by Kristal Wick, Author, Designer, Instructor and Swarovski crystal Ambassador,
Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®
Remember your first bead? Was there anything better than falling in love with those magical little bits of possibilities? So many things to learn such as how to open a jumpring correctly, how to crimp, and how to make a wrapped loop, to name a few of the all important basics in beading. It was exciting yet intimidating all at once, as learning anything new can be. So why not share your expertise with other new recruits? It's fun and inspiring to be around folks that love to bead whether they're pros or newbies, and helping a rookie with their new addiction-er ... I mean hobby, ignites your passion all over again.
Use your studio, living room or local coffee shop (Panera has a meeting room you can book ahead of time to sip and snack). I used to attend a great crafting group that met in a local bookstore. The weekly event was filled with strangers who soon became best buds due to our common interests and satisfying sense of community. Set up your Meet-n-Bead like an old fashioned quilting bee where everyone brings their own individual projects to the event and works on it while you nosh and chat.
You can also take turns each session teaching a fun technique to the group. Start with some simple and easy projects such as these sweet angel earrings, or these sparkly heart earrings (which would make a great necklace too), or this fun Sun ring.
Ready, Set, GO!
Preparing for your MnB (Meet-n-Bead) is simple. If you're keeping your event an invite only group, send out invites two weeks ahead of time so folks can plug it into their busy schedules. If you want to open the group to others, put up flyers in local shops, advertising your event. You can also post it on Facebook (www.Facebook.com), Meet-Up (www.Meetup.com) and Craigslist (www.craigslist.com) if the location is in a public place. Never post your personal information on any of these sites. It's great to meet in a public place so beaders can bring or buy their own refreshments and you don't have to worry about the clean up or corralling the kids!
It's a good idea to be clear on the goals of the group right off the bat. They may be as simple as having fun! Here are some other goals to think about as well:
Magazine or Book Swap Bring your old beading mags and books to recycle or swap with other beaders. Nothing is better for inspiring new color pallets and designs than leafing through printed pages while sipping on java and chatting with beady buds.
Giving Back Make some simple jewelry and donate it to your fave charity for their silent auctions or gift shops. You can all work on the same project or separate projects. Be sure to take pictures, blog, Facebook or tell us your story. Let the world know what cool things you're all up to! Nothing feels better than giving back.
Remember to have FUN! Whether 2 or 200 folks show up for your event, just be sure to have a good time which is your #1 group goal, right?! Think of it as a mini-stayca (staycation) and enjoy!