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Category: Organizations & Publications

25 Jul

IDAL Conference 2011

In the decorative painting industry, one of the most popular conferences is the IDAL convention.  (The organization has the cool digital online magazine, Artisphere Online.)  This year it was held in Hampton, VA.  It was my second time attending and my first time teaching.  Dana Tucker and I taught Building Your Online Brand to a class of 27.  It’s amazing how fast the time went — you prepare so much for it (Powerpoint presentations, research, fun giveaways, countless Skype & phone conversations) and then you look up and it’s done.  We tried to pack so much into two hours (and of course, went a bit over…). The students were a really fun bunch with great questions.  I can’t wait to hear of their progress!

If you are a fan of my Fauxology Facebook page, you’ve probably already seen the two notes I wrote on my IDAL experience.  I decided to write this one as well for those who do not have access to the fan page. I was truly excited to meet with many of the artists I correspond online with as well as see what the expo was all about.  The following are some of the images I took during the two days I was there.  BTW, brace yourself — this post is a bit on the longer side.

IDAL Convention 2011

This is how most of the classes were set up. Nice, large rooms that were organized and well-protected.  This is the Faux Impressions class given by Ed Mattingly of Sherwin-Williams.  BTW, do you know about our contest to win $200 worth of product from Sherwin-Williams?  All it takes is a picture of a space you created that makes a great “Impression”.  Enter the contest here.  Deadline July 29th.

IDAL Convention 2011 Pierre Finkelstein

Live demonstrations were conducted throughout the conference.  Here, keynote speaker Pierre Finkelstein demonstrates his considerable skills with woodgraining.  He is very charming and gracious.

There were several faux studios who had fantastic booths at the show.  I didn’t get a shot of one of my faves, Dundean Studios, and a few others but here are some I came upon…

Wonderfaux Studios TexasGorgeous samples at Houston’s Wonderfaux Studios. That feather had crystals and was SO pretty – I’d love to do that one in a powder bath.

William CochranHad a great chat here — am considering taking a class by William Cochran.

THE Studio DestinTHE Studio Destin. Fantastic samples all around and they had some of the best counter finishes I’ve ever seen.  (Ye Olde Jaw dropped. Not kidding you.)

Gary Lord Prismatic PaintingGary Lord’s Prismatic Painting Studio. Even though a “rock star” in our industry, he is totally approachable and friendly to everyone who comes up to him.  Wish I had better pics for you of those great samples in the back.  Totally dying to go to his Greece tour.

SSDASarasota School of Faux & Architectural Finishing is one of the studios I frequent the most.  Donna Phelps’ samples never fail to impress and I’ve sold quite a few.

Royal Design Studios

Saying there were amazing samples at the Royal Design Studio booth is almost a given, no?  I took this pic before the expo opened — it was paaacked afterwards.

patterned foils

Patterned foils by V-Mask. We’ll be doing some cool stuff with them on the blog soon!

IDAL Convention philanthropic mural

This is the philanthropic mural in progress during the convention.  It’s final home will be the Virginia Living Museum.

After the convention days, artists would gather for drinks and also to firm up dinner plans.  Here is a nice mix of newbies, up-and-comers and well-known Masters at the convention hotel, the Embassy Suites.

BTW, do you remember the gnome whose pic was taken all over the world?  Well, take a look at Faux Buddy…

Faux Buddy at the Chalk Paint booth

Faux Buddy hanging out at the Chalk Paint booth...

We wanted everyone back home to get little glimpses of the IDAL convention so we gave him out so that he could travel with everyone and showcase little snippets of all the different classes and locations.  Imagine where Faux Buddy could go and what we all would be able to see with him!  The pics were to be shared on the Fauxology Facebook Fan Page but also on the IDAL page and personal pages, too, of course.  The bonus for our students is that each time they posted a pic, they would get an entry into our contest…someone is going to win their class fee back!   For those who were not in the class, there is a prize, too!  Robyn Story Designs out of Tampa, FL is a fantastic distributor of Chalk Paints and she is giving away a quart of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint to the person who can come up with the funniest caption for a Faux Buddy pic.  Plus, the pic taker wins a quart as well.  Yeah!

IDAL Bag Faux CalendarHere’s the cool Faux Calendar sponsored bag that was given out.  It’s fantastic to reuse as an extra carry-all for a jobsite or as a green bag for going grocery shopping.

