The Many Faces of Allison Adams


Yes, I get it all the time. Wait? Are you that Realtor? That Artist?

“No, I don’t think so,” a fellow acquaintance told someone recently,” she writes for that newspaper.”

I was once told, “If you don’t pick ONE thing you are never going to be successful.”

I see that person now has actually drifted from that one profession into a few of the ones they said I “dabbled” in.

I believe that we are ALL created differently. I get it that many do NOT understand the many faces I wear. It is the way I have lived my whole life, involved to the core, even as a young mom although that span involved fewer “career-like” activities and were more activities such as juggling babies, Jr. League, book clubs, smocking groups and volunteer boards while working.

Over the years I have watched my interests develop and deepen. I now feel that if I didn’t do them all, I would be cutting off a part of me.

They say (we can get away with that as gospel here in the South~ “they” are all powerful) if you are frustrated late in your career, take your mind and heart back to those days, just about age 5-10 (before the world influenced your desires, curiosities and interests) and THAT my friend is who you have always wanted to be.

For me as a child, I loved lining my little sister and friends up on the sofa with worksheets I created and playing teacher. (We also served food through the kitchen window on roller skates so hey, I guess you would say that is my back up plan!)

I loved singing in front of a fat red tape recorder with five black buttons, knowing I sounded nothing like Olivia Newton John but belting her songs anyway, my sister sneaking up to make fun of me. My dad taught me to wire a four component stereo when I was nine. That has served me well as electronics are more cool to me than diamonds. (and to ride motocross before my toes could touch the ground on a Honda 50).

I loved the Sears catalog, dog eared pages marking lime green shag, bean bags and paint colors for me to decorate the play house with. (I resorted to a wooden fort with no walls with access from the trampoline below).

I loved painting, my first class probably in second grade and I still remember the foreground exercise we did. My huge brown, barren tree hanging from a cliff in the front left corner with cotton fields in the background.

I loved writing. I have journals from each and every moment of my life (yes Mendy, you can have those and burn as you see fit). Honesty (at least from my perspective) has always been my downfall. Perhaps some editing and censor would have done me well all these years.

In college I took Real Estate Investing. I majored in Interior Design at BAMA (remember the playhouse decorating? Sometimes the interests stick) and did commercial design for banking and medical clients for ten years. Bama’s was one of the few to be FIDER accredited. I am a state licensed and registered Interior Designers in the State (#250) Finding this coming in handy as I work on specializing in handicap accessible properties in the Tuscaloosa Area as well as in Staging Homes for Sale.

I got my Real Estate license over twenty years ago, motivated by men at the hunting camp discussing a land deal. The words still ring in my memory, “these girls grandparent died and they have no clue what it is worth. I think we can make some money on this one.” That day I vowed to know more than the vultures of the world, hoping to never become those young girls who probably lost that family farm on the outskirts of town. Today I LOVE helping people find a home. I can see the possibilities as they discuss their dreams. We talk about design tweaks here and there that could fulfill them. This month, the small town, traditional company I started here with, transgressed into a new national office. I was offered an opportunity to be a part of Lake Homes Realty, specializing in Lake Homes, particularly Lake Tuscaloosa.

And so, enough reminiscing. I have been quite busy this summer and have a few projects under the belt. Thought I would share them on this, my “almost 50th year of life”-  But NOT YET! I’m a Taurus (go figure you say) so I can still say I am barely 49.

Here I introduce the babies I have created with my many faces.

They are each a part of me and I still have some more to get out there:

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I love to learn. This from a workshop with Kellie Newsome.

Face 1: MOM

Lets not forget that. Birthing three little beings is quite the face to wear! So proud of each of them!)

(I’ll know when my brilliant one who is going into marketing finds this post. And YES that was our Tiffen RV in the background…had to retire it after a neighborhood pile in on the way to the ice cream shop in Mt. Brook turned into a “crap what is with the brakes” episode! Just sayin!) We went from Harley Davidson to this so hey, I thought it was a safe decision!IMAG0100

Artist

Paintings are now on the new SHOPIFY site and ready for purchase~

Click here to see the paintings waiting to come HOME to YOU!

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Teacher.

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What can I say? I don’t proclaim to know it all, but I sure have fun with my Friday paint group helping them bust out of their “I can’t do art” shell! It makes me SMILE.

