Thursday, April 30, 2009


Hopefully I'll finish up tonight. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

JDRF Gala Painting Progress

So very grateful I have all but one of the paintings sketched out. What's that you say? You see an extra mermaid sketch in there? Yep it's true. As soon as all the paintings are done for JDRF I'll be adding the extra mermaid to the shop. Also hoping to add some other fun paintings too.

Worked on these little gals last night but didn't get as far as I wanted. Sleep sounded just a little too good. I was exhausted. Today however I'm ready to rock the casbah. Well I was ready to do that until I looked up all the possible meanings. Haahaa. I am however ready to bust a move on these paintings tonight. Hum? Maybe I need to get a little more sleep than I thought, I'm making wayyyy to many old skool references right now. Off to make some homemade pizza and then start the night routine. I'll post an update tomorrow on the mermaids. 

Don't forget to enter the Springtime giveaway! Just go to the little bird to the side of my blog and leave a comment in the giveaway post for your chance to win over $100 of handmade goodness from 4 different artists. Winner will be picked Saturday evening!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spring to Finish & JDRF Art Update

The first three paintings for the big JDRF Gala. I am also putting these three paintings toward the Spring to finish event that's going on over at Tall Grass Prairie Studios. Tonight I will be working on the three mermaid paintings. I've already sketched & prepped all the rest of the canvases. Now my goal is to finish as many as I can before Thursday. Not just for Spring to Finish, but so I can take the paintings to Molly & the girls to be packaged up for the auction. Once I'm done with all the paintings I can get started on paintings to fill the shop. Oh, that and finding a dress for the big night! Whoot! Whoot!

I have oh so many fun things to post about very soon.

Don't forget to enter the Spring giveaway! Just leave a comment in the post below. There are just four days left. Be sure to drop on by all the girls lovely shops & their blogs to say hi. The winner will be picked on Saturday evening. 

Friday, April 17, 2009

Artfulife's First Ever Springtime Giveaway!

I am so excited to present my very First Ever Springtime Giveaway
I say "my" but really it consists of myself and 3 other very talented and lovely artist, crafters & creative women from all over the country. All of us wives, some of us mothers, many of us have never met in person before, but all connected by a love of art. What a wonderful benefit of the blogging community to surround yourself with others who inspire and encourage. I feel very blessed to call each and every one of these bloggers a friend. So join me, if you will, to celebrate Springtime & creativity in this very fun and awesome giveaway. 

You have a chance to win all 4 items!

Hi. Hi. I'm Tamara Brink (tams). The artist behind the blog TaMs! I'm an elementary art teacher by day and a painter, doodler & designer by night. I graduated from the Rocky Mountain College of Art & Design & live in Denver Colorado with my amazing husband (Vito) & my Dynamite dog (Cassius). I love taking photos, running, baking,spending time with my husband & eating hot dogs with ketchup. Yum!

I have always loved creating. I grew up in Idaho watching my mom sew, craft & bake & she taught me how to use my hands to create *magiC*. I really love the process of dreaming up designs & transferring them to paper, canvas, fabric, & wood. I started my etsy shop about a year ago & sell digital prints of my drawings. Soon I will be opening a *NeW* shop with screen printed fabrics, housewares, & even baby clothes. I have a blog that I update regularly with fun pictures & projects I'm working on. So drop on by and say hEllO!

#1:: Two prints of your choice from TaMs Etsy shop

Hey there from Reno Nevada! My name is Claire and I am a wife, mother to three beautiful children, & creative genius behind Mt. Rose 431 Shop. I love to knit beautiful things whenever I am able.

#2:: Cutie Pie cupcake hand knitted by Claire

Bonjour! I's 2009 & I can feel the winds of change....much like the character, Vivian Rocher in Chocolate. To live simply is something I am striving for more than ever this new year. My husband, three children, & I have all been learning to enjoy life's little pleasures...the sound of rain as it hits the elephant ears in the garden, the glorious smells of lemons, fresh sheets on the bed, sketching & coloring as a family, reading chapter books aloud at night, & discovering what truly matters. Art Nest is a place to celebrate everyday beauty, hard work, living creatively, artistic achievements, & remembering to live simply. Visit my Etsy store here!

#3:: Darling Pincushion ring

The last of the items to be given away is an original by Me! Summer, of Artfulife. In case this is your first time visiting,  I am a wife to one sweetheart, a mother to 3 sweetiepies, & an artist. I created Artfulife as a way to share the my attempt of living a life filled with beauty & creativity.

