Thursday, April 18, 2013

A Recap on Art Is You Weekend

Sorry it has been two crazy weeks since Art Is You...and I definitely wanted to share a quick photo re-cap because it was such an amazing time and weekend.  Here we go...

Co-organizer and amazing artist, Ellen Legare, made each participant a sewn name tag ~ this one is mine.  She made me blonde and beautiful! :)

Do you remember the artist trades I made? Well, I got a few in return and I took a picture along with some great business cards from all the talented and wonderful people I met!

Had a night where we created flags...and drank wine. There was some incredibly creative interpretations and artistic talent abound!  I had to keep my flag conservative.  Just those traditional military roots showing through.  Growing up in a military family with a father who served and then marrying my husband who also served more than 20 years, I couldn't "undo" the traditional red, white and blue.  I added patriotic words when I got home and am happy with the result!

Learn a cool technique with paint and boards in Bernie Berlin's class....

which led me to create...this.

Laughed quite a bit on the first day at this table with these women in our Crazy Girl class...I had no idea the participants had to be crazy to be in the class! :)

Sunny Carvalho led us to make some funky little characters.  Here is a picture of the whole class...don't you just love all the different interpretations?  Two faces are mine. Can you guess which ones?

And LOVED my time with the hilarious Sue Pelletier in our "house" class. Again, I finished my project at home with some words.  I guess it is the journalist in me? Must. Have. Words.
These ladies were oh-so-talented and kind!
(That's my friend Tracy on the far right..I think this the only picture I have of the two of us together! The rest are on her phone I think.)

Sat next to sweet and lovely Jessica Sporn one day at lunch ~ sweet lady and very talented artist and stencil designer.  I have bought her stencils! :)

Let's not forget the Art Crawl in downtown Nashville....the good, the bad and the ugly.  This little gem can be yours for only $300....if you hurry!!

Got lots of inspiration which I am looking forward to sharing with you all in the next week.  Now that Vince leaves for Russia tomorrow, I will have days of studio time!

Keep y'all posted! :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

ART is You...or me

I have been busy prepping for some fun creative "down time" coming up.  Hard to call it down time, because I know I will be crazy busy at the Art Is You retreat in Nashville this weekend! Woot Woot!
Three days of artsy workshops, new friends with similar passions, a little bit of good food and wine, and lots of time getting messy stretching myself artistically.

In preparation, I made some fun little "artist trades" to trade with other artists.  I am so new to this, so I had to ask lots of questions because I had no idea what to trade.  I made up about 30 of these cool little bags of artsy goodness.

They include bits and pieces of found objects, items and papers that would be totally fun to include on a piece of art.  I have become such a hoarder for this kind of stuff. I even saved the paper wrap from my publix deli sandwich the other day and included it in my art.  Awesome!  I am literally excited with anticipation to see what kind of cool foriegn bits of ephemera my husband brings back after being in Russia for 10 days.....FUN!

So anyway, I have been busy assembling these little trades, gathering my supplies (or a small selection of them) and deciding what shirts I should wear that aren't too ugly but I don't care if I accidentally destroy.

I am meeting my sweet friend Tracy there who I met last year for the first time at an art retreat.  We will sure to be tired from all the laughter and fun!

I will post again after it is all over and share some photos...and hopefully show you some finished art!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

A heart for Russia

At the end of this month my husband and our dear friend Ryan will be heading to Russia.  It won't be like any trip they have been on before.  It will be a mission trip where they will be loving on the sick, poor, down-trodden.  They will visit orphanages and churches, meet with local Russians who have had to endure much harder lives than we can imagine here in our country. They will be laying the groundwork for our church to work future mission trips there. They will come back changed.

I know this because I have experienced it.

My first mission trip was to Poland and I had no idea the impact it would have on me.  I went with the thought that I was going to find ways to bless these people in these impoverished Polish communities, who were living in the year 2004 without running water, heat, medicine, shoes, parents.  How empty and desperate they must be. I just knew I had to find a way to help and bless them.

