There is a place. Like no place on Earth.

A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger!

Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter.

Which luckily I am.

~The Mad Hatter

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Ramblings from Rosemary

Evolving out of the Stone Age

I finally broke down and decided it was time for a smart phone. Not because I really wanted all the cool technology but because I sent my ancient flip-phone through the permanent press cycle. Four days in rice and I was able to rescue the phone enough to use, but only when plugged into the wall charger.

OK, laugh if you want to. I know a few of you have similar horror stories of destruction.

I guess its time to step out of the stone-age and get new technology. I’m not sure why I need all that crap on a phone. Sure, it would be fun to quickly take snap shots of my friends, cats and culinary treats and share them on Facebook. But really, do I need a phone for that? I’ve got a little digital camera for snap shots. I prefer working on my laptop, after all, that itsy-bitsy screen is waaay too small for this old bat.

But texting will be much easier on a smart phone. I won’t have to hit the number keys multiple times for the letter. That’s cool.

OK I guess its time

The adventure begins . . .

I checked out online specials on iPhones and found a .99 special for an iPhone 4. So, I trot down to the Verizon store and explain to the 12 year old that approached me that I really wasn’t really to step out of the stone-age but I can’t fight progress any longer.

He tells me that they don’t have the .99 special but pulls out a chart of about 300 phones and costs. Then launches into a well-rehearsed pitch. Ninety minutes later, I walk out believing I just ordered a pretty new blue iPhone 5c for $61 and my monthly bill would only go up by $20.

OK I can deal with that.

But all that day I had this awful, sinking feeling in the pit of my gut. My husband and friends tried to reassure me that I was just a little afraid of new technology and I would learn it quickly.

The next day the new phone arrived, but it was late and I just opened the box, looked at the phone and said: Oooo, Pretty Blue then promptly put it back in the box. The next morning, I grabbed my coffee and the box, pulled out the phone and thought again: Oooo, Pretty Blue. I took out the papers and saw a bill for $548.

Five Hundred and Forty-Eight Dollars!!!

*#@& &#* %#&$ 

What happened to the $61 dollar phone???

Obviously, I had no idea what I just bought. Dinosaurs should NEVER buy new technology alone. I should have asked one of my niece, Mallory, to help me. After all, Mally worked for Verizon for a while and she is constantly on that device doing who knows what.

I am not ready for new technology.

I trot back down to the Verizon store, return the phone and got full credit back.

I am not ready for new technology.

My old flip phone still works . . . only when it is plugged into the wall charger . . . but it works . . .

I am not ready for new technology . . . yet.

Now, keep in mind we are in process of selling our home in Pittsburgh and moving to North Potomac, Maryland. Paul still is working in the Burgh till at least the beginning of December.

The adventure continues

The problems with my old flip phone didn’t get any better. I held out as long as I could. I talked with family and friends, got opinions from everyone!

I went on line again and found the same .99 iPhone special on the Verizon website. So we called Verizon directly and spoke with a pleasant representative. We ordered the iPhone 4s for 99 cents.

The next day, It arrived but was programmed with Paul’s number not mine. The representative assured me that was no problem and would be corrected upon activation.

So, I trot down to a Verizon store in Maryland. I was helped by an adult. A relic about my age. Imagine that! Told him I need to activate the phone briefly explaining the numbers mistake and I would need help understanding how to work the phone.

Two hours later, I walk out of the store and rush off to the grocery store. (God, I’m starving) When I finally get home I call my husband to update him. But when I dialed him I got directly into voicemail. I plugged my pin and got Paul’s voicemail.

OMG! That means they did not activate my phone number and Paul has no Phone!!!


So I trot back to the Verizon store (I am really starving at this point, but I remained pleasant) and they spend the next Ninety minutes correcting the phone number mistake.

Finally. It’s done. I have a new smart phone.

I first thought: Am I smart enough for a smart phone? But this auto correct feature has made many, many, many bad choices for me.

I don’t think this phone is smart enough for me!

Many of you know the horror stories about DC traffic and drivers. They are an understatement. It’s worse that anything you can image. Six lanes of really bad drivers. Some going really fast, others going really slow, the rest are cutting in and out really fast and really slow. It’s no wonder there are so many accidents on the Beltway.

I decided to take back roads to avoid sitting in that crap.

