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Home » 2014 courses, Art and Craft

Beading with Annlee Butler 5 – 12 October

Annlee Butler returns to Fiji for her fourth beading retreat, leading a wonderful course and also finding time to engage with local women running handicraft stores and showing them new ideas and techniques.

Beading is a richly rewarding craft, easily accessible to beginners and continually fascinating and challenging to experienced beaders.  There is great delight to be had in sitting together making original pieces of jewellery, sharing ideas and designs, and simply taking pleasure in the process of creation. At the end of the week, there’s the huge satisfaction of having something to be shown for it.

This 5 day course is designed to take you from inspiration and ideas to finished designs in wearable beaded work. Each day will start with an elementary section. This will then be followed by hands on experiment time using the elementary notes and discussion so each of the students can work on areas that they wish to improve.

Annlee is one of Australia’s most experienced beaders. Both her previous beading weeks in Fiji have combined daily workshops, afternoon excursions – and the bonus of a fascinating bit of community involvement. She has run sessions for a group of local women in Savusavu, all of whom sell handicrafts and beads at the local market – and are already clamouring for her to return! It proved to be both fun and instructive for the beading group too. Annlee involves them all as teacher’s assistants. She spends the morning before the women arrive teaching them what she pans to do that afternoon, and so later on they all gather round the long table and work together.

And what’s more, it’s a fabulous holiday with as well. During the week there’s time to go into town to see the local market and pick up some handicrafts; to visit the black pearl farm; to walk up the hill, or to have a spa massage. There are organised excursions to the beach and to a local village to see a traditional Fjian meke dance, and there’s a tapa making demonstration - tapa is the traditional decorated Fijian bark cloth.


AUD $1850 twin share

Single supplement: $350
Non-beading partners: $950

Program Includes

Return airport transfers from Savusavu to Daku Resort.
7 nights accommodation at Daku Resort in traditional bures with private facilities.
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners are provided.
Course fees
Lectures and excursions as indicated.

Program Excludes

Flights to Savusavu. We are happy to quote on these and book them for you if requested. Flight prices fluctuate according to demand.
Comprehensive Travel Insurance.
Optional activities not listed on the program.
Costs of a personal nature such as laundry, massages, private trips.
Meals taken in transit at the airport.


For enquiries please fill in our contact form or call (02) 8094 1613 or email

To make a booking go to our booking form.

TEACHER Annlee Butler introduces herself:

“Although all my formal training and degrees are in business management and marketing, I found very little satisfaction or creativity in this type of work. About 18 years ago while working long hours and looking after a family I needed to find a way to relax and decided to knot a strand of my grandmothers glass pearls. I enjoyed it so much I was soon looking for more beads. I have grown to love all aspects of seed bead work, including loom work such as Kumihimo and off loom free form techniques like peyote, herringbone, spirals square stitch etc I have mastered most of the known techniques and a few of the more difficult techniques such as tambour and beading.
In 2003 I was invited to the Masterclass at Bead and Button with master seed bead artists Viginia Blakelock and Carol Perrenoud, which took my work from just- for-fun to wearable artwork.

When I returned home it was time to do more with my beads, since then I have been teaching regular classes, designing and selling bead work through local galleries, become a member of the bead society of Victoria and enjoy entering competitions to expand my creativity.

I look forward to spending a creative week with you and experimenting to take your work in exciting new directions also.”

Detailed Classes Outline

The course runs for 6 days, and includes both workshops and excursions. We start the day with breakfast at 7.30 – 8.30. Workshops run during the morning from 9.30 – 12.30, followed by a light lunch. The afternoons are for relaxing, going on local excursions – or just continuing stitching at your own pace. During your free time you can take optional outings to the local black pearl farm, Waisele waterfall or snorkelling on the reef; you can book a massage, go swimming – or read by the pool. We’re happy to help you arrange any of these. Dinner in the evening is at 7.00 pm.

Day 1 (Sun Oct 5):        Arrive Savusavu.

Day 2 (Mon Oct 6):         Morning: workshop. Inspiration Day and where to find it, how to make it work in your design, how to focus what you want to achieve with the use of stitches and textures. Hands on: students would be asked to bring a picture or an item such as a focal bead or finding that inspires them. This will be the start of a project which each student will design and can be continued during the week or taken home to work on.
Afternoon: Tapa (bark cloth) making demonstration Evening: traditional Fijian welcoming ceremony

Day 3 (Tue Oct 7):        Morning workshop. Stitches techniques day and making stitches work for your design. Hands on: Using Annlee’s Sampler book of stitches, make up small swatch samples of beading stitches to keep as a reference. Stitches include: peyote, right angle weave, in both circular and flat, even and odd count, some of the more unusual stitches such as African helix, chevron, St Petersburg chain, and other interesting variations.

Afternoon visit to Savusavu town for shopping.

Day 4 (Wed Oct 8):    Morning workshop. Components Day. Adding shapes, flowers, and style to your design by the use of components. The different ways to capture a cabochon will also be included in this section.
Hands on:  students will stitch a variety of items such as a herringbone tulips, a lilly in herringbone or peyote, small peyote flowers, leaves in Russian style or using peyote stitch, shapes such as triangles and squares. These items can be used in your own design project or taken home to use later.

Afternoon boat / beach outing.

Day 5 (Thu Oct 9):     Morning workshop. Getting it all together day. Finishing designs with a  professional look. Discussion will include how to add clasps correctly, using wire and beads together, working over structures.
Hands on: students will bead over a wooden bead using a choice of right angle weave or peyote stitch and then experiment with adding components or fringing to complete a beaded focal bead.
Afternoon: free time.

Day 6 (Fri Oct 10):    Morning workshop. All that other stuff. This discussion will cover a variety of subjects that will include: how to write good instructions, how to value your finished project, how to market and sell your designs, what judges look for in a competition piece.
Hands on: Annlee will spend time with each student working on any individual projects or subject they need more information on.
Afternoon free time.

Day 7 (Sat Oct 11):        Morning workshop. Tying up the ends.
Afternoon visit to village for meke (traditional dance). Evening: class show and final dinner.

Day 8: (Sun Oct 12): Depart Savusavu at 8.30 am to get to Nadi for afternoon flights.