Positive Gifts from the County Go Beyond Doctors and Medicine

It can start as a cry at a higher than normal pitch, a raging fever that won’t come down, bruises that appear for no reason. A parent, consumed with worry seeks out help. The Pediatrician makes a preliminary evaluation and orders more tests.

Then the moment arrives…words, delivered with professionalism and care from the doctor;  everything has changed for the family and the child with the difficult diagnosis.

For nearly 300 families in Nevada County (California), these experiences are part of their story. But that’s only the beginning. A new reality sets in—one that involves long drives to special care units at UC Davis, San Francisco or Stanford and physician specialists, dieticians, nutritionists, social workers and rounds of medication.IMG_1555-web

Maryellen Beauchamp has a special connection with these families. She is Nevada County’s Public Health Nurse Case Manager for California Children’s Services. 53 webCalifornia Children’s Services is operated by the State of California. Over 80 years old, it has an office in every county. Maryellen acts as the conductor in an orchestra that encompasses multi-faceted medical assistance for children with severe health issues. These issues can range from growth plate or skull fractures, endocrine, neurological, orthopedic, and metabolic disorders to Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy and premature infants.

This type of work comes with a heavy weight and knowledge that is often difficult to leave behind at the end of the day.  On her desk, Maryellen keeps several inspirational quotes that remind her to remain grounded. One of them reads; Today, I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive; I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. –H.H. the XIVth Dalai Lama

Maryellen recently had the opportunity to incorporate something important into her program—a sense of positive empowerment for her young clients. It came in the form of a beautifully illustrated book, Toby Bear and the Healing Light.  It is the story of a stuffed bear who teaches a sick child the power of affirmations, meditation and visualizations in the healing process.

Toby Bear and the Healing Light was created by author, Lisa Boulton while undergoing cancer treatments, as a gentle way to help children going through difficult illness. Boulton enlisted photographer and artist Lisa Redfern to create the photo-illustrations. “I wanted the story to feature local people, places and businesses as a way to express my love for our community and for the outpouring of support and caring that I received when I was sick,” says Boulton.SNMH Approved 12-14-12

Maryellen says, “I like that the story features Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital—the place where the journey with California Children’s Services begins for many of our families. It is also a plus that the Nevada  County Public Health Department could partner with the local women who created the book.”

As Maryellen puts it, “You can’t get well with doctors and medicines alone…it takes the right attitude to make it all work.”  She’s excited about the books because she plans to give them as gifts to the age appropriate children in her program. “It is a positive message and gift from Nevada County Public Health Department to the children (and their families) who need it most.”

Read more about this topic at The Union.com.

Toby Bear and the Healing Light


Organization & Social Media for Authors

Author Interview – Resources for Writers

If you are a Haylee fan, you’ll discover a bit of the back story in this condensed author interview. You’ll also learn about the historical research – San Francisco and California Gold Rush – that went into the project.

Created to coincide with the release of Haylee and the Traveler’s Stone (paperback), the interview contains marketing and social media tips for authors. It also delves into character development, creativity and sources for Public Domain images.

The original, in-depth author interview can be read on the blog, You Read It Here First.


Debbie McClure, author of In the Spirit of Love and In the Spirit of Forgiveness
You Read It Here First Blog owner—Christina Hamlett, Screenplay Consultant, Media Relations Expert and Award-Winning Author.

Developing an Online Brand – Toby Bear the eBook

In the spring of 2012, Lisa Boulton was designing her own line of jewelry, the mother of three grown sons, starting a new career as a health care provider … and a breast cancer survivor. At the end of that same year, she had added another accomplishment: published author.


“When I first met with Lisa (Redfern), I had written the Toby Bear story and had created a series of pencil sketches. I loved the digital paintings of children that I’d seen in Redfern’s studio, so I thought I would ask if she’d work on the project with me,” says Boulton.

Lisa Boulton says that the Toby Bear project is her “passion” and the culmination of her life experiences: An opportunity to comfort and care for children and to help them build a strong sense of self-awareness with positive thinking techniques. Redfern too thought that the project would be a excellent vehicle to express her own amalgamation of professional skills and that it could add a new dimension (ePublishing) to her business.2013 TO Do graphic

Throughout the summer, the women worked together to execute their production schedule that involved finding models, scheduling photo shoots, creating art pieces, manuscript editing, shooting and editing their first Toby Bear web video. They also gathered data to set-up the TobyBearStories.com website and Facebook page that include resources for childrens yoga, healthy eating, meditation, care tips for cancer patients, a media kit and About the Author information.




