I'm sitting in the San Fransisco airport on a red-eye to Philly then Hampton for Art and Soul. Carla is on a red-eye tonight, I think too. I sympathize, I do. BUT, I have three tag-a-longs - Vinnietheman, Annabelletheprecocious, and Melissatheannoyedateverythingbecauseshe'salmostateenager. Yup. My very own pack of super heros.
I'm thinking of the wonderful place Vince and I were gifted to be able to visit last weekend. I've found it. Heaven on earth. Yup...amazing food and all. I'd attempt to keep it a secret except for the fact that so many of you know about it already. I'm just lagging behind in experiencing it myself. Maybe I had to wait until I was good and tired to really....really appreciate it's calming, grounding and re-enthusing effects. Na...I would have felt it no matter what. It can't be helped! Where to begin. I could spend all night talking about the charming farm house (formerly the main residence, now a guest house for students), or the wonderfully light-filled and accommodating studio, or the welcoming community room where meals were served. How about at keeping it simple and let the photos do most of the talking. They don't NEARLY do the place justice, but it's a good effort, at least.
Kathy and Bill at Valley Ridge Art Studio are a class of their own. Both welcomed us as if we were family and we certainly felt instantly at home and comfortable. They showed us "the farm" (I had found my heart's paradise) and their gorgeous new home with amazing color, energy and warmth. The guest room - decadent and cozy - views of the gorgeous rolling hillsides. The food Bill served the most divine lunches of farm fresh foods - nourishing, light, and scrumptious - and bent over backwards to keep us all stocked with hot tea water, coffee, teas, snacks, soda, and tiny crunchy mint wafers...and I have NEVER had a fried egg as delicious as Kathy's! YUM! (You may find, if you visit Valley Ridge, that everything is better. Maybe it's the view. Maybe it's Kathy and Bill. Maybe it's something else to that you just can't quite put your finger on but it sure is divine. Yes. You may also find in this post, that I run out of adjectives so I will repeat the same ones. Maybe I'll have to make up a few of my own.)
The women in class were all the most gracious, playful, and open students a teacher could ask for. All amazingly talented and accomplished in their own various ways, I felt humbled that they had so much interest in my offerings. The work they made - ambitious and adventurous. Thank you SO much each of you....Jackie with her darling hinged box, Claudia with her larger-than-life pea pod, Liz with her Tim Burton inspired ghost dress, Pam with her sweet faced cherub plaque and vintage doll niche, Janet with her incredible, french-inspired joker goose (holy cow!!), Carol with her chunky fun fence, Chris with her abstract pairing of geometric shapes (and her forthcoming adventure of spending a summer in France), Colleen with her awesome cemetery-like niche and funky vertebrae chicken (who celebrated her #@th birthday with us on day one),Valerie with her amazing heart niche with cracked burlap and bird casting, Bea with her sweet spiritual representation of the Storyteller - healing the earth, and Kathy, who joined in on the fun and created many incarnations of an imposing textural piece which she will , no doubt, make amazing. Thank you each of you for your energy and welcoming spirits. I will treasure my time there with you!
If you ever have the unpassupable (there's one of those new adjectives) to visit Valley Ridge - to be greeted by Bill's favorite-uncle personality and Kathy's sparkling aura and beautiful hands (BEAUTIFUL, I tell you. I didn't tell her - didn't want to make her feel conscious of them and stop waving them around like she was sprinkling magic on everything) then do it. DO IT. Don't second guess it even for a second.
Thank you, kathy and Bill! I have a new flavor of blood running through my veins. It tickles with the Malkaisen Magic and the Valley Ridge mojo! (boarding has started...no time to proof read. I hope i t all makes sense and doesn't sound like some rambling of a wonderful dream...wait...that's what it is.) :)