There was something really delightful about the small number of folks at AFF. The first night, we all fit in one room in The Commons. Teesha showed us a very cool hand-quilting technique that I cannot wait to try with projects as there is something so relaxing about stitching things by hand. Right before we all started to gather in that room, I was sitting in the lobby of The Commons (it is the main gathering building at Fort Worden where people gather for meals) writing in my journal. My thoughts were along the lines of what it felt like to be "having that first day of school feeling combined with the knowledge that I feel so certain of where I am."
As I sat there wondering if I was going to see anyone that I knew, Kristin Steiner and her sister Jan Reingold (a talented jewelry artist – I bought a necklace from her on vendor night and can't wait to share it soon) came around the corner. Some of you who have been reading my blog for a while might recall how Kristin's Artfest 2006 class changed my life. So to see her was a true deep breath for my heart. It was wonderful to have that little moment with the woman who started my love affair with fabric. While we were talking, Tracie suddenly appeared ready to give me a huge hug.
Tracie and I connected at my first artfest when I stood at her table at Vendor Night and totally "got" what she was conveying with the artwork she was sharing that night. I held one of her little canvases that night and knew it was meant to hang on my wall as it was my story (I talked about that moment in the middle of this post). A friendship began that evening. Spending time with her at meals and on Vendor Night was a highlight of my time up in Port Townsend. I just adore Tracie and the honest, open-hearted way she looks at the world. She teaches classes with her mother-in-law Marylin who is one super cool, hilarious, and kind woman. I learned so much from the two of them as we talked late into the evening more than once. (Thank you both for your encouragement about my artful journey.)
Tracie and I had a "full circle moment" when she came over to my vendor table and was looking through my flag sets. There was one that I hadn't yet put out, and as I showed it to her, she said looked at me in that same way I looked at her across her table…she totally "got it" and knew that this flag set was meant for her. Such a treasured moment between friends. (I miss you already girl.)
I was able to connect with a few of the teachers either in class, at vendor night, or at meals. I want to classes with everyone...in fact, I think I could have taken classes for several more days as I simply didn't have that same exhaustion as I do at Artfest. A few links I invite you to explore: Alma, Mary, Syd, Tracy, Darlene, Keely, and Pam (more about those last three in another post about my classes).
And, I connected with so many other students. Because AFF was smaller, it was easy to see the same people to keep the connections going. I must admit that I did a horrible job keeping track of people's blogs and web sites, so if you are reading this, please contact me!! I did have two classes with Sarah (we got to really bond in Keely's class about life and all the good stuff) who lives not too far from me; I am already looking forward to getting together with her hopefully soon. I also had two classes with Candice. She and Julie (who I briefly met at Kelly's vendor table at Art and Soul) organize the retreats at The Art Nest. Candice was a joy to talk with, and she has such a cool style about her. She created the most gorgeous journal in Pam's Saturday class.
As I was driving home Sunday, I started feeling a bit melancholy that the retreat was already over…but then I started to think about how soon many of these people would be at ArtFest where we would be doing it all over again…
I have been unpacking the creations I have left from Vendor Night, so I will be adding some flag sets to my etsy shop later today.
I will also be adding two Selma Slingbags. This is a new design of my patchworked bags; it has a longer strap so that you can "sling" it across you.
I haven't been able to get into my studio yet to do something with all this creative energy I have after the weekend. A good portion of yesterday morning was spent with Millie at the vet. The poor girl has given herself a "hot spot" on her head. She looks like she was in one heck of a fight as she has a quarter-size "wound" in the midst of a three inch by three inch shaved area right on the top of her adorable little head. The poor baby. She is on the couch with me as I work so that I can make sure she doesn't scratch her wound open. And, when we have to leave her alone, she becomes Miss Coney yet again. Right now, her nose is a few inches from my computer and I can feel her rhythmic breathing against the back of my hand as I type. How I love moments like this one.