Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm Back!

So glad to be home after a 9 hour drive. So sad to leave Family and beautiful San Diego. So sad to leave my sweetie behind. Dean's job there is taking longer than was first expected. I knew this was going to happen. It always does when it comes to remodels. The bad news is Dean won't be home until Friday, then he has to leave again Monday morning to go back down to finish up the project. The good news is he has had work non stop since he stopped working for his boss. We are very blessed.

Thanksgiving was a blast. The whole week was filled with family time, domino's, tons of tasty food and a few movies to boot. I was even able to buy myself some clothes with the generous mall gift card I received while I was at the Ellen show. $150 worth of clothing is like manna from heaven for us right now. The girls and I were totally spoiled the whole time we were down there. I can't wait to post some pictures in the next day or so. I even have pictures of the amazing outdoor BBQ that Dean built for his folks the last time we were down for a visit. 

I have a feeling that Dean will be working more and more in the San Diego area. Their are so many friends and family down there that have been lining up stuff for him to do if he wants. The idea of moving closer to family and lots of work is very tempting. There are a ton of things that would have to happen before we moved there, like winning the lottery (LOL) For now it's just a maybe. A maybe that will be considered with a lot of prayer. For now I will hold down the fort, and give lots of moral support to my hard working hubby. I know these days away from home are just as hard for him as they are for me and the girls.

Last but not least. I worked on some new stuff during the holiday. The cutie bugs should be done before this weekend along with a cute little lovebird couple. I am hoping to add them to the shop this Friday. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday. I missed popping in to see all of the fun and exciting things you are all working on. I can't wait to catch up on what you all have been up to. Take care!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Big Surprise

So the big surprise, drum roll please. Hubby, my mother in law and I all went to LA and watched the Ellen show. Cindy is a big fan and has been once before having a fun time, but got terrible seats. This time it was much different. My dear friend Kevin that I went to art school with writes for her show and he got us VIP tickets. It was a lot of fun. We sat in the third row up and in the isle seats so I think you might even be able to see us in the audience. Heehee. I am such a dork. It was fun to watch the show, Beyonce performed 5 times. I was just super excited to see Kevin. It has been 8 years since we last saw one another. The only thing that could have made the day perfect was if we could have all had dinner together like we had planned. Due to a double taping tomorrow, Kevin had too much going on. I miss my old friends from art school but it's nice to know they are all doing so well. So if you have a few minutes to watch The Ellen show today, look for me. I'm wearing the black shirt with a beige sweater shirt over it and I have a dorky ponytail. I also wore dark jeans and a cheesy grin the whole show. What a super special day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

La Jolla Stroll

Our drive to San Diego went smoothly. When we got here it was early enough for all of us to take the kids to the happiest place on earth, the one, the only, Chuck E Cheese (this of coarse is my least favorite place). However it was perfect for three little girls that had spent a whole 9 hours in the car. They all ran and played and I will admit, I had fun. Jenn and I played skeet ball to our hearts content.
It was so fun to see Dean. When we got the kids into bed, Cindy and Eric watched the girls so we could drive Ben & Cristin (Dean's brother and his wife) to the hotel near the air port. They flew to Amsterdam today for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Then Dean took me to La Jolla. We were there at around midnight, but it was still hopping. Restaurants were busy and people were strolling along the streets. All the boutiques and art galleries were closed but we window "shopped" if you will. It was a blast. Then we walked down to the sea wall and looked at all the sleeping sea lions. The baby sea lions are so cute. It was so magical spending time with my sweetheart. I love it that he took me to La Jolla because he thought I would love looking around. We had a blast. I am hoping to get away one more time with just him before we head back to Reno.
Hope everyone is having a lovely week. I can't wait to post about tomorrows surprise for my mother in law. It should be a total blast.

Friday, November 21, 2008

First Official Friday Update

Lil' Miss Cherry Picker

Do-se-do

Birdie Sisters

Unfortunately the little cutie bugs didn't quite make it to the First official Friday update, but be sure to look for them in the next update. I am super excited about putting all of these in my shop. All of the above work are originals by me. Each piece is made with lots of TLC. I am in the process of listing them right now. So you can check them out later this evening. Hope you are all having a most wonderful Friday.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sick Chickens

My little pumpkins are sick. I am hoping its nothing more than the sniffle kind. I will still be updating the shop on Friday, however it might take me a bit of time. The kiddo's needed a LOT of lap time today. I am excited to put all that I have been working on in their. Due to all the craziness over the last few days I am postponing my giveaway. I plan on having one in December for sure. 

Thanks for all your lovely comments on the new art. It is always fun to open up my blog throughout the day and see that you have dropped by to say hello. 

