Searching for Creative Outlets?

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“Anyone can dabble, but once you’ve made that commitment, your blood has a particular thing in it, and it’s very hard for people to stop you.” ~ Bill Cosby 

Ever thought you’d like to explore painting but never had the gumption or confidence to try it? Or have you hesitated because you don’t want to invest in all the “gear” that comes with it, in case it ends up not really being your thing? No way to know if you will like it, unless you give it a whirl. 

What is becoming a new concept in entertainment, creativity and socializing in other places has now arrived in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Splatz Canvas and Wine is an imaginative business that provides opportunity for people to stop in and dabble. People may not have aspirations of becoming the next Picasso or Monet, but it gives them the chance to have fun with a group of friends exploring a new hobby together. 

paint partySplatz Canvas and Wine provides the instructor, the canvas, paint, easels and all the other art supplies needed to create a painting that is uniquely yours. Organize a girls night out party, birthday parties for children or adults, corporate parties or enjoy a different kind of date night at Splatz. The older set (over 21 years of age) can order up a glass of wine and along with munchies. 

There are millions of people worldwide, who find personal fulfillment in painting and other art either as a hobby or as a career. Splatz Canvas and Wine provides a space to discover what people find so satisfying in creating images to hang on the wall. 

Now you can create, socialize and paint at Splatz Canvas and Wine in the ‘Boat!

Visit us tomorrow on All Things Fulfilling, where sharing independent thoughts, words and views is all part of the business. This blog is brought to you by

The Goddess of Color

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I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. ~ Georgia O’Keefe 

Thoughts of the harvest season are beginning to creep forward, as summer has evolved into the next season.

Here in Colorado where altitudes soar, the goddess of color has already donned her white cap and is preparing to pile on coats  of ivory before the winter season is even here. Everyone says “the fall colors are beautiful” here in the Rockies. Yes, they are pretty if you like primarily all shades of golden with an occasional dusting of sugar. The foliage is rather monochromatic, to my way of thinking. Contrasts are missing from the palette. Much better than no autumn at all, however. 

I think of New England when I see the turning leaves of autumn. The deciduous forests filled with sugar maples, oaks, birches and aspens, all mixed together, make for stunning fall landscapes. A fulfilling spectrum of colors – scarlett, maroon, purple, cadmiums, greens, brown, gold and orange bring in droves of tourists to the New England States for good reason.

I love living in places where all four seasons are noticeable. Weather indicators tell us it is time to change direction; deviate from the way we have been living the months before. Our eating habits vary and we put on extra or take off clothing to adjust for the rising and falling temperatures. In winter we hunker down and put on layers; in summer we live unadorned and freely.

 Before I allow myself to experience what comes with cooler climate, here is an image of autumn color that is found in the past season of  summer. I’m reluctant to say goodbye to the balmy weather.

This is an image of Georgia O’Keefe’s flowers.

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Gem Stone Village Discovered

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I’m also looking for gems that the average reader might have missed.” ~ Terry Windling

“My, oh, my, isn’t it gorgeous?” I said to my husband and son, as we drove into Ouray, Colorado on Saturday. “Didn’t I tell you, Mom?” my son said “that’s why I said you have to come see it.”

Ouray, nestled between high, high peaks in the San Juan Mountains is called “Switzerland of America©.” The “alpine-like” village is a gem. Outstanding ice climbing and summer rock climbing and the healing hot springs are just a few reasons that this little town is so busy with tourist activity.

On Saturday morning the center of town was the starting place for the Imogene Pass half marathon. Fifteen hundred runners faced a challenging course that climbed from altitudes of 7,700 elevation to 13,000, over an unpaved mountain pass from Ouray to Telluride.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the relief and pride I felt as my saw my son cross the finish line after running seventeen grueling miles. It takes guts and grit to tackle it. He did well for himself, finishing 14th in his age group. But, he said many of his competitors were “seniors who looked older than the mountains and really put him and the younger people to shame.” I noticed that as I watched.

Ouray has so much going for it! Well cared for Victorian buildings, art galleries and quaint little shops, the Ouray Hot Springs, and charming bed and breakfasts, historic hotels.

