Thursday, October 23, 2014

Making etched copper pendants and custom necklaces!

Continuing along our theme of pairing activities with our lessons, we spent some time talking about THINKING.   There are 11 different kinds of thinking that we discussed.  And one of them was BIG picture thinking.  I had everyone think about their big picture in a futuristic sort of way. 
Where do you see yourself in a year?  in 5 years?  10 years?  And think BIG!  What would your dream life look like?!
We spent some time picking out colored beads which represented certain things (color have meanings, and we explored that too!).
Once we each had our colored beads chosen, we went to work learning to use jewelry tools and jump rings and chain.
We also learned to etch copper.  Each person got to choose the shape of her leaf and then use a Sharpie to create a resist against the etching medium we used to burn into the metal.
I was proud of everyone!!  This was something that was BRAND spanking new to some of them.  And although they might have been a tad bit nervous, they dove right in!! We had some with experience, and I think the fact that everyone just worked very well, side by side, caused all to be a bit more relaxed.
Look at all those busy little bees!!  Making jewelry, we learned, can be very draining.  I had back to back jewelry projects, as I thought that this would be the most efficient way to get the activities completed.  However, I learned that because it requires so much focus that we need to space those types of activities out so the enthusiasm doesn't die!   Lesson learned!
The girls were asked to put their "big dream" in writing on a piece of paper and create a scroll out of it.
We ModPodged it closed and worked it into our necklace.  See how Amber used the scroll on the right side in the picture above.  It is the top "bead" in her necklace.

Here is Nancy's necklace.  She apparently found LOTS of colors and meanings she wanted to make sure made her necklace.  I LOVE how colorful it turned out!
And no two designs were the same on the etched copper!!  Isn't this FAB-U-LOUS?!
Oh... we also used copper wire to weave in and out of the copper sheeting.  AND we scrunched up ribbon to make fun little textural beads on our necklaces.
This is Jamette.  She works at MMPT.  And I am pretty sure she has done this before.  WAIT!  I KNOW she has done this before.  Her necklace turned out great!
Look at that cute little scroll dangling in front of the leaf!
Niki decided to let her goal dangle.  VERY cute!
And Dottie had the same idea!  Check out her scroll in the front.  Right in front of her "word" which she etched into the copper.... "THRIVE".
Dottie is from St. Louis.  She has been a MoJOy blog reader for many, many years.
She brought her two besties along with her.  And this is one of their completed necklaces.  VERY cool, huh?!
I really hope everyone loves their necklaces enough to wear them this fall.  They are perfect for fall outfits, I think!!  I LOVE a long necklace!!
And then it was lunchtime.  I got all fancy and ordered in Quizno's!  ha.
More to come...  in fact, tomorrow, I'll blog on focused thinking and creative thinking will be next.
Stay tuned!!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's time to start this shindig!

So as we are trying to have an art retreat over here.... I am getting these pics of EIGHT college girls at our  condo!  Mary Allison had herself a little getaway! haha.  I am so happy that we have this so she can have this opportunity.  I look forward to my girls having the same opportunity to share it with their friends! 
Sooo... here's the whole crew!!  By now, Suzy (the lumberjack in the plaid on the top right), AnnaLea (bottom right in the corner), and Christy (middle of the back row), have all shown up.  Some people have to work, ya know!
Look at my hands.  I have a new toy!  My phone case has a remote control which fits in the back of it, and can be used for this.....
Oh yeah, baby!  Remote control selfies.  This ain't no amateur art retreat!!

Remember those 1000+ sayings that I printed from Pinterest.  Well, this is likely one of them.
At dinner, we all had the opportunity to get to know each other a little better.  Check out the decorations in the background.  If you recall, last year, Riley made a special request to see the BAH all decked out for Christmas.
Seeing how it was the first weekend in October, I think it was a weeeee bit early for all that action.  So, the house was fall-itized!
Jennifer has been to SIX art retreats.  yep.  I think she wins the award!!  And I can tell it by her work!!  She has really, really shown so much improvement over the years.  She is now one I call and say, "Ok, whatcha wanna make sure I cover in the retreat this time?".  See?  Seniority has its privileges!!  haha.
This was AnnaLea's first one.  She has been wanting to come to one for a while.  I made this past art retreat about half the cost of the usual retreats.  I wanted to be able to attract some of the local yocals who have wanted to attend, but just hadn't made the commitment.  It worked.  We had a FULL room!!
Suzy Ruzy was my special helper.  She helped with set up, take down, send outs, lunch, etc.  She also helps me significantly with the MoJoy Studio in general.  Thanks, Suzy, for believing in me and my vision for bringing creativity to the masses.
I really DO think that anyone can be creative.  If it is not "natural" to you, it has probably been squelched somewhere in your past.  EVERYONE has creativity as a child.  Just some of us keep on playing and some of us are told we aren't that good, or we decide to  be "serious" or act like a grown up.  Well... I am a firm believer that creativity is VITAL to being good at ANYTHING!!  Think of one of your most inspirational heroes... I guarantee he or she is creative.  And I guarantee... you are too!!
We were "Created" by God who "Created" us in HIS image.  So we are CREATIVE beings.

