October 2009, what I didn't have time to blog about...

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It’s been mostly work the last 3
months but we have managed to sneak in
a little bit of R&R. Labor day weekend, Rich bought us an old
Schwinn Twinn Tandem bicycle on Craig’s List, we’ve only been able to
take it out on 4 occasions but every time it’s been great fun and a
challenge! We have to go out to the suburbs to the forest preserves to
ride, it’s too tricky with all the intersections in the city…so we
had some beautiful fall days, these photos were from early October. (I
told Rich it was one of the most romantic gestures he’s made in our 18
years together…that he would want to share a bike and ride that close
to me after all these years!) We are going up to the Racine area to ride tomorrow…good reason to work so hard today.

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My dear friend Kate Strong came under the darkness of night a few weeks back and generously planted these perennials outside my shop so I will have them next spring…hope this means I get to stay for a 2nd year! (Kate had been planning to do this since June as a “studio warming gift” she is the busiest artist that I know – she does shows nearly every weekend between April and December and production in between. She still insisted on doing it..I’m grateful and look forward to seeing them next April or May).

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And my clay class is already half over. This is Shorty…it’s great to be back in class with all those amazing women. We have a great time on Monday nights at Lill Street.Picture 56

And my dear old Izzy is slowing down, it’s heartbreaking. This past week has been especially difficult for her to get going in the mornings…just doing our best to be patient and keep her comfortable, she gets lots of massaging. She’s still eating well and excited for treats but getting around is getting harder and I’m afraid the sparkle in her eye is waning.

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Alice on the other hand is still our comic relief. She is very compassionate and patient with Izzy. Her chest has grown enormous in the last 2 years, I like to think it’s because her heart has grown bigger.

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These last two weeks have been so incredibly beautiful with all the fall leaves, it is my absolute favorite time of the year. But as of today the trees are getting bare and daylight savings time is here…so mixed emotions, the good part is I will be closer to the time zone my body works best in. (In a perfect world I would live in Pacific Time).

Picture 35 So good by October and Happy Halloween to you!  

Raffle Winner…!

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Charlotte Goldman was one of our Raffle Prize Winners from the Grand Opening, she came by to pick it up the other day and was thrilled when she saw her prize…I love a happy ending!


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 Picture 28Doing Rusty's portrait was bittersweet, between the time Rhonda ordered the portrait and I started on it, he passed away…so very sad. So now this Portrait has become a colorful reminder of her very best friend. Rhonda was in town last week, we both got teary when she came to see it, I sent her on her way with a magnet that I had made as a little gift for her to keep until the print arrives to her in California. When I did the sketches I created a younger Rusty, solidly colored and the senior Rusty with the lighter face, I am humbly adding younger Rusty to my portfolio of breeds as the Golden Retriever. Bittersweet.

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This is the first order I received for the larger Pet Portrait Print size…it really came out beautifully. I just ordered another to put in my window display with Jack's portrait…this is a good comparison of the two sizes, Jack's Box Frame Print Portrait is 12×12 ($250) and Rusty's Float Back Print Portrait is 18×18 ($350). My deadline for Pet Portrait Orders for guaranteed delivery by the holidays is November 13th…so if you are considering this as a gift please place your order soon! Gift Certificates are also available.

When the party's over...

Picture 24I’m so grateful for the wonderful turn out we had for my Studio Grand Opening last Friday night! I battled with myself all summer as to when I should have said party…but with juggling all the art fairs and the stress of figuring out this new space I decided to take the good advice of my wise friend Anna Millea and wait until fall when all my outdoor shows were over for the season.

I am glad I did…it was perfect and great fun seeing many of my collectors from over the years and friends and making many new ones. I had amazing help from Amanda Shell of Whirly Girl Designs and jewelry artist, Michelle Rubin. I received lovely surprises: gorgeous flowers from my Mother and my Brother, a wonderful gift of appetizers from Mike Green of the Village Tap (across the street), and treats from Rudy of Rudy’s Bakery next door to my shop. The Chamber and other businesses on the street have made me feel so welcome here in Roscoe Village. Here are some photos from the evening…

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Since signing the lease I have learned so much and it has not been
without a lot of growing pains…last spring I referred to the back room
as the Crying Room! I am happy to report that I have not used it for
that since July…things really seem to be turning around. I am so
grateful to have quite a long list of commission orders to fill, so time to get to work! Hope you enjoyed the photos, you can see several more on my Flickr page….and many thanks to Natalie Samp who took them!




