So... About That Giveaway

Last week, we mentioned that we have LOADS of creative goodness in store for this month of our 1st Anniversary.  Part of that includes a FABULOUS Give Away that will take place at the end of this month.  We are grateful for all that we have learned and experienced in the past year, and we are translating that into a Cornucopia of Creative Goodness (yes, I am totally aware that it looks like a mere, decorative gift bag – but I can assure you it is oh-so-much-more) that will be shipped to 1 lucky winner on Monday, December 3, 2018.

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“Well, you MUST send that bundle of inspirational happiness to ME!” I can just imagine you exclaiming at this very moment!  …and mayhap we shall, gentle reader – someone WILL win – who’s to say it won’t be you?  It is super simple to play, and you will have many opportunities to get your name into the pickle jar of possibility throughout the month.

In order to get in on the fun, you must first Subscribe to our (embarrassingly low-volume) Newsletter.  This simple act makes you a winner straight-away!  Our Newsletter Subscribers are the Inner Circle of our operation – the very first to know all that we have happening – that will be a choice place to be in the coming weeks, as we have several juicy things in the works! Are you already a Newsletter Subscriber? Thank YOU! That means that you are ALREADY entered in the drawing — read on for how you, too, can earn extra entries… 

Once you have done that, you can earn additional entries by taking part in all that we have to offer and share online in this month of gratitude.  Participation will be logged daily in the List of All There is to Know, and we will choose a winner at month’s end with the use of a Random Number Generator (sadly, we no long have the services of Wito the Wonder Dog to perform such tasks for us).

Here are a few ways you can score more entries, this week:

  • If you have not already done so, Like our Facebook page – for a bonus entry, SHARE this post! (These alone will get you TWO entries — one for each action)

  • Follow us on Instagram, and comment on our Friday Favorites post (for one entry)

  • Follow us on Pinterest, and snag one of our Pins – we have all sorts of creative
    eye candy there. (for one entry)

We will be adding new content to the Cornucopia of Creativity each week, this month — including, but not limited to: Friday Favorites, Original Artwork from each of us, and MORE will be amassed in this delightful satchel come the end of November. Don’t miss out! Start today, and maximize YOUR chances to win it ALL!

Until next time!
~ Penny & Michelle

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Thankful Thursday -- Our First Year!

One year ago today, we greeted the World Wide Web with our very 1st Blog post! One year ago tomorrow marks the annivesary of our very 1st Thankful Thursday post. While not everything has gone according to plan in the past year, we have indeed made many creative connections — and by our estimation, that is cause for celebrating.

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SO… for the remainder of November, we will be celebrating in an abundant and plentiful manner! There will be creative goodness presented weekly across all of our social media platforms AND a big, fat GIVEAWAY at the end of the month!

As always, our Newsletter Subscribers are the 1st to hear of our offerings. What’s that? YOU are not yet among the inner circle of information reception? Believe us when we tell you that NOW would be an ideal time to remedy that! GO — poste haste, and subscribe to our very low-volume missives — that is the best way to ensure that you never miss out on the creative goings on here at Your Creative Connection. Speaking of which: Newsletter Subscribers should keep a keen eye on their email inboxes, as we have BIG news on the way this week about a whole NEW way to enjoy creative connection and artful association.

Until tomorrow!
~ PLA & MDP

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Thankful Thursday - The Arrival of Autumn

Perhaps it seems a silly thing to be thankful for, but you should see the things that swirl around inside this noggin!?  As much as I enjoy(ed) all of the fun that comes with Summer, it is hard not to yearn for shorter days, cooler weather, and the chance to layer on the comfy clothes of Fall and Winter.  I certainly will not miss the large and aggressive mosquitos that we have seen since hurricane Florence rolled through here, last month (!)

The arrival of Autumn also signals the beginning of the holiday season, and affords us the opportunity to anticipate seeing friends and family from far and near as we gather to eat, drink, and be merry!  We have some merry-making in store for YOU, in the coming months!  If you are not a subscriber to our Newsletter, there is no time like the present – we would hate for you to miss out on all of the fun we have in store.  Subscribe today, and stay in the loop – we have MUCH in the way of creative adventures on the horizon!

