This could be a great lesson in art and geography!
Today Element and I attended The Stone Mill’s open house summer event. It was a perfect day to be outside meeting local artisans and vendors! I also put up a little display for our painting party events.
As soon as we got there Element had to explore, so we went on a little scavenger hunt to see what she could find! Bubbles, pretzels, baby dolls, high heels and rocking chairs were her favorite things.
Ilysa Peak from Peak’s Party gave the kids bubbles to play with and to take home! Element was thrilled. The pretzels were deliberately dipped into the delicious Stonehouse Mixes Roasted Garlic gluten free veggie dip! She found a few vintage baby dolls resting in their cradle and a lovely pair of yellow high heels! But I think her favorite find was all of the rocking chairs!
All of the vendors were lovely to meet! When we arrived we spent some time with Dawne from Bloomin Crazy Designs. Dawne was doing painting demos for the paint line she uses to create a beautiful vintage finish. Not only does she paint furniture for sale, as well as refinishing kitchen cabinets and furniture for clients, she also teaches furniture painting workshops! She’s a woman after my own heart, doing what she loves and finding ways to make it work.
In the kitchen area I was able to spend some time talking with Ilysa Peak from Peak’s Party, a staffing service for weddings, parties, events and any special occasion. Her and I really hit it off well being we both from from a Native spiritual background, Lakota and Chippewa. She is a beautiful soul full of a calm, loving energy. If I were to ever need a staffing service I know her company would bring great energy to my event.
Working my way around the event, my next stop was the Thunder Ridge Vineyards wine tasting. I have to say, I really enjoyed their Ocean Breeze and Moscato! Not only was the wine delicious but it was lovely to see a father and daughter team! I love that they are a family owned and operated vineyard. Seeing Alex and her father Jeff work together gave me a little sense of excitement and hope that one day Element and I will be working in our art studio together.
Set up next to the vineyard was The Turquoise Bullet. Kate Hepner creates one of a kind jewelry as well as repurposed furniture. Kate is like my soul sister, we are so alike it’s scarey. Her enthusiasm for life and whatever she is working on really shines through her constant smile and upbeat personality! Not only is she a creator, she also helps coordinate and plan weddings at The Stone Mill, along with photography. You can check out what she has available at her Etsy shop.
Wandering around the grounds we came upon The Wandering Ewe. Another family team, this time mother and daughter. Hannah (daughter) really enjoys making her fiber art, and decided why not share it with the world. Her mother Holly creates beautiful pieces as well. They had everything from hats and headbands, to pins and dolls. Check out all the awesome things they create on their Etsy shop. You can also see some pictures of their lambs!
Next on our journey was Kyle Gerlach who owns Fare North woodworking. Kyle was working away on a few pieces when we strolled up, hatchet in hand. He loves using local reclaimed wood for his work. The spoons he creates are gorgeous! He told me that he’s really about building beautiful wood furniture but started making ladles and utensils as Christmas presents for family and friends. Everyone would tell him “You should sell these!”, so he went for it!
Our last stop was at the Be A Doer tent! This just seemed so synchronistic for the whole day, the company focuses their apparel on inspiring action and motivation! Every vendor I spent time talking to at the event really displayed this type of “go-getter” attitude! Really putting the time in to do what they love and to make it work for them. The company has shirts with sayings such as “I can and I will”, “Go the Distance”, but my favorite by far is the “She’s a dreamer…” t-shirt!
I really love listening to the stories every person has to tell, especially those who are pursuing their passion and hobbies. We are all creators, we just have to pay attention to ourselves enough to know what it is we have a passion for and to have enough willpower and motivation to get out there and BE A DOER!
Thank you everyone for sharing and thank you Pam and Joe Hepner, owners of the Stone Mill, for hosting such a lovely event!
We had another great paint night at The Stone Mill… painting grapes and a wine glass. Thank you ladies for coming out! It was such an enjoyable evening, making two new friends.
My stay in Dallas was a beautiful one… The Hilton DFW Lakes was a great hotel with lots of delicious food, and a beautiful atmosphere.
There was another conference there, a Computer Science Educator conference…I scored some resources to take back to school with me since this year we are a lighthouse school for laptops! All of our 6th graders will have devices of their own.
The hotel provided snacks for in between our session, and delicious lunch every day!
Before I left the hotel I decided to take a walk around the grounds! Nature is by far my favorite place to be…and boy was it worth it. The heat was a little intense, but the scenery was perfect.
After high school I went to college in Texas, from 2000-2002, where I met Amber. Her and I were roommates and became best friends right away. The last time I saw her she came up to Maryland to attend my Starry Night painting party, but it was about 13 years ago that I was in Dallas…so when I found out I would be in Texas, we made it a point to hang out and she came to see me!
The first night I was there she came to the hotel and picked me up for dinner. I love eating in Texas, there are so many awesome restaurants. We decided on BJ’s Brewhouse…I ordered the new Hickory Brisket and Bacon. Sweet and tangy BBQ sauce, smoked brisket, Applewood smoked bacon, jack and cheddar cheese, red onions and mayonnaise…. OMG, it was DELICIOUS! I also tried their beer sampler….the Harvest Hefeweizen was my favorite. For dessert we had the Pizookie trio, wow talk about a sweet treat.
On Sunday Amber and I went to Fort Worth, one of our favorite places to visit while we were in college. When we got there I noticed all the changes that had taken place in the 13 years it had been since I was there last. The central square had drastically changed, and there was a beautiful angel wing installation that we took pictures with. We went to dinner at Razoos, my favorite restaurant… they have fried alligator. Let me tell you, I wish we had fried alligator in Maryland! I got the purple haze margarita with my meal which was very refreshing.
