Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Tucson 2017

Oh my gosh!!  Have I really not updated the blog since October?  Can you say Looooserrrr?  Sorry.  If it weren't for Cheryl emailing me and calling me out I wouldn't be back on here tonight.  As it is... I am, and I thought I'd share a few pics from my most recent adventure... Tucson Gem and Mineral show.  
 I snapped a pic of the mountains as I came into town, because, well, we don't have those in Louisiana!  And I am kind of mesmerized by them!

I ended up going on this trip alone.  I put out a call for anyone interested in traveling with me, and I even had the hotel and rental car covered.  Alas... no takers!  But the pull was STRONG, so I just went alone.
 I get asked, "Oh, are you going to your little bead show?" often.  And it drives me NUTS.
A. it is not little.  It is HUGE!! Like an entire city is consumed with more than 30 shows huge.
and B.  It is way more than beads!
 Since I realize that is what everyone thinks of the show, I decided to not only do a few Facebook live videos so you could vicariously shop with me, but I also took some pics.
I have sort of been into some weird things lately.  Like I am digging more "earthy" things.  LOVED all the natural, uncut stones and fossils, and well... even these...
 And so, I bought a set.  I bought the smaller set, but Todd still thought I'd lost my mind as he was looking on when I opened all my wares as they arrived in boxes via the postal service.
 I think these will make the coolest displays!
 The above are trilobites and all sorts of castings from archeological digs.  and below is coral and something else?
 Thee are all actual fossils from digs.  Would these be cool on a mantle or what?  Next year, I'm thinking I am getting together a girls' road trip and we are renting an RV to haul stuff back in.
 And just as soon as you see fossils, you turn the corner and see all these colorful bags and dresses and scarves and awesomeness.
 and then you realize that you are one of the only people at the show who doesn't have what looks to be a poor little mutt on a leash, dreadlocks and smell like a goat, not to mention, you have a Vera Bradley backpack on, so you stand out like a BIG Bright thumb...and you think... hey!  I'll get a cool headband and wear it like a bohemian so they'll think you belong there.  Yes.  Blend in, Mel!  "Smile and wave, boys.  Smile and wave." (Who can name the movie that quote came from?)
 Check out this Yak wool.  Do YOU have a yak wool blanket?  Then don't judge.
 And all these needlecelted and hand-stitched scarves!  I mean, I was dying!
 Moving right along... I'm pretty sure this is pyrite in the rough.  Whatever it is, I find it miraculous that right amidst the supportive chunk of rock, a perfectly cubic mineral is growing.  That fascinates me and I can't help but think that God was thinking, "Hey, I'll jack with them.  When they think there's nothing in there, I'll surprise them with a golden, perfectly angled stone."
 And these quartz crystals.  I bought several year before last, so I really tried to restrain myself this year.  But it was hard.
 Just absolutely piles of cool stuff everywhere.  When you get back to the hotel at night, you need a serious scrubbing.  Arizona is apparently not known for it's beautiful green landscaping!  In fact, there is no grass.  Just lots of dirt.  and it gets all stirred up when all these people are all in one place shopping.  And so... my nose.  My mouth.  My hands.   UGH!!
 Turquoise.... my FAVORITE!!
 I was Facebook live-ing when someone asked me if I could pick up a dinosaur bone because his son had put it on his vision board.  Well..... I am a sucker for fulfilling a vision board wish, so I had to go on a HUNT for dino relics.  I ended up with a Megaladon tooth and a Spinosaurus tooth.  I think he will be JAZZED!  AND... the best part is that he'll believe in the process of vision boarding... which by the way, has become one of my most recent obsessions!  (I'm hosting a class with Erin Love on it at my studio on February 25th!  Sign up at
 This booth had buckets of water with all kinds of minerals in them.
 There were stones and minerals from Peru.
 As well as just about anywhere else in the world one can imagine.
 These would make a most interesting coffee table piece!
 This dude finds turquoise in the rough, then has a unique technique for mining it and turning it into artwork.
 This bull is made of turquoise, lapis, and looks like a red jasper.
 And omega what I would do to have one of these turquoise tables.  ($$$$!!!! so it will never happen)
And that concludes tonight's tour.  I'll do my best to be back tomorrow to continue with pics from the trip.  Cheryl (tell me again who you are... as in from where and what's your last name?), I'm glad you called me out.  I needed to get back over here to the ol' blogola! I've missed my peeps.  

Hope you are enjoying the play by play.  Leave a comment and say hi! 


Monday, October 3, 2016

John Maxwell event. Day 2.

