Friday, April 19, 2013

Hello everyone,

I am in the THICK of planning a VERY EXCITING week in Lake Como this June!  I feel really BLESSED right now and everything is coming together so perfectly. Little surprises and ideas I had hoped and dreamed would happen are coming TRUE!  It's all OVERWHELMING this week... in a GOOD way!

I can't spill EVERYTHING that I've been planning but I do want to start sharing some of it with you.

First, I wanted to say THANK YOU to Fancy Pants Designs for SPONSORING our Creative Retreat!  They have graciously offered to support this event and have some wonderful goodies for each student!  So THANK YOU Fancy Pants!!!

Now as you know,  we have some AMAZING teachers for this years Creative Retreat!  I am so honored that they both want to join me in the journey with YOU to Italy and be a part of something that is truly beautiful.  And these teachers have made some BEAUTIFUL class projects for this years event!

So TODAY I'm going to share some SNEAKS from one class of each of the teachers.

I'll start with Teresa Collins.  She is teaching 2 classes during the week and I have to say when she emailed me pictures of the 2 projects I was SO EXCITED!!  I was like kid in a candy store looking at the pictures of her projects!  So here's a SNEAK into one of those classes:

Our 2nd teacher is Jeanne Oliver.  She is also teaching 2 classes and these will focus on mixed media art.  She has some AMAZING classes for us and I can't WAIT to sit in on these classes and learn some new things!  So here's a SNEAK into one of her classes:

Lastly, I am teaching one class.  I wish I could teach 2 classes but with all that I have to organize during the week it's just best for me to teach one.  So I like to teach the first class and have it be a travel journal that everyone can use THROUGHOUT the week!  I like to have lots of pockets, lots of journaling pages, some art pages and just lots of interactive pages for you to put your thoughts in, hold all your ephemera from the week and put your photos in when you get home.  So here's a SNEAK of my Travel Journal:

So there you have it!  These are the 1st three SNEAKS of the classes.  I will share the other class SNEAKS next week.  All of these class projects are on their way to Italy and we shall see them in 2 months almost from the day...

Now I have quite an INCREDIBLE week planned for this event and some things will be kept SECRET until the event, but one of the things I have planned for that week is SO AMAZING, I want to share it with the world!!!

A little history before I do though...

In this age of technology it is just FASCINATING how "small" the world is.  At a touch of my phone or a click on my computer I can see anywhere I want through the eyes of people all over the world!  That brings me so much JOY because as you probably already gathered... I LOVE Italy!!  :)

So when I am missing Lake Como and want to "see" Italy I can communicate with friends over there on Facebook or look at pictures of Lake Como on Instagram.  I've always loved looking at "hashtags" on Instagram and seeing all the photos for #lakecomo or #lagodicomo and this is where the story unfolds.

One such photo on Instagram opened a whole new world to me.  And I made a new friend out of it too!  You see I was browsing #lakecomo on Instagram and found a picture of someones blog that lives in Como and it was SO CUTE!  It's called Live Love Create Inspire and the girl who created this website lives on Lake Como!  Of course just the title of her blog/website alone peaked my interest.  But then when I saw how LOVELY it is and full of inspiration I just HAD to email her!  Well that was quite a few months ago and now we have some EXCITING news to share!!!

We have joined forces for ONE INCREDIBLE NIGHT in Bellagio on June 25th!

Here's a PEAK at a flyer/poster I'm still creating that will be posted all around Lake Como... hopefully soon. But it's SO EXCITING to share this NEWS WITH YOU TODAY! How fun will this night be!?!

Evelyn, the owner of Live Love Create Inspire, will gather some of her friends and local artists on:

 Tuesday June 25th,  at the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni for  "A Night of Artists" in Bellagio, Italy!

It will be a VERY SPECIAL night where local ARTISTS will come and share their work with us.  These are some VERY TALENTED people who are taking the time to come to our event and show us their beautiful designs, give us a chance to meet them, see their work, purchase some of their VERY SPECIAL handmade items AND enjoy an evening together with music and food!  I am THRILLED BEYOND WORDS to have a chance to bring together our group and these talented local artists to be a part of their community and share a night like this together.  This event will be OPEN TO THE PUBLIC and if YOU live in the Lake Como area, PLEASE JOIN US for this wonderful night!

Evelyn will have more details on her blog and we will both be sharing about these talented artists and more information about this event as we get closer to the date.  I plan to have some of our teachers doing some things that night as well to showcase their talents too!

ALSO, for those who live in the local area...  THE CLASSES all of us teachers are teaching will be open to SIGN UP FOR!!  All the teachers have made a few extra class kits for anyone who is interested in joining us throughout the week for one class, 2 classes or ALL of the classes!!  So please feel free to email me if you are interested in joining us!  These are some AMAZING teachers who teach all over the world and I know you will learn SO MUCH from them!  You can email for times and costs for each class at

So there you have just a few details on some AMAZING things going on during our Creative Retreat this June!!  If you want to join us for the whole week, I am holding ONE SPOT OPEN!  The time is coming to a close though, so sign up SOON if you want to be a part of this INCREDIBLE week! 

Have a WONDERFUL weekend everyone!!

