3rd Anniversary Press Release

The Blue Giraffe Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

with a Sea Turtle Event, Nov. 16


WaterColor, Fla.–Nov. 7, 2013–The Blue Giraffe, an art and gifts boutique in the WaterColor Town Center, will celebrate its 3rd Anniversary on Nov. 16 from 1-4 p.m. with a Sea Turtle Event. In partnership with the South Walton Turtle Watch, The Blue Giraffe aims to help build awareness and support for endangered and threatened sea turtles, which nest along South Walton beaches each year.

“As a turtle watch volunteer, I’m keenly aware of the many threats that jeopardize sea turtles survival,” said Debbie Taylor, co-owner of the Blue Giraffe. “There are many things we can do to improve their chances of survival and ensure hatching sea turtles make it safely to the Gulf of Mexico from the beach.”

The family-friendly event will feature a variety of interactive activities and turtle-themed art.  At 2:30 p.m., there will be a book reading for children and Q&A about sea turtles. Moore Family Folk Art will join the fun with “make and take art” projects that invite families to make their own turtle-inspired creation from recycled materials on painted boards. Artist Constance Snellgrove (aka Sassy Jewels) will feature her sea turtle-inspired jewelry and a variety of sea turtle art will be on display.

The Blue Giraffe will be selling TurtleSafe flashlights and sea turtle books, and the South Walton Turtle Watch will be on hand with sea turtle literature and coloring books.

Drawings for prizes will take place throughout the afternoon and proceeds from the sale of sea turtle art will benefit South Walton Turtle Watch. The Blue Giraffe is located on Hwy 30A in the WaterColor Town Center. For more information, visit bluegiraffe30a.com or call 850-231-5112.


Press release written by Tracy Louthain, TLC – Tracy Louthain Communications

Karen White Author Event – ‘Grit Lit’ in The Walton Sun

Karen White Author Event – ‘Grit Lit’ in The Walton Sun

Interview with the Author – Special to The Walton Sun by Deborah Wheeler.

Karen White, a part-time resident of the WaterColor community, has penned her 16th novel — “The Time Between” — and will be reading from it and signing copies at The Blue Giraffe on June 25.

White said her latest work spans between 1944 Hungary to modern-day South Carolina. “It’s about sisters and forgiveness,” she said. The idea for the book came through an article the author came across in a newspaper a few years back.

The article was about two sisters who escaped Hungary in 1944, never married, lived in the same house together and were very socially active in their community. However, the sisters suddenly became reclusive, and a couple of years later, both were found dead in their home within days of each other. “Obviously something happened to make them become reclusive, and while I didn’t know what it was, it sparked my imagination and I made up my own story. So, it is a work of fiction,” White said. White doesn’t have a sister, but her mother had five and she always enjoyed sitting in on their sisterly talks and watching their close interactions. “I always wished I had a sister and the way sisters interact intrigues me,” she said.

A native of “nowhere” while growing up, White lived all over the world, with the longest time spent in one place — the seven years she lived in London. A constant, though, were summers spent with her grandmother in DeFuniak Springs. So, it became a given that she would bring her own family to vacation in South Walton. White says reading has always been her favorite thing to do. She describes writing as a dream that she never took seriously even though she still remembers a teacher telling her “You’re so creative, you should write!” Instead, she went into the field of business management until her daughter was born and she moved from Washington, D.C., toAtlanta. Ten years later, after leaving the business world, she began writing her first novel in 1996 just to see if she could. “In the Shadow of the Moon” took three years to complete and came out in 2000. She entered it in a literary contest and was thrilled when it won. One of the judges was an agent who asked to represent her. “In the Shadow of the Moon” was nominated for the prestigious RITA award in 2001 in two separate categories. Her books have since been nominated for national contests including two more RITAs and the SIBA (Southeastern Booksellers Association) Fiction Book of the Year. She has also twice won the National Readers’ Choice Award for “Learning to Breathe” and “On Folly Beach.”

She enjoys writing what she refers to as “grit lit” — Southern women’s fiction. However, White’s creative writing sparks could be ignited by almost anything, she said, such as someone saying something interesting, or a picture she might see in a coffee table book. Her interests are varied and easily inspired.

“I know when I get a tingly feeling that I am on to something,” she said. That tingly feeling has paid off as the author’s work has made it onto the New York Times Best Sellers list twice. “That achievement came as a complete surprise, but it is good to know that more than family and friends are buying my work,” she said. Her 2012 releases, “Sea Change” and “After the Rain” debuted on the New York Times bestseller list at number 12 and 14 respectively. Her fourth and final book in her Tradd Street series, “Return toTradd Street,” is scheduled for publication in January 2014.

Debbie Taylor, who co-owns The Blue Giraffe at WaterColor with daughter Christi Sheffield, said White’s publisher contacted The Blue Giraffe to be a part of a multi-city national tour as the author debuts this first hardcover and novel, “The Time Between.” “”The Time Between” is by far one of the best books I have read in many years,” Sheffield said. “I started reading it on a Monday night and was finished by Thursday night. I literally stayed up reading past midnight every night because I didn’t want to put it down. What a beautifully written and enthralling story with such an important life message. We are thrilled to be part of her national book signing tour.”

White will read an excerpt from the book, followed by a short Q&A session before the signing. The event begins at 10 a.m.

Published in The Walton Sun 6-22-13




Folk Artist Alan Moore

Folk Artist Alan Moore

Folk Artist Alan Moore – Souvenir Magazine Winter 2012/2013

Aaron Sutton – South Walton’s Colorblind Artist

Aaron Sutton – South Walton’s Colorblind Artist

Published in The Walton Sun on April 20, 2011, by Deborah Wheeler


Aaron Sutton says he has been an artist since he was a little kid and spent his time drawing pictures of his classmates. That little kid is now 30 and makes his living as an artist along the beaches of South Walton. When he is not doing graphic design for a local real estate company, Sutton can probably be found outdoors – on the beaches of one of the state parks or in one of the local resort’s parks doing what he loves to do – paint. What he paints is whatever he sees, whether it’s people, thee beach, the gulf, the local wildlife, or Seaside Chapel.movie box download


Suttons ability to pick up on his surroundings is astounding, unless you consider, as he says, “When you have a disability, your other senses are heightened.” Sutton’s disability is that he is color blind. When asked how he knows what colors to put on is canvases, he jokes, “The names of the colors are on the tubes.”


“ I learned to work with it – and to my advantage. Some people are overly concerned about color. But people see color combinations in my paintings they wouldn’t have expected but that turned out cool,” he said.


Surprisingly, however, Sutton’s use of color combinations seems to mesh perfectly, or they appear to have been purposely mis-matched to create an outstanding mesmerizing scene that captures a viewer’s attention. Painting mostly on canvas with acrylics, Sutton stretches the canvas himself. “I build everything that I can myself,” he said.


The artist moved to South Walton 3 and a half years ago from Lubbock, Texas, with no real ties to the area. “My wife and I met at Texas Tech and when we got married we decided to go somewhere different and came here,” he says nonchalantly.


His main goal in choosing the beach was to be inspired and do more painting, he says. Sutton was familiar with the area as he had vacationed here previously, and had even lived here for a summer. In addition, he got engaged here. “I moved here right after college and surfed for a while,” he said.


Sutton’s artwork is carried by The Blue Giraffe at WaterColor, where the artist sometimes does painting demos and paints onsite.

Read more about Aaron here or visit his website here.

[nggallery id=1]