Friday, December 31, 2010

Goodbye 2010 and new Treasury

Today marks another year gone by. Can you believe it? I've been thinking of things that I want to do or change for my life and self in 2011 much like New Year's Resolutions but not so rigid. Of course lose weight is in there... ugh. But more importantly I'm still trying to figure out just who I am. Still at 40, ha ha... Who am I? Who am I as a mother? Who am I as a woman, wife, daughter? Who am I as a friend? Who am I as an artist?

I intend to explore the last one in great detail this new year. I feel I am at a crossroads with my artwork. I am not satisfied with much of what I've created and feel I haven't really been creating from my heart. What I really want to create. It is easy to get caught up in trying to guess what will be well received and therefore purchased and all the while lose what it was I was trying to convey with my art and get out what I was truly feeling when I started to create it.

Maybe fear has been interfering with the process as well. Fear of letting someone down with what might come out on paper or canvas. My fear that I'm not good enough, which I'm sure plagues lots of us. Fear of just getting it started and a big one for me, fear of it not turning out as I envision it and letting myself down.

A creative opportunity has presented itself to me as of late and I'm waiting to find out more but I have high hopes and it has renewed my creative spirit which is great even if this opportunity doesn't pan out.

I really enjoy keeping up my blog with tidbits from my life and art and I love it that you peek in and occasionally comment. I so enjoy reading about my online friends too and find great inspiration from all of you. May this new year be the greatest year of our lives so far!

Oh and quickly, one of my greeting cards with my photography has been included in a pretty Collection on Artfire. I also have this card in my GeeJayCreations Etsy shop.

An Artfire Collection

Be safe my friends. Let us not forget the past, but look brightly towards the future. Happy New Year!

"This Artists Observations of the Day"

Feeling of the day: Happy and looking forward to a new year!

I'm lovin': getting some snacks ready for a party tonight with good friends

My view: my son watching cartoons

I thought about today: my mom and how her life shaped mine

I miss: sharing talks with my mom

Best thing I did today: sleep until I woke up!

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Did you make your Christmas Wish?

I always make a secret Christmas wish on Christmas Eve. Usually around 3 in the morning while I'm still wrapping presents. This year, I'm wishing to not be such a procrastinator. Ha Ha, we'll see.

Here are some pictures from Asher's very first school program, the Christmas Program. It was so cute hearing all their songs and seeing their performance. What big voices from tiny little mouths! They were all little elves. I volunteered at the school to help make the hats and made about 12 of them or so. They ended up looking like shower caps, but still darling. Each child picked out their tissue paper color and tinsel for the rim. They were so proud. I was in the front row and Asher was having a great time as you can see from the pictures.

Asher laughing and enjoying himself
Preschoolers and Kindergardeners together

Me and my little Elf

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and took a moment to remember why we celebrate that beautiful day. I believe Jesus was born the Son of God and He is my Lord and Savior. What ever you believe, I think most people take comfort in knowing a Higher Power and He is mine. Bless you all.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Decor tour

Welcome to our Christmas Home Tour!
I've got lots of pictures, so I'll try to keep it short and sweet.

Our Christmas tree, as you may know, didn't get it's usual decadent treatment this year due to the kittens and Asher. It's a pitiful little thing but it does have some ornaments that we've made together to liven it up that I'm sure I'll treasure down the line if they make it past this year! Ha ha...

Let the embarrassment begin.
Poor crushed tree
Our tree started out looking nice and fluffed up. For about a hour. He started to put the cats in it and just flattened it and then the lights started getting pulled every which way so I gave up. That's when I came up with the home made ornament idea and thought I'd dress up other areas of the house that I'm going to show you :)
Star cut out by me and glitter by Asher.
Ornament shape
Star topper
Here's what I've got scattered around the living room, dining room and entry.
So when you enter my home the first thing you see is our staircase and my old upright grand piano all decked out with shiny tinsel.
Stairs that lead to my studio to the right

An angel that my mom gave me. I'm afraid to add her to the top of tree so I added her here

I like the white from this magnolia. I wish I had bought more last year when they were marked down so cheap.  I may do more white in the coming years because my house is so dark.

