Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lei Day, 2017

Happy May Day to you!

White-flowered shrub with dark purple leaves was next to a lime green hedge at the Marriott – very striking!
 
From Wikipedia: “Lei Day is a statewide celebration in all of Hawaii. The celebration begins in the morning of May first every year and continues throughout the entire day and even continues onto the next day. Lei day was established as a holiday in the year of 1929 and continues to this day. Each Hawaiian island has a different type of lei that is used for the celebration and for its people to wear.”

Photo credit: http://www.okclipart.com/Maile-Lei-Clip-Art30susccuzj/

That’s pretty accurate. I think the lei for Kauai is maile, which is a sweet-smelling vine that grows in the forest. We get it on special occasions, like our wedding or to honor a special teacher. Schools typically have May Day celebrations with hula and song. The private school I used to work for would prepare for about 3 months in advance and each grade performed a hula or song in full costume.

On Kauai, Lei Day is put on by the Kauai Museum and is a lei-making competition. It’s been more or less fun over the years. Last year was kind of bogus because they put the lei on silent auction and folks were taking them as they won, so many were missing by the time we got there. This year the leis could not be taken until 4 p.m.

This year the museum courtyard is under construction, so they held it over at the Marriott. WOW! So much better all around. The Marriott has wide open spaces, great organization, a fabulous garden, and welcoming staff. They also have an outstanding collection of oriental art and sculpture.


  We used to hold final class dinners at the Princeville Hotel in its baroque days and one of the German ladies got sniffy about how decadent and bourgeois it was. (And it definitely was! but it was pretty funny because we were all lapping it up.) The Marriott is completely decadent and bourgeois and I truly enjoy going there.







In general, the judges tend to favor these fluffy multi-flower lei. 


My friend Jennifer Pomroy is the granddaughter of Irmalee Pomroy, a noted floral designer and lei maker here on Kauai (now passed). Her son Ka’ohu won an award for this distinctively different lei. He is 15 now. This hala seed lei is rarely seen or worn – usually associated with funerals, but occasionally used as an adornment for hula.


  Hat lei are a special category of their own.


Ti leaf lei – the one at the top is a very old type – instead of narrow pieces of leaf woven or tied together, it had larger end pieces of the leaves, bound on raffia. I was very taken with that one.





White. The pikake buds in the bottom lei were smaller than my little fingernail and it was a solid round cord lei. They smelled divine.




These lehua buds were even smaller than the pikake buds, and it was made up of multiple strands. These are sewn with a needle.




I was really taken with this one, because it was so different from the others. Made from the calyx (calyxes?) of gardenias, very fluffy.
 






 


   
Many people got dressed up and were wearing flowers. These ladies and their lei were so pretty, I asked them if I could take their picture. The lei were all made by Sandy Takaezu, the lady on the left. They are blue jade flowers from her property in the Wailua Homesteads. The part that looks like a purple-blue bead is the calyx of the individual flower. These are needle sewn.











She was the most gracious lady. I made her laugh because I kept checking behind me to make sure I wasn’t bumping into anyone when I was taking the picture. I learned from the Dragon Dance!

On the way out, we saw these doves, nene geese, and a swan (or a duck? not sure) feeding by one of the ponds with koi. They were not at all afraid of us, we walked right up to them. The doves were flicking seeds out to the koi.



 
I’m not sure if this was a swan or a duck. It came right up out of the water to eat these greens. I was imagining that part of the chef’s duties: “cut greens for water birds.” The nene geese are the endangered state bird of Hawaii. These were truly tame. Usually they hiss if you get too close to them.


Ah, the Marriott, built on a truly grand scale. The columns are about 4 feet in diameter and 2 stories tall.
 

  
Matt always sneaks in a picture or two of me. I was neither dressed up nor wearing flowers, but at least I was clean. This is a characteristic pose of mine, with my handbag safely tucked under my arm. The oriental painting in the background is at least 10 feet tall, stunning.








I didn’t take any of him, but here’s one from a while ago, when he said to me, “Look honey, it’s the Bead Hut.” This is where we had lunch afterward. It’s one of our favorite local places, really good burgers and very consistent over the years.




Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Tale of 2-1/2 Tails, or Possessed by a Different Mermaid

Last year I started a new mermaid, inspired by a beautiful face created by Darcy Rosner of Sweet Bananaberry. Mermaids are known to possess one or all of three outstanding attractive features: long and luscious hair, large tatas (breasts), and an enticing tail.

