a new beginning

November marked the beginning of a new era for me at work. After nearly 30 years working in a small satellite office, I was asked to report to the main office 2 days a week. This office lies smack dab in the middle of Norfolk’s NEON Arts District.



While the drive is a serious pain in the ass with its traffic, tunnels and tolls, the rest of the deal is pretty sweet. The building is full of creative folks to play with and its location offers plenty of opportunities for lunchtime art adventures with my art buddy Siobhan.

The surrounding buildings are being adorned with murals of all styles and themes, with more murals popping up all the time. Even the sidewalks are painted!



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The building I work in is just a short walk to the Chrysler Museum, and I’ve managed to catch a few awesome shows. My favorite so far is the Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit. It is small, but shows examples of her flowers, photos, abstracts and landscapes. The small size of the show allowed for plenty of time to read the accompanying words – my favorite part. She was a real piece of work.

Georgia O’Keeffe: A Place of Her Own










Saints and Dragons: Icons from Byzantium to Russiabyz1
Tseng Kwong Chi – Performing for the Camera

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Across the street from the building, we also toured the newly renovated
Glass Wheel Studio.

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Inspiration is around every corner in Norfolk’s NEON district!
I’m glad I get to be a part of it.




holiday selfie props

selfies1My cousin Tania is a fabulous teacher — very creative and sweet. The kids in her class are lucky for sure. She is always coming up with super fun ideas!

Tania surprised us at our annual family Christmas party with an arrangement of Christmas selfie props to play with. We had a blast, so I asked her how she made em….

She said it was easy- she just googled FREE CHRISTMAS PHOTO PROPS, downloaded them, printed, trimmed and laminated them, then added the sticks with tape. When they were finished, she put them in a basket with floral foam to make a fab arrangement. Looks cute and fun to play with too!

jean’s jeans

jean in her jeans



It was quite a thrill when artist and instructor
Jean Van Brederode asked me to make her a custom pair of jeans! Jean is known for her artsy, eclectic wardrobe and her funk-a-licious personal style…. I am happy she is going to add a pair of Sandy Lupton jeans to her collection! Here is a sneak peek of her “Art Diva Koi Love” pants!

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silver lining

Precious Metal Clay with Cindy Quensenbury
Rawls Museum Arts, Courtland


I can’t think of a better way to spend a rainy November day than in an art class making new friends and fabulous jewelry!  In this class, Cindy taught us to make wrap-around rings and beautiful ocean pendants with Precious Metal Clay. We set stones, added a pearl on a post, used texture tools, painted with slip and more to form hand-crafted pieces, that when fired, became fine silver jewelry.


I got to make some new friends and we all went out to the local Mexican Restaurant for lunch and margaritas while Cindy fired our pieces and babysat the kiln. What started out as a cold and dreary day, turned into fabulous fun, thanks to Cindy and Rawls Museum Arts. Cindy is the most generous teacher I know, and I highly recommend her classes!

leah and heidi

leighsRing1pearl ring

artful octopus tour

Intuitive Painting Class
Cecile’s deck – Rodanthe, NC


A few of the gals in the trailerhood wanted me to teach them how to paint. They wanted to paint something bright and funky to liven up their beach trailers.

Instead of the “normal” way of painting, we did things a little different. We started out painting intuitively, working the background with lots of layers of color, texture, and pattern…waiting for the octopus to find his way onto the canvas. We painted with our hands and with different size brushes, letting each layer dry in between. Once the layers were in place, we used a pattern to paint the water around the octopus and finished up by adding in the details.

Even though we all used the same pattern, each octopus was a unique creature with its own personality! They now all hang proudly in the trailer homes of the artists.

During the “official octopus tour” the artists invited us into their homes to show off their creations on display. One artist even told me that I had inspired her to get out her paints and long-forgotten brushes and make art again! That is what it’s all about!

We are planning on a turtle painting party in the fall.

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