Life is beautifully, wonderfully and insanely busy. It makes me grateful for the zen times when my squirrelly brain takes a much needed hiatus.
Meditation or yoga may be the relaxation drug of choice for many but mine is art. I create to calm. Fortunately, I have two friends who feel the exact same way. We are the Crafty Girls and we LOVE our Cottage Getaways!
Our getaway this fall was essentially 3 days of continuous art. Paula, Lori and I ate, drank, and created every waking hour. It was amazing!
We all learn from each other, having three completely different backgrounds when it comes to the creative realm.
PURPLE DOOR CREATIVE
Paula is first and foremost a photographer. Her company, Purple Door Creative, is becoming a powerhouse in the local real estate and business industry. She can make any house look compelling and her marketing campaigns are fashion-forward. She is also incredibly talented with painting and papercraft being her most visited creative outlets.
BE A PART OF THE ART WITH LORI
Lori is a professional artist. She paints incredible pictures and is a colour savant. I once asked her to mix a flesh colour for me. She took several colours and within a minute had mixed a sample of paint that perfectly matched her inner arm skin colour. It was impressive! Lori’s company, Be A Part of the Art With Lori, has some great timelapse videos on her Facebook page of her work in action.
RANDOM ACTS OF CREATIVITY
My background is much more crafty. I am a knitter, crocheter, card maker, painter and general crafter. My mother passed along her skill of handicrafts to me and I am grateful for everything she taught me. I have an art room full of every type of crafting material imaginable and can literally get lost in creating a beautiful card for someone dear.
The Crafty Girls Cottage Getaway requires that each person arrive with a craft idea and supplies. We spend weeks researching activities and run ideas by each other first to ensure manageability. The activities are challenging but produce art that is beautiful, functional where possible, and always high quality.
Our three crafts this session were: Fluid Acrylic Pour Paining (Paula), Paint Nite (Lori) and Origami (Lisa). Stay tuned for pictures and explanations of each activity.
But wait there’s more! We have exciting news! We are planning to create a Crafty Girls Cottage Retreat. Four to six women would be housed and dined with all craft supplies and instruction by the three of us included. All skill levels will be accommodated. We are currently working out the details but will be announcing our first retreat soon!
Creativity changes and challenges your brain. What better way to be creative than with friends, food and lots of wine?
Being a crafty girl has so many benefits; great friends, great conversations, great food, and great creative challenges. The Crafty Girls Cottage Getaway (CGCG) was created for those exact purposes.
The first activity in our three day craft-fest was fantastic and earned Paula the much anticipated THREE GOLD STAR rating! You can get all the messy details of our first craft, The Dirty Pour, here: http://wp.me/p821XN-fu
Lori’s craft was next on the docket. We were originally going to keep our activities secret until the actual event but we decided that we would share in advance just in case research was involved. When Lori first mentioned her craft, she feared it was lame compared to ours and had lamented to us on our Facebook event page about the vast lameness of her choice. Boy, was she wrong!!
FINDING THE PERFECT ROCK
Lori had decided that we were going to paint rocks. There is a much larger story here but I will get there in due time.
At the end of Day One, as our Dirty Pour paintings began their long drying process, we headed out to collect our supplies. Our portion of the north shore of Lake Simcoe is very rocky so we were presented with an enormous amount of choices. I should probably mention that, at this point in the day, we might have imbibed in a few cocktails and were feeling quite giddy following our painting successes.
Water shoes donned, we combed the shore looking for the perfect rock. We found thousands … literally.
Wading into the water, we looked for rocks with flat surfaces that would provide a nice painting surface.
Paula, of course, had a plan for her rocks. She was thinking ahead to find specific sizes and shapes for her creative ideas. Lori and I were more like aquatic magpies, merely searching for the pretty rocks. Eventually, while Paula continued her seriously stony search, Lori and I turned to throwing rocks and taking selfies. Kids these days!
We left our rocks on the dock to dry overnight and settled in for an evening of great food and great wine.
DAY TWO DAWNS
After a satisfying sleep and tasty breakfast, we hit the craft tables early. We had collected a silly amount of rocks but brought them all up to the cottage for potential painting.
Now for the story behind this activity. Lori lives in a town called Hastings, a smallish community outside Peterborough in Ontario. Two Hastings residents wanted to do something special for Canada’s 150th anniversary and created a town-wide activity called Hastings Rocks. The tagline is FIND A ROCK, PAINT A ROCK, HIDE A ROCK.
