Monday, December 31, 2012

Let's Wrap It Up!

Well, what better time to finally get around to wrapping up October's Portland Art & Soul than the last day of 2012... right? As many of you know, I practically went right from the event to a hospital bed where I had gastric bypass surgery done. However, I did not want to "bypass" talking about our amazing new venue and what a great time it was. So here goes...

The Red Lion Hotel located right on the Columbia River was just a spectacularly inspirational location. I mean... imagine having this view to begin your day! Fire in the sky... mountains in the background... surrounded by water... ahhhhhhh. I can just feel my body relaxing just remembering this! The hotel staff were the epitome of hospitality, and the food was great. And there were lots of great restaurants and shopping all within walking distance.

The classrooms were spacious with floor-to-ceiling windows — many having views of the river — letting in the natural light. Perfect for making art! And it was really nice to have all the classrooms in one location, inside the hotel. No more waking up to catch a shuttle. Woohoo!

But the things that define Art & Soul did not change. We still had an amazing and diverse selection of classes for all levels of attendees. Whether you like to be meticulous in your craft, like Suzanne McNeill's class where you get to carefully and thoughtfully Zentangle on a gourd...

...or maybe you like to throw caution to the wind... create a mess... and actually be the mess, like the students in Jesse Reno's classes! There was definitely something for everybody.

And our teachers. I just cannot say enough about them. They are all amazingly talented individuals who have been hand picked for our retreats. Some have been with us for a very long time and others are visionaries on the cutting edge of today's newest techniques. But all of them take the time to give our students individual attention on projects, gently guide them every step of the way, and they even double as psychologists!

You see... sometimes, going outside our comfort zone in art makes those pesky little insecurities come up. But our instructors are all so good at helping you not only discover a new technique... but also helping you feel comfortable with who you are and how you express yourself. It's actually pretty amazing to see these connections — between your art and your soul, as well as those between teacher and student — take place!

And then there was Vendor Night! It's always a feast for the senses... and the credit cards! I kind of like to do a once-over and then go back to pick up my favorite finished pieces and supplies. But there's always those one or two items I must buy on-the-spot, for fear someone else will like it as much as I. But really the level of jewelry, collage, assemblage, dolls, as well as the amazingly unique ephemera, findings and antiques that the instructors and other vendors bring to this night make it a most delightful shopping experience for attendees and the general public!

Art & Soul Portland was the first major art event that I made happen. It's like my first born. And although it has grown up a lot over the years, and gone through some changes, and even had some growing pains... I love my baby.... and all of you that make it happen. All my attendees... my instructors.. my helpers... the local vendors... the on-site store owners... the hotel staff... and on and on and on. I couldn't do Portland — or any other venue — without all of you. And now that this year is coming to a close, I'm getting a little teary eyed as I think about all that I have to be grateful for.

Have a Happy and Creative New Year! See you in Twenty-thirteen!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Craftmas & Happy Glue Year!

When the hustle and bustle of retail extravaganzas and big box store bonanzas has become the new norm, handmade gifts and cards sometimes get lost in the shuffle. But not here in the creative realm of Art & Souler's, I bet! I'm sure you crafted a darling little card, or hand made some gifts this year. Maybe you prepared an amazing table setting for guests, or decorated the house with extra flair. No matter how you expressed your creativity this season — be proud of yourself for keeping the true spirit of art and individuality in the Holidays! 

And thank you all so much for your support of Art & Soul Retreats. Each and every one of you! Students and teachers alike. Taking time out to replenish your soul in a creative way is no longer a luxury — it's a necessity!  And I appreciate you choosing to play and have fun with us year after year. You are part of our success and I wish you the Happiest of Holidays and the Most Creative New Year Ever!

~ Glenny xo

Monday, December 17, 2012

Earn Feathers Toward Your Art Wings!

We are so excited to introduce our newest points program...

Art Wings!

Where you can earn money to spend in our online store and even get yourself a free class!

