I was lucky enough this year to go back to Connecticut in May to spend a weekend taking classes with Dina Wakley at Papercraft Clubhouse. She came to teach in May 2014 just before I moved to Chicago and I got to go then and loved it so much that I couldn't resist going back for more!
First up, I'm a notorious over-packer for artsy weekends. This time, I think I did a pretty good job! Since I'd taken classes with her before, I had a good idea of what I would and wouldn't use.
All of Dina's paints and brushes, of course! Lots of stencils, art journals, ink pads, stamps, etc...
I flew out on Thursday to be there for class on Friday morning, but in order to get a half-way decent price on my flight I had to take a super early plane out and stop both ways. For some reason, that particular weekend was way more expensive than usual! Figures, right? But this was the view out my window from my 6am flight out of O'Hare. Gorgeous!
Finally I made it to Hartford and picked up my car (I got one for like $10 a day! Score!) and headed down to Westbrook to do some shopping... had to beat the crowds, right?
Class started on Friday morning and since I was staying with Tracie (thanks again Tracie!) I got to go with her early to pick up Dina and help get the classroom set up. I was surprised that Dina remembered me from last year with all the people she meets! Anyway, Friday's class was called "My Face Book" and is her in-person version of her online class "Facing the Facts."
We learned lots of different techniques for drawing faces including basic face mapping, techniques for making it artsy, using non-traditional tools, and all kinds of fun things (and she gave away some of her demo pages at the end of class - I got to take home the one she's holding in the picture above! It's hanging in my studio :)
Here are some of the faces I did in class (we did about 10 to get us started on our #onehundredfaces journey.)
At the end of class we all went around and showed a few of our pages from the day. It's always interesting to me how we all see the same demo, learn the same technique, and have mostly the same supplies and yet everything comes out so different! I had a lot of fun with this class.
Saturday we had two classes: Random by Design and Watercoloring with Acrylics. In typical me fashion, I forgot to get any pictures of the demos in either of them (it's not just when I'm teaching!) In Random by Design we were learning different design principles and techniques behind Dina's seemingly random page placements. This was very cool and I love all four of the pages that we did.
Then in the Watercoloring with Acrylics class, we learned how to mimic watercolors with our acrylic paints. This was super fun too... and of course, I loved these pages as well!
After class on Saturday, a group of us went to a Chinese place in Old Saybrook for dinner and good conversation. I was pretty excited that they had Walnut Chicken on the menu. I haven't had it forever and it's delicious! Their recipe added soy sauce to the walnut sauce - it was a nice twist!
Finally, Sunday morning we had a shorter class called "Creature Feature" where we learned different techniques for putting animals into our work.
First up, we learned how to take a picture of an animal (a photo or whatever we wanted) and turn it into a painting. I just used the fox that Dina gave us since I thought he was pretty cute and I wanted to use her new copper paint.
Then we learned this one - another riff on the technique of taking a really messed up or overdone page and turning it into something awesome with some paint, transfer paper, and a Stabilo All pencil.
This last one is probably my favorite page from the whole weekend... I absolutely LOVED the deli paper we made in this class to do this page - I've been using it since I got home too. (Must make some more!)
That was it! After everyone cleared out I brought my suitcase in from the car so I could re-pack. Once that was done, Patty and I went over to Christy's for the obligatory pancake for lunch (they're delicious and the size of the plate!) Wouldn't you know it? They had bacon pancakes. (They were so good I got it again when I went back last weekend!)
Finally it was time for me to head back to the airport. Another connection in DC (I almost never have to connect going to and from Hartford. bleh!) And finally, this was my view on the way home at about 11pm.
So there you go! I'm so glad that I was able to go... I had so much fun. I learned a lot, had a great time seeing friends and familiar faces, and of course, I always enjoy being able to shop! (I'd say we need a store like that in Chicago, but then I wouldn't have such a good excuse to go back so often! Although I'm sure I would anyway... lol.) Hopefully I'll get to go back next year for round three :)