(photo by Paolo Liloc)
It would be very difficult for me to sum up the Inspired weekend in just a few words or even a short paragraph. It is so much more than just an art retreat or a girls' weekend away. Most days at home my mind is full of little ideas - things I'd like to make, classes I'd like to teach, or just thoughts I want to jot down, hoping to turn into something creative later. Inspired is full of women who get this. Women who don't think it's weird that I'd rather make something than sleep. Women who understand the thrill of paint on your hands and glitter on your apron. Women who are there to encourage one another and who don't look twice if you don't follow directions. I always come home both exhilarated and exhausted. But I wouldn't change it for anything! Here are just some of my favorite memories from Inspired this year:
* Thursday night's dinner. The core workshop teachers ate dinner with Donna and Bill and it was so nice to have time to chat and get to know one another for a couple of hours. Paulette, Cheryl, Carol, Tejae, and Susan were all so nice. We are all separated most of the weekend, so it was good to spend time together.
* Heather Bailey. She is one of those people you just want to be around. I met her last year and was thrilled that she was going to be there again this year. She is beautiful, gracious, and good grief...so, so talented. She joined us for the Thursday dinner and I got to sit next to her and look thru her sketch book where she develops her ideas and stories for her new fabric and paper lines. Amazing. And she emailed me earlier this week just to see how my class went, since I used her fabric lines on my project. Love her. :)
* Charm Swappers. Inspired has a Yahoo group, where all of the women attending can chat and email each other all year, getting to know one another. 50+ of the women participated in a charm swap and made each of the teachers a charm necklace as well. Wow - the time and talent that went into these charms is so evident. THANK YOU to each of you for including the teachers in this gift. Carol has a photo of our necklaces here. I love mine and have it displayed in my crafting room over a jar of vintage lace.
* Donna and Bill. I'll never forget receiving that first email back in May 2007 asking me if I'd be interested in teaching if she put together an art event. :) She had a vision and has carried it thru for two years running now. She and Bill are a perfect team! Every time I'd walk by I'd hear her say, "you ok? You need anything? All good?" :)
* Heather. For years I've corresponded back and forth with Heather, yet we'd never met in person. (Living across the country from each other makes that difficult.) So knowing that I'd be in her neck of the woods for the weekend, Heather drove two hours each way to meet me for dinner and hang out at the hotel. What a precious friend she is. Heather, eating at Five Guys (yum!) and sitting and laughing with you was just wonderful. Thank you for coming to see me!
* My Classes and students. I had sooooo much fun during my classes each day. The core workshop teachers each did six 3-hour classes (18 hours) and the students were all SUCH troopers. I know that must be a lot to take in in two days! My favorite part was walking around and seeing how people were changing up the project. Love to see the creativity! Beautiful women who taught me way more than I taught them. And everyone seemed to enjoy the set up I had created. I had three tables at the front of the room covered in Heather Bailey fabrics. On the tables I had vintage wire baskets of old lace, seam binding, hymnals and books, a tray of old buttons, 5 silver trays of Martha glitter, and a table for beeswaxing with a melting pot. (messy but fun!)
* C.D. C.D. attended Inspired last year and I was so happy to see her come around the corner into my classroom as I was setting up on Thursday morning. She is precious....loves her children (and made things for them while there), is always smiling, and is just CUTE! And did you hear? She's going to be a teacher at Inspired 2010!
* Marketplace. What a feast for the eyes! An entire huge room full of shopping, browsing, and artistic eye candy. It was in here that I was able to meet Jenni Bowlin. Seriously, had to catch my breath at her booth set up. Vintage heaven! One of the supplies for my class project was a piece of vintage jewelry. Had to laugh when she said, "I was wondering why everyone was buying all of my brooches!" ha :) Way to go, girls!
* Margie, Melody, and Christy. These three made me laugh a LOT. I had never met any of them, but spent as much time as I could with them. Margie made me laugh so hard I cried a few times. My friend Teresa had told me I'd love her and she was right. She's hilarious and sarcastic and so creative. And I love that she Twitters and Facebooks everything, ha. Love you, Margie! Melody and Christy are kind, generous, and both beautiful. Two peas in a pod!
* Kelly Rae Roberts. Inspiring, funny, so darn cute. Loved sitting on the floor the last night with her, Donna, and other girls and laughing until 1:30 a.m. Her keynote speech on Saturday night was so very motivating for me.
* The Beach Scrapbooks Girls. Oh my.....what a hilarious bunch of women! Lucky me, two of them were my T.A.s most of the weekend and we had to best time. (love you Melissa and Courtney!) The group worked the registration desk with Kandi, Zanne and Rebecca and were hilarious. They have some great photos of the event on their site. (Melissa, love the waxing!)
* Paolo. Last but certainly not least....this guy is a joy to be around. I wanted to follow him around as he took photos (as our official photographer) because he has the best perspective on what to photograph. Not many guys would put up with 250 women for 4 days, but he did and captured the event in a beautiful way. He also had this brilliant idea to set up a "photo booth" in the hallway next to registration. He had props, a backdrop, and all day you could just walk up and take your own photos. HILARIOUS...and you'll see some of those photos below. :)
And finally......Paolo's Inspired Artist Workshop Slideshow!
(if it's slow to load, just pause it while it loads....then start it up; or just download it to your computer)