CFCAF 2015: 4 DAYS TIL COLLABORATION – Artists working together

8 02 2015

Collaboration in many fields is the key to success.  So it is in our world as well.  This year, we have two collaborative teams to choose from.

Karen and Ann Mitchell

Karen and Ann Mitchell

Ann and Karen Mitchell are the first and  have been collaborating since they were children…they are sisters after all.  Together, they created ANKARA Designs over two decades ago and their success lies in their ability to create new work.  Their inspiration comes from all around them and they will be sharing their focus in two workshops at Cabin Fever next week.

The first is their full-day workshop on Friday, 13 Feb., is about Engineering and Design in Jewelry Construction. Together, they create each piece to be as unique as they are and they will share their tricks and tips with you on putting your components together into a spectacular piece.

Their second offering is a 2-hour mini-workshop on Monday night, Feb. 16, from 7-9.  In this brief time, Ann and Karen will talk with you about ways to get out of that creative rut and find your unique style and inspiration. Both workshops still have availability.  You can also register onsite for the 2-hour minis.



The second collaborative team we’d like to look at is Nan Roche and Marie Segal.  They’ve known each other for years, but it wasn’t until 2013 that they decided to collaborate on a teaching venture.  It worked!  So they are back again in 2015 teaching their polymer take on Bauhaus design on Friday, 13 Feb. I can guarantee never a dull moment in this workshop and so many ways to apply the technique.  Openings still available.


23 11 2014




Just a little reminder to those thinking about attending Cabin Fever – this not a retreat – it’s a well-deserved ME-TREAT for yourself.  There are many retreats sponsored by polymer guilds around the country, but CFCAF is not that.  It is an opportunity to connect with friends, old and new, and treat yourself to a few days of learning from some of the best and brightest in the community.  Reaffirm your reasons for doing what you do.  CFCAF is the ONLY International event on the East Coast where you can choose from nearly 24 workshops and over one dozen instructors.  Yes, there are plenty of guild retreats out there, but only at Cabin Fever will you get the brightest and the best all in one location!

Randee Ketzel’s book, “Polymer Clay Gemstones: The Art of Deception“, co-written with Kim Schlinke, has been one of the top sellers in craft books on  Randee will be teaching one full-day workshop on faux driftwood, and another 4-hour workshop on polymer scarabs.  Don’t miss your chance to learn from Randee at CFCAF:

click here for the registration form and workshop descriptions.

As registration for Cabin Fever Creative Arts Fest continues, I’d like to remind potential attendees of several things.  Maureen Carlson will be the honoree for 2015…help us honor her contributions over the last 2 decades.  We have instructors and attendees who come from across the country and over the seas…it’s not just a local event. Our supporters are many and are very generous so don’t miss out.


10 11 2014

We, as artists, crafters, creators, draw inspiration for our art from all around us. Some of us are tactile, others more visceral. Some see lines and shapes while others see colors that inspire them.

No matter, we all draw from different places, but need that something to ignite that “creative spark.”  Each year, as I plan for Cabin Fever, I consider carefully the mix of instructors who will be teaching.  The variety of instruction offered is important – most are not coming just to learn from one instructor, but several.  What is it that draws you to their work?  How do you connect with it?

Let’s face it, we don’t all want to do just caning, or just sculpture, or just surface treatments.  So, who will inspire you this year?  Let’s begin with sculpture:



Maureen Carlson, with storytelling adventures and development of whimsical her characters?



Dayle Doroshow, with her tales of France, fields of flowers and images of simpler times?



Or Christi Friesen with her dramatic flowing creations and gentle waves of color?

Cabin Fever has it all – you just need to pick and choose carefully.

****** CFCF 2015 Registration Form and Workshop Descriptions ******



21 08 2014

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Mark your calendar now to attend the 8th year of Cabin Fever!  CFCAF 2015 dates are February 12 – 18, 2015 at the Holiday Inn West, Laurel, Maryland.  Each year, we try to bring a great mix of instructors as we also honor one of the pioneers in the field.  2015 will be no different.  We’ve got a great line-up of instructors in addition to a well-deserving honoree, Maureen Peck Carlson.

2015 Instructors include: Maureen Carlson, Jana Roberts Benzon, Robert Dancik, Dayle Doroshow, Christi Friesen, Lindly Haunani, Anke Humpert, Doreen Kassel, Randee Ketzel, Melanie Muir, Kathryn Jo Ottman, Nan Roche, Sarah Shriver, Marie Segal, Eugena Topina, and Teri Walters.

Once again, we will have full-day pre-conference workshops and 4-hour conference workshops, allowing you to get a “taste” of what more instructors have to offer.  Above is a sampling of photos of some of the workshops that will be offered.  Be certain to stay tuned to be one of the first to register.



4 01 2014
KASSEL Animal Angel Pendant

KASSEL Animal Angel Pendant

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Yes, I am still here and haven’t forgotten…we sometimes just have to roll with the punches and take things as we can.

The holidays may have come and gone, but the feelings of giving continue to linger.  This was the first Christmas without my Mom and her absence continues to leave a hole in my life.  But, she was always about giving, as was my Dad, to anyone in need and her charitable ways continue through her children.

