The Tale of the Shamrock


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Today’s featured vendor is a very special lady, a talent extraordinaire, and a wonderful person, both inside and out. Anyone would be pleased to call her “friend.” Her work never ceases to amaze me and is always inspiring.  I am so pleased to feature, Ms. Demetra Turner. Enjoy her story!

Living the Dream,


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Even though you express yourself through your art, our readers would love to know more about you.

  1. Tell us where you are from, if you are married, any children, grandchildren.

I was born in Salem, Virginia. I now reside in Waynesboro. I am divorced and I have two wonderful grown boys that live in Dallas, Texas.
I also have a special little 6 year old in my life. His name is Sean, and I’m his “Mimi” and he is my heart!


  1. What is your special dream business and how did you get started in it? What’s your “story?” When did you first know that you had a special gift?

 From the age of 3 I was interested in art. I used to draw family members on my chalkboard that my family raved about, so I quickly became “the artist in the family.” My mom was very good at sketching, although she never took it seriously, but whenever we had to wait at the bus station or in a doctor’s office she would give me a pad and pencil and we would sketch together, to keep me occupied.
At the age of five or six, I loved watching “The Jon Gnagy Show,” on our black and white TV. I watched it every time it came on. I was enthralled with the drawings he did, so that year my parents surprised me with my very own Jon Gnagy drawing set! I also loved “I Dream of Jeanie,” so I drew her a lot!

When I was in high school, my classmates would get me to draw their pets or their boyfriends or girlfriends and sometimes ask me to illustrate a story from class. I charged $5.00 each for those drawings. My first sales!

When I got married and started a family my art went on the back burner until 1989 when a friend and I were asked to hand paint some sweatshirts and canvas bags for The Belle Grae Inn’s gift shop. We divided them up and started painting, but my friend couldn’t finish hers and went to bed, so I stayed up all night long and finished all of them! I was tired, but I was driven! We delivered them on time the next day and got a nice check in return! I think that was my first realization that people might actually pay money for my art! It was a good feeling!

 2.Tell us about the variety of products you work with and what is your favorite.

 After the family drawings and high school portraits, I continued painting canvas bags and shirts, and I sold them all. But then, I discovered gourds! I bought some at a yard sale. They were moldy but I thought I would clean them up and set them around the house for decoration. After they sat on my porch for six months, I decided to paint on one and I hated it. I didn’t like the way the paint felt on it at all so I left them alone again for another six months. Eventually, I tried again and this time it was magic!

I painted everything from farm scenes to Santas and I decided to take them to my friend’s workplace. The ladies in the office went crazy over them and I sold $165 worth that day alone!

I painted gourds exclusively for a few years and then added slate into the mix. I especially liked the irregular nature of slate. It was like I could see what needed to be painted on it, from it’s shape alone.

For five years, in the mid 90’s, I hosted a Christmas Open House at my home in Middlebrook. We lived in the old Shamrock Farm home, up on a hill. I sent out 95 invitations the first year and by the 5th year the list had grown to over 500 people! People came from far and wide to enjoy the ambiance, eat the delicious food that my friend, Sheila Ishee, catered and buy my artwork!

  1. This is not a full time job for you. Do you think some day it will be? Why or why not? What is the biggest obstacle/hurdle you have to pursuing this special dream of yours?

I continued painting and did several local shows for a time and then went through some personal valleys and didn’t paint much at all for about eight years. Fast forward to several years ago, I decided to get serious about my work. I had started making jewelry and was now doing mixed media incorporating fabric and paper into my paintings. I was doing some shows again. Lynne Breeden contacted me after seeing my art on Etsy and asked me to be a vendor at The MaDee Project benefit! I said “YES!”

I eventually came on board with LTD 7.

 My mission on this earthly journey is to take this gift I’ve been given and use it to the best of my ability. My desire is that I will, one day, be able to do this full time. In my mind it already is full time, because I’m constantly thinking and creating. It never stops.

  1. Where does your inspiration come from?

I get inspiration from everything…everywhere! I can get lost for days on Pinterest!

  1. Is there a spiritual reference in your artwork?

 Many people don’t know this; I get asked frequently about the shamrock that I always put beside my name on my paintings. When all of this started with the gourds I was looking for a recognizable symbol that I could use, that would have a special meaning and would be easy to paint. I knew that the shamrock had been used in times past to explain the Trinity.  I wanted to give God the glory for blessing me, so every piece of art bears a tiny shamrock. It’s my way of recognizing His hand in all of this.

