Sunday, February 28, 2010

An Artful Journey: Day 4, When Magic Happened

Day 4 was the day it all came together. I finished all the collage and stamp work on the tissue and molding paste pages the night before, and then on Sunday decided I’d make some smaller pages with lightly painted duck cloth to go in between. DJ put beautiful fabric and lace mixed in with her book, but since I went in a completely different, kinda funky, direction, I thought the duck cloth would be more fitting for mine. We brought the duck cloth to make our covers with, so I had a little to spare (and then borrowed a little more from Leah!).

While my duck cloth pages were drying, I got to work at the sewing machine. Thank you to the four wonderful ladies who brought their sewing machines to share! Funny how this happened, really. I hadn’t really thought much about adding stitching to my pages, but once I put down the first row of stitches, I was hooked, and nearly every page ended up with some sort of stitching embellishment on it, including my name badge! I learned how to sew in high school and have always played around with various sewing projects, from pillows to funky purses, even a few cute skirts (yet I could never master zippers), but I’ve never sewn on paper before! What fun!

I had fun with the eyelash yarn, sewing around it to tack it down in various places. And I sewed on playing cards that I found at the reNEWables table (Cindy’s fab idea of how to recycle your un-needed stash for others), as well as a fortune-telling card Davi gave me, some tags I made, postcards I pulled from my vintage postcard stash, and all sorts of other goodies. And that little bit of awesomeness on the side of this page was from a great collage pack DJ and Cindy put together.

After dinner, we had show and tell. Each class brought their work to the big assembly hall and had several tables on which to display their work. Here’s Davi with her Chunky Funky Coffee Table book she made in Kelly Rae and Mati Rose’s class.

And here’s one of Ann’s pages from her book, same class.

And here are some of the awesome papers made in Albie’s class. I REALLY want to take one of Albie’s classes sometime too. See those colors? Kelly colors, aren’t they?! Albie also incorporated bookmaking into her class, turning those luscious papers in book covers.

Before the show and tell broke, each of the instructors addressed the full group and talked about her class. It was so wonderful. There were tears, there were giggles, there were belly laughs, and there were tons of hugs and shared inspiration as we all reveled in what we had accomplished through the help of these wonderful teachers.

Following the show and tell, Leah and I and few others went back to the classroom for one last jam session on our books. Robin-Marie had just recently purchased this fun new camera which took mini Polariods. Pretty neat huh? You can see that the tables behind me had already been vacated, but I was determined to finish and told DJ as much.

After a while, it was down to just Leah and me. When DJ popped in to check on us, she saw that I was getting close to done and went up to her room to get her camera. When she came back down, the three of us finished my book together. It truly was a magical moment, and I have tears in my eyes as I write this. I have never felt so much support and so much caring around me being able to accomplish something. Truly, I had no idea that I could do something like this, and DJ helped me see that I was capable of so much more than I ever realized I was. It was after 11pm by this point and from the quietness around us, I’m pretty sure the three of us were the only ones left in any of the classrooms. It had been a very long, very exhausting, but amazingly inspirational four days.

And that’s when DJ said we had to dance on the tables! So dance we did! At 11:30pm Sunday night, Leah and I climbed up on the tables and danced with my finished book while DJ laughed and took pictures. It’s a moment I’ll never forget, and I am forever grateful to Leah and DJ for sharing it with me.

You’d think that was it for the night, right? Oh no, sweet friend. After DJ headed to bed and Leah and I packed everything up, we started walking back to our cottage. It was near midnight by then, and it was cold and misty with fog coming in. We were quietly talking about our adventure when Leah stopped and grabbed my shoulder. Then she pointed, and there I saw them: nearly 10 deer watching us from just yards away in the mist. They looked like deer angels, really, all shrouded in mist and fog. They just stood quietly; we just stood quietly, neither wanting to move and break the moment. Finally, one of them turned and started walking away, so as they moved on, so did we, quietly awestruck. Awestruck from everything we had just experienced…the art making, the friendship making, the memory making, all wrapped in one final, magical night. This day truly changed my life, though I didn’t realize how much until I got home and really started processing everything that I’d experienced. Just like magic.


Andi (RrlScrapGal) said...

Oh my gosh...Beautiful!!! What a great post about the process, your awesome project and that final magic moment!

A gift.. Truly...I can see the deer!!!
I'd say you gals were on a fantastic journey and 'someone' shared his/her artistic creation with you as well.

It must have been a great experience!!!!

Becca said...

Kelly what a wonderful post about your experience at An Artful Journey! I would love to take another class with DJ. I really enjoyed the online photoshop class, but hope to experience Artful Journey. Your book turned out great, thanks for sharing you experience along the way. I can just picture the deer!

Leah Virsik said...

So glad to be there with you Kelly at the end! That was a very magical… you finishing your book… to see your determination… your completion… I was definitely inspired for sure. Especially, from someone who doesn't always finish things. It was really nice to be your witness and to celebrate it with dancing on the table! (I spent five hours Friday night on my book and a bit more time yesterday… will have pictures soon.) xo Leah

Deer angels… I love that!

wyanne said...

What a great gift that trip was for you! I can't wait to see your book in person!

Contessa Kris said...

What a beautiful book and the pictures are so good! I love your layering and choice of colors. A little bit jealous! Sounds like you had a fabulous time!

Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting.

Carmen said...

Oh Kelly... this is so inspiring!

Lorri Scott said...

Thank you so much for posting. I just read about your entire "journey". I too was at AJ in Lesley's class. It was a rewarding experience and I'm so glad to have read your wonderful story.


cath c said...

kelly, i just played a big catchup on your adventures through several posts, and i must say, you seem to have had a truly magical and inspiring time. such wonderfukl spring abounding outside in those gorgeous blooms and such community of creativity and women and artful inspiration... go you!

Lorrie said...

Hi Kelly, I am sure we passed each other several times at An Artful Journey, I was in Kelly Rae and Mati Rose's class. I love this post and think your book is georgeous! I love that you and Leah danced on the table! And we saw those deer too, they were just beautiful, and later I was told it was a group of females, perfect really.


DJ said...

Ooooo Kelly! What a gift you have! I loved reading your story, and felt like I was there again, enjoying our time together. Thank you! I'm grateful for every magic moment at the retreat. Thank you for sharing it so beautifully! You're amazing!

Anonymous said...


What a remarkable journey. Our conversation about your retreat now makes sense to me. Can't wait to see your book and celebrate the experience. Art is such a gift, isn't it!!

Diana said...

I already said this to you in person when I was looking through your book at Los Gatos, but I just love the way you stitched your photo and your ID card into your book -- you'll never forget when or where you made it and how happy you were to be there!

Glad you had a safe, if slightly frantic journey home, Kelly.