Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Firming Up Our Thursday Day Trip/Dinner

I'm so excited!!! One day plan I've been working on for the "Women's Mexico Retreat" is a day trip up north of Club Santiago. We'd probably leave at a relaxed time, like noon, and our driver would travel us up to "Barra" first. Barrade Navidad, which means “Christmas Sandbar” or “The Bar of
Christmas,” is a small farming and fishing community.This sleepy little town is popular with those looking for a quiet stretch of beach without the large hotels and resorts of other larger Mexican cities. There are colorful local markets to photo, unpaved streets to sketch, small family owned stores to sample and popular beach front seafood restaurants where those interested, could have a light lunch. At Barra's beach, the scene is fascinating - between playing in the waves and enjoying the beauty of the local vendors and their wares. Later in the afternoon we will continue a little bit farther north to the village of Melaque. When I was there we stumbled across this delicious restaurant that coupled with a beachfront view" to die for". We were entertained by young surfers leaping off waves into the air while we feased on food prepared for the Gods.

So I have at last procured a gentleman to drive us on this Thursday trip. Here is his most recent email back to me:
"yes we can acomidate to all your needs our job is to make you and your ladies fell happy on your Manzanillo retreat our driver will be comited to your needs for the time period not a problem he will take you to the Barra de Navidad market to do your shopeing after that its time for a nice dinner in beautiful Melaque we will make sure you get the best out of the whole shopping, dinner, drive around town to town and back to Manzanillo" - Fredrico
So if this is something you think you could enjoy - sign onto our rooster of ladies. It's going to be a treat for all attending.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Participants Condo Pricing

With a more complete vision of the Condominium I've secured for the "Women's Mexico Retreat", April 12-19, I have worked out a sliding scale arrangement for all three different bedrooms available. These, of course, are based on a first come, first serve basis (and I DO already have a tentative reservation for the Master Bedroom, pending contract signing & deposit). My goal is fair pricing to accomodate everyone to their liking, as best I can. If you have questions or concerns, please, contact me and I'll get an answer for you as quickly as possible.

Master Bedroom:
The entire upper floor is a large master bedroom suite with private bath, with one balcony and a huge terrace overlooking the pool. The master terrace has a small whirlpool tub, a table and with four chairs, and two lounge chairs. The lady/ladies occupying this space need be comfortable sharing use of the deck and it's amenities.

$750 Single Occupant/2 occupants in condo total
650 Single Occupant/3-4 occupants in condo total
550 Single Occupant/5 occupants in condo total
Double Occupancy would divide room cost by half.

Guest Bedroom:
On main floor with 2 double beds, a bathroom with separate vanity and a balcony.

$650 Single Occupant/2 occupants in condo total
600 Single Occupant/3-4 occupants in condo total
350 Double Occupant/3-5 occupants in condo total
300 Triple Occupant/5-6 occupants in condo total
250 Quad Occupant/6-7 occupants in condo total

Bunk Bedroom:
On main floor with bunk beds, a closet, a bathroom and window.
$410 Single Occupant
250 Double Occupant

A deposit of one half of the room cost and a $100 per person, refundable, damage deposit will be required with signing of the Condo Contract and a copy of the Condo Rules, in addition to the Retreat Contract. I will need the final, full lodging and retreat payment by the February 1, 2009 deadline. As more participants sign onto the condo roster, refunds for diminished room prices will distributed at the end of Retreat.

As you can see, the more friends you bring, the more reasonable the stay. I encourage you inviting a friend or two along! What a great winter treat for all of you.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Fellow Traveler Viewpoint

Apologies for my absence ... I had a huge commission to complete and have recently started up with a new gallery. All things which devoured my attention so, finally I can turn back to our exciting retreat and the plans (and teases) for those of you planning on joining me!

Recently, one of my fellow travelers on our most recent trip to Manzanillo sent me a sweet review of his experience trekking around with me. Mike is the smiley fellow on the left of this photo (with his lady and Roland, my hubby, and I on the right). Pictured here as we dine - yes, at one of the restaurants to which I plan taking my retreat participants - and laugh at this hilarious antics of our server, who so freely volunteered to shoot this photo of us.

Here's Mikes commentary, in part, that most touched me.
There were many reasons which made our visit to Club Santiago memorable, fun and educational. Each day we mixed up activities which inspired our sensibilities, our spirits and our friendship. One pervasive theme to our visit was Elaine's art work. On each of our jaunts she would carry her journal and art supplies to capture local scenes and memories. I would sit alongside and marvel at her skill and artistry.

While each of us of had a digital camera to snap photos, her artistic vision and patience evoked a more focused and sensual capturing of the scenes, colors and textures of our environment.

I learned a great deal from watching, listening and questioning her unique perspective, skill and understanding of lighting, angles and focus.

While I will not be able to attend this spring retreat, you SHOULD! Club Santiago offers respite to the harsh winter (late spring) weather. The people, sights and sounds are inspiring, especially so, when in the good care and company of Elaine.

I'm trusting Mike's words and experience (yes, that is him, the cartoon character holding up the large bamboo!) can give you a window into the potential of seeing this vibrant, colorful and diverse retreat through an artists eyes. Those memories and emotions YOU can capture in your journal, not to mention the sharing that will go on between some mighty wonderful women. I've already spoken to several of you potential participants and you will be enamored and thrilled at what's in store for all of us. I look forward to sharing a whole new dimension with you all.

