Thursday, February 27, 2014

Packing for the retreat

The retreat is tomorrow!  The retreat is tomorrow!

If you have no idea what I'm talking about, you must be new here, as I've been talking about it a lot the last week or longer.  "The retreat" is the Loose Bead Society spring retreat.  Every year LBS members flock to Racine, Wisconsin to the Radisson Hotel Racine Harbourwalk for three days of beading, eating, shopping, class-taking, and obligation-leaving-behind.  We start getting excited about the retreat the day after the last year's retreat.

The first year I went I decided to not stay in the hotel.  Racine is only an hour away - why pay money for the hotel?  Big mistake.  I was sick and stayed too late on Friday night because I was having too much fun.  I made it home safely, but it was way too hard to tear myself away.  I have stayed in the hotel ever since.  I miss Steve and the cats, of course, but it's nice to get away for a few days.

The hardest part of the retreat is the packing.  What to bring?  What to leave at home?  That's a problem whether you're packing for a bead retreat or a day of scrapbooking.  I think I've gotten pretty good at it.  I bring way more than I'm going to work on, but that means I'll have options.  After the retreat, I have a bunch of projects already ready to go.

I may have shown you this overnight case before:

We found it in the attic after we moved into this house.  I love it.  It's hard and trapezoidal, so I can use it as a footstool.  Because I'm short and have (many) issues, it's necessary for me to be able to put my feet up if I need to.  I have two footstools in my office - one under the computer and one under the other area of the desk where I work, and I have an ottoman in the living room.  This case has been a godsend at more than one retreat.

Another benefit of this case is that it holds an awful lot!  Let's peek inside:

The "photo" boxes in the middle hold the vast majority of my Delicas, a bunch of keys, a number of miscellaneous bezel projects, and my brick stitch samples and materials.  This section alone would give me plenty to do throughout the weekend.

On the left side I have my project bags.  This first one is a bezel project that I've been wanting to work on.  It's slightly orange and will be funky:

This next one is another bezel project using some of the same beads as the above one.  It will be in browns and taupes as requested by my Aunt Nancy:

You can't really see the colors there.  Here's a better picture:

Remember the computer keyboard innards bracelet I showed you when I first got sick?  I wasn't happy with how off-kilter it was, so I took it apart.  I very lightly adhered the two layers together, and I hope that will help (and that the adhesive won't show too much):

This is another bezel project I've been sitting on for about 2 years:

The focal is a recycled sawdust piece made by Priscilla Beads.  You can see her recycled sawdust pieces here.  I think I've shown you her things before.  Let me check.  Yup!  You can see my matched set here.  It sure would be nice to show Priscilla a finished piece at this year's Bead&Button Show!  Her booth is all the way in the back near the concession area - stop by and see her and her gorgeous pieces!

This next one is a purple/gray colorway for my Quadrille design:

I'm thinking of making kits for this design for the Madison Art Glass and Bead Show, so it's important to see if the colors I chose for this one look good.  Yeah, that's why.  It's not at all that I want a new purple/gray bracelet.  No, not at all.

This final one (whew!) is going to be a funky Cobblestone Path bracelet:

I've used these colors for an It's Got Legs bracelet (see the Fire colorway here), and I've been wanting to put this one together for a while now.

Wow.  I need about 5 retreats to make all of those pieces.  I'm also bringing along my 2014 B&B Show commemorative beads, so I can stare at them and so other people can look at them if they want to:

And finally, I'm bringing the pieces I'm donating to the Cinderella project that I discussed yesterday:

The case holds a lot, but it does not hold my Ott light (which I almost forgot to pack!) or my little Caboodle case that holds all the pliers, needles, beading mat, findings, and all the little necessities:

While I'm fairly compact when it comes to my projects, I wasn't able to do as well with the supplies needed for my stamped dominoes class.  I'll spare you the gory details.  (You're welcome)  Here's what our back hallway looks like with all of those supplies, my project supplies, and a bag of snacks/miscellaneous things:

That's not even including my clothes.  Eek!  I'm riding with two other people - I hope there's room in Judy's car for everything!

Carol is a new friend (she replaced me as Webgoddess of the Society), and this will be her first year going to the retreat.  She sent me this e-mail this morning:
Wise one,
Since I've not attended a retreat before is there anything else I should bring other than personal stuff and beading projects? and camera, of course.

Let me know if I'm missing something.

Thanks and see you tomorrow.
I don't know if the coughing has loosened something in my brain, but this was my reply:
It is good for you to have asked.  Wise one always dresses in layers and brings a sweater so she is neither too hot nor too cold.  She also brings one or two snacks to share with the table so none goes hungry.  Other wise ones bring nectars of the gods, as drunken beading is enjoyable.  Bring lots of gold, as there will be a shopping trip to the Funkiest of Hannahs.  While there, also bring your appetite - they lay out a bountiful appetizer/snack table.
Fear not if you forget something - someone will have the pair of pliers you need or a spare needle.
I will see you on the morrow!
(Wise One)
And with that, I bid you adieu.  I need to spend a little time with my husband before I abandon him for 3 days.  :)

The next few blog posts will be from the retreat!  Come back to see if I finish any of my thousand projects.

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