Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Burgers on The Boardwalk Art Show!

The next Burgers on the Boardwalk is Aug 5th and Aug 26.
Here is just a "taste" of what you missed.
They say a picture's worth a thousand words...

This is me and what's her name bonding over burgers.

Jeremie Draper's Glass is amazing! Traffic stopping even!

I know! Amazing right?!!
We had our own Drive Buy at the show...
Here I am playing Vana as Michele drove up.

Here Michele is buying...Okay, I loooovee everything in Anecdotes.
Look how cute her dress is with those fab dishes next to her! Darling!
Dorothy Thornton always looks great.
I think Barb at Exhibit A was lucky enough to talk her into selling a couple paintings at Exhibit A Art Gallery. Good for you both!

The Websters were there.

Cissy was there too. Sandy was hiding but she was there.
Ken was showing off his stuff.
Adrienne can't wait for the next show!
Jo Anne "rocked" the place!
Now there were lots more artists who had wonderful work that you missed but the computer ate their pictures. No, really. They were there downloading and then-Freezo. Kaput. Gone.
Guess you will have to show up next Wed. with hungry bellies and a thirst for art to see more.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

On the Move Sale- Something Unique Studios that is!

Thaaatt's right! I'm moving. It's official.
Something Unique Studios is moving in with Simply Everything Boutique at the end of Sept out at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie! Although I will miss my art palace I am really looking forward to spending more time out at the new store.

Now with every great move comes a

See this cute bench that says Sit and Imagine?
Well, it just sold today and you missed it cause you didn't come out to see what I had.
Now, are ya going to let that happen again?
Here is what my place looks like. It's right behind the Old State Hospital Building in Bartonville Industrial Park.

I have old windows for sale.
$5 each unless you want the whole lot of them. If you take 20 I'll give them to ya 1/2 off!
I have doors too.
$5 each.
What do you mean, what they heck are ya supposed to do with them?
How about displays for art shows, make shift tables, paint on them, make head boards out of them, make benches, shelves, room dividers....
Gesh! What can't ya do with them?

I have scrap wood too. Who has a wood burning stove or fireplace that needs kindling?
I have boards that will have to go cause there just ain't no room for them. Who else likes to cut, saw and sand?

Oh, and I have art, furniture and holiday displays for sale too!

Check out at Simply Everything Boutique next to the Black and White Store because I will be putting a lot of my furniture on sale there too, to make room for all the stuff I'm going to move in.

See ya soon!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chicago Gift Show

So for 20 years (more actually) Suza, Bob, Rita and I have shopped Chicago Gift Show. We actually started by SELLING there!!! Back in the olden days when Beckman's Handcrafted Show was not even IN the Merchandise Mart Building but on the 2nd floor of the Mart Plaza Building, we sold brass jewelry, themed bears and hand painted gifts wholesale there.
We've come a long way baby!

Meet Mick Santiago, an incredible designer I met at the Chicago Gift Show. Each morning before the show started he taught how to create fantastic window displays and store displays. I learned a lot and he had us on the edges of our seats awaiting his next great tip, so much so that the women the row ahead of us actually fell out of hers!! So glad it wasn't me!

Mick's happy helpers!

Although this display isn't actually my taste, I loved the items he picked and how he used the color to catch people's eye. I thought using the round place mats on the floor to add color and interest was clever. Also, since it was the Chicago Gift Show he used the painting featuring Chicago zip codes and letters that was neat.Here I liked the Alpha letters that you could have say anything in all sorts of colors. The bracelets are actually felt with a magnet clasp that are light weight, reversible and made from recycled materials.

The flowers are lightweight thumb tacks that just push into your wall. They came in dragonflies and butterflies too! Cool. The wall was a kind of styro board that comes in many colors from a company in Chicago. Again, lightweight, reusable and a quick change for a background when you can't paint.
Here Mick made a quick dramatic change by throwing a zebra rug down and covering the orange with fabric curtains. Lots of shiny surfaces to catch the eye. He merchandised the inside of the cabinets as well. Nice.

Designer Barb Gross

sold fantastic steel and rubber men's bracelets at her showroom Right Brain Enterprises. The Museum of Fine Arts is going to sell her new line so she is discontinuing this line to sell exclusively through them. LUCKY ME!
I bought her last 5 in the case at an amazing price! They normally sell for $150. We will be selling them for almost half of that at Simply Everything Boutique!!!
You'd better hurry because when they are gone, they are gone!

But I don't want you to think we were all work and no play!
This is Suza and Rita trying to figure out what to do with some of the new Christmas decorations they were showing this season. What do you think?

Suza was absolutely in hog heaven when she found her favorite popcorn shop!!

