Gem Faire 2011

My mom and I went to Gem Faire 2011 at the Portland Convention Center last saturday. I told myself walking in the doors that I would try to be conservative with my money, and would only splurge if I could visualize projects for what I wanted to buy. Instead, I went a little crazy…

Gem Faire is really great because you can see vendors from all over the U.S., and their goods are sold at wholesale price even though the event is open to the public. When researching about the event, I found on their website ( that you can register for email updates and you will get a free weekend pass! Excellent, that’s seven more dollars you can spend on inventory!

(Unfortunately, my camera wasn’t charged up, so I could only take these small pics with my cell phone.)

I have always loved rocks and gemstones. I’m not even really sure why.. but to me they are so beautiful. I especially love the raw, chunky forms – many grow with facets that make them glitter, they are like olden days treasure to me! When I was a kid I used to collect rocks and agates, and bring them home to polish with a toothbrush, and lay out on a paper towel to dry in the sun. My grandma bought me a rock tumbler at a garage sale, and I distinctly remember the gritty, rumbling sound it made in the garage the whole month it was tumbling. The results were stunning! As a youngin’ I wasn’t quite sure what made the rocks so polished and shiny, it was almost like magic.

(Speaking of rock tumblers, I recently came across one and was thinking it would be really cool to make my own sea glass, by tumbling broken shards. To be continued…)

I’ve recently been inspired to make more gemstone jewelry, some pieces I already had in mind when I went to do my shopping. I’m especially drawn to light blue agates, turquoise, amethyst, and amber. Some of my ideas also included chunks of pyrite, and crystal cylinders.

I probably could have spent all day, but as my wallet got lighter so did my interest.

Here are some pictures of my loot.  I look forward to sharing my creations with these pieces!

(Click to see larger!)

many of these strands were only a dollar each. I couldn’t resist!  I especially love those on the far right, I call them “talons”, I think they will look really cool in individual necklace pendants. Those purple, pink and blue round beads perfectly match the colors in a dress I got recently.  And those skull beads on the far right, I am picturing a cool little drawstring suede bag or pouch, with some fringe, and beads.

These two I am going to take apart and make individual pieces with as well. The lightning bolt shapes are faux amber/resin, and the red and green talons are coral and (I think) either jade or moss agate.

fools gold! my hands got really dirty sifting through to find my favorite pieces, it wasn’t hard to imagine I was actually mining the pieces rather than picking them out of a tupperware bowl 😉

One of my favorite pieces, a chunk of amethyst wrapped with silver and made into a pendant. I love how dark the color is, it looks like rock candy! And a cute little beaded ring! The more I look at this ring the easier I think it would be to reproduce.

These were my two splurge items, blue lace agate chunks and the crystals. I figure each piece will go into it’s own necklace, so I will get a lot of product, and if I make any sales it will be worth my while. I also love these amethyst chunks! raw and yet so shiny, and beautiful.


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