wow, i don't even know how to begin describing the class i took last weekend at valley ridge with nina bagley. to be honest, i didn't even remember what the class was about. i just knew that nina was teacing and that i wanted to spend time with her again. little did i know that i would receive the most wonderful burst of creativity and inspiration.
valley ridge in itself is a magical place. there is an old farmhouse with several outbuildings and a wonderful garden, surrounded by rolling hills and grasses. i always feel a sense of peace when i go there.
our class was focused on creating small houses out of mica, using branches as stilts to support our homes.
aren't these lovely? they are nina's examples. we had three days to create and transform our own villages. it was so nice and relaxing. basically we received most of our instruction the first day, but the extra two days of inspiration and freedom to create under nina's guidance were invaluable. for me, it was wonderful not to have to soak up a ton of rapid fire instructions. i couldn't sleep the first night, trying to come up with ways to alter the house structure. i wasn't alone. the other students had the same problem. everyone was working together, sharing and coming up with new ideas. the class was great. i've never been with such a fabulous group. i enjoyed each and every one of them. these are the houses we created on the first day.
i stayed at a motel with one of my friends, sue, and loved being able to spend more time with her and get to know her better. i think the theme of the weekend for me was "don't rush". we didn't rush off to breakfast because sue is not a breakfast person. so we started with a leisurely morning (since i get up so early all the time). a couple of times i went out to get coffee, other days i just had some fruit and tea in my room. we stayed closer to the studio than i usually do, so we had a relaxed drive off to the studio every day, through beautiful countryside. we ate at the same great family restaurant each night, which was amazingly inexpensive. wow, i think i'm running out of superlatives.
michael, sue and i visited our break spot outside kathy's studio.
here are some of our finished houses, all lit up with wee white lights. the walls are mica, so the imagery just glowed.
and more finished houses with our lovely nina.
when i left, i woke up in the wee hours to drive to a retreat center in
michigan. keeping the "don't rush" lesson in mind, i had to keep
stopping along the way to capture the changing morning. i was treated
to a beautiful sunrise, and then the wonders of the rising mist.
the story of the retreat will have to wait another day
for those at nina's class, i uploaded all my images to my flickr account.