Saturday, December 31, 2011

Tears & New Year's

I cried Christmas morning.
I did. Sweet, happy tears.
Somewhere between childhood and now, I have morphed into my Nana Midge.
She always cried when she got gifts. 
I cried when I got my daughter's handmade gift from school.
I teared up when I got my sweeeeeet caran d'ache crayons 
and PITT pens. (Yiipppeee!)
But, I felt like bawling my eyes out when I opened my new 
Canon 50mm 1.8 lens.

I, no...I adore this lens.
It is amazing. :)

Some pictures from Christmas...

A sweet handmade ornament
A new bike
Baby Alive
Walking off the goodies
My sis in law & brother having some fun
Our sweet dog resting after lots of excitement  

Ahhh, the wonder of Christmas
I must have missed the "make a face" cue.

It is now the last day of 2011.
Crazy. Where did that year go?
There have been many ups & downs this past year. 
The same for you I am sure.
All I know is that I am looking forward to the new year ahead.
It is new and so full of possibilities.
There are so many things to look forward to and embrace with arms wide open.
Let's run into 2012 feeling brave and ready to grab every opportunity, shall we?
 I hope you have a spectacular New Year's!
One of the paintings I made for gifts. :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!


 The gifts are wrapped.
Cookies are decorated.
Christmas music is playing.
My hubby is preparing the cinnamon rolls (YUM!) for the morning with the kids.
Soon we will put our jammies on and read the Christmas story.
Then after a couple of hours of stuffing stockings & preparing for the morning, we will crawl into bed filled with gratitude for the greatest gift we are 
honored to celebrate.
From our home to yours...May your Christmas and New Year 
be full of love, blessings, and joy.

Merry Christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Forty One

 Tuesday was my birthday.
I am 41.
I think my heart just started beating faster. 
When I type that number, I don't connect it to me.
I don't feel 41. My friends & family say I don't look 41. 
That is why I love them. :)

I have learned a lot this last 40th year. 
Some big "Aha" moments and some small little silly things.
I thought I would share some of them.

1) God is so good. HE is faithful and HIS timing is perfect.
2) A broken heart can heal, gain strength, and fill with happiness.
3) ART is my passion and I am blessed to do what I love.
4) I can still groove with girls half my age. 
5) My daughter is growing up into a sweet, independent girl with a beautiful, 
bright, creative spirit. Boy, do I love this girl. 
6) Time goes by so fast. I savor my sweet days home with my little guy - who has stolen my heart. He makes me swoon. :)
7) I can live without cheese, milk, meat, eggs, AND chocolate. :)
8) A vegan diet is SO delicious and makes me feel a million times better. 
9) Two year olds say the cutest things in the cutest way.
10) I miss being in the classroom.
11) I am enough. There are always things to work on, but I am OK the way God made me. :)
12) Dreams have NO age limit.
13) A hot date to me is dinner, coffee, my man, and a bookstore. 
14) True friends don't expect...just love.
15) Sometimes seemingly "negative" things are really blessings in disguise.
16) I love blogging. I do. Big puffy heart, warm fuzzy - love. I love reading about you, 
hearing your stories, seeing the 
endless creativity, learning from you, 
sharing with you, and the comments fill me up. 
Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!
I am looking forward to another year. Aren't you? I am anxiously awaiting the journey God has in store for me (and you) this coming year!


Friday, December 16, 2011

Doodles, Flowers, and Painting


I have been wanting to doodle.
Just simple black pen on paper then watercolor or acrylic.
There is something very liberating about not using a pencil, right?  
(Thank you Elisa Choi for some pen only inspiration!)
Just picking up a pen and going for it.
So the other night I did just that...doodled.
Just a pen and so much fun.

Going crazy with the pen...

I loved doodling so much that I went from my journal 
to a small canvas (6x8) and added acrylic.

So, I have also gone from Christmas trees to bright, doodled flowers. :)
We'll see what inspiration pops up next.

(Blogger has given me SO much trouble tonight uploading these pictures! Arghhhh! 
I want to rip my hair out. Anyone else have Blogger problems?)

I am joining the arty parties at Paint Party Friday & Studio JRU.
Hope you have a wonderful LAST weekend before Christmas!!
(Holy Cow where did that time go?)

Friday, December 9, 2011

It crashed

6 comments main home computer. I nearly had a meltdown. That computer holds every picture of my kids...every little video I have snapped during the day, my daughter's year at school, their births, past holidays. It has it all. I am fabulous at taking a gazillion pictures, but not the most diligent about printing them out or doing some kind of scrap booking (Are you a scrapper? How do you organize your pics?). I mean, of course I have some framed pictures, prints in a box, and stuff on my phone - but, it is not the same. My hubby is very computer savvy and we have an external hard drive that backs up regularly, but it wasn't working correctly. I could see on his face that he was getting a little worried...and he never really looks worried. (We are a good balance because I usually freak out...immediately. He is Mr. Cool, Calm, & Collected. lol)

After some tears (ok a lot), computer work by my very smart husband, and vows to start creating some digital scrapbooks, my pictures have been saved! But, needless to say I have not been able to blog or visit others much this week. I still can't work from that computer or access photos easily, so I thought I would share some things I am loving, obsessing over, and some that I hope end up under the tree for me. :) You might find something you like too!

