here is my completed piece from Nina's class. the first day started off with some basic PMC work. it was my first time working with PMC and i haven't really done any polymer clay or anything, so i wasn't really impressed with my work! i think i pressed too hard into the clay with my stamp. it will just take some fine tuning. i prefer working with found objects anyway. day two we learned wire wrapping, the "Nina knot", a grapevine knot, the cacoon wrap, connecting 2 pieces together, making a hook and a clasp. it was a lot to learn in one day. so i spent a lot of time practicing, but again, good wire wrapping takes practice. the 3rd we spent assembling our pieces, going over techniques we were having trouble with and before we knew it, the weekend was over. it was sad to say goodbye to old friends and sad to say goodbye to new friends. Valley Ridge Art Studio located in Muscoda, Wisconsin is a real treat. check out their website and look into taking a class there sometime. (go with a friend and share expenses). you can fly into Madison or Milwaukee and then drive from there. they have a few rooms on the property called The Farmhouse or you can look into rooms elsewhere (we stayed at the Riley Farm about 10 minutes away). The studio is very spacious and accomodates 20 students. you get your own worktable and again, have plenty of room to put out your stuff without having another student on top of you. i appreciate that! they give great attention to detail (my favorite, every station had a trash baggie at it), a refrigerator stocked with sodas, tea and water. Kathy, the owner, makes fresh coffee throughout the day and then lunch, wow. pasta, salad, soups, deli meats, pie, cheese (try a 4 year old cheddar cheese bought locally - yummy!). her husband, bill, is behind the scenes serving soup, cleaning up, taking photos, sweeping the studio, etc. it is very well run, extremely organized, friendly, relaxing. they have a store in the studio where you will find the best things - things you just have to have. things you've seen online but didn't want to pay for the shipping. buy them there, i did! it was a nice group of talented women and fun to be there with 4 Charmsters (me, Z, Pam K. and Jean). of course my good friend, Kim and Julie were there and i recognized (from artnsoul) the beautiful, Lynda, the minute she walked in the door. met a really sweet, talented artists, Jill, who made a gorgeous PMC ring and has been published many times in all our favorite art magazines. Sue, was the my seatmate behind me and she was really sweetie, trading me things, fun to talk with. i did get to go home with a pair of earrings made by Nina, so that was cool.
On the ride home, we broke up the ride by stopping at an antique store. what a great place! we were sad we didn't have more time to spend there. the woman running the desk loved my little handpainted bag i was carried (done by me), so i gave her my etsy card in case she'd like to order one. (yes, Carol, you are still first in line for a bag!)
right now i am sitting at Chicago O'hare waiting for my very delayed flight (bad weather in Newark). i am tired and my back is sore from sitting for 3 days, driving 4 hours to the airport and now sitting 4 hours in these uncomfortable airport seats. i left my purse in the bathroom and when i returned for it, it was gone. i tried not to panic and waited for the police to come so that i could give a description, etc when i saw a couple of women walking by and one of them was carrying my bag. she looked into the bag and had found my gate # and was coming to return it to me. i almost started crying and gave her a huge hug.