Each year I take a couple days at the end of January, first of February to visit Tucson Arizona. It's the time of year to buy all the jewelry components I need to make jewelry from my handmade glass beads. A technique called Lampworking.
This year we'll take a couple of new girls with us, one from a town just west of me, and another from the area where I work.
Tucson provides silver, stringing materials, gemstones, crystals, etc. I incorporate all that into my jewelry, but the most important part of the trip is to get with like minded people, share creativity and fun. This group of ladies are all very laid back. I love them, they are all lighthearted, don't get their panties in a bunch about anything, you can just be yourself and enjoy your time with them.
We'll spend our time in Tucson this year. Generally we rent a huge suite in a hotel in Phoenix, then drive to Tucson every day to avoid the high cost of hotels in the area saturated with people coming to Tucson for the Gem and Mineral shows.
The first day is always spent at The Best Bead Show where lampwork artists from all over the world gather in Kino Veteran's memorial Center in Tucson to display their art. It is so inspiring. Most are kind, friendly and enjoy talking to you about what they are doing, or to greet you and welcome you back for another year.
It's a good time of great company, warm weather and great food. We spend this time away from the Midwest to get some much needed sun......the rest is just secondary, it seems.