12.29.2007

Fun in St. Paul

Well, I'm on vacation for a few days visiting my sister and her family in St. Paul, Minnesota. My daughter Sarah came along, and we're having a great time! This is just one quick shot of Claire and her family and Sarah as we were about to go snow-tubing. Man! That was a fun time! Have YOU ever done that? Stay tuned for more pics as we enjoy our time here in this winter wonderland. There is beautiful snow all around and it keeps coming down. What are YOU doing for New Years?

My baby--Sarah


12.27.2007

Remembering Jessica

A nightmare has been lived out this past week here in Athens, Alabama--during Christmas, that no family or friend should have to experience--the pain of losing a child. Precious Jessica Michelle Elkins was a light and joy to so many people. We always loved having her at our home. I always admired her good manners! She and my Caroline were best friends during their middle school years while they cheered together.

Jessica contracted what is believed to be bacterial meningitis. The violent attack to her body happened so fast and she is gone now almost like the snap of a finger, but we've been through the "slow motions" of hospital visits, prayer vigils, not believing that this could happen to one of our kids. But it did. She has gone on at age 15 to be missed by her loving family and huge number of friends....so hard to understand....So incredibly sad.

But we have to let our faith pick up from here--the point at which we have no understanding. We can be comforted and strengthened in the scripture Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

We can't always know what good comes of bad things like this. But it's there! We have to believe it. I know that it was "good" to be at a prayer vigil with a hundred or so of Jessica's friends praying with them. I know that it is good that several of these friends are growing in their faith and understanding of God and death. That is good. Jessica has donned her wings, and will live on in our hearts--that beautiful girl.

This is Robyn, Caroline and Jessica tubing on the river last summer behind Whitney's boat. What fun that was! I can still hear their squeals of laughter...



This is Jessica and Caroline at Cheer camp several months ago.


Anyone reading, please pray for the Elkins family. Jessica leaves behind her loving parents, an older sister and a younger brother. Coping with something like this can only happen with God's mercy, love, comfort and prayers.

Read about bacterial meningitis and know the symptoms. It is a very fast progressing illness that needs immediate attention. May you be blessed!
As a side note, it might be a good time to mention a great book that will comfort those about Jessica. If you'll read at least the first 3 chapters of this book, you will see the marvelous place that awaits all believers and the place where Jessica is now. She is smiling and more radiant than ever! The book is "Ninety Minutes In Heaven" by Don Piper.

12.23.2007

Most Awesome Christmas Tunes!

This holidays season in the midst of all the goings - on and preparations, I have kept sane by listening to some of the most beautiful music there is! I love all kinds, but during the Christmas, season choral/operatic music just moves me and stirs and comforts my soul. These guys--Il Divo are simply amazing! These photos came from their site's forum of fans. You have got to check them out! The guys are each from different countries, put together by Simon Cowell, but don't let that disinterest you! haha! He recognized their talent, good looks and marketability. Simon was right as he usually is!



My favorite song this year is Panis Angelicus which is obviously in a different language (Latin??), but the way they sing it, you know the words must have great meaning. Here are the lyrics:

Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
Figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis!
Manducat dominum

Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis.
Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis.

Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum;
Dat panis coelicus
Figuris terminum;
O res mirabilis!
Manducat dominum

Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis.
Pauper, pauper

Translated into English:

Bread of Angels,
made the bread of men;
The Bread of heaven
puts an end to all symbols:
A thing wonderful!
The Lord becomes our food:
poor, a servant, and humble.
We beseech Thee,
Godhead One in Three
That Thou wilt visit us,
as we worship Thee,
lead us through Thy ways,
We who wish to reach the light
in which Thou dwellest.
Amen.

Another great singer I'm listening to this morning while I paint is Josh Groban--his new Noel CD is great too! One of my favorites on his CD is Ave Maria that includes a children's choir. Truly beautiful! Go out and get these CDs if you don't have them already!!



Merry Christmas everyone!