Aris Sings Happy Birthday

video

Cutie Bugs in Progress

I wanted to start my cutie bugs the other day, however I was having paper troubles. The background paper for the frames I have were just too small. I needed a background paper that had the same feel of scrapbook paper so it wouldn't spoil the flow of the image. When I was at Michael's last night, I picked up some of Martha Stewart's lovely 18"x 18" card stock scrapbook paper. It is perfect. Since I am working on two illustrations at a time I will forgive myself for not finishing tonight. These will be the last little guys I post in the upcoming Friday shop update. 

We will be heading down to San Diego for Thanksgiving this weekend. I couldn't be more excited. I can hardly wait to see my sweetheart. Although things have run so smoothly since Dean left (he's been working in San Diego for almost the past two weeks) I am missing that guy! I miss seeing his perfect nose and eating his yummy cooking (my girls miss it also). I miss our conversations and most of all I miss snuggling up with him at night. I just don't sleep as well when Dean is gone. Saturday will be a very sweet reunion indeed. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An Oldie but a Goodie

Why are these little birdies singing such a happy tune?

Could it be because they are so happy to see the little Birdie Sisters?

I do believe so. 

This is an illustration I did in January of this year. Sometimes I finish an illustration only to find the frame doesn't quite fit the feel of the painting. Thats what happened in the case of this little illustration. I was very happy tonight when I went to get an oval piece of glass from Michaels and I found a perfect frame for the little Birdie Sisters. This will be added to the upcoming Friday update.

I have another illustration I am hoping to get started tonight, however I have to finish up a little project for the JDRF. Look for another illustration soon. I would like to add one more item to Fridays update. So off I go to work my little buns off! If only I actually saw results (in the bun area that is :) 

P.S. Don't forget to go check out Sitting Pretty Studios Newest Giveaway. The handmade cards are just adorable. 

P.S.S. Their is another giveaway at Bloesem Kids. They are giving away a $100 gift certificate to the lovely children's store Chittypulga. If I won I would use it for Christmas presents for my little ones.

Newest Illustration

If life really is a bowl full of cherries,

Then this little gal must have the right idea.

Started and finished her tonight. The colors are better in person & I am hoping to capture the true color of this illustration when I am taking pictures on Thursday. It will come in the cutest little frame that is made from reclaimed wood & is in the shape of a house. I really liked the frame but deciding the perfect image took a little while. The frame is a shade of blue that I would associate with a beach house feel. I wanted to achieve the feel of a warm spring day. I think I was successful. Look for her in my shop update this Friday.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Newest Illustration

Laughing.............

Dancing.....................

Holding hands, er, wings..............isn't this what friendship is all about?

I started this as soon as the babies went to be. My little Sloan kept me company in the kitchen. While I worked she did a little craft right by my side. It was so much fun. I can't even tell you how good it feels to work on something, anything, finally. Going to my favorite scrapbooking store yesterday was a blast. I do believe it was the main reason the brain cloud that I have been suffering from suddenly disappeared. I just can't get enough of all these vintage inspired papers that are coming out. The colors are so yummy don't you think? Oh yes, and I have an amazing vintage frame to put this in. You can see this illustration frame and all in my Friday shop update. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Handmade Birthday

Yes this has proven to be a most delightful birthday. I wish my hubby could have been here, but other than that it was pretty much perfect. The kids and I played pretty much the whole day. We ate hamburgers for two different meals, and fries also. I bought some beautiful new scrapbook papers for my upcoming illustrations. We had dinner with my dear friend Clair at McDonalds. The kids played while we talked. It was a wonderful birthday dinner. Clair made me some hand knit wool socks for my gift. I love them. They will keep my toes toasty and warm all winter long. When I arrived home my surrogate Mom Brenda came by and brought me flowers from her daughter Candice (one of my favorite people) and homemade cinnamon rolls. I was so touched by all the thoughtful gifts. My heart is warmed by all their kindness. What a perfect way to end a most certainly perfect birth day.

Another year, another beautiful year has passed. How grateful I am for all the many years I have lived on this earth. Here's to many more.

*Image found via google

Under Construction

There is a whole lotta workin' goin' on heer (to be said in a real thick accent). Not only have I been working on quite a few new projects, I really felt it was time to clean up and clean out the ol' blog. Change is good. It has given me that little bump of inspiration I needed. I am excited, recharged and ready to get things going. I can't wait for next weekend. Not only am I hosting a Thanksgiving Giveaway, but I will be updating the shop. I am excited about all that is going on. I hope you will patient with me as I try to streamline my blog to make it more user friendly and more pleasing on the eye. 

Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!


Commissioned Watercolor Portrait GIVEAWAY!!!!

This is such an amazing giveaway hosted by Grosgrain. Suzanna of Sitting Pretty Studio had just hosted a portrait giveaway with an amazing response. I can understand why. Her watercolor portraits are soft and thoughtful. Kathleen was so impressed with her work that she asked Susanna if she could host a giveaway of her art on her very creative blog, Grosgrain. What a compliment. There is still time to enter this giveaway. So run over and leave a comment for your chance to enter this wonderful giveaway. Oh! and don't forget to visit Sitting Pretty Studio while your at it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Earth Friendly Friday


I thought it might be fun to try something new on my blog. Earth Friendly Friday. This is a post that if you like the idea, feel free to join along and add this idea to your Friday posts. It would be a chance to spread the word to all your family and friends about ways that YOU and your family are doing your part to implement the three R's. Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. And hopefully inspire others to join in on doing their part to take care of our beautiful earth.

Living in a smaller home has forced me to think about "stuff" in a very different way. When I say small home, I mean super tiny, like 740 square feet tiny. So I have to make every inch count. Not only do I have limited space to put "stuff", I found out very quickly that there were so many items that we "just had to have" but never really used. I used to buy whatever with not much thought as to where it would be a few years from now. However now I am more thoughtful about the purchasing process. Whenever I make a purchase of anything other than food, I ask myself these questions::

*Is this an item that I could buy 2nd hand? Thus reusing an item I need, that someone else doesn't. There are a few things I myself am not willing to buy secondhand. Underwear, most shoes (unless they look brand new) and items that can't be laundered or cleaned/disinfected before I use them. Everything else is fair game. I have been known to rescue Little Tykes outdoor furniture out of trash heaps. Crazy? Of coarse! I am saving money and a perfectly wonderful plaything from the dump. I always give them a good scrub down and let me tell you, my kids have been playing with them for the past 6 years. I feel most people set outdoor toys like this by the curb in hopes that someone will pick it up and reuse it. 

*Am I really going to use this item?  How often do we find ourselves buying something only to realize a little later that not only did we never even opened the package, but you wasted money that could have gone to something useful.

*If I decide I want to purchase the item, how long will this item last me?

*Is it made with enough craftsmanship that it will last for years to come? Sometimes paying a little extra is worth it in the long run.

*Is this something I can recycle when I am done with it? When I no longer need an item I don't just toss it out. No way. I usually ask if any of my friends need it first. If no one is interested (you never know unless you ask) I take the item to a center donation center like Goodwill.

What are ways you help to reduce, reuse & recycle?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Creative Rut?

I feel like I am in a creative rut. You know how you feel when the weather changes? Like you have to clean out closets and get ready for the next season? This is how I feel about my blog. I feel like it's time for a change. Like I need to revamp and update and clean house. I have a ton of new art I want to post, a giveaway coming up the week of Thanksgiving, and hopefully Friday night a new fresher look to my blog. 

I love hosting my giveaways, however I think it would be so fun if more people entered. Any tips on how to host a successful giveaway? I am wondering if maybe I am not going about the giveaway process the correct way. 

Dean left for San Diego yesterday and we will be joining him the week of Thanksgiving. I have some super fun things planned for my mother in law (can't tell them yet, just in case she reads this post) and I can't wait to see all my family and friends when we get there. Mostly I can't wait to snuggle up next to my sweetheart again. I don't sleep so well when he is gone. 

Off to the craft room (corner of my kitchen) to get going on all the ideas I have just waiting to make their way into my ETSY store. Look for a shop update this Saturday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Totoro Forest Project


I love this movie. The first time I watched it was in art school. It is a magical movie about two sisters and their family. My sisters grew up on this movie and now my girls are also. There is an English dubbed version for little ones that can't read yet. I highly recommend the 90's version. Not the Dakota Fanning dubbed version. No offence to the Fanning sisters, but the earlier version is much better.


I just found this blog today and I think it's a real treat for all ages. If you have a chance drop on by the Totoro Forest Project. Pull up a chair and let your kids enjoy all the beautiful art also. I promise when your little ones watch the movie, they will be drawing Totoro's for days. The movie is sure to be a hit. If you like Totoro, Hayao Miyazaki has made several amazing films over the years. He also is releasing another full length animated film very soon about a little boy who finds a fish. It looks very cute. I think the fish is actually a little girl. If any of you are Miyazaki fans please feel free to let me know which of his films is your favorites. 

P.S. Don't forget to add Totoro to your "to do" list this weekend.

