Greetings from Keys4Art! (Oh, how I wish I really was still there. Especially after yesterday's deep freeze and snow. But don't get me started). Before I get to the art activities of the day, I want to share some of the gifts we all gave/received. First, Elena. What can I say about our hostess and founder? In addition to being a loyal friend, a fun companion, a devoted mom, and a whole bunch of other cool things, she is hands down, the most generous person I know. When we arrived at our rental house it was all set up for us, and at each seat, a whole bunch of incredible gifts. And the pile just kept getting larger as we all gifted one another and Elena added more as well. I truly am blessed to call these women my friends.
Because our two day workshop with DJ Pettitt would involve sewing, Elena thought we each should have a Janome mini to use (and then, to take home).
Pretty fantastic, right? And this little, 5 pound machine works like a champ. If you've ever hesitated taking a workshop because it involved schlepping a sewing machine with you, consider this. Easy to operate, and did I mention, only 5 pounds. Thank you, Elena!
And then, there was the beach towel, pretty pink satchel, t-shirt, personalized apron, pencil case, tote bag.....
I bought this great NYC fabric at The City Quilter.
And used it to make everyone a tissue holder.
Every year Jen makes a great music mix and we each get a disc. This year, she did her research, and actually found at least one song for each of our names. And here I thought I was only memorialized in "C'mon Eileen," by that one hit wonder, Dexy's Midnight Runners. Nope, Jen found another Eileen classic. So, we each received the mix and the "say my name" compilation. Speaking of mixes, Jen is also a very excellent mixologist of another kind.
Many of the gifts were small hand crafted items, or things picked up in travel, and they made their way into my Keys2014 journal. Below, tags from Sue and Lill, a real porcupine quill from Sue (from her very recent Africa trip), a cupid from Pat, and a paper kimono from Carla. There were others, as well, including paper for our journals, journal inserts, and ...... I know I've left things out, but honestly, there was so much sharing and giving, I found things on my table with no clue where they came from. Thank you everyone!
Our first full day was mostly spent doing a beautiful canvas with Pat as our teacher and guide. She called it "Steampunk Dragonfly," and it is not only beautiful, but incorporated some techniques I know we'll be using again and again.
This is not a licorice puree, but the result of Pat's recipe for homemade texture paste. Worked like a charm! Here is my canvas about midway through the process. You can see the black paste used to build up texture as well as act as an adhesive for many of the steampunky embellishments we used.
And the finished piece, which is even better in person, and which I love. And by the way, Pat provided virtually everything we needed for the project. Many thanks, Pat for a fun day.
After dinner (Karen's gumbo, y'all) Daisy led us in a button bracelet class. I didn't think I'd like it, and it wound up being one of my favorite accessories. And all you really need is a strip of leather or suede, some velcro, a LOT of buttons and other do-dads, and some good glue. Here is a lineup of our bracelets. Mine is the one in the upper right.
Now, in addition to any other quirks I might have, I have a real "thing" about naked buttonholes. You know what I mean....buttonholes with no thread. Just don't care for that look. I started working on that problem at the retreat, and finished when I got home.
That's what I'm talking about! Stamp out naked buttonholes! When thread is not an option, just add some bling. Daisy, you won me over. I wear this all the time. Thank you!
The next time I post the subject will be the wonderful, the talented, the beautiful DJ Pettitt, and the totally gorgeous books we made with her. Stay tuned!