Tuesday, November 16, 2010

My Experience at Silver Bella

As a girl who has never glittered anything before, you might wonder....why in the world did I sign up for Silver Bella?
  For, at this art retreat in Omaha...
glitter is King...or rather Queen!

Last May, I rather impulsively registered to attend.
I had read quite a lot about the annual art retreat on the blogs of creative women I admired.
  Having just left my longtime career behind I was looking forward to exploring my creative and artistic side
beyond taking photographs for 52 Flea.
Back in January I  attended a Sweater Craft class given locally by the lovely and talented Charlotte Lyons and enjoyed the camaraderie,warm friendship and encouragement extended to me by Charlotte and the girls in this class.
They spoke about Teresa McFayden's  Silver Bella with great enthusiasm.

 When registration time arrived I discovered who the teachers of the varied classes would be...
...names like Lisa Kaus, Charlotte Lyons, Kaari Meng of French General, Sally Jean Alexander, Lynn Whipple, Beth Quinn, Kerry Lynn Yeary, Betz White and Colette Copeland were announced. And then, I found out that Jenny Doh would be the guest speaker at the finale dinner.

And so...I decided to go.

 From the first time I entered the forum on the Bella website...
so many women reached out to me.
I was looking forward to meeting these people face to face and to be a part of this community so chock a block full of creative and talented souls.

 I was assigned a Big Bella Sister named Kim Hanauer who emailed me, called me and sent me an inspiration kit to help me get started on my creative journey.
When Kim found out about my Mom's diagnosis she called to share her own experience with her Mom and sent a beautiful tape and book for us to share.
She was the first of many who asked about my Mom.
Women all seem to have a bond as we share so many of life's experiences.

And that was one of the things that I took away from Silver Bella.

Women need other women.

My Mother used to tell us to be good to each other as sisters and nurture the relationships with our girlfriends. 
She knew that we would need to lean on them in years to come and that sometimes only another woman could possibly understand whatever situation we were dealing with.
My Mom is very wise.

 Here are a few other things I learned at Silver Bella:

1. No matter how creative and artistic you are...
...crafting skills need to be learned and practiced!
These ladies have serious skills!

2. Take risks...stretch.
Move out of your comfort zone.
You will be happy you tried!

3. Ask for help.
You will receive it with gracious open hearts.

5. It is not about a perfect end result...
...it is all about the process and the sharing.
Jenny Doh's closing remarks at the finale dinner were both moving and important.
She has posted them to her blog and you can read them HERE.

I enjoyed my weekend at Silver Bella.
I met up with some wonderful blogging friends...
  and I made many new ones.

Thank you to everyone who went out of their way to welcome me, chat a few minutes, lend a helping hand or share a few words of encouragement. Thank you for all those wonderful gifts of charms, chocolate, vintage goodies, supplies and art tips!

I truly appreciate it!

The photos above are not of my crafting projects!
Aren't they all wonderful?

Tomorrow , I will share a few treasures that I found at the
Bella Market on Friday night!

And, oh yes, I learned that I am ready for a Big Girl camera!

Hope all is well in your world !!


Angela said...

I'm glad to hear your time at Silver Bella was so blessed. I'm anxious to see your work also. I just love the first piece you showed and the framed work...I'm always drawn to those colors, and I assumed they were yours because you use blues so often. Thanks for giving us a peek into your weekend.

Maleviks Rosenträdgård said...





Chrissy said...

How beautiful Laura...just came by to say congrats. on winning Mia's contest you must be thrilled and we all know you will do it justice!! Enjoy your day! x0

scrapwordsmom said...

Thank you for sharing about your Silver Bella adventure! I have heard about this. I live just an hour or so away...maybe someday I will go.

Jann said...

Thank you for the wonderful post--now maybe I will be courageous enough to attend alone next year! I've never been to something like Silver Bella, but it sounds wonderful and I'm so glad you had such an uplifting, positive experience and met so many new friends!

diane cook said...

Laura! How wonderful for you to be able to attend....I just cannot imagine traveling ALL that way, so therefore, I will probably never go. But, I have indeed found that art retreats are the best thing since ice cream (love that picture btw...) and that women do need women~creative ones! I have a new friend named Rita who you may have met (or not) from Kerrville, Texas! I couldn't believe she was traveling ALL that way. I am waiting to hear what she says about it all! I am sure she LOVED it =)
Now...I think I will check out your new Texas friend's link...

QueenBe said...

