Friday, May 16, 2008

Back to Life Back to Reality

My Art and Soul experience had to be one of the best experiences of my adult life. The indulgence of spending 7 days creating art and learning new techniques, being inspired by amazing teachers who were both unbelievably generous and talented, and meeting blogging friends face to face who turned into soul sisters was above and beyond anything I could have imagined. The incredible food, free drinks, room service and not having to do laundry didn't suck either!! The 6 hour drive down was easy due to my directions being sweetly written out in BIG black sharpy by my Boomer. Beautiful weather, awesome blues playing, the sparkle on the water over the Chesapeake Bay bridge created a Holy setting to start my week off right.

Above is the registration package we received at check in. Lots of goodies included. The rubber stamp included in the package is from Sandy at BeezInkStamps. Sandy is a gifted artist, I had the pleasure of sharing the Vintage Metal Treasure Deck class with her. Her polymer clay fish creation was AMAZING! Here it is:

Here are some other Artist's creations on the alterable item:

I can't identify the artists who made the above creations. I didn't want to pick up the pieces to find the names in fear of breaking them! If anyone recognizes thier work, let me know and I will gladly attribute your work to you! Each of you has done amazing work!

As soon as I got my registration packet, I had to pimp up my name tag! I cut up one of my moo cards and glue sticked it together in less than a minute. You can tell I was itching to get creating! It was really cool to have other artists recognize my name from my blog.
I promised Diane, maker of jewelry extrodinaire, to wear my hair back to show off her earrings at the opening night party. They are gorgeous, as is Diane, both inside and out.

Pimping up my do.
Opening night party. Table decorations looking very beachy, complete with flip flops, treasure chest, netting and shells. The food was delicious as usual.

One of the best parts of the evening, lots of doorprizes. I won this:
Second part of the evening was the Ranger sponsered "Beachy" canvas technique class. Crackle paint, perfect pearls, painting wax on inked up cheesecloth were some of the techniques demonstrated. Here is Amy from Michigan getting Beachy. I was so fortunate to meet this hilarious and "party girl" artist.
Here is my soul sister, Diane, creating. Pay no attention to the EMPTY wine glass by her side. teehee.
Here I am getting beachy. Later that night I did some tweaking in my room. Painting that is. Gifted to my beach-loving Boomer. Secret message will appear in bottle one of these days. Stay tuned.
Thursday was my first of two classes I spent with my new hero, Albie Smith. At this time Albie does not have a website. Her classes were incredible. Fast paced, full of information and good humor. Our tools were colored gesso, yes it does exsist, color washes for the papers and paste colored with paint for the cover and signature covers. Sewn together with waxed linen and beads for the binding. I am truly addicted to this process now. I chose earthy colors for this book and thought I would keep fish graphic prominent to commorate the weeks theme. Here is a pic of my pages drying. I can't remember the name of my table mate to my right, but she was hysterical. Stop in to say hi! Diane and I had a great whirlwind of a time in this class.

Here is the binding:
And a close up of the beads:

Signature covers:

Pages I liked:

Here are some books from the class. You can see the variety. Mine is upper left corner. Albie was so gracious, and oohed and aahhed over each and every book.

I was so happy to get to meet Patty, another blogging friend. We both took Leighanna Light's Vintage Metal Treasure Deck class. Here we are holding each others trades.
Here is a closeup of "Queen of the Deep". I can't believe she's mine. I coveted this piece as soon as Patty posted in on her blog. The paper she rests on is also made by Patty.
Patty packaged her trade in this beautiful mermaid fabric.

Below are pieces of the metal deck that I used Patty's handmade papers on. Beautiful.

Here is the Modern Options Patina doing its thing during class. Mine was supposed to turn green but alas, the color remained no copper.

Adding first layers to metal:

Here are the metal ones I treated with Rub n Buff:
Added layers of paint, collage papers, and old jewelry findings:

My blogging friend Leslie and I were in this class and got a chance to trade. Check out her journal for Art and Soul on her blog. It is stunning. Here is her lovely charm: My second ATC class of the week involved using wax. Here are my goth atc's I created. I definitely need more practice with wax!

We created these ATC's on trading cards Barbara Macguire, the instructor purchased on ebay. The backs were pretty cool too:

Stay tuned for Part 2 of my weeks adventures.....


  1. Ahhhh, Susan~ you have blessed my soul this morning! What a great post. It is so detailed and I love the pictures. You did a great job.
    You are my soul sister, and I am lovin' it!
    I believe we have to get together BEFORE the next A&S! That is way too long from now.
    Love ya~

  2. What a fun post Susan! Sure enjoyed seeing what I missed at opening night, they put a lot into the evening, clearly! Wasn't Leighanna's class great! I've just ordered a couple more blank decks from her. I've been posting pics of my cards on my bbb (blogblogblog). It was lovely getting to see your sweet self in person. I Love my box of goodies from you, so many treasures. Again I am WOWED at your telling of events, I can't quite get that together and put it all into words for some reason....lots of reasons actually. I'm playing nurse to our 19 year old, home from college, he had eye surgery and we're joined at the hip for a time. I'm rambling, thanks again for everything:)

  3. Enjoyed taking the Treasure Deck class with you! Love seeing all the other wonderful art you made at Art and Soul also. I hope I see you next year. ;)

    Sarah Whitmire