Monday, April 13, 2015

Weekend Retreat with Amy Butler and Hilde Dunn

Image copyright Amy Butler tm, all rights reserved

Amy Butler Workshops and Seminars

I am at a loss of where to start this post today
so allow me to start at the beginning.

The Pink Doxies blog started on a whim one
day, and carried me along for months. It was
a slow and easy ride. The start of 2015 found 
me navigating some rapids. I loved the speed, 
and the need to think about my direction, but I
had no map or idea what laid ahead. Suddenly
I had good readership, but now I was
responsible for delivering solid content and 
unique projects. People were asking if I 
sold the things I was making. Did I? It became 
bit overwhelming making choices
that had so many consequences. Did I 
want to paddle my boat in the small pond off 
that river, or would I rather take my chance 
to see where the current might take me?

That may have been an easy choice for you, but
I agonized over this decision for months.

What did I want for ME?

We who live for years putting the 
concerns of our family first rarely ever
have the option of asking what we want
for ourselves. I was definitely out of practice.

A friend called me about a retreat she saw
online with Amy Butler and Hilde Dunn. She
said it sounded wonderful, and by some odd
luck she got in. By the time I checked it out, 
that wasn't the case for me. They were 
definitely full. I got on the email list, and 
resigned myself to thinking about a time next 
fall when there would be another. Oh, well.
I wasn't crushed--just in a funk then. I had
felt like I was supposed to be there.

The afternoon before the retreat I got a 
call saying there was a spot if I could make
it. Someone had missed a flight. I scrambled
to make it all work, and could barely sleep the 
night before. I was out the door the next morning 
driving the 1:15 to get there early. 
I really didn't know what to expect. 

This was a combination retreat. Life coaching 
by Hilde Dunn using the Handel method was 
one part. We met in here for long sessions. 
We listened, we shared, and we journaled. 
This was a soul-seaching journey that each 
person applied individually to her life. We 
passed the tissue box, and felt safe to share.

And then on to improv piecing with Amy.
We gathered here, and sewed together. 
Even those with no previous sewing 
experience pieced together their own
masterpieces. There was no pattern to follow
meaning we couldn't mess it up. It freed us
up to talk, and, Oh, the stories we told!
I believe this was a magical gathering, so
to speak, of people who all felt compelled
to be there for different reasons. We
felt a deep, pulsing energy among us,
and that's what I'll remember most.

We each brought fabric from our lives,
and we combined it together for communal
use. Amy added scraps of her own. The rule 
was to piece using fabrics chosen for
you blindly by a partner, but there were some
fierce and secretive deals made at the 
cutting and ironing table when no one
was looking! Don't tell, but I think 
Amy was doing the same thing!

We met at the Granville Studio of Visual Arts
in Granville, Ohio. It was the ultimate space for
the venue. GSVA is a non-profit center for art 
education, and also offers the Orange Couch
program for kids online. It's SO cool! Check them out.

Over the course of a few days, our blocks
gained dimension. We shared our process, and
Amy shared positive thoughts.

Lunches were catered, and even those of us 
with food sensitivities were accomodated, 
thank you so very much. Dinner with wine 
was provided Saturday evening, and then 
we had a loud session of decoupage. 
Did I say loud?

Things were getting a little crazy, as you can see,
but it was a wonderful, Good kind of crazy.
This is Amy playing in the fabrics again!

I've purposely kept private some of the 
activities we shared like dinner in downtown 
Granville. We were all instant friends, 
Creatives, and inclusive of all.

Also, we visited the Butler's home and studio on 
Friday evening. It was so lovely, and I'm grateful 
Amy shared her home and evening with us. 
There were 4 sweet cats that could sense how 
allergic I was, and wanted dearly to be near me. 
I wiped my eyes in between listening 
to her talk about her design process, and seeing
the rolls of fabric for her new line coming to
stores in the fall. (It's gorgeous!) It was a memorable 
evening for me in spite of the kitties.

So after the decoupage on Saturday night, I
packed up my delicious goody bag, and said my 
farewells. There was still another day left, but 
my cup was already full, and my direction so 
clear. My Dream was written, and I was ready to
take the journey to make it Real. That's what
Dreaming in Color is all about. 

If you ask me if I would do it all over again,
in spite of the fact that I left early,
I would tell you...

in a Heartbeat.

This was a life changing weekend for 
me, and thank you to everyone there 
for just being who you were.

Come on, Doxie Girls.
Let's go sew.

Linking up with~
Freemotion by the River
Sew Cute at Blossom Heart Quilts
Quilt Story
Handmade Tuesdays
TOO Cute Tuesday
She Can Quilt Scraptastic Tuesday
Show and Tell Monday with Bambi
ayliN-Nilya: Monday Makers
Making Monday
Cooking Up Quilts
Hug-a-Bit Quilts


Unknown said...

I am so happy you had this great retreat/fun time/improv quilting time......Sounded wonderful. And I think I am guessing correctly about your dream-direction. Hope to talk soon.

SuperMomNoCape said...

Oh my goodness... I've been wanting to go on a life couching retreat for so long and to have it combine with a sewing retreat... you must have felt like you were in heaven!!! So happy for you.

I know what you mean about trying to decide... "What do I want for me?" I struggled with that decision after a health scare two years ago... but it hasn't been easy and I'm still trying to learn how to balance what I want with all the other things in my life.

Thanks for sharing a bit of your wonderful weekend with us.

Stephanie said...

You paint such a wonderful picture of this retreat. Glad it was so productive for you, I'm in suspense now what direction you're taking!

evaj said...

Vilken helg så underbar Julie Tack för du delar den till oss och verkligen INSPIRERAR oss alla på Visa och Berätta måndag och för din länkning dit!!!!Bambikramar

Nilya said...

Thanks so much for this lovely post. I am so happy for you that you could make it there and at the same time I am envy (in a positive way) that I wasn´t there too ;-)

Debra said...

I am so glad the you got to go after all and got what you were looking for out of the retreat. It sounds delightful and you pictures are just lush with color and creativity. You can almost feel the energy and excitement from the photos. Thanks for sharing.

Lara B. said...

Whooo! That looks like it was the most amazing group of women and it sure sounds like it was meant to be for you Julie. I'm glad it gave you clarity and insight and that you feel charged and ready to make your dreams real! Amy Butler is really a wonderful lady on top of being a great designer!

Marly said...

That was a well-spent weekend. All that energy flowing and so much inspiration. A case of 1+1=4, I believe. I'm glad you were able to decide on your goal. Go for it!

Nicky said...

That is one way to use your scrap Amy - make a bed out of them! Not sure she heard me but it sounds like you had lots of fun - thanks for sharing your scrappy time with us at #scraptastictuesday

Sandra Walker said...

Love the pic of Amy playing in fabric!! Love those cushions too. You have intrigued me with your final comments. Sounds super-exciting!

Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts said...

I think every woman should have the opportunity to attend a retreat of some sort - be it spiritual, crafty, coaching, etc. you are right when you say that women are so busy taking care of others and we rarely ask ourselves what we want. I have also been struggling with some decisions on what direction I want to take and how to make it happen. Sounds like you found the answers you were looking for, and I'm excited to see what direction you take!

Mary Huey said...

Wow, that sounds amazing -- so glad you were able to do that and will be looking forward to watching it's impact on you as you move forward!! You go, girl!!

Unknown said...

Oh man! I wish we had something like that here! It looks like a blast!

Unknown said...
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