The Society of Decorative Painters | Chapter Happenings | Volume 6 Issue 2 June 2010
In this Issue

• A Message from Becky

SDP Conference this past May was a blast! If you attended, I hope you had a great time. Please mark your calendars for May 17-21, 2011, to check out the 39th Annual Society of Decorative Painters Conference in Wichita, Kan. In fact, the room block is already set up, so you can book your room now, if you like. When you book through this link, you will automatically receive the SDP room rate of $104 a night. Remember, staying in the room block helps SDP by keeping the costs associated with Conference down, and that’s good for you, too!

If you are thinking about teaching at the 2011 conference you still have time, the deadline has been extended to June 28. If you have never submitted, now is the time. Go to the website and download a Teacher's Kit. Don't delay—we can’t wait to see what you’ve been painting!

Are you planning on booking a teacher for an upcoming chapter event? Please take some time to review the new regulations for booking teachers from outside the U.S. You can download that info here.

If you have any questions about the above information or forms, feel free to call me at (316) 269-9300, ext. 107 or email
Happy Painting!
Becky Gray
SDP Chapters Coordinator

• Wanted: Your Newsletters

Does your Newsletter Editor send your chapter newsletter out by email? (It’s a great way to save postage and go green!) If so, please ask her to add all of the following people to her newsletter distribution list: Communications Coordinator Matthew Clagg:, Chapters Board Liaison Mary J. Smith:, and Chapters CoordinatorBecky Gray: We read your newsletters to look for stories to feature in the Chapter Happenings e-zine or Chapter Snapshots in The Decorative Painter. In fact, read the story below to learn how chapters and individual members can submit photos and info for publication. We just love to hear about your projects and adventures! If your newsletter is distributed as a hard copy, printed newsletter, that’s fine. Just mail it to Chapter Newsletter, SDP, 393 N. McLean Blvd., Wichita, KS 67203-5968.

• Share Your Story

By Matthew Clagg, SDP Communications Coordinator
All SDP chapters and individual members are encouraged to share events, community service projects, successes, and other news with their fellow SDP members. Everyone loves to see what other members are doing. Your story might inspire another chapter or member to try a similar project or event!

When you submit stories and photos, they are considered for publication in one of two venues: The Decorative Painter magazine and the Chapter Happenings e-zine. Submitting your story is easy. Just follow these instructions!

The Decorative Painter
As the official publication of the Society of Decorative Painters, The DP is SDP’s main source of communication between Headquarters and members. It also offers three departments that allow Chapters and members to “strut their stuff” in print.

Chapter Snapshots is intended to share news from SDP’s affiliated chapters. Did you stage a particularly successful retreat, fundraiser or seminar? Did your group paint a mural at a church, teach a group of underprivileged youth, or create a decorative painting display at your local library? Or maybe you’ve just had a blast painting and playing together! Submit a story to Chapter Snapshots.

Show & Tell is intended to share news from SDP’s individual members. Did you win a ribbon or award? Did you paint a project for a local charity or business? Did you create a piece with an interesting backstory? Submit a story to Show & Tell.

Chapter Spotlight: Is there a chapter service project about which you are especially proud? Maybe you hosted your most successful fundraiser ever or participated in an event that will go down in your chapter's history book! Chapter Spotlight focuses on outstanding moments when your chapter truly shined. One chapter will be featured in each issue of The Decorative Painter magazine.

Chapter Happenings E-zine
Another way to share your story with fellow members is through Chapter Happenings. This e-zine is sent to all SDP members with a current email address on file. All chapters and individual members are welcome to submit stories and photos to Chapter Happenings.

To Submit a story to Chapter Snapshots, Show & Tell, Chapter Spotlight, or Chapter Happenings

    • Submit your story and photos by email, if possible. Address them to Put the name of the column to which you are submitting (Chapter Snapshots, Show & Tell, Chapter Spotlight, or Chapter Happenings) in the subject line of your email. It is possible that your submission might be used in that column or in another.
    • Do not format the story in anyway and please do not imbed the photos in your story, (if you submit your story as a Word document or PDF). Please do not type in all capital letters. Attach the photos as separate files to the email.
    • Submit at least three photos, if possible. We generally print just one, but this gives us a variety from which to choose.
    • Write a paragraph or two about your event or project. Include your Chapter’s name, and the basics: the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the story.
    • Include the names of the people in the photo, (from left to right, front row to back row), and those who were in charge of the project.
    • Be sure to include your Chapter’s name and your name.
    • Photos:
      • Set your camera on the biggest file size or highest resolution when you take the photos.
      • Send the original file or photo taken from your digital camera, if possible.
      • Submit your best photos. Avoid blurry or low resolution photos.
      • When taking photos, look for fun photo opportunities! People in costume, clear action shots, interesting objects, all will catch the eye and make your photos stand out.

