If you’ve been following the blog, you already know that my husband and I are taking the plunge. We are opening a screen print and graphic design shop here in Orange, MA. We are so excited to be embarking on this journey together!
Side note: The question I get most is “Will you still paint?” Yes. Yes, I absolutely will. Bring on the commissions. 🙂
As we transition into this new phase, we are faced with lots of challenges that come up with opening a new business. And a good chunk of that is financial. Crowdfunding doesn’t feel like a good fit for us, but I have decided to hold a “Support Orange Graphix and Get a Painting” sale. This is a great way to support a local business AND get some cool art created during the 100 Paintings in 100 Days project. (FYI: That project will be hard to top. It was so intense! But I may try another soon…)
Paintings, like the one above, are ready and waiting. Pick one price or two, it’s totally up to you. No matter what you choose, you have my deepest gratitude. By buying yourself (or someone you love!) a painting, you’ll not only get some art and you’ll be part of this bigger project that’s happening right now.
Search “100 Paintings” in the shop section to pick your favorites and support a local business.
With love and so much gratitude, Amber
PS: If custom apparel or graphic design appeals to you, your business or club/sport/facility,
Today my kids experienced their first ever 5k (on their own two feet, at least). I’d like to say it was a rockin’ experience, but no. It was quite miserable.
We didn’t want to set the bar too high, so our goal was merely to see how it goes and hopefully we can finish.
In true New England fashion, it snowed – not a ton, but enough to worry about freezing fingers and toes. We took the risk and drove the 1h 15mins hoping the roads wouldn’t be too bad. And since we were walking, we layered up and topped it all off with snowsuits and boots.
The turnout was good. About 3,500 participants. We made it halfway without being too tired or miserable, and we peeled some layers since the kids were hot. At this point, we still had some people behind us, but we were losing ground and the people manning the water table were supportive and cheered us on. One kind man walked with us for a bit encouraging the kids, as I’m sure he could tell their spirits were low.
As we neared mile 2, we were well behind the pack (read: last) and a woman had joined us and said she was thankful for the company, so she wasn’t alone. In front of us we could see the next group of race staff, which indicates a turning point, but with no one in front of us we didn’t know what that turn was.
As luck would have it, that staff abandoned their post before we got there and the ever so helpful sign (you know, the one with the ARROW) directed us right. Yeah. It should have been a LEFT. (Thinking back, they probably pulled it out and moved it, but we had no way of knowing that then. Also, some bibs had a map on the back – you think any one of ours did? Nah. Too easy.)
The experience of seeing the Mile 2 marker a second time was awesome.
So, we had three miles under our belt and one more to go. We actually had a guy drive up and start removing the race signs in front of us. I asked him to please not remove the further ones since we were still part of the race, wanted to finish and we didn’t want to get lost again. He told us where we needed to go (now that we figured that part out) and carried on.
By this time, the kids were mis-er-a-ble. My daughter was holding up ok, but my son had already been in tears and sat on the wet ground in defeat. He said he was never doing this again. How do you tell a kid he walked a mile further than he had to?
The final mile was something spectacular. There was so much hard, and whizzing traffic, and lots (and lots) of slow walking. This was not the time to be ticked off or complain. This was a time for support, encouragement and a little nudging.
It was also the PERFECT opportunity to talk about soldiers, their families and what kind of sacrifice they make. The pain they walk through daily and how this walk is just a small fraction of what they experience.
With the end in sight (the finish line already dismantled), our crew soldiered on. We crossed that imaginary line and followed up with an ice cream to celebrate.
Afterward, I asked them if they were proud of their accomplishments, how they walked every bit of that race, and went even further than the rest who had signed up that day. There wasn’t excitement, but a simple “yeah, I guess.” It was a small glimmer of hope … that was confirmed later with the two of them singing the National Anthem in the backseat and my son walking around the rest of the day – wearing his race shirt with pride.
Update 4/6/16: I usually keep posts like this to a minimum and I never include who I’m talking about. It merely serves as a take away point and we look to the positive of the day. In this case, I wrote a message on the Run for the Troops 5k FB page and I was told it would be forwarded to the organizers. No response. So I sent a detailed email to the director about some of the things we went through in hopes that it doesn’t happen to anyone else:
And he responded, “So sorry about your experience , I hope you return someday Bill Pennington”
Really? A potential safety issue, a nightmare of a day, and that’s it? Also, I tried approaching them civilly on social media and it was deleted. Fuel to the fire.
Folks, this is not how you handle customer complaints.
A basic customer service response should be, “I’m so sorry for your experience. Please trust we are handling the issue to ensure that doesn’t happen again. We hope you will join us again next year.” Seriously, even just “Please trust we are handling the issue to ensure that doesn’t happen again.” part would have been fine by me.
All I have to say is we will continue to support our troops, but Run for the Troops 5K in Andover, MA will not get any of my donations or rallying up teams or participants for them anymore. I truly hope the soldier we intended to support gets the support he needs.
I have received lots of feedback about the daily drawings I was posting on Facebook.
I have heard quite a bit about how they are inspiring some of you to keep daily sketchbooks and journals on your own. I’m so proud of you guys. Please keep at it! (And post some of your art on my page, if it moves you.)
I have also heard that my daily posts are missed. Honestly, I miss them too.
I miss that push to create every day. No matter what the final result was – and it’s true, not every drawing was stellar. But I did have some sketches turn out way better than I ever imagined. Drawings that wouldn’t exist if I didn’t have that challenge to nudge me forward.
So, I’m back at it.
Each day for 100 Days I will be painting (and posting) a daily piece of art. What better way to improve my craft and see what turns up?
Hold onto your hats folks, this project is going to be a fun one.
Starting September 13th, I am going to paint one painting each day for 100 days.
I’ve got plenty of paintings (mine and other artists) hanging around and there is NO way I can keep 100 more paintings in my house without finding myself in hot water… so, these babies will be looking for new homes.
Here’s the cool part: Prices. On September 13th, the first day’s painting will go for $1. Day two (Sept 14th), the painting will be $2. Day three will be $3… and so on. Each day the price will go up a dollar until Day 100 when that painting will be, yep, $100.
Here’s where it gets interesting: I’m offering my mailing list followers the option to purchase them first. (Don’t miss out. Sign up here. And tell the people you like.) I will send out an email first thing each morning, by 9AM Eastern Time with an image, pricing and other details. That is your chance to grab it.
Each evening, the painting will be posted to the blog and other social media outlets. It’s all fair game after that. So, if something catches your eye, make sure you snap it up quick. The first one to get to it will be the winner.
This is the perfect opportunity to purchase an original painting on the cheap.*
For me, this is the most involved challenge to date. Committing to paint something every. single. day. for a 100 days feels a little nuts. I’m up for it, are you prepared for the ride? I’m a little nervous and a lot excited. I can’t wait to get started.
See you on the 13th!
*FYI: Just so there are no surprises, there is a small shipping fee to offset mailing and supply costs.