Share the excitement and connectivity that you love so much with an artsy friend and earn your wings with our Art Wings Points Program for Art & Soul! All you need to do is refer a NEW attendee to any of our Mixed Media Art Retreats. When they register for an all day class, YOU will receive a feather for your Art Soul Wing. Each feather is worth $20 to spend in our on-site store — Artistic Artifacts — or take $20 off a class of your choice. Special bonus: if you refer 5 people who each take at least one all day class, you get a free class!

So spread your Art Wings and let your soul soar while you lift up your creative friends! E-mail me directly with your new attendees at

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Vikki Pignatelli, Nurturing Your Creative Spirit, Dec. 17

Vikki Pignatelli is a self-taught artist who entered the world of quilting in 1991 at the urging of her sister. A non-sewer at the time, Vikki attended a beginner's class and quickly fell in love with the art of quilting. Now a full-time professional quilt-artist, designer, international teacher, lecturer and author, Vikki and her quilts have been featured in many books, national publications and exhibitions. She has won 32 awards in national and international competitions and exhibitions including a first place award at the International Quilt Festival at Houston and Best Color and Design for Passages of the Spirit in the 2002 NQA annual show

She is the author of two quilting books, Quilting Curves and Quilting By Improvisation  and numerous “how-to” articles for quilt magazines. 

Vikki also founded Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibitions and has now self-published Nurture Your Creative Spirit which we will be talking about Monday.
So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Vikki Pignatelli
with Lesley Riley
Monday, December 17th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Pass the Gravy, Please...

So, I'm now on the last phase of the recovery diet plan. This means that I can begin to introduce real food to my life again. WOW! that sounded so wonderful! ...and I could not wait to have an actual dinner with the family. 

Thanksgiving was lift off.  

I love Thanksgiving. It is the only time that I enjoy cooking. My grandson could eat an entire turkey by himself! He LOVES food and it is a joy to watch him. His football coach continues to encourage him to bulk up, so eating is not an issue for him. I cooked for two days with heavenly anticipation. I was careful... sticking to soft foods (easy at Thanksgiving — mashed potatoes & dressing!) and making certain the turkey was moistened with gravy. No problem there!!! And then I think I ate about 5 bites and was done. That was a good thing.  I felt satisfied and was thrilled.  

Fast forward to the next day.

Blood sugar was elevated a bit, resulting in an insulin injection which always makes me ill. Needing to eat, I tried a scrambled egg and apparently ate it too fast. The resulting pain is up there on the same scale as a kidney stone. I swear — it does not let up — and is excruciating. It takes time for the food to pass through the itty bitty opening — so add being nauseated to the pain and it was a day to remember.  That is the bad part of all of this. Every day is an experiment with my new body (planned or unplanned!).

Remembering to eat slowly and chew to a pulp is something that I struggle with.  I've always grabbed something to eat on the run and washed it down with a glass of water. Not so much anymore. All these behaviors that we have known for years and never follow are now coming back in spades. Eat slowly... Put your fork down between bites... Do not drink while eating.  

When I was in Italy, dinner was a two hour affair.  Everyone visited and enjoyed the time together — how did we get so far away from the old traditions?  Now food is gobbled up in less than 10 minutes and no one talks about their day.  Unless they text.  No wonder we are an obese nation!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How to Train Your Dragon... and Other Animal Stories!

Have you seen this awesome Dragon! class taught by two of my favorite instructors Ty and Marcia Schultz at Art & Soul Virginia? It's a chance for you to breathe life into your very own mythical creature as you learn to create the basic form that supports your dragon and decorate it any way you wish! Ty and Marcia will be by your side to guide your sculptural side and share secrets of the prop-building trade. It's an evening that will have you breathing fire... in a good way!

Take a look at this fun little video as Ty explains what you'll get to accomplish in this unique evening workshop! 

And in case Dragons aren't your thing, maybe you have other hangups? Perfect! Then check out Ty and Marcia's Animal Hang Ups workshop. You'll get to make your very own animal to hang on the wall!

This impressive duo will magically show you how to create realistic-looking animals using everyday materials. You'll surprise yourself as these experts (26 years in the biz) show you how easy it can be to make something so beautiful!

