Sunday, July 17, 2011

Give-Away Winners!

Good morning!  Thank you all for the nice comments left on my blog this past week—I wish I could send a packet to each one of you.  I decided to have two winners though, so here you go:

Congratulations to Karen Dorcas and Colleen Rhoads--please email me your address and I'll get the packets out this week.  Thanks again to all who commented; I'll be doing this from time to time (love sharing my finds), so check back!  Have a joyful Sunday!  cindy

Monday, July 11, 2011

Provisions Give-Away!

In honor of registration opening tomorrow for the Artful Journey Retreat next February, I'm doing a give-away!  Just leave a comment and I'll enter your name in a drawing for a Provisions packet—these are packets of goodies that I put together for Artist Sale at the retreat.  They're usually a mix of fabric and vintage papers and ephemera, but I can customize it and do only fabric, only paper, or a combination of both.  I'll pull the name next Sunday, July 17, so good luck!
ps--don't forget to register for the retreat at noon tomorrow!  Whoohoo!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Looking Back...Leaning Forward

I'm seriously delirious looking over some of the photos of past retreats, with the paints, papers and other materials spilling out all over the place.  I'm deep into reminiscing, which is getting me even more excited about next February's An Artful Journey retreat.

I'm now officially in the 'creative design' mode, wondering what little gems will come to me in my dreams or in the shower...or where ever.  (I do my best creative problem-solving in the water or while driving.  When I'm out and about, I use Dragon Dictation to record my thoughts—it then sends me an email, so I don't lose the random ideas that pop up unexpectedly.  But I'm still working on how to remember those fleeting thoughts when I'm in the shower—hmm, maybe a huge waterproof post-it note on the shower wall.  Wouldn't that be great?!

For past retreats, I've had a blast making journals, bags, nametags, notepads, vintage bags, and other goodies.  This is the time of year I start seeing inspiration everywhere:  at flea markets, looking through photos, starting a creative project, and rummaging through my stash.  I never know where it's all going to lead, but I know it's going to be good!  I'm feeling the stirrings...

Right now, I'm inspired by looking through the class offerings here--have I mentioned how grateful I am that I have the most awesome instructors teaching for me??  I'm just thrilled to have all that talent in one place, at one time.  The retreat is the perfect place to gather after the busy holiday season; it's a gift we should all give ourselves from time to time.  It's a chance to renew our creative spirits and spend time with others who share the same artistic pursuits; time to take care of our selves after taking care of others around us; time to reawaken our passion.  Registration opens on Tuesday at noon, Pacific time—I hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Checking in

I've been out of town taking care of my dad as he recovers from a burst appendix (he's doing great, for which I'm very thankful).  I had planned on doing a different post while down here but in my haste to leave town, I neglected to put them into dropbox so I'd have access to them!  So this will just have to do for now.

This is a pic of my dad's dining room table that I've taken over.  I'm a bit obsessed right now with another of Mary Ann Moss's fabulous online classes, "Full Tilt Boogie".  I have yet to complete a journal, but I've amassed about 10 books that are just waiting to be disemboweled and!  Some of them are vintage albums that I acquired late at night in a flurry of bidding on Ebay--I'm sure there are those of you who can relate!

On another note, I had so much fun being interviewed by Rice Freeman-Zachary for a podcast last week. She's so easy to talk to; it was as if we were sitting down at the kitchen table over a cup of coffee. We chatted about An Artful Journey and retreats and creativity--all that good stuff! You can listen to it by clicking on the sidebar link.  I'm thrilled that she'll be attending the retreat and leading a panel discussion on creativity. Can't wait! Registration for the retreat opens just two weeks from now, so I hope you have it on your calendar. I expect some of the classes to fill pretty quickly!

Hope you have a happy, safe 4th of July weekend!  I'm hoping to be back home by then, so I'll be in touch soon.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I had the luxury of spending a week by myself at Pine Mountain Lake, just south of Yosemite—just me and my books, journal, pen and paper, and tons of fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms.   I had visited there exactly two years ago, and it was a turning point for me, a sacred time of healing; it holds a very special place in my heart.

With all the changes that have taken place in my life since then, it was comforting to be back in a space where time seemed to stand still.  Even if it was only an illusion, it felt solid and grounded and was just what I needed. 

And so the journey begins—and ends—and changes, as it does in every moment.  The possibilities are endless and grander than we can ever imagine.  I'm moving FORWARD and it's all good.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Looking for order...

as I move through the messiness of daily life.  Not 'bad messy' necessarily, just the stuff that life is made of.  I'm thinking about Einstein's Three Rules of Work:
1. Out of clutter, find simplicity.
2.  From discord, find harmony.
3. In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.

Seems pretty simple when you put it like that.  Smart guy, that Einstein.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

February Retreat Workshops!

