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Inspired by Dina Wakley

I was blessed to be able to go to Dina Wakley’s weekend class at Donna Downey’s studio a while ago.   I was blown away by what it offered me- a sense of home.  Not my home but Donna’s home.  We were in her studio and it was Southern hospitality at its finest!  I made quite a happy mess while creating- as my table protector above shows!

Donna’s mother prepared our welcome dinner and brought our lunches.  I’m allergic to dairy so I never know how that is going to go when I travel.  Usually a hotel or restaurant sees me as a nuisance who is just being a pest.  Those of you with food allergies know what I mean.  Not here.  It was beyond anything I could have dreamed about.  Since her mom cooked the food she just left out the diary in mine & put a cute dairy free label on it.

Then she went a step further!  She packaged our lunches in the cutest containers. No plain brown paper bags here.  The cute wooden fork, the twine, the newsprint sandwich wrap.  This lunch just screamed, “Welcome, I am glad you are here!”  I could go on and on about the details that made this weekend extra special but I need to get to the art part too!

Donna was our hostess and Dina Wakley was our talented, relaxed, and nurturing teacher.  Over the course of the weekend we did several projects.  This post is already getting long so I’ll share just one of the projects today, a book.


One of the great things about going to an Inspired event at Donna Downey’s Studio is that you don’t bring any supplies.  It is all included.  That means I didn’t have to spend the time gathering materials and the hours it seems to put it all away when I get home.  It also allowed me to experiment with new supplies before I bought them.

Dina had a rule that you didn’t have to do it her way.  You could.  But you didn’t have to.  That meant freedom.  It meant experimentation.  It meant messy hands. It meant creative joy.











She had some of her new stencils from Crafters Workshop with her.  The paint lids stencil was pure fun to play with.  Can’t wait for them to hit the stores!






















The top of the pink page was stamped with Donna Downey’s new wild geranium stamp.  I had fun playing with that one!


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  • Gail July 29, 2012, 8:16 pm

    What interesting artwork…and it looks fun. And the lunch is lovely. I had to check out Donna’s website and was surprised her studio is not too far from my home in NC. Thanks for sharing this. Gail (BibleLoveNotes.com)

  • Cynthia July 29, 2012, 10:21 pm

    That lunch is adorable!! I absolutely love your book–the colors, the quotes and the gorgeous textures! I think Donna’s awesome too!

  • Maria McGuire July 29, 2012, 10:58 pm

    AMAZING stuff! Yes Donna and Bill are the most wonderful hosts. I can’t wait to go back. So wish I would have been with you and Christi!!!

  • AJ July 30, 2012, 1:20 am

    That looks like a lovely class, such attention to detail. The artwork is awesome and I can’t wait to see more, I’m lapping it up!
    Big love
    AJ 🙂

  • Rinda July 30, 2012, 2:40 am

    I love Dina! I have taken a bunch of online classes from her and would love to take a class in person with her.

  • Marja July 30, 2012, 3:48 am

    What a lucky one are you that he had visit Donna. Marvelous. Your work is magnificent and so beautiful. I can understand you learn so much. that’s very great.
    Lovely greet

  • Carol July 30, 2012, 9:30 am

    Wow! Carolyn ~ just fantastic creation ~ book is fantastical ~~ thanks, namaste, (A Creative Harbor)

  • Pamela July 30, 2012, 9:40 am

    Pure indulgence from the dairy-free lunch to the pink geranium book.

  • Corrine July 30, 2012, 10:25 am

    I would love to take a Dina workshop, she is the queen of let it all hang out, but then again, you seem to do that too! The lunch is beyond sweet. Sounds like the best of all possible happiness in making a creative mess. Nice book there. My kind of colorful wonderfulness. xox

  • Currie Silver July 30, 2012, 10:33 am

    such fun!! I am glad you shared “long” as I got a wee taste of how fun a weekend it must have been. I love the no supplies required and the lunch… oh me oh my!!!

    BEautimous work, too, by the way!!! THANKS SO MUCH, Carolyn!!

  • Leovi July 30, 2012, 11:12 am

    A wonderful compositions, I love the colors and textures.

  • Lorinda @ Everyday Endeavours July 30, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Just gorgeous Carolyn!! So glad you had such a fun, inspired, well-cared-for time! xx

  • Dina July 30, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Love your book, it turned out SO fab. Thanks for coming & making art with me, you rock!! 🙂

  • Valerie-Jael July 30, 2012, 2:41 pm

    Looks like you had lots of fun and made some great pieces! Valerie

  • angenita July 30, 2012, 2:56 pm

    Wow your tableprotector is a piece of art! 🙂
    I enjoyed reading this post and watching the photos. It’s all so colorfull and bright and how you write about the class makes me wanna go craft something.
    Thanks for inspiring!

  • Dani - ATA Girls July 30, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Wonderful book – LOVE it. Joining from Inspire me Monday and new follower! Thanks for sharing. http://allthoseartsygirls.blogspot.com

  • Rita McGregor July 30, 2012, 9:48 pm

    Oh gosh that looks like heaven!! Kindness and paint and good food–what more could you want. 🙂 🙂

  • Carol Samsel July 31, 2012, 12:25 am

    Looks like a great adventure!! Your book is awesome and that lunch is super cute!

  • FranT July 31, 2012, 1:09 am

    Your book is just gorgeous! Every page is terrific, my favorite is the last pink one:)

  • Candace Jedrowicz July 31, 2012, 2:39 pm

    How lovely and lively!

  • Diana Evans July 31, 2012, 2:49 pm

    oh I love all this colour!!!! wonderful work!!!

  • Jessica Sporn August 1, 2012, 12:20 pm

    That looks like so much fun. Great colors and the lunch looks fantastic. I LOVE that you didn’t have to bring your own supplies. I found that such a pain at CREATE. I have something I want to talk to you about. Would you email me at corspokoli@gmail.com with contact info? Either phone or email or both? xo (and only Emma could carve a stamp from my zentangles…!)

  • Pauline Leger August 1, 2012, 7:38 pm

    Carolyn, this is fabulous!! Your journal pages are something else. I can literally SEE how inspired you were there. Wish i was closer. Her class seems awesome. Thanks for posting this. xox

  • Ginny August 2, 2012, 7:43 am

    I love all of the blues and greens you used. It sounds and looks like a wonderful weekend.

  • Kay Wallace August 3, 2012, 7:56 am

    Carolyn, thanks for sharing this post about your being inspired…but, thanks even more for inspiring us with your great work! I so admire your style. Your are one of what I call an “inside out” artist…everything comes from the inside, and it is the very best art their can be!

  • patsy August 3, 2012, 7:57 am

    love how the lunch was packaged! I’m sure it made everything taste delicious! Great projects too! I can feel and hear your joy! Patsy from HeARTworks and papemelroti

  • Create With Joy August 6, 2012, 12:12 am

    What an amazing opportunity this was – thank you for sharing the experience with us at Inspire Me Monday!

    This was just too good not to pass on, so congratulations for being featured once more!

    Have a fabulous week (and Dina is new to me, so thanks for inspiring me with an intro to another fab artist!)

  • melissa johnson August 8, 2012, 10:05 am

    Your book is absolutely beautiful! I am looking forward to meeting Donna in San Antonio in September when she comes to teach. 🙂

  • Amanda August 28, 2012, 10:31 am

    Great site!! I’m from the Art Blog Hop…would appreciate a follow back! 🙂