Latest trip to the bead store

After eating at one of our favorite restaurants in the Round Rock area a couple of months ago, Ree and I found a bead wholesaler hidden away in a strip mall right next door called Intrinsic Trading. We decided to stop in and take a look at it, since both of us are drawn to beads like moths to flames… and we certainly weren’t disappointed. Well, not unless you consider we both wished we had unlimited funds to draw from for a shopping trip in this place. From the outside, it doesn’t look like much… but once you step through the door… it is wall to wall findings and beads.

Necklace designed for the Texas Music Cares Benefit Auction

I feel that I have to qualify something here for those of you who are thinking of the round plastic things that I thought of as beads when I was growing up.  Yes, acrylic beads are nice… I’ve made many things from them, but they are not the be all and end all definition of what a bead is.  If you think that way, this place will definitely broaden your perspective!  There are stones, rocks (yes, I do mean rocks… even fossils!), semi-precious stones, acrylic, and freshwater pearls (including some that look very much like cultured pearls).

Our first stop in this store had me leaving with several strands of different colored freshwater pearls and some hematite beads. I used these to make a two-strand necklace that was donated to (and sold at) a fundraising auction for Texas Music Cares at Iguana Grill in July. There’s a picture of it here to the left. As you can see, it’s a very simple design with two strands and a magnetic clasp (that you can’t see). I used some very small hematite beads at the clasp ends of each strand to help it lay more neatly.

Today we stopped in at Intrinsic Trading again, since we stopped in that same restaurant to resolve the rumbling stomach issues we were both having. This time I decided to take more time to look at the findings and metal beads/charms on display on the showroom floor. I was not disappointed. We’re still new enough to this company that we find things we didn’t know were there from previous trips. I knew about the findings from the first trip, but this time I also found full chains in packs hanging on the wall. Since I’ve started learning how to make chains by hand (a daunting task, to be sure), I took a closer look at the chains and was even more thrilled about the price when I saw how intricate some of the chains were.  You can definitely appreciate how things are priced when you’ve tried to make them yourself.

I picked out a few of the metal beads/charms that caught my imagination while browsing; some musical notes, peace symbols, turtles, frogs and ribbons.  Ribbons? Yes, ribbons! Beads shaped like the ribbons people think of for cancer with the word “Hope” on each one. This started a discussion on what color ribbon stands for which type of cancer… a discussion that I’m not getting into here, but I did decide to see about making jewelry for each one. We may also look into enameling the metal beads as well…. the possibilities are endless, but I digress.

After these choices, we moved on to the beads themselves…. which I never tire of looking at, let me tell you. Keeping the metal beads and charms in mind, I waited to see which beads would jump out at me in hopes of being paired up in a jewelry design. I ended up choosing several strands of beads to make into jewelry:

  • green/brown fluorite
  • amethyst
  • rhodochrosite (pink)
  • labradorite
  • green chrysoprase
  • yellow jade
  • agate (these round beads are amber and blue, and look to me like globes)
These should keep me busy for a bit making some jewelry, which I’ll post as soon as they are complete. I have contact information for Intrinsic Trading, which I will gladly provide on request if anyone is interested.

 

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