Saturday, February 28, 2009


* Funny little collage I made called "Green Growth"


I've noticed there is a lot of updating, make-overs, cleaning up going on out there in the blog world and I have hopped on the improvement train. I'm guessing it has something to do with being on the cusp of Spring. It's a natural instinct to clean up, freshen up, and get motivated again!

I'm sure you have noticed that I have changed the layout of my blog. I was inspired by the blog update by Operation Nice and copied the same layout with the larger section being shifted to the left and the two smaller columns moved to the right. It has something to do with the hierarchy of visual interest. I suppose when we read books/magazines we always start at the upper left side and work our way to the lower right (at least if you speak english). Actually when I read magazines I start at the back....hmm. I'll try out the new layout for a while and see how I like it. 

I am also in need of a new blog banner. I have been experimenting with a couple different ones and cannot decide if I want a wide thick one or a smaller more minimal one. I have so much to learn on photoshop, at times it can be daunting and down-right frustrating. I have been looking for some kind of community class to take, as I don't really want to spend the big bucks at the nearby college to take a class in the fall; Although, that may be what I end up doing.  If you are awesome at photoshop, have a great idea for my banner, and would like to help feel free to contact me. 

Another project I have been working on is updating my etsy shop. As a virtual business owner of sorts, I have come to realize that buying online is a complete visual experience. It is not like someone can walk into my store, pick up items and look at them, discuss them with me, and walk out with a tangible object. People need eye candy and good product descriptions. Etsy is a tough market! There are over 2 million sellers and about half of them have stellar shops. So I have been cleaning up my shop little by little.  I made a new more simple banner with lighter colors and I have been choosing a couple items a day for description editing.  I want my shop and artwork to give people a sense of who I am. I want to create the ultimate Etsy buying experience. If you have any suggestions, feel free to give them to me. I have (somewhat) tough skin. It won't hurt my feelings. 

The lesson I am learning is that it is never too late to make improvements. Even if they are just little ones. 

I hope you have a SUPER Saturday!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Don't Burn The Day

*Picture taken by me in central park 2007

Do you ever feel like you wish your days away just to make it to the weekend or to some special event in the future? You get so caught up in/bored with the daily grind that you don't take the time to enjoy the present moment, to enjoy the people you are with, to enjoy the beauty in your life. I am usually pretty good about enjoying each day and appreciating everything down to the smallest things, but being only human I can easily forget.

It's like the smallest grain of negativity can infest your mind and make you forget what it is that you should be thankful for! Negative people are the worst, they activate their negativity button and it spreads like a virus to the next victim. It's like they are living in their own negative world in their head, they are trapped and can't get out of it. You know the type. The kind that wants to bring you down when you are having a great day. Don't let them do it. Be strong, kill their negativity with kindness. Don't get sucked into the world of doom and complaining. 

I'm not saying its not ok to have a bad day. I know life can be tough. I know sometimes you just break and you need someone to talk to, so that they can cheer you up. I'm talking about total unnecessary the sun is shining, it's 70 degrees and someone says "I hate how bright the sun is today!" Or someone who is constantly blaming others for their lack of luck and happiness in the world. We all hold the key to our own happiness and for me, it is a choice. I can either take what I got and make the best of it or I can be miserable and caught up in the idea that the world has dealt me a bad hand of cards. 

I have so much to be thankful for in my life and sometimes I really do wonder if I am in a dream. I have the best husband in the world, caring and wonderful friends, a nice humble home, super cats, the ability to run, my artwork, a car that runs, and good health. Seriously. I have it good!

Our lives are so short on this sphere in space called Earth. I always realize this right when I wake up and that small sliver of sunshine is streaming in through my window, and I think "wow I am here and alive to enjoy this sunshine." Life really amazes me. I just want to take it all in, spread a little kindness, and enjoy it while I'm here.

"There's much more than we see here. Don't burn the day away."  -Dave Mathews

(I will post some pictures later today :)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What Happens?

* Picture of me at the age of 5 with my grandma on her front porch steps. I remember thinking that this place was so magical. I always looked forward to a trip to my grandparents farm, to skip rocks in the creek, to moo at the cows, find kittens in the forbidden hayloft, and to go looking for ghosts on the "other side of the house" which was the closed off older portion of the house that was built sometime in the mid 19th century (i think). Oh, and there was a cellar door on the outside like in The Wizard of Oz! What a cool place for a kid to explore!

