Studio Musings

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Bead Retreat Weekend - Vashon Island

The view from the back deck of Camp Burton's Dining Hall
I spent last weekend in the company of eight amazing women and fellow artists at a mini-bead retreat.  The setting couldn't have been more perfect.  We stayed in the cutest little house at Camp Burton on Vashon Island.  A short ferry ride from Seattle, Vashon feels like another world.  It's like stepping back into time to a slower-paced world then sideways into an artist community.  Ice-cream shops have huge front porches, flanked by artist collective boutiques and the coolest 'junk' shops.

What I think I love best about retreats is the chance to step away from my everyday to-do lists and focus on simply being and creating.  Stitching, beading, a little sketching, walks along the beach; the little things that bring such joy.

The luxury of leaving home for a long weekend is fantastic.  I started and finished several pieces while I was there.  Which makes me wonder if the magic can't be captured even if you stay closer to home.

Talking with a friend, she mentioned that she periodically hosts 'mini-retreat stitch-ins' at a local community center.  She reserves the room for the whole day, invites friends, buys snacks, even arranges for door prizes.  And when the time comes, she leaves all her cares at home for the day while she spends the day with friends.  Have you ever done a single-day 'mini-retreat'?  I'd love to hear what arrangements you made and how you thought it worked.

My beading table - I organize my beads like kits to save space in packing
clam shells encrusted with barnacles
Another view from the island, at low tide


  1. Beautiful place Karen. How could one not just relax and create in such a beautiful and peaceful place. I have a group of friends and we get together every once and a while when we all can and just spend the day beading, talking, laughing and just enjoying the day. Most of the time we get together on one of our homes, but then sometimes we will go to a coffee shop or a doughnut shop to bead. we get the table in front of the window where the light is good.

  2. What a beautiful escape. I love the mini retreat idea. I am just happy to finish my to-do list early enough to read a bit and lately even create.