Thursday, December 29, 2011

On the Agenda

It's that time of sum up what we've done in the last 12 months.
To decide there are some things that can be improved,  others that can be strived for....and put on our list, yet again, those things that we still want, but have eluded us thus far...

The thing that most needs improvement in my Life, is my health...
Resolution # 1 Get Healthy

Since we moved and I stopped working as a Massage Therapist, I've done zero physical activity.  Do you remember the muscle pull while swatting flies incident?
I've been noticing aches and cramps that weren't there before....and a noticeable loss of flexibility....
I'm only 38. 
I spend way too much time sitting in front of the computer.
My Dad has heart issues.
I had borderline high cholesterol 3 years ago (the last time I had it checked).
Um....does anyone else see the red flags here...ding ding!!  Time to make some changes.
So, I need to drop Maggie off at school and...

Those red things are bike shorts....does anyone still wear those things? Haha!
This is for illustrative purposes only.  I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of shorts in public :)

I just need to get my physical activity done in the morning, before email and blog checks, before excuses and obligations...I need to just start my day on a positive.

Be more regular about taking my vitamins...

...and eat more veggies.  I actually enjoy vegetables, but, I find I eat the same ones all the time.  I'd like to mix it up some kale and eggplant with my usual tomatoes and broccoli.  I can become so predictable. 
Perhaps I'll try Green Shakes like so many of you do.  If you have any advice or recipes to share I'd love to hear them! :)

My second Resolution stems from something else extremely important to me.  I've always longed to make a living as an Artist. 
I know I'm preaching to the choir here.

My Husband would love for me to contribute more financially and has politely suggested that I may be able to find a job when Maggie goes to school fulltime in 1st grade....
....but, it would be a dream come true to be able to make Art my profession, and have Chief Paint Slinger be my title :)

I think we established above, with all that health talk, just how short Life is...I want to live mine doing what I love most.

I figured I'd make it my goal to get published in a magazine. If an Art Mag takes your work seriously, than the rest of the world will too, right?!  Well, maybe not....but it's something to strive for anyways :)

Besides, it would make my Mom and Dad so proud :)
...and show Maggie that all dreams are within reach...

So, I'll create...
mail in....

...and keep my fingers crossed again and again...

Until, one day...I may be able to...
Celebrate....and you'll all be invited to party with me...heehee!

My 3rd Resolution is the one that keeps eluding me.  On the surface, it seems like a non-issue.

I mean, how could someone who doesn't have to work (yet...haha!), doesn't exercise and doesn't eat veggies not be having fun..haha!  Well, I don't have nearly as much as I should :)

I want to live in my heart more...and less in my mind....

While I have no problem laughing at myself sometimes, I have trouble in stressful situations relaxing and going with the flow.  Getting uptight and tense isn't going to help anything. Maybe just laughing at the whole thing would put me more at ease :)

I don't say yes enough to her.  She's only a kid once....and one day, she'll stop asking.

 Lazy is just way too easy for me... I believe there is definately room to do better. To try harder. 

I can put the clothes away as soon as I pull them out of the dryer (instead of letting them sit in the basket for a week).

I can write a love letter to my Hubby once a month instead of once a year.

I can cook a meal every now and then, rather than heat up a frozen dinner.

I can look in the mirror....and look past my crow's feet and gray hair....and not mourn over what I used to be.  But, appreciate who I am now and just how special she is :)

Maybe I'll finally do a self-portrait?
Well, probably not....haha!  Maybe in 2013....

Happy New Year, Blog Friends! 
Let's make it a great one!!

Big hugs,

Friday, December 23, 2011

Warm Holiday Wishes!!

I just wanted to write a quick post to wish all My Beloved Blog Buddies, far and near,
a most Magical Holiday! 

 I'm looking forward to a New Year filled with shared inspirations, fun discoveries and amazing projects with all of you!  Let's laugh til our sides ache and enjoy all the goodness
 a brand new year will bring!

Big hugs from my family to yours!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Just for Giggles

Hello All!

With the stress and busyness of the Holidays....I sure have felt the need to decompress in the studio for some much needed play time.  How about you?
I didn't want to start any lengthy projects (I have enough of those still unfinished...haha!) and I didn't want to have to think too hard about shading and facial features like when doing a portrait...

So, the answer came to me...

Aren't they always the answer?!  :-D

In one of Amy's classes, she showed us how to sew fabric onto watercolor paper and use that to paint on....
I had prepared some extras and knew that's what I wanted to use.
The paint bleeds a little and gets a nice wash-y kinda effect (I know, very technical...haha!) that I really like.

I saw this saying...and thought it was perfect!

