The Society of Decorative Painters | Chapter Happenings | Volume 4 Issue 4 December 2008
In this Issue

A Message from Dee
Online Class with Tine Sue Norris
Conference News
     Chapter/Members Gathering
     Banquet Tables
     Chapters Marketplace
     Sponsors Sought
     Need a Roommate?

Recipes for the Season
Treasure Box Report
Trees for Charity
Happy Birthday Tole Diggers!
A Tree for Ronald and Friends
Checking in from ‘Down Under’
Memory Box Display
Spring Retreat
Anniversary Retreat
Celebrating an Earlier Holiday
Christmas in July

• A Message from Dee

By Dee Guthrie, SDP Chapters Coordinator
What a year this has been! We are winding down 2008 and gearing up for 2009. The forms have been mailed to the 2008 Chapter Presidents to fill out and mail in with the 2009 officers. This information is what we share when new members call and are looking for a chapter to paint with in their area. If your chapter did not receive the forms, or if they have been misplaced, they can be obtained from the website at Just click on Chapter Information. You will also be able to print a copy of the Chapter’s Handbook, and find the order form for Chapter pins and charms in that section.

I received newsletters from over 200 chapters this year. Some have been on a monthly bases and some every other month. Regardless of how often I receive them, I have enjoyed reading every one of them. Maybe in 2009 I will receive a newsletter from all 304 chapters. That would be great! Everyone should have received their Conference Special by now, so fill out page 48 and make a check out for $20 and mail it in so you can be part of the Chapters Marketplace. The deadline is April 1st, 2009. It will be here before you know it. If I can be of assistance for any reason, email me at I hope to meet you in Peoria!

Online Class with Tine Sue Norris

By Lisa Curry, SDP Education Director
Get ready for our next online class, debuting Jan. 19: an adorable bird and sunflower portrait by Tina Sue Norris called ”The Sunbather.” This class is a colored pencil project using Derwent Watercolor Pencils. The project will be done on 6” by 12” white multimedia board or another watercolor surface of your choice. This surface is available at art material stores or through: The class is 2 hours and 22 minutes long. When you purchase it, you have 60 days to complete it. The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. To order and take the class, visit starting Jan. 19.

• Conference News

Have you registered for SDP’s 37th Annual Conference and Expo June 16-20, 2009 in Peoria? Conference classes are filling, but those which are most popular will be repeated. The time to register is now! You can register online at or use the form in your Conference Special and fax or mail it to SDP. See the catalog for more information. We’ll see you in Peoria!

Chapters/Members Gathering
By Darla Foreman, Chapters Committee chair
By now you have probably heard that the Chapters Gathering has been renamed to include individual members, too. That’s because we didn’t want anyone to miss the fun! We had the most wonderful time in Tampa and we are planning a terrific Gathering for Peoria, as well. When you register for Conference, don’t forget to sign up for the Gathering. It’s a wonderful place to learn and grow, while having fun and meeting new friends. We’ll see you there!

Banquet Tables
By Darla Foreman, Chapters Committee chair
How can we describe the decorated tables at the Annual Banquet? There is only one proper word: Breathtaking! It is always so fun to tour the banquet hall and see the imaginative tables everyone has created. Why not join in the fun? Decorate a table yourself or get your chapter or a group of friends together and brainstorm a clever theme. Maybe your team will win! But don’t delay, there are only so many tables to decorate. To reserve yours, contact Sherry at

Chapters Marketplace
By Darla Foreman, Chapters Committee chair
Make sure your Chapter is part of Conference’s wonderful opening night party: Chapter Marketplace. Reserve your table for just $20 and sell painted items, cookbooks, crafts, and other special things to raise funds for your Chapter. The event takes place on Tuesday night. Contact Sharon at or Dee at to make arrangements.

Sponsors Sought
Sponsors are needed for Conference events in Peoria. Both individuals and Chapters are encouraged to lend a hand to make this the best Conference ever by supporting our events with a donation. Your sponsorship will be acknowledged with signage and other recognition. Contact Dee at for more information.

