This is my inspiration board for my 2012 holiday card "Joyful Reindeer" available at minted.com.
This is my inspiration board for my 2012 holiday card "Joyful Reindeer" available at minted.com.
Last night was a momentous occasion in my life. I attended the art auction event for the Urban Suburban exhibition at the Epsten Gallery of the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art. When I walked in the door I was told that my painting could've been sold several times over. I am blown away by it all. It was an incredible evening to witness the huge crowd of prominent Kansas Citians jammed into the gallery taking in all of the art hanging on the walls. My painting was in such good company surrounded by art by Peregrine Honig (Second place finisher in Bravo's Work of Art: The Next Great Artist), photographers Stanley Goldberg and Gloria Baker Feinstein, Marcus Cain, the executive director of the of KCJMCA, and so many more. We enjoyed watching the live auction part of the evening (and were careful not to make any unintended bids for thousands of dollars!). All of this has encouraged me to keep painting and pursue it with a seriousness I hadn't felt before. If they'll have me back next year, I look forward to it, participating in the Kansas City Jewish Art Festival next October and to so much more. And, now it's time to get off the computer and back to the easel.
I've just finished a new painting. It's been quite a while since the last. This one is a gift and will be framed, packed up and sent out soon to it's unsuspecting and deserving recipients. Then I'll be starting a new painting—this time a commission I'm doing for a person who's work I admire very much. She'll be giving it as a gift. I love when my art is used and shared for very special events. The sketch has been approved and I'll get out the paints as soon as the surface is prepared. Queue up some good tunes!
Last year, during an online painting class that I took, I painted a portrait of Pearl. I'm glad I did it before she left us—it would've been too hard to do it after. To preserve the memories of great times with her, I also put together this shadowbox. It holds her collar and heart-shaped tag with the last bow that the groomer put on in it, her favorite toy, a grungy pink squeaky ball and her AKC papers. I've also included a favorite picture that I took of her, coincidentally the day we got the pathology report on one of her mast cell tumors. I had taken her to DQ that evening to drown our sorrows, 'cause that's how I roll. Finally, the box of memories includes the last piece of Pearl that we have—a tuft of fur from her wonderful plume of a tail. I'm so grateful that Tabatha thought to save that for us. I still plan to go back down to the Plaza to the Three Dog Bakery store to buy a handful of Jump and Sit Bits. Those were her favorite treats, although now that I think about it Pearl never ate a treat she didn't love, but they were the perfect size for our little girl. The last time I went there I took her with me and was holding her while looking around the shop and she pooped—right into my purse—and on top of my iPhone!! The staff was great about helping me get everything cleaned up. Even that is a good memory.
Today I'm getting more catalogs to go out in the mail, but I've also got my first order printed, created, assembled, packed up and ready to ship. I guess I'm in the wholesale business. This first order is headed to Ft. Worth, Texas and I hope they're pleased and come back for more.
If you'd like to share my work with a Judaica shop in your area, let me know who to contact and I'll send them a catalog, too!
Thursday evening while I was waiting for Hannah and Dann to come by before leaving town, I went out to check the mail. These days there usually isn't much interesting mail to be worth going out there since we're not getting inundated with college brochures. This day a few things awaited me to put a smile on my face. The Jewish Studies Program at Indiana University sends out a newsletter at the beginning of each school year. I flipped through it quickly to find my sweet girl was pictured in there from Spring Student-Faculty dinner where graduates are honored. And, she was included in a list of recent graduates and what they're each currently doing. Hannah has been so successful at finishing up her college goals, after getting a little side-tracked along the way, and we are so proud of her and her amazing accomplishments. She is a very talented young woman with a very bright future ahead of her.