Or maybe you don't want to sculpt from scratch yet but you've always wanted to make a mold from objects you already have? Awesome! In their Moldmaking class, Ty and Marcia can show you the step-by-step process of creating a two piece silicone block mold as well as a few other types of processes. If you ever needed more than one of the same item for an art piece, then this comprehensive class will be invaluable!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Christina Rosalie: A Field Guide to NOW, Dec. 3rd

Christina Rosalie is a writer and mixed media artist whose award-winning work has been featured in print and online. She is also an adventurer, four-leaf clover finder, autodidact, and optimist, with a tendency to forget things on the roof of her car and a knack for getting paint on her jeans. Christina has an MFA in Emergent Media and lives with her husband and two wonderful boys in northern Vermont. 
Christina’s new book, A Field Guide to NOW: notes on mindfulness and life in the present tense is a jewel. The perfect gift for a daughter, friend, and most of all yourself. Her writing is raw and genuine and beautiful all at the same time. There is wisdom on almost every page that I want to remember now and forever. You all might know I’m a quote junkie. I’ll be quoting Christina till the end of my days.

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Christina Rosalie

with Lesley Riley
Monday, December 3rd
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Give (or get) the Gift of Creativity!

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for a creative friend? Does your husband keep asking what you want for Christmas? Are you a long-time Art & Souler who's always wanted to take so-and-so along with you (but she was a little short on funds)? Well, an Art & Soul gift certificate makes a great present for all these scenarios and more! It's a creative way to artfully thank someone this holiday. You can make your gift for any denomination. Just e-mail Glenny at and she'll get you taken care of right away!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Month Already?

My surgery was one month ago today.  I knew it would not be easy... but I did expect to rebound more quickly than I have. The combinations of internal discomfort along with the adjustments in diabetes have made for some difficult weeks.  

In the grand scheme of things, I am doing great! But I feel pretty miserable most of the time.  The best way to explain how I feel is to compare it to a hangover. A bit nauseous all the time and all I want to do is get my head on a pillow. The doctors assure me that it is just my body adjusting to its new way of living — but feeling crappy all day has not been pleasant.  It has put me way behind in work and — as many of you know — I have no patience for being DOWN. But I have no desire to do a damn thing. I can’t even focus on reading a book. All those plans of recovering while lounging on the couch with my embroidery have gone out the window. Just me, my pillow and Katie on the bed.

Attempting to regulate my blood sugar has become a challenge. The requirements for insulin change daily. I feel like a chemist.  Not to mention a pin cushion.  And making certain to ingest a minimum of 60 grams of protein daily continues to nag at me. I am now on Stage 3 diet... which is introducing “soft” foods. Scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, ground chicken, a bit of mashed potato — that type of thing.  Everything has to be moist, so I can have low fat gravy. No starch yet. And the one thing I am really missing is a piece of good French bread! Each day is a new adventure and I'll continue to bring you along with me as I move into this new lifestyle.

Weight loss to date: 24lbs!


Saturday, November 17, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Bonnie J. Smith: Having an Art Attitude, Nov 19th

Bonnie J. Smith is a fiber and mixed media artist. Her fiber art work has been featured in many national and international juried exhibitions and publications. Her fiber art titled "Color x 3" was juried into Quilt National 2011.  Bonnie was the recipient of the prestigious NICHE Award in 2009 for Fiber Art Quilts and was a finalist in 2010 & 2012. She is in love with texture and creating fiber art that flows, allowing the eye to appreciate her use of color and design.  Bruce Hoffman, formerly Director of the Snyderman Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA. describes her work "Simple, powerful, successful: Design and craftsmanship working together."  All words every artist is waiting to hear.
Bonnie's art works are a dialogue with the viewer covering the topics; separation of church and state, racism and sexism. She is currently working on a large scale installation titled "Thoughts oft he Mind" dealing with religious bias. 
Bonnie is extremely accomplished but all her success wasn’t, as the saying goes, a walk in the park. I look forward to hearing her full story and sharing this inspiring woman with you.

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Bonnie J. Smith

with Lesley Riley
Monday, November 19th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 10 Post-Op Notes...

