March 2009 Welcome to the Tole Friends’ Newsletter! Did you know? There is a recent study that says joining a social networking site raises one’s self-esteem by upping our “social capital”? Social Capital represents the active connections between people which include trust, mutual understanding, shared values and a commonality that binds together the members of the group, network or community to make co-operation possible. What does this mean? Well… here on Tole Friends, we’re all involved in upping our “social capital”, that “feel good” feeling of sharing, caring and friendship. We’re brought together by our mutual involvement in decorative painting and we stay together for so much more. So… what are you waiting for? If you are not a member, why not? And if you are a member, become more active and invite some of your friends to join, too. Let’s share our passion, drive, knowledge and friendship. The Economy is full of dire news these days. People are tightening their purse strings – out of necessity and out of concern for the near future. What better time to support our art and organizations? Painting doesn’t have to cost a lot of money and we can paint spectacular, one-of-a-kind gifts for family and friends, eliminating the pressure of having to shop and spend more money on a tight budget. We can invite friends and family over to create with us and share our love of Decorative Art. Support Tole Friends and SDP when and where you can and invite others to do the same. Much cheaper than an evening out is a painting day at home with close friends. Join our list and share what you’ve been up to. I see a big resurgence of handcrafted/painted décor in our future! The newsletter celebrity is back this issue. So keep on reading and see if you can find your name broken up throughout the newsletter and contained in square brackets [ ]. If you find your name, email us at email@example.com within the week to claim your prize. Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 1 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. WELCOME to OUR READERS Well, you’ll want to be part of our very active list to partake in our weekly “Question of the Week”. Thoughtful, challenging, sometimes the lighter/fun side of Decorative Painting, but designed to provoke and to delight. Membership is only $18 for the first year [that’s $1.50 per month!] (and $15 for each year after that when you renew) and includes four quarterly lessons per year; countless painting-related articles; tips, tricks and techniques; freebies from our members; painting projects; new product alerts; an active list where you can get almost instantaneous answers/responses to painting-related queries 24/7; and friendships that are immeasurable. Registering for and being a Tole Friends Member entitles you to this and so much more. So… grab a cuppa, lock the door, turn off the ringer on the phone, light your favorite scent, put on the mood music and settle in to read what’s happening at Tole Friends this quarter. NEW KID ON THE BLOCK Please welcome Dorothy Duplissey to our Education Committee family. Dorothy has joined myself (Shelley) and Sue Mitchell along with our Phyllis. We are here to bring the projects and lessons to you and to answer some of your technical questions and tell you all the new and wonderful things happening at Tole Friends. So… if you need some help or just want to chat… sing out and one of us will be there for you. CONVENTIONS/HAPPENINGS 2008/2009 Visit our Painting Links section at http://tolefriends.com to keep up-to-date on all the Conventions so you can make your plans well in advance. Melinda Barnes [Hilliard] does an unbelievable job of keeping the links in order. The Creative Painting Convention in Las Vegas (late February) is now behind us and reviews are flying onto the list. The Coast to Coast Painting Convention in April in Mississauga (Toronto), Ontario, Canada, is next up. Note that the organization that runs this has changed their name from Shades of country to Coast to Coast Events and can be found at http://www.c2cevents.com. They have also brought back PIA (Paint In Alberta) to be held Sept 10-13, 2009 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. SDP starts June 16 in Peoria, Illinois. Yippee, yours truly is already registered and plans to ensure that Tole Friends will be represented with a small get-together. Stay-tuned and be on your toes. Now is also the time to order up your Tole Friends “bling” to show your pride and be noticeable. Go to http://tolefriends.biz, our Boutique and check out the pins, brush totes, bags and wearables. Sadly, 2008 saw the last MADPennsylvania show. So, support and attend the conventions when and where you can. Times are tough but we’re a hardy and resilient bunch and our art will continue. Subscribing to and receiving this free newsletter does NOT include or constitute a membership or subscription to Tole Friends' Association. All of the following items marked with * in this newsletter are ONLY available to PAID MEMBERS of Tole Friends' Association. These are only part of all the information that is available for TF members. Non-members are welcome to visit our album site to view photos of previous lessons painted by our members. Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 2 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to email@example.com. HIGHLIGHTS FOR CURRENT AND FUTURE EVENTS Lesson 1-2009 is available now through to the end of March only. It is Margot Clark’s Shaded Wash Fruit. In Margot’s signature style this lesson is jam-packed full of step-by-steps designed to take even the most hesitant painter through to a successful, finished piece. No highlighting, just gentle, light washes of color to build-up the shades and “highlight” the underpainting. Margot is also an active member on our list and available to answer any questions. The lesson can be downloaded by members. ARTICLES: • Publishing Painting Books - by Phyllis Tilford. A quick look at the market influence on publishing books • Celebrate St. Nick – a one-of-a-kind, must-see publication and celebration of the spirit and embodiment of that Christmas icon, St. Nick • Simplist – a review of the Decorative Painters Database by Melinda Barnes • True Color System – a quick overview of the program created to help solve those paint conversion problems and let you know what you have in your own inventory • The Painting Rag – a review about a publication that has “information for the creative heart” and contains articles on featured artists, free projects, fun and [Lois] games with the artist in mind and informative articles PAINTING PROJECTS: Garden Flowers Our Patch In-Depth Quarterly Lesson by Heather Redick by Anita Morin Covered Bridge By Annette Dozier Coming in April Pattern Packet Album By Julie Polderdyke Coming in May Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 3 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For our non-members, some of these In-depth Lessons and Painting Projects will be made available for purchase of a digital download through our Boutique. Check often for what’s new and available. Lessons, articles and projects are only available for a limited time; so do be sure to download them now while they’re still available. If you missed a lesson there still might be a chance for you to purchase it as a downloadable e-packet through our Boutique. (Not all lessons are offered in the boutique) FUN AT TOLE FRIENDS’ We have an active album of photos ranging from those submitted from past and present lessons and painting projects to special categories and seasonal pieces. Challenges are sent out to the list to paint along with each other and submit our photos to entice and inspire others to paint. Sometimes someone will say they are not planning to paint a project because… it’s “not my style”; however, I would encourage many of you to please read through each offered lesson and project and paint along if you can as there is so very much that can be learned. Each piece chosen by your Education Committee is chosen with the members in mind. Often it is from requests made to the list of “what” you are looking for (as the landscape coming up in April was chosen with this in mind). But mostly, the lessons and projects are chosen to enhance skills and learning. And oh, what detail they disclose! I am in the early stages of starting the Cockatoo by Willow Wolfe and while I’m a tad late getting started, I hope some of you will also consider attempting this piece and all the information offered. We had some contests in our last newsletter: The first one was to encourage participation on our Painting List. To this end we were looking for “who” could post the most painting-related posts within a week. The posts had to read “Contest + the subject” in the subject line and they had to be painting-related. I reserved the right to exclude a couple posts that didn’t stick to “the rules” <grin>. Well… drumroll please… our winner was Jeanie Dixon with approximately 12 posts. Our Elena was a very close second. Jeanie chose the free one-year membership extension. Congratulations, Jeanie. The second contest was to celebrate National Decorative Painting Month (October) and give us some ideas on how to encourage interest in our passion. Linda Biedermann, President of the SDP and an active list participant, eagerly [Ohio] watched the ideas pour in. There were no “right” answers, no encouragement to send in vast amounts of ideas (altho’ this was to be applauded)… just a fun way to “talk it up”. While there were only 14 posts on this topic, the ideas were unique and very interesting. SEVEN of those 14 posts were from ONE person. Now, I need to re-iterate that it wasn’t the “most” number of posts that would claim the prize. Everybody’s name was thrown into the proverbial hat and eyes closed, one name chosen. However, with 7 posts from this “one” member, well, that was 7 chances to win (one other member had two chances – that was our Jeanie; and the other posts were from Vicky, Keni, Kathleen, Donna Frost Bow and Donna B). Our Sue Mitchell was the one with the 7 posts and well, Sue’s name was pulled. She too chose the one year membership extension (choices were a downloadable packet; two bookmarks designed by our Karen Chase; a set of notecards also designed by Karen; one year membership). All these “prizes” can be purchased through rd our Boutique. If you wish to see these ideas, check out the archives from September 23 on. Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 4 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to email@example.com. MEMORY BOX PROGRAM UPDATE The Cat’s out of the bag! What can I say about the Memory Box Program that I have not already said in past newsletters or that others have not said? You know it is a Program near and dear to my heart and the heart’s of many. Many right here on our very list. So… what could be better than that it find a new forever home? Marie Gemmill and Tera Leigh, bless their hearts, and a few others, had a vision. That vision was to put a tangible item into a family’s hands so that they wouldn’t leave a hospital alone, without a reminder, a good reminder, that their loss of an infant was not forgotten. Since that first box was painted, more than 113,000 boxes have been lovingly painted and put in the hands of a grieving family. That is sad that we’ve needed and continue to need so many, but wonderful that we have so very many caring individuals who embrace this very loving cause. So… Marie wished to “retire” and have a good home for their well-established, world-wide vision. She approached the Tole Friends organization knowing that it was a well-established group that could continue the good works and reach out to painters throughout the world. This was both an honor and a huge responsibility, one that the board at Tole Friends needed little time to give a resounding “YES we will continue this amazing tradition of love and support for grieving