What I love about conventions is that not only do your fellow peers provide inspiration but also just being around so many artists excited about the industry make it easy to tap right into the love and enthusiasm you possess for it.  Unfortunately, I had to head back early since I did travel via car and needed to head back over the weekend.  I did miss meeting so many but I hope to see them soon.  The attendance improved upon last year’s and many of us felt next year would be even better.  BTW, next year’s conference will be held July 25 – 29 at the Grand Sierra Resort & Casino in Reno, Nevada.  It looks fantastic!  Until tomorrow!

01 Jul

Enchanted Makeovers Needs You!

Enchanted Makeovers is a fantastic non-profit organization that transforms shelters for women and children into an environment that inspires psychological and behavioral change. Creativity, focus, self-worth and optimism for the future are among the transformative results. They have a wonderful project coming up in November 2011 and they need your help! We’ve previously shared their good works and thought to help spread the word again.

Although Enchanted Makeovers (“EM”) organizes these types of projects a few times per year, this one will be special. The project will run the first week of November and the shelter is located in Detroit, Michigan. EM has several key team members that help promote and enhance the good works of this organization. CEO Terry Grahl is an award-winning decorator who founded EM in 2007. She has since then been named one of People Magazine’s “All-Stars Among Us” because of her vision and tireless work ethic.

During the project, a video will be created that will be used to pitch a potential TV special or series. The filming will be directed by a person well-established in the television industry. It will capture EM’s journey as they continue this national movement. The project and artist volunteers involved will be filmed for inclusion.

Two of the 19 rooms in the Detroit shelter that Terry says “will be transformed into a sacred haven”.

There will be a Detroit-based project manager who will organize the artists, concepts and areas to work on during the week. Although artists will be assigned individual rooms, it will definitely be a team-oriented project.  At this point, approximately 20 mural artists will be needed to paint 19 bedrooms, a sewing room and 38 doors. The EM style is best described as a “comfortable, warm and whimsical cottage” and the artistry will reflect that.  Some of the generous mural artists who have worked with EM before are Julie Albanese, Cre8tive Sisters, Martin Laprise and James Labadie.

Some of EM’s transformed shelters.

Please note that each artist would be donating their time and the costs to be involved. EM strongly suggests that each artist acquire sponsors to help pay for these costs (transportation, hotel, food, supplies and such) and they do supply guidance for this as well as a letter for the artists to provide to potential sponsors as an inspiration to help chip in.  There is a list of other items needed for this project. You can also start to see the artists who will be donating their time and effort on that page.

If you are interested and/or would like further information, please do contact Terry Grahl at — she is more than happy to talk about this incredible project with you.  Also, if you have a special story or inspiration for your interest in this project and organization, please do let Terry know as well.  Some artists will be interviewed during the filming for a behind-the-scenes segment.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

30 Jun

Artisphere Online

I’m getting SO excited about the IDAL convention coming up!  I’ll be not only co-teaching a class there but will also be meeting many of you for the first time. Holla! Ahem.  (patting down hair)  I get a bit excitable sometimes.

IDAL stands for International Decorative Artisans League.  I think it’s the best organization for our decorative painting industry and I enjoy supporting them in any way I can.  IDAL has an online publication, Artisphere Online.  It’s not really a magazine, it’s not really a personal blog — it’s kind of a cool hybrid of both, updated daily.  The content is contributed by various members of IDAL.  According to Editor Pat Ganino, this is the format you can expect:

Mondays: Feature Articles

Tuesdays: IDAL News

Wednesdays: “How To’s”

Thursdays: Blog Spotlight

Fridays: Artist Spotlight/Product Review

I love that IDAL, as an organization, is keeping its members so informed and engaged.  On Facebook, they also have an IDAL page and an Artisphere Online page.  Speaking of Facebook, you can catch an upcoming feature article by yours truly on the subject of Maximizing Facebook for Your Business.  Not sure when it’s posting, but it’ll be on a Monday.  I’ll keep you updated.  I have previously written an article on Blogging — it’s for a “social media” series I’m writing for Artisphere called Social Paths.  [It's a play on "socialpaths" since I am a bit crazy for all online stuff.  Not sure if you can tell. ;) ]  Hope you enjoy all the articles and the cool information to be found.  Until tomorrow! :)

30 Mar

Salon 2011 – Atlanta, GA

Have you heard of Salon?  Here is how Salon was described in my post last year:

Salon is a yearly gathering of extraordinary decorative painters and artisans — the best of our industry — and the purpose is to further the artistic field, exhibit their artistry, watch and discuss new techniques and materials in addition to providing camaraderie among international members. The members, who are invited to join via submitted works, represent how truly joyful and masterful the decorative arts can be.

