2018 Holiday Gift Guide by Rachel Alvarez Art

My Story.

I don’t know about you, but I always have the hardest time trying to think of gifts for my loved ones. Whether they are young or old, my mind gets swamped with ideas and information and I usually end up settling for a simple, easy to please them….gift card.

That’s why this year I thought it would be fun to help out my art followers with some easy gift ideas so they can cross off some people on their list.

So, here goes!

For the traveler on your list: 

  • this US travel tracker map. Formatted from 50 individual watercolor paintings, you won’t see anything like it! Each weatherproof vinyl decal can be placed individually so that your wanderluster can celebrate the places that they’ve checked off!

vw-camper-336606_1920

DSC_0131

For the coffee lover (or new mom 😉 ) 

  • the brunette version seen below was originally painted on International Women’s Day. You can read the full reason why here. I’m looking forward to expanding this series as time allows. So fun to paint!

image4 copy.jpg

For the long-distance family or friend:

  • tell them you can’t live without them- even across the miles- with this customizable long distance love art print. (also great for wedding and anniversary gifts!)

longdistancemapweb

linesheet6a

For the college student: 

georgiaminidecalrhodeislandminidecal

For the foodie or chef:

  • Help them bring a splash of color to their walls (not just their meals) with these pretty watercolor fruit and herb prints. (Also available as blank notecards.)

pineapple-supply-co-124390alison-marras-361007

For the vintage lover: 

linesheet7a

For the photographer: 

  • a little something to inspire them to share their gifts with the world: a camera sticker that they can put anywhere.

DSC_2768

For you: 

  • a way to celebrate the places you’ve made memories. All 50 state art prints available in standard, framable sizes- pop them in a frame and make your own beautiful gallery wall!

faire

For everyone on your list:  

  • gift cards, available in any denomination. Would they want a custom home portrait? Maybe a painting of their beloved pup? The sky is the limit when you let them pick something they will cherish forever.
  • donut notecards…because, who doesn’t love donuts?!

linesheet5

So, there you go friends! Lots of ideas for everyone on your list.

Be sure to check out the full shop here: www.rachelalvarezart.com (also, you will get a 10% coupon if you sign up for the newsletter!)

Have a wonderful holiday, everyone!

– Rachel

coffeetable

Advertisements

Visiting Abilene, KS. “Best Small Town To Visit” by Smithsonian Magazine

50 state stickers blog series

Written by guest blogger: Kaitlyn Black

While Kansas is well known for the Wizard of Oz, there are so many hidden gems among the state that you’re sure to miss if you don’t venture off I-70 on your way through. Just 45 minutes to the west of the gorgeous Flint Hills is the little town of Abilene, named “Best Small Town To Visit” by Smithsonian Magazine.

Hometown of Dwight D Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States, you can tour the Eisenhower museum and see his childhood home while learning all about the history of Ike.

rachel

The Heritage Center is home to the C.W. Parker Carousel built in 1901 that is still in operation today and the Museum of Independent Telephony explaining how the Sprint Company got its start in the little town of Abilene.

rachel1

The Seelye Mansion is beautiful to tour, especially when it is all decked out in Christmas dĂ©cor. Dr. A.B. Seelye made his fortune in patent medicine, which he in turn purchased the furnishings of the house at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair, including a bowling alley in the basement.

Take a tour around Old Abilene Town while you’re down there and check out all of the old buildings that have been moved in from around the county, learn about the history of them and take photos while you’re there.

rachel3

You can pet live greyhounds at the Greyhound Hall of Fame and learn about the history of the breed, or venture downtown and visit one of the many antique shops that line the streets. While you’re downtown, stop in at Amanda’s Bakery for lunch, and be sure to get one of their amazing scones while you’re there, too.

rachel4

Once you’ve visited the Jeffcoat Photography Studio Museum and viewed the history of Dickinson County the three generations of photographers have preserved, you can relax on the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad Association dinner train, which has catered meals by The Brookville Hotel on certain evenings. The Brookville Hotel is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas and has been serving family style chicken dinners for over 100 years.

rachel5

 

weddingphoto

“Hi there! My name is Kaitlyn and I own Lazy KT Designs, LLC. Currently located in Solomon, KS, where I grew up.