Until next time,
~ PLA

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Thankful Thursday - Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining

Watching the 2nd hurricane in as many months roll through our area is not at all what I thought I would be doing today.  We are far from delighted to report that, due to circumstances beyond our control, the Haw River State Park event has been cancelled.  While we may be disappointed, we are not defeated.  Thanks to wonderful feedback from our registered, would-be attendees we now know how best to proceed as we move forward.

And forward we shall go!  Michelle and I will sit down next week and regroup.  Plans will be re-worked, and before you know it we will have new and exciting options to share with you.  Now would be an excellent time to subscribe to our Newsletter.  Doing so will ensure that you are the first to know of new opportunities (the aforementioned silver lining) for creative adventuring with us!

Until next time, we remain,
~ Your Creative Connection

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Thankful Thursday -- New Experiences & The Creative Joy of Children

The first weekend in September, I participated as a Make and Take Artist at the 2018 African American Cultural Festival in downtown Raleigh, NC.  It was my first appearance as a provider, having only attended in years past as an observer of the incredible array of art and activities that the festival offers.

It was a unique experience.  My favorite part was that I spent the weekend working with the younger set.  I was visited by some amazing little people, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing their take on the project that I offered.   In keeping with the spirit of the event, I attempted to provide historical and cultural information to support the activity of making colorful, embellished collars like those created and worn by the Massai Tribe of central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania.  I did not manage to get photos of all of my visitors, but am so pleased to have at least a portion of the happy faces recorded for posterity.  There is something about time spent with children that recharges your creativity in a whole new way.

Until next time,
- PLA

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Thankful Thursday - The Quiet Within the Storm

 Hurricane Florence, September 2018

Hurricane Florence, September 2018

This time last Thursday here in Raleigh, North Carolina, we were bracing for what was predicted to be a devastating hurricane. There had been days of warnings, which meant that all the bread and milk was sold out of most supermarkets (which is an odd phenomenon, I mean, what does everyone DO with large quantities of both during a storm that they don’t do at other times??), batteries were in short supply, as were generators, battery-powered lights, and bottled water. Everyone watched the weather updates to see where the storm was predicted to make landfall, what the top speed winds were going to be, and how much rain we’d get over how long a period of time. As the storm grew closer, the forecast track made it pretty clear that Raleigh would not get a ‘direct hit,’ but would be subject to high winds and many inches of rain over at least 4 days.

So, yes, we bought bread (one loaf, as usual!), made sure we had flashlights, batteries, charged our electronics, and otherwise prepared the house for the storm. Then we waited. And waited. We had rain and high winds, but nothing dramatic.

And then the power went out on Friday evening.

It’s amazing how quiet and still everything is when there isn’t the constant background hum of things powered by electricity. Now, we could clearly hear the staccato music of the rain pelting the windows, and the wind whipping the tree branches. In our powerless cocoon, we settled down to read by the light of our Kindles, with some still-cold wine at our sides (a must, for any storm situation!). Later, we used our storm radio to keep track of what was happening outside of our area, and learned that areas to our east and south were getting the brunt of the storm with much fiercer winds and torrential rains.

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But for us, there was the quiet.

We dined by battery-powered candlelight which was lovely.

And then, just as we were getting used to not having electricity, it returned.

Back was the hum, back was the air movement created by fans and the air conditioning; we were back to normal. We were thankful to have only been without power for 3 hours—others are still without it, and have had their homes, vehicles, properties, and businesses ruined—we know we were extremely lucky—this time.

‘Hoping you can find the quiet within the storm of your daily life.