I think that about sums it up.  To express what I mean by the best of our industry, I’m going to sprinkle just a few photographs along the post from their gathering last year — you can see many more in the 2010 gallery on the Salon website or the Salon 2010 Facebook page.  The Salon website has information and images from past gatherings as well.

Salon 2010 decorative painting

Setting up the Exhibition space. Please keep in mind that these artworks are flat -- any dimension you see is created purely by hand. It's the very meaning of incredible trompe l'oeil.

Salon gathers together to enjoy each other’s company and share their artistry with each other and the public.  They are always held in gorgeous places — Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, France — and this year it is in the United States from April 6 – 10.  In Atlanta, Georgia.  A one-hour flight for me from Orlando, FL.  I was all ready to do The Happy Dance and attend – then I remembered my sister gets married next week and I am slammed with bridal to-dos as the Maid of Honor.  I almost thought about it (you know what I’m saying, dear Readers) but I do value my sisterhood — and my life ;) — and so I will attend a beautiful wedding but will have to miss seeing the incredible Salon work.  I see that next year it is in Tokyo and hosted by the wonderful Yaeko Kurimata. That does sound nice…

Salon 2010 trompe l'oeil

This year, the annual gathering is being hosted by Kim Dokka of Art Effects, Inc. and she kindly gave me a preview of what’s to come next week.  “It’s going to be great fun!  We have an opening and closing dinner, a wine reception, a secret project and two community murals.  One [mural] is called “The Secret Life of Flowers” and it will be 7 ft high by 30 ft long and will be donated to a local cause.  The other one is still a bit of a secret that will be revealed on the first day — one of many secrets planned that will be released over the week.”  Take a peek at their Itinerary and their venue, Atlantic Station.

Salon 2010 Salon 2010

Incredible woodgraining on the left and I had to include the painting of the quetzal (right). It is the national bird of my Mother’s country, Guatemala. I’ve always thought it the most beautiful bird.

marbling salon 2010

You can see how much work goes into creating a realistic marble with faux paneling.

salon 2010I believe the artist above is Andre Martinez.

If you are a decorative painter, a designer and/or are interested in the Arts, please do consider attending the incredible Salon. This year, for the first time, they are offering an Insider’s Secrets program wherein ticket holders will have exclusive all-day access (!!!) to Salon for two days along with special events, lectures and demonstrations. World class artisans such as Pierre Finkelstein, Cynthia Borman, Dean Sickler and Jan Berghuis will give talks on subjects as varied as French Ornamentation, Color & Form and Historic Restoration.  The cost is $185 and they only have just a few tickets left.  The deadline to purchase these is Tuesday, April 5th and you can acquire them through the Salon website (scroll down on the link for the info).  Of course, public tickets will also be available in two-hour increments (cost $10) and you will be able to see the jaw-dropping Exhibition Space from Salon participants, lectures and the ongoing mural projects.  Public tickets can be purchased the day of the event.

salon 2010

By the way, if you did want to know more about how Salon unfolds, how they invite artists to participate and so on, Leslie Vigini tells us more about it.  Are you planning on going to Salon?  Do tell.

22 Mar

Building Your Online Brand

The Future of Business.

YouTube Preview Image

(Thank for that info, Socialnomics!)

Social Media is a cultural shift and it will affect how we do business in the future. Fact. It’s been fun doing so much research, attending conferences, reading voraciously, talking to top tech experts — all to see how social media can help the decorative painting industry specificallyDana Tucker and I have been sharing some of this information with you on Fauxology and in industry articles (and we’ll be sharing more, trust) but we’ve also gone one step further.  We’re teaching a class for you called Building Your Online Brand during the IDAL conference in Hampton, VA from July 20 – 24, 2011.  The class is on Thursday, July 21st from 1:30 – 3:30 pm and registration for the conference and class is now open.  The cost for this two-hour workshop?

One Million Dollars.