One of the creative things that Jennifer requested was to make a canvas using a gel medium.  Because that requires some drying time, we started that process on Friday night.  It was Sunday before they were totally completed.
This is just inspirational to me.  I LOVE this picture.
This one too!!  This was the calm before the storm.... all this creative space just waiting for the perfect 12 or so women to come and anoint it with new ideas and fresh energy!!
Here's the man of the house, back in his private den, hiding out from all that estrogen.
He is such a trooper!!  And day two... before we started, I was caught on the back porch swing, trying to wake up with a hop cup of joe!  I don't get going til I've had my coffee!!
And so...we continue.  More stories and pictures tomorrow!


Monday, October 20, 2014

MoZart Retreat... October 2014

As previously mentioned, the girlies were escorted to school on this fine Friday by Jennifer and Lisa, two of the MoZart participants!  The girls were more than fine with having some new escorts to take them to school.  Ellie probably gave them a brief history of Drew Elementary, while Gabbi probably told them how Rainbow Dash and Twilight Sparkles (of My Little Pony fame) are going to save the world today.  That's my life, people, in a sentence. 
As the day went on, the ladies started showing up.  These three in the foreground here are all from St. Louis, Missouri.  And ironically, also from Missouri, Kansas City, to be exact, is Nancy, there with them at the table.  She had a good story about making it to the retreat.  I'l tell that one later.
Oh.  There she is.  She wins the PERSISTENCE award!!  When her flight was cancelled from Dallas to Monroe, she just rented herself a car and hit the interstate!!  5 hours (ONE WAY!) later, and Nancy was ready to ROCK!  I am proud of her. I came to learn later in the weekend that this was pretty out of the normal nature.  I was really, really proud that she broke free of that old way and is LIVING out LOUD!!  Way to go, Nancy!
Heeeeere's Dottie!!  Dottie and I share something... we are approaching middle age (ok, ok, I'm there), and we both have two small girls.  We had some good stories to tell!  She is going through a major life change right now, career-wise, and she has taken the summer to do some soul-searching.  This was sort of the culmination to her "break".  I have been providing some one-on-one coaching to her via phone, and I happen to know that she has some cool opportunities coming her way now.  I can't wait to see where Dottie is in a year!!
One of our first activities was to write on each others' backs what our "First Impressions" were of one another.  It was interesting to see what sort of energy we are projecting!  These little stickers were then transferred into our handmade journals, which just happened to be project numero uno!
Lisa, I am sorry if I am wrong about this, but I think this is your fourth MoZart Retreat?  Is that right?  I have watched you learn so much and become SO MUCH more confident in your skills.  Can't wait til the next one!!
Niki and Tensie sort of came as a pair.  Niki has taken a few art classes and orders some of my kits and offerings from time to time.  This was the first time I had the honor of meeting Tensie.
THere's Amber.  She is one of the therapists at my office.  I LOVED that she has been on a personal growth journey as of late, and she just decided that this retreat was something she needed to do for herself!  Way to go, girl!
That's Jamette beside her, in the black jacket.  She also works at my office as a massage therapist.  She, too, is in a period of self-discovery and growth and took the time, as well as spent the money, to invest in herself.  I am awfully glad she did!
As has been customary at most of the retreats of late, we start the event by constructing a handmade journal.  I love it because we can take notes from our discussions in them, can add oooohhhh, one of maybe a thousand Pinterest quotes I have printed off and ready for the taking, and all of our information regarding each participant's individual strengths are printed to fit in the journal.  We also write each other an encouraging note at the end of the weekend in our books.

Once journal time was over, we hit the snack table.  Thank you to Todd the Bod for always being the host with the most!  He buys the groceries, makes the dips, cuts the fruit, and even made us a big ol' pan of jambalaya so everyone could have a bit of a Louisiana experience while visiting.
Lizzie Girl is used to the complete and total chaos of her mama inviting total strangers into her home for the weekend.  Yep, by now, it's just a way of life.

And here you have them... MK, Kelsey's grandmother (if you happen to be a friend of Melanie Massey Physical Therapy on Facebook, then surely you know Kelsey!), is a great seamstress.  She made these journal covers for me exclusively for my retreat.  Inside the front cover is a pocket with a monogrammed, "MoJoy".  How perfect is that?!
There were lots to choose from, and I let each participant pick whichever one inspired them.  These were the lucky chosen!
AHA!  A rare sighting!
And then, with our first lesson on THINKING, we got busy writing in our journals.
Nancy, good ol' Nancy from Kansas City, is all smiles.  I am so glad she made the effort to keep coming and NOT go back when the going got tough!  That is fortitude!  And fortitude pays off. .. in the way of art projects, art retreats, and in LIFE!!
More to come tomorrow on our MoZart Retreat activities.  Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll have  the dates of the next one!  It'll be in January, cause we have some beginning of the year planning to attend to!!
Thanks for reading.