Thursday, January 29, 2009

California Girls

Roxi and I were California girls for a day. We took a tour today that took us to Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and Laguna Beach for a day of beachcombing and gallery hopping. I'll post pics when I get home.

We had such a great CHA show, but are ready to get back to Tennessee, although the half-naked guys playing beach volleyball caused us to stop and think about sticking around for a while. I did take pics. You'll see 'em by the weekend.

We are tired, but full of new ideas for classes. We'll be sharing those with you soon and will be adding a lot of new merchandise in the next few weeks, so be sure to check out

See you soon in Tennessee! WhooHoo!

Go hug someone you love.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

It's over!

The CHA show is over, my feet have walked about a bajillion miles and Roxi, Roann and I are all exhausted. Roann just makes me tired, talking about her taxi picking her up for the airport at 3:50 a.m. We had a great dinner with Niki Meiners and Carla Schauer, two talented designers from North Carolina and Cincinnati respectively, at a tiny little hole-in-the-wall Italian restaurant called Carolina's. Cheesy oregano bread, huge plates of pasta with a variety of incredible sauces, spumoni, strawberry cheesecake and tiramisu. Need I say more?

Roxi and I are staying an extra day, through a happy accident in plane reservations, and plan to hit the Laguna Beach area tomorrow morning, for a day of gallery hopping and beach walking. We'll be back home in frozen Memphis Friday night.

We all had a very successful show and are coming home with lots of new techniques and ideas. Be sure to check back often. Roxi and I will be posting some classes in the next few weeks, and we will also be announcing a workshop by a well-known author/artist.

Go hug someone you love.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The heat is on...

...and not in my house, where we keep the temperature at a cool 60°. Larry likes so that when we sneeze, it snows. I like it when I get a low utility bill.

The CHA countdown is here, and I'm doing what I usually do: coming up with killer project ideas when I fly off to California in less than 90 hours. Will I get my designer showcase ready? Have to. Will the press kits get finished? Have to. Will I forget something totally necessary? Without a doubt. BUT... I intend to have the best time ever at CHA. I'm taking a few fun classes: jewelry making, encaustic and raku as well as some business seminars. Roxi and I (the RockCandy sistas) will be checking out new products for our online store and reporting back to you. Because of a snafu in our flight reservations, we'll be staying in sunny California an extra day. I know, I know. It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

I'll try to post here while I'm away and let you know what new and exciting products are coming down the pike.

Please excuse typos. I'm an artist, not a typist.

Go hug someone you love.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

River City Stampers

Today is our monthly stamp club meeting and we are making booklets for our new members' welcome packet. This project could easily be adapted to hold a stationery set of cards and matching stamped envelopes.

Using a 12 X 12 piece of printed double-sided cardstock, score it in half on one side and 3" from the bottom on the other. Fold it in half so you have a 6" X 12" book, then fold up the bottom to the inside to make the pocket. I like to trim away the center of the pocket so it will fold better.

For embellishing, I used a swirly stamp from Technique Tuesday and stamped in a diagonal pattern across the front with white pigment ink, then embossed with clear embossing powder. I used Colorbox ink pads to apply blues and greens lightly over the pattern, then wiped away the excess with a tissue, revealing more of the white swirls. I used the same stamp to stamp blue swirls across the white ones for added interest, then wiped again with the tissue.

Add eyelets to hold the bottom pocket to the top and slip ribbon through each eyelet, tying on the back to keep it in place.

Add your sentiment of choice and you've made a quick and easy pocket folder. Give it as a gift or customize it by adhering an envelope and note pad to the inside and use it to stash receipts.

I'm off to stamp club.

Go hug someone you love!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Mixed Media Mélange Registration Open!

The first-ever, one-and-only, finally-got-something-in-the-Mid-South Mixed Media Mélange retreat is here! Come join us for three full days of art instruction and hanging with kindred spirits, where everyone gets that you like to hoard art supplies, you must have all the latest tools and that piece of junk you found in the parking lot is actually very valuable ephemera.

You can check out the event details and download registration forms on our blog at Check out the awesome instructors: Laurie Mica, Ruth Rae, Melissa Manley, Leslie Veneble, Patricia DiBona, Roanne Mathias and Lauren Ferguson. I'm teaching a Faux Stone Sculpture class as well.

You can reserve your spot now by filling out the registration form and sending in a $50 deposit, and we also offer a payment plan for your meals, lodging and classes. How great is that?

I'm off to work...but only for the next ten weeks. I'm retiring from MLGW...again. Maybe this time it will take.

I promised to upload some pieces of pics of my latest projects for CHA. Here are a couple:

Go hug someone you love!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Of course, we have to have changes at the last minute...

...that's the way we work.

In a previous post, I said that I always get these great ideas when I'm down to the wire on these huge projects. The M3 registration launches tomorrow and guess what? This time it was Roxi coming up with last minute improvements. She took my original M3 logo design and added the perfect touches to reflect our vintage style. WhooHoo!

I am so excited about this retreat. How will we ever wait until September?

I will be posting some snippets of my new CHA projects tonight. Can't post the whole project, but it will give you an idea of what I've been working on. I didn't get anything done last night, because I loaned my doggies my studio to sleep in since it was supposed to be so cold. I thought we could co-exist for a couple of hours, but Pete, the Speckle-butted Monster, kept trying to climb into my lap - all 85 pounds of him, and Sam the Wonder Lab just wanted to climb the back of my chair and lick my ears. I finally gave up and let them have it...then kicked them out at the crack o'dawn this morning. They prefer outdoors, but I just can't stand to see them shivering. They'll come in tonight, but it's supposed to start warming up by mid-weekend.

