Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Singing and Dancing and Gifting, Oh My

Keys4Art2011 - Day 1

We were picked up at two airports....how Elena organized and scheduled everything is beyond me.  Teri and I were in the Miami pick-up group along with Ingrid,  and after gigantic margaritas at the airport we headed for Jacquie's place to get Tracy, who'd been picked up much earlier.  There were also a few at Elena's already.  Gina and Marita came in from Oregon the day before, as had Sarah, who made this trip from Australia (!) and who'd be celebrating her 40th birthday with us.
Once we were all together, the gift giving began. 
Here I am handing out the bags I made:
Val made necklaces and we got to choose whichever
one we wanted.  It wasn't easy.
I'm trying to pick my necklace.  You can see that
Lill and I are wearing Keys4Art2011aprons.
We also received matching tote bags.

Here are a few of the bags I made.  Each was
somewhat different, customized for everyone:

Just some of the gifts I took home....I know
there are a few more lurking inside my still not
fully unpacked suitcases:

We also did a charm swap.  Again, some of my charms
are still packed, and a few made their way into my painter's
tray project:
The ATC above was from Sue, and there are
Egyptian charms dangling from it. Yes, she was
there when the uprising began.

Gina (for some unknown reason) had decided NOT to join our Marie Antoinette round robin journal group, and as soon as she saw the pages being posted, she regretted that decision.  Some might say she whined about it.  Anyway, sweet, sweet Lill made this awesome gift for her and lugged it all the way from the northern reaches of Ontario:
By the way, both Lill and Gina are wearing the painter's smocks that Lill dyed for us last year.  Wish I hadn't forgotten to bring mine.

Daisy brought this beautiful piece for Elena, full of Graphic 45 loveliness:

And Sox, who is in several of our journal groups, and couldn't make it to Key Largo, wished she could be a fly on the wall.  She sent this painting to Elena:

About a week before the retreat began, Teri sent Elena a Keurig coffee maker from the two of us, and I think half of my suitcase was full of an assortment of k-cups.  It turned out to be a very useful and popular gift.  With so many of us, it was really nice to get a fresh cup of whatever blend we wanted whenever we wanted it.  Well, it was a somewhat selfish gift, if you must know.  Teri and I are both addicted to our Keurigs at home and didn't want to be without them for six days.  We're not really into roughing it, LOL.

That evening we had delicious food catered by The Marlin, a local restaurant that we enjoyed so much last year.  Manny, the owner/cook, supplied almost every morsel we ate all week.  We ate downstairs in the screened in porch, and were entertained by the DJ/karaoke guy Elena hired for the ocassion.  Here are a few of the less incriminating photos:

Tomorrow.....we put the mojitos aside and get down to business.  Stay tuned for the WONDERFUL On-The- Edge journal we did with the incredible Ingrid Dijkers.


Dorothy said...

How fun is that!!??
Love all the art!

Amalia said...

Eileen! What a wonderful trip and group of artists. It certainly looks like you all had a wonderful, artful time.

Vic said...

Thank you so much for sharing the beginning of your adventure! It all looks so fun and creative.

Helen said...

Sounds like you have a real blast each year - what amazing gifts yu all make for each other! Thanks for sharing your holiday.

Kathy Eddy said...

What fun you all had! Looks like a blast!

Socrates said...

Fabulous pics. Thanks so much for sharing.

Diann said...

Well...you sure have made anyone not there jealous, but I was so excited to see your post...living the fun through you is just great! I know you all had a blast!

Clara said...

Eileen! You always have the best time! Love your pictures. You are so funny!

Lori said...

Looks like so much FUN! Those gifts are amazing, your purses came out wonderfully, as I knew they would. I can't imagine how much work Elena went to, it all looks fabulous.

Nancy Lynn said...

It looks like such a wonderful time. Love how your purses turned out. I know Elena is loving her Keurig. I am so glad I finally broke down and got one myself as I love it too. Thanks for sharing your wonderful adventures at the retreat.

Wanda H said...

So much fun!!!

lee said...

What a fabulous time you all had!,a few hangovers there! LOL!