More Loot to Love!

In this weeks installment, we are sure to have something for you to be thankful for.  As mentioned in the announcement for this venture, we said we would be including original work from each of us.  I am here to give you the low-down on those inclusions *w00t!*  In addition to these bits of eye-candy, be sure to read to the end for extra opportunities to add some creative mojo to your holiday preparations!

First off, from the wildly talented Michelle Davis Petelinz of Kindred Spirit Studios, we have a gorgeous alcohol ink pendant on a black, cotton cord with an adjustable chain.  These pieces are absolute stunners – photos do not do them justice (as with most shiny things).  It will be just as at home with your favorite jeans and denim shirt as with your fancier duds for a night on the town.  No two are alike, so you can rest assured that you are getting a true, one-of-a-kind piece of wearable art.

Then, from Penny L. Arrowood of Art Paper Love, we have a trio of marbled magnets mimicking the mineral Lapis Lazuli.  *wow – try saying that 3 times, real fast!?*  Created on Ampersand Stampboard substrates with multiple layers of Marabu EasyMarble and backed with a super powerful neodynum magnet, these lovelies will dress up any notes that they hold.  Their glass-like finish is the result of a layer of resin that gives them additional depth of color.  Whether they reside on your fridge or your filing cabinet, they will bring beauty to your day and add a little art to your day to day surroundings.

Just a reminder:  it’s not too late to play along!  You have until tomorrow (11/30) at Midnight EST to take part in our 1st Anniversary Giveaway of The Cornucopia of Creative Goodness.  Please see the announcement blog post for all of the details on how you can earn entries into the drawing for this amazing bag of plenty!  Take a look at our Instagram feed to see each weeks additions, and don’t forget to join us on Instagram and Facebook tomorrow for the final inclusion.  The winner will be announced on Monday, December 3rd.  Will it be YOU?  It could very well be – but you can’t win if you don’t play! 

Seats are filling for our very first Art in the Parks series event – don’t miss out on a surefire way to add your own signature style to your gift-giving this holiday season!  Join us on Sunday afternoon, December 9th at the Millbrook Exchange Park to explore Monoprint Magic:  Gorgeous Cards, Wraps, and Tags.  You will leave loaded with inspiration to add pizzazz to your gift presentation this year, and take home tips, tricks, and techniques that you will use year-round next year.  Cost of $50.00 includes workshop, all materials, light refreshments, and Your Creative Connection surprises throughout!

Finally: this week marks the close of our weekly Thankful Thursday postings. After a year and a month, we are turning our attentions toward other ways to provide regular content here on the blog. We fully intend to continue this practice, and it is our sincere hope that we have inspired you to regularly reflect on those things for which you are thankful – on Thursdays and every other day!

Until next time,
~ PLA

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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 - 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 - 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 - Your Perfect Place to Create

"What's your vision of the ideal artist's studio?
What would your perfect place to be creative look like?
What would you include if you could have anything you wanted?
What would you definitely leave out?" 

Some ideal artist's studios...what's yours?  

Some ideal artist's studios...what's yours?  

These were questions I posed 11 years ago, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.  I've answered them for myself and my own work...what's your perfect place?  

I am fortunate in that I have a dedicated studio in which to create my mixed media work.  In fact, we purchased our home 11 years ago in large part because of the unfinished daylight basement which became our studios.  My husband and I designed the space, and he built our custom side-by-side studio and storage spaces.  We work differently, and we loved being able to design the spaces to fit each style.  My side has wrap around counter space, wall shelves filled with bins of supplies, plus my drawing table, chair, computer desk, space for two file bureaus, a cabinet for paint, and a comfortable 'guest' chair.  His has lots of floor space for his huge, standing easel, a drawing table, a standing work table, and his paints and brushes arranged on the walls and shelves.  Because it's at ground level, it's filled with light, and you may recall that I've described the wildlife show that goes on outside our windows here.  

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I'm so thankful that I have this space.  It nurtures me and provides a place for exploration and discovery; it's my perfect place.  Like many artists, I have created in much smaller, more cramped conditions--so I am thankful for the freedom to stretch out, to leave work on the table to come back to at a later time, and to hang work in progress to assess and refine.    

Your Creative Connection will provide a beautiful place for our Creative Explorers to find the freedom to express themselves during our unique mixed media experience in October.  Our Studio Sessions at the Haw River State Park facility will be held in a room with a wall of windows looking out over the beautiful, tree-filled park.  And while I'm sure everyone will be riveted to the instruction taking place and the work on their tables, I'm also sure there'll be much gazing out the window onto the glorious show of Nature!  Won't you join us and be inspired by all that we have to offer?  It's not too late.  Register today.

Until next time,

MDP 

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Thankful Thursday – Cell Phones, Flexibility, and Simple Pleasures

Greetings!  Have you ever stopped to consider that the technology that we walk around with everyday is more powerful than the 1st (or 2nd or 3rd) computer that many of us ever owned?  It really boggles the mind – my mind, anyway!  It is so much more than a phone, and yet it is not quite a replacement for sitting down in front of the computer…  I learned the hard way this week that mobility isn’t always everything that it is cracked up to be, but with a few quick work-arounds the job is quite easily dispatched.

That takes me to my second thankfulness for this week:  flexibility.  Not unlike the studies that highlight the myriad benefits of autonomy in the work place, a good partnership allows for a fair amount of wiggle room in the face of all that Life can bring our way.  As the astute reader might have gathered with this post being a tad late, I was in need of that bit of kindness this week.  Not all of Life’s surprises are unpleasant, and it is nice to be able to “roll with it” when the more pleasant ones come our way.  If you ever find yourself on the receiving end of surprise reservations for a long-anticipated dining experience, lean in – accept and be amazed – be thankful – be gracious – be flexible.

I have enjoyed some of my most favorite things, recently:  time outside, *in spite of the heat!* kayaking, star-gazing, and (a new favorite thing?) camping (!) *in spite of vicious, biting bugs!*  While most of these I do every chance I get, the camping thing is pretty new to me (since it has easily been 30+ years since I last did it with any regularity).  No, we don’t have ALL the comforts of home but we have enough to make the lacking livable…  There is something magical about watching the moon rise over a lake, seeing the bejeweled night sky reflected on its glass-smooth surface, and hearing the chorus of hundreds of tree frogs after the heat of the day has faded.  Moments to treasure and anticipate enjoying again – simple pleasures, awaiting our notice, there for the taking…  Lucky are we!

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Until next time,
 - PLA

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