Monday, September 9, 2013

Good Things

...come to those who wait!  That's what they say, anyway.  Unintentionally, I have had you waiting for a *very* Good Thing that will now require a little more of wait!?

Here's "the rest of the story."  Just over a year and half ago, I joined forces with two incredible artists and friends, Jean Skipper and Jodi Ohl, to begin planning a dream project.  In the time between the decision to take part and now, much thought and care has been invested in this new venture!  There were all the 'behind the scenes' details to attend to, building *and adhering to* a schedule for each step along the way, and ensuring that we left no "i" un-dotted nor "t" uncrossed.  The Plan was for there to be a big Roll Out, sharing all the juicy details, and inviting people to join us.  Never, in our wildest dreams, did we think that the Roll Out would be replaced by The Big WOW!

ReMe - Ocracoke - May, 2014...the first of many!

Before the planned date for the Roll Out, we shared 'save the date' information with friends old and new, just so folks would know it was coming...  Within 36 hours of putting the PayPal button on our web-site, we filled every spot for our inaugural event in May, 2014!?  With each new registration, the phone calls flew, and the e-mail buzzed!  Our initial idea was to grow by adding a new event each year; the overwhelming response to our 1st event has us doing the mad scramble to secure our Ocracoke location for a second event in 2014!   And we are already scouting locations for future events.

Please take a moment to visit our blog for all of the details about the magical place that will be the stage for this dream come true!  While you are there, take note of our best efforts in ensuring that you get the information you need to join us for the next installment of this creative adventure!  Sign up for our Newsletter to be 'in the know' about our next offering, and future events in other locations.

Our vision was never to become the next "big box" event -- what we want to offer is more than a 'retreat' -- it's an experience!  We envision small, intimate gatherings of like minded souls in beautiful places to enjoy creativity in community.  We have built a platform that will allow for an all-inclusive artistic event, regardless of skill level and/or proficiency in any given medium.  We each bring our own experiences of the powerful friendships borne of such gatherings to this endeavor, and it is truly a blessing to be able to share this treasure with others!  To our first group of eager attendees, I say "Thank YOU!"  ...and to all those yet to come, I say "Welcome.  We look forward to meeting, sharing, and creating with you!"  

PLA, Jean, and Jodi The Inn
This new opportunity affords me the ability to do nearly all of my favorite things in one, big, beautiful package!  Art, travel, food, friends, and teaching -- could it get any better!?  The beauty of the business side of things is that I am working alongside two of my favorite people -- we each have so much to bring to the table *heck, we need more tables!*  There is an inherent ease with which obstacles dissolve under the kind and watchful eyes of partners who are also dear friends.  Our ideal lives among us each day as we work together both in real life and virtually to accomplish our goals.  The end result, allowing us to give our Guests a heaping helping dose of what we rely on day-to-day:  the power of community and the gift of 'awareness of self' amid the daily rush.  If I were any more excited about all of this, I couldn't stand it! 

Having shared this Good Thing with you, I must away -- there are even more good things on the way *all in various stages of completion?*!  ...and as my beloved likes to say, "you have to make hay while the sun is shining!"  I'll see you again soon, right here!

Onward & Upward, 

 - pla

Words of wisdom for today:
"…true happiness is not attained by self-gratification,
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose.
                                      - Helen Keller

Monday, September 2, 2013

So, I went to Chicago

...with an incredible friend (Jodi Ohl), and had the most amazing adventure!  Our 'adventures' actually began before we ever hit the road *foreshadowing of a spectacular journey, wouldn't you say?*  When I arrived, with my own vehicle more loaded than it ought to have been, Lady J had not finished putting all of her gear in her truck (being larger than mine, the chosen chariot).  It was not long into the removal from my truck going into her truck that we realized we needed more room!?  Thus we became "The Women Who Don't Back Up!"  After procuring a sweet little U-Haul trailer, we RE-loaded *hers, mine, and ours* to head out on a 6 state road trip to attend CREATE - Chicago!
...and away we go!
After the loading, unloading, and RE-loading
YES:  you can drive 1,700 miles without backing up!
Greetings from Virginia
We came out of a few hours of spattering rain to this!
A Mountain Sunset in West Virginia
...shortly after which, we sat in stop and go traffic for
late-night road construction
Moon Over Dayton, Ohio
Northwest Dayton, to be precise - the Englewood area
Wind in the Corn -- in Indiana
...after hours & hours/miles & miles of corn, this!