Until next time,

MDP

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Thankful Thursday - Nourishing the Creative Soul

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We artists can often be a solitary group; many of us work alone in our studios, at kitchen tables, or in our garages, without much human contact while we create.  Sometimes, conversation with another person is rare, especially for those who live and create alone.  I'm thankful that my husband is also a creative soul, and we regularly discuss my work, our display, what show is next on the calendar, etc.  I'm also thankful that I have a community of creative people with whom I can share my thoughts, plans, frustrations, failures and successes, both virtually (the Facebook group "Sh*t Overheard at Art Festivals" is a fantastic space to vent and commiserate about the absurdity of what we artists who do outdoor festival go through), and in person.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of indulging in three days of conversations with fellow artists as we participated in the 9th annual African American Cultural Festival here in Raleigh.  Although we create art in different media, we share the joys and trials of the creative process.  It was so rewarding and eye-opening to hear about how another artist crawls out of a creative slump, or renews her resolve to present work which touches her soul ( knowing that whether it sells isn't the driving force behind the creation of it), or how another artist interacts with his collectors to ensure a positive experience for everyone involved.  I loved the give and take, the laughter, the "I go through that, too" moments, and the camaraderie. The weekend nourished my creative soul.  And oh yes, there was wine!  

Nourishing your creative soul is one of our goals for the Your Creative Connection retreat at Haw River NEXT MONTH (can you believe it's actually fewer than 40 days away?)  We look forward to sharing our experiences with you, our Creative Explorers, as we spend 4 idyllic days in a most beautiful and inspiring wooded setting.  If you've been thinking of joining us, now's the time to take that leap, and register--there are limited spaces still available.  We promise you an experience like no other, and conversations with artists galore!  If you have questions, pop over to our Retreat FAQ page, or drop me a note in the comment section below.  We're looking forward to having you with us.
Until next time,

~MDP

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Thankful Thursday - Portents and Signs

I am not a particularly superstitious person.  In these turbulent times, however, it is often pleasant to see something(s) as a sign of good things to come…  My last travel for teaching was littered with such signs – at least I choose to see it that way – and I thought it might be nice to share them with you.

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On the morning that we headed out, and after a summer loaded with more dragonflies than I recall ever seeing, I looked up to see a very large and rather impressive specimen shimmering on the aerial of the truck.  Dragonflies symbolize transformation, new beginnings, and lightness of being.  What better reminder to be grateful for the journey than to have such a harbinger hitching a ride for the next phase of my own?  This seemed a rather fortuitous sign indeed, as this was to be my first offering at a new venue (The Yadkin Valley Fiber Center) – and both the host and myself have great hopes that my efforts will result in the regular programming of book arts on their course schedule.

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Upon arriving at our camping location, and following a brief visit to Slightly Askew Winery (that may well have been a sign of its own for this wine lover), we were greeted with skies that looked like rain was imminent.  In spite of rolling thunder and a brief sprinkling, we were fortunate that we did not have to set up the camper in the rain (!)  Instead, we were gifted with a most lovely rainbow arcing over the distant hills and disappearing into the clouds.  Rainbows serve as symbols of peace and serenity, as well as being stunning visual reminders to confront and embrace our own potential for growth, beauty, and wisdom.

While the rose is a timeless symbol of love, beauty, and balance this last image is not so much a sign as a reminder to me.  While strolling down the Main Street thoroughfare on Sunday afternoon, upon seeing this perfect rose bud I was immediately reminded of the quotation from Anais Nin:  “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”  In other words:  nothing ventured, nothing gained -- OR:  You’ll never know ‘til you try!  If I have learned anything in the past three and half years it is that you’ll never get ANYwhere standing still.

So…  What are YOU waiting for?  Signs are favorable that if you make the leap, join us in October, and become part of our creative community you will have a whole new view of what it means to follow your muse.  Stop standing still!  Step into the circle.  You’ve nothing to lose, and worlds of insight, fellowship, and creativity to gain.  It’s not too late – register today!  We’ll be waiting for you beneath the trees…

Until next time,
 - PLA

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Thankful Thursday - Rediscovering Your Creative Groove

Rediscovering your creative groove is sometimes a lengthy, laborious process.  Sometimes, it takes quite awhile for the almost-atrophied creative muscles to reinvigorate themselves.  Often for me, the process involves as much mental as physical work to make it happen, and even then, it can be slow going.  

