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And so it began...

Heidi Shenk "Bar Pilar" "Umphrey's McGee" "Van Gogh" "Washington DC"

Every year in November, one of our favorite bands, Umphrey's McGee, has a two night stop at Washington, DC's 9:30 Club. We make an event of it-- book a hotel for two nights and have a leisurely weekend in DC. This year, we stayed at The Dupont Hotel in Dupont Circle. Dupont Circle is one of our favorite areas of DC because of its numerous restaurants and boutiques.

A shot of Umphrey's McGee from our balcony spot at 9:30 Club.
Now you may be wondering if I have a point to this story that happened three months ago. And so it begins. The night before our second serving of Umphrey's McGee we headed out to dinner at a fantastic restaurant called Bar Pilar, located around the corner from 9:30 Club on 14th Street. We enjoyed a tapas style menu and glasses of red wine during a lengthy and relaxing two and a half hour meal. It was at this point that I was stating my satisfaction of a get away weekend that took me away from the drudgery of teaching. Yes, drudgery. There was really no better way to say it at this point in time. I was feeling burnt out several months into my fourth year of teaching in Baltimore City. My school is fabulous, my students are even more fabulous, but I was beginning to feel stretched to my limits of sleep, energy, and creativity-- school creativity that is.

Over dinner, I began talking about all of the things that I love and my hopes to eventually start something new when I am done with my time as a teacher. At this point, Andrew had the brilliant idea that I simply need to start a new art endeavor that can also act as down time away from the pressures of teaching. Something that I could put creative energy into, rather than state testing draining all hopes of creativity in the classroom. "You should make cards!" he suddenly exclaimed. I raised my right eyebrow in a perplexed fashion. He went on to quickly explain that it could encompass many things that I enjoy-- photography, design, paper, art and so on. Not to mention, my friend Michelle, who is a graphic designer, had recently been trying to convince me that I needed to do something of the sort.

And so it began. I started with a few supplies, finally bought the new laptop, printer, and software I had been saving for and got the show on the road. So far, I would deem it a success-- small steps at a time. And so I leave you today with one of my newly created cards, one that is made from repurposed artwork by my favorite artist Vincent Van Gogh. They are of course available on my Etsy site as well! Happy browsing! :)

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