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by Carla
Rated: E · Essay · Biographical · #1194635
After we moved to Florida in 1998.

My husband, Sandy, and I moved to Florida in 1998, right after Florida's most destructive fire season. Sandy had retired from the motion-picture business a couple of years before and was ready to realize his dream of living near the ocean with no snow to shovel. He would workout at the gym, run and bodysurf at the beach, but I wasn't quite ready to fully retire. You see after raising 2 boys in New York State, I went back to school in 1987 and received my Bachelor of Visual Arts from Empire State College in 1991. I continued on to the College of New Rochelle, receiving my Master of Art Degree in Art Education in 1994. So while others were claiming they were burned out and wanted to retire from teaching, I was raring to go! I taught art in several elementary schools and my students won numerous awards and in 1995, I won the Artists as Teachers award at the College of New Rochelle. My watercolors have been exhibited in both New York and Florida and some are included in private collections.

A year after we moved to Flagler County a new local newspaper came into being and I had found my latest challenge. I called and made an appointment with the editor of a local paper. With my college thesis on "Carousel Art" under my arm I entered the unknown realm of the newspaper world. This was not an area I had ever trained for, but I was willing and ready for something new. The editor reviewed my thesis, was pleased that I could write a coherent sentence and asked if there was a carousel locally and since there was one in St. Augustine, she gave me my first writing assignment! That assignment, which was later sold to several other publications, led to many more articles covering the arts and special events. My articles have appeared in national periodicals. After several years Sandy and I left that newspaper and began to work for the Flagler/Palm Coast New-Tribune. We enjoyed doing profiles of the many local artists and cover the visual art events, which appeared each week in the "Entertainment" section and for a couple of years, I also wrote the Humane Society column.

Along the way my husband began winning numerous awards for his wonderful still photographs and together we became a winning team. Sandy's pictures make my articles unique. His photographs of surfers have been featured on magazine covers. Sandy enjoys taking pictures of special events that I participate in, whether it is a competitive art show or when I volunteered in St. Augustine in their special historical events, such as the Menendez Birthday Festival, sponsored by St. Augustine's Department of Heritage Tourism. For that event I dressed in my 16th century Spanish wardrobe. I enjoy being part of the celebration, wearing a vintage era costume of my design. Sandy's pictures are sold to the event sponsors and some are published along with my articles on the event in the newspaper.

I have experimented with several areas of creativity throughout the years. I enjoy sewing my own clothes and love to pick out the little details that will make my clothing or vintage costumes and that of the purses and doll clothes look unique. Each bead or decorative stitching or embroidery is chosen with care, to have just the right look.

I’ve enjoyed writing about the theatre arts so much that eventually I tried out and won parts in three local productions including “Grease," “Oliver” and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat." I’ve danced in several rock and roll shows.

The move to Florida was our new beginning; Sandy and I had become a team. Newspaper reporting was the perfect position helping us to remain active and get connected to the community. Creating projects and designing vintage costumes has given me a rewarding and busy life.
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