Lake Living


My next Lake Living article will be coming with some “Messages from the Treehouse”.  Be sure to follow Druid City Living when you come to Tuscaloosa for the most current event information and community news.

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Here are a few of the past articles about Lake Living.

Enjoy!  And have a SAFE Summer!

Allison

March: Swing Into Spring

Paradise on Lake Tuscaloosa / Father’s Day

December : Lake Living Lake Tuscaloosa Wish List

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

The 12 Days of Christmas Giving


The Twelve Days of Christmas Giving

Thank you Over The Mountain Journal readers and Mom’s Group for stopping in.

Cozy up by the fire for a live reading by my daughter of The 12 Days of Christmas Giving.

CLICK HERE FOR LIVE READING- see Video and click play

This reading is in the original version.

The book has been changed into a Southern Scribblings Coloring Edition

with the story re-written as “The Twelve Days Before Christmas” so you and your family can enjoy the meaning of giving in the days leading up to our favorite day, Christmas Eve, where we enjoy the meaning of the spirit if CHRISTmas.

Get your copy by CLICKING HERE to order directly from the publisher.

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See other books at Southern Scribblings and to download free coloring pages.

Get the Southern Scribblings CREATIVE JOURNAL and PLANNER

to start planning your goals for 2016.

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Each day begins with “Verse of the day” and a place to plan each day to include something for your mind, body and soul.

Try out the one week version for under $5 on Lulu.com .

MAY 2016 MAKE YOU YOUR BEST “YOU” YET!

Allison

Lake Homes Realty ~ Combining all the Things I Love


You are the first to know that I have found a way to use all of the things I love in one great endeavor,

sharing my love of the South (like in Southern Scribblings which is now on autopilot with orders through Lulu.com and Amazon.com)

sharing my love of the LAKE (as in my column with Lake Living in the monthly newspaper in Tuscaloosa)

Click the link to experience the ducks, sailboats and all of the reasons I love Lake Tuscaloosa, while

sharing my love of blogging and writing

and my interest in photography (Listings on my site will have creative, enhancing photos to amplify all of the great memories and experiences within your home)

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my love for grilling on the lake watching the Alabama Crimson Tide (for Bama fans, fewer Auburn colors on THIS year-round water lake)

my interest in writing ~  I want to paint the scene with words to help capture the personality of the place

my interest in social media ~ I will continue to feed fun and important posts to the REALTOR FACEBOOK page

my vow to promise to help people understand the value of what they are selling and buying based on actual MLS REALTOR data and not some “formula” concocted from entries. ACRE is right here in Tuscaloosa with monthly reports on trends and all things Real Estate related.

View all of the listings on Lake Tuscaloosa on our website.

I believe in the POWER OF THE INTERNET.

Lakehomes.com is a trusted company with proven results to drive people who are SPECIFICALLY LOOKING for lake homes while searching from all the way across the country.

LHR is based in Birmingham (Pelham is the head office) and are forward thinking.

Read about them here:

At the Water’s Edge ~ B- Metro Magazine

2015 Women to Watch- Birmingham Business Journal

I love it that she’s TECHY (no I’m not brown-nosing..I’M EXCITED!)

Fast Track 30: Lake Homes Realty #8

LAKE HOMES REALTY of West Alabama

I am the local contact here in Tuscaloosa, serving

Lake Tuscaloosa

Holt Lake

Million Dollar This is a ZILLOW link but find my profile info by searching for sale in 35406 or 35473

Bankhead Lake

and areas such as Northwood Lakes in Northport

hoping to help YOU SELL YOUR HOME in these areas to those searching from computers nationwide FOR LAKEFRONT PROPERTY (let us show you the monthly printouts of who is looking at Lake Tuscaloosa, from New York to California).

Are they finding YOUR home? Or is it lost in the shuffle?

BUYERS~

We make it easy to find information- if looking for lake property ANYWHERE IN THE SOUTHEAST, it’s there on LAKEHOMES.com.