I usually start with the tatas, but Leilehua started with her face. Once the face is attached to the doll, she comes to life and begins to share opinions about how she should look and what colors she likes. Even though the face is securely bezeled with 24K gold seed beads and tiny crystals, it will remain tied down until the front is completely finished. I've had too many faces pop out of their bezels while I was working on the rest of the body.

leilehua beaded mermaid dollWhen I finished her upper body, I wasn't happy. I thought to myself, "This doll is really derivative. There is nothing original about her. " Derivative of what? Well, ME, and a dozen other mermaids I've made. Definitely recognizable as my "style" - pretty face, unusually small but flashy tatas, mixed fiber hair embedded with freshwater pearls, plenty of 24K gold. She's pretty, and other folks liked her, but I was really discouraged and felt like I was just repeating myself, which is essentially boring


So she sat in a ziploc bag for a while. She's sat in a bag a lot over the last year.

I switch back and forth from more-or-less improvisational bead embroidery to doing highly structured and counted bead weaving, often from another artist's pattern. Each process can be done with focused intention, and each is a relief from the other. I've always like Chinese lacquered and articulated fish ornaments and Linda Richmond made a pattern to bead one. It was great fun, I made it in a couple of different colorways, adapting it to the beads I had on hand.


I tested some original designs for a beaded pinwheel and made two Kaleidocycles.


 Every once in a while I'd get Leilehua out and feel stymied by how "derivative" she was. Talk about your inner critic! We are our own harshest judges. My husband recently suggested I could think of her differently, perhaps as being the culmination of a long series of increasingly accomplished dolls. OK, maybe.

One day I was thinking about - all right, PRAYING for inspiration - what would make her different and more interesting. The obvious answer was an articulated bead-woven tail. And off I went, starting with a top "skirt" around the body. That looked a bit scruffy at the back, so I gave her a chiffon veil to tie it in. I then made five more "skirts," decreasing in size.

In Linda Richmond's original fish pattern the tail end was flat, done in brick stitch. It looked great with her fish, but I'm not fond of brick stitch and decided to design my own tail using peyote stitch and make it 2-sided to increase its depth. I finished half of one side and decided it just didn't go with the body.

My final tail fin is livelier and has more dimension. It's a lovely tail.


When I tried to put the tail segments together, they didn't work at all! They completely nested together instead of rising in tiers. I was almost in tears myself at that point. I tried various ways of tacking the tops to narrow them, none of which worked. Back into the bag she went!

A few weeks ago I took her out again. She was prettier than I remembered and I decided to make her a new tail, bead embroidered instead of woven. Starting from her hip size, I drew out the new tail and laid it out. I didn't have any felt the same color as the body, so I decided to make it fuschia and tie in the body colors. It seemed a bit large from the beginning, but Leilehua kept saying she liked it.


When it was done, it was obviously out of scale and belonged to some other mermaid. Back into the bag with Leilehua and the new mermaid began to come into being.

                                                The story continues with Sophia...












Saturday, February 7, 2015

Where is Your Pearl?

"In the garden by the sea, raking up diamonds for you and me" ~ Pocket Crown
Finding Healing

I broke my fibula (small long bone in lower leg) and sprained ribs on the opposite side just before Christmas, 2014. I slipped on some mud on a trail and ended up in a big pig wallow. Boy, was I muddy! After some initial swearing and frustration over my own stupidity and the ruin of our lovely plans for an afternoon of plein air painting, and with the assistance of 2 sticks and my daughter and husband, I hopped back out to the road and our car. I kept saying to myself, “It’s not broken, it’s not broken, it didn’t happen, it’s NOT broken.” We went straight to the hospital emergency room (35 miles away) and found that it was cracked, but not displaced, and I would not need surgery. “A lucky break,” is how the doctor characterized it.

Well, I’ve always been lucky, but I didn’t feel that lucky right then when I was covered with mud and in a lot of pain.

Primary medical advice was to simply rest, ice, and elevate my leg as much as possible for the next 6-8 weeks. Good advice, and I did that a lot, but I was not going to leave it at that when I know so many alternative healing tools.

