Tuesday, November 15, 2011

CanvaSynergy, Revealed!

The Guild’s CanvaSynergy project was inspired by a question:

“What if 25 mixed media artists worked together to create a large-scale collaborative piece?”

Knowing how wildly creative and diverse our talents are, we were sure the result would be a fabulous thing to behold.

Here’s how it all unfolded:
Jerry’s Artarama graciously provided the 12”x12” canvases and the four base paint colors; Soho Urban Acrylics in Mineral Blue, Cadmium Red Hue, Burnt Sienna, and Cadmium Orange Hue, for 25 artists. Each artist was also allowed the use of black and white to round out their palette.
The overall layout was penciled onto the 25 adjoining canvases; a combination of swirling curves and geometric shapes, designed to give each artist an interesting variety of areas in which to create her own, special mixed media magic. None of the artists had seen the comprehensive, overall design--therein was another 'layer' of mystery!
The sky was the limit; artists could use fabric, metal, polymer, buttons, glass, feathers, photography, paint mediums, paper, clay and ephemera to complete their canvases.  The only 'regulation' was that they maintain the lines that connected their canvas to its neighbor.

Once all of the canvases were finished, wooden cross-bracing was constructed to hold them all together; a simple black frame was added, creating the expansive 5 x 5 ft. CanvaSynergy which was revealed at the 11th annual Art of the Carolinas last weekend. 

Our immense thanks, and a big round of applause go to:
Sharon DiGiulio, for presenting our idea to the fine folks at Jerry’s Artarama.
David Goldstein, of Jerry’s Artarama, for his consideration and approval of the required materials.
CMMAG secretary, Christine Candora-Hickey, for suggesting the CanvaSynergy title (because "the Collaborative Canvas Project" is not nearly as appealing!).
Stan Petelinz, for construction and joining together of structure and frame.
 And, to all the artists who contributed to CanvaSynergy, for creating something even more fantastic than we could've imagined!

Friday, November 4, 2011

CMMAG Presents: "The Gift of Art" 2012 Calendar

Calendar measures 9"x 12", and sells for $10, plus flat rate shipping. 
Ready to Purchase?  Click "Buy Now" button at right.

We are excited to announce the creation of "The Gift of Art" 2012 calendar.  A collaboration between CMMAG and Arts for Life, Durham, it features joyful, colorful artwork created by the program's critically ill children at Duke Children's Hospital.

Our collaboration was a natural match; CMMAG's mission is to advance the education of mixed media arts, and Arts for Life is a 501-C non-profit organization, dedicated to providing artistic education and emotional well-being to children across the state of North Carolina. 
By providing educational art programs, they enrich patients' lives, nurture their minds and spirits, and encourage positive healthcare experiences for children and their families.  To learn more about Arts for Life, visit their website.

Every dollar from the sale of "The Gift of Art" calendar will go to support the programming of Arts for Life.  To purchase calendars, click the "Buy Now" button at right, which will take you to PayPal's site.  You don't need a PayPal account to use this feature.
If you are local to the Raleigh, NC area, you may purchase calendars at the 11th annual Jerry's Artarama Art of the Carolinas event, November 10~13, 2011. 

Thanks and a big round of applause to everyone involved in producing "The Gift of Art". 
Printing provided by:  Henry Wurst, Inc.; Layout and Design provided by:  Victory 500 Marketing, and Distribution provided by the members of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CMMAG at the 2011 North Carolina State Fair

     Member Madeline Schneider entered two pieces in the professional artists category, and had both pieces chosen by the jury for inclusion in the Fair exhibit.  It was the first time she had ever entered her work.  She was very excited to hear the good news, and to see her art in the exhibit.  Madeline said, "just thinking about how many people were able to see my work displayed among so many other wonderful artists makes me humble. Now I feel inspired to create, my fears are fading away, and this is my greatest achievement!"