I have been at a loss for words about what to blog about lately. I have two custom orders I am going to be working on the next couple days and I will definitely show you the results as they are completed. 

Until then.....something to ponder about:

What happens after age nine? Because of the fear we don't trust our life, our story, or our magic

-Sabrina Ward Harrison

Saturday, February 21, 2009

a little piece of inspiration

(Picture taken in SF off of the embarcadero)

I know sometimes quotes can be cheesy, but more often then not they put things in perspective :) I just want to remind myself and anyone else out there not to be fearful of trying something new, taking a class, starting a business, traveling, making a job change, or doing anything that the little voice in the back of your head keeps urging you to do.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

- Mark Twain

Friday, February 20, 2009


Why did I paint a peacock you ask? I simply think they are beautiful/inspirational creatures. Why not paint a peacock? I love beautiful, unnecessary things...

I chose bright colors because I think everyone is looking forward to spring. Enough of this dreary cold winter weather. I am ready for the trees to bloom and the sun to shine. Even if that means hot weather here. This painting is for sale in my shop as a print if you are interested. I am keeping the original for myself though. 

What beautiful things are inspiring you lately? 

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Nice Surprise

This morning I woke up, checked my etsy shop and noticed that I had an unusually large amount of views on my items. My Yellow Bird had jumped from 220 views to over 500 overnight. It turns out that it was featured on the front page, which is so exciting. Here is a screen shot with a list of shops that were featured together. The curator of this grouping is Silver Dog Jewelry. Thanks so much for including my little yellow bird!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


I just got done listening to an interview that Jamie Riedler, author of 12 Secrets of Highly Creative Women did of Andrea Scher, creative blogger, life coach, and jewelry designer and it was exactly what i needed to hear today. I highly recommend you listen to it even if you are not a so-called artist or creative person. The advice she offers can be applied to everyone's life. 

The point that resonates the most with me is when she discusses the"gremlins" that sneak into your mind throughout the day that constantly tell you lies such as: "you aren't really an artist" "you are not a trained photographer" "you don't really think you can write a book because you never went to school for that" "no one will appreciate your work"  " No one will want to read your blog" and so on. 

The gremlins live in all of us. I realized that no one is exempt from this. No one goes around all day every day thinking "Wow I am a super awesome human who can do anything!!" We all have doubts and fears about what path we are on and how others will view us for the decisions we make/or don't make. She explains that we need to turn off these voices or send them away so that we can be brave a dive into the project that needs to get done. 

Another part of the interview that really spoke to me is when she gives advice to artists about "showing up." She says that there is no "grand" or "perfect" time to create something. It is simply a matter of showing up and doing it. Even if you only write for 10 minutes a day or sit down with your sketchbook while you are having coffee, at least you are working toward your goal. She mentions that it is difficult to feel like you are making progress when you see someone else's finished work. For example I am always seeing these beautiful illustrations and paintings on etsy and I'm like wow how did they do that? And I picture the artist sitting down in their beautiful studio with all their amazing supplies and they skillfully paint this lovely canvas all in one grand overly inspired moment. When in reality, they probably did 20 sketches, threw out five paintings, and worked on it little by little until their hard work paid off. 
I am going to take this advice and know that it is in the moments of "showing up" that we can accomplish and work towards our goals. Any thoughts on this are appreciated :) 

Monday, February 16, 2009

Valentine Weekend

Happy Monday friends, 

I had a great weekend. Kyle sent me roses on Saturday and I was able to talk to him on the phone for quite a long time (for those of you who don't know he is in the military). It was exactly what I needed. I'm always falling in love over and over again.....just with him though :) I also received a sweet valentine from Kat and some delicious fudge from my friend Katie. 

To celebrate Valentines day I  got together with some friends and we went to see He's Just Not That Into You. It was a cute movie but it kind of drug on near the end and I was ready for it to be over. Afterwards, we went over to my friend Helen's house and made homemade quesadillas which we pronounced que- sa- dill- as like in Napoleon Dynamite. I like mispronouncing words sometimes just to see if people notice and it is usually with mexican food, like saying tack-os instead of tacos. We had a great time feasting and nibbling on cookies and fudge from Galena, IL. 

Today I had a phone interview for the art teaching job I was talking about last week. I think it went ok, but I would have preferred to have a face to face interview instead. I worry that my voice sounds too little-girlish and I had to ask the lady to repeat the questions numerous times because I was on speakerphone and could not hear her! A lot of my answers were repetitive and always came back to doing what is in the student's best interest. I decided that I will be happy if I get the job or happy if I don't. It is in God's hands now. 

