Learn to Swing Dance in Takoma Park

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Brianna and Michael are excellent swing dancing instructors. My boyfriend and I look forward every week to our Intermediate class. I’m new to dancing, but last fall we enjoyed the Beginner class so much that we took it twice!

I designed this flyer and social media image to help promote their beginner and intermediate-level classes. They also do private lessons. You can get started by liking their Facebook page and checking out their class schedule with GottaSwing.

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Flyer with cutaway contact information.
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Social media promo image.

Upcoming Yard Sale at Marietta House

If you are heading to the big community yard sale on April 27 at the Marietta House Museum in Glenn Dale, Maryland, my chapter of P.E.O. International will be there! We are selling various items, and every dollar earned at our table will benefit scholarships for local women in Prince George’s County.

Marietta Spring Yard Sale
Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
5626 Bell Station Road, Glenn Dale, MD 20769

I used Adobe Illustrator to draw a cute owl holding a cup of coffee, which my fellow chapter member Kathy printed on tote bags for us to sell!

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In addition to the owl tote bags, I painted some 3×3″ moon paintings on mini easels. Love those tiny easels! My chapter mates will decide on pricing because I don’t need that kind of pressure in my life.

The yard sale is adjacent to the Glenn Dale Farmers Market so you can pick up some additional treasures.

Legal Eagle Drawing

My boyfriend’s mom asked if I could draw an eagle carrying a set of scales to promote a social gathering for legal professionals. I like it when people give me unique ideas for things I wouldn’t usually draw.

Legal Eagle

As a side note, I discovered that there is a white gel pen product that does not suck. This thing draws over Sharpie and colored pencil. I used it to draw the Ruth Bader Ginsburg collar on my eagle. Here is your link to THE Uni-Ball UM 153 Signo Broad Point Gel Pen.

I’m not really what they call a professional reviewer. I receive no compensation other than the joy of giving good reviews for my fave art supplies.

Marguerite Daisy Watercolor

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Recently I finished painting this special watercolor of a Marguerite Daisy. The Marguerite is the official flower of P.E.O. International (Philanthropic Education Organization). The official P.E.O. slogan is, “Women helping women reach for the stars.”

Three years ago, a Maryland chapter of P.E.O. awarded me a grant so I could pay for books during graduate school. Even though my employer was covering tuition, money was too tight for me to cover the remaining fees and overpriced college textbooks.

Although I felt embarrassed applying for a grant when I already had a full-tuition rebate, it was no time to be shy. I was still swimming in undergraduate debt plus the crippling general expenses of being a live human in her 20s. Because I worked in the education field at the time, a master’s degree appeared to be a life raft to higher income status. With dreams of someday being able to afford adulthood, I quit waffling and applied.

The P.E.O. members that I met were very kind and understanding. They saw a young woman making ends meet, but who still needed a boost. I was very clear to mention that I just needed some help with books and fees. The grant they gave me was enough to cover books and fees for the remainder of my schooling.

After I graduated with my M.S. in Marketing Management, I was invited to become a member of the local chapter that funded my grant. We meet regularly and work together to find ways that we can support other women. When we award a new grant or scholarship to a deserving woman, I feel like we are helping her reach the stratosphere!

At a luncheon later this month, we will raffle off my painting and the proceeds will fund our grants and scholarships for women. It feels good to give back in some kind of way, since P.E.O. generously offered me a hand when I was struggling financially. When you’re facing hard times with money and someone lifts that burden for you, the feeling is indescribable.

My dream is that someday, community colleges and public universities will be tuition-free to attend… or at least accurately price-adjusted based on merit and/or financial need (we all know the FAFSA is complete B.S.). I think there are a lot of hardworking people out there who are experiencing pushback when what they should be receiving is the support to complete their degree.

I hope we sell enough raffle tickets to give a generous scholarship to a fellow hardworking woman. I will feel so proud!

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Yes… I know Marguerite Daisies are white, but I took some artistic liberties.

