Use the World Around You. No, Literally, Cut it Up and Use it


Bead Fest Philly is right around the corner and, boy, do we have exciting events planned!

There's awesome shopping at the show (of course), but near and dear to my heart are the classes. Bead Fest Philly has some of the best teachers around and nothing beats a shot of inspiration from taking a class or two or three. I've been teaching for more than eight years in the beading/fiber world, and I'm here to confess; It's not easy to pull off a flawless, fabulous class! There's so much prep to get ready for the event, kits to make, goodies to ship, and each teacher must be pretty darned organized for the job! Even when you may think you've got everything covered, life throws you a curveball. 

Learn to troubleshoot when you teach

Time to share one of my teaching near misses. I was teaching one of my most popular classes, Fabulous Fabric Beads. The key element of this class is fabric (duh!), and I'm teaching that evening. It's 7 a.m. I haven't had nearly enough coffee for the drama that's about to ensue, and I'm setting up for an 8 a.m. all-day class when the realization hits.  A box is missing. Oh, yes, the one with the fabric in it. YIKES! Panic incapacitates my body like a hot flash as I realize there's no way to hit a fabric store AND teach my all-day class, unless this cloning thing gets perfected immediately, if not sooner!

So, I place an SOS call to a fellow teacher (who happens to be a BFF as well), and she runs down to my classroom to assess the situation. She hasn't had enough coffee either. In fact she's still in her jammies. As I'm ranting about my fabric-less situation and pacing the room, she looks down and asks me, "What kind of fabric do you need? Would tablecloths work?" Our heads popped up, and we looked at each other with a "dawn lights on marble head" look. Next, we scanned the room that was filled with tables; each one had a TABLECLOTH. I bear-hugged her and ran off to find my rotary cutter. If you were a little birdie outside the locked classroom at the lunch break that day, you could hear some mighty fabric ripping going on behind closed doors.
Extreme measures for the sake of beads

Of course, I paid the hotel for the missing tablecloths, and I DON'T advocate this type of behavior. But there are times you have to think on your feet, or have really clever BFFs around to save the day. I haven't looked at a hotel curtain, tablecloth, or napkin in the same way since and have been grateful those tablecloths made the best fabric beads, EVER, and not one student missed out on learning how to make fabric beads.

If I haven't scared off you wannabe teachers, please do consider teaching at upcoming Bead Fest shows. We love new, fresh, innovative beady classes, so go for it, keeping the following tips in mind.

5 Tips for Successful Teaching from a Bead Fest Pro

Here are 5 tips that will help you succeed in being chosen as a Bead Fest teacher – and  that will help you attract a lot of students.

  1. Be organized and have a backup plan if all supplies and tools don't arrive (read story above).
  2. Have really clear, sharp, professional pictures taken of your project (don't lay the necklace down on your bedspread or hang it from a tree in your back-yard when you shoot it).
  3. Clearly identify all the costs associated with your class when you're planning your class so you know how much to charge. You don't want to charge too much or too little.
  4. Give your class a catchy title that shows potential students you have a sense of fun. After all, this should feel like play.
  5. Use Twitter and Facebook to promote yourself and your class. That way you'll connect with more beaders and give them a fun preview of you and your class. (And if you haven't Tweeted yet, your friends can help you.)

Meet and Greet Philly

I'm really looking forward to my first Meet and Greet as the editor of Beading Daily. Come meet me, chat, and mingle with fellow Beading Daily beadsters Saturday, Aug. 21, 2010 8 p.m.-10 p.m. Celebrate Beading Daily's third birthday with some yummy cake (hope it's chocolate), and let's get to know each other. We'll have some fun games and, of course, FREE beading swag and prizes. Participate in our new contest, Bead Tip Trivia. Give us your fave bead tip at the party, we'll all vote, and the winners will be published on Beading Daily. I'll also have some of the original projects from my book, Fabulous Fabric Beads, with a brief chat at 9 p.m. so you can see them up close and personal.

Looking forward to seeing you at Bead Fest Philly, August 21, 2010 8 p.m.-10 p.m.

Share some of the funny classroom stories you've encountered on Beading

Post a Comment