Anyway, my first night of driving home, I missed a turn. It was almost dark. I’m lost and alone.


Then I remembered: Oh yeah, I’ve got maps on my phone.

It took me about five minutes to figure out how to use it but it showed me the way home from where I was.

Technology is really cool.

I’m glad I finally pulled the trigger. It was time.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Christmas Stocking Drive - Military Connections

How Important it is for us to Recognize and Celebrate our Heroes and She-roes!  

~Maya Angelou

Please Join us on Wednesday, September 18 for an Evening To Support The Troops.

Business Leads Exchange Networking group will sponsor a fundraiser to raise money for Military Connections Christmas Stocking Drive.

Military Connections ships all types of items overseas; primarily food, snacks, healthcare items, athletic socks, and entertainment items such as compact discs or magazines.  The list is really endless.
Every year, Summer Tissue and her merry band of volunteers, collect, package and mail over 15, 0000 Christmas Stockings to deployed troops.

All items are donated, but shipping costs are astronomical! Last year the costs topped over $8000.

Show these brave men and women there are people back home supporting them. Please don't let them to go without things such as toilet paper or Tylenol.

If you can't make the fundraiser, but still want to help our troops, you can send your Tax Deductible donations to:
Military Connections
312 Auburn Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15235

Christmas Stocking Drive 

Date: Wednesday - September 18, 2013
Time: 5:00pm - 8:00pm
Place: Comfort Inn - RIDC Park Fox Chapel
Price: $15.00 before September 15th. $20.00 after or at the door, space permitting.
Price Includes: hors d’oeuvres, a door prize ticket, and exceptional networking. There will be a cash bar.
Who Can Attend? Any adult interested in supporting our troops. (Must be 18 to enter).
Tickets Can Be Purchased In Person: At the BLX Networking Lunch Meetings using cash or check.
Through The Mail: Send a check made out to BLX Networking to Northwest Savings Bank,
Attention: Beth Hastings, 905 Main Street, Sharpsburg, Pa. 15215. (Your tickets will be held at the door).
Stop In At The Following: Purchase tickets from the Oakmont Chamber of Commerce, Oakmont or
Cheswick Floral, or Northwest Savings Bank - Sharpsburg Branch.
By Credit Card: Go to and click on the Military Connections Event Link.

Military Connections is a Non-Political, Non-Profit, all volunteer organization. Military Connections sends goodies to our deployed men & women at no charge to the family or Service Member.
My God!  How little do my countrymen know what precious blessings they are in possession of, and which no other people on earth enjoy!  
~Thomas Jefferson

Monday, August 5, 2013

Art Marketing ~ Life on the Dark Side

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Let’s be real here. Art does not Sell Itself.

Most Artists stink at marketing their own work. It’s hard to sell yourself. It’s hard to sell your baby. Not everyone thinks your baby is as cute as you do, but that’s OK. Many folks will see what you see, but sometimes you have to gently help the process along.

There are so many great books on art marketing, that I don’t want to rehash the obvious. I will provide you a few recommendations of my favorite business building books.

Over time, I’ll share with you some things I know to be important in marketing my art and developing a following and collectors. I’ll share with you the Good, the Bad and the Ugly tactics and results of my efforts.

Stay Tuned!

Joy & Laughter

I'm aiming for the emotional honesty of Van Gogh and the promotional skills of Coca-Cola!
 ~Dion Archibald

Must Have Books

How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul by Caroll Michels

Guerrilla Marketing for Artists: Build a Bulletproof Art Career to Thrive in Any Economy by Barney Davey

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Pulling a Rabbit Out of a Hat

It Only Took 18 Days

On June 9, I was offered a One-Person Show at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts in Pittsburgh, PA with an (original) opening reception day of June 28.

OMG! That's ONLY 18 days away!!!

The gallery space has two separate areas and could fit around twenty-ish pieces of framed art. I had seven pieces framed. 

First Stop:  Panza Gallery!  Mark and his daughter, Jennifer worked with me to frame eighteen pieces within my practically non-existent budget and my absurd timeline.
Next on the list was designing an exhibit invitation. Designing the invite was easy. Agonizing over printers - well this is a post (rant) in itself.

