I've considered for brief moments, recounting this incredible experience taking you from the beginning at day one and working my way in a linear fashion through the retreat sharing lots of details in pictures and words. But what I desire most, is to stay unplugged as much as possible and to share what bubbles up - little fragments of joy.
I've decided to post snippets at irregular intervals. It's what seems right for me. (Note - This is really new for this engineer's daughter to let go of perfection and a carefully calculated plan. Let's see what emerges.)
The next moment that is asking to be shared wasn't on the retreat schedule. It was after lunch one day. I was hanging out in the dining hall with two new friends. We were sharing what we desired most for our careers. Jen said, "All I really want is to ask some people to come over and just lie in the grass with me." Judy Ann lit up and said, "Let's do that right now."
"Yes! Yes! Let's do it!" I encouraged.
The three of us stopped our conversation short and headed for a grassy patch.
Jen picked the spot where we all silently dropped to the ground.
I felt my body sink, deeply supported by the earth. The smell of the grass was fresh and familiar - wisking me back to my childhood. Looking up I watched the blue sky fill with white fluffy clouds.
We were all in the same place where no words were needed.
We eventually rolled around, sat up, and resumed our conversation picking up from where we left off in the dining hall. Our feet came together forming a playful sock mandala with a tuft of grass at the center.
It was truly a beautiful moment. I love the spontenaity and how good it feels to follow an impulse.
Thank you Jen and Judy Ann for a lovely creative joy moment.
Just a quick post to let you all know that I'm unplugging for a little while. I'm heading over to Garrison, NY to attend the Creative Joy retreat with Jen Louden, Marrianne Elliot, and Tracey Clark. We will be exploring what brings us creative joy through writing, yoga, and photography.
I'm so ready for this time to unplug and refuel. I've been feeling stretched to the max.
I'm taking a couple of extra days off after the retreat to savor the experience.
Look for a new blog post the first week in November.
Until then, I hope you find some time to unplug and savor your creative joy.
I love collage! Every time I sit down, I get lost in the pieces of paper and scraps. I easily slip into the creative zone. Today's post features a series of three ATC (Artist Trading Cards) with a common theme: insects.
I gravitated to some orange painted papers and paired them with a true compliment of blue. This little insect looks like he might be skipping across the orange stepping stones.
When working in an abstract layout, it is fun to turn the piece around. I had originally designed this piece in this direction but I like it better facing the other way. What do you think?
The third and final card in the series looks as if the insect is taking a "leap" or flight from the ledge.
It is how I've been feeling these days. Only I've been standing on the ledge for some time. What will it take?
I hope you've enjoyed my little collage play and it inspires you to pull out some scraps of paper and get tearing and gluing.
It isn't a good autumn season until I've had a chance to visit a farm and take in the harvest.
I spied a pick-your-own patch this weekend while heading west on our art studio tour. I knew I had to return there with my camera. I had Monday off from work and the weather was simply perfect - cool, crisp, warm in the sun, and blue bird skies.
In this vast patch of pumpkins, I still find I like to focus on the details.
Nature is a master doodler.
Then we drove out to Lee, NH to Coppal House Farm. I have fond memories of taking my son here to walk the corn maze, ride in a horse drawn wagon, and pick our pumpkins.
I loved how they stacked their pumpkins on bales of straw.
The mums make a striking contrast to the pumpkins.
These days I'm more into cooking with pumpkin than carving it. While I love a beautifully carved pumpkin, I have a hard time not eating them, I love them so. I make a Tibeten pumpkin soup that is so warm and comforting.
At first glance you might not think much of this little flower garden. But let's take a a closer look...
It was studded with gorgeous flowers.
Some were big and showy like this one.
And others were simple yet vibrant.
As you can imagine the bees were in heaven.
What a treat to see so many flowers this late in the season.
I would say it has been a great autumn, I'm feeling satisfied.
One of my favorite things to do is to get into the car and go on an adventure. While we were scouting out studios in the Peterborough, NH area we found ourselves traveling down back roads thickly lined with woods and ...
...stone walls. This is so New England.
We stopped the car at one point to take some photos. I couldn't resist snapping a few shots of the colorful leaves.
This has been an unusual autumn for the colors. Where I live in Southern NH, it is still really green. Some of the trees have dropped all of their leaves, while others next to it will have turned and others will be green. This spotted leaf really captures the spotty nature of this years colors.
I love the simple lines in this leaf and the intense color.
Look a heart in the leaf! As I'm typing this I can also see a white heart in the lower left corner of the photo.