As you turn left, you enter the living room and see the fireplace glowing with my poinsettia garland that I added twinkle lights to.
and the stockings all hung from the chimney with care in hopes that St. Nicolas soon would be there
I like this the best I think, the fireplace with this garland.
So as you walk towards the dining room, the stairs to the basement gets gussied up with a wreath.

Here's my snowmen gourds! Yes, I kept them ;^) I normally have my grandmothers very old nativity set here, but thought it best not to get it out with the kittens jumping up and playing with everything.

Snowmen gourds
And here is a print out of all these pictures I took of Asher during his first Christmas. I keep meaning to find a cute frame for it to display better, but I just have it leaned up in this area for now. He was 9 months old. Oh, how cute!

Look at that toothless grin!
So here is the same hat, same kid... only here he is 4 and three quarters! My how time flies!

With the twins...
Asher, Lightning (L) and Thunder (R)
Finally with Zoey...
So I tried to get cute and put the hat on the dog, but she just wanted to chew on it and now it stinks like dog. Thank goodness for Febreeze.

That's about it. Notice there are no presents under the tree because Santa hasn't come yet. At the rate Asher is going he may find out what a lump of coal is this year. Sorry this turned out to be longer than I intended but I felt you all needed the details of the tour... hee hee

Merry Christmas to you all my friends!
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Monday, December 20, 2010

Great Cake Balls of Fire!

Cake Balls
This past weekend we had our family get together from my mom's side of the family and I took the usual meatballs and weenies with sauce. I was also asked to bring a dessert if I could, so I thought I'd get fancy with some Christmassy looking dessert. I thought of Cherry Cheesecake because that is pretty and always a hit, but I would have to make a lot of pies to feed everyone. My Aunt Jane has the cookies market cornered and everyone has their "Specialty" dessert that they bring so I had to get creative. Well, with creativity comes trouble sometimes. I spent more time and effort on these dang things and they all only ate a few. It's those cookies that went like hot cakes and the dirt pudding. Ugh. Why is it when you try the hardest to make something nice and special that either it goes unnoticed or poo poo'd all together?!

But aren't they pretty! They taste great, too. They are like Crack! Very addicting. This is not the recipe you throw together a hour before you have to leave for the party, let me tell ya. If fact I will tell ya:

Cake Balls
1 cake mix, baked according to directions (any that you want)
1 can of icing (that will taste good with the cake!)
Almond bark or chocolate chips for melting and dipping the balls into
decorative sprinkles or nuts (optional)

  • Bake your cake and let cool but not completely cold. 
  • Crumble up the cake (I used a wooden spoon) then add the icing to the cake and mix it all together. You could use a mixer if you want but it only took a few minutes to mix it all together. If you use a warm cake it will be a gooey mess, but yummy to lick your fingers! 
  • Place the mixture in the fridge overnight or for a few hours. 
  • Next day roll balls out of mixture and place on parchment lined pan (or wax paper, whatever you've got) and place in the freezer for 15 minutes or so. I use this time to melt my chocolate. I used Almond Bark and to make it a little more Christmassy, I added a half a teaspoon of peppermint flavoring to the melted bark. I'm not sure I'd do that again, it didn't add the pizazz I thought it would. 
  • If you want sprinkles, ass soon as you coat one ball, have the sprinkles ready to throw at the ball as you lay it on the paper. It hardens almost immediately. I used a big tablespoon and my fingers mainly to twirl the ball around in the bark. I tried toothpicks but that was taking too long. 

I store these in the fridge, but I don't know that you have to.

Easy but time consuming. Costs about $5 or less to make, I'd say. You could make the balls bigger or smaller. They do look pretty, don't they!

Merry Christmas! (a wee bit early)
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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Test your color vision!

