8/03/2008

Please Visit Our New Website

We have moved!  Come visit our new website www.chicgalleria.com.

7/24/2008

ALWAYS MAKE TIME TO PAMPER YOURSELF!

Wonderful Foaming Honey Foot Bath at Home


I imagine you can tell me at length about how tired your feet and legs get after your busy day. When is the last time you got to treat yourself to a day at the spa? Even if you had the time, it’s not too often you can afford the $100 cost of a simple, relaxing, foot soak.
Doesn’t that sound nice? Relaxing feet soak at a spa. So I put together this simple recipe so you can have that soothing soak with ingredients you probably already have at home, and can whip up immediately.

Step 1. Create this wonderful foaming honey foot bath at home.
Here’s what you need:

1 tablespoon Honey
1 tablespoon Liquid Soap (I used dish soap)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
2 tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
The almond oil was the only things that sounded like it was tough to find, but my hubby and I found it at the chain drugstore at the corner of our street. Just take a look in the beauty/cosmetic aisle.
Mix all these ingredients together in a bowl and its ready for your foot bath. Note: If you want to make this stuff in a large quantity to save for later, you can bump up all the ingredients to something like this:
½ cup Honey
½ cup Liquid Soap (I used dish soap)
1 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Sweet Almond Oil
Now you can save this in a bottle and save some time for next time.

Step 2. Find yourself a foot bath
These days you can get a fancy, space-age, foot bath for about $20. They promise they do all sorts of things like vibration, bubbles, and heat. I haven’t tried one myself, but for $20 that probably isn’t a bad experiment.

Step 3. Fill up your foot bath

Put your mixed up mixture from Step 1 into your foot bath and fill with warm water.
Please be real careful with the water temperature. Do this by triple checking the temperature of the water with your hands when it’s done. And if you are doing this for a spouse make sure you understand their taste in temperature.

Step 4. Soak for 10 minutes
The soap is obviously cleaning all sorts of impurities from your feet. I can’t even explain how many things the honey is doing. Here is a short list:
1) Apparently honey forms hydrogen peroxide which is a great anti bacterial agent. So there is goes cleansing your feet some more.
2) Honey contains antioxidants. Health news constantly revolves around us getting more antioxidants. So without me getting all biologists on us, I’ll just confirm that getting more antioxidants on our skin and in our diet is really super great!
3) Honey is also terrific humectants. That means it makes a great moisturizer.



Live passionately... what else have you got to do!


Certified Life for Women



http://christine-livepassionately.blogspot.com/



Photobucket

7/21/2008

Creative Handcrafted Jewelry by Total Delights

Total Delights


Diane and Debbie are the perfect creative partners! Their handcrafted Jewelry creations are made with Gemstones, Swarovski Crystals, freshwater pearls, Handmade Lampworks, and Sterling Silver.


Diane is a mother of four and has three grandchildren. Her first love of fashion was with hair, she is a licensed hairdresser. She has always loved to do crafts and just loves colors. Diane started creating jewelry when she took a beautiful necklace that her mother had that was made of Swarovski crystals. A few years ago she took it apart and made bracelets for girls in the family adding their own Swarovski birthstone colors. She gave them a picture of mom wearing the necklace. This sealed her love for jewelry.



Debbie is a mother of six. She has always had a very great eye for color and style and loves drawing.
Debbie and Diane have very different tastes and styles this is reflected in their creations. They both love to create something beautiful, that when a woman wears it she feels good.

Visit Total Delights to view their beautiful creations!

Read their beading blog articles at http://totaldelights.wordpress.com/

Lady Lynn

7/20/2008

Fabulous Find



On our recent buying trip we discovered a fabulous line of Designer Inspired Fashion Jewelry.

