Wednesday, October 10, 2012

My Blog Has Moved, won't you come visit?

I have permanently moved my blog to I would just be thrilled if you would visit me there. I'm the same ol' crazy art girl just got new diggs that's all.

I'm still unpacking boxes at the new blog, but please pop by and say hi! I still come to Blogger to read my favorite blogs from my list and keep the heat on here so the pipes won't burst... you know how it is. Please comment there and not here so I'll see you've visited =)

I've got instructions just below here on how to set it up to follow my new blog from your home here at Blogger. I also moved all my old posts and pictures to my new blog so you can see all my past posts from there as well.

I hope to see you!
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Monday, September 24, 2012

How to follow a Wordpress Blog from Blogger

Here is a simple 3 step tutorial on How to follow a Wordpress Blog from Blogger that I promised. So that way you can follow me :) If you recall, I've announced that I'm moving to Wordpress so that I can have my website and blog all on one domain so I can concentrate on my art more. Just so you know, this will work for any blog not just Wordpress.

If you're wondering why I'm doing this, here's a little tidbit I recently read off a blog I follow called The Abundant Artist that made perfect sense. Cory Huff is talking about having a blog on one site and your art website on another...
"The problem with this approach is that you’re going to get the most visitors on your blog, not your website. Why? Because your blog will have tons of writing about your art, with constantly updated new content. In addition, the comments will generate more new content and discussion, which encourages more people to come back to your blog over and over. While this is great for your blog, it generally means that your art gets ignored because it’s not right there along with all of your content."
Now, on to the tutorial... I've added the yellow and black instructions to the graphics below (click on the pictures to enlarge)

Step 1

Step 1 - from your Blogger's Dashboard where you see your posting option and your reading list click on the button under your name called Add.

Step 2
Step 2 - That will bring up a pop up window. You will now make sure that the Add from URL is selected and you will manually type in the blog you want to follow. In order to follow mine, type in  (one easy way is to just copy it from the site itself and then paste it in.)

Step 3 - your done!
Step 3 - Really this is just to make sure it shows up on your reader because you are finished! See how easy that was? 

You may have noticed that not every blog has Google friend connect so now you know how to follow a blog that doesn't have it. I really hope you take a few moments out to add my new blog to your reader. I'll be moving after this post and you know you don't want to miss out on what I'm dressing up as for Halloween!
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Monday, September 17, 2012

I did not fall off the planet

Just in case you were wondering...

Time is crazy, isn't it? Like Houdini, it is a master of escape. And escape, it has.

Let's see, what have I been doing? Not blogging that is for sure. I am ready to settle back in if you're willing to join me again. I am just about ready to make the big switch to Wordpress. I will make a tutorial for those who are unsure if they can still follow from Blogger (you can).

I have been to Florida, one of my family's most favorite places. Talk about time escaping, jeesh. We did cram in a lot though, the short week we were there. I'll share more on that later. I will say, I've not ever been so inspired as I have been than on this trip. I feel the want, the need to paint, paint, paint!! I've got a million ideas in my brain waiting to fill my canvases with their imagery. Tune in to find out what has got me so fired up and inspired.

Temperatures are dropping and that also means time to dust off and clean out the greenhouse to get it ready for my plants again. Soon too. The temps are supposed to drop to 41 degrees F Tuesday night. How can this be?

I did paint a couple things right before Florida that I shared on Facebook, but not here. So I'll post it again here. I've been painting in oil again and these have been drying while I was away and are ready for more work...

I hope everyone is fairing well since I've been MIA. I promise to be visiting your blog soon... Till then...  See ya!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Say a prayer

Dear friends, my Uncle Rob died last night. It is a sad day today. We knew it was coming but that doesn't make it any easier. He died peacefully in his home surrounded by people who loved him. He was a great and kind man. Please say a prayer or send positive thoughts today for his only daughter Marissa and my dad as well as all the family. My family is dying off. It is so hard to take. My dad is taking it especially hard as they were very close.

I'd like to take a moment to urge you all to go and hug your family today. Let them know you love them and care about them. We never know when a loved one will be taken from us. Even if you don't see eye to eye or if you haven't spoke in a long time, take the time now. Your heart will be at peace if you do. I can say my heart is at peace, can you?

God bless you,
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Wednesday, August 22, 2012

FREE Wordpress video lessons

Happy Humpday! As you may know, I'm switching to Wordpress very soon. I'm almost there, I hope you will come visit me when I announce my grand opening. It will contain my blog and my website all in one. 

