A Lesson in THINGS


This morning, I learned a little lesson about THINGS.

This comes ironically the day AFTER I snapped a pic of a thick glass bowl full of treasures and trinkets. They were the topic of an article I had just written in Druid City Living, the little paper I love to write for in my “Lake Living” Column.

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The things were mostly meaningless without the story behind them, from places known and some I have to admit, unclear. My curious kitten sent the bowl crashing to my desk in a thunderous plunk and a pile of mess just where I was typing.

Until now, it sat on my windowsill between me and the sunshine. I glance at it now and then, remembering the times my babies (now grown) gnawed on a small melodic, silver rattle. It is nestled among feathers gathered from my parakeets and chickens as well as sheddings from gulls and a bluebird. It is accented by dried leaves, bright orange rock fragments from North Carolina, a golf tee and marker from Mountaintop, a small Bible with a magnifying glass tucked in the back cover that I got as a child. Sand dollars, some broken, some glued to a piece of wood. Sticks, mostly in shapes that spoke to me while I meandered a labyrinth with my best friend just before brain cancer sent her to a better place.

EF67B0E5-6F74-425D-B873-7562102A8704The slow motion movement from the bowl and the twice as fast dart of the cat is still engrained in my mind. A reminder that we can contain our things, but life still has a way of breaking our concentration, unleashing what is important.

I yelled at the cat, I screamed out loud. I watched in horror as he scrambled to the floor, then spoke aloud, “What is MY DEAL?”
BDA68D24-56AA-40BF-BA25-5452098EA62FSomehow, instead of cleaning it up, I ended up in my closet FILLED with trinkets, books and treasures. I sat on the floor. I took out a box I have carried around since I discovered it in the back of my mother’s closet. A glimpse into the life of the uncle I would never know, killed at age 18 in World War Two. Without his death my mother would have never been adopted. I would have never been. I snapped this pic of the box, the pic of, he, his mother and his sister at the time, before my mother was even a thought. The envelope returned to sender with the words “Missing in Action”.

I resolved today that things should either be displayed, shared (as in a museum) for some purpose, or TOSSED. I cringe at the third option. I used to rummage for hours in the upstairs rooms of my grandparent’s abandoned home. They closed it up, left every thing there after Allen died. What remained were things such as this chair, these photo albums, items of someone’s glorious yesterdays, avoided, forgotten.0E9266F3-0344-47AC-8973-40BC77A4D2E1

I scraped up the tiny shards of glass only after snapping a pic of the pile too. I could not deny that there was beauty among that mess as well. This pile of glass reminded me, even on my desk, of tiny grains of Alabama Gulf Coast beach sand where I collected so many of these things.

E8541A48-5734-45F7-B505-58F6D2C3BED6As I sorted to add them to a “non-breakable” plastic topped box I remembered some of the places I had stopped to snatch these things: a rock in a creek bed in Norcross, Georgia at a horse farm; a butterfly I vowed to wear in my hair if we bought it in Ashville, NC; A crystal ornament I couldn’t pack away at Christmas; a lock of my daughter’s blonde hair tied in mesh; shale looking items and sticks from the beach (because those are more rare there than shells); a paper American flag; a cork from our first anniversary.

We may think things will make us happy. Yes, these did, somehow, but they cannot replace the memories of the moments that go with them.

I culled a few shells. Perfect, hand picked, store bought shells I rescued from our beach house the week before my mother sold it with everything in it. I also took the less perfect ones I would often add to her “decor” collection, remembering the coolness of the water on my feet as I would search for them at the water’s edge. She probably doesn’t remember what catalog she bought those from. But I remember every creak, every uneven tile in the beach house floor when I look at these. I remember the home of my childhood that proceeded the newer version. The sleeping porch, the spiral stair, the wood balconies. The humming of my grandmother, the unusual softness of my grandfather’s fingers as he swirled his cane while rocking in his rocker. All of those memories simply triggered by a large rock my daughter, now 20, painted on a day when it was too cold to go outside when we lived there along the water’s edge in Gulf Shores. (We would also paint hermit crabs and release them in the bay across the street). I am pleased to discover I do draw a limit in my treasure collection.

Which brings me back to the lesson of things. None of these were elaborate gifts, jewels or shiny treasures. Even the rattle is coated in black. They are mere triggers for the memories that I hold dear.

I could toss them. But for now, I’ll just move them to a safer place. After all, the article I wrote just before this one was all about USING your treasures, making them a part of your every day life.

Looks like I’ll just have to keep the cat out of the china closet, because if I have it, I’m gonna start using it and quit saving it for that someday that might just never come.

Have a blessed, wonderful happymess ~memory making life!

Allison

 

 

#30Daysofcreativity #paintingaday #30paintingsin30days! @lesliesaeta


I’ve been inspired once again. I am ever eager to jump into every challenge, to feed off of enthusiasm that blooms every January, despite the dead branches and absence of color all around me.

I was inspired to let my daily journaling inspire paintings and took on two challenges at once!

http://www.lisasonora.com/30-day-journal-project/

http://30paintingsin30days.weebly.com/

This January was no different, and while there is still time left in the month I think I have to call a truce with my sanity. I came out of the shoot with vigor, but the mundane task of actually posting the pictures to the place on their website, the thought of blogging every day about what I wanted to accomplish, well, it was quite exhausting.

