Monday, May 21, 2012

Jo Packam, Earth Angels and me

    A little long-ish, but the whole story about how I stepped into the super pretty magazine world!

     Saturday, we drove toward Boston for a fund raising dinner for Brian's college basketball team and to say good bye to them as they leave this week to play basketball in Ireland for a few weeks. It's a great opportunity, we are thrilled he is going and at the same time no matter how old kids get, they are still our kids and it definitely tugs and stretches the heart when they are far away.   Our son John spent a semester in Australia and I was super happy he had that experience, but I will never forget how my heart cracked when we took him to the airport.  Suddenly as he walked toward the gate, the floodgates opened.  This trip is just for a few weeks, but distance is distance and sometimes I really miss the boys being smaller and under one roof. 

     I am already off track, now what was I telling you? Oh yes, I packed my overnight bag and of course some reading material... Where Women Create magazine. I adore this magazine. A D O R E ! It is not only well written, it is a work of photographic art, and who doesn't want to peek into the studios and spaces where other creators are working! You must get this magazine! You will love it.
    So, I opened the magazine, I almost hate to call it a magazine because it is more, much more. Even the paper is luscious! Well, as I am reading the luscious WHERE WOMEN CREATE I got to page 108 and the title is THE ANNUAL SPRING FLING by Jen O'Connor The ArtGirls' Road Show takes Saratoga by Storm -
WHAT?? That is right near ME!!
It was at the beautiful Schuyler Pond Home and Garden!
 But oh no, we are driving away from home! I read the article and saw that they were having the fling for 2 days AND there is a breakfast with Jo both mornings. I got out my phone and quickly sent an email to Jen to see if there was still room for Sunday breakfast and there was! We drove home Saturday  so I could be there.

     When I got up Sunday to drive over, I was a little nervous. I was going alone and didn't know what to expect. I spend a lot of time in my studio, or at my desk, and sometimes I get nervous stepping into a new group of people. Actually it is always a little uncomfortable to step out of that comfort zone, isnt't it!  Every day I wear my LEAP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR bracelet and so as I got dressed I thought this might me a leap, but I should do it.
Then I added my DREAM BIG bracelet. I read once that bracelets are for the wearer, which is why I love putting personal messages on my silver. You glance down, you see it. You can't see your own necklace. So I and went out the door expecting at the very least to be inspired by great artwork. It was so much more.

     I got there early because I thought I was going to get lost, but didn't. I parked and sat in my car in the most beautiful country setting.  I got out of the car and walked around the back of the barn which I thought was the front of the show, but it was the back and I was walking into the register area. This is not unusual, I have a knack for getting in they way when I am trying to stay out of the way. Maybe that is why I am writing a novel for middle schoolers, because I never really left that awkward age ; )

    What I didn't expect was that at 10am, the breakfast time, I was the only guest there with the fabulous EARTH ANGELS and Jo Packam!  *insert panic feelings*  I had thought I would be ducking in the back ground.  Instead they made me feel wonderfully welcome and at home.  I felt like I knew Jo for years, I am sure in part because I read her blog, and magazines but also because in person she is incredibly open and absolutely wonderful.  She is a true creative-soul.

     The EARTH ANGELS are  friendly, talented and wonderfully fun and funny.  The conversation went from shoes to make-up to glues to family to art.  Actual real girl talk which a mother of 4 boys can always appreciate.  It was a casual picnic/patio breakfast and I really did feel at home with these women.  So many of my illustrator friends make their beautiful art or color their work on the computer. They love working on the computer, but for art, I just don't. I love paint, ink and the feel of the pencil on the paper. Maybe that is why I loved this event so much. It was a great hands-on reminder that there still is such value in hand work. I really loved it all!

    After seeing all their work in person I can tell you the quality is fabulous and everything is really made with a wonderful creative spirit. You can see it all and order some goodies right here.....

     Here is my loot, I must have been in an earthy brown mood.... but they had wonderful, colorful paintings, bags, accessories and bunnies, bears, smells, flowers... go, go check out the site! You will love it!

The clutch bag I bought is made from recycled materials. The flap is an antique fabric that is protected with clear vinyl, has a nice magnet for the flap, but also a zipper under neath. I often carry my computer bag and camera bag so this is perfect for my wallet and things so I can move them from bag to bag. I loved the necklace with the change purse, it is beautifully worn and holds a mini notepad. The paper on the top right was from the breakfast, cute post its in the mini folder. And I love that teal color flowers necklace with brown beads.