Did you know Wordpress is FREE? There are also two versions. One .org and one .com. The .org one is if you already own your own domain name, like I do. It doesn't cost anything to move your site over to Wordpress to create and manage your site all on there with their many FREE, customizable and beautiful themes. It has a great, easy to understand interface. The .com one is for blogging only. Again, it's FREE and easy to use. The features are so much better than Blogger in my opinion. But I've enjoyed using Blogger these past years, so I'm not knocking it. This is just a natural transition for me to help build my art business.

If you are interested in Wordpress yourself or just would like more information about what all Wordpress can do (It is a very powerful and versatile program), there are currently FREE video lessons going on right now at from Wordpress expert Morten Rand-Hendriksen here.  You don't have to sign up, get a user account or even leave your e-mail for this FREE lesson. Just click from the beginning and watch to learn. 

Hurry though, because the FREE lessons are only up until 8/24/12. It contains 6+ hours of very valuable content. It is broke up into chapters and range from 3 minutes to 24 minutes each and you can watch the last one first if you choose or pick any to watch. Very easy to understand. 

I've used before. It is a great way to learn about programs and other stuff all online. If I hadn't been told about this FREE lesson (thanks Barbara!), had I found it, I would've paid for it, it's that good. I am learning so much.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

School has begun and a new fall painting

Today my little man had his second day of school. He is in the first grade and I can hardly believe it. You may be wondering why I'm showing the 2nd day of school picture instead of the first. Well, that would be because the bus came ten minutes earlier than he said he would yesterday! He was honking his horn as Asher was getting his shoes on. So here is the first day... running late.

I didn't even get a "bye Mom" or a kiss or nothing. He didn't either. All he got was "run, baby run!" haha

So today we had a re-do. Here it is...

there goes my baby
He was up in a flash today. Good thing, because the bus came 5 minutes earlier than yesterday! But he loved riding the bus, although I can't imagine it will last. He is on it for a long time, about 45 minutes I'd say. Then he has to wait around in the school for it to begin. I'll probably soon be taking him, once the newness has wore off and he wants to sleep later.

In other news, I have managed to paint a fall painting. I haven't named it yet, but am thinking of Dreaming Amber... not sure. What do you think?

I also want to mention to my Blogger friends that I am soon leaving Blogger and moving over to Wordpress in order to get all my art business related stuff together on one site, you know things like my website, shop, etc.. I sincerely hope you will come over there and continue stay in touch with me. I'll have a link to get there, more about it later. It's a work in progress at the moment, but it's coming soon. I've even got a newsletter in the works. Busy times.

Dreaming Amber?

Well with all this new found time, I'm off to do more creating! Have a happy day...

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sun series beginning

I've started sketching some ideas for a new sun series that I plan to paint. I like the way this sun's face turned out. I always find myself doodling suns, moons and stars on things while I wait. Just out of curiosity, how many of you like suns and would want suns or other celestial type subjects in your home for artwork? My mom got me into them and I've always loved them. She had them around her house and I treasure the ones I have from her home.

I made fish and veggies for dinner tonight and just look how pretty they came out. If you are trying to lose weight, this is such a low calorie meal that fills up your belly. Came together super quick, too. Here's what I got in there...  

About a cup and a half of zuchinni, tomatoes, onions, peppers that I sauteed up in a teaspoon of olive oil with a fair sprinkling of Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy. Scrape all that on the plate. Using the same pan, I added a little non stick spray and then added 8 oz Tilapia (frozen, thawed) and a little more seasoning. Cook till it flakes with fork easily, just a few minutes turing once. That's it. Quick, yummy and uses up your garden veggies. You could add any veggie you like. I thought about mushrooms after the fact. Oh well, next time.

The total calories for this entire plate, which really could serve 2, is only 288. I ate almost all of it because I thought I was really hungry, but I couldn't eat it all.

I've lost 20 pounds since the first of May. I've been using My Fitness Pal which is a free program for your computer and/or your phone. It has made it so much easier. If you've got any weight to lose, I highly recommend it.

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Friday, August 3, 2012

New Goodies & Art Studio Update

Look at my new goodies! I made a trip into town yesterday and bought myself some new paint brushes at Blick. Aren't they beauties? Although, I always think they look better once they've been used and have touches of paint stained on them.

I wanted to share some more pictures of my art studio that has come together enough for me to work in. 

view into studio and pretty much the final layout

even got to work in it the other day, yippee!!

I've been slowly adding things that I like to make it cozy.
I've need more work to be done as far as getting it to reflect my style, but these colored bottles are a start. Aren't they pretty in the light? This window looks out to my lake and koi pond. I added a plant that needs a little tlc.