Then I open up the KC Jewish Chronicle. Each week when it arrives I flip through the pages to look for any big news and then when I have more time I go back read the articles. A couple pages in I found an article about the Urban Suburban show that opened this past Sunday in the Epsten Gallery at the Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art. It was accompanied by a painting, and I was happy to see that the show was being promoted. I didn't stop to read, but kept on flipping and toward the end of the paper I was shocked when I turned the page to find my painting, Bright Torah, printed in full color and taking up a whole lot of real estate on that page. There are quite a lot of works of art in the show and this is my very first gallery show—I'm just so excited to receive this kind of recognition!
Finally I opened an envelope containing a lovely thank you note from all of the girls at Watkins Scholarship Hall at KU signed by all of the exec members for designing their exec t-shirts. How nice of them to take the time to do that and for even thinking about it! I'm just thrilled they were pleased with the way the shirts turned out, which they tie-dyed. (Oooh—I think a picture of a shirt is in order!) Rachel has been very fortunate to have had such a special, historic home to live in during her college experience and great women with whom she's shared the space. Rock Chalk Lady Llamas. :-)
Looking back at those two fresh-faced kids makes me feel really old!
On a beautiful day in Ft. Collins, Colorado, thirty years ago today, Boyd and I exchanged vows and started our life together. There were clouds and thunderstorms that day, but the storms added to the atmosphere of the event and eventually cleared. Like that day, through the last thirty years there has been choppy weather at times. We always seem to weather the rough times and come out stronger. I am blessed to have a caring, sensitive, supportive, spiritual, loving man by my side through it all. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect husband or father to share my life.
We celebrated at EBT, a restaurant we've heard about for many years, but had never dined at for one reason or another. It was a perfect dinner with a selection of delicious food on the menu—dishes that didn't include pork or shellfish but did have an abundance of choices other than exotic options for this girl with simple tastes. We dined in an antique elevator from an old Kansas City department store, sipping martinis with baked brie, then wine with our yummy dinners and ended with two scrumptious desserts.
While we ate we talked about Pearl of course, but all of the good things, and not so great goings on in our life. What is perfect are our two daughters and son-in-law who make us so proud, both with their achievements but also with their senses of humor, their care of us, each other and the world, and their big hearts. What wonderful people they've turned out to be.
Keep checking back for more news to come... :-)
The road of life never is even without hills and valleys, but the last several weeks have been filled with some big ups and some big downs. After more than two years of nursing an aging dog with many ailments, we lost our precious gem of a dog, Princess Pearl Petite on Sunday afternoon, August 26th at about 12:45. The hardest decision we've ever had to make, became a bit easier after several days of greater decline. Those last moments are burned into my memory and are so painful. If I go into the details I won't be able to get on to the good stuff, so I won't share those now. It doesn't matter too much now anyway. What does matter is that Pearl was the most loved dog in the world, and we did everything we could to make her life long and with the best quality it could possibly be.
Below I've copied the words I used on that day and the day after.
From Facebook on August 26th: The sweetest dog in the world is now an angel and my heart is completely broken.
In response to all of the supportive comments on August 27th: I'm sorry I haven't thanked you all for your warm, caring, supportive comments sooner. It's been too painful to do it, and I'm crying now as I write this. I always knew this day would arrive, and knew it would hurt, but I never imagined just how much and how big the ache would be. I miss her "smile", her trust, playfulness, loyalty and so much more. I miss my "shadow" as I walk into my studio or her waiting for me there, knowing it was time to work. I will miss going out to run errands through drive thru's, not because they needed to be done right then, but because i knew she'd enjoy it and reward me with her smiles afterward. Mostly right now I want to bury my nose in that sweet, soft, yummy fur and inhale a deep whiff of her. Every night as she fell asleep between by legs and lay her head on my leg, knowing she felt so safe there, she dug a hole deeper into my heart that will never be filled again. My sweet, lovable Pearl—your were truly the best gem of a dog, and you will shine in my memory to the end of time. Thank you all for understanding just how much a dog becomes a part of your family. I'm blessed to have a community of family and friends who care so deeply. And, if you have a pet, please give them a kiss tonight for me.
