Here we go - a round-up of our 4th and 5th art retreats in Vermont. (Next one is in the spring.)
On the eve of a hard frost, Robin brought her garden flowers from Massachusetts for each of us.
I celebrated my 60th birthday! Meleen, Tammy and Loretta surprised me with all kinds of treats including this garland of hearts collected from each guest and all stitched together!
Tammy's Lemon Pavlova for 15!
We made felt cottages from bundles and bundles of felt and vintage fabrics I brought from my studio.
Old family photos found their way into doors and windows.
Loretta led a fantastic mini-workshop on watercolor sketching the first weekend.
At Tammy's farm, we met 5-day old Lincoln, surprise Indian summer lamb born to Lily. (Well, we didn't really meet him because Lily was wisely determined to stay far away from us. Good mama instincts.)
Tammy made pumpkin whoopie pies for our afternoon farm visits.
Meleen decorated her side-by-side homes with seasonal accents.
Old and new friends for everyone.
Meleen's adored home cooking starts with breakfast. No one misses it - or any other feast. Tammy sends over daily scones and biscotti (and fresh pies for dinner.) And her own honey! She says she has no idea what her bees feast on, but I can tell you, it's sweet and delicious!
Tammy taught us how to make needlefelted acorns and pumpkins the first weekend. The wool we used was from her own fiber flock.
Each weekend, we had the enormous pleasure of a small group discussion with local author, Megan Mayhew Bergman, author of Birds of a Lesser Paradise and the forthcoming Almost Famous Women.
The photo opps and Instagrams were flying! (Search our group pool: #meleenandcharlottesvermontgetaway)
We made felt cottages both weekends as the main craft. Loretta called it journaling with felt. Each one so unique to the maker.
Our sponsors gave us beautiful gifts and goodies.
We had guests who were cousins, sisters, and mothers and daughters as well as lifelong friends from past retreats.
Weekend One left welcome notes for Weekend Two. Lucy brought the idea and notecards. Love that!
Tammy's needlefelted ghosts and folded stars.
Weekend Two and visits from Debbie and Sarah Jane afforded us the chance to learn to spin.
Hmmm. It's hard. Like rubbing your belly and patting your head.
Another local friend, Greer, brought us her homemade maple syrup and told the story of its making. Some of it was still warm in the container from the morning boil.
Tag saling and local adventures start bright and early! Perfect weather for anything.
Always making. Stitching, planning, engineering.
Jenn collected fallen feathers from the chickens at Tammy's farm. She washed and painted them and then made her own raven. Yeah, she really did!
Mended Tammy's 20 year old overalls. (Legend has it she wore them in an article with Mick Jagger.)
Talking, laughing. Porch sitting and stitching in the sun.
Guest artist Nina taught us how to weave-wrap exquisite mermaid hearts.
Trying to remember the timeline of the two back-to-back weekend retreats we just hosted in Vermont is already a challenge, but I've decided that the blur is like the wool spinning through Tammy's fingers. It is somehow all wound up together into an endless magical strand spooling up on the wheel. I can tug at it and unwind bits and think about different moments, but in the end, it's all meant to be part of something bigger. (Have you noticed how much I love the fiber metaphors for our events?) So beautiful in a skein, I want to knit a big sweater out of the whole thing and just wear it every day.
Huge thanks to Meleen and John for sharing their homes with us, to Tammy who brought us to the farm twice for needlefelting and spinning and for baking endless goodies (read her blogpost here), to Debbie and Sarah Jane for teaching us to spin wool from the sheep and goats milling around us, to Greer for her homemade maple syrup and Megan for her insights and wisdom regarding writing, publishing and embracing the lives we lead. Thank you to Loretta for the mini-workshop in watercolor sketching and to Nina for her guest workshop in weaving mermaid hearts. Thanks to the sponsors who showered us with goodies (all detailed in the next post with a GIVEAWAY!).
And most of all, thank you, thank you to everyone who traveled far and wide to attend one or the other of the autumn weekends. You made each one an oversized cozy sweater knitted up with love and laughter to get us through the winter.
I'm wearing mine. Every day. xoxoxo