Date Nights

Date nights are important when you’ve been with someone for a long time. Either planned or not, occasional dates can keep the spark alive. In addition they can be so much fun.

Recently my workplace sponsored some fun activities for the community to participate in. One was a Paint and Sip so I signed us up! Date night! I had never seen my husband paint anything except walls in the house and bee hives, but I didn’t think about that when I purchased our tickets. I know he is usually up for a new adventure and he doesn’t hesitate to humor me when I come up with kooky ideas.

The date was last Thursday evening and we had a great time. I think Dave especially appreciated the ‘sip’ part of the Paint & Sip. As it turned out he was the only male at the event. One way to look at it is that he actually had 16 dates that night. Being the good sport he is he jumped right into the adventure and went for it.

Our theme was pansies in a flower garden so it was quite challenging. Fortunately, the instructor had already drawn the design on our paper and she did have photographs available as a reference.Our teacher only gave us primary colors to work with so we had to be creative in mixing our colors, which was interesting. What I loved most was the way every person’s painting came out a bit different from the others, but they were all appealing in their own right.

Here are the end results ~ I’ll let you try to figure out which is mine and which is Dave’s. Both frame-worthy, you can look for them on our walls next time you visit.

Split Rock Artistry

This week I’m touting the talents of a gentleman I have known about, but just recently met.

My first experience with Joe Miller was through cards given to my husband and I.

card 1 - Copy

Joe Miller is the artist of this intriguing character.

What fun, I thought when I first saw it. How creative!

And then we received more. . .

card 2 - Copy

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And I began to ask some questions. Joe is the father of my step-daughter’s boyfriend. Joe is the creator of the cards, and simply does it as a past-time – no business intentions. Just art for the sake of creativity.

I know firsthand the value of art for the sake of creativity. Or art for the sake of ones sanity. Or art for the sake of living a good quality life. So I get Joe Miller and his desire to create these lovely creature cards.

Over the years, they have continued to come ~ and I have come to expect them. A year without a Joe Miller card would be very disappointing.

Joe does not sign the cards, but rather marks them on the back in this fashion:

card back - Copy

I don’t know why he calls it Split Rock. . .but I love that hare peeking through the grass. Different cards have different backs, but they all do say Split Rock.

card 4 - Copy

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Thank you for your creativity Joe – keep those creatures coming!

Brush and Brew

One of the newest social events sweeping the country is the idea of bringing art to the local restaurants and bars.

Many of them are called “Paint and Sips” and I’ve been excited about participating ever since I saw the first advertisement for them.

Early on the only ones I learned about were many miles from my home. Living in a rural area means we often have to wait for new ideas to make it to our community. It has arrived right here in the little town of East Burke, Vermont in the form of a Brush and Brew hosted by the Burke Publick House.

brush and brew

Don’t worry – “brew” does not mean only beer is served. You can still have your choice of things to sip.

I signed up immediately and invited my daughter-in-law to join me. As any readers here know, I love anything creative, so was over the moon happy about having this opportunity. I also love snowpeople and the project at this event was snowpeople on slate. Perfect.

This Brush and Brew was taught by Patricia Mitchell.

Patricia showing us her model

Patricia showing us her model

There were 15 who turned out for the event. The venue couldn’t have managed any more. Our slates were all prepped for paint when we arrived, we ordered our drinks and got started. Patricia had us begin by tracing the shapes of the two snowpeople onto the slate. Then we painted them in. . .

Took a few sips, while the paint dried, then Patricia came around, table by table, and showed us how to create the pine forest in the background ~ what my daughter-in-law called Bob Ross trees. Many of you may remember artist Bob Ross of PBS television. He was the founder of online art lessons, if you ask me.
bob ross
See those trees in his picture? Those are the Bob Ross trees we made on our slates! Jackie insisted she was channeling Bob Ross most of the night. You would agree with her if you saw her final project.

While the trees dried we added a second coat to the snowmen, then went back to the trees to add the snow. Then we did some more sipping before we add some blue highlights on the other side of the trees.

Sip some more, then paint the snowpeople’s hats, then the scarves. Sip some more.

Jackie concentrating!

Jackie concentrating!

Marsha adding some detail

Marsha adding some detail

Making progress!

Making progress!

Next we added some foreground snow, then the faces, and all the little details that made the art work really pop! We took a few more sips and time out for a photo op:

Friends, old and new

Friends, old and new

And finally – all that concentrating, sipping, waiting paid off!



It was a great way to spend an evening and I would absolutely sign on again. So, find a venue, grab some family or friends, and get your creativity on!

Writing Prompt #138

blog wordle

This week, in honor of artists, and particularly Dorian McGowan who so graciously sketched some family portraits, I challenge you to sketch something.



The dog.

The cat.

The Christmas Tree.

A box.


Here’s the deal – my thought is that when you try to do something that others do, or that you haven’t done in a very long time, it instills in you a new appreciation for that thing. It makes you think, wow, I’ve taken that thing, that skill for granted and I shouldn’t. I should be more appreciative.

So, in honor of talented artists, appreciation, and the beginner’s mind. . .

Go ahead and get in touch with your sketchy side and sketch something!

And don’t worry – you don’t have to show it to anyone, but hey. . .if you wanted to share it here I’d let you!

Writing Prompt #77


“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
― Pablo Picasso

Today’s prompt is inspired by the art lover in me. Creativity is the thing that provides passion and meaning in our lives. In honor of people and creativity everywhere, I bring you the work of Cecilia Webber.

People art

Look closely and once you’re hooked visit her website:
Cecilia Webber

Then seek out your own creativity and write about Cecilia’s amazing work, or Picasso’s quote, or art, or creativity, or whatever your inspired to write after seeing something new, or thinking about art, or thinking about your own creativity, or. . .