Friday, December 28, 2007

What in the wold is it?!?!?!?!

I have only one question for you today, "What in the world is it?!?!?" The little treasure shown in the photos is among my all time favorite "stuff", and I have no idea what it is or where or how I can get more like it.

I received this piece and several others like it in a care package from Jeanne Rhea, a fabulous artist from Raleigh, North Carolina. The package also included lots of parts, pieces, and electrical components that I adore. I used the first of them in an amazing pair of earrings that I made last May. And that is how my quest for this elusive part began.

Since that time, I've asked Jeanne, her electrically talented husband, other artists, and their manly gadget-loving spouses. I've checked with my favorite local local hardware store, Edwards Hardware... made a trip to a new favorite hardware store, Burney Hardware... and I even resorted to plodding my way up and down miles of aisles at Lowes. These adventures left me with lots of interesting finds; but no luck in identifying my mystery piece.

It's with a hopeful heart that I now turn the mission over to you, Dear Readers. Do you know what it is?!?! Do you know what it's called?!? Do you know where I can get more of them?!?!?!? Please respond to this post with your vast knowledge of the mystery part, or even your best guesses. The first person to respond with the correct answer will win fabulous prizes! (And my eternal gratitude too.)

With Gratitude

Ahhh...the holiday rush seems to have run straight through Christmas this year....and what a wonderful Christmas it was! We were blissfully busy here at Artist Alley, and it provided the perfect end to our first year in this location.

Through it all, I've found myself to be extremely sentimental and grateful. I'm grateful for my husband and son; we seem to grow closer with each passing day. I'm grateful for my family ,who I hold near to my heart but don't see nearly enough. I'm thankfully for my friends; the old and the new. My life wouldn't be nearly as interesting without them in it. I'm also grateful for the sense of community that I've found in this business and in the town of Southern Pines; it exceeds my wildest expectations and it continues to surprise me.

I'm thankful for the artists who have touched my life. Some show their work here at Artist Alley. Others I've met through participation in the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild. Others I've encountered at various shows. And still others I met at Art and Soul in Hampton, Virginia. (A very special group of these women refer to themselves as "The Lounge Lizards". Need I say more?) All share their work and creative spirits with the world, and for this I will be forever in their debt.

And finally, I'm thankful for our customers who support The Arts in North Carolina. We are blessed with the nicest customers in the world. Their support provided us with the distinction of being voted as one of Moore County's Top Three Art Galleries, and their appreciation of what we create makes it all worthwhile.

Thank you to each of you who mean so much to me. I hope that the New Year provides you with immeasurable happiness and peace in your heart.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Elvis Sighting on East New Hampshire Avenue

No....not that Elvis...this one!

Imagine our surprise early on Saturday morning when Elvis made his appearance in our store window! First we saw a man in a Santa hat with a leash in his hand. Then, the next thing we knew, and we were expecting a dog, there was Elvis in all of his glory.

Alan and I couldn't get out the door fast enough to see if we had really seen what we thought we saw. By that time, Elvis was a few doors down; but his owner kindly turned around to say, "Hello". While he paused to do this, Elvis caught a glimpse of himself in the windows, and he thought that he'd made a friend. So, of course, he greeted him quite enthusiastically.

We caught up with Elvis again several hours later. He was in town for the Reindeer Run, and from what we hear he thoroughly enjoyed the festivities. Our visit with Elvis and his owner made our day, and we're still laughing about it.

By the way, he's been named Elvis because of his melodic singing voice. We couldn't help but notice a slight sway to his hips too. And, as he rode out of sight, we caught the scent of peanut butter and bananas, and we swore that we heard someone singing, "Santa Bring My Baby Back to Me".

Oh how we love Southern Pines!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Imagine thousands of lights twinkling in a darkened room, festive carols wafting through the air, and the scent of an amazingly beautiful gingerbread village. Then there are the Christmas Trees, wreaths, swags, tablescapes; and of course...the children.