Tell us a story about the one item that a customer may have purchased or ordered that touched you in a way no other has.

There have been so many special moments with my products over the years! People come up to me all the time and tell me that they still hang my ornaments out each year or tell me a story where something I painted or created meant so much to them.

Just recently Anne Whitehouse, the manager at LTD 7.2, told me about a lady that came into the Rowe store and was looking a long time at one of my small mixed media paintings that had a quote on it. She told Anne that she had just come from burying her sister and with tears in her eyes said that quote reminded her of her sister so she bought the painting.  It’s moments like that that I’m most grateful for, knowing that the Lord is using this gift He’s given me to touch others lives. 

 8. How do you get your artwork out to various outlets? Do you have an agent, do you recommend another artist getting one and why?

 I think having an agent is certainly helpful for things like licensing but it’s not something that happens overnight and it’s not a “get rich quick” process, for sure! I think the exposure I get from having my work in LTD 7 and now, both locations of Absolutely Outer Banks in Nagshead, and Duck, North Carolina  makes me happy.


My story of getting an agent goes like this: Mainline Art and Design, saw my art on Etsy, and they wanted to be my agent! Does this happen for real? I couldn’t believe it! I always thought this was something I had to pursue! I thought it was a hoax at first.

After I came down off my cloud and four long years later, I finally got a call from an international art licensing agency about a painting I had done of three witches around a cauldron. (I make canvas prints of it and have cards available at LTD 7). They wanted to mass produce that image and I was over the moon with excitement!

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They needed it to be a certain size and for some odd reason I could not send it to them in the size they needed! My agent tried, also unsuccessfully, and I even enlisted the help of a fellow vendor and her expertise-all to no avail.  I was beside myself. To make a very long story short, it didn’t work out and I was devastated. I had waited four long years for this and then nothing!

After I recovered from licking my wounds, I gave it all to the Lord. I realized that I had put way too much emphasis on that milestone and if it was going to happen, it would, when it was time. And wouldn’t you  know…the very next week my Frosty Friends snowman painting was licensed and was put on small and large garden flags and sold nationwide through Toland Home and Garden!

I learned a big lesson in that whole fiasco, and that was to keep my focus on what I’m supposed to be doing-creating-and the Lord will take care of the rest!

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I’ve since had another painting licensed by Manual Woodworkers and that image, Colorful Costa, was put on bedding, rugs and shower curtains.

 9. What is your favorite store for supplies?

 I’m always gathering supplies from Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Dick Blick, Etsy and even yard sales.

  1. What advice would you like to share with dreamers like you? What piece of wisdom or lesson learned would you say pushed you the furthest in your dream?

People tell me all the time that I’m so talented and they they don’t have any talent at all. I disagree! I believe the Lord gives all of us gifts. Your gift may not be artistic, but whatever it is,  it’s still a gift that’s just for you. If you have a passion in your heart for something, just do it! Even if it’s small or seems insignificant, just take that first step and don’t ever ever give up! Taking that step may just open up a world of possibility!







The Dream Makers

“Shoot for the moon – at the very least you will land among the stars.”

Happy Mother’s Day! I hope everyone had a glorious day with family and friends and loved ones.


Today I’d like to bring you a special underground look into a few of LTD 7s vendors. I thought I would ask them to tell me what makes them tick as an artist and discuss the various landscapes that have presented themselves as they balanced life, marriage, careers, and their dreams. In the weeks to follow I will catch up with some other vendors and ask them the same questions. I found their answers so helpful and revealing and I believe it always helps to see for ourselves just what takes place in the mind and heart and soul of an artist.

I wanted to dig deeper into the question of why we sometimes place our dreams on hold. I wanted to know if life events, such as marriage and children and finances were the reasons we sometimes place our dreams on the back burner…or was it something else. I though no better place to start would be LTD 7’s vendors.

I will give you the interview questions and answers in their entirety for each of the three LTD 7 vendors for today. Enjoy a glimpse into three of LTD’s finest!

From Dream to Reality

SweetNanaCakes, Once Again and Demetra and Goods from Nature

  1. From what age did your passion for your craft emerge?

SweetNana Cakes: At a very early age, from the time I can remember, being in the kitchen, baking.

Once Again: My passion began in high school. One of the classes I took was such that every six weeks we would explore different things i.e., photography, furniture refinishing. I fell in love with refinishing furniture then. I have since refinished several pieces—including my grandmother’s china cabinet. I then took a class on painting furniture and a “beast” within me was unleashed!

