Inside the Studio with Humblebeads

Each week one of our contributors gives you a sneak peek into their studio, creative process or inspirations. We ask a related question of our readers and hope you’ll leave comments! As an incentive, we offer a prize each week to bribe you to use that keyboard and tell us what you think. The following week a winner is chosen at random from all eligible entries.
Congratulations to Blue Kiln Beads!

You have won a mystery bundle from Claire’s latest bead making marathon! 

Hello and welcome to the Humblebeads Studio today! I’m actually on a little hiatus this week – which went by way too fast to work on book #3 for me that will be out next summer. Yeah. But aside from that I have also been busy in my studio this summer creating class samples for fall retreats. (Yes that is plural!)

I will be hosting my 5th annual fall retreat during Halloween weekend in South Haven, MI – my sleepy little hometown.

It’s three days of beadmaking and playing with metal and wire to create jewelry. This event is my heart and inspiration wrapped up into three days.

I pick a theme every year to create a collection of jewelry and this year is Forest Floor Treasures. We will go for a nature walk on the trail near my home to a covered bridge over the Black River. It’s one of my favorite places here in town and has inspired many a creation in my studio!

If spending three days soaking up my beadmaking knowledge and creating jewelry sounds like a little slice of heaven, stop on over and read all the details. I only have a few spaces left and would love to have an Art Bead Scene reader or two join me!

So on to the giveaway – your favorite part right? At my first retreat I created little name plates for everyone’s door. It was a small touch but it was appreciated. I also put together a little fall inspired gift bag with beads from a few of my friends and treats I picked up a bead shows during the year. My first year I even created a little creative scavenger hunt booklet – I should do something like that again!

My question – what little surprise or extra touch would mean a lot to you at a bead retreat? Help me brainstorm some ideas.

One lucky random reader will be picked from the comments for a $25 gift certificate to Humblebeads.com.

—- On a side note: can I tell you how much I love reading all your thoughtful comments on our Inside the Studio posts! I really loved reading about your color combinations last week on Claire’s post. You guys are so inspiring. Love ya to pieces!!!!

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18 Comment

  1. Staci Smith
    July 24, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    I think a special bead or momento, like a bracelet, that only people on the retreat would have would be an awesome touch. And you know it's a win cause of course they love beads! !!!!

  2. Staci Smith
    July 24, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I think a special bead or momento, like a bracelet, that only people on the retreat would have would be an awesome touch. And you know it's a win cause of course they love beads! !!!!

  3. Amara Honeck
    July 24, 2015 at 2:39 pm

    Heather, a perfect little surprise could be a special project we don't know about. Something completely unique to make that you didn't list in your projects for the class! I have to say that last year's retreat was awesome and when you showed us how to make the seed bead/ribbon wrapped beads and how to bend wire for one of the items — you added two techniques to my work table that I won't forget. It would be awesome to have a "surprise" of an additional project! πŸ™‚ Looking forward to seeing you soon!

  4. freshbakeddesigns
    July 24, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    A pretty vase of flowers in the bedroom always makes the space welcoming. Maybe a basket of small toiletries or special lotion. Have a wonderful retreat!

  5. Saraccino
    July 24, 2015 at 6:03 pm

    In the end exactly what you described: To feel welcome, that this is a personal retreat where you also really enjoy having them around to attend your workshop. Name plates at the doors are nice. Easy to settle in without confusion, especially if people not know each other.

    The gift bag: Honestly, we all love beads! Nothing better than a special collection πŸ˜‰ But I think with your work it would also work perfectly to include some natural thing: Small sea shells, feathers, tiny pieces of wood or bark, rough semi-precious stones… something that could work with your theme, your beads but also could be used to create impressions on clay… or just be some memory and decoration at home. I don't know if others would love that, but I would!


  6. Kathy Lindemer
    July 24, 2015 at 7:24 pm

    I would love a few beads that relate to your theme for the retreat that are a limited edition for that retreat. Also, a few pieces of chocolate kisses to show love. Who doesn't love chocolate? If you are really energized a homemade fall cookie or 2 would be wonderful.

  7. FotoJennic
    July 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    I love the scaenger hunt idea!! And the name plates for the doors must have been such a great help to everyone. GIFT BAGS WOULD BE GREAT THOUGH, AND YOU COUL DINCLUDE HELPFUL ITEMS LIKE BEAD THREADERS OR THREAD ZAPPERS OR for the polymer, perhaps some clay sculpting tools, and some embellishments to add to their class projects.
    OH and another great idea would be to kidnap me and take me with you on a retreat, :p

  8. beadrecipes
    July 24, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I like the idea of a special bead or two, to remind participants of the retreat. Perhaps a mini-inspiration kit, and some time to make a little memento of the weekend.

  9. Katherine Thompson
    July 25, 2015 at 1:08 am

    I agree with Staci because I have never been too a retreat I cccould only think of wine, and not the color. For me personally I'm all about the bead making I want to know more more more. I like information and experience shared. And food!

  10. Terri Del Signore
    July 25, 2015 at 3:05 am

    Ok so my first thought was chocolate! Maybe because I'm on day 3 of not eating sugar! But I really think something that could be kept as a reminder of the retreat would be better. Or combine the two! OK Im really craving chocolate! How about a little keepsake box that could be used to store any nature finds in. It could start out with some chocolate in it – I'm just saying! ?

  11. Lotus
    July 25, 2015 at 12:22 pm

    How about little acorn beads made with real acorn caps and colorful polymer nut bottoms as a little keepsake trim on a small organdy bag filled with chocolates on my pillow the first night??? Terri

  12. Terri
    July 25, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    I was thinking of those handmade soap the clear kind with the flecks of flowers and lavender …in the shape of one of your distinctive beads. For example …..the house pendants you make ….would be a simple shape….wrapped up in pretty packaging and tied up with a real bead/pendant attached….? Hopefully the suggestions you are getting here have inspired you. πŸ™‚

  13. Divya N
    July 25, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    I have never been to a bead retreat and really wish I could go to one. Your plan sounds wonderful – relaxing, good classes and making friends. you could include some papers or booklets on variations of the techniques that you are showing in class to encourage people to dabble in them if they like to work extra. I would also love a small finished piece of jewelry from my beloved artist guru

  14. Ann Schroeder
    July 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    This is probably too work intensive, but might spark another idea. I think a small card with a sketch by you with the participant's name would be special. They could frame it to remember the retreat.

  15. Cory Tompkins
    July 25, 2015 at 9:06 pm

    Hi Heather! One of these days I really hope to do a live retreat with you. I love the name badge idea especially since I am really bad with names. Maybe a retreat "program" that tells participants the agenda and also lists the other participants with a little blurb about each one (even if it's just a favorite jewelry technique and link to shop/facebook, etc). Chocolate is always a nice touch too!

  16. Elizabeth
    July 26, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    My favorite treat would be to receive little tokens from the presenter/s. It is nice to take away a little piece of someone who has inspired you to better creativity.

    Good luck all.

  17. Erin S
    July 27, 2015 at 12:08 am

    a special little charm or bead given to participants is always appreciated. Or of course, booze. πŸ™‚

  18. Sarajo Wentling
    July 28, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I'm still so sad that I can't make your retreat this year… or the one you're doing with Andrew. (Sobs!) I would agree that some special bead just for the group would be fabulous. I know whatever you decide, your group will love it because it's a special something from you!

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