Congratulations, Madeline!  We share your excitement, and look forward to seeing your pieces 'in person' at a meeting soon.   
"There is Always a Way"; canvas 18" X 24", acrylic, mixed media, collage

"Portrait of a Lady"; canvas 18" x 24", acrylic, mixed media, collage

Monday, September 19, 2011

September Member Interview: Christine Candora-Hickey

"Mysterious Rings on the Horizon," chosen for inclusion
in Raleigh's SPARKcon photography exhibit, 2011
Christine Candora-Hickey

Photo Album:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/inkyalchemy/

1. What inspires you to create?
A lot of my inspiration comes when I least expect it and in the most unexpected ways. I dream up a lot of projects during my long commute to work.
Maybe it's the fact that I'm half-asleep, but ideas seem to just come to me during that time. Otherwise, I get sparks from magazines (not just art-related ones), books, songs, the NC Museum of Art, long walks, and people watching.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I really believe that art pursued me. I learned to crochet in when I was 8 so that I could make booties for my, and my friends', Cabbage Patch Kids. I learned how to make simple bound books in high school to make cool photo albums for friends. Throughout my life, I have always done something creative. In my adult life, I became interested in rubber stamping which led to mixed media which has now lead to photography. Who knows where art will take me next?!

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I have a real hard time calling myself an artist as a title. When used as a descriptor or label, I guess it's no different than "sister" or "wife" or "friend". In that way, if I wasn't an artist I would want to be something that made me happy :)

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
None. My professional background is in Elementary Education and currently I work as an office manager for a non-profit. I am eagerly seeking a job that would combine my experience as an educator and non-profit administrator with a focus on the arts.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
The acrylic aisle. Color and texture always get me excited!

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Right now, I'm really excited about the possibilities with incorporating photography into my art. I would love to learn more about historical and alternative processes, being that they are more hands-on and in line with my love for mixed media. I am taking classes at Art & Soul in 2012 that have a photography/imagery slant and I am also planning to take classes with Diana Bloomfield, an accomplished Raleigh-based photographer specializing in alternative and historical processes.

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I have two different dreams (I think back-up dreams are as important as back-up plans). I would love to either own a gallery that specialized in showing emerging artists or run a community-based art school.

We know some artists who'd love to be included in your gallery, and some kids who'd think a school like that would be great, Christine!  Thanks for the interview.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Member Interview: Pat Upton

1. What inspires you to create?
I find that I am inspired by things, and my odd sense of humor. Pictures in magazines or online can inspire a wicked idea or pun, in my head, and then it is on. Rusty things can inspire an assemblage piece or jewelry possibility. I am also inspired by other’s art…I see what can be done and maybe adapt that technique for my piece. I love love love to learn new techniques! I guess you can say I have art ADHD. I will find an interesting technique to do and then when the next thing comes along, I am off on that path and may or may not come back to what I had been doing.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Art (and crafts) has always been a part of my life though I thought for many years that I could not be an artist, as I cannot draw or paint photo-realistically. Twenty-five years ago, I started cross-stitching. I loved the look, it was easy to do, and I could find just about any style and colors to try. About 8 years ago, I found that photography was one way to express myself artistically. I love macro photography and ultra-close-ups. Flowers and bugs are still my favorite subjects. Then about 3 years ago, I discovered mixed media art and the whole art world opened up to me! What a revelation!

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I still say that I am not an artist though I am closer now than at any other time in my life! I am a scientist (the laboratory is a great place for art supplies!). I am a technician (I guess that is why I love techniques!).

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
My jobs have not helped me on my artistic path really. That path has been blazed with friends. I have been very fortunate to have friends that share my interest in arts and crafts. We learn together. I have also found that the internet is my friend too. I can find instructions on how to do techniques, see what others are doing for inspiration and generally sponge up the knowledge.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?Definitely, the acrylic paints and media. While I still can’t paint photo-realistically, I can paint some interesting backgrounds. What I do after that? Who knows! Sometimes that is where I stop. I still would like to learn about layering paint. I haven’t fully explored that technique; I am somewhat intimidated by it, for some reason!

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Oh there are soooo many! I would love to learn weaving, felting, the elements of design for jewelry and/or collage/mixed media. In case you hadn’t noticed, I have no formal art training at all, just interest!

