Fresh Baked Designs

Adventures in jewelry making

My First Love… March 6, 2014

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My first love…as in “Bead Store Love”.  Was and is a small, wonderful, independently owned local shop.  The Bouncing Bead. Literally, with hard wood floors, you’d hear and see small beautiful beads bouncing and skittering away when dropped. I may have done this more than a few times during my weekly visits.

Since my first visit 7 years ago, the store has moved about two miles further out, it is now carpeted, and has a new owner, the lovely and knowledgeable Joleen.  It’s still my go-to shop for beading needs. I love The Bouncing Bead because…

1.  It is where I took my very first jewelry class…Basic Bead Stringing. I’ve since taken Wire Wrapping and Fun with Fire (twice).  The original owner, Laura, let me repeat the class for free because I was still too nervous to fire up my torch at home.  Sweet!  They continue to offer a wide selection of classes with great instructors.

2. They have a very large selection of stones, pearls, Czech glass, seed beads, and findings. AND, this is what I really love..while most items are sold on strands and in bagged quantities, there is a HUGE selection available for individual purchase. I could buy one pearl or one head pin, or one jump ring.  For someone starting out in jewelry making, this was a tremendous service.  Back in the day, I would buy just enough supplies to make one pair of earrings at a time. Seems pretty silly to me now, but it certainly fit my needs at the time.

3. Lastly, there has always been experienced, friendly, helpful staff. Many times, I could bring in a project that I was having trouble with and receive great advice and possible solutions.  They are always willing to special order for me as well.

Recently, an opportunity came up to offer Fresh Baked Designs in the shop.

Of course!  What a lovely chance to share jewelry made with some of the great offerings in the shop.  My handcrafted copper and polymer clay buttons are also for sale.

Here’s what I’m working on today…in polymer clay and copper…

Aqua Buttons

Copper buttons

Colorful PC Buttons

(for the big view, click on the photo)

Hoping The Bouncing Bead customers will get a kick out of these.

And if you are a San Diego and La Mesa local, please do yourself a huge beady favor and go soon.   Directions and hours here.

So, here’s my question to you all…Do you have a favorite, beloved bead store?

 It can be local or on line. Independent or franchise.

And tell me, tell me, why you love it so much.

 Leave your comment by Monday, March 17th

and you’ll be entered in a little giveaway.

One winner will receive three buttons (copper and PC) made by me

and another little surprise that’s a secret.

(It wouldn’t be a surprise now if I told you, would it?)

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25 Responses to “My First Love…”

  1. Alice Says:

    I live in a very small town and there are no bead shops for more than 70 Miles. I go to etsy mostly for artist made beads but don’t ask me to pick a favorite because I love them all. Recent purchases have been from Rebekah Payne, Gillian Murray,Scorched Earth and Beadwork by KAS.

  2. Hi Lynda
    Of course my favorite bead store is The Spirited Bead in Tehachapi owned by the very famous Karen Lewis or Klews. She has antique print drawers full of everything imaginable and strings of czech glass, stones and pearls on all the walls. Every little space is taken up plus a cabinet of her wonderful beads which I have a few. It is off the 58 freeway so if you are traveling in that direction, it is worth the stop. Love to always see all your adventures in jewelry making and the copper buttons are spectacular.

  3. sjmcclelland Says:

    I am a regular visiter to McBead Creations,, In Ottawa. Owned by a lovely mother-daughter team, it’s my go-to place for my beading supplies. Like your bead store, they have a broad range of beads, plus they sell singles of beads and components. They don’t sell hand-made beads but they do have lots of classes and are very helpful and friendly. They carry a very large selection of several types of crystal beads, so it’s never a problem to find something to add a little bling to a piece of jewelry.

  4. normadelle Says:

    My favorite bead shop is the Bead Shoppe in Avondale, Decatur GA. I’m reluctant to answer my phone when I’m there…..my favorite place to be….Melanie and Ali are very friendly and helpful, giving advice, and making suggestions…it’s a small store with a variety of stones and beads, I’ve taken a class there with a friend and Ali was kind and patient while teaching us. It’s a warm little creative space with interesting beads from afar and near, beautifully laid out and carefully labeled and I like that you can have your work displayed for sale there if you’ve used I believe 90% of beads bought there. Also locals display their handmade findings there, which really adds to the unique pieces available…a cool little shoppe of beads for the bead lover!

  5. Diane Says:

    Unfortunately, my favorite little bead shop closed. It was right in the downtown area of my sleepy little town, only about a 3 minute drive from my house. The staff was so kind and friendly. One woman who worked there was always at the big student table working on amazing bead weaving pieces. While I have never had the patience for seed beads, it amazed me to see what could be done with them. I had never taken a class there, but the owner was in the process of being certified for PMC and had talked about starting classes. I was so excited to try PMC without making the huge investment! But then she let us in on what was happening, people just weren’t coming in like they had been, their classes slowed down and many had to be canceled due to lack of interest. My wonderful little shop was no more. The closest bead shop is now 1 1/2 hours away and extremely expensive. I order everything online now, but sometimes you just want to feel those beads and see them in person before purchasing.

