Shreveport Bead Retreat 2011

I decided to carpool with Ralonda to the Shreveport Bead retreat held August 4-7 this year. We have sort of a Bead Mastermind where we share ideas and encourage eachother, so talking in person instead of using all our cell minutes was a great benefit in addition to saving on gas. Also, Ralonda made us spinach and bacon quiche for breakfast…Yum! We swooped in on Friday afternoon, and after a whirlwind of greetings, hugs and setting up our kits, it was time to gather our table-mates and head to lunch at Monjunis.

Killing time by playing on phones at Monjunis.

The anticipation was killing me as I clutched the plastic bag full of paper envelopes close. Ralonda and I had spent a “play day” making nickname tags for our friends, and I couldn’t wait to see their reactions. We passed them out and everyone loved their name tags, and laughed at the funny ones that were too true. It was a good distraction since our food was taking longer than usual, but I loved my Neapolitan pasta and toasted ravioli. Full and happy, Bead Geek, Soul Sister, Garden Goddess, Blessed, Sparkle Slut, Project Ralonda and Sticky Note (me) headed back to the hotel to do what we came here for: BEAD!

Of course, the PURPLE colorway was the most popular.

Friday night, I worked on finishing up a second Waterfall Lariat sample so I could have one to display and one to wear. Then, Karen (aka Garden Goddess) and I made some Mojitos. I stayed up a little later beading away because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep. I was so excited about my 8:30am class!

It was so fun having the beautiful Belinda in my class. Here I'm telling her about my new Waterfall Lariat kit.

I did get some sleep, and even managed a trip to Starbucks for a double tall latte. My class was the Tila Tornado bracelet and I taught 11 amazing gals. The general consensus was: “I bought some Tila beads when they first came out, but I’m not sure what to do with them now.” I’m such a fan of this design because it uses a hot bead, and you can really put your personality into it with variations in bead colors, sizes, and counts. We decided on one edit to the instructions: Supplies, 50 crystals (or 100+ crystals if you believe there’s no such thing as too much bling)! Two of the students I’ve had in class before, and for another two it was their first retreat. We had so much fun, and several students wore their bracelets back to their tables!

Spicy Julie and me wearing my completed necklace, Olivia, designed by Maggie Meister.

Also on Saturday, I finished my Olivia, which is a Maggie Meister design. I have now officially completed all my Beading by the Bay projects! I made it in garnet and black, which is a huge contrast to Maggie’s green and gold. It’s for my sister in her style of colors, and I think she’ll love it. Saturday night we went to Albasha, which is my all-time favorite place to eat in Shreveport. We had fried cheese, cabbage rolls, chicken shawarma, fried kibbe, and baklava. We watched Amber do some belly dance performances and she danced with a sword balanced on her head! Amazing day of friends, food, and beads.

Julie with redneck wineglass in one hand, art doll in the other.

Sunday morning I decided to sit it on Ralonda’s Beaded Art Doll class. Julie (aka Sparkle Slut) worked on her new doll, and I continued my work on Raja. He’s been a work in progress for nearly 2 years, and he wants more beaded stripes. I made some great progress on his belly, and it was great to hear Ralonda talk about her doll ideas and see her inspiring examples again. Julie and I got a great idea to have a round robin with art dolls, and I’m so excited about it! We had a group trip to Jo-ann to choose our fabric, and I decided that the theme of my doll would be “free spirit.” There are 10 of us, and we created a beading schedule that would allow us to exchange our completed dolls at the August Shreveport Bead Retreat next year!

Bead Sisters: Me, Ralonda, and Cathey

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