After dinner, we walked around the Fort Worth for a little sightseeing.
I have to say, Amber is one of my very best friends, and I cherish every moment I get to spend with her. Im always looking forward to the next time we get to spend time together. Thanks Amber!!
Last weekend I was fortunate to represent Maryland and our school district in Dallas Texas at Balfour Advisor Academy. I am the yearbook club advisor for my school, and we currently work with the company Balfour to produce our yearbooks.
Previously we worked with Herff Jones, however, the yearbook representative that I had when I started advising left Herff Jones after my second year working with her. I stayed with the company for 2 more years through multiple representatives and issues with the quality of personal relations from them. None of them could even begin to measure up to her ability and willingness to always “make it work” (as Tim Gunn would say). She was by far the best representative I have ever had the chance to work with. So when I found out she was working with Balfour I just had to change companies! I needed to have her back! The representative really makes or breaks the experience of creating a yearbook, as it does with any business relationship.
Last year was our first year working with Balfour, but I knew it would be a non issue since I had my dear Jeanne back. I picked up the technical aspects of the new yearbook creating software fairly quickly, its pretty much like photoshop. Jeanne helped me through it by coming to our club meetings every Friday, bringing me my favorite drink from starbucks, and working with the students to help them become more proficient with the software. Her willingness to be there whenever I needed her reminded me why I missed her so much and why I was so grateful to have her back!
We completed the yearbook and awaited its arrival. The day it was due to arrive at school, we found out that there was an issue with the delivery which caused it to arrive the second to last day of school. Jeanne came to school and helped me organize and deliver all the yearbooks in order to get them out as smoothly as possible. Without her I wouldn’t have made it out alive. Thank you Jeanne!
Not only was she always there, she provided me opportunity to attend the Balfour Advisor Academy in Dallas Texas, as well as the Ignite Journalism University, Balfour’s summer yearbook workshop, July 27-July 31, at Pepperdine University in Malibu California!
The Advisor Academy was an amazing experience! I learned so much about developing a yearbook, and was able to network with so many amazing people. I am looking forward to using my new knowledge to step up our yearbook this coming year. Being that the yearbook is created in a club, it’s a lot different from an actually yearbook class. I met with a few other middle school yearbook club advisors and discussed ways to make the yearbook development more student centered and still keep the same level of greatness we’ve had in the past few years.
Last night a few of us got together for a paint night at The Stone Mill. We painted palm trees and a sunset! It was a really nice calming evening with the sound of rain off the old mills roof. It poured so hard you could hear the little creek next to the mill roar.
The results are below! I really love the process on reflecting on my paintings and seeing how I can use the brush to create different techniques on the canvas. The second painting has more steps but they are the same for each area; a shadow, midtone and high light. The first painting was a simple blended sky with black silhouettes of Palm trees. With our new techniques the second painting has more depth and looks more alive!
Thanks for coming out and being creative with me!
On every holiday people all over send text messages, emails, facebook posts, and tweets saying “Happy (Fill in the Blank) Day!” This holiday happens to be Independance day, the fourth of July. A day that has represented freedom from the signing of a document by people who wanted to succeed from Europe.
As I go to send a text, I stop and analyze the actual words I’m about to send…I then realize … I have to assign them a meaning. In order to make sense of any statement the words need meaning. I found that the words of this holiday have meanings that have been based off of what I’ve been taught and have believed for so long to be true… even though… I never experienced this day as a battle or a day for rejoicing because of personal freedoms gained, or signed a document stating my freedom from a tyrant…not yet at least. I’ve always been this free, since I can remember…I have learned and experienced on certain levels that there are people who have less freedoms.
But if we bring the metaphysical aspect into account… as an energetic being… I am freedom, just as I am and we are all things. Now, I began to think about how I can personalize this energetically charged day. (It is energetically charged by the thoughts of millions of people around the world… for as long as its been told and believed as truth)… so that I can utilize this energy for the creation and manifestation of my goals and desires, to create my reality with my intent.
By using their term I’m just giving away the energy, so I’ve found the key is in the words. But not only the words, its also about how a person uses them. Not being afraid to use your own creations as affirmation of your reality.
So Create new definitions for words and use them to vibrate the specific energy you desire into your existence…. After all everything is a vibration. And Words are “spell”ed …. There’s energy in words, think about what its like when monks chant. When words get used over and over they vibrate stronger…
I digress, what I’m saying is… Saying the typical happy “whatever” day… Is giving our energy and power of creation away to something we don’t even know to be true for us completely on all levels, we can not say its 100% tangible truth, we can only believe in it.
So try thinking about how the theme of any holiday resonates with your reality and life experiences right now… And then reassess the holidays value to you and perhaps you’ll see it in a new perspective, giving yourself and your family more energy for the things you desire and deserve in life.
For me, I’ve experimented with this process by saying Happy Energy Manifestation day for b-day because that means more to me… And now I will start using Happy Free day for Happy Independance day, using the theme of independence to truly be grateful and aware of all that I am.
I decided to name the snack: “Call them what you will” because no matter what they are called they’re spectacular!
Call them what you will
- Peanut butter
- Chocolate chips / or white chocolate
- Coconut flakes
The amount of ingredients depends on how many and how big you want to make them. I made 13 with the following:
- Put 2 cups of peanut butter into a medium bowl.
- Mix in 1 cup of honey and 1 cup of oatmeal or rolled oates.
- Mix in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips, 1/2 of cranberries.
- If it doesn’t feel sticky enough to hold the coconut flakes add more honey.
- Form 1″ balls and roll them in coconut flakes.
- Place in fridge to harden. Should be kept in fridge when not being devoured.
Modify as you will for a perfect personalized snack!