I read this on another person's blog and wanted to test my own hue distinguishing ability with a Color Challenge. I was amazed to have scored a 4, especially since I had barely been awake for a hour! haha  The lower the score the better.

So go test yours, it will take about 10 minutes. They said women are much better at distinguishing the hues than women. Well, yeah! We always notice more things! ;)

go take your test here

here's my results:

"This Artists Observations of the Day"

Feeling of the day: stressed - I'm not ready for Christmas, it's almost here and I'm not ready!

I'm lovin': that song for Target's Christmas commercial Is It Time Yet? I can't Wait

I am wearing: my purple robe, still ;)

I thought about today: the list of a million things to do and there was ice storm last light and the roads are horrible!

I miss: homegrown summer tomatoes and watermelon!

Best thing I did today: take a color test, made me feel that I can do something pretty good!

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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Making kitty proof ornaments for our Christmas Tree

Star for top of Christmas Tree
Here are some pictures from our ornament making session last night. There was a lot of blood, sweat, tears and glitter glue. The star he's working on is for the top of the tree. We are in my very cramped studio. I still haven't gotten the larger room ready to turn into a studio. Actually, I'm taking over the whole upstairs and keeping this yellow room I'm going to call my "Drawing Studio" because I have a drafting table in it that was my dad's. I'll use the other room for mixed media maybe. I'm not sure yet. I don't know yet if it will even work, but we'll see. See my studio pictures here.

apparently it needed more glitter
Well it got ugly before it ended but that's life with a four year old. He's in time out as I write this... haha...

We made more ornaments today and used yet even more glitter and put up the ornaments that had dried from last night. They won't win any contests but we had fun and the memories will last a lifetime, but the ornaments may not last the season with the kittens. I'll just have to take more pictures.

I thought no better the day to start this back up again. It may be sporadic, but oh well, it's here today :)

"This Artists Observations of the Day"

Feeling of the day: relieved (I don't have to get out in the cold!)

I'm grateful for: glitter glue

I am wearing: purple and blue

I thought about today: things I can do once the holidays are over (sheepish grin)

I miss: carefree living

Best thing I did today: Put up ornaments on Christmas tree that we made together

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Monday, December 13, 2010

OH NO! Not A Snowday!!!!!!

This is me going outta my mind

Today is not a proud day for me. One day I actually thought I would be this cool mom for my kid and like all the fun things that I thought was great when I was a kid and celebrate that fun with him. But today I think I found out that I am not going to be that cool mom. I am going to be the mom that loses it. I may be turning out to be that mom that is barely keeping it together with nothing but chocolate, a lock on the bathroom door and knowing I've got a few Xanex in a little sandwich bag from a friend in my bedroom. I may be the mom that my son will have to visit in a little rubber room. Let me tell you about my day today starting with last night.

It started last night when I got the call that there would be no school because of the winter storm that came through on Sunday. Great. I never thought in all my life that No school would be a real bummer but I have reached that day. I have to admit that the wee bit of time that I get to myself 3 times a week has been a saving grace from the rubber room. We were out yesterday in the mess and getting this and that and I told Asher that we would put the Christmas tree up when we got home if Daddy would help get the boxes out of the attic. He was elated. It was a bit treacherous and it wasn't ten minutes after we got home that Daryl got a call from a buddy that he was off the road and needed help. So I had to schlep that crap down from the attic myself. I start getting the tree up and fluffed up and he's dying to help. Nothing he can really do that doesn't require me to re-do. Then the lights, 2 hours later he's flopping around, getting into stuff and generally getting on my last nerve because he's tired and hungry and so am I. I had to stop to make a late sandwich for us and then bath and bed for him and shower for me and collapsing on the couch about 11:30 pm. The husband still not home and conveniently missed all the excitement.