Lover of Christmas.  And JESUS as the reason for that holiday.

Link to The Twelve Days of Christmas Giving

The book I wrote a few years ago is now on Amazon and Lulu.com as a coloring book. Who knew all these adults color!? Either way, this is the year I was determined to remind everyone that JESUS IS CHRISTmas.

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Yes, that WAS our first tree in the new house in Birmingham, stood two stories and took our neighbors help to get it into the doors, after discovering it at the local tree farm in Griswold fashion and dragging it behind a not so short Acadia.

BLOGGER

Did I say I was a lover of Christmas? Here is an article I did as the Sweet Home Alabama Coordinator for Alabama Women Bloggers.

Fan and lover of the Alabama Crimson Tide and all things Southern.

Some Recent Artwork by Allison Adams e2827-258226_2043374639062_1085234144_2395210_2753920_o

A “younger” BEAR and an attempt at a watercolor shotgun. (Do you KNOW that acrylic and watercolor are TOTAL OPPOSITES? Watercolor you start soft and build up your darks. Acrylic, you put in your DARKS and add in with lighter colors and highlights. TRY it sometime! Really! If you want to stretch your brain! That will do it. Forget hours in front of TV.

Writer

I have been blessed with the Lake Living Column at Druid City Living where each month I create another reason to be thankful for looking at Lake Tuscaloosa as home every day.

Here are a FEW of the articles:  TRIALS

LAKE LIVING ARTICLE 2

Gardening on Lake Tuscaloosa

I take writing seriously and have written cover stories for Southern Beauty Magazine about LeAnn Rimes, Emily Procter the mom of Princess Lea on Star Wars who told the publicist,”She was the most thorough interviewer I have talked to, and funny”. Well everyone REALLY did want to know ALL the juicy details and with a “story like mine (the square for all who know)” I had an IN.

I am a member of the Alabama Media Professionals in Birmingham.

Illustrator

I am a member of SCBWI and love meeting other authors and illustrators. Birmingham has one of the GREATEST chapters so if you are interested in that, by all means come to a conference! I have written and illustrated books and have had illustrations in other books (Birmingham Sketchbook) which I wrote the 2400 word history of Birmingham. What about THAT challenge. That’s a lot of history in a few words!

PHOTOGRAPHER

Did I forget photographer? I never thought of it as a job, but the kids will tell me I have stumbled in holes, held them up from catching the train because I was lingering behind to get a great shot while on a trip. You can find many of those (download, buy on canvas, notecards) in my new

SOUTHERN PHOTO Photography WEBSITE AND STORE

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This one is the most important to me to share as it includes hundreds of photos from my travels around the world to the things I discover in the back yard.  These are now available for media download, on canvas and prints.

Enjoy the adventure~   The Southern Photo Photography Store

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And music? I love to karaoke a good Dixie Chicks tune and have written a few songs in my rebellion phase that are recorded, but I pass the gavel for that to my son who is pursuing a grad degree in music at University of North Texas and the teachers assistant for Pat Coil (keyboardist for Michael McDonald)- who doesn’t love a kid who does Jazz and is trained by a Doobie? Charli is in Nashville and just recorded a song she wrote (is working on an album and was just on a video by the BAND PERRY.

Brent Music : This is my favorite song Brent and Shelton wrote and sang together.

I am seeing a bit of me in Brent. He can live for a day in his studio and not come out. He creates classes online to make it easy for others to learn to play by ear. He has taken my RIGHT BRAIN LEFT BRAIN dance to the next level…responsible, driven, focused. (and reminds me..MOM..FOCUS, but he gets the swirl of different vantage points.

I am a bit creative and flighty but I also love to be organized, thus the Creative Journal and Planner (crazy isn’t it? I am all over the place and like to be focused, goal oriented and organized). I have been working on it since my last name had an M in it. It is finally DONE, less some tweaks.

I am sharing it with you here so you can preview it. It is the ONE week journal and the ONE Month Journal and Planner which promises to have you BALANCE your day and start it with God’s word. *Disclaimer~ I am NOT and never WILL be perfect, but every day I wake up just like you to TRY to do better than yesterday.

