Austinite’s paintings on Crate& Barrel catalogs
In her Northwest Austin home, Dorothy Johnson, 80, retreats to her workroom, turns on some classical music and paints.
For more than 25 years, Johnson has hand painted Christmas cards for about 50 friends and family each holiday season. Some of the lucky recipients keep every card she’s ever sent, others have framed her Christmas artwork crafted with detail and love. This year, Crate & Barrel catalogs featured her cards as props, appearing on fireplace mantels or peeking out of Christmas stockings
One of the recipients who saved Johnson’s cards was a friend of the family who produced photo shoots for Crate & Barrel’s catalogs earlier this year. He knew that Johnson’s cards would help bring holiday warmness to the display. Johnson says she felt very special seeing her work published.
Johnson says she became interested in painting after participating in craft bazaars for a children’s hospital in Minnesota, where she used to live. Johnson moved to Austin in 1986, and began painting cards that became popular among her circle of friends and family. The self-taught artist uses acrylic paint and says she’s a regular customer of stores like Hobby Lobby.
At a time when people are handwriting less, mailing fewer personal letters or cards, Johnson’s cards bring back a personal touch. She enjoys creating not only Christmas cards, but also sends out personalized birthday or wedding cards throughout the year. Johnson doesn’t sell her cards and might entertain the idea, but says she feels happy working at her own pace, traveling and playing golf.
“Painting relaxes me,” Johnson says. “It makes me feel peaceful and comfortable. I guess I’m a nester at heart. I love painting at home. The coffee pot is always close by.”
Relax and use an iPad at the same time at spa
Spasocial, a resort-style spa, recently opened in Round Rock. The spa merges the idea of connecting socially online with a luxury spa experience. Spasocial has iPads for its guests to post updates in real time.
“We’re all super-busy and hyper-connected, yet we crave some downtime for ourselves and our friends,” spa founder Amanda Lyles says on the company website. Spasocial offers services from makeup to massages for private spa parties, individuals and members. Find Spasocial online at thespasocial.com or at 7720 O’Connor Drive. in Round Rock.
Workshop can help guide you through renovation
Is it time to renovate your kitchen or bathroom? CG&S, an Austin-based design and build company is offering a free workshop on Saturday for home owners who would like to remodel but don’t know where to start.
Lights Fantastic on 7532 Burnet Road will host the “Your Remodel: Keys to Success” workshop from 10:30 a.m.-noon. Guests should RSVP online at remodeling-keys-to-success.eventbrite.com/.
Anthropologie picks up local artist’s animal paintings
Limited-edition prints of Austinite Starla Michelle Halfmann’s whimsical oil paintings are being sold on Anthropologie.com’s home and house section throughout November. The partnership grew after Halfmann joined the curated artists at Skyline Art Editions, a local company that helps artists make a living by producing high-quality reproductions of fine art and photography.
Halfmann’s nature-inspired artwork for Anthropologie, which ranges from $38-$168, features animals such as owls, foxes and bunnies. To purchase prints, visit anthropologie.com.