The Society of Decorative Painters | Chapter Happenings | Volume 1 Issue 4 | August 2005


immediate release


In this issue

Fundraising – and Fun

• Studying with an Expert

By Mary Cobble, Chapter Services Coordinator and TDP Coordinator

Gretchen Cagle, CDA was one of the speakers at the 2005 Teacher Development Education Workshop at the SDP Annual Conference in Tampa, Fla. Gretchen shared the vast knowledge she has acquired through her many years of teaching and her publishing company, Gretchen Cagle Productions, with the attendees of the workshop. All of the teachers in attendance came away with a better understanding of the importance of the written instructions included with classroom material, and the ability to create clear and concise instructions for their students. The 2005 TDA video will be available for purchase in the near future. Please contact Mary Cobble at for more details.

Gretchen will also share her knowledge and painting skills with the attendees of the second “Home to the Heartland” seminar to be held in Wichita, Kan., Oct. 14-16, 2005. This talented artist will focus on how to achieve color harmony within the design, as well as how to create shape, volume and dimension with round objects. This seminar will be a truly unique learning experience. If you have not already signed up, please do so as soon as possible, as space is limited. Contact Janelle at (316) 269-9300, ext. 104 or e-mail More information is available on our website at

• Order Your Chapter Charms

Chapter charms are sure to make your chapter officers feel special. It’s time to place your order for these charms, (which are $3.50 each, $10 for Chapter Service lapel pins). There is a 4 to 6 week delivery period for chapter charms, so order now to ensure that you’ll receive them prior to your officer installation ceremony. Click HERE to download the Chapter Charms order form.

• Reach Out to New Members

By Mary Cobble, Chapter Services Coordinator and TDP Coordinator
It has been brought to my attention that in recent months, there have been several instances of individuals who try to contact a chapter and do not receive a response. Please keep in mind how you would feel if you were trying to find a chapter to join, and no one would reply to your call or email. The potential new members feel “unwanted” and the reaction varies from hurt feelings to anger. If you receive a call or an email from someone inquiring about your chapter, please contact them as soon as possible, and if you do not receive a timely response, please try again. Sometimes messages and emails get lost (or some of us have spouses and/or children who don’t take proper messages). When a visitor comes to your chapter, please take a moment to introduce yourself and to make the visitor feel welcome.

It is also very important to keep your contact information on the SDP website up to date. This is your chapter’s responsibility! The contact person does not necessarily have to be the president, it can be another designated individual, but that individual does need to verify that the information is correct. If there is a change in contact person, please update your website information. If you have any questions about making changes to the website information, please contact Mary Cobble, Chapter Services Coordinator at (316) 269-9300 ext. 107 or e-mail

• Branching Out Deadline is Here

Is your chapter participating in the Branching Out Program? Don’t forget: the deadline for this membership-growing program is Aug. 31. All participating chapters will receive a Branching Out embroidered patch to use on their chapter banner and credit toward receiving the Chapter Achievement Award. The chapter with the highest percentage of membership increase will also receive the chapter’s name engraved on a trophy plaque at SDP headquarters and one free registration to the 2006 Nashville Conference. For more information about Branching Out, see page 7 in Issue 3 of The Decorative Painter.

• Fundraising Idea: Quilting Some Cash

By Jojo Zinschlag, Indy Decorative Artists
Since 1987 Indy Decorative Artists has chosen a quilt “raffle” as our money-making project to defray the expenses of our chapter. (Each state has different rules or gaming regulations, so check these out before you begin. A separate checking account for money-making projects is an example of something our state requires.) Most people will take a chance if you are helping a worthy cause and we share half of the money we raise with a charity. We chose Riley Children’s Hospital. Since 1987, we have given over $50,000 to this hospital.

Take a look at the quilts in Chapter Snapshots below.
Here’s how we do the project:

Each year we take a vote to determine if a quilt raffle will be our project. If you vote for the quilt, you are committed to painting a square and selling tickets at our State Fair.

Our Fair is in August, but we sell tickets to anyone we can until our November meeting. We draw the winning ticket at this meeting, then invite the winner to our December luncheon. If they are unable to come, we mail the quilt to them.

In order to sell lots of tickets, you will need to have the quilt hanging where people can see it. You also need a place that has a lot of traffic. We display the quilt at our state fair. State fairs also have rules and regulations. Vendors must pay rent and so on. We are just like any other vendor and must obey the rules.

Our theme this year is “flowers.” Our theme for next year is “birds.” To pick a theme, we have members suggest what they would like. We usually have about 10 suggestions. We vote with show of hands for three of the 10. The three with the most votes are voted on show of hands, voting for only one. The winner is our theme for that year.