Ha! I just wanted to see if you were still with me.  :D   The class workshop is only $85 and we’ve culled the best information to put together as it can be used by our industry.  During the two hours we’re going to cover the following topics:

  • Using Social Media Sites effectively
  • Search Engine Optimization for websites
  • Setting up, Maintaining and Growing a Blog
  • Creating an effective online Marketing Plan
  • Question and Answer session

A lot of ground to cover in two hours!  We’ll be giving out a folder with a resource guide and we highly suggest bringing a laptop or other tech device to use during class.  It’s going to be! (‘Cause I’ve wanted to fall asleep during some of the really technical conferences and I don’t want that to happen to you.)  I’m really excited to meet some of our gorgeous Readers at the conference as well, no doubts about that!  Tell me — is there anything in particular you’d like us to include in the class?  Or, include in the blog and/or our other writing efforts?  Let us know because, for us, it’s all about listening and delivering.

27 Dec

Enchanted Makeovers (Redux)

Well, I hope everyone had a wonderful Holiday filled with family and loved ones. I’m currently in Chicago enjoying the snow and the cold weather — such a nice change from Florida. I haven’t seen snow in over a decade so I’m extra happy! As to today’s post…

Since we had server issues over the long Holiday weekend, I’d like to “rerun” Friday’s post. It’s about a wonderful organization that transforms shelters for women and children into places where they can find beauty in refuge — and begin to see a possibility of a new life filled with safety and love. I hope you consider reading and becoming involved with Enchanted Makeovers.

24 Dec

Enchanted Makeovers

When I spotted Terry Grahl on Facebook, I immediately knew I had to do a story on Enchanted Makeovers. Enchanted Makeovers is a nationwide, non-profit organization that transforms shelters for women and children into a place of beauty — an oasis in a sea of confusion and fear.

Terry Grahl

After reading her story, I realized that she closed down her interior decorating business to found Enchanted Makeovers because she felt she had been given an opportunity to transform lives. As President, she manages the day-to-day operations full-time. We had a nice e-chat about her beautiful organization, which, in addition to transforming spaces, also facilitates events for the shelters. They redecorate with handmade items and furnishings or organize inspirational activities such as gardening, yoga, sewing and cooking classes within individual shelters. You can either donate financially or send handcrafted items to be distributed. “We wanted handmade kittens and dolls for every single girl [in a 2009 makeover for a shelter for girls]. Many times children and women have their innocence taken away and we want to bring that back into their life.”

Q: Terry, how do you pick the shelters you work with?
Shelters are chosen not only on the great programs they provide for the women and children but most of the time it’s how I feel once I have visited their website. Your gut feeling is always a great compass.

Q: How many projects do you manage per year?
This year, Enchanted Makeovers did seven national events and we always have our national projects and programs on a on-going basis. Capes for Kids is one of five national programs. Don’t wait for a superhero. Be One!

Q: Since Fauxology’s readers are mostly design and professional artists, how do they get involved?
We’re very open to working with artists and crafters on a one-on-one basis with a special event or makeover. When Enchanted Makeovers needs a certain piece of artwork, I think it’s so important for us to collaborate on [not only] how the art will uplift the human spirit but also have the artists be able to shine their own light.

If interested in becoming involved, please contact Terry via Enchanted Makeovers or message Terry directly on Facebook. Enchanted Makeovers also has a Facebook group and recently launched a national program called “Stepping into the Dream”, which has JCPenney as a sponsor. A child shares their dreams with an artist they have been connected with. The artist then paints the child’s dreams onto a pair of donated Converse sneakers and the child can remember, wherever they are and whatever the circumstance, that they have power to put “footsteps” into their dreams. Isn’t that powerful?

Whenever I volunteer, my first choice is always a women’s shelter. It’s a subject close to my heart and one I feel I can truly empathize with — especially the children. In fact, I have toyed with the idea of starting a career program with the local women’s shelter — if any women were artistically inclined, I would have them join the team during projects (if interested, of course) and show them how to manage their own creative business. They would get experience and a paycheck and I would have an enthusiastic team member until they were ready to fly on their own. I would love to explore that idea further at some point. Many abused women do not leave their situation permanently because of many reasons — one is the fear of being the sole provider for not only themselves but their children as well. It’s heartbreaking. I’m so happy that there are wonderful people and organizations such as Terry Grahl and Enchanted Makeovers making a difference. It’s what Love is all about.

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