12.22.2007

New Paintings in time for Christmas!

If you live near my gallery--see my painting blog for some new paintings just completed yesterday for gift-giving!

Gallery Hours for the Holidays:

Open Saturday, Dec. 22 till 5pm
Closed Sunday
Open Monday, Christmas Eve: 10 - 2pm

Closed: Dec. 26 - Jan. 3

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to you!
Thank you for being such awesome clients & friends!

12.21.2007

Today is my older brother Carl's birthday! My sister Claire shot this of him when they were in Alabama at his wonderful home sitting around the pool. Carl is one fine man--with a heart for Christ (he sponsored me on my Emmaus Walk), family, business, cycling (riding more than 60 miles at a time!) and photography. He is the one I credit getting me into more than 25 years ago. What a great big brother he is!!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CARL! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!

12.19.2007

Rewards of My Newsletter!

If you received this in your inbox last week, then you know you are eligible for an incredible offer of 20% off a commissioned painting or photo shoot from me! Yes! An unheard-of deal. Just ask Mr. Butler who commissioned his painting and saved almost $300 off the price of his painting! Ten people are eligible for this offer--the FIRST 10, and only a few have come forward with their deposits. So, to take advantage of this great offer before Christmas Eve--you must submit your deposit. Don't forget! Don't miss out! My way of saying THANKS to all of my awesome clients. Merry Christmas to you all! If YOU missed out on this offer, then don't miss another one--sign up to receive my newsletter over on the right column of this blog. Join me!

Exercising to Stay Sane

video
OK, as you watch this, you may not can hear, but I had not exercised in probably 2 months or so when I filmed this, and let me tell you--rebounding is fun! But I got sore muscles. Yes--in my upper back and the arches of my feet. Weird places that I wasn't expecting, but it is great. Here is a website that shares the benefits of REBOUNDING. That's what it's called. My friend Marcia Whitaker shared her experience rebounding to me a while back...So there--you know my exercise of choice. As of right now... ;) What are YOU doing to exercise right now?

12.18.2007

Happy Birthday, Dad!!

I have to say I have the best Dad in the world! He turned 73 today, and is such a joy in my life. I'm so proud of all that he has accomplished in his lifetime--such an awesome business man, father and now author as of the past few years. He has just completed his second book--it's not out yet, but his other one is: The Last Witness From a Dirt Road. Check it out--an awesome read! We celebrated Dad's birthday tonight with family gathered around and some great pizza from a local pizza place. Very nice! I hope Dad many more birthdays! I love my Dad so much!

12.14.2007

A Warning!

Before taking your children to see The Golden Compass be sure to read what is being reviewed about the movie, the writer, etc. and know what you are getting into. I received an email that is being forwarded around and felt compelled to share the word of warning with you. Other similar reviews can be found here as well. One thing to know is that the writer, Phillip Pullman is a self-proclaimed atheist who has stated that he wants to "kill God" in the minds of humanity, beginning with children. Be warned!

12.12.2007

Creative Spirit Full!

Praise God! He is awesome! I know that this workshop is going to be extremely blessed--this idea has been churning inside of me for some time now to teach a creativity/spirituality workshop, and I've followed the nudgings, and now the class is full weeks in advance! Ladies, thank you so much--I look forward to working with you--right along with you. It will be the very RENAISSANCE needed to begin or renew your creative spirit! GREAT THINGS TO COME!

12.11.2007

Oh and...a Hint



...for whomever drew my name to fill my stocking! Todd? Caroline? Sarah? These awesome slipper boots....from Old Navy. Then some yummy comfy lounge pants from Victoria's Secret--Pink! And then some M MM Buble! Isn't that a great photo of him??? Who saw the feature on him on CBS Sunday Morning?

My Awesome Clients!

