I spent last weekend at a women's retreat organized by my church. It ended up being a wonderful time, but I started the weekend not knowing anyone at all. I was concerned that, what with having social anxiety, I'd be afraid to meet anyone, and would spend the time alone.
Still, I went to the event with an open mind and lots of hope to meet other local women and perhaps start some new friendships. I noticed on the agenda that one of the first things we were going to do was "Make Your Own Name Tag" so naturally I brought along my travel quilling kit with some extra cardstock.
The name itself had been provided for us, so all I had to do was pick some pretty paper, glue things together, and then do a bit of quilling. I chose something simple because I was nervous, and because I wanted to be sure the glue had time to dry before I put the tag on. Flowers, can't go wrong.
The first thing that happened was that the array of colors of the quilling paper attracted some attention. "What is that?" one woman asked, and of course I was thrilled to give a quick quilling demonstration. Another woman walked over and said, "Oh, my mom used to do that! I forget what it's called." And so a different conversation got started. By the end of name-tag-making-time, I had several people sitting around me, talking, making tags, and asking to use some of my supplies. It was great.
The rest of the weekend people kept coming up to me and remarking on my name tag. It was absolutely the best conversation starter. I had no idea it would attract so much attention, but was glad that it did - I met so many wonderful people that I probably would have been too shy to approach myself. At the end weekend one of the organizers said I should consider doing a quilling workshop for the next year's retreat! I certainly hope I can say yes to that request - I'll have to see what my schedule holds, but it was so nice to be asked.
I will certainly be quilling more things like name tags in the future. It turns out to be the perfect way to get a conversation going and to meet new people!
Image Credit: My pic of my own nametag, my quilling and design.