Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holidays are warmer with handcrafted gifts. Sheltowee Coop Store Open 11am to 7pm this week, Tuesday through Friday, December 20-23.

 Our Sheltowee Art Shop resides on the main floor of the beautiful Carnegie Community Arts Center at 107 N Main Street, Somerset.  It is the showplace for the best handcrafted gifts in our area!  This week we are open till 7pm, we creatively gift wrap every package, and visitors get to talk to an artist on site!  Below is a small assortment of mediums and items for sale.  We have hundreds more!  Our motto:  Holidays are warmer with handcrafted gifts!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


Holidays are often crazy, busy times!  I see unhappy people at the grocery store and know everyone does not share my holiday cheer.  I know, the Puritans did not actually treat the Natives with kindness, we still eat the unfortunate turkey, and the world is far from perfect!  That said, this is MY FAVORITE HOLIDAY!    Its a time of gratefulness and appreciation with no gift giving and overly traditional expectations!  Nothing but a meal shared with someone you love.  Perfect!  Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  Here is one very happy person! 

Thursday, November 17, 2011


This week, a wonderful team at Dr. Strupp and Dr. Brumm's office made my smile a little brighter.  I wanted to say a big "thank you," so i am taking a toothy approach!  I know, some of these are not exactly like the real things, but I am experimenting with different styles and forms of our enameled parts!  I hope to make the team several different dental accessories--some with cavities as you see here!  They love to laugh and share, so I know these and the others I make will be hits!  Thanks, everyone!  For information on this excellent dental office for crown, bridge and cosmetic dentistry, go to

Sunday, November 6, 2011


My granddaughter is ONE!  I was asked to make a veggie tray for her birthday party of 50 people!  The theme was vintage with little red wagons and sock monkeys.  I felt like the pressure was on--as I am an artist and my daughter-in-love has unbounded faith in me to come up with great stuff!  So, I put together the themes and came up with a road map of vegetable patches, flower gardens and bugs.  With a little help from the computer for the radish bugs, mice and flowers ideas, I took one large tray and made Bill get to chopping!  I divided the tray using tape and long strips of a plastic lettuce-mix container to make a forked road.  I also used strips of large plastic cups and taped them down to create circles for the flower beds.  All the layers were a little bit shorter than the outer edges of the tray.  Then, with Bill's help, filled the rounds and straight rows with veggies, fruits, olives and pickles.  Brocolli florets filled in the spaces in between and hid all the problem areas.  The wagon?  Just a Christmas box cut down with cheap yo-yo wheels attached and then filled with toothpicks.  The veggie tray was a hit, my daughter-in-love still thinks I am an artist genius, and my granddaughter happily ate all the raspberries and hummus dip!

The tray was very large and the materials were very cheap!!!

The taping off of the tray did not take long as I knew my brocolli florets would hide imperfections!

Here is where I brag on MY daughter-in-love's decorations!!!  I think the party was wonderful and beautiful, just as she had envisioned months ago.  Once she had the idea, she began collecting the different items she would need from Amazon!  The Cracker Jack boxes were the favors, she made her own red velvet cupcakes and banners, and our neighbor provided most of the darling sock monkeys from HER grandson's birthday two weeks ago.  The only hitch in the whole party and prep was the smash cake for my granddaughter:  she got a taste of the red and blue icing and burst into tears.  Seems this girl likes raspberries and hummus dip better!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011


At my art fairs in Kentucky and Indiana, I am totally blown away when a customer as young as Taylor admires my work!  She loved my Lady Fraga section and is wearing a Lady Fraga necklace in the photo.  We found we are both creative spirits who enjoy the arts and leading active lives!  Taylor has become my youngest blog follower.  Besides the arts, she is also active in cheering, gymnastics, acting and biking!  I know that wherever Taylor is, life will be much more interesting!  Thank you, Taylor!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Here are Bill and I--ready for the big candy haul out!!!  Its going good so far: Tricky Billy has eaten a lot already, so it must be good!  Happy Halloween, everyone!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


As I rarely decorate for Halloween (not since the kids were little!) and I wanted to participate this holiday because we are visiting dad's house in Florida.  I thought of a simple (and cheap and eco-friendly) way to do it!  The dead body outline is black duck tape (to contrast with the paved drive) and the blood is flower petals!  Bill made a great model, didn't he?  Around the house columns I draped yellow CAUTION tape. Upon seeing the results, a nice neighbor rushed over thinking we were in trouble!  Decor in this area may not be needed, as last year we got SO many trick or treaters!  But, they knew how to say "thank you" and were a pleasure!  Bill has loads of candy to give out and we are ready!!!  Happy Halloween, everyone!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

This Art Fair began as a TRAIN!!!

