Friday, June 24, 2016
Well I'm happy to report enough folks have decided that Sue Burleigh's Beading through Bohemia in May meets their criteria for a trip, that we'll be going. This doesn't mean you still can't go, there's room left for some beaders and some not beaders so if you're on the fence or if you're just reading this and think it might be a fit you find out more here or look at my previous blog post here. On the May trip I will be the bead artist joining in and I'm busy preparing some bohemian themed beadwork for your pleasure. I think this one is an excellent couple trip as there is plenty of free time for you to spend together and a three day river cruise which I've not done but I just have to imagine it would provide for a bit of romance!
A few photos from my previous trip to Prague. I've not been to Vienna or Budapest so both of those sound truly exciting to me.
Angel sculpture in silhouette
Views from a boat ride we took while in Prague.
A taste of the fanciful architecture you'll see
There is also a second trip, same itinerary with Marjorie Garcia Barnes later in the summer if May doesn't work for you. You can find out more about that one here.
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
So on a recent visit from Sabine Lippert I decided to give her way a go. Single Sonoko thread. It has more elasticity and so I can pull tight and get really good tension with single thread. Usually my tension is completely even and has enough fluidity in it. I've got a rhythm that works. With Sonoko thread I did a length of cubic raw that needed to bend around a fancy stone. I pulled tighter in some places than others and got a 1/2 inch of unbendable craw in the middle of the piece! For me, knowing I could achieve this tension with pulling tightly was a revelation as usually with single thread I cannot.
This bezel definitely benefits from single thread as the row of embellishment on it's surface was difficult. My second one with the sonoko thread was easier. Having said that, I immediately cut the thread with the 2mm crystal edge embellishment, so I switched back to fireline for that part. I'm always a tad reluctant to suggest two different threads within a piece and especially to be specific about brand. I must agree with Sabine however that my Sonoko thread experience has been superior to other nylon threads I've tried.
Monday, June 20, 2016
However.....I really could not pass up the opportunity to be part of the amazing trip that Sue Burleigh of Socialbeadia has put together with Debra Curle of Triple M Tours. The 15 day itinerary is a dream come true including 5 days in the city of Prague, 3 days in Vienna, a 3 day river cruise to Budapest and 4 days in Budapest.
If you are a Facebook kind of gal or guy you can find socialbeadia's page here.
I've been to and loved Prague but I've never been and have always wanted to visit Vienna and Budapest. Throw in a river cruise, well it sounds like the perfect travel itinerary.
I love a number of things about the way this tour is organized. First off the three beautiful cities, with a good amount of structured and free time to explore each of them.
Secondly the beading, while it will appeal to the beaders who join this trip (more on that later) it is spread out with one session in each city giving you time to bead on your own in between, but also importantly giving you time to enjoy yourself with any non beading companions. Sue and Debra have also thought to provide wonderful non bead related tours for your companions while you are beading. My take is this should work really well, so well that Mark is definitely joining me. I certainly would hesitate to take him to a weekend or week long beading retreat but this trip I think will serve both our needs beautifully.
Fitting in a three day river cruise is the perfect way to travel between Vienna and Budapest, relaxing (no organized beading) and enjoying the scenery along the way.
I won't review the entire itinerary here, just suffice it to say that every day appears to be a perfect mix of intriguing sight seeing, time with friends and a good amount of free time for those who love to explore on their own. Have a look at the details here. I believe there are still some spots but I wouldn't hesitate. I am glad to report that I know a few of the folks that have signed up and I think we are going to have a stellar time!
So what will the beading be like? I've spent a fair amount of time thinking about this and the course work is evolving but I'd love to do a process class, somewhat similar to the master class called Playing with Possibilities that I taught in Milwaukee and again in England. Both 3 day classes had great results with everyone achieving a good deal of success in creating pieces that matched their vision. My plan is to focus first off on some Bohemian color schemes! Boho style is definitely on trend right now so there is a lot of visual inspiration. I'm going to select 3 of my most popular components or maybe 4 and work up some samples of different ideas. For those who are signed up sometime before the cruise I will provide you with instructions for the the components we'll be using so that you can familiarize yourself with the thread path. I'll also make recommendations on what beads to bring to help create your designs. We'll spend some time talking about your design ideas and you'll bead the pieces you wish to add to your design and finally work on arrangements to bring them into a piece of jewelry that will be uniquely yours. In between our formal sessions, one in each city we visit, you'll be able to bead as much or as little as suits you, and of course I'll be around so impromptu design consultations will be available as time permits.