What did help to ease some of the pain was working with the most compassionate vet. Dr. Tabatha Regehr at Perimeter Veterinary Center, was a godsend. Over the past two years she'd given us her cell number and email address so we could call anytime of the day or night. She emailed to check in when it had been a while since she'd seen us. Tabatha took Pearl home with her overnight after she did the last surgery in October so she could care for her because we were so nervous about the large incision. She cried with us and comforted us and checked in on us and is a true angel. She even made a donation to K-State's Pet Tribute in Pearl's memory. We are planning to do the same in her honor.
A few days later I went to the groomer that we'd been taking Pearl to for years. I planned my trip for right at five o'clock when she'd be closing, so it wouldn't ruin her day and so we'd have time to talk. When I walked in a new assistant, who I hadn't met yet, came out to answer the door. I told her I was there to see Jean and she went to the back room to get her. Jean knew why I was there, opened the door, waited for me to nod my head to confirm, and then came out crying. We held each other and cried together. A card arrived from her a few days later saying how she appreciated us entrusting Pearl to her for so many years and that the memories would be very dear to her. How wonderful to be surrounded in life by people who are so empathetic and supportive! We are blessed.
And, so now I sit here at my computer, and could continue to for as long as I want since Pearl isn't here to remind me it's time to go to bed. I suppose it is easier to work when I want to without distraction, to sleep through the night without having to trod down the stairs holding her sweet smelling, furry little body and hope I don't trip and fall, to come and go from the house without worrying about the little one who needs constant love and attention. But, the house feels so empty all by myself without my little companion and it will be a very long time until I stop expecting her to come clean up the kitchen floor when I drop food, or welcome me home or miss the weight of her little body nestled between my legs in bed at night.
Rest in peace sweet Pearl.
Come back for the hills in the road.....
Because the economic situation finally hit my business and my biggest client from the last several years is no longer using freelance, I've had some time to try out some different creative expression. In addition to getting my wholesale catalog finished and out in the mail, I've also spent some time playing with different tools, techniques and media. Back in my freshman year of college at Colorado State, I had a three dimensional design professor who had us in the wood shop all semester. There we got to play with all kinds of power tools and lovely hard woods. I spent my days using table saws, scroll saws, sanding and carving rather than putting paint, pencil and ink on paper. It was a wonderful experience and I still am brought back to that when I walk into a lumber department at Home Depot and smell the wood and saw dust.
During my web wanderings I've noticed a trend in using pyrography, wood burning, in some new and modern styles, and have been thinking about trying something like that for quite some time. With my schedule open a bit, and Boyd's encouragement to buy some new tools for experimentation, I went to Michaels and got an inexpensive wood burning tool. Although I did make the pendants a few weeks ago, that one didn't give me the control I was looking for and made for clumsy attempts. So after a lot of researching, I found Razertip tools and ordered one along with a variable temperature burner. Well, that made quite a difference, and I've had some fun creating the first few pieces of art and jewelry. And, it's wonderful to smell the wood—like old times. After burning the sketches on the wood, I've tried watercolor, pencils and acrylics adding a lot of color in some cases and just accents in others. I've been pleased with the results and continue to learn along the way.
I've got a beautiful cradled birch panel sitting on my drawing table waiting to be burned, but I'm not sure what image will emerge. When it's done I'll be back to share it. And, although two of these are gifts, I hope to continue creating more and will be listing them for sale in my Etsy shop soon.
After several years of working on it, setting it aside and revisiting again, only to be put back on hold, I've finally got my wholesale catalog done! I have saved up the emails requesting a catalog when it's available and sent it out to those people to get started. I got one response almost immediately! I'm anxious to see where this will lead. If you're interested in having a look or passing along the info you'll find information here.
I apologize for the delay in announcing the winners of the giveaway! Life and Pearl have gotten in the way and I've been trying desperately to get some sleep.
I'm disappointed not to have gotten some more comments on the post, but the response I did get is very helpful in moving forward. Thanks to all of you. The good news for those who did comment is that you're ALL winners! How could I eliminate two of you?!
