That’s me holding the cup.
“Where are all these people coming from? OHMYGOD, AM I HAVING A PARTY?”
It was so much fun to throw my first party at Sassafras Farm, and it meant even more to have the fabulous Kelly Walker here putting her happy creative stamp on the studio during the party. Here (photo courtesy Kelly Walker), a little girl during the party helps her paint the wall:
I was also thrilled to be able to include a benefit for the Heart of Phoenix Equine Rescue during the event. It’s really important to me to make giving back part of everything I do with the studio. Tinia Creamer and her husband, along with Jessie and Tony Hardesty (also with HOP), worked with Zip in the barnyard and talked about horse rescue. The “petting zoo” was open with Clover, Nutmeg, Cookie Doe (and babies), Annabelle, and Minnie Belle right in the barnyard, available for petting and treating. I brought all the other animals down from their pastures to the other fields directly around the barnyard so that everyone else was right there at the fence line if they weren’t in the barnyard. I had cartons out for help-yourself egg collecting, and I toured as many people as I could grab through my little old farmhouse. I posted signs encouraging everyone to feel free to go into the house and upstairs, into every room, and look to their heart’s content. And there were more hot dogs and hamburgers than I’ve ever seen in one place before, too. (Anyone want a hot dog for breakfast? I’ve got leftovers!) Thank you to my cousin Mark, assisted by my Navy boy Ross, who manned the grills. The art in the studio was a HUGE hit, and I will have more photos of all the art, finished, soon. (Kelly and Linda are still painting today.) Based on advance signups for the party, I was expecting around 100, but I think there were maybe 60-70 who came (which is a relatively small party for my parties, but it was a good first-time party for Sassafras Farm, giving me a chance to try out my parking and other plans ahead of the big Party on the Farm in September).
We had a table set up in the studio for the HOP benefit. My goal was to raise at least enough to support one rescue. HOP likes to have a minimum $500 banked before taking on a new rescue–to cover the horse rescue and transport, initial vetting and medical care, and feed and shelter. We raised almost $700 on Saturday, and Kelly Walker, who donated all the prints from her painting of Zip and Patriot (as well as the pet portrait prize) also donated the original artwork to HOP for auction to raise more money–in the end, after auctioning the original, the day may well support TWO rescues. Yay! (The winner of the pet portrait drawing was Donna Pickett (aka Darlene from Stover Lane.)
It was wonderful meeting so many readers–and I hope everyone had a good time. To those of you who came, thank you for coming. To those of you who donated by mail, thank you for supporting horse rescue! And to everyone reading, thank you for being here. Thank you also so much to Pete from the CITR forum for managing the HOP benefit table, and Jerry Waters, who is responsible for all the best photos in this post.
Thank you to Tinia and everyone with HOP for helping out, and thank you especially to Kelly and Linda for painting in front of an audience and turning the studio into a happy, vibrant place full of art.