I added some ruffle from a vintage pillowcase, polka dot ribbon, a fancy brad...and some ribbon to hang it with.  A cute little reminder to turn a sour day into a sweet one :)

This next one is definately for the kid in us all...

"Sprinkles make me Smile"

Do you get all giddy when you get to eat something with sprinkles, too?

These were a lot of fun to make...and a lot less fattening than the real thing :)

They are in my Shop now.

Now, I have to start making a coffee cozy for my daughter's teacher! 
Yay!  A good excuse to catch up on some TV...heehee!

Hope you get to have a cupcake kinda day soon...
Did you know your comments and visits are my sprinkles?

You never cease to make me smile,

Saturday, December 10, 2011

BaBy NeWs!!!

Please help us welcome the arrival of a 1 lb 4 oz bundle of furry joy!

This is Sally (named after the character from Nightmare Before Christmas) :D

As all you lovely Bloggy Friends already know, my daughter, Maggie, just adores cats!  When we taught her sign language as a was the first word she communicated with us....if I wanted to get a good picture of a real, genuine smile on her of our cats just had to be in the room...
You already know about her Kitty themed Birthday party and room re-do...

She has always loved cats!
We decided this was the year to get her one of her very own...

Sally came home with us last night.
Though she is a Christmas present, we got her early so there is plenty of time to spend with her over Maggie's 3 week Winter Break starting soon.

She's staying in Maggie's room in the eves until she and our other cats grow accustomed to eachother.
I went in to check on them both....and saw this :)

Isn't that the cutest thing!  My heart just melted....

We took her to the Vet this morning where she got a clean bill of health.
She is so sweet and loves to be with people....Maggie loves to read to her.

See...Sally even looks at the pictures....haha!

Maggie is just in Kitten Heaven!

Just so exciting to have the scamper of little paws around here again!
Hope you are all having as wonderful a weekend as we are!

Can't help but smile,

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making and Baking

It's been over a week since my last post....and I feel like I have nothing to show for it...

I haven't been "making" anything in the last week.  With Thanksgiving festivities...which included multiple stops on multiple days and Maggie being out of school all of last week...there hasn't been much time for making stuff...

But there has been plenty of excitement for the upcoming Holiday...and I realize we've been "Making Merry" :)
Which counts....or at least is the excuse I'm using for my absence...heehee!

Here's a peek at what we've been up to....

The wreath My Hubs made for his parents over a decade ago hangs on our front door...

A cute little easel displays some Seasonal colors and a Happy Snowman....

Our front room was supposed to become our Formal Diningroom...but the piano my Hubby doesn't play but won't part with is in there...and it's not a huge room......sooooo, I put up a little place in the corner that I can dress up and satisfy my "Oh what a lovely table" urges ;P

...and of course, there's our tree...

Fake this year....a pre-lit one we got as a hand-me-down from my MIL who is Christmas obsessed.  I wound in 1 long strand of colored lights thru the entire tree which gives little hints of twinkling blues and purples and reds here and there.  I like the effect :)

The one thing I made over the weekend that I enjoyed the most is this....

That's right!  Homemade Dutch Apple Pie!  This was the last piece....and I ate 5 out of the 6 pieces we cut it into.  Low carb diet? What's that?!  Haha!
Trust me...I don't eat all fancy like this everyday.....I had to remember to slip it off the paper plate I dished it up on to take the picture.  I thought I'd better prove I actually do cook before all the evidence was gone :-D

I hope you and your families are enjoying eachother....and the Holidays you celebrate together :)

Biggest Hugs and Candy Cane Kisses,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Elixir of the Gods!

....or what we, in my household, otherwise call COFFEE :)
Who am I kidding?
I'm the only one who drinks the stuff....the one who panics when the cream gets low...the one who doesn't care how loud the whirring of the bean grinder is on the weekends.....the one who devotes an entire cabinet to the storage and display of coffee and tea, mugs, sugar, filters....everything I need in one spot perched above the coffeemaker....

I LOVE coffee!!!
It is the one ritual that defines my mornings...
....even when it's 100 degrees outside...
...even when camping (I make it in a French press)...
I have to, want to, look forward to having a cup...every morning!

So when my suggestion for a theme was chosen over at Butterfly Effect this week....
You guessed it!  Coffee or Tea.
I couldn't wait to create something...
Now, I've made art about my love of Joe before...

You can read that post here...

But that was before I learned all the nifty mixed media techniques I know I wanted to make something specifically for it  ;0)

Betty over at Pinkglitterfae Art gave me the idea to alter a board book...

You see, Maggie's school has been saving their damaged books for me.  I witnessed them throwing them away once and just had to come to the rescue.
Humpty Dumpty, true to his story, couldn't be put back together again...
So I used his pages as my substrate....
First sanding....