Our ways and means person is responsible for our quilt. She has paint and squares at all our meetings. You can paint more than one square. We also have a nice library, if you are looking for a pattern.

All squares must be turned in at our March meeting. Each one is painted with fabric paint. After the meeting, they are laid out on the floor and arranged and rearranged until we approve the look.

Those not chosen are made into pillows and two to four are given away at

25-cents-a-chance at our meetings. This helps pay for the rent of the room where we hold our meetings.

Our quilt project might have gone by the wayside, if it was not for Nancy Leonard who took charge of this project for several years and worked the kinks out, making it easier for someone to take over when she decided to take a break.

I can't sing the praises of our club members loud enough. One of our members quilts our quilt for us (giving us a bargain price) and another donated several bottles of fabric paint. It is a group project to pick out the material for the quilt.

I would also like people to know that we are not a rich club. We spend most of what we make on seminars and we have a small painting retreat each year where we take classes from our own members that teach.

Remember there are expenses to this project: fabric, fabric paint, quilting material and batting, ticket printing, a space to rent -- and of course -- the quilter.

• Speaking of Making Money …

The Lake Havasu Decorative Painters of Arizona have a unique way of paying their volunteers -- they make their own money! Coupons, actually, which they call Get Involved, or G.I. Bills. Any member who participates in an event, donates an item to the chapter or does any kind of volunteer service for the chapter receives this chapter-printed “money.” At the annual Christmas Party/G.I. Bill Auction, members can bid with their G.I. Bills on various items, which include a paid chapter membership, a free paint-in and donated painting surfaces. The more involved members are in chapter activities, the more “money” they will have to bid on the auction items. What a great incentive! Thank you, Lake Havasu Decorative Painters!

• Save Some Dough

While we’re thinking about money, why not save a little dough by renewing for 2006 and 2007 at the same time? A dues increase is being proposed for 2007. If you renew for 2006-07 before Dec. 1, 2005, you’ll save by paying the current dues price for both years, a total of just $70. Click HERE to download the new membership form so you can renew, and feel free to use this form in your chapter newsletter.

• Joyful Brush Strokes

By Betty Hyre, Kanawa Valley Decorative Painters

These large Rainforest and Ocean paintings were designed to cheer up young patients at Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, S.C.
Photos provided by Kanawa Valley Decorative Artists.

The Maynard C. Smith Construction Company, Inc., offered Kanawa Valley Decorative Artists their primary community service project for this year. It was the creation of two large canvas paintings for the new wing that the construction company is building for the Hubbard Hospice House in Charleston, S.C. Joanne Scarbro, KVDA Community Service Chairperson, coordinated the project.

The rooms in the new wing are designated for pediatric patients, but will also be used for adults when no children are present. The company wanted a theme for the paintings that could be enjoyed by all ages, so they requested canvases depicting a tropical forest and an underwater scene. The designs incorporate parrots and a tiger from Karen Hubbard patterns with images adapted from photos, coloring books, reference books and ideas from members' imaginations. Work began on the paintings in May. Virginia Nesselrotte arranged for the group to meet and paint at her church's youth center. The canvases were presented to hospice coordinator Chris Zinn on Aug. 8, before the new wing's Aug. 19th open house. Members of the Kanawa Valley Decorative Artists who participated in the project are Helen Adams, Susan Amos, Roseta Blevins, Marlene Grubbs, Sandra Hinrichs, Betty Hyre, Dottie Kuhl, Ann Mallory, Joan Mullins, Virginia Nesselrotte, Hazel Small and Shirley Via.

• Teaching Kids to Paint

Jean Lopez, California Poppy Decorative Artists
Nancy Buterbaugh’s daughter, Michele Gross, teaches fourth grade at North Country Elementary School in Antelope, California. Michele thought it would be a good idea for the kids to have a painting lesson and asked her Mom to teach the class.

Nancy found a pattern she thought the kids could do. It was painting a rock to look like a hamburger. Nancy and her husband, Terry, collected rocks for all 35 students. She made a demo board showing each step, and, thanks to Jan Mackenberg who donated enough used brushes for all the students, Nancy was ready to go.

Nancy started out introducing the children to some painting tools and showing their function, such as palette, palette knife, types and parts of paint brushes, etc. She taught them to double load, do some shading, and how to use the palette knife for texture. They also used some dimensional paint for the sesame seeds on the buns.

Nancy, Michele, and Terry helped the children with their projects, which took approximately two hours to complete. Nancy said, “Thank goodness for recess!”

The kids loved it! They were all happy with their projects and could hardly wait to take them home to show their families.

