Monday, April 19, 2010

Back from Key Largo and......

........overwhelmed by all I experienced.  Is it possible that I only just met these remarkable women for the first time?  It was like being with old and valued friends.  The power of art!
I'll get into the day by day, project by project, meal by meal, mojito by mojito rundown in a future blog.  Alas, my memory card had issues with Elena's MAC, and all the photos I took are KAPUT!  But, no worries...we all took tons and I'll have them soon enough.   Today, I'll show you some of the things I received and I just took this morning.  Above.....a wonderful personalized tote bag.  We each received one (thanks, Elena!).  The living room was set up with four large work tables, and we found our bags waiting for us at our seats.  What was inside?
Where did all this Tim Holtz fabulousness come from?  Well, Tim Holtz himself!  Elena, who seems to know everyone in the world, had mentioned to Mario that we were having this retreat, and he sent her Tim's new book (personalized and autographed for each of us!), the apron, a package of grungeboard, and some idea-ology.  Are those guys awesome, or what?  Of course, I already own the book and apron, so I think a giveaway may be coming.  But that's for another day. ***(I'm going to be editing this forever...I keep hearing about the boo-boos I've made.  That's what you get for blogging on no sleep!  The books and aprons were sent by Tim, yes, but those were purchased for us by Elena.  Yea, Elena....the best host anyone could want!)***
We never discussed in advance making gifts for everyone, but you know what they say about great minds thinking alike.  Every day was like your birthday and Christmas rolled into one.
We all received t-shirts and flip flops (well, we were in the Florida Keys, so what else would we need?), and each was a different color.  We wore them out to a waterfront bar one night, and looked appropriately tropical.  (Thanks, Jacquie!)
I made everyone a little charm to commemorate this special event.  I thought they could be worn or attached to a journal.  Marie Antoinette on one side, and our logo on the other:
Sue, who came all the way from Illinois, gave us all this gorgeous polymer clay tile:
Lillian, who came all the way from northern Ontario (she had to drive over 7 hours just to get to an airport!) decorated these wonderful art shirts:

From Jen, our California friend:
Inside the little fabric sack, an altered tin:
And inside the tin, goodies for our art....ribbon, fiber, charms, ephemera....
Now, someone PLEASE tell me who provided us with the naked rabbits, ready to be dressed up!!! ***(It was Val!  We didn't have time to "dress" them, but you should see the gorgeous dressed up bunny Val made for Elena.  I don't have a photo, but go to Val's blog and see for yourself.)***  Too cute:
 Juliet (from W. Virginia) crocheted wire necklaces for us all!  We could even choose the colors we wanted.  This is the one I picked:

And then, there were the pillow fairies.  Each night when we finally left our studio to go to sleep, there was a package on our pillows with a note saying, "sweet dreams, the pillow fairies."   We didn't discover til the very end, that it was our Oregon art friends, Gina and Marita, who gifted us each night.  First night, fabric fortune cookies and ear plugs (which I understand were useful in SOME rooms):
Here's what the fortunes said:

Another night we found:
a personalized luggage tag and these hilarious index cards:
And I LOVE this printed packing tape!
The final night, the identity of our generous and witty pillow fairies was revealed, as they left us these gorgeous ATCs:
I received a few other goodies as well.  Marita saw these sunglasses and of course thought of me:
Too funny, right?  I'll be sure to wear them when I board the ship for the next Tim Holtz cruise.  They were a special (and totally unnecessary) thank you for the collage technique I taught.  Gina also gave me an extra something as a thank you.  Those Oregon folks sure are a generous bunch!  A deck of ArtChix cards.  How cool is that?
(Of course, the card package had to have a beautiful tag on it)
Jen gave me a chipboard book set:

As did Elena, just because I said I liked it! (I have a good friend with a Scottie):
As soon as I get the photos from our art sessions (and our many many eating/drinking adventures) I'll be back with more Keys4Art blogging.  I'll just end with this one of Elena and me....I think it kind of sums up the mood of art and fun and friendship:


Angie Hall Haviland said...

OH EILEEN...What FUN. What a MIND BLOWING Experience!! I'm so GLAD you all got to have some time and fun together. What a TREASURE Box of Memories :)

Sherri Auld said...

Eileen, what an awesome, incredible trip you had. You must have loved every minute of it.
I can't wait to hear more.

Diann said...

You have had yourself a fantastic trip and I knew you would...what great ART friends you have! Everything you posted about shouts friends and fun and I can't wait to see and hear more! Welcome home! Diann

Jolene said...

Eileen it looks as if you had so much fun!! I'm sure you will have these memories forever and someone will say something and it will cause a memory of your time together to come to mind you will smile and remember that time as if it was yesterday.

