Monday, December 22, 2008

In the spirit...

What wouldn't you give to be so carefree, relaxed, and free from worry? My girl, Sammy, really knows how to get in the holiday spirit...

I do hope that you're able to find your own peace and joy this holiday season, and that the New Year brings nothing but good things your way. In such challenging times, I'm holding on to the hope that there are better times ahead for all of us. Let's start by gathering together and sharing our creative spirits with one another!

The website will be up in late January--thanks for your patience! The plan is to have the class descriptions up in Feb. sometime, with registration opening in July for the Feb. 2010 retreat. All details will be on the website soon. In the meantime, please refer to previous posts to get an idea of what's in store for you!

Thanks to all of you who have commented, and who have sent me private emails as well. I've replied to all who included an email address, so if you emailed me and didn't hear back, it's because I didn't have your addy. So please write me again--I'd love to hear from you! I'll have a spot on the website to sign up for a mailing list, and will automatically include those of you who have already written me. I'm so thankful for the support and enthusiasm, and I hope to see many of you at a Retreat or Day Journey soon! Best wishes for a happy holiday season!

ps--I'm waiting on confirmation of the venue for DJ's class in May. Will post here just as soon as I have it confirmed...

Friday, November 21, 2008

A peek into the 1st Artful Journey...

(a couple of pages from one of DJ's fabulous books)

The instructors for the Feb. 2010 retreat have begun thinking about what type of class they would like to offer, and let me just say, they're all going to be fabulous! They're still "in the works" but I can give you a little sneak peek into their thoughts: DJ will introduce all kinds of new techniques, incorporating tissue, painting, photos, and "a bazillion others", and then demonstrate a myriad of end projects that you can produce with them; Nina is dreaming up a jewelry workshop, where you will immerse yourself in her soulful methods of creating jewelry that comes straight from the heart; Albie is known for her surface design techniques on paper, and will fill the three days with all kinds of fun and creative design ideas, perhaps working it into a journal; Lesley will be offering "an exploration of image and text as it applies to surface design", incorporating fabric paints and dyes, with over twelve methods of transfering of both image and text to fabric; and Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati Rose McDonough will team up to teach a 'fat coffee-table art journal' filled with paintings that you'll create. I don't envy you having to choose!

The website will be up in January, so please check back. I'm also happy to report that I'll be offering Day Journeys next year--as of this writing, I have DJ Pettitt coming in May, and Judy Wise and Katie Kendrick here in July. Exact dates, location and classes will be posted after the New Year. I do hope that, even in this lousy economy, you're saving up to give this gift of creative exploration to yourself. It's important that we honor ourselves in this way, meeting up with others who share our passion for art and creativity. Wishing you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, surrounded by friends and family.

(oh, and just a favor to ask--if you make a comment on my blog and want a reply, please be sure to include your email, or send me a note directly to my email. Otherwise, I'm not able to contact you--thanks!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dropping in...

Just a note to let you know that I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth! I’ve had some minor setbacks and have been focusing on recovering from my surgery and taking care of myself. I’ve appreciated the emails and encouraging notes, and am so glad to hear from people who are excited about the retreats! In these times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever that we take time to nourish our souls and gather with like-minded individuals to share in the fellowship of creativity. I'm thrilled to be able to offer these small retreats that will be sure to fill you up and rejuvenate your spirit--something we all need right now!

I need to take a little more time for healing, but I’ll be back next month to fill you in on the plans. In the meantime, take care of yourselves and each other.

I could have included a photo of me in my neck brace, or flailing around on my exercise ball, but trust me, you should be glad I didn't. This little frog was hanging around in the center of town in Park City, Utah. Speaking of, The Art Nest just opened registration for next year--they've pulled together some great artists once again. Maybe I'll see you there?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A Little Movement...

An update to let you know that the first Journey has been moved just a couple of days earlier, so that workshops will be held over the wknd.—we’ll check in on Thur., Feb. 18th, with classes on Fri/Sat/Sun, then depart on Mon. Feb. 22. I hope this makes it easier for some of you to attend! I know that there are a number of retreats to choose from these days, and each one has its own ‘feel’ to it. If you’re looking for a venue to nourish your spirit and invite creativity, then this one’s for you. One price will include everything you need---your sleeping room, all meals, snacks, classes, evening activities, etc. A chance to come away feeling that your spirit is nourished, not coming home so exhausted that you need another vacation to recover! It may be just the cure for you after the hectic holidays, so circle these dates on your calendar—Feb. 18-22, 2010.

I’m hoping that the 3-day class format appeals to you as well—one set of supplies, one room where you can leave all your stuff, and a great instructor to inspire you. No schlepping stuff around, zipping from room to room, hauling tons of supplies. Keeping it simple.

We've started working on the website and will have it up soon—I’ll announce it here when it’s ready. The class offerings are still in the works, but just know that they will be wonderful—how can they not be with that great group?!

On another note, I’m also gaining some movement in my neck, which I’m very happy about. I started physical therapy and am hoping to be out of this neck brace before too long. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

Friday, September 5, 2008

More on the Journey

Thanks so much to those of you who have left comments and have emailed me privately, encouraging me in my dream to create An Artful Journey. I'm so thrilled and uplifted by your support! You've asked for more details, so here's what I know for now: the first retreat is scheduled for Feb. 18-22, 2010 with Lesley Riley, Nina Bagley, Albie Smith, DJ Pettitt, and Kelly Rae Roberts and Mati McDonough.

The 2nd event will be on July 18-22, 2010 with Stephanie Lee, Judy Wise, Katie Kendrick Richard Salley, and DJ Pettitt. And I'm thrilled to announce that Kelly Rae Roberts will also be participating in some capacity--she's an amazing, inspirational young woman, just brimming with talent. In case you haven't heard, her new book just hit the shelves and it's a real treasure, so be sure and check it out!

