Good Morning my dear friends, how is everyone? I’m hoping you are all doing amazing. As you all know I was away last Thursday through Monday for the StencilGirl and Friends Art Retreat an Art Journal Affair. It’s been a busy week since I’ve returned but I wanted to take the time to share with all of you some special moments from this retreat.
When I signed up for this retreat I think it was at the end of 2016 or the beginning of 2017 (it was so long ago that I honestly can’t even remember when it was, but I know it was long ago enough to think that by the time it came around that my life would have calmed down and I’d be more than ready to go)
Most of you know that Labor Day weekend I lost my dear pug Pebbles which has really knocked me off my feet and as if that wasn’t enough less than a week before I was to leave for the retreat I received some upsetting news about my mom that hit me once again to the point where I almost didn’t go. I said several times to my husband that I just can’t go and put on a happy face for 5 days, I can’t my heart is not in it. I have spent most of my life just hiding my true feelings and being the strong one for everyone around me appearing to be this pillar of strength, but the events that have seemed to continually occur for the past year and half have left me tired and weary. My husband kept saying it would be good for me to get away and so I heeded his advice and last Thursday morning I took off on a plane by myself with a pain in my heart and a lump in my throat headed for Paducah, Kentucky.
I arrived at the Chicago airport with 3 hours layover and a text from my hubby saying how much he already missed me…. the feeling was mutual and I was close to tears just feeling alone. I texted Lisa Dobry who I knew was going to be on the same flight, we had been friends online for quite sometime but never met in person. When she arrived we hugged and the loneliness melted away.
We met Elaine Huffman as well as Seth Apter at the gate. I asked the lady sitting next to me if she would mind switching seats with Lisa so we could sit together and she was happy to do so.
Lisa and I sat and chatted the whole way as if we had been friends in person forever. We never missed a beat, we laughed, we cried, we hugged, we shared, we were together after so long of the online friendship we were together and the question of whether I should have come or not slipped away as I felt loved among friends.
The first morning was Nancy Curry’s class called Transformation (and well who knew that meal service was not like that in NY and much slower lol) – so we were a few min late for class – sorry Nancy!! Here is the link to her website so you can check her out.
Well this really started the artfully fun weekend for me – we learned a lot and Nancy was fabulous, fun and an absolute joy to be around. We ended up sitting next to each other in classes the rest of the weekend and I so enjoyed getting to know her!! What an amazing lady!!
The next few days was a flurry of conversation, making art and sharing our hearts with like minded friends. To say it was amazing is really not even close to expressing how special this weekend was to me.
Day 1 was Pam Carriker and MaryBeth Shaw and all I can say is that these amazing ladies touched my heart with their classes and teaching. It was a bit overwhelming to have so much greatness and talent in one room.
Pam Carriker’s Class:
MaryBeth Shaw’s Class:
My fav technique from MaryBeth’s Class was this thing with whiteout, the technique was so simple but yet added so much – if you ever have the opportunity to take a class with anyone in my blog post all I can say is go for it. You won’t regret it as everyone of them was soooo amazing!!
In person with the Stencil Queen herself what an amazing experience !!!❤️
Traci Bautist’s class:
Seth Apter’s Class:
I didn’t quite finish any of my projects from the day but it’s ok because I enjoyed the techniques and now I can work on them at my leisure.
I was asked by MaryBeth Shaw to teach a mini demo on Saturday night which was a lot of fun. Thank you to Lisa and Trena for getting me everything I forgot to bring to the demo table you ladies are the best!! ❤️
This was the tag that we made using beautiful StencilGirl Stencils of course
I have a bunch of photos of friends that I would also like to share with all of you it was hard to get a photo with everyone.
This is Mary Nasser and I she is even cuter in person and what a total sweetheart!!❤️❤️
The welcome reception was just amazing and it was so much fun to stencil our own aprons.
Thank you to StencilGirl and all the artists who were beyond generous with all of the artsy gifts that they gave us.
Here is Carol Baxter and I. I love this lady she was so much fun!! Yup I’m a kisser just deal with it lol ❤️ She works with the StencilGirl team for those who might not know so her and I have talked many times on the phone but this was our first in person visit. Hopefully first of many. Again it was like old friends it usually happens that I call for a quick question and 45 min later we are like well we better get back to work haha.
Saturday night by the fire with friends what a fabulous evening we had with stories and sharing and just beautiful friendships. Thank you ladies!! all of you.
Pictured here is Patty, Lisa and Myself and the top left is Dee, Patty, Lisa and myself.
From top left we have Debi Adams (stencil girl teammate), Patty (we met through Lisa Dobry – StencilClub) Kiala Givehand (stencil girl teammate), Dee we met through stencilclub and have been friends online for quite sometime and of Course You all know the amazing Carolyn Dube (and yes she is super amazing in person and a total BLAST to be around – she will make you laugh so hard your stomach will hurt!! ❤️)
It was so much fun to meet some of my other teammates and to meet friends that I have known online in person!!
My Roommate, Elaine and I went into town on Friday for awhile and we found Curls and Cream and some amazing views / scenery
The videos aren’t the greatest lol, but I wanted to share a little bit of what we saw there with all of you. They also had an awesome handmade soap shop in there little town which I bought some yummy soaps there to bring home. They smell amazing !
Thank you to my wonderful roommate for taking care of so many things so that I didn’t have to, it means more to me than you will ever know!!
Thank you to all of you who made amazing goodie bags and to those who made me special goodie bags I can’t express how this event has filled my heart and made me feel so special. To those who I didn’t get a photo with I’m sorry but you are still in my heart and my thoughts. This event was such a blessing and it was all the people who were there that made it what it was, it will forever be etched in my heart.
The moral of this story is that I didn’t have to put on a “happy’ face because these were my people and they loved and embraced me for who I am, and they didn’t need to be someone I’m not. They love me for who I am and I had a real happy face because of this. When people talk about finding your tribe I know that I am blessed to have found mine but even more than that I found my “family”.
I am headed into this weekend with a full heart and special memories with good friends on my mind.
Wishing you all a relaxing and heartfelt weekend !!