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Bead Retreats & Vacations

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Get Away & Bead

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For the past five years, I have taught at the same annual wire and bead retreat in San Francisco, Calif. I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones every year. This January I was fortunate enough to teach on a completely different type of beading retreat, a bead cruise to the Caribbean. It was exciting, relaxing and fun. I made new friends, snorkeled in warm blue water and bought beads on a boat. What more could a beader ask for?

Although this year's cruise just finished, I know planning is already afoot for next year. Check for details. As a participant in the 2010 cruise, I have only positive remarks about my fellow participants, our ship called the Freedom of the Seas, our ports of call, Bello Modo's on-ship store, and as everyone mentioned, the food!

In addition to an opportunity to learn from nationally known instructors, retreats offer extras. Each bead cruiser received a fantastic bag full of goodies that included crystals, polymer beads, porcelain pendants and more items than I can list. Each student had several chances to win raffle items that ranged from gift certificates, crystal promotion packs, books, beads and more.

Retreats come in all shapes, sizes and locations. Following is basic information on a few retreats available in 2010.

Beading by the Bay is hosted by The Beading Frenzy. Teachers: Jean Campbell, Marcia DeCoster and Maggie Meister. Dates: March 12-14. Location: San Francisco at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Web site:

Beads on the Vine is hosted by the School of Beadwork. Teachers: Laura McCabe, Melanie Potter, Cynthia Rutledge and Carol Wilcox Wells. Dates: July 22-25 or July 29-Aug. 1. Location: Quality Suites, San Luis Obispo. Web site:

Teton Bead Retreat is hosted by iBead. Teachers: Jeannette Cook, Rashan Omari Jones, George O'Grady, Kelly Wiese and Jill Wiseman. Dates: July 24-28. Location: Grand Targhee Resort located next to Teton and Yellowstone National Parks. Web site:

Best Bead Retreat is hosted by The Beadcage. Teachers: Margie Deeb, Diane Fitzgerald, Laura McCabe, NanC Meinhardt, Huib Petersen, Cynthia Rutledge and Sherry Serafini. Dates: Aug. 15-21. Location: Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Ga. Web site:

Hooked On Wire is hosted by The Beading Frenzy. Teachers: Lisa Niven Kelly, Dallas Lovett and Barb Switzer. Dates: Sept. 10-12. Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel, San Francisco. Web site:

Weekend With the Wire Masters is hosted by Interweave Press. Teachers: Janice Berkebile, Lisa Claxton, Connie Fox, Mary Hettmansperger, Susan Lenart Kazmer, Lisa Niven Kelly, Dallas Lovett, Tracy Stanley, Barb Switzer and Ronna Sarvas Weltman. Dates: Oct. 28-31. Location: Laguna Cliffs Resort & Spa, Dana Point, Calif. Web site:

Visit to find a wealth of beading travel opportunities. This year, you can bead in Ireland, Italy or even Thailand. Learn metal, wool felting, wire twining, seed beading or polymer clay. Teachers include Maggie Meister, Marilyn Moore, Christi Friesen, Tracy Stanley and Gail Crosman Moore to name a few. Beadventures started with bead retreats in Arizona and has expanded to locations all over the world.

For more unique learning opportunities, check with your local or regional bead societies who often host their own retreats and get-togethers.