Great Escapes and the Beading Challenge

Mel, Sandra and Helga judging the Challenge for the Beadworkers Guild

Great Escapes and the Beading Challenge

Apologies for not writing this up yet, but I have been focused on preparing for the Bead & Button Show.

Mel, Sandra and Helga judging the Challenge for the Beadworkers Guild

The judges hard at work!

I really missed seeing lots of my old friends at this year’s Beadworkers Guild beading festival. All I managed was a few surprised hugs on a flying visit to Daventry on Friday 9th May. I did, however, spent a fabulous day locked away in the Challenge Room with Sandra and Helga, judging members’ beautiful beadwork entries. We were in such a privileged position, being able to handle and try on wearable pieces, and marvel at the sheer scope of the creativity, colour choices. We also enjoyed reading about the inspirations that led to each and every one of them. It really was a devil of a task that took all day, with Jane Marie, bless her, popping in and out with refreshments, keeping us hydrated! The girls were great company and good sports, because I asked them if they’d be willing to start an hour earlier than normal, as I had to dash off as soon as we finished judging, and be teaching at Great Escapes for the weekend – we started at 8 and I think I left around 5!

I can’t really complain about missing out on anything though, because my weekend in the Cotswolds with the Great Escapes students was nothing less than spectacular. Jane Dickinson runs the weekends and had chosen the most beautiful venue – the Cotswold Conference Centre on the Farncombe Estate – it was just breathtaking. As I drove into the estate, there were pheasant birds ambling along the verges, and woods and fields as far as the eye could see. I could look out of my bedroom window and watch little calves gambolling around their mothers, just a few feet away from me. AND we were so high in the hills that we had an amazing view of the Welsh Black Mountains. I can’t wait to go back. Apart from that, the girls on the course were such fun and we were constantly laughing. There’s a real bonding process that happens between us on these weekends; they become so much more than just a long workshop.

I have to say that I’ve made some lifelong friends through my teaching and being part of the Beading community, and for that I’m truly grateful.

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