Me and Amanda Jaron

When I first started blogging, I did it as little more than to create a place or home on the web where I could show some of my work and have a place to connect with my clients and fellow artists. I really had no idea what I was in for! This seems to be the same story I have heard from so many of my blogging friends. Who knew we were to discover an entire community, support group and social club not bound by miles, age, race or creed? Just a group of people from many different walks of life who share similar interests. Blogging and meeting so many of you over the net has been an unbelievable creative outlet and source of inspiration in my life.

This week I had the distinct pleasure of meeting jewelry designer and fellow Floridian and blogger, Amanda Jaron. She is actually the first blogger friend I have met in person and it took another blogger all the way in Scotland to connect us! Ronda Carman of All The Best had featured Amanda and her beautiful jewelry designs on her blog over a year ago and when Amanda saw a post Ronda did on me shortly after that, she contacted me and we realized we were both in Florida and not too far apart.

Amanda left her glamorous and fast-paced New York life a few years ago to live her dream and raise her family here on Florida's Gulf Coast. Her company, A. Jaron, has been expanding ever since. Her upscale and sophisticated designs are featured in many Saks Fifth Avenue stores across the country, as well as on her website and the Home Shopping Network. We just had the first opportunity to meet this week.

Amanda is a lovely, warm and talented person and it was such a joy to meet her. There was so much to talk about and it was very interesting to get to know her a little. If you are not familiar with her work, please take a moment to check out her website and blog. It's great to meet a fellow artist and blogger with whom I share many of the same challenges and passions in life. I hope there will be many more meetings with so many more of you bloggers out there!! I look forward to it!


I just wanted to thank Ronda Carman, a native Texan living in the UK, who featured me on her blog today. Ronda is a terrific writer who features daily posts on some fascinating people, places and things. I consider her the "Barbara Walters" of the blog world! She just started her blog in January of this year and has already managed to garner a large and faithful following worldwide. She is intelligent, witty and warm. She has been so supportive, as I know she is to many others as well. Thanks, Ronda! You can read her post HERE.


Patricia's superior version of a thank-you note

Patricia van Essche - President of the "Artists' Support Network"!!

A gift package, van Essche style! What a gift for presentation!

One of the guys in my "break room"

The view at my recharge spot - not bad, eh?

My break lounge

You know, things have been really crazy here lately. I love my work, but it's also beyond amazing to get away for a couple of hours for a break and recharge. Nothing kills creativity like fatigue, and all it takes sometimes is just a short 2 hour break. When I do need a break, I head to one place in particular, a quiet local beach. Sitting there listening to the surf and soaking up a few rays is my way to relax and I feel so blessed to have such an incredible"breakroom"! Some of the guys there are a little pesky, especially when they come over to beg for food, but I just ignore them and they eventually fly off.

One of the drawbacks of being an artist is that you generally work alone, although that's also how I work best. It's imperative that you make time for social interaction and have a support base to keep you balanced and inspired. That is why it's been so wonderful, since I've been blogging, to meet some incredible people who share many of the same interests and challenges. One person in particular is Patricia van Essche. I am sure many of you have seen her work before and read about her on my blog, as well as many others. She is an amazing artist and one of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met. I am excited that she is going to start her own blog very soon. Although we've never met yet in person, she has already been such a great friend to me. She has offered me some wonderful advice, sources, support and feedback. The other day, I got a wonderful package in the mail from her. The best part was that she took the time to send me the best thank-you card I've ever received, a hand rendered illustration that's not only adorable, but incredibly clever as well. There was also a charming little painting on wood of a crab. Very apropos for my location! Knowing I love anchovies, she was also thoughtful enough to include some Dutch fish spread her husband loves (she recently returned from a trip to Europe with her family, her in-laws live in Monaco). Her instructions made me laugh - "Eat this on toast with parsley, LOTS of parsley". I am guessing the parsley is to counteract the deathly toxic breath the fish spread probably gives you! LOL. It definitely put a big smile on my face. Thank you, Patricia! I will let you know how it goes when I open the can.....

My point is that, as the year begins to draw to a close, I am so thankful for all the friends I have met here. There's an endless list of people I could thank that includes many fellow bloggers, readers, and clients. Especially, Patricia van Essche, Courtney Barnes, Joni Webb, Ronda Carman and Holly Becker. Thanks for serving as such an inspiration and support network. There is a real "sisterhood" (and brotherhood, too) that's very real, despite the fact that there are many miles between all of us.