Hugs to all,


P.S.  I'll leave with you a little tidbit of good news I just got this morning... One of my FAVORITE restaurants in Bellagio has just opened up their restaurant to us for one night during our week there!!  This is VERY EXCITING because he does not normally take big groups!!  But my dear, dear friend worked his magic and made it happen!  You are in for a TREAT!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

(Bellagio is the town below that goes to a point)

The time is fast approaching us... we have just over 2 months until our 2nd Annual Creative Retreat starts!!

Can I just say how in awe of the Lord and his blessings I am!    This "Creative Retreat" idea was just a wild DREAM of mine a few years ago... and look at it now!  I still remember talking to the Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni Manager while we were there on vacation with the girls and saying how this place would be such a FABULOUS location for an event.  He didn't quite "get" what kind of EVENT I wanted to have, but he showed me the ballroom space anyways and we talked a bit out it.  But I really didn't think my dream (and prayers) would become a REALITY and then GROW to be an ANNUAL EVENT like this!!  God is good.

(Villa's on Lake Como)

Speaking on annually...

As most of you know this years is SOLD OUT (well, more on that down below...) and now that I have over 100 people on the INTEREST LIST for NEXT YEAR, I'm trying to figure out what to do about 2014's Creative Retreat!  I have asked the hotel and thought about things and I can bump things up to 40 people next year at the MAX.  But that's the maximum they can have in the event room for a class and that's taking up two 20-person busses for excursions that we may take.  Lake Como is SMALL and I really want to keep the event small and intimate as well.  So that means next year's Creative Retreat WILL be bigger than the 25 this year, but 40 still isn't NEAR the over 100 INTERESTED.   So I've been throwing around some ideas and MAY do TWO Creative Retreats next year OR do "back-to-back" Creative Retreats.  Meaning either One in May and one let's say in September OR do TWO events in May, one week at a time.  This will obviously be dependent on sign ups, but I REALLY WANT to make sure I can give EVERYONE a chance to experience this AMAZING place and WONDERFUL event!!

(One of the beautiful cobblestone streets in Bellagio)

Now I've already been talking to the TEACHERS for next years event and I'm sure YOU would like to know who they are, right???

Well I'm sorry... you're going to have to WAIT just a bit longer on that... but you will be IN LOVE with them!  I'm just SO excited and humbled that these AMAZING TEACHERS are wanting to be a part of this and I promise I will tell you SOON who they are!!

(Amazing architecture on Lake Como)

I will tell you WHEN it will be for next year though...

A while ago I mentioned that in JUNE OF THIS YEAR, I will be revealing more information and details on how to SIGN UP for next years Creative Retreat.  Well... I'm going to give you a "heads up" NOW on the DATES for Next Year's Creative Retreat...  You ready for it??!

I've already talked to the hotel and the teachers and everyone is open this week, so I might as well give YOU the dates too!  So...

May 17-24, 2014*

(The stunning Villa Balbianello)


This is a GREAT time on Lake Como, the weather is PERFECT, not too hot and not too cold.  The flowers are all blooming and the lake is GORGEOUS!!  It's a little bit before the summer crowds come in and I'm really excited about doing the event in May!  If  you ask the people who live there when the best time to come is, they always say May and September!  The week planned is in between Mother's Day and Memorial Day so I think it's a great time to slip away for an AMAZING women's retreat in Italy!  Don't you think so too?  :)

(Another street in Bellagio leading down to the lake)

So hopefully you can JOIN US next year and experience a week long event of Art and Beauty in this unbelievable location!  I WILL have more updates on this blog, so keep checking back here.  ALSO, if you are not on the INTEREST LIST, send me an email through this blog or at and let me know you want to be added to that list!  I will be sending out a newsletter to ALL THOSE ON THE INTEREST LIST IN MAY to give them a heads up on when they can sign up.  Then in early JUNE OF THIS YEAR, I will send out an "INVITATION" to ALL ON THE INTEREST LIST with the Announcement of next years Creative Retreat AND a link to where you can RESERVE YOUR SPOT!!  So that's a very important email to be looking for if you want to get in on next years retreat.

(A perfect setting for an Al Fresco dinner)

**Now as far as THIS YEARS Creative Retreat...  I have ONE SPOT THAT IS AVAILABLE!  Yes... FOR THIS JUNE'S RETREAT!!  I forgot to post this on here last week, but a lady had to back out due to hip surgery, so if you want to join us THIS JUNE, 2013...  YOU STILL CAN!!  I have only one spot and it's for a studio apartment that would hold 2 people at the most. (If you want to bring a spouse or friend)  So EMAIL ME ASAP if you want to join the fun this June!!**

(Varenna, across the lake from Bellagio)

If you already are joining us this June... well I can't WAIT to meet you SOON!!  I can't believe it's just two months away and we will be THERE!  I will be posting more in the Yahoo Group soon to find out some details about your food choices and travel plans.  It's going to be an UNFORGETTABLE week in a GORGEOUS place that time has kind of stepped back from and just let it be...  Real Italy.



(Villa Carlotta)

** All photos are from by Pinterest Board.

*Please note:  The date for 2014 is not set in stone.  It looks like that's the best week and I am going forward with it, but it could change due to unforeseen circumstances.  The newsletter in May will confirm the dates so you have enough time to plan for it before you secure your spot in June.