It was second Saturday Art Walk, and we made the rounds. We stopped into Buckskin Booksellers. They have a large and outstanding collection of books of regional interest on Colorado, Western history and of geological subjects such as mineralogy, mining, fossils, rock hounding and the like.

I also noticed some outstanding art books scattered in different retail establishments throughout town. You could not help but notice them because some were like tomes – oversized, beautifully crafted, filled with magnificent images. I spied John Fielder’s Ranches of Colorado and books on the Art of Howard Terpning

Many notable movies were filmed in Ouray County. My son Marc’s interest in visiting Ouray was more than just to run in a footrace. As a filmmaker, he was interested in seeing the settings of these movies:

Our visit to Ouray was a perfect stop along the way of a fun and fulfilling weekend. I’d like to return some day to further explore this area. It is located near where four states – Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah come together. There is a lot more to see such as Twin Peak Falls, and more to do than I ever realized.  For more information, visit this website

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and

Blessings Rain Down

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“A contented mind is the greatest blessing a man can enjoy in this world. ~ Joseph Addison

I had a busy and fun-filled weekend. I feel the pressure to fit in all of the summertime  activities that bring me personal fulfillment before the arrival of cool weather in NW Colorado.

Yesterday, my husband and I went paddle boarding on Steamboat Lake in north Routt County. It was fun and much easier than I would have expected. The board was big, wide and easy to balance. As I paddled out to the center of the lake, I purposely propelled myself around in a circle to take in the 360 degree views of the 10,000 ft. mountain peak surroundings. A small colony of artists have settled in the area of Hahn’s Peak, where the landscape is indeed inspiring, in its natural beauty. In a recent article, the Steamboat Pilot interviewed some of the artists living in the area and they spoke of what the area brings to their art.

Saturday evening, my husband and I went to a B a B y Q – a rancher’s version of a baby shower. I am so happy for the parents-to-be who are in for the gift of a lifetime in about four weeks. Parenting will change their lives in more ways than I could ever tell them.

Babies and the blessing of rain that has come, toward the end of summer, were topics  of conversation throughout the evening. As we looked out over the 200+ acres of the ranch landowner’s property, it was good to see that they are haying. Pastures, all summer, have suffered the effects of drought conditions – not good for the agricultural industry.

On Friday evening, I ushered at my last Strings Musical Festival assignment for the season. The 25th Anniversary year is almost behind us. Johnny Clegg, a musician from South Africa was terrific. The music his band played was different and multi-cultural, as was the commentary between each number. This Grammy-award nominee has spoken out against apartheid, and he considers himself a cultural ambassador which has earned him honorary degrees from Dartmouth, CUNY and the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. To read more about his accomplishments, and his music, Click here

The seasons of our lives and the seasons throughout the year come with their own pleasures. An extended fall for me would be most welcomed. I find all kinds of fulfilling things in the harvest season.

This blog brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime:Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected

Art Appearing on Boughs

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The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands.’  ~Robert M. Pirsig 

It is surely nearing Christmas time! When the Kiwanis Club of Steamboat begins selling their annual ornament at places around town, the holidays are drawing close. Beginning this weekend, the ornament will be available for buying. 

Our club’s major fundraising campaign is selling ornaments. From the proceeds we buy gifts for needy children at Christmas time, provide funding to send children to science camp, provide “Where to Worship” brochures for people visiting the area. We can be proud of our other random acts of service in our home town, too. 

This year, a talented and nationally known artist, Jean Perry helped us in fulfilling our interest in decorating the ornaments a little differently this year. Jean gave permission to Kiwanis to use an image of her painting “Fish Creek Falls” to embellish the bauble. 

It is a fair trade! Many visitors to the area purchase the ornaments in commemoration of their trip to Steamboat. They will take them as gifts to family and friends in other States, too. The ornaments will hang on boughs of Christmas trees far beyond Steamboat Springs,Colorado and people will become acquainted with the artist’s work. Good deal! 

Kiwanis of Steamboat is grateful to painter Jean Perry for her generosity in sharing her art, so that as a Club, we can “serve children of the world.” For more information on the artist, please visit

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The Heart Knows A Winner!

