MaryJo McGraw has been my mentor for so many years and I'm sure I've never thanked her properly for all her guidance, advice, inspiration, and of course her talent and friendship. She told me this year would be her last Stampaway but now she's decided to come back next year and I couldn't be more pleased. If you've never had the chance to meet her or take a class, mark your calendar now for a visit to Cincinnati next August!
Over the years I always tell my students that if they aren't taking advantage of exhanging information with the people around them in classes they're missing a HUGE opportunity. Lori (seated on the left here in the black top) received one of my masterpieces years ago in an internet swap and I can't begin to tell you the fun we've had via email as well as our annual "vacation" together at Stampaway. She emailed when she got that first swap asking what the technique was, and wondering if I'd be willing to tell her how to duplicate it. I sent her step-by-step pieces of art plus extras so she could try it herself. She took it to her local store where they begged her to teach a class on it, and she was simply over the moon. We've been friends for such a long time now and have shared some fabulous art & ideas with one another. If you've visited my studio I don't have to tell you how many of her pieces are on display there.
Seated next to Lori on the left are Gail and Sharon, two local gals I met at a NC convention several years ago. They're not only friends and members of my stamp club, but they're always willing to be my guinea pigs. Across from Sharon is her friend, and now mine, Lynda. She's joined our stamp club, plays guinea pig whenever I need her, and even works on my website. (yes, I know; it needs updating big time!)
And sitting beside me on the right is Cecile, a friend I met at Stampaway. She's been in my classes there since the very first year and comes back every year for more. Her art and talent are simply amazing.
Next time you take a class at a store or convention, give your business card or contact information to the ladies sitting nearby. Strike up a conversation and see where it leads.
Plant a few flowers and watch your garden grow.