families”. So… the Memory Box Program has found a new home and has been seamlessly transferred to the Tole Friends organization. Seamless for the painters, hospitals and families, busy time for the behind the scenes workers setting up this transfer. But it is a TRUE labor of love. I would like to personally extend my thanks to Karen Chase, Brenda Rickman, [Schwartz] Susan Richardson and our Annie (Anne Strebe) for continuing this very, very special program. And thank you to Marie and Tera Leigh for approaching and entrusting their “baby” with Tole Friends. What does this mean for you, the painter? Well, with the big machine of Tole Friends behind it and the tireless efforts of a group of devoted volunteers, the dream will continue. With an international reach and no borders through the world-wide web, bigger and better support, state-of-the-art statistical reporting (that’s where you come in, in the notification of boxes ready for delivery and those delivered), continued sharing of patterns specifically donated for the use of the Memory Box Program, contests, enclosures, poems, sayings, guidelines… a new, bigger, brighter, information-packed website… with the SAME address. Yes, you can still get there with the same URL http://www.memoryboxes.org but you will see some changes. The biggest change is the new TUTORIAL set-up to walk us through the reporting of the boxes. Hey, I’ve already test-driven it and I’m impressed. If I can do it, anybody can <grin>. The Tutorial is great and steps you through everything http://www.memoryboxes.org/tutorials.html. The table and reporting set-up, once you’ve signed into your account is thorough, clear and straight-forward and doesn’t leave anything out. My Guild will be registering the five (5) individual hospitals we take care of in our immediate area – yes, you CAN do that. We’ve adopted these particular hospitals for the last 10 years. I hope many more will jump on board. The rewards and satisfaction are immeasurable. This is a borderless cause, one very special and so very personal to so many. What better way to show the world how we care as a group of painters? Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 5 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is your SAME Memory Box Program. The same, but different. It’s the heart that matters and the heart, the mission and the intent has not changed. You’ll love the new look, you’ll love that this very worthwhile, very incredible, tremendous (and lots more superlatives) program will continue long into the future. The mailing list will also continue and be a stand-alone to the main Tole Friends list; it will continue to be free and available and exclusive for Memory Box-related subjects. The families are so very grateful and our hearts are warm with the giving. Anyone can paint boxes for the program; you do not have to be a member of Tole Friends or the Memory Box list to participate. Go to the website and learn how to help in this worthy cause. Thank you to everyone who continues to support this program. To learn more about this OH-SO-VALUABLE/IMPORTANT program, visit the ToleFriends Memory Box Program website at http://www.memoryboxes.org/ SPECIAL TIP JUST FOR TOLE FRIENDS’ NEWSLETTER SUBSCRIBERS Keep those floral water tubes! Yes, that’s what I said. Have your honey bring you home a single flower from the florist on a regular basis <grin> and hang onto that water tube. Why? Well… it makes a terrific container for those brushes you don’t want to make time to clean after a class. Pour a small amount of brush soap or murphy’s oil into the tube (something a little “thicker” than regular extender – which will work if you make sure you transport the tubes upright), put your brush through the rubber “gasket” top of the tube and the bristles just immersed in the liquid (make sure that you keep the top of the ferrule out of the liquid and don’t let the bristles of the brush rest on the bottom of the tube). Then put the tube(s) into an old coffee cup or similar for transporting and finish the cleaning of the brushes later <grin>. Yup, I’m all for reduce, reuse and recycle! OUT and ABOUT (TF’s Community News) We would like to extend our condolences to Lisa Germaine on the loss of her father. Special thoughts also to Ellen Appolloni on the loss of her husband, John, in January after a long illness. Mary Jo Leisure’s husband, Harold, has passed away. If you know of someone in our painting community that we should know about/mention, please send us an email at email@example.com. This would include accomplishments (eg. Certification, awards, ribbons, first publication…), births, deaths… We can’t promise to publish everything, but this is your newsletter and we do want to know and celebrate or cry along with you. *** We hope that as you visit our site, and read along and share on our active list, that we have inspired you to pick up those brushes, clean off your paint table, and to come paint with us! Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 6 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Come to paint, come to learn, come for the fellowship, and come for the fun! Thanks for reading, and for your support! We’ll talk to you again in July. This is a secret too good to be kept... pay it forward - tell your painting friends, your chapter members, and anyone interested in painting. Go ahead, forward this Newsletter to them. You can also download/print a flyer to hand out. This can be found on our homepage at http://tolefriends.com Questions or suggestions for the newsletter can be sent to email@example.com (submissions for the newsletter should be received by the middle of the month prior to publication: next submission date July, 2009). * Memory Box Photo courtesy of the Ottawa Valley Decorative Artists guild http://www.ovda.ca Tole Friends’ monthly free newsletter 7 You are receiving this newsletter because you signed up for it. If you want to unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.