Sunday, December 28, 2008

LeeAnne Wallace Memorial Scholarship Fund

LeeAnne’s husband, David, and I have frequently been asked if there were a way to make a charitable donation in LeeAnne's name. Today,I would like to announce that we are in the process of setting up a tax-exempt nonprofit scholarship fund in her memory. One purpose of the fund, amongst others, would be to offer the experience of attending an Art & Soul retreat to those who are unable to afford it (e.g. students). For those wishing to donate to the fund, checks can be made out to "The LeeAnne Wallace Memorial Art & Soul Scholarship Fund" and mailed to Lee's husband David at the following address:
David Granovetter
209 Sherry Court
San Jose, CA 95119
An alternate way of making a charitable contribution to the fund would be as follows (previously posted to Lee's blog): For Lee, creating art was her soul work. Her passion. Her meditation. Her art was inherently linked to her connection to the endless seasons and cycles of life and to her eclectic spirituality. She would continually encourage our children, other young people who hung out in our garage/studio (and all others for that matter) to follow their life's passion, whatever that may be. To that end, it would also honor her greatly for anyone to do just that: Create a work of art of any type and donate it to the fund. It would later be auctioned off at one of the Art & Soul retreats and the proceeds donated to the scholarship fund.
I am very pleased that we can honor Lee in this manner. A scholarship program is something that I have wanted to accomplish for quite some time. More details will be forthcoming as the fund criteria is finalized. I had the opportunity to discuss this with Lee and have her blessing. She is guiding us through the process.

LeeAnne and Misty at Art & Soul Portland Oct 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Boring Weather!

We rarely get more than a few sprinkles of snow each year in the Portland area -- and it is always a major news event when the flakes begin to fall. Last week was no exception as we all raced to the windows to watch Mother Nature in action. The kids pray for the roads to be covered -- our snow is usually very wet/icy making driving trecherous -- so schools are closed almost immediately.

WELL --- one week later, and it is still snowing! We have almost three feet on the ground in beautiful Boring, our neighboring town has declared a State of Emergency and everyone is going crazy. People have not been able to finish their shopping and the streets are a mess. The cities do not have fleets of snow removal equipment and they have had to call for assistance. It has been 40 yrs since Portland has seen weather like this.

Fortunately for me -- I work at home. No putting a "Closed due to weather" sign on my front door. Heh heh heh. Although, I have been without power for a couple of days, and the phone/cable/internet is off and on making communication difficult. But I am blessed to be able to take care of attendees without too much interruption. It is truly a winter wonderland.


Road in front of the house


A good neighbor clearing my driveway


Covered in snow!



Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Tradition

Abigail has been working on our traditional Gingerbread house. We had much better luck this year than last --- our poor house last year kept collapsing. Vonnie finally used the glue gun and put the walls together. Not edible, but functional. This one IS edible and the boys can hardly wait to devour it.Quality control is a very important part of the process!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Decorated Cottage

This year,I actually managed to reduce my collection of Christmas decorations. It was very difficult, but needed to be done. There is a lot less house to decorate in the Cottage than there was in the Lodge! I kept things most sentimental and even then have way too much. It is kind of sad that we only enjoy these things for a few weeks each year -- but then, maybe that is the enduring charm of the memorabilia.

Bee took some fabulous pics of our Christmas tree. I always have birds or an owl as part of the decor.















Saturday, December 13, 2008

Life Updates


We have been working furiously on the classes for Portland 09. The jury completed their selections last month and it has taken weeks to work and re-work the schedule to try and fit classes to classrooms. The result is a fantastic line-up and once again, I am excited about the next Portland event. Vonnie is in the process of uploading the info to the website and our target date to go live is February 15. Registration will begin on March 1.




Pica helping Bee arrange classes for Portland.


Then it is always a daunting task to re-pack and return the samples. Vonnie got lots of help and advice from Annie.



Not to be outdone -- Sophie joined me as the main attraction in the "in box".



