Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Unforgettable Weekend

Well, I've just come back from the Graphicus Paradise Retreat at Blackwell Grange in Darlington. There were 40 of us, and we had such an inspiring experience. The tutors and helpers were amazing, and the projects that we tackled were just everything we could have hoped for, and more.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, and had a session playing with textures and colours. We did a little bit of prep work for sessions to come. We had been advised that it might be nice to make some ATCs as an ice breaker to pass around with our details, so that we could get to know people at the Retreat during the breaks, and at mealtimes. This proved to be a great success, as it got us talking about ourselves, and the craft techniques that we had used on our ATCs. I used a lot of my favourite ideas and mediums, as I had never made ATCs before, but found the whole experience great fun. I also received some fantastic ATCs back, and am now a convert!
Our next class was a stitched book, which was the class that ran until 10 o'clock that night. We were all a bit tired, but we kept going, and completed the book, which has covered hard front and back, pockets with tags, stitched pages, and a strap to hold it all together. It is really special, and just need to be decorated to make it personal.

On Saturday, we made an arch shaped book, with hard covers. These were covered in tissue paper, and painted and gold leafed to look like aged Italian plaster. There was then an acetate overlay which we stuck tiny mosaic tiles onto. We scrunched and inked our inner pages to distress them, and again, we need to stamp and personalise them by putting photos and journalling into them. Such a beautiful piece of work.
The next class was a canvas wall hanging. This was made up of four 6x6 inch canvases which we coloured and then need to stamp and embellish to our hearts content. I have so much left to do on this one, that I do not have any pictures to show you. On Saturday evening, we had a relaxed card making class, doing a bit of stamping on acetate, and gold leafing.

Sunday morning saw us sitting a class with Jean Hardy from Crafty Individuals. This lady is so unassuming and down to earth. I had used some of her larger stamps before, but not used the miniature stuff . We made a little shrine box, which we painted and embellished, then stuck onto a back. I really enjoyed this, as I chose my favourite plummy colours, and managed to paint the gold embellishments silver (which I prefer). I also incorporated a picture of Megan into the little box.

On Sunday afternoon, we worked with Stampboard, which I really like. We were making a pencil box, and mine is still at the unassembled stage, but I want to show you the design. We inked the Stampboard, and then stamped the design onto the panels. All I have left to do, is to fold my paper flap inside, glue it, and then glue in my base.

We had such a great time, we shared lots of ideas, and it was so lovely to be with people who share the same interest for a while. I feel as though I have made new friends, and have come away with a warm glow inside, and happy memories.


Lynne K said...

Wow! You lucky thing, Judith! I would love to have gone too. Looks as though you had an amazing time. I love your Crafty Individuals shrine box. Don't forget to show us your other items when you finished them. x

Sally H said...

Wonderful creations, Judith! I know what you mean about Jean. She is such a lovely approachable person. Lynne and I have had long chats with her at Stamp Magic. Looking forward to seeing your finished pencil box. It looks great!

lisa said...

Sounds like a brilliant weekend, Judith. Your creations are gorgeous.
That pencil box looks fantastic, I love the flutterbys.


Jo said...

Your ATCs are lovely, Judith and I'm proud to have swapped one with you. Your lollipop flowers are scrummy.

Your stampbord pencil box is looking very promising. I love what you did with that butterfly.

It was a real privilege to have crafted alongside you over the weekend. Hope we get another chance soon.

Elaine G said...

It is lovely to read your report of the weekend. We were so lucky to be there and I was so lucky to be with you and Jo - it made a great experience even better. I still can't believe we were still sticking things together about midnight!! I have lots of happy, special memories from our time together and I learnt a lot from you too. You've made me buy some lovely colouring pencils today, inspired by your ATCs.

Anne said...

Oh, wow, so glad you had such a good time, wish I could have split myself in two and been there as well as Cheltenham!

Love your ATC haul and what a great idea to have the staircase photo of everyone

debby4000 said...

Oh I'm so jealous, looks like you has a wonderful time.

Marianne said...

Sounds like a fun time Judih. Lovely creations. Hope you got my card. Marianne x

Aquarius said...

Looks as if you all had a wonderful time - I'm very envious. Thanks for sharing

InkyArtitude said...

Hi Judith, you have a lovely blog and fab work. I luvs your little Kitty! Thank you for leaving the comment on my post, it certainly was an amazing weekend but made so by the wonderful women who crafted together... it was incredible! I'm playing catch up now with all the prep to get the house ready for Xmas, it got sadly neglected with all the distraction of the Retreat.
I will be back to visit again soon. Good luck with your extention... looks like you have your hands full too!

craftimamma said...

Lovely post Judith and what wonderful artwork you produced. I love everything you've shown us so far, especially the Stampbord box as I'm a real fan of the stuff.

I'm still so sad I missed it even though it was because of my holidays and now I know the April one is going to be a repeat of this one it means I'll still not get to share it with Jo, Elaine and yourself. It definitely won't be the same for me as I think everyone I know went on this one. There's nothing like sharing a wonderful experience with friends.

Glad you all had such a wonderful time though.

Lesley Xx

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