Monday, 29 November 2010

Wonderful Weekend!

Things have conspired against me during November, and yet I have also had some amazing and exciting things happen. It has all been a bit of a roller coaster....
I won't dwell on the downs. A friend saw this on a teeshirt: 'Get Mad and Give Up' and suggested this was an alternative to my 'Keep Calm and Breath Slow' approach. But I'm not one to give up, so I got mad and moved on. Atleast, I tried to!
Friday should have started on a real high. I was off work for 5 days with the prospect of visiting an old friend for lunch, then going on to Belstead House for a 3 day creative residential. Bliss!! However it got off to a bad start with me not knowing what to take. Some of you will know what I mean. Not only WHAT to take but HOW MUCH? In the end I decided to take as much as I thought I'd need.

Trouble is, it took so long to pack and organise myself I was much later arriving at my friend's home than planned, so I was very frustrated with myself. I'd so looked forward to this time with Helen. We'd not seen each other for 6 years, since she moved to Suffolk. Both busy working it is sometimes difficult to make time, but it was like we'd seen each other yesterday! That's the great thing about special friends. We had so much to catch up on, but on this occasion so little time to do it. However, we have agreed not to leave it so long in future and we are already planning things for next year. I left Helen's with a warm glow.

I do wish this lasted! Belstead House is only a short drive from Helen's, but an hour later I was STILL driving in the dark trying to find my way. I was looking forward to unpacking my car and getting settled for the weekend! Instead I was feeling more and more frustrated and just when my patience was running out I came across a garage and asked for directions. Luckily I was just 5 minutes away, and what a wonderful feeling when I finally found this sign!

I was given a warm welcome by Moira Neal, the tutor for this residential. I found a free table and lost no time unpacking. The other students were very friendly and it wasn't long before the bell rang for dinner. The food was excellent. SO welcome after the frustrations of the day. We all decided we wanted the recipe for the pea and mint sauce, and it was lovely to relax over the meals and get to know each other more.

Over the weekend Moira taught us new techniques and how to make embellishments and fabric paper. We got lovely and messy with glue and paper, there was much laughing as we jostled for space and glitter. No, some women never outgrow this!!

As well as trying new ideas, such as an album bound with bamboo sticks, and machine embroidery, I managed to complete two mini albums that I'd been working on, two new ones and experiment with some new ideas. I was very pleased with my fabric paper and this will be further worked on . It will be made into a wallet, to hold one of the mini albums I finished. I will show you this another time, and I have other ideas I want to share too. All for later.

Oh, this bed was SO welcome at the end of the day. I had been exhausted and yet the excitement of having my 'stuff' spread out and being in a room filled with other buzzing women made it hard to leave. When I did drag myself away it was to a cosy room and a good book, 'The Christmas Cookie Club'. Quite an appropriate read, since is is about a group of women who meet to share cookies and stories.

There is something very special about what women
do when they

Despite the frosty weather which provided some great opportunities for photos, the apmosphere inside was warm and womderful. I made some lovely new friends. We shared ideas and interests, and I discovered 3 of the women live in my area. We have made plans to meet up and do some creative work together. Good things are stirring.....

Belstead Babes!

Before I finish you might be interested in two new e-courses I am signed up to. 'Inspiration Everywhere' is a free 10 day class run by Jessica Sprauge and it is suitable for everyone interested in creating. Today I have made a quick cover for my journal. Like many of us I am juggling balls and have little time for all the things I would like to be doing. And these courses are proving a good learning curve for me. I can either work myself to a frenzy and give up, not even start it because it feels too much; or I can do the best I can, and be good enough. So that is what I'm doing. I am using it in other areas of my life too and it's great to meet other woman who struggle with the same choices. I am also taking part for the first time in 'Journal your Christmas'. Another of Shimelle Laine's courses, these are always amazing value and learning experiences. Looking forward to meeting up on the forum with friends old and new. I have to start getting my album and papers together. Again I shall keep it simple, because I know there will be lots to do during December. Christmas is fast approaching!!

Hope you are enjoying your own preparations for the season, and not feeling too cold. So far the snow has missed me a part from a brief fall while at Belstead. It added to our excitement and more photo oppoprtunities!

Despite my lack of postings in recent weeks (there hangs a l-o-n-g) story, I have enjoyed visiting blogs and keeping up with what is going on. I have lots of news and things to share but little time. So I may just pop in here and there, rather than wait for time to do a big blog. As I keep reminding myself, sometimes I can only do my best!

Enjoy your week :)
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