Bee has joined us in Nov and Dec at Duck Pond Cottage. This last visit, she brought her camera and got some great shots of our newest family member….Ringo. He is a Gloucester Corona Canary and the funniest bird I have ever seen --- with a perfect toupee. I made the big mistake of going to a bird show (took Bee with me) -- he was in a silent auction and I just had to bid. Happily, I won the bid. He is joined by Pavarotti (so named because he sings like a canary – heh heh heh) and Princess Buttercup. Buttercup is a rescue canary. She has seizures and falls off of her perch. She was given to me as she could not be used for breeding or sold. She needed a home to care for her – and that is our place. Buttercup has been fine since she has been with us and is happy to sit on Abby’s finger. The trio (especially “Pavvy”) makes happy sounds and keeps me company as I work.
My kitties were very pleased with the new arrivals and it was a challenge to keep them off the cages (squirt bottles work well). Now they realize that the birds are not lunch, here to stay and actually are pretty boring behind those bars.

Ringo



Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Horsing Around

We had so much fun for Halloween this year. Abigail and Secret competed in their first horse show last weekend. One of the classes was a costume contest and Abby had decided that she and her horse would be fairies. Ruth had given Abby the book Fairy Houses by Barry & Tracy Kane which was her inspiration for the costumes. Gathering the costume items, Vonnie found the perfect set of wings for Secret and we devised a way to attach them to her back. There was only one small complication….Secret was terrified of the wings. It was pretty pathetic to watch a huge 15 hand horse tremble anytime she saw them coming at her. Fortunately, we had two weeks to ease her fears and by contest night, she wore her wings like a trooper. Abby wanted flowers in her tail and mane and we made a flower tiara to wear behind her ears. Getting the tail and mane ready






The two fairies took 2nd place out of 19 – it was a very exciting evening for all of us.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Special Announcement!

I am very pleased to announce that Bee Shay will be joining the Art & Soul Staff. Bee brings countless experience and talent to our team and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have her as an integral part of Art & Soul. Bee is making her teaching debut for us in Virginia next May. She has been a Folk artist and oil painter for almost 30 years, and turned mixed media about 12 years ago. She's been teaching some form of handcraft or art since 1978, more on than off. Bee majored in art in high school for all four years and one year of college...self education has been the key from there on. Learn by "doing" has been her basic mode of self instruction. She has spent 10 years actively involved in the Stencil Artisan's League (SALI), an international non-profit organization dedicated to the teaching and furthering of traditional American Folk Art. Working on both the local level (serving on the local board at all levels and traveling instructor); and also on the national board as Educational Chairman and National Convention Chairman. In the early '90's she switched gears and began working in the paper arts world when bitten by rubber stamps and has taught in stores and small private workshops since.
As you can see, we have a lot in common! We love our pets and have a deep affinity for birds.
You may review her work on her blog: www.beeshay.typepad.com

With Marie, Jan, Bee and Vonnie --- not to mention the most dedicated volunteers in the Universe, Art & Soul ROCKS!!

I'm BAAAACCCCCK!

I’m here --- after a very long absence -- and am almost back to normal – (ohhhh – that might be scary.) During the middle of Art & Soul Portland, I managed to catch the CRUD. Working 15+ hrs a day left my resistance pretty low and coupled with residual medical issues, I was hit pretty hard with the stuff. I continued to try and work through it, but alas, was finally forced to leave the computer/office and stay in bed --- for weeks. It was awful. Many of you know that I am not a patient person --- not a patient patient at all. But today – I feel great and am ready to kick butt!! It is amazing how during a long illness you can forget what it is like to feel well!

I want to thank all of you who have sent well wishes and links to your blogs and photos of the Portland event to me; I am just beginning to review them. The work that emerges from the classes is amazing and I hope that everyone will have an opportunity to review all the wonderful blogs.

Now it is back to work on our events, a fall newsletter and getting ready to jury submissions for next year's classes!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Ready, Set, REGISTER!

