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Words From Heaven

12 Oct

When my daughter Morgan had her baby shower in August 2014 we passed out blank cards with a number on the envelope and asked all of the women in the room to give Morgan “Mommy advice” according to the number on the envelope. That was the month she was allowed to open each envelope as the baby grew. (Thank you Anna Crawford for this idea).

Over the past 12 months Morgan has opened a card and I ask her each time, who wrote in it and what did they said. She shares what was written and we both usually say “awe”…..she has been very impressed with how well people remembered what their babies were doing at certain ages and stages and the advice given in these cards. I love this idea.

Yesterday was my precious JellyBean’s first birthday. Her party was Saturday and yesterday I texted Morgan and asked who wrote on her card for her Haley’s very first birthday. There are no words to describe what came back in Morgan’s text so I am just putting a picture of them here – and this is all Morgan sent – no words were needed:

Card 1

Card 2

For those of you who don’t know, Michelle was a dear friend to many of us and she was fighting metastatic breast cancer for several years. As we were waiting for Morgan’s baby to be born, Michelle’s body was beginning to fail and the days were emotional roller coaster rides being pulled between life and death every day. So Morgan had Haley on October 11 and Michelle passed away on October 20. Just nine days later. I was able to text pictures of Haley to Michelle’s phone and her daughters would show her the pictures and read my texts to her. It broke my heart to know that I was sharing a huge milestone in my life that Michelle would never see, but she celebrated with me anyway. That’s who she was right up until she took her last breath.

So how cool is it that Michelle is the one who got the 12 month card and when Morgan opened it would literally be words from Heaven yesterday….just 9 days before the anniversary of her death. I also think it’s very cool what Michelle wrote – every word of it. It’s awesome to see her handwriting and it’s even cooler that she started to write Chloe (her own daughter’s name) and crossed it out and wrote “chemo brain”….I really miss her so much. It’s especially hard this year because it’s all the one year memories popping up. But these precious cards written by Michelle – for my precious daughter – are literally words from Heaven.

Michelle would have LOVED our baby Haley – she would have just been in awe of this little blessing – just like I am. Daily.

I just had to share this with everyone today – and I really wanted her girls to see it more than anything.

Best card ever opened. Ever. And the timing, God’s timing, is perfect as usual.

Charlotte Smarty Pants Feature Story!

11 Oct

I am humbled and honored to be featured in this story. I am now a Smarty Mom! Check it out!!


Smarty Mom Laura Renegar



Artist Highlight #27

29 Sep

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I am honored to blog highlight our last artist that wished to be advertised. Ron is, as you can see, an amazing photographer and I am excited to see his work on Saturday night. Our Silhouette of a Woman – art show benefitting Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society at Queens University Sports Complex (NOT on the main campus of Queens) – 2229 Tyvola Road. 7-9 pm….come and enjoy local art being shown and sold by 30 artists…with a $10 donation at the door, enjoy some light snacks and dessert and a cash bar. Live music and our emcee is Kelly McKay! Our night will be perfect…some come on!

Ron Santini

 I first started photography during my time in the US Air Force, stationed at air bases in Kansas and Spain. Once out of the service my photography took a back seat to other life demands. However, in the mid-1990’s that all changed and I rediscovered my passion and have devoted much of my free time since then to photography. My photographic interests are diverse as I enjoy nature and wildlife, old structures, architectural and sports photography, but I am always learning and challenging myself to improve on all types of photography.

In 2012 I had my first gallery showing at Starr Miller Interior Design Studio, Cornelius, North Carolina.

At the urging of my wife, I entered my first photography competition in the Arts Council of Lincoln County’s 2013 Annual Amateur Photography Contest and won “Best of Show”.

In 2014, I again entered the Arts Council of Lincoln County’s Amateur Photography Contest, and again won “Best in Show” and 2-First Place, a Second Place and a Third Place in the Nature and Abstract categories. I also won an “Honorable Mention” at the Mooresville Arts Guild, Annual Judged Photography Show.

In July of 2015, five framed photographs were part the Carolinas Nature Photographers Association Exhibit at the Hiddenite Center, Hiddenite, North Carolina

Having an aesthetic eye, as one of my mentors taught me, is the ability to create images that capture expression, have excellent composition and are unique in some way. This only comes with education and practice, something I try to do every day.

Understanding how composition and light light forms the basis for capturing a great image is a new challenge with each photo. That is why I am always learning about these aspects plus the technical aspects of photography, be it through formal classes or reading photo blogs or photo magazines……I learn something new every day! So for me photography is a form of personal expression I hope will evoke a sense of joy, or a discussion, or a lasting impression on those who view my work.



Artist Highlight #26

29 Sep

Brooke (1) Brooke (2) Brooke (3) Brooke (4) Brooke (5)I am highlighting our second to last artist that wishes to be blogged about. We have one more after this folks! Our art show for October 3 – held at Queens University – but NOT on the main campus – it’s at the Sports Complex at 2229 Tyvola Road – is going to be awesome. We have over 30 artists! Come and check it out for yourself!!!