That sounds like an amazing weekend, and you are so fortunate to have attended. I have heard of other blog/art friends at Etsy who also attended, I'm so envious! Love the things you created...

charlotte said...

loved having you there, Laura ... looking forward to more! xoC

Jamie said...

We all need more experiences like this in our lives!

White Ironstone Cottage said...

Dearest Laura,
What a wonderful post..
I agree our girl friends are special and a great support
You are a inspriation to us all

sweetpea said...

wow that sounds like a dream come true thing! i am glad you stretched, doesn't it feel good?



Beach House Living said...

Sounds like a wonderful time, not just the learning part but the entire experience.

Laurie said...

Wasn't it the best? I am sad, though, that I seem to have completely missed out on hanging out with YOU! There were so many people to meet, and the schedule was so packed...still, I will have to try harder next year! Meantime, we can keep in touch via blogs!!

Kim Hanauer said...

Laura, reading your post made me tear up and miss everthing about Silver Bella. It was a whirlwind and in a blink of an eye, it`s time to go back to the "real" world. Meeting you was a highlight of the weekend! I miss you, sweet girl and I hope to see you again-
Your Bella Big Sis,
Kim :0)

Diana said...

Your Mother says it best

"Women need other women!"

Next Year....Diana

Linda said...

Great post, Laura! Stepping outside of our comfort zone leads to great new adventures...

kL said...

"women need other women"
4 simple words of truth
i feel so blessed to have met you laura
you inspire me
and you need to share your 52 tree
it was amazing!!
just like you :)

Andy's Attic said...

Thank you for sharing your experience and your thoughts. I agree with what your mom said..I am a better woman because of my women friends. So happy you got so much out of your visit to Silver Bella. I think you have been ready for a big girl camera for quite some time. Does Santa know?? :>)

creekside rummager said...

Very inspiring. Thank you.

manon 21 said...

Une chance pour toi d'être a Silver Bella c'est formidable ces rencontres.
Mon voyage à New york était fantastique avec un soleil incroyable.
j'ai eu de la chance chez Anthropologie,tu verras...



Lori Katies Rose Cottage said...

I so very much agree with you that
we all need to just be around other
women and it is really fun when
they love to do what we do :)


A Cottage Muse said...

I love to read about the Silver Bella adventure and it was great to read your first time post. Gives this girl a little incentive to try it! Thank you!

Stephanie O. said...

Laura...By any chance are you the sweet lady that I sat beside at Lisa Kaus' Secret Inside the Bottle class (last one on Saturday)? I just saw your photo on the Silver Bella ning group and I think you are...which is funny because I love your blog (been a lurker for awhile now) and was saying on the way to Omaha that you were one of the ladies that I wanted to meet and there you were sitting right next to me....

Trouvais said...

Hi Laura. Playing with scraps of fabric last night...and while I'm pretty much all thumbs, it is so restorative to "play" and be creative. Thanks for taking us along..particularly love that second photo. How much fun! XO Trish

The French Bear said...

Laura, how fabulous for you....so glad you had this experience. Women that craft together are such wonderful and generous, I love to go out on workshops...I look forward to the day when we can do one together!!!
Margaret B

Zita said...

Oh my, Laura, I'm so excited for you about getting a "Big Girl" camera. That's a huge step (one that I don't think I will ever be ready for :) Good for you! p.s. miss you, Bella girl!!!

Prior said...

gosh, I thought you already had a big girl camera! Sounds so fun and uplifting...great projects, too! Lezlee

LizlovesVintage said...

Oh, one day I would love to go!Ty for sharing your joy with us. Hugs, Liz

KarenB said...

I'm so glad to hear you went as a "rookie". It looks like it was so wonderful. I especially love the top piece. Can't wait to see more!

Cherie Wilson said...

Hi Laura! I am with Stephanie Oyler above.....literally WAS at Silver Bella and had so wanted to meet you as well! I guess without a picture and a bit shy to seek you out, I missed the opportunity. Your posts have been marvelous and captured what I saw at Silver Bella as well. Thankyou for your sweet words of inspiration!! XO

Andrea said...

such pretties , i am going to go next year scince i have overcome my fear of flying !

Thespa McLaughlin said...

I have wanted to go to Silver Bells for several years now. My new years resolution this year was to save money each week so I could go next year, I did save and save but then life happened and had to use the money for bills. So not sure I will get to go next year either but you never know. I really enjoy reading about the experiences that others have had though, thanks so much for sharing your story. Happy Holidays!

miss lynn said...

i so enjoyed
visiting with
you at silver
bella, laura!
it's not so
much about the
crafting, as
much as it is
the togetherness.
you are sweet.
happy day to you!