We didn’t intend to stay. And wander. And ogle the pendants. And pet the cat.
But in shopping and in life, one has to remain open to the unexpected.
Plus, the cat was very fluffy.
Enter Beads Galore and More, a jewelry design shop in Auburn. Traditionally, Bag Lady and Shopping Siren are People Who Don’t Craft. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. And not that that can’t change. Time and talent are, blissfully, not set in stone! (Even if sometimes it feels that way.) Certainly, Beads Galore gave us a reason — a thousand tiny, sparkly, oh-so-pretty reasons — to get creative.
Located in the 245 Center Street Plaza, it has tools and cords and hundreds of varieties of beads and stones, some of which could become wearable jewelry inside of 10 seconds. Others would take a little work. (See time/talent conundrum above.)
We’re OK with a little work. We’ve very OK with pretty jewelry. And the shop cat? OK as long as you don’t try to rub her tummy.
• Assorted stone necklace animals, $5
“Animals” include dinosaurs and dragons. Just because a creature’s extinct and/or pretend, that’s no reason not to wear its likeness with a nice cardigan and slacks.
• Bead board, $5.99
Stay organized: Map out your future bracelet or necklace on this long, divoted holder without worrying about your beads rolling away.
• Necklace cords, $2.99
A rainbow of choices! Got a Smurf pendant? Blue cord! A little glass sun? Yellow! Feel free to mix and match. Brainy Smurf plus yellow cord equals cool. (Trust us. We happen to be slacks/dragon/Smurf authorities.)
• Jewelry pouch, $2
So you’re going on vacation and want to bring along your favorite necklace — the one that goes with everything — but you’re afraid it’ll get lost, scratched or completely pulverized as it rattles around in your suitcase. Voila! Soft little drawstring pouch. And for our next trick, levitating cupcakes. It’ll be a hoot.
• Silver charms, 80 cents to $4.99
Tiny cell phones, tennis rackets, cheering megaphones. Do kids these days still wear charm bracelets? *Sigh* Did we just say “Do kids these days?” With four little words, we age ourselves 20 years.
• Handmade necklaces, various prices
Shopping Siren was smitten by a forest green and royal blue piece with subtle copper accents for $21.99. Regal without the royal price tag. For the inner princess in us all.
• Crystals, $8
Wire-wrapped crystals ready to hang on a necklace, your rearview mirror, the hallway ceiling. Disperse trapped energy or make a pretty rainbow.
• Chunky metal pendants, $3.99-$11.99
In copper, silver and gold tones. Thread and wear. Our kind of craft!
• The Coiling Gizmo, $10.50
It coils, um, wires. And things? Frankly, we’re not really sure what it does or how you’d use it. But it looked interesting and was on sale for 30 percent off the regular $14.99. Coil on, dude.
Best buy: Colored glass scoop pendants, $3.99
In recognizable shapes and whimsical dollops with golds, blues, greens and reds. Jewelry-store pretty, yard-sale price.
Think twice: Framed skunk photo, $10
For all of our focus on necklaces, beads and charms, Beads Galore is more than a jewelry design shop. It also offers classes, sells Native American-inspired items and has a side room of photography by Shari Ann Boyce. Most of Boyce’s artwork centers on adorable wildlife in their natural habitat. But also, skunks. Now, we have nothing against skunks. We love skunks! Really. Our quandary is where to hang skunk art. Kitchen? Bathroom? Bedroom? A minefield of innuendo. We’ll poo-poo the skunk pics and instead glory in our newfound love of the jewelry arts. Pass The Coiling Gizmo, please.
Bag Lady and Shopping Siren’s true identities are protected by a pair of stylish, sweater-wearing Doberman pinschers (who are still traumatized from BL and SS’s last attempt at crafts … knitting; they prefer off-the-rack) and the Customer Service counter at the Sun Journal. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com.