It is day ten post-op and I’m still trying to get accustomed to the new daily routine. Living alone, food was not a priority — it was almost a nuisance. I would keep working until it was past time for some nourishment, and — not wanting to stop and take time to fix something decent — I would grab whatever was handy.  Could be cheese, crackers and vegggies or a cup of soup. Many times, I waited so long to eat that I began to feel horrible. Feeling nauseous, I would get shaky and begin to sweat.  I always had the best of intentions and would purchase healthy foods... I just wouldn't fix them.

Therefore, the restrictions of the post op bariatric diet did not seem insurmountable to me. Fluid, fluid and more fluid.  This includes 64 oz. of water a day, in addition to ingesting 60 grams of protein. Morning protein shakes have been my staple for years. Enhancing them into a daily regimen seemed a no brainier to me. I purchased unflavored protein powder to add to broth and other acceptable fluids in order to reach the 60 gram daily goal in addition to all types of high protein drinks.

At first, I didn't feel much like eating or drinking anything and it was a struggle just to get the necessary water.  After leaving the hospital, it became imperative to start the protein. The schedule has us ingesting something every hour. After the second day, I was already tired of the sweet protein drinks.... Slim Fast, Glucerna, etc. and wanted something savory. We put the unflavored powder in chicken broth and it was horrible.  There was no way I could gag it down. I thought it would be like unflavored gelatin... no... not at all. All my pre-planning and purchasing was wasted.

I got on the computer and quickly ordered some bariatric soups. They are not too bad.... (I can do this).
The main problem I am having is with my diabetes. It is changing rapidly and we cannot get the insulin adjusted properly. When blood sugar is high and I give myself a shot, I begin to feel like I have a hangover. All I want to do is be left alone and get my head down. And then, the sugar level will plummet and I lose all my senses. I drenched a flannel nightgown in less than a minute – it is a horrible feeling.  The docs continue to lower the insulin doses and feel that the diabetes will be gone completely soon.  WOW – almost a miracle. Now to just feeling better for an entire day!!

More soon,

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Sue Bleiweiss: Sketchbooks, Quilts & Beyond, Nov 5th

Sue Bleiweiss has been a full time artist for over 10 years. Self-taught, her medium of choice is fiber and she is particularly fond of working with silk. 

In her own words, "A lot of my work revolves around how to create texture, both real and implied to a piece of cloth using dye, paint and stitching. The colors and textures in rusty, weathered surfaces fascinate me and I often use these as inspiration when I begin a new piece of work. My goal has never been to create a perfect or flawless surface. It is to create something that intrigues the viewer and invites them in for a closer look.” 

Sue has published an extensive array of articles for several internationally popular fiber and craft magazines, is a 2012 Niche Award Finalist and has had her work featured in numerous books and now, most recently, her own - The Sketchbook Challenge! We will be talking about the book today, and so much more! 

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Sue Bleiweiss

with Lesley Riley
Monday, November 5th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My Own Personal Journey...

"This is the first day of the rest of your life." 

An almost historic quote overshadowed by the barrage of affirmations found daily on Facebook, blogs and coffee mugs. But for me, that quote is a reality. On Oct 10, 2012, I had gastric bypass surgery....roux en y to be exact. This was not a snap decision. 

I have been researching this surgery for almost six years. Readily available to the wealthy and a select few for quite some time now, the procedure has been touted as a weight loss miracle... an easy way out. Far from it. I decided to keep a journal of my journey... as I feel it is not a miracle cure, and definitely not the “easy way out”.

I just had major surgery. My innards have been assaulted in the worst way and are screaming in protest. Not just pain, of which there is plenty, but of all things foreign being forced upon my body.  Everything has been rearranged and altered both physically and with drugs... including my brain so as not to register the agony. Nausea and all wonderful things associated with surgery are ever present.  And this is the easy part. 

