April 2016
News from the Lake!


Hi to everyone!  We are finally settled in Wilson, NY at the RV park for the summer!  The day we left Florida to drive here, the temperature went up to 102 degrees!  It is still a bit cool here, I think mostly because of Lake Ontario!  When I drive into town, the temp. goes up about 10 degrees!


I am pleased to have the ETSY shop available!  Thanks to Margot Clark and her web designer and a special thanks to Deb Antonick for her patience with Sonny and I as we got all of our ducks in a row!!  Deb has the patience of a saint!!  When we get back home in the beginning of October, we will make the website active again.  It should be up and running by the 15th.


What is new with us?  Becoming snow birds is an undertaking all by itself!  I actually started journaling all of the things we had to do to get organized, and because this is the first spring and summer we are doing this, I have lots of notes to myself for remembering all of the things we need to do to get ready for the trip, and then there is the trip home at the end of September!!  Just things like what groceries can withstand the freezing temperature when we are back in Lake City, and then closing up everything in Florida and preparing for the extreme heat while we are gone!


 I made a decision to NOT teach this summer while we are in NY.  With this being the first time we are living in close quarters, I figured I would see how this first summer goes, then, prepare for next summer and post my teaching schedule for out here at Daisy Barn.  We are going from a 2000 sq. ft. residence to a 400 ft. fifth wheel!!  It is pretty efficient here, lots of storage, but we will see as the time goes by!


 I have plans to add my HELPFUL HINTS section of the website up and running soon, but we have some adjusting to do in order to add it to the site.  I have two AWESOME helpful hints for people I know and I cannot wait to get that part for the site up and running so I am going to spill the beans now!!


 HELPFUL HINT #1


Sharlene Arseneau sent me an email and photo attached regarding how she handled creating a background paper for my project “SPRING”!  She used rubber stamps and watercolor paper and paint to create a beautiful floral background that she used in place of scrapbook paper like I used!  That got my wheels turning, and I thought how great it would be to use things like rubber stamps, watered down acrylic washes and even stencils to create your own background papers!    Sharlene gave me permission to add her email address so if you wanted to you could contact her for further questions you may have!  You can email her at sharlene@telusplanet.net, and her business name is ARTFULLY TOLED STUDIO!  I love getting these ideas from students and teachers and every time I get a new concept, I promise I will share it with you all!


 HELPFUL HINT #2


This is another winner!! Sowmini Mathews is a friend and student I have known for a LONG time!  I have so many people that have used my pattern packets for the glass pieces I have created and I always get questions about using the glass, tiles, or slate as coasters!  The decoupage and spraying of the matte spray in not enough to insure that moisture will not break through eventually and Sowmini asked me about this dilemma!  I suggested a marine type varnish, but, Sowmini took it a step further!!  She used Envirotex which is a resin type product to encase her slate coasters and insure that water or anything alcohol based would not break through!!  OMG, when she told me what she did, I thought back to my early years BEFORE I got into decorative painting, and I reflected back on how I would take wildflowers and dry them in silica gel, dust them off and seal them in Envirotex on pieces of barn wood. [Now…we are going back 40-some years! :o)]  Sowmini also gave me permission to add her email to this newsletter, so you could email her with questions or comments! Email Sowmini at sowminim@hotmail.com  She used my newest design the CHRISTMAS MOUSE AND SNOWMAN [which you can see on my ETSY site www.etsy.com/shop/MROwensDesigns] and adapted them to slate squares!


 As always, I welcome your feedback!  My next task is to create my newsletter for my certified teachers!  I plan on sending that in a private email to teachers that have asked me to add them to my private distribution list.  If you are a one of my certified teachers, active, or inactive, and would like to get this newsletter, please send me an email stating this and I will make sure you receive it!


In closing, while I am not traveling this summer, I am still creating new designs, and I will be posting more short videos and projects that you can create!  So many of you ask me how Cindi is doing, and she is in great shape!  Cancer free, working in a wonderful environment in Buffalo, NY, and she and Shane and the kids are all doing great!


 We have been truly blessed with how this past year and all of the events just came together so wonderfully.  Sonny [Ralph] is doing well.  His MS is progressing very slowly, but our investment in a golf cart is helping him get around the RV Park as well as in our development back in Lake City!  We have made some wonderful new friends down south, and our home is completely one floor with NO steps and that is helping him amazingly well!  Plus, the fact that he no longer has to shovel snow and clear ours and our neighbors driveways in the winter has taking a great burden off of his shoulders.  I am looking forward to teaching in the fall in Florida and my studio is almost finished!  God is great! 

Love,

Mary