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I have been reading instead, books to inspire me to set guidelines and make TASKS towards my plans so I might actually conquer 2016 (not much unlike I did in 2015 before it faded into the abyss). Epic Blog byRegina.com , Your Best Year by Lisa Jacobs  , The Conquer Kit ( shetakesontheworld.com )  and The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam.

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Either way, whether I paint each day or not, I plan to continue to think of all of the paintings I would do if I weren’t in the carpool line, or out with my husband, or showing property sometimes in the morning, sometimes the evening but never when I can plan it. (Its the way of the job, which is what I love about it.)

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I find my #30 day challenges (PLURAL) on my mind each morning, some scribbled in my daily pages (which have some blank pages but none the less still contain thought provoking and sometimes unbridled ideas I didn’t get from paper to canvas) and many texts to myself in my Iphone as I would make my way far from my easel during my daily routine but the ideas were still flowing.

I can say, I have let the “DO IT EVERY DAY” slide and resorted to “thinking creatively each day”. So much pressure to perform can stifle creativity, but the thought that it “might need to happen” has actually inspired me to do more with what I have ALREADY created.IMG_4478

So with that said, I pull out the first three paintings I did “as requested in the challenge” and a few other things that came as a result of my “thinking and talking about creativity”. Either way, my mind has a comfortable bounce throughout the day between the mundane and the creative. It is how we should be EVERY day.

I am grateful for the challenges and relieved that I have let myself off the hook to simply absorb the creativity that was already living in my world before I decided to make it a daily checklist.

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I am noticing the creative food we ate while on vacation (carrots in butterfly form) and the cookie shaped sandwiches my daughter made. The candle I stuck in an old piece of bark that made a fabulous candle holder on my porch. Maybe we don’t have to perform to be creative. Maybe we just let pieces of creativity follow us around and flow when they are ready.

 

I urge any who are working hard to create, to let go and let LIFE. NO my gingerbread pancake is NOT perfect, but it sure got a chuckle this morning.

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Watch out how you waste your creativity, you are probably missing a sunset just as I was about to by reading this! Get OUT and go catch the sunshine, wherever it may happen to be. Notice it doesn’t plan to impress, it just DOES.

Blessings.
Allison Adams
@artallie

 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/allisonadamsartist

http://www.facebook.com/allisonadamsphotography

https://allison-adams-art.myshopify.com My Shopify STORE

Custom Graphic Design/ Newsletter APA Designs


Stop letting everyone else’s customers get all of the FUN PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL!

YOU TOO can have a great looking newsletter, e-mail blast or one page flyer.

I created a fun 8 page newsletter for the Bark in the Park Event.

The Link for the Newsletter in FULL /Design is here (in red):

BARK IN THE PARK 2 NEWSLETTER

Bark2 Logo

If you would like a quote for a newsletter (The one at link on Google Docs printed through Colonial Printing in Tuscaloosa)

Feel free to contact me for all of the details.

I would love to help you get the word out about YOUR business.

This design began as a blank slate. If you have material already in Word format, I can create one of these (ready to email to your customer email list or send to the printer of your choice), for only $150 (until May 30).

This price includes material for an 8 1/2 X 11 (finished size) newsletter from a folded 11X17 page with center spread. (can be smaller)

($150 for a 4 pages/ $275 for 8 pages) (actual printing cost will be additional).

Includes: as many pictures as you would like to provide, Two “articles with full content from scratch” written by me, and Four edits of the final draft). Additional,content/edits are charged by the hour ($20 for this promotion).  Will divide payment/collection into two months (credit with $5 fee) for my ARTSY friends if you mention this promotion.

I am a member of SCBWI, Women’s Council of the Chamber of Commerce of Tuscaloosa and Alabama Media Professionals and assure quality work and satisfaction.

OTHER SERVICES:

I can also set you up with a BASIC website that HOSTS for free

Visit mine at www.allisonpadams.wix.com/allisonadamsartist

or www.allisonpadams.com/artist-site (if you have lots of GRAPHIC content)

OR www.allisonadamsrealtor.com (this is a paid site by the year but I can design you one and it

will pull in your MLS information (for REALTORS only) ) This one is more complex so starts at $350.

For a basic site I charge $200. and show you how to update and maintain the site. (you provide the graphics as a jpg). That is for the initial setup. If you decide to make changes after signing off on the initial design, edits will be done at 20-$30/ per hour.

See these sites you wish you knew how to use? Let me help get you in the “know”. For a postcard or mailer layout with QR code $40 per item with training on how to do it yourself the next time. (ex. Vistaprint)

Custom Photobook layout created from Snapfish or Picaboo (you supply the photos on Dropbox) $50.

Contact me HERE if you would like a quote or to set up a meeting!

SPRING IS A GOOD TIME TO CHECK THOSE “WANNA DO FOR MY BUSINESS”

GOALS OFF YOUR LIST!

Allison

Also find me on LinkedIn

Note: I did NOT design the flyer~ but can do graphic design upon request

Photography: Photo shoot $100 on site (you get one time use of 25 of the digital images). Any reproduced will be negotiated. See my photography on FACEBOOK 

This Weekend is the SOUTHERN VOICES Festival


Congratulations TONIGHT to MELANIE MORRIS for being the official artist for the Southern Voices Festival, taking place this weekend.

Tonight is the reception, rain, snow or ice!

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She will unveil her newest work and it will be displayed through the next month at the Hoover Public Library following the event.

