Thursday, August 26, 2010

Just what could Chloe Pink and Salvador Dali possibly have in common?

Chloe Pink (2006-) the cartoon spokes-person for girls wants you to follow your dreams. Salvador Dali (1904-1989) the most famous surrealist of all time, liked to paint dreams.

So, I guess that makes them a "dream team."

In his best known piece, "Persistence of Memory," Dali painted a landscape with realistic looking time pieces melting over a table and a tree branch. This composition, along with many of his works, looked like a dream brought to life.

What a coincidence! In Chloe Pink's new "Doodle & Dream" book, that's exactly what she wants you to do: Bring your own dreams to life by coloring, sketching, journaling and building your self-confidence along the way. What a surprise that Dali's and Chloe's dream worlds are colliding at the same time.

Thanks to Art Access, the "All Mixed Up Art Class for Kids" I teach in Snellville, GA is heading to the High Art Museum on September 9, to see the Salvador Dali exhibit! In fact, when I opened the email saying our class would receive free admission for 20 children, I thought
I was dreaming!

Coincidentally, another "dreamy" character will be at the Decatur Book Festival on September 4 & 5. You can start following your dreams at the Chloe Pink booth #134 with The Chloe Pink Doodle & Dream Coloring Book signing and "What's Your Dream?" coloring contest.

For more information on the Decatur Book Festival or the next "All Mixed Up Art Class for Kids," contact yours truly, Don't Dilly Dali!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Presenting My Pen Pal, Peeblet and Chloe Pink's Perfect Part-Time Pro Bono Publicist

Alliteration just happens to be my favorite literary device. It's relatively simple, but fun word play. You just repeat the same consonant as much as possible in the same sentence like the nine words that start with the letter "P" in the headline of this blog.

But just when I think I'm getting crafty with my writing, along comes a snappy email, blog post or Facebook update from my favorite pen pal, Pamme Boutselis (Peeblet is her nickname) to put me in my place. You see, "Peeblet" is a gifted, speedy and prolific writer, researcher, PR person, artist, poet and all around great "girl" cheerleader for people in general. (I just happened to luck out and meet her.)

It was a chilly November day in New Hampshire. Actually. I was sitting at my computer in Loganville, GA when a note from a perfect stranger in New England landed in my Outlook Express. This person had an impressive title: Director of Programs and Content. She worked for a credible social network known as Trackahead that helps people further themselves in their education and career. And she was asking little old me for permission to reprint one of my articles on her blog.

Since that day almost a year ago, Peeblet and I have become steadfast pen pals. If we used the same writing tools that Thomas Jefferson and Ben Franklin did, we'd have gone through gallons of ink and a few feather pens by now. Thank goodness for the internet that's helped PB and I save a few trees. Both Sagittarians', about the same age, Celtics fans (Pamme was born in Boston (one of my all-time favorite towns), both artsy and writer types, lovers of animals and on an on and on. Although, I must say, Pamme has full-grown kids and a tat and I have neither. What can I say. She's always full of great surprises (the tat--not the kids) and stories to boot...Just what a pen pal should be, right?

In fact, the more I've gotten to know Pamme, (pronounced Pam, but spelled with flair!), the more I appreciate having her support and editorial advice. How great to have a former B&N Community Relations manager as my part-time publicist to help me fix Chloe Pink press releases and plan-out my book launch at the Decatur Book help me fine tune the name of my first book. IE: If you like the title, The Chloe Pink Doodle & Dream Book, versus The Chloe Pink Dream & Doodle Book, you have only Peeblet to thank. And if anyone can find a typo in the sentence, "See Jane run," it's Pamme. Pamme is virtually the female George Plimpton. If that name is familiar and George was before your time, he was a man who could do everything and did. Just like Pamme with a career that includes Marketing and PR to owning her own wine store. And while, her family is nearly all grown-up, Pamme is a Big Sister to Hannah. With so much going on, I never understand where that girls finds the time. Yet, she sat down with me recently for a Q&A. Me in the deep south and she, in the upper northeast. Go Sox!

Q: So Peeblet, tell me about your work with Trackahead?
PB: Hmm. . .you could say that I am the Director of Programs and Content at, and as such, I work with contributors, nonprofit organizations, potential collaborators and write original content as well. I particularly like the interaction with TA members and working with contributors and collaborators. What I like best about Track Ahead is the opportunity to help others develop their talents and work toward positive life goals.

Q: What else do you do?
PB: As for the rest of my work life, I'm a marketing and PR consultant as well as a writer. I've also been a community volunteer for the past 20 years or so. My past jobs included marketing director for a NH restaurant chain, community relations manager for BN and VP of Sales for a consumer products company that worked with inventors to bring new products to market. I also owned two businesses, a wine shop and a children's theme party service.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your Little Sister, Hannah.
PB: Do you mean Big Brothers Big Sisters? BBBS? I've been a Big Sister for over 2 years to an extraordinary 8 year old named Hannah and the experience has been fulfilling in so many ways. The real bonus is that I get to do all kinds of fun things that 8 year olds especially enjoy, many of which I haven't done in a while. BBBS is such a great organization, and it has made such a difference in so many lives, for both Bigs and Littles.

