundings and give ourselves a “day-cation.” When we go to the Baltimore area, we look for places off the beaten path, not just Inner Harbor. For today’s trip, I asked my husband to find a bead shop that we could easily get to in Baltimore. It’s not that I couldn’t search for a shop myself, it’s that I would have ended up finding one in a location that was difficult to get to or out of the way (I’m not the best with maps). He came up with a shop called “Beadazzled” (http://www.beadazzled.com) and the photos of the shop looked pretty interesting on their website, so we decided to add it to our list of stops. Luckily, it was worth stopping in! They had an interesting variety of beads and a lot of beads I had never seen before.

I was disappointed by the lack of sterling silver, but their selection of other unique beads made up for it. I am wondering if their lack of silver is a reflection on the differences in style and interest between Baltimore (and possibly cities in general) and little old Lancaster County. They had a lot of natural (wood, bone, horn) beads and glass beads. Around my area, most of the beads are gemstones or if they are glass, they are sparkly crystal types of beads. They also had a lot of brass and copper for their metal selection and around Lancaster County, you see more silver and gold. That’s the fun with bead shops verses ordering on line. You can see the differences in the beads much better in the shops.

I’m starting to find myself appreciating small bead shops more and more because many of them have materials that cannot be found through the online bead retailers. (It also supports local business, which we know I love!) I’ve been doing this long enough that I am starting to see similarities between jewelry makers’ products at craft shows, and I need to do something to stand out. I think the beads I purchased today will definitely stand out (in a positive way!).

Here are the beads I purchased in Baltimore yesterday:

At first I was a little hesitant to purchase these beads because they are glass and I prefer using gemstones. However, my husband encouraged me to get them because they are very eye-catching and different. Every time he gives me an idea for a jewelry piece, it always gets a lot of compliments, so if he thinks these beads look good, I’m going with them! Now, the trick will be to figure out how to make them into something! I love what I do!

Thanks for reading!

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