Need a Roommate?
Are you looking for a roommate for Conference? Contact She is keeping a list and will help match you with a roommate.

Recipes for the Season

A few years ago we featured holiday recipes by our current and past presidents, president elect, and Chapters coordinator. The response was overwhelmingly positive! Back by popular demand are favorite family goodies accompanied by warm memories of this beautiful season. All the best from our families to yours!

The Secret Ingredient
By Linda Biedermann TDA, SDP President
As a child I looked forward to the packages from relatives that would arrive just before Christmas. My grandmother would always send books for presents (my favorite), along with Scotch Short Bread. My aunt would send fruit cake and it was not yucky. My dad raved about my aunt’s fruitcake, saying she must use only the finest of ingredients because it had no equal.

Fast forward to me as an adult with my own family trying to carry on some of these traditions. No matter how many fruitcake recipes I tried, I just could not find one as good as my aunt’s. Finally she gave me the recipe. Imagine my surprise--or rather imagine me bursting out laughing--when I found out her secret. Instead of using expensive candied fruit, she substituted gumdrops!

As the years have gone by my own family has developed new traditions; one of which is the annual baking of cookies from recipes my mother-in-law brought from Switzerland. I’m sharing one that is good to have on hand when guests drop in. Just brew up a pot of mint tea and let them stay awhile to nibble. Happy Holidays to you, my painting friends!


Yields about 10 dozen. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a week or frozen up to 2 months. They hold up well when mailed.

This is a Swiss recipe for chewy, nutty cookies, flavored with spices and citrus.

  • 1 ½ cup honey
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pinches of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pinches ground ginger
  • 2 pinches of ground cloves
  • 2 pinches of white pepper
  • Scant 1⅓ cups finely diced candied lemon and orange rind
  • 2 ¾ cups (about 9 oz.) sliced almonds
  • ½ cup kirsch (unsweetened cherry liquor)
  • 4 cups plus 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1-teaspoon baking soda
  • 1⅓ cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water

In a medium saucepan, combine the honey with the sugar, lemon zest, cinnamon, black pepper, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and white pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the honey and sugar are melted, about 3 minutes.

Remove the pan from heat and add the candied citrus rind, 2 ¼ cups of the almonds and all but 4 teaspoons of the Kirsch. (Set aside for icing.) Sift the flour and baking soda over the mixture and stir to incorporate. Line a baking sheet with plastic wrap. Scrape the dough onto the plastic, divide in half and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours.

Liberally flour a work surface. Roll out the dough to make two 12-inch squares about ¾ inch thick. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and slide the dough squares onto them. Prick all over with a fork. Scatter the remaining ½ cup of almonds on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the powdered sugar with the water and the remaining 4 teaspoons of kirsch. Bake the cookie squares for 14 minutes, or until golden. Immediately brush the glaze on top. Slide the parchment onto a rack and let the cookies cool completely. On a work surface, using a large, sharp knife, trim the edges of the squares, then cut them into four 3-inch wide strips. Cut each strip into ¾ inch bars. Store in airtight container with wax paper between layers.
*You may substitute Black Cherry Syrup for the Kirsch.

Friendship Shared
By Jillybean Fitzhenry, SDP Past President
This is my favorite time of year! The sparkly snow is falling here in Minnesota, making everything look magical and bright. My tree is decorated with a collection of handpainted ornaments from all my painting friends. What great memories it sparks as I unwrap these wonderful treasures each year to hang them on my tree.

For the past fifteen or more years, it has been a tradition for my painting friends and I to have a Christmas party. This party is so special and is truly one of the most cherished times of the season. We each paint each other an ornament to exchange and bring a favorite dish to eat.

While dinner is still cooking, we gather in the kitchen and share what has been going on in each of our lives since we last were together. We pour a glass of wine and toast to our friendships. Someone always brings an appetizer to share while we sip our wine and delight in the company of each other.