I am a poster girl for the diets don’t work statistics. Thirty years ago, I was a fashionable size three... a tiny, small-boned business woman. As a very active youth, teen and young adult, I had broken many bones. In later years, that translates as arthritis. By age thirty, as the joints began to rebel, I quit some activities and promptly gained twenty pounds. I wasn't concerned. Joined a gym and Weight Watchers. Fitness became my new focus and it wasn't long before I had shed the extra pounds.  Imagine my surprise about a year later to realize that, not only had I gained back the original twenty pounds, but had added an additional ten! Thus began the cycle. Any attempt to diet, exercise – successful or not – would result in weight gain.  There is so much I could write about the various stages of weight and the progress of my personal and business life during these past 30 years – however, that could be an entire book on its own merit.  I am going to make short journal notes about this procedure. 

I was in the hospital 4 days and probably should have stayed at least one day longer. My surgery was laproscopic. I have six small incisions on my stomach – closed not with staples or stitches – but super glue.  Well, I don’t really know if its super glue – but it’s something like that – how perfect is that for an artist?!  Glue.  

I vacillate from being excited about this new venture in my life to being horrified at what I have done. The procedure is permanent. Yes, many people do gain the weight back eventually. That statistic frightens me.  How COULD they? This is hell, and it’s only the beginning. For the next two weeks, I have nothing but liquid and tons of protein. Seems simple. I am home from the hospital, all medications and “food” lined up on the counter – ready to go. 

Currently, I am taking it easy. I have no choice, nor would I want to jeopardize this long-awaited procedure. I will keep you updated as to my progress – the good and the bad – on this blog as I begin my recovery... and my new life!

Glenny xoxo 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Christine Mason Miller: Desire to Inspire, Oct 22nd

Christine Mason Miller is a Santa Barbara-based writer and artist who has been creating, writing and exploring ever since she was a little girl.  Her mission to inspire has provided the foundation for all of her creative work. The desire to encourage others to pursue their passions and create a meaningful life is the common thread throughout an expansive body of work that includes mixed media collage, commercial illustration, photography, writing, teaching and speaking. 

I discovered Christine years ago through her self-published book, Ordinary Sparkling Moments and she is now celebrating her latest book Desire to Inspire: Using Creative Passion to Transform the World.

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Christine Mason Miller

with Lesley Riley
Monday, October 22nd
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Home Sweet Virginia!

Someone once said that "Home is Where the Art As"... oh wait... that was me! But we mixed media artists seem to adore the imagery that comes to mind when we think of home. Nesting, comfort, family, a soft place to fall. And so it seems to turn up in the things we create. And speaking of creating... I was perusing through our workshops for the Virginia 2013 Art & Soul and noticed what a diverse array of classes we had with a home theme. There's still spots open, so check out our awesome offerings...

Take this mini Birdhouse Pendant class by Jen Crossley for example (no, really... I mean take the class!) where you'll learn how to make this unique mini etched bird house using the technique of metal etching in a very simple way as you create a mini bird house pendant with a hinged door! Adorbs.

Check out this Enamel Book Pendant workshop taught by Jean VanBrederode and Lynne Supprock! The sweetest little home-sweet-home-turned-pendant you've ever seen! You'll create your very own brightly colored enamel book, amply stacked with plenty of pages. You'll learn how to use templates on copper, then saw, punch, sand, and add some rich colored enamel inside and out! Your necklace will be the talk of the town(house)!

Come and spend a day with Stephanie Rubiano creating your own dimensional “homebody” made from fabric panels and encaustic wax medium on a cradled hardboard. You will learn some new techniques in creating your own fabrics and ways to use photographs in your encaustic work. Also covered will be some basic principles in working in wax, including layering, fusing, carving, and back-filling to name a few.

...or you can take Stephanie's innovative Encaustic Light Houses workshop where you'll oversee the marriage of textiles and encaustic wax medium. Learn how to create fabric with your favorite images and form stiff wall panels, ready to be adorned with stitch work and your best bits and baubles to create a wonderful little house to set on a shelf or mantelpiece. The best part is placing an electric votive inside the house …sit back and watch the light glow and flicker through the waxed walls!

What a lovely, homey selection of workshops if I may say so. I hope you enjoyed our little "house tour" and have been inspired by the classes we have to offer. There are so many to choose from in such different categories... we hope it's not too difficult to make your selections. March just can't get here soon enough!

For more information and to register for our Virginia Beach Art & Soul event... visit our website at

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Introducing Our 2013 Theme...