Your feedback continues to be most encouraging and reinforces my dedication to you and Art & Soul events. This economy has shaken all of us to our bare roots, but our art souls realize the importance of our sisterhood and how each of us thrive on our newfound friendships. I am deeply touched by your notes and stories, please continue to send them!
We are getting ready for the Portland event and things are hopping! As if that weren’t enough to keep us busy, registration went “live” for both Asilomar and Virginia this month. Whew – it has been a daunting few weeks – but also exhilarating.
The classes and instructors for the events are, once again, outstanding. We have some new faces and innovative classes that are incredible. I will be showcasing them in my blog during the next few weeks.
And now, it is off to the Embassy. Loading the van, setting up and getting ready for a art filled week with fabulous people!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Hobby

My friends Ruth and Connie belong to a group called “The Inkies”. Can you guess – the group was formed about 10yrs ago as a stamping club. They continue to meet once a week and are a very flexible and fun loving gang. I joined them a couple of weeks ago and the main topic of conversation (other than what was for lunch) was needle felting. Bette had two delightful books showing all types of projects and was talking about roving, needles, etc.

The whole classroom (they meet at Stamp A Dee DO da) was electric with enthusiasm for needle felting. Bette and Ruth were determined to show me one of the publications and get me as excited as they were. I agreed that the projects were nice, but really, I did not need another art vice. REALLY. Honestly, it looks like fun, but NO. My protests lasted about 10 minutes.

I now have a needle felting machine, roving and if you tell me I need it, I’ll have Ruth get it for me. The turning point was the photo of a wedding picture framed with needle felting. I was in the process of making a book for my nephew’s wedding and had been contemplating a special cover. I was drawn to the picture frame and immediately began to gather materials. Five days and a few dollars later, I was knee deep in shades of white and ivory accents; some antique lace, buttons and other family heirlooms.

For those who have yet to experiment with this art form, it is quite soothing and can also give you that immediate gratification that so many of us desire. I have finished the book and am anxious for some free time to play.




The beautiful bride, Lauren, had chosen white/ivory and black for her colors. I used black suede for the spine and back cover to help give the book strength and durability. This is an old lace glove, stitched to the page. Lauren can add something special to the tag.


Lauren wanted a decorative spine so I used an ivory book binding flax for the signatures and incorporated some pearls from my grandmother's button box.

The wedding was held in Las Vegas -- the latest, hippest place to get hitched -- so I'm told. Surprisingly, we had over 70 friends and family in attendance. I made a small Guest Book to fit into THE book. I believe this to be an antique crocheted purse. I sewed it to the page as an enclosure for the guest book.



I like using different types of papers when making my books -- the various textures give them a special, unique feel.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Leaving on a Jet Plane

I just returned from spending the weekend with LeeAnne Wallace and her wonderful family. Many of you may have read Lee's post on the Yahoo group when she learned that she had cancer. She is an Art & Soul sister with a heart as big as a mountain.
Marian McBryde flew from Florida, I came from Oregon and we met at the San Jose airport before traveling on to visit LeeAnne. Well --- not really. I mean – we didn’t really meet at the airport. We were supposed to meet there -- at the Internet Café, by Starbucks. “After all”, I told Marian, “it’s a small airport….you can’t miss me.” I have flown into San Jose a zillion times. Small plane, no covered stairs on the jetway, tiny waiting areas. Piece of cake.
I come from a major metropolis -- sort of. Portland might not be MAJOR in some eyes, but we do have a professional basketball team. Our airport is nice -- and if I told someone to meet me at the Starbucks in the lobby, they would easily find their way. Doesn’t San Jose sound like a nice, small urban airport? You fly there to avoid the craziness at LA or San Francisco, right? So after waiting over an hour for Marian to appear, I began to worry that maybe the tropical storm had held up her flight. Of course, I managed to leave home without any phone numbers, but then, what’s to worry???? It’s a small airport.
I had dismissed the wheel chair dude so to attempt to walk from the café to an information area was a bit daunting. Fortunately, I must have looked pitiful and a business suit offered to help. He checked on Marians flight and graciously informed me that it had landed about 5 minutes earlier at Terminal A. Well – WHEW. She was just late – probably due to the weather. She would come walking by at any minute. 30 minutes later, I knew we had a problem. Can you guess???? Terminal A? I was in Terminal C. This little bitty airport has ‘parts’. You have to take a bus from terminal to terminal. Marian was waiting at the Starbucks in A. And waiting, and waiting – and beginning to worry. She didn’t have my cell number either --- are we good or what? But she did call LeeAnne, who called Marie who had my number.
By the time she got me on my cell, I was in a taxi on the way to our hotel -- where I could call home, regroup and find her. By the time we saw each other, we were laughing hysterically --- 2 small town women trying to find their way around the big city.
Lee insisted that we visit and meet her family that evening. Our main concern was to make certain that we did not interfere with any special family time and that we would not over tire her. She has completed her first round of chemo and the drugs are beginning to take their toll on her body.