So today after picking up the tree off the floor for the umpteenth time I yelled (at the TOP of my lungs) "THAT'S IT! We are NOT putting ornaments on the tree this year!!!" I may even end up taking the thing down. I'm so aggravated between Asher messing around with the lights and the kittens climbing in it and Asher putting the kittens in the tree... it already is a mushed up mess. The kittens have even pulled the plugs out of the outlets! I'm surprised they haven't been shocked yet. It's a mess. Now Asher is following me around everywhere asking when are we going to decorate the tree and then screaming "you don't love me anymore!" when I tell him we're not. Sing with me... "you're a mean one... Mr. Grinch". Now that I've calmed down a tiny bit, I'm having major first course of Mommy Guilt with a side of crow eating because I'm thinking of making ornaments this year out of construction paper and glitter and just letting Asher go wild. If the cats tear 'em up, so be it.

I haven't even mentioned all the cat poop I've cleaned up today and the pile of vomit under a table in the basement, a dog going in and out of the house with snowy muddy paws and cleaning up after her. Oh and Asher and the kittens causing mayhem with all the boxes laying out with Christmas stuff in them that I'll have to schlep back up to the attic. I've already threatened to take the tree down after the last You don't love me episode and told him "I'm taking the tree down if I pull the cats outta here one more time and Santa won't come here if we don't have a tree!" He just scowls, and so do I. It's a battle of wills in this house and I think I'm losing my mind. Do they still make Calgon? The rubber room is sounding better and better.

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Friday, December 10, 2010

And the Winner is...

I want to thank everyone who entered my very first give-away! I wish I had the extra money sitting around to send everybody who entered a prize! But there can only be one winner for this giveaway and the winner is... with no further delay... by a randomizer... STEPHANIE CORDER of Dragonfly Design Studios! Congratulations Stephanie! I hope you enjoy my Blue Santa and all the little goodies I'm sending along with him :)

I had a lot of fun with this little giveaway and I think I'll be doing another one before too long. So if you didn't win this time, I hope you keep coming back to my little corner of the blog world here and enter next time. If you really, really, really are bummed you didn't win my Blue Santa, you can purchase him as an ACEO here at my Etsy Shop and I'll give you a 25% discount if you just enter the code luckyme25 at checkout. This coupon code is good thru December 25, 2010 and good for anything in my shop.

Thanks again for entering and congrats again to Stephanie! Have a great weekend everyone.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Snowmen Gourds!

White Snowgourd
Here are the cute little snowmen I told you about Sunday. Aren't they the cutest little guys?! Oh I wish I could take the credit for these. They are made from gourds! I bought these from a super nice gal, Lori Allen, of Carmi Illinois. She was at Christmas in New Harmony and I hope she did well. Her pieces were all so nice. These snowmen accommodate a battery powered tea light to light them from within and they are level on the bottom to stand up perfectly. She carves out designs on them and also has some that she wood burns on. See her website for more of her designs. She also makes bowls, baskets, vases, birdhouses and more!
Snowgourd buddies
I originally bought one for me and one for a "dirty Santa" gift, but they look so cute together that I think I'm keeping them both for myself! I know, I'm a grinch for keeping all the presents. I'll find something else, this time maybe I ought to buy something I don't like... haha yeah right.

Oh, if you don't know the "Dirty Santa" gift exchange, here's how we do it: Each person buys a gift appropriate to their gender and wraps it up pretty and it goes under the tree without a tag other than it's for a male or female. We take turns opening up the gift, boy girl, boy girl style. When the first girl opens a gift she keeps it by her until the next girl's turn. When it's the next girls turn, she can open up a gift, or she can go "steal" the already open gift from the other girl, then that girl gets to pick another unopened gift. It's a lotta laughs. Last year we had a downright feud going for a red leather purse!

Kitty Update! The little beasts are still inside... I've had to bite my lip a few times. I'm still having some poop issues here and there and I found my mop bucket full of pee the other day. I'm still giving them a chance, who wouldn't? Look how cute they are. And it's sooooooo cold outside. I'm such a sucker.
Asher and Thunder, both happy
Ready to roll

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