It was also the first place that I got introduced to beading. I took a class with William Hodge. All about beading around the world. He showcased so many different types of beading including needlework of which he had made a beautiful vest and he also showed some Mexican beading such as gluing beads onto a skull. Little did I know what an impact this first foray into the world of Creativ Festival would have on me and my career.
Fast-forward many years when I was the volunteer coordinator for the Toronto bead society and had to organize our booth at the festival. At the time I was crocheting with wire to make beautiful necklaces with beads and wire. I was lucky enough to meet Laura Timmons who also was crocheting with beads and wire. We hit it off immediately and my life was forever changed. Laura invited me to be her assistant in her classes at Bead&Button in Milwaukee and what a grand time we had. I was lucky enough to room with her and the inimitable Kristal Wick. My eyes were opened to a entire new world of beading.
Since that serendipitous meeting with Laura, I've taught at the Creativ Festival numerous times and even taught at Bead&Button. In fact, I've never missed either show since.
This year's Creativ Festival saw the debut of my fellow CYS Ambassadors in Canada, June Beach, Pat Reisenburger and Fernando DaSilva. Added to this mix was Calgary's Jamie North and Newmarket's Alison Layton. Although it wasn't formally announced until after the show, Alison is the newest addition to the talented group of CREATE YOUR STYLE with Swarovski Elements Ambassadors.
I had a grand old sparkly time demoing for Dreamtime Creations and Silver Dawn Jewels. I think I did a good job of spreading the sparkle love and enabling a whole new group of people.
As a CYS Ambassador, I attended training in Rhode Island, the headquarters of Swarovski North America. I've kept up with my training and try to learn as many different ways to incorporate Swarovski into my work. This came in particularly handy when I had to temporarily step in to start teaching Pat's class as she encountered travel difficulties. I was happy to be able to teach her class how to make a felted bar of soap and embellish it with Swarovski.
I love what I do and hope I get an opportunity to inspire more people at the next show.