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
For many years, I have thought it would be grand to start and run an arts and crafts store for supplies, classes, and for finished pieces. I don’t have that much drive and I really don’t want to work that hard, but if I could not fail, that would be it. The chance to interact with artists on all levels fascinates me. Plus there is all that great stuff! Ah, to play with all that stuff!

It would be a grand idea, Pat! A special place for artists to hang out, learn and play=creative nirvana. Thanks for the interview.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Member Interview: Lynn Creech

Lynn Creech's website: 

1. What inspires you to create?
Since I was a little girl – I was fascinated with color. Crayons, finger paints, any paper I could get my hands on.  Coloring and painting was always something I loved to do. I’ve always been a firm believer that if you do something creative with your hands – it will make you a better person:  healthy-minded and full of life. I am very inspired to create by my surroundings. I love to look at the photos in all magazines and books.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I don’t know that I ever looked at it this way – but I believe at a young age art pursued me. I can remember getting my first box of crayons and thinking …WOW! There has to be more than these 8 colors. As I graduated to the 24 pack – then the 48 pack – and eventually the 64 PACK. I was elated to say the least! How could life get any better?

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I would volunteer my time to Senior Citizens.

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
Over the years and with my fascination for colors, inks and paper– my career ended up in the Printing Industry. I sell printing - I love the surroundings of paper and ink. I’ve been with the same company for 30 years.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Most definitely acrylic paints, papers / canvas and calligraphy tools…..plus 30 more items …too many to list in this interview.

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
Lettering and journaling. Yes - I’ve enrolled in a few online classes;
upcoming classes and I try to work in my Visual Journal every week.

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
Publish my work, teach classes again and sew.

Thanks for this brief glimpse into your creative world, Lynn! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

June Member Interview: Debbie Turner Altman

Debbie Turner Altman

What inspires you to create?
Color, pattern and texture that I see around me, fondling fabric, and other people’s work always energizes me.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I never really pursued art, I just don’t remember a time when I wasn’t drawn to it. I can remember putting color combos together for my dresses that my mother made me when I was still small enough to hide under the tables of fabric. I started creating fashion doll clothes at the age of seven when my grandmother would hold me in her lap and treadle her machine for me so I could sew. I had a wild and crazy bedroom as a teen with lime green walls, electric blue bookcase that I built myself, loud multicolor curtains that I made myself, and a shocking yellow bedspread. My mother claimed it put her eyes out. I think she had a paint roller full of beige paint in her hand the day I moved out. She always let me express myself no matter how outlandish the project may be or how late it kept me up at night. As long as my grades were up, that is!

If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I have never really considered myself an artist, to me creating is just a part of life, but I would probably be a librarian, or what they call a media specialist these days. I love books and being able to do research via all the forms of media almost as much as I love art.

What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I worked in an arts and crafts store doing merchandising, I love doing visual displays and I think I have a good eye for that, naturally. I also gave product demos in the store, and had to learn about the products in order to give the demos.

At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Anything I can use to mark on fabric, stencils, and textured paper. You can sew paper, you know?

What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I really want to learn more ways of doing free motion longarm quilting. I have plans to practice as much as possible and hope to soon be taking in customer quilts. I can do pantograph allover quilting now, but I want to put more of a one-of-a-kind artistic touch to the quilts I quilt.

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
Open a fiber artist’s collaborative with a studio for all of my “toys” and “fabric stash” with an environment that enables the flow of inspiration and encouragement.

There are lots of people who'd love to come and be creative with you there, Debbie!  Thanks for the interview.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May Member Interview: Donna Sloma

Donna Sloma

What inspires you to create?
Pretty much anything I walk past, thumb through, watch, or shop for! I am always attracted to color combinations and textures. The towels displayed in Target, to the ads in a health journal, get my mind going with the possibilities.

