Friday, April 23, 2010


I've gotten so many wonderful emails from everyone! I am glad you are enjoying the blogging about our retreat!

Well, I got an email today that my iPad will be shipped on the 5th!! Woo HOO!!! Can't wait to get my new toy! Do I NEED an iPad considering I have every other gadget in the world? Of course not! But NEED has nothing - absolutely nothing - to do with it! I WANT it!!! Anyway, I'm hoping it lives up to the hype!! I love anything Apple so I expect that it will.

Where were we regarding the retreat? Oh yea, Day 3.

Well I'm going to give you a very condensed version of day 3 (Friday) and 4 (Saturday) because if I were to tell you all that we did, all the wonderful experiences we had, everything we learned from each other you would get sick of reading it! So here goes.

Friday we all got up early (not as early as Eileen and Val!!!!). Jacquie brought us TONS of wonderful Cuban pastries from Miami (guava, cheese, guava and cheese, coconut, meat) tons of "croquetas"and "papa rellenas" and we STUFFED OUR FACES with them all morning! The sugar from the pastries and the caffeine from both the pots of American and Cuban coffee circulating all day had us bouncing off walls!

Jennifer Rogers-Daniels who makes these gorgeous faces I ADORE gave a class in drawing these faces. I HAVE to practice!!! Jen was just amazing and I am so glad I got to meet her personally!

This is a painting that Jen brought for me as a gift!!! I LOVE it!

Then we did a class with polymer clay... LOVE THE STUFF!!! Picked up some cool tricks I didn't know and some tips that will make for some wonderful polymer projects. Sue Young - a beautiful person inside and out - brought us each this beautiful polymer clay tile that says Sisters of the HeART that she made with the polymer clay that is wonderful.

Here it is. Isn't it beautiful?

We ordered Cubanito sandwich platters which were wonderful and between that, the pastries and the exciting day, we decided not to go out that night. Too darned tired!!! Jen and Juliet did go with my daughter in law to a party that we were all invited to and got thrown in the pool! I WARNED THEM!!! Parties in the Keys are... well.... parties in the Keys!

So we all went to bed relatively early Friday night (about 11!!) as everyone was really REALLY exhausted! We woke up Saturday morning to... you guessed it!..... more coffee!!! Cuban ... American.... caffeine was the important thing! Had some bagels and fruit and started cranking again on our projects. The girls wanted to learn a very easy VERY easy technique to bind journals. Because I had bought enough rosin paper to wall paper the city we decided to make them out of rosin paper. That way we can use these journals to play with Eileen's technique. Everyone made a journal and were really excited at the results and how easy they are to put together.

Now it was time to take a break from the art and play. Lillian, Patty and Linda decided to stay in the house to continue with what they were doing; Jacquie was back in Miami because it was her birthday on Sunday and she wanted to spend time with her baby and her husband (don't you hate it when life gets in the way of art????). The rest of us all wore our beautiful t-shirts with the Keys 4 Art logo (looked like a strange elderly girl scout troop!!!) and went back to Marlin's for a "snack". We also took one of Manny's (the owner) key lime pies home for later!!!!

My husband grills baby back ribs at the Marlin on Saturdays and the girls all enjoyed a "snack"!!!

Manny (owner of the Marlin), my husband Bernie and I.

Gina, yours truly and Jen.

Our "SNACK".

Juliet and Sue.

Gina got to dancing cumbia at Marlins' with the waitress!! You go girl!

From there we went to a local outside bar called MARLEY'S and had a few drinks while we were there. Marley's is always busy, has live music and a great view!

We spent a little time at Marley's and from there went to the Big Chill. A restaurant on the water with a very cool outside bar. We spent a while there having our MANGO MOJITOS (which are AMAZING), conch fritters, calamari and dip and just talking and relaxing after a very busy few days. My husband joined us later in the evening and we just sat around and chatted. Eileen picked up the tab for us!!! THANK YOU EILEEN!!!

These are some pictures taken at The Big Chill:

Relaxing and drinking our Mango Mojitos!

My husband and I exhausted at the end of the evening.

I wanted everyone to see our beautiful sunset but the weather would not cooperate!

Lounging and feeling relaxed.... Gina, Jen and I.

A "Miss America" wave from Juliet!

Just relaxing!

Marita and Sue

As the sun went down in Key Largo, I think everyone was a little sad to see it end. Yes we were tired (exhausted actually), yes, we all had real lives to go home to... but the friendships that had already existed were solidified and strengthened by our time together and I for one will miss all my new BFFs!



  1. I have so enjoyed reading about your wonderful retreat here and on Eileen's blog who is such a great person too. You can just feel the love and fun amongst you all. What a treat for you all to actually meet in person.

  2. This is just wonderful Elena. Memories everyone will treasure forever. Thanks for sharing! Luv ya very much. Oh... love your new haircut.

  3. It's so crazy, but I just love re-living the experience in your blog, Val's, and yes, even my own, LOL.
    Everyone has said how lucky I am and I have to agree. Knowing you all and then getting to really KNOW you all, is a blessing!

  4. So sad I missed this! Looks amazing!!!

  5. That sounds like a wonderful time! The weddings of all but the eldest of my siblings plus mine ended with all the groomsmen and the groom thrown in the pool at the reception which was held at home. It became a tradition along with the keg or two of beer.