2020 Weaving in the Sunshine State Basket Weaving Retreat

Becky Bechtel

2020 Weaving in the Sunshine State Basket Weaving Retreat - Fort Myers, FloridaInterested in attending in 2020? Make sure that you are on the email notification list for when the Retreat Brochure is available (July 2019) by just clicking on the "contact us" button and sending me your email address. All correspondence for the weaving retreat is sent digitally - no hard copies are mailed to save costs.

Also stay tuned for a newly updated website to be released for the 2020 weaving retreat. You will be able to access the website page from both www.BrightExpectationsBaskets.com and www.WeavingInTheSunshineState.com

**Cue the Drum Roll** Teachers for 2020 are officially announced and I couldn't be more proud and pleased to do this big reveal. 

  • Trisha Brown - Nantuckets
  • Char Ciammaichella - Traditional
  • Jelena Clay - Gourds & Lauhala Jewelry
  • Jeanne Dudley - Traditional
  • Debbie Hurd - Traditional
  • Annetta Kraayeveld - Traditional & Paper
  • Bev Larson - Brooms & Rib Basketry
  • Peggy McCarson - Traditional
  • Barbara McCormick - Sweetgrass Coiling
  • Jimmie Earl & Mary McKinzie - Traditional
  • Pam Milat - Traditional
  • Alice Ogden - Black Ash
  • Billy Owens - White Oak
  • Bonnie Rideout - Traditional
  • Pam Talsky - Pine Needle & Jewelry
  • Karen Tembreull - Naturals
  • Becky Bechtel - Traditional

I hope to see you in 2020. A little birdie told me that it's going to be a very good year!

SAVE THE DATE! February 1-4, 2021! Getting a venue the size we need for the weaving retreat in south Florida in the peak of "season" is not an easy task. And booking WAY in advance is the only hope of securing it. So it's done! In 2021 (yep ... that's 2021), we'll be back at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower Shops in Ft. Myers, Florida. Mark your calendars now so you won't be disappointed with a date conflict later. And you might notice also ... the dates are reserved for FOUR days of weaving in 2021. This is not yet cast in concrete, but it's reserved while it's being given some consideration. I'd love to hear your feedback!

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2019 Weaving in the Sunshine State Basket Weaving Retreat

Becky Bechtel
Registration continues!

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2018 Weaving in the Sunshine State Basket Weaving Retreat

Becky Bechtel

2018 Weaving in the Sunshine State Basket Weaving Retreat

I promised it was going to be bigger and better. I said the venue was going to be larger and there would be more class offerings. And it sure was! The 2018 weaving retreat was almost exactly double the number of attendees from 2017. We added teachers and classes with a wider variety of weaving options. It was an amazing event and I enjoyed seeing all the happy faces around the room (even those that were in very stern concentration, lol). 

The teachers for the 2018 Weaving in the Sunshine State were: Pam Talsky, Alice Ogden, Patty Feather, Debbie Mroczenski, Char Ciammaichella, Denise Bendelewski, Julie Kleinrath, Tonya Cubeta, Debbie Hurd, Candace Katz, Karen Maugans, Barbara Nelson and myself, Becky Bechtel. 

This was the first year at the Crowne Plaza at the Bell Tower Shops, but still staying in Ft. Myers, Florida. In this much larger venue, we were all able to gather in one room (so we could watch what everyone else was weaving too) and still have some elbow room to stretch out.

The additional space also presented the opportunity to add two vendors for your shopping pleasure. KnK Creations (Kim and Karen Maugens) had a wide variety of traditional weaving supplies and every color under the rainbow of dyed reed. Barbara Nelson of Phoenix Rising Ultd. (Artgal's Studio on Facebook) provided supplies for pine needle coiling. Your patronage to these vendors is much appreciated.

The always popular, Silent Auction, was very successful in raising funds to be used as seed money for the 2019 event. If you donated or purchased an item ... my deepest gratitude. I would for sure miss someone if I tried to list each of you but know that your contribution is what will make 2019 possible.

And next year? What to expect? We'll be at the same venue (we're already booked and the deposit is made). The dates will move out just a bit to February 5-7, 2019. Interest has already been high with potential new attendees. Do I think next year will be bigger and better? Yep! You bet I do!!

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2017 Weaving in the Sunshine State Basket Weaving Retreat

Becky Bechtel

2017 Weaving in the Sunshine State - Basket Weaving Retreat

2017 Weaving in the Sunshine State - RETREAT INFO BROCHURE

2017 Weaving in the Sunshine State" - CLASS CATALOG

The 2017 teachers are: Patti English, Karen Kotecki, Laura Lee Zanger, Debbi Mroczenski, Jennie Baas, and Becky Bechtel. 

The inaugural year of the Weaving in the Sunshine State basket weaving retreat was a huge success! What started out as just an inkling of an idea to gather together 12-15 weavers in south Florida for a Saturday class session snowballed into a three day event. I had no idea that there would be so much interest and that I would make so many friends along this journey.

When I stood back and looked at the weaving room waiting for you all to arrive, I have to admit ... it was a bit emotional. Some of our craft's most esteemed teachers were taking a chance on a brand new event sponsored by a relative newbie (me!). Weavers from all over the US were traveling to attend - WAY more than I had ever anticipated with my original projection of 12-15. Vendors, suppliers, teachers, and registrants donated items for the silent auction to provide seed money for future years. This was REALLY happening!

I can't thank you enough for taking a chance on me. I hope you had at least half as good of a time as I did. There were new friends made and old acquaintances revisited. New weaving skills were banked in our minds to utilize on future projects. Memories were carried home along with some AMAZING baskets.

This is only the beginning. It's going to be bigger and better. There's going to be more weavers and bigger venues. You can look forward to more teachers and a wider variety of class options. 

Remember the movie "Field of Dreams"? Build it and they will come? It was built, you came, and dreams do come true. See you next year!

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