Tole and Decorative Painting Newsletter

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Newsletter December 2000

December 2000

Hi Everybody,

With the busy holiday season in full swing, it's easy to get swept up in the hustle and bustle, the busy-ness of shopping, decorating, cooking, planning, visiting and traveling. This is all well and good, it's fun stuff, but just be sure stop once in awhile, breathe, and take some time for yourself. If that means painting for you, then paint. If it means immersing yourself in the latest Grisham novel, do that. If it means a long hot bubble bath, then go soak :-) If you make yourself take time out to do what relaxes you, you'll be that much more productive through this busy time of year.


Since Christmas is creeping up so fast, and some of you may be scrambling for gift ideas, here's a reminder list of items you can paint to give away as gifts:

Candles, soap, mirrors, wood or porcelain Christmas ornaments, birdhouses, patio stepping stones, jewelry boxes, recipe boxes, calendars, mousepads, picture frames, teabag dispensers, lamps, butterfly hibernation houses, garden stakes, canvas tote bags, canvas or linoleum floorcloths, clothing with handpainted accents, photo/memory books, coordinated and personalized desk sets (such as pencil/pen holder, deskpads, address books, business card holders, stationery) fireplace screens, metal pails, watering cans and buckets, potpourri containers, coasters, kitchen canisters and cookie jars, wastebaskets, picnic baskets, matching garden hand tools and gloves, personalized welcome signs, clay flower pots, wood or metal plates and trays, wooden spoons and other kitchen utensils, papier mache boxes, bentwood boxes, cigar boxes, playing card boxes, jewelry such as earrings or brooches, step-up stools, pouting chairs, clocks, magazine holders, teapots (there's a great article called "Look What Happened to Gramma's Tea Pot" in the June 2000 issue of Painting Magazine and, if you're a member of the SDP, there's another one in the Jan-Feb 1999 issue of The Decorative Painter for painting a china teapot in oils). Of course, any painted gift is made more special by personalizing it for the person you're painting it for :-)

If you have a Tip of the Month you'd like to share, please email us.   If your tip is used, full credit is given, including a link to your website if you have one.



I've recently suffered the tragic loss of two close family members in two separate incidents and, I'm sad to report that Tole Expressions must be put on hold for a bit while I concentrate my energy on a "real" job for awhile in order to finance a move so I can be with my family. The site itself will remain online and fully functional, but the monthly site updates and newsletters will be on hold temporarily. I hope to be back at it with regular updates within a few months.

We've all had to cope, at one time or another, with personal tragedy in our lives and it affects different people in different ways. The grieving process is predictable in that there are "steps" each of us must go through, yet each step is unique for every one of us. We all have our own personal methods of coping with grief and healing from loss. For one person, only crying seems to help. For another, nothing but strenuous exercise seems to help. But even if you've never held a paintbrush, immersing yourself in art - ANY kind of art - can help you on your way to healing, restoring your faith in the world and finding peace with your loss.

I hope you'll take a moment to visit this month's Website of the Week - and bookmark it just in case you might need it later. Clinical Psychologist, Gail Carr Feldman, has written a book called "From Crisis to Creativity: Taking Advantage of Adversity" and this is her website. This book deals with how to transform the energy focused on life crises into creative self-expression and has been a tremendous help to me in coping with the events in my personal life over the last few months. I highly recommend anyone dealing with any kind of personal tragedy or loss to get a copy of this book. You can order the book at Ms. Feldman's website:

or you can order a copy here at Tole Expressions:


If you own or know of a website you feel would be useful for decorative painters, please email us.  If your recommendation is used, full credit will be given, including your website address if you have one.


Recently, on a day when I was feeling a little low, I stumbled onto an old email in my filing cabinet that I'd received awhile back from a visitor at Tole Expressions. It lifted my spirits and so I kept reading through past emails. I was amazed at all of the kind and generous things people took the time to say and decided to post a page on the site containing quotes from some of these emails. So if you're interested in peeking into our private email to read what people are saying about Tole Expressions, go to:



We've updated the Quotes, Sayings and Expressions page with 13 new entries. New sayings are indicated with a "new" icon.


We've added two new free patterns this month:

"Last Minute Wrap-Up"
Santa busily wrapping last minute gifts with the help of a furry friend, painted on a wooden sled.

"Christmas Stained Glass Suncatcher"
Not exactly tole painting, but still a lot of fun and easy enough to do with the kids, this is a Christmas suncatcher using Decoart's new Liquid Rainbow Paints.

Hope you enjoy!



If you're a pattern packet designer and would like to market your designs through Tole Expressions, please see our Submission Guidelines page.



The Art Therapy Sourcebook by Cathy Malchiodi
Art has always been used to chronicle and portray a wide range of emotions and experiences, from profound joy to the deepest sorrow, from triumph to trauma. Since our earliest recorded history, art has also served as a means of reparation, rehabilitation, and transformation, and has been used to restore physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Through art making as therapy you may find relief from overwhelming emotions, crises, or trauma, discover insights about yourself, achieve an increased sense of well-being, enrich your daily life, or experience personal change. It is way to make sense of that which is painful, to create personal meaning, to enhance wellness, and to become whole. This book will provide you with an overview of the field of art therapy and explain the power of art making for personal growth, insight, and transformation.

Art and Healing: Using Expressive Art to Heal Your Body, Mind and Spirit
by Barbara Ganim
Chapters in this book include "The Power of Art to Heal," "Expressing Emotions Through Imagery," and "Transformation of the Spirit." This is an excellent resource and overview for anyone interested in this powerful new field of art as a force for healing.

Art Is a Way of Knowing
by Pat B. Allen
With practical exercises, inspirational guidance and the author's own experiences as an artist and art therapist, this book shows how creativity can be a path to self dicovery. Allen includes information on materials and methods, plus ideas for projects using art to help express emotions.

The Creative Connection: Expressive Arts as Healing
by Natalie H. Rogers
The Creative Connection is a process which interweaves movement, sound, art, writing, and guided imagery to tap into the deep wellspring of creativity within each of us. You will find this book clear, helpful and stimulating to awaken your creativity. Also recommended for counselors and therapists who want to learn how to use expressive arts with their clients.

You can view all of the above books at:


In closing, I'd like to remind you all that, although I'm taking a temporary leave of absence and there may be little in the way of updates over the next few months, Tole Expressions will continue to remain online. You'll still be able to order supplies, books, packets and paint shelves and make full use of all of the resources here. I will continue to monitor all email and reply in as timely a fashion as possible.

And rest assured, I'll be back! (she says with a deep Austrian accent :-) Thank you all for the overwhelming support you've shown for this site over the past year.

Until next time, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
and Happy Painting!



To see past issues of this newsletter, go to:

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P.O. Box 127, Elsie, MI 48831