Monday, March 1, 2010

Artful Journey Chronicles - I

I can't believe one week ago today I was returning home from my time spent in Los Gatos at the Artful Journey Retreat. I know everyone has said so, but it really is true - so much happened in those few short days! Let's begin the trip down memory lane...


Snippets From The Road

getting a ticket...

I began my road trip at 9:00am when I left home, after leaving my dear boyfriend's place, to get my rain boots since he warned me of rain throughout the entire time in Santa Cruz. Good thing, since it was pretty wet in Los Gatos and my rain boots* brought smiles to everyone there...

I took the 5 highway and was coming through the Tejon Pass, which apparently is notorious for folks being ticketed - wish some one had warned me of that before I took this route!!

At least the scenery was nice to look at while the patrol officer was writing it up...

  
 The 5 highway usually looks a LOT browner due to all heat and little rain...

...and he was also nice enough to keep the actual speed (coming DOWN the mountain - it was gravity I tell you!) lower than what his little machine registered so I won't have to drive back (two hours!) to appear in court.


Soon enough I was on the road again and watching my DOWNhill speed...

  
I was driving into fog at this point in the ride...

I stopped once for a restroom, gas and a cheese stick; there's only fast food on the 5 highway and as much as I love McDonald's every once in a while, I wasn't in the mood for that on the drive this day - I just wanted to get to the Presentation Center and start immersing myself in the experience! At least I began the morning with a large smoothie and some healthy cookie snacks from Trader Joes...I just love Trader Joes!



getting lost...

So, the time I was actually lost on this trip, I was closer to the Presentation Center than I thought but I didn't see the sign for Bear Creek Road, where the center was located and missed my turn-off point.

I continued on Montevina Road and found myself going up, up, UP a mountain road that seemed barely wide enough for two cars, let alone one! I don't really like steep mountain-side roads so this did not make me a happy camper. I finally pulled into a driveway and had to call my dear boyfriend (aka My Personal GPS System!!) to help me figure out where I had gone wrong. I headed back down the mountain, but pulled over in a wider section to take this picture so you can see how far off I really got...if you look carefully, you can see the freeway off-ramp in the distance where I was supposed to turn...

  
coming down the mountain...

Heading back down the road, I finally saw the sign for Bear Creek Road, made the correct turn-off and before you know it, there was the Presentation Center...

 
 The gates to the beautiful and restful Presentation Center...

I found a few ladies who helped me figure out where I could unload my goods and get back into town to find some food since it was three hours before dinner. Cathy arrived not long after I did, so we ran into town to hang out and have pizza when she spotted the fabulous store, Natural Expressions, a shop of quilting fabrics and beads, together under one roof! I did NOT buy fabric, in keeping with my "No Clothes Challenge" =-)


the first evening...

During dinner, Cathy and I sat together and we began to meet the amazing women who came from near and far to participate in the Artful Journey Retreat. Stella Singleton found me and gave me my apron, and explicit instructions to get it dirty during the retreat! My apron was too pretty for me to get dirty, but I managed as you'll see from the picture below...


the fabulous apron made by Stella, making itself at home in my creative play-space...

We met up with Chrissy, from cul*ti*vate and we were so excited to finally see each other in person!!

After dinner, Cathy and I went to unload our art supplies and she gave me the beautiful gifts from friends in Australia - so wonderful!

Then we assembled in the main room for a warm welcome from Cindy and the introduction of instructors. Cindy then introduced Seena B. Frost who would be conducting a bonus class of Soul Collage on Saturday night.

Seena conducted a beautiful invocation for us all, weaving the history of indigenous women of California and the strength of female energy. She presented Cindy O' Leary with a gift of natural herbs such as rosemary, sage, and lavender in a large seashell, all connected to California and it's coastline. It was very grounding and very relaxing. To give you a sense of what this invocation was like, read Beth Nicholl's inaugural blog post - it absolutely strikes the same chord as Seena's invocation - so powerful!


Before you knew it, it was time for sleep, as though anyone could! But I did try to sleep that first night before classes began the next morning...


This beautiful bell is directly in front of the doors to the dining hall;
I hoped to hear it ring but no one seems to use it...


Stay tuned for the next installment of the Artful Journey Chronicles!!


* - i'll be darned if my wish for more rain hasn't come true so far from that blog post ;)

3 comments:

Susan L (lily40au) said...

such a wonderful story ... i've loved the stories cathy's posted and it's so nice to hear it from your point of view ps how did you stop yourself buying fabric and i have to check out what cathy bought.

humel said...

Lovely to hear all about it :-) Your wellies are gorgeous xx

danielle said...

It was SO lovely to meet you! Thanks again for the army cards you gave my son...he loves them! Also, thank-you so much for all of your kind words and encouragement. It means so much. Happy creating, keep that flame burning!

Hugs to you!
Danielle
xox