P.S. I DID receive confirmation on the condominium just across the street for participants lodging and am figuring out the sliding scale for the 3 different ranges of rooms and the varying amounts contingent upon the number of participants staying at the condo. I've inquired with the condo owner for more exact descriptions of the rooms and will be posting prices within the next few days.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lovely 3 Bedroom, Club Santiago Contract Signed

I have just signed a contract for this two level unit. The main level has a spacious living room, dining room, kitchen, large bedroom with two double beds, and a smaller room with bunk beds. Each bedroom has its own 3 pc ensuite. The entire upper floor is a large master bedroom with 2 double beds, a balcony and a huge terrace overlooking the pool. The master terrace has a small whirlpool tub, a table and with four chairs, and two lounge chairs. The condo includes a membership to the oceanfront beach club -with pool- three blocks away. As guests you can take in the ocean view from two different terraces from the comfort of the lounge chairs or if you want have a swim in the pool. You can also enjoy a breakfast, lunch, and drinks there.

It will sleep up to s
ix and is within walking distance of the retreat. And still just a couple blocks from the beach too!

I have sent in a deposit and once I receive confirmation - I will list a pro-rated price for accommodations based upon how many participants sign up for this condominium. You may reserved particular rooms OR just opt for a sleeping space, to be assigned.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Another face + flood of memories

This is an image from my personal journal entry on April 15, 2008. I'm very acquainted with it because I've been using it on my fliers advertising this wonderful "Women's Mexico Retreat".

I was especially happy with the sketch, which I completed in the Club Santiago condo, during quiet time, because I captured the intense focus this beautiful young girl held as she poured our "juice drink".

But what comes along with the face, hopefully suggested by the busy atmosphere behind her, was the flood of memories. The swirl of activity there at the Manzanillo Saturday Market was exciting. Everywhere there were colorful masses of everything imaginable - for sale. There was underwear, high-heeled sequined shoes, tomatoes, pottery, toys, and even a wheelbarrow full of candy, nuts and dried fruit. The wheelbarrow could follow you anywhere! And all the vendors had "deals" for you or "the best". It was intoxicatingly fun and exhausting.

So that's what floods my mind when I see this image - just thought I'd let you in on the fun! And that's what you will get when you catch a glimpse of an entry from your journal - when you come along and sketch with us on the retreat.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

About Our Guest Instructor

With Damaris Pyle's specialized mandala work and to make available, to any participant who might desire, inquiries or delvings more deep, I knew she'd be a perfect "Guest Instructor". She compliments her BS in Counseling Psychology from JFK University, CA, MFT license, with sensitivity, creativity, spirituality and playfulness!

When I asked my friend, Damaris, for a short blurb summarizing her participation in the retreat, she responded with this: "While working in the field of psychotherapy for the past 10 years, my journey has taken me into the healing domain of the imaginal realm. Psychological growth is enhanced when we enter the right brain hemisphere through art, creative writing, music and other symbolic avenues. During our time together I hope to open these channels giving you greater access to your innate creative self."
Damaris and I have been chatting about ways to place the mandalas you create during the retreat into journals. Usually she works in pastels. And as many of you artists know, that medium has some "fall out". We're considering, after applying a fixative, attaching a tissue or wax paper cover sheet into the journals. Or also, there is the potential of working in watercolor colored pencils. Lots of endless possibilities, I'd say.

If any participants have suggestions or requests for WHAT and HOW you'd like to express. Damaris & I are very open to hearing them too.

So it sounds like we will all discover insights and have alot of fun - come on and join us!

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Faces You'll See

This photo was taken at just one of the local markets held in the Manzanillo area. I was first fascinated with the individual making of every "snow-cone" with the specially chosen flavors, then while being mesmerized by the twirling colors, I realized I was not the only one entranced.

His lil' face was just adorable and each moment that passed brought different animation to his large brown eyes. My camera allowed me to take a series of quick shots and this is just one of the many sweet exposures.

Now I'm not one to be pristine about my journal "keeping all my images to ONLY watercolor" or, say, entries of my own "sketches"! Heck no! I'd even remembered this small printer I saw at a workshop which allowed one to plug in one's digital camera's individual "card" and print out, on site, your own images on photo size color paper. I reflected back thinking - anyone who loves to collect on the spot photos to insert into their Journal on site - is welcome to bring along just such machinery!

I encourage everyone to express in exactly THE WAY that is their expression. Who would I be to limit or judge your own beautiful idea or process. Create anyway that pleases you - and - wow - look at the face you could image into your Journal. I'll include some other "beautiful faces" soon for you to enjoy. For now . . . I'm off to bed.

Happy Creating!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My Personal Journaling Experience

I want to share with you my beginning experience journaling as well as the essence of what I feel is the value of continuing to journal. I hope you enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Your "Typical" Retreat Day

Upon rising in the privacy of your condo, shared with intriguing women, you pull on a loose, airy outfit then meander across the cobblestones to the Retreat. You arrive just in time for slow, quiet stretches and "Sun Salute" on the rooftop as the sun comes up.

With coffee in hand you join everyone who has gathered with paint & pen materials 'round the large table for a watercolor sketching demonstration by Elaine. Today, we're watching how to use wax crayons in conjunction with watercolor painting. We wander down to the nearby beach for some solo sketching & writing. After a period time, our teachers check in on each one of us for some one-on-one encouragement, reminding us to meet after the lunch break. As ladies share their "journaling experience", we all listen and learn technique tips. Then, we move on to a playful word game.

For dinner, the adventurous may join the group taking the local bus into town, while others walk down to the nearby cafe overlooking the beach.
After sunset, we had options to walk the beach or return to the workshop space to experiment with "telling our personal stories" or "imagined dreams".
Bedtime is sweet, and satisifying. Ahhh.