Monday, December 29, 2014

Crafty Holidays & An Artful New Year!

So... it's that time of year again where we get swept up in what the media wants Christmas to be and when I instead turn to home, friends, family and faith to remind me of the reason for the season. Once my Christmas tree is up, the holiday spirit takes me over. My festive faux fir is adorned with touches of red and white, speckled with icicles, flora & fauna, and a few of my favorite mementos tucked between the branches. Decorating the tree may seem like a simple tradition, but perfectly placing each ornament — as I thoughtfully reflect upon where each and every one came from (don't we all?) — reminds me how precious family and loved ones are. How precious life is. And how lucky we are to have extended families... like our Art & Soul family!

Like a winter fire, my extended retreat family truly warms my soul. I think back to my first event — more than a dozen years ago — and some of you are still with me... still by my side. And many of you have become the closest of friends. Some of the Art & Soul attendees I've just met, but it's like we've known each other for years. That's what happens when like-minded people, linked by the most precious of gifts — the ability to let go and be creatively free — meet for the first time. And all of my dear, dear retreat goers and teachers from all the years in between... I just cannot believe how lucky I am to have you all in my life. It reminds me how precious life really is and makes my holiday heart swell with gratitude.

I really consider the holidays a time to remind us that those in-between moments are the ones that count. And to be able to fill them with creativity is such a blessing. We are fortunate to have our art that connects us and make us stronger. A bond that is created in one moment, yet lasts a lifetime. We are a tribe of artists... leaning on each other for support, encouragement and inspiration! It reminds me the importance of friendships, not just around the holidays, but every day.

So this holiday season I'd like to thank you all for daring to experience something greater for yourself in the form of our mixed-media excursions. The bravery it took to come along on this creative adventure with me. And the heartfelt connections we have made over art. I am truly blessed to have all of you in my life and I hope that your holiday season is filled with the love of family, friends, and perhaps a few random moments of creativity.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Holidays and Helping Hands...

The holidays are a great time to help those in need. We may all get swept up in amazing retail sales, sappy or silly Christmas movies, decorating to the nines, and planning out holiday meals. But there are so many people in our own communities who go without. Without food. Without money to buy their kids' presents. How can you keep the fun of Santa Claus going with your children when your bellies and wallets are empty?

Enter... us! Every year I volunteer at my local Salvation Army doing food drives and presents for the kids. I also lend my time to our local Portland Food Bank, aptly named... Sno Cap. It does my heart good to be able to help others in need. And you know what? Their gratitude is contagious! If you ever  got the holiday blues, a healthy dose of Volunteerism will cure you in a minute!

Whether you donate your time or donate your dollars, every little bit makes a difference. Uplifting souls is a pretty great gift to give this holiday season. And the best part? Your soul will be uplifted in the process. How great is that!

Happy Holidays! Ho, Ho, Hope!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

New Instructor Added to Portland! Introducing Rebekah Meier...

We are so very excited to announce the addition of one very talented instructor to our Portland Art & Soul roster... Rebekah Meier!

Rebekah is an established author, designer, and teacher in the mixed-media and fabric collage community. Her books, magazine features, and product development exemplify her signature style of combining fabrics and fibers into beautiful collage assemblages. Rebekah is the author of the best selling books, Fabric Art Collage, 40+ Mixed Media Techniques and More Fabric Art Collage

Here's what she's offering this Spring at our 2015 Portland event. Check out these lovely layered cloth and paper creations!

Collage Fabric Painting - Friday, March 6th 
Students will learn techniques to create their own custom designed fabric. Layering the applications of color, texture, design will be covered. Instruction will also be given on how to create foam stamps and using found objects for printing. The one of a kind designed fabric will then be used to create a no-sew wallet.

Students will create a canvas wall art collage. Techniques will be step by step, allowing students to build up textures and interesting designs. If you like ripping, peeling back layers, and random application of paint, then this class is for you.

Fiber Art Tapestry - Sunday, March 8th
Students will learn a layering technique that incorporates both fabric and paper. Each student will go home with a small sampler incorporating embroidery and lots of texture.

Pretty awesome stuff, huh!

Registration is now open for Portland Art & Soul 2015, as well as all of our 2015 events! For information and registration, visit our website at

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Give (or Get) the Gift of Creativity!

What could be better than to receive a Gift Certificate for any of our Art & Soul Retreats?!!

Whether you're interested in our Portland, Kansas City, or Virginia Beach mixed media events... we will  happily design a special magical retreat — just for you!! Have your loved ones email me directly at

P.S. We have something special happening for our next year's events! We are so very pleased to team up with Bernina as our preferred sponsor... and our 2015 retreats will have a special focus on fabric classes and sewing.  Check the website to see all the new and exciting classes!