Friday, October 31, 2014

Art Retreat at The Prairie
Fall 2014
 Flash and Trash will be with us next week

Flash and Trash is a handcrafted women’s fashion label by Texas Hill Country designer Libby Holder. Have you met Libby? She is the cutest and most creative little lady we’ve ever laid eyes on!
Pieces are created using fabrics and materials that are carefully collected and gathered, vintage and antique
Flash and Trash is perfect for everyday and can be worn with a simple t-shirt or dressed in Flash and Trash layers
for more information,

Prairie Blessings,
Barb, Erin and Sara

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Art Retreat at The Prairie
Fall 2014

                Do you know about Magnolia Pearl clothing?

We will have Robin's fashions available for purchase during our retreat.
here's your chance to try them on, play with them, and put together outfits!
We will have a variety of her clothes on display and for sale each day of the retreat.
Here's the link to her website ~ Magnolia Pearl.

for more information,

Prairie Blessings,
Barb, Erin and Sara

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Art Retreat at The Prairie
Fall 2014

              Do you create things that you would like to
sell, trade or give away?

              Do you have extra stash that you
don’t want or need anymore?

              Bring it with you to the retreat
where you can sell or share with each other!

              It will be loads of fun!

               Shoppe open all week

for more information,

Prairie blessings,

Barb, Erin and Sara

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

We are closing in on 

Art Retreat at The Prairie
Fall 2014
We are getting so excited - and we hope you are too! Here are a few things we recommend that you bring with you to The Prairie. The lighting is okay (for barns and one-hundred year-old houses!), but you will need a little help with lighting at your classroom work station! We recommend that you bring a task light like an Ott light, an extension cord and a power strip. Joann’s sells them, and, if you have a 50% off coupon, you can pick one up quite reasonably.
You can buy Ott lights at Joann’s. Remember to use your 50% off coupon!
Power Strip
Extension Cord
We will be sending almost daily emails to our students this week! Lots of last-minute information for you! 
Let us know if you have any questions about anything we send!

Prairie blessings,

Barb, Erin and Sara

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

We are getting really excited about our upcoming retreat next month! Erin, Sara and I are working hard to put the finishing touches on everything. We’re going to begin emailing you a lot with updates and information that will help make your stay with us easier and less-stressful (we hope!)

First of all, I’d like to let you know how Erin, Sara and I all fit together. Erin is my daughter – married to Jose – mother to Vivi (age 3-1/2) and Weston (age 9-months). Sara is my daughter-in-law – married to our son, Casey – mother to Grace (age 18-months). We are a family-run business – Erin is our “mistress of the spreadsheet” and takes care of the financial end of our business. She keeps me on track with dollars and sense (not a typo – she really does make sense out of me!). Sara is our social media expert and is responsible for that as well as advertising, marketing, etc. She is also a fabulous baker! You’ll be treated to many delicious sweet treats created by her during our retreat. Me - I dream up the retreats – from instructors to class projects, food to guest vendors, and any-and-all-things-in-between. My forte is neither spreadsheets nor sweet treats! I’m the visionary – the one who always tries to reivent the wheel. The girls help keep me grounded with my feet firmly planted on terra firma (at least they try!).

We will all be at the retreat, along with Jose, Vivi, Grace and my husband, Mark – working hard to make sure you have a wonderful experience. Mark and Jose will be around all week, mainly watching the kiddoes, and they are also kind enough to run our errands for us during the retreat so we don't have to leave The Prairie for any reason. If you need anything, just hunt one of us down, and we will help you out.

We’re working on compiling daily schedules for each of you. They serve as a way for us to confirm where you’ll be on what day. We should have those out to you by email by next week.

You can still purchase lunches and/or dinners <here> if you would like to sign up and haven't done so yet. I’m including the menu for the week in this email. The food is wonderful – catered by area restaurants. We’ve never had a student who complained that they weren’t fed enough or served tasty food!

