quick post
Had a fun weekend! Did some window shopping on Saturday and errands. Today we went to the Botanical Gardens and then saw the Jim Henson exhibit at the Smithsonian. So inspiring!!!! Now getting some work done, lots and lots on my to-do list this week.


martha stewart preview video
The fabulous Jane Wynn emailed me this morning to let me know I'm in the new Martha Stewart commercial promoting the new season!

They clipped out segments from the last season where guests say the word "big" and I'm on one of the clips! Pretty neat that I made it into the clip amongst all the famous people!

Maybe they had a hard time finding guests who said the word "big" and so that's how I made it in there! I wouldn't have liked to be that video editor going through all the old reels to find guests who said "big". I bet that took forever! LOL!!!

click here to see the preview video.

I'm keeping my fingers tightly crossed I can get on the new season. My submission is at their offices, all it needs now is Martha's approval. Yikes!


to my mom
Today my mom is retiring from a 52 year career as a journalist and editor.


I am posting this photo again because I can't resist. It is one of my all time favorites. This is my Mom early in her journalism career when she was in Johannesburg working for the Sunday Express. She's sitting on the shoulders of Mr Universe!

Lisa Cianci wrote a touching write up about my Mom on the Mom's at Work blog. Thank you Lisa!

I am so proud of you Mom!! Here's to an exciting new chapter in your life!!
free your creativity
Here's a link to a great article I stumbled across on the HOW Magazine web site about Freeing Your Creativity. I don't even know how I found it but it struck a chord with me. I've been feeling a little stuck lately with all the stress of the move and have been waiting patiently to get my creative mo-jo back.

Now that I think about it -- whenever I feel creatively flat I think it really can fall into one of the categories that is outlined in this article by Todd Henry.

He talks about 3 sources of creativity killers:

1. Our Heroes - Comparing yourself or your work to another artist you admire is a sure way to to feel inferior. I agree! Sometimes if I spend too much time hopping around Etsy or various blogs, I start to feel down about my own work. Seeing all these juicy blogs makes me start to compare my work and then quickly leads down a dark road to feeling bad about my work.

2. Our Own Work - Another great point in this article is one I didn't even really think about. When you create a "pinnacle" work that you feel is above all your other works and then you compare everything else that you create to that one piece. I do this sometimes and now that I think about it, it is a creativity crusher. I am on the road to a creative block if I keep thinking to myself "if only I could make another piece as good as THAT one"

3. Others Expectations - Imagining what others will say about a work that I am creating is a direct route to stopping the creative process. This can be a real challenge for me especially when I am making art for custom artwork orders. It's hard to push those thoughts of "will they like this?" aside and just "go with the process"!

The article also mentions this book - Free Play, which I am really curious about!

Anyone think of any other Creativity Killers to add to this list?


new studio goodies
I was feeling a little blue today, missing our house in Florida and then along came a surprise. Nothing brightens up my day like new art supplies!


What is it? It's a Metal Embossing kit from Walnut Hollow. This is a new kit that they have out, so new, I can't even find it on their web site. It comes with embossing tools and texture making tools to use with the metal. It looks very cool! I can't wait to try some Alcohol inks on the metal AND I want to try using the metal texture tools in beeswax. I'll let you know how it works out.


Also new to my studio is a whole stack of paper sent to me from Coredinations. I saw this paper at CHA and wanted to try it out. It has a color core so you can rip it and tear it and a new color will show through. Fun fun fun!!

I am slowly starting to get in the swing of things here in my new studio. I am still really tired from this move, so I'm trying to do a bit of work each day and stay on schedule until my energy returns --- which I hope will be very soon!!

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I've made some progress in my paperwork with the DC tax offices. It seems I have finally straightened things out, I no longer have to pay an Unincorporated Business Franchise tax, and now I have the Sales Tax license that I needed in the first place! I am so relieved. I am talking to my new accountant about becoming an LLC but right now the idea of taking on more paperwork and filing more things with the DC tax office is more than I can mentally withstand. I think I'll do that in the new year.

I had a headache all weekend. It was horrible. Just when I thought it would go away it would come back and then turn into a migraine. So I spent most of the time nursing my aching head. We did go for a little bit on Sunday to the National Portrait Gallery. My favorite part is the folk art exhibit. We saw works from Charlie Fields who painted his entire house inside and out with polka dots! Love that!!


paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork
I have spent the last couple days readying my business to work in DC. Tuesday I spent just about all day pouring over the DC tax web site until I found and figured out everything I needed. I met with an accountant on Wednesday and she answered a lot of my questions and it didn't really seem so hard at that point. Wednesday night I applied for DC sales tax license and registered my business.

That's where it got sticky. Seems that my application went though fine but they didn't register me for the sales tax license which is what I really needed. In addition, now I have a Business Franchise Tax added to my file which my accountant said I should not have to pay. 3 phone calls to the DC Tax office and it's not figured out yet. I hope to get more information tomorrow.

