Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Aris!

Hard to believe my baby just turned 2! Seems like yesterday I was at the hospital waiting to see if my contractions were going to get stronger. I kept telling the nurse that I deliver fast. She didn't really take me too seriously & said I could stay in the room, they would monitor me from 2pm until 5pm and if I hadn't progressed they would send me home. I was only at 1 cm. Dean was still at work and I was all by myself. I was fine with everything until the screaming from down the hall started to get to me a little. By this time I was starting to really have strong contractions. At 5pm the nurse came in to monitor me. The look on her face said it all, I wasn't going anywhere. She quickly called the anesthesiologist. Only the normal guy who did the epidurals was busy with the screaming girl down the hall, I later found out she almost died & that was why everything for the rest of us was moving so slowly. I didn't mind. Needless to say the new guy doing the epidural really didn't know what he was doing. The epidural never took. I kept waiting to stop feeling the pain, kept pushing that little button, nothing but one very numb left leg and butt cheek. Dean finally showed up, my dear friend Carla was there. Thank goodness. My husband is awesome but not very helpful when it comes to delivery. HE stands by my shoulders but can't handle much else. Carla had always wanted to see a live birth & I invited her to be a part of this one. She was awesome. I delivered naturally and needed the pep talks that she gave me. Delivering naturally is the most painful and empowering experience all wrapped up into one. If I have the chance to have another little one, I will do it naturally again. At 7cm the Dr. told me to push. Three pushes later we had the sweetest baby girl. She was perfection. Looked just like Dean even though he swears to this day Aris looks like the mailman, he's such a tease. If you saw our mailman you would think this was a very funny running joke. Being a mom is the most rewarding job I could have ever hoped for. Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for all three of my little monkeys.

We have been having so much fun with Susannah. So far we have gone to some amazing yard sales, my favorite quilt shop, my favorite toy store so she can take treats back to her three little ones, walking, eating some yummy pies and cakes, talking, laughing, and just having a blast all around. Tonight I'm taking her shopping and to downtown to show her our casinos. Tomorrow we are going to the opening of Art town and get to see Richie Havens perform. Thursday we will be heading up to Lake Tahoe to spend the day at the beach and have lunch with Dean then watch the sunset. A last hurrah if you will, sadly she will be leaving early Friday morning. One week is just not enough time. I'm grateful for what memories we are making though. I really hope we get to see each other sooner than 9 years from now. 

Hope everyone is having a lovely week. I'll be sharing my newest card for Simply Sweet Marriage in the next few days, and more pics. Take care & big hugs to all of you.

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Day After Jitters

So I'm in awe at how many people entered for a chance to win "Quilting Among the Sunflowers". Every once in a while as an artist you go through slumps where you wonder if what you are doing artistically is really the right path. Sometimes you compare yourself to other creative or artistic people. Sometimes you work on a style and wonder if it's really what people want to see. As much as the creative process is personal and for yourself, I don't care who you are, it makes you smile to know others enjoy what you are doing. So you can imagine the size of the grin on my face all day yesterday and today....probably for a few weeks to come. This was such a confidence boost. One I really needed. I am my own worst critic.

Things are not going to slow down. I have three projects in full swing at the moment. One for this wonderful site. Two that will hopefully be in the shop soon. Mostly we will be spending some time over the next few weeks with family and friends. Doing a little traveling here and there & I can hardly wait to make all those fun memories. Does get me thinking about how fast this year is flying by though. To fast don't you think?

The funnest news is my dear friend, more like a sister, Zana of An Art Nest is flying in tonight to stay for a WHOLE WEEK! EeEEEEEK!!!!! I'm beyond excited. I haven't seen her in almost 9 years and we have some real fun stuff planned for while she's here. I plan on taking lots of pictures. Thanks again for all the compliments on the painting. Look forward to showing the newest work very soon. Hugs to you all & hope everyone has a super duper weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Quilting Among the Sunflowers"

It's finished!

"Quilting Among the Sunflowers"

I painted "Quilting Among the Sunflowers" with acrylic paints on an upcycled canvas. It measures 19.5" x 28.5"

I am just tickled pink with all the lovely comments I have recieved from total strangers. Thank you for dropping by & saying hello. Please feel free to drop by anytime.

Just in case you didn't know "Quilting Among the Sunflowers" is being given away on the lovely blog of Dana over at Old Red Barn Co. Be sure to drop on by her blog and leave a comment for your chance to win this ORIGINAL painting.

Best of luck to you all!

