Category Archives: friends

Returning to the flock…

Wow, over a year has gone by since the last Artful Journey retreat, and even more time has passed since I posted here.   I took 2015 off from holding an event so that I could get my house in order (literally and figuratively).  Last spring and summer is a blur as I did some remodeling, upgrading and landscaping (yes, all at the same time) to my home. Now that the major work is done, I get to tweak things a bit and just enjoy my new surroundings.


I love watching the birds bathing in the little bubbler, gathering on the feeder, even making a nest in one of the (what I thought was just decorative) birdhouses.  I watch them as they care for one another, sharing their new home with the hummingbirds, the squirrels, lizards, and even MadMax.  It’s a little community with their own language and understandings of how to live together and support one another (unless Max has other ideas).


It reminds me of how much I miss my ‘flock’ of students and instructors who I’ve come to know over the years.  For a brief moment, I thought that 2014 would be my last retreat…but I was wrong.  I was given the clear sign that it wasn’t time–that those connections made over art and nature and stillness are too vital to my well-being.  I treasure the times I’ve spent up in the redwoods with all those talented souls, and I’m not nearly ready to move on.  I still have new friends to make, and old friends to meet up with.  I’m excited about the possibilities for next year as I start working on both retreats.  I’m ready to join up with the flock again and see what adventures and new memories are in store for us!


This photo pretty much describes how I’ve felt a good part of the past few weeks. The change of seasons and a few of life’s curve balls hurled my way took the wind out of my sails for a bit, leaving me with little energy. I hate it when that happens! But I’m now back in the swing of things–getting excited for the holidays, looking forward to time spent with friends, and preparing for the February retreat. Lots of good stuff coming up!

Fortunately, I did manage to get up to Oregon to visit DJ for a few days–we spent some quiet time exploring country roads; meeting up with a fellow friend and fabulous artist/instructor; eating good food; and of course, taking photos. I didn’t take many good ones, but I do like this one. Now you know how she gets all those great angles…lol!

And we came across this sweet little face in our travels one day.

The second part of our visit was back here in northern CA–we drove back down here, where DJ was finally able to go to the Alameda flea market with me. As we were nearing the end of the day, I was thinking I was getting off easy, having bought only a small handful of goodies. And then I saw this…

And this…

And what do you know, they both fit in my car perfectly! I had no intention of buying a mirror and a dresser, but as I walked around, I couldn’t stop thinking about them. That’s when I knew they were meant to come home with me! DJ shared some great photos of the day on her blog; she has a special way of seeing things, and captures images like nobody else. I’m so in awe of her work, as a photographer and as an artist.

And it thrills me that she loves to come up with ideas for the retreat! We got some felting needles, and she went crazy making these little flowers. So guess what I’ll be incorporating into the Journey goodies?

On a completely different note, look what I got in the mail the other day! Another good friend found out that I’d never had a pear from Harry & David, so she surprised me with this goodness. I am so grateful to have such generous, uplifting souls in my life.