Q: And what about the rest of your family?
PB: Well, there's Sean, 28, Marissa, 25 (did I ever tell you that her name is Marissa Skye, which I particularly love?), Michael, 22, and Andrew, 17. Then there's Becky, Sean's long time girlfriend, who I consider to be another of my children at this point as well as Justin, Marissa's husband, who I think of as a fourth son. The summary of us: We are extremely close and genuinely like each other and enjoy hanging out together (hence the full-family vacation!) and my mom, of course, too. She's 82 and an integral part of the gang. We're currently planning a family trip to DC in the fall and possibly Mexico early next year.

A little bit about them --- Sean is a field engineer for a company called Office Environments of New England, and Marissa works for the same company but in the Manchester, NH office (Sean's in Massachusetts) as a sales coordinator in their furniture division. Sean works for the audio-visual division (AV). Michael is a brand new English teacher at Campbell High School here in Litchfield, where Andrew is a senior this year. They are kind of excited because they never had an opportunity to go to school together so now they are! Michael taught history for summer school throughout July at Bedford High School (a neighboring town), where he student taught and also was a permanent sub for the remainder of the school year.

Q: Um..aren't you forgetting someone?
PB: Of course, there's also Gus, our 9 year old standard red smooth-haired dachshund and Sophie, a five year old silver dapple miniature dachshund as well as our three cats, Puffy, Bella and Muffin.

Thank you, Peeblet for taking the time to sit down and chat and for sharing an appreciation of the written word with me. And now, if you'll excuse me, I need to proof this blog post before you find all the typos!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Meet Kelly Liddell, Chloe Pink's™ New Artist Representative

If you have dreams (as me and Chloe Pink) do, you know that support is like a gem. It's genuine. It's rare. And it must be treasured, valued and never taken for granted. Which is why I'm still pinching myself because Kelly Liddell has offered to be Chloe Pink's new Artist Representative.

Kelly's "had CP's back" on numerous occasions and now, with this blog post, it's official. Just a few weeks ago, she inked CP's first signature retail opportunity at tres chic children's boutique, The Purple Ladybug. (Details to come.) She's also been supportive to CP through social media and served as Snellville and Grayson's town art mom-- chauffering numerous young artists to a class I teach, "All Mixed Up Art Class for Kids" at Snellville Framing & Fine Art. Just how she gets every child and their freshly painted masterpieces home week after week without a Jackson Pollack all over the back of her SUV is just another one of Kelly's feats.

In fact, Jackson is her son's name and how I met Kelly. Her kids, Abby and Jackson are regulars at "All Mixed Up." Brave Jackson is often outnumbered by 6,7 or 8 girls -- each one just as headstrong as Chloe Pink wants them to be. They are curious. They are creative. They follow their dreams. And they believe in themselves! Hurray girls! His younger sister, Abby, is the quintessential Chloe Pink. (By the way, that's Abby with her mom in the picture.) But more on Abby later. This post is a shout-out to her mom.

Aside from the fact that Kelly takes pride and joy in raising her children, she has an impressive professional background as well. Kelly's been an account exec for Brighton (handbags) and Russell Stover (yeah, the chocolate company!) With her experience, it's no wonder her biz etiquette is creme de la creme and she has so many great ideas.

Kelly also has a strong appreciation and ties to the arts. At the New World School Montessori (headed by Susan Gabbard) in Oklahoma City, there were only 8 students in her 8th grade graduating class, but the whole building was dedicated to art according to Kelly.

What's more. Abby and Jackson's Mom learned to appreciate art through her own mom, too. Kelly's mother was an annual volunteer at the Festival of the Arts. Her mom's friend, Donna Berryhill was a famous artist in Oklahoma who died of cancer in 97. An art collector of sorts, Kelly's mom has several of her pieces. Kelly's good friend (and bridesmaid) Krista (Straka) Costilow's mom, Gloria Straka was also a close friend of Donna Berryhill.

Kelly, herself is an artist, also. "I only took one art class from Mr. McConnell in high school and had to pull an all-nighter to finish it." The charcoal drawing of her grandpa's fiddle is now in her closet at home after proudly hanging in her grandmother's house for years until she died. (Why is that? Get it out of the closet, Kelly!!!!) She has two good "art" friends as well: Laura who does art restoration and now teaches at a Montessori school in Tulsa; and Tracey, a college roommate at The University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK, who "was always painting something or going to a pottery class," is now doing PR work in Oklahoma.

As for now, Kelly is a mom encouraging her kids to do art because it's a great release and self expression. "A person can work through a life problem or at least gain a bit of perspective by creating….whether in art, writing, music or dance. The more opportunities my children have to use art for learning, for creative expression and for joy…the more they are allowed to “soak up” the beauty of life."

And on that note, Chloe Pink and I say, "Thanks Kelly for helping us out with your experience and talent. You're a gem."

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