Thursday, July 3, 2014

Looking Back on a Weekend FULL of Wonderful

It would appear that my last post was bit premature!  I provided what read like a wrap up of June, with a big ol' hunk of it yet to enjoy!?  A week ago today (06/26/14), I ventured forth on yet another Road Trip -- this time to Richmond, VA.  It was hot as all get out, but that didn't diminish the big FUN of catching up with some folks I don't see near enough of, not to mention the excitement of meeting a whole bunch of new folks!

The Fountain at The Boathouse
After arriving at the hotel, and checking in with the buds, I ventured to the other side of town to meet up with Richmond herself!  I have mentioned before my admiration for the women of 3x3x365 (Hendersonville *nee Asheville*, South Bend, and Richmond).  I had the pleasure of meeting them all in person at Camp, last year -- and since I knew I was coming to her town, had made arrangements to have a quick visit during my time there.  

After a little 'catch-up' with some ever-so-lovely vino *and much loving on the ever-so-amazing Cheeseburger (aka:  Bergie!)*, we enjoyed a lovely, late evening stroll through her beautifully wooded community to partake of dinner and sunset over the lake.  The Boathouse (at Sunday Park) is well worth the trip, gentle reader, should you find yourself in Richmond, VA and in need of great food, a beautiful view, and the best service I have encountered in recent memory!  We lingered over dinner, and well into the Summer evening -- how time flies in such pleasant company!

Here's to good food, good friends, and great company!
Then, it was back to the hotel, and all the happenings of the 2014 International Paper Doll Convention!  ...yep, Yep, YEP -- there is such a thing!  Several years ago, I met the amazing Jenny Taliadoros at Art & Soul in Hampton, VA.  Jenny is the publisher (nay, Genius) behind Paper Studio Press, and publisher of the magazines Paper Doll Studio and Paper Doll Review.  Are you surprised to learn that "paper doll love" is alive and well in this technological, iDriven age in which we live?  The enthusiasm of these fanciful aficionados is nearly contagious!  Richmond was surprised, too -- and wrote the sweetest post about her second-hand encounter with the Convention.

The 3 Amigas!
I can only imagine your wonderment, and believe me when I tell you that this is not my "new thing" -- but it was a splendid opportunity to spend some time with great people in a fun and festive environment!  I had the pleasure of meeting many of the artists whose work was featured in the multitude of books and magazines available at the show.  ...and I always love a chance to learn something new :)  The Competition, staged on Saturday, featured treasures from the Collectors in attendance.  It was incredible to see the history portrayed in the array of paper dolls and paper toys from over 100 years ago up to modern times!  Cultural, historical, and advertising angles were all covered by the display of beautifully preserved paper dolls from private collections all over the country.  It was truly wonderful to see.

More wonderful still was the chance to hang out with two of my favorite people!  I am pretty sure my face didn't quit tingling until Tuesday!?  ...we laughed, and Laughed, and LAUGHED some more!  Not finding any steps to recreate our now "traditional" photo, we opted for stacking ourselves on a chair just outside the lobby.  I am already looking forward to the next meeting of these kindred spirits (Chattanooga -- no choo choo required -- 2015)!

After many good-byes to friends old and new, it was back in the Cute Ute, and down the road again!  Headed almost home -- an overnight stop in Raleigh with more friends before my 2nd Workshop of the year at Jerry's Artarama.  My students and I enjoyed the cool creativity of the classroom on such a hot day, and I was thrilled with how they made this project their own!  

Reflecting on this weekend, I am amazed *once again* how fortunate I am to do what I love in this world -- and to know and be surrounded by such remarkable people as I do it!  Happy doesn't seem a large enough word for what I am.  I have heard several friends jokingly say that life gets better after 50.  If that is the case, I don't know if I can stand it *ha!* -- OR, perhaps more appropriately, if anyone will be able to stand me!  

Margaret D.
work in progress
Deb A.
work in progress

Which brings us full circle, and finds me back at home in HoCo!  One would think that all of this juicy goodness would be about all the weekend one girl could stand.  You would be mistaken, though!  I was welcomed home in a lavish manner by The Man and The Wonderdog.  Dinner was underway, and my Official Duty was to procure a beverage and pet the dog -- in that order *thankyouverymuch!*  Never a slouch at following clear instruction, procure and pet I did -- enjoying for the umpteenth time this year the simple seclusion of our lovely patio with its whispering tree surround, delightful bird song, and sweet evening breeze.  Happy to be Home, indeed!  ...and with a welcome feast such as this, is it any wonder?

 Now, it is time to get a grasp on this vast new month!  ...before you know it, I'll be giving you another summary -- and I predict that there will be loads o' new creative happenings on the horizon in July.  This will be due in no small part to the fact that I will not be doing my Road Runner impersonation every weekend *ha!* No worries, there will still be much merriment to share.  I am already looking forward to the festivities of the 4th, this weekend!  So, until next time...

Onward & Upward,

Words of wisdom for today: 
"To live is so startling
it leaves little time for anything else

                                    - Emily Dickinson

Photo Notes:
    All taken with the Samsung Galaxy S4 Android standard phone app & edited (cropped & color adjusted) with IrfanView

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