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Visit her facebook page to get the current pics!

Wally Lamb, author of She’s Come Undone will be the main speaker and hopefully will share his experience with his volunteer facilitation at York Correctional Institution, a women’s prison located it Niantic, Connecticut. With his guidance, women were able to express their frustrations and craft the experiences into something unexpected and beautiful. Those publications are Couldn’t Keep It to Myself and I’ll Fly Away.

The full syllabus for the event and the authors who will be sharing their expertise on Saturday, February 28 from 9:30-4:00 pm is located at http://www.hooverlibrary.org/sv

Nearly ten years ago Melanie started a Christian small group for artists when it was all we could do to claim the phrase, “I am an artist” while blushing showing us that ANYONE WHO CREATES IS AN ARTIST, as taught in the books we studied over the course of six years.

Some of those are listed here:

The Creative Call, Janice Elsheimer

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat

Scribbling in the Sand, by Michael Card

Other inspiring books on creativity:

The Vein of Gold A Journey to Your Creative Heart, Julia Cameron, author of The Artist’s Way

Unlocking the Heart of the Artist, Matt Tommey (Purpose Driven Life for Artists)

Walking in This World, Julia Cameron

Finding Divine Inspiration, J. Scott McElroy

Melanie paints using a palette knife. She layers vivid color masked with muted tones that create vibrant landscapes and some of the most vivacious trees I have ever seen.

If you haven’t signed up for Southern Voices and want some tidbits from the festival, you can watch for my summary on my website, www.allisonpadams.com

Speakers will be:
Wally Lamb (author of She’s Come Undone, I Know this Much is True and We are Water)
Karen Abbot (American Rose)
Chelsea Cain (Heartsick, Sweetheart, NPR’s list of top 100 thrillers ever written)
Amy Greene (Bloodroot, Long Man, 2010 Tennessee Writer of the Year.
James Scott (The Kept)
Jon Sealy (The Whiskey Baron)
Thrity Umrigar (Bombay Time, The Space Between Us, The Weight of Heaven)
Meg Wolitzer The Ten Year Nap among others, and two that became movies, This is My LIfe and Surrrender Dorothy starring Diane Keaton.

Whether you attend or not, the books mentioned will surely fuel your creativity. Simply celebrate and explore the work of these writers with published works. Let that inspire you to press on with your blog, poetry or whatever creative endeavor is inside you. Let it burst forth to life!

And if you want to jump into painting and are in the Birmingham area, try one of her workshops!

She is the one who taught me to undercoat in red for every painting and to use the palette knife! You are sure to have some fast and furious FUN!

Fast & Furious Florals with Melanie Morris

Alabama Art Supply
Birmingham, AL

Cost – $100

Saturday, March 7 (Full with wait list)

10AM – 4PM

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Saturday, March 21 (New)

10AM – 4PM

Happy Creating and Blessings for Unleashing your Creativity!

Coco Love

Coco Love and painting “Dock of the Bay” by Allison Adams

Allison Adams

Follow me on twitter : Artallie

Blogging Basics~ Great Photos


There are blog posts and then there are POSTS THAT POP.

With so much going on this summer I fell behind in getting the great photos transferred from camera to blog.

I discovered some handy tools to help me “spice things up”.

I took a photo and used each of the following to show a bit about what they can do for YOU.

Foter- Photo Editor. (Click to left to go to site)  This site runs from the internet and lets you import your photo from dropbox, your computer, flickr and other sources on the web. Then you can re-size, edit, crop, enhance color, add text and add some fun features for Logo design.  Send it immediately to Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter!  I love that it is also available for mobile apps.

Tired of all of your photos being digital? This app lets you PRINT ACTUAL COPIES- on your own computer or through CanvasPOP (order them on canvas for instant artwork!)

  1. PicMonkey
    I’ve been using PicMonkey in the past and love its ease of use, but have had to upgrade to a fee based version. I am not too keen on the idea that when I forward those photos to others there is an advertorial for Pic Monkey before they open it. It has been my go-to until I found Fotor.   I used the same photo above and edited it in PicMonkey to come up with this: cropped-framedgirlfriendsapa.jpg
  2. Instacollage
    This is a free app and easy to use for those wanting to do something quickly from your iphone that creatively mends your photos together. There is a version on Facebook that lets you collage pics from there as well and with VIDEO being the way to go recently, you can get your feet wet at this site.
  3. Picasa
    Not only is this Google’s image system, but it also provides a storage backup version for those with lots of images. You can keep them private or share with your google account. It also has editing tools as well as collage options.
  4. Photovisi
    The ones above look too complicated? This is a great place for beginners!
  5. Photocat (free) This is another one that is simple and fun. A kid can learn on their phone how to edit photos and share. Icons are kid friendly and they can edit faces, make themselves skinny. It’s a beginning editors dream!photocat
  6. Befunky This one is free and makes collage photo creations FUN with a few more bells and whistles. This is the one to use if you want to do a GREAT Facebook Cover. (free)BeFunky_Fotor081813198.jpg The collage maker was a bit confusing but this was one of them: BeFunky_Fotor081813198collage.jpg
  7. PiZap This leads you to a site where there are a number of options from basic free collage that can be set to music to video creations and professional logo design.
  8. Picstitch This leads to the demo in the itunes preview. It is a great one for your phone. It is free but there are upcharges for frames and extra items.
  9. Ribbet (free) Ribbet is the next one I plan to test out. There is free cloud storage of your past work so you don’t have to download it to your hard drive. Great to know when you are like me with nearly 100,000 photos in your library.
  10. YOU share with us YOUR favorites!