When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I have created since I was young and in school; and scouts. It was always a pretty great idea to spend time doing something and ending up with a product! When I moved to North Carolina in 1998, I became a stay at home mother. Many years of Cub Scout leading, class “momming”, and religious education perfected my kid-art skills. But so many of the ideas that capture the imagination of kids also can be altered to suit adult tastes!

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?
I can’t imagine not being an artist. But if I didn’t have the opportunity to pursue art like I do now, I can see myself having gone back to school over the last few years, probably to refresh my nursing.

What other jobs have you had which aided you on your artistic path?
I found a local store several years ago, and used to buy craft supplies there. I ended up teaching art/craft classes and loved sharing my techniques with others.

At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
Now and forever, it’s the paper.

What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I really love beeswax collage! I took a class last year with Suze Weinberg, who made it so much fun, and before that, I was introduced to the medium by our very own Christine Candora-Hickey! I am taking an encaustic workshop this month with Patricia Baldwin Seggebruch!

If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
I would definitely own a store! (craft store, consignment gallery, co-op, etc)

With your work in it Donna, it would be a wonderful place!  Thanks for the interview.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Come Meet Alyson Stanfield!

Alyson B. Stanfield, author of
I'd Rather Be in the Studio!

image credit: Kimberly Lennox

Alyson Stanfield, founder of Art Biz Coach and author of I’d Rather Be in the Studio! The Artist’s No-Excuse Guide to Self-Promotion is coming to Raleigh to celebrate the release of the updated and expanded edition of her book, which helps artists promote and sell their art.

The Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild will host a book party for Alyson, and here are the details:

Date:  Saturday, May 21, 2011

Location:  VAE (Visual Art Exchange) 325 Blake Street, Raleigh 27601

Time:  5:00

Alyson is going to talk for a little bit, answer your questions, and sign books, which will be available for sale, for $25 plus tax. She says she sits behind her computer too much and loves to get out and meet artists in new places. She’s coming all the way from her home in Colorado, and hopes to have time to visit some of our art venues, including the North Carolina Museum of Art while she's here.
We would love for you pass along this book party invitation to all of the artists you know--the more the merrier! 

We hope to see you there. 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

More From "Take 25" Challenge

Our header contains images of the creative work of our members, responding to the "Take 25" challenge posed by member and Artist Alley gallery owner Jean Skipper.  In case you missed the explanation of the challenge, you can read all about it here

Here are the full sized photos:

"Butterfly Dreams" by Liz Miller
A textured and glazed canvas with painted vintage lady adorned with beads and bangles. She is surrounded with fluttering memories (butterflies).

"Cat Fish" by Mary Neligan

Beach Window by Lauren Koeth

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Welcome to: "Creativity Rocks!"

Creativity Rocks! is the new name for the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild (CMMAG) blog.  It expresses how we all feel about being creative in our own lives, and seeing what good our creativity can do in the wider world. 

Our new header is a peek into our next series of blog posts which highlight the creations of our members in this year's kit challenge, entitled "Take 25".

A bit of background:  Jean Skipper of Artist Alley has presented the CMMAG Kit Challenge annually for the past three years. Every year, participants receive a list of seemingly random "ingredients," and the challenge is to create a work of art including all of them.  Each participant could choose to eliminate up to two items on the list and could choose to add up to two additional items. Connection devices (glue, wire, thread, etc…) and colorants (paint, markers, pastels, etc…) were considered to be freebies, and they could be used in copious quantities.  The "twist" this year was that each participant contributed one item to the list used by all.  There were 25 participants, and 25 items, hence the "Take 25" title. 

The list of items included:
   1.  The letter "C" (the actual letter)
   2.  Photograph
   3.  Beeswax
   4.  A piece of broken jewelry
   5.  Cardboard
   6.  Fabric
   7.  Beads
   8.  Jigsaw puzzle piece
   9.  A piece of glass
 10.  Glitter
 11.  Toilet paper roll
 12.  Feather
 13.  Velcro
 14.  Shells
 15.  Fringe
 16.  Dictionary page
 17.  Mirror
 18.  Map or part of a map
 19.  Metal
 20.  Polymer clay
 21.  A lock of hair
 22.  Lace
 23.  A nut (metal or organic; artist's choice)
 24. An old paint tube
 25. Hardware (nuts, bolts, screws, hinges, etc.)