Then gessoing....
Does anyone else uses this gesso?  It is a serious upper body workout trying to squeeze this stuff out, it's soooo thick!
After it dried, I thought the shape was perfect for this!

Does it make you want a cup?  Makes me wish I had an actual cup like that!
If you want this one, it's in the shop :)

While looking for something to write on this piece, I came across some great coffee related sayings.
I might need to make more just to use them...haha!

"Coffee: Creative Lighter Fluid"
"A morning without coffee is like sleep"
"Forever....the time it takes that first pot of coffee to brew in the morning"
"Coffee smells like freshly ground Heaven"

...and my favorite by Josephine Baker,
"He was my cream, and I was his coffee -and when you poured us together it was something"

Hopefully you'll be able to link up and play along, too!
Here's wishing all my Buddies in the States have a fantastic Thanksgiving...
Have lots of pie....
...and coffee to go with it!

Hugs to all my Bloggy Friends everywhere!

Friday, November 4, 2011


HI there Bloggy Darlings!!

I'm super excited to be blogging again so soon....with new fun things to share!
Yesterday was a good day.
A really good day....and I'll tell you why...

I know I've mention Amy before.  She is just a really cool person, spreading art love everywhere she goes, coming up with great ideas for collaborative projects, and is offering LIVE online classes......for FREE!  Absolutely free....she invites everyone to attend...

Anyhoo...yesterday was the first time my schedule allowed me to sit in...
It was a lot of fun!  More on what we did in a sec....

Yesterday was also a good day, because Geri nominated me:
You are supposed to share 7 things about yourself that you don't think your Blog Friends know...
Hmmm...okay...let's DO this!!

So for the class, Amy showed us how to attach fabric to paper using a sewing machine.
I used muslin fabric, watercolor paper underneath and black thread...because that's what was in there already.  Here's the back of my piece to show you the randomness of my stitches.
That leads me to my first thing...

1. I'm lazy...I don't like to put too much effort into certain things, like my appearance (jeans and a t-shirt EVERYDAY....splash my face with water and now that my hair is short...a few finger rakes...and I'm fine).
...or having my home be spotless...I'll clean like a fiend when company comes over, but push the mess aside otherwise.
....or in this case, changing thread colors....I'm going to just say, I thought black would look cool instead of that I hate winding those bobbin thingys and figuring out how to rethread my needle ;P

2.  An exception to the above is a bit of craziness in me  that makes me empty out every box in the garage or hunt the aisles of a million stores.... just to find and create some  vision in my head.  I don't understand where that drive comes from....but it is exhausting, and sometimes, just not worth it in the end.  Here's an example:
I was looking for something to use in my Mad Sea Party Post
Nothing I already had would do...
...went to 5 stores looking for just the right thing
...found this mermaid
...put her in a dozen places til I settled on this candleholder perch
...took the picture
...and returned her the next day. 
Craziness, I tell you...
She's not even that cute.

Back to the class, so after we did the sewing, we started drawing....she was showing us how she paints her cats.  They are more simplistic...more stylized...I have trouble with that.
I started to sketch this guy out. 
I sewed two 5 x 7 inch thought, to be fair to her teachings, I would try to do something looser...and not be so serious :)

3. I find it funny, that even though I like to paint fantasy and whimsy, I have such a hard time letting loose.  I tend to lose the playful quality I want to convey...and instead, get hung up on details and minutia...

So I drew out another cat...and started applying the paint until I got this little guy...
Can you see the wonderful texture of the fabric?  Amy was is really, really cool!  I'm sorry these pics are a bit blurry.  It's actually raining today!  I love the rain....but, it makes the lighting not so good for photo taking :)

4. I never use an umbrella.  I don't like trying to hold them steady when the wind catches them, I don't like the fuss of having to angle it just right or walking slower so others can share it.  I think I get just as wet trying to close the thing up as I do just going where I need to go.  Besides I don't mind a little water on my face...I don't have to worry about running mascara or messing up my hair...haha!  ;P

At first, I picked browns and creams....cuz that what colors cats are, right?!  Sheesh, I'm just so darn literal!  So when Amy made hers blue...I went and grabbed some, too...and some fuschia for good measure.
Fabric really soaks up the paint, so I learned that I could use a ton of water to move the paint around.  If I used plain water on my brush, I could almost erase parts of it and add subtle highlights.
I mixed fuschia and cream for the background and enjoyed how it gave me a mottled effect :)

This class was soooo much fun!  The girls across the pond were sipping wine...and I was jonesing for one myself, but it was noon here, and I had to drive to pick up my daughter from school not long after.