Many nights, we will travel to local restaurants that we think are delicious and fun places to spend a few hours of your evening. Everyone wants a change-of-scenery once in a while, and we try to give everyone a chance to take a break from their classrooms. While we are out and about in town, we have also arranged for stops at some fun shops. I’m sure you’ve heard of Junk Gypsies. Two sisters who have a fun business and television show related to fashion and home decorating. You can read about them <here>. They will be our stop on Thursday after dinner. If you are coming into town on Thursday to begin your classes on Friday, why don’t you come out for dinner with us and stop at Junk Gypsy store afterwards. It will be a casual and fun way to meet up with other students and your instructors. A great opportunity to break-the-ice and begin to feel at home with us. Stop by The Prairie, drop your supplies, check into your rooms, and join us for dinner and browsing. You’ll be glad you did!

Well, that’s enough for one newsletter! I’ll let you digest all of this a bit, and I’ll send you another update in a day or two. If you have any questions, email me at

Prairie blessings,
Barb, Erin and Sara

Friday, September 12, 2014

Hello! Artists Pamela Huntington and Lorri Scott's Wayward Blooms

Last post, we met Pamela Huntington on the blog. Now we are featuring Wayward Blooms by Pamela and our amazing instructor Lorri Scott. Lorri and Pamela are such talented artists who can manipulate fabrics to create stunning pieces. It's truly amazing what these ladies can transform in a short period of time! This one day class will have you producing beautiful silk blooms in no time! Check out this one day class for the Art Retreat in the Desert.

Lori's Classes at Art Retreat in the Desert

Lorri Scott is a fiber artist and designer from Los Gatos, CA. Lorri magically transforms undyed silk fabrics, ribbons, and garments into fabulous colors using shibori, resist, vat dye and dye printing techniques.  She is a self taught weaver, dyer, and clothing designer whose art has shown in numerous publications and juried shows. She is the feature designer in the summer 2012 issue of Belle Armoire showcasing her vintage upcycled clothing aka as “wayward threads” 
Lorri has taught and vended at many national shows and is happy to add Art @ Prairie to her resume!
Contact her at

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hello! Artist and Graphic Designer Pamela Huntington

Every once in a while I find myself staring at a project with such great intrigue and allure that I feel hypnotized. Our Art Retreat in the Desert Artist and Graphic Designer Pamela Huntington's work will do this to you. Simply look at her personal website and you can see what I mean. When strolling through her pages of work, I've been transported in my mind to childhood memories from the big-top circus to family holiday traditions. That's a pretty amazing feat if I do say so myself! Pamela is teaching a few classes in the Desert, so this video gem features her Gathered Relics Mica Book. Enjoy!

Pamela's full class schedule for Art Retreat in the Desert 2015

Pamela Huntington is a full time artist, graphic designer and workshop instructor living in the woods of New England. Whimsical digital collage, assemblage, one of a kind custom books and fabric arts are all part of her mixed media background.
She has taught at Artfest, Paper Cowgirl, Art and Soul, Art is You, Art-Unraveled, and New England Scrapbook in Connecticut.  Published in Somerset Studio publications as well as Cloth Paper Scissor and local newspaper and magazines.

Monday, September 8, 2014

I practiced such shopper's restraint this past week in Tucson at the bead and gem shows! This is all I bought! 

Now, it may look like quite a stash to you, but I’ve been known to buy many, many more (and heavy!) bags of beads and baubles in the past! I’m pretty proud of my restraint this time!

The mushroom druzy’s will make beautiful rings or pendants!

I love the fossilized bivalve clams, don't you!

I apparently am having a love affair with pyrite at the moment!

But who could pass up pyrite Druzy's? 

And pyrite ovals?

And bone - but I already knew about that addiction! I’ll save that for a separate post!

