Sunday, February 28, 2010

I'm still in RETREAT mode ... and that's a good thing

I have had a handful of friends asking me ... "when are you going to blog about An Artful Journey?"  and ... "when can we see the pictures from An Artful Journey?" ... and "what did you think of An Artful Journey?" ...  I mean, really, I could hear Kelly drumming her fingertips next to her keyboard, just jonesing for my first words.  :-)  {thanks, Kelly - I'm glad you want to read what I thought of AAJ.}

Well, to be honest, I've been hoarding the experience ... the memories, the newfound friendships, the sights and scents and sounds, The Presentation Center, and for said hoarding, I do apologize.  I need to - no, I want to share it all, with you all.  Really, I do.  But you have to remember:  Magpies are Hoarders Extraordinaire, and so in this instance, I'm going to really take on the magpie's persona and say "that is what I was doing ..."  Forgive me.

So.  I cannot possibly put into words just how it went for me.  I have a feeling there are plenty of other AAJ participants that are still processing just what happened, just what we all experienced {and while it was unique to us all as individuals, there must be some commonalities to what happened for us all - am I right, ladies?}.  I will TRY, though, to give it a shot {putting it into words, that is}.  It may take several blog posts to get it all out, and to try and get it just right.

Here goes:

It was amazing.  It was eye-opening.  It was warm, and welcoming, and beyond my wildest expectations.  That's saying a lot, 'cause I have a most vivid imagination, and I often have great expectations.  AAJ organizer and "mother" Cindy O'Leary did a spectacular job putting all this together ... from the location (The Presentation Center) ... to the instructors - which read like a "who's who" in Mixed Media:
Albie Smith ,
DJ Pettit ,
Leslie Riley ,
Nina Bagley ,
and of course, Kelly Rae Roberts  
& Mati Rose McDonough )

... to the beautifully quilted and embellished and filled with ephemera "Welcome" packets ... to the activities ... and between Cindy and Stephanie, we all felt well cared for and well managed.
"Managed?" you might ask.  Imagine if you can:  100+ women (and a few brave-soul husbands!) gathered all together.  At times, it had to feel like herding cats .. and yet, Cindy could get our rapt attention with a quick "ladies ???" and a little "ahem".  Worked like magic, every time.

It was magical.  It was perfect.  It was a new concept in Art Retreating, far as I know .. we each registered to spend the ENTIRE workshop (starting Friday night to breakfast Monday morning) in ONE workshop, with ONE instructor (except for those of us with the Dynamic Duo of Kelly Rae and Mati Rose) ... which meant that we had to fill just ONE supply list, and UNLOAD our supplies into just ONE classroom - for the duration of our stay.  Can you imagine that?   It SOOOO worked, I don't know why this concept hasn't been tried before.  I loved it!

AN ARTFUL JOURNEY was my very first art retreat experience -- and I'm thinking I just might be spoiled by it.  Guess we'll just have to rally 'round Cindy to make that FIRST ANNUAL REUNION happen in February 2011 - same place, same time, same participants.  Wouldn't THAT be magical, ladies?

So I don't know how much more I can say tonight.  Mark just returned from a three-day bike race in Vegas; I am coming off a three-classes-in-a-row Chris Cozen "high" {at the gracious-as-always Stamping Details in Poway, CA}, and I'm looking forward to my Monday morning class with Jane LaFazio and all my friends in there. 

I've got so much art on the brain, I even woke up at 4:20 am on Saturday - and could NOT go back to sleep.  And again, it was an early Sunday morning for me - I had to wake Rocky up, if you can believe that !!!

I am so tired, I can't even post a few random photos to whet your appetite for more blog posts about MY experience of AN ARTFUL JOURNEY.    Well, okay. Here is ONE:

this is how my work space looked Friday morning, right after we finished our GROUP SWAP - we each made little swap goodie bags for everyone in the group.  And COOL TREASURES we all received!  Our workshop had the distinct pleasure of including the 2 AAJ ladies who traveled the furthest to join us:  Beth from the UK, and Cathy all the way from Australia.  Can you believe that?!

And let me just end it like this for now:   what AN ARTFUL JOURNEY opened up for me is such an exciting place inside, I'm guarding it like a newborn.  The dream I have long held to actually "work" in the art field is blossoming, and I am hatching (there's that magpie reference again!) a plan.  And there has been a virtual flock of ideas flowing today that just can't be stopped.  It's so fun!  Wait - did I just use another magpie (bird) reference?  Oh my!

Speaking of winged creatures ... one of my guardian angels, my mother Edith, passed away six years ago today.  It was a Sunday then, too (Leap Year). 

I am ever grateful for a couple of things about her journey to her better place: 

One - she died the day before our daughter Kristina had a horrific car accident - and yet, Kristi walked away with only a few (large and severe) hematomas to her torso.  She had just left work, it was late and dark, and she was thinking of her Grandma Edie and praying that Grandma was at peace ... when it happened.  The policeman who first arrived on the scene told her he could not believe his eyes when he found out SHE was the driver of THAT vehicle.  THAT, my friends, was my mother, protecting her grandchild from harm.


Two - I inherited my spirit and my creative talents, if you will, from my mother.  I also inherited these traits from my father's side of the family - every single one of my auntie's had such great taste & style - truly, they did.  But it is to my mother that I owe the most - she encouraged my artistic tendencies, and she always always always believed in me.  When I returned to school to study Interior Design - at the ripe old age of 38, Mom was my biggest supporter.  Thanks, Mom, for that.

And so I believe that all these new ideas, this new DREAM that is forming, is due, in large part, to my mother - who continues to make her presence known to us, the family she left behind six years ago today.  I doubt that this is a coincidence.

I love you, Mom.

-- Davielle  


Jane LaFazio said...

oh my Davi. There's a lot of LOVE in this post!! xoxo
hey, give us a link to artful journey...

DH 2Travelers said...

for everyone who's been asking for the website, and esp for you, Jane, since you POSTED a COMMENT ... I do love me some comments! here it is:
An Artful Journey can be found by visiting

Kelly said...

yay! I'm glad my drumming fingers got you to share just a little bit! :-) i'm in on the same retreat high and trying to convince my husband that the whole family needs to go to California in July. Not working yet, though we are considering a last minute trip to Sea World (Orlando ;-) this weekend. Nice to read about your mom too. They do watch over us, don't they.