Allison Adams

 

 

happYmess Entertaining Recipe Appetizer With “What’s in the Fridge”


 

Mix ingredients together with olive oil or coconut oil adding salt, pepper and spices of choice to items such as peppers, onion, mushrooms or whatever you have in the fridge. Shrimp or Steak might be a good choice too!

Mix ingredients together over heat with olive oil or coconut oil adding salt, pepper and spices of choice to items such as peppers, onion, mushrooms or whatever you have in the fridge. Shrimp or Steak might be a good choice too!

All food looks better with a little cheese on top and garnish.

Quick and Easy with little planning. Did I mention that these were toasted hotdog buns cut and flavored with a bit of garlic?

Dr. Oz has lots to say about the great effects of these ingredients for healthy living.

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It’s all about what is in the fridge! Make the most out of all of your ingredients.

Easy entertaining.

Any food looks better with a great view!

Get artsy with the simple things

Bon Appetit!  Hope you enjoyed this little taste of “happYmess cooking” from a creative who loves to have fun in the kitchen!

Hope you will share some of your favorites as well!

Allison Adams

 

Visit my weekly posts at http://www.alabamawomenbloggers.com on Thursdays for all things “SWEET HOME ALABAMA”.

 

 

Watch out for THE WORLD WIDE WEB


Watch out for THE WORLD WIDE WEB

 

I have been caught up in the world wide web.

Last week, I found that my brain and body finally said “ENOUGH”!

We ALL need to take time to rest, to re-charge.

My body, actually my face, said, “Enough is enough” and shut down, literally. They call it Bell’s Palsy. I had never heard of it. When I mentioned it to people I got common responses.

“My brother had that for six months! My sister has that.”

Come to find out, the bug man’s brother still has it and it has been a year.

Bell’s Palsy is a virus many of us carry, but stress seems to stir it on. I thought until now, “I thrive on stress!”

Two real estate closings and a major city event I was taking charge of later (The first ever Bark in the Park with the REALTORS Association) has changed my thinking!

There are so many things that tug at us day after day. We have to sift through the important ones and learn to say NO. I am saying this to myself as much as you.

So this year, as my daughter graduates from high school, I am accompanying her on her senior trip to a destination with NO phone service, NO internet and no deadlines. Just sand, surf and relaxation (as much as can be done with teenagers!).

On the flight home I am praying to come back refreshed, with clarity on the next step for me here in this busy world.

I wear many hats, a mom to three, loving the arts, craving the ink on the page and enjoying real estate here in Tuscaloosa and my column with Druid City Living Newspaper about Lake Living.

A special love I have for the state of Alabama I am planning on sharing in a new Blog Post each week for ALABAMA WOMEN BLOGGERS as their SWEET HOME ALABAMA Coordinator.

Yes, I know, to you it sounds like I am not planning on slowing down at all, but I can assure you, I will be picking the projects I love and that have meaning.

For your TO DO List as summer and kids and busy schedules try to seep in….

1) Carve in some time with your kids that enriches YOU as well,

2) Make a date night with your hubby once a week if possible (or yourself),

3) Take time to soak in a hot tub with lavender, some bath salts and YOUR favorite music (music does soothe the soul),

And every morning…wake up THANKING GOD for the blessings.

I am thinking him that my lesson only lasted a few hours and that I was healed…more on that later!

Have a BLESSED summer!

 

Allison Adams

 

 

Creative Life Planning


Creative Life Planning

I have always been a seminar junkie. Even in high school I would read every Zig or Robbins book I could get my hands on. In college I went to classes I wasn’t enrolled in. At Mississippi State where my husband was enrolled, I attended forestry tours, control burns.

I am now addicted to the world of cyber seminars. Every week in my email box, a new adventure somewhere that is going to help me “burst into my creative being” or “make those seventy figures”.

Last week for two weeks straight (I missed two of the ten live sessions) the Right Brain Business Plan created by Jennifer Lee and conducted from her home office took place in “my office”.

I was coached (ok me and about three hundred from Canada to Australia) by nearly a dozen experts who have found their niche in the “webinar world”.  My head was spinning each day as I attempted to apply their logic and creative “quirks”. Each had molded their thumbprints into something they could identify and sell to the world.

I am a creative, but I am also an ENTJ.

A planner, a long range thinker.

I can brainstorm an event like there is no tomorrow down to the color of the napkins, but the step by step? I need a few friends for that. Luckily (as I found as part of the committee for Bark in the Park) There is a way to make right brain thinking work! I threw out ideas…we formed a committee for that! Twelve to fifteen minds each week dreaming and planning then people stepping up to implement! Wow….right brain HEAVEN.

(May 17 is that event in Tuscaloosa, Alabama).

www.facebook.com/tuscaloosabarkinthepark

I even designed a website for the event~ A skill that came about when someone wanted to charge me $3000 to “build me a website”. Ok, mine is not perfect, but it has stretched me and brought me to another level of skills that are NOT worth $3000 in my opinion. At some point, you have to know how to input your writing anyway.

http://allisonadams3.wix.com/barkinthepark

After the two weeks of sessions. If you have any interest in going to the next level with your blogging, writing, artistic licensing, Jennifer Lee can show you the way. Her guest speakers shared great tips and personal stories~

Michael Port with Book Yourself Solid says in energy and zest “Be YOU!”