What are your favorite stones and elements to work with?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hello! Artist Riki Schumacher

Sometimes there are people who really leave an impression on you for no particular reason at all. The moment you meet Riki, you feel a warmth of sunshine beaming on your face and a spark of inspiration in your head and heart. Artist and Art Retreat in the Desert Instructor, Riki Schumacher, is truly one sweet gal. We love having her teach our students and be a part of the Vivi Magoo Presents Family. Watch Riki's new view to see what she's up to for February 2015!

Take a sprinkling of Kansas, throw in a Toto doggie and Prince Charming, a beautiful cabin in the woods and a beach house. This is Riki's life.  Born in Kansas, she splits her time between two paradises; one in Washington state, and the other in California on the Central Coast. She is happily married to the man of her dreams, and is a dog mom to her Havanese,  Maddie.  After putting in 20 years as a professional advertising executive, she had the opportunity to live her dream, retire and start her own jewelry business.  That was 15 years ago.  She has been published numerous times in Stampington's magazines, and other publications, and has traveled the world to learn new mixed media and jewelry techniques.  Her next stage of exploration has been teaching, which has been incredibly positive. She says, "teaching is the most rewarding experience.  It allows you to share your knowledge with those who want to change their lives in some small way. What a wonderful gift, to help make that happen".  Try to catch up with Riki at one of her workshops somewhere in the U.S.  Share in her enthusiasm, have fun, and learn at the same time...we're not in Kansas anymore Toto!
Contact her at

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hello! Jewelry Designer Debora Mauser

Debora Mauser
Can you believe summer is coming to an end? For us here in Arizona, we are glad to be saying farewell to the 115 degree days and hello to cool(er) fall breezes.

    We also want to say Hello! to one of our beloved instructors, Debora Mauser. She will be teaching many classes in February 2015 at the Art Retreat in the Desert. Debora is a wonderful instructor and comes with years of experience that you'll want to tap into. Watch her video to see with your own eyes what jewelry design techniques she will be sharing with us in February!

Debora Mauser's Art Retreat in the Desert Classes

Debora Mauser is a self taught artist that loves sharing with students.  She has been teaching nationally for years at large venues like Bead and Button, Bead Fest and Tucson as well as bead stores and schools like William Holland and Sawtooth Center.  She is a certified Wubbers Universtity and Painting with Fire Instructor.  In 2013 Debora was a part of Nunn Designs Innovation team. Her work has been featured in national magazines like Step by Step Wire, and online at Jewelry Making Daily.  Debora’s teaching style is fun and low key, with student input being vital to the success of each class.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Creating Ulterior Motive Memories

My husband, daughter, and I just moved into our house, so recently I’ve been looking for inspiration to guide our home design. I pine over the perfectly designed rooms in home magazines. I endlessly scroll through Pinterest and Houzz searches, and sometimes I am still left a little inspiration-less. What I always have to remember is that the best kind of inspiration comes from myself and my memories. I will always have the memory of Grace spilling milk all over my new Elle D├ęcor while she giggled and proceeded to tear up the soggy pages. This gives me inspiration to welcome the unexpected (and not cry over spilt milk). We then went out window-shopping, and Grace insisted on wearing one of my chunky bib-style necklaces.  She’s following in her Grandma Barb’s accessory footsteps already! When I remember these things, it makes me feel something.  THIS is something to be inspired by.
VMP Friends - left to right
Lisa Monroe, Erin, Deryn Mentock, Diane Cook, Barb and Marie
Making memories while you’re creating [fill in the blank] seems to make the process and the outcome that much more meaningful. That is exactly what I’ve seen happen through Vivi Magoo Presents... retreats. The opportunity for VMP friends to come together and connect while being inspired by each other, the instructors and the venue offers a deep experience. The bonds forged on the journey to creating a piece of art are sure be the thing that inspires you and makes your masterpiece increase in value ten fold. Hope you’ll be joining us in the fall to be inspired, make memories, and create beautiful jewelry and art.

Art Retreat at the Prarie Nov. 2014
Love from VMP,