Also here they have a personal property tax in which you are taxed on your private property for your business. Like your furniture!!! I have never heard of anything like that EVER! Taxed on furniture you already bought!? Apparently I shouldn't have to pay it because I don't have over $50k in furniture. Another reason to keep my cheap folding tables for my studio ;) But you still have to file it each year. I am still not clear on that quite yet.

The whole thing has given me a migraine for the last 3 days.

There was a bright spot on Wednesday when I met with my friend Lesley Riley who lives near DC in Maryland. If you are in the area she is having a big house sale with LOTS & LOTS of cool collage and art supplies this Saturday and Sunday from 10am -3pm. Email Lesley for more info and street address. I picked up a big stash of stuff that I just couldn't live without! YAY!


studio visit!
I took a few photos of my newly set up studio today. This is as clean as it will ever look ever again so I thought I should document it!


This is the "art side" of my studio/office. The bamboo rug on the floor is to cover up as much carpet as possible. I hate carpet but this apartment has it in the 2 bedrooms (thankfully there are wood floors in the living room). So this is the next best thing! Even though there's lots of natural light, I still have my 3 Ott Lites. Love the pink one! The cork board I got a few years ago from Ballard Design. The table (really 2 folding tables together) is covered with a giant sheet of the Ranger non-Stick Craft Sheet that I was lucky enough to get from them. I love it in this giant size, I can scrape away all my mess at the end of each project!


Close-up view of the giant bulletin board above my art table. I can't use thumb tacks in the cork because Stanley takes them down and tries to eat them. So that's why there are all those pieces of tape on there!


I love plastic bins. These ones fit in great in this cheap shelving I got from Service Merchandise about 10 years ago. Does Service Merchandise even exist anymore?


This is the "office side" of the studio with the computer and my favorite copying machine (Canon PC940) on the left. This copier was carried resting on pillows in our Honda all the way up from FL because I would be so sad if anything happened to it.


I'm really proud of this part! This is a closet in the studio that I turned into my packing and shipping area. So now I have a space for all my shipping supplies + a table to pack the boxes on and my workshop suitcases fit in too. I used to do all my packing and shipping on our dining table, but now we don't have that anymore so this works out even better!


Toby relaxing on the carpet! He's the one member of the family who really likes the carpet!


in print
I got the new issue of Belle Armoire today. It was delayed because it went to my old address in Orlando. I am still working on all those address changes! I was super excited to see 3 altered T's that I sent in featured. And even a photo of the editor Jenny Doh wearing one of them!!


I was thrilled to hear that the Shoppe at Somerset Studio will be carrying my new line of products with Ranger in September.

Also in print, I discovered that I have a little bloggy mention in the back of Jennifer Perkins new book The Naughty Secretary Club: a working girl's guide to handmade jewelry.


This is a super fun, color-filled book. I am jewelry impaired when it comes to making anything wearable, but Jen's snazzy book got my wheels turning. There are some ideas I can't wait to try! And maybe you remember how much Mabel likes Jen's jewelry? Here's a photo of Mabel sporting the scissor necklace from Jen's shop!


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weekend roundup!
A few pics from our weekend! Saturday morning we walked to Adams Morgan and went to the bank, then walked back and stopped at Greater Goods which as a natural home type store. We picked up a shopping wheely cart so I don't have to keep using Toby's stroller as a shopping cart for groceries.

Then we went to Green Pets to pick up pet food and then to the U Street Farmer's Market which is just 2 blocks from where we live. We got yummy peaches and tomatoes and french bread ( I already ate almost an entire loaf!)



I had a huge nap, while Paul went to try out the local soccer league.

Today we went to the Eastern Market. I think the better day to go to that is on a Saturday when they have more artists there, but we did pick up some home made salsa and hummus. Yum yum! It was too hot for me to walk around the flea market part and Paul was interested in it at all. So we saved our energy for the Barracks Row stores and went to Ispo Crafto a cute little art supply store in SE DC.


We also stopped at Pawticulars and got some snacks for Toby. I asked them about their pet sitting service for Stanley and Mabel but it sounds like they don't work much in NorthWest DC which is where we are living. I will have to hunt for a good cat sitter so when we visit Florida we can leave with confidence!

After the Eastern market we came back to our end of town and stopped at Love Cafe to have a cupcake from cake love. Hmmm!A super yummy - VERY good cupcake!!


Now we're going to settle in for the night and watch a new movie from NetFlix. See you tomorrow!


stanley in the studio
Here's a quick photo of a corner of my new studio in our DC apartment. Stanley loves to look out the window at the people walking around on the street below!


You can see the big flowers that I made out of my new Sticky Back canvas. I got the really tall glass vase from Target. It was made to be a votive holder but I like it as a vase! More photos soon. This studio is as ready as it will ever be!

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last workshop for 2008!
I just posted up sign up information for my last workshop for 2008! It's at the Jerry's Artarama Art of the Carolina's Event in Raleigh NC November 14-16th.

I'll be teaching 3 one-day classes.

Classes are: Adventures in Color, Waxing Poetic and Collage Discovery Workshop.

