Have you ever been to a bead show? If you have the basic jewelry making knowledge (how to string beads on a wire, secure a crimp bead and attach a clasp with a jump ring), then attending a bead show could be a really fun thing to do with a friend.
I had never been to a bead show before my friend Corinne took me to this show in Honolulu. Up until then I had relied completely on Michaels Craft and Joann's for my materials. The sheer variety of colors, materials and styles is reason enough to take this field trip. If you have a new blouse or sweater that you want to coordinate with, bring it along! Your brain will thank you, as you often need an inspiration piece to start with.
I found this terrific list of bead shows around the United States. I know that Corinne has found one for us to attend in Michigan this Spring and I'm already looking forward to it. I love adding color to a classic outfit with a beautiful necklace and since most jewelry shows are open to the public, we can all enhance our wardrobe with a custom necklace.