Unfortunately, little art is taught in the schools these days, so this was quite a treat for them to learn how to paint. Who knows, after this experience one of them may become an artist!

• One Resourceful Painter!

By Connie Lanagan

Connie Lanagan with one of her driftwood Santas.
Photo provided by Connie Lanagan.

Recently I was on an island fishing trip in Minnesota where there was no TV, phone or radio. Of course I forgot to bring my paints and brushes. I meant to, but I had no time to get them ready when it was time to leave. So I did what every painter would do. I caught a boat to town, got the car and went to a town out in the middle of nowhere. I found the nicest Ben Franklin Store on the Canadian border and bought about 8 bottles of paint and 4 brushes in a package. Then I went back to the island on which we were fishing at Crane Lake and started looking for something to paint on. The prospects were meek, but I found some neat pieces of driftwood that made my day. I painted four Santas on these unusual pieces of driftwood and would love to share them with other painters who might be found in this situation with time on their hands when it is a rainy and cold day and there’s nothing to do. I was in seventh heaven when I got the paints and brushes and found some wood to work on. Amazing what a little paint and a couple brushes can do.

• Learning with Priscilla

By Carla Stark, Southern Maryland Decorative Painters

Members of the Southern Maryland Decorative Painters with their seminar teacher, Priscilla Hauser. Photo provided by Carla Stark.

My head is still spinning! Priscilla Hauser is an amazing artist with a wealth of knowledge. I am positive every one of us at Priscilla's seminar learned something new. It is very clear to me, Priscilla wants to share her know how and love of painting with all who will listen. Thank you Priscilla. How many of us are now planning to go to her studio "By the Sea" for a week-long seminar with this Master of Decorative Arts? Assisting Priscilla at the seminar were Barbara Saunders, who drove in from Lincolnton, N.C. Gail Hoover-Smith drove in from Middletown, Md., to apprentice with Priscilla. One of our own chapter members, Linda Hance, also assisted Priscilla and Priscilla dedicated the seminar to her. A big thanks to everyone who helped. Priscilla used wooden boards to instruct us in her painting technique on unsealed wood. All I can say is her apples and pears are lovely; her chrysanthemums and leaves gorgeous and her roses: just divine! You will not find these items in the chapter library or archives, at the end of the seminar these boards were auctioned off by Priscilla herself! The monies, at Priscilla's request, were donated to the local no-kill Humane Society to benefit animals.

• Chapter Marketing Ideas

By Shirley Gardner, CDA, TDA, Kansas Wheathearts Decorative Artists, River City Decorative Artists
Looking for a great way to promote your chapter? You may wish to consider contacting your local women’s fair, craft fair, county fair, or state fair promoters for free booth space. At the Wichita, Kan., Women’s Fair, local chapters are given free booth space since they are considered part of the entertainment at the fair. Our two local chapters provide make-it, take-its throughout the Women’s Fair and chapter members demonstrate various painting techniques. Both chapters donate funds to purchase surfaces, and chapter members are always on the look out for sale items for the event. Needless to say, it is always the hit of the fair!

Various companies will usually donate paints and brushes, since it is a chapter event. You can also contact teacher representatives to inquire about new products. If you do receive donations from businesses, you should be sure to let your attendees know which companies have sponsored the event. It is a very nice gesture to have thank you notes signed by each of the class attendees to send to the different companies.

I have coordinated this event for the past several years and have learned that the secret to a successful fair is to start early:

  • Paints and brushes need to be ordered at least six to eight weeks prior to the event.
  • Carefully plan your projects. Projects need to be easy enough for a beginner, and should not last longer than 45 minutes.
  • Participants should be able to take home a totally finished project.
  • Most of all, class attendees should have a lot of fun!

Offer a wide variety of classes, to appeal to a wide variety of people. A very popular item incorporates faux finishing sponge techniques on paper mache boxes. It is a good idea to provide sign-up sheets for contact information. This will help you to send out chapter newsletters to potential members as a follow-up to the classes. In addition, have chapter brochures or business cards available to hand out to interested attendees. The business card template is available on the website at in the Chapters section. If you would like SDP brochures and postcards to hand out, please contact .

Don't hesitate to contact arts and crafts businesses, malls, museums, the YMCA or YWCA, scrapbooking clubs, civic groups, ladies church groups, Red Hat Society clubs, antique car groups and senior centers to offer make-it-take-it classes and demonstrations of decorative painting. As we all know, decorative painting is a teachable skill, and once people see just how easy it is, they become interested in learning more.

