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June 28, 2012

Wire and Jewelry Supply Shopping (again!)

Oops.  I did it again.

Bead Shopping at Fire Mountain Gems (FMG)

I ordered a few more things for jewelry making -  a book, some cabachons, and an assortment bag of beads.  I didn't neeeed any of this, but I had a credit at Fire Mountain Gems (FMG) for $25, so what the heck.  (That means it was free - doesn't it?)

It all started with Fire Mountain Gems weekly book sale.  This week's book was Wonderful Wire Works: An Easy Decorative Craft for $1.81.  It's on amazon for $11.27, so it was a good deal.   And I had that credit.  So now, I had to fill my cart with some other stuff to make the $5 shipping worthwhile.
(In case you like bargain books too - here's the link to FMGs Book of the Week Sale).

Did I mention I really like Surprises?

First, I ordered the amazonite cabachon assortment and sodalite cabachon assortment.  They were each an assorted package of 25 cabs between 4mm to 18x10mm in a variety of shapes.  I don't have any cabachons, so figured it would be nice just to get some.  The amazonite is a much better assortment than the sodalite, but overall, they're ok.  Nothing special - but I think I'll find a way to use them.  

I wish there were some larger cabachons in the sodalite assortment - and I like the shape variety and colors in the Amazonite.  Overall, I think there are better cabachon assortments on FMG.  (and I'll tell you when I find them!)

I'm confused though - aren't cabachons always supposed to have a domed top?  Some of the sodalite ones are just cylinders with no smooth top.  Maybe it's my misunderstanding.

Now, we get to the surprise part.  

With about $9 and change left to spend, I decide to say "what they hey" and order a Bosses Bead Bag assortment.  I can't tell you why - but I love to unwrap a package and be surprised.  It's even better if it came in the mail.  Personal quirk I guess.  

And the bag was a surprise.  It was a large lot of mostly glass beads, some stone beads and lots of base metal findings.  I guess I could have thought about this purchase a little more and figured out what it would contain, but I'm not even disappointed.  There's so many things in here that I would never buy - but it doesn't mean that I would never use them.  Some of them, I would have never thought of.

For example, there are hair pins with a glue on pad or loop finding.  That's cool.  There are lots of filigrees and bead caps.  Chain extenders, ring bases and findings that I haven't figured out yet.  Luckily, my daughter sorted them for me.  

The glass beads are nothing to rave about.  Mainly druks or other rough beads.  I like the gemstones, even though I know there is nothing terribly expensive in the lot.  I like the simple shapes, and basic colors.  You can judge the assortment for yourself.  Overall, I regard it as a silly purchase - but it was fun.  It's also nice to have base metal and cheaper beads on hand when my daughter wants to play or make gifts.

Do you buy any surprise assortments from any suppliers?  Are there any that you recommend or have been pleasantly surprised with?  Yup - I'd do this again. (can't help myself!)

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that I really like the book.  It's different and fun.  I don't think I'd pay more than a few dollars for it though.


  1. Hi Lisa, love this post. Boy, you are brave - I've never bought a surprise package. You did get your $$$ worth. I have to tell you your blog is so nice to visit. It feels like I'm sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea just chit-chatting with a friend. That's the way a blog should feel. Take care! Next time my kitchen table - I hear it's suppose to be hot - so I'll make ice tea! ;-)

    1. Thanks for dropping by and your nice comments. You could always make Margaritas! They are great for cooling off.

  2. I love "bead soup" mixes! I pick through and make random-looking bracelets, and often there's pairs of beads that can make some neat earrings, too.

    1. So glad I'm not the only one! I love the surprise and getting something that I wouldn't normally buy. There's always something fabulous hiding in the mix. Very true about the earrings - and they are also great for spacer beads in necklaces and bracelets.

  3. Hi Lisa,
    I won one of the Boss's bead bag and had no idea of what I was getting, I was impressed with the metal findings, but there was not two of anything in my bag. So far I haven't used anything. I did get a couple of large. I will use the two large wooden beads to make beaded beads. All in all I was disappointed with most of the bag. Of course I won it, so I am not out any money. I just wish it contained more that I could use.

    1. I had that experience too - there might be a single earring finding. But I had a lot of matching bead caps and beads. I also had some toggle closures that had only one half - but I think that is pretty cool. It makes me try to think of how to use what I got instead of 'only' using it as a toggle because I have two halfs and that's what I'm supposed to do with it. Lucky you for winning one. I don't think I would buy one again - but I will definitely invest in some of the things I got in it that I never heard of before. I'll post some of those things in the future.

  4. AnonymousJune 18, 2015

    I ordered a boss bead bag and wan't very happy with mine. it had lots and lots of odd ball findings....single earrings, half of a clasp, charms with the loops missing, totally useless stuff. There were a few nice beads but also tons of very small beads that will never get used. For the money, I could have purchased several strands of very nice beads on clearance and been much farther ahead. I sure won't buy that again!

    1. I think it really is an odd ball mix of stuff. I buy one whenever I have an order that puts it at the lowest discount price. I can't help myself. I've had some that have lots of clasps and spring rings with different finishes, and lots of small metal beads - others like this one in the box that was almost all filligrees, stampings, charms and beads. They're always different. What I really love though is that when I am trying something new and think I need a bobby pin with a glue pad - that's where I look to find one - or I need a wire guardian - there's a few in there. It's stuff that I don't want to carry a lot of - but might want to use or try. I've bought at least 5 by now and I'll bet I'll get more...