I may have mentioned the emergency road trip to Texas that I had to take for family reasons. Everything turned out swell, and I had a great time. Even though it was four days straight of twelve hours' worth of driving, it was nice to see the country. :)
I wanted one selfish thing on this trip: to stop at one bead store. Google maps provided the means of checking all along our route for the perfect location, and I found a great one situated in Cincinnati, Ohio, called A World of Beads. Although getting to the store required driving through crazy traffic and road work, it was definitely well worth it. This shop has the biggest selection of Swarovski crystal I've ever seen! And there were findings, walls of stone beads, a whole section of wall devoted to African "ethnic" beads, the most beautiful artisan beads you can imagine, and a wonderful selection of lucite. The staff was very friendly and helpful (at one point I asked to see a gorgeous strand of turquoise discs. It was way out of my price range, but I felt I had touched a treasure. The girl and I both stood wistfully drooling over the blue stones before she put them back. It's nice to know you're not alone!), and I was left to browse alone when I wanted to and was responded to almost immediately when I needed help. A very pleasant experience, and I grabbed a bunch of delightful things, some of which are slated for my Bead Soup Blog Party partner. ;) (Those that I am sending are not pictured; wouldn't want to spoil the surprise!)
Something we didn't have time for was the Tennessee River Freshwater Pearl Farm and Museum. Did you know that the Tennessee River farm is the only freshwater pearl farm in north America? Because of its success, the pearl has become Tennessee's official state gem. Over fifty million dollars worth of mollusk shells alone are exported from the Tennessee River Pearl Farm to other countries around the world each year. That's crazy! They give tours of the farm to hundreds of thousands of visitors every year; someday I want to be one of those visitors. Pearls are some of my favorite materials to work with. :3
All the stuff I owe to people will be sent out today or tomorrow, depending on how fast I can get myself unpacked and organized. XD It's good to be back home.
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