LeeAnne


The first person we saw as we drove up was a tall, gorgeous young woman wearing a “Fuck you, Cancer” t-shirt. It was Laurel, LeeAnne’s 16yr old daughter. She not only looks like her mother, she is just like her! Gracious, funny and sweet as can be.
LeeAnne has turned her garage into her studio -- and it is awesome! I took lots of notes for my own space. In San Jose, you can have the door open most year round, I guess. So here is this marvelous open air studio. Certainly not something that we can do in Oregon – and Marian said that it is too humid in Florida, so it was a special treat for both of us to play in this space.
LeeAnne’s husband, David, is quite the character. He kept us laughing with antidotes and played the piano while Marian and I attempted to sing. Her son Porter and his girlfriend Kitty, sat and visited with us – until more company appeared. We were honored to meet two of her dearest friends, Cindy and Helen.

Helen, Glenny, Lee, Laurel


Laurel, Helen, Marian, Glenny

Marian searching for paper in the incredible studio

With such an amazing support group surrounding her, I know that she will beat this. She told me that she wants to get “real sick – because that means the drugs are working”. I still marvel at her courage and fortitude. She has been receiving notes and gifts from Art and Soul sisters around the world. I think this is the most humbling thing of all for me -- knowing how special A&S has become and how many lives it has changed.
LeeAnne and David are planning to be with us in Portland in October. We are counting the days until we can be together again!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Summer at Duck Pond Cottage

My mom spent 20+ years living in Arizona. She loved it there until the summers became unbearable for her breathing. While there, she grew quite an amazing cactus garden and when she relocated, some of the plants came with her. They never really appealed to me --- ok in their natural setting, but nothing that I would care to have on my patio.

Last winter, she insisted that I take a cactus start. Apparently it didn’t need much care; just leave in a sheltered spot on the deck. So I did. It has flourished and almost doubled in size. Then, two weeks ago, I noticed that some kind of spikes were growing out of the sides of the plant. Since my mother is staying with me, I brought it into the house and she was pleased to tell me that it was getting ready to bloom.

The original plant was the size of these small babies growing at the base of the mother plant.



We watched the plant with amazement as the spikes seemed to grow before our very eyes. Our weather had cooled for few days, and so did the growth. Then our weather heated up and they popped open. The blossoms only last about 24 hrs -- such a miniscule time to enjoy such a splendid display.
I am enjoying my deck this summer– not the same as living in the middle of hundreds of acres, but close enough. The wildlife is beginning to accept us, and that thrills me. Our ducks, who now have names as we can tell them apart as they have matured – Jack & Jill, Hillary and Obama – are quite happy in the big pond. Wild ducks fly into to visit them and I still wonder if they will leave this winter to follow the flock south.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Great Grandma & Abigail

It’s one of those nights where sleep is illusive. I remember reading somewhere that instead of just tossing and turning, you should just get UP. So I did, I am and its 3:00am. I guess it gives me some time to reflect on many things – probably one reason that sleep did not come – as my mind is very active. In our day to day lives, we take so much for granted. All the old clichés come to mind, especially when sleep doesn’t.