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There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.” ~ Michael Nolan 

Days of Our Lives actress Mara Purl and author of “What the Heart Knows”  has had admirable reviews of her women’s fiction novel that  was released in October. In honor of 11-11-11,  Mara  has created a contest that you can join in on,  free of cost. What are the perks? The chance to win a Kindle Classic e-reader or a free e-book. 

How can you join in?  By fulfilling Mara’s request to be one of the first 11 people who post a review on Amazon for “What the Heart Knows.” In turn, you will receive a FREE downloadable pdf of the best-selling short story —“When Hummers Dream.”

Here’s how to enter:

Part I – Write your Review
1-write and post your Amazon review

2- e-mail the link to your review to (

3- You will receive an e-mail with a downloadable  link for a free copy of the e-book “When Hummers Dream” if you are one of the first eleven to respond.

Part IIPlay the Novel Contest (purchase necessary)

The one-hundred-eleventh (111th) purchaser of “What the Heart Knows”

1 – Buy a copy of “What the Heart Knows” from your favorite website

2 – E-mail a copy of your receipt to as proof of purchase.
(Kara will keep careful track of each e-mail with its attached purchase receipt, in the order received. )

3 – You will receive e-mail  notification you’re the WINNER and get the details of how to receive your new Kindle!

For more information on the Milford Haven Books,  please visit

Mara has created this contest because she has alot of heart as an author and as a human being. Her inspiring books are full of more of the same! Good luck and you can’t win if you don’t play! Happy Reading and Writing.

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The Design of the Universe


Care less for your harvest than for how it is shared and your life will have meaning and your heart will have peace.  ~ Kent Nerburn

I like living in a place where I can fully experience the change of the seasons. I get the opportunity to see our natural environment from different perspectives. In winter, mother nature dons her white winter coat, in summer she shows off her brightest attire, camouflage coveralls of earthy colors are strewn all over the ground in late autumn and in springtime a fresh new green wardrobe dresses the soil. Each season has a different set of inherent wonders that appear year after year. It never ceases to amaze me how the earth knows when to bow its head and slumber, and when it is time to wake up and come alive. In is all in the grand and splendid design of God’s created Universe. 

It is autumn and I look forward, with great anticipation, to fulfilling my seasonal cravings for:

  • Sitting at the fireside with a good book
  • The taste of homemade pumpkin pie with a large dollop of whipped cream
  • The aroma of cinnamon and spice candles
  • Hearing the crunch of the fallen, dried leaves under my feet
  • Knitting a warm winter wrap.
  • Mugs of hot mulled cider and hot cocoa
  • Seeing still life and landscape paintings representative of the season
  • Sitting on the deck wrapped in a cozy blanket, with cuppa hot tea in hand, deeply breathing in the smells of the rotting leaves.
  • A big turkey dinner with all the fixings with family or friends
  • Soaking in the tub with warm vanilla scented bubble bath
  • Creating a seasonal table top arrangement of gourds, pumpkins and Indian corn.
  • The warm, yeasty flavors of a hearty fresh baked bread 

Soon our outdoors time will be reduced by the very nature of the season – bitterly cold days, icy roads, impassable highways and byways.  Before this fall season passes us by, find fulfillment in the season. Get outdoors in the brisk air – paint one last landscape in plein air, ride your bike, take a fall hike, seek out a fall harvest festival. Have fun! The earth was put here for us to enjoy!

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Influences and Inspiration

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Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.” ~Winston Churchill

Chula Beauregard , muralist and plein air painter, was featured artist of the month at the Wild Horse Gallery  on last Friday’s Art Walk. As I visited with Chula, I quickly became aware of how well-known about town she is. It became evident, from those who began to file in the gallery doors to congratulate her and see her exhibit, that her development as an artist has been admired, by many. 

Chula was a student of artist Richard Galusha. When I asked Shirley Stocks, co-owner of the Wild Horse Gallery, what traits she and Richard saw in Chula that made them want to represent her work, they cited “her potential to be a successful artist and she understands that Art is a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and hard work.” Chula’s dedication to her craft has led her to positions of teaching at the middle school, high school and college level, too. 

Her interest in the Arts began as a child. By the fifth grade Chula began to feel a stirring interest in painting. She would work beside her artist mother, Gigi, who shares her creative spirit.  She related that “when her family took a boat trip to the Bahamas, her interest in plein air painting really began in earnest.” 