  6. My favorite bead store that is still open (so many here in Phx have closed since 2009) is Lost Cities Beads over in San Diego. I stepped in there one day after attending a class I was taking with Connie Fox and didn’t want to ever leave! LOL! It was there I spotted my first ancient strand of beads and I immediately fell in love with them! Along with their selection of unique, one of a kind beads, charms, amulets and findings, their gorgeous wall of gemstones sparkle and make me swoon! Their array of tools and books gets my brain going and their staff is friendly and helpful. I haven’t been back in a few years, and you’re making me think I need to make the 6 hour drive over there just for this now! Haha – I’d do it to – it’s that cool of a shop! Oh – and your buttons – both the copper and polymer – are super Lynda!

  7. What fun Lynda! I’m sure that your lovely creations will get snatched right up at The Bouncing Bead (love that name!). My favorite local bead store in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is The Bead Monkey. Like you, I took my first classes there and have always gotten pretty great service. As trends in jewelry making shift, what they carry has changed right along with it (hello mixed media supplies!) but they still keep an good selection of glass, stones, seed beads, and art beads to keep this girl happy. They just moved into a new location and I haven’t been able to visit yet, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s still wonderful.

    For online, I’m going to have to go with Lima Beads. Great selection and quality, great service, and a lot of fun on their website. I love that when I had an issue with a strand (that they promptly rectified) when the customer service person told me that she would send Steve out into the warehouse, I knew exactly who that was!

    Thanks for hosting this give away!

  8. Angela Mullis Says:

    I live in a VERY rural area with no bead shops within 80 miles. Bummer! One bright note is our “local” Wally World has started carrying jewelry supplies!!!!! (by local, I mean about 30 miles!) I do a lot of shopping online and have found so many amazing sellers! Online venders are a life saver to people like me who live in the boonies!

    Angi Mullis dj2isme@aol.com

    • Yes, bummer! 30 miles would be pretty far, too, to run out for a few head pins you need to finish a project. It would really force me to plan ahead…something I’m not too good at. I agree, Angela, that we are truly lucky to have a huge selection of online vendors.

  9. Lynda, you make me feel so brave, having taught myself to use the torch last summer (with the help of the Love My Art Jewelry site, which I found thanks to you, and a few other sites)! Although I remember feeling a bit shaky, not knowing how the metal would behave at first. But since I’d BOUGHT that huge 40€ torch, I had better use it! And we are good friends nowadays!
    I haven’t taken a single jewelry class yet, due to a combination of lack of time and suitable classes. There would be some interesting ones at my favorite shop (http://www.silverstudio.fi/ — warning: she has no English pages!), which isn’t really a bead shop: although she has beads, the focus for me at least is on the metals. Lovely, helpful lady, but unfortunately I only work in this town (and have to go home straight from work to my kids most of the time), at home I’m also miles and miles from the nearest decent store. Without the net, I too would be quite resourceless! For gemstones, I prefer Lima Beads, the quality is the best I’ve come across. Then I have one Swedish and one or two Finnish web shops that I like to use for other things.
    But about classes: tomorrow there should be a change to that, since I’ve enrolled to a two-weekend Silversmith class! Incredibly exciting!
    Beautiful buttons! So pleased you get to sell at your favorite store! But please, leave me out of the draw — I don’t want you to have to send parcels across the globe!

  10. Elaine Gill Says:

    We live in a small town in Saskatchewan, Canada and there isn’t a really good bead shop around so I shop on-line. I’d have to say that I have two favorite bead shops on-line! Artbeads…because they have such a great selection and their shipping the Canada is so inexpensive and Lima Beads….because hey have the greatest Easter Egg Hunt and many other fun things to do on their site plus the gemstone beads they carry are such good quality!
    Love the buttons you’ve made…thanks for the opportunity to win some!!

  11. Cindi Bernloehr Says:

    My first “bead shop” experience was Metrowest Beads in Orlando and I loved that I could just go, pick out individual beads and make a bracelet, earring etc. right there and take it home. The ladies were so wonderful in helping teach basics. I just wish the store was still around.

  12. TNine Design Says:

    I just want to tell you that I really love reading your posts! I only follow a couple of blogs and yours is my favorite 🙂 As for a favorite bead store I would have to give a shout out to Out on A Whim in Cotati, CA. It’s a bit of a drive for me but always worth it when I go.

    • Why, thank you, Terri! So nice of you to let me know you are enjoying my little blog. And I am in awe of folks like you who are talented at “stamping metal”! I have tried it several times and always give up in huge frustration. It’s a gift I do not possess.


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