With my business Lazy KT Designs, LLC, I turn your artwork and photos into unique gifts and keepsakes by printing them on interesting and unusual surfaces such as slates, cutting boards, cake pans, coasters and mugs, so that you can give or receive something to be treasured. More often than not, I can be found printing with my Australian Shepherds Annah and Cedar and German Shorthair Trigger close by.”

This blog series will feature fine artists, makers and photographers from all 50 states as part of a #50statestickers project by Rachel Alvarez Art. You can see the inspiration for this series here: www.rachelalvarezart.com
Thank you so much for following along!

I didn’t get the art scholarship.

My Story.

It’s a time in my life that I will never forget. I was in my sophomore year of school, and I was deep in the trenches of my art studies.

For spring break that year, my mom and I decided to take a train trip half-way across the country to Topeka, KS. to visit family. On our last day, we arrived at the train station only to hear that our train had partially derailed somewhere west of us after hitting a cow on the tracks.

ryan-song-339249-unsplash

Our itinerary was going to be delayed. As I’ve written before, it’s usually my preference to take the long, scenic way home, but this time I need to get back- I had applied for an arts scholarship, and I needed to be home to present my portfolio.

When our train finally arrived in Kansas, we were hours behind schedule.  Our route was taking us to Chicago and, there, we would know just how late we would be on our return to Maryland. After we all boarded the train and got settled in, there was an announcement: “Amtrack officials will be meeting with people in the restaurant car to arrange travel plans. Please choose a member of your party as a representative to speak with them.” My mom looked at me and said, “Rachel, you’re 19, you go and make a decision to get us home.” We settled back into our seats and, ironically, I continued reading a book for my sociology class entitled “Ain’t no Makin’ It” (a really fascinating study on social inequality that I highly recommend.)tom-barrett-328717-unsplash

After a few hours, someone came to our seats and said that we were up. I followed them to a train car quite a ways away, and went inside where two officials dressed in navy blue were seated, waiting for me. “Where are you going?” they asked. “Salisbury, Maryland by way of Baltimore.” I said. “What brought you to Kansas?” they asked. “My mom and I spent my spring break traveling to see our family.” “Is there anything we need to know about your travel needs?” “Yes,” I said, “I need to get back to Salisbury as soon as possible. I’m an art major in college, and I am presenting my portfolio for an art scholarship.” They took notes. “Ok, ma’am, we will determine the best course of action and you will be notified in Chicago of the decision. You may go back to your seat.”

After 10 hours of travel, our train stopped in Chicago. It was about 2am.

pedro-lastra-131852-unsplash

Hundreds of people exited the train and filed into lines at the Amtrak counter. Exhausted and frustrated, they received news that the next trains were not leaving for hours and they were prepared for the long night ahead.

While we were waiting in line, someone discreetly walked up to us and said to me, “Rachel?” “Yes.” I replied. They handed me an envelope and quietly whispered not to mention it to anyone. Inside the envelope we found information about a Chicago hotel, taxi fare, and 2 plane tickets-  back home to Baltimore. My mom and I were pretty shocked. We ended up spending the night in a very nice hotel, and took our time getting to the airport the next morning.

Our plane landed and we drove back to Salisbury. Turns out that, after all of that, we still arrived home sooner than if we had never been delayed in the first place. The next day, I arrived at the Salisbury Wicomico County Arts Council with my photography portfolio in hand and never said a word about what we had just been thru. I didn’t get the scholarship.

19 years has passed, and I will never forget the amazing way that our trip ended. To this day, when I am going thru something tough, I think back on times just like this one. I didn’t get the scholarship, but the experience was even more rewarding.

Isn’t it funny how things all seem to work out in the end?

“Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip.
— Robert J. Hastings

art inspiration - never give up on your dreams

Want to see some of the art that I paint now? Look here <

Read more about my love of travel here <

Enjoy the journey, folks.

-Rachel Alvarez