I can't remember having such a long daffodil season as we've had this year. They are just now starting to fade in my yard and, if you remember, the first one bloomed just in time for a certain wild pony to turn 13 on March 2nd. That's a month and a half, my friends. A long life for a daffodil family. The downside to this is that it means we've had cold, blustery days for equally as long. I was beginning to wonder if spring would ever shine here in it's pretty ruffly dress made of sunshine and blossoms and new green growth. It's here. It's here. And today the sun shone bright and promising as ever.
Funny thing is with as slow as the sun seemed to be moving, I felt a little like one of those cartoon characters running on a moving belt with the screen alongside me whizzing the terrain by faster than I could move my legs. Life's just one big fast lane, sometimes (and this is where those of you with a half-dozen youngn's around and a "day job" and perhaps a church calling or two huff at me as you lap me on the belt. "What does SHE know about fast lane?") But I digress...to the matter at hand, shall we?
I intended, in January, to give you a run down of my workshop schedule for the year and here it is April and I have two events behind me already. Maybe you were there. Maybe you saw me all tired eyed and aimlessly wandering. Maybe you saw me having a blast in spite of it all. This would be true. I will say that Art and Soul in Las Vegas was it's own sort of unforgettable adventure. The students and classes, as always, were awesome. You guys rock. What more could I say?!?! Glenny and the Art and Soul crew will be back in Vegas next February (though I will not) in a much more serene setting than smack on the strip...which, btw, is not for sissies. Or families with children. Or anyone with an aversion to breathing recycled smoke and walking 10 miles to pee. I've lost all my class pictures from that trip which is a big bummer.
Artfest, as always, is a favorite of mine. I was there barely a month after Las Vegas and indulged in some precious and treasured time with dear friends before hand. There we all were...tucked in the woods in a cabin on the Sound for a long weekend...then on to the sanctuary of a beautiful soul who opened her home to a few of us for a few days. Thank you, dear friends, for sharing that time with me. A sweet life in that.
Exactly one week from this very hour, I will be touching down in Cincinnati with dear Judy for a week to dive in knee deep in the photoshoot for our plaster working book. I'm thrilled that she'll be there with me. Thrilled in part because we're in this project togetherforreals and it just wouldn't be right without her. But mostly because her coming means she's healing. Fast, big, and determined. I swear, even the cells in her body have a fierceness that can't slow that woman down and it feels SO good to let my heart open up a little to the relief. I was so worried...mindful....of her as she underwent surgery and the subsequent recovery. She has a long row to hoe still, but she's doing amazing...and THAT is better than any eternal daffodil season. (Sorry if I'm speaking for you, friend. I do it all the time...ask the girls.)
And now, for what is still to come....
I'm happy to announce that I will be offering another round of Thought Threads for your journaling pleasure. The e-course will run for four weeks (May 10 - June 4th) and will be chock full of journaling prompts, approaches, and guidance to help you realize your own inner guru. She's there..and she's beautifully, breathtakingly fierce. You can read all about the e-course here. Registration is now open.
After getting home from Ohio, I will unpack and repack to head on to Virginia for another Art and Soul Retreat (May 19 - 25th). I'll be teaching four classes there, all of which are sold out (holy crap. Thank you so much signeruppers!! My creditors thank you...but not really because it means I will shake them sooner than later.)
In mid June (15-19th), I'm heading to the prettiest place on the planet to be in mid June, the rocky mountains. Park City, UT will once again be descended on by Artnesters and the attention to detail that Julie and Candice have is second to none. We'll all be in a glorious grand cabin with creative space and open air galore. I'll drink in extra gulps of my home-land mountain air while Ruth Rae is busy teaching her part of the retreat. It's going to be amazing and the retreat is already almost full. I'll be teaching a brand new class called "Breathing Room". We'll make gorgeous plaster covered portfolio journals and I will guide participants through some beautiful, thoughtful, insightful journaling prompts. You'll find a hidden guru within, I just know it.
July 18-22nd will find me in the eucalyptus covered hills of Los Gatos, CA where I will be teaching at An Artful Journey. A three day class, peeps. Talk about luxurious! Katie Kendrick, Judy Wise, Richard Sally and DJ Pettit will all be teaching equally luxurious classes as well. You can't go wrong with any of the offerings. I'm just glad I don't have to choose. The Presentation Center, where the retreat will be held, is so beautiful and serene. Certainly an extremely inspiring place to indulge in your creative impulses.
August....just you wait....I have big news about August. But not yet. Skip on to October.
I'll fly directly from WI to Portland, OR where I will then be teaching three classes back to back and Art and Soul again. Two of them are sold out, but there are still three spaces in the third. The whole event has a ton of awesome classes so be sure to read through the list thoroughly so's you don't miss a thing.
