I have a bunch of posts to write and pictures to show, hopefully in the next couple of days!!!
Today, I'm thrilled to write about meeting Angela Plager, BJP member for both years, and Susan Elliott, new BJP member this year! Both live in MD but not in the same area. The three of us met for the first time while I was in Baltimore teaching Improvisational Bead Embroidery and Beaded Button workshops for the Baltimore Needlework Guild.
Angela (on the right) has been beading for a long time. She teaches various weaving and jewelry techniques for local bead shops. She also enters her work and has won awards in various beading competitions. She came (and stayed in a hotel) for the whole week I was in Baltimore and took my classes, but also helped me a great deal by managing my little "shop" area and by displaying her BJP work for both years!
I am totally in LOVE with her ideas and work for this year's BJP!!! It is so amazing, I don't even have words for it. You can read about it and see pictures on her blog, but they only begin to give you an idea of how fab her work is!!!! She also had her BJP pieces from last year with her, and it was grand to see/meet them in person.... way wonderful to see and touch the real things!!! The pictures especially do not show all the thread embroidery details she works into her pieces.
Because Angela has been stitching beads for a long time, I was worried that she would drive to Baltimore and sustain the hotel expense only to find that she already knew everything I had to teach. Fortunately for both of us, she learned some new-to-her techniques, including her favorites the bugle bead pathway and using tall stacks to make a beaded bezel. Also, the improvisational approach was new and fun for her to try.
Since her husband, Wayne, will be returning home in a few days after a second deployment to Iraq, she decided to spend her time in Baltimore working on a vessel/box for him. She used her new techniques and practiced working improvisationally on this piece... saying it was really freeing and fun to work this way!! Here are two views of Wayne's Box in progress. I'm sure you will see it finished on her blog soon.
Besides beading in the classroom, I had two days off while I was there. Naturally Angela, my wonderful hostess, Carolyn Everly, and I spent both days beading... except when we took time to drive into the Baltimore city center and visit Beadazzled. I finished my September BJP and got a good start on Oct. You'll see them in my next post.
The Baltimore classes were a blast! I love teaching needleworkers, who are used to slow, meditative progress, detail and stitching in general. They were ALL quick studies! Some of them are totally excited about bead embroidery... One even decided to be an un-official BJP participant! I feel a tad guilty for being paid to have so much fun!
Susan Elliott, top picture on the left, was responsible for their interest in getting me all the way across the country to teach... and it took almost 2 years from their first contact to make it happen. We were very blessed in class because Susan brought her September BJP piece, Returning Home, shown below, so we could all see it in person. It is such a touchingly beautiful piece. If you haven't read about it on her blog, please go here.
Susan and other Guild movers and shakers took Angela and me to dinner one night at a fabulous French restaurant in the little historical town of Ellicott City. Other than the fact that I was on the second day of a nasty head cold, it was really fun to be pampered and fed as only the French can, to spend a couple of hours entertained by Susan's travel stories and to be in the good company of such impressively talented women!
Meeting, beading and being with Angela and Susan was a great pleasure, a gift! We connect on the internet, realize how much we have in common, get to know and like each other... That's a very special part of the BJP. Then, later, to meet in person is so easy. It's like we already know each other... the shyness and formalities of meeting evaporate into instant bonds. I love it!!!