By June, the Toby Bear website and Facebook page had launched. The eBook, Toby Bear and the Healing Light, was published and available for sale on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Soney & Diesel in September.

Although Redfern was reluctant to enter the print book market, Boulton convinced her that a continued need for physical product-in-hand existed. So they developed the manuscript into a format for print-on-demand (also available through Amazon).

Lisa Boulton had her books in hand by Christmas time.

“I was exuberant when I received my first shipment of books.” said Boulton, “The clerk at the Nevada City Post Office saw my excitement and asked me to open the box so she could see them too (there wasn’t a line behind me). It was a fabulous moment! We were both so excited to see the whole community beautifully represented in the book,” comments the author.

To learn more about Lisa Boulton and Toby Bear and the Healing Light, visit TobyBearStories.com

Toby, Lisa & Lisa

Vintage Pet Beds – Hand Crafted in Nevada City

The Cattani’s background in gift item design, pet products, building and furniture crafting make Pet Beds a natural outgrowth of their style and ingenuity.  They have amassed a stock of headboards and chair backs that they design into special and unique pet beds. They also offer a specialty service where they craft a custom Pet Bed made out of your own furniture.

“The Pet Beds we design are about love and comfort for our pets,” says Becky Cattani.

In her career, Becky traveled extensively in the orient and designing highly successful gift items for an import company. She also spent most of a decade researching the history of a 1900’s fishing lodge in Oregon and restoring it to it’s historical splendor. Prior to 2006, the Cattani’s lived in Santa Cruz County where Becky owned a pet deli & boutique in the little village.

These experiences began her love of period furniture, antique restoration and product design.

Matt enjoys working with all kinds of people. He has a quick smile and is perpetually cheerful – even when he faces challenges. His skills in building maintenance have carried him far in life. He’s managed and maintained apartment complexes, vacation rentals and a historic hotel. His workshop would make any woodworker envious. It is a gabled building painted cheery bright red and replete with a lighthouse style light at the top that shines brightly every evening.

In 2011 the Cattanis hired me to create professional product images for brochures, upcoming festivals and for a website. During the course of our photo session, we discussed their business goals, objectives, target market issues, and technical skills. We concluded that a website, that they maintain themselves, is not practical for the Cattanis at this time. Their goal is to work with pet suppliers, interior decorators, catalog companies and to connect with people one-on-one at craft fairs to generate custom orders.

For the immediate short term, they plan to list their contact information in key online locations so that they have a web presence and focus their business building efforts through connections that  they develop at festivals. To this end, they work cooperatively with artist Monique Hanson, who specializes in animal painting, to share booth space at artisans festivals throughout northern California and Nevada.

Comments they always hear when people see their Pet Beds, “Oh! Those are so darling!”

“When we first started showing the beds, people would ask if their dogs could sit on them. We thought that would be alright…until we realized that the dogs wanted to mark their territory!”  laughs Matt.

Matt and Becky are enjoying life in Nevada County,  their continual quest for unique furniture and always, always the joy and exuberance of their furry companions.

Moondoggies / Luna Kitties
(530) 470-0347
Moon Doggies Motel
13050 Discovery Way
Nevada City, CA 95959

Fall Colors Open Studio Tour

This weekend the Redfern Studio will be participating in the Fall Colors Open Studio Tour in Western Nevada County.  67 artists will be showing their work at 30 studios scattered through out the Grass Valley and Nevada City area.

Saturday, Oct. 6th & Sunday, Oct. 7th 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM

Showing at the studio will be Annika Hemminge, another artist who enjoys creating art pieces with bright colors!

Getting ready for the tour was a tiring – but wonderful – process. EVERY corner has been cleaned and straightened – including the back work room area. Wow!

Peggy and I both had strange feelings to see the front sales room stripped bare and awaiting Annika’s work. But when she arrived and started to hang her pieces – the space was electrified. It was exciting to feel the different energy that she brought into the space.

We are looking forward a fun weekend filled with connections and making new friends.