Demetra: My earliest memories of drawing were at the age of 4. My proud mom and dad would show my work off to family and friends.

Goods for Nature: In college, when I was about 20, I decided to learn about living more naturally, which progressed into making my own body care products. I grew up caring about living healthfully, but it wasn’t until then that I realized how harmful most synthetic materials and chemicals can be and I made a life-long commitment to learning about living naturally.

  1. Were there years, perhaps during child rearing years that your passion took a backseat to other duties?

SweetNanaCakes: After marriage and kids, I put my passion on the back burner but life changes and my children getting older gave me the chance to rediscover my love of baking.

Once Again: Yes, of course.

Demetra: There have been a couple of times that my art has taken a backseat: during my child rearing years, for sure, but then again when I was going through a divorce. That period lasted several years.

  1. What would life feel like if you did not allow yourself to practice your craft?

SweetNanaCakes: I feel like baking is my outlet; it’s the way I relieve stress, and show my creative side. I think I wouldn’t be as happy as I am today if I didn’t get some baking in at least one day a week!

Once Again: EMPTY!

Goods from Nature: My whole life, I have always needed to have a project to work on, and I like for my project to change and progress frequently. Making natural body care and home products makes me feel better about my surroundings every day. If I couldn’t learn about new research on materials and chemicals in commercial products and then apply that knowledge to find alternatives I would feel like something was missing from my day and that I wasn’t doing my best to take care of myself and my family.

Demetra: Sometimes when it gets really tough to continue burning the candle at both ends I consider what it might be like if I were to lay my passion down and succumb to normal everyday life and I’m sure I would feel lost. My art and creativity are such a part of me.

  1. What do you see as the biggest impediment to pursuing your passion full time?

SweetNanaCakes: The biggest impediment is the unknown, whether it is the financial implications, time management/time away from family or knowing whether the community would support such a business.

Once Again: Finances and fear of the unknown. If I’m totally honest, fear of failure also plays a part.

Demetra: The biggest impediment that holds me back is working a fulltime job – I can only imagine how far I could go if I had those extra 40 hours a week to pursue my passion!

Goods from Nature: Working a full-time job. It feels discouraging to think about all the plans I want to accomplish and how little time I have to balance work, family and my craft. I read stories about artisans who took that leap and quit their job to pursue their passion, but I’ve never yet felt that I was in a position to do that financially.

  1. How has LTD 7 helped you to realize your dream or portions thereof?

SweetNanaCakes: LTD 7 has catapulted SweetNanaCakes into the spotlight. The exposure has been amazing. I have so many people that say they know about my business and my name and I know that LTD 7 played a huge role in that happening.

Once Again: LTD 7 has allowed me to “get my feet wet” while still working full-time. Lynne has also given me a “model” in which to follow as far as thinking outside of the box, being passionate at times when you don’t feel passionate, along with integrity, honesty, and plain simple hard work!

Demetra: Being a part of LTD has been a wonderful experience in so many ways! The level of professionalism from Lynne and the staff has helped validate me as a serious business woman to my customers as well as to myself and has given me a platform to reach many others through the benefit of LTD 7’s and Lynne’s amazing marketing skills!

Goods from Nature:  Making a commitment to LTD 7 helps give me the drive to accomplish something for my business every day, whether it be research, making products or doing business. Being accountable to others requires me keep up my momentum as I grow my busines

  1. What advice would you give to a young artist who wishes to pursue their passion?

SweetNanaCakes: Never give up on your dreams; pursue them, even if you have to do it with baby steps. Sooner or later, your passion will break the barriers that keep you from reaching your dream job!

Once Again: Follow your passion—even if it doesn’t fit the mold according to society’s rules!

Demetra: My advice to any young person interested in pursuing their passion is to practice, practice and practice some more! There will be tough times for sure but if it’s something that burns inside of you it will find a way.

Goods from Nature:   Do what makes sense for your individual situation, but don’t stop doing what you love. If you can only afford to practice your craft occasionally, don’t beat yourself up about it, but on the other hand remember to always keep an eye out for opportunities. It’s unlikely that someone will come along and offer you an amazing opportunity to practice your craft full time, but it is possible that someone will say yes when you ask them to give you an opportunity.

∞Enjoy your week, everyone. Give thought to that passion nestled in your heart.

Enjoy your week, everyone. Give thought to that passion nestled in your heart.

See you soon!

Living the Dream,