Shopping at the Bead Shop and a picture of my New Stash

I had so much fun shopping at the bead shop yesterday I had to share. Look at this gorgeous stash of beads. Unfortunately the photo does not do them justice. I rarely go into a bead shop with a "plan". I prefer to be inspired by what I find. This time was no different. 
However, as I wandered about the shop, I remembered the Art Bead Scene contest theme for the month of January and kept those colors in mind while browsing. I admit that I generally gravitate towards blues, greens and purples anyway. I also gravitate towards the very organic jaspers and other stones. However, if it looks like it could be similar to a lampwork bead, I don't buy it no matter how much I love it. The simple reason is I want to use as much of my glass in a piece as I can and not worry about anyone mistaking a stone for a bead or vice versa.  
It is fairly common knowledge you can buy beads and stones more inexpensively online. However, there are a couple reasons I prefer bead shops. The first is that you get to hand select the stones you buy rather than depending on someone else to send you nice looking stones. The other is that it is important to support the local shops so that they will be there when you run out of a needed component and can't wait for it to arrive in the mail. 
Anyway, I am excited to get started on my submission for the Art Bead Scene monthly challenge. I want to add in some of my lampwork beads, so I better get on the ball. I've never entered before, so it should be a learning experience. Are you working on your submission yet?

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