Nichole Piar of Ghost Kitten Fame inspired with illustrations from paper and home goods, making us all want to go back to stationery.

 Megan Auman, who is a master of Pinterest for artists,

Alicia Forest who offers business entrepreneur coaching says to make our “own million in art”…… “just get it out there”.

Cory Huff with the Abundant Artist talked about Tumblr for serious artists (as if we don’t have enough to figure out how to use- but he knows ART and I can bet if he says “the serious galleries are there”…THEY ARE).

Susan Miller, a southerner, shared her intuitive painting creativity coaching insight.  And those were only a few of the nuggets gathered.

(click their names to get to some of their infinite wisdom~ my head is still swimming as each week I get an email blast).

Kelly Rae Roberts, who has nothing to do with this particular event, I have followed for some time. She was one of the first to license her work. I even saw her printed canvases of her painted girls with side cocked heads and her abstracted birds in my hometown (then) of Birmingham a few years ago. On her blog I found that once she got big and licensed, she freaked. She stepped back from the loss of control of her work. The company owned rights to her work and pushed it out there. She is pushing back, on a smaller scale, doing exactly what it is she started out doing when she was “small” and “herself”.

Some are destined to make millions with their ideas, some are just plugging away at being creative in their own way.

Yesterday I watched a woman on the front of the library steps.  Her long brown hair was almost mushroomed on top of her head in a criss cross of pins. Beside her was a small black girl. As I brisked past them I heard her say, “113…is that even or odd?” The child looked down at the ground. “What about 115?”  Then I heard her say, lets just sing…..”11, 12, 13, 14″ and the little girl smiled, never answering the tough questions. Her creativity will probably have that girl doing calculus. I took a picture of them in my rear view mirror. That is how much the woman’s creative spirit affected me.

allisonpadams.com

I know people who are brilliant, who don’t use that gift. I know people who are not so bright and just whip through the world owning it.

I think at the end of the day, no matter what we know, it is all about how we use it.

So like Kelly Rae Roberts, I am just gonna back up and start with the small stuff, like scheduling my day, week, month and penciling in what I want my happYmess creative life to look like for the next….uh I guess thirty years?  (I turn 48 next weekend).

Sorta puts some pressure on the “planning part” as I always thought I was younger than I am. (mom calls it immature~ I call it denial).

So I share with you a great site I found called Productive Flourishing. Each month they create FREE planners to get you organized for ANY task.

For now…lets just start with the basics.

CLICK THE TITLE OF THIS ARTICLE TO UNCOVER YOUR ORGANIZING CHECKLISTS~ NUGGETS OF GOLD.

Off to my seventh Real Estate CEU this term. Gotta love a Real Estate Group (Tuscaloosa Association of Realtors) who offers so many quality seminars that we all get about 20 hours for FUN when we only require 12 hours every two years!

Blessings~ BE YOU!

Allison

 

 

Alabama Blues Project~ Helping Kids Discover their Link to the Blues 


As a mother to a boy who learned to play music by ear, this was dear to my heart. At the age of four, my son picked out the tune to Star Wars on a plastic piano. That was the beginning. Groups like these bring music to kids of all backgrounds. My son performs with one of the volunteers for this program and hopefully will help in the future. Music is the common language in the world.

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During after school hours on Monday and Tuesday afternoons you can hear the pounding of drums, rhythm of guitar, magical vocals and the occasional harmonica trailing down the halls of Martin Luther King Elementary School. Each week The Alabama Blues Project shares the rhythm and magic of music with students who apply for the program, conducted in the schools by Anna Jenks, headed by Paula Demonbreun and made possible with talented local volunteers.
“We are lucky to have talented local musicians with unique teaching styles. We can always use more help though, as we would love to see this expand,” Anna explained. The program currently runs for ten weeks in the Spring.

The program begins with a class where the kids learn blues history, particularly Alabama blues.

Music theory is introduced before they begin on instruments.

Not only do they learn history of music all the way from the Blues to the current styles they hear and sing today, but they implement math concepts through beats and measure. The kids bond together through their common interests and grow in confidence as they learn to perform.

There is emphasis on stage presence, which helps with confidence that they can carry throughout their lives. When they complete the first section of the course, they are then able to select their instrument of choice as the focus of the program.

“We allow them to change instruments during the middle of camp if they request. Better to keep their interest in the musical arts than to lose interest and a valuable musical skill,” Anna explained. “The biggest value the kids walk away from Blues camp is a love for and better appreciation of blues music.”

BJ Reed tells the kids, “The Blues are the ROOTS!”

The program provides the instruments, and welcome donations. The website makes it easy for you to make monetary donations!
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In the drumming area, the kids used drumsticks on white paint drums to practice their rhythm. Dave Crenshaw, the percussion instructor, turns 10 gallon buckets over and the students create uniform poundings of sounds. The students learn to count complex rhythms but also to improvise early in his sessions.

“One of the children, Mykian, who is ten, has really taken to the drums. He is a natural,” Anna explained.

Mykian beams as he practices on volunteer Dave Crenshaw’s full set of drums. He is in the Advanced Band, and attends the camp through another school. To see him play is motivating to anyone witnessing the magic of music.

The Camp has had visiting musicians such as Willie King, Little Jimmy Reed, Eddie Kirkland and Carroline Shines.

