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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Smarty Mom: Elizabeth Miller


By Rachel H

Welcome to another Smarty Mom Saturday! Today we are happy to introduce you to Elizabeth Miller. Elizabeth was raised here in the Triad, briefly moved to Nashville, and has been back here since 2003. She lives with her husband, Ben, and daughter, Charlotte, who is 1 ½ years old.

Elizabeth works full-time as an Art Teacher at Meadowlark Middle School. She and her husband also enjoy volunteering with the youth group at Calvary West. She just finished her Masters in Art Education & is currently working towards her National Board. Anyone in the field of Education knows that National Boards can be a BEAR, so I am thoroughly impressed that Elizabeth somehow has also fit a new business into her life! She started Creative & Colorful Designs, which is a small business where she sells framable art, stationery, and freelance work. She has a gallery & studio in downtown Winston-Salem, The Art Cue(Q) on Liberty Street. Elizabeth enjoys art so much, that she also teaches art workshops along with Heather Dutton, one of her co-workers at the middle school.

Let’s get to know more about Elizabeth …

What are your best tips for moms like yourself who are juggling many different obligations?
Don’t be too hard on yourself! It is impossible to do everything perfectly! It is okay to ask for help and to say no. My plate is very full, but I try to only fill it with things that bring me, or my family joy. If you are spending your time using your gifts, it won’t seem like work. And, it is important to master the art of prioritizing. (a work in progress!)I keep holding on to a quote a heard, “There is enough time for everything God wants me to do!”

I am an art lover myself and it makes me so sad when my son tells me how much he loathes coloring or making crafts. How can we help our children appreciate art at home?
Art is just as much about the process of creating it, as it is about the finished piece. A lot of moms are looking for a perfectly drawn butterfly or truck. I encourage you to let your kids make a mess. Let them draw outside of the lines, literally. Practice “dots” with chocolate pudding. Try to let them enjoy making the art, and don’t worry so much about “what it is.” Teach your kids how to see!! As you notice the bright puffy clouds, talk about them. Search for 4-leaf clovers, smell the basil, draw the birthday card, trace your hand, paint with water, stack the blocks and take a picture of it. Show your kids what is behind your digital camera. Let them pick what to take include in a picture. Print it, paint a $1 frame to put that picture in, and hang it in their room or give it as a gift. Your child might end up being very proud of that one click. Ta da, art!

Tell us more about your classes that you teach.
At the Art Cue(q) downtown we offer workshops for primarily middle and high school age students. The workshop we are offering now is on Tuesday nights from 6:30-8:00. Enrollment is on-going and to register all you need to do is e-mail me at creativeandcolorful@yahoo.com. It is a great atmosphere where we help students in areas that they want to work on. We do everything from realistic portraits, to abstract collages, book-making, oil and acrylic painting. We tailor the class to what media the student wants to work in. We also have adult art nights, “Girls, Glue & Gossip.” The next open date is October 25th from 6:30-8:30. You do not have to be a fabulous artist to come. It is a great place to socialize and work on unfinished art pieces, or start something new. Bring your favorite beverage and/or snack and a suggested $5 donation. Adhesives and most materials are provided. Visit www.creativeandcolorful.com and click on the Art Cue (Q) for pictures and more info.

Another fun art event to mark you calendar for is Whimsical Women! It will be November 21st this year. Visit
http://whimsical-women.blogspot.com/search/label/Elizabeth%20Miller for more info. It is an awesome event and great place to start your Christmas Shopping.

What is the smartiest way you save money?
I am a coupon clipper and a second-hand shopper! If you are in need of a “new” toy, “new” outfit, or something for your house…I guarantee you can find something similar to what you are looking for half of the price if you look at consignment stores, ebay, or on Craigslist. I enjoy shopping this way!

What is your favorite family activity?
Grilling out with our family and friends.

Favorite “me-time” activity?
A manicure or pedicure is the most relaxing “me-time” activity.

Favorite place to eat dinner as a family?
We love El Dorado on Country Club Road. It is like the “Cheers” of Mexican food. They know our name and our order before we sit down. It is the best Mexican food in town. You have to try the white sauce that they serve to dip your chips in. Good stuff!

Favorite date night spot?
Can I dream here? It has been a while since a real date night. A real treat: Firebirds. A realistic treat: Brixx.

Favorite book you have read?
You mean there are books to read that aren’t about National Boards, a Masters, or teaching art??! If I’m on a beach and have time to read, I like Jodi Piccoult books.

Best place to eat lunch with the kids?
Time to Eat in Clemmons. Good food & good service.

Favorite place to shop for children’s clothes?
Okay, I’m very thrifty, don’t make fun of this! But, I love Mega Thrift, the Goodwill Outlet, Once Upon a Child and the Consignment sale of the weekend! I find the best stuff for ridiculously good prices. This shopping techinique might not work as Charlotte gets older, but for now I find really cute stuff.

What is your favorite mom’s must have item for around the house?
The latest trend in my house is when I try to put Charlotte to bed, she immediately says “rock.” Every mom needs a good rocking chair! I treasure the moments that I get to spend rocking my baby to sleep.

Favorite park in the Triad?
Joanie Moser Park, Lewisville

Favorite or most helpful blog you have read on Triad Smarty Pants thus far?
Having Fun on the Potty

Best thing about raising a family in the Triad?
There are enough things to do if you want to be busy such as free art events downtown (Gallery Hop is the first Friday of each month), day trips to Shelton Vineyards (The Harvest Festival is coming up October 10th & 11th, and it is actually very kid friendly! I will have a booth there, stop by and say hi. There are hay rides for the kids and live music!) , or the Zoo. And small enough, that you can easily get around town and enjoy the park or ice cream at Marble Slab…

I could not live without my...
Family! And, I mean my parents and my in-laws. They play such a huge role in my life and in the role of Charlotte’s life. I am blessed!!

Thank you, Elizabeth! You are one talented woman! We appreciate all you shared with us today.


Don't forget to register for our October Giveaway - a $250 package from Zoe Zen Photography. Click here to learn more about Zoe Zen and register.

5 comments:

Amy said...

Saw your work for Race for the Cure. So unique. I loved it.

Jen P. said...

Hi Elizabeth!
I was wondering if you have any suggestions about getting a portrait done of your child. Seems like you are surrounded by a great group of local artists. I'm not interested in spending a small fortune! Any tips on how to find the right artist? I'd like oil on canvas, thx!

Anonymous said...

Jen,

My good friend Heather Dutton (that I share my studio space with) does awesome portriats. I'm not positive if she can do one in oil, but she does a fantastic job in charcoal/pencil. Her e-mail is: miles4pa@aol.com. Check with her.

:) Thanks for asking!

Elizabeth

LSTrogdon said...

Hi Liz! This is great! I loved reading about you and the family!

Kids Music said...

It is a very nice and good post. Keep up the good work.

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