In May, Eric Farley and Lynn Rogers launched a Facebook page where they encouraged people of all ages to paint rocks, attain a number for the back of each rock, and hide the rocks a few days before Canada Day on July 1st. Ultimately, the goal was to have 150 rocks in total. When a participant found a rock, they were encouraged to tag a photo of the rock and post it on the Hastings Rock page.
Lori was given numbers 103 through 112 for our rocks prior to the CGCG so we were handed the task of painting ten rocks in total. Unsurprisingly, ten rocks turned into fifteen rocks and then fifteen turned into twenty rocks. It was incredibly hard to stop painting our Canada-themed stones!
Here are our offerings:
These rocks were numbered, sealed, and put into the pool of rocks for the Hastings Rock Event.
Somehow, we managed to slip in more than the required 10 rocks. Lori had a brainstorm …
In the days leading up to and following Canada Day, we were thrilled to see pictures of our rocks that had been found. It was also amazing to see all the other painted rocks as well. Some people chose to keep their rocks and replaced them with one of their own, others re-hid them and some just chose to love their new-found Canadian craft.
NOT JUST FOR HIDING
Of course, we were not done painting rocks after our Hastings Rocks were completed. Painting rocks is very addictive! I just had to have one of Paula’s Moose rocks. I decided to paint some goldfish and lily pads on one to keep all for myself. Paula also painted a beautifully colourful turtle.
Last, but not least, is the face that Lori uncovered in this small rock. It has found a home nestled along with the river rock in one of my gardens.
Lori’s craft was deemed NOT LAME and was given the coveted THREE GOLD STAR rating! A friend of mine was even inspired to paint rocks with her lady friends during Canada Day weekend. Thank you, Hastings Rocks, for giving us such an inspirational craft!
This, of course, made me (Lisa) very nervous about Day Three. Stay Tuned!
The first Crafty Girls Cottage Getaway was a roaring success! For three days, Paula, Lori, and I accomplished so many Random Acts of Creativity! On the beautiful rocky shore of Lake Simcoe, we cooked, ate, drank (Black Fly coolers, of course), gabbed, laughed, and crafted!
We put much research into the event, setting up a Facebook event for our communications. We were each assigned the task of bringing the basics for one creative activity. Our totes were filled with paint, brushes, glue and other fun stuff. Our coolers were filled with delicious meal fixings and other REALLY fun stuff (mostly gummy bears).
GOING FOR FIVE STARS
Paula’s craft was the first session. Entitled The Dirty Pour, it involved wooden initials, acrylic paint, water, glazing liquid, silicone spray, disposable cups, heat gun, and popsicle sticks. We covered our table with a plastic drop sheet and created temporary trays with aluminum foil.
To begin the craft, we each chose four or five different colours of paint. Lori is a colour genius so she helped us with our combinations. We then poured our paints into the bottom of our disposable cups (1/4″ or so).
After adding a squirt of glazing liquid and eight or so drops of water from an eye dropper or pipette into each cup, the thinned paint was ready for the silicone spray. One good spray and very little mixing was all that was needed before we carefully poured our various colours of paint into one cup.
Next, comes the fun part; we poured the contents of the cup onto the wooden initial and then tilted it in various directions until it was covered! Left to dry, we put the initials aside to start on our canvases.
BIGGER AND BETTER
Repeating the paint prep, we moved onto doing a Dirty Pour With A Cup Flip on a 10″ x 10″ canvas. I prepped my canvas by pouring a generous amount of white paint on opposite corners and around the edge but that is optional. Lori used black paint for her canvas prep on her first painting.
Now for our favourite part! Holding the paint-filled cup, we flipped them over and held them in the middle of our canvases, letting gravity pull all the paint down in the inverted cup. After thirty seconds or so, we lifted the cup to excitedly watch the paint flow across the canvas.
Holding the canvas by the edges, we tilted and turned the canvases to cover the surface and create some awesome patterns! If you are like me, you and everything around you are covered in paint at this point. If you are like Paula and Lori, you are still annoyingly clean at this point.
HEATING THINGS UP!
Once we covered our canvases to our liking, we were ready for the best part! Using a heat gun, we trained it on the paint swirls (from a good distance, of course). Paint cells began to appear within the patterns like little dots of colour! Amazingly, the longer we added heat, the more cells that appeared.
The paintings continued to change as they dried, with some areas even cracking to reveal colours below. Paula dragged a feather through one of her canvases for even more visual interest. We let our paintings dry for two days.
The results were fantastic!
We were honestly like six year old kids marveling over our artwork; that might also have been the alcohol beginning to talk.
Paula’s craft was given a much deserved FIVE STAR rating! Now, where to hang my canvases …