Wow, getting it all out there, after many days lying in my bed feeling lost, worthless and tired of trying to push things around that were never seeming to make headway feels surreal.

I don’t know when or where it all happened but it is like the 50 year mark has been testing me.

I feel SO much better now that our BFF’s that we go to see in North Carolina, that I paint with and adore and who work out with Chad are 90 and (70ish). Sorry that is NOT gonna be changing..if I exercise its probably the S thing, running from someone or dancing while about to have a heart attack thinking I am looking sexy on a dance floor somewhere..but NOT spending my time on a treadmill (unless someone has one of those walking computer desks, hey I might be DOWN for that) the kids remind me that it is NOT “up for that”…when did they start changing the rules!?

READ ABOUT THEM HERE

And after reading Esquire’s One Hundredth issue, I retract my “almost fifty” and say instead (learning that life is all in your attitude and perception)……

I’m actually in my VERY latest forties~

And THAT is what I intend to embrace today!

I also know LOTS of prayer (years of journaling with the same prayer requests) has kept me moving forward.

2016 I am praying is the year for the cocoon to burst into life.

No matter what I am doing, I won’t be doing anything I don’t enjoy, that’s for sure.

Life is too short to live on other people’s definitions and terms.

It’s mine to live the way I choose.

I choose to wear and share all my faces.

Blessings to you in finding who you are and living it to the CORE!

We might just be developing some workshops to help you do that! Hey let me call my support group (you know who you are!) so we can collaborate.

Any other ENTJ’s out there? Come to find out, my husband, son and I are all that…ENTJ. Look it up the odds are crazy for that.

Can’t wait to see what YOU do with whats inside. LET it out. YOU have the ONLY SET OF FINGERPRINTS ON THE ENDS OF THOSE FINGERS…EMBRACE THAT. YOU are here for a reason. YOU are specially made. Let all of the gems you have to offer out. Don’t treat me like a pinterest pin…just know..I have struggled for YEARS with all of this. And even my songs are stupid…but guess what..they are mine..I captured them in a little studio in Foley with a crazy ass person who could put them to vinyl in an hour (otherwise I would have gotten distracted). But they were MY feelings and thoughts. They were songs I had to get out and the time.THAT is what you have to understand. Do it all FOR YOU. NO-one else.

I can’t explain how it is finally blossoming, bursting forth. I am just thankful it is…as I was just on the verge of GIVING IN.

Feeling creative? My creativity journal will help you make BABY steps to discover it…let it out. Message me and I will send you one FREE. We all need to discover who we are and who we were made to be.

Allison

This Poll will be up for a week~ Let me know what you think!

Free Spirit


Free Spirit

I sold this one this week at the Druid City Art Festival

A REAL Person’s Life~ In the Closet


If you are like me, mornings are enough of a challenge without the worry of entering the war zone of the closet. Not only are you fighting with reruns of items, but also with the image of yourself fighting some stranger in your mirror when you pull out that outfit you thought was going to work as it always had. And the less time you have to get ready, the more difficult it seems to be to find something to throw on. And let me back up a second here, to address those who say they “simply threw something on in the morning”. I’m calling the bluff, as a person who routinely loses her closet beneath a stack of shirts that fit awkwardly, had a stain, pants that “used to fit”, and shoes that “looked so cute in the box” but look ridiculous on your foot when put with the outfit you purchased them with. 

Now there are some, lets just call them blessed, who can wake up and slap on a t-shirt and stylish exercise gear (theirs probably without the dog fur mine are coated in), pop their hair in a ponytail, slather a bit of gloss on their lips to highlight that natural blush they were born with and head out the door.  They look refreshed, they look pulled together. I sit on the floor of my closet quite often and wonder where that person went, as I love to think I had that gift once upon a time.

I love my closet, don’t get me wrong. I appreciate the space I have now. As I roll towards the age of fifty, I remember all too well the dark caves of space I once climbed into, digging for shoes in an abyss of sharp corners and muddy boots. I remember the bi-fold doors that wouldn’t close, no matter how hard I slammed. I remember one night when the whole closet came crashing down from the weight of all of my clothes on one rod. Some of my clothes have been with me as long as my twenty year old child. I am not a hoarder because I like to call it organized “possession”, something my family just doesn’t understand. I’ve had regular moves to thank for the fact that I am able to recycle all of the styles I have hung onto. And lo and behold, I’ve seen the seven year cycles come to pass, just a few years ago wondering, “Now WHERE is that that big brass circle belt I wore in college! My daughter just bought one!” 