Mike Battito is in charge of the Advanced Band which practices simultaneously with the camp.

B.J. Reed, who also volunteers in area schools, leads the kids in vocals and cheers them on, encouraging them to step out of their comfort zone.

Dave Crenshaw teaches drums. College students also get involved in the program. Dana, a college volunteer has been working with the current group.

At the end of the Spring After-School Blues Camp the budding musicians perform in front of family and friends to share their new discovered talents.


The Advanced Band participated in a performance at the Transportation Museum March 15th and will be performing in Tuscaloosa’s Got Talent in April.

Go to alabamablues.org to see how you can get involved or donate to this incredible cause with

local roots. You may call 205-752-6263 or email at paula@alabamablues.org for more

information.

Photos and Story By Allison Adams 

 

allisonpadams.com

Ten iPhone Apps I love~ 


It is 2014. I am sporting an iPhone 4S. I don’t have the upgrade, I don’t have the 5.  But I do love all things tech-y. I also like to wait for the tried and true before jumping in. For example, the new upgrade is proving to drain your battery faster than the older versions. I’m for waiting for them to fix the bugs.

(If you are using another type phone, I am sure there is a version, or these are probably compatible).

The following are a few apps that have been around for a while. And the best part is, these are all FREE.

1-Facebook. It’s still a necessity for me on my phone, although I love the version for the computer. But when I need to slip off and make a “work-worthy” post after work hours when my hubby is expecting my undivided attention, I can. As a Social Media Editor, I am always looking for easy ways to upload on the go. No one wants the same old post from home. 

2-Twitter. We are all still tweeting. Tweeting is fun, short and can now be visual with great photo options. It can also be useful by using the #hashtag to search topics of interest. For example, while on vacation, I can type in #beachtown and find out all of the fun stuff I just missed or the things coming up. One of my favorites is #ttown so I can keep up with all things #tuscaloosa, #rolltide. Have fun with them!  You can make up your own or find what others are using.

3- PhotoSynth. I love photo apps. As a REALTOR I can see some GREAT ways to use this photo app, which lets you take a series of photos in panorama mode and then creatively blend them. It is a Microsoft program that works on the iPhone.

4-Dropbox.  I was introduced to Dropbox for work when my 30,000 photos logged my system and a 2 Terabyte hard drive wasn’t enough to hold all of my data. Dropbox is where we drop our articles, the editors snatch them, edit and then send me a copy for the digital media. Writers~ you can put your work out on dropbox and open it on the road, edit it and have everything at your fingertips when the urge hits to finish that story. You can also store photos there, but I have found that saving them on a photo service such as 

5- Trello. I love Trello. I am a committee type person. I even have set up a Trello for our hunting camp. In columns, I can name a task, a person, a topic (shooting houses to replace with location and size), a goal, whatever we like. Any person who is signed in can make a  note or follow along. For our REALTOR fundraising project, we have six committees with different chair and co-chair who can all post in their “column”. I can see what they write, they can see what I write and we can all be on the same page without a lot of emails and phone calls. Thanks to Druid City Media for turning me on to this one. Perhaps I might start one for our family as well! There is a free and paid version.

6- Adobe Photoshop Express. For photo editing, this one lets you make magic of your photos and all for free. Color effects, cropping, sharpening. There are others out there but this is my go-to app. 

7. Pocket. Pocket is for people like me who surf the net in one long stretch of time, usually in a hurry, getting emails and great links to tons of things I want to explore in depth, but have to put off for later. All you do is side click and an option will pop up to “save to Pocket”. I have it on my phone, iPad and my computer. It puts your articles, emails into neat folders so you can read it later.

8. Ebay and Craigslist both have apps to put right on your device for those seconds you can search for things you might love to find a deal on. 

9. Shazam. My musician son taught me about this one as we were riding in the car and he asked, “What is this song?”  He called it a classic, I think it was a 1980’s song that sounded new to him. It made me feel old, but now I can scan the college station, use my Shazam, and enter the 21st century, without having to ask the younger crowd, “So then what should I be listening to?” After all, every generation has “their hits”, why not expand my horizons?

10. Tidy. I love this! I tested it and in a second after downloading, it sorted my 380 photos on my phone by location, charting the ones I even took on the way to the beach, by location, including street names. Someone who maxes out their phone almost daily needs an app to organize and sort photos. My iPhoto gallery (which is a mess!) I am hoping will feed all my computer photos into this app.  One tip on iPhoto, as you save your photos, go ahead and name the group. They are separated by date, but to save time later, have a way to search, for example, that food shot you took that you want to use later.

And a bonus app….SignEasy. I am in the car, on the go, showing Real Estate and needing to update documents almost daily. I have found this one to be quite handy to get all parties to initial and sign contracts. There are others out there, but this one lets you size the signature and make a clean contract.

By Allison Puccetti Adams. 

I saved this to dropbox, by the way (which notified me that I am almost to capacity). It’s something common in my photo programs, my drop boxes and clouds. I am a woman of many words and images, what can I say.  www.allisonpadams.com.

Feel free to share any of your new app favorites or thoughts on these!

 

Lake Living


Image

I am an Alabama nomad. I have made it full circle from the edges of Mississippi in West Alabama until college here in Tuscaloosa with Crimson running through my veins, to Montgomery while my children were babies, the Gulf Coast on the shores of the Gulf of Mexico for four years, to the mountains of the “Tiny Kingdom” for ten years and now, have landed back near my roots on the shores of Lake Tuscaloosa.