I am loving this CD. I am a Buble fan and love his "old school" style. Gets me in a festive mood!

Source: via Tina on Pinterest

Frosted Willow on Etsy has so many delicate bracelets that I am swooning over. I love them.

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

Boots, boots, boots! I want a pair in every color. :) Do you wear boots? 
Do you have some favorites?

I am loving all things white Christmas. I have too much red in my Christmas stash to create a real white wonderland in my house. BUT...I am looking forward to making some things myself and the after Christmas sales to stock up for next year. :)

Gingerbread houses!! We are having our annual Gingerbread decorating party with my BFFs & their kids tomorrow. It is one of my favorite things we do during Christmas. SO much fun! Ummm, and the adults get pretty serious about their decorating. LOL.

Simple, recycled, craft colored wrapping. Soooo many different
things I could do!

Source: via Jen on Pinterest

Gray and turquoise together is my absolute favorite color 
combination right now. I just LOVE it!

I hope you had a fantastic week full of fun. I hoping to make some time this weekend to visit all my creative friends and see what you are up to. :)


Friday, December 2, 2011

23 days

until Christmas. That's it. 23.

 6 X 8 Canvas Board - WIP
 It's funny. when I was a little girl I remember it taking 
FOR-ever for Christmas to get here.
Now. I am going to blink and it will be over. Right!?
Luckily, I got an early start on shopping and I am making lots of gifts too.
(Well, my adorable son decided he needed to open one of his wrapped presents. That's what I get for leaving a 2 and a half year old alone with wrapped gifts! Funny part is - when I asked, "Who did this?" 
He said...and I quote..."Daddy did it!" So funny.)

In between cleaning up wrapping paper and finding really good hiding places for presents, I did get some painting done. I am still loving the trees (see above), 
and I also made a bunch of backgrounds. I used Christmas tissue and 
wrapping paper in some of the backgrounds for texture. Love. There are so many yummy ones to choose from too! 

Backgrounds to work on!

I hope you have had a great week.
Is it "all about Christmas" at your house now like mine?
(My daughter slept in reindeer antlers last night, nutcrackers are now action figures, and all my doors jingle.)
Oh, and if you have some good hiding places - let me know! :)

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday & Free Shipping!


 Hi everybody! 
I hope you had a beautiful weekend.
I just wanted to let you know that from now until Christmas, everything in my new shop will ship for FREE to the US & Canada. 
Plus, I have reduced rates for everywhere else!
Not just today - Cyber Monday - but, all the way to Christmas! :) 

I will continue to stock my shop through the month of December, so come back as many times as you'd like! I am currently working on new necklaces, magnets, canvases of all sizes, ornaments, and sweet little peg dolls. So cute!

Happy Shopping!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Happy Friday

Tree of Joy - Sold . Thank you!
  Yes, yes...Happy Friday to everyone. I hope everybody is well and rested - not fighting the crowds here in the states on Black Friday. If you are - I hope you got what you needed and made it home safely. It can get kinda nuts around here with people trying to get a good deal. I cuddled up with a blanket, cup of coffee, my computer - and STAYED in BED! :)

Ever since my box top tree, I have been slightly obsessed with painting Christmas trees. I have them dancing in my head, not sugar plums. I seriously need to stop. I did paint a little girl. But, I think I need to start painting some snowmen or something. The trees are so much fun though. I think they would make darling little gifts, or maybe painted on little gift tags. Cute, right?
I am all about doing my own gift wrap this year. I did buy one roll - 
I HAVE to have something for my hubby. (His wrapping would make you giggle. You can spot it a mile away. lol) But, back to the one roll I bought - it is all trees. See, slightly obsessed! :)

6 X 8 on canvas panel
  I have been busy finally starting to fill my ETSY shop. It is kinda scary isn't it? I have visited so many beautiful, beautiful shops filled to the brim with gorgeous-ness. It can be very intimidating. But, I remind myself that everyone has to start somewhere. That each one of my little baby steps is one step closer to reaching dreams that for a long time, were to scary to even 
put out into the world. I know I will continue to grow and learn. :)
I am SO ok with that!
( Update : Before I even got this post finished, I sold a tree! A cute, little whimsy tree has found a home! Thank you!)

I am really looking forward to traveling around and seeing all the creativity at Paint Party Friday. Plus, I read so many amazing blogs - truly inspiring! Who needs magazines anymore, I have so much to read online! (Well, except Somerset - I need those!) I have also gained new followers, which makes me so excited & happy. When I started this blog, I wanted to experience this wonderful art community & gain new friends. So I thank each and every one of you who take the time to visit, read, look at, and comment on my bloggy home.  
(It means the world to me!)

Have a wonderful weekend!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christmas Tree Box Art

It is that time.
The mall is already crazy.
Christmas commercials are jingling.
Lights are being strung.
Lists are being made.
Peppermint Mocha has arrived at Starbucks.
Thanksgiving...have you already passed?? 
(We start celebrating Christmas earlier & earlier each year it seems! lol.)

