Announcing the winners of my latest giveaways and a sneak peek for another.

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.

The first winners are…

Join me in congratulating Aaron and Tina Jones – winners of Laura Fahrenthold’s “The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles”. Oh, and check out their vblog at https://jonesn2travel.com. They’ve been on the road for two years in their 5th wheel and travel with a Great Dane and two cats.

Summer Reading?

As you recall, the interview with Laura Fahrenthold describes a poignant yet hysterical RV road trip. If you haven’t picked up your copy for your summer reading- now is the time to snag one. Click on the book below to order and let me know what your favorite part was.

Not naked

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post about our naked RV wall and the story of how I got it un-naked with a personalized one-of-a-kind wall graphic. My nephew Karl Fay created the art, and I seized the opportunity to blog and brag on him – sharing how art enriches our relationships. And you have to read my post to find out WHY I had an extra wall art to give away.

And the 2nd winner is…

The winner of the wall art is….Betty Ramsey! Two weeks ago I chose a random, computer-generated number, and had no idea that I had chosen Karl’s aunt Betty who lives in Kansas. Betty is thrilled to adorn her wall with Karl’s art and it’s cool that we pretty much share the same core values and love for red hot convertibles!

Speaking of Core Values

Remember the challenge I gave you about writing them down to savor and enjoy? It will only take you like two minutes to print out and learn more about yourself in the process. Let me know what’s on your list. I’d love to hear from you. Maybe Karl can create a wall art to adorn your home. Or, do you want to see your Core Values on a T-shirt, coffee mug, or bumper sticker? Just ask Karl. He can create anything for you.

This brings us up to date with my giveaways, but I still have one more Relationshippy gift waiting for you.

A savory giveaway

Sometime in May, I’ll be posting my interview with author, chef, and friend Sherri Ewing Rahmanop. Her story begins in the wilds of Alaska where she hosted a gourmet TV cooking show.

*Sherri’s self-taught culinary journey began at the tender age of eight and rose to a pinnacle of success when her extreme catering business was featured on National Geographic and The Outdoor Channel. Her family business served upscale meals, in pristine outdoor settings, throughout remote Alaska.” ~ quote from Sherri’s website; Alaska’s Wild Gourmet

Like Laura Fahrenthold, a sudden tragedy pushed Sherri to process pain through travel, cooking, and the world of RV’ing.

Have I piqued your curiosity? If you cannot wait till the release date – check out the first chapter by signing up on Alaska’s Wild Gourmet. I’m excited to read Sherri’s story and enjoy the recipes contained in her book. You heard me right. A memoir with recipes!

And yes, one of my lucky subscribers will be chosen to receive an autographed copy of “Alaska’s Wild Gourmet”. Details on the giveaway will be found in my May post. Stay tuned.

Outta here

John and I are winding down here in Tucson Arizona and excited to hop on our route to the Philadelphia area where we will spend the summer seeing our adult sons and daughter-in-law.

On the way we’ll venture through the five National Parks in Southern Utah, traverse Colorado, check out three Harvest Host locations (Alpaca farm, Railroad Museum, and Goat farm!) head up to see family and friends in Wisconsin and Indiana and eventually land in the Philadelphia area.

Your turn

What are your summer plans? Are you setting up an adventure? Seeing family? Getting out of your comfort zone? Let me know where you’re headed. Maybe our paths will cross and we can meet up.

Before you go

Thought you’d like to read about the Tucson area before you leave. Check out Jonesn2travel’s article on the Arizona Sonoran desert. It will enrich your life!
https://jonesn2travel.com/5-things-i-bet-you-didnt-know-about-the-sonoran-desert/

Don’t forget to check out Karl Fay’s art at DandyWorld.com

Congratulations, Tina, Aaron, and Betty, and Happy Trails to all my readers!

Your Unlikely RV’ing Girlfriend,

Gretty

An interview and FREE GIVEAWAY from the artist who created our RV wall art.

Hi, Girlfriends and Guy friends.

The metal artwork crashed to the floor 30 seconds after we hung it on the wall.

Rats… Decorating our new-to-us RV was proving to be difficult.

And guess what? THREE years later our bedroom wall was STILL devoid of art.

We live in a 450 square foot RV and there just aren’t that many areas to decorate. So, when we desired to personalize our home we wanted that space to contain smashingly fantastic and meaningful art.

That Creativity Moment

Luckily inspiration hit me one day as I casually reviewed the syllabus from the Marriage Retreat that John and I attended. The climactic exercise of the event asked us to think about the values that we share as a couple.

Hmmm…our barren bedroom wall popped into my head. What if we could create some type of wall art that reflected John and my shared values?

BINGO!

Then it hit me. My nephew, Karl Fay, is an artist who creates amazing murals and art where he sketches “words” instead of lines.

Here are some examples of his work.

What if Karl could incorporate our Core Values into wall art? I tossed him the idea and he grabbed the challenge. Next, I sent him a photo of the blank wall space, our Core Values, and color scheme. After several drafts, the following art piece was born!

We absolutely love Karl’s design for our home for many reasons;

  • Its subtle beauty draws you in.
  • We are visually reminded of our core values.
  • It is a conversation piece.
  • It WON’T FALL OFF THE WALL!
  • We can pull our slide in without worrying about it getting jammed in the space.

