Sunday, April 10, 2011

The 2011 Retreat is over, but the glow lingers on.

Our first retreat was a mini retreat, just one day long but fulled with 13 hours of fun, fellowship, food and CLAYING!

Eight of the Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay guild were in attendance as well as clayers from out of state. As with any event there was a great deal of planning and work ahead of time.

Penni Jo and Jane L gathered the goody bag donations from Makin's, Lisa Pavelka, Canes by Sandi Sandilla, donated by Jim Sandilla and shipped to us by Moe T, Best Flexible Molds, small bottle of MinWax Polycrylic varnish from Jane Linn and several tiny bottles to cover for bottles of hope. Door prize items were donated by Angela M, Jane L, Penni Jo & canes by Sandi Sandilla. Our thanks to everyone for their very generous donations. We used the bed in the guest room as a staging area for all the retreat related items.

Jane's DH Bob did an initial "Twister" design for the name tags. From his design, PJ and Jane also designed and printed both name tags and bag art. Jane prepared the name tags and affixed the bag art to the Goody bags.

PJ and Jane worked up a Program for the retreat and used Bob's "Twister" design on the cover.

The evening before the retreat Jane, Ruth and PJ prepared the living room floor with heavy duty plastic, covered the tables with paper, and put out the heavy duty extensions for motors and lights, taping the cords to the floor for safety. We would be using the studio oven for baking as well as the convection microwave in the kitchen.

Ruth did a great job of getting my studio clean and ready for the demos and baking. She found an old sculpture of a green man that I had forgotten and set it out on the work station.

Jane was invaluable, helping me in so many ways, from cutting out the bag art, buying and bringing double stick tape, filling and organizing the goody bags, laying out the program, helping me clean and even brought lunch to us on Friday.

So, on Friday night after weeks of planning and working, Penni Jo, Jane L and Ruth L had everything ready for early Saturday morning.

(I have a damaged ligament in my knee and have been on crutches for 5 weeks and am so very, very grateful for both Jane and Ruth's kind help and Jane's frequent trips here and there for needed items and to help me with the preparations.)

During the retreat Joyce found the green man on the studio work station and excitedly asked if this had been made into a mold. No, it had not. She really loved it and wanted a mold so I asked her to take it to Joe in the mold room and see if he would set and mold it. He said OK. The green man was finally going to be a product.

Saturday April 9, 2011 -- Our retreat started right after 8 in the morning with bagels & cream cheese (from Joyce), coffee (from Ruth) and lots of visiting while setting up to begin a 9 am. The attendees brought snacks, drinks and ice for the snack area.

Upon arrival, everyone received goody bags, a door prize ticket, name tags and a program.

The fun began at 9 with sounds of chatter, clinks of knives and blades on cutting boards, the roar of pm motors along with the grindy-grind sound of the hand cranked pm mixed with laughs and "how did you do that?" until our first demonstration.

First demo!! Sue M showed her fabulous ways with swirly lentils by demonstrating how to make them. After that we were treated to a number of different ways to re-shape the lentils for beautiful swirly lentil square beads, oval beads and hearts. After the demo she helped others to learn the technique.

Claying and playing continued until noon when we stopped for a nice lunch provided by Ruth, Jane and PJ. There was a sandwich bar with three kinds of meats, four cheeses, three breads, pickles, olives, chips etc, & brownies for dessert.

The rest of the afternoon was filled with more playing and claying.

The afternoon demo was by April G. She showed us how she makes her petal canes and how she cuts and adds wires to the petals before baking. It was enlightening to see her technique at work and the many layers of her uniquely airy designs. Her color choices for her skinner blends are unique, rich and lovely. Everyone got a slice of it.

Dinner was pizza from Pizza Hut, then back to more learning and laughing.

By the evening clay time many designs were coming out of the ovens with lots of ooing and ahhing over them and "How do you do that?" heard again.

