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

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