So lately I’ve really been on a beading/making jewelry kick.  I’ve spent alot of my spending money on beads, findings, and supplies, and I’m still on the hunt for other great places to buy stuff.  Here are the places I’ve shopped:

WEBSITES:

Lima Beads-a fantastic website with moderate prices, good quality stones, and lots of things to inspire your designs.  Also, they have deals all the time, so you can get some good buys.  I get most of my stuff from here and have always been pleased with my purchases.  You can get great CZ here for cheap!

Champagne Cubic Zirconia from Lima Beads

Champagne Cubic Zirconia from Lima Beads

Fire Mountain Gems-a large website with a wide range of products and prices.  I was disappointed on my first order from them (pearls), but I’ve ordered from them since and it’s been fine.  They have the cheapest prices for Swarovski Crystals that I’ve found.

Beadaholique-a well-stocked website with lots of Swarovski and many supplies for jewelry making in general.  Wire seems to be cheaper here than at Fire Mountain.  Plus, you can usually find a coupon code online!  I just made a purchase and I liked what I got.  Shipping took a bit, but overall I was pleased.

The following places I’ve shopped at but haven’t actually bought anything from them yet.

A Grain of Sand-This is the place to find some fun vintage pieces.  I’ve been tempted to buy several vintage clasps from them, but they’re somewhat expensive, and I haven’t quite brought myself to do it yet.

Shiana-Beautiful components and metal pieces.

Art Beads

Fusion Beads

STORES IN AUSTIN:

Legendary Beads-This is a great store on South Lamar here in Austin.  They have a great selection without having too much to look at.  Their prices are sometimes more than I’d like to pay (I think alot of retail stores tend to be), but I’ve bought some nice stones from there.

Bead It-This store is really close to Legendary Beads on South Lamar.  It’s got fun, weird beads that you probably wouldn’t find anywhere else.  Lots of vintage stuff, I think, but I haven’t been there in awhile.

OTHER PLACES TO BUY BEADS:

Australian Chrysophrase Ovals

The places I like to go to the most are bead shows.  I recently went to the Austin Bead Market where I found some great stones, like these Australian Chrysophrase ovals.  Typically, you can get great strands of beads (and components, too) for a much cheaper price.  Also, sellers are willing to give you deals.  I got $10 off this strand.

Here are some upcoming bead shows in Austin:

Austin Bead Jamboree-Aug. 30-31, 2008 at the Crockett Center

International Gem and Jewelry Show-Oct. 3-5, 2008 at the Palmer Events Center

Zika Bead Show-Nov. 1, 2008 at the Clarion Hotel

Whole Bead Show-March 14-15, 2009 at the Palmer Events Center

Austin Bead Societies 18th Annual Bead Bazaar September 5-6, 2009 at the Palmer Events Center

Whole Bead Show March 13-14, 2010 at the Palmer Events Center

Austin Bead Market July 10-11, 2010 at the Travis County Expo Center

ABS Jewelry and Bead Baazar August 7-8, 2010 at the Palmer Events Center