The KY Guild of Artists and Craftsmen will hold their 50th anniversary Fall Art Fair this weekend in Berea!  As the third oldest art guild in the nation, and one of its finest, the KY Guild began as a train!!!  The Guild Train was the nation's first Art and Craft train.  Its goals were the same as the KY Guild's is today: bring fine art and craft to America's people, teach the arts to all who are interested, and help artists find economic security with the making and selling of their work.  Dedicated by Gov. Bert Combs and donated by Louisville/ Nashville Railroad, it ran across this state for seven years, back and forth, influencing several hundred thousand children and adults. It would stay in one place for a few days and demonstrate woodworking, weaving or ceramics, show off finished products and literally "find" craftspeople in very rural communities.  This weekend, you can drive a few miles to revisit the same experience.  Take either exit off I75 at Berea and follow the signs to beautiful Indian Fort Theater.  Hope to see you there!  I will have my jewelry and Bill will sell his soy soaps and candles.    

The guild will stage its annual fall craft fair at Indian Fort Theatre, 2047 Big Hill Road (KY 21), on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Many art media will be represented including: painting, wood turning and outdoor furniture, jewelry, pottery, handmade children’s clothing, stone work, photography, clay board etching, metal work, handmade soap and body products, stained glass, dolls and rugs to name a few.
Admission is $5 and free for children under 12. Plenty of free parking is available at Indian Fort Theatre.  For more details, visit, call 986-3192 or e-mail

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


The St. James Art Fair has come a long way from buying gas lights in 1957 to presently being ranked the #1 Fine Art and Design Show in the country!!!  This rating was made by the art fair industry standard, Sunshine Artist Magazine!  Bill and I will be part of 750 artists and over the next few days we will be visited by some of the 200,000 shoppers!  Just setting up on the streets housing huge Victorian homes takes us all day.  We arrive very early on Thursday in order to get our car and trailer in to unload!  But, we do it because there is not another art fair like this one!  The artists are friendly, the art is spectacular and the artists travel from all over the world!   During the first decade I was part of St. James I used to tell customers, "Come early on Friday before the crowd arrives!"  But later teachers chose Friday as a holiday, so now Fridays are packed with customers too!  As to parking, swing into any of the private pay parking lots and shorten your walk to the fair.  If you happen to score a free street parking place, all the better!  Wear good walking shoes and bring a water bottle and cell phone.  Weather will be in the low 60's with no rain so its perfect for almost everyone!  Hope to see you as you travel down Magnolia AV, between 3rd and 4th Streets!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


ART FACT #3:  St. James Ct. Art Fair is actually 6 shows in one!  After the original neighborhood established the Art Fair around the St. James Ct. fountain and refurbished it, other streets in the neighborhood did the same.  Now we have six actual art fairs where artists apply to set up and sell: St. James Ct.; Belgravia Ct.; Forth St.; 1300 Third Assoc.; 3rd St. Assoc.; and West End Baptist Church!  (Each is as big as a regular art fair!) Bill and I sell on Magnolia Street, between 3rd and 4th Streets and we are part of the 1300 Third Assoc.  We love our location and street!  It tickles me that every year there are "illegal arti-liens" that try to slip in and sell in unforseen places.  People get upset.  Its all part of the creative adventure of St. James Ct. Art Show!  If you come and visit, you probably won't even know one street from another, or notice the legals from the "art-liens!"  You will just be awed by it all!  If you chose to, you can even purchase a T-shirt or a Poster by this year's winning artist, Kieth Simon, in the photo above!  For more information, contact, or visit my site,  

Thursday, September 22, 2011


FACT #2:  Aside from being one of the largest art fairs, St. James Court also contains the highest concentration of residential homes with stained glass windows in America!!!  And, these windows are in the wonderful Victorian houses that fill this third largest Historical District and neighborhood in the USA!  That's a lot of old beauty to view as you visit the St. James Art Fair!  I am not sure that you will see that giant champagne bottle by the house in the photo, but, hey, come and see....., or visit my website for my show information:

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


FACT #1:  This 55 year old art fair actually started out as a way to pay the bills!  The old neighborhood had crumbling fountains and no street lights in 1957.  Malclom Bird held the first art fair with music and art on a clothesline.  It worked, as the $700 they earned bought the St. James Court its 20 street lights!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Art in Speed Park has become a Kentuckiana favorite for a reason . . .