We make it fun to find your spot on the lake. My office is on Lake Tuscaloosa so you can also view the property by water to get a better idea of the location from town and where you want to be.

Looking for property OFF THE LAKES?

Search properties on my website allisonadamsrealtor.com

You can simply text me an address to my phone (205 NINE one FOUR ~twenty four hundred) and within an hour I usually can send you a full report on the property. I take phone calls and emails as well, but TEXT is the quickest way for a response. My clients can (ok almost, I do sleep) always find me.

As a member of MLS, the National Association of REALTORS, The Alabama Association of REALTORS and our local board I can get access on properties across the state.

I have a strong presence on other WEBSITES in Real Estate.

Find my profile info alongside homes for sale by searching in 35406 or 35473

I can assure you if I can’t find information on the property you are interested in I will probably just knock on the door!

I hope you will pass my information along to anyone considering buying or selling a lake home.

I can’t wait to work with you or someone you know!

Allison

SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS ~ Adult Coloring = Southern Style


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It’s here! The SOUTHERN version of that relaxing thing you keep reading about and seeing on the news. ADULT COLORING BOOKS! Tested by a business professional in a high stress, computer oriented business who said, “I am actually coloring at night before I go to bed and I haven’t slept like this in years!”

But coloring isn’t just for relaxation. It also connects us with the thing we did most when we were children. We played without thought of time or limitation.

It opens the rusty valves of creativity that still live within us. Check out the book and see if you don’t find yourself looking for more to color!

These are HAND drawn, loose, so there is no intimidation to get it wrong! DIG IN with pencils or markers.

The pages are blank on the back (with ideas for other creative adventures) so you can tear them out when you find the one you want to share or frame.

So what are you waiting for? There is a FREE coloring page for you just in time for

THE KENTUCKY DERBY

and

MOTHER’S DAY

Downloadable to your printer at the website for SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS (www.southernscribblings.com)

PRINT ONE for you and your daughter, grand-daughter. And share in the love of coloring.

They will be asking you what took you so long to learn to “chill”. Just sayin’!

Have a BLESSED Weekend!

 

Allison Adams

And this is the first copy of a series so if you have requests or ideas on how to improve the process, I’m in creative mode! Send it to me!

This Mother’s DAY PLAY in the colored pencils with SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS


Mother's and Daughter's on Mother's Day by Allison Adams

Celebrating Mother’s and Daughter’s on Mother’s Day by Allison Adams

This Mother’s Day I am celebrating the launch of a new project called

SOUTHERN SCRIBBLINGS with color pages for you to get colorfully creative with.

Email me for a quality scan (direct to your email address) for you to print and color with your own daughter of our first edition pages (this one the first draft for a sneak peek so you can feel the creativity without getting too inhibited about branching out).

I’d love your ideas of your favorite Southern Subjects and would love for you to visit the website at

www.southernscribblings.com and appreciate your feedback!

Join the ADULT COLORING CRAZE-SOUTHERN STYLE!

Adult Coloring Books are all the rage. Get your color on with the Southern Scribblings Coloring Book featuring all things that make you want to slow down and color like you are in the South. Cheers and raise a glass (Mimosa? Mint Julep? Bloody Mary?) to creativity Y’all! Allison Adams

Explore Alabama’s BACK ROADS!


Spring is in the air!

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Movement! Life! Sunshine! Yes, some rain too, but warmer weather! I will take it!

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It’s the perfect time to roll down the windows or take the top down and explore some of Alabama’s “BACK ROADS”.

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A favorite route of mine is the drive from the sandy white beaches of Orange Beach/ Gulf Shores through Magnolia Springs to the artsy lair of Fairhope.

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You never know what you might find.

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On this day I remembered why I love Alabama. The mixture of rural fields, pecan groves and horse farms dotted among fishing piers, docks with mailboxes (in Magnolia Springs the only place you can get mail by boat)

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and a variety of trees and flowers (Pines, Oaks, Hydrangeas and moss covered Magnolias) continue to quench my thirst for variety.