Participants were given a little over two months to complete their Take 25 submissions, and the grand unveiling took place at Artist Alley in Southern Pines, NC on Friday, March 25th.

Here are the full-sized photos of the four pieces on the top row of our new blog header, along with brief description by the artists:

 "Ode to Cornell in A Minor"  by Penny Arrowood

Employing the combination of various elements and materials to tell a visual tale, the artist evokes the spirit of Joseph Cornell in the homage to his creative aesthetic while personalizing the tale with select inclusions. 
"Neighborhood Watch"  by Carrie Hannegan

A polymer clay relief of a tree and four little birdhouses.
"The Crossing"  by Ophelia Staton

Mixed media collage 
"Grappes Des Fleurs Artistique"  by Lynn Creech

Stay tuned for more "Take 25" pieces. 
Next up:  the three images on the bottom row of the blog header. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

February Member Interview: Michelle Bonds

Michelle Bonds
Website: ArtAgainOnline 

My Fiber Art can be found at: Eye of the Eagle Art, Clayton NC
Michelle's Upcycled Jewelry and Eco-friendly Gifts can be found at:
The Scrap Exchange, Durham NC
When Pigz Fly, North Raleigh NC
Raleigh City Museum, Downtown Raleigh NC
Art & Soul, Beaufort NC
Hopper Hills, Victor NY
In addition, Michelle attends several festivals and art events each year, and attempts to keep a listing on her blog, as well as posting reminders on Facebook.
Michelle's work has been published in the following magazines: Cloth Paper Scissors, Sew Somerset, and Art Doll Quarterly as well as online by Fiber Arts Magazine and Cloth Paper Scissors.

1. What inspires you to create?
In life, in general, I am inspired by nature, animals, and the myriad of cultures around the world. In particular, I find inspiration in the ocean, sacred geometry, the texture of stone, petroglyphs and cultural symbols that withstand the test of time. When I create, my true inspiration comes from the materials I work with. The focus of my art is recycled/trash materials. I enjoy finding beauty in things that would otherwise be discarded. Each piece leads me on its own journey.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
I would say that art pursued me. I never studied art beyond the obligatory classes in school, but I always enjoyed writing, collage, and making scrapbooks for my friends. I later learned to quilt, and enjoyed that for a while. As an adult I took classes in fine art. It wasn't until the idea of mixed media was presented to me that my artistic desires bloomed. I was able to release the idea that perfectionism was a requirement, or that there were any rules at all, and just go with it.

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
I always thought I would have enjoyed architecture or meteorology. I enjoy numbers and analytics. I am very structured and left-brained. When I create, it is time for my right brain to come out and play.

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
In college I worked for a garden center/florist and a landscaping company. While I did not participate in the design process, I did learn a lot about balance and perspective, focal points, etc, and developed a stronger appreciation for nature. I also worked as a preschool teacher for a short time, which helped to remind me how fun it is to mess around with paint.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
If I don't have a particular purchase in mind, I will often gravitate to the dyes. I love to dye fabric, socks, shoe laces, and anything else I can get my hands on. I love the spontaneity of manipulating a piece of fabric, covering it with dye, and watching it choose the pattern that emerges.

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I would like to experiment with soy wax batik. When the weather warms, I hope to play around with this technique. I would also like to improve my drawing skills, but have no immediate plans to take any classes.
7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?              
I would probably be an animal rights activist, or an environmentalist. I have such a soft spot for animals and truly feel that we are shepherds of creation, not rulers over it. I would love to see the problems of homeless pets, and loss of habitat for wild animals, solved through positive means. I believe that valuing the sanctity of the life of our animal friends is a good step towards peace on Earth.

