Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Special Kansas City Offer... Don't Wait!

Just a friendly reminder that our 2014 Kansas City Art & Soul special offer expires August 1st — that's this Thursday! So hurry up and register today to get your 10% discount! Here's the deets...

If you register for $250 or more in classes before August 1st, you'll receive 10% off your class total! Simply enter the discount code KC13 when prompted... and you're all set!

March 19-23, 2014
The Elms Hotel & Spa
Excelsior Springs, MO

You've only got today and tomorrow to take advantage of this great offer... so grab your beverage of choice, a yummy snack, peruse our selection of Kansas City workshops, and sign up today!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Artists Beware! E-mail Scam Circulating!

This week our lovely Graphic Artist was the recipient of e-mails that could have led to a very bad case of identity theft... or worse. She wanted to share her story with you on our blog so that you can be aware of this scam. So here's what happened...

She received an e-mail — from a man named Bill Curry — with an inquiry about one of her top selling products... a handmade arcade style Knock Down Doll...

From: Bill Curry <emadamiduro01@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, July 24, 2013 10:36 PM
Subject: Tillie Knock-Down Doll arcade-style plush doll

I'm Bill Curry from California. I was going through your works and my eyes caught this particular piece, I want to purchase it as I am moving to a new apartment next month. Kindly let me know if you still have the piece available and also let me know it's final price and more information about it. I will be waiting to read from you.


She thought it was a little odd the way the e-mail was worded, but she's a nice person and thought, "who am I to take off for grammar? I sell items internationally all the time in this cyber world and lots of people speak broken English". Although, she felt it was a bit strange that he used the name of the product but did not indicate where he saw the item. But she replied with the information he requested and a link to her Etsy shop anyway.

Soon after, she received another e-mail from Mr. Curry. But that time she had an uneasy feeling in her gut after reading his reply. Red flags were popping up all over the place... 

From: Bill Curry <emadamiduro01@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, July 25, 2013 9:08 PM
Subject: Payment and pick up

Dear Michelle,

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Unfortunately, I'm on my way to France on an official trip (I'm a marketing Executive) and wont be back for another two weeks.

If you'd like to know, I'm relocating to South Africa soon and I'm trying to gather some good stuff for my new abode.

However, I'll have to notify my shipper who's helping me move my stuff to get set for the pick up of the piece from your place as I MIGHT be delayed depending on how things goes.

P.S. In the mean time, kindly get back to me with your contact address and phone# so I can get a check prepared and have it mailed out to you right away.

Following her intuition, Michelle googled "Bill Curry California scam" and sure enough, found numerous posts and articles about this same person, using the same name*, and even the same e-mail address... as far back as 2008! And in each article, the e-mails sent were worded the exact same way!

She wanted to warn all you lovely, hard-working artists out there to be careful when you reply to queries and what type of information you give out. It's too easy to these days to fall victim to identity theft. Trust your gut and ask yourself some important questions. Here's a few things that made Michelle think twice about "Bill Curry".

• The broken English and poor grammar.

• His name is Bill Curry, but his e-mail was emadamiduro01@gmail.com. Not even close.

• He knew the exact name of the product, yet there was no mention of where he had seen it. 

• He's giving too much information about his life, "If you'd like to know..."

• If he's some big-ass, jet-setting Marketing Executive, why does he need to send a check? Doesn't he have a credit card that he can use to purchase the item directly from her shop?

• Instead of having to send the item to his "shipper", he's going to have the shipper personally drive to the New Jersey coast and pick it up at her house? Really?

• He wants her address and phone number. Michelle doesn't even give potential dates that information! And why does he need her phone number to write her a check?

So there you have it. Michelle's intuition saved the day, and hopefully by sharing this, it will save someone out there from becoming a victim too.

*Michelle also wanted us to mention that when she found the articles on this scam, there were other names used, but the e-mail wording was exactly the same. Sellers.... beware!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Art & Soul Radio... Interview with our Host Lesley Riley, Mon. July 22

Lesley Riley, the host of Art & Soul Radio for the past three years is the guest on this, her final show.
Artist, surface designer and former show guest, Jane Dunnewold, turns the tables on Lesley and conducts the interview of this multi-talented artist, instructor, writer, craft book author, artist coach & mentor and soon to be former host of this Art & Soul Radio show.

Lesley 's books include: Quilted Memories, Fabric Memory Books, Fabulous Fabric Art with Lutradur and Create with TAP Transfer Artist Paper. She is currently at work on her 5th book. She is the creator of, TAP Transfer Artist Paper the state of the art in transfer paper, and winner of CHA's 2011 Most Innovative New Product award.

Lesley teaches workshops internationally and online. After having conducted 76 interviews over the last three years, Lesley is stepping down to follow her own advice that "art is what you make it".
So please join us as we turn the tables for this inspirational chat Monday. And remember that all our episodes will still be available in the archives!

Art & Soul Radio featuring host Lesley Riley
with Lesley Riley
Monday, July 22
7:00pm EST


Want the opportunity of a lifetime? 
If you're interested in taking over the hosting of Art & Soul  Radio, promoting our amazing retreat, getting the opportunity to speak with talented workshop instructors, and providing exciting and interesting content for our mixed media audience, please contact Glenny Moir with your credentials!

