Tuesday, October 12, 1999

More 'new leafs' are turning up




BY JIM KNIPPENBERG
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Anybody find one of Carol Ann Newsome's leaves yet?

        Newsome is the local artist who developed New Leaf — a little deal where she cuts a 31/2- by 41/2-inch piece of wood, paints (acrylics) a leaf on one side and “Turn over a new leaf” on the other. Then she hides them around town for people to find.

        She's been at it again since last week, and will continue dropping 100 leaves through Thursday. She's dropping in Price Hill, Walnut Hills Cemetery (look in the ivy behind an 1805 tombstone), Mt. Echo Park, Northside, Clifton, downtown, Winton Terrace, Bond Hill and “wherever else I can get.”

        Since New Leaf began in '95, she has dropped 2,000 leaves in 24 countries, mostly self-funded. “It's fun to do something generous for the universe.” Travel expenses and honorariums have sometimes been provided by arts groups in other cities.

        “People can be intimidated by art,” she says. “Take it out of the gallery, give them a palm-size piece to take home and they feel good. It becomes a day-brightener.

        “For me, it's self-empowerment. I'm not trying to preach and people don't have to relate. I just like creating a magical experience for someone. It's good for me.”

        Newsome distributes the leaves in the morning (before her day job at Talbert House) during her lunch hour, after work and whenever she finds a sec. Check the progress, and drop zones, on her Web site: members.aol.com/leafnews.

        UNSINKABLE: Overheard hanging around Gloria Stuart, the 89-year-old actress who played Rose in Titanic. She was at Kettering's Books & Co. last week signing Gloria Stuart: I Just Kept Hoping (Little Brown; $24.95) ...

        • “Oh, it's just because of Leo,” she told a fan who was amazed to see so many very young girls there. (Leo as in Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio.)

        • “I don't consider actors real people,” she replied when asked if she was friends with other “seasoned” actors. “All my friends are writers.”

        • “What else is there?” was her answer when asked if she's a Democrat.

        Dressed in a burgundy sweater, shell and skirt, “She bounded in like she was on her way to a high school prom,” says Sharon Kelly at Books & Co. “No hint of tiredness.”

        Stuart proved how tireless by staying at the 7-8 p.m. signing until 9 p.m., signing books, posters and old movie books with her picture.

        TASTEFULLY: So you give somebody a gift. A year later, that somebody forgets who gave the gift and gives it back to you as a gift. How does one handle that?

        You'll have to wait till Oprah Winfrey airs her session on Unusual Etiquette Problems with Cincinnatian Ann Marie Sabath as guest expert. She tapes Wednesday and the show should air within a week (4 p.m. weekdays, Channel 9).

        Sabath, founder of At Ease, a consulting firm specializing in protocol and etiquette training, and author of Business Etiquette: 101 Ways to Conduct Business with Charm and Savvy (Career Press; $11.95), is making her third Oprah appearance (she was on in 1996 and '98).

        Knip's Eye View appears Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Have an item to report? Call Jim Knippenberg at 768-8513; fax: 768-8330.