I am getting ready for my annual buying trip to Tucson, to the Tucson Gem and Mineral show, which is really about 30 big shows happening at the same time. I don't go to the mineral shows, but I do have many favorite Gem shows, and Bead shows that I go to. Most of the vendors are from other countries, and I swear I have met many people from Hong Kong, whose only experience of the United States has been the booth they are working at the gem show.
Lots of people from India as well, and all over the globe.
What I really love about this show is the hunt for the unusual stones and pearls. There is so much to see, it is impossible to see it all. Literally impossible. And in this vast array of offerings, if one hunts and pecks hard enough, the really unique items can be found, many to never be had again either, I may add.
I have been busy in the studio getting ideas ready, making lists and trying to inform my creative unconscious of what I need to buy. There are lots of stones that I need, so I am making up a budget! Then, I get a "bonus" buy, over my budget, for the extra special thing I find that I have to have, whether it is on the list or not!