Yep.  Melanie's 47th birthday fell smack in the middle of my work week in Orlando this year. But never fear... I had fun friends there prepared to celebrate with me!
And I'm telling ya... when I am there, it is different than it was a  couple of years ago for me.  IN a good way.  I pretty much am meeting people, painting, shaking hands, and painting some more.  And that is just how I like it!
See that chick in the middle above?  She is a West Monroe native!  How bout that?!  And she joined the John Maxwell Team this year.  I didn't even know she was going to be there.  She is also coming to my 11/11 event, The Seed!
I get a little bored from time to time.
This is just before we started painting for John himself!
and if I'm being perfectly honest, I have no earthly idea what I am holding here.
These are a couple of my faves!  John and Wendy Taylor of Birmingham.  Brian and I had the honor of going to work with their company on strengths-based teamwork, in July.  And Wendy is also coming to the Seed in a few weeks!
More completed projects.
Did I happen to mention that John Maxwell was approached by a third party to run in the presidential campaign this year?  He took two weeks to really contemplate his answer.  He decided it just wasn't the year for him.  However, he just may consider it in 2020~!  We can hope anyway!  I painted this while he was telling us the story of his nomination. In fact, I have them for sale on my website.  ( I think they'll make good collectors' items someday!
Looks like we are getting ready to start back up again!
I LOVE my little work station.
Much later that evening, a group of ladies gathered to discuss forming a faith-based group of female leaders/ speakers to tour together.  I was honored to have been invited to these preliminary talks.
Paul Martinelli was getting the energy UP!  See me up there in that apron?!

(I've lost my cute orange glasses!  And I need to find them!!)
This girl right here is the reason I can keep my sanity while I'm there in the midst of very quick pace and lots of demands from lots of people.  She is about as chill a person as I know.  And she gets my brand of crazy!  She just tells me straight up when it is time for me to "stop", "shut up", or "give it a break".  Only Jessi can talk to me the way she does and get away with it.  I know she loves me and it is always for my own good!
More completed paintings.

And would you BELIEVE that one of my interpreters from Paraguay in February was actually in Orlando getting his certification to be a JMT coach?!  That is Cray Cray.  He came right up and recognized me right off.

A couple more commissions.  I love doing these for people.  Her son was about to go through a life-changing, somewhat experimental surgery on his eyes, and she got that "Everything worthwhile is Uphill" for him.  I loved doing it for him.
Until tomorrow.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

The John Maxwell Team Event... International Maxwell Certification.

I don't think I was blogging still when I went to the John Maxwell event in Orlando this past spring.  Sooo... let me just pause a bit to catch you up on what it is like to do one of these humongous events. First you get your JMT hat all splatter-painted up so they can recognize you as the artist at the event! 
Jessi is still hanging in there with me and traveling along to keep me organized and on task. This is my friend, Deb, from Colorado who I first met in Atlanta at Paul Martinelli's Turning Point event.  She and I have kept in touch from afar and hang out when we are in the same town.
I WISH I knew how to let you watch these videos.  These are CRAZY high energy events!!
This was the biggest one we've had since the inception of the JMT.  There were 3300 participants signed up.
Trying to capture this in photos is basically impossible.
Here I am after I'd made my way to the stage at the front with some pals, helping get the energy going with loud music and lots of dancing.
I cruised my way all the way to the back of the room and found my friend, Summer, there in the white dress.  She is also one of the leaders at MMPT, which makes THREE of us at the therapy clinic who are now John Maxwell certified coaches, speakers, and trainers.
I nestled my little ol self back at the Creation Station, where I made custom paintings all day long for people who had favorite John Maxwell quotes, Bible verses, or mission statements.
I had about 150 pre-painted backgrounds this go round, and had them in ROYGBIV order.  The people would come to the booth, look through the available backgrounds and choose a quote.  I would attach their order to the background color and they'd come back later to be surprised about what all embellishments I'd added.
It was awesome to see the COMPLETED orders stack up and see the faces of the people when they'd come back and try to find theirs when what they'd left was a solid colored background.
These were my helpers!  Summer, Jessi, and Barbara from Fort Walton Beach, FL!
I had new stencils this year, and if I do say so myself, I got a little more brave with my color choices this go round.
These are the journals that we sell at the event.
And because I tend to get bored, I started painting the blank black journals with other favorite quotes of the weekend, and people responded by buying, which was after all, the goal.
These sweet ladies threw me a birthday party!!  These are my usuals, as well as Miss Pat, and Dorothy on the right.
This sweet guy  was from China, I do believe.  He spend so much time and money at my booth!!  Every time I turned around, he was back ordering something else.  I painted this Bible verse on a blank book for him.  I will say, however, he is the ONLY one who painted something for ME!  He created a rainbow colored bookmark at our booth and wrote me the sweetest note on it.
Sometimes, I'd get all industrious and spend WAY too much time on a painting.  And Jessi would remind me how  many more I had left to do and make me turn away from the crowd so I could focus better. See why I take her?!
These paintings went to countries far and wide!!
This guy was very pleased with his painting.  It was exactly like his business card!
I wish I could tell where all these people are from.  I took pics so I could read their name tags, but now as I am typing, (without my readers on!  yES!  THAT has happened!!) I can't make out their name tags. Sooooo... just believe me... they're from all over the world!
This is what the left side of our booth looked like!  This was the free make and take area, where people could make their own bookmarks with John Maxwell quotes in pre-made stamps.
This was one of my favorites in terms of colors and texture.
And then I got an idea to splatter the blank books with the pre-made vinyl stickers. They were a hit!
So, this is only the first of a three part series on the John Maxwell Event this August.  More to come.
I have been a member for four years, and any of you who have followed my blog for any time can tell that I have had some really big changes in this time.  If you are interested in what I do or more about becoming a member in general, please just ask!!  You can email me at  I'd be glad to answer any questions and point you the way.

Peace out, boy scout.