Technology has actually brought that cycle a bit tighter, as universal trends cycle quicker and various ridiculous past trends are easily manufactured into high fashion once again. I have teens. I have been to the vintage shops with them, and often say, “You should just wear mine! I have this!”

I’ve done a heavy clean of my closets only twice in my the past twenty of my 47 years. I still remember the items I miss, a long leather coat with a big hood I wish I still had when in the woods and a red cropped leather jacket with silver brads I wore during our Harley Davidson days, that was NOT a Harley jacket. I recently saw one in In Style and wondered why once again I let my friends strong arm me into “letting go”. So I may not ever wear it again, but dang-it, I would have the option if I felt the urge.

I am not the fashionista of my family, far from it. I still remember the days when my mother was in her thirties and our dad told a friend, “if S….was in style, she would wear it!” I grew up shopping in a number of Tuscaloosa clothing establishments, their owners even telling my daughter who is eight, “I remember when your Mama was your age, I would try to tie those clothes around her. She hated shopping but your grandmother and aunt were quite the clothes horses!”

Electronics were my thing. Give me a t-shirt and some jeans and I was happy. But, as an artist, I still enjoy putting outfits together. Every month I find a day to snuggle up with my fashion magazines. I tear out pictures of looks that I like. I dig in my closet, often finding nuggets to recycle or up cycle as I like to think of it. Photographed are a couple of examples of ways to pull in current colors and styles without going shopping every season. Who knew, buried under a fat stack of scarves I swore I would wear to some equestrian event,(Who knows! This is a horse city!) that I had a pencil thin snake looking belt that is “so” today, as shown in a recent magazine article? I put it with a straight line skirt like the photo and a blousy top, adding an updated ankle bootie (who knew, I fought those for years but they are growing on me) and what was old is new again.

Now, I know, in sharing my secrets, I blow the image that all of us try to keep up, that we all shop every day, work out, play tennis and have nothing else to do with our time. I love being thrifty, and often frequent the second hand shops. What a gold mine to be in a college town where girls my size only wear something once then sell it!  I am not too proud to share that! 

I’ve been told by my mom to “dress my age”. NEVER! I say, appropriate, ok, but not my age! The sun we have to avoid to keep the wrinkles at bay. I have no control over the facets of gravity, but my clothing, I have every choice! And I will go down with as many options as I can muster or drag around.  Every little girl loves to dress up. Why should women be any different?Even if it is just to go the the grocery store! If we can’t still have fun dressing, then tell me, what is the point?

While I am not a professional fashionista, I do have friends who are. 

Here are some tips from some of my favorites:

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Photo:  Army Jacket

A recent article showed the new recycling of the “army jacket” (flashbacks anyone?)

Here I have taken mine from the 90’s, with photo of the article and up cycled with similar items I own.

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Yes, it is REDBOOK, but hey, I’m kinda liking the casual vibe, especially when temps are 

ranging from 30 in the morning to 72 in the afternoons.

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Get creative with color and magazine photos.Image

This years florals are the favorite. Feminine and fun.Image

Proof I am NOT a hoarder…but dang I wish I had those wedges back.Image

My closet BEFORE….color coding surely helps make the mornings easier. Image

 

What is your happYmess?


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I just turned 47 last week.

Every time I look at those words, I think, “Wait! That doesn’t look right!”

It is hard to imagine that I am almost 50 because all those just a bit younger than me I still think of as “in their late twenties”.

Perhaps it is also because my mother still treats me like a child.

Ok, so maybe I act like one, but getting older does not mean you have to start “dying”.

She actually told me I should start dressing and acting my age.

“NEVER!” I say.

I even posted a photo with messy hair~ rebellion still lingering perhaps?

My husband and I are in a transition period of life, at least that is what he is thinking.

Personally I used to thrive on change and transition. We have been married nine years and are moving from our five bedroom city-ish home here in the Tiny Kingdom of Mt. Brook to a more rural, almost retirement-like destination.

