Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Bead Adventure

For lots of reasons, my vacation this summer was a thrown-together, last minute affair. But that's not to say it wasn't a good vacation. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I spent the first part of the week visiting my oldest son, his wife and two year old son. They live just far enough away that I don't get to see them often and it was wonderful to reconnect. My grandson and I played trucks and colored and read books. We went to a nearby mall where there are indoor play areas and carnival type rides for little ones, which was so nice since it was sooo hot! We went out for Thai food one night and had grilled chicken the next. It was just a relaxing, enjoyable visit!

The second part of the week was a bit more of a whirlwind, but equally fun. After coming home and repacking, my SO and I headed to Denver. We have developed a fondness for botanical gardens and arboretums and decided to check out the Denver Botanical Gardens. Steve has gotten some terrific photos on our garden visits and was hoping to add to his repertoire. Two of his best selling photographs are from the botanical gardens at Hot Springs, Arkansas. I take my camera too and have a blast snapping away at interesting flowers or architectural or natural elements. But Steve thinks we should do something that I like to do too, so I always get a double treat. Not only do I get to visit beautiful gardens, I get to search out Bead Shops!! And it's not a rush visit, either. The man has the patience of Job, waiting for me while I peruse strand after strand of beads and gemstones and cases of cabochons and findings.

Though my time in Denver was short, I managed to find three delightful bead shops. The first was owned by a fellow Etsy seller, Megan from The Peacock Shop. She was such fun to visit with and while her shop was small, her customer service and friendliness were huge! I wound up buying a fabulous turquoise cabochon from her along with some other cool beads including what she called peanut seed beads. The second shop I found was the Rocky Mountain Bead Trader in Englewood, owned by a man named Jay Phillips. Again, the friendliness and customer service were outstanding. I bought some really nice tiger eye leaf beads, some seed beads and Czech firepolish beads in colors I hadn't seen in my area. When he learned I was interested in seed beads, he suggested I try another shop in the area, Orrs' Trading Company. Oh my. Talk about walking into a beadweaver's version of a candy store, this was it. I had never seen so many colors of seed beads in one place in my life. As far as I was concerned, this was totally worth the trip. I know that a lot of bead weavers don't like to use anything but Delicas, but I guess I'm old school and I still love the Czech seed beads. Needless to say, I left with a slightly lighter wallet from this shop but a much more vast assortment of seed bead colors and finishes for my collection.
As a bonus, I met another extremely friendly, extremely talented beadweaver in the woman who waited on me, Marilyn Hume. Marilyn makes Blessing Sticks and sells them at the store. They are pieces of wood about a foot long that she covers with intricate peyote patterns using size 15 beads. The ends of each stick are then finished with feathers and fetishes. I wish I had asked her permission to photograph one so I could show it here. They are just amazing!
I know there are other bead shops in the Denver area but, alas, time did not allow me to seek them out. However, I would give a hearty recommendation to any of the three stores I got to visit. And hopefully, I'll be able to visit them again if my bead adventures take me back to Denver.
Tigereye, magnasite, Czech firepolish, glass beads, peanut seed beads and turquoise cabochon from The Peacock Shop, Rocky Mountain Bead Trader and Orrs' Trading Company.
My selection of seed beads from Orrs' Trading Company. The pictures just don't do them justice!


Patricia C Vener said...

LOL, did you leave anything for latyer shopper at Orrs'? Seems like you had a great vacation!


beadsandblooms said...

Oh yes, Patricia, believe it or not, there's plenty left! lol I'd never seen so many seed bead hanks in one place in my life!!

roseworksjewelry said...

Looks like you had a ton of fun!