#4:: Little Miss Redbird original painting on wooden plaque

How can I win All 4 of these handcrafted items? 
All you have to do to enter this fun giveaway is to leave a comment & link back to to this post. A winner will be chosen by random number generator on May 2nd. If you want to add the button at the top of this post to the side of your blog please feel free! We all hope that you will spread the news of this super giveaway with all of your friends and family & Happy Spring!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Yes it's past 3 AM. Umhuh, I'm heading to bed. Yep, the two paintings above are almost done. For sure, I'll be taking a nap tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

One Down......15 More to go!

I thought I would give you a little sneak peak at the first of the JDRF paintings. I am almost finished with it. I am adding scrap booking paper to the sides and back. I also want to try a technique I have seen some of my favorite artists use. I am going to attempt some glazing with a little paint added after the fact. Jenn of Noodle & Lou is one of these artists who uses this technique. Jenn, thanks for inspiring me to try something new. This is also the first of many projects I am hoping to finish up for Spring to Finish. 

The past two days were spent taking care of sick little ones. It involved a weekend of random barfs (I won't go into detail). So I spent a lot of time snuggling up sick kiddo's and watching my sweetie build my little dream space (he is so amazing). Tonight I was invited to come to a local quilters group. I really enjoyed meeting all the nice ladies of the group. There was so much talent there, I know I will learn so much from them. I look forward to the next meeting. Every month they give a challenge. The challenge for the next meeting, is to make a fabric bowl. I can't wait to learn how.

*I hope you will all come back this Thursday for a super fun Spring giveaway! There are some super yummy items that will be given away to a very lucky winner. 

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tollipop Giveaway

The lovely artist and creative genius behind Tollipop is hosting a one year anniversary of her blog. In honor of this one year anniversary she is giving away not one, not two, but three paintings to one lucky winner! So run on over and leave a comment for a chance to win some of her beautiful work.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Space of my Own


Saturday morning started with a platform & quickly shaped into this.

Our little design team.

At the end of Saturday Dean had done all this. Not bad for a days work, right?


Sunday Dean worked super hard to make the dormer and finish up the rest of the framing on the shed/studio/playhouse.

Zoe was so pleased with herself for climbing up and down the "limer" which really means "ladder"

Sloan playing on the swing.

Daddy's little helper.

Zoe watching her daddy.

Love this.

The end of the day & the weekend. I am amazed the Dean built this much of the structure in just two days. He's going to work on it again next weekend. The girls can hardly stand it. They are so excited about having a new playhouse. I'm so excited to have a space to call my very own. It will start out mainly as storage for all of my supplies and fabric, but it will also serve  as a starter studio too. I can hardly wait either. The second floor will have a small porch with a ladder going up, a climbing rope, & a slide for coming down. A tire swing off to the side will add some more fun for the girls. Deans also building a deck with some Trex decking supplies that he salvaged from a job a few years back. The customer didn't want it anymore, it was just too nice to take to the dump. Another really amazing thing is Dean was able to purchase all of the cedar for $50! He got it from a lumber yard up at Lake Tahoe. All the guys there know him, and the other day when he went to get some supplies for a deck job he's working on they were discussing how said lumber needed to be thrown out! Thrown out! All because it had been in the yard too long. Dean offered them $50 and they sold it to him. It saved us a little over a thousand dollars. That's how much it would have cost if he had to buy it retail. What a blessing huh? When all is said and done this shed will have cost us just a fraction of what it normally would. We are tickled pink. Plus I feel so good about reusing supplies that would have gone to the dump otherwise. Can't wait to share the progress with you guys.

Happy Easter!

*Image found via Internet

The girls woke up super early this morning. I made them stay in the room while I slept in the bottom bunk, and they played, for one more hour. Then we all went into the living room where the bunny had left a little basket of treats for my little bunnies! The girls were so eager to look at everything. I think everyone was happy with what they got. The bunny brings just a little candy to our house, he must know that Sloan has diabetes. What a smart bunny! He likes to bring a few special treats that the girls can play with instead.

At breakfast we talked about why we really celebrate Easter. The girls love talking and learning about Jesus. Now we are getting ready for Church. Hope all of you are enjoying your Easter Sunday with family and friends.