I never imagined this is where I would be, but when I look back in notes from journals I see that it was probably in the plan all along, at least the lake part. We had a house on Lake Martin, but being from the “peaceful woodlands of Livingston”, that seemed like the other side of the world when I had to make the tromp back home to see about things going on here.

To my surprise and amazement, I discovered the lake we had gone in search of so many times in college to find “the Cliffs” (by car, which I still have not defined as of yet). I never had a clue how vast and beautiful Lake Tuscaloosa really is.

After moving here as a writer, I followed my love to discover also, a great little startup paper guided by two incredible talents who agreed to give me a chance to submit some writing. After meeting the Publisher, it was clear, I was gonna be a part of this organization however I could.

That was a little over a month ago and after some photo shoots, articles, ad sales and ride alongs with the sales people just to watch these creative entrepreneurs work, I have been pulling for the little paper that could and although behind the curve on their publish dates, is taking Tuscaloosa by storm, one mailbox at a time.

“What is your title?” one of them asked me after I wrote one across the pages of my goals for the year.

“Head Cheerleader!” is what I am wanting to shout.

I can’t WAIT to see what Druid City Living (the paper) and Druid City Media (internet media, website development, branding) do NEXT week.

EVERY week I am amazed at the additions to the mix. I am soaking in new platforms we are using to stay on top of ads being created (currently using a fun app called Trello ) and before that I learned Highrise for the sales people to monitor contacts and appointments and admin could follow along with notations at every turn.

My daughter walked by last night and said, “Mom, get off the computer.”

“I’m working,” I told her as I was updating a post on the company Facebook page. 

“THAT is your work?”

She had witnessed my addiction to my own Facebook page. “They could not have picked something better made for you in the whole world,” she said.

Ah, the wisdom of the eight year old.

And I have to agree. I love computers, I love reaching out to other people, sifting for gold on the internet of ideas, paintings, books, inspiration.  My home office is no different, with great hard bound books that date back to college years, bulletin boards with inspiring ideas and quotes.

I can’t wait to see what 2014 has to bring to my creativity, the little community newspaper that I have come to love (despite the hick-ups getting rolling), the Social Media platform of Facebook, Twitter, Google and the revamping of my webpage.

Watch for my column on Lake Living in Druid City Living. And feel free to send me a pic of your past memories there and the ones you are creating now. I’d love to share them.

Blessings!

Allison

Creative Every Day Challenge


Creative Every Day Challenge

I have found that I work best when I have a deadline, a challenge, a gauge to go by.

Mississippi Artwork~ Clarksdale It's all about the happy!

Mississippi Artwork~
Clarksdale
It’s all about the happy!

A few years ago I took the Creative Every Day Challenge.

I seem to find creativity most days, but I thought it might be fun to do creative things

with purpose this month during the Creative Every Day Challenge.

 

This past month I have been putting little PRE made cards in my daughter’s lunchbox.

Today, I realized I had used them ALL~ not so creative, I put a little yellow sticky on her cookies in her lunchbox that said,

“Have a BLESSED day! I “heart” you. MOM”

My mom used to put daffodils in my lunchbox~ with a wet paper towel at the bottom

wrapped in tin foil to keep it from sagging before I opened my lunch.

I remember rolling my eyes…but I remember the daffodils.

One little flower can say SO much~

One little flower can say SO much~

Tomorrow~ I challenge YOU to put something in your husband’s car, on your child’s pillow~

in a drawer for someone to find~  creativity isn’t a thing to make…it is a way to live~

 

An artsy friend getting messy~ Read about our adventures at www.highlandartists.blogspot.com

An artsy friend getting messy~ Read about our adventures at www.highlandartists.blogspot.com

And mark your calendar, artists!

November is CREATE ART EVERY DAY month.

Now that one may require a bit more effort~

What have you got to lose? NO PRESSURE!

 

 

Lets see if we can get MESSY! Thanks Leah for the challenge!

Allison Adams

Remote Posting HAPPY FRIDAY


Today I am at the desk.
But lo and behold!

Did you know there is no reason for desks these days!

This post is being made on my phone.

As the weekend approaches and you are at your desk today…. Find a way to get outside.
Find a shady spot with your laptop and google some tips on remote offices!

Or follow me here.

I’ll be sure to share my findings for HappYmess in the office world!

Happy Friday!

Allison

Sent from Allison Adams iPhone
http://www.allisonpadams.com

The first official wordpress post~ about the butterflies~ but not my first rodeo


This WORDPRESS blog is a creation I never thought I would get to.

One year ago today I had the goal of creating a website.

I completed that task. CHECK on the old to-do list.

I was pretty pleased with it. It was a free site.

It was beautiful~ graphically FLASHY….still speaks with photos…

with a rotation of my paintings flipping across the screen.

THEN I attended a seminar (5 weeks of incredible content) by Mitzi Jane Media.

During one of those presentations I was sadly informed that if I wanted to become a serious blogger,

I would need to use wordpress…that due to the flash on my other, I would never be read, never be seen.

I didn’t sleep that night. I had already begun (or attempted to begin) THREE WordPress websites.

The flash one is still alive though…

www.allisonpadams.com

If it leads you back to here, well that just means I am thinking I am on the right track to blogging world!

But for now I am hanging on to it…

This girl does not go down without a fight.

