Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A Weekend Remembered

If you ever have the good fortune to be invited to an art retreat among friends, it is an invitation of great honor.  If you don't realize this at the time, you will if you have a host that considers every detail and comfort for her guests.  It was my great fortune and honor to be given the opportunity to spend time with Sandy in her amazing home and with such extraordinary women.  What makes them extraordinary is the uniqueness and difference of each of them from myself.  The pictures and the stories in this post are a treasure just as my friends are.  These pictures are in no particular order, but I chose the ones that moved me most and that left a lasting impression.
I find it interesting that when you go to a fellow artists home, the first place to collect is in the studio!  It is like a gravitational pull occurs and draws you in to a place that is automatically comfortable and intriguing all at the same time.  Sandy's studio is just full of her whimsical approach to life.  It reflects her creativity and style.
Her newest masterpiece is this delightful doll house.  She has worked so hard on this and it is so sweet to look at and awe at all the time that she has put into it.  I look forward to her continued work on this piece.
It was a welcome for sure!  There were details everywhere that just made us feel like we were on vacation at the beach.  The retro beach babe theme was fun and the seashells and bathing beauties were the perfect touches. 
The tables were dressed with netting and coral.  Beautiful hydrangea blooms in white just accented the blue glass mason jars with flickering candles.  Sandy even had the chairs decorated with burlap bows and starfish. All of this just played off the surroundings of her pale aqua dining room and matching kitchen.  Sandy has mastered the mingling of the new modern with unique vintage and art creations.
Her signature color is this sea glass aqua and it is such a beautiful and welcoming shade.  Here is her small sideboard in her dining room. 
This little collection of things was on a side table in the corner.  This pretty little suitcase held the kits for our first art project.  Sandy planned and treated us to 2 very different and fun projects.  Both were totally different to me and pushed me to try something new.  The thing that I enjoy about Sandy and Natalea as well, is their reckless abandon when they are creating.  They don't hesitate, they just go and if something doesn't work they change direction.  It's like watching two people in a zone.  I learn so much from watching them create. 
The first project was to make a Sailor's Valentine.  I have seen these creations in museums from many years ago and they are extraordinary.  They are creations made from all things from the beach and sea.
Sandy shared the history and background to these valentine's then set us off with our kits and a table full of driftwood, sea shells, rusty chains, keys, sea glass, feathers, pearls, block letters, etc.  With glue guns in hand, we just took off. Interesting thing was, you could have heard a pin drop while all 6 of us got to our own creations.

Here are the Sailor's Valentines.  As Natalea always says, just when you think you are done, keep adding!! She is right. The more detail and whimsy the better!!  What a blast.  We were all euphoric after that.  We chatted, we laughed and drank wine while we watched Sandy make us authentic Italian pizzas.
Being relaxed and enjoying each other was definitely a highlight to the weekend.  The pizza and wine were fantastic!!
Some new friends; the unforgettable and inspiring LuLu.  Grace has a beautiful soul and is one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met.  Let us not forget our gal, Viv, too!   She is always caring for others.  It is the mother in her.  A very nurturing lady.
We enjoyed a swap the first evening.  Were each asked to make one special gift that we would swap. I chose Natalea's name from the jar and received her gift.  She cleverly covered the box in vintage text and highlighted the pages in aqua.  The rusty bells and starfish topper now graces my jardinaire of sea shells in my living room.
I borrowed Nat's picture of me opening her gift.  It is a gorgeous handmade pillow with a retro picture of a woman holding a baby on the beach.  It is beautifully adorned with burlap and aqua stones.  I will put this is a special place in my beach house one day. (we are still looking, hope to find the right place soon)
We had to have at least one night on the town in Toronto.  We stopped along Lakeshore Drive on the way down to get a look around.  Here is the group of lovely women.  We are such an eclectic group.  It was a joy to see such different people come together and really enjoy one another.
Now this is what Sunday morning should look like every week!!  Being served homemade crepes with strawberries and whipped cream was an amazing treat.  Hell, being served at all is a super treat!  I appreciate you getting up and making these Sandy.  I think I need to invest in a crepe pan.
After breakfast on Sunday, we cleared the table once again to start another art project.  We first covered a canvas with lots of different papers with modge podge. Then we added paint to the surface and let it dry.  Then using our opposite hand we write with, we began to draw our girls.  We used paint and oil crayons to make the faces and shading.  I really like this too!  Now that I know how this is supposed to go, I want to definitely try this painting technique again.

It was great to be back in Toronto, Ontario again.  After living there for 10 years and being gone for 5, I missed the scenery and the places that Don and I shared.  It was awesome to go to Tim Horton's everyday and to help Sandy navigate the city.  It all came back to me.  Canada is home.  It always will hold a special place in my heart,  as will Miss Sandy.  You really know how to treat a gal!!! My sincere thanks and appreciation!!!


Sandy Michelle said...

Holy crap..sniff,snigg..your post made me tear up Tammy. Thanks so much for those kind words! I just loved the way you described it all!

Love you!


Lee said...

Glad you enjoyd yourself.

Cassie Shella said...

What an extraordinary weekend:) The pictures of your projects are beautiful. So glad to see pictures, have a Blessed week.