Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Keys 4 Art - Day 3, Part 2, and Day 4 and.....goodbye!

To be honest,  I'm a little fuzzy on the time line here.  Not sure what we did when, or even if some of what I think happened on the afternoon of day 3 actually happened on day 4, and vice versa.  Maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with......
Whatcha think?
Anyway, at some point, Val taught us how to make those little wire nests with pearl eggs that everyone loves.  I'd made a few before, but mine were just the result of looking at one online and trying my best to duplicate it. Val had very good and clear step by step instructions, and I know my future nests will be that much better.  Working on the nests:
 And my little nest....the photo is fuzzy, the nest isn't!

We didn't even go out Friday night, just kept eating the delicious leftovers of all the wonderful food that had been brought in.....not to mention Nicole's fantastic baked ziti.
Val also showed us how to make tiles and embellishments from polymer clay.  We softened the clay and rolled it through a pasta machine, then either stamped images into it, or pushed it into molds.  I mostly made tiles, but did do that bird that is on the cover of my journal.  That was from a mold.  We brushed some mica powders on the pieces and then baked them in a low oven.  I think they are just beautiful:
I think I'm up to Day 4 now....a day of art and food and drink and a Key Largo sunset (sort of).
Elena has traveled all the way to Oregon to take a class with Teesha Moore, and she has also taken many online journal classes.  We all wanted to know how to make a hand bound book, and she assured us it was easy.  She taught us one way, and it wasn't difficult at all.  Since Elena had bought 4 rolls of the red rosin paper for my project, we decided to use that for our book.  I'll gesso them and fill them with something.  But not today, LOL.  Here is my hand sewn book (the beautiful cover paper is called Masa and I'll be getting some of that, for sure:
 At some point (today? yesterday?) Val showed us an embossing technique she calls inlaid embossing.  Very cool!  A chipboard shape is covered completely with embossing powder.  Once melted and cooled, an image is stamped over top, using clear ink, and then it is embossed with a very contrasting color of embossing powder.  I used this technique on the chipboard bird that is now in my journal:
It does very much have the look in inlaid enamel, and I love it!

Every Saturday, Bernie, Elena's husband, goes to Marlin (remember Marlin, home of the never ending stream of Cuban food and delicious Margaritas?) and does barbecued ribs for Manny, the owner.  We hopped on over there late in the afternoon to sample some.
Bernie's special sauce in the middle.....OMG!
That's me, Nicole and Marita showing we approve.
Now, mind you, Sue is about 90% vegetarian, and even she had a rib!
Notice, we're all in our Keys 4 Art t-shirts.  Colorful group, huh?
Bernie, Elena, and Manny.  Thanks for the great food all week!  And Bernie, your ribs rock!
We next drove to Marley's a waterfront restaurant/bar with live music and a fun atmosphere.  I think the pictures speak for themselves:
That's me, Jen, Val, Juliet, Marita and Sue enjoying this view:
We spent a nice hour or so there, where a new friend was made:
And everyone had a very nice, relaxing time.
We decided that nice as the view was, the mangroves would block the sunset, so we moved on to another, much more upscale place, The Big Chill, which was very crowded.  But, we managed to snag some great outdoor seating.
Way too many clouds for a proper sunset, and we did have a brief shower, but it was still beautiful.

We also enjoyed some conch fritters, nachos and dip, fried calamari, and wonder of wonders....Mango Mojitos!   We were joined there by Bernie, and Elena's cousin and aunt, both newly arrived from Cuba.  Bernie surprised the aunt with a very special gift......toilet paper imprinted with Fidel's picture.  Check out her reaction:

And not to be outdone by Gina and Jen at Marley's, Val met a pirate of her own:
Then.....sadly, home to pack.  Val and Juliet would be leaving first, then Gina, Marita, Sue and Jen would be taken to the airport in the late morning.  Lillian is staying on until Wednesday, and my flight is in the evening, so after the airport run, Lil and I went to lunch with Elena, then a brief visit with her daughter in Miami.  Stopped at a Michael's, then back to the airport, where I was really unhappy saying goodbye after such a wonderful 5 days.
How about a Keys 4 Art 2011??????


Helen said...

I have really enjoyed your blog diary of your trip, it looks amazing. Love the inlaid enamel work!

Linda said...

What a fabulous time! Thanks for sharing the great time you had and the fabulous projects and techniques!

artrato3 said...

Thanks to your blogging I DID get to go after all. Fels like I was there Thankyou!

Anonymous said...

Oh WOW.....I know you were so sad to see it all come to an end.....I have loved you reliving your is the next one????? I'm ready!!!

Diann said...

I hated it to come to an end almost as much as you did....what a fun fantastic time you ladies had! I loved seeing all your ART and happy gracious for Elena to have you all at the Keys 4 ART! Diann

Healing Woman said...

Just want you to know I was there vicariously through your wonderful pictures and posting. Really enjoyed the Keys.

Lori said...

Wow, this was really great sharing the experience thru your blog. What a fantastic opportunity! Yeah, it really woulda sucked to have to say goodbye, but, hopefully, you will get to go again next year!

craftyM said...

Have loved your posts for our "The Keys 4 Art" retreat! And fun to see that you liked and used so many of my photos... either that or you were behind me taking the same one which is very possible with so many of us always with camera in hand! HA I don't have my photo CD yet from Elena to know what others photos look like so a lot may just look familiar, but not be mine either.... I can't wait to get the photo CD to see everyone's pics!

inge said...


when I read about all the joyous food you ate, I don't think this was a diet four days... I've never eaten cuban food, but as you describe it it must taste very good!

You look fab in your t-shirts : I also like the fact each one wore their favorite color and the logo is such a beauty. You really looked as a group : I guess you've been stared at by other people, but I guess a group of enthousiastic woman make a lot of noise too...LOL ( I know : with the European ATT-ers we just met for one day...)

It's also nice to read you savoured so many different techniques, you can explore more when you're back home.

It was a joy to read about your 4 days together : thanks for sharing this and giving me the feel I was a little bit there...

greetings from Belgium

Sherry Goodloe said...

Now THAT is what I call a good time! Making stuff, eating, making more stuff, drinking, eating, light rains, sunset, pirates, drinking, hanging with a good group of friends, and did I mention those RIBS?!

Thank you for such a nice trip Eileen. Even if it WAS only through way of your blog post, I felt like I was RIGHT THERE! *smiles*

Dorothy said...

Wow, what an awesome trip! I love the way you write!!!

Angie Hall Haviland said...

HOW FUN! LOL Your nest and tiles are FABULOUS! Great journal too...sure you will do wonderful things with it!! I have a roll of that Rosin paper that I really need to do something with!

patricia smith said...

What a good time you gals must have had! I imagine you hated to leave and head back home!
Hugs, Pat Smith

Julie Ann said...

Oh my gosh- this looks like one super awesome trip!!!! "Ya'll" look like you had tons and tons of fun! :)