YOU are witnessing round THREE….and I vow to conquer!

I hope you enjoy the posts that I plant here each week.

I also found, while milling around..that WORDpress is just a big bully…

with experts who scared me into thinking I couldn’t write my own content.

Guess what…(and don’t penalize me wordpress…I am beginning to love you)

THERE WAS A WAY TO IMPORT ALL OF MY POSTS FROM MY BLOGSPOT SITE.

I hope you will comment on the content, the design, acknowledge that I am growing and learning as I

am creating this ALL ON MY OWN.

(and if I call in a consultant, I will be sure to give them accolades!)

Please feel free to add links to helpful tips or suggestions, great sources for information.

I will try to do the same here as well as soon as I learn how to add my categories!

I have chosen a butterfly as my background theme.  As I approach 50

(I NEVER thought I would say that as I still think I am 39! ok my kids would say 29~ that I THINK I am 29)

I feel more like a butterfly about to burst out of a cocoon.

I have harbored up information, blogs, tweets, books, articles, products that are just dying to burst forth.

Here I will combine all of my loves into one big happYmess….

Welcome and I hope to have you back soon!

Allison

SOCIAL MEDIA THE HAPPYMESS WAY


The past month I have been a part of the happYmess quest to get all of my media frenzy in order. I am a habitual blogger, website starter, facebook poster, frequent frenzy tweeter and Mitzi Jane Media has provided me with so much happYmess to explore that my head might just bust open!

MJM STRENGTH Social Media Conference for Small Business 
has been the facilitator for area experts in every genre of Social Media.

Follow her on Facebook to get highlights and find when the next conference will occur!

As for now, I am pecking away doing a bit of happYmess housekeeping. Here are a few of the baby steps I have achieved this week:

Began the happYmessLIFE BLOG (still in progress…thanks for checking in with me)

Began the happYmessLIFE facebook page

Made a notebook grid of all of my “identities” and sites that I have scattered across the world wide web with columns to connect the many emails to the entity with which they speak to one another. 

(YES I should simplify..but one of those email addresses I have had since I was in college…perhaps I am a virtual junkie!)

Updated my Linked In Account…sorry all of you who just use Linked In…I still don’t get it..perhaps because most of you are on the “morning cycle”. 

I have embraced my creative inner clock..thus Linked In is not working too well for me!

Pinterest…I have formed a happYmess pinterest account and plan to privitize my personal account in many areas….until the workshop I had no idea it was for followings…I thought I was using it to stash great ideas for me to use only!   Don’t be buying up the horses I have pinned! It is my goal to own a flock of them!  a herd of them….

I have updated my bloGSSSSSS….and thought long and hard about where to go from here. We’ll see about that.

I have updated my new website that I build myself…..which is FLASH so web crawlers do not find it…but it was easy…free  from WIX.com and I love the graphics.  SOOOOO..re-evaluating that.

www.allisonpadams.com

Please check it out and give me feedback!  It was a hair wrenching project where I had goals to finish it in my journal a year ago today!  I arrived at the conference and had my doors blown by the fact that WORDPRESS is THE way to go…by the way…it and blogger are in with GOOGLE. Thus the ease in searches.
WHO KNEW?  Wish I had a year ago! 

And TWITTER….wow…the value of the conference went through the roof when I learned about a little ap I can add to my phone and IPAD MINI to post and schedule tweets called  HOOTSuite! Thanks to Julie Brannon with TELP Media I have been humming the little lollypop song associated with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang all day….It is a life saver if you are a multiple personality media person like myself!

And THANK YOU to Rachel Callahan, blogger of graspingforobjectivity.com  and active blogger leader of alabamabloggers.com ,who made me feel like a creative spirit again instead of a whistle in a square business hole. The session before was the technical stuff I love to know but hate to do~ google analytics, search engine optimization.  She freed me to blog on what I love in random order, all with handy bars at the top so the reader can pick what they want instead of wading. She is still telling me that WordPress is the best way to achieve that. I’ll be sifting that through my brain after I get back from vacation next week. But so far….Wordpress keeps wrestling me to the ground!

Don’t get me wrong Jerry Brown (with InfoMedia), your information was invaluable….it just had my creative self in a tail-spin for a day or two. 

There happens to be ONE MORE SESSION!  

On Monday night, April 29 at 5:30 we will wrap up the month with Maximizing Your Online Productivity with Emily Lowery and the Top Ten Take Aways for Small Businesses with seminar maestro Mitzi Eaker.

IF YOU ARE CURIOUS, IT IS NOT TOO LATE….

Contact Mitzi at the link for MJM STRENGTH Conference to see how you can be a fly on the wall to catch the information buzzing out on 280!  She has a one time admission price under $40 bucks.

You won’t be disappointed! If for any other reason than to GET ON THE LIST TO SIGN UP FOR THE NEXT ONE~

Hoping to MAKE MORE SENSE TO MY FOLLOWERS (because you know I usually, truthfully just write for myself!)

 about music, writing, art, fashion fun, fluff! design ideas and all that my life leads me to! I love to share….I love to write….I was born to BLOG!

Thanks Mitzi for turning my sprinkler into a smooth flowing water hose…at least that is the GOAL 🙂

Blessings!

Allison Adams

This photo from MJM Social Media Conference by Mitzi Jane Media


this post is cross posted on www.happYmessLIFE.blogspot.com