about me

24 Jan 2010

my little family – Gracie, Tom, and me – a few years ago

I’m a 40 year old artist (see my art at http://gingerbluestudios.com) living in southwest Florida with my husband Tom and my daughter Gracie and our little zoo of pets (cats, birds, and an elderly gecko).

In addition to loving pretty much anything and everything to do with paint, making beads, art journaling, rubber stamping, stenciling, paper, I’m also a:

– long distance swimmer (I swim five miles every day, which equates to about two-plus hours of laps…)
– animal rescuer and advocate (we volunteer at a local animal shelter)
– vegetarian (since I was 15 years old and becoming more and more concerned with the ever increasing cruelty animals suffer at the hands of the food industry. I know being a vegetarian is not for everyone, but it’d be nice to live in a world where killing animals for food didn’t also mean prolonged torture.)
– obsessive tea drinker (loose black and oolong, please!, at least three cups a day)
– writer (I love contributing to other sites. I’m also one of the top 100 reviewers at Amazon. I love doing product reviews-  it’s a hobby I have had since I wrote concert and album reviews for my college paper.)
– music lover (Duran Duran, Simon and Garfunkel, David Gray, Innocence Mission, M83, and Metallica are some of my favorite musicians)
– movie lover (true fact: I have a Master’s Degree in Film Studies and Theory and we go to the movies as often as possible)
– gardener (I have a GIANT container garden which I spend at least an hour tending every day…)
– crocheter
– art historian (trained to be a curator, became an artist instead… go figure!)
– avid reader.

I also try to meditate every day.

I was born with Spina Bifida, which is a physical/neurological thing. I did some extensive writing on it in earlier versions of this journal- they are here. SB was difficult to deal with when I was younger, but when I started seriously swimming in 1992, my perspective on my body (and what it is capable of) has radically changed. However, I’ve got some health issues that pop up from time to time that I do discuss pretty openly, so feel free to ask any questions.

I’m very interested in issues of creativity, spirituality, and well-being and I spend a lot of time thinking about ways to combine all three in daily life.

Confession: I love going to Disney World and Universal Studios here in Florida. It’s about four hours away so we do LOTS of daytrip adventures!

Me, Minnie, and Miss Gracie at Disney in 2010



me, back when I started this whole online journaling thing… (1997)

gingerblue.com is
the culmination of fourteen years of online journaling. I started writing LONG journal entries in 1997, when I was lonely and confused during graduate school. I didn’t think anyone was reading, but they were …

A huge chunk of this journal (late 2005-mid 2006) is focused on Gracie’s adoption from Vietnam.

Pages from previous versions of this website:

Koyaanisqatsi: A Life out of Balance
Wishlist Info (mine & Gracie’s)

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  1. Suzanne Fink says:

    What a treat to come across your website and read about your ventures.
    Beautiful daughter. We have somethings in common: Music, movies,
    and clay. Loved the idea of painting white clay with water colors. You are so right about the colors offered for clay. I am a 71 years old, a grandmother of 4 adorable grandchildren. Love to make jewelry using wood, paper and clay. I will be back often catching up with your adventues.

  2. Karrie says:

    We have a lot in common. I love to paint and mediate as well. I love spending time outside connecting with nature and bringing that peacefulness back to my paintings. I normally paint with acrylic paints and do a lot of whimsical pieces.

  3. Daniel says:

    Always wonderful to look in on your life and progress. You are still an inspiration in many ways. Years ago when I had serious knee surgery I took your health struggles and love of swimming as a guide and I have since spent the last five winters as a scuba dive master in the Caribbean. As an artist I now need to follow your lead and make more art with the same passion I have for the sea. Love what you are doing girl. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Dianne McKnight says:

    Wow! Just love seeing your work with the gelli plate. I recently got introduced to the gelli and am in love! Please tell me more of your secrets. I’m eager to see and love. I am a retired dental hygienist, grandmother, crafter, artist, card maker, scrapbookers and so much more! Love your heart and story. I am a warrior for my grandson who has autism and an amazing smile! I’d love hearing from you. Keep the beautiful work up. I live in South Carolina

  5. pakalolo says:

    hi. long ago, when the internet was new to me, ’98 i think, i found your online journal and though it was an interesting read. i dont remember exactly what happened (internet stalkers or something?) but one day you posted that you were making your journal private and i was no longer able to read it. while messing around on the computer and googling my old screen names, i found my own comment on your journal from back in the day and it led me here. i am happy to see that you are still online and to be able to see all of the interesting developments in your life.

  6. Lin says:

    Wow! I looked at some of your work and I love it ! Your ideas are wonderful! I’m a 18 year old hoping to become an artist sometime. I love your bright colors used in your work, I’m happy I was able to see it.

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I'm Chel (pronounced "shell", short for "Michele").

I'm a painter, writer, gardener, art historian, long-distance swimmer, crochet addict, movie watcher, animal lover, and avid reader.

Random facts: I have a nine year old daughter named Gracie and a husband named Tom. I grew up in New York (Long Island, to be specific), went to college/grad school in Atlanta (Emory University), and now I live in Southwest Florida. I'm incredibly shy but I adore my friends and family. I've been a vegetarian for 25 years and I love animals of all kinds- we have three cats, three birds, and an elderly geckos. I swim five miles every day- rain, shine, storm, or travel. I was born with Spina Bifida, and swimming keeps me healthy and sane. I'm an AVID tea drinker. I have a huge container garden out back and an art studio inside my house and we're lucky enough to live on a little bay, so we get visited by dolphins and manta rays in our backyard :)

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Bloom True is the painting class with Flora Bowley that I talk about in a lot of my posts :)