I'm off to be creative :) and then to the doc :(

Go hug someone you love.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Counting down!

Be sure to watch this site in the next 48 hours for the info on our Mixed Media Mélange artists' retreat coming in September to LaGrange, Tennessee. We have some knock-your-socks-off instructors with whom the organizers have always wanted to study. We know you're going to love it, so start saving your pennies! We even offer a payment schedule, but you need to send in your reservation as soon as possible to reserve yur space. Classes will fill quickly as well.
Will post more later!
Go hug someone you love!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Lost my muse...

I don't know what is wrong with me. I think maybe it's the overwhelming list of junk I have to do in the next two weeks before CHA, most of which is not CHA-related.

Normally, I work very well under pressure. I'm more creative, come up with totally awesome out-of-the-box ideas and am a dynamo at getting everything done.

This time? Nada. Zilch. The muse took a trip to Barbados and isn't coming home until the weather warms up around here. Not that I blame her. I don't like the cold and, even though we only get a couple of months of below freezing temps and this year has been mild, I'm sick of it already. I'm sick of a cold house and a utility bill that jumped a hundred bucks with no increase in the indoor temp and 70° weather for parts of December. I'm sick of having to wear a coat and getting shocked when I touch metal. I'm sick of gray days - and we have another today. I long for fresh veggies from my garden and spring days with my giant daffodils pushing up through the ground and the opportunity to clean my flower beds and plant new things.

This is an elements from one of our RockCandy Studios collage sheets. I think I'll use it when I get home from church and create something. Of course, that's after I finish my sample for the Mixed Media Mélange retreat coming up in September. The instructor lineup is terrific and the setting will make that pesky muse want to come back home, although I certainly hope she returns before then!

Have a great Sunday! My mood is better already. Sometimes you just have to get the frustration out and have a plan. Here's mine:
1. Go to church. That will make me feel better instantly.
2. Have lunch out since I'm sick of my own (and Larry's) cooking.
3. Get into comfy clothes and go to the studio to finish that sample and send to our marketing director.
4. Create something quick that is not required of me with the collage sample.
5. Maybe finish taking down my tree (Yikes! My granny would have a heart attack if she new I still had it up past New Year's Day!)
6. Go back to church for evening services.
7. Write some info for a class Roxi and I are teaching at the Memphis Botanic Garden and then crash.

The only thing that might throw a monkey wrench in the works is if I sit down on the sofa between steps 4 and 5. That will mean an instant nap. After all, Sunday is a day of rest.

Go hug someone you love.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Thoughts ...

I received photos tonight from my friend Jan Stone's 60th birthday party on January 1. Her sweet hubby planned this great event as a surprise and pulled it off beautifully.

Jan and I met the third grade at Longview Elementary School in Memphis when I had gone to the restroom to pull a tooth. She came in and helped me, and we've been buds ever since. She was the person who first convinced me that I could sing a little, was there when I had crushes on some real losers, nursed me through my head-over-heels infatuation with a musician named Bill Johnson and all through our school years. She was so smart and so pretty and she was my friend.

When we both married, Jan moved to Alabama and I stayed in Memphis. We only see each other at class reunions now, for the most part. We don't talk as often as we would like, but when we do, it's as though we just spoke yesterday. We just pick right up where we left off.

There are only a few people who I don't see very often that I can do that with - Linda Gordon, Charlotte Gordon, Ron Gordon, Paula Payne, Janet Southards, Ida Bryant, Debbie Dennington, Grady Thurman, Linda Bain Ashton, Moochie Waldron, Joe Pittman, Emily Hill and Ro Campbell are the ones who come to mind. I consider myself very blessed to have these people in my life.

The new year is always a time for reflection. I vow to spend more time enjoying my friends in 2009.

Go hug someone you love.

Counting down....

We're on the final countdown to the Craft and Hobby Association Winter Show in Anaheim, CA. Roxi and I head out on January 23. I have no idea what to expect this year, with the economy the way it is.

I received my "Come-by-our-booth-and-check-out-the-latest-and-greatest-new-products" packet yesterday and I swear it was at least 50 percent smaller than last year. Not good.

I have been frantically creating new projects while trying to remember to use RockCandy Studios materials for some shameless self and business promotion. The Creative Juice Muse has departed my brain, and I'm really struggling this time. I'm sure she will return on January 22 around 5 p.m., which will allow me a whopping 12 hours to create and photograph all the new things she will whisper in my ears.

I'm sure this creative block is due to the fact that my job is ending soon. Not that I am dreading that, although the part-time pay is awesome, but everyone who has a project for 2009 seems to have discovered that I will no longer be here after March 31 and they are all trying to get their projects in before I depart. On my plate at the moment are 65 centerpieces for a banquet in February that need to be finished before I leave for CHA and a total makeover on our company museum, which I have been working on for most of the past year. All my creative juices have gone into these projects and I am drained. Enough grumbling.

It's a beautiful, sunny day in Tennessee, which helps drive away the worries about the future of this wonderful river city. We have corrupt politicians, a horrid city council and hot and cold running crooks. To use a popular phrase, the inmates are running the asylum. That's it in a nutshell. I moved up the road 22 years ago to a neighboring county, but my heart is still on the banks of the Mississippi in Tom Lee Park in downtown Memphis.

I can't seem to quit grumbling, so will quit writing.

Go hug someone you love.