So, Sheila, Somdra ;-), Marcia, Judith and Lisa, if you'll all visit my shop and go to the soldered pendants section. You can choose one of these listings, OR go to the prints reproductions section and pick a square or circle print (sorry no rectangles right now) and I'll make a wood tile pendant with a resin dome like the one in the giveaway post. OR, you can pick one of wood burning pendants pictured in this listing! So many choices! Email me at laura [at] laurabolterdesign.com and describe your pick and tell me where you'd like it shipped or how I can get it to you. (Lisa, I'd love to deliver you pendant personally, however a trip to Israel isn't doable at the moment!)
About the pendants pictured here—I've spent way too much money at Michaels recently so that I can experiment with some new supplies and tools. I've had the wood burning idea in the back of my mind for a while because it's sort of become this cool, trendy technique (not like the traditional wildlife burnings we're familiar with). After the designs are quickly sketched on a one inch wood tile, I use a very fine tip wood burning tool and to "draw" the lines. Then with acrylic paint or pencils the designs are colored and then have a bail attached or are set in a bezel. After some thought about pricing I'll make them available for sale in the shop, too.
I look forward to hearing from the winners!
So they got the name of my shop wrong (Pearl is a Pear!), but they did say that my design is on trend right now! Thanks Babble.com!
Thanks to Pingg for featuring my Go for the Gold invitation on the blog and FB page!
Over the years I’ve had a quite a few requests for making my work available for wholesale purchase. I get started working on it and then stuck or pulled in another direction. I’ve been at it again this summer and trying to get the catalog out to synagogue gift shops before the end of the summer, high holidays and in advance of Hanukkah shopping. Yesterday I had a big breakthrough with my resin jewelry and had a successful result. But now that success leads me to have many options and directions, so I need some help narrowing the choices down. Here’s where you all come in—that is if there really are people out there reading the stuff I write.
Would you prefer to wear one inch pendants mounted in metal settings or on wood tiles? If you like metal settings, would you prefer antique copper, antique brass, shiny silver or black? Or, do you like pins better than pendants? Would you buy wood tile magnets? How about tallit clips? Do you use them or would you buy them as gifts?
Now for questions about prints... Would you prefer to buy print reproductions on 8.5 x 11 inch paper that need framing for approximately $15, or would you be more likely to buy a print mounted on an 8x8 inch cradled wood panel ready to hang or set on a shelf if the price were $50?
Leave your comments here on this post answering any or all of these questions before midnight on Monday, July 23rd. I'll pick three random winners from those who comment. Each winner will win a pendant or pin of their choice from all of the images in my shop. Winners will be announced on Tuesday. I look forward to reading any input! I'm so indecisive and your comments will help make this project become a reality! Anyone out there...???
About 10 or 11 years ago I was diagnosed with Graves Disease, an autoimmune disease that is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism. Ironically, as a person who’s always struggled with weight loss, I thought hyperthyroidism would be the answer to my prayers. But, what I didn’t know, in my ignorance, is that Graves wrecks all kinds of horrible things on a person’s body and affects all systems of the body. I was told that with medication, it would go away and shouldn’t be an issue again. But, that information was wrong, and I’ve had three flare ups of this crappy disease—this past fall and winter was the most recent. I could go on all day about the roller coaster this winter, but this isn’t about that right now…
For me, the worst part of Graves has been hair loss. My signature trait, the thing I most loved about my body has always been my curly hair. I watched it go down the drain everyday and my scalp become more uncovered. After my heart attack, the hair loss worsened and I was persuaded to get a hairpiece. It did look good, but it was difficult to maintain and became a problem to match the color and texture to blend with my own hair. A year or two later I made a big decision and switched to a full wig.