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Little Bird Told Me......

That this painting is almost finished, and that a big surprise is planned for it.

Go visit the Old Red Barn Co. NOW to find out more. 
& Yes I'm totally jumping up and down.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Work in Progress.......

Oh yeah! Here's a sneak peak at the newest painting in progress. Did I mention it has to be finished by tomorrow????

4 Times

Zoe playing with her phone.

Wyatt & Aris playing in the pool last summer.

The girls helping Dean wash the car.

The girls with Blu.

OK, here is the way you play the game::
In your picture files, go to the 4th album, then go to the 4th picture. SHOW & TELL!
Then go down 4 more albums, go to the 4th picture, SHOW & TELL! Do this 4 more times.

Ready, set, GO!

Thanks Cart Before the Horse.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

3 Little Dancing Monkeys

I started these little guys on Tuesday night around 8:00 pm & finished them up right at 5:30 am Wednesday morning. I haven't pulled an all nighter in years. A friend of mine asked if I could make some art to go along with this darling bedding line, pop monkey. The reason I had to pull an all nighter, well silly me, last minute Larry that I am totally forgot she had asked me to do some artwork. I had planned on starting them Sunday but I was unable. Monday I started painting and the painting just looked horrible. So I had to start from scratch. Sometimes things just don't work no matter how hard I try to make them. So when I started on the paper monkey illustrations they just flowed. I was super happy. They measure 12"x12" each, and are made with cut scrapbooking paper & glue. I think they turned out not to shabby for one nights work. My husband was a little bugged that I stayed up all night to do them. He's worried about me not getting enough sleep. He does have a point. I really do need to get more rest. I hope that my friends sister in law likes these and that her little one enjoys them for years to come.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Sloan!!!!!

Card from Great Grandma Swanson

Hard to believe that my little Sloanie is 9 today! I sure do love her and it is fun to watch her grow & change. I feel lucky to be her mom. Love you my little birthday girl! 

Thank you for all the prayers! She is feeling really good today. I wasn't trying to worry anyone, just felt my lack of usual posts deserved an explanation. Plus I felt it was important to share the information about aspartame poisoning. If that post even helps one person, then it's a good thing. I have some new art to post tonight. So drop on by later if you aren't too busy. Thanks again for all your concern. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Little Bologna

I hesitate writing this post for a number of reasons. I never have been a huge fan of bloggers who week after week inundate their readers with a list of complaints. I mean we all have things that can bog us down. It doesn't make sense to share every frustration I have with the rest of the world. I do my best to portray a very realistic view of mine & my little family's day to day life. I just choose to share the happy and beautiful parts of it. Not that I am trying to "hide" the other parts, I just find they are a little less interesting. However things have been a little stressful lately. My little Sloan is having some health problems that are taking some extra time away from other things. She is suffering from several heath issues, her blood work has comeback and she has elevated levels with her autoimmune system. She has been referred to several specialists. Life has been filled with one Dr. visit after another. As a parent I am watching my child suffer joint pain, severe headaches, terrible back pain, dizziness, blurred vision, ear pain, throat pain, unexplained itching on arms and shoulders but no rash is present, mood swings, abdominal pain, chest pain, and fatigue. I am watching my daughter change right before my very eyes. It's scary & I feel so helpless. Sunday evening ended with an ER visit. At church she started looking a little pale, by the end of church her teacher wouldn't leave her until I came out into the hall. She was a little worried by her behavior and how sick she looked. By the time we came home from church she was pale and listless with slowed speech, pain in her right ear and her lips were turning grey and purple. She was shivering and running a fever. Low sugars and keetones were ruled out. She started running a fever and acting irrational. I called her Dr. and asked if I should be concerned or if she thought this might be an ear infection (Sloan suffers from these quite often). She thought it best to bring her in. At the ER they ran tests and couldn't find anything. She had some wax in her right ear but that was it. I've never seen Sloan look that sick before.

