Collage Retreat Fun

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!  I hope you are having a very blessed day with your family.

Well, I finally have a few minutes to jump on here and blog.  I don't know about you, but I always have good intentions to blog often, and life just jumps in the way!

I want to share with you a little bit about my fun weekend at the Clark Mansion in Taylor, Texas collaging with KC Willis two weeks ago.  First of all, Taylor, Texas is a very unique, historical town.  The owner of the Mansion and hostess of the weekend, Sherry, had marvelous stories to tell us of famous people who had visited and what the area used to be like - it was so much fun listening to the history that enveloped the house we were staying in.  I have provided a few pictures of the amazingly beautiful Clark Mansion that was built in 1879.  The wallpaper, the furniture, the woodwork - simply AMAZING!  To enlarge any of the pictures to see better details, just click on them.

The Clark Mansion (click to see website)
Front hallway entrance
Living room complete with 2 sofas and a upholstered chaise lounge

Forgive the mess, the girls were packing - two twin beds on the right -  huge room!
Another bedroom, also had a twin bed to the left. One of these doors leads to the maids quarters - another bedroom...there were separate stairs that went to the maids quarters from the kitchen as well.
This is a Victorian Era architectural item - a "keyhole" window.  Victorian ladies would peek out of the window unbeknownst to suitors at the front door. The stained glass in the top represents the Sunset Ranch.  The Clark Mansion was the main home on the Sunset Ranch in times past.
We ate our meals in a beautifully appointed dining room and the room we worked in was the ballroom, complete with baby grand piano.  In the evenings we sat on the porch and listened to birds and felt the cool breezes - time definitely slowed down and we were able to really relax.    There were 10 of us including the Mansion's owner, Sherry and it was really nice getting acquainted with everyone.  Other than KC, who came in from Colorado, I drove the furthest for the retreat.  Most of the ladies were from the surrounding area - Wimberly, Austin, Taylor, etc.
Here we are toasting our hostesses, KC and Sherry.

The ballroom and the ladies hard at work.

A favorite for everyone was using the Wagner heat gun to age the fabric and paper and add texture!

KC showing us a gorgeous fabric collaged journal!  How to create this?  She has a great set of CD's available on her website Lipstick Ranch.

We enjoyed creating and working hard "playing" with paper, fabric, lace, glue, thread, ribbon, etc. each day.  We actually finished three pieces; one main one and then two quick exercises in creating without so much thinking - a difficult do for me for sure!  I have been fortunate to visit KC in Colorado a couple of times in the past, so I know how much fun her workshops can be and this was no exception.  She helps spark the "inner child" in everyone.  This is the last year KC will be teaching.  She is going to change her direction a bit so if you want to catch one of her "latest and greatest" workshops, check out her website and register now.  KC on the road in 2011.

Here are pictures of each of the ladies with their main collage piece.  There was a story behind each piece which made it so meaningful and fun!  KC actually had a writing exercise for us to help us determine what our pieces were saying to us.
Candy -"Wish I could fly"

Dixie - "Just take in one deep breath"

Marji - "I don't believe in the Republican Party or the Democratic Party, I believe in pajama parties!"

Susan - "How are you Dad"

Pat - "All things are possible"

Karen - "Fearless"
Terry - "As a matter of fact, I am a star"
Here is a snap of the entire group on the beautiful grand staircase.

Yep - it's windy in central Texas!  L to R, Susan, Marji, Terry, Pat, me, KC, Candy, and Karen.  Dixie was taking the picture.

When we first arrived in Taylor, we visited the gallery where KC's work was on display.  It had been a bank in older days and was an architectural dream.  Here is a picture of KC among her work and giving us an insightful tour of each piece before we left for the Clark Mansion.

The second night we were in town, we were invited to go downtown in Taylor and visit another gallery where local artists spend lots of time teaching and learning and selling their work.  Two of the ladies in our group actually had items in the gallery so it was great fun to see that!  Very inspiring!  The lady that owned the gallery was sweet enough to open up her other shop which had all kinds of goodies and I found two tops!  woo-hoo!  Taylor was very gracious to us indeed.

Ok, ok, now that you have seen all of the other ladies beautiful work, I will share mine.  I tend to over think things and it took me a while to relax and get my creative juices flowing to just enjoy "playing and creating".
KC said, grab some pieces of paper and stitch them together - then grab a couple of pieces of fabric and add that.  Then we glued and stitched little fabric scraps into the shape of a heart and added that.  I added the silk flower and some hand-stamped muslin ribbon for fun.  We did this piece in a VERY short time to see if we could just let our creative juices flow without letting the brain rule!
An exercise in building a collage without a one piece foundation - going outside the box.  This one is called Tea Time and has little teabag paper rolled roses and some teabag paper behind the left bottom corner.

This is my main collage.  Butterfly dreams.  The caption says: "A good day for catching dreams".  The piece has fabric, lace, paper, a silk cocoon, a piece of driftwood, etc.  Lots of fun textures.  Three butterfly charms flutter off and up from the photo.  I enjoyed using the vintage net fringe on the bottom that I got from Flights of Fancy Boutique.

When I left the Clark Mansion, I went to visit my twin sons and DIL - spent the night, had a great dinner with them, got some hugs and took off the next day for home.  On the drive home I happened upon a "gaggle" of zebras - yes, zebras.  Well, I just had to get out and talk to them and take some pictures.  They were so beautiful and so cute.

Glimpses of Faith
On this Easter Day let us give thanks to God for His son, a savior who was obedient unto death to save those who would believe and bring us back into the presence of God.  What an awesome love God has for us - incomprehensible, but real.

May the joy of the Lord fill your days!

Till next time,


sonya said...
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Robin said...
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Candy said...
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