4.5 x 10 Shoe Box Art
 So in preparation...our Christmas bins have started coming in from the garage and the kids are all about doing some winter art. This year I really want to focus on all things handmade & simple. I want to make lots of new decorations, transform stuff I don't like anymore, 
and make many of my own Christmas gifts.

The other night, I used a shoe box lid again to make some Christmas art just like I did here. It will be a perfect little addition to a wall somewhere. 
I love that it didn't cost a dime and of course that a piece of trash has been 
turned to treasure. :)

 First, I covered the box with some torn or cut magazine pages and sheet music. I really like the texture that the magazine creates. I love when you can see little bits popping through. After that I stamped, painted, wrote, and scribbled to grunge it up. Then I drew a whimsical tree. I added buttons using Mod Podge and added some finishing touches. 
Quick, easy, and festive!
(I loved making the tree so much that I am painting some on canvas board to add to my shop!)

Are you making any Christmas gifts or decorations?
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Journal Love


Last Tuesday I painted live (using the computer of course) with others ... for another one of Amy's online workshops. It was so fun! There I was on the couch, paints thrown about, laptop on the coffee table, my little one watching a movie before nap, (it just has to happen sometimes - Mommy needs to paint. LOL!) and me painting away. I adore technology. How cool is it that people from all over can come together...over the computer...and "hang out" with paint in hand. So awesome! 

Amy's (so talented AND wickedly funny) class wasn't a directed lesson, but as soon as we started, she challenged us to just paint. Go for it. Don't think too much. Don't care about the outcome. Just paint anything that came to mind. If it is ugly - keep going. No plan - just go! OK, for this very planned (total perfectionists raise your hand) person...that's hard. But as I have said in the past, that is a HUGE problem for me. I  a) THINK about the painting too much before I even start b) worry about the outcome before I even start the first layer c) become attached to layers I am going to cover which equals fear to take the next step d) get stuck - a lot.

I needed the nudge. I needed someone to say, "Who cares if it looks like crap." Just have fun and experiment. That is what I did and I had so much fun. So thank you Amy (and classmates!) for helping me free up a bit! 

After finishing the owl, I found an empty page in my journal that I had already covered with old book pages. I started by painting the border from the same colors I had for the owl, then decided to do a portrait in watercolor. I really wanted the words to show through. I love the way that looks. 

It was super fun (did I say that already!) and I hope to do it again.  
(This weekend Manon will be painting live on Saturday and Amy will be painting on Sunday. 
It's free! It's live!)
I am not sure if I can make either of them, but they are taped. :)

I am SO glad it is Friday, aren't you?? SO happy that Thanksgiving vacation starts today!! 
Any exciting holiday plans???

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Even in the Rain

I just wanted to share a quick little journal page
I was working on this weekend. 
I was thinking about a line in the song "Beautiful Heartbreak" that says,
" I take the rain with the sunshine."

I love this saying because it reminds me that I have to SEEK. I have to seek out that sometimes alluding beauty in a "storm". I have to find the sweet moments where I can savor the goodness with gratitude...even in the rain.
It makes the sunshine that much sweeter. :)

I hope you are having beautiful Tuesday!!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sharing Art


 Today I was able to pop into a live class that Manon (a part of Amy's FREE art classes..hello, FREE!) was giving on creating her adorable little girls. By the time I was able to sign on & sit down, the class was just about over. But, I quickly grabbed my supplies, my art journal, and dove right in. It is so absolutely fascinating to watch artists work. I love to see the process...don't you?  I didn't even have time to join in the chat (boo!) and just started painting. 

I did learn today that I don't have very creamy, delicious watercolor crayons. I have a very inexpensive set that was a little frustrating to use, but that is the beauty in playing. I discovered new ways to blend with my little cheapies. :) I have to admit though, I am VERY happy that a set of Caran d'Ache crayons are on my Christmas list. (That link is for my hubby!! lol) 

 Manon's sweet little creations are so stinkin' cute. Adorable. It was so fun to watch her create (It was taped too! Find it here.). My girl turned out a little wonky...but I like her - and her big bug eyes! :)

Thank you to Manon for sharing her art and all the other generous artists 
who are so open with their skills. 
I have learned so much from you!

I am sharing my inspired painting at Paint Party Friday and In the Studio.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011



 Yesterday I read a wonderful post on Christy's blog and was introduced to Hilary Weeks' music. She sings an amazing song called Beautiful Heartbreak.
I was so moved by her video.

It just made me think about how strong we all are. That human spirit can endure the worst and still come through tragedy or heartache victoriously. I know we all get that miraculous strength from different places - God, family, friends, our children, a song, inspiring words, strength in others, etc - the list is a mile long. I am so amazed by what people can overcome. I would never wish heartbreak on anyone. EVER. But, I think if we all could wear signs (like in the end of this video) showing the dents we have in our hearts, we may just treat others (and ourselves!) with even more love and compassion.

HE Gives me Strength 5X5 stretched canvas 

 Adding this to This Art That Heals - Word Art Wednesday.