Saturday was the last full day of Silver Bella. First class of the morning only started at 8:30 and mine was with the delightful, warm and gracious Charlotte Lyons. The project we worked on was called "The Chatelaine Necklace" and here is the model we worked from (photographed by Charlotte).
We received these incredible scissors for the project from one of the sponsors, Fiskars. I haven't finished my project yet but have all the bits and pieces chosen for the embellishment part which is all that I have left to do for mine. I was so thrilled to finally learn how to make that strawberry pin cushion and it was my first time beading as well. This was such a laid-back class, with an old-time quilting bee vibe - just lovely. Of course I was thrilled to finally meet lovely Charlotte whose work I have admired for a long time.
One of the things that I noticed at Silver Bella during the classes was how stylishly women stored their vintage supplies. Most of my supplies were organized in zip-loc bags and stashed in a big tote, which was best for someone flying and limited space but was not always very practical when I was looking for things during a class. I'm one of those out-of-sight out-of-mind, visual types of people.
I definitely got a lot of stylish storage ideas at SB and may have to rethink things for next year...
My last class was with Kaari Meng of "French General". Her class was called "Bonaparte's Gift" and we learned how to make a necklace like this one.
I'm happy to report that I finished my necklace when I got home and have been happily wearing mine to work for the last couple of days. (I know a lot of people worry that if they don't finish their projects during class that they will never finish them at home, but luckily that has not been the case for me - I've been finishing up all of my projects, one by one...)
I was very happy to finally learn how to properly make jewelry from the ever patient Kaari. I also bought more vintage supplies from her during the class for future projects. The funny thing is that my husband has been to Kaari's shop several times over the past few years. When he's on a business trip to L.A. and has the time, I ask him to get me some things from "French General". I told Kaari about this and she laughed saying "I know him, he's the one that comes with a list, isn't he?!!"
Finally had some free time in the afternoon before the Farewell Dinner so I went over to Second Chance Antiques.
What a fabulous place to go hunting for vintage treasures. My first reaction when I got there - overwhelmed. I managed to spend an hour walking around in there and found several lovely old photos, cards and an old pair of baby shoes. If I had not been so tired, I would have gladly spent much more time there, especially in the incredible vintage clothes section in the basement. However, there is always a next time...
The day ended with the Farewell Dinner and guest speaker Jenny Doh of "Crescendoh", formerly of the incredible Somerset/Stampington magazines. Jenny was very inspirational and it was the perfect way to end an incredible art retreat. All I can say is that I can't wait to go back next year!
p.s. to all of my American blogger friends, wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving, filled with friends, family, good food and much to be thankful for in our lives...
The day started bright and early with my first class at 8 a.m. - it was Canadian artist, Colette Copeland's "Project Runway". Colette was simply delightful and this was the perfect, laid-back class to start Silver Bella off with.
Sewing, embellishing, embroidery and glueing...
The view across the table from where I was sitting (notice my big coffee to the right?). It can get pretty messy on the table with everyone's supplies all spread out. After cutting out the dresses and sewing them up, I really had fun sitting there arranging and rearranging pretty bits and pieces on my three dresses.
Aren't Danielle's three dresses just so pretty and chic?!! Although I didn't quite finish my project by the end of the class, it's been safely stored safe in the cool paper folder that wonderful Colette sewed for all of us, just waiting form me to finish up...
I thought this was quite the fabulous project. But I must confess that the wire bird cage gave me a hard time. With my jet-lag and serious fatigue, I just couldn't wrap my brain around Kerry's instructions and got a bit frustrated (believe me, poor sweet and patient Kerry tried her best with me, many times :). Then I figured it out and ran out of wire! No worries, I happily worked on the rest of the elements for the project, sometimes with help from my very helpful and talented table mates. And I'm happy to report that after getting home I completed the bird cage without a problem and am now ready to add embellishing touches to my project. In fact, I have a second gilded cage project on the go as well.
My third and last class of the day was Lisa Kaus' "The Joy Within".
Lisa was a great teacher (btw, they ALL were) and I learned a lot by working on this project. At the beginning I sat there feeling out of my element but slowly I got more comfortable and things started to come together for my board. It was very helpful that Lisa shared a lot of her art supplies with us so that we could experiment with them. This was the only project that I ended up completing by the end of the class.
Here is my project, now hanging up on the wall of my little room off the kitchen.
So after three amazing classes I was even more exhausted than the foggy tiredness that I started the day off with. But it was vendor faire/Silver Bella Market time at 6 p.m. and hats were on parade for it.
So happy to finally meet one of the Queens of Crafting, Karla of Karla's Cottage. Does she not have the most amazing, over-the-top crown/birdcage hat?!!