5.  I am a total light weight when it comes to drinking now.  When I do drink wine, I use one of those small juice glasses..and only fill it half way.  This is enough to make me "happy"....heehee.
I used to be able to drink all my dates under the table *sigh* good times...haha!

6.  I like being good at stuff.  Not that drinking is something one should excel at....but I like surprising people by being able to do/be more than what they expect.  I'm pretty unassuming when you look at I guess I leave room for lots of surprises!
I had to miss the part where she showed us how to cover it all in beeswax :(
I've seen her do it before though, she has a tutorial here...
Besides, I don't have wax or a warmer anyways..

7.  I'm a boring artist.  I use the same short list of supplies all the time.  Of course, now that I'm not working, I can't afford new ones....but, even if I had the money, probably wouldn't get anything new.  It takes me a while to venture out of my bubble and do what the other kids are doing.

Which is why I'm so glad I could be a part of this class!  I woulda never tried or even have thought of this on my own.  So thank you, Amy, for helping me to branch out a bit :D

Thanks, to Geri, too...for the award :)  I'm supposed to nominate 15 other Bloggers now...but, I'm lazy, remember, so I'm going to break the rules.  But, feel free to grab the button and share 7 things abut you if you like!

...And, of course, thank all of you for making this creative journey of mine so much more is always more fun to travel with friends! 

Just, as I'm finishing this, the rain has stopped...and the clouds are parting...
That's California for ya'....see, no need to get the umbrellas out ;P

Hope your weekend is a great one!
Much paint covered love,

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nightmares Come True!

Halloween is around the corner, My Friends...
And this has been a big one for us!

Getting my daughter's costume together this year made me nostalgic and I started to remember fondly all the anticipation of the Big Night.  We'd wait for it to get dark enough, while my Mom would transform us all from otherworldly!
She would sit us down in the kitchen and make us into whatever we decided to be that year.  She wasn't a professional make-up artist or anything....but, in my mind, she was magical in her abilities....
She was up for trying anything....from Rockstars...
My Aunt Shana as a member of KISS

To Vampires....

My Uncle Corey circa 1981 or so

To Hobo Clowns....
 Yep, that's my Mom on the can't see in this picture, but she stuffed her bra like Dolly Parton for this, her "Rhinestone Cowgirl" costume ;P


A Bunch of Balloons.....
My Aunt Nan

...and Skeletons....

Aunt Shana again
...And Japanese Geisha Girls....

That's me :)
My parents made Halloween such a fun holiday...and still do!  They love to dress up, even now, and thrill the grandkids (and big kids, too) with their playfulness and willingness to join in the adventures! 
Dad 2009....

...and Maggie, Me and Mom same year
 Thanks Mom and Dad, I love you!

So, Maggie's previous year's costumes haven't been too demanding...
When your kids are very young, you get to pick their costumes....dressing them up to your whim...
Maybe using a hand-me-down costume or getting a cute idea from somewhere :)

For Maggie's first year Trick or Treating back in 2008 (she was 2 1/2) I found a little leopard costume at the local Thrift Store.  It was lightweight, one piece and had a tail attached.  All she needed was some ears and a bit of make-up...

 For 2009, you saw our matching Witch costumes above.  I found them at the same Thrift Store (it is closed now....and boy, I missed that place this year!) And I knew I might not get away with wearing matching costumes in the future...haha!

Last year she requested to be a puppy....
No other specifics...which made it nice.  I found a bunch of white clothes and painted spots all over them....pretty easy!
....and Daddy was the Dogcatcher...haha!

This year, though....
She wanted to be a specific character....
She asked to be made into Sally from the Nightmare Before Christmas...
I started with a black dress from, where else....a Thrift Store....and rummaged in my fabric stash til I found pieces that were close enough...
I dyed a shirt and a pair of tights blue, found stripey socks, put on some blue make-up, stitches and a wig....
Here's my little Sally :D

I had so much trouble finding a straight red wig...this was the best we could do....but she LOVED it!
I was so proud and happy with the way it turned out and how much she enjoyed being transformed!

We went to Disneyland and just had to get her picture in front of the Haunted Mansion, which is a Nightmare Before Christmas attraction this time of year!

It was perfect!
Now I know how my Mom must've felt all those years....
I made her Halloween dreams nightmares come true :D
AND announce the winner of my Halloween Party Treat!
All your names were written on slips of paper...
...and dropped in the pot....
They were stirred and mixed.....
...then a winner was picked...
...and this is who we got!
Congrats to
Little Miss Hungry!
A certain little crow will be flying to you soon!

Thank you all so much for walking with me down memory lane....and being one of the reasons this year's Halloween is so awesome!

Much love...and sweets to you and your families,
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