The first thing I did was to ask for healing help from all the shamans and healing circles I knew around the world. When I had a follow-up x-ray 10 days later, there was no sign of a crack that had clearly been there just days before. The doctor denied that my leg could heal this fast. “Bones just don’t heal that fast.” I refused to believe this.

I did a lot of conscious breathing and relaxation. I would breathe in healing energy and breathe out with focus on my leg, or imagine the healing flowing in the top of my head and down through my entire body. This was usually effective for diminishing pain, at least for short periods of time. Another effective pattern was to breathe in with my focus on the pain and out with my focus outside my body, usually into wood.

I made friends with my boot/cast and my walker and harmonized their use. I watched funny movies and laughed a lot, even when it hurt my ribs.


I've had some interesting garden journeys around healing this leg and ribs. First off, I had the "Knitting Ladies" return. They were my healers years ago and can knit almost anything back together, including relationships. There are 3 of them and they are good friends. Someone on the Hunatics Facebook group had teeth problems and someone else called in the "Big Bone Dudes" to help, so I asked them in, too. I love those Dudes! They’re a lot of fun and they get along great with the Knitting Ladies. What a party they've been having in my garden!



I got sort of alarmed that I was feeling out of control, shattered, emotionally unstable, and weepy every day. That's not like me and I didn't seem to be able to do anything about it. I breathed, did Dynamind, clung to my 1-minute belief, and mentally redirected my thoughts over and over, but it didn't seem to take. I’d get over it eventually and the next day, the same thing would happen.

 One day I nearly fell over and realized that I was "off balance" both physically and emotionally. For some reason I found that awareness comforting. I wasn’t completely losing it; I was just off balance. Being "off-balance" is hard for a Libra!

I asked Serge about it during Shaman Circle in Second Life and he suggested letting it sweep over me, and then going into my garden to do symbol change work.



I did that the next time it happened. As I walked into my garden along the familiar path, I saw a lot of signs - in Japanese! These turned to English after I laughed and said that this was my garden after all, the signs should be in French or English, languages I can read. All the signs said positive things like "You are healing well!" "You are much loved" "Your leg isn't broken anymore!" "Everything’s working out perfectly!" and “You’re strong!”



So I was getting signs, I just wasn't reading them correctly.



When I went into my garden, all was well and calm, sunny and warm. It was tidy and lush, and a menehune was beckoning to me from my healing hut. I went in and lay down on a cool, ti-leaf covered punee and asked for a symbol of my current state. I got a Brillo pad! Brillos are a tightly coiled wire scrubbing pad with soap inside, pretty heavy-duty. What a tangle! I’ve certainly been wound up. I changed that into a mink massage mitt. (Later I related it to "scrubbing bubbles," which is what my leg feels like when I send healing energy to it - it feels fizzy, like carbonated soda pop.)



Then I heard a voice saying "Where is your pearl? Find your pearl and put it on." So I made my way out of my garden, in search of my pearl, literally. I'm a kind of literal gal.



About 10 years ago, a dear friend gave me a beautiful Tahitian pearl that she'd bought from Aloha International as a donation. I have always worn this pearl since then, only taking it off for massages, and usually putting it back on immediately afterward. When I went into the Emergency Room after I broke my leg, I took it off because I was going to have a chest x-ray. I put it safely in the pocket of my purse and didn't put it back on when I got home. I thought of it several times and still didn't put it back on.

 I immediately went to my purse and got out the pearl and put it on. I felt a sense of well-being that hasn't diminished since, and I have been much better balanced and less weepy and out of control. I also felt more energetic and walked a few steps without crutches the next day.



Again, I shared this feedback with Serge in Shaman Circle. His input was that there could be a deeper level of meaning, too. "Mary Kelly wrote a book about the "Path of the Pearl", in which she said the pearl begins with an irritation/problem and the oyster turns it into a thing of beauty/transformation. So, maybe, the question could also be about how you are turning this problem into something that you maybe can learn from and share with others."



I have done that, and offer some practical tips for post-injury care in a previous post.

 I have also thought about the pearly blessings I've received from this injury:

1. My loving husband has taken beautiful care of me, and our relationship is stronger and more loving than ever.

2. My dependence on him has taught me that my worth is not dependent on what I can DO.

3. My friends have been loving and supportive.

4. I have learned to ask for and accept help and healing.

5. I've had the time and space to design and bead many different prototypes for a new product line.

6. I've used different healing modalities and learned some new ones.

7. I've learned to be very present in the moment. I move slowly and (hopefully) gracefully through my life, aware of every step I take.

