Saturday, December 10, 2011

Beads by the Bay

Yesterday I wrote about the delightful little town of Morro Bay; today I want to feature one of its shops, "Beads by the Bay."

"BbtB' is is a treasure chest, a jewelbox, a garden of delights. It is Ali Baba's cave of wonders, masquerading as a store that sells beads, beadmaking supplies, and all things related.

I was stunned the moment I walked in!

There is a huge wall--no, two walls--of beads in rainbow order (although my photos aren't necessarily):


Susan, the owner and Beader Extraordinaire, sells metal beads:

...and glass beads:

...seed beads:

...frosted floral beads:

...and funky, chunky beads:

Indeed, Susan sells beads from all over the world, including brass beads from Africa:

...and ceramic ones from Greece:

...and amber beads from South America:

These intriguing beads change color when exposed to the heat of your skin. The blue one in the middle turned that color after I held it a moment:

Ditto for the blue bee in the middle of the pile:

Her wall of pearl, shell, and coral beads made me swoon:

Ooh! Ah! I want, I want!

Yes, please. Yes!

In time for the holidays, Beads by the Bay has teeny glass snowman beads:

And Santas--with pale and black skin (how smart is that?):

 There are Nutcracker beads, and beading materials in holiday colors:

 If you like your jewelry ready-made, she has tons of things to consider, from delicate little Christmas-tree earrings: all sorts of earrings for the rest of the year: stunning, "statement" necklaces that command attention:

I would totally wear these two pearl necklaces like this, bandolero style, against a plain gray sweater or long-sleeved dress. How cool would that be?

This looked like so much fun: Susan sets out a long line of glass jars filled with all sorts of beads, one color per jar. You scoop up the beads and pop them into a little salsa container with a lid--one flat price per salsa cup! Make mine Salsa Verde, please:


This beautiful beaded bag is not for sale, but for inspiration. Susan made it in memory of the area where she grew up, not far from Walden Pond. It's a pondscape, bedecked with critters and seaweed hanging down:

It is quite possibly...

the most intricate...

the most unusual...

 the most adorable thing in her shop. How cute is that little glass frog?

 When your eyes can't take any more bead-itude without glazing over, you can wander out this back door... a beautiful garden:

 ...where everything is for sale, because it's another business, owned by Susan's friend:

In the back of the garden is a gaily-painted little shack, where you might find the shop kitty, "Tonapa," basking in the sun:

Tonapa is the four-footed ambassador for Beads by the Bay:

The shack where Tonapa is hanging out is an appealing, cozy space, where Susan gives beading lessons: 


But don't linger too long in the back, because you don't want to miss Susan's collection of gorgeous silk scarves for sale:

 Or the drop-dead, one-of-a-kind, hand-carved beads:


Or the beads that are beaded over, themselves. Imagine this one, pinned to a shawl or the lapel of a coat. GOR-geous!:

Beads by the Bay has thoughtfully provided toys to keep little ones happy:

...and little suede-lined trays to help shoppers corral their picks:

I pick these, please:

But actually, I've given Susan these beads, to create something new and unique:

These beads, above and below, are from the trousseau of my Nana, when she married in 1913:

I can't wait to see what she makes of them. I know it will be beyond beautiful.

Beads by the Bay does repairs, classes, and carries all manner of beading books, tools, findings, and--of course!--beads. You can find Beads by the Bay on Facebook, on their own website at, or you can visit at: 
333 Morro Bay Boulevard
Morro Bay, CA 93442

1 comment:

  1. It truly is a beautiful store, isn't it? :) We visit every chance we can get time for a trip to Morro Bay. :)
    Thank you for the beautiful post.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...