Oooh another heart too! I really do see hearts wherever I go.
I was so happy to see these sweet little flowers this late in the season.
Check out these gorgeous ferns.
Perhaps my favorite photo of the day is this one of the plump, cheery berries.
I've recently had conversations with people who are energized by living in the city. Not me, I feel most alive in a beautiful, natural setting.
Yesterday we had a very special day at Mt. Greylock with my stepmother Nancy.
Nancy had heard many stories of Fernando's love for paragliding. On this outing she finally had a chance to see it first hand.
Although there were few pilots as the weather forecast showed the cloud base would be hanging low over the mountain, there were so many tourists who turned out on this Columbus Day weekend.
People gathered all around Fernando taking photos...
and asking lots of questions. It was fun to see how the crowd followed Fernando as he walked down to spot where he launches. I now tease him that he is a rock star. He was definitely the star attraction.
Here you can see Fernando is all set up and waiting for the wind to be just right.
He begins by facing the wing as it catches the air.
Then he turns and runs toward the edge of the mountain.
Before he gets to the very edge, the wing lifts him up and he is flying. He then tucks his legs into the harness.
In the distance you can see one of his students, Robert who launched moments before Fernando.
I'm often asked if I worry about Fernando when he flies. The way I feel, he has been doing this for 18 years and has taught for 7 years. He is a pro and doesn't take huge risks, so I don't worry about him at all.
I love that Nancy could join us to not only see this beautiful location but observe Fernando's passion.
The tour continues tomorrow, October 13th. She is also participating in the NH Open Doors on November 2 & 3. Swing by her studio those days to see her work and that of Hannah Phelps.
We had so much fun checking out the different artist studios. It gave us lots of ideas for the studio and workshop spaces that we want to build. We were really impressed with how warm and welcoming we found all of the artists. There is so much talent in our little state.
Here's to discovering the artists in our communities and supporting them!
I'm just back from a long weekend excursion to Maryland. I traveled with my sister to visit my cousin. The focal point of our trip was a day trip to Smith Island where my grandparents met. The island is known in the crab industry and my grandfather was a waterman and my grandmother a teacher.
Pictured here is my sister, cousin, and my cousin's daughter-in-law. The boat ride took me back to summer visits with my grandparents. I have fond memories of going out on my PopPop's boat.
I was all smiles when I saw this little sign next to the captain's chair in the boat.
As we approached the island we were greated with a huge stack of traps.
Approximately 360 people live on the island. While locals may have cars, tourists travel by golf cart. We had to walk on the day we visited as the tide was so high that many of the roads were washed out and flooded.
As we walked down the lane I was surprised to see many pomegrante trees growing. The island is also known for the wild figs that grow in the area.
The church is an important part of the life and culture of the island.
As we walked around the cemetery I was amazed at the number of headstones that bear our family name, Evans. The large concrete slabs on top of the graves keep the remains in place. It was high tide when we visited and I noticed how squishy the ground was under our feet.
Our visit included eating soft shell crab sandwiches and Smith Island cake. These cakes are made of 8 - 15 thin layers of cake. It began in the 1800s, the women would make these cakes to send out with the waterman on the autumn oyster harvest. The typical cake is the yellow cake with a cooked fudge frosting. The bakers started using the fudge frosting in place of buttercream as it lasted longer. We sampled the classic one with fudge frosting, coconut, and orange. Our table all agreed we liked the coconut one the best.
We picked up the boat and were dropped off in Crisfield, Maryland the crab capital of the world.
There was no mistaking how important the crab industry is to this area.
I had heard so much about Smith Island over the years and had even visited the island with my grandparents as a child. It was curious to return to this island to see where my PopPop was from. I wouldn't recommend adding it to your bucket list of places to travel. It is an extremely poor community that has very little to offer a tourist. I was struck by the simple life and returned home feeling so very grateful for my lifestyle.
Overall the trip was filled with lots of laughs and great food. My cousin and her husband truly know the meaning of hospitality.
Thank you for swinging by! CollageDiva.com is my blog where I share my love for life and creativity. I'm passionate about mandalas, collage making and mixed media, art journaling, photography, and connecting with people all over the world through blogging and social media.
"Collage Diva", "True North Arts", "Paper Ninja Arts" and the photos, text and artwork that appear on this site are property of Kathryn Costa. All rights reserved. Content on this site may not be reproduced in any manner without written permission. Contact me via e-mail with any requests for permissions. Thank you.
PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE:
In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.