8. My awareness of and compassion for folks with disabilities has increased.
9. I no longer take for granted simple pleasures like standing at the sink to brush my teeth, making a cup of coffee for my sweetheart, cooking, or watering my garden.

Where is YOUR pearl?



Practical Tips for Post-Orthopedic Injury Care



I recently fractured my fibula and sprained several ribs on the opposite side. I think that possibly because I was a medical administrative professional in a prior life and could understand and speak their language, the doctors and nurses assumed I would know more about how to handle all of this than I actually did.

Well, savvy as I was, I'd never experienced a broken leg, or sitting for weeks at a time, and had no idea of how to proceed. I was just as spacey and shocky and clueless (and then drugged) as any other patient in the emergency room. I ended up feeling like I should have gotten a basic care sheet with ideas on how to handle the practical aspects of immobility.

Practical Suggestions for Post-orthopedic Injury Care

Some of these apply to any time you are injured or immobilized for any length of time.

1. Get full information. It helps to have someone with you who can ask questions, listen to the answers and write things down. When you are in shock or pain, you tend not to remember what you were told. Asking these questions will alleviate anxiety when you get home - and that makes it easier to heal.

You may not receive detailed after-care instructions when you leave. If you do, read them carefully the next day.

- from the Emergency Room before you leave there.
    Where is the nearest pharmacy?
    Are pharmacies open now? (after-hours, on weekends)
    What are the side effects of the drugs you are prescribing?
    How do I use the tools you gave me? (crutches, walker, cane, wheelchair)    
    Why are those tools appropriate for my current physical state?
    What resources are available to help with my care?

- from the doctors you subsequently see
    Formulate questions before your appointment and write them down.
    Write down the answers.
    What can I do? What are my limits?
    How much pain should I reasonably expect?

2. Ask for help. Get as much help and as many helping tools as you can, as soon as possible. Relying on one person to handle your care puts a big stress on that other person. Spread out your care and arrange for respite for your primary care provider. Many people may offer help and care – be specific about what aid you need. Don’t get offended if people don’t follow through or seem to be more interested in their own problems and ailments.

3. If you are unable to lie down and will be mostly sitting, immediately get a doughnut pillow that cradles your butt and relieves pressure.

4. Change position at least hourly. After changing position, massage area lightly if possible. Staying in one position for hours at a time often leads to pressure sores (so-called “bed sores”). Muscles can also harden and circulation lessens if you are not moving around or being massaged regularly.

5. Bone fractures take energy to heal. You may need to eat more calories to sustain healing, and be sure to eat lots of dark leafy greens and calcium-rich foods.

6. Narcotic pain relievers can be enormously useful if they are utilized with caution, care and awareness. They can also be addictive no matter how aware you are that they can be addictive. Your pain may not go away, but you will think about it differently. Use them under medical supervision and in conjunction with other healing methods and other ways of changing your thinking.

Your thinking directly affects your feelings and healing, particularly criticism of yourself or others. When I was critical of my emergency medical care afterwards, I immediately experienced increased pain in my leg. I then blessed them and acknowledged that they did the best they could under the circumstances and that I was grateful for their care. The pain went away immediately.

7. Send loving calming energy to your injured part. Reassure it. Smile into it frequently. Smiling often changes your entire outlook. Changing your posture can also change your outlook.

8. Remember that your worth is not dependent on what you can DO.

9. Patience and gratitude are qualities worth cultivating.

10. Be as kind to yourself as you are to others, and be very kind to everyone.

http://www.abc.net.au/health/yourstories/stories/2009/01/20/2381752.htm
contains 10 very good tips as well as a description of a much more serious injury and her experiences afterward.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Co-creating with Kimberly Crick



Kimberly Crick's pendants from http://www.theenchantedgallery.com/handmade.html
Glissanda
 I’ve been thinking about copyright and proper accreditation all morning long, and then I read this post by Jean Power about those very issues. It’s not the exact same thing, but it’s a very interesting article and interesting that it "popped up" when I was thinking about the whole issue.

 I put a picture of my current doll, Glissanda, up on Facebook, and got a number of “likes.”

