It’s official!  I have a new art shero and her name is Dina Wakley.

She’s messy, she’s funny, she’s imperfect (and very proud of it), and she really loves color and knows how to teach it.  The four (yes, FOUR) classes I took with her this past weekend were truly some of the best classes I’ve ever taken and below is a run down of the goodies I came home with!

First up is the fast and dirty little tag book I made in Friday afternoon’s class. For the book itself, we made what Dina calls “puke on a page” then folded it down into cute little “baby thighs” (because baby thighs are ALWAYS cute), then we made funky little tags to fit inside the pockets of our book. FUN and a fantastic introduction to Dina’s teaching style!

Bright and early Saturday morning we were back to make this encaustic tag book. I’ve done encaustic before, but Dina’s way is fast and easy and I fell in love all over again. Also had to get me some more of her wonderful stamps because I needed them (really – I NEEDED those stamps)!

Saturday afternoon was Art Journaling the “Dina Way” – masking and stenciling to make colorful silhouettes that just sent me over the moon. The only thing that could have made me happier was if I’d had my sewing machine and I definitely found a kindred spirit there cause Dina loves to sew on her pages too.

The last class Sunday morning brought everything together in a chunky little technique book. Another fast and furious class where I was reminded of Dina’s cardinal rule – Don’t Think!! – and, honestly, I think “not thinking” agrees with me when it comes to making art.

You know how they say the lessons we need to learn in life come when we’re most ready to hear them?  I think this was one of those times – photo below must surely have been one of the times when Dina was telling us “Done is better than Perfect”…

One of the phrases I picked for my encaustic tags echoed that theme…

Then I heard it again today from Sarah Ahern in her online Paint and Pages class… “it doesn’t have to be perfect.”

I’m beginning to realize the real beauty and wonder of life lies in the things that are NOT perfect – the messy parts that somehow come together in the end to create just the life we are supposed to have.

That said, I just have to say that this weekend truly WAS perfect – in every way I can think of.  Thank you so much Dina for coming to visit and shining your light so brightly.  Loved every second of it and can’t wait til you come again!!!


12 Comments on “Perfect!

  1. Oooooooh Kelley!! I couldn’t agree with you more! She shared WAAAY more then I hoped for….. I learned, I grew…… 🙂 I was even a little sad today as I’m driving down the road, hands not sticking to the steering wheel and noticing no a spec of ink or paint or adhesive…. 😦
    I too can not wait for her return and until then her new book coming out will due nicely 🙂

    • Oh – that’s right!! I completely forgot about her book. Just jumped over to her site and preordered a copy (due out in February 2013).

  2. Ah, you are awesome! Thanks so much for the kind words and unflattering photos (ha ha). Love it! And thanks for being “my people.” Hope to see you again soon!

  3. Hi Kelley, I love Dina’s work and you are so lucky being able to get to her class ! Singapore where I am is longer than a bus ride *hahaha* ….. so taking her class remains a wish. I’ve written a post on my Blog and have added a link to your Blog (it’s about Dina and a quote you posted), thank you for your post !

    • Hi Aida! Thank so much for the link back. Took a peek at your post and LOVE the pages you did – so rich with color and yummy layers. Hope Dina gets to come your way soon!!!

  4. I love Dina’s saying! I have one of my own- “Good enough is good enough!”
    Your work is really wonderful-thanks for sharing. Found you by way of Dina’s blog, BTW:)

    • Thanks so much – it was sooooooo much fun learning from Dina! I might just have to tattoo her motto on my forehead!

  5. Hi! Great work…wish I could have attended the class. May I ask, how big were the tags? I would like to try something similar, but can’t figure out how the accordion book works. How do the books stay attached into the book? They appear to be freestanding from the front.

    Thank you!!

    • We used #5 tags (4.25 x 2.375). One of the books was a particular folding technique Dina shared that resulted in pockets for the tags to slip into. The other was attached with narrow paper strips.

  6. Thank you very much, Kelley!
    I’m thinking I can use washi tape to attach my tags to each other.
    I also really like your stamps you’ve made from photographs. They’re great!!!

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