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After a long drive, a perfect spot, even on a partly cloudy day, is this bench at Fairhope pier where you can watch the tide roll in and out before meandering up to the quaint artsy town that overlooks another setting sun over the bay.

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Blessings and Happy Spring!

Allison Adams

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

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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 

SATURDAY EVENTS IN TUSCALOOSA


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is a special event created by THE TUSCALOOSA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS to help raise funds for the Will May Dog Park at Sokol Park in Tuscaloosa.

Click here for the PROGRAM AND NEWSLETTER

I have loved getting to know all of the REALTORS in Tuscaloosa and being a part of such a great event.

I created/designed the newsletter this year, since I will NOT be able to be at the event.

The DRUID CITY ARTS FESTIVAL is the same day

and I will have a booth there again this year. Hope you will jump in and enjoy the day

with ALL three events!

including the LAKE CLEANUP.

Saturday will prove to be a GREAT day to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather.

(See my article that advises the same in the latest issue of DRUID CITY LIVING in my Lake Living column!

CURRENT ISSUE LINK HERE~

Have a BLESSED day..and don’t forget to bathe your 4 legged friends (let the boy scouts do it…all in the name of the GUINNESS BOOK OF WORLD RECORDS!)

Allison

 

Happy National REALTOR Day


Today is National REALTOR Day.

I  began my real estate career in 1994 after working ten years in commercial interior design. My last day of work as a full time 8-5 employee was just a few days before I went into labor with my first child. He is now 21.

Being a REALTOR (the title is trademarked) means you are a real estate agent who is a member of the Association of REALTORS and complete education and professional requirements every two years to be up to date on laws, marketing information as well as technology.

I, like many who ask me about being a Realtor, believed this career would provide me with a flexible job that would work well with my “child rearing responsibilities”. I got my license shortly after he was born thinking I could “be at home more” with him. Little did I know the time and effort that goes into a transaction.

Back then, there was barely an internet. The REALTOR was the gatekeeper with all of the secret information, your guide, your counselor. We scheduled our appointments by telephone, fewer times by cell phone. We drove our clients around in our vehicles. Today buyers like to be in their own vehicles for the most part. We printed out paper to show the home information and delivered contracts by hand. Fax was the fast way and usually a response came a few days later.

As far as flexibility of schedules are concerned, my first years in real estate I often had a two and four year old in the car eating cereal snacks and watching a VHS tape of Barney in the small TV I had rigged to play in my Suburban. It was not the glamorous or predictable lifestyle I had dreamed of. Quite often, people wanted to see the properties just as they were getting off work or on weekends in the middle of soccer practice.

Today, my schedule is still flexible, and thanks to the internet I can email a response as well as a dozen photos in a few minutes. The difference now is that I might be making deals at night with a response expected immediately. Technology is a must for today’s Realtor. I also have a child who is older than my two back then, and more adaptable as well.

This generation of buyers is much more savvy and you can bet they have done their homework. They usually know what they are looking for or have researched the schools or narrowed down to a location. In fact, sometimes they find properties that we are not aware of, thanks to some of those mega information sites that may or may not provide accurate information.

Many families choose to sell their homes themselves, making the job of the Realtor more challenging as there is not a uniform cross section of data for us to use while making a home search for our clients. Most home sellers are also savvy and are willing to work with agents who represent buyers.

A most awkward moment occurs for a for sale by owner seller when the buyer decides to make an offer. Perhaps the items being negotiated for that were not spelled out in a document such as we have through MLS (multiple listing service) that lets you know grandmother’s chandelier will be REMOVED at purchase. These are the things that a Realtor can help a buyer address, as well. We are also required to update the status of properties promptly so if you use www.realtor.com you are assured to have up to the minute information.

Sites created for sale by owner advertising provide an avenue for pictures as well as general information, but they lapse in the service that has again become the thing that attracts clients to the Realtor. That is the renewed definition in the role as the gatekeeper.