I like her, too, but I’m feeling like I should give due credit to Kimberly Crick for the original design. She created it for a pendant that she sells on her website, The Enchanted Gallery.

I found the image during a Google image search for “mermaid.” Out of the millions of images returned, this was the one I liked the best.

I liked it so much I ordered some of the pendants.

I created Glissanda from this design, and even though enlarged, reversed, in a completely different medium and some elements changed, she is still very much the same mermaid. She is the only doll I have ever made from a design like this. Is she for sale? Not exactly.

I was offered a barter by an artist friend of mine when I went to her studio to do a workshop with her. She offered me the workshop in exchange for a healing doll for a friend of hers. So, technically, as a barter, I got paid to make a doll. I agreed to the barter, and this doll has been made with a healing focus, a prayer in every stitch, a blessing in every bead. I also let Kimberly know I was making her.

When I read more about Kimberly, I realized that she, too, had serious health issues and have been regularly including her in those prayers. I look at the pendant and think about her often. The other pendant will travel with the doll to her new owner.

So, big thank yous, and original design credit to Kimberly Crick – thanks for creating the little mermaid who would become Glissanda and tie us together in a circle of healing.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Workshop Weekend


Looking out to sea from the beach at the Anacortes ferry dock.
Lola and I arrived in Friday Harbor around 4 p.m., pretty much on schedule even though the ferry had been delayed. We weren't about to miss that ferry and being Kemps, we were plenty early in the ferry line, like 2+ hours before the scheduled departure. We had a good chicken caesar salad and shortbread cookies with pink frosting from the little deli in the terminal. We walked on the beautiful beach nearby and watched the fog roll in and out. An hour later we had more pink-frosted cookies after they announced a 1-hour delay.

We checked into Earthbox just moments before we were due to meet Robin and some of the other students for dinner, connected with our "sister-from-another-mother" Jenny, and were on our way "downtown" (3 blocks away) for the start of our dream workshop weekend.

It was the first time I'd met Robin in person. She is taller than I thought from her pictures, very pretty and slim. She was beautifully dressed (every day!) and wearing a gorgeous beaded necklace she'd made herself.

Lampwork beads at Dream Beads
I didn't take enough pictures! I was too involved most of the time. So I've taken some pictures off the net to show you the places and people who helped make our weekend memorable.

We started off with a "meet-the-artist" event at Dream Beads. Leilani Dyer made us welcome and we mixed, mingled, and picked out special beads we'd like to put on our bead embroideries. Dream Beads is a small store with a big heart and a surprisingly large variety of beads and tools. I was particularly fascinated by the large selection of lampwork glass beads by local artists.

The workshop started promptly at 9 a.m on Saturday morning. Robin has the impressive ability to teach while simultaneously drawing clear bead diagrams, complete with thread paths, on a flip chart. And - she makes it look easy! I know from experience that it's not! We all practiced the stitches on small samplers.
Working on our samplers
Robin brought many of her bead embroidered pieces to share with us. What a bank of inspiration! I'd seen pictures of most of them, but 1) they don't do them justice, and 2) there's nothing like being able to pick something up and look at it really closely, see how the fringes and textures move and catch the light. They can be seen peeking through the back of this next photo.


Robin created this quilt using twelve of her Bead Journal Project pieces.
Four hours in a row may be too long to learn and bead non-stop.... we were all pretty much tired and hungry by the time lunch arrived at 1 o'clock the first day. Folks who know me know that I love my food, and I wanted to be sure we had an excellent lunch as part of the day, without having to leave the conference room. It's not always easy finding the best caterer from 2500 miles away. 

Deb Nolan, of Deb Nolan Custom Catering came highly recommended. One friend said, "People will come just for the food if they know Deb is catering." They would have, too! Deb worked with a long list of food allergies and preferences and served us the best vegetarian soups, salads, whole-grain breads, and little "protein sides." She is such a neat lady! Such a good cook, for one thing, and highly organized and efficient and just as nice as she could be. The food was awesome good.



The tables were set up in a U and Robin moved around the center in a rolling chair, helping individually. The great thing about a small group setting like this one is that everyone had a chance to ask one-on-one questions and the others get to hear the answers and learn from each other.

She also called us over in small groups to demonstrate a particular stitch and share how it could be expanded, using her own works as examples. Again, being able to see and hold the actual pieces added a lot to the learning.


