Monday, March 19, 2012

Back Home!

Why is it that the events you most look forward to end so quickly?  Keys4Art2012 is over, and that is a little bit sad, but I have to say, I am still feeling the warmth of friendship, and believe it or not, I am still relaxed.

I flew to Miami with Pat and Teri, and we think our pilot was in a rush for a hook up, because we landed almost an hour early.  We met up with Daisy at the baggage carousel, then headed for Chili's where we'd spend the next MANY hours, waiting for the others to arrive.  Several quesadillas and margaritas later, we piled into a van and headed for Elena's home in Key Largo.  Elena stayed behind to wait for the two latest arrivals, Val and Jen.

No photos to post of our first night together.  I wound up with so much stuff, I had to pack a lot into a box for Elena to ship, and some of the projects and gifts are in that box, but this is what things looked like the next day:

Daisy, Jen and Jacquie

Working on our postcard project:

When I first met Karen at the airport, I thought she
was a little bit nuts for bringing so many suitcases,
but now I know better.  One was entirely filled with
treats from Louisiana.  Today we got cajun chips.

We didn't have anything special planned for day one, so
I had time to make the covers for my postcard book.

I slept on the couch.  Right next to me were Teri and Pat
on air mattresses, and all the way on the other side of the
room was Daisy on a matching couch.  We were right next
to the room we worked in.

A view of the room from the other end.

Here's Pat with her smash book, one of many gifts
awaiting us.  When my box arrives I'll be able to
post pictures of all of them.  We were very very spoiled.

My Oregon art sisters, Marita and Gina:

Pardon the fuzzy photo; this is a little travel journal,one of many
gifts waiting for us from Elena.  She purchased them from Tim, and
the kits include a miniature suitcase that the journals fit into perfectly.
Mario sent along a special gift from him:  Tim Holtz aprons for

Because we had so many people coming this year (17), we had some overflow staying at a fabulous beach house, thanks to one of Jacquie's clients.  While Elena and Teri went to Miami to pick up Lynne Perrella at the airport (more on that later), the rest of us headed to the beach house in the late afternoon to get dinner ready.

Jacquie was going to make paella, and I couldn't believe the size of the pan.  We helped with the prep work, and I have to say, it was the first time I dealt with a recipe that called for 16 cups of rice and 2 gallons of chicken broth, not to mention similar huge quantities of vegetables, chicken, sausage, shrimp, lobster, clams, mussels, and crab legs.

The view from the deck:

Do you believe the size of the paella pan?

The house as seen from the water's edge:

Most definitely the best paella I've ever had.

Bernie (Elena's husband), cracking the crab legs:

The next day we began our 2 day workshop with Lynne Perrella.  Fantastic!  And to be continued....


Helen said...

Holy Moly, that's some dish of paella! Looks like you all have a blast on this trip!

Elena said...

Everything perfect except that I bought the suitcase kits for everyone from Tim! The aprons were from Mario.

Elena said...

Everything perfect except that I bought the suitcase kits for everyone from Tim! The aprons were from Mario.

Alicia said...

WOW What a MASSIVE pan that is!!! I guess though, if you are feeding 17 people, you NEED a pan that size, LOL Your pictures are marvelous and I am thrilled you had such a grand time! *Hugs*

Anonymous said...

Oh my....what a gorgeous view.....and that pan is huge.....I can tell you had a fabulous time....

Elaine A said...

Lord I've not had Paella in years! That looked so delicious Eileen. Glad you all enjoyed another wonderful year with Elena.

Elaine Allen

SusanK said...

What a wonderful week! I can feel your excitement!

Tracy Bollinger said...

Wish I was there! That looks like fun!

Anonymous said...

Great photos of the beach house. Thanks for recapping a week of creative adventure. Elena is a fabulous hostess who went above and beyond to make this a memorable event!

Vic said...

Such fun! I look forward to the next installments!

inge said...

Madness, this is madness ! What an event !!!

Love to see all the beds together : you must have felt like girls on a scoutscamp. Did you chatter till late in the night or were you too tired after a completely filled day ?

A big table to work together not for an afternoon but almost a whole week !?!

Elena's Bernie must be an angel to let all those women in his house; Did he survive it ? LOL

Making food together.... half of the fun of a meal.

And what do you say.... Lynn Perella came ???????
Why, oh why do I live on the other side of the ocean ? ....

I'm tremendously jealous now :) but you must have had an awesome experience..

Looking out for more photos to be part of the fun :)

greetings from belgium

lee said...

YAY I have been waiting to hear all about it, you always do a great job and take great pics! Turning green with jealousy,WOW , what a location!

Bethan said...

Oh looks like you had sooooo much fun!! I can't wait to see the next instalment!

Anonymous said...

I so enjoy reading about your adventures. You are such an inspiration.

ellen vargo said...

LOOKS FABULOUS!!! What could be better than ART and the KEYS? You've got it goin' on! Can I come next time? :) And that paella looks... well... HUGE! And yummo!

Kathy Eddy said...

What a wonderful and relaxing time you must have had! it's so good for us to do these kinds of things with our art sisters!

Socrates said...

Thank you so much for sharing, so we can appreciate by proxy. It sounds like you had a sleep out, and that paella looks awesome. Outrageous.

teri said...

Inge, we did chatter until late in the night. And we howled with laughter. Pat, Eileen and I are a lethal combination when it comes to keeping each other entertained.

Anita Houston said...

When Karen told me she was going, I was so jealous!!! Now I'm jealous of you!!! What a great time I am sure you all cool as well! I love your pics and can't wait to see more, and Karen doesn't blog, so I will have to be jealous over all your posts! I can't wait to see projects and beach time!!! Thank you so much for sharing!

Lori said...

Wow, I really look forward of your recap of the Keys4Art every year! Looks like a fabulous time, love the little journals, and pics of all that FOOD, holy moly!