I can't believe how May is flying by! It's a good thing today is Victoria Day, in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.
The first weekend in May was a busy one for my friends Noela Jewellery and Lisa Redfern. We went to Free Comic Book Day, a local handmade venue called Market Collective and the Calgary Rock and Gem Show all in the space of five or six hours.
Market Collective was really buzzing - there was live music and the place was very busy. I liked the setup for the venue in the old Ant Hill Fabric store. It has two levels, although the upper level was occupied by a community bike program and some art exhibitions. One exhibition felt awkward to walk into - it was like a performance thing and it felt like we had interrupted them. There was a good mix of vendors.
The annual Rock and Gem Show is one of those events that falls into the "someday" category - the timing is never right or I just haven't gone for some reason. This year was my first year and I was amazed by how busy it was. We squeezed into the last remaining spot!
The whole community hall was set up with display cases in the middle and vendor tables around the perimeter. The sheer amount of variety stunned me as we shuffled to look at fossils, gems, rocks and beads. I was determined not to spend money, but found a few things I couldn't resist like a shell nazar (left), some blue beads by Inspire Beads (below) and hematite circles.
I enjoyed handling some of the fossils up close, like nautilus halves and petrified wood. We saw petrified mammoth ivory, which is popular for carvings due to the ivory ban. There were a lot of great artisan pieces there and I wish there was time to see them all. Seriously, it's an all day event! On the other hand, if I had stayed longer, I probably would have spent more :-D
I really should not have been too surprised by the turnout. Geology is a popular occupation here in Calgary due to the oil and gas industry, and we're close to the badlands of Alberta. It was just so nice to see so much enthusiasm for a part of nature not everyone thinks about. I'm not sure what I'll do with my beads yet. Maybe I'll find something to go with them at the Oasis Bead Show in June :-)