Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Well ~ Art Retreat at The Prairie - Spring 2012 is all over, and it was a huge success! 


Here’s a photo of Diane (left), Deryn (right) and myself (center) at The Prairie!
We look fresh and eager to begin, don’t we?!?
 
The location was a perfect setting to hold the retreat ~ The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell was charming and quaint and very inspirational for the students who attended. 


















The weather was perfect.  Not too hot for this part of Texas this time of year!


The instructors were oh-so-good! Deryn and Diane are ultimate professional artists and designers and have the added gift of being able to teach in an effective style. They came prepared - both in instructional content and supplies for sharing. No detail was unattended ~ and there wasn’t a question that went unanswered and demonstrated for all to learn from. 
Diane with a few of her students

Deryn teaching  
And, the students ~ oh my lovely students! What can I say about this wonderfully creative and caring and fun group of women?!?  They were marvelous! They came prepared to learn and ready to share themselves with each other in friendship. There were all levels of experience ~ several newbies to jewelry design and several professional designers who make and sell jewelry for a living. No one felt left-out because no one bragged about themselves. Everyone was equal and on-a-par with everyone else. We laughed and joked and shared stories about ourselves, and each person had a chance to listen and be heard. We bonded in ways beyond my wildest expectations! Remember that this is one of my goals for the retreats ~ that, not only is there good instruction from gifted and talented designer/instructors, but also plenty of opportunities for friendships to be forged ~ friendships that will last a lifetime. 
Diane’s Crystal Confetti class!
Deryn’s Wax-On class!
Everyone left with a promise to return as soon as possible. Some wanted to sign up immediately for the fall classes back at The Prairie! All agreed that this was a charmed and blessed event and that they want to be a part of it again and again in the near future.
Over the next days, I will share details and photos of the retreat. I hope that you will get a sense of what all experienced from my words and pictures. I encourage you to sign up for the next retreat ~ in Coronado, California in June...or in Round Top, Texas again in September. You will be treated to a weekend that you will remember for a lifetime. You’ll make forever-friends that will become loving, artful sisters. It will be well-worth it ~ I promise you that!
Hugs!
Barb
aka Vivi Magoo!!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012



Kelli asked about the meals each day ~ All meals are being catered by The Back Porch BBQ in La Grange. Korin is Kim's sister (Kim is Rachel's innkeeper at The Prairie). You can read her story on her blog here. No muss, no fuss ~ they bring it in and take away the trash for us! All we have to do is eat and keep creating! It just doesn't get any better than that! Lunches are $20 each, dinners are $50. That includes tax and gratuity. If you're not staying at The Prairie and would like to join us for breakfast, let me know that too ~ 
If you're interested, email me at vivi.magoo.presents@gmail.com. I'll send you an invoice that you can pay on PayPal with a credit card.

I'll host an informal happy hour each evening at 6 o'clock in the Ranger Lounge ~ or outside if the weather is nice! I'll have a little wine, a few non-alcoholic drinks and some munchies. If you'd like, stop by the Stone Cellar  in Round top, and bring your own favorite bottle back to The Prairie to enjoy!

Lunches will be served about 12:30 pm and dinners at 7:00 pm. Happy Hour at 6:00 pm, and who knows ~ there may be a midnight sweet each evening too ;o} 






Thursday ~ Lunch 
Greek Salad
Rolls and Butter
Lemonade/Iced Tea
Dessert
Thursday ~ Dinner 
Tex Mex Fajita Dinner
Lemonade/Iced Tea
Wine/Beer
Dessert

Friday ~ Lunch 
Pulled Pork Sandwich
Weikels bread
Pickles, onions, peppers and homemade sauce
Lemonade/Iced Tea
Dessert
Friday dinner - Group reservations at Royer's Round Top Cafe!
Todd's Pork Tenderloin - topped with Royer's Peach and Pepper Glaze
Smashed Potato Casserole (warm)
Broccoli Salad (cold)
Glass of wine or n/a beverage
Piece of Royer's Pie - yummy good!

Saturday Lunch
Turkey Sandwich
Weikels bread
Pickles, onions, peppers and homemade sauce
Lemonade/Iced Tea
Dessert

Saturday Dinner
Traditional Texas Dinner
Lemonade/Iced Tea
Wine/Beer
Dessert

Let me know this weekend if you are interested in adding any meals ~ I have to give Korin a final head count on Monday. 

Happy Saturday!
Barb

Hi everyone! 

I can't believe the time has finally come! I've been planning and preparing for so long ~ it seemed like it would never get here! But, here it is ~ Vivi Magoo Presents...Art Retreat at The Prairie next Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and I'm so excited I could burst! I'm looking forward to meeting you all who are attending and getting to know each and every one of you! I know you will LOVE the classes and the location ~ what's not to love?!? 

If you're registered for classes, don't forget to join us on Wednesday night from 7 - 8 o'clock in the Ranger Lounge. Royer's famous pies, Blue Bell ice cream and beverages will be served ~ yum! It's just a time to begin to get acquainted with each other, meet your instructors and see where you'll be taking your classes. 

Let me know if there is anything I can do to make your retreat more meaningful for you! If you haven't signed up for meals, you still can do that. If you would like to only sign up for some of them, please email me, and I'll send you an invoice through PayPal. Individual lunches are $20 each and dinners are $50 each. 

