PLAY Retreat 2009


Well, I'm back from the PLAY journaling retreat and oh how I wish that I was still there. Except for the part about missing my family, I'd love to be back in that studio room with all the juicy creative energy swirling about. I can't resist these traffic mirrors and just had to leap out of my car (rental in the background with car door open) to catch myself. My god, how easily amused I am.


One of the things I LOVE about the Pacific Northwest is their passion for coffee. It must be all the cloudy weather and rain. About every couple of miles you see these cut little drive through coffee places. I really liked this one all lit up with white twinkle lights. They are everywhere! Little indie coffee stands – the antidote to corporate coffee. The sign cracks me up – "open till 5 pm at least" – because god forbid you can't get coffee in the late afternoon!!


The PLAY retreat is held at the lovely and historic Fort Worden in Port Townsend, Washington. I could do an entire blog post on this amazing place. It used to be a working military base, protecting our northern waterways at the turn of the century, but is now owned by the State of Washington and run as a conference center. Lots of history, lovely green grounds and very cool old buildings.


Our hosts for the retreat were the lovely, talented and generous Teesha and Tracy Moore. They have been journaling for years and have really pioneered this whole visual journaling movement. Teesha is demoing some of her favorite art supplies.


Teesha and Tracy cooked up this idea to make journals out of cereal boxes. WHAT a great idea! These are a couple of Teesha's. Easy and fresh, environmentally friendly and so user friendly. Many of us tried our hand at making our own.


Here Tracy demonstrates using stencils (with a Copic marker set up) in his journal. He very generously brought skads of his own stencil collection to share with us. I was so inspired by this last year that I got a little pen holder and generator. Go here to read more about my experiments with this.


This is one of Tracy's amazing journal covers. Wow!!!


Teesha and Tracy generously let us look through many of their personal journals. There is nothing like seeing all their journaling goodness up close. The mind reels and pulses quicken to be this up close and personal with true talent. Check out Teesha's website here for a look at some of her amazing journal pages.


We had this huge and light filled room as our studio for the weekend. 


These are my two box journals. One I filled with hot press watercolor paper and the other with cut up grocery bags. I used a Kashi cereal box and a Rigatoni box. I love the "window" that the Rigatoni box has – a little portal into another world. I reinforced and filled in with bits of tea boxes. Oh the joy!


These little guys are so cute, I can hardly stand it! I was playing around with all the empty boxes I had brought and came up with this little format. Some of them have watercolor paper and some have grocery bag pages. These are going to get flung in my purse for notes and bits of every day life journaling. My friend Kathy has some very cool tape from Crate and Barrel that I used as edging.


These are the first two pages of each of my new box journals. I love the colors and I'm playing around with some new imagery. 


Another spread in the Kashi journal – in process.


The beginnings of some pages in the paper bag/Rigatoni box journal. Love the colors on the brown paper!


A spread where I'm adding my notes from the weekend and playing with some new pens.


Another paper bag page. Can't wait to get back to this one!


A walk along the beach revealed this beautiful little still life. LOVE it! 

Several of us spent a morning on the beach making beach vignettes and I worked photos of mine into a journal page. All of THAT goodness will be revealed in my next blog post in a day or two. So stay tuned!

10 Responses to PLAY Retreat 2009

  1. liz a. says:

    i agree….all these journals are beautiful! i am so jealous (in the nicest way, of course!!) because i want to make one. well, i googled making a journal from a cereal box, got a bunch of funky, not totally useful stuff, but i shall try it! especially using grocery bag paper, what a great idea…after all, who doesn’t have that! hahahaha! beauty and recycling all in one, how great is that! if you ever have the time, i am sure i wouldn’t be the only person thrilled to have you tell us a bit of how these journals are made from boxes….sharing is good! hahahaha! thank you for the wonderful post!

  2. stephanie says:

    Wow, beautiful! ALL of them, love love the brown paper bag pages and your tea covers…you man

    ….OK, I have an idea….LET’S have our own little mini workshops, you can teach us this….I can share the manafest journaling techniques, everyone can share something…in the NEW studio!!



  3. Seth says:

    This looks like it was a big dose of creativity. Seeing T and T’s journals up close and personal must have been incredible.

  4. Gwen says:

    Glad you took that photo of Tracy’s journal, I missed that one! Great pics, and great summary of a FAB weekend!


  5. How wonderful that you were able to see how Teesha and Tracy work, and to spend time in beautiful Fort Townsend! I live right across the water from there. Gorgeous pages and journals, Fran.

  6. Lisa Hoffman says:

    I feel like you were our personal tour guide!
    I especially love the shot of your long shadow in the foreground of Fort Worden.
    Cool Beach Air. Misty, overcast days. Sweet, gypsy-lighted coffee stands. Your amazing work. The company of like-minds.
    What a wonderful way to step out of the daily grind and revel in a new Dimension.
    Great shots, as usual.
    Welcome Home Baby!

  7. mary ann says:

    oh fran all of your new journals and pages are so so vibrant/rich/gorgeous
    looks like this was an unstructured opportunity to explore new things in your journal. teesha & tracy moore are such creative interesting people.

  8. Tina says:

    What fun journals! I love the teacup and is that a fern frond? It’s so wonderful. I’ve always wished Teesha and Tracey would teach at Artfest. I may have to skip Artfest in the future and attend Play. I’ve heard great things about it.

  9. Christine says:

    Ooooo! Your pages are exciting and I really like your use of colors. This must have been an fantastic workshop..I just want to reach out and touch all of those journals!

  10. Jeri Aaron says:

    I’ve just stumbled across your blog – I so enjoyed seeing what you created at PLAY – I have not heard of this retreat previously but now will definately look into it.

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