A favorite question that I answer is, "Where do you find your beads?" Well, I have some trusted companies that have internet ordering, but to see the beads in person first, is a real joy and a true treasure hunt! This past Saturday, I attended the Rocky Mountain Bead Society's Annual Spring Sale at the Denver Merchandise Mart. Here are gathered 200 bead sellers and it's enought to make your head spin! Still, it's fun to visit with vendors I've purchased from over the past five years and to meet new bead creators, like "Lipstick Ranch" where fabulous metal beads are made right outside of Longmont, Colorado (practically my backyard) and yes, on a ranch!
By far, my favorite vendor is Lenka of Raven's Journey. Lenka works in the Seattle area and she is also Czech. Lenka designs, orders and directs the production of Czech glass beads for sale in the U.S. (and we are so luck that she does!) Traveling back to the Czech Republic, Lenka works with small provincial kilns where buttons and beads have been made for over 400 years. The Czech Republic (formerly named Bohemia and Silesia) is a country of deep natural resources, one of them being silica, from which glass is made. Although the glass making industry is in decline, the kilns and more importantly the craftsman, still exist and this is where Lenka makes the magic happen. I hope you enjoy some pictures below of the bead show. There's definitely some fun beading ahead for me!