If this brief description whets your appetite for a festive holiday experience, and you plan to be in the area over the weekend, I would HIGHLY recommend a visit to The Festival of Trees at Pinehurst Resort. We had a wonderful time decorating a tree for this event, and many of our artists joined the fun by making a charitable donation of their work. All proceeds from this event benefit The Sandhills Children’s Center

The Sandhills Children's Center is a private, non-profit day school for young children ages birth through five who have mental retardation, sensory impairments, and other developmental disabilities. Many of these children are medically fragile and have severe and profound multiple handicaps.

The mission of Sandhills Children’s Center is to provide services of the highest quality for children with and without special developmental needs. Located in Southern Pines of Moore County, North Carolina, the Center offers comprehensive services, including daily transportation and speech, physical, and occupational therapy twelve months a year. The Center currently serves 110 children in the center-based program and 150 children in the home-based Outreach Program.

The Sandhills Children's Center is a wonderful organization, and they're most deserving of our support. Besides that, this event is a fabulous way to kick-off the holiday season. I promise that it will fill your heart with the true spirit of Christmas!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Fall Arrives at Artist Alley

As we've been preparing for Christmas during the past few weeks, I've been struck that fall has finally arrived here at Artist Alley. Almost overnight, our little tree out front went from rich summer green to glowing reds and oranges.

The weather here has been fall-like too. A blustery wind has been blowing, and no matter how hard I try, I can't keep up with the fallen leaves in our doorway.

On another note, a purple petunia is still blooming in all it's glory in front of the store. With December only five days away, this strikes me as odd. Purple petunias were among my Dad's favorite flowers. In fact, I planted them this year with him in mind.

Thanks, Dad.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Metal Art by Ed Duke

My friend, and fellow artist, Ed Duke creates one-of-a-kind metal sculpture from parts and pieces that many of us would consider to be junk. From railroad spikes to skillets, shovels to pipe wrenches, and all points in between; Ed finds inspiration and breathes new life into these cast-offs.

Ed suffered a creative block earlier this year. I'm thrilled to tell you that he's worked his way through it, and during the last month, he's been creating at breakneck speed. The photos with this entry show a few of his latest and greatest, and he's been adding to his collection here on almost a daily basis.

His loyal fans at Artist Alley are benefiting from his renewed creativity, and we're all thrilled for him!

Please enjoy the photos here or visit Artist Alley to view Ed's work in person. A selection of his creations are also available for purchase in our online store.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... (Admit it, you're singing the song; aren't you?)

Actually it really is starting to look like Christmas here at Artist Alley. As you can see by the photo, the journey to get to this point has been an exhausting one; but so far, we're all still smiling. This festive painting was created in watercolor by Pinehurst Artist, Fay Terry. It's being held by my work-worn son after a very long day of decorating and displaying new art.

It's my plan to get back on the blogging bandwagon this month, so please stay tuned for all of the further details about our holiday transformation.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Art that You Wear (And Eat!!)

At Artist Alley this Friday, November 2nd, from 5:00 - 9:00 we'll be celebrating the talented North Carolina artists who create jewelry, handbags, clothing, and accessories. It will be an evening of "Art that You Wear", and it promises to be an exciting one!

Artists will be present throughout the evening to mix, mingle, and discuss their work; and as always a variety of delectable refreshments will be served. In fact, we plan to debut a new line of edible art made my local cheesecake artist, Terry Duffell. Terry will be personally serving her velvety smooth cheesecake with a homemade buttery graham cracker crust and sweet sour cream topping. (Can you say, "Yummy"?!?!)

This event will provide you with an opportunity to meet many of our artists in person, while browsing an extensive variety of their seasonal work.

If you're in the area, I hope that you'll join us. If not, a selection of these artists' work will also be available in our online store.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

'Tis the Season

"So much to do, so little time." seems to be a common theme for me this year. Last Saturday, I participated in The Holly Arts Festival in Pinehurst. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

The weeks leading up to Holly Arts were filled with creative chaos as I worked to accumulate my inventory for the show. I was pleased with the results, and I learned a lot from the entire experience.

Now, I'm faced with preparations for next week's First Friday Event, next Saturday's opening for Thomas Butler, (A fabulous artist who I'll write about next week.), changing our displays here at Artist Alley, building inventory for my next show on November 9th and 10th, and so on...and so on...and so on!!!