This sensational necklace and earring set is exquisite and you can find it at Lady Lynn's sister boutique Lady Lynn's Gift Boutique






Visit our website Lady Lynn's Boutique

7/19/2008

Fat Free Sweet Gifts

Icing on the Cake Boutique is introducing a brand new chic jewelry line

BON BON ART NECKLACES

"Wear Something Sweet"



Icing on the Cake Boutique offers a wide variety of chic and cheap, unique, stylish and trendy Bridal, Wedding, Bachelorette, Baby, Birthday Gifts and Party Favors. Free personalization is offered on any item! All gifts are under $20 and all party favors are under $3.50 each!



Each item is handpainted and handmade. Icing on the Cake Boutique has free Bridal and Baby gift registries that offer great benefits with unique products not found in stores! Best of all, a portion of every single order is donated to the Labrador Retriever Rescue of Cincinnati.



Their brand new inexpensive chic jewelry line Bon Bon Art Necklaces are

made of sterling silver and each one is handcreated with a choice of up

to 32 different modern designs. They come packaged in a mini pink

octagon box topped with a tiny faux diamond ready for gift giving. "Wear

something sweet"

 Find this necklace and a wide array of delectable gifts at Icing on the Cake Boutique.



7/17/2008

Full Size at Sample Sale Prices on FuglyLab.com!

I love to promote sales in fashion and in beauty. And currently, my latest love is FuglyLab.com! This beauty boutique features not only sample-size products; now, you will find full size products for samples sale prices!

In addition to building my Good Girl Gone Shopping clientele, I am also the executive editor of Beauty Chat. So, I am always on the lookout for fabulous women to interview.

Fortunately, I had the chance to ask Onamia Chun -- the senior VP of Fugly Lab -- some insightful questions (while telling her about my love for the grapefruit-scented soy skincare products on her site.)

Stay tuned on Chic Things Galleria! I will be bringing a cute lip gloss giveaway very soon. Until then, be sure to enter the Fugly Lab $25 gift certificate giveaway on Beauty Chat.

Good Girl Gone Shopping
http://www.diaryofapersonalshopper.blogspot.com/

HOW TO BE CLASSY


Being classy is not about being stuck up; it is about having style and taking care to be polite to others and to reflect a genuine interest in them. It is also about being confident in yourself. This article will teach you how to move through life with class and ease.


Steps

1. Choose your battles; choose your friends. Few battles are truly worth fighting. Stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves (mentally disabled, animals, children, etc). Be wary of those who appear to enjoy bickering. If someone is rude to you, either ignore them completely (recommended) or, once you have completely calmed down and are thinking clearly, explain how you perceived their actions and work towards a resolution. Never stoop to their level, and do not be hasty. Surround yourself with positive, polite people who encourage and live your classy, intelligent lifestyle.

2. Choose your words. The classy individual listens more than he or she speaks. Having a strong vocabulary is important, but do not use a word unless you are certain of its meaning. Use words to express yourself lucidly. Importantly, do not correct others when they use improper grammar. Differences in background, family life, and education cause people to speak differently, and often people use slang for effect. More than this, it is irritating and degrading to be corrected by a know-it-all. Do not insult, gossip, or slander. When necessary, voice your opinions appropriately and constructively. This encourages your audience to listen carefully when you speak.

3. Do not be a doormat. You must be courteous, but do not bend over backwards to please others. If you do, you may find yourself being taken advantage of in the future. Limit your time and availability and draw boundaries with others so that they are aware of your limits.

4. Break the stereotype shackles.
More often than not, using labels in any way, whether to identify yourself or others, shows a lack of creativity, lethargic social skills, and a lack of careful observation. Give everyone respect and the benefit of the doubt.

5. Be assertive. Avoid passive-aggressive thinking; this is likely to trip you up eventually. Assertiveness demonstrates maturity, thoughtfulness, and confidence. Class requires balance, and assertiveness is a prime example of this concept.

6. Make sure your clothes fit well and that you are well groomed. Excellent presentation is half of the battle. Wear clothing and accessories which flatter your body and never wear anything you feel uncomfortable in. It is important to remember that modesty is key in earning the respect of others. A bit of cleavage may be fashionable, but true gentlemen will appreciate modesty more than exposure.