Someone dropped by my blog the other day. In one of her posts she mentioned something I had never even heard of before, aspartame poisoning. I thought, what the heck is that? So I googled it. Let me tell you it's scary stuff. Sloan consumes lots of sugar free foods & drinks in her diet. Most diabetics do. There is a list of 92 different symptoms, Sloan is suffering from quite a few that are on the list. The fact is most people who suffer from this poisoning are misdiagnosed as suffering from autoimmune disorders ranging from lupus to MS and a long list of other debilitating diseases. Since Sloan has elevated levels in this blood test that are pointing to one of these diseases, the Dr.'s didn't feel I was crazy.
I was almost to afraid to talk to her Dr.'s about this find, but I did anyway. They are on board to have her tested for this to rule it out before she visits all the other specialists. This could be what's causing all of her pain and suffering, if not then we will take the next steps needed to get to the root of her illness. I am in no way trying to self diagnose my daughter. I do however think that this is a possibility that is too real to ignore. Wouldn't it be wonderful if correcting Sloan's symptoms was something as simple as a change in diet? Eating healthy fresh and whole foods is something we should all be doing anyway.

You can find out more about aspartame poisoning by googling it. There are just too many sites to list.

If you or anyone you know has any further information about this, please feel free to email me. This information is new to me and I am still researching it. Of coarse the people who produce aspartame say it's harmless. To that I say, you are enjoying your multi billion dollar industry way to much to care about the health of individuals. 

Hope everyone is well. I want you to know that I am visiting your blogs & I try to leave comments as I am able. I promise to keep you updated as we find out more about what's going on with my little Bologna. Hugs to you all!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Happy Birthday!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday Zana! 
Hope you have a super special day. Can't wait to see you in two weeks. 

*image found via internet

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Fresh strawberries anyone?
Hope to have this one in the shop tomorrow.

Monday, June 8, 2009

A Little Planning

If you came by my house this week, this is what you'd find. A whole lot of scribbled notes and sketches in my sketchbook. Canvases all over the living room, it's starting to drive my husband a little crazy. It's all for a good reason though. I'm working on planning out my table for a craft & art fair that will be at the end of July. It seems so far away but it will be here faster than I will want it to be. I feel that I need some careful planning for this one. I don't want to spend the last two weeks before the event frantically painting and gluing down papers. Nope. So I have already started sketching out the mermaids and under the sea creatures. I sketched up the last 9 of the round girls portraits that I would like to do. I also have some paper illustration ideas I would like to incorporate in the show too. My hope is to list them in my etsy shop first and whatever doesn't sell will come with me to the show. I am super excited. Even if I don't sell a thing, I feel it's really good practice for doing bigger an bigger projects.

One of the newest illustrations. I am almost done with it. I still have to put a finishing coat on it and I can't decide if a little worm will be added or not. I've been wanting to do an alphabet series for quite some time now. This was a practice piece. The "a" in the corner is a little lower than I would have liked it to be. Overall I still think it's fun. I hope to finish a few of these over the next month also. I would love to know what you think about these as a possible addition to the shop & the art fair.

The sketch on the left is for a BIG surprise. When I say Big, I'm not joking. Can't wait to share it with you all very soon.

Found this little guy at a yard sale this weekend. It's perfect for holding little paintings. Best of all it only cost $3!!!! I've been wanting one for quite some time now. It's not vintage but super cute and functional just the same. I will work perfectly for display on my table.

We are still recuperating from all that sickness last week. Everyone is well, just a little tired. So I have been enjoying the yummiest naps in the afternoons with my little monkeys. This is Sloan's last week of school. Summer officially begins for us next Monday. I couldn't be happier. She's excited too. My goal is to help her learn the basics of sewing. She is thrilled. Also planning for two birthdays at the end of this month. Hard to believe I will be the mom of a 9 year old. 

Wanted to share the newest card that I designed for Simply Sweet Marriage. Simply Sweet Marriage is a website, where you and your sweetie can purchase items to enhance your marriage in a clean and tasteful environment. They are awesome! Run and check them out. You can find the newest card here.

I would love to hear some ideas of things you would like to see in the shop. Feel free to leave comments if you'd like!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Afternoons are Full of.......

Rollie Pollies

Bare feet

Planting pumpkins


And Teepee's

After almost a week filled with sickness, it was such a delight to spend the last few evenings having fun. We've been getting a nice amount of rain over the past week. The weather started out mild at the beginning of the week, and has turned quite cold. Summer shorts and sundresses have been replaced with jeans and sweatshirts. I know it won't last but I am enjoying the lightning storms and cool weather. I have heard people complaining, but I love it. 

What do you think about that cute little teepee Dean built for the girls? He came inside the house the other night and wanted me to come and see what he had made. It was almost 10pm. What on earth could he be building at 10pm? I walked out and saw that cute little teepee. He just melts my heart all the time. Seriously, how cute is that? The girls love it. 

Working on a lot of house cleaning and some new art. Hope to show you some of the new works in progress tomorrow.