This year it was my turn to bring the appetizer and I would love to share it with you. You can mix it together at home and then pop it into the microwave once you arrive at your party. I make baked pita chips to go with the dip but you can also use your favorite cracker or chips.

Jillybean’s Hot Artichoke Dip


  • 1 – 8oz cream cheese
  • 1 – 5oz container of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 – small jars of marinated artichoke hearts chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup - Miracle Whip (or mayonnaise)
  • 1 - small jar pimentos
  • 10 slices of pickled jalapeno, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup – Progresso Italian bread crumbs

1. Drain artichokes, pimentos and Jalapeno pieces in a strainer.
2. Mix cream cheese, Miracle Whip and Parmesan cheese in a medium size bowl.
3. Combine drained ingredients with cheeses.
4. Scoop into an 8” round casserole dish or microwave safe dish.
5. Sprinkle breadcrumbs on top.
6. Microwave on high about 3 minutes or until the first sign of bubbles.
7. Serve warm with chips or crackers.

Jillybean’s Baked Pita Chips

  • 15 – 6” round flour tortillas
  • 1 - stick butter melted
  • 2-3 Tablespoons of garlic salt with parsley

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Use a pizza cutter to cut tortillas into four sections.
2. Dip tortillas in melted butter and place on a cookie sheet with edges all the way around.
3. Sprinkle tortillas with garlic salt.
4. Bake 10 minutes and turn all the chips. Bake another 3 minutes or until the first signs of any brown on the edges.
5. Remove and allow cooling before serving.

Dad’s Delight
By Nancy Genetti, SDP Vice President/President Elect
These cookies were my dad’s very favorite. He enjoyed them for years and years. Even the very last year of his life he had them for the holidays … and he lived to be 96!

Jingle Bells

  • 1/2 lb butter
  • 1 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 1/2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 lb. pitted dates, cut up
  • 3 c. walnuts (don't chop)
  • 4 slices candied pineapple, cut up
  • 1/2 lb. candied green cherries, cut in half
  • 1/2 lb. candied red cherries, cut in half

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs. Sift dry ingredients. Add. Add vanilla. Mix fruit and nuts. Add to mixture. Droop by teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 10 to 12 dozen cookies.

A Regular Dinner Guest
By Dee Guthrie, SDP Chapters Coordinator
In the mid-70s I worked at a painting shop in Enid, Okla., named Ladybug, LTD. That was when I was first introduced to Tole painting. As it turned out, the person who owned that shop was the first treasurer of the National Society of Tole & Decorative Painters. Her name was Kathy Oldham. At one of the Christmas dinners, everyone was asked to bring a covered dish. I remember one person brought a simple potato casserole. It was wonderful. I have prepared and served this at every Thanksgiving and Christmas Dinner since that year!

Easy Potato Casserole

  • 1-box or package of instant potatoes/prepare according to directions if dry
  • 1- average-sized white onion, chopped
  • 1- box Velveeta Cheese

Cover approximately ¾ of an inch of the bottom of the bowl with the prepared instant potatoes. Sprinkle with some of the chopped onion, then cover with slices of the Velveeta cheese. Alternate this until you have used all ingredients. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until cheese has melted. (If you do not cover the cheese will burn on the top.) Enjoy and have a GREAT holiday!

Treasure Box Report

By Dee Guthrie, SDP Chapters Coordinator
I hope all of you have been painting Treasure Boxes for the Shrine Childrens Hospitals. If you have will, you please email me at or call (316) 269-9300 ext. 101 and tell me the number of boxes you have painted this year, and which hospitals you have sent them to. Be sure and include your chapter name. I am keeping a record of our Chapters’ participation in this program.

