I have been fortunate to partake in some wonderful creative retreats and host a wonderful visiting instructor in these last two months. The time spent at these events are so necessary to my soul, as it allows me to be with other members of my tribe - the people who share the same interests and philosophies and accept each other without judgement. It may seem easy to find people who fit the bill - and maybe for some it is. For me, however, it has been more challenging, which makes me every grateful for the opportunities.
When we are young our friends are those who our parents put us together with to play. We add neighbors and classmates and our friends are limited to the people with whom we have regular contact. When we leave home as adults we have a wider range of friend choices but once again we often socialize with neighbors, parents of our kids' friends or coworkers. As my kids got older and more independent I was not always drawn to these friends or aquaintances that didn't share similar interests. I have grown to find that there are like minded people all over the country - and the world - and I had to venture out and cast a wider net to meet them.
For the past three years I have attended Craft Napa in California - an art retreat and series of workshops and social opportunities that has brought together my tribe. From the minute that I entered the hotel for the first Craft Napa I was welcomed into this creative world that was created for four wonderful days. I made friends in the classes that I have kept and cherish. I was accepted for the person who I am - inspired and encouraged and never judged. Last month was no different, as I took some amazing classes once again.
Loved my Dollies, Monsters and Birds - Oh My! Class with Libby Williamson. Amazing - and I LOVE my pig!!
Deborah Boschert was such an organized teacher. I went home with several small quilts and finish one completely finished, mounted, signed and in plastic.
A graffiti wall was supplied by Dharma Trading and available for all of us to make marks and art. It turned out awesome by the end of the event!
I learned some new techniques with mediums I had not used before. Jeanne Palmer Moore taught art quilting using inktense blocks, collage and free motion stitching. Another finished project - and I was quite pleased (it's a silky chicken in case you wondered.)
I made new friends, reconnected with friends I made in years past. It is an amazing feeling to travel solo to an event and never feel alone. Can't wait for next January!!