7. Avoid getting caught up in trends. There is nothing wrong with enjoying fashion or buying clothing you find attractive, but it is important to stay in control. Do not become a slave to fashion, or you may be regarded as foolish, "high maintenance", and/or shallow. The clothing you wear should enhance your personality, not create or alter it. This advice can be applied to many aspects of life in which you may feel pressured to "fit in."

8. Avoid desperate behavior like the plague This is the kiss of death for the classy person. Only desperate times call for desperate measures. Take a deep breath, be strong, and move through the situation with elegance and grace. You will be the victor for it, no matter the outcome.

9. Seek wisdom. As difficult as it can be to heed the advice of those more experienced than yourself, it is a necessary step at times. No matter your age or ability, allow yourself to learn from the mistakes and victories of those older or more experienced than you. You will win their favor and be available to pass on your own wisdom or advice.

10. Be open to personal development. Do not berate yourself, but be receptive to constructive change. In our world, change is inevitable. Be a positive and flexible part of it and show others the way as well. Face life rather than burying your head in the sand and others will know instinctively that you are someone whose opinion counts.

11. Carefully consider tattoos and piercings. Let's face it: it is easy to judge by appearance. Therefore, take careful consideration when deciding if it is a good idea for you to get visible tattoos or body piercings. Even though a person’s outward appearance does not automatically show his or her inner qualities, appearances can reflect how a person is willing to be perceived by the world. Job opportunities may be limited by such an expression. Also keep in mind that although tattoos and piercings are expressions of individuality, they can be permanent or difficult (even costly) to remove. If you are in doubt about how a tattoo or piercing will impact you in the future, find another way to express yourself.

12. Be knowledgeable and aware. It is wise to become politically, culturally, and religiously aware. Even the most basic knowledge can save a person from embarrassment and awkwardness. If you know in advance that you will be spending time with someone of an unfamiliar background, it is a good idea to do more in-depth research to avoid embarrassing faux pas.

author: www.wikihow.com/


Feel Love, Joyous and Abundance




http://christine-livepassionately.blogspot.com/



7/14/2008

Jewelry Interview Michelle Grady Designer






Can you tell us a little about your background?
I have always been involved with art my whole life. Growing up I took painting and drawing classes eventually moving on to 3D art (paper mache, pottery and then to jewelry). I have been making metal jewelry for about 20 years now and selling it for about 9 years. I wholesale & retail my work, which can be found on my website http://www.michelgrady.com/ , as well as in galleries and shops across the United States. I also teach jewelry making classes and workshops. I am self taught silversmith. I took my first jewelry making class when I was 18 where I learned the basics and taught myself the rest by trial and error. I love what I do and couldn’t see myself doing anything else.

How did you become involved in the jewelry business?
Creativity runs in my family and making jewelry started as a hobby for me. I would make pieces for myself and also give jewelry as gifts to friends and family. Before I knew it I was getting custom orders for pieces from my sister’s friends and others who heard about through word of mouth. They were then wearing and giving my jewelry as gifts. That’s when Michele Grady Designs was born!

Can you briefly summarize your style or inspiration?
My style can p rob ably best be defined as contemporary yet industrial with a feminine vibe. My inspiration comes from my imagination as well as the shapes and the colors of the stones and metals I use.

What is the most satisfying part of your business?
Working for my self and doing what I love. It is also very satisfying knowing that others appreciate what I create. I wouldn’t be in business if they didn’t!

What is your greatest business challenge?
Doing it all myself. It gets very stressful and overwhelming at times. It’s hard to do everything alone but I feel I can’t delegate the work until I have mastered it myself. And when I say that I am talking about the business aspect not the creative aspect. The creative part is what comes easy to me!