You better believe it's a mixed-media jungle out there... and this coming year will be no exception! So I'd like to introduce our theme for Art & Soul 2013 —Art & Soul On Safari — and this adorably whimsical logo that was designed by mixed-media artist and long-time A&S attendee Michelle Bernard. I just love how she used different types of papers and fabrics for the animals and the tree. And the giraffe munching on the "&" is just too cute.

So put on your thinking caps (or your safari hats) and let's get wild! I know you'll all come up with some amazing ideas for trades, book swaps, decorating your thingamajigs, patterned clothing to adorn yourselves with and more. We'll have some fun, themed events at our retreats next year and look forward to seeing where you take this On Safari theme!

Michelle also made it just a little easier for you to have fun with her logo design, by creating a clip art sheet of all the components that went into the logo (and a couple bonus sayings). You can download both the logo and the clip art images by right-clicking on the photos (or control-click for macintosh users) and then Save As to your computer. Or, you can grab them off our Yahoo Group in the photos section... an Album Titled... Art & Soul On Safari 2013. So have fun and get your Safari On!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Melanie Testa: Dreaming The Journal, Oct 8th

Melanie Testa's quest as an artist is to ensure that her mind, eyes and hands convey the same visual thought.  This takes practice and skills that she is committed to obtaining and maintaining every single day and with each new idea. She uses her skills and builds upon them whether she's working in cloth, paper or any other medium. Hey, the way Melanie sees it... this is the job of an artist!

Melanie graduated from The Fashion Institute of Technology in Textile/Surface Design in 1999, and has written two books, Dreaming from the Journal Page and Inspired to Quilt, as well as producing a DVD entitled Print, Collage, Quilt. She teaches in person workshops, does informative lectures and has even branched out to teaching online. She's a modern-day Renaissance artist!

So please join us for this inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Melanie Testa
with Lesley Riley
Monday, October 8th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Toto... I Don't Think We're in Kansas... (but we ARE in Kansas City!!)

That's right all my little mid-western mixed-media mavens.... Art & Soul is coming to Kansas City in April 2013! Woohoo! We're totally going to change the meaning of "The Show Me State" as we add this new location to our selection of nationwide art retreats.

Our gracious host will be The Elms Hotel & Spa — a wonderfully historic property that is going to offer us the intimate surroundings that we absolutely love for our retreats. I must say that I am so ecstatic about this inspirational location that I just cannot contain myself!! The staff has already made me feel welcome as a part of their family. I can hardly wait!

Here are just some of the highlights of this awesome property...
  • Seasonal culinary delights! Our experienced culinary team prepares fresh all meals from scratch featuring seasonal and local ingredients.
  • Largest spa between Chicago and Dallas! Our full service spa features a private grotto, Eucalyptus saunas and a wide variety of treatments.
  • Enjoy Keurig coffee makers in every guest room, stocked with Elms blend coffee prepared by the Roasterie.
  • Fitness center featuring Precor equipment
  • Indoor European lap pool with hot and cold tubs, open year round
  • Outdoor pool, hot tub and cabanas are available seasonally
  • Vintage lawn games, bicycles and guided historic and ghost tours 
  • Complimentary wi-fi in guest rooms and all public spaces
So mark your calendars and get ready to relax, recharge, and rediscover your creative side at our brand new location!!

Art & Soul Kansas City
April 3-7, 2013
The Elms Hotel & Spa
Excelsior Springs, Missouri

Classes will be online by October 15. Check the website now for hotel information and all the exciting new info!!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Portland: Now that's reFRESHing!

You know how it is... the same thing gets boring.... times change... we want something more. And so it is with Art & Soul Retreats. We want to keep making your experiences better and better. So we thought a little recap of some of our favorite new things would be in order. Let's go!

So how about our new Portland Art & Soul venue — the Red Lion on the River in Jantzen Beach. Imagine the serenity of being right on the Columbia River... with spectacular views of the waterway right outside your room, the restaurants, and even the classrooms! This resort-style property is the perfect location for letting go of the everyday doldrums and diving into your creative adventure!