Below are some shots from my first time in Prague.....over ten years ago now, but what I definitely remember about the city is the whimsy of the skyline with all of the spires on building tops. And the many angel statues. I kind of have a thing for angel statues. And the architecture, oh and beads. Part of the visit to Prague will include a tour of a glass & Jewelry Museum!
Friday, June 3, 2016
Well we've got a notebook and in it we have a domestic list (as in airstream travel) and an International list (as in must fly or possibly boat). There is his list and her list and then the lists are ranked with mutual destinations at the top. At least one and maybe 2 domestic trips and one International a year, peppered with weekend trips and Santa Cruz trips to see family.
We'll start this summer with a long planned airstream trip and we'll combine an East Coast retreat this year with some visiting on the East Coast. Early December may find us doing a last minute cruise. With our schedules that works for us which is nice.
So what's on the list?
Well we both think a Tahiti revisit (we've been once before, sailing around the islands) is a great choice.
We both love train travel
and European architecture
Thursday, June 2, 2016
We had a fantastic trip starting in Florida and heading out on a Royal Carribean cruise to St. Thomas and St. Maarten. Destinations were perfect, weather was perfect and the company was perfect.
Suffice it to say there was much sillyness, traveling with some of my favorite colleagues. The themed party this year was Wizard of Oz and early on we decided, there being four of us, that we needed to be Dorothy, the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Lion.
This shot was photo edited by Shawn of Whim Beads. It was Kerry's idea that we all wore tutu's and although at first I didn't quite 'get it' it turned out to be a fabulous idea! Left to right, Beki, Marcia, Tracy and Kerry.
These were some impressive statues from Musee Giulia in Naples. Maggie having lived in Naples for five years, drove us confidently into the city. I a pretty sure I couldn't do it. I was going to say even if my life depended on it, but that is a bit dramatic...if my life depended on it I would try but I was glad Maggie was there to do it for us.
Sunday, April 24, 2016
I spent last week traveling to North Carolina and partaking in my passion of knitting. First up was a stop in Asheville staying at the Indigo hotel. It was a 1/2 mile walk into town which was perfect once we got our bearings.
We stopped into a gallery and chatted with a participating artist. He recommended the white duck taco for lunch and we were so glad he did. The flavors were incredible. We had a shrimp taco with tempura'd bay shrimp in a lovely curry sauce and topped with bread and butter pickles, so unique and wonderful.
On Saturday night we had an early dinner at rhubarbs and an early bedtime. I forgot how I no longer have the stamina for a red eye flight.
Sunday we had a wander in Biltmore village and then headed to Andrews and the Hawksdene venue where we caught up with friends from last years retreat.
I am a huge fan of unique sheep yarns and it was wonderful to touch the various fibers and visualize the colors, oh and purchase them.
One of the things that happens is show and tell which with so many accomplished knitters is a grand thing. You get to see up close and in person shawls you might want to make. This was Mary Scott's Serendipity and it's the shawl I just cast on. I'm going to use crystals in mine.
Carolyn who I met a few years back at bead and button is an amazing knitter and very gracious in sharing her many skills. She helped me out with using the knit companion which is a really useful tool for knitting with charts. Her lessons also made me realize that the real estate of the 12.9 inch iPad Pro would be wonderful...it arrives tomorrow.
It was a fabulous trip!
Friday, April 15, 2016
The venue is full of art to be experienced at every turn. Big comfortable sofas in the great room are a gathering place for knitters.
The Unique Sheep team of Kelly and Laura host a wonderful event with lots of fun filled activities. There will be silk scarf dyeing, knitting of course, at least one food related class, a beading class and lot's of good food.
There will also be yarn shopping with lots of gradient yarns. There may be some lace weight in my future.
I will land tomorrow morning and spend the day in Asheville having a wander through the streets and undoubtedly into some of the eclectic shops there. Dinner is at Rhubarbs which we discovered on last years trip. Being a creature of habit it's nice to be able to return to a place that we enjoyed. The warm spiced nuts are calling me.
It's also really nice to attend a retreat in a medium I love as much as knitting and being a participant rather than organizer or teacher gives me a lot of time to relax. I'm looking forward to that. Soon enough we'll be off on another great adventure.