Sunday, July 20, 2008

NMBS Summer Workshop Fun

Whoa, talk about jet lag. I flew back home on Friday afternoon and went straight to work prepping for yesterday's classes with the New Mexico Bead Society. Yes they asked me back again, I must not have tortured them too badly with the Tidepool Necklace in July 2007. ;-)

What an awesome group -- good vibes, great desserts, and fun, patient students. They had asked me to do a "hands-on" color workshop so I had to really think about how to do that, in a church meeting room, in 3 hours, with minimal set up and cleanup. So I created a booklet -- something I've been wanting to do for ages. For several years I did a color theory for beaders slide show with lecture & discussion, but I've been wanting to create a workbook to sell, so thanks to the NMBS for providing the impetus to get the first draft out. We used oil pastels as our coloring medium.

I printed the cover on a yummy creamy old-fashioned parchment paper and bound the class copies with string. I gave little beady prizes to the participants for finding my typos, and boy did they do a great job (I confess I did not proofread a printed copy before class, because in Las Vegas last week my laptop software wasn't up-to-date enough to open the file!).

I've been so busy with school I totally forgot how much fun I have teaching! Lots of laughs, for sure. I got great feedback on how to improve my instructions, some students were very new to color theory and one was a very experienced painter, so what can I say? Lots of expert advice, which I really appreciated.

The afternoon class was a herringbone cord bracelet I learned from Chris Phillips last year. There are lots of beginners in the NMBS, so when they asked for another class I figured something short and sweet would be a good idea (unlike last year's 6-hour Tidepool marathon, hehe). I put kits together for them in all different color combinations -- it was interesting to see which colors they liked and which ones sat on the table, especially after the morning color theory class! They definitely went for the more expensive seed beads in subtle colors.

What a blast! This group has grown in the past few years into a hopping bead society with lots of great activities. I really feel like I've grown close to some of the members. There are some great designers, and some just plain fascinating women. I got to eat lunch with Betty, an old timer I met years ago when I was a member. (She knows me -- she brought me three desserts.) She has been a member almost since the group started as a bead research/study group. Today of course it has evolved into a group of mostly seed beadworkers and stringers. I even met a woman who just moved out here from my hometown! She has an Etsy shop called High Desert Beadscapes.

The other teachers at the workshop were my pal Rita Sova (owner of, who was teaching how to use her warpless Versa-Loom, Caroline Bleil, who I only seem to run into at Hobby Lobby, LOL (Caroline has won Best of Show at the NM State Fair more times than I can count), Camille Argeanas, whose wirework class I took several years ago. I was kind of envious yesterday because she was teaching on the other side of the room and when I saw the finished projects I realized I have a lot more to learn from her! I heard a rumor Camille is working on a book. And apologies for not remembering who the other teachers were... they were in other parts of the building and I didn't get to see them. I'm a zombie. Just wandering aimlessly around the house not particularly wanting to start any new projects. For today. ;-)

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