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A review of what you will find at the Gem Faire Show in Costa Mesa

A review of What You Will Find at the Gem Faire in Costa Mesa

If you are looking for a great selection of Czech Fire Polished Glass Beads or natural stone beads, then you will enjoy a visit to the Gem Faire.  Personally, I love it when the Gem Faire comes to town because it gives me a chance to view a really large selection of beads and compare the quality from a variety of vendors.  Additionally, this particular show has an interesting variety of booths.  You can purchase anything from raw stones to finished high-quality jewelry at an amazing price.  The first thing you need to do before you go to the show is to visit the official Gemfaire website and sign up for a discount ticket. The price for parking at the different Gemfaire locations can vary so having a discount coupon to enter the show can offset the parking fees.  I attended the Gem Faire show in Costa Mesa, California which was held at the OC Fair site this weekend, where I had to pay $8 to park.  I personally think that was a rather high fee since the average person is only at this particular show for two or fewer hours.  I had a coupon for a discounted pass to attend the show so it worked out well.

This is a smaller show that only utilizes one of the buildings and only part of the patio area.  However, they do seem to pack in a lot of booths in that small space.  There are booths that sell pearls, unfinished stones, crystals, findings, finished jewelry and so much more.  I am really happy that they also have a few booths that sell imported items like scarves, purses, and other odd items.  This year there was a really cool booth that sold tongue drums.   The prices were a bit higher than you could get them on eBay but the quality was really good.  When it comes to musical instruments, I prefer to purchase an item in person so that I know I will like the sound quality.  They had them in a large variety of sizes and styles. I did make a purchase at this booth but it was not a drum. They were also selling all types of cosplay, Renaissance costume, and other accessories.

Including this really cute hip pouch.  We use these a lot at the Renaissance Faire because you can not carry a purse while on stage with the public.  These are a convenient way to carry personal items with us and they tend to blend into the costume better than a purse would. The handy zippers are great for keeping items secure and in their place.

Additionally, the pouches have two hidden zippered pockets that can hold an id and some money.  

They are also easily adjustable with these well-placed fasteners.  At the Renaissance Faire, these tend to sell for $45 and up.  I was able to purchase this pouch at the Gem Show for $20.

Now I did come to the show to purchase Czech Fire Polished Glass beads.  So I started looking around for booths that had a good selection of 4mm, 6mm and 8mm beads.  There were a lot of them.  I did not purchase anything right away because I wanted to compare quality and price.  I found two booths that had exactly what I wanted at the price I wanted to pay.

One of the booths also had the 8mm elastic in red and pink that I was trying to find to use in my Travelers Notebook. The red 8mm elastic cord is sold on Amazon but the shipping was the deal breaker for me because I needed it right away.  So it was wonderful to find both the red and pink 8mm elastic cord at this show for a reasonable price.

From this booth I also purchased the following (and the two 8mm elastic cords spools) for under $30:

Czech Fire Polished Glass 4mm Transparent Bicone Bead Strands (these were $1 each Strand):

  • Dark Green
  • Light Blue
  • Purple AB
  • Clear
  • Turquoise

Czech Fire Polished Glass Opaque Bicone Bead Strand a ($2 a strand):

  • Turquoise with Gold

Czech Fire Polished Glass 4-8mm Metallic Opaque Bicone Bead Strands:($2 to $3 each strand)

  • Dark Metallic Blue
  • silver metallic
  • gold metallic
  • bronze metallic
  • peacock purple metallic

Extra Items Purchased:

  • two heart shaped beads with crystal accents embedded into the clay ($1 each).

The next booth I that I liked had some beautiful 8mm Czech Fire Polished Glass Transparent Beads to choose from.  These were on a special sale. The special deal for the strands was if you purchased ten strands then you would get two additional strands free.  The prices on these were really good and the selection of colors was great.  These Czech Fire Polished Glass are beautifully faceted and really shine when taken out to the sunlight. 

Czech Fire Polished Glass 8mm Faceted Round Transparent Bead Strands

  • Fuchsia
  • Turquoise
  • Dusty Rose
  • Iris Purple
  • Clear Vitral AB 
  • Peridot
  • Light Blue

Czech Fire Polished Glass Faceted Round Opaque  Metallic Beads:

  • Gold
  • Green Metallic

The other booth that caught my eye was selling some wonderful Pashima Style Scarfs in turquoise with gold thread pattern accents.  The fabric is really soft and the color is beautiful (the photo really does not do the scarf justice).

I was also searching for some lava stone beads to repair a lava stone bracelet I have that broke.  I was able to find a strand for $8 that worked perfectly.  I will have a lot of extra beads that I can use to make a necklace to match my favorite bracelet.

I also saw a booth that was selling handmade and hand painted cowboy boots.  They were very colorful and priced accordingly. I think a person could get easily carried away at one of these shows.  You should also know that some of the vendors are from other countries so that can affect the use of credit cards.  The charges will be foreign charges subject to fees. So check in advance with your bank to make sure you won't be charged.  I personally control my spending by carrying only the amount of cash that I have budgeted for.  Since I am taking college courses and working part time, my budget is pretty small but I can get quite a lot for it at this show.  Paying with cash also ensures that I won't have to pay any weird credit card charges or foreign transaction fees.

The show does have signs that ask you not to photograph or record any booth or jewelry display without the express permission of each vendor.  So if you go, remember to check with each vendor before you start to take pictures. Personally, I think it is easier to just photograph what I purchased rather than some of the booths. It can get pretty crowded at the show and difficult to get a good picture.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review. I am not in any way associated with the GemFaire.  Also, I paid for my purchases, ticket, and parking with my own money.  P.S. I really feel that $5 to $6 for parking is far more reasonable than the $8 to $12 dollars that the Orange County Fair Grounds site charges for events held at their location.

Check out some of my other event reviews on this site like shopping at the Renaissance Faire, Labyrinth of Jareth, Art Supply Warehouse Art Event  and more.


My Sip and Paint Experience at Pinot's Palette in Huntington Beach

It has been a pretty hot summer here in Southern California, so I decided to ditch the OC Fair and check out the sip and paint Event at Pinot's Palette at the Bella Terra Center in Huntington Beach.  This is a new Pinot's Palette location that just opened up.  I signed up for the Cherry Blossom Tree Event which was their first "Official" opening event on August 5, 2017.

They had everything set up for me when I arrived. If you join the Pinot's Perk club, then you can collect cork points toward future discounts and specials.  Additionally, by joining you can also make special seating requests (for those coming in large groups and want to be seated together).

Each person had their place ready for them with their name written on the table.  It is a cute way to make sure every guest is set up and ready to go.  You can order your beverage of choice as soon as you arrived, which is what I did. It was too hot a day for me to order wine, so I ordered sparkly water.

Since this was their first "official" event (they had a few soft opening events earlier in the week).  They set the class up a little differently than the normal class would flow.  

Each teacher did a different part of the class so students could be introduced to a variety of teaching (presentation) styles.  

So the first instructor started us off with a toast.

The next instructor should us how to start the painting.

Every 20 minutes or so, they switched out the teachers until we were finished with our paintings.  
This continued until the entire class was finished.  We all had a chance to finish our paintings.  The staff was so wonderful and helpful. Each teacher took the time to interact with each guest. They also kept checking to see if we need more paint and/or more beverages. You can't beat that type of atmosphere.

One of the things that I like about this particular company is that the instructors do not force you to do it their way. This is about having fun.  They inform everyone that if they do not want to do the painting the way it is being demonstrated or if they want to change the subject matter on their own canvas that it is ok to go ahead and be creative.  Basically, they just want their guests to have a fun evening and create something of their own.  The Pinot's Palette in Huntington Beach does have a Facebook page where they post discounts and upcoming events.

If you check out the Pinot's Pallet website page, you can see upcoming events and the varied painting styles that are offered.  

Additionally, I thought that the selection of wine and beers was really good.  

I loved that they offer mimosa Sundays (events on Sundays are around 11:00 am so the timing is great).  I had a headache (from the Summer heat) so I choose to not wear my glasses while painting nor enjoy a nice glass of wine.  I found that despite my limited visual ability, my painting came out pretty good and I was really happy with it.  Plus I had a really fun night surrounded by some very creative people.  If you want to know when their next class is, my advise is to either get on their email or check out their facebook page.

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review.  I paid for my class with my own money. These are my own experiences with this company which may vary from others.  The best way to figure out if this type of event is for you is to check one out in person.

There is another Pinot's Pallet location in Tustin, California that offers different paint subjects.