Brooke Sloan Gibbons


I have been doing collage for as long as I can remember. Eventually I went beyond cutting and pasting and starting experimenting with mixed-media and what I refer to as “deconstruction”. I enjoy the process of making art, living in the moment, and the Buddhist concept of impermanence. After I make what appears to be a finished product, I often times destroy it to make multiple pieces. I never miss what I had before, and I always embrace what is in front of me.

A word I use in my work is “topophilia” which means the love of place. You can see my love of place in just about everything I make. As someone who identifies as biracial and multicultural, I embrace the representation of personal geographies in my work.

I also started taking pictures a few years ago to supplement the blog I was doing at the time. I love color and light and using nature and the seasons as a backdrop.

Art journaling combines all that I love and am passionate about, while providing a therapeutic outlet to express myself creatively and personally. I use vintage ephemera (collecting and selling vintage paper goods is also something I do!) in all my journals. In art journaling I am able to combine collage, mixed-media, and deconstructive techniques with history, culture, and community.

Right now my focus is on growing my mixed-media portfolio with my large collection of ephemera, a sort of creative preservation. I am also focused on teaching art journaling, mixed-media collage and social justice/community art. My art mantra which I emphasize to all my students is to: 1. Challenge yourself to work outside your comfort zone 2. Embrace the unexpected and 3. Live in the moment—try not to over think what you are creating.



Details of Our Art Show – October 3, 2015

28 Sep

Our Silhouette of a Woman art show is Saturday October 3, 2015 at Queens University – BUT – the Sports Complex for Queens University is NOT at the main campus! The address of the Sports Complex for Queens is 2229 Tyvola Road in Charlotte. Details are below!! Save The Date 2015

My Heart Is Full

27 Sep

My heart is full. My hands and mind are busy these days, but my heart is full. I am finally taking a moment in the frenzy to blog about one of my favorite doctors in life; Dr. Appel.

When I first met Dr. Appel I was worried because he looked so YOUNG. He came highly recommended by my breast cancer surgeon Dr. Evans and after I was with him for ten minutes, I knew he was the surgeon for me. He has such a calming spirit and he is so professional and so careful. I was diagnosed and reconstructed in mid to late 2011 and over the years Dr. Appel and I have seen each other many times. “Dr. Appel, I have a hole in my seam”…”Dr. Appel, I have a stitch popping thru my incision” ….”Dr. Appel, my expanders hurt”….”Dr. Appel, it’s time for my one year exam” ….”Dr. Appel, I am in Jamaica and my breast is turning purple”….”Dr. Appel, I found a lump”….”Dr. Appel, Dr. Appel, Dr. Appel!!! “

I am convinced by now that he would like to change his name and his phone number so he could stop hearing me say “Dr. Appel…..” I often tell people he is the most intuitive man I have ever met in my entire life and I recommend him to everyone I know facing this step in a breast cancer diagnosis. What surgeon gives you his cell phone number and encourages you to call with any problems or questions? Dr. Appel. What surgeon helps you while you are in another country on vacation and your breast is turning purple? Dr. Appel. What surgeon has put us back together after our cancer has been removed? Dr. Appel. What surgeon does this in a calm and professional manner putting up with more “moments” of mine than I can count? Dr. Appel.

I am so very thankful to have him in my life and have him on my cancer team. He has taken care of so many of my friends and co-survivors and everyone that I know feels about him like I do. Dr. Appel, Dr. Appel, Dr. Appel….where in the world would we all be at this point without you?

Thank you for always supporting me, for encouraging me, and for fixing me…you are putting back together what cancer tried to destroy – and you, Dr. Appel, are a very special and talented surgeon/artist so it’s fitting that you are with us this Saturday night at the Silhouette of a Woman art show at Queens University Sports Complex (NOT on the main campus) 2229 Tyvola Road….words cannot describe all that you have done for us. Besides being with us Saturday night, to have you be an event sponsor for this event, to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and the American Cancer Society, makes my heart full.

We are thankful for you and we adore you!

December 2011

December 2011

October 2014

October 2014

Artist Highlight #25

27 Sep

Good afternoon everyone, I am excited to highlight another artist for our art show in Charlotte NC being held on October 3, 2015 from 7-10 pm. It is being held at the Sport Complex for Queens University (NOT at the main QU campus). The address is 2229 Tyvola Rd, Charlotte. We are looking forward to this event! More details to come. Watch this blog and facebook for more info. Follow us on #PrimaxPinkWarriors and on twitter @LauraRenegarPPW.


Mike Clark

 Mike Clark is a tattooist at Skin Art by Randy in Gastonia N.C. He has been tattooing since 2009.

He has always drawn and painted for as long as he remembers after first seeing his mother draw cartoon characters when he was around 5 or 6 years old and became fascinated. Art became an obsession always trying to recreate what he saw. He now focuses on tattooing and painting and has been in various art shows with the Gaston County Art Guild. Mainly painting portraits and birds and also has a fascination with graffiti, religious art and dark art as well. He’s worked with many different mediums but acrylic paint and pen and ink is his favorite. He is quick to donate his creations to be auctioned off for a good cause. Although mainly self taught he is constantly looking for inspiration from nature, architecture and the people around him. Art to him is more than just art it’s his way of life.

Clark (1) Clark (2) Clark (3) Clark 4


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