I'm not complaining, just explaining. I love every minute of my crazy chaotic creative existence, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Now, if I could just find the time to blog!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's a Blue Dog Day!

It's a Blue Dog Day! (I don't know why; but just reading that makes me hum a little song that the Brady Bunch used to sing. Do you remember it too?!?!)

Actually, it's a Blue Dog Day because I just received a new shipment from Rachelle Currie. Rachelle lives in the mountains of North Carolina, and she's become widely known for her series of "Blue Dog" prints. These pieces are so whimsical, and in each she manages to capture the personality of many dogs, regardless of their breed. (Coco's laying by my feet right now, and she totally agrees.) Rachelle also does a beautiful job of framing these pieces in a distressed barnwood, and they show incredibly well as a collection.

I hope that you enjoy this peak at Rachelle's work. If your in the area, please visit Artist Alley to enjoy the full collection. If not, a selection of her work is also available for your viewing pleasure in our online store .

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Where does the time go?!?!?

It's hard to believe that it's been a week since I last wrote. Where does the time go?!?!

We have lots happening here at Artist Alley now. There are new artists; new art; and several sales this month. I'll try to bring you up to speed on the specifics of these exciting developments over the next few weeks.

It's a beautiful day here today. The temperature in Southern Pines has dropped at least ten degrees. The sun is shining. There's a gentle breeze blowing. And you can finally feel a touch of fall in the air.

Today our grasshopper friend paid yet another visit. Each time he does, we wonder if it will be his last. Fall, and the seasons in general, provide me with a reminder of how quickly time passes.

On that note, it's time for me to go home and appreciate every minute of an evening with my family. I hope that you'll enjoy yours tonight too.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Kathleen Miller: Opening for October's Featured Artist

Kathleen Miller will be our featured artist for the month of October here at Artist Alley. We'll be holding a First Friday Opening for her on Friday, October 5th from 5:00 - 9:00. If you find yourself in the area, please join us!

With over 28 years of painting experience, Kathleen creates decorative artwork on furniture, and accessories for home d├ęcor, in Traditional, Country, and Folk Art styles. When asked what inspires her, she replies, “I have so much inspiration that I can hardly catch my breath! I love to recreate images of the past - the primitive styles, the charm of country living. This season I feel inspired by autumn, with its glorious rusts, oranges, and golds. The holidays inspire me; my collectors inspire me; my students inspire me. I’m never at a loss for inspiration.”

As these photos show, Kathleen's work is an inspiration to us too!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Brush and Palette Show and ARTober FEST

Doris Smith is a talented North Carolina Painter who displays her artwork here at Artist Alley. What I admire most about her body of work is its diversity. Doris works in watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints. She creates abstract beauty, incredible portraits, and florals; to name just a few of her chosen subjects. When you visit Artist Alley, please ask me to give you a guided tour of all of her wonderful creations!

Doris participates in a painting club called, "The Brush & Palette" in Sanford, North Carolina. They'll be celebrating ARTober FEST next Saturday, October 6th at Depot Park from 10AM - 5PM. ARTober FEST will also kick-off the 43rd Annual Brush & Palette Show. It's being held from October 6 - 13 from 10AM - 6PM at Hales Center.

If you're in the area and looking for a weekend filled with North Carolina Art, please mark your calendar and plan to attend! For more information, you can also call 919-775-8332 , email, or visit .

Monday, September 24, 2007

Art Dolls and Angels with Joy Hellman

To the delight of our visitors, Southern Pines Artist, Joy Hellman, demonstrated the creation of her Art Dolls and Blessing Angels at Artist Alley on Friday night.

Joy began making dolls when she was a little girl. She recalls using left over fabric from her mother’s sewing projects. She also watched her create porcelain dolls and the Victorian clothes for them.

As an adult, Joy developed an interest in doll making after her mother passed away. It was then that she fell in love with fabric and fiber, and she began making dolls on a regular basis. Today, her creations are collected internationally

Joy also creates custom dolls and angels for her sentimental collectors. She's made angels from girls' dresses, boys' shirts, wedding dresses, and other memorable fabric. These creations provide a wonderful way to honor a loved one.