**To find this DVD/ Video on line type in the key word in google (My Neighbor Totoro) that is the official title of the movie. Hope that helps. A ton of listings came up for me.

Old Red Barn Giveaway

Cute new Banner

Don't forget to add this to your side bar & link back to Dana's page for 5 extra entries.

3, yes 3 gorgeous quilts. All of them are too yummy for words.

I can hardly stand it! I would be happy to win any one of these (the pink & brown one is my favorite) 

In case you have never heard of Dana and her wonderful blog Old Red Barn Co. (what rock have you been hiding under) Now is a perfect time to get acquainted. Not only does Dana make lovely homemade all natural soaps, she is an amazing photographer and has great taste in music. She also hosts a quilt giveaway every now and then. These are no ordinary quilt giveaways. Nope. These are events. Gatherings of friends and strangers alike in blogland. All casting a hopeful comment. That maybe, just maybe ol' random number generator will pick our number. Oh Mr. Generator, please pick my number. So run on over and leave a comment for Dana, and if you win and it is because I told you about this awesome giveaway, feel free to send the quilt to one Summer Swanson, Sparks, NV. I certainly wouldn't protest.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Your Opinion Please

So the other day, Saturday to be precise, Aris was sooooo grumpy. So I picked that little stinker up and put her shoes on and we headed out. I had to get out of the house. The walls were closing in on me. So I headed where any normal thrifty house wife would head, the clearance section of RC Willeys. Now Dean cringes at the mere mention of this name. Due to the fact that I always find something I just can't live without. Yes that is where we found our lovely computer cabinet, and our leather furniture. So I went into the store and strapped little stinker into one of their clever little strollers, and we headed to the dumdumdum, clearance section. Of coarse there were many lovely items to be had for a great price. However all were just a little to expensive. I did however find this little number. It is supposed to sit on a dresser. I think it could work as a furniture piece all by itself. What do you think? It was too good of a price to pass up though. So even if it doesn't fit in this corner I can find another home for it. I might even paint something on the cabinet doors. So your opinion please, yes or no? Does it work?

To finish the story:: Little stinker was still being a little stinker. The trip never really solved that problem. It was however fun to spend some time with just her. 

Cost of shelf:: Originally $240.00
I paid:: On sale for $20.00

Just couldn't pass up such a good deal. Plus it's real wood, not the pressed fiberboard stuff. I found the amazing basket that fits perfectly underneath at TJMaxx. 

It's in the Mail Baby!

Me! Sending out mail? Well I'll be darn. Look for it soon my friends, look for it soon.

A Sneak Peak





Just a little sneak peak. I am working on finishing up one project for JDRF. Then I have a few little sewing things on my list and last but not least a ton of paper illustrations in the works. My shop is empty. I would like to fill it to the brim before I leave for San Diego.   If you have some art coming your way it will be at the post office no later than the end of this week. ( I am terrible at mailing things) Hope you all are having a very creative week.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Whole lotta workin' going on

Dean has been working on a few little things around the kitchen. In case you have just found my blog for the first time, the kitchen remodel has been going on for almost 3 years now. In my husbands defense we have made a decision together. We don't want to go into debt to get the kitchen finished. This is the real reason this project is dragging on and on and on and well you get the picture. So anytime another something is done in our humble home, their is such a sense of happiness in my heart. Dean is working on mudding the walls and the next step will be texturing and painting. Soon he will hang up the cabinets. When I say soon, I mean by next Spring. So I will keep you posted on the progress and I can't wait to someday, hopefully next year, post pictures of the big reveal.

Buckle

video

Aris would "buckle" all day if we let her.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lookey!

Look what my dear friend Suzanna from Sitting Pretty Studio sent me. I saw this at least a dozen times in the store but found it hard to pay the almost $8 to buy it. She surprised me with it as an early b-day gift. I am so very spoiled wouldn't you say?

It is packed full of many of my favorite artist's and ideas from the past year of magazines. However don't think it's just a repeat of what you may have already looked at. No. It is also full of many creative websites and tons of resources for artist's and crafter's alike. I have still seen a few copies here and there. So run, quickly before they are all gone and get yo self a copy! Hurry your little buns to the store, hurry now. 

Thanks Suzanna for the magazine. I will use it for years to come.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Just Another Friday Night

Aris wearing Sloan's glasses. I love all the cute little faces here. 

Aris with Sloan's barbie horse.

Zoe and Daddy had a little jam session. She was concentrating so hard in this photo.

This was a perfect day. I feel a lot better than I did yesterday. I took a nap with the little ones. I cleaned the whole house. Played with the kids. Spent time with Dean. Life is good. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

On my List of Things to do.......