I have the greatest clients. If you've seen my calendar on my site, you know I'm painting "full time" right now--vs. alternating my time between painting and photography. It is GET-PAINTINGS-DONE-IN-TIME-FOR-CHRISTMAS time! And they are getting done one by one. There is a year-long waiting list for a commissioned painting. I'm learning to face that fact. I'm actually working on paintings that were commissioned in August of '06--that famous month when there were about 5 or 6 paintings commissioned in a week's time. Wow!

Last week, a client of mine from Birmingham was finally made known to me! I mean, we communicated through email then I went to photograph her home in Birmingham, and now 16 months later, we finally actually meet. It was a wonderful day when Carla came last Friday. We had lunch together at the awesome Lagniappe's Cafe right next door to my studio, then went to see my home and my parents' home--Carla is a rep for designer furnishings, etc. and is about to build a new home. So we toured around and had such a blessed time together. As I've said before, that right there is the joy of my work. Relationships! They are so meaningful to me. Our time together was the icing on the cake, having worked so hard on her house portrait. AND she loved it! That's icing too. ;)

Leslie shot this of Carla and me--isn't she cute???

And this is Dave Henry whose home is on beautiful Smith Lake. Remember seeing the beginning of this painting and the beautiful water of Smith Lake on my painting blog?? Dave was really pleased with his painting too!

12.05.2007

Rosemary Beach Weekend!

Come the end of January, you gals out there may be ready for a getaway meant for only us gals! No boys allowed! Even better, it's at Rosemary Beach. It's a cool weekend of fun and relaxation. It's not expensive, but it is becoming popular. The event benefits the local Caring and Sharing. Read more about that part of the weekend here on their site....

My sister Claire and I have been asked to teach a painting workshop there on Friday from 8am - Noon. So read more about it, and let us know if you want to take it! It is a separate option. We'll paint ALL morning and create one painting. All supplies and snacks are included. Tuition: $175. We can only take a limited number. So enroll now! Better yet, get someone to enroll for you as a Christmas gift! Wanna see more? Here's a short video from last year...



Claire and I are also booking girlfriend photo sessions, being that we are professional photographers too! We will shoot you and your group then images will be posted online for easy viewing and ordering! Can't be any easier than that. Sessions are for one hour and are $375 for the session fee. Book by one week before that weekend and receive a $50 gift certificate toward prints-everyone in your gal group!

We had a blast at this shoot last year...

12.03.2007

Me Excited About Getting It All Done!

Meez 3D avatar avatars games

Get your own MEEZ

God Bless America!

video

This is a short video of something that caught my eye the other day at the Volkswagen dealer where my car was being serviced. I was filled with awe watching the way our beautiful flag was flying...this was shot through glass. Enjoy!

12.01.2007

Gifts Galore!

As the holidays approach, we are offering more gift items in the gallery. Don't miss them--they are all hand-made, hand-crafted by special artist friends of mine. I'm so blessed to have friends who support me and my art who also can create some wonderful things too.

To the left, is an ornament that celebrates Alabama football. This is the only one left at the moment. We also have Auburn and Athens ones too. These are only $8.


Yummy, yummy! Steph, also made some of her famous candy is allowing me to sell it in the gallery. You should pick up a couple of bags for yourself or a get-together you may be having! We have peppermint bark and chocolate toffee. MMmmm! Bags range in price from $4 - $6 depending on the size bag.

And our most popular gift item is an art mug--either a Huntsville one or Athens one. We have both! They are filled this holiday season with a pack of hot cocoa--ready to enjoy by the fire! $15.

Who doesn't need Christmas cards this time of year? I have in the gallery some awesome cards that are original art cards created by students at Catholic High School in Huntsville. They are so beautiful! One of my favorites is the Madonna and Child. Take your pick. They are priced beautifully at $20 for 20 cards and envelopes. Can't beat that!


Remember that you can also purchase a gift certificate in any amount toward anything we offer: a painting, a photo shoot, a workshop or any gift item! People LOVE receiving gift certificates from Carole Foret Fine Art! Call us or visit to see all that we have. You will be amazed!