Sunday, August 06, 2006

The Gift

Although my birthday occurred in the middle part of April, I spent the last weekend of July enjoying the gift I received 3 1/2 months ago.

My adorable husband is always extremely thoughtful, and diligent about finding the most wonderful presents to commemorate all the special occasions in my life. For my 39th birthday, he purchased the opportunity for me to attend a two-day jewelry workshop with Nina Bagley at The Valley Ridge Art Studio.

Kathy Malkasian, pictured on the left, is the proprietor of this enchanting place located in the rural country side near Madison, Wisconsin. She and her husband, Bill, provided a weekend of inspiring scenery and delectable gourmet lunches served on an outdoor veranda. I also had the pleasure of meeting and spending time with some incredible, talented, and accomplished artists. And Nina shared her expert knowledge of jewelry making, and entertained us with her wit and gracious southern charm.

Our class focused on basic jewelry techniques with an emphasis on exploring different ways to incorporate natural findings into lovely jewelry pieces using simple handdrilling, wiring, hammering and collage. Each student created a miniature shadowbox to combine with our natural ephemera. The necklace pictured on the right is the result of my two days of play and experimentation.

Valley Ridge Studio is truly a divine creative retreat. And if you have ever taken a workshop with Nina, you will know how VERY kind, open, and giving she is, and this weekend was no exception.

My Wisconsin weekend was the PERFECT gift!

*(I encourage you to check out the workshops and happenings of the EXTRAORDINARY Nina Bagley!!!!)


Evoke-Designs by Lorraine said...

Oh, I forgot how beautiful your piece turned out and the soft pink ribbon just set it off so nicely!! I didn't realize you were there for your birthday! I know it was a special one, because it was special for me to be there and it wasn't even my birthday! I just love Valley Ridge and the beautiful scenery and stillness there!

Anonymous said...

Hey Roy and I were checking out your blog... We are very impressed, and I love your necklace. Glad you had a great weekend!!

nina said...

honey. YOU shine, and you radiate. i have THE most beautiful photograph i took of you from the workshop, and when i can get my wits together, will be putting it in a post on MY blog.
i love my gift! and loved having you with me for the weekend.
you are a treasure, and a treat for everyone around you. tell earl i said thanks for sharing you with us all. xoxoxoxo