Whilst every retreat is different I had more of an idea what to expect this time, feeling more relaxed when planning the trip and suitcase contents. I didn't take a lot on the basis that I could get everything I needed with a bit of shopping at Britex in San Francisco or in Ashland itself. This decision helped with the luggage allowance on the way to America but did necessitate the use of my second bag from Ashland to Houston (and back to New Zealand).
Spending four days with Diane Ericson and guest tutor Marla Kazell ( http://marlakazell.com/) was wonderful such a learning experience. Even being around the other DOLies provides an opportunity for growth as we all come from such different places joined by the common thread of sewing creatively. Once again Gwen Spencer provided invaluable assistance, generously sharing her vast experience and knowledge of techniques.
|Diane's refashioned pink jacket|
|Koos collage jacket by Marla|
Lots more inspiration can be found on Diane's website http://www.dianeericson.com/
Each day contained some tutoring time with Diane and Marla showing us amazing techniques - adding possibility pieces to your garments; painting on fabric; manipulating fabric; shaped welt pockets; bound buttonholes with a difference; fabric collage in the Koos style. We had the time to try the techniques for ourselves or continue with something else. Both Diane and Marla were always available to provide coaching and support.
|A creative consult with Diane (on the left)|
I am still a neat freak and find it difficult to let go. This time I tried combining different fabrics into a new fabric without too much thought of where they would appear in a finished garment. Whilst I happily chopped fabrics and put them on a backing I don't think the exercise was entirely a success as I can't imagine actually finishing the piece and making something from it.
|My new fabric showing the crease marks from its time rolled up|
|Diane's Ventana jacket|
Lots of places to eat (and drink). Even if you go to DOL on your own you are never alone, there is always someone to have dinner with and chat to. This trip I even got to experience a play at the famous Ashland Shakespeare Festival.
And then there is the free colour study opportunity with a wander through the amazing Lithia Park.
Having seen the class list for 2017 I would love to be able to go back to Ashland next Autumn but may have to wait for 2018.