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....

I'm linking this up to Butterfly Effect, where they want to know what your resolutions are!  So, spill the beans....what are you going to strive for next year?

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

Big hugs,

P.S. Did I forget to mention I have a Guest Post there next week?! heehee!!!

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,

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sketchy Post

My Dearest Bloggy Buddies!
Please forgive my absence...
Shall I just use the Holidays as an excuse and be done explaining myself?  I imagine everyone nodding in understanding right now :P
Thank you...

I do have a wee something to share with you today.
I know I have mentioned the free courses over at Amy's really is a lot of fun to try something new...and chat and laugh with the other girls taking the class....
I highly recommend you joining in if you haven't already!

Today's class was taught by Jay at Moon-Light Creations.  He chose some photo references for us to work off of and gave us tips for shading, gridding and drawing the human form.
I have to admit, I'm not a least not for the sake of just sketching alone.  If it is to map out a painting or grander scale work, I'll quickly put pencil to paper or canvas and plug in the basics.....but, I'm more of a dive right in kinda girl...

I usually avoid complicated body angles and full length views, too, cuz I'm a lazy kinda girl also!
It is exactly these types of photos, of course, that he happened to choose....

He had us do some very quick ones....just getting the main idea and posture of the pic....
I darkened the lines for you so it would show up better here, but otherwise, made no more additions to it after class was thru.
I chose scrapbook paper to draw on thinking it would make things more interesting....instead, it's a bit distracting....oops :)
I don't measure or grid anything when I draw. I just "eyeball" some of the proportions are off.

Here's another quickie sketch...
I'm generally pretty pleased with these.  Since I don't speed sketch often, I wasn't sure how they'd turn out... I love that I have to try new things in these classes....because the teacher says so ;)

The most challenging was the one where he gave us time to really work on shading and hair (which I'm not good at) and experiment with varying lead hardnesses.
I haven't spend this much time drawing in ages!
And it felt really good to just focus on making marks on paper...almost zen-like....except for the school-girl banter going on in the text box....that I just couldn't stop giggling at!

You really should join the next class! ;P

I hope to be back with lots of new stuff...soon....
....very soon!

Thank you for taking time out of your hectic Holiday schedules to check in with me! 
 I just love you guys!!

Big Hugs,

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!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ring a Ding Ding

Hello All!!

Hope you've been having a great week!
I'm just dropping in real quick to show you something new....

I don't know if you remember these gorgeous beach stones I found while on vacation?
Well, I wanted to create something with them that was special enough to showcase just how unique and special they are..
Something simple that would highlight their individual beauty...
Something like this....

They are so smooth, so pretty....
This one looks like I polished it.  But, nope, it was the sea that created that sheen, not me :)

Each one truly is unlike the other....
 That's not a chip on this one.  It is completely smooth, no rough edge....just showing the white quartz inclusion within it ;)

I liked these so much, I looked for some sea glass to mount, as well...
Stunning olive green...

Cloudy milk white...
...and a most unusual pitted piece of milk a brain or what I like to call...
The Cauliflour Ring...haha!
Isn't it bizarrely cool?! 

And since I was in the mood to try new things, I decided to fill some bezel frames with bits of sea this....
....and these....

Oh....and since I still can't get enough owls....I made this....
Might these make someone a perfect gift?

They're in the shop, if so :)

Always fun to try something new!
Speaking of new things...I'll be doing a Guest Post over at Butterfly Effect in December!  It's very exciting for me...I've never Guest Posted anywhere before....heehee!

Until that happens, check them out and link up your Goddess Themed stuff this week.
Next week's theme is Coffee or Tea :)

Thanks for ringing my bell and stopping by!
All my best,
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