When DJ was visiting here recently, we had the chance to go up to the Presentation Center for another look, and she kindly took these great photos and posted on her blog about the center. I'm so thrilled that she could feel the serenity and uniqueness of the venue, and that she was as excited about it as I was when I first laid eyes on it!
Prices haven't been finalized yet, but one fee will cover 4 nights lodging, 3 days of classes with one instructor, all meals, evening gatherings and other fun activities and treats. The center has places to gather as a group, but also special little areas to escape to if you need some quiet time--walking trails through the forest, small tables out on the patio, and benches scattered both indoors and out. There's a little something for everyone!
I've got a website in the works, so all the details will be posted there as we go along. My webhost just had her first baby, and is taking some time off to get acquainted with the little one (congratulations, Rachelle!), but we'll have it up soon. Once she's back, I'll be sure and put up a 'subscribe' button on the blog, and will do my best to accommodate any other requests. If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact me on the
'contact me' addy listed here on the blog--I'd love to hear from you!

And yes, I'm also hoping to offer a few "Day Journeys" in 2009--single workshops with guest instructors, to be held here in Los Gatos, CA. As soon as I have things confirmed, you'll be the first to know! Stay tuned...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Retreating to The Art Nest

I had a truly fabulous experience at The Art Nest in Park City, Utah back in June. Candice and Julie are the most generous and hospitable hosts, and two of the kindest people you'll ever meet. Every detail was taken care of, from arranging transportation from the airport, to putting handmade nametags on our doors at the B&B, to gifting us with this darling packet of items to use in our workshops. Plus, they managed to round up three of the best instructors around: Stephanie Lee, Carla Sonheim and Alma Stoller. It doesn't get any better than that!

The first night, we were treated to a dinner in town at Bistro 412. They had wonderful food, and it was a great way to meet our fellow attendees.

We stayed at this comfy B&B, right off the main drag and just a short walk from where our workshops were held. We were spoiled by their buffet breakfast every morning and the freshly baked cookies and snacks each afternoon when we returned from class.

There was a lovely patio in front, and a relaxing sitting area off on the other side. Who wouldn't want to sit here and spend some time in the morning journaling?

Each instructor taught one day, and each of them was my favorite at that moment! I've taken a lot of classes, and been to a number of different art retreats, but this threesome was truly a match made in heaven. We got a taste of metalsmithing from Stephanie, drawing and watercolor painting from Carla, and fabric play with Alma. This is a picture of the little packets Alma made up for us to use in class--she's so generous and fun, and her fabric art comes straight from her soul.

All the instructors said that one of the perks of this retreat was that, in addition to teaching, they also got to take each other's classes. Stephanie and Carla had great fun in Alma's class, producing fabric bracelets among other things!

Stephanie's class was chock-full of information and demos, torches and soldering--we could have spent days and days playing with all the techniques she showed us.

And under Carla's expert instruction, students produced amazing whimsical drawings, many of which were truly exceptional pieces of art (not mine--that's a whole other story!)

It truly was an amazing few days, and I know that the other 20+ attendees felt the same way. I'm just so grateful that I had the opportunity to participate and to get to know some of the other women that attended. Candice and Julie are quite a team, so if you ever get the chance to go to one of their retreats, DO IT!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Not Knowing

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
Gilda Radner

This pretty much sums up my life right now. This past year has brought major changes in all areas of my life: career, relationships and health. It’s not what I had planned, but it’s what I’ve got—Delicious Ambiguity. I like the sound of that. It’s all about acceptance, gratitude, and being open to the possibilities.

I’ve now reached the halfway mark in my recovery from spinal surgery, and am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s been six weeks since my surgery, and the neurosurgeon originally said I’d have to wear this neck brace for 3 months. So I’m on the home stretch now, hoping to get this thing off and be able to drive again in just a few weeks. Patience, patience…

The most positive outcome of all this turmoil has been the constant love and support I’ve received from my friends (you know who you are!). Having to ask for help and rely on others is a humbling experience, and I’ll be forever grateful to my good friends who have been, and continue to be, so supportive and giving. Thank you, thank you--from the depths of my soul.

Of course, there's nothing that will hasten healing quicker than a crazy dog and a silly 2-yr. old granddaughter! Laughter is truly the best medicine. (Can you see the family resemblance?)
On another note--the week before my injury, I had the great good fortune to attend The ArtNest in Park City, Utah. More on that fabulous week in my next post…

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Sharing the journey...

Imagine. If you will. Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California, away from the distractions of daily life: A retreat center with quaint dorm rooms located in the Main building; cottages scattered throughout the forest, each accommodating from 4-10 people; three days of creative exploration with one instructor; evening gatherings to share ideas, talents, dreams. Whether it's to learn new techniques and take your art to a new level, to replenish your spirit, to connect with like-minded souls--you'll find all of it at An Artful Journey.

This is the type of retreat that I'm drawn to at this stage in my life, so I'm thinking there might be others out there as well. The first Journey will take place on Feb. 18-22, 2010, with the following fabulous instructors: Lesley Riley, Misty Mawn, Nina Bagley, Albie Smith and DJ Pettitt. The retreat is in the planning stages, so more info will follow as we move along this path. I hope that the idea of a smaller, more intimate gathering appeals to you as it does me. Although I love many of the retreats out there, I'm finding that I'm looking for a slower pace right now, and the chance to really delve into one project and take the time to explore it. That's my vision for An Artful Journey. I hope you'll join us!

ps--oh, and I've got a few other ideas up my sleeve, like offering 'day' workshops with guest instructors at a nearby locale in 2009...stay tuned!