This was where I found myself recently, due to a long period of time where I had neither the time nor the inclination to create my own work.  I know myself well enough to know that I can't force creativity (disastrous attempts at projects are a testament to that!), but I also knew I needed to get back into the creative flow.  I'd been thinking about the idea that I'd like to work more in layers of color and texture and meaning, and while searching for something else, I found some 6"x6" deep cradled wood panels tucked away in my supply closet.  Ok, so I now had a substrate. 

But how to start was the question.  
You Tube videos were the answer.

I spent hours browsing through various mixed media technique videos, from the sublime to the kind of ridiculous, learning about new-to-me products (I'm loving the Lindy's Gang 'Magicals'), and new ways to use old favorites (hey, isn't that what we'll be doing in October with our Creative Explorers?!).  Armed with this new and refreshed information about molding paste, stencils, inkjet transfers, the aforementioned Magicals, and my old standbys of acrylic paints, PearlEx powders, my hand cut stamps, leather, polymer elements, feathers and matte medium, the ideas started to bubble up, and voilà-- I was energized!

The result is my "Dreams of Africa" series of panels as you'll see below.  Each contains images or symbols which resonate with me of the people, land, adornment, and music of the continent.   These panels will debut at next weekend's African American Cultural Festival of Raleigh and Wake County; one of my favorite shows of the year. 

Creative groove rediscovered?  Check!

Wishing you new discoveries and a boost to your own creative groove,

Until next time,

MDP

 

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 From left:  Dreams of Africa:  "Djembe", "Himba", "Baobab", "Tribal Home", "River Goddess," and "Shekere". ©2018 Kindred Spirit Studios | Michelle Davis Petelinz

From left:  Dreams of Africa:  "Djembe", "Himba", "Baobab", "Tribal Home", "River Goddess," and "Shekere". ©2018 Kindred Spirit Studios | Michelle Davis Petelinz

Thankful Thursday - Creating Bridges

"True teachers use themselves as bridges over which they their invite students to cross; then, having facilitated their crossing, joyfully collapse, encouraging them to create bridges of their own."  ~Nikos Kazantzakis

This quote resonates with me, and reflects many of my experiences as a teacher.  As I've written about before, I present art classes to children and to adults with disabilities.  I do consider myself a bridge, showing my students the way to explore new things, or to use familiar things in new ways.  I encourage them to make their own creative choices, which often lead to wonderful discoveries and exclamations of "I didn't know I could do that!"  One recent example:

 Note the red paper "blood drips".  The artist explained that they came from the T-Rex having eaten a Stegosaurus.  This detail was added once the artist saw how "cool" the mouth and teeth were.

Note the red paper "blood drips".  The artist explained that they came from the T-Rex having eaten a Stegosaurus.  This detail was added once the artist saw how "cool" the mouth and teeth were.

On the first day of art camp, a 6-year old drew his ideas for a dinosaur to be created out of a wine bottle.  The drawing included a wide mouth with many jagged teeth, a scaly body, and beady eyes.  Of course, being 6, he knew everything there was to know about the T-Rex (which I did know too at one point, when my son was that age), but thought he "couldn't make it look like what I drew."  I assured him we could get close.  He was doubtful, but eager to try.  Unfortunately, the original drawing was discarded, but here is the result of several hours of foiling, taping, tissue papering, marking with pen, and hot gluing.  When he presented his creation to the class, he proudly said:  "I didn't think I could make it, but I DID," which was music to my ears. 

Penny, Jeanne, and I will be the bridges our Creative Explorers will use to explore and express their individual artful voices during our unique mixed media experience.  And while we can't promise you'll be making wine bottle dinosaurs, because we are creative women, we know there will be much sharing of talents, techniques, and expertise among us all (developing even more bridges--how wonderful!) 
Time is running out, so if you've been thinking of joining us, but haven't registered yet, now's the time.  

Wishing you an astoundingly artful day. 

Until next time,

MDP

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