My contest entries have just been returned and thanks to Fire Mountain Gems & Beads and a $150 gift certificate (the silver medal award for the bracelet I entered in the 2017 Metal Jewelry Contest), I’ll be doing a bit of online shopping! Over the past few months I’ve been perusing the FMG catalog online and putting goodies in my shopping basket…I’ll continue to do so until I return home from the Bead and Button show, which is being held next week. Prudence tells me to wait and see what I find there before placing an order because I always come back to the studio with various treasures I’ve found at the show. Aside from beads, I keep an eye out for beautiful tools and new equipment that I feel is a “must have”! I’m fairly well stocked on most of the materials I use in my work so whatever I purchase at the show will be something rather unique and/or special that I can’t find online. Many vendors offer “Show Specials” with lower pricing and of course, being able to hand-select pearls and gemstones is always preferable to ordering and having someone in a warehouse choose for you. Gary Wilson always has his gorgeous gemstones at the show and since he doesn’t have an online shop, this is my chance to find some unique Drusies and other stones. Undoubtedly my next post will be a “show and tell” of my purchases and a report on the class I’m taking with Susan Lenart Kazmer. Best of all, I always return from the show with my creative juices flowing and great ideas for new works!