Ok, so as you know, I like to ask my retreaters to do a guest blog post when the weekend is over. I just sort of mentioned this to my tribe this weekend, and ta daaaaah.... Lisa has already sent hers to me! I guess I shouldn't be the least bit surprised! I also asked them each to take a strengths test prior to coming, and we talked a lot about our areas of giftedness over the weekend. Lisa has as her number one strength, "Achiever". And in her top five are also Consistency, Discipline and Responsibility! She, therefore, is very systematic in her routines and likes to see things completed! And thus... a blog post two days after she leaves West Monroe. Complete with attached photos, I might add!! (I just can't figure out how to move them down into her text.)
Keyhooks made by Sami and Lisa.
ANd I mean, seriously... could you GET a more perfect shade of blue in those clouds?! I mean, really!
Below... find Lisa's words:
Is This Orange?Let me start by saying I never considered myself artsy. I "did art" when forced to in art class. My entire house has white walls adorned with only a few family photos. (For full disclosure, I do not like to write either.) However, since the first blog Melanie wrote regarding a retreat, I have wanted to attend. It was the first thing on my bucket list – actually I don’t really have a bucket list but I always intended to start one and a Mojoy art retreat was the first thing I thought I would put on it.Thus, earlier this winter when Melanie mentioned a late winter retreat, I decided it was time to attend. I had been trying to attend earlier ones but was waiting for my daughter to be able to attend as well. Back at Christmas, she told me to go ahead on my own as her college schedule, volunteer work, etc. was continuing to conflict. I emailed Melanie and gave her some good times for me in March (saying it would just be me) and by coincidence she picked the weekend of March 22nd – the first weekend of Sami’s spring break. When I realized it, I immediately called Sami and she was ecstatic! Now we could go together. I guess it was just meant to be – the moment we stopped planning to go together, it worked out that we could do so. And, to prove it was the right moment, the arrival time into Monroe of the flight I booked was 11:11am!Arriving at Melanie’s Home: We texted Melanie our ETA while enroute. Of course, she messaged back a cute photo of Jennifer (repeat retreater) and her. Sami took a photo of us to send back. The fun had begun. Arriving at the BAH was surreal – I felt odd knowing, but not knowing, Melanie. However, within 3 minutes she made us feel so comfortable I felt completely at ease --- that big hug helped!The retreat: Now it seems like one big blur of fun - art, personal growth, art, personal growth, … with continuous enriching interactions with all my fellow retreaters. I was overwhelmed at times trying to “organize” the artsy spirit into my normal sequential and regimented mode of operation. This often led me into some crazy scenarios --- like the title suggests. Yes, while trying to find the perfect bright orange paint, I did actually ask “Is This Orange?” As Melanie had covered much color finder info, my question did seem especially wacky (and believe me that this wasn’t the only one)! Of course to me, I just wanted to be sure I wasn’t choosing yellowy orange, or peachy orange, or burnt orange, or who knows all the shades of orange. Shall I mention a few more "special" reactions: freaking out when mixing paint thus ruining the perfect single colors in each perfect little palette space, reluctantly ripping a beautiful new sheet of scrapbook paper (my facial expression was supposedly quite hilarious), "dirtying" a clean stamp pad when inking edges of nice clean paper, ..... Though these reactions showed my initial uncomfortableness "drawing outside the lines," I feel I really ended up taking to it - my hands were a proud mess of vibrant inks, paints, sprays, etc!!!My absolute favorite activities were the key necklaces we created with specially selected stones, trinkets, and chains in the new Mojoy Studio and the mixed media canvas created in that awesome BAH art studio.If you are thinking of attending a retreat, do GO! I flew from New Jersey to Monroe, drove to Arkansas to get Sami and then drove back to Monroe, and finally we both flew back to NJ for the remainder of her spring break. And, the retreat was worth every minute of the time and money we invested. The main reason, beyond all else, was Melanie and our fellow retreats and all those who helped out in making our weekend special. A brief one-liner on each.Twilight Sparkles - She's a beauty but extremely active (at least to me, a non-pet person). Scared the jeepers out of me a few times. She sensed my uncomfortableness and thus "liked" me - sat on my chair, sat on my table spot, etcLizzie – laid-back and calm, thus perfect to me.
Jennifer – repeat retreater generous with her experience and observations – loved her key necklace!
Suzy – art teacher graciously sharing her expertise and suggestions – loved her key holder!
Jessica – sweet young lady who was inspiring to watch create – loved her bracelet!
The wonderful family who came by to drop off a delicious Louisiana-style Saturday lunch!
Chrissy (and her mom) – made sure we all had every grocery possible! And Chrissy also expertly directed Sami and I to the special dinner and nearest gas station, and explained with great precision the exact route back to the airport for the next morning!
JinJin – it was wonderful to meet the matriarch of this lovely family; thank you JinJin for raising such a special daughter and terrific entire extended family!
Ellie & Gabbi & Todd’s parents– the girls are even more beautiful and adorable in person, though quite shy given the new folks invading their home! What wonderful grandparents to take the girls for the entire weekend!
Jessi - Mo’s right hand and an exceptionally kind-hearted and fun person finally able to participate in (rather than only arrange) a retreat – loved her mixed media canvas!
(and her handy hubby who came to the rescue when a component in Mo’s air conditioning system shorted-out or something like that!)
Mo – as Sami would say a DFTBA-er (fans of John Green will understand)! The list of adjectives is way too long, but she is one-of-a-kind, with a radiant spirit, loving demeanor, creative soul, ….. – loved everything she made! Thank you all!!! Thank you Melanie!!!
Sami, what can I say --- thank goodness we went --- thank goodness we went together --- another momma/daughter adventure we will always cherish!