Bid now on Art Auctions to Benefit a Place to Bark!

Last spring Jill Beninato of Sit, Stay, Smile Pet Photography invited me to be a part of azine called Party Animals: it features the artwork of 21
different artists from across the country. The proceeds from the sale
of this zine will directly benefit the animals at A Place To Bark
animal rescue. All work was donated by the participating artists and
the original pieces are up for auction right now
and end late Monday night…the 20th! This is my piece up for auction HERE and it is actually the first painting that I created in my new Roscoe Village studio back in May:


This is all especially meaningful not only because animal adoption and rescue is near and dear to my heart but most of Bernie’s dogs are rescued in Tennessee and she transports them here to Chicago to the Anti-Cruelty Society to find them homes. I had the pleasure of meeting Bernie last summer – her commitment and mission to rescuing animals is pretty awe inspiring.

So please check out these auctions, they end late Monday night depending on your time zone. Remember ALL proceeds go to benefit animal rescue sanctuary A Place To Bark. You can help buy purchasing the Party Animals book and/or bidding on the Art Auctions.

Below is a list of the artists who participated please visit their sites and their auction pieces.

Jill Beninato www.sitstaysmile.com
Bernie Berlin www.aplacetobark.blogspot.com
Suzi Blu www.suziblu.typepad.com
Rebecca Collins www.artpaw.com
Wendy Crumbley www.2dogstudio.com
Ingrid Dijkers www.ingriddijkers.com
Manon Doyle www.hoochiepoochiestudios.com
Sarah Fishburn www.sarahfishburn.com
Rice Freeman-Zachery www.voodooandzen.com
Heather LaHaise www.heatherlahaise.com
Melissa Langer www.pugnotes.com
Maija Lepore www.maigirlz.typepad.com
Anne Leuck Feldhaus www.anneleuck.com
Tamandra Michaels www.heartdogstudios.com
Kim Rae Nugent www.kimraenugent.com
Linda O’ Neill www.abbycreekstudios.com
Nancy Schutt www.gooddogart.com
Jill Marie Shulse www.jillmarieshulse.blogspot.com
Kelly Snelling www.soulhumming.typepad.com
Carla Sonheim www.carlasonheim.com
Kathy Weller www.wellerwishes.com

You can get your copy of the zine here and remember, ALL of the proceeds go directly to helping the animals at A Place To Bark!

Your pictures and fotos in a slideshow on MySpace, eBay, Facebook or your website!view all pictures of this slideshow

And I promise, Grand Opening Photos coming soon…it was a wonderful evening! 🙂

Top 10 Things to do this Weekend!


I was thrilled to find out that the Grand Opening Party for my studio made Crain's Chicago Business Top Ten List for things to do this weekend in Chicago! Now if some of you were on the fence about coming….this should settle it once and for all. : ) The libations are chilling and treats await…T minus 4 hours! Putting raffle gifts together for the drawing tonight…Need details? Bring your friends…

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Another Billboard + Cake

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Billboard #2 for 2009…on I-285 or was it Peachtree Industrial Road in Norcross, GA

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Press & show swag…

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Lovely ladies in the show shirts that were for sale…they nearly sold out

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Having my cake and eating it too!

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With Nick who informed me that he saw my poster in a restaurant and wanted to meet me because he was my 'biggest fan ever' …totally warmed my heart!

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There were so many wonderful volunteers..almost 200 and they were all wearing these blue t's with my poster design…a little surreal after a whole weekend of it but I loved it.

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I like how they put the dog on the back…

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My wonderful husband (who did ALL the driving!) in the elevator of the Hotel Preston outside Nashville…thank you Priceline..very nice place!

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This Crayola Dress was in the lobby of the Preston, they had great artwork.

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A photo from the road…it was so golden and beautiful as the sun was starting to set through the trees.

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I created this Pet Portrait for my friend Laurie (who bought a peapod painting from me several years back…she works at PeaPod!) this was a gift for a friend of hers who recently lost her dog, Moose. He loved tennis balls and was quite a character, I had the pleasure of watching this video of him which kept me smiling as I worked. I was honored, as I always am, to make a happy memory piece for his owners…I hope they like it!

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Shop for Schools!

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 We are open here at the shop today from 10am-8pm to support the neighborhood schools. The school of your choice* will recieve 20% of your purchase here and at other participating shops in Roscoe Village. (*see participating schools and businesses listed above) Have a great day!!