I ended up staying an extra week at Jan & Jean's class. It was quite an experience. What was truly amazing was my wonderful husband's response when I called him up and said that I wanted to stay an extra week (which meant double the already substantial cost!), all he said was "I knew you weren't going to be able to leave." What did I get out of the class:
1. Remembering that this is art; always remember the basics.
2. Don't let your work be defined by "cool" technique instead of good design.
3. Work our your ideas before trying to come up with a finished project. In art school, we started by doing tons of drawings, then creating a mock up, BEFORE making the decision of whether to create a more "finished" or "resolved" work. I don't think I have spent more than short time trying to work out my ideas before beginning a piece in a very long time!
4. Don't add glitz just to add glitz.
5. I really do like stitching by hand.
Well, there were many more things that I learned, but I think that these were the most important. This is one of samples we did in class. It is a pattern based on butterfly wings.