If you have questions or need further information or assistance with planning your project, please contact Shirley Gardner, at

• A Wonderful Place to Paint

By Mary Anne Garay, Hudson Valley Tole Decorative Painters

Members of the Hudson Valley Tole Decorative Painters pose in the
gazebo at the Vanderbilt mansion in Hyde Park, N.Y.
Photo provided by Mary Ann Garay.

Our chapter held a demonstration at the Vanderbilt Mansion in Hyde Park, N.Y. This mansion is under the auspices of the National Park Service. Our Second Vice President, Joan Jurgens, made the arrangements for this event. Her daughter, Diane, works for the park service and was instrumental in obtaining their permission to hold the event. We held it in the gazebo at the Italian Gardens -- a beautiful setting. About 15 of our members were there to demo and talk to people about our Chapter and SDP. We met people from all over the US, Canada, France and Germany. We gave them all information on SDP. It was a successful event and our Chapter is in the planning stages on more of these demos.

• Improve Your Chapter Leadership Skills

By Nancy Hungate, Shades of the Mississippi River Decorative Artists
The first Chapter Leadership Training workshop will be held on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2005 from 1 to 5 p.m. at SDP headquarters in Wichita, Kan. This workshop has been created for any chapter member who is -- or wants to be – a chapter officer. Workshop topics will vary from officer duties to conflict resolution. This workshop is designed to help chapters run more smoothly and to teach chapters to utilize teamwork to reach desired goals. The cost of the workshop is $25. Call Mary Cobble at (316) 269-9300, ext. 107 or e-mail to sign up.

• Tampa Tidbit

By Mary Jane Smith, The Brevard Brush Strokes

Mary Jane Smith, left, and Deb and Wayne Aubin of the Brevard Brush Strokes show off the vignette they painted for Tampa Conference.
Photo provided by Mary Jane Smith.

The Brevard Brush Strokes was one of several chapters whose members painted a vignette to decorate the lobby at SDP’s 33rd Annual Conference and Expo in Tampa. The artists who created the vignette are Mary Jane Smith, left, and Deb and Wayne Aubin. Wayne and Mary Jane presented their original design and the three artists painted the piece, working separately on individual portions of the vignette. It took approximately 60 hours from drawing board to final set up, not counting travel to and from the convention center or set-up and take down time.

“We were very pleased with the results and we watched many people come to photograph it -- just not the photographer for The DP!” laughed Mary Jane.

• Chapters Marketplace

Something new will debut at Nashville conference! Start preparing for the Chapters Marketplace. This year instead of a Chapters Auction, we will have a Marketplace that any chapter can participate in -- to sell small items and promote their chapter. Start planning now and paint up a storm! Items for the Marketplace need to be small, i.e. pins, ornaments, charms, cookbooks, etc. This is also a good opportunity to hand out your chapter brochures. Watch for more information about Chapter Marketplace in November’s Conference Special.


• Fundraising – and Fun

By Mary Cobble, Chapter Services Coordinator and TDP Coordinator

The Penn’s Woods Painters had a wonderful idea for their Festival of Trees workshop in May. The theme was “The Music of Christmas” and each chapter member painted four different ornaments, three to be donated and one to keep. There were four different stations with four different teachers (Dottie Schultz on the grand piano, Carol Payne on the musical notes, Lois Eckert on the violins, and Jane Allen on the trumpet and French horn ornaments). The attendance sheets were divided into four groups, and each group painted for approximately one hour and then rotated to the next teacher. As you can see from the photo, all of the ornaments were beautiful -- and a fun time was had by all!

• Chapter Snapshots

Members of the South Bay Folk Artists of Redondo Beach, Calif., had an old-fashioned ice cream social and garage sale at their July meeting.
Photo provided by Rosanna Merrill..

Fundraising Idea: Quilting Some Cash
2004 Quilt made $13,400

Fundraising Idea: Quilting Some Cash
2002 Quilt made $10,234

Fundraising Idea: Quilting Some Cash
2000 Quilt made $7,587


• Support our Business Members


DecoArt Presents

The JansenArt

Traditions Educational Teaching System

JansenArt, a division of DecoArt Inc., has developed The Traditions Educational Teaching System . This program is the most complete educational system in decorative arts, designed for teachers and artists alike. Lessons have been developed for the beginning, intermediate, and advanced artist. Many attendees have been quoted as saying, “This is the best educational concept I've ever seen”. Eight different artists are holding classes around the world.

To view the curriculum, click on the following link:

To view the current teaching schedule, click on this link:

•About Chapter Happenings

Chapter Happenings is published bimonthly by the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP) for members of its affiliated chapters. Do you have a story, photo or idea for Chapter Happenings? E-mail Mary Cobble at If you would like to be removed from the email list please contact