This elegant, outdoor art show features more than 100 of the nation's finest artists and our region's best in performing arts.

Browse the artist's booths with ease, in the tree lined park. You'll hear the soft sounds of strolling musicians and smell the aroma of Maryland crab cakes cooking on the grill.

In the wine garden you can relax near the fountain, enjoy music with friends and family while raising your glasses in a celebratory toast with exquisite vino from Huber's Winery and Vineyards.

If you've yet to experience this gem, find out what all the buzz is about.
Art in Speed Park's going to become YOUR, Favorite Art Show!

"Art washes away from the soul, the dust of everyday life."
...Pablo Picasso

Cheers friends!


Friday, July 8, 2011


Last year I got a call from a J. Welch who had seen one of my Wild Welch Women Pendants at Promanade Gallery in Berea. She was interested in why I had misspelled "Welch" as her family were named Welch, and not Welsh. Well, I told her, "I am a terrible speller!" Luckily for me, misspelling the name was just what brought me an order for these pins--10 of them developed over the year--for her Welch relatives!!! Yes, the Welch family will hold a reunion soon and guess what will likely be the highlight for them after the kissing and hugging? I can only hope! Thank you J. Welch! They are in the mail!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have always said that our state of Kentucky has helped me blossom as an artist!  Now, we have an unbelievable opportunity right here in the middle of this state--FOR EVERYONE to blossom in the arts (or, to continue unfolding!).  For one week this year (someday a summer full of learnshops), July 9-16th, you can explore the arts through any of about 100 learnshops!  And, we are not just talking art classes for adults.  We are talking about classes for all ages, at all price ranges, of ALL the arts--including movement and cooking!  Lets have some fun!  To see what is available and when, go to and explore and register.  Call 859-986-2540 or 800-598-5263 for more information. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today I introduced Lady Fra-Ga to our beautiful Carnegie Community Arts Center's director, Lady Diane Giddens.  Before I knew it, Lady Di was proudly wearing Lady Fra-Ga's largest loops!  (Lady Di has always been one of my works' biggest fans!  Now, heaven help us if these two spend alot of time together!)
Then, before I could turn around, artist CeCe Butcher fell in love with Lady Fra-Ga and purchased a pair for herself!  Below is a work of art in progress that one can view downstairs in the Carnegie Center.  Her large, colorful, quilt-like works come alive before visitors eyes!  CeCe is the Master Musician's Artist this year (more on that later!).   
Finally, we were able to display Lady Fra-Ga's Ass-cessories in the Sheltowee Art Shop on the main floor.  Located at 107 N Main ST, Somerset, KY, our shop is our region's first and only artist Co-Op shop and entirely run by local artists.  Hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-2pm.  Stop in to meet an artist and view the hundreds of original, well-made art and crafts!

For more information on our Sheltowee Art Shop and the Carnegie Community Arts Center, check out my website under the "SHOPS" button: 

Monday, June 27, 2011


Lady Fra-Ga and I had a wonderful art fair, thanks to the wonderful friends who visited us!  Due to extremely fabulous weather (cool and clear), a beautiful new venue (Equus Run Vineyard rocks!) and the energetic and helpful staff of Franscisco Farm Art Fair, it could not have been more fun or successful!  I worked the whole fair and could not partake of the wine, but as you can see, Lady Fra-Ga goofed off and just pooped out on me.  But, NOT before she showed off her new line of Lady Fra-Ga 'ass'-cessories which were a hit!  I hope the event draws more and more art lovers in the coming years.  As Bill and I joined the Wine Club there, he and I will be in and out ourselves, though it is a 2 hour drive from home.  (That is how much we loved the place.)  I realized through a texting special I ran Saturday and Sunday that many of my customers are needing some tech knowledge.  I hope to soon post some of the things I have learned from my very savy sons.  And, since Lady Fra-Ga is here and fully (most of the time) full of herself and very creative, you may like to watch her in her new role as my side-'kick'!  The weather was so nice, her past company, Big Ass Fans, did not have the heat to show off in!  But, she is my mascot now.  What?  Oh, forgive me, but Lady Fra-Ga is calling for more aspirin...............