Holiday orders are currently being accepted. Please order early, as the number of orders that Joy accepts for the season will be limited.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


This little fellow has been making appearances here at Artist Alley for the past week. Last Saturday, Alan first encountered him while watering the flowers. Evidently he received a bit of water too, and he was quite surprised by it.

Then, on Tuesday, when I was putting the lawn art outside, I realized that he had taken up overnight residence on a garden stake. Gently, I returned him to the plants in front of The Alley.

Yesterday morning, I was deadheading flowers and removing brown leaves, when I noticed that he had come along for the ride on one of them. Again, I returned him to the relative safety of the planter.

And finally last night he appeared at the middle of the metal stand that Emily Whittle uses to display her prints. He was perched at the top of it, clinging to the wire. One more time, I returned him to his home. I took a picture, and I haven't seen him since. Maybe tomorrow...

According to Wikpedia, "Grasshopper is a term used nowadays somewhat in jest referencing an inexperienced person who 'has much to learn'. " Is the universe trying to tell me something?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Funky Junky Windchimes: Time to Create

As I write this, the sun is warm on my face, and there's a breeze blowing. It's the first time I've seen the sun at my computer since the leaves came on the trees and summer arrived. Autumn is in the air, and I think I'm ready for it. I'll miss the days that seem to last forever; but I look forward to cool evenings spent wrapped in a blanket and cozy socks on my porch swing.

Today I made wind chimes. Not the tuned-to-perfection garden variety that resound in harmony at the slightest hint of a breeze; but my own one-of-a-kind masterpieces. They play a tune that's a bit unexpected and off-key; but it's sweet music to my ears. To the untrained eye, they may seem imperfect; but they are perfectly me.

These windchimes combine some of my favorite treasures; they include bits and pieces and shiny things that I've squirrelled away for years while waiting for exactly the right time to use them. They already mean more to me in this moment than they ever did waiting for someday.

No more waiting for me.

Life is too short.

I intend to embrace every bit of it right now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Four Season : Paintings and Art Dolls by Joy Hellman

The "Four Seasons" blew into Artist Alley this week courtesy of local artist, Joy Hellman. These lovely ladies are done in acrylic on canvas, and each of them represents one of the four seasons. Individually, or together, they make quite an artistic statement.

Which one is which? Can you tell?!?!

Joy has also graced us with a collection of her handmade art dolls and blessing angels. Each of these mini-masterpieces is entirely handcrafted and embellished by Joy.

Joy is planning to conduct an art-doll demonstration here at Artist Alley on Friday, September 21st, from 6:30 - 9:00. If you're in the area, please plan to visit. You'll be able to meet Joy and watch as she works her magic on several of her latest creations.

The rest of the evening's plans are still being developed; but you can be sure that they'll include the usual line-up of food, drink, and North Carolina Art and Fine Craft that you've come to expect from us!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Ole Fish House Pottery

I've just finished unpacking an amazing assortment of Ole Fish House Pottery, and I thought that I would share some of the selection with you here today.

Georgia and Byron Knight graciously welcomed Kathleen Miller (our resident decorative painter) and me last week. They have a large gallery in Seagrove named, "Blue Moon", in which they elegantly display their own works along with the works of other artists and friends. There's also a window in the back that will provide you with a firsthand view of their studio space and a unique behind-the-scenes-glimpse of their work in process.

Obviously I'm a fan. I hope that you enjoy the photos. Please visit Artist Alley soon for the best selection, and to see these one of a kind creations in person!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

If you visit Artist Alley regularly, you're probably familiar with Coco and her fluffy pink rug. Coco, our shop dog, can usually be found a step or two behind me wherever I go. Coco is being featured today in honor of the major changes that will take place here at The Alley next week.

Each month we change our window display, and the theme for September's window will be, "Dog Days of Summer". We didn't create this theme with Coco in mind; but as you can see by her expression, it clearly fits!

The first week of each month is always an exciting time here. In addition to our window display changing, existing artists deliver their newest creations, and we add works from other new artists at the same time. In anticipation of our First Friday Opening, the first week of the month is full of creative chaos here, and I wouldn't have it any other way!

