Loose Bead Society Blog
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Retreat 2017: Maureen's Review
Thank goodness the lake effect snow waited until the day after the Retreat to start dropping 20+ inches on Racine! The weather over Retreat weekend was cold with brisk winds that was conducive to staying inside and beading, most of the time. Of course, no matter the weather, we just had to venture out to visit Funky Hannah’s and the Hot Glass Shop for a class or two and for the bountiful reception Saturday evening.
This year the Retreat was full for the second year in a row. Including the Make-N-Take there were 12 different classes scheduled. There were two sessions of both the Friday afternoon/evening Make-N-Take and the Sunday Let’s Etch a Copper Disc classes that were held at Funky Hannah’s. That brings the number of sessions offered to 14. The class evaluations completed revealed the participants were very happy with the class selections and also with the teachers. Unfortunately, the Sunday morning class, Renaissance Flair by instructor Renee Kovnesky, was canceled by her on Friday morning (due to personal reasons) to the disappointment of the students who had registered for it.
The open beading room returned to the Harbourview room where it had been located in years past. The sound of happy chatter and laughter was heard throughout the weekend. Some die hard beaders spent the majority of their time in the open beading room working diligently on UFO’s or new projects. Some others split their time between the open beading room and taking classes. It was nice to see our beading family get up to admire the creations that were being worked on at other tables.
There were new additions to Retreat this year, some were instituted in response to the replies to the Retreat 2016 survey. A Friday and Sunday afternoon class were added to the lineup at the hotel. There was a “sharing table” and a dry erase message board located on the sharing table. The daily schedule was prominently displayed on easels in the open beading room and in the classrooms. Each attendee’s class schedule was printed on the back of their badge and an emergency contact insert was included in the badge holder. The list of goody bag contributors stated what they donated and a Teachers' Marketplace was added to the Saturday schedule. These changes were favorably received according to this year’s survey results.
There were three daily projects included with registration. Friday featured a cute girl charm that could be attached to the 2017 goody bag, Saturday was a choice of stone chip dangle earrings and Sunday’s project was a dainty pendant with a pearl center which also included a chain.
The goody bag was once again a favorite feature of the Retreat. The bag itself was a new addition since it was imprinted with our logo and the year. Everyone was impressed with the variety and the abundance of items included.
Our Society is very fortunate to have the support of such generous contributors and it is hoped that you as LBS members patronize them. They are as follows:
Blue Thistle Designs
Cousin Corporation of America
John Bead Corporation
Kalmbach Publishing (book donation received after the list included with the Goody Bag was printed)
Knot Just Beads
Potomac Bead Company
Soft Flex Company
Swarovski North America LTD
Carol Surges brought the LBS light box to the Retreat and was thorough in taking pictures of member’s creations to be added to Facebook and our web page. The lightbox was also available for use by members to take pictures of their pieces for their personal use. Carol visited the classrooms to take pictures of the students at work and took pictures in the open beading room too. Make sure to check out Facebook and scroll down to the next post or go here to see if you or your work was captured for the LBS records.
Saturday evening brought two events to enjoy – one was a much anticipated yearly event and the other a new one. For those who attended the private reception hosted by Amanda Paffrath at Funky Hannah’s it was a time to purchase, socialize and enjoy the yummy appetizers provided by Amanda with tasty additions by Retreat teacher Adele Kimpell. (LInks to Adele's recipes are here: Salted Nut Roll Bars, Reuben Dip, or Brownies with Shortbread Crust.) After the reception, the Teacher’s Marketplace was a new activity that was well attended and well received by the Retreat attendees.
Once again, I sincerely thank the members of the Special Events Committee for their work to ensure the success of Retreat 2017. You may not know, but the planning for Retreat 2018 begins with our next committee meeting on March 29th. Many hours are put into planning and executing everything that goes into making the Retreat happen each year. If you get the chance to speak to one of the following committee members, please thank them in person for their efforts: Kat Feldman, Carol Haiar, Katie Hess, Geri Skonieczny, Kat Van Eyck and Kathy Willmering. Many thanks also go out to Toni Fohey our “printing angel”!
Our committee welcomes anyone who might want to join us in planning the next Retreat and the other special events for LBS. We usually meet the 4th Wednesday of the month but check the calendar on the web site since days and dates can change. Anyone interested can also talk to me in person or email me with any questions they have about committee activities.
VP, Special Events
The buzz at Retreat 2017 was it was 'the best yet'. Every year the event grows and improves. This year was no exception: the classes, the teachers, the swag bags, the food. Everything was fabulous. There were the tried-and-true events that have become traditions like the Friday night Make-n-Take and Saturday’s shopping and appetizers, both at Funky Hannah's. Of course, there was the swag bag that was chock full of goodies including three patterns from Adele Kimpbell, one of this year’s guest teachers. The Special Events chair, Maureen Bartz, had begun working on filling it at the 2016 Bead and Button Show and it her efforts were obvious and appreciated. The classes offered a variety of techniques and new challenges and the daily project kits were varied and fun.
And then, there were the improvements. This year was no exception with changes both big and small like offering a class on Friday afternoon and dropping the Saturday night classes and replacing it with the Teacher's Marketplace. Judging by the swarm of people who shopped as soon as it opened, the Marketplace was a hit and hopefully a success for the vendors. But the little improvements that were made were noticed and appreciated too, like the personalized schedule printed on the back of everyone's name tag, and the schedule board in every room, listing that day's events. And this year, the return of the sandwich and soup buffet at noon on Saturday had most people satisfied.
The Special Events Committee worked hard on making sure everything ran smoothly. Prior to the weekend, a list of suggestions on how to get the most out of the weekend was shared via email and at the beginning of each class, a room monitor introduced the guest teacher and reminded everyone to silence their cell phones. As a result, there were fewer distractions in the classrooms and people could concentrate – and concentrate they did. Everyone’s head was bent during every class – an indication of how serious everyone was working on the new projects.
Evaluations were handed out at each session and an overall evaluation was handed out to everyone. It’s safe to say, judging by the great turn-out, the fact that no classes were cancelled and the high caliber of the instructors, this year’s retreat was a great success. The Special Events Committee, lead by Maureen Bartz can be very proud. Thank you everyone and can we start counting down to next year?
Below are photos from Retreat 2017. (Note: photos from Sunday's classes can be found here.)
The fall Bead-In was held at the New Berlin Public Library. Under Maureen Bartz's direction about 20 members participated in the annual event. The main attraction was making a button bracelet. Hundreds of buttons had been donated, plus many participants brought their private collections. Half the fun was pouring over the choices searching for just the right selections and then searching again.
You can see the colorful results here - every one unique.