This past weekend, I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to spend the entire weekend taking four, in-person, art journaling classes with one of my FAVORITE artists, Dyan Reaveley!!!
YEAH!!! WHOO!! HOO!!!
Meeting Dyan Saturday morning was literally like meeting a ROCK STAR!!!!
Her GORGEOUS bright red hair, her FABULOUS one-of-a-kind vintage-inspired dresses, her KICKY SASSY attitude, was less than two feet away from my AWESOME front row seat in class – ALL WEEKEND!!!!
Yes, I was that sad, silly, groupie who pretty much just stared in awe, with my mouth agape like a lunatic, but even now, I can still hardly believe that not only did I get to meet her, I got to be involved in four of her AMAZINGLY CREATIVE classes!!
The classes…OH MY!!!
Well, wait, let me back up a little. The classes were held at my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE arts and craft store here in Salem, Runaway Art & Craft Studio! When Christy Wood, of Runaway, told me that Dyan Reavely would be coming to teach classes, I immediately told her to SIGN ME UP!!! I didn’t care what they cost, or what the topics were going to be, Dyan could have been teaching SQL computer programming, or the benefits of biofusion on our political economy and I would have been there, with bells on, in the front row, smiling like a crazy fool, just excited to be able to be in the room!!
Also, for some unknown reason, all of the class samples that Dyan had sent ahead of her arrival never actually made it to the store, so none of the participants really knew what to expect for any of the classes, but I for one was pretty much just game for anything, and was feeling pretty excited just to be there – the making of anything awesome was just going to be an extra perk of the classes!!
So, on Saturday, I awoke early, got showered, dressed, ate my breakfast, and pretty much just paced around the house, full of anticipation, until it was FINALLY time to get to class!! After stopping off to get a GINORMOUS peppermint mocha (which was really just a distraction technique), I was FINALLY seated and ready for the first class to start, which was the Technique Tag Book class! The class lasted 2 1/2 hours, and Dyan basically took you through how to use her Dylsion spray inks, which I am now a firm believer are ESSENTIAL to my art journaling stash!! The class was vert fast paced, but not too fast that you couldn’t keep up with what was happening! The time flew, and before I realized it, the class was over and I had in my hot little hands my very first Tag book!! That I had created!!! Who knew????
We had about an hour to kill in between classes, and for me, and I am sure a lot of us who attended, meant SHOPPING!!! 😉 One of the cool things about taking any classes at Runaway is that Christy offers 15% off of any of your purchases that you make in the store on the day of your class – so you had BETTER BELIEVE I took ADVANTAGE of THAT!!! 😉
The next class was called Tags of Imagery, which is Dyan’s take on collage – bright, colorful, sassy, a little bit rock star, and LOADS OF FUN!! (Just like Dyan!!) Collage and I have never made great bed fellows, as I have always been too uptight/perfectionistic and collage has always seemed too loosey-goosey, and honestly has always just stressed me out! I am not sure if it was the way that Dyan taught us, or if it were the fact that she was the one teaching the class, but I REALLY LOVED this class!!! It made me want to go home and start ripping out images from every magazine I could get my hands on and start putting my little funky peeps together and plaster them on EVERYTHING!!! 😉 At the end of the three hours I walked away with three colorfully fun tags that I can honestly say are MAKING MY DAY when I look at them!!! 😉
There was even some news media that caught us in the act!! 🙂
The last class of the day was called Inky Watercolor Book which built upon everything we had already been learning throughout the day, but then Dyan gave us a chance to play with her Dylusions spray inks inside of the Tim Holtz water color brushes! I was really looking forward to this part of the class. She also taught us a book binding stitch – I can’t remember what she called it, but she has inspired me to get creating my own journals to share with friends and family!!! WAAAAAY easier than I ever expected! I LOVE THAT!!! 😉
I am not sure why, but I do not seem to have taken any pictures of this class, I think I was too heads down playing at this point, but I did find a pic of someone else’s project to share with you!
I went home, happy, and EXHAUSTED!!! Crashed in bed, as soon as my head hit the pillow, but unfortunately my brain was so excited to get back to class the next day that at 1:30 AM I was up and ready to go! I never did get to fall back to sleep that night, but that still didn’t seem to lesson my excitement any!!
Sunday morning, I was up and at em, ready and waiting in class, with another GIANORMOUS peppermint mocha to help get me through the day! That day was going to be filled with one 8 1/2 hour class, which was called Art Journaling Extravaganza! This class was all about putting it all together and creating a very personalized art journal using one of Dyan’s AWESOME Dylusion’s journal books, which just happens to have the thickest, richest, creamiest paper, formulated perfectly for using with Dyan’s Dylusions spray inks!
This class was hands down my FAVORITE!!! She gave you permission to rip out pages, make a mess, cut pages, get inky, have fun, be free, and try new things, over and over and over and over again, and not take yourself or the process too seriously!!! By the end of the day, we each had at least a half full journal started to collage, paint, write, and doodle in to our hearts content!!! I know that my Dylusions journal has become a very good friend that is going to be carried with me a LOT!!! 😉 Souds melodramatic, maybe, but take the class – I am sure you will feel the SAME WAY!!! 😉
Here are a few of my FAVORITE pages in Dylusions journal, just started, mind you, but well on their way!! 🙂
At the end of the day, we were all beat, but I wanted to stick around a little bit to chat with Dyan, and have her sign my journal, which she so graciously did – thank you, Dyan!! After some encouraging words from her, that literally left me speechless, I knew that this weekend was serendipitous, and I wasn’t meant to be anywhere else this weekend!!! 😉
My sweetie and I decided to stick around and help clean up, since the normally neat store looked like elephants had run through the place, which I guess we had – creatively FABULOUS elephants that is!! 😉 And if I didn’t think that my weekend could have gone any better, Christy invited my sweetie and I to join the Runaway team and Dyan for dinner…UHMMMMMM…YES PLEASE!!!! 😉 I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better weekend!! I mean what more could I possibly say??? I know I am gushing, but Dyan is really one of the most genuine, real, honest, no holds barred, women you could EVER meet, and at the same time she is generous, and creative, and beautiful, and WOW!!! SOOOO ENCOURAGING!!! 😉 Through her teaching of the classes and through our conversations throughout the weekend she really impresses upon you that you really can do seemingly hard things, if you break down into baby steps and you just do it piece by piece! That’s it – no need to make everything so freakin’ complicated!!
Ok, so I have rambled enough!! Don’t worry, Dyan, I will root you on from afar, (and hopefully get the opportunity to take many more classes from you in the future!) I promise no restraining orders will be necessary!!! 😉
Just one more thing, you should know, no one has paid me to say any of this, I am not affiliated with Dyan, or Ranger, or Runaway, although I am a SUPER HUGE fan of all three, all of the opinions expressed here are strictly my own and come from me!
If you have any questions, or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comments section here, and I will be happy to reply as soon as I am able!! 😉
Here is to a FABULOUS weekend past, and FABULOUS week to come!! 😉