We'll miss you Leslie!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hands Up... Get Your Hands Up!

"So, what the heck are these ladies doing?" you might be asking yourself. Well, it's our very own Liz Kettle having her students do the spine dance, of course! "And what the heck is a spine dance?" you may wonder... 

If you've ever taken any type of class where you created... well... anything... you know it's easy to get all hunched over, totally engrossed in your project, and by time you go to stand up.... ouch! My back! So Liz likes to take some time during her classes and have everyone get up and stretch their spine. And oh, it feels so good!

She learned this technique from her Pilates coach — although it's actually derived from the Franklin Method which is very similar. Here's a little step-by-step so that you can try this at home. It may seem a little complicated... so make sure you read all the way to the end where there's a special tip!

First, stand straight and relaxed. 

Tip your pelvis in (forward), open your arms wide and then bend forward towards your pelvis. Kind of like doing a crunch, but standing up.

Pretend you are holding a big ball between your pelvis and your arms.

Then tip your pelvis back (stick your butt out).

Arch your back gently and open your arms wide and bring them back as if they were wings and you are a big bird.

Do that 3-5 times gently.

Second part is side bends...
Put one leg out to the side slightly and bend gently toward that side with your opposite arm overhead. Switch sides. Do that 3-5 times each side.

Last part..
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands in front of you shoulder width apart… elbows bent and close to your ribs.

Rotate your upper body only keeping your hands directly in front of your shoulders. You can’t rotate very far. Then walk your lower body in the same direction to bring your feet right under your shoulders. Repeat until you have gone 360° then reverse and go the other direction.

Got it? Good! Now get up from your computer and do the spine dance! And if it sounds a little complicated, here's a special tip...

Just get up and stretch. Any way you do it, it's great for your creative longevity! Hands up, folks...

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

A Picture's Worth 1,000 Words... But A Video Is Like 100,000!

So, have you ever checked out a workshop you might like... looked at the project photos... read the description... and were still undecided? Maybe you thought, "the finished project looks so cool, but I'm not sure if I can do that". Perhaps you wondered about the background of the teacher, and their inspiration behind the class. Or maybe you just wanted to see more examples to peak your excitement and make you hit that Register For This Class button!

Well, awhile back we started featuring workshop videos on our website to help you make those class decisions a little bit easier! Made personally, by the instructors themselves, they give you a little bit more insight into what they have to offer. Right now, you can check out some of our Portland workshop videos as well as a few from our Kansas City retreat.

Like this video from Jill Timm who has a 2-day workshop at our Portland venue called The Amazing Dremel. It really gives you a great look at what you'll be doing in class and the techniques she'll be showcasing. HINT! If you're at work, turn your sound down... there's lots of Dremeling going on!

And another, created by Jane Davies, giving you a glimpse into her Kansas City workshop Layering With Transparencies. Warning... you will be amazed at the simplicity of the techniques and the wow-factor of the results!!

So check out our Portland video page and our Kansas City video page and see if we can't "talk" you into something!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Art & Soul Radio... Tune in for An Artists Life with Jane Dunnewold, Mon., July 8th

Jane Dunnewold is a professional artist and teacher, the author of "Art Cloth: A Guide to Surface Design on Fabric" (Interweave 2010) and several other self-published books.She teaches internationally and maintains Art Cloth Studios in San Antonio, Texas.
Her passions include the psychology of artistry and meaning - and she is especially interested in "writing" and "making" as integral aspects of the creative process. You can read more about my work and see other inspiring images by visiting her website - complexcloth.com. This year, Jane is President of the international Surface Design Association.

So please join us for our inspirational chat this Monday...

Art & Soul Radio featuring Jane Dunnewold
with Lesley Riley
Monday, July 8
7:00pm EST


Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Get In Touch With Your 7-year-old Self!

One of Art & Soul's favorite new instructors is Mindy Lacefield. Her whimsical approach to mixed media painting is indeed a draw in itself (pun intended!). But her thoughtful attention to her students and her laid back instructional style are what make her classes so very popular... and FUN!

Mindy will again be teaching at our Portland venue this fall with 3 new classes! Check them out and then sign up! Her former students are still raving about her workshops and how their art has taken a looser, more lighthearted approach because of them!

One With Nature
Thursday, October 3rd • full day workshop
You'll explore nature and it's oneness that empowers you. It becomes a source of creativity and harmony with the spirit. Learn to release your separateness, be truly connected and inspired and make art from this source.

Wonderlove Affirmations
Friday, October 4th • full day workshop
Join Mindy as she leads you through exercises to loosen up and paint from the heart of a child. You'll be gently nudged to embrace your vulnerabilities and welcome happy accidents. Because therein lies the magic. They are first set as an intention and through PLAY they become us, personified.

Sunday, October 6th • full day workshop
Get ready to release your inner Mermaid!! Let the moon over the sea be your muse as you dive deep into oceans of blues and greens. Let loose and allow your inner child to take over while getting messy with paint. Symbolism will play a big part of your background and Mindy will show you how to tap into your own story... building up layers of marks, color, words, and numbers.

Awesome, right? So go ahead and grab your whimsy, a few brushes, some favorite paints and your inner child.... and take one of Mindy's amazingly fun workshops this October at our 2013 Portland Art & Soul event.