You could win this unique wall art! 

That’s right.  And I’ll inject the funny way this giveaway came about.  When Karl shipped the wall art to our RV Resort, it got “lost” in transit.  Karl contacted his vendor who kindly shipped another to us. 

You guessed it. 

The “lost” wall art magically arrived the very next day.  I contacted Karl and he generously offered “keep them both” applauding the idea of the GIVEAWAY. It’s just the kind of guy Karl is.  Thanks, Karl!

To enter the drawing simply subscribe to my blog on the pop-up or on my website page. On Saturday (48 hours from now) I’ll utilize a random number generator and contact the winner by email. .

Going Deeper…

I thought you’d like to get to know Karl a bit better, so I interviewed him. 

Gretty:  So, Karl where did your love of drawing come from? 

Karl:  From my earliest years I enjoyed art, and it was one of my favorite ways to spend time with my dad. He helped me with creative projects for school, encouraged me, and made sure I had a steady stream of art supplies and the space to create. I cut my teeth on drawing cartoons and doing variations of block and bubble lettering. Handmade cards to mark birthdays, anniversaries, and other family occasions were one of the first ways I learned to share my art with other people. So, my parents were instrumental in planting this seed, the love of art, in my life.

Gretty:  I love talking about RV’ing and Relationships.  Please share how Art enriches our lives and relationships. 

Karl:  I love this quote from Pablo Picasso:

Everyone’s an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist when one grows up.

These words compel me. I believe on one level that the visual arts can be a tremendous gift for all people. Take a drawing class; you’ll learn to see the world in a whole new way! On another level, I believe everyone is an artist in his or her own media–parenting, spreadsheets, welcoming strangers, writing policies, dancing, caring for sick and injured people, giving really thoughtful gifts, fixing broken or clogged pipes. You get the idea.

My questions for you are these:

  • What’s your media?
  • What’s your canvas?
  • Not IF you are an artist, but WHAT is your art?
  • How can you share that art in a way that blesses others?

Gretty:  Please share how you began using “words” to create a richer art expression.

Karl:  How to remain an artist when I grow up continues to be a guiding question for my life. Even as I got a bachelor’s degree in art, I had not yet pursued visual art as a career. Rather, it’s a hobby. It’s recreation in the best possible sense. You see, while studying art in college, I felt a calling to become a pastor. I began to discover how using words and images together can be a really rich way to communicate inspiration and provoke conversation, to draw people into deeper experiences of wonder at this world in which we live and compassion toward the people with whom we share it.

I’m now in my sixth year serving a wonderful church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. I love sharing my art with my church, doing art on my own, and it’s one of my favorite ways to connect with my own kids. I even use visual art as I mentor a fifth-grade boy one day each week over the lunch hour.

Art gives me life. As I draw, my eyes grow wide with wonder and my heart grows full of compassion. In a very real way, I must make art. I can’t NOT make art for too long and still feel well. If I go too long without drawing or creating, I grow frustrated, impatient, crabby, and withdrawn. Ask my wife.

A few years ago, on MLK Day, I created a portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. comprised of a portion of his “dream” speech. I wanted to celebrate the man and his legacy and give hope and encouragement in the present.

GrettyThank you, Karl, for taking the time to speak with my peeps.  Now, how can my subscribers see and purchase more of your artwork?

Karl: You can get framed prints, bags, and other inspirational gear with my designs at http://dandy.world

Gretty: Can you please tell us about all about how Dandy World came about?

Karl: Dandy World was born from kicking ideas around over coffee with my cousin, Rachael Hooker. The image of the dandelion spoke deeply to each of us – that powerful seed that can endure the harshest environments, even killed with chemicals, but if even a bit of the tap root remains, it can spring forth new life & spread its seed far. 

Our paths & positions allow us to bear witness to the tremendous struggles of life but also the overcoming & hope that lies in the resilience of everyday people. 

Fred Rogers believed in the power of television to spread important messsages & we believe social media offers a similar opportunity in our time. 

The idea was to use our artistic, writing & connecting gifts & create a platform to elevate important voices that provide hope in a modern world. 

We also believe that what we wear creates an opportunity to make a statement & spark conversation in our neighborhoods.

It is our hope to spark these connections between people, spread important messages of iconic figures & weave pop culture, history, science, spirituality & art in ways that inspire. 

We’re sending out an inclusive, learning from each other vibe that’s necessary for our time & it’s a whole lotta fun! For a regular dose of inspiration, follow Dandy World on Instagram and Facebook. G

Your two-minute Challenge

Ok, Girlfriends and Guy friends. What are your Core Values? Have you ever thought about writing them down? I challenge you to take a moment and jot down what resonates with you from this list. Next, have your partner or a friend do the same. The fun starts now as you compare your lists and discuss the results!
And finally, how could you display them as a daily reminder?

Get in touch with Karl by visiting his portfolio site: http://artgives.life

Our wall art project was inspired by the efforts forged at Jill and Mark Savage’s marriage conference. Check out their website and peruse dozens of their books ie; Is there Really Sex after Kids?, Better Together, and No More Perfect Marriages.

I hope you win the wall art!

Love from your Unlikely RVing Girlfriend,

Gretty