Thursday, June 23, 2011


Oh, My Lady Fra-Ga! is debuting at the Franscisco Farm's Art Fair at Equus Run Winery this weekend, June 25 and 26! The weather will be perfect and give all hundred plus artists a wonderful chance to sell and show off on the beautiful vineyard grounds! Visit us there. We are very excited as this is the weekend Lady Fra-Ga has prepared for. She will be in her best finery! AND, I will have special offers for those of you who bring your smart phones to the fair. As my booth is #2, please stop in and see me first to learn about my new system of selling! For directions and information on the art fair, visit my website See you soon!
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Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Lady Fra-Ga's transformation is complete!  She will be on the 'catwalk' of Fransisco Farm Art Fair June 25 and 26 wearing this zebra patterned sequin cape, just covering her tiny black lace string top and thong (her idea, not mine!).  Her tiara, which is so heavy she wears a neck brace to hold it up, is silver and gold stars, hot pink rhinestone, and a red feather spray.  The jewelry she is wearing is all Lady Fra-Ga and will be on sale at the fair (she is demanding 10% of the proceeds!).  Going barefoot is putting emphasis on the fact that she is atop a 10 inch hot pink high heel where she is able to play her keyboard at the heel.  I love her, but until this art fair is over, I am not ga-ga over her newly found attitude (tears, pushing hair back, drama, and calling her friends little monsters)!  But, moms out there: we know this attitude well from our teenagers!  And, she has come a long way from simple mule to this.  She deserves the fame!  (Use the SHARE buttons below to give her extra coverage.  We are trying to be the most popular Fannie at the art fair and we need all the help we can get!  Check out the art fair where she and I will be:  

Monday, June 13, 2011


Lady Fra-Ga's high heel piano is finished!  With assistance, she can now climb up onto this piano fashioned just for her.  Ofcourse, she was inspired by her favorite singer/songwriter who has a similar prop for performances!  Lady Fra-Ga is hoping this heel will go down into the history books of the Fransisco Farm Art Fair where she will make her public debut (for short: the mule with the heel!)  Tomorrow is her very own debut--hair, makeup, costume, even painted toenails.  Stay tuned!  She is still ga-ga over the idea of being a star. (Use the SHARE buttons below to give her extra coverage.  We are trying to be the most popular Fannie at the art fair and we need all the help we can get!  Check out the art fair where she and I will be:  

Friday, June 10, 2011

HAIR! MAKEUP! LIGHTS! Oh, My Lady Fra-ga gets a MAKEOVER!

Frannie simply went all out during the makeover!  (Ofcourse, she is 'ga-ga' over the star she is impersonating.)  The longest of straight, blond hair; the reddest of lips; eye makeup that would make Cleopatra envious.  And, ofcourse, hot pink duck tape as the standard.  I am getting her costume ready while she primps.  Monday, the high heel will be ready to be showcased.  Tuesday is her coming out party!  Then we make jewelry for the Art Fair where she will shine (we hope!) as OH MY LADY FRA-GA!  Join us if you can at Franciscos Farm Art Fair, June 25 & 26 at Equus Run Vineyards!  (Use the SHARE buttons below to give her extra coverage.  We are trying to be the most popular Frannie at the art fair and we need all the help we can get!  Check out the art fair where she and I will be:    

Thursday, June 9, 2011


Fannie and I have been busy!  While she went shopping for MORE items to begin her transformation into Lady Fra-ga, I stayed home and worked on her piano-shoe!  Luckily I had a HUGE plastic soap container that was empty and sitting around in the recycly bin!  From Big-Lots I found hot pink duck tape.  The basic shoe is formed, and when Fannie came home, she fit nicely into the top piano section.  She is very impatient to begin her transformation, so this afternoon its her turn!  She has seen a make-over show and is excited to begin her own!  She has very high hopes of being seen and complimented at the Francisco Art Fair.  (Use the SHARE buttons below to give her extra coverage.  We are trying to be the most popular Fannie at the art fair and we need all the help we can get!  Check out the art fair where she and I will be:    

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


A theme has been selected for mascot Frannie.  Lady Fra-ga will make her debut soon!  Daughter-in-love, Emi, suggested the new persona to Frannie and Frannie is a big *FAN* of a performing artist who has a similar name.  She went ga-ga over the idea of it all!  Like me, she always wished for masses of long, straight, blond hair.  (And, black lace and high heels are fun occassionally.)  Not to mention being the shining star of Franciscos Farm Art Fair, June 25 & 26 at Equus Run Vineyards!  Nothing could ever beat that!  We went shopping at a thrift store and gathered my art supplies from things at home.  Now, we begin!  (Use the SHARE buttons below to give her extra coverage.  We are trying to be the most popular Frannie at the art fair and we need all the help we can get!  Check out the art fair where she and I will be:    