My mother is suffering from the final stages of COPD – the new fancy diagnosis of tragic emphysema. A heavy smoker from the early age of 21 she scoffed the reports in the early 1960’s of smoking dangers. I remember one evening when she and her friends were having a gab fest and the house was blue with smoke. The topic of the latest smoking ‘scare tactics’ arose and they all jokingly reached for another cigarette laughing that it made them so nervous they had to have another fix immediately. After all, they were invincible. Pre-war brides; they were raised during the depression and experiencing affluence that their parents could never have imagined…..new homes with indoor plumbing, husbands with good jobs, 2.5 children, 2 cars and groceries on the table. Nothing could touch them. Cigarette companies preyed on these women and no lawsuit against the companies can begin to pay for their suffering.


Sadly, at age 85, my mother is facing the fate of her love affair with tobacco complicated with asthma and allergies. What makes it even worse is that the only part of her body that is failing --is the lungs. Her mind is sharp as a tack, and if she were able, she could work circles around me. It is so painful to watch her fight for each breath. Anyone who has had asthma can understand the lung spasms – but imagine dealing with it every minute. She has asked God to let her go many times, but in his wisdom, for whatever reason, she remains strong in every way but those poor lungs.

She had a fairly good day yesterday and was able to join us at the barn to watch Abigail take a lesson on her new horse. Memories that we will cherish.


Sunday, August 3, 2008

Art Challenge

I accepted an art challenge from Tracie Huskamp and Jan Harris. The ‘rules’ are simple:

A group of mixed-media artists will enter into a year-long challenge to create one, nature-themed 8" by 8" canvas each month for the next twelve months. Each month a different member of the group will decide the theme for the upcoming month and the members will interpret the theme in whatever media they choose, as long as the finished art fits on an 8" by 8" canvas.

This was an absolute first for me – I haven’t been involved in anything relating to art– no swaps, no round robins, no fat books no nothing – but I could do this. I really KNEW I could do this. So, I graciously accepted the invitation. (my art has been limited to making books – something I love and enjoy)

Our first piece was due July 31 and the theme was “Bird”. Should be simple for me – I love birds; my blog is a bird; my first home is named after same bird; I do wild bird rehab. But what do I DO for art? With all of the latest discussion about copying etc, I was suddenly petrified. I have no style that is my own – I haven’t had time to DO art, yet alone become myself. Everything I know about art is related to one class or another -- Ann Baldwin, Claudine Hellmuth, Lesley Riley, Traci Bautista – each finished piece, albeit having my own flair, is easily identifiable by the instructor from whom I took the class. My challenge piece will not be sold or published, but it will be on display, both on the Internet and in a gallery. Yikes!! That did it…. I decided to quit the challenge, besides I didn’t have time to work on art after all.

But wait…. QUIT???? – I’m not a quitter. I made a commitment and I’d jolly well better buck up and figure it out….time was ticking. I headed to my studio and hauled out paints, palate some papers and began. It was an agonizing task, but after repeatedly tearing off pieces of paper and re-painting the background – I finished….and only 2 days late. Hopefully everyone will see a combination of all my instructors in my first piece and I will continue to grow as the challenge continues. There is a blog dedicated to our challenge: http://naturegathered.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 21, 2008

Raven Lodge


We all know that the Universe works in wondrous ways but when it hands you a perfect solution, you can’t help but be awed by the process. I have had my fabulous Raven Lodge listed for sale since last year. Many have loved it; offers have been made, but nothing had come to fruition. With the market so incredibly sour, I decided to take if off the market and look for a caretaker for the property, knowing that the economy will rebound with time.


On Monday, the realtor de-listed the property. One hour later, she received a phone call from a woman who had just driven by, looked in the windows and had fallen in love. She and her partner wanted to see the property as soon as possible. I didn’t get too excited as I have “heard that song before” – but a small part of me had a glimmer of hope.


As only fate can make things happen, it turns out that four women are forming a partnership to hold special retreats. When they saw Raven Lodge they knew it was THE location for their dream. I was instantly a puddle as that had long been my dream for the house and property. Now I know that the reason the house had not sold is because it was waiting for their vision to become a reality.


