Over the last few weeks I've been working on the projects for my Inspired by Nature Fall Retreat. It's my 4th one and I knew I wanted to do something with butterfly wings and feathers. It took a while to work it all out and I am so happy with the results and can not wait to share these fun projects with my students.
It's a weekend of mixed-media exploration with etching metal, playing with polymer clay, creating bezels, and creating our own findings like earwires and chain links. And finishing with a collection of jewelry by the end of the 3rd day.
We will gather again in my hometown of South Haven on the sleepy shores of Lake Michigan. (Just two hours north of Chicago.) The retreat will be October 17th - 19th. We will be surrounded by woods near a river, with autumn's colors in full force.
The creative women who join me are always so encouraging and kind. They make fast friends and it's always a treat to see old friends returning again. We share wine, chocolate and beads! Life doesn't get much better.
We don't worry about labels or being purists. The ladies push ahead fearlessly knowing any mistakes can just be called 'organic' and they flourish and explore with the materials in front of them.
I share my little bits of magic with clay, metal and wire. I love seeing when a student lights up with an idea of her own and goes off to do something even more amazing than I could have imagined. And those who are starting out, work up the courage to create without judging. The muse is welcomed and mistakes are part of the learning process.
In between the jewelry making we head outdoors, inspiration surrounds us. From the water lapping at the shore of the river, to the delicious field of raspberries across the street, to the chorus of birds singing and leaves whirling around - nature provides the background for us to unwind as the weekend progresses.
Meals are shared and stories told as we bond over our creative adventure. Each woman here is a gift.
When all the pieces fall together on the last day, we are sad to say goodbye. Some linger and we head out for one more field trip before we go off to our corners of the world again. We look outward and inward and find ourselves renewed as the forest recedes in the review mirrors.
Does that sound like a little bit of heaven to you? Click here for all the retreat details.