With valuables being in the home, medications that are often targeted, and safety concerns it is important for homeowners to be wary of the risks of opening your home to a complete stranger.

As a Realtor, I take it as my responsibility to meet with a client if possible before showing a home. A qualification from a bank helps the client know exactly what our target market is and gives them confidence in a firm offer. This also avoids our bothering homeowners that might not be in that price range but whose property may be of initial interest to the potential buyer.

In addition, I usually ask for a copy of a drivers license. We cannot be too careful, for ourselves or our client’s who are opening their homes as they offer them for sale.

While Realtors are still defining their roles in the world of home buying and selling, the best plus for a home seller is the marketing expertise they receive. With Realtors networking weekly, having caravans and open houses for fellow professional members of their boards of Realtors, you can assure when you hire one Realtor, you are getting the force of the membership behind you as well.

Whether you sell by owner or hire a REALTOR, remember we are all working for the same goal, to help you or someone else enjoy the American dream of owning their own home.

I hope if you see a Realtor today who is rushing to and fro, obviously working a deal on a cell phone at dinner with their family at a restaurant or at the soccer field, give them a big hug! They will gratefully appreciate it!

Blessings to my REALTOR friends who raise the bar each and every day!

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Allison Adams

Allison sells real estate in Tuscaloosa, home of Alabama’s Crimson Tide and writes her Lake Living Column for Druid City Living Newspaper from Lake Tuscaloosa. Get info on properties available in her area of Alabama at www.allisonadamsrealtor.com

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

Brent McCollough Music


I have always had a love for music. Ever since I was a kid, with one of those red, rounded top tape recorders that you pushed one of six small buttons to record from.

I drag along a notebook of “prose” I want one day to turn into song.

So I can’t play an instrument. I took piano. Mrs. Frances Mellon taught me each week at Livingston University. I was ten. I was bored. I PROMISED if my mother let me quit, I would never regret it. I was standing in the front yard, in cleats, wanting to go play flag football with the boys on the street.

She let me, I do.

I have taken guitar…left and right handed to no avail!

So my children, I have nurtured their love of music. All of them play by ear. It is a TRUE gift.

Last night I had the pleasure of having my two teens drop in for spagetti dinner at the big table, like we did before they were 21 and 19. After dinner they went up to our nine year old daughter’s room where they “taught her a few chords” on her guitar.

I watched them, my daughter singing, my son showing her where to put her tiny fingers on frets.

I cried watching this beautiful display, this common thread of a love for music that began with my own dad showing me how to wire the stereo amp to speakers and external turntable (before any of that was the norm).

All of the memories of years of Olivia Newton John through headphones melted my heart as I watched them collaborate.

Music, as my son wrote for his first paper at The University of Alabama, is the common thread that holds the world together. He wrote it after bonding with his Chinese ONLY speaking roommate AFTER realizing he played a mean guitar.

Together, for three years they have savored this friendship that began with a guitar and keyboard when no other words could be understood. (He now speaks fluent English, and came to Alabama ONLY because he wanted to go where Forest Gump lived, yes REALLY. Winston Groom, you MUST meet this boy, who went against all Chinese culture to the dismay of his parents to come here).

I am blessed to witness my children’s love for music, to be able to hear it, see it, feel the bond between my babies as they develop their own talents.

You can visit my son, Brent’s Site HERE:

brent music

And listen to Brent and Shelton singing together on this song he wrote.

https://soundcloud.com/brentmccollough/forever-mastered-mp3

Yes, today, I am blessed beyond words.

Forever doesn’t last too long…will be something they created that will last…..well…..forever.

Allison

Lake Living: Gardening on Lake Tuscaloosa


I like to focus on lake topics, bringing ideas of nature to your mailbox in Druid City Living Newspaper in the Lake Living Column each month. This month, I’m writing about a challenge that applies to many of us: how to have a beautiful garden.

