It is Tuesday and I am still recovering from my 4-day weekend bead-binge with my college pal Lisa Beaudo, the designer behind Lisa’s Bead Closet and the blogger behind Japanese Beading Blues. Every year at about this time, she flies in from Houston to stay with me for 3 or 4 nights of beading frenzy and this year it was a short trip, only three nights, and we packed in the beading and the frenzying.
Lisa arrived on Thursday night at about 9 and on our way home from SFO we stopped in Berkeley and had a late dinner and drinks at Skates. It was a gorgeous night – the kind we folks in the Bay Area hope to be able to show out-of-towners – crystal clear night sky and the city shimmering across the water from our restaurant. One of the things I love about Lisa is no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, we just pick up where we left off, and this time was no different. We yacked away over French onion soup, artichoke cheese dip and chicken wings ( eating like we were young things again!).
Friday was bead-buying day. We headed down to Fremont to go to Kiowa Rose, a great bead shop in the historic Niles district. I love this bead store for its Victorian-chic esthetic and its excellent Czech glass strands but I only seem to get down there from our house, an hour away, when Lisa comes! So I tend to drop a bundle. This year was no different – lots of strands, brass chain and I a few tubes of the new Tila Beads from Miyuki. They let me take a few pics of samples I’d like to make.
But bad news – Kiowa Rose is up for sale! Owner Rosie and her husband are moving to Oregon. SOMEBODY PLEASE BUY THIS SHOP!!!! Lisa and I fantasized about it. We could live on the same street here in Pinole and take turns going down to the store – 3 days a week each. Then on the other three days we could each make jewelry! PROBLEM SOLVED.
Rachel met us at Kiowa Rose and we had an excellent lunch a few doors down at a place I think was called The Vine. We had great sandwiches and salads – tho someone must tell the woman in the gold cowboy bots that she must not clomp around on the wooden floors like a great elephant! Rachel and Lisa and I all went to University of Texas’s Drama Dept. together. Again, it was like no time had elapsed. Rachel, who is an actress, had us in stitches over a recent job she had – as a disruptive floozie at a rather staid 60th birthday party for an architect. Hysterical.
Then it was back to Berkeley and our wonderful Baubles and Beads. Somehow, I managed to spend more $ here. Sigh. Then we came home with a pizza, opened some great red wine and sat at the dining room table and beaded all night long.
Saturday was a BIG day. Saturday was the Bay Area Bead Extravaganza, which was happening at the Oakland Marriott, a few blocks away from Occupy Oakland. Two nights earlier a man was shot and killed at the encampment. Lisa was prepared for any disruption of BABE with a great slogan: DO NOT IMPEDE THE BEAD! DO NOT IMPEDE THE BEAD! The BART let us off right at the encampment and we took a look. Squalid is the word that comes to mind. OFF TO BABE.
Where, alas, I spent more $! Mostly, I bought chain. I am proud of the fact I bought no seed beads, as I have enough to start my own seed bead farm. I did buy some glass squares and blobs to do some decoupage-under-glass, one of my favorite things. Lisa bought some semi-precious coins to make some more earrings. We had our usual lunch at Ratto’s – yummylicious. We were there for about 4 hours and by the time we left I was dragging.
BUT NOT SO DRAGGING THAT I COULDN’T STAY UP LATE AGAIN BEADING. We were preparing for Sunday’s big event at our house – our second annual Jewelry Hoo-Hah! We invited about 50 people to my house to eat, drink Lisa’s famous Bloody Marys and pomegranate martinis, eat some yummy food and shop our jewelry.
I’ll tell you what was funny, tho. The party was to go from 12-4 so at 12 we break out the Bloody Marys. And then Lisa, Jen and I sat there until 1:40 before the first person showed up. What were we to do but drink MORE Bloody Marys until people got there. By the time the first person came – Sheri – we were feeling no pain.
It was a blast – about 25 or 30 of my knitting/beading friends came, each bearing something more delicious than the last – and they shopped out stuff only if they wanted to. In addition to my jewelry, which was spread out upstairs, Lisa had her most gorgeous things arranged around her bedroom, and my dog care professional Jen had her semi-precious strands upstairs, too. I also arranged display of my husband Terry’s origami, which I beaded and turned into Christmas and Hannukah balls (I have never met an item that could not benefit from a little beading).
And we just had a blast! My favorite part was walking into the living room and seeing every seat and even the floor filled with my friends knitting away, chatting, eating, drinking. The house was FULL of so much talent. I am a very lucky girl.
After the party, Lisa and Terry and I went out for some sushi at Miyuki. Yumm. Then, after crashing, we got up Monday and got Lisa all packed up and we headed off to Japantown, one of her must-stops. We hit the bookstore, the origami paper store, the china store and I did a lot of Christmas shopping. We had lunch at Suzu, the noodle house that makes their own delicious noodles, and then we shopped some more! I had her at the airport by 3 and was home by 4:30.
And then I crashed, baby. I mean seriously crashed. I was in bed early, tho I read and practiced my ukulele (yes, I am playing the ukulele now). And today I feel in need of a blood transfusion a la Keith Richards!
Lisa, I love you, but man you run me ragged! It was AWESOME and I can’t wait til next year!