Friday, September 28, 2012

A day with the Moms

Since my mom (and dad) will be returning to their winter home in Florida next weekend, we decided we needed to spend a day together doing something FUN.  So she, my mother in law, and I took a trip to Frankenmuth yesterday.  If you've never heard of Frankenmuth, it's a small german themed tourist town a little over an hour away from me.  I tried to take some photos - but it's not an easy task.  Basically - lots of old buildings, german names, german food and polka tunes blaring throughout the town from speakers on practically every corner.  They also are home to the LARGEST Christmas store anywhere - Bronners.  We hit that first.  It takes about 2 hours, or more, to walk the entire store of display after display of Christmas (and HALLOWEEN!) items. One of the highlights of my trip - they have an entire miniature Halloween village displayed,  as well as about 4 different Christmas themed ones.  The details and the work they put into laying these all out - it takes awhile to just walk around the kiosks and wonder at them all.   I was able to control myself there, mostly making gift purchases for others.  AND I found the purple lights for my display tables - ON SALE.   Here is just a quick photo of one of the berms in the parking lot - the entire drive to the lot and all the little parking berms includes lights, figures, and Christmas themed settings like you wouldn't believe.  It difficult to take a picture during the day - and we've never been there after dark when it is all lit.  (Click the Bronners link above - lots of photos of Bronners on their website, inside and out).

Hard to see, but there is a Santa light figure at the back, as well as a lit tree in the center.  You can see off to the left that the colors are starting to change to gorgeous around here.  Another week and we should have prime leaf peepin' coverage.
After Bronners, we made the trip downtown - sorry - didn't get any photos.   We had a nice lunch, and explored the general store, which still offers candy that's hard to find elsewhere - like slow poke suckers, necco wafers, and horehound lozenges.  None of it for a penny anymore, though - lol.
They also have other general store type sundries like lace doilies and curtains, miniature doll house accessories, and other unique items.  There are many other things to do in Frankenmuth to choose from too - besides the tourist shops that sell woolen alpine theme items and for some reason - purses (three stores at least), there's a german cheese haus, a beer distillery, an old fashioned taffy confectioner, a museum, horse drawn carriage rides, as well as a paddlewheel boat tour of the surrounding area. 
But the newest built portion of Frankenmuth, and the whole reason why I go there - is River Place, which is the home of BEAD HAVEN. 

ALL THREE of the buildings in the photos above make up one beautiful (but a tad expensive) bead store.  The have some of the most unique big chunky focal pieces, many of which I've used in my designs.  I found almost everything on my list - but then, as suspected - I went astray.  How can you not with that many beads to choose from?
Here is the haul that I brought home.  Many of the strands of czech glass were actually on sale for 50% off!  BONUS!  I got a couple nice pendant pieces, and found some cool magnasite buddha heads, and some vintage lucite lily flowers (pricey but unique).  They have some of the best czech glass anywhere - and it's all laid out by color - just like a three room rainbow. 

So now - what to do with all those beads (and the box that arrived from FMG yesterday as well-  Double BONUS!).  Lucky for me, I'll have quite a bit of free beading time this weekend.  Hubby is on overtime - working 10 hours AND weekends, leaving me to my own bead filled devices....
so you can bet - photos soon of the creations!
Peaceful beading,

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