 Trees for Charity

By Alise Duerr, Brevard Brush Strokes
Brevard Brush Strokes of Melbourne, Fla., recently decorated six small trees with handpainted ornaments to be donated to various charities in the county for the 2008 holiday season. Shown in the photo with one of the donated tress are Workshop Chairwoman Mary Jane Smith; Coordinator for the Adopt-A-Tree Auction at Weusthoff Hospital Sonia Rivera, and 1st VP and Community Service Chair of Brevard Brush Strokes Alise Duerr.


 Happy Birthday Tole Diggers!

By Sue Bowers, Tole Diggers
The Central Oklahoma Society of Tole and Decorative Painters AKA Tole Diggers, celebrated the 35th anniversary of their annual mini-convention in September. Among many other activities, attendees painted Treasure Boxes for Kids that were delivered to the Shiners Hospital for Children in Shreveport, La.

A Tree for Ronald and Friends

By Judy Schumm, Brandywine Decorative Painters
Here is the Christmas tree that we decorated for the Ronald McDonald House in Wilmington, Del. The tree was decorated by, from left, Mary Mader, Jo Lutness, Judy Crosby, and Judy Schumm. The angel ornaments were painted by members of our chapter.

• Checking in from ‘Down Under’

By Karin Parson, True Blue Decorative Artists
True Blue Decorative Artists, the second Australian affiliated chapter of the SDP since December 2004, recently had the pleasure of a workshop with Jamie Mills Price. She taught one 2-day and four 1-day workshops with plenty of sightseeing in between the weekends of painting. Jamie and Flo stayed with Karen Brouwer and her family at Tyabb for this visit. Karen has been a regular teacher at SDP conferences for some time. The workshops were held in Melbourne, Victoria and ladies from other states and country areas attended. As you can see by our happy faces, we had a great time learning from Jamie and hope that she will be able to make it back “down under” and catch up with her Aussie mates again soon.

• Paint-a-Thon

By Charlene Seimes, Nature Coast Decorative Artists
Our chapter had a Treasure Box Paint-a-Thon on Nov. 29. Members and guests painted the boxes which will be delivered to the children at the Shriners Hospital for Children in Tampa, Fla. We had so much fun!

• Memory Box Display

The Cactus Wren Decorative Artists in Phoenix, Ariz., had a display of Memory Boxes at the Mercy Gilbert Medical Center Hospital for Decorative Painting Month in October.

• Spring Retreat

By Terry Bible, Tulsa Town Tolers
We Tulsa Town Tolers enjoyed our chapter’s Spring Retreat in March this year. Our theme was "Birds of a Feather Paint Together," and we had 57 enthusiastic campers in attendance at Camp Christian in Chouteau, Okla. We enjoyed an oil class with Cathie Wampole and an acrylic class with Dianne Ramsey. We also had fun make-it-take-its with Anne Hill, Robyn Johnston, and Deborah Wells.

• Anniversary Retreat

The Hudson Valley Tole and Decorative Painters 20th Anniversary Retreat was held on May 16, 17 and18. It was the chapter’s first ever retreat and they hope to make it an annual event. To celebrate they all painted their chapter logo, which was designed by Sharon Buononato twenty years ago. It was taught by chapter president Dot Salvagin.

• Celebrating an Earlier Holiday

By Mary E. Clegg, Gypsy Tolers
The Gypsy Tolers delivered a truckload of Easter baskets to the Ronald McDonald House in Loma Linda before Easter this year. Pictured are Michele Murray and her mother Wanda McKelvey, who is also a Gypsy Toler member.

• Christmas in July

The Southern Gardenia Tolers held their first Christmas in July. Pictured are, in the front: Sarite Bacque; seated: Marilyn Wagner and Carol Huval; standing from left: Cathy Williamson, Libby Angella, Rae Clousing, Instructor Donna Talerico, Brenda Varnam, Linda Matherene, and Rose Ward.

About Chapter Happenings

Chapter Happenings is published bimonthly by the Society of Decorative Painters (SDP) for members of its affiliated chapters. Do you have a story, photo or idea for Chapter Happenings?

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