 

 

Terrapin Tea

Nicolas T., a Horticulture student at my work, came up with the idea for an herbal tea product during an entrepreneurship class. Over the past 12 months our department has watched his idea rapidly develop, culminating in a product launch at the campus food co-op last week.

Taking off on his initial product idea, Nicolas grew Tulsi, Skullcap, and other ingredients for his tea blend in the UMD Community Learning Garden. He then navigated the bureaucracy of both the University AND state food safety laws to create a market-ready product: Terrapin Tea. If you have ever worked for a state-run organization, then you understand what a significant feat of tenacity and perseverance this is.

In addition to his pursuit of product viability, Nicolas harvested tea seven days a week, worked full-time at an off-site internship, dehydrated and packaged tea leaves at the Maryland Food Co-op, and still made the Dean’s List.

In exchange for some of said product, Nicolas asked me to design his Terrapin Tea logo. When his product launched at the Maryland Food Co-op on campus last week, I jumped at the opportunity to take some photos.

My co-worker, Heather, wrote a very engaging article about the entire process. I highly encourage a read! The rest of the photos I took are available on Flickr.

 

 

Healing Through Art

Yesterday I finished this watercolor painting in memory of my pet Uromastyx, Liz Lemon. Liz passed away on January 20, 2018. She was one cool reptile and an excellent roommate; I miss her dearly. My apartment is not the same without Big Liz in her desert habitat, lounging under a heat lamp and gazing through the window at other, less spectacular animals. Painting this portrait helped me get through the doldrums of the past week or so without her.

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“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission of feeling the artist has experienced.”
– Leo Tolstoy

Alumni Spotlight: Buddy Hipp

Recently I had the opportunity to tag along with my co-worker, Ken Ingram, and his Landscape Design and Implementation students as they went on a field trip to The Hotel at the University of Maryland (UMD). It had been a very long time since I went on a field trip; in my opinion, it was a blast.

The Hotel at UMD is in the final stages of development, and one of Ken’s former students, Buddy Hipp, oversaw the planning and installation of native landscaping on the property. Because The Hotel is conveniently located just across the street from campus, Buddy contacted Ken to offer current students the opportunity to walk over from Jull Hall for a landscaping tour.

Our experience exploring the new building, admiring the recently-installed trees and shrubs, and hearing about Buddy’s experience as the landscaping project lead was very informative. It is obvious that he enjoys his work as a project manager for Ashton Manor Environmental, a company with a focus on sustainable landscaping. To me, it sounds like an ideal job.

I took numerous photos and Buddy graciously agreed to be interviewed for a quick Alumni Spotlight video (see below). If you would like to learn more, here is a news item that I wrote for our website at work.

 

Oriehls Magic

What happens when the two biggest Baltimore Orioles baseball fans in the nation meet? They fall in love and get married. ❤

On September 9, the Riehls said “I do” at the Baltimore Hilton overlooking Camden Yards. Their wedding was Orioles baseball-themed — everything from the cupcake tower, to the surprise guest on the dance floor (THE Oriole Bird), to Chris’s heartfelt musical ode to Baltimore – reflected a love of Maryland’s favorite big city.

Jen’s idea was to create an “XO” wedding logo using the Baltimore Orioles’ iconic orange “O.” I enjoyed working with her to create a one-of-a-kind wedding invitation, photo booth image, and other designs. Scroll down for photos and to see the invitation.

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Oriehls Magic in the form of a cupcake tower.
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The first dance. Can I say right now how much I freakin’ love weddings?
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Dining in style at the reception with some of my USG friends.
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Special guest at the dance party: the Oriole Bird! If you know me, then you know I love all manner of birds. #Birdland

Jen and I became friends while working together at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG). Through Jen, I got to know Chris by participating in his Baltimore Rent-A-Tour outings that showcase historic sites in the city. Going to their wedding was also a reunion of sorts because some of my favorite USG people were there as well!

Thank you, Jen and Chris, for the opportunity to design your wedding invitation and logo. Congratulations and I wish you many years of happiness. Go birds!