Alpine Retreat

Blue skies and flower strewn meadows, perfect.

Retreats are such a treat, and my first week long series of classes at the Alpine Experience in the French Alps was the best fun. The landscape of mountains forms a backdrop to the studio where we work. With a whole week of studio time, everyone has time to explore the projects at a pace to suit themselves. As a teacher it is heaven to have time to help students grow ideas and new techniques.We arrived to find the region basking in a heatwave, which gave us spectacular lightening light shows and thunderstorms some evenings. Awesome!

The view from the studio!




We kicked off with Divine, a gorgeously sparkly pendant, just to get our beady fingers limbered up.

Divine variations.





Then we dived into the Colours of Love, beadwork inspired by colourful granny square crochet and the maths of Plato and Archimedes. You can see more about Colours of Love here). Everyone went home brimming with new ideas and inspiration to explore, which made me very happy.

Some of us beaded on through Siesta time.


A retreat is also about fun, food and fresh air. We went up a mountain in a cable car, walked back down through the beautiful landscape. Stopped to dine alfresco on the freshest local foods en route (cheese anyone?). Each evening we relaxed before supper with drinks, and watched the sun painting the mountains pink and gold as it set. 

Lunch, local style.

Nadine, Mark, Aubin, Jackie and the team look after everyone with great care and attention to the tiniest detail, from special dietary needs, to a choice of lovely excursions.

We day tripped to the beautiful town of Annecy, with it’s turquoise blue lake and quaint old town, everyone shopped for cheese and other delicious treats.





If you’d like to join me next time, in 2020 we’ll be meeting in the mountains in October for a week of exploration into the intricacies of bead embroidery combined with pure beading. The textures, the techniques and three very different projects to play with. I’ll be posting all the details very soon.