This would be a fun and simple project to do. I am putting it on my list of things to do for next Halloween.

*Image found at Better Homes and Garden

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Best Use of my Time

Sorry for the lack of "Artistic" posts. Sometimes I get a little distracted. Sometimes by mistake, other times on purpose. Lately it's been a little of both. I just really felt the need to step back and evaluate how I was handling some of my interpersonal family relationships. I will admit that sometimes I feel like I fail (more often than not) when it comes to being a parent. Sloan is my biggest parenting challenge. Lately I felt the need to really focus more positive energy on her. I find myself being so negative with her at times. I think because she acts so mature sometimes, I just expect more from her. I have to remember she is still a little girl. She needs my snuggles and positive words and hugs and kisses just as much as the little ones. 

So I have been focusing on my little ones, and letting my art suffer a little. I do have a ton of ideas floating around in my head. Now I need to get to work. My sweetheart will be heading down to San Diego this weekend. I never sleep very well when he is gone. Soooo.................... 

Fortuneteller say:: I foresee a lot of artwork in the very near future.

I think the Fortuneteller is right.

Grampa David

Zoe and Grampa. They really were sleeping. That little furry thing under the blanket by Zoe' arm was an owl that Grampa bought Sloan. It just cracked me up that they fell asleep like this.


This was the busiest weekend. It was a weekend filled with a unique wedding of my very dear friend Kathe, a super fun dinner with friends, and a visit from Grampa David. Now let me start with a special fact. My girls have several sets of Grandparents, and my girls love them all so very much. Each and every visit from every grandparent is special. 
We love when David & Roberta come to visit. I wish Roberta could have come this trip. She is a very talented crafter and I am waiting for the day she can teach me how to knit. I miss you Roberta, hope to see you soon. 
David of coarse spoiled the girls (all the grandparents tend to do this) and I don't think the girls could get enough snuggle time with him. I can't think of anything on this earth that is more important than family. Words can't even express how much I love my family. It's this feeling in my heart, an ache, when I think of how much I love all of them. I am truly blessed. 
We are hoping to go to San Francisco to visit David, Roberta, and the girls before the end of the year. We can hardly wait. Thanks David for another lovely visit. Can't wait to see you guys in December.

What I wish I had in my Daughters Closet

This one is only $260.

You can have this lovely number for your little pumpkin. It's only $308.

Both of these lovely creations can be purchased at the oh so yummy Flora & Henry.  

Leaf Creatures

I gave the girls Q-Tips to use for the glue. This is a trick I learned at the preschool I used to work at. So much easier than squeezing glue bottles, and the girls were able to control the amount they applied to the back of each leaf.

For Zoe this was a good project for building hand eye coordination. Sloan however really got the concept, not only did she make a few "leaf people" she made a leaf dog as well.

Look at that mischievous little face. Aris loves to buckle the belt to her booster seat. If I let her, she would do this all day long. 

When we left church yesterday the girls were freaking out about all the beautiful leaves that were on the ground. I told them they could take two leaves home each. At first I was like, just a few girls, visions of crunched leaves all over my kinda clean car. Then I thought to myself, wouldn't it be fun if they could make leaf people out of all these leaves? I am sure I looked a little crazy grabbing handfuls of leaves and throwing them into my front seat (yes there are still leaves in the front of my car, but they sure are pretty). Sloan thought I had lost my mind. "What are you doing Mom?" She asked. When I told her, she could hardly wait to start our art project. I always forget that it's usually the little things that entertain. My girls had a blast doing this little project. What are you doing with all of the lovely fall foliage around your home?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween Wedding & Halloween Fun

Me as the Witch & Jennifer as Frieda Kahlo

So silly, the Witch & Dorthy & the Cowardly Lion.

Carla & Sloan


This family was so cute. I loved the parents costumes. Still one of my all time favorite movies.

Was this not the greatest cake? It tasted wonderful. Red velvet cake with a cream cheese filling.

& they had the cutest yummiest food to eat. All of it had a Halloween theme.


My little Sloan and I. 

The groom as The bride of Frankenstein & the bride as Frankenstein. 

The wedding party did the dance to Thriller for the reception.


This was Kathe's mom and dad as The Devil wearing Prada & the dude from the Matrix.

I was sad that I missed my little Sloan trick or treating with Abby. I am so grateful that Kirstin took pictures of the whole event.




Oh, and I almost forgot! These are pictures of the lovely things that my swap partner Amy sent me (these pictures are from Amy's blog) She made almost everything. I have all of the items throughout my home and they are so very fun to look at. I will use them for many years to come.