Yes, what a treat that was. Since it is rare for me to be able to get away, 9 fun people decided to come and spend some time with me. There were some new faces whom I only knew from online, and a few others whom I had the pleasure of meeting again. There was laughter (my cheeks got good exercise), fabulous food (diet gone to the dogs), drink and more nibbles and of course we were claying for a whole weekend plus…where do I begin?
4 Vancouver Island Clayers came up from Victoria (about 5 hours) and Nanaimo (3 hours) and 5 others from Vancouver and area which besides the 3 hour drive involved a 1 1/2 hour ferry ride. But the drive to Tofino is very scenic, and especially nice without snow, lol. On a couple of turns the road is very narrow, for those that are familiar with the Road to Hana on Maui, haha.
A few stayed at the beautiful Botanical Gardens Ecolodge and others rented the Botanical House where all the gourmet meals were cooked and I was invited to (soooo nice not having to cook, haha). The Gardens are just amazing and have it 'All’. The Ecolodge isn’t just economical to stay in, but was built with Ecomaterials. It isn’t the way we imagine a Hostel at all as this one is not only clean, but super modern with all comforts and well, go visit the site. Students and people from all walks of life come to work here as WWoofers . When I first heard the word I thought of a speaker stereo sub woofer, but here is meant ‘World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms’…Wwoof! lol
For us clayers, the Lodge provided breakfast and the Workroom was just perfect! There is Darwin’s Cafe with delicious Latte of course, the Gardens…Sometime if there are enough people, we can rent the whole lodge for 32 that would allow us access to all amenities plus 5 people could stay in the house.
(special thanks to Barb Alexander and Lawrence Smith for providing these photos and of course Thank you! to the owner George Patterson, to Chenoa, Sabrina and all the staff at the Botanical Gardens).
On Friday night I handed out ‘Challenge Bags’ (which not everyone was pleased about at first) and a Champagne glass to all the Attendees since I was going to be busy at our local Market on Saturday. The challenge bags contained a small glass bottle, a test tube, a glass bauble, some glass bits, a cork coaster, a round piece of needlework canvas and a CD to cover. Throughout the retreat, the laughter never stopped. And the Challenge bags were well received. Challenges can be intimidating at first, but let the Muse do the talking…
Here are some of the Islanders cooking dinner for us all on the first night and the rest of us chillin’. (that frying pan looks dangerous! lol)
Both ‘teams’ served up delicious meals both nights. Omg…Paula! That Kahlua Chocolate Mousse…
(from left: Lawrence, Janet, Paula, Tina, Eileen, Irene, Ruth, Nancy and Deb. Photo taken by Barb)
Nancy sorting some of the Twinchies for your swap.
So….what is a Twinchie??
A Twinchie is a larger version of an Inchie. But what is an Inchie you ask? I didn’t always know either, lol. The Twinchie is a 2 x 2 inch tile made from various media. In our case it was made from Polymer clay and the theme was ‘ocean’.
Here are all the Twinchies which I mounted on Canvas. Some of us graciously donated an extra one so it would ‘fit’ better.
(top left row: Barb, Lawrence, Janet, Tina. 2nd row from left: Eileen, Paula, Deb, Irene. Bottom from left: Tina, Nancy, Ruth, Janet) Some close ups….
Love the fish and mokume gane! by Janet Bouey.Barb’s shooting stars and moon rise. Lawrence’s Underwater Gardens and Ocean Colours by Ruth.
(I think you can click on the pics to make them bigger)
The challenge turned out quite well also. Most got something finished, like these goblets. Aren’t they great? ok…hard to see…closer versions….
From left: Ruth, Janet, Irene, Lawrence) Am missing the other enlarged photo, I believe it is Nancy’s)
Bottle of Hope by Janet. I also demoed various things regarding surface treatments and techniques, such as Resin, Pearlex, Paints, Silkscreens, Liquid clay and Varnishes and my Landscape Jasper technique. Sounds like a lot and it was. The beads below are examples the Group made (3 left are landscape beads) and the textured piece of clay is one of my demo pieces.
Lawrence and Janet studiously at work…
Some worked at on the Challenge or spent time on their own project which this Retreat was also about, it was supposed to be at a relaxed pace after all. These are Barbs nifty Bobbin beads…
And then while we were chillaxing in the evening on soft cushions in the comfy setting, sipping on Lawrence’s fabulously tasty and yummy Sangria, the Group surprised and presented me with a card. It immediately brought tears to my eyes as it was completely unexpected. I was not only presented with plenty of happy anniversary and birthday wishes, but with a Pasta Machine Motor!! OMG! (I must have been complaining about a sore shoulder at some point, lol). In more than 20 years of claying, I guess it is time for one! Thanks so much Gang!!
On Monday mid morning it was time to pack up…the sad part. But, let’s do a Repeat!! It was so much fun to have spent this time with you my friends! Thank you!
About Pasta Machines…stay tuned for a Fun Fun Fun blog…