And I even got her to keep her eyes open for the photo :)
Here's a photo of the two of us waiting for the doors to Bella Market to open. In case you didn't notice, that' me on the left with the, ah, rather plain straw hat. I'm wearing a vintage floral dress from the 60's, kind of going for the English Garden look :)
Bella Market was an amazing affair. Once I entered the ballroom where all of the vendor's booths were set up, I felt pretty overwhelmed. There was SO much to entice yet limited funds, and the fatigue from the day was setting in. How does one choose what to buy? I managed to stay for about an hour and half (it went on for four hours) and bought some very nice creations from various artists as well as supplies for future projects. There was a lot of gorgeous jewelry pieces but I just couldn't choose. In retrospect, I wish I had brought more money for this and taken advantage of the wonderful things available at the Market. I will definitely know for next year...
Well I must say I am still trying to recover from my trip to Silver Bella. The trip to get there took me about 12 hours and I think I never really recovered from that while I was in Omaha :) And then I had to made the trip back home (thankfully several hours shorter this time) and yesterday it was back to work and reality with my pager going off at the hospital, work, the kids and their activities, the puppy, the husband, etc. What a change from being at Silver Bella!
I had a most AMAZING time there - just incredible and am over-the-moon thrilled that I went (a big thanks to Karla who really encouraged me to register despite the long and unpredictable recovery from my flu illness). I learned SO MUCH while there, got to spend some time with my junking buddy Laura from 52 Flea, and I met so many amazing women. Funny, kind, giving, warm-hearted, crazy creative and super talented kindred spirits. No explanations necessary (what a welcome change). Indeed, a very special art retreat.
On the first night, there was registration, a reception, opening dinner, and right after dinner, a Group Workshop that was led by the super founder/organizer of Silver Bella, Teresa McFayden.
These were the fabulous table centerpieces. For the group workshop, we had to take the centerpiece apart as the boxes contained the supplies for the project - how clever?!! The project's theme was "Art Sisters" and the example everyone worked from is shown in my last post. I confess, it was my first time glittering which can be very messy, but it was a lot of fun. I didn't finish my project that night but truly look forward to working on it at home and remembering my first wonderful evening at Silver Bella, meeting such friendly and kind women sitting at my table from all over the U.S., getting my creative juices flowing and glitter on...
After the Group Workshop, hold onto your hats (!), it was Bella Swap Time!!! This is something you have to see to believe and I am still in awe of this event. Well before Silver Bella you can sign up for different kinds of swaps with other women that are organized by hostesses. On the first night of Silver Bella the assembled projects, all beautifully packaged and wrapped up are laid out on the periphery of the ballroom, awaiting pick-up from each swap's participants. Take a look at some of the packages that were laid out in the room.
This is what was inside one of the "Vintage Bling Swap" pouches.
The swaps continued till around midnight or so with the one-on-one swaps, such as the "Crown Swap". I wish I could have stayed up for these, but with the long trip and the jet-lag, I really had to go and rest up for my big first day of classes on Friday.
Stay tuned for My First Day of Classes at Silver Bella...
I made it back home safely from Silver Bella. However, I am exhausted from all the traveling and of course, this amazing event. Let me rest up a bit and I'll be back to share with you about my first time at Silver Bella.
Also, I will be having an announcement to make very soon. Here is a little sneak peek...
Silver Bella! Yes, thought these shoes would be perfect for the event. A bit overwhelmed with the packing part since I'm a first time Bella but SO looking forward to this art retreat in Omaha. Just a few more days now...
Since I'm registered to go to the infamous Silver Bella this November, I am now part of an online Silver Bella community group. It's a place to meet fellow attendees and get all kinds of information about this event. In one of the Forums I posted a question about some required supplies. For example, crafting neophyte that I am, I didn't know what a sanding block was. Not to worry, several Silver Bellas piped up and filled me in right away. However, sweet Julie not only educated me, she sent one right over to me!
Talk about generosity of spirit! There's the little black sanding block nestled in a pretty box that she filled with a card and several pretties.
Julie knows that I love millinery flowers so she thoughtfully included a few of those. She also tucked in a little surprise, all wrapped up in pattern tissue paper and tied with pretty pale ribbon.
Julie has started altering vintage bottles and gifted me with this beautiful altered perfume bottle. I just love it. Thanks so much, dear, sweet and thoughtful Julie - I'm really looking forward to meeting you at Silver Bella!
p.s. in my last post it kind of sounded like I was the one that went to England and Germany, however, it was actually my husband who was jet-lagged from his business trip there
p.s. will post soon on the progress of "A Room of One's Own" - husband and Dad are having the darndest time covering up that blue paint...