Always stretch before crafting

I thought art was a verb, rather than a noun.”~Yoko Ono, Japanese peace activist

My nail polish did not survive the Art Retreat, but my nails did!

The first annual All Things Creative Art Retreat was outstanding, so much fun that we didn’t finish all the projects we had. The attendance was much lower for the two-day event than my co-organizer, Mary, and I had hoped for, but that actually worked out well. As scrapbookers and crafters are known to do, the 11 of us spread out over 23 tables. Next year: more drying and work spaces.


Re-use in style

Karen presented a fabulous workshop on how to recycle used objects for art. When I think of phrases like that, I think of folksy, grungy art like windchimes made from rusty forks or yard sculptures made from hardware store bolts and tin cans. With a little twist of creativity, forks can transform into decorative garden plant holders. Turns out those same tin cans make a stylish pencil holder decoupaged with paper napkins and and lace ribbon. Trust me, this is not some cheesy macaroni art here.


We worked on her Upcycled Dream Tin project, using an Altoids tin to create a box for inspirational notes. I used scrapbook papers, National Geographic magazines, acrylic paint and postage stamps for mine. Collage Pauge has become my new favorite medium. Once my current bottle of Mod Podge runs out, I’m giving this a try.


Beeswax by any other name is faux

Mary showed us how to make faux encaustic pictures using acrylic gel medium rather than melting beeswax. I demonstrated techniques for the modern-Victorian hybrid art called Steampunk. Think nuts and bolts and keys and watch gears, or think Tim Holtz products. This sounds similar to Karen’s class, but steampunk’s palette is mostly limited to darker colors of browns, greys and black with objects that reflect the vibe of the book The Time Machine written by H. G. Wells.
The tie-dye tag class, I think, was the messiest and the funnest class of the weekend. Maybe I felt that way because we all completed the project: color manilla tags using Distress Stains or Distress Ink re-inkers. By spraying tags with a mix of the color and water, you can create some intense colors. Mist the tags wet or dry over a large plastic tub to keep from staining the work area or your neighbor across the table.


My tag mania!

Waste nothing seemed to be the theme for this retreat; swish the tags into the well of excess ink and you get some cool stained dimension to the tags. It’s a simple process that has instant gratification, so you can just go on and on and on. I sure did, and now I have tags to use in my Upcycled Dream Tin. You might think I have tags to last me a lifetime. My inner scrapbooker says: no way, chickie!


Tamaya takes the stress out of distressing

Tamaya is the queen of distressing, and she showed us ways to alter an ATC blank–or any paper, no matter the texture or color–by using tea, coffee, sandpaper, water, inks, Distress Stains, salt and more. After this, I want to play with the coffee grounds left in my Keurig K-cups!

We had a pile of generous donations from the papercrafting world. Kate from MegaMeet, Carrie from Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine, and Creative Memories consultant Sue Nebe fattened up our goodie bags and provided an assortment of larger items for our door prizes and raffles. A big shout-out to them.


Swollen finger after spritzing and spraying all day

By the time I got home, a day of pumping left me with a form of Carpel Tunnel thumb. Sore fingers and stained hands: the badge of a successful artsy-fartsy weekend. I’m already looking forward to what we come up with next year. Of course, I will stretch my fingers with a good workout training session first.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jane
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 11:38:01

    Delightful. I want to go. I’ll starting working out now.


  2. esther aka craftyvox
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 02:41:20

    This looks like fun!


  3. Sandy F
    Jul 05, 2013 @ 15:12:46

    From what I saw on Sunday, it looked like you all had a blast! Count me in for next year, please…


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