Dearest readers, it wasn't really madness. But I have to say that the whole Tucson gem show was a bit more than I felt up to handling. I only went for two days, but it was still so overwhelming. I know for a fact that some people adore the gem show, but I just felt so much pressure to make the whole trip worthwhile by finding lots of cool things and bringing back tons of treasure that it was almost too much. I did bring back a little bit of treasure, which I will share with you in another post. Maybe it would have been better if I had given myself 4 days instead of 2? Maybe next year. And to relieve the pressure still further I will limit my purchases to the last three days of that 4 days? That way there will be no impulse purchases (oh, hello there piece of petrified coral).
It was a fun trip, if hectic. I hadn't been to Arizona since I was a kid, so it was neat to actually see it as an adult. I traveled with this girl:
Who just happens to be Kellie, my BFF. We're getting close to 20yrs of friendship (wow, that makes us sound old!). And we stayed for the first couple of nights at a lovely little place called Solar Haven, the delightful straw bale house owned by Kellie's adopted Arizonan parents. This place was so lovely, I can't even describe it. Solar powered, the water came from a rain water collection tank, there were 3 adorable dogs just wandering all over and it was so peaceful! And did I mention the decor?
We did a lot of driving:
And a lot of dazed wandering up and down aisles filled with shiny things:
That is tortilla soup (or what is left of it), and a delish brie and apple compote sandwich in the background.
After we finished at the gem show....(I just couldn't take anymore! It felt like being at a bazaar where you had to bargain or get screwed. I hate that. And I really hated the unmarked, sketchy pricing. That's BS. I felt like I got taken for a ride a couple of times. Since I mostly work with diamonds, I don't really know what a reasonable price is for a lot of what I wanted to buy, so that left me at a disadvantage!)
...Anyhoo. Enough about that, if I think about it any more I will throw in the towel and go get a desk job.
So, after we left the gem show eating our dust, we headed to Tubac to meet up with a friend of Kellie's, a local artist that we would be staying the night with. Her name is Vicki, and she was lovely. We had a nice relaxing evening eating stew over rice and watching Prince Caspian (which was worlds better than the first one, trust me). While we were there, Vicki let Kellie and me pick out a piece of her artwork to take home with us. Check out this sweet (and creepy in a good way!) box (that is smoke from incense coming out of the mouth!):
So, I guess the moral of the story is that next year I need to have a plan. I need to know what I want to buy. It's so hard to speculate though, about what I will be making this year. And next year I'm going to bring the Shop Monkey with me. The jewelry industry is changing, but it is still dominated by a bunch of crusty old dudes and I think I would do better with guy with me. How jacked is that? Pretty jacked.
Stayed tuned for pictures of the loot that I brought back!