Rule one: Sun is required. I have discovered that the raised garden at our new home is in the shade most of the day. I wish I had realized that last year when…

I planted seeds that yielded tiny, Barbie-sized squash and melons, dangling from nearly brown stems.

Another issue is water. We have irrigation, but last year I watered in the late afternoon because, well, I am not a morning person. Keep disease at bay by watering in morning.

I am not yet a gardener, but I am a newly adopted member of the Ceres Garden Club. This week, I received two Knock Out Rose bushes from Peggy Babbs, after a meeting in her magical rose garden. The month before, Renee Holloman with Holloman Farms shared her expertise on Daylily plants. Later, a sweet neighbor gave me more “divisions” from her yard. This week, Wayne Ford, a former County Extension agent cheered us on with helpful hints.

I have been told that the largest hurdle, besides the rock that lies less than four inches below my “grassy looking stuff,” is the deer. I discovered there are some pretty plants the deer are not fond of, including burgundy blanket flower, verbena, butterfly weed, globe thistle, Jacob Cline bee balm, butterfly bush, purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, thyme and crepe myrtle. If deer concern you, fence in the plants, or use bone tar oil.

While trying to “keep up with the Ceres,” I’ve been reading The Impatient Gardener by Jerry Baker. It has some amazing tricks for those of us who are “horticulturally challenged.” Who knew plants love beer and dishwater? (They help to keep flowers disease-free). I didn’t clarify how much left over beer is too much. Proceed with caution.

All of this new information inspired me. I rushed to Lowe’s, bought two green planters, soil, fertilizer, two rose “topiary style” trees with mixed color, grabbed a multi-mix basket of flowing verbena and petunias and began planting (after a stop to get the important part, beer). After planting two Knock Out Rose bushes, daylilies, and putting seeds in pots that I had started last month after the first Ceres meeting (it’s how I roll), I sat hunkered under a fluffy blanket, serenaded by the waterfalls as they deliver the overflow from recent storms to the lake. Lightening bugs flickered. A red bird swooped into a tree. A bat hovered as I dodged mosquitos. One by one, I noticed more stars. I was overcome with the stillness.

Genesis 1:29-30: “Then God said, ‘Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as good for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground – everything that has life.’”

Nature is for all of us. May we all come to find our little slice of Heaven. For now, I am starting with the slice I can possibly conquer: The deck!

Disclaimer: if you burn up your plants with beer and soap, don’t blame me, I’ll be right there with you. But if it works, tell the neighbors I told you so!

Photo: Allison Adams

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Artist Exhibits in Central Alabama


As an artist I enjoy viewing work by other artists. We are particularly blessed in Alabama with a variety of places to experience diversity in artistic styles.

A recent piece in the Montgomery Advertiser features a number of those near Montgomery.

CLICK HERE to see the article which features information on shows at The Elmore County Museum, The Rosa Parks Museum, Tin Man Studio and Gallery, The Georgine Clark Artist Studio in RSA Plaza and river art at the Montgomery City Hall Gallery Space.

Auburn’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art is showing off Audubon Collections.

I lived in Montgomery for nearly eight years, when my oldest (teens) were only toddlers. Those connections were some of the first in my quest to discover my inner artist.

As a past Jr. Board member for the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art I want to go see the recent exhibition by 32 artists from the South in the 19th Century entitled “Romantic Spirits”. This paired with Battle Drawings from the World Wars will give you and your “lover” something to talk about. (This runs through July 13).

Montgomery Artists, Mose Tolliver, Julia Starke, Camilla Armstrong, Jeannie Maddox (Dothan), Clark Walker, Nan Cunningham, Jenny Lou Greene, were some of the first influences on my love of art.

Hope you will make a stop at one of these or send me information on any others across the state that I can add to my column at Alabama Women Bloggers in the Sweet Home Alabama Series I am heading up this summer. Summer is about fueling the craft. Take some time to meander into someone else’s way of thinking and creating. You might just find a nugget of inspiration that will last a lifetime!

Allison Adams