I'll try to provide you with a sneak preview of next week's changes as they take place; but for now I'll leave you with this image of the three new boxes that were delivered yesterday. They're filled-to-overflowing with new North Carolina Made Creative Goodness. "What's in them?", you ask. Please check back here to see, or join us in-person at Artist Alley to see for yourself!

Friday, August 24, 2007

They Did the Mash...

...they did the Monster Mash!

I spent a portion of my time away this week with some very creative little monsters. (No, not them. They're the children in my life. The brightly colored furry creatures in the photo are the monsters to whom I'm referring!)

Time spent with my son, niece, and nephew is always precious to me. Although our planned trip to the lake and amusement park were thwarted by the rain, we still made the best of it. These awesome little creations are the result. I've encouraged the kids to make more for the Halloween season at Artist Alley.

Stay tuned to see what they come up with next!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Homeward Bound

I'm off today for a much needed visit with family and friends in Pennsylvania. I'm looking forward to temperatures below 100 degrees, evenings that actually cool off a bit, a day or two on the banks of the Neshannock Creek with the fly fishermen in my life, and watching my son spend endless hours with his cousins and Granny who he loves to death.

I love my life in North Carolina; but this will be good for my soul. And of course, I'll be watching for great North Carolina Art along the way too!

Now...if I could just figure out how not to gain weight given my Mother's fabulous Italian cooking. Any suggestions?!?!

Monday, August 13, 2007

By the Sea : Decorative Painting by Kathleen Miller

Personally, I haven't been by the sea in far too long a time; but each day I enjoy a bit of seaside pleasure when I view this display at the end of our hallway.

These painted treasures, and the display, are the work of Kathleen Miller. Kathy's been painting for over twenty years, and she enjoys the challenge of turning ordinary wood furniture and simple accessories into impressive works of art.

Kathy also delights in using elements of Early American painting and adapting them to present day trends. I think that her newest beach-themed creations are a perfect example of this. In fact, a few of them are on my own personal wish-list!

Kathy was one of the original founders of Artist Alley, and she is still the creative force behind our display themes, especially our front window.

Please stop by to see Kathy's creations in person. If you're lucky, you may even catch her here too. Or, if a personal visit isn't possible, please visit our online store to see her work. The link is in the column at the right.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Hot...Hot...Hot... : Handmade Candles by Penny Arrowood

Hot...Hot...Hot... The temperature here has been off the charts this week with record highs in the low 100's; but that's not what I'm referring to today.

I'm pleased to share our new line of North-Carolina-Hand-Poured-Richly-Scented-Efficiently-Burning candles with you. And these candles are HOT!

Pennywise Peerless Candles are made by award winning candle creator, Penny Arrowood. Penny is from Fayetteville, North Carolina, and her candle making endeavors began in her kitchen as a way to "salvage" leftover wax from commercially produced candles. Since those early efforts, Penny's passion for candles has evolved into a full-fledged business that has seen her products shipped around the world.

I met Penny this year at an Artist Retreat in Hampton, Virginia, and the first thing that I noticed was her larger-than-life personality and enthusiasm. This same energy comes through each time I'm in her presence; but she absolutely lights up when she talks candles. Watch for news of her personal visits to Artist Alley in the future, and in the mean time, don't miss her introductory special.

Penny's delivered a selection of "Try Me" candles in a variety of scents that will be available during the months of August and September. Each includes a glass candle holder and a votive candle in the scent of your choice. The price for this set is $2.50, and the set includes a coupon for $2.50 off your next candle purchase.

Right now, I'm burning Plumeria here. It's heavenly; but I can't possibly describe it in words. Please visit sometime soon so you can experience for yourself!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Happy Feet! Shoes, Jackets, and More by Roberta Morgan

"Happy Feet". Yes...I know it's a movie; but I'm referring instead to how happy my feet are in my new pair of shoes. These aren't just any shoes; but a pair of one-of-a-kind Roberta Morgan handpainted shoes.

Roberta is a current finalist in the 2007 Simplicity/Threads Magazine creativity contest. In 2006, she won first place in the American Sewing Guild Creativity Contest and first place for the Road to California Quilt Show for Wearable Art. She's been creating for years, and her lists of accolades goes on and on. If this isn't enough, she's a really warm and friendly person too.