I'll boogie home then, for a few days rest. Just in time to prepare for Journalfest. I can't imagine a better way to cap off my year of traveling to teach. Journalfest last year was the highlight of my entire 2009. It was so awesome. SO awesome!! (am I overusing that word? Sorry...can't help it.) I'll be teaching all three days there and I'm so thrilled and honored that Teesha and Tracy included me again this year. It's hard to describe the energy of the event. Different and beautiful and so incredibly inspiring. Even theman got a few pens in his hand during one of the rockin' journaling parties attended by all where music was playing and the energy was electric.
I have to admit that even though I feel physically exhausted too much of the time, I'm so incredibly grateful to each and every student who signs up for my classes, who shows up eager and willing - and likely quite forgiving. In an economy (yeah, I'm going there) that is less than ideal, I'm so grateful to you all for supporting me and what I do. It has been our financial lifesaver this past year. I have the world's most self-propelled man when it comes to making work, but even with that in his bag, the pickin's have been thin. So, thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.
Now, back to August. August 9th, to be precise.
Drumroll please......I present to you, Homesteader's Metal-smithing E-Course! I have been chewing on this idea for a while but wasn't sure about some of the technicalities. With the blessing of my classes filling up fast, the downside is that there are many of you who wanted to take a metal-smithing class from me and just haven't been able to align the stars just right. So, I'm taking that plunge....the one that creates holy matrimony between the internet and my metal-smithing classes. I'm creating an E-Course in my metal-smithing techniques. I'm so excited about the idea because, no matter what, I just can't fit all the techniques into even a few days so having FOUR WEEKS of intensive video tutorials and all the extras that will go with it will be SO much fuller than all my metal-smithing classes combined. For those of you who are leery of trying to learn something like this via a screen, rest assured that I will be working every blasted angle of attack possible so that you, the adventurers, will have ample guidance to master the craft yourself.
Registration is open now and I will be limiting the amount of registrants so that I can be sure to answer each and every question the students will have throughout the course. If you are interested, follow the link on the top, right of this here blog (see where it says "Homesteader's Metalsmithing"?) to get all the details. Or you can just go here. :)
So there you have it. My year of teaching all laid out across the garden bed for the sun to shine on. I hope to see you somewhere along the trail. Your smiles are what make this all worthwhile.
Is renewal ever an instant? A little mark in the fabric of our life that defines the before and after. I only know it as a passing. A long, drawn out breath of time that stretches across the whole wide canvas of the heart and in that long, slow moment, we do things to establish a footing in it. We do things that just need to be done for the journey ahead. We stand in the cold rain to plant a tree - four trees, the beginnings of an orchard - and we breath in deeeeeeeeeep the scent of the earth as we overturn it. We feel our boots build up with the weight of the wet clay. We fill that space with lots of shorter breaths. In and out and in and out and in and out - we breath in the moment and breath a little bit of our life back into the hole where the roots will set deep and strong. Later, we'll come back to this place and see the blossom...and then the fruit. And we will remember the long breath that called forth this abundance.
The tree which moves some to tears of
joy is in the eyes of others only a
green thing that stands in the way. Some see Nature all ridicule and
deformity, and some scarce see Nature at all. But to the eyes of the
man of imagination, Nature is Imagination itself.
- William Blake, 1799, The Letters
"Breathing Room" portfolio Journal
I took a loooooooong, savory nap the other day. It wasn't enough. Darn near fell asleep in the super exciting tax lady's office today. I'm still recovering from the delicious days up north visiting friends and attending Artfest. I have wonderful pictures and stories to tell....soon....soon.
Humid thoughts are lingering in my headspace. I'm not sure where the inside changes to the outside - so much is a little blurry. I have flashes of sunrise views over vast water, sounds of midnight laughter, and green potential pressing out in little fat bulges from the grey-brown bark of branches. More. There is more. Much more.
Before I tell you all of it though, I wanted to tell you of something I'm so, SO excited about before it's too late. I've told you before how much I love teaching for Julie and Candice, so when the invitation came from them again to visit this summer for another phenomenal Artnest retreat, I didn't hesitate for one second. Not one. The retreats these ladies put on are one of a kind, truly (and fill up fast!). You will leave with a new understanding of pampering (the food....my goodness the FOOD!!!), the clean mountain air, and the lightness of being that these women carry while always smiling the most genuine, generous smiles.
Registration has opened today for this amazing retreat where I will be teaching a little journalling/journal making class called "Breathing Room" along side Ruth Rae who will impart her own generous helping of knowledge on you.
June. In the mountains. What could be better? I hope to steal my mom away for a day or so (she lives near there) to get her hair colored. She's so fun and vibrant in her own crochetting-hard-of-hearing sort of way. A sassy dye job that reflects her willingness to laugh at life is in order. I used to chastise her for the jet black hair dye with superman-comic-book-blue undertones and now that she has abandoned that labor, there is an ash-gray haloing her head in all it's glory. How 'bout a little warmth? (Momma, if you read this, know that I love you with all my heart and that it's for your own good. You don't have to keep it up if you don't like it.)
Okay...off to bed...I'm at that rambling stage.