I would share a bit from my experience.
I am a long time member of the National Society of Decorative Painters.
This wonderful group of artists in all stages of skill levels, form a special group around the world.
Being a member has blessed me with a path I might otherwise not have taken.
As a member since 1989,
I have improved my skill, met many great artists, studied alongside kindred spirits,
and yes, even taken the road to the White House.
What an honor it was for all of us!
the decorations and holiday theme is decided by the first lady and her staff of designers for the following Christmas display.
Once the theme for decorating is agreed upon,
work begins that lasts all year long
right down to every little detail for the first White House Party.
our society was invited to do so and we were all given instructions to create ornaments for the Blue Room Christmas tree.
Size, weight and theme had to be exact and followed for consideration in being chosen.
In 1998 the theme was snow sports and in 2004 musical instruments.
Once your creation or more were complete, it would be sent to the Society for acceptance for the Blue Room Tree.
If it was selected, it then was sent on to Washington, if not, it would be displayed at the Society's beautiful location on display for the season in Kansas, the National Headquarters.
I would be very happy and proud to be included with the Society's display for the Christmas season.
I went on to Washington both times I created.
However my greatest surprise was,
being invited to come see the display by invitation
from the President and First Lady in 1998
350 ornaments were chosen and 313 members attended.
I will always be thankful to be included among so many talented men and women.
We each could include a guest
and of course my guest was my best friend and husband.
He loved every minute spent in our nation's capitol.
Washington is a wonderful place at Christmas.
The lights, the history and the pride is like nothing else.
To be apart of that experience once is amazing,
to be blessed twice,
is beyond my dreams.
we spent time after the reception day,
touring the monuments and sites for three days.
My memories are full and my experience will last a lifetime.
To attend with my best friend was extra special
and I thank God for the blessing to swing a paint brush!
but here are the highlights
The dessert table was incredible.
I don't remember eating or what I enjoyed.
The day was just a dream.
We dined with fellow artists,
took photos and toured the main level.
What a day both visits!
The White House provided ornament finder charts for us to locate our ornaments on the tree.
However, I painted 11 ornaments in a variety of snow sport styles.
Sleds, skates, and skiers.
On each visit, we took the time to tour around Washington DC.
There is so much to see and enjoy about our American history
and the time was well spent.
It was here I met a few Vets from my Father's home state of PA.
When I thanked them for their service, they cried.
We all took some pics together
I stood under the marker for Dad's beloved Pennsylvania.
Mrs. Bush sent us both, for our offices,
a photo taken with her by the White House Photographer
and a very special letter that I will forever hold dear.
It was a time I will never forget
and I hope our Society is invited again in the future
so I might try to design and share in the decorating of the Blue Room Tree once again.
It is "The People's House" and painting for it was a great honor!
There are not enough words to express my thankfulness for the joy of painting.
God has been so good to bless me with a gift that I might bring a smile to another through painting.
For me, that will always be enough!
The 1998 ornaments I created were hand cut from wood designs and painted my me.
The 2004 ornaments were sent to members for creation and painting.
I was actually sent two ornaments to paint with the other being a trumpet.
The trumpet arrived damaged, so my chances were left to one ornament.
When he was a teenager, he worked on the grounds of the White House for a summer job one year.
I feel he knows I was there both times
and in 2004 met Veterans he served this country with so proudly.