'Tis the Season for Rag Rugs and Towels by Every Door!


Good morning, friends!  Happy New Year's Eve, Eve!  We've almost made it!  As the final moments of 2021 tick down, I'm gonna sit over here with my coffee and egg nog and "be ve-wy ve-wy quiet" (Elmer Fudd) so as not to antagonize her into any last minute bursts of mayhem.  Really feeling like tip-toeing into the new year this time.  That is usually not my style.  I'm a bit loud, and a bit of a klutz.  I'm a pot banger, an off key singer and a loud "holler-er" across the streets when I say hello to the neighbors.  They always know I'm coming.  Hee hee.

(But seriously.......ssssshhhhh......let's not get 2022 all riled up before she comes in.  Let's be quiet, respectful, and offer her chocolate.)

Speaking of across the street, here's the current view outside my front door.  I really was out in the fresh air earlier, with the dogs and the shovel, but didn't think to take a photo until I removed all 15 layers of winter garb. Ugh....that's the thing about winter....it's so dang much work. 

That tiny looking person across the street is my neighbor Lon, doing his patriotic duty of keeping the driveway cleared.  He's thorough.  I'm not.  My approach is often, "eh, good enough."  So.....with the snow, pretty as it is, comes the annual dragging out of the rag rugs and bath towels by every entrance of the home, so we can mop up puddles and wipe down the doggies.  Fun at first, a drag by February.  Stay tuned for lots of grumbling in a few weeks.  I promise you, it will come.

Seriously though, we have much to be grateful for, here in the big yellow house.  Earlier in the year, our sweet Bosco, the old chocolate lab, got a cancer diagnosis....he has a slow growing mass on his lung.  It's a long story, but we thought we were going to lose him in the spring...but he's still with us.  He's still comfortable, enjoying life, eating his meals, taking short walks.  We are so grateful to have him still with us, and are soaking up every glorious day with him.  When it's time to say goodbye, we will know.  We've been down this road before.  Our "bright young thing", Callie Mae Butterbean Naughtypants, the yellow lab, keeps us on our toes.  She is just a ball of joy.  Always ready for a good time.  Always wagging her tail.  Always ready to snuggle.  (as seen above).

I'm thankful for my kids and my hubby who were a great support system while I found myself on the road again, attending art shows.  Hubby is my pack mule and navigator, the kids take care of the doggies at the house for us.  We were BUSY this summer.  I mean, wow!  Customers and collectors were so generous with their support, both in person and shopping online.  THANK YOU to everyone who supported my work one way or another this year!  I'm so thankful!  

I have some fun things in store for the new year!  Some new projects, big and small, and I hope to be more active online, possibly jazzing up the YouTube channel and doing some more online and in person teaching.  More on that soon.  In the meantime, remember.......

Cheers, Dori and the gang

Hello October!

Good morning pals!  Happy October!  How are you?  Wow....that summer flew by, didn't it?  It sure did for us!  We were on the road off and on, selling at art shows, and it was a blast!  We were mostly fortunate with the weather at our outdoor shows....WHEW!  Right now, I'm settling back into the studio.  I'm going to focus on making some holiday goodies now.  I always tell myself I'm going to start sooner, but it never happens.  SIGH.  So many ideas, so little time.  Oh well.  

Hey!  Lookie there!  A ribbon from the Octagon Arts Festival!  Thank you, friends!

I'm also looking forward to just being home more, as we settle into autumn.  This is my favorite time of year.  This is our anniversary month, hubby and I.  We are planning to celebrate with a good meal and some scary movies.  I have some projects around the house I'm hoping to get going on as well.  Some sprucing, some additional lighting in the studio, and then think about decorating for the holidays, since it looks like we will be hosting this year.  

I've been having fun dipping my toe back into teaching this year as well.  Online teaching right now.  It's a challenge for me, these "techy" things.....thankfully the hubby is patient and helpful in that department!  I'm considering the possibility of diving back into some in-person workshops next year....but will just need to see how this covid things goes.  I've managed to avoid it so far, and hope that trend continues.  (smile)

Alright....let's get after it, folks!  Have a great week!  -Dori

You Don't Want to Miss This Awesome Creative Event! Join Me!