Universally Good Business Practices – Politeness & Polished Communication Skills

During the summer of 1988, I acted as a liaison between law school interns and the staff & professionals at a sizable legal firm in Sacramento. Within that group of interns were two who stood out. Mary; a bright, cheerful young woman with shoulder length auburn hair and Pei Yei; a quiet, unassuming Chinese exchange student still getting used to the differences between life in the US and China.

Mary arrived at that point in her career after spending many years participating in theater and drama productions. The way she carried herself – excellent posture, a confident attitude and a cheerful, friendly nature no doubt landed her numerous job offers. She was the first person to show me the proper way to shake someone’s hand. (I must have had one of those ’dead fish’ handshakes up until that point.) She demonstrated it by looking directly into my eyes, grasping my hand firmly – but not too tight – making a  single, strong up and down motion. It made a lasting impression.

By comparison, Pei Yei‘s presence, with her demure style of dress and soft voice didn’t immediately shine out from the group. However; after spending time with her, I learned that she was ultra intelligent, strong, brave and persistent. Our big adventure together was taking her to have her ears pierced – something her parents would be scandalized about once she returned home.

Both of these women had qualities that set them apart from the crowd in their own way, and – I am sure – made them successful business women. Politeness, polished communication skills and presenting a confident attitude about ones area of expertise are things all of us need to be continually thinking about whether we are teenagers applying for our first job or seasoned professionals at the top of our game.

In addition to how we project ourselves in person, our online marketing, sales and social networking reflect how we are perceived at first glance.

Whenever I get ready to promote a new product or service and I expect to be directing attention to my online presence, I read through every one of my website, FaceBook, and LinkedIn pages with a fresh perspective.

  • Is everything fresh, current, organized and easy-to-understand?
  • Do the images I have on display adequately demonstrate the story I am telling?
  • Have I clearly asked people for a specific action?

I recently completed an archive job for the General Motors Corporation. I landed this job, from thousands of miles away, through a Google search, a professional looking website, and clear, business-like communication skills.

It was a kick to cross paths with GM again. My first marketing internship in college was for General Motors. The goal was to expose up-and-coming professionals to GM cars. The ‘vehicle’ was to organize and promote a Future Fair with a multitude of vendors offering cutting edge products. The event was to be held on the campus quad and the biggest challenge was to work out a way for the grounds maintenance folks to allow us to let the cars sit on the grass for a few hours…

No matter where we are in our careers, projecting confidence & knowledge, being polished, polite and business-like both in person and online will take us to new places with many more opportunities to follow.

Business Development Video

Using music from local musicians Paul Kamm & Eleanore MacDonald http://www.kammmac.com/ and Redfern Transformative Art for background elements, we designed this professional development video for Bereavement Counselor, Heather Certik. Within moments of making it public on YouTube, she came up in the top four on Google, MSN and AOL search engines. From having no web presence (at the time of video publishing) to top placement on popular search engines, we are looking forward to hearing how her web video helps Heather find new clients and build her business.

Claiming the Art….Or Letting IT Claim Me

Much conscious and subconscious thought went into how and where to begin this project. It was not until I was nearing the finish of this art piece (when I have the feeling that I am ready to sign my name…) that those seemingly random thoughts whirling around inside my head gelled into a cohesive form.

It took seven years for Butter Lettuce of Yuma to ‘see the light.’ That long between when I first captured it, until I felt that I had the skills to adequately express it visually. Seven years ago, I was in Yuma, AZ – in the winter, living a drastically different life from the one I am now living – driving through abundant farm lands on a day with a moody sky. Suddenly, upon seeing those straight rows of butter lettuce flipping by my window, I HAD to capture that scene at that moment.

I love the illusion of straight crop rows looking like the spokes of a wheel when you pass by them with speed. A case where our eyes and brain perceive something different from what actually exists. I think our souls do something similar…whispering to us in quiet ways….pointers for possibilities that lie on the path ahead.

I have learned to pay attention to those times when action is required without prior knowledge or understanding as to the “why’s” of the situation. That moment was one of those…

For over a decade, I have had the privilege and pleasure of working in an art related business. Portrait photography. Had anyone asked me to describe myself in all that time, I would have said that I was a business person – first –  in a job that allowed for a high level of creativity. Over this last winter, that perception of myself shifted. Although all of those descriptors still remain true….now I say, “I am an artist” first.

This blog will be the the story of a journey with an undetermined destination guided by the whispers of inspiration.