Debby said...

Wow what an exciting trip. Can't wait to see pictures of what all of you created. Way cool gifts.

Anonymous said...

Oh Eileeen what a fabulous vacation retreat you had. Sounds like loads of fun and excitement.
I can't wait till the day I get to meet a lot of you ladies from ARTHaven Group...
Thank you for sharing your trip with us all.

Big Apple Jovi Girl said...

Wow! Sounds like it was one heck of a trip ... and what amazing original gifts. I can't wait to see what y'all created during your time together!!

Nanc said...

I have been waiting to hear about your trip and it sounds as wonderful as I thought it would be for you to actually meet your sisters in Art. How cool is that. Can't wait to hear more. Thanks for sharing.

ginag said...

Gina from Oregon checking in, Eileen! You blog so beautifully, loved your re-cap, so wonderful to be with you in the Keyes! Missing our Cuban coffee and Key Lime pie and our new circle of friends.
(Can I say deep fried one more time!)LOL Marita talked all the way home about your gesso/red rosen paper technique...she is dreaming of more themes to paint!!!
XXO to you! Gina G

Barbara Mason said...

OK!!! I am jealous!!! What a great group of art friends you have & of course the most generous are from Oregon!!! What a very special time>

Redfish Artwork by Vickie Fisher said...

Looks like you guys had so much fun. I am so jealous too! Great talented group of ladies.

Healing Woman said...

I'm not a bit surprised that you had a great time! When artists get together, magic happens. Congratulations to all of you!

P.S. I want those glasses!


inge said...

hello Eileen,

I think this retreat was better than an official organized event!
I enjoyed the coming together in London for a few hours with Bethan, Zoë, Nikie and Paula a lot , but spending four days with artful friends must have been a blast.

What a nice gifts you all got : I really like the idea of the t-shirt with the logo and the bag. The little gifts of the night fairies are so much fun too.
And the gift of Elena... that's a real generous gift !

IF we come together once again with the European ATT-ers, I'll keep our retreat in mind.

I'm looking forward to more photos of your being together and what you learned of each other.

greetings from belgium

Elaine A said...

Eileen -

You look adorable with those glasses. A perfect fit for you - LOL! So glad you had an awesome time making art (and eating and drinking, can't forget that)!

Elaine Allen

Carol said...

More! More! I want to hear more! :-)

Lori said...

HO-LY CRAPO! I was thinking of you ALL weekend! Wonder what they're doing now sort of thing. You lucky devil. Looks like a totally fantastic, magical journey, can't wait to see more! Those gifts were just stunning, absolutely stunning.

craftyM said...

Eileen, my wonderful friend....I remember the last time I followed your blog and hung on every word day by day as you blogged daily about your Tim Holz cruise. How exciting this time as you blog, I am able to relive the life altering experience all over again myself! Art it the inspiration that brings us all to life and so in turn it brought real life to our online circle journal friendship!!! Warmly, Marita TKFA

PS: Cheryl- if you want some glasses like Eileen, check Michael's if you have one near you!

Patsy said...

What wonderful memories you girls made together. Can't wait to read more about your art retreat.

Merry said...

Oh wow...what a talented lot of love all the goodies. What a lucky person you are....sounds like an incredible time.

Dorothy said...

What a wonderful journey!!!!!

Ann said...

an experience of a lifetime...meeting friends and creating a lifetime of friends,can't get better than that,can it. such fun you had. the gifts you shared with each other.
looking forward to hearing more!

2amscrapper said...

FUN!!!!!! Awesome goodies!

Sandy said...

What an awesome time you had!!!! I think you should have packed me in your suitcase though ;o) I am so glad that you had a great time!


Marit said...

Oh wow... that sounds unforgettable! You're blessed with such friends!!! Welcome home Eileen!

patricia smith said...

That looks and sounds like a dream trip! I am looking forward to the pictures, also. I am sure you will treasure the meeting with these other artists, always!
Hugs, Pat Smith

Patzee said...

What a grand time you all had! Love the flip flops, Mojitos, and pillow fairies! What a wonderful gathering of like-minded, talented women!

Chrystal S said...

Oh wow! How fun!!! Thank you so much for sharing your fun with us! :)

Amalia said...

I can hardly wait to hear more about your trip. I live/travel vicariously through you. Loved Pat's postcard too! She is a riot!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful group of friends you have!!!! You are such a blessing and they are as well!!!

Carol's Crafts said...

Eileen, your trip sounds fabulous. All of the gifts you received are awesome, and what wonderful friends to make all those goodies for each other.