MaureenRetreat 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:

Bar Maids
Bead Dreamers
The Beadsmith
Blue Thistle Designs
Cool Tools
Cousin Corporation of America
Diakonos Designs
Eclectica Beads
John Bead Corporation
Kalmbach Publishing (book donation received after the list included with the Goody Bag was printed)
Knot Just Beads
Miyuki Beads
Potomac Bead Company
Real Racine
Soft Flex Company
Swarovski North America LTD
Tierra Cast

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.


Maureen Bartz
VP, Special Events

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