And that vision fits perfectly with Art & Soul! A coach offering Writing for the Soul, another for Yoga and
Reiki. Horse therapy and other soothing soulful classes are just the beginning. It will be such a joy to see where they will go and how we can be a part of the process!


I can only offer abundant gratitude to the Universe and Powers for guiding these women to me.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Some updates

I’m still waiting to hear from those two metal masters as with a class description and pricing. Life sometimes gets in the way of business – so hang in there a little longer! I will send an email to all of you who have requested information and we can finalize the class at that time.

We should have all class information for Nova Scotia by the end of August! I’m thrilled with your enthusiasm about this event and can hardly wait to go myself. It is going to be as great as Italy – and we are not losing money to the Euro! Yippeee!

Jan has helped me to set up a new newsletter for Art & Soul! The first one went out a few days ago and we hope to send one monthly. The goal is to highlight different instructors as well as giving updates on Art & Soul events.

We have had to change our date for VA and CA registration. Instead of in Oct – Virginia will be Sept 15 and Asilomar will be Sept 20. Many factors go into the timing so sometimes we have to make adjustments. We will send a group email and announce on the Yahoo site when the time approachs.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Busy Days

We went “live” with the new website yesterday and I LOVE it. I think it is fun, arty and reflects me and A & S very well! My web designer, Lisa Gray, did a fabulous job!

Today we had the jury for Virginia 09. What an amazing group of proposals we received! The talent in our mixed media arena is incredible. As usual, we have many more submissions than we have room for at the event – which makes the selections extremely difficult.

The next step is for Vonnie to gather all the descriptions and photos and begin working to upload them onto our new website. This takes quite a bit of time, but we plan to have the VA classes ready to review by Sept 15. Registration for VA will begin Oct 1. It will be another wonderful line-up and I am thrilled to be able to offer them to you.

We will be getting the Portland packets ready to mail the first week of August. It is a daunting task, so please be patient!

An update on our critters.

Quack 1, 2, 3 & 4 are growing rapidly. They have all their feathers and continually test their wings by stretching them out. Take off, however, has not occurred. Abby runs with them flapping her arms, and they wildly run after her – not flapping their wings. She gets quite discouraged. We have two drakes and two females -- who still peep --- occasionally, we will hear a small “quack”. They are quite contented in our big pond and come running when we call them.

Amy, our abandoned mamma kitty, is doing great. She is a little hunter and is taking care of the mouse population in and around the barn. We still have two kittens, Lily and Lucy and it looks like we will be keeping them as well as Amy. I brought Lily into the house with a bit of concern, thinking that she would be intimidated by my 3 other girls. She couldn’t have cared less about them. Sophie and Pica hissed and growled at her – Annie was just curious. Lily wasn’t nervous, didn’t hide – she just took over and did whatever she wanted to do. It was a lot of fun to watch.

Amy

We have had one other animal rescue -- a bird visitor – a small flicker. He got caught in the mouth of the cat. Fortunately, the kids found him before any serious damage was done and we were able to save him. I gave him antibiotics and in 24hrs he was ready to head back to the forest. So that is one gone and 4 ducks, one colt and one mare to go!!


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Keith & Michael together in Portland -- Holy Cow!!




Michael deMeng and Keith LoBue team teaching -- can it get any better??? Our two "studly" metal masters are developing a special 2 day class just for Portland Art & Soul. The date will be Oct 7&8, 2008. I don't have all the particulars as yet -- we are waiting for Keith to finish a workshop and then he and Michael will send me the details. If you are interested in taking the class, email me and I will put you on the list.

More great news -- some sold out classes are being repeated!!
Judy Wilkenfeld is going to teach another session of her 2 day "Just in Case" class. Judy has been sold out for months so this is a special opportunity for those of you who could not get into her classes. The date is also Oct 7 & 8. Registration is available on line.
Traci Bunkers is teaching another "Gocco a Gogo" class on Wed October 1. Many of you have expressed an interest in the Gocco system. It is a lot of fun, I've used mine often when mass producing invitations or announcements. Registration is available on line.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Special Announcement!

