Well, kids, I'm back from what I like to think of as my annual art pilgrimage to Stampaway in Cincinnati and all I can say is, "Wow! What a time I had!" We hit town late on Thursday morning and I headed to the first of five workshops that I was registered to attend. Literally, I arrived one hour before my first class was to begin and, once I left my room to head downstairs to that first class, I don't think I stopped going for the next three days!
My first class was with Linda Crofton aka Lovely Linda who I secretly believe is actually my alter-ego in some form or fashion. What can I say about Linda? She makes fabulous projects and one of the reasons I love her the most is because she uses all the bright colors that appeal to the kindergartener in me. We made a collage using Tim Holtz diecuts inside specimen boxes that were totally messy and whimsical which, of course, means they were great fun even though I uncharacteristically brought ONLY the suggested stamp pads to her class which meant that I was soon having to beg to borrow extra colors from my tablemates! But that's what makes these classes fun anyway -- getting to know others at your table and sharing not only supplies, but ideas. I was at a great table with a group of super creative women who made were on their way to making some pretty fabulous collages. Now, what Linda knows about me is that I never finish a project in class so my box is still in pieces and waiting for me to jump back in and finish it (hopefully, before next year). What Linda may not know is how determined I am not to let this particular project (or any of the projects from this year) languish the way they have in the past so I'll be getting to it either today or tomorrow. Gil and I also had the chance to spend a little time outside of class with Linda and her friend, Sharon, which doesn't always happen due to the crazy schedules that everyone is on, but this year it worked out that we could have a little time to visit. Bonus! It turns out that Linda may be considering putting on another of her awesome retreats this year in North Carolina and, if she does, I'm sure hoping I get to attend!
Another really good, but intense, workshop that I attended was with Joni Russell of Artful Illusions. Oh my gosh! How many people did I hear talking about how worn out they were after her class?! Honey, we were on our knees. But no one was complaining....we loved it all. In years past, it has been books or wire wrapping classes that I've taken with Joni, but she has become as fascinated with making jewelry and has clearly thrown herself into it with abandon so this year it was so much more than wrapping wire. This time we were making our own elaborate charms to go on a found item charm necklace. This may not sound like much if you aren't a jewelry person, but it is and her class was a whirlwind of activity. We cut and punched metal, wrapped wire, dapped, filed and glued to our hearts' content, and, through it all, we were stopping to watch demos put on by Joni, her daughter and her husband in which they showed us how to etch copper and drill glass. As usual, Joni outdid herself with the work that she put into her class and it showed. I came home with not only the kit from the class that we attended, but the additional two kits to make up an entire sampler necklace, as Joni referred to it since it covered an entire range of techniques.
Aside from collaging inside specimen boxes and making jewelry, I made three different styles of books -- one of which was made to fit inside a really cool little box that was dreamed up by Gaye Medbury. What can I say? She comes up with some of the most interesting projects and her style is funky and cool, yet elegant. I can tell I'm going to be making tons of these little books in boxes. I've already come home and finished the one I started in class and am in the middle of making another one! You can see from the photos below why I'm on idea overload with all the variations on this particular project. I love it!
Okay, now you see why I'm so inspired by this little gem, don't you?
Aside from attending some truly inspirational workshops, I think I made more new friends this year than ever before and was also able to catch up with several others who I never get to see in person. It was awesome.
So now I'm home and inspired and ready to work. I'd write more, but we did so much during the entire weekend that I'm just honestly out of steam, so I'm headed off to make some art! But, never fear, I'll catch you up on all the other way cool details shortly.