What makes your jewelry different from other designers?
My jewelry is mostly metal and stones where most of the jewelry you see today is beaded. Although I do have some pieces that incorporate beads, I try to stay away from what everyone else is doing. My jewelry is created solely out of sheet and wire. The pieces are soldered together with an acetylene torch. Aside from the chains, each and every part is handcrafted by me so each piece is it’s own work of art. I also create one of kind pieces with unique stones set in sterling silver.

How do you market your jewelry?
Through wholesale and retail shows and online through my website http://www.michelegrady.com/ . Although I have been selling my jewelry for many years, the online store is a whole new thing to me so I am still working on figuring out what works best to promote that. Also word of mouth is a great marketing tool. I have gotten more customers from customer referals than I can count! I pride myself on making a quality product and having good customer service and it definitely pays off.

What advise would you offer someone who is interested in starting his or her own jewelry business?
I say go for it! There is nothing like doing what you love for a living. Just make sure you master your techniques before you sell your work and make sure your pricing is accurate so you make a profit. An artist does not become an artist overnight. It takes lots of practice to become good at anything you do. You don’t want your work coming back to you because it fell apart and you don’t want to short change yourself in the pocket either. You won’t be in business very long if either of those ring true. I also recommend making goals for your business and sticking to them. Nothing feels better than accomplishing the things you set out to do and it’s a great way to make sure your business grows! What is your earliest memory involving jewelry?
When I was about 10 years old or so, I made my very first ring from a piece of copper wire I found in my father’s desk drawer of his basement workshop. I twisted and bent it until my little heart was content. Then with a second piece I made a “matching” one for my little sister. I was very proud of these rings and I wore mine everyday no matter how green the copper turned my finger. Looking back, I know it was then that I fell in love with making jewelry. Little did I know that years later I would still be just as excited to shape wire and metal into beautiful works of wearable art. Those rings were the very first pieces of metal jewelry I ever made and I still have my little copper wire ring to this day. It hangs on the wall on a pushpin next to my workbench in my studio.

Did you have an early interest in design and fashion?
When I was young my sister and I used to hand sew all the clothes for our Barbie dolls. As I got older I loved to dress up my outfits with great accessories and funky shoes. Whether it was jeans and t shirt or a simple little dress my outfit was not complete until it had the right shoes and jewelry. I would shop at flea markets and yard sales with my mom for unusual pieces of jewelry. I loved all the great finds you couldn’t get in the stores and the bigger they were the better, especially the rings. Some of those pieces have been the inspiration for pieces of jewelry that I have created in my own collections.

Where do you see business 5 years from now?
I would like to have a brick and mortar store where I can sell my jewelry along with the work of other artists. Sort of like a fine jewelry store only all the merchandise would be handmade instead of mass produced.

Do you work alone?
Yes, for the past 9 years I have worked alone. Although I am in the process of training someone to help me out at retail shows once in a while but other than that I do all of the work myself. I would eventually like to bring a few more people in down the road.

Were you creative as a child?
Yes. I have been interested in art my entire life. I started out taking drawing and painting classes when I was young and eventually moved on to 3D art (paper mache, pottery & beading) before I stumbled upon my first metal jewelry class.

Website
http://www.michelegrady.com to purchase jewelry and find out about Michelle's classes) and there are also a few articles about Michelle on her site on her press page. Michelle also will be featured in an upcoming book on women and creativity (not sure of the release date or title as of yet. The book is still in the early stages).

Pin Up Lip Balms



Mocha flavored lip balm from Pin Up Balms. As seen in InStyle Magazine!

Celebrate your inner bombshell with Pin Up Balms! Their eye-catching designs are sure to be a great conversation piece, and the convenient tin is perfect for pocketing every day or for toting around for a night on the town. They're affordable enough to collect in every flavor, and would be great to have on hand at your next girlfriend get-together. It may seem old-fashioned, but Pin Up Balm guarantees that a picture perfect pucker is never a thing of the past.