For the last several years that’s worked out pretty well. I never really had a bad hair day and it took no time at all to get ready. But, the down side was that I was so self conscious and felt that everyone looked at me funny and knew I was wearing a wig. I’ve been in therapy for my hair loss. I’ve driven my family crazy talking and obsessing over it. When I work out at the gym it’s so hot and I get so sweaty. It cost a LOT of money, and yet I still had to get my hair cut. I would go to the wig store to get it cut, so that I wouldn’t have to take my wig off in a public salon. Days that I stayed home I would go without my wig, but I always worried that someone might come to the door unexpectedly. I had to put it on to go out for simple errands and so I’d avoid going out just to avoid putting it on. Not one day went by when I didn’t think about it. I told some people about it—some didn’t think twice and were supportive and others didn’t know how to respond. Why is it that people don’t think much about a breast enhancement, a nose job or a tummy tuck, but women who wear wigs feel like they can't be honest with the people around them?
A couple of weeks ago I went to get my hair cut at by my hairdresser at the wig shop—she’s been the most wonderful, supportive person through all of this. It’s been so hot and my hair had gotten so long, so I asked her what she thought about cutting it really short—pixie short. After all, pixies are very trendy right now—I’d have the same haircut as Emma Watson. Well, Sandra thought that was a great idea and proceeded. When she was done, we both thought it was quite cute, and she even convinced me to go home without the wig on. I got out to the car and almost caved and put it on because I thought Boyd and Rachel, who were waiting at home, would be shocked to see me walk in that way. But I perservered and went home feeling naked.
When I walked in the door Rachel exclaimed, “You look SO CUTE!” even before I got near them. Boyd was a little more hesitant, but that’s just the way he is and eventually proclaimed me beautiful after close inspection. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve obsessed about this decision and they’ve assured me over and over that I should make this leap. The hard part was seeing everyone I know and coming out, so to speak.
So, today I was sitting at my computer and shot a few pictures. I liked what I saw. And, on a whim, I decided to post on Facebook to proclaim my newfound courage, and to announce it so that when I see everyone in person, it wouldn’t be such a big deal. So there you have it—me just the way I am, with a thin layer of hair covering my head, but a sense of freedom I haven’t felt in six years. Go me!
This invitation became available a few weeks ago on Minted, but I've been so busy working on new submissions that I forgot to post it here. It's available in three color palettes and has coordinating thank you notes, which would be a lovely gift for the expectant mom.
A couple of years ago I was contacted by Jewish Toys, a company in Chicago, to do design work for them. Unfortunately at the time I was in the middle of working on Hannah and Dann's wedding and had to turn them away, because I was just too busy. Just recently they contacted me again with a new project. Their timing was perfect this time, and they sent instructions for designing a store display for "Paint Your Own Tzedakah Boxes." Part of the specs were to create illustrations of boxes with samples of art that might be painted on the blank wooden boxes, so I had to look over 3D art effects Help in Illustrator, since it's been a while since of done that type of thing. They decided not to have me paint actual boxes because painting and photographing them would take much longer. The company has been great to work with and they're pleased with the results—I hope to be getting future assignments later this week.
One of my new moving announcement designs has gotten a "Today's Best Award" on Zazzle. Nice. :-)
I've added new designs to my new shop on Etsy. These customized moving announcements are now available.
It's always Christmastime for greeting card designers. Year round we find ourselves getting in the holiday spirit to find inspiration, which is even more difficult for me since I don't celebrate the holiday to begin with. But, I always seem to find a new slant on Christmas designs, and these are the ones I submitted a couple of weeks ago to Minted's challenge. Make sure to visit the site to see all of the great entries, and if you're so inclined, vote for a few while you're there. And, keep your fingers crossed that one or two of these make the cut!
After about 6 months of submitting designs for Minted challenges, I received an exciting email yesterday. My Doodle Flowers women's stationery design has been chosen as a late editor's pick! Finally I will have a design for sale on their site. I've spent the day working out the two alternate colorways along with the designs for the backside of the stationery sheets and the matching skinny address labels. I think they'll be available for sale very soon!