*If you are unable to read the information below click here to view the Rachel Dickson enewsletter online

Issue: December 10, 2016       

Happy Holidays!


Cheerio Art Lovers!

From me to you, Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas! May it be full of bright, cheery, artsy, merry-ness for you and yours!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from artist Rachel DicksonThe Holiday season means different things to different people. And each of us have our preferred traditions, whether it be family gatherings with big meals, throwing fun parties, volunteering for a local charity, or taking a beach vacation. Whatever it is that you will be doing this season...may it be nothing less than Stellar!

Meanwhile, I would LOVE to hear from you!
What's been going on in your neck of the woods?

Text me at 731-two two five-6415 or email me at rachel at racheldickson.com

Merry Christmas!





You're doing what now?:


I've been much less active online of late since I now work full-time for the Norfolk Southern Railroad as a conductor.  Totally dig it!

In a nutshell I work out of Toledo, Ohio as an assistant to the engineer on through-freight trains mostly to Elkhart or Peru, Indiana or to Chicago, Illinois. We then turn around the next day and bring a train back into Toledo.

Super blessed to have landed employment with the NS Railroad!

Meanwhile...I paint when I can.  Whoo whoo!!


Segway to Rustic Birdhouses:


Rustic birdhouses by Rachel DicksonIn the spirit of creativity...this past year I decided to jump into a segway project.  As much as I love songbirds and painting them...why not create my own nesting boxes so the real thing will hang around?  Enter, rustic birdhouses!

I've learned much throughout the process of creating little homes for birds. Mostly to do with construction specifics that are more likely to attract specific songbird types.  For example, turns out, hole size is extremely important if you are wanting to attract bluebirds versus starlings.  Who knew?

Case in point, the birdhouse on the right was home to a starling family this past Spring.  And turns out...starlings aren't too friendly towards bluebirds, which set up shop in another of my birdhouses about 50 feet away from this one.  Fortunately, bluebirds are GREAT defenders of their nests...so no harm nor foul...but rest assured I will be placing a shrinking cap over the hole of this starling house so they won't fit next spring. Needs to be about 1 1/4 inches to keep the starlings at bay.  Again...who knew?

Absolutely a fun project indeed! And a fun learning process for me to understand how and why songbirds do what they do and how they defend themselves from predators by choosing certain nesting sites.  I have my houses hanging in various places around our backyard, sort of like my own songbird nesting box laboratory if you will.  This way I can test what works and what doesn't and eventually build houses most likely to succeed and sell them to others.  I see this as a way to contribute to increasing the chances of songbird survival and as a way to enhance a healthy songbird population in a neighborhood near you.

Stay tuned to this project because eventually these tried and tested little rustic homes will be for sale so you too can attract songbirds in your backyard.

Click here to read more about the nesting box/birdhouse project


The Adventures of Rachel Blog:


"Adventure is worthwhile in itself."   Amelia Earhart

Click here to read Rachel Dickson's blogIf you know anything at all about me...you know I'm usually seeking or already involved in an adventure of some form or another. (and yes, sometimes these adventures find me).

Here's the place you can go to find the latest and greatest goings on with me.
My Blog.

It's chocked full of daily inspirations, personal aspirations and day-to-day moments that just make me laugh.  I also post images of my newest paintings, adventure recaps and much more.
My blog is certainly the most comprehensive place online where you'll find my most recent goings-on and up-to-date musings.

Go, Do, BE!

Click here to view Rachel's Blog


Support the Arts:


This is very simple. No really, it is. Unless you live in Ohio.

Tennessee Arts Commission Cat PlateIn June of 2011 I moved to Ohio after living in Tennessee for 19 years.  I was sporting the Tennessee Arts Commission "Cat Plate" for close to 10 of those years.

According to  http://www.tn4arts.org/specialty-plates/, "More than 70% of the money used to fund the 800+ grants from the Tennessee Arts Commission last year was from the sale of these specialty license plates." AND for all those years that I've had the Tennessee Plate, I strongly felt that this was SUCH a SIMPLE way for me to show my support for the arts!

So you can IMAGINE my disappointment when I learned that the State of Ohio has NO SUCH plate.  Geez!  Are you KIDDING ME?  If the State of Tennessee can have not one, not TWO, but FOUR plates to choose from that support the arts, can't Ohio have ONE?

If you live in Tennessee, show your support for the arts by purchasing one of these COOL art plates!  If you live in Ohio? Well, for now there is no such plate. Live in another state?  Contact your State's DMV to learn if you too can support the arts by sporting the art plate on your vehicle.

Email your comments to:
rachel at racheldickson.com

A time for giving...


How to help GatlinburgIf you've heard about Gatlinburg and the wildfires that slammed through there Monday night (Nov 28, 2016) chances are...you've wondered "what can I do to help?"

For a simple donation of $15 you can purchase one of these tshirts of which the proceeds go to help the Smoky Mountain wildfire victims.

Click here to help Gatlinburg wildfire victims.

This is a cooperative project by WBIR TV Knoxville and has already raised $200,000 for the Red Cross East Tennessee. Proceeds now are being split between Friends of the Smokies and the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund.




Happy Holidays from racheldickson.com
I realized something just the other day. Working as a conductor for the Norfolk Southern railroad is teaching me an important life lesson.

I used to be one to "need to know" as many details about what was headed my way as was possible so as to avoid or prepare for or adapt to or best "handle" inevitable events.  Much of the reason for "needing to know" had to do with fear of the unknown...or fear of not knowing how I might handle it if not prepared at least a little bit.

However, I am coming to learn...that I cannot predict how I will react to or handle any situation ahead of time.  Rather, I have to trust in myself...that I will know how to respond.  And that I will have the tools in that moment that I need to make a decision towards the best possible outcome. And if I don't, ask someone with more experience than myself for help.

Railroading involves thousands and thousands of tons of equipment and metal and engines and mechanical systems that can break.  All's well when things are going smooth...until that moment...when they aren't.  Unfortunately, things don't always go smooth...which is where I come in as a conductor (especially trains that are hauling freight miles and miles from one destination to another). I'm first on the scene usually...eyes on the problem or technicality if you will.  And I have to assess what the problem is, and fix it if I can or at least suggest a plan for a solution.  (No, I'm not a mechanic...but I can troubleshoot).  The unknown of all of this used to bother me...but now...after having experienced various situations I have come to learn...to trust my training...and especially to trust my instinct...and know that only in that moment...when the circumstances present themselves will I know exactly what to do or not to do for that matter. Not before. So why worry about it?

Not just the railroad is teaching me this...but the songbirds.  They don't carry a bag of tools and instruction manuals around with them. Nope.  Rather...they flit about from tree to tree and low and behold...nature provides for them.  Yes, they too tune into an inner guide (similar to what we all have)...or maybe can be called instinct.  We simply have to listen and watch and assess each moment...and realize everything we need...is right there with us.  Should we choose to trust ourselves and see it.

Happiest of Holidays!

Until next time...embrace your life! After all...you are the ones creating it.



Questions? Comments? Snide Remarks?
email rachel at racheldickson.com



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