Please bear in mind that because of the volume of submissions, not all submissions can be printed, but we will print as many as we can. We are excited to hear what you’ve been up to. Take a few minutes and submit today!

• Help for the Chapter Treasurer

By Mary J. Smith, SDP Secretary and Chapter Board Liaison
Several years ago, when I volunteered to audit my chapter’s books, I was handed a real mess—a box with incomplete bank statements, missing deposit slips, receipts with no reimbursement form attached for explanation, missing account register pages and so on. You get the picture. I am not an accountant, but I’m not a financial idiot either. It took me more than two weeks to sort, compile, and calculate, and I swore never again! I even became that chapter’s treasurer.

So, over the years, and through several stints as treasurer to various chapters, I’ve created some documents to help keep chapter treasurers organized and make doing the chapter finances a breeze. It generally takes me less than 30 minutes a month to create the monthly deposit sheets, (which is very helpful when someone doesn’t remember whether they’ve paid something or not), do the monthly report, and update the Year End file for that month (which in turn automatically creates the Year End Report required by SDP). I use Excel to create spreadsheets, and anyone with Microsoft Excel—for either PC or Mac—can take these and customize them for their chapter.

I’d be glad to help your chapter get started—and it’s never too late in the year to start these. If you do some work up front, the end of the year will be much easier for you—and for your chapter. And, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel the following year. You just clear the contents on each page for the past year, update your file name, headers and footers, and start with a clean slate. I know of four other chapters in my state that are now successfully using these and they have less trouble getting someone to run for treasurer!

You can find sample spreadsheets and blanks here, under the heading, “Financial Forms.”

If you need help tailoring these spreadsheets to meet the needs of your chapter, please don’t hesitate to contact me (Mary J. Smith) at I’d be glad to get you started.

• Batik Time

By Barbara Sirianni, Ouachita Decorative Artists
Ouachita Decorative Artists in Hot Springs Village, Ark., attended a two-day seminar in April taught by Kathie George, nationally known watercolor batik artist. Ms. George (center front) has been a favorite instructor of many of our members and we’ve had so much fun painting with her in the past that we invited her again. Watercolor batik is watercolor painting on special rice paper followed by layers of wax to coat and protect each color until the piece is completed. When the wax is removed, each artist has a unique piece of artwork. We can't wait to have Kathie back again!

• Memory Box Paint-In

By Leanna McLure and Karen Close, Gulf to Bay Decorative Artists
Last August our chapter pogram was devoted to painting memory boxes. Member teachers volunteered to mentor a project for each group. To add to the fun, a grab bag was filled with goodies. Members’ names were drawn and those who were chosen got to reach into the grab bag without looking and take an item. Everyone got a chance to pick from the mysterious bag. We had five designs from which to choose. The following teachers participated: Sandy Neuling TDA; Jackie Cihlar; Eileen Romanik; Jean Cipriano; Nancy Drescher; Lee Gracey; and Karen Close (see photo). Our members paint boxes for four hospitals in southwest Florida. One of the grief counselors, Kathryn Vaughn, came to the meeting to speak to our chapter about how the boxes play a small part in helping families heal from this devastating loss. She stayed and met with many of our members one-on-one to get to know the artists who create these beautiful painted boxes. What a great day we had, and a very productive one as well. When they finished painting, some members helped make flannel inserts for the boxes to give them a finished look. What a great way to spend a hot August day. We had so much fun and felt a sense of accomplishment from playing a role in the healing process. Thank you to everyone who was involved in this special day.

Members of the Alamo Decorative Artists painted and filled boxes for wounded soldiers receiving assistance at the Warrior and Family Support Center at Ft. Sam Houston. Pictured are, in the top row from left to right: Lamont Vaille, Susan Herr, and Diane Weber. In the center row from left to right are: Kathy Swigon, Ellie Vaughn, Rose Condon, and JoAnn Johnson. In the front row from left to right are:  Marilyn Graff, WFSC representative Bill Yates, and Wendy Watson.

