Thank you everyone for all your thoughts and well wishes for all my family members that are affected by the wildfires up in Fort McMurray. A quick update on that - everyone got out safely are now (or in process of getting) set up in temporary homes/condos/apartments. As of last night, all of their homes are still standing, which in itself is amazing as two of the them were in some of the hardest hit areas. The other two live in areas that were just touched upon.
I will work on posts throughout the week with a breakdown of each day (hoping not to bore you too much) of my time at Donna Downey's Studio for the Inspired Artist Workshop.
(Official) Day One Wednesday - April 27 2016...getting there
Left with my usual partner in crime (notice I didn't say that before we left) Anita (find her on instagram and Facebook). After checking into the airport and boarding out flight...which can I add, I got bumped up to first class - rough I must say - we were on our way to Toronto for the connecting flight to Charlotte, North Carolina. We had a good three hour layover in Toronto, so once we cleared through customs...we hunted for a good place to eat. We came across...
Must say, pretty tasty! And since we had been up since the early hours...and the two hour (ahead) time change...the drinks went straight to our heads. Anita had the Freshly Peppered and I the NYC Bicycle.
We both had the fish tacos...which were amazing!! Nothing beats Atlantic Cod (in my opinion, and I am a Western Canada girl)!
Once we boarded our tiny plane...it was quite funny as Anita was in row one and I was literally the last seat on the plane...row 13 (but I did have it to myself) - right beside the bathroom....ugh!
the token air shot...
coming into Charlotte...
We had a short drive to the hotel - we stayed at Comfort Suites Lake Norman in Huntersville (North Carolina). We had a great suite, service was awesome, rooms very clean and spacious. Amazing hot breakfast with a great variety and choices. Anita booked through Expedia and we simply split the cost. We had four nights and the price was very reasonable.
Shawn, came back to the hotel (after running back to the airport to pick up the next group coming in) to pick us up to take us to a grocery store for supper/snacks and lets face it...booze!
this is just a sampling of the aisles! I still can't used to seeing all that beer, wine & coolers in a grocery store! Not matter how many times I go to the States!
This is the 'good' stuff for supper. Also picked up some hummus and bagel chips and a few other snacks to have in the room along with a bunch of water and wine!
Think we finally headed to bed around midnight (their time). Day one done!
Day Two [Unofficial Day One] - Thursday April 28...killing a day & workshop begins
Needless to say, we missed the first day of complimentary breakfast as we slept till 9 am! Breakfast was only until 9:30...but neither of us were moving too quickly. So we ate the fruit and veggies we had from the night before.
We finally got motivated and headed outside around 11:00. Headed over to the Goodwill that was just across the road so scope it out. Poor Anita doesn't like the heat and I...love it! I was basking in it and she was looking for shade. So odd that it is the redhead looking for sun. Once we were done at the goodwill - we headed up the street to check out another grocery store. As we were walking up to it I noticed beside it a Tuesday Morning - Anita had never heard of it, but I had heard of it (only via FB post hauls) so we were excited to go check it out.
We probably spent a good hour in there simply walking each and every aisle just to see what was there. We each picked up a couple things - not much as our Canadian dollar isn't the greatest right now. I found a bolt of cheesecloth for 4.99 usd ten yards long and 45" wide. That was a pretty sweet deal. Also came across some American Crafts DIY Shop Patterned Brayer Sets (Small & Large), not a bad price at 6.99 and 8.99.
Hitting the grocery store was a blast - we could take our time now and we went up and down every aisle again (flippin' tourists)! They say everything is big in Texas - holy crap, this is huge here, how big would these be in Texas?
Anita checking out the international section...
Headed back to the hotel to have a bite to eat before getting ready for our pick up to head to the Studio.
The hotel is a short 6 minute drive to Donna's studio.
Once there, we were greeted by Donna and her staff - Amy & Amber (hope that is right). The studio is fabulous. Looks just like photos you see, but now I could put it in perspective.
This is what was waiting for me at my station. There were 25 ladies signed up for the class, so there were six tables set up, four at each and one with five. Not a huge deal, we all played well together, just not the space most of us are use to.
Our table kit included: a canvas cover and brush roll (included two Simply Simmons Brushes, Foam Brush, Palette Knife, Charcoal Pencil) with our name embroidered into to with Donna's trademark teal thread and ribbon with her name printed across it. Also, nine standard file folders along with three smaller ones, a Moleskine Plain Notebook (5x8.25"), Speedball Speedy Carve Rubber Stamp blank (3x4"), inspiration sheets, transfer image sheets, information sheets on each product we would be covering and an itinerary of what to expect.
Cocktails (including non) and snacks were a plenty...
Let the fun begin....
We started simply prepping all the file folders with different mediums that we would be creating different techniques on the next day.
We continued on until about 8:30-9pm, then headed back to our hotels. Class to resume 10 am Friday!
On that note, I will sign off for today - will try and get another one ready for tomorrow...it was a full day!
Thanks for stopping by...to see what classes Donna has to offer check here.