It has been a hard one because honestly, this is the longest I have EVER lived in one place since I graduated from college. I lived in Montgomery for eight years but moved four times during those years, with a husband, two babies and a dog.

It was not until my divorce after another move (for my former husband’s career) to the Gulf Coast and two houses there that I moved to this home. I actually vowed I would never move again.

I have been here almost ten years. My daughter grew up here from second grade. She will be a senior. Yes, we are moving her for her senior year. Call me crazy but a “downshift to the country life” is just what she needs. You can’t express entitlement with mosquitos and bass! It is not her fault, it runs through the water~ some of the best in the country, U.S. that is.

When I was her age, I was really in the country- a self-proclaimed redneck. I loved everything about a small town, dirt roads, Hank Williams.

We aren’t going that far back into the woods, Tuscaloosa is a melting pot of small town people, professors, artists from the city, writers, photographers who have been there since I was a baby, students, grandparents, doctors, nurses, all living together in a slower paced existence.

There is a hint of that here where I live in The Tiny Kingdom, but the authenticity of it all is something this mound-like suburb can’t quite duplicate.  Anyone who moved here from a small town knows it in their gut. The city folks who don’t understand why we are so “comfortable in our skin” probably never will, at least until they decide to embrace their mess. In the country, everyone already knows our messes and point them out at a younger age. Maybe that is what makes country folks so grounded. .

I sorta like that I got to taste the life here. I moved here for the schools and to be with my best friend who was dying of a brain tumor. She taught me there was more to life than pretense.

It cracks me up when people tell my husband, “You just don’t give a shit what anyone thinks about you! I am so jealous! You just don’t know what it’s like.”

Compliment or insult, we take it that we are obviously living life on our own terms.

THAT is why I have explored this notion of HAPPYMESS.

There is so much mess in every life. There are NO perfect families, no perfect wives, no perfect husbands, no perfect people. So why do we think we can pretend we are?

Who are we? Does anyone dare anymore to really discover that?

Or should we ask, “Who were we? And how did we become this way?”

“Who is defining me? Who do I want to be?”

Hard questions for LIFE.

Think of Martha Stewart. We all hate her because her crafts are so freaking perfect. We love to hate how mean and how verbal she is about her perfection. We probably cheered when her daughters turned their backs on her. But what did she do? She embraced her mistakes and turned out more laid back about her shortcomings and stronger than ever before! She is more celebrity after her MESS than she was before. And mostly because now we can relate to her!

I have a challenge for all of those who can hang with me.

Dig deeply into your messes and unearth the AUTHENTIC HAPPYMESS that lies just beneath the surface.

Why do we think if we don’t address it that it will go away? I know plenty of people who went through challenging things, who stuck together when others were saying, “How can you take that? Everyone knows.” I commend them for embracing and working through that mess, whatever that means to them.

Every person has a right and a yearning to be happy. We have been trying to be happy since our early days dreaming of birthday parties and holiday gifts and prince charming sweeping us away on our wedding days.

But LIFE has messes.

God has made every person with a unique set of fingerprints. Every person has a purpose. We find that our MESSES are the best places to find our MESSAGE to the world. We can help others through things that have hurt us.

As we will be moving to our new home in less than three weeks there will probably be lapses in the happYmess Series

and more on the HOW DO I DOWNSHIFT FROM A MESS to a happYmess homeLIFE.

I hope you will bookmark or follow along as I provide tools for unearthing YOUR happYmess.

It all begins in the morning for me with

1)   a journal

2)   a devotional to get me thinking on the right track and

3)   a gratitude journal and some good music

4)   and the action of free writing for fifteen minutes without lifting my pen.

You will be amazed at how much clutter you wake up with.

If you will let all of the clutter fill three pages of a regular sized notebook page without lifting the pen, just jotting unbridled thoughts until you hit the end of page three you will find not only clutter at first but formations of ideas that are sitting just beneath the surface, perhaps dreams you have pushed out of the way, ideas for things you can do for others.

Set your mind free!

Then as you start your day you will find that by the time you hit the ground running your mind is already on step 2~ problem solving.

Instead of remembering at the red light what you need to do, you have it out there and are brainstorming (usually on auto-pilot) stage two.

You will probably also find yourself venting to your friends LESS because you have already “gotten it out” and some of the things you built up to be so huge, no longer are.

