Tuesday, 8 May 2012


I cannot believe that it is over a week since I returned from Atlanta! The time I spent in Atlanta galloped away at an even more indecent pace. Looking back, I cannot recall exactly when I decided that I would make this trip. I know that I was captivated by Japanese bead embroidery when I first laid eyes on the book "Bead Embroidery Bag" by Reiko Matsukawa. I was aware that Matsukawa-sensei was teaching bead embroidery annually at the Japanese Embroidery Centre but at that point in time at trip to Atlanta for a 3-day bead class seemed preposterous!

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

In 2008 I learned that a newly qualified tutor was about to begin classes in the UK. Within days I had signed up for my first class and in November 2008 my journey in JBE had begun. By spring 2009 I had completed Phase I and booked a class for Phase II. By the autumn the same year I was moving onto Phase III. My progress slowed during 2010 when my mojo went missing for a few months but it was Poppy Pouch that relit my fire and got me stitching again.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Late in 2010 a few things happened that may have started me thinking that I needed to go to Atlanta. Even though Poppy Pouch was far from finished I took a class to start Phase IV. Floral Melody is the piece depicted on the cover of "Bead Embroidery Bag", the piece that I fell in love with when I first saw the book, this rekindled my enthusiasm for bead embroidery. I think it was around this time that my UK tutor informed us that she intended to immigrate to New Zealand. And about the same time we learned that Matsukawa-sensei would not be teaching a class at the JEC in 2011 due to bad health. All of a sudden it looked as if my opportunity to learn Japanese Bead Embroidery was coming to an end; this spurred me on to progress as quickly as possible through Phases III and IV. When the 2012 bead class was announced in June 2011, I knew without a doubt that I was going to America.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

And so it was that on April 14 2012 I found myself in Atlanta with my good friend and fellow beading enthusiast, Sue. I was exhausted from the journey, feeling desperately ill with a throat infection and more home sick that I had felt in my entire life.

© JEC/Carol-Anne Conway

Happy Stitching


Cynthia Gilbreth said...

I'm so sorry you were homesick in Atlanta, but I'm sure you learned a lot and had a great time stitching beautiful beaded things Please show us what you started there!

Sue said...

The JPW looks super. I would like to have a go sometime. Jean Julier teaches japanese bead work in the UK.

Glad you finished your camelias. I thought it was the most difficult phase! That random long and short drove me mad!!
Look forward to your next blog. Sue

Sue said...

It should read JBW!Sue

Rachel said...

I'm looking forward to hearing about your adventures and what you learnt - I'm sure it was well worth the trip, and even the homesickness!

elmsley rose said...

I do hope that you are all better now :-) It's a pity that you had to travel so far, but your work is just stunning! Edible!

Susan Elliott said...

If I had known how sick you were, I would have figured out a way to get there to give you TLC...looking forward to hearing the rest of the story... You're cute to be homesick...very sweet.