Remember the re-purposed TV cabinet? Well it needed a couple more shelves, so my hubby made them for me. Can't tell they weren't always there, can you? It is serving now as my flat file. Someday I hope to get a real flat file, but this will do for now. And do you know I cannot find these great little plastic drawers anywhere? Glad I've got these. I used to get them at the Dollar Store for five bucks, but not anymore. They are so handy for the small stuff.

Here is the cabinet before, perfectly fine but...
Isn't this even better?! 4 more shelves were added

I'll show more later... I've got more painting to do!!

Have a great weekend!
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Monday, July 30, 2012

Jolly Jester?

What are Jolly Jester's you ask? Why they're nothing but fantastic looking bi-color marigolds! I sketched these this morning and colored them in with colored pencils. It is a little gift for a friend along with the seeds. Shhhh... she doesn't know about it yet. 

I just love marigolds. They are supposed to keep away mosquitos so they are great in containers on the deck or porch. They are said to keep away other bugs that eat up your plants. They are a great companion plant, tuck them in-between your tomatoes. I just love their smell, I love how perky they always are and how they just last forever in my area. Really. I'll have marigolds blooming all the way to Thanksgiving unless there is an ice storm. If you've noticed, there is a beautiful marigold in my header up above, straight from my garden :)

This is actually the first creative thing I've made in my new art studio!! I have some tweaking to do in it. Nothing like working in a space to figure out what is all wrong about it. Lighting for one needs to be more directed and brighter. Next, legs on a work table to make it higher and I am a sitter while drawing. I still have some piddly little things to put away and I swear my books and more art supplies are up there multiplying in the dark. I'm really tired of making the trip up and down the stairs but I've just about got it licked.

Oh, remember my dehydrating experiment? Well... what like 4 days later and that thing is still running! I've got the very last of batch number two in there now. I discovered it is good to check them every few hours and move the trays around so dry evenly. The ones at the bottom are rather crunchy. Oh well, still fun and wow they pack a punch of flavor! Very condensed tomato taste.

Here's what they looked like whilst drying...

then after...

If you need a lot, you'll be busy for quite a while...

It was fun, I look forward to trying them but probably not until my tomatoes quit producing which hopefully won't be until late October and maybe November if this heat wave continues!

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Dehydrating Tomatoes!

It all starts with a whole lot of cherry tomatoes and not enough people in the house to eat them :)  In all honesty, I'm the only one who eats them : /

Washed, dried and sliced in half, they get arranged on a borrowed dehydrator. (Thanks Amelia!)

Layer after layer...

5 layers in all

In to the dry sauna they all go!

So here's what they look like and there is still 4 hours left to dehydrate! 22 hours in all! I don't know if a bigger dehydrator would be quicker or not but if I like these, I'll need to investigate that. I had a recommendation from a friend of an Excalibur brand with like 9 trays.

9 trays would have been better because this is what was leftover. Apparently I need a bigger dehydrator considering this is just one picking from three different plants. Hmmm... we'll see. It takes a horribly long time and I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them all. I got this idea from a friend who is a crafting, baking and writing guru named Lynda Heines over at Bloom Bake & Create. Lynda's got all kinds of creative ideas to check out.

If anyone has experience with dehydrating, I'd love to hear any tips or suggestions you have.

Enjoy your Friday!

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Monday, July 23, 2012

Moving in New Art Studio

This seems as though it's the slowest process ever. Moving things from my top floor tiny art studio to my new basement studio. Packing and moving, packing and moving. Using the same 3 or 4 plastic tubs and unpacking as I can. But it's coming together! After getting a cortisone shot in my hip, my bursitis is feeling better and the steps are not agony like before. I'm even more excited and can't wait to actually create something in there, but it's not quite ready yet. I still have more to move down. But here's what I've accomplished so far.

bit by bit

I need to start using the shelves and putting away now!

another work station with the blue table in the back
This was an old oak TV cabinet that we were going to donate. I decided I could use it for storage.  A coat of a white paint for a nice white wash effect. Not so clunky looking now and overpowering. This held a 35" TV in the big hole.

Add another shelf

Fill 'er up!
Holy Cow! How did I have this all in my tiny studio upstairs?!
OH check out my $20 find! Cheapcycle on Yahoo Groups... love it!

It unfolds to this unbelievable computer desk!

I will use it for my laptop, printer and pack it full of other things too.

It all fits! Still a bit more though! yikes!!
I still have to bring down my drawing table and another bookcase. First I have to unpack the bookcase : /   and then re-pack it! Oh well, it is still fun going through everything. I've got a lot of junk!

I have 5 stations planned down here. That way I can leave something in progress if I need to move on to something else while it waits for me. One drafting/drawing table, three large flat tables and the computer station. 

Thanks for looking :)
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