TRY IT, this week!

Stand out there in your bathing suit girlfriend and toss the truth to the wind!

Let your soul set free and embrace your happYmess!

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May God Bless your happYmess!

Allison

Why I Love Being a WOMAN


Monday, Nov. 19 – Why Do You Love Being a Woman? That’s a simple question, but one that most likely has a complicated answer. So let’s write a blog post about it. 
 
This morning I hit the ground running with my two business partners in our new venture Fluff! Designers.
After a great meeting to plan a fun Christmas party for a client we veered off to everyone’s favorite meeting place from coast to coast: “Starbucks”.  There were college gals meeting up in sweats. There was a woman seriously asleep on her laptop (this was at 11:00 am). There was a line of men out the door, tapping their feet, one pacing in a four inch square so as to not lose his spot, another on the phone talking into his earpiece, looking like a madman bursting into laughter then serious face.
My girlfriends and I gathered at a round table. A scrambled mom came through with a baby on one hip as she juggled keys, a small wallet that she balanced on the table while still holding the hand of a toddler. She looked over at us, “please watch this and be sure it isn’t stolen” she asked us over her shoulder as she herded them towards the bathroom.
As I had prepared thought for today’s assignment by doing some quick morning journaling pages, the topic was on my mind. I wondered, would a man ever take a little siesta at a table in Starbucks?  Would a man ask someone to watch his wallet while he dashed to the john, completely trusting that we wouldn’t take off with it? Would a man decide to gather at the table until the line died down (which it quickly did and we went right up to the counter to order as soon as we had unloaded files and a leather clipboard)?
As we sat there going over the schedule for setup and design for the party I shared with them my motivation to complete a blog a day through November. One said, “Oh I should do that!”
The man in my life wonders why.
And as we talked about our project, one threw out another project idea to add to the mix in January, the other an idea for some products to add. Then we bounced back to a recipe, then to talk about travel plans. Wow, I felt such a sense of relief. I have been living in the land of the man for quite some time. I think I forgot that I am not the only right brain~left brain that juggles numerous ideas as well as numerous “lives”. 
My other female “sista” who is practically a younger “creating clone” of me (except way more organized) called to tell me some ideas she had for my small paintings and to check on me. When she called last night I had just melted my finger with hot glue (well not really, but hey, it hurt) and she had a BETTER idea for attaching those ribbons to the ornaments I was making.
I thought about how precious my “girl time” is. And not only is it enjoyable,  if spent on a regular basis according to research, will add seven years to a woman’s life. 
When I told my friends today’s topic while we were headed out the door, one simply replied as she flicked her long black curly locks over her shoulder as a man was opening the door for her to exit,
“What do I like about being a woman? Well certainly, NOT BEING A MAN.”
 
Allison Adams
Girlfriends In Paris
by Allison P Adams
available on notecards
or order your own custom design with YOUR girlfriends!

Creative Call


Painting with a group can propel you to another level when working on finding your creative style.

In recent years, a group of women artists joined each week to study the book, Creative Call, by Janice Elsheimer. The book provides inspiration so that we may become the artists God made us to be.

Each week we gathered to share information, to encourage each other, to listen to praise and worship music and to explore our gifts of painting- in a attempt to wake up the creative spirit that lives within us.

Goal one is to come to the realization that because we create, we ARE artists.
Our first semester brought us to a comfortable place in our new title as ARTISTS.
Semester two we studied Scribbling In the Sand by Michael Card.

Other books of interest:
The Artist’s Way, Julia Cameron

If You Want to Walk on Water, You Have to Get Out of the Boat was another source of inspiration that took the group to new levels.

We visited local art events together, shared learning experiences by inviting local artists to do demonstrations and view member artist’s work and techniques.

The group has grown into a close-knit group of friends who are now more than “colleagues” but are friends.
We invite you to check back as we share our creative endeavors with you online.

“Our talents are a gift from God, and I am to use them to fulfill his purposes in my life and his world. I humbly acknowledge and accept my gifts as I ask to receive God’s vision for how I am to use them. I ask the Holy Spirit to free me from self-doubt and self-absorption. I pray this work will bring me into closer alignment with God’s plan for me as I seek to bring my gifts and talents into his light and to become the whole and complete person he intends me to be.” Amen