Saturday, July 31, 2010

An Art Retreat- Staycation Style

Finally, something resembling art to talk about for this blog! With many glorious days of vacation ahead of me, I made a list of all the art projects I want to do, gathered my supplies, and gathered my niece Abby, 12 (13 in a couple weeks), and we started creating.
I had not had time to enjoy Carla Sonheim's new Drawing Lab book, and since the class I took from her a few years ago at Art & Soul is still one of all-time favorites, I decided to do some of the exercises with Abby. We tried single-line drawing, vine charcoal, faces, and we used a ceramic poodle and ceramic cat for our animal drawings. We did the Picasso pets and Modigliani faces.
We forgot to try drawing each other with the wrong hand! I still have my portrait someone did of me in class. The person whose face I drew with my wrong hand and without looking, left class early, shortly after receiving her sketch from me! LOL. But seriously, if you want to have a lot of fun with easy-to-follow exercises while learning to draw or improving and expanding your drawing skills, get Carla's book!
We painted watercolor backgrounds, talked about Artist Trading Cards and Zentangles, and like hunter-gatherers, cut out magazine stuff and collected trinkets for collage. We then wore ourselves out and had to watch five straight episodes of I-Carly while lounging. I have always loved Miranda Cosgrove since School of Rock is one of my favorite movies. As I had driven 13 straight hours Friday, and about seven Sunday to an out-of-state Blythe meet, with another seven hours coming two days after 'Art Day,' you could say I was worn out.
But, not too worn out for a huge antique mall, of course! I took Abby to North Webster, IN, scene of so many summers during my childhood and her father's. Abby is really my great-niece, but that makes me sound old. Her dad is my nephew. When we were kids in the 1960s and early 1970s, we always went "up north" to the lakes in Kosciusko County, riding from our homes in central Indiana. But I digress.
The North Webster Antique Mall is HUGE and is in a former favorite dimestore of mine called Rinker's. Rinker's hadthe best selection of water toys around, plus clothing, candy, gifts, etc. The Rinker name is still well-known via Rinker Boats, and the Rinkers were from my hometown of Anderson, so they, too, were just "lakers" once upon a time.
I saved my favorite booth for last, which is full of Shabby Chic goodies. I always save it for last. Before we got to it, I was carrying plenty of strange stuff, and Abby had a great, old, small Samsonite hard suitcase in mint condition. If I had know how much she would have liked the SC booth, we would have gone there first! Abby found a second case, a large, square, Tiffany-blue satin train case, also in excellent condition. And with two suitcases, as Abby told me, now she has a collection! Poor girl doesn't stand a chance coming from a collecting family--dolls, model cars, Fiestaware, Coca-Cola items, granite ware, kitchen advertising/tins, stamps, coins, jewelry--her great-grandmother, grandfather, aunt, great-uncles, great-aunt (me) have been collectors most of our lives.
We trotted off with our goodies to a re-sale shop, another antique shop, and then, being practical, off to the spa for some pampering. I got a long-awaited hi-lite with 'my girl,' and Abby got her toes and fingers painted an nice Twilight-like shade, called Lincoln Park After Dark.
After that we joined my daughter, Adrienne, 27 in a week, for some more retail therapy. I knew I could bribe Ade to drive with the offer to fill up her gas hog. We hit Fazoli's first, a favorite of all three of us, and inhaled our food as Adrienne had taken over the "whistle and clipboard" from me, and was hurrying us along so we could get to Glenbrook Mall.
Abby and I made a bee-line for the bookstore. The darling smarty-pants was volunatrily reading Hamlet in the car, and then bought Romeo & Juliet. Ade, of course, went to Abercrombie & Fitch. Then we all hit Trade Secret's 50% off going-out-of-business sale, where Abby was able to get a bottle of her new polish color, and Ade and I stocked up on hair products. Sad they are going out of business, but great sale! Maybe it is just this mall location? Or an uninformed clerk?
We then hit a few stores trying to stock Abby up a little for back-to-school, including Forever 21 (I was the only one who bought anything. How appropriate!), American Eagle, and we pretty much closed down the mall. Too tired to hit Border's after.
And we knew we'd be getting up early for Day Four: a trip to The Indianapolis Children's Museum to see the Barbie retrospective. And added surprise: Rock Stars, Guitars & Cars, which I also enjoyed. At the museum we met my Blythe friend from Cincinnati, Libby Sherman, and her daughter Phoebe, same age/same grade. Libby and Phoebe looked like Living Barbie Dolls, and were just as sweet. A good time was had by all (I think). Abby and I were a little worn out, and I was grumpy about not looking like a Living Barbie. Hey, what if YOU had once been Miss Beaver Dam? We got some clever Blythe pictures, and shopped until we dropped in the gift shop.
Then it was time to drive Abby to her home, south of Indianapolis, where I got to see my very talented great-nephew, her brother Josh, for a few minutes. Josh and one of his bands were contacted after a You Tube video and offered some free studio time! Very exciting.
Before I left, Abby and I dug out her massive 1990s Barbie collection, and I helped her find shoes and clothes that would fit her new Blythe doll I gave her. We also found a few little Kelly trinkets to fit my Wonder Frog, and a Barbie sheepdog that looked just like my late mother's dog named Bonkers.
All in all, the four days whizzed by, and while I felt a little Bonkers with all the driving, we had a great time, and I was excited to hear about Abby's plans for her suitcases, art and Blythe. You go, girl. And she will, be going, that is, to one of my fave places, Portland and Seattle, missing the first three days of school to go to a conference with her dad. But well worth it and quite manageable for this excellent student. So proud of you, Miss Abby!


Bryanna Lenan said...

Awesome... you are busy chic!! Looks great!

Joanne Huffman said...

What a great and busy time.

Teena in Toronto said...

Very nice!

Happy blogoversary :)