Yum! Lunch!
The show was really down in foot traffic which was great for us. We got in and out with no waiting at lunch or the showrooms. They are shipping our merchandise right away which means you'll have lots of fun new things to look at and buy very soon!

Nick rock's Ham n' Jam

If you missed the Nick Boettcher Band at the Ham n' Jam
(and I know you did cause I didn't see ya there)
you should be bummed cause they were great.
Unfortunately my video skills are not great so you can't actually see much on the video I took and the sound is terrible but...maybe if you go to
you'll hear what their music is supposed to sound like.
It was great to see Nick and his buddies in P Town jammin' fingers to the bones!
Roy Ponce who is a great guitarist/bass player sat in on drums and was awesome! Brandon Mooberry on bass and Josh Means on guitar were fantastic as well.
When I figure out how to download the video you will see Nick playing
You Don't Know Me by Ray Charles
while the guys change guitars and getting set for the next song...
oh and throw back shots!
Surprise Nick! While you were singing your heart out they were back there drinking to your continued health and success.
Yea! Caught you on tape!
Luckily for you Nick is bringing his Chicago band DriveTrain to the Peoria Heights Tower Park Festival Aug. 8th to headline! It's always a great easy comfortable fun festival. Hope to see ya there!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

What am I doing?

I get that question a lot. People assume artists sit in front of a canvas and paint pretty little flowers or throw buckets of paint but the truth is to make a living creating art I found that you need to do what people actually want.
Last week I painted posters for a doctors volleyball fundraiser.
This week it's a 10 foot banner for Ave N Guitars. This is a fabulous little guitar store that my son Nick works at in Chicago. The owners take wonderful care of him and the guys know absolutely EVERYTHING there is to know about guitars and music trivia. Really, I mean everything. Don't believe me? Go there and try to stump them.
Oh, make sure you tell Nick hi when you see him.
He's coming to Peoria this Friday to play the Ham n' Jam. I'm sure you'd like to know what time. So would we. He is opening for the headliner is all we know.
Come out and party with us!

Lost in space

This blog would be about Chicago Gift Show but somehow my pictures are lost in cyber space. Eventually I will go into the black hole of lost pictures and pull them out. sad. Until then, you'll just have to wonder.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Get Motivated!!!

Why would anyone put such an unflattering picture of themselves out there for the world to see? Cause it's the only one I've got. HUH.

This is Jennifer and I at the Get Motivated Business Seminar in Moline yesterday.

I did take many other pictures all of which look like they were taken underwater in the Mississippi River. My daughter Rachel obviously didn't get her photog skills from me. Luckily there will be pictures of Rudy Giuliani, Zig Ziglar, Robert Schuller, Tamara Lowe, Dr. Earl Mindell, Rick Belluzzo (Pres. of Mircrosoft), Bob KittelKrish Dhanam and Phil Town because Jennifer takes a much better picture than I do....and obviously I mean that in every way possible.

SO-what did we learn?
Well, I learned that I'm charging you $300 to find out. Just kidding!

Thanks to the generosity of Doris Symonds who is the President of T.A.L.K. (which is rightly named because she is one of the few who can keep up with my rate of chatter, but it's actually a women's business networking organization) we got these
$300 tickets for free.
Thanks Doris!

About 15 of us carpooled to the seminar and it was fun to meet other local business women like Shelia Huber and Tina Feruson who are serious about creating an amazing future for themselves and others.
We got to the show and after circling the entire I Wireless Center twice, we found there were NO seats left in the premier seating. Afflicted with the curse of politeness, Jennifer sweetly asked several people, several times about where we could sit, at which point they would blink and point to the goose that was running around the arena and asked if we would please follow...again.
I, on the other hand, have NO such issue and assumed this was our test to see if we were really motivated enough to get into their motivational seminar. Once I heard the roar of the crowd emphasizing the fact that we had just official MISSED the beginning of our event I quickly sprang into action by grabbing the first person I saw with a radio/walkie talkie (do they still call them that these days?). I put on my best smile and said hi! We'd like you to let us up in the balcony please. Looking confused he pointed to the banner blocking the stairs and said..huuuuhhhhhh... it's closed and then he told us to sit in the Premier seating. I said, we would LLoooovvveeee to... if there was an open seat, so if you can find 7 seats for us asap, you are our hero!!
Now a look of panic crosses his face and I offer him a way out. I said, you can either open the balcony or sit us in the VIP section where there are obviously open seats.
In a flash this young gentleman grabbed Reggie and pushed him toward us and took off like his pants were on fire. Reggie who was in the middle of solving a dozen other problems at the time glanced at us while he finished his sentence that he had started with another group.
Now, I hear the crowd again...I just KNOW we are missing the most important information on the planet, that God had timed for me to hear with this exact group of people at this exact point in my life.
(Okay, this must be a GREAT motivational program because we haven't even gotten IN there yet and I am creating all sorts of new plans of action to get what I want!)
I quickly retell our tale and suggest he get us seats asap and he makes the mistake of showing us that we need
"these" tickets

