I look forward to the beginning of February each year for many reasons – and if I left out the fact that it’s my Anniversary somewhere in this post I’d never hear the end of it at home LOL For the past few years, February has meant that I get to leave the wind and rain of the Pacific Northwest and head to beautiful and sunny Tucson, Arizona for the annual Gem and Bead Show. Although the main part of the show is traditionally held the first week of February, the entire schedule is for almost an entire month from mid January thru mid February.
If you’ve never been to Tucson for this event, believe me when I say that you need at least a week to even scratch the surface for going to the different venues and taking some classes while at this colossal event! There are a total of 46 different venues across the city where you can find everything from beads and findings to fine gems, precious stones and even fossils. Most events are open to everyone but there are a few venues that are wholesale only and/or have other requirements for entry. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I wonder around to the different events and it always seems that I don’t get to see everything, not to mention my empty pockets from shopping. There’s so much to absorb and inspiration is everywhere no matter where you go to visit.
Last year I taught at the Tucson Bead Show which is held at the Radisson Suites which was a fun and learning experience. What’s great about many of the bead shows is that there is a shuttle that takes you to and from the different venues which means that you don’t have to fight for parking nor worry about where you’re going when it’s your first time to the show and relieves a lot of stress.
This year I have the opportunity to teach at two different venues, where I’ll be joining an amazing line up of artists who will be sharing their knowledge and talent with their students. The VivaMagoo Desert Retreat is being held at the Tucson Hilton-East Hotel From February 1st thru the 7th and includes classes from Debby Anderson, Nina Bagley, April Bower, Mary Hettmansperger, Debora Mauser, Laurie Mika, Anne Mitchell, Richard Salley and Lorri Scott (to name a few!). Registration is still open and you can sign up for any of the classes up through the morning of the class, which seems to be the norm at the Tucson Shows for some strange reason LOL
I’m beyond excited to be debuting three new classes at the ViviaMagoo Retreat that incorporate my love for beading with mixed media work. I’ve developed three new classes that incorporate pieces from the Relics & Artifacts line from Sandra Evertson with layering and finishes using ICE Resin to create some amazing finished pieces. View my entire class schedule here to see everything that I’ll be teaching while I’m in Tucson.
On Thursday, February 4th from 6pm to 9pm be sure to stop by the ViviMagoo Marketplace that will be held at the Tucson Hilton featuring many of the instructors from the show selling their fabulous finished pieces, along with other participating vendors. We’ll also be joined by Jo Packham, the Creator and Editor in Chief of ‘Where Women Create’ and she’ll be signing copies of her publications. And you’ll also have the opportunity to meet Sandra Evertson, the creator of the Relics and Artifacts line of resin pieces from Prima Marketing.
The second show that I’ll be teaching at is the To Bead True Blue Show being held at the Doubletree Tucson Reid Park from January 31st thru February 8th. I’ll be joining the amazingly talented ICE Resin dynamic duo of Susan Lenart Kazmer and Jen Cushman, along with fellow Certified ICE Resin Instructor Heather Widener for a week filled with ICE Resin inspiration. View our entire line up of ICE Resin classes here.
As a little side note, Heather featured an excellent blog post entitled “How to do the Tucson Gem Shows” that is an awesome resource for those of you who are more into the gem and minerals side of things. It’s a great overview of the Tucson experience from a different perspective and I encourage you to have a great read!
I hope that this post has given you some inspiration for attending the 2016 Tucson Show, and if you’re going to be attending the shows drop me a message on Facebook or an email and let’s try to connect while we’re there – I always love to see friendly faces while I’m out teaching!
As I’d mentioned earlier, Tucson is notorious for last minute sign ups for almost any class that is taught and believe me when I say that every instructor at any of the shows and venues expect this when preparing to teach. So don’t be scared to sign up for a class at the last minute, we can always make room for you to join us and get creative!