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


This is Fannie, mascot of Big Ass Fans', whose company will keep our outdoor art fair cool this month.  Every artist of the fair has been sent a Fannie.  But, MY Fannie wants to win the Beauty Contest at the art fair!  HELP me dress her up to win.  Right now, I need your inspiration!  I am considering all ideas sent to me before I begin!  You can help me by suggesting a new persona, costume idea, or "scene" for her so she can show off her soon-to-be-beautiful assets.  (If she is a winner, she will be famous!)  Next week, I will chose a new persona and begin transforming her. All who FOLLOW my blog can see her as she transforms.  She will be on display during FRANCISCO'S FARM ART FESTIVAL at Equus Run Vineyards in Midway, KY June 25 & 26.  Use the SHARE buttons below to give her extra coverage.  (As you can see from her current state, she needs all the help we can muster--sorry, Fannie!)  I am very excited.  I know with your help, she can win!  And, check out the art fair where she and I will be:

Monday, May 30, 2011


I wanted to share our family with all of you!  Bill and I have three sons, three daughter-in-laws, and three granddaughters.  All here at the park on Memorial Day Weekend!  We are grateful for each of us and the fact that we could all be together this weekend.  And, we remember those who went before us and whose essence we inherited and share.  They were probably "with" us in some way as we splashed, laughed, joked and shared our lives.  Just as they did once upon a time, when life was thiers to celebrate.

Monday, May 23, 2011


Baby Mak's room is finished!  Her mom painted the room this beautiful pink.  I got out my acrylic paints and the large "M" she had for me, and we went to town decorating!  I was scared at first (I had little experience ((ok, NONE)) when I started painting things on walls!) but the kids had far more faith in me.  I set out to do it.  One trick I found was to water the paints just a little.  Since I didn't want the redbud tree to stand out too dramatically on the pale pink walls, I poured brown, pink, tan, yellow, and light green onto a plate, and swirled them all on the brush before I touched the wall with the paint.  Notice a few touches my daughter-in-law added:  the grass on the lower walls, the hanging dresses, the lime green curtains, her aunt's handcrafted quilt.  I finished it off with index fingered white poka dots on the walls.  Just a little paint here and there and we have a baby-themed room!  Cost: a few bucks!  Visit our website:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Not having money to decorate does not mean you can't have great looking walls!  I found some old cabinet doors at a salvage store.  These had large frames with narrow recessed middles.  I painted the insides a solid color, then used plastic and styrofoam cups as guides to create circles within (pour paint on a paper plate, spread, dip the cup into it, then dab the cup on the space you want to begin painting). Not knowing what I was doing (this is not unusual for me when I begin a project), I painted a little, looked a little, repainted a little, etc. till I had a design that looked good at a distance.  Using a level, hammer, nails, and existing holes in the cabinet backs, I put them up on the wall in a creative way.  It worked!  I LOVE free stuff!  (To see what we do, visit our website:

Monday, May 9, 2011


Over Mother's Day Weekend, Bill and I 'teen-sat' for our granddaughter, Mabry!  What a time we had!  We visited an art museum and then applied art to her walls and re-designed her room.  I found out that Mabry is very creative, loved my ideas and had many of her own.  We bonded through art!  Notice the framed work.  It was orginally a thrown away oil painting of a purple iris on a yellow background.  We painted the whole frame and painting white and started over.  The purple circle of swirls in the middle is painted with glow-in-the-dark paint!  (Mabry's idea)  The Zebra soft sculpture below the mirror ball is an Audrey Schultz original from the Kentucky Market.  Mabry turns 13 soon and will have a summer sleepover in her new room!  Bill says VaVa (me) cannot go!  (To see what I do with my art, visit our website:

Sunday, May 8, 2011


I saw this young man in the store yesterday and had to ask for his picture!  Isn't he a doll?  I salute my three boys, who at this age were just as adorable!  Well, you moms out there know what i mean...  You love them no matter what age they are, as they love you no matter how imperfect YOU are!  Love is amazing--and all that really matters! 


We were sad to miss the Kentucky Derby in our home state!  But we wore hats anyway!  So, the question is, WHERE IN THE WORLD ARE WE???  (And, to see what we are up to these days with our craft businesses, visit our website: