As we disembarked Sunday, January 24th, I was sad to be leaving the friends I’d made in the short week of the BeadCruise 2010. What a week! But let me start at the beginning…

When I accepted the offer to teach on the 2010 Bead Cruise I didn’t know what to expect. Even though I grew up on the shores of Cocoa Beach, I’d never been on a cruise. But Heather Powers and her annual BeadCruise came highly recommended by students and renowned teachers, and I felt honored by the offer.

To be on a cruise ship is to be in another world. Cocooned from land and everyone on it, for a brief while you are living in a community of sorts. One where all your needs are taken care of by the most efficient, precise, organized machine of a system I have ever encountered. Imagine not having to clean, do laundry, or even think about what to make for dinner. And food delivered to your door any hour of the day or night. And pools, spas, fitness center, outdoor activities, music, games, all within walking distance. It is mind-boggling. And dizzying.

One of my sketchbook entries from the BeadCruise

We loved the towel animals that appeared on our beds each night after dinner!

I’m in constant pusuit of beauty. Here’s what I found on the Bead Cruise…

The most beautiful visual experiences were the limitless, unobstructed views of sea and sky… as far as my eye could see and mind could imagine. I never tired of the shifting colors, movement, and patterns. I wish I could spend a thousand more hours witnessing the majesty of the open sea.

Can't get enough of those beloved towel animals. We even shot a video of, as its ears quivered with the movements of the ship.

The most beautiful of all experiences was the community we beaders formed through our generosity and love of our craft. Bead artists are so generous, always wanting to share a new technique or idea with anyone who has a want and a moment to listen. I’m touched by this, no matter how many times I am part of it. In class someone had an issue with knotting, and there was Lila teaching everyone a Tailor’s Knot… not once, but at least 4 times (I lost count). I’ve wanted to learn St. Petersburg chain and Bev made sure she set aside time to teach me individually. Often when someone enthusiastically admires another’s creation to the point of aching desire, the creator takes it off and gifts it to them, leaving the recipient in tears. Like I said, bead artists are beautifully benevolent.

to be continued on Thursday (when I’ll tell you about the instructors)…

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