Friday, December 30, 2011

New painting of baby barn owl

I haven't been in my studio much the last two weeks because of Christmas break, but I did manage to paint this baby barn owl right before Christmas. I thought it turned out wintery looking, probably the blue background. It is acrylics on wood (Luan).

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While I hate the word cute being used to describe art, this little guy is kinda cute, huh?

It's Paint Party Friday! Take time to visit the other artists and their work if you have a chance. Lots of talent!

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

First Snow

Today we woke up to our first snow. Pretty, white, fresh and


 if only he could reach the falling flakes. Such sweet little hands.

Stay warm, xx
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! All the presents are unwrapped and toys are being played with. Ham will be going in the oven soon, cheesy potatoes, green beans and other yummies will all be consumed. Pecan and pumpkin pie, oh my.

Wishing all my friends the happiest of holidays and Merry Christmas today!

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Butterfly Housing

I've been working on painting a butterfly box for a Christmas present and I've got it finished except for the clear coats. I used acrylics and of course I had to add a little metallic paint and what perfect place to add that but the only colored butterfly on the whole box. It looks a bit like a hot mess in these photos, I took them at night. But it really does look better in natural light.

close up of metallic butterfly!
I've been sick this week and to add insult to injury, I fell down my very wicked stairs last night. I am so very sore. I couldn't even sleep on my injured side last night.

wicked stairs - see my slippers? that's where I landed.
Luckily, I landed on my very cushioned caboose and didn't break anything, bone-wise. It could have been very ugly. These stairs are wicked I tell you and there is a brick floor at the bottom. I was at the very top and took a step or two down (I had slippers on) and I felt it slide out from under me and down I went . I think I even bounced. I landed where you see the slippers, about half way down. Like I said it could've ended very badly. At least I didn't have an audience. I won't be wearing those slippers again. This is a good reason to try and talk my husband into a main floor studio!

Happy Holidays!
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Monday, December 19, 2011


I won, I won! I was lucky enough to win this fabulous print of "Hootie Clause" by Heather Foust of Let the Journey Begin. If you are so jealous that you must have your very own, lucky for you that she sells them in her Etsy Shop here.

It's going to be a great week!

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Old Man Sun

Happy Friday! One week until Christmas Eve, can you believe it?!  Have you got all your shopping done? I'm pretty much done, a few little things here and there.

It's Paint Party Friday! Yay! So today I want to share a drawing that I've actually re-drawn and re-purposed. It was fun to do different things with this piece and I kinda had the feeling of reckless abandon since it was a print. I got the idea from my friend and artist Diane Salter of My Art Journal. If you've not visited her blog, you need to go if for nothing more than inspiration. I'm linking up with her tutorial page.

Here's my original

I drew this with Prisma Colors quite a while back and like it and plan to frame it, so I don't really want to sell it. I've had offers to buy it, but I can't let go. I'm bad about that. So I found this idea on Diane's blog and tried it with my Old Man Sun.

You scan or photograph your original. (I photographed b/c it was too big) Then print it out with some thick paper and do whatever you want on the print. Easy peasy, right? and fun! I wanted to bump up my colors on my print so I ended up drawing the entire piece over again only this time with these new (to me) crayons called Caran d'Ache Neocolor I Artist Crayons. Wow! What color and fun these are. They are water soluble so that just adds a whole new dimension to our projects. As I was getting the link for this post I just discovered they have metallic crayons too! Oh be still my heart. I'll be getting those for sure, cause I love me some metallic.

I ended up doing a few different ones including this one with my favorite metallic shimmery powders and made a treasure box that I'm happy with. I've got it in my Artfire and Etsy shop.

I also made this other one on a board and don't know what to call it, a plaque? or wall hanging? they both sound silly so I haven't listed it yet. Any suggestions?

Here it is, slightly different than the box and for a different use. I love the streaky look of the metallic. Pictures are hard to capture the shimmer, but shimmer they do!

So there you go, new uses for old art. Thanks to Diane :)  Now go visit the other Paint Party Players.


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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Customized Treasure Box

What do you think?
I made a new treasure box for one of Asher's little friends late last week. He was invited to a birthday party and I thought this would be a good opportunity to make a custom treasure box and then take pics so I could try to sell them on ARtfire and Etsy. She seemed to really like it and all the little kids "oooo'd" when she opened it, which is a great sign and made me feel good. Asher was so proud. He had made her a birthday card and couldn't wait for her to open it.

Five is such a cute age. But unfortunately, with fun, birthday parties and lots of kids come lots of germs. The party was at a gym that has gymnastics and they all just had a blast. There were trampolines everywhere, balance beams to climb on and inflatable bouncy houses. But the star of the show was a sponge pit.


I refer to it as the Cesspool of Snot. So... today Asher missed school and has an ear infection. Oh well, goes with the territory. I just hope I don't get it, seems like germs just know when vacation or holidays are coming don't they?
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Hamburger Stew for a cold winter's night

I've got a recipe to share today and it's perfect for this time of year. With all the big dinner's going on and family over but you still gotta make your normal every day dinners, this is great to have around in the fridge. It just gets better in the fridge as a matter of fact. It's also one of those recipes that you can add or delete whatever you have on hand. It's filling and warm good comfort food. I hope you enjoy it :)

Hamburger Stew

  • 2 big cans of whole tomatoes
  • potatoes as many as you want
  • carrots about 2 lbs.
  • onion
  • garlic
  • hamburger, about 2 pounds
  • tomato sauces (according to how much you want to make, i.e. how soupy. Sometimes I use a big can of spaghetti sauce)
  • sweet basil
  • oregano
  • salt + pepper

So the first thing I do is get a big pot and get my sauces and tomatoes simmering with the spices in it. This way they get all yummy and flavorful. The longer it simmers the better. 