Thanks for the interview, Michelle.  We look forward to seeing where your artistic journey takes you next!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

January Member Interview: Penny Arrowood

Penny Arrowood
blog:  Thoughts Askance:  http://pennylarrowood.blogspot.com/

1. What inspires you to create?
hmmm... that's a toughie! It is something that I carry around with me. I cannot imagine NOT creating. I guess it stems from a love of reading and a general love of words -- both their power to move us, and the visual impact that they can have. In a sense that's how my mind works when I am creating -- I can SEE it, and the fun is in the 'getting there'.

2. When did you decide to pursue art or did art pursue you?
Despite never wanting for creative pursuits, I feel more as if I have been pursued, than being the pursuer (?) Although, this could become the whole "chicken or the egg" thing, really... Bottom line: I interact with the world at large much more capably if I have SOME sort of creative outlet. Over the years, that outlet has taken many forms: (needlework, photography, painting, music, simple line drawings, computer aided graphic design, handicrafts, bookbinding *my current love*, jewelry, metal work *another current FAVE*, etc., etc...) As long as the ideas keep coming, I'll keep running along with them.

3. If you weren't an artist, what would you be?
This question is the 'stumbler' for me... Technically, if I weren't what I AM, I would be an Artist! I wear many hats; and, for the most part, love that existence. In many ways, it makes my productive efforts all the more pleasing, because it requires a firm hand in scheduling my time so that I can indulge in creative pursuits.

If I were neither of these things, I have long thought of being an event planner! I love all that goes into the making of a successful event; and have hosted a few of my own... Hey, I'm no Martha Stewart; but I have an eye for the little things that make a gathering more of an occasion!

4. What other jobs have you had which have aided you on your artistic path?
I think that the time I spent selling/designing advertising for a weekly paper in Knoxville, TN *in what seems like another LIFEtime* has been the skill-set that gave me the most creative range, work-wise. That was the beginning of my graphic design training (oh, how I would dearly love to have the waxer that I used to use everyday, now), and those lessons have served me well ever since. In addition to designing printed and online sales/promotional materials for various jobs, I have been able to provide a valuable service to various volunteer associations in the intervening years. It's something that I enjoy, to boot! I have long suspected that this early 'training' has informed my tendency toward somewhat linear work, when it comes to other creative endeavors.

5. At the art supply store, which section do you gravitate to first?
HA! I have a hard time deciding where to go, first! Being a card carrying paper junkie, I have to enjoy a trip through the paper/pad aisle -- just to make sure there isn't anything that I 'need.' I never fail to be mesmerized by the vast assortment of colors and mediums, when I visit with my friends the acrylics! Bargains on canvases of ANY size make me giddy -- although, I am running out of room to store my 'steals.' It all goes back to the beginning, really: creativity is like my shadow! Show me the 'stuff' and I will come up with something to do with it. *speaking of which, why DO I have 6 rolls of plaster cloth?!?*

6. What new technique or art form would you like to learn? Do you have plans to do so?
I have had encaustic painting/collage nibbling at the outer edges of my mind for a few months, now. So far, I have been able to ward off these invading thoughts by employing simple logic (i.e. "you don't really need another new thing, right now," and "you really don't have time to embark on a new venture,"); but I can feel the defenses crumbling! I have been gathering the bits and pieces to have a go at it during my wanderings -- so, sooner than later, my inner child will be dancing in wax!

7. If you could do anything, and knew you could not fail, what would you choose to do?
If I could do ANYthing?!? This question turned my mind into a veritable popcorn popper! There are many things I would love to do under the cloak of 'no failure!' If I could choose only one, though, I think I would embark on a career as a motivational speaker! Just the thought of it makes me happy. I could meet all kinds of interesting people, and travel to various and sundry places -- and just imagine: getting paid to TALK! ...hee, hee -- would you crack up if you saw me on late night TV with my own infomercial? Oh, but it IS fun to dream!

Yes, we'd crack up if we saw you on your own infomercial, but then we'd be rushing to get our wallets, to buy whatever you'd be selling!  Thanks for the interview, Penny...we look forward to seeing what new, creative endeavors this new year will bring to you (maybe something exceedingly cool out of waxed plaster cloth?).