Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Paradise - here I come!

OK I've determined that I really need some up close and personal help! Where do I go to find that help? I don't know a soul who works with polymer clay other than the people I've seen on the Carol Duval Show! I start searching around the internet again (got to love Google!) and find the National Polymer Clay Guild. I check for a Mississippi guild. Yea, there is one. I email the contact listed only to be told that the guild is inactive. Well, that was discouraging….

But I'm still infected with the bug, so what do I do now? I start talking with friends, co-workers, anybody I run into about my new creative outlet and find that one of my friends has a friend in one of her stamping groups who also works with polymer clay! She invites me to go to the next stamping meeting as her guest and introduces me to Jennifer. Through Jennifer, I meet Joyce and sign up for Christi Friesen's Yahoo group. Through a post on Christi's group, I find out about the Polymer Paradise Cruise set to sail from New Orleans in April, 2008, and sign up. I later find out that Jennifer and Joyce signed up too. Hurrah! On departure day, the three of us head for New Orleans for an adventure that would change our lives!

Imagine, if you can, four days, five nights at sea with a bunch of crazy clay ladies and a gentleman or two – all with a passion for polymer clay! Imagine classes with Lisa Pavelka, Christi Friesen, Lynne Ann Schwarzenberg and Desiree McCrory. Imagine "in port" days with anybody who did not go on shore excursions being invited to "play" in the workroom where one of the instructors would be overseeing everything and doing demos. What an opportunity! I learned as much or more on the "in port" days as I did in class! Plus I won the little metal lunchbox that Lisa decorated and used for the tickets for all the door prizes! How cool is that?

We kept hearing all the other people in our classes and at gatherings talk about how much they learn and all the fun things they do in their guilds. But we don't have a guild, we say… Start your own, they say. But there's only three of us. We don't know anybody else in our area that works with polymer clay.

Then on the last day of classes, we hear somebody mention those crazy ladies from Mississippi. Now we KNOW they can't be talking about us so who else on the cruise is from Mississippi? Low and behold, right there with us the whole time -- actually in our class group – were Annette and Myra -- both from Mississippi and within easy driving distance! We meet, we talk, we decide to check into either reactivating the old guild or starting a new one. We figure even if it is only the five of us meeting periodically to play with clay and learn from each other, it will be a good thing.

But can we make it happen?

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