Hello creative friend!  I'm so excited to share that I'm joining in the Life Book teaching team for Life Book 2022!  My friend Tamara Laporte from Willowing Arts has just opened registration for the FREE LIFE BOOK TASTER SESSIONS!  It was really popular last year with over 18,000 folks joining in!

What is it?
A completely free 2 week long exploration into creating and well being.  The sessions are filled with inspiring classes, art sessions, giveaways, meditations and well being activities to help you get present and connected to the healing power of your creativity!

What does it involve? 
30 teachers are giving free classes over a two week period, and I'm one of them!  (eeep!)  It's going to be a big couple of weeks in our creative community, and I can't wait!

Not only are these free sessions filled with inspiring classes by amazing artists, but there will be opportunities to win a free place on the Life Book course and enjoy other freebies and giveaways as well.

When you attend the Life Book Free Taster Sessions, you are able to:
    -Listen to the sessions at your leisure in your own time.
    -Join our Facebook Group and meet like-minded creatives from around the world.
    -Wear whatever comfy clothes you want and enjoy the free sessions from the comfort of your home.
    -Play, try new things, make mistakes.  You are accepted just as you are!
    -Enjoy free art and well being activities.

For my free activity, we will be creating some Tokens of Affection!  These are fabulous little nuggets for brightening someone's day, decorating a party table, or turning into jewelry!

They are so fun and easy, and I'll share info about my favorite supplies! Sooooooo......

    -Do you want to learn how to create more well being and joy in your life?
    -Do you want to create, express, have fun and grow?
    -Do you want to play with paint, get messy, and enjoy mark making?
    -Do you want to learn how to use creativity to become more grounded and present?
    -Do you want a chance to win a spot on Life Book 2022, the full course?

Then come join us on the Life Book Taster Sessions!
It's completely free, so join us now by reserving your seat HERE.

The taster sessions begin September 27th and will run for two whole weeks!
Join us now, by clicking HERE for the 30+ Life Book FREE Taster Sessions!

LOVE IT ALREADY?????  You can Pre-order the FULL COURSE now!

The full Life Book 2022 Course (which I'll be teaching on!  Yay!) is available for pre-order with a 30% discount right now!  Use coupon: ARTJOY30 at the checkout if you are ready to join us!  You can sign up by CLICKING HERE.  If you join Life Book 2022 now, you'll get life-long access to the Free Session content as well as a year of amazing art activities.  You'll also receive a virtual gift bag filled with extras and goodies.

See you there!  
Love, Dori

The Frida Exhibit in Chicago

Hi pals!  It's been a while since I've written.  How are you?  How was your summer?  Here we are, at the end of August already.  WOW.  It flew by and dragged by at the same time, didn't it?  Mostly, flying by for me, as this has been a summer of getting back into art shows.  Hubby and are don't know if we are coming or going lately, but it's been fun, and the turn out at the shows have mostly been wonderful!  I think everyone was excited to get back to it again!  

In between shows, the hubby and I took a quick little trip to Chicago that was purely for fun, not work.  We had postponed tickets for the Frida exhibit at The Cleve Carney Museum of Art.  Our tickets were originally for 2020, and well, we all know the rest of the story.  Postponed.  Until now.  

Most of you know Frida's story, so I won't elaborate here....and if you don't know her story, it's easy to learn...many books and movies on her life, and what influenced her art.  She has become an icon for many of us know....an example of strength in adversity, and a woman who was truly her own woman, not afraid to express who she really was.  For the day and age she lived in, that was not easy.  Hell, it's still not easy in this day and age.  I was surprised by how moving it was to be in the presence of some her original works.  To see the brush strokes and markings.  Magical.  

The reproductions of her clothing were a sight to behold.  And the corset. It inflicted additional pain and discomfort to her already wounded body. Necessary to help her heal, but haunting to look at. It made me cringe to think of wearing something like that day in and day out, waiting for the body to heal.

