May 07, 2011

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Exciting Changes! Hi everyone! If you've been visiting my site for any length of time, you may notice the change in my banner...I've finally taken the plunge and changed the name of my blog...the address remains the same but I've been wanting to make the change for some time now and finally got up the courage! Sometimes changes are needed and sometimes I'm a little resistant to them...the name of my blog is one such change I've been procrastinating on... I've been taking a marketing class, and one of the things we've learned is branding and naming our businesses to reflect who we are and what we sell...years ago I specialized in folk art...actually it was "mixed media" before we called such art mixed media, but nonetheless...it was primitive and vintage inspired, and that was "my look" then...now that I've gotten back into the creative life, and have struggled with exactly it is I want to do, I've also struggled with "my look." There were certain aspects I wanted to keep, but others that I wanted to change...years ago our business was called, "Meadowlake Prairie Primitives." That was easy...the township we resided in was called Meadowlake, we certainly lived on the prairie, and we produced primitive art. But now, I don't JUST want to do primitive art, in fact, I'm really more into a kind of deconstructed, contemporary retro kind of thing...not really shabby chic, because that denotes lots of blue and pink and lace and frilly stuff (to me anyway)...and definitely not primitive in that everything is aged...definitely mixed media...and fabric is definitely back...but so is paint, fibers, paper, and other materials...so I "pondered, and pondered, and pondered." I wanted a name that I could stick with even if my style changes...one that would reflect who I was...and I'm not kidding...this has taken months! And finally, last week I came up with something totally unexpected...totally not reflecting all those "key" words I had been making list after list with...suddenly there it was...Just Be Yourself! And so...today I officially changed the name of my blog...I hope you like it...it's easier to spell than the old English spelling I used for prairie (praierie)...and the old French word I used for paper (papier)...because I'm doing so much more now than "just" paper... Also, and this is really exciting for me! I opened my own Ning group...I've been wanting to do that for a long, long time, but not before I had a clear vision of what I was going to do with it...I "pondered" that a lot as well...and, it seemed that once I thought of a new name for my business and blog, that just fell into place as well...the new group is called, "Just Be Yourself," and is at http://anitavanhal.ning.com. The group is free to join, and is for any female age 13 and over...it is a community for fellowship, learning, exchanging ideas and skills...so far there are over 40 different groups ranging from mixed media to cooking and baking and fashion trends...I'm still busy planning and adding content, and also have an assistant...she is Bonita Rose and her blog is "A Life Unrehearsed." She has been invaluable to me this past week since we opened the group...she's the one adding all the groups and discussions, and doing a great job at it too! She is highly creative and lives in Fargo, ND where three of our four children reside! In fact, she lives in the same area of the city as our two sons...so it's going to be fun meeting at Barnes and Noble or some other fun place, and chatting and exchanging ideas...we're in the same business and marketing classes together, and it's been so much fun getting this group going...we both teach online classes as well. And, we're both planning on offering new workshops and classes at Just Be Yourself soon too! Other than that, I'm getting ready to start my new college class tomorrow...it's a drawing class and our first assignment is doing a self-portrait...that should be "fun" since I've never done one before...I hope I make myself look pretty! And young...cause next month is a big mile-marker of a birthday...let's just say I'm NOT middle-aged anymore...not unless I live to be really, really, really old! So...please stop by Just Be Yourself and check it out...our goal is to provide a safe, fun, community for women of all ages to fellowship and learn from each other...more info is on the site! Thank you SO much for stopping by today...oh...I'm still teaching two classes at Hands and Heart with Monica Zuniga as well! Click on the sidebar links for those! All the lessons have now been posted! And the photos today are from one of the mixed media art quilts I made for the "Mixed Media Quilted Art Doll Class" featuring a couple of the techniques I teach including faux rouching and faux batik! Hugs and toodles!

Anita Van Hal

I'm primarily a self-taught mixed media and folk doll artist who lives in the west-central part of North Dakota. I love living the creative life!

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