Thursday, May 30, 2013

Kansas City Part Two: The Classic Bead

One of the things I was looking forward to the most on our trip to Kansas City was the possibility of meeting a talented bead artist that I have purchased from online, Tracee Dock of The Classic Bead.  I used one of her lovely pendants in my necklace for the April Art Bead Scene Challenge, you can see it HERE.  Tracee and I had emailed back and forth a couple of times and I shared my blog post using her bead, so I decided to ask if she had time to meet while we were in her neck of the woods.  To my delight, she said yes and we arranged a meeting time.

Saturday morning Eric and I made the drive down scenic Ward Parkway over to Tracee's house.  (As a side note, the houses along most of this drive were insane!  I'm talking giant estates and mansions with statuary and fountains in the median and on the corners of the cross streets.)  When we got there Tracee welcomed us into her lovely home (it sounds like she's been working hard renovating it and her daughter's new house!) and introduced us to her boyfriend Paul.  Soon after, her gorgeous kitty, Thompson followed us in to make our acquaintance as well.  I wish I had gotten a photo of him since he was such a pretty boy...sweet too.

Tracee and Sarajo... both wearing necklaces featuring Tracee's pendants.
We all hung out for a while talking and getting to know each other a bit...and then I got to go shopping!  Tracee had graciously pulled out tons of her work for me to go digging through.  There were so many great pieces but I knew I couldn't buy them all!  Lucky for me, Eric was willing to help me look through everything and we were both busy pulling things into the "maybe" pile.  It was so very hard to whittle that pile down to something reasonable but I finally did it.  Eric was good at keeping me focused and making decisions (likely because he was past ready to get on to the next brew pub on our list).

I was like a kid in a candy store!  So many lovely things to go digging through.
Participating in various design challenges has been helping me to start using (and stop hoarding) my art beads.  I was finally starting to make a very tiny dent in my mountain but I have now erased all progress on that front!  What's worse, is that the more blogs that I start following, the more talented artists I find, and the more art beads I end up buying.  A viscous cycle but oh so much fun!  I suppose that there are far worse addictions to have.  Here's a peek at the goodies that I brought home with me:

Bright flower pendants... so many gorgeous colors!

I think I picked up a great variety of things.

Some matched pairs for earrings.
I truly appreciate Tracee opening up her home (and her bead stash!) to me and allowing us to come over.  It was really fun meeting the artist behind the pendants I have been  drooling over and purchasing online.  I look forward to seeing what other designs she comes up with and will continue to keep an eye on her Etsy shop and Facebook page.

Gorgeous beads will always make me a very happy girl, but it is just so much more special when you get to meet and know the artisan who crafted them.  It just adds another emotional layer to the design process for me.  I can't wait to start working some of Tracee's lovely beads into some new designs!  Since I'm doing the AJE Earring Challenge, I think I know where I'll be starting...  

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