Thursday, March 16, 2017

The Leesburg Art Festival Recap and the Unexpected Roller Coaster Ride of Events.....

First off, the Leesburg Fine Art Festival here in Florida turned out to be a great event!  To be my very first fine art outdoor show, I have NO COMPLAINTS whatsoever.  The first day of the event was fabulous.  The weather was cooperative (beyond gorgeous) and the people were FANTASTIC!

Notice I said, "first day".  LOL  I'll get more into that in a moment.  But before I do, I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for all of the people who came in to my booth to see what I offered at the show instead of just merely walking by like often times happens to many artist.

To all of you who took the time to stop by:  You have no idea how special you made me feel.  Thank you!  Thank you to each of you who took the time to listen about my art form; why I sculpt the characters that I do and the processes of how I create my sculptures.  Thank you for taking an interest and considering my work as a "fine art" and for embracing it's uniqueness.  Thank you for all of your wonderful compliments and comments.  Because of all of you who stopped by, you made my world so wonderful and I am both gracious and humble for it.  I truly can not say "thank you" enough.
"Penelope" with her "Selected for Judging" ribbon at The 40th Annual Leesburg Fine Art Festival.

To the judges:  It was a great honor to have my piece, "Penelope", selected for judging.  Again, for it being my first fine art outdoor show event with my figurative work, I was very honored with your selection.  Albeit, I did not win in the end, but for me, this was a milestone for me and thus, very special.  So, thank you for the consideration and acknowledging my art form as "fine art".  My intent on attending the festival was to help build awareness of the wonders of my particular medium and style of art, and thanks to you, you helped me to place it on the map.  THANK YOU!

And, finally, a very special thank you goes out to the kind gentleman, Mr. Millard Ives, from the Daily Commercial who was inspired enough by my work to make me and my work the feature part of his article when writing about the fine art festival.  You, good sir, lifted my spirits and brightened my weekend beyond measure with this pleasant surprise.  Thank you for your kindness in sharing my work with our wonderful community.  Trust me when I say I will be framing this piece of paper!
A wonderful article by Mr. Millard Ives of the Daily Commercial featuring "yours truly".  Thank you again, Mr. Ives! Article dated,  Sunday, March 12, 2017, The Daily Commercial.

So, now that I have taken care of that, I wanted to get to DAY 2.  And, I start that with expressing my DEEPEST AND MOST SINCERE apologies to EVERY SINGLE PERSON who visited me and to those of you who came out on Sunday to find my tent closed up.

First, I want to say 'NOT TO PANIC!!!!   But, I feel the need to let you all know that it is quite possible I "might" have infected some individuals unknowingly.  Apparently, at the start of the festival, and I mean, starting with that Friday of setting up my booth, I thought I might have been coming down with the flu since I wasn't really feeling my best and I started with a sore throat.  Later Friday evening (after I had taken some cold medicine that I had not tried before) I noticed that I had started to break out with a "rash" on my hands; I thought maybe it was my imagination or that I could be having an allergic reaction.  By the time Saturday rolled around (the first day of the festival) I noticed this "rash" was getting worse as the day progressed.  WELL, by Sunday morning, I was in so much pain on my hands and feet with blisters and intense redness due to this mysterious rash, that I got up and proceeded immediately to the walk-in emergency care clinic.  The pain was SO BAD, I could NOT even bend my fingers or even barely walk.  What was it?    You betcha, something BAD and CONTAGIOUS.   At the time, it was assumed I had Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease, but to be sure, I had to seek the consultation of a Dermatologist since I had such a severe case of it and all over my body, not just in the "traditional" areas of the skin.

Anyway, I really wanted to let all of you know that I am truly so very sorry if any of you managed to contract this from me.  If I had known, I would NEVER have exposed any of you with this.  Apparently, for those who live local to me in the Lake County area, there have been cases of break outs over the last couple of months.  There is no telling where I picked it up at because I do not have little ones in  my midst, but it could have been any where because it is EASILY spread via droplets and spray from coughing and sneezing and oozing blisters/touch.   So, please, forgive me if any of you managed to contract this from me.  I would not wish this stuff on anyone.....it is that miserable!  If you have never heard of Hands, Foot and Mouth Disease, please read about it here from the CDC:   https://www.cdc.gov/hand-foot-mouth/   I had never heard of this before, or at least, I do not remember it from way back in my nursing days 20+ years ago.

At any rate, I really wanted to explain to all of you good folk why my booth was closed up tight come Sunday for the show.  My intent was to be there, but it was truly for the best that I did not show up.  I could NOT risk affecting anyone (or anymore people) with this cursed condition.  I'm sure all of you will understand my reasoning for my decision and know it was the smart decision to make.  With that said, for those who did come to see me on Saturday, I really hope that NONE of you caught this from me.  And, if, by some chance that you did, I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me after you have cursed my name a million times over.  (I truly do not blame you if you did.)

Here are a few pics to give you an idea what to look for.  Keep in mind, these pics really do not do this stuff justice because my hands and feet were extremely red and felt like they were on FIRE!.
Sunday morning at the Emergency walk in clinic.

Sunday morning at the Emergency walk in clinic.

Sunday morning at the emergency walk in clinic. 

Late Monday afternoon progression post Dermatologist appointment.

Thursday afternoon. I can finally fold my hands into a "fist" and the redness and swelling have disappeared after mega doses of Prednisone, antibiotics and a medicated skin ointment that was much like Vaseline.

Thursday afternoon:  The skin is starting to slough off.  Oddly, it is like a snake peeling, except the skin is like 5 layers of hard-tack epidermis shedding.  Here it had peeled back from my index finger and I had to literally cut the skin away so that I could "touch" my keyboard in order to type.  o.O  Disgusting!!!!  EWWWWW!

So, as you can see, my weekend was a HUGE roller coaster ride!  Ups and downs, here and there.  But, I am here to say that aside from the set-back of this horrid infection I managed to pick-up, it was one of the BEST weekends in my artistic career EVER!!!   And for that,  THANK YOU with all my heart!  

P.S.  I really and truly hope that no one caught this from me.  I would feel absolutely horrible if you had.  Again, please forgive me if you did, I had no idea this was happening.<3 all="" and="" love="" nbsp="" p="" to="" ugs="">

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