Friday, April 10, 2009

My Newest Project

I am so excited that I can finally tell you all about the newest project I've had the pleasure of working on. I have been commissioned to design 14 cards for a new company called Simply Sweet Marriage. Heidie, came to me with the idea and asked if I would be interested. I was. Simply Sweet Marriage is a very cool company. 

Heidie says, "When we decided to create this company, one of our first goals was to help marriages thrive with knowledge. We wanted couples of all ages and stages of life to have a curious mind, and seek new levels to deepen their passion. To some it is to discover new adventures. To others it is to rediscover and or rekindle a fire that when fed properly will grow into warm flames of desire. Wherever you stand, life can have more passion and more meaning as you breathe love into your heart, by opening your mind.....your body is sure to follow. Discover our products and uses. Read good books. Ask questions. Know your spouse, No really get to know the love of your life. Make your marriage a Simply Sweet Marriage." 

Simply Sweet Marriage offers a variety of intimate products, apparel, and resources all in a safe and tasteful environment. You won't find any pornographic literature or smut on this site. Very refreshing. Simply Sweet Marriage also has a blog where you can enter for monthly giveaways and find out all the news on up and coming products.

& you can also download one of my cards for FREE!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

"Spring to Finish"

Find out more here.

I really love Jacquie's blog. She is an amazing quilter and so very talented. I thought this was a fun idea. A spring to finish all unfinished projects by the end of April. The more projects you finish the more entries you can receive in a giveaway. I have so much to do I thought this would be a perfect way to keep me focused & maybe even allow me a chance to win some fabric. Fun! 

Tonight I gessoed as many canvases that would fit on our table and the empty chairs in the dining room. Last night I sketched out almost all 20 of the paintings. It really helped me to not feel as overwhelmed as I did just hours before. I never used to be very organized, and probably am not at all compared to some people. I am finding however that having at least a small plan of how I need things to work, is working in my favor these days. I will post some pics tomorrow of the works in progress.

On another note, I have been working on my cooking skills. I never really fancied myself a cook. I always felt it takes too much time to do. I have been choosing my recipes on Sunday, Dean buys the ingredients and then I cook every night. I think in the long run it even saves us a little money. The awesome thing is my family actually likes what I'm cooking! Did you get that? Crazy huh? I'm using yummy recipes from Real Simple, old family favorites, Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, Sunset, and many others. I'll be posting some of the yummiest ones very soon on a very special blog I'm working on with my dear friend and fellow blogger Susannah of An Art Nest.

Hope you all have a wonderful Friday!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

So Much to do

I wanted to take a few pictures of Zoe with her baby. She loves her little Doll. My mum & dad bought it for her on her first Christmas. It was a little more than most dolls but not as much as some. The reason we went with a Madame Alexander doll is because a little girl at the school I was working at had one and Zoe loved to carry it around. They are about the same size as a bitty baby. I adore their little faces with the vintage feel. She is always being such a good mommy with her little doll. Still hasn't named her yet, I'm sure one day she will. Today when she was going down for her nap she dragged her little wooden cradle into our room, wrapped her baby gently in a little blanket, rocked her for a few minutes while she talked in a sing songy voice to her, and then gently put her to bed in that little cradle. Be still my heart! It almost brought tears to my eyes. So I wanted to take some pictures of those little hands with the dirt under the nails (hey what can I say, she likes the dirt too) holding her favorite baby.

Just a little painting I started.

I spent most of the weekend sick and feeling pretty much lousy. I slept and slept and slept some more. It felt good to get caught up on some z's. Now it's time to get back to work on all of the many projects I am trying to juggle. If you are still interested in donating something for the upcoming JDRF auction there is still time. Just email me so I can send you the proper forms. Thanks to all you lovely ladies who have so graciously donated your talents to this worthy cause. 
I will be trying to post as often as possible on the works in progress. They will all be going to the auction, and whatever they don't need will be going to my shop. Dean was such a sweetheart, he sprayed all the canvas' the other night with a primer paint. Now all I have to do is, well, paint my little buns off! Dean and I have kind of a little wager going on. He doesn't think I'll finish very many, 10 maybe 11. I'd like to prove him wrong (a little friendly banter) Do you think I can do it? Wish me luck, I'd like to at least finish 15-20. I'll keep you posted.
Until then.Hope everyone is feeling healthy happy and having fun.