I'm feeling very grateful that we were able to take the opportunity to get away and see this.  Someday, I hope to travel to her Casa Azul and see her home/studio in person. Below are pictures of a model created in its likeness.  

I adored this GIANT paper mache puppet!  I imagine this might be part of some festivals and parades.

Some local artists created artwork in tribute to Frida.....stunning.  Wish I had taken more pics of this section.....

All in all, a wonderful visit to Chi-town!  CLINK.

Meet my friend Shana Rainey!


Happy Friday pals!  Hope you are all doing great and enjoying the summer so far!  Just popping in to say "here's someone you should know about!"  My sweet friend, Shana!  She and I met a few years ago while both exhibiting in the same art show.  She claimed that she had been "stalking" me online....ha!  We became instant friends.  She's one of the sweetest people you will ever meet.  And one of the hardest workers I've ever met.  Ever.  I was able to get her to sit still for a few minutes and answer a few interview questions for me.....enjoy!  

1.)    Hi Shana!  Thanks so much for doing this with me!  First off, can you tell my friends a little bit about yourself and what you do?   Hi Dori!!  I am honored that you asked me to do an interview with you.  My name is Shana Rainey.  I am the artist/owner of Winged Goddess Studio.  I live and create in Boone.  I am married to Mark and we have one son, Will who is 17.  I also work full time at my day job.  Creating handmade jewelry and being surrounded by art it what makes me happy.  I have a tendency to get bored easily so that is why I have such a wide variety of styles and collections.  

2.)    You and I became friends through doing the same art show a while back.  I remember hitting it off with you instantly.  You have such a wonderful positive vibe that I admire, and you really make people feel cared for and at ease.  Do you ever feel discouraged or disappointed?  If so, how do you deal with that?   I am so grateful that we were able to become friends.  As an artist there can be a lot of discouragement and disappointment.  It can be discouraging when at a show a customer makes a negative comment about my jewelry.  It has taken awhile but I try really hard not to take it personally.  Not everyone will like what I make.  I try to focus on my customers  who do like what I make.  It can also be disappointing to apply for a show and not get in.  I usually will take a couple of hours being disappointed that I was not accepted but then remind myself of all the shows that I have been accepted to.  I try to find the positive in the rejection.  For example, it gives me more time to spend with my family or time to work on new pieces.  

3.)    You are so prolific! The amount of work you produce boggles my mind!  How do you find time to get it all done?  Do you have a schedule or routine you adhere to?  It is sometimes really hard to get it all done since I still work full time and have a busy family.   It truly depends on my schedule of shows and what I have going on in my day-to-day life.  I don't necessarily have a schedule or routine.  I will work on my jewelry during my lunch hour or here and there in the evenings and on weekends.   I generally make all of my jewelry in large batches.  Most of the time it takes me at least a month or more depending on what collection I am working on because there are several steps involved.  It always takes me longer than I think it will to complete it too.  It can be very challenging to balance everything.   Most days it feels like I am failing.  Right now, my house looks like a tornado hit, clean laundry is still in basket and we eat a lot of quick or carry out meals lol.   I am grateful because my mom helps me do the finish work of adding price tags for me.  You will also find me finishing up pieces during shows.  I try really hard to be organized but it usually doesn't work.  A friend once said "we have the best intentions but the worst follow through".  

4.)    What do you do when you are feeling uninspired and need to get the creative juices flowing?  Feeling uninspired happens a lot especially after last year.  It was hard being creative when there was nowhere to go or anyone to share it with.  One way I get my creativity flowing is looking through the supplies I already have on hand and find a new way to use or create with them.  Sometimes I will buy a new supply for an idea I have in my head and then my idea won't work.  I will set aside the supply until someday I come up with something new.  I also like to mix my different collections together to create a new look.  For example, taking my leather earrings and adding wood to them.  It seems like my new ideas always come right before a show so I am scrambling, trying to get it done in time.  