Sweet Home, Chicago!
...for 4 nights, anyway
We shared driving, stories, and snacks as we made our way to the Windy City over a two day drive.  How much more pleasant, to travel with a friend!  There were times when, I am SURE, had we been stopped we would have been hauled to the pokey -- such was our raucous, heaving laughter!  There were shared sights of both beauty and decay that prompted stories from previous lives.  There was the mad fumbling with the phone and/or camera to capture the latest hilarity from the highway, as we zoomed northward.  It was a magical trip, for many reasons -- not the least of which:  getting to know someone I have long considered a Friend, but in actuality have never known very well, beyond our common interests.  It was a pleasure to visit her classroom, just at the end of each session, and see what her students had done with the knowledge and techniques that she so lovingly prepared for them.  Their sheer delight in having learned new things, and wrought them by their own hands made me excited for them -- and all that will come with their new 'knowing.'

We worked well together, in our coming and going from this event that was very different things to each of us.  For J, it was a time to re-connect with former students, welcome new ones to her ranks, and continue to grow and prosper in the world of mixed media art -- where she has become so well known.  For me, it was a journey of a different nature:  a stepping out, into a new pool of light; a venturing forth to test the waters; and an effort to find purchase in that world.  While she was there to teach for three days, and then set up to sell her wares at the Vendor Faire event on Friday, I was there for that single event alone.  All of that made this a little nerve-wracking for me -- the girl who likes to 'know' what is going to happen -- what The Plan is.  There was no knowing for this...  It was A FIRST -- it's been a little while since I had one of those (at least on such a grand scale); and it's been even longer since I felt this mix of trepidation and giddiness!

It turns out, I am pretty good at this 'displaying of my wares!'  I had a MOST incredible evening!  When the doors opened, a literal flood of people entered that Ballroom; and for the next three hours it was non-stop greeting, answering, showing, and accepting the payment of those who "got it" -- my work, my 'pieces-parts,' and my sheer joy in being there!  ...and then, like the last show of the Circus, it was over.  Would it surprise you to know that I was the last one packed up, and loaded out of that Ballroom?  *it shouldn't!*  Yes, I took too much with me -- No, I don't regret a single agonizing lifting of box, toting of bag, or hauling of load!  Why?  Because of the myriad lessons learned on this trip.  ...I can't get the tag-line for "The Six Million Dollar Man" out of my head:  "...we can rebuild him, we can make him stronger..."  I know that next time around, I will travel smarter and leaner -- with a honed focus -- pared to a reasonable load *more reasonable than this one, anyway!*
Arrowood Paper Arts in action! was a wild night in the best of ways
SO...  after another in a string of week-long dinners at an abysmal hour *we <3 Warren's Ale House!*, we hit the hay to begin the long journey home the next day.  ...more Toll Booths and corn fields.  ...more ideas bouncing than unspent kernels in a popcorn popper.  ...more laughter, more music, and more stories!  I don't know who was happier on my final return to the HoCo Home:  The Man or The Dog *or ME*?  It is wonderful to travel - to see this great country, to meet new people, and to feel the growth of your own being.  I wonder if that isn't what makes the 'coming home' all the sweeter?

 Onward & Upward, 

 - pla

p.s. -- for more photos from our Chicago adventure, please visit my brand-spanking new PhotoLog
p.p.s. -- ...because it just wouldn't be my world without it, know that there is MORE amazement inducing wonderment right around the corner! 

Words of wisdom for today:
"Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends,
but is played out over and over in the quiet chambers.
The mind can never break off from the journey.
                                      - Pat Conroy
Photo Notes:
   First 6 photos taken with Motorola Android X2 - standard camera app -- edited in IrfanView for size & color adjustment.
   APA in Action:  taken by the CREATE - Chicago photographer

*All photos can be seen in a larger size by clicking on them*