Pin Up Balm lip balm is a fun throwback with modern appeal, and it's as fun as it is functional. Packaged in cute retro slide-top tins adorned with old-fashioned pin-up girls, Pin Up Balm is flirty, sexy, and sophisticated.


What's more, Pin Up Balms are packed with avocado oil, beeswax, and Vitamin E, providing every Pin Up girl with top-rate lip nourishment. Available in Lemonade, Grape, Peppermint, Raspberry, Citrus, Coconut and Vanilla.

$4.00 at MyChicThings.com.





7/13/2008

Great Find



Ogle



Create a look that is fresh and all you.

This wrap around hoodie by Ogle is versatile, it can be paired with a cami, a long sleeve, or t-shirt. This top is long enough to be worn with tights or leggings, or simply with denim. No matter how you want to wear it, you will sure make a statement with this piece.

Tank top design with oversize hood, criss cross front, and pockets in bottom band.

Color: Black

Material: 65% rayon, 35% cotton



Care Instructions: hand wash cold, dry with low heat.

Measurements: 34” length

Reg. $97.00 SALE $67.90 Shop jbandme.com

7/12/2008

Great Find



Sheer, loose, shimmering powders for eyes, cheeks and lips. Magically, these colorful little gems shimmer at just the right moment to add extra pizzazz to your look. Use them wet or dry.

Tips and tricks: Use a brush wet with water to paint show-offs! on eye lids... it leaves a solid, metallic-like finish. Fingers work well for application too!
Sale price $12.00

Free US shipping on any $65 purchase at Benefit Cosmetics. Use code FRESHP65 at checkout.

"Choice" Determines Destiny



Choice


Choice is having the opportunity to select or choose an alternative. The interesting point about "choice" is that the action is a conscious decision. And, if you don't take any action, you have chosen. You have simply made the "choice" not to act.

Throughout a lifetime, we make countless choices. Choices can be easy like deciding where to go on vacation next year. Some choices are complex with ramifications that impact the outcome of our life. A marriage, a job change, a move, are all examples of major choices in a life.

I thought you would appreciate several of the quotations highlighted below. Each of these individuals have made choices. It would seem they can share their experience by imparting a few words of wisdom.
___________________________


"Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly."
Julie Andrews



"You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can decide how you're going to live now."
Joan Baez



"The strongest principle of growth lies in human choice."
George Eliot


"If you play it safe in life you've decided that you don't want to grow anymore."
Shirley Hufstedler



"Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it is good only for wallowing in."
Katherine Mansfield



Live Passionately, what else do you have to do!

7/11/2008

DEFINING DIVA'S




Welcome Sista’s

After 7 months… I present to you the unveiling of my adventure.
Welcome to my new online store! Thanks to CafePress.com, I am now selling a number of products from my DEFINING DIVA© collection
This line was created for ALL 'GIRLFRIENDS' ...It's all about our Defining Moments in our lives.

CELEBRATE YOUR GREATNESS!
Please feel free to browse my store and buy anything you like!



Photobucket

http://www.cafepress.com/girltimegifts



SISTA'S

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and
visiting with her Mother. As they talked about life, about marriage,
about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood,
the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned
a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to
the bottom of her glass.

"They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you
love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may
have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with
them now and then; do things with them. "Remember that 'Sisters' means
ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other
women relatives too. "You'll need other women. Women always do."

What a funny piece of advice!' the young woman thought. Haven't I just
gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a
married woman, for goodness sake! A grownup! Surely my husband and the
family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!'

But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and
made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after
another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew
what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and
their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've
learned:

THIS SAYS IT ALL:

Time passes.

Life happens.

Distance separates.

Children grow up.

Jobs come and go.

Love waxes and wanes.

Men don't do what they're supposed to do.

Hearts break.

Parents die.

Colleagues forget favors.

Careers end.

BUT....

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are
between
you.

A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach.
When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by
yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering
you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf,
and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.


Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you...Or
come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters,
sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, aunties, nieces, cousins, and
extended family, all bless our life!
The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I.

When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the
incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we
would need each other.
Every day, we need each other still.


CHEERS!









http://www.cafepress.com/girltimegifts


7/09/2008

Wednesday Shop This Outfit



Blue Horizon
Featuring AG Adriano, Matisse & Nick and Mo

Shop the jb outfits


7/08/2008

Make A Shopping List

Chic Things Galleria’s very own Christine Spencer recently wrote and promoted the importance of prioritizing. I couldn’t agree more! When it comes to shopping, I believeprioritizing your funds and goals is extremely important.
Most women have their grocery shopping lists ready to go in their purse, pocket, or wallet before they walk in stores like Albertson’s, or my favorite – Trader Joe’s. I grew up watching my mom cut out coupons, putting them away in an old shoebox and then as she wrote her list, she tried to match everything she wanted with her pre-cut coupons, and clipped it all together. My mom is smart, that woman. She is a big influence behind my motivation to help others save money. And as we walked out of the grocery store, she would always announce how much she saved!
So I ask you: Do you make a shopping list before you hit a boutique? Unless your shopping trips are never budget-conscious and couldn’t care if you spent $50 or $500, then you may be the type of person who wants to take the time to sit down and really map out what you want. But for those who do care about that dollar they spend, or enjoy spending a lot, but don’t really want to spend it all in just one shopping trip, I have 3 top tips that will help prevent you from being broke before the day is over:
(1) Buy a stylish notebook and pen for your lists, so that every time you take it out you feel pride instead of embarrassment. Here is one totally cute find:
(http://www.mychicthings.com, $10 and totally cute!)
(2) Stop for coffee in between a store or two. Taking a breather and relaxing gives you good perspective on what’s important. After you have sat down, people watched, and maybe chatted on the phone with a friend, really ask yourself if you’re still in the mood to spend money. During shopping breaks with my clients, we like to look at his or her purchases again and review what they have bought. If nothing else is a necessity, and he or she can wait on spending more on, say, accessories and shoes, I help them muster up control and walk away with me. Together, we know what is on their list for next time.
(http://www.starbucks.com for a mid-day pick-me-upper)
(3) Make sure you actually use your coupons! Don’t feel silly asking a sales person about the discount flyer you have in your hand. Usually, they are very specific what it can be used on, and what it can’t. That person may even offer to help you find what you’re looking for. Bringing a coupon doesn’t make you look cheap, it makes you look smart! Products are always marked up for the retail price. Do you know how much it really cost to make those shoes you’ve been eyeing? A 20% off or a “buy 1, get 1 half off” can help you in the long run. Remember, if your goal is to find amazing deals on fashion, you gotta be assertive and enjoy using a coupon, scoping out a sale, and yes, telling all of your friends about it!
(http://www.luckymag.com How much do you think she saved with her coupons?)
Happy Shopping!

YOU'LL FLIP OVER THIS SALE







ICED COUTURE'S ANNUAL FLIP FLOP SALE



100% Brazilian Rubber 1 1/2" Wedge Flip Flops blinged in Genuine Swarovski Crystals! These are like jewelry for your feet! Treat yourself to the ultimate "celebrity" luxury for half the price! PLUS, we are offering your choice of pattern for FREE! A $20 value! 



GET YOURS TODAY IN TIME FOR SUMMER!












Black flop with Cleopatra pattern in Rose and Crystal shown!  Visit Iced Couture.

7/07/2008

Artful Creations


Introducing Ruth Welter owner of


Can you tell us a little about your background?
Back in the 90’s I first started out in art, as a porcelain artist. I would hand sculpt porcelain bowls and vases, in a very free form way and adorn them with 3 dimensional porcelain flowers as well. I really enjoyed this art form but I didn’t love it, love it, in other words, I don’t really think it was for me. I started taking art/painting lessons in 2000 and found out very quickly that this was my interest or "calling" in life.

