Beading Nights are a time to gather together with like-minded friends who bead, friends that I love to be with. It’s a somewhat contrived event that ensures real studio time along with the that fantastic “artist’s colony” feel: I love Beading Night. And because Beading Nights are a fixture in my life, I use them as a resource, too: setting aside involved projects for a few weeks knowng that I can get them done on Beading Night. And with tools and supplies gathered, and a fun atmosphere that I enjoy, I DO get those projects done! So here’s my very basic outline on How to Host a Beading Night of your own.
Who: fun beaders who won’t hurt the beading mojo that you’re after.
Where: a cozy room with ample space.
When: an evening after kids’ bedtime. (Beading Night usually relieves the longings that I have for going out for Margaritas with my girlfriends, so it plays out like the Margarita Night: a night of no kids and no cares.)
Place settings: Provide a nice work space for each guest by giving enough elbow room and a place mat to keep beads from rolling around. I know there are beading mats on the market, but I’ve found that my regular dining room place mats work very well.
Lighting: While my dining room is usually a little dim (ambiance!), dim lighting will not work for any crafting night. So for Beading Night, I place my buffet lamps in the center of the table for lots of direct light. Be sure to tape down the extension cord because if anyone’s drinking wine, they’ll thank you later when they don’t trip to an embarrassing death. (And if you have an Ott Light in house, now’s the time to bring it out.)
Drinks: wine or Margaritas.
Food: I switch off between offering a nicer snack to serve as a half-time break and offering finger food available for all-night snacking. Beading Night is a nice to excuse to eat some wonderfully rich food that I don’t prepare very often. Some nights I like that refined adult vibe of eating with utensils, but other nights, I just want to get together with friends (and eat). Finger food shouldn’t be greasy or smudgy: pita wedges and hummus and pretzels with dip are good options, and I always have a bowl of M&Ms out.
Have on hand: extra tools (because Nicole forgot her wire cutters last time and I almost killed her as we shared the one pair of wire cutters _all_evening), beading magazines and resources for inpsriation, extra jewelry ziplocs (because we’re always busting out a new string of beads for Beading Night and swapping beads back and forth).