One of the popular designs was a leopard cane made by Linda that she learned on the web. By the end of the day she was out of some of the colors but was willing to teach the cane to the group using pearl, silver, black and white. It was a beautiful cane and everyone got a slice of it.

The claying continued right up until 9 o'clock where clayers slowly gathered tools, clay and finished pieces to go home. All were smiling and saying what a great time we'd had and I was sad to see them go. All were excited with the idea of a two or three day event next year!!

Below: Thank You's from the Program

Our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the following people and or contributors for their contributions to our retreat.

Angela Mabray: for door prizes and tickets.

Jane Linn for small bottles of Min Wax PolyCrylic, polymer clay friendly Clear Satin varnish. -Goody bags and door prizes.

Bob and Jane for their work in the trenches to make this retreat fun and beautiful. Bob, thanks for the artwork.

Ruth for her help in donating meats for lunch, and Friday set up and studio preparations.

Lisa Pavelka for Magic Glos, metallic Foils and Water Slide Transfers. Also a catalog filled with ideas and post cards. -- Goody bags and door prizes.

Makin’s -- Tote bag, clay, mold & lots of info.-Goody bags.

A special thank you to Jim Sandilla for Sandi's hand made millefiori canes, donated after her passing to be shared with guild members and polymer clay users. -- Goody Bags & Door prizes.

Best Flexible Molds -- Tiny rubber molds -- Goody Bags and molds for door prizes.

A special thanks to Penni Jo for founding, organizing, opening her home, financing and doing the lion’s share of the work to make this retreat possible. Thanks to Joe for suggesting their home for a one day retreat.

Left to right:
Jane, Myra, Shirley's back, Nance & Ruth.

Friday, April 1, 2011

No foolin'! We are having a Retreat!

Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild
is having it's very first Retreat.

The OK Poly Clay Twisters will be claying away on April the 9th!!

After attending Sandy Camp and Fandango I just knew that we, Central Oklahoma Polymer Clay Guild, needed to have a retreat. The group said yes, we need a retreat! We had two potential sites lined up with big rooms and great lighting, both free.

Site one: Huge church gymnasium with great lighting, kitchen, classrooms, heat and air etc. They were willing to allow us to use the facility but, they had just finished refinishing the gym floor and did not want anything on it that could damage the new floor. After much thought, I realized that polymer clay definitely would damage the new floor and that no matter what we did to cover it, some crumbs might escape. So, called the pastor, thanked him for his generosity and told him we did not want to hurt the new floor. He was grateful.

Site two: I attend a meeting weekly in this facility, also a church building, great lights, heat and air, kitchen, classrooms etc. When I finally connected with the lady in charge of the building she told me if were up to her we would be welcome, but the church was closing the week before our retreat. Very sad when a church closes. I called TOPS group to tell them we were losing our meeting place.

It seemed that every door had closed. We really NEED a retreat here in the sunbelt.

DH asks, are we going to need to have it in our home? Well, we entertain 30 to 40 folks for thanksgiving dinner so 12 people playing in clay might be do-able. But, only one day. OK, one day is better than no retreat so our mini Retreat was born.

We will have three retreat-ers per table. Two tables in the living room, one table in the dining room for nine folks. There are two tall counter work stations and a 4 foot table in the studio. Makes an even dozen or 13 if two people sit at the 4 foot table.

We've had goodies donated for the goodie bag. We, BestFlexibleMolds will be donating tiny sample molds and some molds for the raffle and door prizes. Jane will be donating 1 ounce containers of MinWax Polycrylic Satin Varnish. Thank you Makin's for goodies and a bag!

There is no charge for the retreat but we are asking folks to chip in on the lunch sandwich bar.

If you would like to join us, we have two openings left. You can contact me through our website

Every year at the Oklahoma State Fair, we sponsor the polymer clay division. Prizes are awarded. Our guild donates to the "Best of Show" polymer clay division award. Here are a few pics of this year's State Fair offering.

The pics show many of the entries with ribbons. The beautiful credit card holder is by past President Jane.

Some more pretties!