Half of the fun of Art & Soul for me is planning future events. Everything from researching locations to watching the jury evaluate class proposals is quite fulfilling. I can’t stress enough how wonderful our 2006 jaunt to Pienza, Italy was. Not only did we have a marvelous instructor, Ms Lesley Riley, but the city and atmosphere were amazing. We longed to return again, but the decline in our poor dollar has made International travel all but impossible for many of us. I desperately wanted to organize a small event somewhere out of the ordinary – and yet charming. And by gosh – I think we’ve done it!

I am happy to announce that we will have a small retreat in Nova Scotia! The date will be Aug 10-14, 2009 and will feature only 3 instructors: Lesley Riley, LK Ludwig and Judy Wilkenfeld. They will each teach two 2/day classes. Our proposed schedule is to have classes Monday & Tuesday then Thursday & Friday, with Wednesday off as a day to explore the area. The retreat will include: classes of your selection, six nights lodging, six breakfasts, 5 lunches and 2 dinners. Transportation to the island is not included. We will be staying at the
Old Orchard Inn which is in the Annapolis Valley region and the Bay of Fundy.

We will be saving the dollar from the Euro – while still enjoying an international retreat! Yippeeee!!!
The instructors are currently busy working on their classes/descriptions. Registration and all information will be on-line Aug 15, 2008. Size will be limited to 60 attendees – I hope you can join us on this wonderful adventure!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New Hotel for Portand attendees!


We have completely overwhelmed the Embassy and the Sheraton in Portland. Both room blocks have sold out --- there isn’t a closet available at either property. However, good news prevails! The Sheraton has just built a brand new art deco property called: aloft. It is located in the new Cascade Station shopping center – which is just down the street from the Embassy. Cascade Station features IKEA, among other trendy shops and restaurants, is on the MAX line for easy access to downtown Portland and brings another fun element to Art & Soul.

This hotel looks incredible. Although I am not personally a big fan of art deco or anything modern – I can certainly appreciate what they have achieved. Here is an excerpt from a press release about the new chain:











As a Vision of W Hotels, aloft hotels are shaking up the lodging industry with urban-influenced design, accessible technology, style and a social atmosphere. aloft hotels offer a total sensory experience, with guest rooms featuring loft-like nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows to create a bright, airy environment. The centerpiece of each aloft room is the ultra-comfortable plush platform bed, and large stylish bathrooms complement the guest experience with oversized walk-in showers and amenities created by bliss® spa. Each aloft room is also a combination high-tech office and entertainment center, featuring wireless internet access and plug & play, a one-stop connectivity solution for multiple
electronic gadgetry such as PDAs, cell phones, mp3 players and laptops - all linked to a large flat panel LCD television for optimal sound and viewing. aloft offers atmospheric public spaces designed to draw guests from their rooms to socialize and make friends. Guests can read the paper, work on their laptops via hotel-wide wireless internet access, play a game of pool or grab a drink with friends at the re:mix SM communal lobby area and bar w xyz SM. The re:charge SM fitness center and splash, the indoor or outdoor pool, give travelers options to de-stress and re-energize; while re:fuel by aloft SM, a one-stop food and beverage area, offers sweet, savory and healthy food, snacks and beverages to grab & go, 24-hours a day.


The BEST part is that Art & Soul attendees are being given a huge reduction in the rate! The Sheraton is honoring our $124/night – so if you haven’t booked a room – go for it. Here is what the sales manager says you have to do: call Aurie Cacho (503)-335-2854 at the Sheraton to make reservations at the new aloft Portland Airport Hotel at Cascade Station! Do not have call the hotel (aloft) directly yet as it will confuse the process. The actual reservation process should be settled sometime next week. Please indicate that you are making an overflow room reservation at the aloft Portland at the A&S group rate and she will manually put in the reservations.
Sounds exciting. I am anxious to know what you think! Who enjoys the upscale, trendy hotel and who is happy lounging in our old diggs?