On the exterior wall of Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare, Chula’s most recent mural is installed. The mural measuring 10 ft X 16 ft, was painted indoors over a three week period. It is hung in three panels. Millions of recreational tourist dollars are brought to our town year round. The mural is a visual reminder of the value the biking industry plays in contributing to the local economy. Steamboat hopes to become designated as Bike Town USA. 

Although indoor work is required on many of Chula’s largest art installations, she loves painting on location “en plein air” – outside of the studio. Her ability to translate on canvas what she sees is a reflection of her abilities as an artist. The color palettes of her plein air sketches are true to nature.  Her plein air oil paintings capture landscapes in Steamboat and throughout Routt County. 

Finding time to paint has  become more challenging for Chula, as she is now a young mother with two little toddlers. However, she paints almost daily, finding fulfillment in shorter periods of time.  To have her work hang in a top quality gallery among an impressive list of nationally known artists at her relatively young age is what many emerging artists strive for. To view Chula’s plein air paintings on line, please visit the Wild Horse Gallery at

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Time to Pause and Appreciate

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There is no such thing as absolute value in this world. You can only estimate what a thing is worth to you.”

~ Charles Dudley Warner 

It’s Friday and the week has gone by in a flurry of activity that comes with getting back to routine business, after a trip to the East Coast that was mixed with both pleasure and business. 

While away, I visited art scenes, galleries, artist studios and also spoke with authors and artists who have a passion for what they do. East to West, artists enjoy sharing what inspires them with others. They are life-long learners – always perfecting their craft. Artists stir the curiosity of others when they talk about “doing what we love and loving what we do.” 

If we all could make a decent living by following our dreams and persuing our interests, what a fulfilling world this would be. Today I take time to pause and appreciate those who persevere through thick and thin to become fulltime, professional artists. The path is long and not easy but for many it is the only way. And for that I have great respect. 

Have a good weekend everyone! I will be trying something that many have a passion for in this area of the country – fly fishing! I love to fish with rod and reel but I know nothing about fly fishing. Hopefully the Fly Fishing Outfitters will provide me with  the right bait of little flies crafted to catch the eyes of a big fish! Even if I come away without success, there will be a part of fly fishing that I know I will enjoy – wading in the water. I have an affinity for being in and around water. I thirst to someday live by a body of water of any kind – a river, a lake, a pond or the ocean. Water’s fluid properties bring a sense of calm, healing and positive living to my way of thinking. 

I look forward to letting you know if I find the sport of fly fishing to be personally fulfilling or not. It will be worth writing about.

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Designing A Life of One’s Own

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Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most
important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition
.”  ~ From Steve Jobs’
Stanford Commencement Address

What do you get when two architects wed and it is catered by the bride’s father who is a chef? A great wedding with every last detail
artistically and creatively designed.

This past weekend, I returned to the East Coast for a fulfilling weekend of family and fun. Among those witnessing the union of my
niece and her new husband were young professionals in the architectural field who were fellow classmates to the bride and groom. They were graduates of Roger Williams University  and Wentworth Institute of Technology.

In addition to capable and well-educated architects, other twenty-something professionals who are following their passions and crafting careers for themselves in neo-natal nursing, the building trades, fashion and design were in attendance. There were also young adults who care for others by keeping people  safe  environmentally, nutritionally, mentally/emotionally and at our country’s borders. The filmmaking industry was represented, as well as a young graduate who is interested in historic preservation, too.

The dance floor was filled with wedding guests gyrating and jiving all night long. Almost all of us, including yours truly, expressed our individuality through creative dance. The young musicians and artists who designed and provided the musical entertainment brought together three generations of people who played together through movement to music embracing body, soul and spirit.

I am very optimistic about our country’s future. After having visited with many of the young adults at the event, who are just a sampling of the next generation of skilled professionals working in the United States and abroad, we have much to be hopeful about. As this new generation ages, perhaps more stories will be told about successfully and independently finding fulfillment in the workplace.

A newly married couple of architects, in love, are off to a good start. They are designing a life of fulfilling things by doing what they
love and loving what they do! Congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Babcock!

Letting Go and Having Fun!

Yours Truly gets a spin around the dance floor with son Marc – the filmmaker!

Together through  heart and soul.

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