to get down to the VIP section.
He had 2 in his hand that I'm sure were on their way to someone else. Giving them to Doris's nieces so they could save our seats when we get down there I say GREAT! Now we just need 5 more! Reggie grabs Mark (who happens to have an ear piece in and looks important mostly because of his size and serious expression) and looks pleadingly at him. Yep, I jump in and ask his name, shake his hand, thank him for the help he is about to give us. Seeing that it's easier to give me my way than to argue (smart man and probably happily married), he allows Reggie to escort us, himself, all the way to the VIP section and smooth talk the security. Now, I was feeling pretty pleased with myself as we passed by all the others walking in circles trying to figure out what to do next.
We only missed a couple minutes of the warm up and were there in perfect time to hear all the speakers!
There was a great line up!
Each speaker had their own area of expertise. Family, finance, investments, Internet, business strategies, leadership.... They offered several seminars to further our education at special discounted rates.
They had pyrotechnics, music, confetti blasters...
It was a full day and gave us all things to think about. Everyone seemed to have different opinions about what was THE BEST information given.
Now I just need to start a website, E Commerce business, investment group, save the world in order to get more than I give, and create 6 new sources of income.

But for now...I'm going to go pack for the Chicago Gift Market! I leave tomorrow 5:30AM!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A penny for your thoughts

As I mentioned in the last blog I was on my way to Dallas to celebrate my grandson's second birthday.

I had hoped to inspire you all by picturing all the fun creative ways I came up with to wrap Alex's presents but I got caught up in all the fun and totally blanked on the whole picture taking of his every move including his opening all his gifts.
Luckily for you, my professional photographer daughter

surprised me by showing up and took care of that part (hopefully).
Not only did she fly in from Colorado Springs
but she talked her brother

into flying in from Chicago so Alex could have a professional musician sing him happy birthday at his party as well!

Throw in the fact that my daughter

has a degree in marketing and a Masters in Interior Design and you get one heck of an impressive party.
Can't forget to mention my hunky husband Tracy, who makes all this possible and keeps secrets from his wife.
But wait! There's MORE!!
My son -in -law's entire clan came all the way from Eldorado Arkansas, including but not limited to the Mamaws (great grandmas in Northern speak) yes, both of them, Alex's grands and Auntie Leah, Uncle Chris and baby 2B!!!

As if this wasn't enough add Alex's Sunday School class and Preschool class, work buddies and random passers by that wanted to snag a cookie and join in the fun!

Now this party to end all parties held out in the park on a beautiful 100 degree Dallas day was great fun but WAIT! There's EVEN MORE!
As children and parents got their fill of cake and great treats and either melted into puddles or burst into flames the party came to an end just about nap time!
After hauling A's lute back to the house and unpacking 46 truck loads of gifts and goodies we were partied out so we took a quick siesta and planned round two of the gift giving marathon!!!
Alex was teased and taunted by the stacks of gifts by his mother who had to have him wait until every one was there. TSK! It was worth the wait!!!
Everyone crowded in the living room and anxiously awaited Alex's every gasp and giggle as he opened gift after gift.

Go to for details and pics that I know you are just dying to see!
Here is just a sneak preview-
I really want Alex to enjoy the arts so every opportunity I get I buy him something fun and wonderful from our local artists. The problem is- those gifts usually don't come in boxes and are rarely easy to wrap!
(Yeah- I'm talking to you Chuck Flagg who made a wonderful little penny piggy bank that I bought at the Junction City Art Show last month!)
So, I had this ugly used to make it less cheap to do....something I have on hand cause I'm out of time....maybe something he can use again or play with...OH! I've got it!

You tape pennies and nickles all over it in a fun pretty pattern. Just so you know, it took a lot, I said A LOT longer, to do this than I had anticipated so start early! I put sticky side out so he could pull off the change a little at a time when he is bored (God forbid!) and feed his piggy. Unfortunately instead of just cutting through the top they actually peeled all the tape off and now he will have hours and hours of fun picky pennies from a huge wad of tape ball.

Hopefully you will find pictures of the giant book box I painted for A on his blog site soon since I was a dope and didn't take pictures of that or the Caution Men at Work box I wrapped. Can you guess what I wrapped up for him in those?

The best present there was having all my family together

and it wasn't even my birthday!
Well, not this weekend anyway. My birthday was just a couple of weeks ago and my family got me fun great gifts-but that will have to wait for another blog!

I have the best family ever!