5.)    What is the ultimate message you hope comes across in your creative expressions?  I just want my customers to enjoy what I make.  I want it to be affordable.  I try to create simple pieces that can be layered with jewelry that the customers already own or on its own.  It makes me smile when I see a customer wearing my work.  I want to make people smile wearing it or giving it as a gift.

6.)    What’s coming up for you?  I will be in Waukee this coming weekend and several more shows throughout rest of the year.  I will be updating my Facebook and Instagram page detailing when and where.

7.)    Where can we find you?  

Shana's website, click HERE.

Shana's Facebook page, click HERE.

Shana's Instagram, click HERE.

Bacon Jewelers

Homespun Elegance

        Thanks so much to Shana for popping by to say hi and answer a few questions!  I hope you will go visit her links and check out the goodies she has to offer!  Personally, I'm obsessed with all of her stud earrings.  I'm slowly building my collection!  Ha!  Have a great weekend, friends!  XOXO -Dori

Meet My Friend Rachel Awes!

You guys!  Happy Tuesday! Happy summer!  You are in for a BIG TREAT today!  The effervescent and colorful being, Rachel Awes, has stopped by the blog to visit us this morning!   She is a psychologist of 28 years, an author, and all around sparkly being based in St. Paul, MN!  Rachel adds so much color, enthusiasm and joy to the art community and beyond!  It's been great fun for me to get to know her and follow her work through the years. Very few people do what they do with as much heart and humility as Rachel.  She has a way of just making you feel at home and at ease.  Know what I mean?

 I had the opportunity to ask her a few questions about her life, her outlook and what inspires her......

1. Rachel! I’m so happy to be able to chat with you here! Thanks for joining us! First off, can you tell everyone a little bit about who you are and what you do?

I work as a psychologist, author, art playgroundist, and speaker out of St. Paul, Minnesota. My deepest passion is listening to the beauty within people and reflecting it back through affirming words and vibrant colors.

2. You are one of the most colorful people I know! Your personal style is so joyful and inspiring! Did your personal style develop over time, or have you always been so sparkly?

Over time, my personal style has evolved back to the freedom, colors, and joy I naturally gravitated to as a child. The colors came into fuller bloom as an adult in my 40’s, when I began creating art daily. I found that as I created art, art created me. Three illustrated and written books later, I found my favorite clothing store in New York City, Gudrun Sjoden, felt my illustrations had magically come to life, and now am an ambassador for them and I can’t imagine dressing in anything other than my true self.

3. Are you ever discouraged? How does that affect your creativity? 2020 was a tough year for so many, your family included. What keeps you going? (sorry that’s 3 questions)

I would describe my heart as both strong and tender and my senses as highly sensitive. I also share much of my life force/love in all areas of my professional and personal life. Given all of this, my energy can wane and with it, sometimes my mood can feel more melancholy and vulnerable. When I am conscious of this, my response is to rest. Additionally, this has indeed been a tough year for many, as it has in my own home with the loss of both of my husband’s parents to COVID-19. In specific response, I found I had let my body go with not eating well nor exercising. The last two months and still, I’ve made radical changes with eating clean and recumbent biking and walks, which feels revitalizing.

 4. What do you do to get into a creative zone? Any rituals or habits that clear the way for magic?

Sometimes I schedule a weekend for creativity, or a window of a day, just like I would use my calendar for other appointments. If I’m really in the flow of creating something, I will naturally awake early before my work day begins and get busy alongside the singing birds.

5. What are you currently inspired by, and/or what are you most excited about right now?

I’m illustrating and writing my fourth book and also creating a new website. I’m quite excited about them both!

6. Where can our friends find you? (web, social media, etc)

Rachel's Website
Rachel's Etsy Shop
Rachel's Instagram
Rachel's Facebook
Rachel's Pinterest

Rachel is generously offering an art download to all of you!  See below!  This would be a great one to print off and send to a friend who needs some encouragement, or just a reminder to keep staying true to themselves!

Big thank you to Rachel for stopping by the blog today!!!!  Friends, please take a moment to visit her AMAZING new website (I mean, WOW!) and her Etsy shop (links above) for more juicy goodness!  

Have a wonderful day!  Talk soon, Dori