January 2012 Newsletter

A Simple Request—A Fantastic Holiday Surprise!

A friend called just before the holidays asking if I could paint glass Christmas ornaments. She wanted 30 for friends, family and co-workers—a tall order in a short time frame. I’ve often painted on glass so it seemed easy enough. It wasn’t quite as easy as I thought by the time I researched suppliers and found the items I would need.

After finding all of the items (listed below) and finishing the designs, the project almost revealed itself in front of my eyes. It must have been the time of the year. I think you’ll be interested in seeing these as they turned out and reading some of the comments I received.

1. Perfect ornaments (supplier, sizes, colors, textures)
2. Appropriate lines of paint
3. Correctly-sized Swarovski crystals
4. Distinguishing ribbons for ornament decorations and outside wrapping
5. Proper ornament stands
6. Gift boxes, wrapping & tissue paper
7. Photography and design for personalized enclosure card and certificate of authenticity
8. Several smaller embellishments


Dear Mickey,
Thank you so much! Your Christmas ornaments were truly beautiful—more outstanding that I could even have imagined they could be. When I asked you to paint them, I had no idea people would be sooo thrilled! I have never seen such strong reactions to any gifts I’ve given. The comments ranged from, “ This is the most beautiful gift I’ve ever had.” to “Wait until I show this to my friends.” Several people have asked if they could order the ornaments from you for next year. They also wanted to know if they could be made for Easter, Valentine’s Day, or personalized. Since I don’t have the answers, I gave them your information. I’m very sure you’ll be hearing from them. Mickey, you made this Christmas as thrilling for me as you did for my friends and family.
Thank you,
Jan Bullock, President & CEO, Innovative Learning Concepts, Inc

I received one of your beautiful ornaments as a Christmas gift from a family member. It was the most awesome Christmas gift I’ve received in many years! I would like to order four for my sisters for next year. What is your deadline for ordering? Also, Can you make them for Valentine’s Day or Easter in a smaller size? I have an 11-year-old granddaughter who would love it. Thank you for making my Christmas beautiful. I look forward to your response.
Virginia Perry
Colorado Springs, Colorado

The four ornaments for Virginia have been painted and delivered. My next step was having photos taken of the ornaments for this newsletter and for use in marketing. While photographing the Christmas ornaments my photographer asked if I would paint something besides Christmas motifs so I asked what he had in mind. His eyes lit up as he showed me a gorgeous shot he had taken of his girlfriend’s beautiful backyard flower garden. Now that was fun, I finished it in time for Christmas and it’s something that can be displayed year round.

My mind is so full of ideas for ornaments. I have ordered lots of colors and many of them just arrived. I’ve been busy washing and base coating in anticipation of a new fun project. The ornaments aren’t on my website yet but if you have questions or comments please call or leave a comment and I’ll be happy to answer them.


Q Is there a way to save a good brush that has acrylic paint dried at the ferrule?

A Although I do not let my brushes stand in water, you will need to soak your brush in rubbing alcohol for a few hours and then gently draw them over a paper towel or lint free cloth forcing dissolved paint from around the ferrule. When paint no longer is seen wash in dish washing liquid or other mild detergent. Never mash your brushes against the bottom of a container. This process has saved many expensive brushes. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have; just ask.

On a personal note . . .

Life has a way of bringing me very pleasant surprises from time to time. It was the end of October when a gentleman, who had seen me dancing at the Broadmoor, approached me about dancing competitively. Competition was something I had thought would be fun but I had never given it serious thought.

My experience with dance had been limited to social dancing and primarily country, not ballroom. Since both ballroom and country dances had similarities I thought I might catch on fairly quickly so I said yes. Two step in country is similar to fox trot, both have waltz, west coast swing, east coast swing, cha cha and salsa. My thought was that this could be a fun, new adventure and I was right.

With one weekend of ballroom dance lessons under my belt and five weekends of practicing, off we went to Las Vegas to compete in the 2011 International Holiday Classic Ballroom Competition. The beautiful gowns, the handsome tuxedos, announcers calling out names of people from around the world, 14,000 entries, it was like living in a Fairytale. Of the forty+ judges two were pros from Dancing With the Stars and one was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance, what a thrill. They were even more beautiful in person.

We arrived on Tuesday and the next two days we competed seventeen times in three different levels. My partner was very optimistic, me, I didn’t say it but I was hoping to just place. When we first walked onto the floor and the music started I missed a lead. OOps! After that happened I didn’t pay any attention to the others on the floor and focused on my partner’s lead. What fun!

There were no trophies at our Bronze levels but we did get these cute little stickers depicting placement and a lovely keepsake for participating. I’ll have them framed in a shadow box so I can be reminded of my first adventure in ballroom competition.

Who knows how long I will compete but for now my partner and I are planning two competitions in March, one in New York and the other in Ashton, North Carolina. I’m taking weekly ballroom lessons and one in west coast swing (my fave), a lot to learn I’m finding. I’m enjoying every minute because . . . after all that’s all we have, this minute, right now. For years I’ve been practicing being in the present. I have concluded that multi-tasking is not an effective use of my time. There is much more enjoyment in everything I do when I’m focused. This especially applies to the creative process. When you can concentrate solely on what you are working you will find your retention is better and you get so much more accomplished.

Bella’s Insight

Hi Everybody! Boy, has mom been busy. She actually left me with my BFF (best friend forever), Jo. When Jo comes by to help mom I keep her company. That’s how we became best friends. Now don’t tell mom but Jo and Mike, her husband, are so much fun that I forget mom is gone. I have a giant fenced-in back yard and they don’t care if I bark at that humungous rottweiler next door. I have my own chair, in Jo’s room, right by the window so I can keep guard over them. There are three dogs across the street that keep me on my toes. Jo keeps a stool by the bed in case I need a nap. Sometimes they take me in my car seat to run errands. Mike walks me to the mail box everyday and I’m quite a hit with the neighbors.

Even though I’m having all this fun while mom is gone, when I hear our car pull in the drive I do go a little crazy and it’s real hard to settle down when she comes in. Mom hasn’t mentioned leaving again but I’m okay with it if she does. I have my very own vacation retreat.

Life is an Adventure!
Bella ~


6 comments to January 2012 Newsletter

  • MIckey, Mickey, Mickey! You continually amaze me with all the wonderful things you create in your life. I mean much more than your artwork! The adventures you create for yourself. Competition Dancing: WOW.
    I want to see a photo or two of you in the competition.
    Love you!

  • Linda Crume

    The ornaments are stunning. Have a fabulous time on your competition adventures; can’t want to hear details. You are a beacon.

  • What wonderful news all ’round, Mickey…the ornaments are gorgeous…when I travel, I always look for a Christmas ornament to take home to remind me of the trip when I decorate the tree. I’ll bet you could market this to all kinds of resorts and cool places (because of course, you’d have to GO there to paint their picture, right?) 🙂

    And I’m SO impressed with your dancing adventure. Keep us posted…I so agree that we must live to the fullest right now. You’re an inspiration!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.