Friday, August 29, 2008

Theatre of Dreams

The highlight of highlights of my ZNE experience was Monday afternoon when a small group of us headed north from Pleasanton to the very tiny little village of Port Costa, California, to the Theatre of Dreams belonging to the amazing Wendy Addison. I don't know where to start or really what to say about our visit! Wendy was a delight----warm, welcoming, approachable, generous and fun. She made us at home in her amazing shop and work space, shared some of her creations with us, showed us her book in the works (Theatre of Dreams, of course!) and then bought us all a drink at the amazing Warehouse Cafe . Wendy opens her shop only six times a year, I understand, and very rarely by special arrangement (like our visit). If you ever get the chance, GO.

Since I can't possibly describe the experience, I am hoping that some of these photos will give you a little taste of how encompassing it was, how Wendy has created a magical place that makes you feel you've gone somewhere off the map. The following shots were taken in Wendy's workshop.
Wendy Addison, above and belowWendy's sales assistant for our visit, Peaches O'Brien (she of the wicked sense of humor and kind heart).

Chelise Stroud Hery and Wendy Addison

Lovey lady, I think her name is Patty! Note the divine star tiara....she wears it so well.
Below, letters Wendy printed with her letterpress and antique type, that are soon to be incorporated into a banner for my studio.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

ZNE ConvenZioNE

I am in Pleasanton, California for the ZNE ConvenZioNE, and I'm having a ball. ZNE is a mixed media artists' group to which I belong, and this past weekend has been the first convenZioNE. I can't believe how well it all came off as I know how hard it is to make something like this work at all, let alone work so very, very well. My hat is off to Chel (Chelise Stroud Hery), our fearless "Queen of ZNE" for making this dream of hers into a wonderful, exciting reality for so many people.

Pleasanton turns out to really be Pleasant Town! It's charming and full of great restaurants, wonderful little shops, art galleries, tree-lined streets, flower baskets brimming with late summer color everywhere and very nice people. It seems like a quintessential small American town (in all the good ways!). The only downside is that it's hot! Too hot for me!During our stay an old car meet was in progress and we saw some amazing hot rods and restored old cars. My only complaint was that they were hogging all the good parking places at both my hotel and in the downtown area! (Yes, whine, whine, whine...that's me!)
Dean's Cafe is home to the world's largest omelet menu. There must be well over 250 different omelet choices on their menu. I had the little smoky sausage with avocado and can vouch for their good food! It's a must stop on any visit to Pleasaanton.And Baci for lunch or dinner was divine. Beautiful surroundings and amazing food. Try the berry salad with feta. Friday evening I was finally able to see the documentary 1000 Journals. The film is by Andrea Kreuzhage and it's wonderful. In 2006 I was filmed by Andrea about ArtFest, the 1000 Journals Project and journaling and such as I had not worked in one of the journals at that time. I found the whole being filmed process awful and I was horrible. (I am not being modest, only honest. I sucked!) Happily, I didn't make it into the film, but my town did as Andrea used some film of the ferry to Kingston. It was lovely to see Andrea again and she surprised the socks off my by not only remembering my name, but where I lived. She must have filmed thousands of people for the film and she either has the best memory of anyone I have ever met or I really was that horrible on film and I scarred her for life with my inane babblings and my troll-like visage! Whatever it was, she is a warm and charming woman and it was a real pleasure to see her again.
Above is pictured one of the 1000 journals that Andrea brought along to the film screening. I think it was #576.

I took a class from DJ Pettitt on Saturday that was amazing. We did collage on fabric and I now have a piece that will be used to make a book cover. I can hardly wait to make back cover using DJ's techniques and then put the book together. I am happy with my work and had an absolute ball in class. If you ever get a chance to take one of DJ's classes, don't hesitate. She's a wonderful teacher, funny, fun and nice.

I have had the best time at the ZNE ConvenZioNE. There will be another next April.....hmmmmm......and let's give Chel a 21 gun salute for the wonderful weekend she created for one and all.

PS I miss you, Tiffany, my new friend. You were one of the very best parts of the whole shebang. Take care and keep in touch.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guemes Island Trip

The Four "S"es went to Guemes Island and stayed in The Little Yurt in the Big Woods. And had a wonderful time! Susan found a little resort on Guemes that had cabins and yurts for rent. We opted for a 20 foot in diameter yurt and it turned out to be a wonderful choice. We were very comfortable, the yurt was fun and cozy and a grand time was had by all.
Our first stop on the trip north to Guemes was the Snow Goose produce stand, on the road to La Conner from Conway. Besides selling some really great ice cream cones, Snow Goose offers lots of produce, packaged jams and honeys, a selection of cheese and my favorite, Indian Candy (belly strips of smoked King salmon). Ummmmmmmm....yummy! I would really rather eat Indian Candy than real candy!The two Sandy/Sandi's shopping at Snow Goose.

Our next stop was the Rexville Grocery, also on the road to La Conner. If you ever have a chance, do stop in at Rexville as they offer a mind boggling selection of import foods---and cheese---and wine. It's a fun and funky place and well worth a look. The planter box out in front of Rexville Grocery is always cheerfully planted and inside you will find several shelves of hot sauces from all over the world....

Then we headed north and west to Anacortes for lunch. I insisted that we eat at Adrift, my new most favorite place in Anacortes to eat. (I commented on Adrift in an earlier post, please see hyperlink above.) I love everything about Adrift, even the menu's bad puns. See below:After lunch we headed to the Guemes Island ferry (located right down at the north end of town, just a few short blocks west of Commercial) and had a short wait before our five minute crossing. The Guemes Island Resort is at the north end of the island and it's a lovely little spot, sheltered by tall, tall trees. There are small cabins and four yurts, a rocky beach for walking, small skiffs and kayaks for the guests' use and a friendly and helpful staff. It's low key and just our style and we felt at home immediately. and believe me, we made ourselves at home in our yurt in very short time. I have to be honest and admit the that four of us do not travel lightly! It's not that we all pack a lot of clothes, but we do have our comforts....liquor, wine, cheese, smoked salmon, grapes, tomatoes, crackers and on and on and on. And games and books and gifts for each other. We never did play a game and no one sat around reading during out two day stay as we were too busy chatting and walking on the beach and exploring the island.

Our Little Yurt in the Big Woods.

Susan and Sandy explore our new "home.

The view from the beach, early morning.

We spent one day just roaming about the island. We went to the cemetery and looked at all the old gravestones. (Earliest birth date I found was 1839!) We had a huge breakfast at Anderson's Grocery and checked out all the goodies available there. Would you believe Mexican chocolate?! We found a beautiful little valley, lush and green, with a scenic barn and ripening blackberries.

We even found a crow tree!

And there are signs that autumn is around the corner----leaves turning bright colors, rose hips swelling large and just beginning to color up and the blackberries are almost ready.

I am so grateful to have these warm, loving, funny, kind and giving women in my life. We have such fun, we talk of so many subjects, we have so many points of view and life experiences to share and we like each other so much. They are just the best. I hope, Dear Reader, that you have friends who are as dear to you as these wacky women are to me.