 Look at these happy smiles!
After lunch we had more lessons, and some time for free beading on a project of our choice. At 5 p.m. we were invited to a special discount sale at Vital Elements, an interesting shop a short walk away. The owner, Rhonda Scott, has a marvelous collection of beads, ribbon, trims, papers, embellishments - all of my favorite things - and finished art pieces for sale. This picture, from their blog, gives you a small feel for the store. I was glad I had a well-established daily budget to stay within and a weight limit on my suitcases going back. I was tempted by so many things here and could have browsed for hours if I hadn't been more than ready for dinner. Rhonda fortified us with sweet iced tea, which was very welcome since I was acutely dehydrated most of the time.

Easter Sunday was Day 2 of the workshop. It was beautiful and clear and cold (45 F?) when we went out to breakfast. Everyone we met in Friday Harbor was so friendly and warm. They really made us feel welcome. Did I plan to have a workshop on Easter? No. I had no idea it was Easter weekend and it kept surprising me.

Many of us, including me, were a little under-the-weather. I love the spring flowers, but they don't love me so much anymore. Still, determined to bead and learn!


Beading all day long wasn't enough! We had evening sessions after dinner, too. One night I put in a stacked bezel around a flower and decided that it was just too high and took the entire thing out before I quit for the night. The next night I worked peacefully on my sampler and really practiced some edgings I wanted to know more about. There is an endless variety of things you can do using four or five basic stitches.

It was fun having my sisters Lola and Jenny there with me. We all had the same basic kit with a prepared piece of fabric, 3 sizes of beads and some sequins. In addition, we could add anything we wanted from our own stashes. Over and over again, without looking at each other's beads,  Lola and I would choose the same colors and sizes of beads on our samplers. Sisters!
Lola's sampler on the left, Peggy's on the right


I waited until the end to shop at Robin's "store" at the workshop. I think I was afraid that if I got started, I wouldn't be able to stop. Again, the basic daily (or in this case, 2-day) bead budget helps when faced with more size 15 Miyuki seed beads than you'll ever see in one place in person again. The rule is "Always buy as much as you can afford of anything you really like because you may never get the chance to get them again, especially not on Kauai." I call it the "Living on a Desert Island" syndrome.

I did get her "Beaded Treasures" book - I've been wanting it for a long time. Snuck a peek at it on the way home on the plane - oooh, can't wait to try it. I have lots of charms and individually interesting beads.

I pretty much bought beads everywhere. Fusion Beads, Dream Beads, Vital Elements.... my brother Mark invited me to go bead shopping with him on Monday and I actually declined in favor of going to the big video store. I wanted to get a present for Doc Matt, one he'd really like, not some hot pink gimcrack orca coffee mug from the ferry, that leaked so badly it ended up in the Goodwill bag. Oh wait, that was MY souvenir gift, not his. If I'd known Mark was going to give me a double daily budget gift when I got back in the truck, I might have re-considered that choice. EXCEPT - we got a whole season - 26 episodes - of the original Star Trek, which will give us many evenings of entertainment.

And I got plenty of great beads, including 24 K Delicas, pearls, titanium, hematite, whales, and some great shell dentelles and cockles.

da swag
Stone cabochon, dentelles, cockles


I spent my last 2 nights in my sister Lola's clear bright condo in Seattle - my starting place, too. We had peaceful dinners at home with family and I beaded quietly much of my last full day of vacation.

View from the lanai at Lola's - the camera click scared this little squirrel and he ran away.
Was it my dream vacation? In many ways, YES! It could have been longer...

Was it my dream workshop? In many ways, YES! Johnny Depp didn't come, but it was probably just as well. We had a superb teacher in Robin Atkins, truly inspirational. I met some great people and enjoyed seeing their work and getting to know them better. The food was awesome. We were surrounded by natural beauty and plenty of flowers. I think everyone had a good time. I hope so!

Would I organize one again? Probably...although I'd rather just be a student at a workshop someone else organized and coordinated.

Roche Harbor, San Juan Island
I remember now being really happy being in the company of one of my staunchest bead mentors over the years and other beaders and my sisters, being stimulated learning new things and really getting the space to practice them and try out variations, being inspired by how unique everyone's individual pieces were. I'm so grateful that we had this opportunity to study with a master artist and for everyone who came and added their energy and beauty into the mix.