The info for the 4th Artful Journey Retreat is up on the website—check it out here!  I'm so excited to have such a remarkable group of instructors joining in next year.  You can't go wrong with any of them, that's for sure!  Now the fun really begins—scheming, dreaming and creating things to make it a very special time for everyone.  Registration opens on July 12 at noon, Pacific time; mark your calendars!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A teaser...

My webmaster has assured me that the workshops for the February 2012 retreat will be posted on the website for viewing this week, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed.  Like many of us, she's had some unforeseen family issues come up, but I'm hopeful!  She's done a wonderful job for me as she juggles a full-time job, new baby and family life.

 You can look forward to spending 4 nights up at the Presentation Center in the redwoods of northern CA, and 3 full days with one instructor, just soaking up the creativity.  The retreat will be held February 23-27, with registration opening online on July 12.  Just look what you have awaiting you!

 Sumptuous Papers--Albie Smith

 Nourishing the Creative Heart--Katie Kendrick

 Santos Sensations--Tory Brokenshire

 The Ultimate Art Book--DJ Pettitt

Bloom True!--Flora Bowley

Once again, I'm so honored to be hosting such talented instructors—it's the combination of instructors, attendees, and the sensational venue that makes An Artful Journey so magical.  I'm working on other fun details and dreaming up some inspiration, so stay tuned.  I'll post again as soon as the classes are up!

(and oh YES...we'll be doing the Prayer Flag project again!)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mom Love

I'll admit it—Mother's Day is my favorite day of the year--better than my birthday.  Way better.  Being a mom is the toughest, most challenging, and most rewarding thing I'll ever do in my life, so why not celebrate it?  Since both of my sons are now grown men with their own lives, it's harder for us to coordinate our calendars.  Of course, we get together on the holidays, but there are always so many distractions then with the big meals, the gifts, meeting the needs of other family/friend obligations, etc. 

 Mother's Day is different--the focus is on us just being together, my sons and I (along with the girlfriend, guest doggy and grandgirlies this year).  No fancy gifts needed, no dress-up brunch or dinner.  Just give me some laughs with my guys and I'm good.  My older son, Ryan, always comes up for Mother's Day, no matter what.  He's never missed one, even though he's lived down south ever since he left high school for college. I love him for that.  

 meeting uncle ryan's plane

And for the weekend, Forrest somehow manages to juggle the drama and keep the peace among the four females in his life—not an easy task, believe me!  He and Ryan go out of their way to make me feel appreciated, and this year was so good that it was almost more than I could take.  The care, the love, the sweetness they showed me was beyond description.  It was the little things that I'll remember the most, among them the gift of the most heartfelt, tenderly written words from the soul of a poet.

We've had our struggles and our ups and downs, but we've always been there for each other--no matter what.  I know I can count on them, and they can count on me.  I'm enormously grateful, and am so, so proud of each of them.  I only wish my own mother was still here to enjoy spirit, yes she is.

My guys are very different, and yet they are similar in the ways that truly matter—they are kind, they are wise, they are loyal, they are love.  To all you young moms out there struggling with the growing-up years of a colicky baby, or a fussy toddler, or the difficult teen years—just hold on.  The best is yet to come...

 (and don't even get me started on the grandgirlies--I'm one very blessed mom and grand mom)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Hidden treasures...

I've been going to the Alameda Antiques Faire for years, and have visited the Euro-Linens large booth many times—but last month I had the opportunity to chat with the owner, Dani, and learn more about their business and the process they use to make their pillows.  I fell in love with the pillows made from vintage cotton mill sacks from France.  She and her husband, Erik, started their cottage industry together, and they have really top-quality items.

I had to leave the Alameda without purchasing from them, since my car was filled to the brim and I had already spent more than I had intended.  But I couldn't get those pillows out of my mind, so I decided to drive to La Selva Beach last week to check out Patine, the little shop that they run their business out of. 

 The view of the inside of my car from the side door--good thing I didn't have any passengers!

What a wonderful little enclave La Selva is, just tucked into the coast there.  It's a little treasure, quietly welcoming those who enter.

I spent the better part of the afternoon drooling over everything in the store, taking photos, and visiting with Dani.  Her husband, Erik. stopped by as well, so I got a chance to meet him too.  He designs and creates the pillows, doing all the sewing himself.  Sounds like a keeper to me!  What a warm, friendly couple they are; it was such a pleasure to get to know them.

In addition to the pillows, I ended up with a bit of jewelry, candles, and a couple of vintage shirts.  If I had unlimited funds, I would have scooped up everything in that store--the furniture, the artwork, more pillows, light fixtures, clothing, everything. 

 This is the shop watchdog--the only thing that's not for sale!


 Someday I'm going to take the Amtrak up Hwy. 1--amazing route

 Thank heavens Max approves!

When I look at the pillows, I'm reminded of the peaceful afternoon I spent on my solo drive, finding the gem of this little community, and most importantly, making a new friend.  If you're ever in the area, I encourage you to stop by—Dani would love to see you.