That didn't end up happening....exactly.

What did happen, surprised me.  This group of complete and total strangers whose life paths crossed into mine, blessed me.  With no knowledge of English, and very broken conversations through translators, these people showed me what living with joy meant. It didn't mean having the latest and greatest "stuff", having the comforts of heat or water, even having their health.  And although we "know" this in our minds, those of us who are affluent, often don't practice it.  We get so spun up about the tiniest minutia in life ~ my dishwasher broke, the car isn't running right, we lost the signal on the satellite and are missing our show.  You know what I am talking about don't you??? :) 

Joy to these people simply meant having the knowledge that they were children of a loving, compassionate God.  They were blessed with TRUE joy because they were content.

I have never seen such pure, overwhelming joy. Ever.

Don't get me wrong, I am sure they would have loved some indoor plumbing, heat and free medicine (and they did love the things we did for them).  But it didn't determine their happiness.  They were thrilled with the boxes of clothes, toiletries and medicines we delivered.  The orphans loved seeing the play we put on about Jesus and loved getting loved on.  They tore through the clothes to grab a warm sweater or a hat and treated it as if it were their most prized possession.  

Their lack of material "stuff" and wealth did not deter their generous hospitality as they insisted on inviting us into their homes for meals and tea. We sat on their bed/couch/dining room seating to eat.  Yes, it served many purposes.  They had little to give, but were willing to give it all to us. 

As Vince and Ryan head to Russia this month, I will be praying for God to do mighty things in their hearts.  That He will change them in a very powerful way. I pray that people who support them in their endeavor will be changed too.

This entire trip will be funded by our own personal finances but is supported by our church. If you are interested in helping with this mission trip, I am giving 8x8" canvas giclee prints of the artwork I created below for every donation of $25 or more.  Your donation is tax-deductible as it will be made out to Thompson Station Church with "Russia April 2013" in the memo line. 100% of your donation will go to this trip.  The church is partnering with us to help make donations tax-deductible and to support the long term partnership with the Russian missionaries there.

Every donation will go to helping fund this trip, bring supplies to orphans, widows and the homeless.

So purchase as many pieces of art as you want. Stock up for unique gifts for birthdays, thank you gifts, Christmas, Mother's Day, etc. It's the perfect size and price. Please send checks directly to me at: 5022 Paddy Trace, Spring Hill, TN 37174.  Be sure to include your shipping information, so I know where to send your art to!

If you prefer to send money through Paypal, you can do so through the transfer function (just click on the pink word paypal and it will link you directly).  The money will be sent using my email address:  I understand this might be an easier and preferred method for some, but it will not be "tax deductible". Either way, we are very happy for your help!

Thank you in advance for your support!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Proud Mama Moment

We interrupt regular blog posts to take a moment and brag on my son.  He doesn't like it and would rather me not, but I can't help it and feel it must be shared.

Ben was invited to take the ACT in the 7th grade because of his outstanding grades and academic excellence.  He did very well, scoring higher than 85% of other students in his testing period in three of the four areas. Keep in mind most of these are high school juniors and seniors with more math, science and english under their belt.

That was truly enough to make us happy.

Then, we arrived home from our vacation we found an invitation in the mail for him to be recognized for his achievement and receive a medal at Vanderbilt University in May. Sarah had received this same award and the whole family came out to cheer and support her academic excellence.

This year, however, they are only allowing ONE parent per student.  I am utterly appalled.  It's almost like they don't want anyone there.  If it were for sports, would it be different?  I simply don't understand it and therefore I am sharing via all the social media outlets possible to tell the world how proud I am for Ben!  I figure if we can't have a physical cheering section, we will have virtual one! :)

So if you can take a moment and would like to give him a virtual shout out in the comment section, I will let him read them.  Because I feel academic excellence is worth supporting all the time.

Thank you for listening to this Proud Mama back to regular blog programming.