I've been home and enjoying summer for a few weeks now and someone made a comment to me the other day that they thought I had fallen off the face of the Earth because I hadn't updated my blog since May! LOL Well for those of you who know me, you know that if you want to see me post several times a day you need to friends me on Facebook because I'm a lot more active (or maybe obsessed is a better word) with that! So if we are not already Facebook friends, click on that link on the left side of my blog and go on over and friend me : )
So that being said, on with the updates...
This year has brought so many new opportunities with Art Anthology and Viva Decor. I've been working with new products which is always exciting for me, making new friends, teaching and demoing at different events and teaching/traveling more than ever before... with a lot more to come! The HUGE response we've gotten to Art Anthology has been absolutely amazing and I am so happy to be working with one of my best friends, Stayce DeWid...that makes it all so much more fun to have a friend to get all painty with. In fact, Stayce and I have BIG plans in the works for an Artful Journey teaching trip together and taking our classes out of the states again. Just a tease, I can't tell you exactly where YET, but I can tell you its somewhere that neither of us have been and we are VERY excited about it!
Working with Viva Decor US this year has been keeping me extremely busy as well, which is a good thing : ) I got a little "promotion" of sorts and am now their Senior Educator! The products are absolutely amazing and unique but the best thing is how well they compliment Art Anthology's lines of mediums!
May was a completely crazy teaching month. I started out with a weekend at Almost Heaven Scrapbooking in Charleston, West Virginia for National Scrapbook weekend. The last time I drove through those mountains I came across kind of a crazy yet cool thing...they are reconsructing Noah's Arc at the top of the Allegheny Mountains!! Yes, you read that right! I almost crashed trying to see it the last time and this time I was prepared and pulled over to get proof!!
From a certain angle I swear it looks like the front of a cruise ship and it's enormous! Amazing.
I've been to Almost Heaven several times to teach and they are just the most warm and wonderful people...I love going there and can't wait until my next visit so I can see their brand new location! Congrats Beverly!!
I was home for 3 days and was off again for a massive road trip through the Mid-West.
It began after driving across PA and OH to get to one of my favorite stores for 2 days of classes at Cafe Crop in Crown Pt., Indiana. Tina and Ken are always great hosts and I LOVE that they even have a camera all set up which projects what my hands are doing on the a big flat screen tv on the wall behind me as I teach. Incredible!
I had a day off on Mother's Day so I decided to take a little drive through the Amana Colonies on my way to West Des Moines, Iowa to teach at Heirlooms by Design. Funny, it kind of reminded me of a slightly more modern Amish community so I totally enjoyed my little relaxing side trip.
I made some great friends in Iowa and can not WAIT to go back in October! Marj, who owns Heirlooms by Design is just a great lady with an outstanding store! The whole day there was amazing as is my new friend Marta, who I felt like I have known forever when I got there...love when you come across new friends like that : )
Next I was off for 2 days of craziness in Nebraska at Imagine That Scrapbooking...holy cow, what a funny group of ladies they have out there! SO MUCH FUN in Nebraska! Audra's store was especially dangerous for me because she had jewelry and bags too...my biggest weaknesses aside from good coffee, LOL
I was greeted with this...
This gigantic basket was overflowing with EVERYTHING from Nebraska and awesome goodies from the store - very cute apron, t-shirt, travel coffee mug, flavored coffee stirrers, popcorn and almonds, etc...it was AMAZING and I was beyond blown away with their gift! THANK YOU so much Audra!
Can't wait to see these crazy ladies again!!
Well about halfway through a roadtrip, my Pathfinder starts to look like a bomb went off inside and I occasionally belt out the tune from the Sandford & Son theme song to amuse myself on the long drives, LOL It looks really unorganized, but really by then I have gotten it down to a good system. Unfortunately, I think I was either starting to get dilirious from the slim pickins of coffee in the midwest or maybe my camera was lost under the huge gift basket I had in the front seat next to me like a passenger while I snacked on the goodies... but for some reason I didn't take my camera out for a few days in the middle of the trip, but I returned to Scrapbook N Memories in Harrisonville, Missouri where Kourtney's Mom almost talked me in to bringing home the cutest boxer puppy (aside from the fact that I made the mistake of telling mike and he immediately said NO, I just don't think he would have had enough room in that gift basket! LOL)
From Missouri I headed back to Arkansas for 2 days of classes at Just Scrap It! Another great store and owner! Cori had me teach my favorite class, the Ink Boot Camp the first night and we had a ball!