I am sending warm wishes to each of you for the coming year and praying that it is a year of renewal and good changes for you. This past year hit many of us hard and was a year of big changes for me but I am looking for a brighter year in 2014 with so many possibilities.

Good news is, as we enter this new year, registrations for CFCF 2014 from Feb. 12-19 continue to come in even this close to the event and we still have availability in many of the workshops.  Availability is listed at the end of this post for those who are interested.

The supply lists, FAQs sheet, tribute form (Sarah Shriver and Elise Winters are the 2014 Creative Pioneer and Innovator Award Recipients and we will be having a special tribute to Gwen Gibson) and auction donation documents are available.  Please don’t hesitate to email me with any questions you may have.
A reminder: pre-conference workshops are stand-alone and can be taken independently.  We have just opened up the conference for “day-trippers” – fee is $170 and includes two 4-hour workshops and admittance to the Tuesday evening celebration.  Workshops do not need to be taken on the same day.
Be certain to follow us on our blog to get the latest on our upcoming events:
  • Jeffrey Lloyd Dever  (FULL)
  • Robert Liu
  • Nan Roche and Marie Segal
  • Sarah Shriver
  • Cindy Silas
  • Heather Campbell
  • Doreen Kassel
  • Jana Roberts Benzon  (FULL)
  • Dayle Doroshow
  • Marie Segal


SUN. Feb. 16    6:30PM

  • Doreen Kassel
  • Sharyn Neuwirth
  • Kathryn Jo Ottman

MON. Feb. 17   8:00AM

  • Jana Roberts Benzon  (FULL)
  • Louise Fischer Cozzi
  • Dayle Doroshow

MON. Feb. 17   1:00PM

  • Louise Fischer Cozzi
  • Marie Segal
  • Sarah Shriver  (FULL)

TUES. Feb. 18    8:00AM

  • Ann and Karen Mitchell
  • Marie Segal  (FULL)
  • Sarah Shriver

TUES. Feb. 18    1:00PM

  • Jana Roberts Benzon
  • Heather Campbell  (FULL)
  • Dayle Doroshow

WED. Feb. 19    8:00AM

  • Penni Jo Couch
  • Heather Campbell
  • Lindly Haunani

WED. Feb. 19    1:00PM

  • Penni Jo Couch
  • Lindly Haunani
  • Ann and Karen Mitchell


2 11 2013
COUCH Faux Ribbon

COUCH Faux Ribbon

CFCF is just 3 1/2 months away and the Holidays are just around the corner, so as an early thank you, we are extending the early bird discount until November 15th and regular registration will continue until workshops are full.  Don’t forget to ask your family and friends for the trip you’ve been waiting for all year – join us at Cabin Fever Clay Fest 2014 in Maryland! More info here.


Christian and Maureen hard at work

Registrations have been rolling in and we’ve been on the road again.  Spent a few days with Maureen Carlson and her family and friends at Maureen Carlson’s Center for Creative Arts in Jordan, MN.  If you’ve never been, you don’t know what you are missing. We met some of her local friends/artists who meet at Maureen’s every Friday for a gourmet pot luck dinner and some quality crafting time with friends.  Daughter, Renee, made some incredibly tasty crock pot oatmeal for breakfast and her husband, Dan, spent some time entertaining my son, Christian, when he wasn’t busy making Maureen’s face molds.   I’m hoping to schedule a retreat for me and some of my besties sometime in 2014.  Contact Maureen directly here to schedule your time for a little R and Arts!  And thank you, Maureen and family, for a wonderful visit.

Christian and the band

Christian and the band

We also attended my brother’s wedding in Minneapolis and had a memorable time with family. Dancing and much celebration and revelry going on.  It was a happy time for all and Christian became an official honorary member of the band.  He was awarded the best dancer of the evening award from the band’s lead singer.


28 09 2013
Gwen Gibson 1934-2013

Gwen Gibson 1934-2013

As the Summer closes and Fall begins, I look back and think about why we are here. What happens as the seasons of our lives change?  Earlier this week, seasons changed in the polymer world as a true icon left us. Gwen Gibson (1934-2013) was truly an innovator, not only in the world of polymer, but in the world of the creative and inspiring spirit.  In her words, she had  “An appetite for fresh experience and the need to keep moving (to) take me places I would never have imagined beforehand. Because I find the unknown tempting, I’m often drawn to projects that have no predictable outcome…” We lost the physical person of Gwen this week on September 24 at 4PM PDT, but her spirit and influence will live on, driving many to experiment in their work and take the next step, not knowing where it will lead, but knowing that they will enjoy the journey getting there. With the approval of her husband, Jerry, we will be paying tribute to

Gwen Gibson - Kabuki Cuff photographer unknown

Gwen Gibson – Kabuki Cuff photographer unknown

Gwen during the CFCF 2014 evening celebration, including awarding a CFCF creative scholarship in Gwen’s honor.  Dayle Doroshow, Sarah Shriver, and some of Gwen’s other friends will share with us many good memories about her gentle spirit and creative genius.  In addition, attendees are invited to make Gwen-inspired beads to donate and trade. If you’d like to help us celebrate Gwen’s life and to join us for one, two or up to eight days of creative fun and celebration, click HERE to download the registration form and workshop descriptions.  Then, warm up your clay, put on your thinking cap and let your imagination take you to where you’ve never been before.

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