Then comes the supporting marketing collateral for the exhibit. My Biography & Artist's Statement just needed to be printed on nice stock and framed. My dear friend and Marketer in Crime, Nadine Ostrowski, helped me whip out a Press Release. All that's left is the exhibit catalog and artwork tags.

Monkey Wrench! We found out that we had a conflict of dates with the PGA Seniors Tournament held across the street. They close the road except to PGA VIPs. So we had to change the dates for the opening reception. However, my timeline didn't really change. I was scheduled to escape to the beach and the only day I could hang the show was June 27.

On June 27 we pick up framed art. Twenty-one pieces total were framed, one of which was a triptych and two others were diptychs.  My incredibly awesome husband, Paul, helped me hang the exhibit in just a few hours.

The real work was done in just 18 days!

Now I could relax and enjoy a previously planned beach vacation

Last on my task list was promotion. I hit all the local newspapers and online calendars in a few hours then promoting the exhibit on all the social media until the opening on July 11.

Understand one very important thing here. I Could Not Have Pulled This Off WITHOUT the Help of a AWESOME Support Team. 

If you don't have a great support team, that could help you pull a rabbit out of a hat, then begin to build those relationships immediately. You Never know if someone is going to offer you a prime opportunity to showcase your work.

BTW, The opening reception was a hit!

Thank you to all who helped me pull this off and those who support my artwork

Joy and Laughter

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Numbers Game

Developing a fan base is a numbers game. If you throw enough stuff at the wall, something is bound to stick!

Typical marketing reach is you need to touch a prospect at least 3-10 before they even think about buying your stuff. Reality is more like 25 times before they take action.

If you're my friend, it's OK not to LIKE my Facebook Fan Page, but I will be eternally grateful if you SHARE my link with all your friends.

You see, it's all a numbers game, the more people I can reach, the quicker I find my fan base.

I don't need Everyone to LIKE my work, I just need a few people who love it enough to buy it or share it with their friends.

 Please help me reach my audience. I don't know where they are! They aren't sporting tattoos on their foreheads saying I love Hand Painted Photography. There are no neon lights over their heads flashing Art Lover.  My only chance of reaching them is with your help. Please share the links to my Facebook website and my website with all your friends.

Who I Want to Reach:
Gallery Curators & Owners
Interior Designers & Decorators
Art Consultants
Corporate Art Buyers
Art Lovers
People that like pretty places

If you know someone from the list above, I would really be grateful for an introduction.

And Don't Forget to:
Sign Up for News & Updates:
LIKE  Facebook Fan Page:
Visit my Website:

Thank you for your support. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me. I hope you can also take the time to promote other American Artists.

Joy & Laughter

I get by with a little help from my friends,
Yes I get by with a little help from my friends,
With a little help from my friends.

~The Beatles

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


Elysian Fields

New Opening Reception Date!

Due to conflict with the PGA Seniors Tournament, the opening of the Low Tides & Bucolic Daze exhibit at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts has be rescheduled to: 

Thursday, July 11, from 7pm - 9pm

Hopewell Rocks

 You see, The Fox Chapel Country Club is hosting the 2013 PGA Seniors Tournament. The Hillman Center is across the street from the club and much of the parking is needed for the PGA. Couple that with limited access to Fox Chapel Road and you have a nightmare. And to be quite honest, I would like to have some warm bodies show up for the opening!

The exhibit will be unofficially open for viewing if you want to take a break from the Tournament and wander across the street to the Hillman Center.

If you are attending the Seniors, you'll find me trailing Freddie Couples, Mark Calcavecchia (although Brenda is really my hero here!) and of course Greg The Shark Norman.

Joy & Laughter

Sunday, June 9, 2013


In just 18 days I have a Art Exhibit opening at the Hillman Center for Performing Arts.

Now, this all happened in the last few days. On Wednesday I was offered the opportunity to exhibit my Hand Painted Photography through the Summer!


No Time to be Verklempt! Too much to do. Framing, Press Release, Postcards, Catalog.

Extra Special Thanks to Mark Panza, Framer Extraordinaire!( Be sure to visit his website  Without his expertise I would not be able to get it done!

More Soon! Info:

Low Tides and Bucolic Daze

Pinfish Point

Elysian Fields


Hand Painted Photography

Opening Reception: Thursday, June 27 from 7 – 9pm.

The Hillman Center for Performing Arts
423 Fox Chapel Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15238


Joy & Laughter