MOST PEOPLE dream of earning a living doing something they love. Local artist Nancy Kamachaitis- Walker has decided to make her dream a reality. After working for several years in the health-care field, Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker is returning to her first love -- art.
"The stress of my job in health care was really getting to me and my family," she said. "Art was my love, but medical technology paid the bills."
Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker received her degree in medical technology in 1984, but continued her education and interest in art. She graduated from Towson State University with honors in fine art and photography in 1988.
The first-floor studio in the Eldersburg home of Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker and her husband, Bob Walker, is filled with Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker's creations. A stained-glass window hangs in the studio's bay window and handmade jewelry covers several worktables. Shelves throughout the house are adorned with pottery and sculptures created by Ms. Kamachaitis- Walker.
"We knew when we had the house built that this room would be my studio, so we planned ahead," she said. The studio is equipped with a work sink and several large windows that allow plenty of light into the large room.
The home's kitchen and daughter Laura's bedroom also display Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker's touch. The kitchen is stenciled with one of her original designs, a faux finish covers one wall and the windows are treated with curtains of her design as well.
Every little girl would envy the dreamy bedroom with hand-painted border and cloud covered ceiling. Even the child-sized bed is an artistic work -- hand-painted ivy twines along the headboard.
Working in a variety of art media allows Ms. Kamachaitis- Walker to enjoy the creative process without getting bogged down in production. "I enjoy creating one-of-a-kind pieces and don't really like mass-producing my designs," she said.
Since deciding to leave her health care position, Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker has focused her efforts on totally redoing her styles, designs and concepts. Some commissioned pieces and free-lance work has provided income while she has prepared to open her own studio.
Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker has combined her marketing and management skills in a unique way to offer her creations for sale. She offers a private art showing in customers' homes featuring jewelry, ceramics and other unusual art creations. The showings are patterned after the "home party" marketing style, but with a distinct advantage.
"The customers can take their purchase with them right then. They don't have to wait weeks for something to be sent by mail".
Ms. Kamachaitis-Walker also plans to share her love of art through workshops and classes for adults and children. Classes in clay and stained glass as well as one-day workshops on holiday topiary, clay candle wreaths and holiday ornaments are available for adults beginning Nov. 1.
Children 6 to 10 may participate in classes using clay. The weekend or after school class times allow for a more flexible schedule for working parents. Classes for children also begin Nov. 1.
The public is invited to tour the Walker Art Studio from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday. The studio is at 5380 Hodges Road. For more information on private showings or classes, call Nancy Kamachaitis-Walker at (410) 549-7144.
Liberty High reunion
Getting together with old friends is always a treat, especially if it's been 10 years since you've been together.
Liberty High School's class of 1985 will hold its 10-year reunion from 8 p.m. to midnight Nov. 25 at Frock's Sunnybrook Farm in Westminster. The cost is $20. For more information, contact Kelli Riley Kemp, 857-8744 or Susan Blais Younkin, 795-0963.
The celebration of Halloween offers plenty of activities for the young and the young at heart.
St. Joseph's Athletic Association is sponsoring a Halloween dance from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday in the church gym. Green Onions will supply the music and costumes are optional. Proceeds from the event will benefit the basketball league.
The $10 cost includes beer, wine and setups. Tickets may be purchased at the door or by calling Steve Lyons at 549-0642 or Harold Benden at 781-7026.
Carrolltown Center will have its annual Costume Stagewalk beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday. Children of all ages are invited to trick or treat throughout the mall from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
"Nightmare in Cooper Park," presented by the Sykesville Department of Recreation and Parks, will be held from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The cost is $2. Refreshments will be available.
Volunteers are needed for the event. To volunteer or for more information, call the Sykesville Town House at 795-8959.
Buppert's Doran's Chance Farm -- a local family-run farm -- is taking reservations for wagon rides and visits to the pumpkin patch. Afternoon hours are available for groups of 20 or more. An hourlong ride in a hay wagon and a pumpkin from the pumpkin patch costs $3. Call 795-6815.
The Nature Center at Piney Run Park has scheduled a Preschool Halloween Party from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 31. Costumed children 2 1/2 to 5 years old may participate. A storyteller, games, outdoor hike and snacks will add to the fun.
The cost is $2 for members and $3 for nonmembers. Information: 795-6043.
Sherry Graham's Southeast Carroll neighborhood column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.