     I told Jo I am really a huge fan of her creation, and just as I decided to write this post I looked next to my couch and quickly pulled out a few that I had at arms reach.... (even more than I thought) I think I even have some issues in my studio!

Front and center is Jo's new book that I also bought there!! And on both sides of the book is the new issue, front face on the left and back cover on the right with the Earth Angels ad.  I bought TWO copies of the new issue, I didn't even know I had one in my overnight bag and the other in my computer bag!

**edited to add** I almost forgot! The other great magazine I bought was WHERE WOMEN COOK. Those of you who know me, know this is insane because I do not love to cook. But I told you the magazines are so luscious... and everyone loves lusciousness, don't we! So I could not resist! It is already on my rarely used recipe book awesome holder (a gift from my sister! -Hi Nancy!) and I think it is perfect for our strawberry season. I am going to give these recipes a try! Really, I am!! Stop laughing. 
Okay, when I make something delicious from this magazine, I am going to write it up here, with pictures of the deliciousness! I will put my new camera to good use... and the kitchen too. 

I look forward to next year's spring fling! I love my new treasures! I started reading Jo's new book WHERE WOMEN CREATE ~ BOOK OF ORGANIZATION ~ The Art of Creating Order
and I was already excited to see that I had some of the jars that are featured on page 126! So I am happily going to bring those out of the cabinet and into the studio and get to the business of organizing. 
See? I knew if I kept those jars long enough there would be a good use for them! 

Being with these wonderful, talented, smart and really funny artists has brought new sparks and inspiration to my own artwork.  I sketched out new silver designs last night for a new 2012 collection. 

This morning I am working on revising my novel and then heading over to the studio to work on the portfolio sketches, that old website is going to get a new look too!

     Our sons are launching themselves in all the different directions that life takes 20-somethings. Part of my heart always goes with each of them, but I am so so lucky to be an Artist and have my life filled with new creative work and with wonderful creative people.  

Thank you Jo Packam and Earth Angels for a really wonderful day.


*BONUS* since you stuck with me through this post I would like to give one of my blog readers the DREAM BIG bracelet I was wearing at the breakfast... AND my extra WHERE WOMEN CREATE MAGAZINE ~ may/june/july issue : )

YES!! The bracelet pictured in this post!! So just leave a comment and I will pick a winner on Friday May 25!!

Let me know here that you tweeted this post or linked this blog on facebook so I can add your name to the hat more than once!

Here's the reading/shopping link collection from this post .....

and I guess I should send you to my page too!


  1. what a beautiful way this opportunity came onto your path. I am so SO HAPPY for you. Looking forward to seeing all the dreams that will come forward from this experience.

    1. Thanks Robin! It was serendipity for sure!

  2. WOW! This is fantastic, Laura! I love this story and how your inspiration is catching. Thank you!



    1. Thanks Jo! It was just what I needed. I was so bummed about Saturday!

  3. Great post, Laura! Glad you drove back for that breakfast! I can't wait to see what you cook!

    1. thanks Cindy! Yes, the cooking one is an odd choice for me, but it is visually so appealing, which I love + the recipes don't have too many ingredients (I like to stay by 5 if I can!) : )


  4. Loved reading your post. I visited Earth Angels last time and could not make it last weekend due to other commitments. I thought it would be such fun to have lunch with them too. Maybe next time. I would have had a hard decision on what to buy. Everything is so delightful! I especially love Debrina Pratts creations, and Jennifer's paintings.

    1. Aren't they wonderful!
      I am glad they sell their work online so I can order some other pieces!

      Thanks for stopping by! : )

    2. Sandy!
      email me your address at! YOU ARE THE WINNER!!!

  5. Laura I'm so happy for you that you had such an inspiring breakfast meeting! I can just feel how on fire you are when I read your words. Your bracelet is beautiful and you are crazy generous to offer it up for a give away! Best wishes for all your happy creations, hugs from tj (formerly in germany, now in MN)

    1. Thanks so much TJ for commenting! : ) It was a great day and the inspiration will last me a long while. : )

  6. Wonderful post, Laura! Thanks for sharing your adventure with us!

  7. and the whispers knew it was all for you!