Click on each of the above class titles for more information and to register for that class! Sign up soon before spaces are filled. Extra bonus! Class supplies are donated by Ranger Industries so you hardly have to bring a thing! Perfect!!


This morning I walked to the nearest Bank of America to deposit some checks. It's about a mile away, it was a wonderful walk all sunny with a breeze and it felt great. On the way home I stopped by the 14th street post office to mail off a couple orders and then headed back to the apartment. I need to find a new bank for my business banking since there is no Washington Mutual here (weird! they are everywhere else but not in DC!)

I have decided on Sun Trust. 1) It reminds me of home because that's the main bank in Orlando. 2) it is less than 1/2 a block away. I use my business account more often than our home accounts, I'd like it to be nice and close, especially in the winter! brrr! I am already anticipating the winter! akkk!!

Still working on setting up this studio. It is taking an extra long time because I want it to be really really, really organized, so I don't feel claustrophobic. I am trying to find places for all my workshop supplies separate from my supplies I use every day so I don't get things mixed up when I go to teach!

Toby has a vet appointment tomorrow. I want to get him set up with a new vet. I hope I like them because this one is nice and close. I can wheel him there in his stroller!


catch-up post about the move!
Here's my long over due catch up post all about the move!

My Dad helped me pick up the Uhaul last Friday and that was an event! sent us to one of those self storage places that also rents out Uhauls. Never again! They obliviously didn't check it out or service it because as soon as I was driving it, the check engine light came on. We took it to the nearest Uhaul place and they fixed it up. I was panicked that it would break down on our 900 mile drive to DC. Dad was a huge help wit the Uhaul. That was stressful!

Saturday morning Paul, my Mom and I along with Toby, Stanley and Mable set off on our drive up here. It was really hard for me to leave the house and my Dad and also for Paul to leave his family. I did have a cry before I left. But once on the road we were having a good time. Mom and I were in the Honda with the pets, with Paul in the Uhaul in front. The cats meowed at first but then settled down and Toby is used to riding in the car, loved it. Especially all the rest stops with lots of doggie smells!

That night we stopped at a Holiday Inn in Fayetteville NC. The cats were a little spooked but Mable was more adventurous and was soon lounging with us on the bed Stanley didn't want to come out from under the covers so I fed him under there. Toby was fine as long as he was with all of us.

On the Sunday we arrived here in DC in the early afternoon. We quickly got the cats and Toby up to the apartment and unloaded a few items from the Uhaul. We had to park the Uhaul 1/2 a block away so we loaded up the Honda and drove that back to the apartment to get as much back as possible.

The next day Paul went to his new job and the movers arrived to unload the Uhaul. I couldn't keep it in the parking spot in front of the apartment until Paul got home so I had to drive it back to Uhaul to turn it in. I was a little nervous about driving it in the city but it worked out OK. The GPS helped but it sent me around Thomas Circle (I hate going around that circle - even when walking!). I kept missing the turn-off from the circle and then had to circle around again. After about 3 times I made it and the rest of the ride to Uhaul went just fine. I didn't run over or into anybody so it was a successful journey!

Mom stayed and helped until Wednesday and we got so much done! Without her this place would still be a pile of boxes. By Monday night just a few hours after the movers had left, we had the kitchen set up, the living room ready and the bed set up too.

All I have left to do this week is finish organizing the studio and figuring out where all the supplies should go.

I can not believe it was only a week ago that we arrived here in DC. We are almost all set up and slowly getting used to city life. it has been a bigger adjustment than I thought it would be. Especially because I have lived here before!

I love being only 2 blocks away from the Saturday morning Farmers market. And I can walk to the bank, the grocery store and all the wonderful things that DC has to offer. Paul loves being able to walk to work too! I love our little apartment and it feels so cozy here. I don't even really miss all the extra space that I was used to. The second bedroom looks like it will work out just fine as my office/studio. Only a little bit less room than I had before in our house, so I can make it work!

The only thing I don't like is when we have to take Toby out for a walk, we have to go down the hall, down the elevator, and then outside. Toby hates the hallway and the elevator so he has to be carried the whole way until we get him outside. Once outside he gets all distracted by the cars and the people he sits down and wants to have a nice look around. We're lucky if we get him to go 1/2 a block!

So that's the big move story! Of course I didn't take any photos, we were too crazed with stress. But I do want to take some pix of our neighborhood there are so many cute shops and stores around here. I promise to show you some of the places I discover!


new video!
Here's a new video from Ranger about my new product line! This was filmed at the Chicago CHA Summer show. I outline the various products and then show the faux batik technique as well! More fun technique videos coming as soon as I get my studio set back up!

I'll do a full post about the move this weekend. Still digging out here, wading my way through boxes and also emails! I'll be back on track soon!


back online!
Just a quick note to let you know we are here in DC, and we have internet! I'm working hard on getting this place together, everything unpacked and my studio set up. whew! I'll be back later with more posts :) Oh and Project Runway is on tonight. I made sure to get the cable installed right after we moved in so I wouldn't miss an episode!


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