How did you become involved in your business?
In 2002, after two years of taking instruction, I really knew that I wanted to start selling my work in some capacity. While I enjoyed attending art fairs as a customer, I was never really interested in doing them as a vendor. They are a lot of time, travel, money and preparation and I really knew that scene wasn’t for me. My very capable husband (Chris) built a website for me and I started selling my work on line. This idea really appealed to me as I liked the fact that people could visit 24/7 no matter what time of the day, even sitting around in their bathrobes, they could shop on my site. I also hired a website promoter to help me get my business up and running…I’ve been with him for years and his services have been invaluable.
I’ve changed and grown through the years of selling my work, as has my artwork and website. I got a brand new website this year as well as a brand new blog to go along with it, to more suit my current needs and to fit what my art is about at this time in my life. I’ve totally changed directions with my art this year and it is a really good feeling that I think over the long run, will continue to be a positive change for me.

Can you briefly summarize your style or inspiration?
When you look at my work, you’ll see that I paint a lot of floral subjects. I use my garden as well as the gardens that I visit to fuel my inspiration to paint. Wherever I go, I bring a camera if I feel there will be any good garden photos to be taken. I store these photos so that year round, I have access to them and they can serve as my source of inspiration or ideas for paintings.

What is the most satisfying part of your business?
There are really two answers to this question for me…….First I find it very satisfying to be able to paint subjects that I love so much. I also love constantly mixing it up and working in different media, on many different surfaces etc. I’ve painted in watercolor, acrylic and I’ve done some work in oils as well. I think I love experimenting with the surfaces, to see what I like painting on and what I don’t. There is so much available to us as artists today, that I try to sample a lot of different ways of doing things. I think it keeps my work fresh and fun for me to create.
Second, I love working with customers to give them what they want. I’ve done a lot of custom work for many people over the years and have really enjoyed it. Making people happy and seeing an idea that they have envisioned come to life, is very rewarding.

What is your greatest business challenge?
Trying to always go down new avenues of selling my work, so I can make money, while still enjoying what I do. If you lose the enjoyment for what you do, why do it at all?? This is something I’ve struggled with before and the end result is, if I want to keep painting, I have to change what I’m doing so that I’m happy with it and happy creating it. Hence the reason for a new website this year, time for some very positive changes for me.

What makes your work different from other designers?
Every artist is different, for example: you can have 10 people in the same room working on the same project and at the end of the day, you will see 10 totally different projects. My work is different because it comes from me and I have a different outlook on life and on my creative process then other people do, therefore my work is my own and will always be that way.

What advise would you offer someone who is interested in starting his or her own business?
My biggest advice would be : you have to be proactive in your own success. Don’t sit around waiting for things to happen and get mad when they don’t. If you have a question, ask. If you need help, ask. Never be afraid to chart out new opportunities for yourself, if you don’t, no one else will. A very wise friend of mine always says: " If you don’t ask, the answer is always no." I think that is an important one to live by.

What is your earliest memory involving your design work?
Not sure I have one. At least I cannot think of it at this moment.
Did you have an early interest in design and art?
No, in fact, I came to art as an adult. Sadly, there were never any art courses offered at my high school.

Where do you see business 5 years from now?
I recently had some of my work accepted in an upcoming book. I’m very excited about this and my long term goals over the next years will be to find more publications that might want to feature my work.

Do you work alone?
I paint alone but my husband Chris does so much for my business that it is practically just as much his as it is mine. He’s done so many things over the years, he is my webmaster, he sprays pieces, cuts wood, makes frames, packages and ships and the list could go on and on.

Were you creative as a child?
Do crayons count??

Please visit Ruth's websites & blog:
Ruth's work can be seen in the upcoming book by Dianne Zweig, " Hot Cottage Collectibles For Vintage Style Homes." Available fall of 2008.




7/06/2008

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