Memorial Day Blessings

Can it be Memorial Day weekend already? Our weather has been so cool and rainy that it seems more like March. Still, there is fun to be had with family reunions, barbeques and chilly campouts.
Although it seems the media and most of society has forgotten we still have soldiers fighting for us, we should not forget the sacrifice they are giving and their families that will be spending this weekend without their loved one.
I am the wife of a Vietnam vet and my father served in WWII. I'm one of the lucky ones; neither were harmed in wartime. But there are many families that can't say the same and are grieving, especially when holidays such as Memorial Day refresh memories and longings. Please pray for our soldiers, their families, and the families that have lost a precious one while protecting our freedom and happiness.
And, most of all, enjoy a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, for after all, our comrades in uniform are placing themselves in harm's way so we can!
God bless the men and women who are serving our country, and the families that love and miss them.

Artists Attend Trade Shows!

Inquiring minds want to know, what is a trade show for artists like?
Surtex in NYC
"The SURTEX® exhibitor lineup includes textile designers, graphic artists,
illustrators, fine artists, art publishers, weavers, design studios, photographers,
licensing agents, document studios, educational institutions and more—all interested
in licensing or selling their art & design for product development."
There are as many types of trade shows as there are types of artists. I paint for home decor and fabric, so the two largest shows that benefit my career are Surtex in New York and the International Fabric and Quilt Market held in Houston, Texas in the fall.

There's a myriad of art, craft, scrapbooking, sewing, and other design trade shows throughout the country.
International Fabric and Quilt Market
The shows are for manufacturers, artists, designers, and buyers... from the little mom and pop shops to large chain stores. Since e-mail and file servers have taken the place of face-to-face communication, artists can work for years with a client and never meet them! The shows are a great place to finally talk with the people we have worked with, and some we hope to work with in the future.

International Quilt Market
Most shows have classes that you can attend for an extra fee.
Speaking of computers, Ipads have taken the place of portfolios. They are a wonderful tool to show numerous paintings and designs without carrying bulky cases.

Another benefit to these shows is to keep up with the latest trends and drool over all of the newest fabrics and home decor designs, not to mention the talent that is out there! Trends are predicted and set at these shows.
Pantone's color trend 2014
"Emerald Green" is the 2013 color of the year. It looks like blues will be big in 2014;
maybe Pantone's "Monaco Blue" will be the 2014 color?
Most of these larger shows don't allow the public. However, just type your particular area of interest into your computer search engine (such as "quilt show") and you will find many that are open to the public. It's just the thing to spur creativity!

Happy May Day!

It's planting time here in the Pacific Northwest; vegetables, annuals and all varieties of landscape shrubs. Landscape and nursery stock is the number one cash crop for Oregon. Plants thrive in our rich soil, abundant water and mild temperatures.
Iris Fields
Just outside my little town are fields of flowers, rows of well-pruned topiaries and acres of nursery seedlings in bloom.
I should be preparing for a large trade show I'll be attending in only a few short weeks. Instead, I'm taking off to enjoy one of my favorite days of the year; May Day!
If you visit my part of the country, there are many gardens and farms that are a must-see. I'll be touring most of them. What inspiration for paintings! Here are some of my favorite places to see this time of year...
Crystal Springs Rhododendron Gardens
Deepwood Gardens
Deepwood Gardens
Schreiners Iris Gardens
Peony Gardens near Salem
Most have gift shops, sell cut flower arrangements, plants and some, such as Deepwood, offer a high tea the first Saturday of each month and for special occasions.
I hope that you, too, take some time today to smell the flowers and fresh spring air. Life's too short to not enjoy these colorful gifts that God has given us.

Happy May Day!