• Honoring Wounded Warriors

By Wendy Watson, Alamo Decorative Artists
Alamo Decorative Artists in San Antonio, Texas, has participated in many service projects throughout the 33 years of our existence. Since San Antonio is known as a military city, we wanted to become involved in an effort to "give back" to the wounded warriors who come to San Antonio for treatment.

Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC) at Ft. Sam Houston receives many of the most serious cases of war injuries. The families of these warriors, who have also sacrificed much, come to our city during treatment and recuperation time. Many times the treatments are quite painful and last for extended periods, requiring these warriors and families to be away from everything they know and love.

The need for a Warrior and Family Support Center (WFSC) was first identified by a group of physicians. In December 2003, small conference rooms at the Powless Hall Guest House on Ft. Sam Houston were converted to the WFSC. On December 1, 2008, with the help of several generous donors, the center was relocated into a 12,000 square foot building to meet the tremendous need for more space. It was designed and equipped with the needs and requirements of wounded warriors in mind. The facility is fully wheelchair accessible and has a homey atmosphere that encourages healing. It offers a safe environment for military families to reconnect and begin their lives over with the full support of the military community.

The WFSC is the only one of its kind. The soldiers receive emotional support and answers to their questions from other wounded warriors and their families. In this comfortable environment they can extend their rehab away from the hospital. The rehab involves learning to cope with war-related disabilities as individuals, as couples, and as families.

The WFSC is staffed by caring community and military volunteers, other wounded warriors and Army Community Services personnel.

Our chapter painted boxes for the warriors and filled them with useful items, such as gift cards, disposable cameras, writing supplies, game books, cards and snacks. The boxes serve as a memento of the care they received in San Antonio, Texas and are meant as a means for our painters to say "thank you.”

If you are interested in offering your support to WFSC, you may mail donations directly to:

Warrior & Family Support Center
Attn: Judith Markelz
2010 Stanley Road, Suite 95
Ft. Sam Houston, TX 78234

A Terrific Recruiting Tool

You may have heard that SDP Business members DecoArt and Royal & Langnickel have offered to give a Decorative Painting for Everyone New Member Kit to every new SDP member to help us recruit new members.

This will help all of us encourage new members to join our Society and keep the decorative painting industry vital! Each new SDP member will receive a voucher in their membership packet good for one kit.
The Decorative Painting for Everyone kit includes:

    • Set of seven Americana Acrylics and three DecoArt mediums.
    • Set of five Royal Gold brushes and one Royal 1" sponge brush.
    • Black & white carbon paper, tracing paper, and an 8" by 10" clear styrene sheet that can be used for practicing brushstrokes.
    • "Decorative Painting for Everyone" course guidebook.
    • DVD featuring artist Patricia Rawlinson teaching step-by-step instructions for all six lessons

Warmest thanks to DecoArt and Royal & Langnickel! Imagine how much easier this will make recruiting new members. Now, let's all get out there and spread the word to newbies, students, friends, and family about SDP and this fun offer!

Click on images for larger view. Please have popups enabled.

• Fun with Furniture

By Delores Gatz, Harbour Lights Painters
Harbour Lights Painters in Long Island, N.Y., invited Beth Wagner to teach a furniture workshop. Each of the artists who participated donated their pieces to the chapter for their annual fundraising auction and dinner.

• Paying It Forward

By Kelly Forrest, Tryon Treasures Decorative Artists
Tryon Treasure Decorative Artists in New Bern, N. C., wanted to let the troops know how much their hard work is appreciated. All the members of this small group gathered some requested supplies such as: candy, snacks, socks, Chap Stick, and hygienic wipes. Also included were a few Christmas decorations and hand-painted Christmas cards with holiday wishes. Seven fully-packed boxes arrived just in time for Christmas. This is the second time our small chapter has “paid it forward” to benefit the troops of this great country.

On the Road with Sheila

A 2010 SDP Conference photo essay by Sheila Rouse

About Chapter Happenings

Chapter Happenings is published periodically 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 Matthew at

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The Society of Decorative Painters does not guarantee any offers or products made by these businesses. SDP cannot and does not accept responsibility for their actions or products; therefore, readers using this information do so at their own risk. SDP does not take any responsibility for the claims made in these advertisements, or on the referring websites

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