Side note: This is perfect for my tomatoes that I've frozen from my garden. If you've never done this, it is sooooo much easier than canning. Just toss your washed and cored smaller tomatoes like roma type in freezer bags and freeze those suckers solid. No blanching, no peeling. When you pull them out of the freezer to use, the skins slide right off as they thaw. Great for sauces, soups and chili's.

I then peel my carrots and cut them up in 1" bites and pop them in my micro cooker with a little water to steam them in the microwave. I like my carrots real soft, so I do this instead of just letting them cook in the sauce.

I'm usually in a hurry, so I cut up my potatoes and usually cook them up in my pressure cooker which takes like 3 minutes. I should probably just toss my carrots in there too. You could also just cook them on the stove or microwave.

Then I fry up my burger with the onion and garlic. Drain the grease and add to stew. Let it simmer. You really could serve it up right then, but I like to let all the flavors come together. Serve it up with some butter bread and there you go. Like I said, it is even better the next day.

Let me know if you try it :)

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Pirate Ship Treasure Box

My last art show is over for the year and it was fun. I had a roomie in my booth, my friend Amelia and I shared a booth. That makes the day go by a lot more smooth and it's also more fun to have someone to laugh and gripe with. Sales were decent and I did more face painting which is such a kick. I even wore my own snowflake glitter tattoos. Fun :)

If you saw my last post, it was about a painting of a pirate ship I did. I put that painting on a box and many other illustrations with it. It was the very first piece to sell and here it is :)

I used prints of my original paintings and illustrations so I can recreate this box, although it wouldn't be identical which I don't want anyway.

I'm linking to Paint Party Friday =) Check out the talent!

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ahoy me matey

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving was wonderful. I had a rather dull one this year. We had plans to eat with Daryl's family but I had been sick and they were 7 and a half hours away, so that fizzled. I had no intention of cooking, so we had to hit the town to see what was open, and not a 2 hour wait. After checking three other restaurants we ended up at Denny's. Woo Hoo. Actually, it was really good but not terribly traditional. I got the turkey dinner, Daryl got a cheeseburger and Asher got chocolate chip pancakes. But we were all happy and we were together so that's all that matters.

On the artfront... I have been busier than a one legged man in a butt kickin' contest! I've got a show this weekend and I'm trying to get some new stuff ready for it and it is coming together rather slow. I've got new ideas but they are not quite coming together, yet.

I've drawn the pirate ship along with other pirate stuff for some boxes I'm making for boy treasure boxes. Or girl, I guess. I mean, I like pirates. Surely some girls do too.. haha

So here it is all painted in. I made the mistake of not using watercolor paper. I used 300 series Strathmore Sketch paper which says it's for watercolor pencils wet or dry, but I got a little ambitious with the water and then added real watercolors on top of it. I tried to iron it with my regular iron which helped a tiny bit, but it still looks pretty warpy. I've seen tricks where they spray the whole sheet of paper on the back with water to straighten it out, but I'm afraid to do that since it's not watercolor paper. Any suggestions?

I'll be 'round to visit all ye skally wags soon.

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Saturday, November 19, 2011

Treasure Boxes

I've been painting some treasure boxes the last couple days and here's one I call Indian Sun. I have a show coming up and I thought I'd offer some new things for Christmas. Although at the rate I'm creating these, I might not have many to offer!

I had an eye in the center of the sun motiff, but decided I didn't like it. So I filled it in.
Then I felt it needed more embellishment, so I started playing around with some bling...

Ehhhh... not big enough and not quite right.

But this... this I like. And so it is.

I have another box that is ready to show you, but I need to take some final pictures to show it off. I will tell you it's a pretty and shiny snake head! If these don't sell at the show, I'll be adding them to my Etsy and Artfire shops.

Thanks to all you guys... my friends, fellow artists, creative minds, and incredibly talented bloggers. You are wrapped up in one as the people who always bring encouragement and love with your comments. I love you guys! Our "little" online world... it is fantastic!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

ARtisan StARs

I have been working on a new project for Christmas. I have been asked (along with other artists) to create an ornament(s) to be sold for a club called Junior League, which raises money for different causes to help the community and of course I said yes ;) While this is partly charity, I will be compensated some what for each one.

After thinking about what I could create for a while, I came up with painting a wooden star I call ARtisan StARs. They are about 7 inches in diameter. I will create them as the orders come in. Right now, I've just provided two prototypes. Tonight was the reveal meeting, so I hope my ornaments were well received.

inked in the design before I picked up Asher from school

I got my husband into the act, he is cutting the stars out of wood with a scroll saw. I drew the pattern and he cut them out. He's pretty handy to have around, I guess I'll keep him.

sorry about the poor lighting, I was painting in the studio at night
another night time shot
These are fairly labor intensive but I enjoyed making these. I've got about two hours into each one not counting cutting out time. I didn't get a picture of the final product which just has a gold cord on it so it can hang from whatever. I will also have silver cord.

Each star is unique and I couldn't make two exactly alike if I tried. I've used my india ink and metallic paint technique. The designs are spontaneous. I love the way the flat black contrasts with the metallic sheen.

"Candy" - more traditional Christmas colors. Both sides look pretty close.
"Ribbon" - my kinda Christmas colors ;)
swirl side of "Ribbon"

Wish me luck!
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