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Monday, October 28, 2013

Art Is You Stamford 2013

Art Is You 2014
Retreat Reminisce

Okay WOW, it has been awhile since the last post.  Hmm, it isn't because there is nothing to write!  Nor was it because I was spending more time sleeping! Ha.

Between Beadfest in Phila PA, and Art Is You in Stamford, CT, time just flew, with inventory to create, teaching materials to gather, surprises to finish, strategic packing to manage, and a few other plans to make.  Let's just say it was definitely a 6 week crunch time, so I saved up all my gathered thoughts for now....

 Foremost in my mind on this day, are the thoughts that life just flies by like that.  Holidays, births, deaths, weddings, reunions, events.... We rush and rush and rush and rush.  Seldom since those introspective days of college, do I just sit to look at what I have already accomplished and where I should be going next, and what it all means.  In the middle of most of the marathons, my opinion is that most of us go on and on, hoping and thinking we might be making a difference...making our mark or helping others to make theirs.  How do we know that we accomplish that in the end?  We don't I suppose but we can choose to think about making a difference more often.  One of the reasons I support Art Is You is for that very reason.  The prep, the involvement, and even months after the event are all about doing something to make a difference.  Hmm.  Well, just read on and let me tidy up those thoughts then in summary.


This year ART IS YOU was all about gratitude and the generosity of giving.  How very wonderful because these are things that can make a difference in the lives of others, for sure.  I was glad to be a part and want to share my experiences and my version of what I thought this retreat was all about.

I will rewind to the actual packing for this event, because it begins there for me.  There were projects brewing and things to create, bring along, and distribute.

 Creative Inkling Insructor, Edie Malin had put out the request for folks to use their talents to create a journal for a service man or woman.  Her husband is in the military, so she knows first hand what being away from loved ones means.  How wonderful to create heartfelt journals for special notes or photos while away from home. There were many wonderful journals that came.  They were beautiful and were sent out to the service men and woman by Edie.  I loved being a part of this and hoping to make a difference. Here are a few...

As well art sister Colleen Peck organized the cutting and sewing of simple dresses for the Dress A Girl campaign.  I hauled my sewing machine and scissors to Stamford to help make a difference!

There was also the business of TRADES.  I had never done these before and thought I would give away some of my recycled ornaments from a past project.  I had soooo much fun giving trades out to people this year!  : )  uh oh.  this raises the bar for next year.......better start planning something NOW!!  Here are just a couple of the beautiful things I had received in return from Cara Rae of and BZ, Betti Zucker.  I have lots of others that I will cherish and display all year round!

Some of the most exciting things for me to pack were items for the Art Is You Raffles.  Retreat organizers Sallianne McClelland  and Ellen Legare work hard to plan everything, but it is just plain fun to be involved in the raffle events!  Proceeds go to charity (different ones each year) and it was terrific seeing what artists donate for these.  Our joined efforts made a difference! This year I donated a tiara like the ones made in this year's AIY workshop and a bottle necklace that was featured in Belle Armoire Jewelry last year.  How wonderful to have a friend be one of the winners of the tiara.  Here I am with Terry Fryer.

 Last but not least there was inventory to create and gather to bring along at vendor night.  This is always fun to do, although busy for sure.  As I packed, some things were set aside to give as special gifts which might make a difference. Of course there is a picture of vending day since I am such a hammo!

To the nutz and boltz of this year's teaching venue... I taught two workshops.  One was Charlotte's Sanctuary and the other was Tempest Tiara.  Each workshop had kits to prepare and tools to pack.  Both classes were wonderful.  I loved each of my students! For me, they made a difference!

 Then, after all the workshops, the raffles and the food, many gathered to give back.  We finished up our projects, painted, sewed, danced and came together for making a difference and had so much fun as well.  Below are some of my pictures but so many more are found on the Facebook page for Art Is You under albums, Stamford 2013.

Did I mention that I dragged my husband along? My arm went a bit gimpy before the event and he offered hauling services, which I accepted. Well, he was a great sport and loved it all as well.
Here is proof someone  had fun!!

OK, now I will tidy those serious thoughts from way back at the beginning ...

I lost a friend recently and was in awe and humbled at the numbers of people who came to the memorial service.  He meant a lot to me, to his family and to his friends, but his reach was far far greater and out of the circle most of us draw around ourselves.  He was astute, had a wicked sense of humor, was tireless, and always offered  his opinion....not advice, just his opinion : )  He was blunt when he had to be, and had kindness unspoken.  His opinion was that we should set a course for good and keep the pace, and that for each and every day, we should all try to make some kind of difference.........

Be involved.  Make a difference.
Hoping to see you in Stamford, CT 
for Art Is You 2014