Yesterday I talked about our economy, how it is affecting us, and some things we can do about it. Today I want to talk about an alternative to the expensive bead classes at the large bead festivals. Don’t get me wrong; if I had the extra money, I would be there! I love seeing all the beads, the designers, and participating in the classes. They are amazing! But in today’s challenging environment, for some of us who still want to be active and enjoy the company of other beaders, there are some great alternatives out there.
First let me tell you about the Bead Retreat group I belong to. We had our first get together this past June right outside of Gatlinburg, TN. We rented a “Quilters Lodge” with the most beautiful view of the Smoky Mountains. There were 9 ladies and most of us had never met before. You would never know it by the way we all felt immediately connected. Even though most of us live in the Mid Southern States, some traveled from as far away as Florida and Indiana!
Everyone had a part in pulling it together. We prepared a menu and decided who would bring what, as the house was fully equipped for us to cook. There were cocktails and appetizers, candy and cake, and of course we had real food too! Within our group there were many who taught us their specialties
and we even had Jim McIntosh come and teach us Wire Wrapping. He and his lovely wife dined with us on my homemade pork burritos and Texas Margaritas! We didn’t have to leave the house; we didn’t want to leave the house! You got up when you wanted to and went to bed when you were tired. It felt like home and everyone became an instant family. We learned so much that long weekend. It was such a pleasure to meet the folks you are in groups with and leave with new friends. We areplanning another for late October just outside of Nashville.
Another new thing I am getting involved in is a Beading Circle. It’s just like a Quilting Circle but with BEADS!!!!!!! Some members from some groups I belong to tracked me down and we only live like 10-15 minutes from each other. We have even been going to the same Atlanta Bead Society meetings every month and had never met. It is a small world but if you don’t speak up you will never know what you are missing. The next Circle hasn’t been scheduled yet but I will be there for sure.
And I mentioned, we have a Bead Society here as many cities do. The Dues are not much; I only pay $25 for a year and that includes taking a friend or family member with me. We always learn something new and there is much to look at and buy.
Some of us go for pizza afterwards to know each other better. We have 40-50 members present and when you’re learning a new beading technique you don’t take time to chat.
Hopefully I have given you something to think about and you can come up with some ideas of your own to socialize with fellow beaders without using too much gasoline or spending a lot of money and still have a great time!
Here are some pictures from our Bead Retreat. Check out your local area for If you live in TN, GA, AL, NC. SC or Lower KY & IN or are willing to travel, send me an email and I will invite you to our group.
Take care and bead well, Auggie
The Holloway's Quilters Lodge
Susan taught us Viking Knit
Jim McIntosh teaching us Wire Wrapping
Susan showed us the art of Kumihimo
We’re all working on projects and having a great time!
Don’t think we brought enough to eat though!
Genny taught us Flat Cellini, Annette taught us Bead Crochet
And Paula taught us how to do the Colorblock Cuff from: