Tuesday, April 22, 2008


My daughter, Vonnie, her darling husband, Derek, Jan and I enjoyed the magnificence of the Pacific Ocean while at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA. It was chilly and windy, but absolutely beautiful. The ocean in central CA is similar to our Oregon shoreline….and so is the weather. Not conducive to sunbathing as they do further south. People who attempt to swim in the northern part of Pacific Ocean need to wear wet suits or are members of the Polar Bear Club.
I saw many grazing deer including a couple of very pregnant does. Wish I could be there when the fawns arrive. They were not at all frightened of my scooter and just watched with wide eyes and huge ears as I went zipping by. Well “zipping” is hardly the word --- my scooter does not zip. It chugs….and it hates hills. But it gets me from point to point as Asilomar is spread out all over the place.

The attendees had a marvelous time and enjoy the rustic atmosphere of the venue. They dressed warmly and were thrilled when I told them that we would return in May 2009. Since I live in the woods in rural Oregon, I have to remember that not everyone has the country at their backdoor and that Asilomar is quite a special treat. Its too bad that I don’t have sleeping rooms for 200 people – then we could have retreats at home.

Two special and lovingly goofy ladies, Marian McBryde and LeeAnne Wallace entertained us each evening at dinner with their “Art & Soul Food” masterpieces. They had us all in hysterics including the serving staff. It warmed my heart to hear the laughter and to see new friendships develop. My ultimate passion for the events is to nurture these relationships. Our longing to create art and the experiences we share give us a life-long bond with one another. I have many friendships that have endured for years, based on family, business, sports --- but my art friends are special. They seem to have come at a time in my life when I was searching for something. Can you relate? Most of us can – and that is why our retreats are so important to us. I love reading your interactions on Yahoo; to hear that you are making arrangements to meet; starting new off shoots based on your locations or interests. It is what I had envisioned when starting this venture. We are truly a sisterhood and we are strong and loved.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Abigail's Art Retreat

I’ve received many requests to allow children to attend our events. And also have had many suggestions to offer a retreat just for kids. I would love to take Abby to a place where we could take a class together -- that wonderful bonding time with a child. Something really creative instead of just attending a movie or a theme park. With that in mind, we have developed the first mixed media art retreat for adults and children. Abigail’s Art Retreat will be held in Portland, at the Embassy, Feb 14-16, 2009. The retreat is open to artistic and creative children when accompanied by an adult. It is NOT a camp – it IS an opportunity to enhance a creative experience with a parent and a child. The classes will be taught by Art & Soul instructors and will be of that caliber. We will accept ages from 6-14 and will offer both all day and 3 hour classes. Adults can attend without a child with the understanding that there will be kids in the classes!
The Embassy Suites is going to prepare kid friendly meals for us and we will have a pool party plus some other fun things in the evenings. All the info will be on the website July 1. …… I’m excited about this new addition to Art & Soul!

Abby & Jan taking Tracie & Marylin Huskamp's class


I have been reading blogs and each time I review them I come away feeling very antiquated. Lesley Riley is talking about a new MAC – I haven’t mastered the PC. Technology frightens me. When I look at how far we have come in the last 10yrs I can’t help but wonder what is in store for us in the near future. On-line journals for communication and sales, on-line classes and SHOPPING! – will we become a nation of people who never leave home? Or worse, never leave their computer?

Don’t get me wrong, I love most aspects of my computerized life, but there are some areas that make me crazy. I needed to purchase some canned dog food, the expensive prescription blend, for my mini schnauzer, Ginny. We were out of town, so I located a vet clinic and asked for the food. Because I wasn’t a client, it took the receptionist about 15 minutes to make the sale. She had to futz with the computer invoicing system to get it to allow a general purchase. I don’t call this simplifying life. I guess I should have purchased a case on-line before I left home.

Ginny and Sophie