As I prepare for my annual trek to the Tucson Bead/Gem/Rock/Mineral Shows, I'm reminded of those times I went without a shopping list. I spent far too much money. I remember one time when I purchased the same item twice in one day. True, they were gorgeous lemon quartz briolettes, but I really didn't need so many of them.
I'm determined to be more thoughtful about my purchases and use my shopping list as a guide. It's so easy to get caught up in the frenzy while surrounded by an obscene selection of gemstones and pearls. The sheer beauty of a table mounded high with the luster of pearls can be overwhelming.
Here's my list:
1. Tiny white keshi pearls: I just love to use these in my cluster earrings and pendants. The brightness of the white pops and begs the eye to look closer.
2. Tanzanite rondelles: I looked for these last year, but couldn't find them at a price I was willing to pay. They may remain on my list and out of my suitcase if the same thing happens this year. The blue-purple coloring of this stone is unmatchable.
3. Citrine rondelles, large and small: I have purchased many of these in the past, but I seem to run out towards the end of every year. I'm not a huge fan of yellow, but it is the complement of violet. Is that a good enough reason to use so much of it?
4. Iolite: The medium blue (denim?) of iolite is perfect for everyday jewelry and I use tons of it. I'll be looking for rondelles and interesting briolettes.
5. Prehnite: I hope to see more of this pale green and sort of milky stone. The green is soft and easy to wear and my customers have really taken a liking to it. I'll be on the lookout for interesting briolettes.
6. Apatite rondelles: I buy some of these every year, and at the end of the year, I'm always left with a pile of them that won't fit on 26 ga wire. I will not, I repeat, not use 28 ga wire. It's not sturdy enough for me. Even 26 ga feels a little iffy to me sometimes. Ideally, I will find some that fit on 24 ga. A girl can dream, can't she?
7. Sterling silver chain: The best prices and selection can be found in Tucson, sometimes at the smaller shows.
8. Whatever else looks good -- you knew that was coming, didn't you?
Here's what I will not buy:
Multitudinous amounts of pearls - if you could see my current inventory, you would understand this.
Bali Silver - if you could see my current inventory, you would understand this.
Vintage Glass Beads - if you could see my current inventory, you would understand this.
These self-imposed guidelines are just that, guidelines. I maintain the authority to add anything to that list at any time. So there.