Todd's Pork Tenderloin - OMG!!! 
A big surprise and treat is that I was able to arrange is for a special group seating at Royer's Cafe across from the square in Round Top for dinner on Friday night! He'll be serving his delicious pork tenderloin,  smashed potato salad and broccoli salad along with a glass of wine and a piece of pie for dessert! Bud Royer and his daughter, Tara Steele have been working with me and we finally got the details all worked out! You'll love the food ~ and the ambiance is fun and lively! It's guaranteed you will want to return!

Gotta run! I'm finishing up some special gifts for each of you! I can't wait to share them with you!

Safe travels to you all! See you soon!

Barb

Thursday, April 19, 2012


Have you always wanted to learn how to make bezels? I'll be teaching two different bezel making classes at Art Retreat at the Prairie.

I have to say, this Wax On class is one of my very favorites to teach. I'm offering it Thursday, April 26...at The Prairie. Not only is it bezel-making...this class...but we also get to play with wax...and...a...mystery...inclusion. I can't tell you what it is. I wish I could. It's a surprise for the students. But...they're gonna love it!

Friday it's my A Charming Reliquary class. These wonderful reliquary bracelets are pieces that I did quite a long time ago and have always wanted to teach. Now's my chance...and your chance to learn!


I've finally...finally...finished a few more samples for my Entrada class, which I'll be teaching Saturday, April 28.

I love the soft colors of the aquamarine and jasper in this Shield bracelet. This class will focus on creating a fabulous buckle closure with bezel set stone.

The Prairie is an incredibly beautiful retreat venue...I hope you'll join me there!

posted by Deryn Mentock

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Hello everyone, I’m Barb’s daughter, Erin.  I’ll be poking around here time and again to update you on all the fun we’re having with Vivi Magoo’s Art Retreats.  I guess I should give you some details on me, just to make proper introductions… I’m a 30 year old work-from-home mom, married to my handsome hubs of 6 years.  We welcomed our first child, 
Miss Vivi in the Texas Bluebonnets
a daughter named Vivi, last May. (Have y’all ever heard the story behind Vivi Magoo?  If not, we’ll be sure to fill you in, stay tuned!)  I’m a numbers nerd by profession, but a creative soul at heart.  I’m excited to be a part of the Art Retreats – meeting inspiring women, getting my creative juices flowing, traveling and spending time with my oh-so-close-knit family.  I’m excited to meet many of you who will be attending our inaugural Art Retreat at The Prairie at the end of the month and I look forward to meeting many more of you in the future.
Last week, Vivi and I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Round Top, Texas for the big (nay, HUGE) biannualAntiques Week and stay at The Prairie by Rachel Ashwell.  Let me tell you, friends, my soul has a new place to call home.  For so many reasons. 
Hands down, I could live at The Prairie and never come home.  Seriously.  And I know we just met, but let me tell you - I love my home.  The Prairie is just that great.  I’ve always been a Shabby Chic fan (who doesn’t love Rachel’s serene, feminine blend of old treasures and fluffy, floral fabrics?) but to stay in her B&B was Mecca to me.  Every detail was perfectly and thoughtfully executed.  You can’t help but feel your stress lift away when you’re there. 
A short drive from The Prairie is Round Top, which is the quintessential small Texas town.  Exactly what I’ve always imagined in my mind when listening to country music.  Slow, easy, friendly – very Mayberry-esque. 
And the food.  Oh, friends, let me tell you about the food.  I ate my weight in deliciously barbecued meats, tangy coleslaw, baked potatoes and beans.  And don’t forget the 3 SLICES of cherry pie a la mode with Blue Bell ice cream (from neighboring town Brenham) that was the literal cherry on top.  My family’s favorite is Royers Round Top CafĂ©, a restaurant that would rival any big city fancy establishment although it is nestled in the heart of Round Top.  The ambiance is a fun, cluttered hippy mix and the food is to die for.  And it was their pies that I so piggishly devoured last week.
And if all of this isn’t enough to knock your socks off, there were the many venues full of row after row of antiques.  From old, 17th-century farmhouse tables with $10,500 price tags to old, ratty doll parts (because someone’s trash is another’s treasure), they had it all.  Big, small, old, expensive…you want it, you could probably find it at Antiques Week.  After 9 years of hearing stories that my parents would tell about Round Top, the antiques show, the food, etc. I was in heaven being able to experience it all first-hand.
Hopefully I’ve given you a glimpse of what captured my heart last week and why I am literally counting the hours until we return for Art Retreat at The Prairie.  I can’t wait to meet those of you who are signed up in person.  And to those of you who cannot be with us, I’ll be back to update you on the fun and memories.

Friday, March 23, 2012

my excited face
We are a little over a month away from Art Retreat at The Prairie ~ Spring, and I am so excited I can hardly stand it! 








Deryn and Diane are feverishly working to put all of the
 finishing touches on their classes ~ wait until you see what they are doing for you! All I can say is ~ “Lucky Lucky Students!”














There are still a few spots left in each of the classes ~ 
So...If you’re interested, I think you should hurry and  register! Let me know if I can answer any questions or help you in any way!
Happy Friday!
Barb

Monday, February 20, 2012


 FOR ALL STUDENTS WHO ARE REGISTERED FOR 
ART RETREAT AT THE PRAIRIE - SPRING SESSION

JOIN US ON 
WEDNESDAY
APRIL 25TH
7 - 8 PM
DESSERT AND DRINKS
THE PRAIRIE - RANGER LOUNGE

Meet your instructors and fellow students!
Join in the “Getting to Know You” activities
Tour The Prairie
Get comfy in your home-away-from-home!