On Wednesday April 24th I hit the road with my dog Bruce for a 12 day trip back to the East Coast! Our itinerary was set: my sister's bridal shower, a trip down the shore (or to the beach for you non-Jersey folks), and a wedding on the tail end. I packed up 80% of my studio and hauled it to NJ to work on getting my inventory up for the fast-approaching art fair season! This was the first semi-cross-country drive in our new VW Tiguan, or as we lovingly call her, Tiggy Azalea. With a mug full of coffee, 12+ hours of downloaded podcasts, and some snacks, we embarked on our 11+ hour drive through Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, with our final destination of Cherry Hill, NJ.
I pulled into my parents' driveway exactly 11 hours and 11 minutes later, having only made two stops along the way. I used to make fun of people who always said "11:11, make a wish," but right around the time I started my own electroforming studio, I started seeing it on the clock twice a day, every single day. It stops showing up when I'm not living in my truth, so seeing it on my car's dashboard reassured me that this trip was SO NECESSARY.
When I rolled up, I was exhausted, but so excited for the days to come! I was born and raised in Cherry Hill, NJ, a suburb of the great city of Philadelphia. Every time I come home I'm reminded of how much I really miss it. Indiana is great, don't get me wrong... but I just feel so much more grounded when I'm on the East Coast. I spent the next few days running errands and getting ready for the bridal shower on Sunday, as well as spending quality time with some of my most treasured friends (and of course my twin sister Jill). I even taught a workshop on Crystals and the Chakras at the retirement community where my sister works, it was so fun teaching the residents! I even did some chakra readings on some of the staff and residents, I can't wait to go back and do some Reiki sessions for them.
The bridal shower was BEAUTIFUL. I just LOVE love, but I was also so ready to get a few days to just immerse myself in my work. Monday evening I headed out for the shore, my parents have a small condo right on the boardwalk in Ventnor City, NJ. When we arrived, I opened all the windows to let the salty breeze in, there's nothing more peaceful to me than the waves crashing on the shore! I tried to get some sleep, but couldn't settle down and ended up pulling an accidental all-nighter on Monday! I was so excited to be at the shore, I just jumped right in and started creating. I set a goal of creating 150 new pieces while on my self-imposed solo artist retreat. Bruce and I greeted the sun as it rose over the ocean, we played in the shallows as the waves lapped at the shore, breathing in the powerful negative ions created by the ocean. Learn more about the power of negative ions on our mental health here!
Over the next 96 hours, I enjoyed almost complete isolation as I created those 150 new pieces. It felt so good to set a goal and reach it, to be the ONLY person responsible for my success or failure, and failure certainly was not an option. I took breaks to take Bruce for romps on the beach, and even went to play Quizzo with some friends at a local bar one evening. But mostly I just enjoyed my hours and hours at my makeshift workbench, with the constant sound of the waves crashing, and the salty air filling my lungs with each breath.
Get ready, there are some really fun new pieces coming so soon! I'm already trying to plan my next self-imposed artist retreat down the shore, but I'll have to make due with waves from a sound machine for now...