So if you've ever heard any of my crazy stories about weird things that happen to me on the road, you won't be surprised by this one...Driving through the mountains in Arkansas at night after class I was sitting in roadwork traffic. Suddenly, I see a flash of bright light out of the corner of my eye. I thought I was losing my mind but I swear on my father's grave that I saw a HUGE fireball (comet, ateroid, I have NO idea) but it was enormous! It flew across the sky (REALLY CLOSE) and seemed to go down on the other side of the mountain. CRAZY!!! I checked Google the second I got to my hotel to see if anything had been reported but found nothing. I have no idea what in the world it was but I'm telling you it was enormous and freaked me out! LOL
So back to the roadtrip and more weather craziness...from Arkansas I headed up to O'Fallon, Illinois to teach again at The Scrapbook Factory...Fabulous store! I had a day off so I took my time and pulled over to take a very hazy picture of the St Louis Arch so I count that as a little sight seeing along the way : )
That was the day the tornados hit Oklahoma so badly...and my phone was bonging off the hook with Mike texting me as he was watching the radar and those storms heading directly my way. You all know how much I just love tornados...NOT.
So cut to me exhausted and obviously completely dilirious at 3am sitting up wide awake keeping myself entertained by taking silly selfies to send to the kids while I listened for sirens and watched the weather channel freaking out....waiting and watching...
Oh yeah, I will admit it. Tornados scare the hell out of me and I had lost it!!
Thankfully, we just got some rain and I survived another tornado scare during a roadtrip.
By the next morning i was fine, though tired. I suddenly remember that I had a "find a Starbucks" app on my phone and was thrilled to discover a Barnes & Noble near the store so I stocked up on my Hazelnut Macchiato and had an awesome day of classes at The Scrapbook factory.
Indiana was next...have I mentioned that I absolutely LOVE teaching in Indiana? I do.
The people in Indiana are just warm and friendly and extremely down to earth and easy to talk to. EVERY store that I have taught at in this state has been like that and I make it a point to get out to Indiana as often as I can. Anyway, my first stop was at a brand new store (which are always my favorite!) called Creative Dreams in Evansville. This store was GREAT!! Oh wait...AND it has a salon attached to it. How cool is THAT?! I so wished I had time to get a pedicure while I was there!! Everyone had a fun and very creative day and I debuted a brand new class (the mixed media canvas above). I even got to meet Ken Oliver's Mom - I can see where he gets his sweet personality and talent from, LOVED her!
(we were having fun texting Ken pictures so he wouldn't feel left out while I got inky with his Mom : )
I had off the next day and guess where I decided to go do a little sight seeing...
and guess what else...everything was closed except the famous Post Office and one gift shop : (
So even after my Santa disappointment, I was knew I was going to have a fun last day of classes at The Doodlebug in Jasper. Hannah and Melanie are hysterical and there was laughs all day. I have been to their old location a few times to teach but this was my first time there since they moved to their new space and they have done a fabulous job! Amazing store and amazing ladies. It was a VERY fun day!
I drove almost to Cincinatti that night to start my long drive home and then mapped out my drive the next day to make a very specific stop...
I LOOOOOOVE Timmy's coffee and boy did I ever stock up for the drive home!! If you are not familiar with Timmy's it is a huge Canadian coffee chain and there are only a few states where we can find them here, usually closer to the border, but there are a few in the middle of Ohio and being a proper coffee snob I knew EXACTLY where they were and put it right in to my GPS that morning!
I drove straight home that day only stopping to take a break somewhere in Ohio for that much needed pedicure that I had been yearning for! The perfect end to a perfect trip : )