I met Roberta several months ago at a meeting of the Carolina Mixed Media Art Guild. We sat across from each other, and during the meeting, I became obsessed with her fabulous painted train case and matching shoes. By the end of the evening, I was practically drooling!

Shortly thereafter, Roberta very graciously agreed to offer her work for sale through Artist Alley. We have a selection of her original shoes, handbags, train cases, decorative boxes, mirrors, jackets, belts, and denim skirts. If we don't have your exact size or style in stock, Roberta welcomes special orders.

She'd love to customize one of your own personal favorites today. It's what she did for me, and my feet and I highly recommend it!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Perfect First Friday

A Perfect First Friday.

Amazing North Carolina Art.
Interesting people.
Lively Conversation.
White Sangria.
A Fiesta of Savory Snacks.
Mom's Yummy Cookies.
Dancing in the Streets.

Not necessarily in that order.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Roots and Wings : Mixed Media Art by Amy Smith

Amy Smith, our featured artist for August, just dropped off a shipment of her new works. We'll be debuting these fabulous creations this Friday during her artist's reception from 5:00 - 9:00. Amy will be present throughout the evening to meet the public and discuss her work.

You, lucky reader, will get a sneak-peak at several of these pieces right here. Please know that these photos can't possibly capture the depth and color of the actual artwork. They really must be seen in person. Also, if you admire "Day Bird" to the right, he's actually half of a two-sided painting. "Night Bird" is on the back too! It's like having two paintings in one. Flip it at will to suit your mood, or display it on a window for a two-sided view.

Unofficially I'm referring to this series as "Roots and Wings". In them, especially when you compare them to Amy's earlier works, the evolution of her creative efforts becomes apparent.

Amy is a mixed media artist from Carthage, North Carolina. Her collage paintings combine layers of paper and other ephemera with luminous acrylic paints. Her work has recently been featured at The Visual Art Exchange in Raleigh, and it has been collected by individuals internationally.

During the month of August, Amy will be offering customer appreciation pricing on many of her earlier creations at Artist Alley. Discounts range from 25% to 30%. Be sure to shop early for the best selection!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Glass Beadmaking by Debbie Keen

Well, at least the shock has worn off from last week's drama here at Artist Alley. Thank you for all of your kind expressions of support.

I did have a wonderful time in the mountains last week, and one of the highlights for me was a first-hand demonstration of lampwork bead creation by Debbie Keen. The photos shown here capture a bit of the action as Debbie works on new pieces in "The Keen Collection". When you view her jewelry in person, the detail of each bead is absolutely amazing, and now I have a better understanding of how she creates that magic.

If you'd like an up-close look at Debbie's work, I just restocked her inventory at Artist Alley. This collection will have a limited run here, as it will be only be on display through August 23rd. The majority of her new inventory will then move on for a two week period of traveling shows. Shop early, and in person, if you have the chance!

For my online friends, you can also view a selection of Debbie's creations at . (This is our new online store!) When you reach the website, please click on "Lampwork Bead Creations" in the right column to reach her work. If you have time, also be sure to browse the limited selection of other Artist Alley creations in the store.

More North Carolina Artwork will be posted soon. I add a few new items every day, and I hope to have the store fully stocked in time for holiday shopping.

I think I can... I think I can...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Welcome to Artist Alley

Welcome Artist Alley. This brightly colored fellow is named "The Jerry Garcia Flamingo". He graces the front of our store along with a variety of lawn art that's always changing. Today we have the amazing gourd birdhouses of Jan Graindorge, vivid stained glass creations of Amy Keith, blown glass by Scott Huffman, and a few funky iron sculptures by Ed Duke. (I'll post more photos soon, or send a comment if there's something you just can't wait to see!)

This weekend I'm off in search of new North Carolina Artists for Artist Alley. I'll make a stop in Blowing Rock on Saturday, and Asheville on Sunday. For today, I'll leave you with this image of JG and The Birdhouses, and I'll provide you with a hopefully exciting update next week when I'm back in the swing of things.