Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Beading in Paradise

Dateline: Waikiki, Honolulu, 1/16 - 1/21/08

Waikiki might be the perfect vacation spot for Jim and me. Where else could you stay at a hotel that has beach on one side and big city on the other? I'm really a city person, even though we've lived in the suburbs for most of our married life. I love walking out of the hotel and finding cafes and stores. Jim, on the other hand, is not a city person. He prefers vacations where you can relax on the beach. I like the beach too, for an hour or so at a time. And this beach is beautiful -- clean sand, few rocks, and a great view of Diamond Head.

We went to Honolulu for the first Bead Away, a beading retreat jointly organized by Brea Beadworks in the LA area, and Bead It in Honolulu. I was impressed by how well-organized this retreat was. There were several corporate sponsors, lots of door prizes and refreshments. It was nice to have teachers and students from both Hawaii and California (plus a few students from other states).

Beading seems to be very popular in Hawaii. Even on Maui, with a population of 140,000, I found 3 bead stores. The first day of the Bead Away we had a bead store tour. The organizers rented vans and took us to 4 stores in Honolulu. Of course I did a lot of buying, and finding out about the stock market crash on my iPhone in the middle of the tour didn't stop me. Luckily, beads are a lot smaller then yarn, making new purchases easier to carry home and to find a home in your stash.

My classes at Bead Away were a lot of fun, and just the right level for me, now a beginning/intermediate beadweaver. I took two classes with Cindy Pankopf, a designer who works at the Brea store. The Graduated Spiral Necklace was my first experience with spirals. After dinner with Jim at the Kobe Steakhouse, I finished the Swag Lace Necklace, pictured, at the Bead the Night Away session on Saturday night. With Wendy Remmers, one of the owners of the Brea store, I started the Just Duet cuff, a good introduction to herringbone stitch. I also took a crochet with wire class with Katherine Rita, from the Bead It store, and made a pendant.

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