As a major airport hub between Europe and South East Asia nearly 1 million people a day stop over in Singapore on their way somewhere else. It is often described as a shopper’s paradise and many tourists and locals spend their time shopping in Orchard Road where department store after department store laden with every major fashion label in the world attempt to tempt buyers to purchase the particular high fashion labels they stock. Orchard Road is forever busy and with most shops open till 10.00 pm it certainly means you can shop till you drop for any branded fashions from around the globe that beckon you.
But, there are many other ‘Singapores’ to explore and as a beader a must do shopping adventure for me is a few hours spent at a shopping Plaza in Chinatown called the People’s Park Plaza. It is not a glitzy high-end fashion tourist shopping plaza but a delightful local plaza where few tourists go. It is stacked full of four floors of small shops that sell a wide array of everyday items such as furniture, make-up and shoes and services that range from optometrists, travel agents through to traditional Chinese pharmacies. It also has a lively food court in the basement so tempting aromas waft around you as you meander through each level. Its attraction for me as a beader is that on each level is at least one bead shop.
Each bead shop has it’s own personality and all of them are stacked to the brim with their particular specialities. Some have every finding you might imagine and more, others walls of crystals and yet others gemstones. There is a specialist plastic bead shop and one that has all of the above and more. Not only are the beads tempting but, so are the prices. It’s always hard to choose what to buy but on my visit this time the sparkle of crystals and faceted glass beads seemed to beckon. In at least three shops every size, shape, colour and finish that you could imagine was on display. With a little bit of jet lag and no particular project in mind, choosing was not a very rational process but here’s the sparkle that caught my eye.
I made my first project with just a few of the crystals I bought on the flight from Singapore to London and some Delicas from home that I had in my inflight beading stash. It kept me busy from Singapore until sleep time somewhere across the Middle East. Now I can’t wait to bead with more of my Singapore sparkles but that is for another day.