The Red Barn {and other follies on the farm}

I am still coming down from a supreme art high after having taught classes at Handmade U in Nebraska last week.

Not only did I get to teach with one of my closest friends and favorite artists, RAE MISSIGMAN, I also got to visit with a dear friend and Brave Girls’ Soul Sister, RACHEL MCGOUGH.  Rachel and I met at Brave Girls’ Camp a few years ago and I have been watching her dreams soar as she created an amazing women’s art retreat, married the man of her dreams, and bought a farm with the most beautiful red barn I have ever seen.  BEEE•UUUUU•TI•FULLLLL!

 photo credit: rae missigman photo credit: rae missigman

Out in the middle of seemingly “no where,” {we were only about 20 miles from real civilization} – that’s a lot for this city girl! But oh, was this country beautiful – miles of cornfields (duh, Nebraska Corn Huskers!) But after this last 5-mile stretch of dirt road, the historical red bard comes into view and takes your breath away!

As if just being in this beautiful place was not enough, Rae and I were the first teachers to stay in the “summer kitchen” that Rachel and Jim had just finished renovating and turning into the most adorable cozy, cottage!  It was like a doll house inside and out and no detail was overlooked.  From the beautiful vintage quilts on the beds and at the windows, to the handmade shower and closet curtains created by Rachel. We didn’t want to leave!

From the moment I stepped into the barn, I could feel the magic of what Rachel has created with Handmade U. No wonder it is such a popular retreat and a dream for teachers to be a part of. Rachel and Jim have worked endlessly to create a magnificent, relaxing experience from having caramel apples and apple crisp from their very own orchard to the meals lovingly prepared by “Handmade Q” chef, Jim on his Myron Mixon Flatrack! Everywhere we looked, there were lovely vignettes and photo opportunities!

Can you imagine having your own apple orchard? Again, for a city girl like me, that is CRAZY awesome! Every few hours I was picking a different variety to try!

Rae and I were so lucky to have the most amazing group of women to teach. They were eager, excited and ready to try anything we threw at them! From the moment we began, I felt as if I was among friends. I love how they all took what we taught them and turned the projects around and upside down and made them completely their own!

We loved each and every one of them!

It was great to connect with old friends . . .

And make new ones!

And I’m so grateful to Rachel & Jim who have created a beautiful life and share it with others . . .

We headed home with hearts full of memories and laughter, our creative needs filled for a little while. And one thing is for certain, I will always cherish this time spent in the beautiful red barn in Nebraska!  Thank you Rachel and Jim!

Want to learn more about Handmade U?  Click on the link HERE. And more exciting news – Rachel has the amazingly talented Mindy Lacefield teaching at the next Handmade U in May of 2016!  You won’t want to miss that one!

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