Saturday, November 1, 2014

Red Oak Book Arts Workshop with Leslie Marsh and Roxanne Evans Stout Hastypearl

Red Oak Book Arts Workshop
 Leslie Marsh and Roxanne Evans Stout


NASA called, and said that they use fewer steps to launch a rocket, 
than we did in the three day workshop that Leslie Marsh and Roxanne Evans Stout
 taught us last week! :)

Some background first.
I have Never held an art workshop. Ever.
I had Never met either teacher. Ever.
In fact, Leslie realized, that the two of us, 
had never even talked on the phone about any details. Ever.

Maybe I should have instead titled this posting...Ever, 
because it was often the theme of the workshop!

None of the students had Ever met each other or either of the teachers. three short days, an overwhelming bond 
occurred between ALL of us, 
so much so, that you would have thought 
that it was our Tenth reunion!

Leslie and Roxanne arrived to our home in Texas LATE, 
the night before the class began.
They hit the ground running setting things up 
the first morning and they never stopped smiling...Ever!

Leslie started the first day, by leading us outside to gather 
leaves and flowers for the eco dyeing 
portion of the workshop. 
We got the large Tamale pot boiling with 
my alkaline Texas water, 
a rusty piece of iron, some black walnuts 
and a cup of vinegar.
That recipe only changed each of the three days 
by the addition of water and vinegar.
The beautiful thing to witness was, 
how Each Days pieces changed so dramatically.

Once the papers and fabrics (three kinds) were in the dye pot, 
she started us working on the book covers.
No, these weren't Just book covers, 
these were Leslie's beautiful soldered covers.
And no, we didn't just make ONE book, 
we made TWO!
In Three days...What??

Day Two began with Roxanne asking how we felt about 
the previous day and if we would share.
It was amazing and touching, to hear how deeply, 
we had each already been effected and in so many  Different ways.

It is said, that you get out of something what you put into it.

Every woman that attended, had already put themselves ALL IN, 
and that was before we even got our hands stained :)

She then had the idea of taking us to my back garden 
to get our collage juices going. 
We gathered bits of nature and made Mandalas, 
and placed them on the shredded bark in the shade.

I'll stop and say, that I sent exterior pictures for our promotion 
from this EXACT same time of year last year, 
and the Fall Colors in the Texas Hill Country were ablaze!
This year...nothing! 
Ladies left their colorful and cool October homes, 
to arrive to 88 degrees and green!
Completely ironic to the name of the workshop, 
but as we know, we cant do ANYTHING to effect Nature!
It is on its OWN time clock!

Back into the house we went to some beautiful 
collage tutorials done like only Roxanne can do them.
Every supply was provided.
And provided.
And provided!

What an amazing opportunity it was for us to be 
so Richly Filled by Two Such Talented Women.
They went Above and Beyond anything 
that could have been Dreamed! 

Please notice how neat the tables are at this point!
YOU know what I mean.

Its just a matter of time, before everything got Wild!
...except for Elissa (in the lime green top)
Her space was ALWAYS neat as a pin...
yeah, you know, there is Always one of THOSE 
in every workshop ;)

From there, it went back and forth from the dye pot, 
to more soldering, to more collaging and 
finally to a beautiful binding of our books.

I think that I speak for most of us, that had never done one or 
more of every category, 
and yet, somehow, we got ALL of our projects completed!

(pecan leaves)

Every time something came out of the pot, we were Delighted!
It was like a Gift being opened.
I am now sooo addicted!
Now, I see why all of the dyers out there, 
are buried with scraps of fabrics and paper fresh from their dye pots :)

We set up on my kitchen island for demos.
This is Roxanne showing us idea number one, thirty, 
four hundred.

Roxanne and Leslie, were so compatible.
I don't know if I have ever been around two 
More pleasant people.
The three of us went at it HARD, for 5 days, 
and it was seriously, Pure Joy the whole time:)
Night number two, the three of us, the moon and the stars ate 
leftovers on our upstairs deck and talked. 
Then on night three, we did leftovers AGAIN 
but this time...I think that we were so tired and relaxed, 
that we laughed our heads off until wayyyy Late!

Yes, Leslie and Roxanne knew each other, but it felt like we had become fast sisters...
we were...Kindred Sisters!   

Finally, we finished and it was time for Show Time!
We took our Two Books and Fabrics into the Dining Room 
and had our own little Art Show.

I was so proud of what we had accomplished.
Noses to the ground, we surprised ourselves.  




Neither Leslie or Roxanne are New at this.
Many of you have taken their classes and already KNOW 
what I am talking about, so you are going down memory lane.

If you haven't taken their classes, 
and you see their names come up as instructors at an Art Event...


If they collaborate again...and I hope that they will....

Its not just the skill set or the style that they bring...its the Heart.
Beautiful Hearts.
Generous Hearts.
Honest Hearts.

And to the Ladies that came from all corners of the United States, 
You were Exactly the women that were SUPPOSED to be here.
The event wouldnt have been the Same with even One of you missing.
I love how that happens.

If you haven't already been drenched in our 
Workshop Honeymoon Honey 
on each of our Facebook walls yet, 
you will!

Like I said, I've never seen anything like this before...

Roxanne, it wasn't an accident that we were on FB 
at the exact time that this workshop was 
conceived and contacting Leslie, was Brilliant!


Elissa, Carol, Kip, Laura, Roxanne, Leslie and Melody

And to You, my Dear Readers, I'm so glad that you stopped by to read my blog.
I'm Always glad!
Out of all of the blogs out there for you to read, 
it means So Much to me that you join me.
I hope that you will again...soon.

Feel free to post a comment...I always love to hear from you :) 



  1. We worked really hard, we learned A LOT, we were cared for body, mind and soul,---and we had FUN. In short--one of the best workshops--EVER. Thank you Laura, Roxanne and Leslie.

    1. So glad you stopped by, Kip! Hope you will again...Laura

  2. Laura, this was one of the best workshops EVER, and this blog post reminds me that you and Leslie and all the beautiful souls there will always be dear to my heart. Still glowing after almost a week. You are a lovely flower in a garden of light! Thank you for hosting this, and for a dream come true.

    1. It's so fun remembering things that we did...Can't wait to hear about your next one. I'm pretty sure the reaction from you students will be exactly the same:) xo Laura

  3. Oh yes...this does seem like the best workshop ever! Would have loved to have been there.

    1. We thought of you! Wish you could have been here, too. We Texans, will look forward to your visit...and will wait for your announcement! Laura

  4. This is the best workshop review EVER, and I am so glad to have been a part of it! Thanks for the glowing review, Laura!

    1. Well, with the Generous Cash Monies that you left in the envelope that said ...For Glowing Workshop Review...the words flowed easily;) xo Laura

  5. Hi, I just found this and really like the book!!! I'm from Germany and to really understand it, I want to ask you: is the Cover made from silver or pewter or solder?? Did YOU solder it by yourselfs at the workshop??

    Thank you for showing this!!


    1. Hi Ela, we soldiered the books. Find Leslie Marsh on FB. Follow her. She has an upcoming online workshop this summer with Artful Gathering where she will teach this class. I hope you'll find her. Thanks for stopping by...I hope you'll take a look at my new blog at Laura