Retreat 2016 – A Fun and Successful Event

Retreat 2016 has come and gone and it felt like it sped by way too fast. Sixty LBS members attended and had a fantastic time beading, taking classes and attending a special LBS only event at Funky Hannah’s hosted by owner Amanda Paffrath. Fun was had by all at these events as demonstrated by the many positive comments received by the Special Events Committee members during and after the Retreat.

This year was the first time the Retreat was at capacity which is a tribute to all the time and work the Special Events Committee put into planning the Retreat. Also, no classes had to be cancelled due to not meeting the class minimums set by each instructor. In fact, several classes added students with the instructor’s permission. The Explore Glass workshop at the Hot Glass Shop even added a second session to enable more members to take that workshop. Thanks and gratitude goes to the eight instructors that taught the twelve classes at the Retreat.

Of course, it is hard not to mention the fabulous gift bag that each attendee enthusiastically received. The bags were chock full of goodies generously provided by many companies and with additions provided by LBS. Although these companies were acknowledged publicly at the March monthly meeting, they should be known to every LBS member and patronized for their contributions to an LBS event. The companies and contributors are listed below along with their web site addresses in the hope that you will consider them when you need supplies.

Bead Dreamers 
Diakonos Designs 
Eclectica Beads 
Fire Mountain Gems 
Funky Hannah’s 
Fusion Beads 
Goody Beads 
Kalmbach Publishing Co. 
Knot Just Beads 
Meant To Bead 
Midwest Beads 
Prima Bead – Cousin Corp.Of America Of America 
Rings & Things 
Rio Grande 

Check out the big smiles on just a few of the members at the Retreat. They are sending a big “thank you” to all the contributors for the great gift bags.

The Special Events Committee members should also be acknowledged and thanked for their impact to the success of the Retreat. The committee is aptly named “Special” Events Committee because all of the members are truly “special” in their dedication to the Retreat and the other events planned by the Committee. The members of the committee are: Kat Feldman, Carol Haiar, Katy Hess, Kathy Merrill, Becky Prusak, Geri Skonieczny, Kate Van Eyck, Kathy Willmering, and Maureen Bartz. The Committee held a wrap up meeting for Retreat 2016 and already has ideas to make “Retreat 2017” another great event for LBS. We hope to see you there!

Here's how the Twinkling Electronic Jewelry class went:

This was fun unique class.  The teacher was interesting and very knowledgeable. The piece was  interesting to work on and for me it is a one time learning experience.   I learned the basics of soldering.  Thankfully Robin was there to help me correct all the little mishaps along the way.  Even though the other students thought my poor owl should seek refuge in a electronic sanctuary.  I can now fix any hole that has been filled with solder and am happy to report that my owl does twinkle.  If you are interested in making electronic jewelry then you should take a class with Robin Lawson of LUMEN Electronic Jewelry

Retreat 2016 March 18 - 20

Retreat 2016 was a huge success. Sixty members were in attendance, filling up every table spot in the beading room. Throughout the weekend they attended classes, enjoyed the daily projects, ooohhing and aahhing over the treat bags stuffed with goodies from our favorite vendors, visited Funky Hannah’s, shopped on Racine’s Main Street, snacked and talke and laughed late into the evenings and then started over again early the next moring.

Here are some photos from the general beading room. Some members chose to spend the weekend there getting some of their UFO’s done:

Meanwhile there was a great variety of classes to participate in beginning on Friday evening with the Riveting Make-n-Take at Funky Hannah’s:

Saturday morning classes included the My Fair Lady Necklace taught by Renee Kovnesky of Elegance by Renee, the Bead Soup Embroidered Cuff taught by Joellen Fritchen, and Connie Whitaker’s Wrap It Up Bracelet.

After lunch members headed off for another round of classes: Twinkling LED Jewelry taught by Robin Lawson of LUMEN Electronic Jewelry, Renee’s Tennis Bracelet taught by Renee Kovnesky of Elegance by Renee, and the micro macrame Gemstone Nugget Necklace taught by Kerrie Sue Miller of Interlace Designs.

Saturday evening, three die-hard beaders and Kerrie Sue tackled another micro macrame project, the Toggle Tassel Pendant.

By Sunday morning, people were beginning to wear down but enthusiasm was still high and there were more classes to take. (The Explore Glass Workshop was not photographed – sorry.)
Here are a few photos of the Fairisle: Zig zag Dash Series Bracelet taught by Kim Rueth of Knot Just Beads with assistance by Cindy Collins.

Shopping at Funky Hannah’s included the Saturday night smorgasbord of treats with good deals throughout the store. There’s always something new to add to a beader’s stash:

The weekend ended far too soon and it’s a year until the next one but in the meantime, there are lots of good memories to tide us over.

Thanks to Cindy Collins, Karen Fullington and Traci Otte for some of the photos.

The Diane Fitzgerald weekend began Friday night with a free lecture. Members showed up early at Helfaer Hall at Mount Mary University to shop Diane’s books and kits but also to catch up with friends.

Kathy Willmering, who was instrumental in getting Diane to Milwaukee, introduced the speaker.

Diane describes herself as a collector, creator, teacher and writer. For more than an hour she covered the history of beading which is long and varied. The images she shared came largely from her private bead collection many of them found at flea markets. From that perspective, she encouraged beaders to sign their work whenever possible for future collectors.


The talk began with the earliest known beads but when Diane got to the 20th century, documentation became better. Mary White’s How to do Beadwork, 1905 is probably the first bead book written and Dover has reprinted it. As she worked her way through the decades of multi-strand crystal beads, love beads, and brick-stitch duster earrings, many of the members were nodding their heads in recognition. In 1992 Catherine Moss’ and Alice Scherer’s book The New Beadwork put beadwork on the map and it was around that time that Diane was becoming more involved in writing and teaching. In 1994 she and Helen Banes published Beads and Threads which showed how to make woven bead ‘bibs’. Other influential names she mentioned included Horace R. Goodhue who wrote Indian Bead Weaving Patterns, Miriam Haskell, Julia Pretl and Nichole Starman. Diane closed her talk on an upbeat note, asserting that beading has taken tremendous steps forward since the 1990s with multiple hole beads and three dimensional forms now the norm.

The rest of the weekend was filled with four half-day classes. They were all held at Mount Mary and each one brought a full room of attendees with several people signed-up for all four.

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Here are a few photos from two of the classes:
Bells of Ireland Necklace or Bracelet (a spiral rope variation)

And the Desert Rose Beaded Bead Necklace

Diane also gave attendees to the lecture and her classes two free earring patterns. Here is what they look like – front and back:


There was one correction on page one “Riveting Earrings with QuadraTiles and Triangles”.
At step 2 add the underlined words: “Pass through QT-1, add 1 SB and pass back through the same hole. Add 1 SB and pass to the front through QT-3.

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