I am dancing a jig, bouncing from foot to foot! I just uploaded the last image of hundreds and hundreds of images for my book. The design files, the manuscripts, the PDF’s, the cover ideas – the glorious list goes on. Five solid months worth of devoted time.
And I am a week early on my deadline ( round of applause). This is even more amazing because my computer TOTALLY pooped itself last week, and I had to complete the last stages of the book on a new machine. No tantrums, no dramas.
I leave for my big trip to the USA this weekend and instead of feeling a bit of pre-travel stress over it, it feels like a reward for all my dedicated work.
Aside from this flush of joy of wrapping up a big project ( which looks amazing, but them I am totally biased), I am feeling quite calm. How is this possible?
Well, right from the get-go, I planned some stress relieving, eye freshening, head clearing field trips spaced out every few weeks during my book creating process. I knew I was going to need them.
And it has worked like an absolute charm. I arrived at my finishing line with energy and clarity.
My first planned holiday was a weekend workshop with Orly Avineri, the next was a little time in Perth to visit family and to host a workshop of my own, then I went up to Brisbane for a 3 day workshop with Jesse Reno, next I hosted a workshop at ‘The Nest’ and the final fun excursion was last weekend with Jill K Berry.
Jill is an artist, author, workshop leader and one of my Stencil Sisters with Artistcellar.com. Her book ‘Personal Geographies’ and upcoming book ‘Map Lab’ are devoted to her love of maps, art and journaling.
The workshop was dedicated to creating maps of our lives, and as I discovered a map can be virtually anything!
In this map my landscaping fantasies are bought to life:
The three days passed in a flurry of colour, paint, drawing….
and… le gasp…. sewing!
I actually took my much ignored Pfaff on the trip and we stitched up a storm! Not exactly a map, but I disapeared into my own little world and bonded with my sewing machine. We are like best buds now!
I had a ball ‘drawing’ with a needle on the coloured papers I created in the workshop the day before. Rather addictive!
Unfortunately I can’t show you any more of what I created just yet because I used Jill’s upcoming stencil collection on them, and that’s all hush hush until they are released ( which is soon!).
It was a small workshop group and over growing mounds of colour tissue, maps and muslin, we all chatted away. Creative people are lovely, rather naughty and very funny. I had a delightful time!
The highlight for me was Jill gifting me with a ‘Hand Turkey’.
Jesse Reno mentioned these creatures several times during his workshop, but there was too much else going on for me to ask what he was referring too. When Jill referred to one, I demanded to know what exactly was this ‘Hand Turkey’! Apparently every kiddo in the USA grows up drawing these little critters around thanksgiving… so Jill created one for me – laughing the whole time – he went straight into the journal!
This is Jill and the workshop’s organiser, Anne from Timeless Textiles, a wonderful gallery dedicated to textile arts in Newcastle. We were having a giggle during my ‘Selfie’ lesson! ( Anne made a fig, chocolate and ginger slice that will be waiting to open the Pearly Gates for me when I expire someday. )
Thank you Jill for coming on a tour Down Under and Anne for organising the Newcastle workshop.
I hope we keep enticing such wonderful artist teachers to come all this way!
This is Jill’s next book:
I’ll try and keep you up to date as I travel in the USA. I have SUCH awesome adventures ahead, and I’ll be meeting lots of fabbo peeps in ‘real life’ in all my workshops, and I can’t wait for all the fun to unfold.