When you have happy campers like this, preparing a teaching event is a joy.
But I won't lie! It's a bunch of work. Honestly, I think planning a wedding would be easier. In the long run, though, the more you do it, the easier it gets, especially when you work with the staff at The Dutch Village Inn in Columbiana, Ohio.
The preparation for our yearly event begins about a month after the previous event is over! This is so that I can continue to have the same weekend every year, since it falls in the middle of the month and seems to be a good time for the majority of people.
We always get the large meeting room on the third floor:
By now, it seems like home to me! LOL
If I am bringing a special teacher in, that's done far in advance as well. All the particulars are worked out and their schedule is cleared to be at the event. A room is booked for them and a room block is established for the anticipated number of attendees. A special discounted room price is established by the Inn for those coming for the event.
This year we do have a special teacher, Christi Friesen:
She is ALL about the clay play.
Here's an idea of where we are going with her class this year:
I meet with the event director, Kelly Witmer, a number of times during the year. We work out the seating, what sort of tables will be needed, what we will be doing in the room, drink service, food for our party, etc.
All through the fall anticipation is built for the next Workshop.
Last year, Katie Oskin did clay for a day. It was SUCH fun.
Marcia Tuzzolino and Irene Hoffman prepared a half day mini-beading class.
Here they are getting all the little kits ready for last year, back home in California:
They did a great job with their class and this is what we made (photo, Frances Grisafi)
Both are B'sue Boutiques Design Team members.
In February, I write the contract, post it in the special Event room that I create on Facebook, and then it's first come, first serve!
I always post it on a Saturday so that most will be free to call in their payments, or receive a PayPal invoice. I do all the book keeping for this event as well. This year, we filled up fast!
A few weeks after sign ups are complete I make extensive arrangements for liability insurance for the event. Then I pay all the remaining bills and I start packing. First I had to finish planning my class on vintage style assemblage with wire and pack the Discovery Kits. This is most of what is in them, although I did add a few more items before finishing them.
And here I am working with the stuff, getting my head around how to make this fun for everyone:
I also made a video last week, on some basics about this type of jewelry making:
If you are coming to the class, you will FOR SURE want to have a look at this video.
A couple of other links you might find helpful are a blog post by Heather Powers of Humble Beads:
And another, by reknowned beading artist and master teacher, Diane Fitzgerald:
There are a couple of other videos I made on this subject, too. To find them fast, put 'cagework beading' into your Yahoo or Google search, as they will come up.
Besides that, there is more packing to be done: supplies for Christi's class, more for mine...and things for the open house party on Sunday night!
I think ! this is the last of the brass stampings to be bagged up.
All of the kits, packed up and ready!
More Russian gold plated brass to have at the ready....these are sets of builders and backers:
And pretty little bits......
And these are the hampers with all of my giftie bags for the attendees....
Pasta machines and clay oven already packed in the car!
Annette is pumped about coming this year.....she posted this on our event board:
In less than a week, we will all be in our classroom, working hard:
Our dear friend, Kristy Le, can't make it this year, but her photo sums up the entire spirit of the event:
See you soon!