Tuesday, March 15, 2011


My sweet friend Lil was the first to arrive - from the North Pole!! Well, okay, from Canada - but ALMOST the North Pole!  She arrived on Friday.

Sunday at midnight Sarah arrived from Australia!!! Can you believe that???  Her first trip to the United States too.  I was so flattered she wanted to come to Key Largo to spend a few days with us!

This is Lil and Sarah when we picked Sarah up at the airport:

Sarah was EXUBERANT to be here and YES that is a smile on Lil's face!!!  LOL!  Sarah is so unbelievably sweet.  She is funny and happy and I am so glad to have spent time with her!
The following day - Monday - Sarah, Lil and I went to the airport to pick up Gina and Marita who came from Portland.  They are the two most amazing women!  Marita is a sweetie and Gina is absolutely hilarious.

Okay, so now it is Tuesday and the rest of tribe arrives!  Woo HOO!!!  We divide ourselves up - my daughter-in-law and I - and pick up from Miami International and Ft. Lauderdale International and voila!  They are all here!

This beautiful lady is Teri Flemal.  She is a "newbie" to our group and a joy!!  The first night I think she really was debating whether or not to take a taxi to the airport and fly back to New York!!! But she stuck with us and I am so glad she did!

Everyone made gifts for each other and gave them out as soon as they got to my house!

Daisy made me this WONDERFUL shadow box!  I had never met Daisy personally and fell in love with her instantly!  She is so talented - everything she did was gorgeous.

Gotta tell you that THIS was the hit of the retreat!!  Teri and Eileen sent me this coffee pot as a gift a few days before the retreat.  I am not sure if it was for them or me but I got to keep it so it's all good!

Val brought charm necklaces for everyone.  She spent Saturday teaching us to make these fun charms.  I don't wear necklaces so I used my charms for my journals and my printer's tray and they look spectacular!

The wonderfully talented Julie Nutting brought me one of her original works!!  If you have the chance to take a class with her - don't miss it!  She taught us how to do these fabulous glamour girls on Wednesday (we are not there yet!!!).

Our friend Sox was not able to join us.  She sent this WONDERFUL painting telling us how she would "love to be a fly on the wall" but since she wasn't - she sent the next best thing!  How cool is this?

Everyone brought presents for everyone else!  I will post them a little at time as they are all wonderful but too many for this one post!

I really wanted everyone to relax and just get ready for our wonderful teachers so after the gift exchange we had dinner and karaoke.  Jen made absolutely wonderful mango mojitos which everyone drank maybe a little too much of!  These are some of the pictures from Tuesday night (how FUN was this????):

Tracy, me and Ingrid Dijkers in my studio.  Ingrid is so unbelievably amazing!!  If you ever have a chance to take a class with her - don't miss out!

I love Eileen.  I am so grateful to have met her and to call her my friend!  Her and her New York accent just make my day!

Jen was the bartender and made WONDERFUL mango mojitos with fresh mangos.  She lives in California and her and Julie had not slept since the day before!

Julie Nutting and Ingrid Dijkers.  These ladies are so wonderful!  The first night I think we almost scared them away!

Of course we really are serious people in our real lives!!!

Karaoke fun!  

My soul sister Tracy and I.   I love this girl to pieces!  She is like the sister I never had.  She came all the way from Washington State!

And that ended day one - Tuesday.  Stay tuned for the rest of KEYS 4 ART 2011.


  1. Hi "Hostess with the Mostess"
    I had such a great time with all of these amazing women and we all
    have YOU to thank! So my hat is off to you my friend!!!!

  2. Accent? What accent? I think you all need to have your hearing tested. People from Noo Yawk do NOT have accents. The rest of you do.

  3. What can I say this woman is part of my heart and always will be. Her ability to give is unbelieveable. I adore her and yes she is my sister of my heart as well. I bless God every day for bring her into my life. It is so much richer with her. Love ya darlin everyday!

  4. Big withdrawl from Cuban Coffee and now I have to go buy a K-Cup machine thanks to Terri and Eileen. Thanks for sending the machine to Elena, now we are all hooked!!!! Elena is the hostess with the mostess and I am so proud to be counted among her artist friends and can say I survived The Keys 4 Art 2011 and loved every minute of every fast paced time warped day! Fabulous art all the way around! XXO Gina

  5. What a wonderful week....I was so happy to "disconnect" and stay a while. If we could bottle the energy....oh the magic we could make all the time! Elena and I have already started planning 2012.....


  6. How does one score an invite to this yearly gathering? I am green with envy :-)) Looks like so much fun!!