Besides the scenic location, one of the great advantages to this venue is that everything will be in one place! No more waking up early to catch a shuttle to that workshop in the other hotel. You don't even have to leave the Red Lion if you don't want to!

Wanna shop 'til you drop for one-of-a-kind mixed media supplies and gorgeous pieces of finished art & jewelry? Of course you do (silly me)! Well, our Portland Vendor Night has become Vendor Afternoon/Evening! Join us from 4pm until 8pm in the Red Lion's Ballroom and shop your heART out. As always, this shopping extravaganza is free to registered attendees and open to the public for a fee of $10 at the door. We'll have about 60 vendors offering finished artwork, art supplies, vintage findings, fabrics, jewelry, collage items, assemblage--something for everyone! And a no-host bar will also be available to "enhance" your evening (hee-hee). Please join us!

And perhaps you've noticed all fantastic new videos on our site to accompany the class descriptions? I mean... how great is it to "meet" your instructors before you even get to class. And heck... having a little extra sneak peek at what you'll be doing, well... we think it makes it a whole lot easier to decide what workshops you'd like to take.

We've got a bunch of new videos sprinkled throughout the individual workshop description pages, so browse through your favorite classes and you may get a virtual surprise preview!

I hope you enjoy and are able to take advantage of some of these exciting new changes. Portland is just around the corner... so I'll see you there!

P.S. It's not too late to register so give in to your creative urges today!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Any Dream Will Do...

You know those times when you do something for someone you love and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside? Yes... I know them well. In fact, I recently traded my mare Tahitian Pearls, for a fabulous show horse named Any Dream Will Do, for my granddaughter Abby.

Abby with her new horse.
It wasn't easy to let go of my trusty mare. Having acquired her as a 2-year-old, she offered me a lifetime of companionship in the 4 years we spent together. When I got Pearl, I trained her to let me take my electric scooter into her stall. I would sit with her for hours and read a book while she put her head in my lap. To this day, I can say, "put your head down" and she will drop so that I can scratch her ears.

My mare, Tahitian Pearls.
So what drives a person to let go of something special in order to make someone else's dream come true?


You see, Abby's show horse is 18 and about to be retired, so she needed a new horse. Pearl is a beautiful, powerful Saddlebred... but a bit too much for my granddaughter. Pearl would require a lot more training to be safe in the show arena — at least two years worth! So it was a sensible decision to trade Pearl and get a new horse for Abby.

And can I tell you... nothing touches a grandma's heart more than seeing her granddaughter simply beaming with love and an ear-to-ear grin on her face when she sees her Dream come true for the first time. To top it off there was an immediate connection between the two, similar to what Abby had with her first show horse. I believe they'll be fast friends for a very long time.

Many times during our life we have special dreams. And many times those dreams involve people closest to us. When you share your dreams with others, the result is almost always the same... marvelous things happen. The joy of giving is just as satisfying as the joy of receiving. When you take a chance and let go of something... the Universe rewards you with something even more special. Truly, I am the lucky one.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for Daniella Woolf: A Textile Sensibility, Sept 10th

Daniella Woolf brings a “textile sensibility” to the ancient medium of encaustic, merging these two disciplines and using a limited choice of materials to create a newly formed language. Her art background includes fiber, collage, jewelry and metalsmithing.
A 2008 Rydell Visual Arts Fellow, Daniella’s encaustic work has been exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art, Pittsburg Center for the Arts and internationally at the British Craft Centre, London. She also has an extensive resume as a sculptural textile artist.

Daniella teaches popular encaustic workshops and writes the blog, Encausticopolis, about all things wax. She has authored 2 books, Encaustic with a Textile Sensibility (2010) and The Encaustic Studio, a wax workshop in mixed-media art, out just this year.  And there’s a DVD included with the book. What more can you want except Daniella in person?

So please join us for an inspirational chat...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Daniella Woolf
with Lesley Riley
Monday, September 10th
7:00pm EST

And don't forget, Art & Soul Radio's interviews are also available on demand, to listen to at your leisure. Check out what other mixed-media artists are doing and how they're living their lives with passion any time!