Right. Here I go. Have you ever heard of Jeanne Oliver and her huge Creative Network? No? Well, I didn't either until I stumbled on it one day I looked for something watercolor related. And despite me disliking sites that want you to sign up to see their content I did it. And when I got in... wow... I was impressed. She set up this huge network of artists and they offer online courses there. There's free videos to be found on the site as well and I really recommend getting yourself be a part of it. Here's the link so you won't have to look too hard ;)
Jeanne Oliver Creative Network
They just released this beautiful catalog of all the courses they offer which you can see HERE.
Awesome friends? Where the... ??? Yes yes, I'm getting there :)
Take a look at the before mentioned catalog and flip through to the page 13 where there's info about a class named Nature's Canvas led by Tania Bain. Well, this is the class I fell in love with the moment I read about it because if you know me than you know how much I love hiking through the woods and noticing all sorts of pretties in there. I immediately wanted to learn how to paint these beautiful little whimsical faces on found sticks and branches so I signed up. I even had to wait for it to start as it was a brand new class :)
Well, I was not disappointed with the class's content. There are tons of videos in just one class (I honestly expected just one) and Tania is just so lovely to watch and hear - I totally loved her accent. She makes these pretty faces on stick and then she leaves them in the woods in her area to be found by lucky passers by. Lucky indeed! I realized she was from South Africa and jeez... I can't really fly there to go for a walk in her parts of the woods, can I? BUT! Here comes the story of my awesome friends... finally, I know.
Liezl and Hugo live in South Africa too and they are my online friends. So when I noticed Tania posted one of her spots with a gorgeous painted branch to be found I immediately asked Liezl about it. She told me that the place is really far from them and that they can't just hop by to pick it up so I thanked her for the info and forgot about it. Still I was a bit jealous about the fact that somebody can get there and find the treasure :)
A few months later, Liezl and Hugo came to Slovenia! :) Yes, I mentioned this in my previous post. I finally got to meet them for real - which is really always a super awesome thing and sooo SOOO unreal at the time being. Think about it. Usually you are chatting online with your friends from the other side of the world and you get used to it. So when you have them right in front of you - WHOA! Really. You have to try it. Meet up if you can, seriously.
Sorry for my digression but one needs to be thorough.
The first day my friends came in, they brought along presents.... for me! ♥ :) Oh I love presents.
First there was a package wrapped in a pretty rainbow colored paper that contained one very pretty images full SA creative magazine - which I love. Yummy yummy local sweets, local postcards and a pretty inspirational notebook for me to use. All fabulous and nini was so happy and surprised. Really, she was. I was too ;)
But then Liezl told me that's not all. No? And she comes in the room with a huge bag of something. ???? Okie, I begin to unwrap and it's branches and sticks from SA!!!! Jeez. To paint little faces on. Whoa. Incredible. But that still wasn't it. Nope. She comes with yet another package (seriously ppl, I was completely blown away and I think my emotions went numb because of it).
And as I unwrapped the final package - there were three already painted little sticks, with these beautiful and very familiar faces - and they were from Tania herself. The teacher of my online class. Can you believe it? Well, I wouldn't have if I wasn't the one who set all these events into motion in the first place. Boy oh boy. I still get goose bumps when I think about this. ♥
Turns out that Liezl contacted Tania, set up a meeting and then they immediately clicked. Tania was so generous and gave away three girls just for me and then she even took them on the trail she usually takes where they picked up those branches up for me. And to top all of this up, you know, with a cherry.... one of the girls was actually painted in the online class. WOW! Yes... I'm speechless. Again.
I think this was the best surprise ever and I am so grateful for all the friends I have in my life, here and there in the big huge world that just got really small and cosy with the ability to connect via web.
And I really wanted to share this awesome story because it deserves to be shared.
Thank you Liezl and Hugo, again. Thank you Tania, again. You are all amazing and I love you! ♥
And here are the precious little forest fairies that now live in my world and take care of it:
Which one is from the e-curse? Go and find out on your own :) It'll be worth it. I promise.
Do you have an awesome surprise story to share too? I'd love to read about it so please, share share share away!
With love, always.