My Weekend With Gail Rieke


          “We wear wild like a badge over our hearts. We do community like it’s a blanket wrapping us up. We create and create and create some more. We love and yell and muse and eat chocolate. We hold space like it includes the moon and the stars which of course it does. We are linked with a red thread blazing new trails and connecting us to old ones. We are addicted to insanely outrageous cowgirl boots. We dance with abandon, sparkles, and huge laughter. We are Cosmic and amazing and uniquely US.”

From the Cosmic Cowgirl Anthem by Shiloh Sophia

The last couple of weeks have been soooo busy! So much to do in the garden and at The Cottage and at home. The Girlz With HeART program is growing and thriving and taking every spare moment around the edges.

Don’t get me wrong–I love all the juiciness and joy of these activities but, occasionally, I do love to just treat myself to some delicious nourishment from other sources!

Last week I was delighted to participate in a fabulous workshop with Gail Rieke sponsored by PaperWorks: The Sonoran Collective of Book and Paper Arts.

gail 4

What a generous, spirited, and encouraging artist she is! Check out her website here.

The theme of the workshop was “The Artist As Traveler” and we were encouraged to bring our personal travel ephemera to create a unique travel memento. I had thought I might do something about my travels hither and yon over the years…but, inspired by this quote by Marcel Proust,

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes,”

I decided to do something “outside the box” (which, as you might suspect, is sort of my artistic signature!)…

though it DID turn out to be all about what was inside the box…

Let me explain…

sister box

This is an old wooden art box I’ve had around for years–much loved but empty and on the shelf, gathering dust–waaaa laaaaa, I thought, the perfect “vessel” for a little memento I titled “The Art of Sisterhood” about my recent visit to my sister’s farm up in the beautiful California Sierra’s, Down Home Handspun Fibers.

I filled it with little treasures I’d gathered on my visit–“dingle-bobs” from the liquid amber tree, moss and ferns and bits of my sister’s beautiful fibers…a broken toy from her fairy garden, rocks, pods, bark, wildflowers, and 100_4597 just plain “magical stuff” because my sister and I are both in love with such simple things.

“…before you can capture the unmeasurable, you must first learn to notice it…”

Hannah Hinchmann in A Trail Through Leaves

And then I fashioned two books to tuck in behind the built in palette..

.art box inside

Kim's book

The books were hand made and painted and filled with photos & journaling and quotes about sisterhood…embarkKim book 2

and they spilled over with the pure joy that reconnecting with my sister has brought me!

100_4609It was such a wonderful workshop! We had so much fun and learned so much from Gail (and about ourselves as artists in the process!)

gail class picture

I came away with a new understanding:

“This is a great moment, when you see however distant the goal of our wandering, the thing which has been living in your imagination suddenly becomes part of the tangible world.” Freya Stark

do the impossible

So whatever your dream, whatever your secret longing, whatever journey your heart urgently implores you to take, whatever the odds against you seem–LEAP! Go for it! Pull on your cosmic cowgirl boots and GO!!!!

I’m soooo happy I did!

Much love to you and many happy travels,

from your friend Kaitlin

Mistress of Merriment

P. S. The bone on top of the box says, ” Bone & Blood Sisters, Heart & Soul Love”

© Copyright, Kaitlin Meadows, 2015. All Rights Reserved.

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