Today I will clean my house, because it has gotten OUT of control. I have been having too much fun painting and leaving little messes all over the place. Abner and Amelia are no help. All they do is sleep all day and leave hair on my clothes. 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Facebook can't live with it

Today I stumbled upon this video on youtube, and if you are a fellow-facebooker you will laugh your butt off. 

The concept of facebook really is quite strange if you think about it. You ask people to be your friends who you were never friends with in high school to begin with, you put up funny pictures of yourself that your mom probably wouldn't approve of, and you constantly update your "status"  just so people know that you ate guacamole on tuesday and tore your pinky toe nail by stubbing it while running to the kitchen to stuff your face with cheetos. 

Gotta love it though! I do!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Five Things and Pink Flowers

1. I love Ingrid Michaelson's music. It is relaxing, meaningful, and dreamy. I highly recommend purchasing Girls and Boys off itunes or wherever! If you are my friend I can easily burn you a copy too :)  Don't tell anyone. 

2. Artwork by The Black Apple. Pure magic I tell ya! She is amazing. 

3. I love listening to the acoustic cafe channel on my tv! It is all acoustic music by new artists and some of my old favorites like john mayer, sting, neil young, jewel etc. It is great because there are no commercials.

4. Trail mix is so yummy and good for snacking. I just got some from Sam's club that has pistachios, almonds, and dried cranberries, cherries, and raisins. 

5. I saw these on etsy today and I can picture them in my living room! So unique!

Have a swell Tuesday!

Monday, February 9, 2009

In the Quiet

Sorry it has been so long since I have last posted. I have definitely turned more inward lately and have not felt as social. I think everyone gets it these kind of "slumps" where you just need time to think or you need a break from technology. Slumps are usually a good thing for me because it gives me time to reevaluate what I want to be doing or should be doing with my life. One thing I am trying to figure out is whether or not I should take a teaching job in the fall. A brand new high school is opening up and it has been kind of a difficult decision. On one hand, we could use the money and I would be able to decide whether or not I really like teaching or if it was just middle school that I had a hard time with.  On the other hand, ever since I quit my teaching job last year, I have been sooo much happier. I have gone through a major period of growth both creatively and spiritually. I feel more "connected" to what it is I am supposed to be doing (if that makes any sense?) I am definitely a better wife, friend, and overall person. With teaching, it is almost like you give so much of yourself each day, that it is hard to come home and have energy to do the other things you love to do. I did apply for the job and I will just have to wait and see. Maybe I won't even get hired? and if I do get hired, maybe it is what I am supposed to do.  I am glad I talked about this, i am feeling much better already!

Ok so on friday night I had an amazing dream of a painting I should create. I have only had one other dream like this, but it is exciting because I woke up on Saturday morning with the urge to buy a canvas and paint what I saw in my dream! So here is a picture of it so far. I have to wait for the painting to dry a little first before I can add more. It is a mixture of oil and acrylic paints.  You can tell that I am definitely a girly girl by looking at this painting. I am probably going to put it in my bedroom or possible sell it when it is done. We'll see. 

Lastly I wanted to share with you a picture from my dinner party on friday night. I had four of my friends over and wanted them to feel extra special. So I got these adorable glasses with chalkboard paint on them from Pier One. Seriously that store has got some great deals lately. I had such a fun time with these amazing ladies. I should have taken more pictures!  We ate lasagna (with ground turkey and low fat cheese),  garden salad, and finished it off with a whole pan of brownies. So much for the lowfat dinner. 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Love.....


It takes me back people. 

Check out Karen Kurycki's Work Here. She is surely the bees knees. I am off to work. Hope you have a great day. I will hopefully have some stories to tell once I get home. 

Peace out

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Craving Spring!

I don't know what it is, but doesn't it seem like no matter what season we are in, we are always looking forward to the next one? I am an avid reader of  Decor 8 and definitely share the same sense of style with author Holly Becker. I am totally digging the colors she pulled together with design elements from jcrew and anthropologie seen above. Fresh, breathable, fun, citrus, and fun! These colors point toward spring and make my creative energy flow. It also makes me want to go buy a bowl full of lemons and limes and fresh white linens and dip my toes into cool turquoise water while sipping on a lemon slush. 

What colors are you loving right now? What color is your home office/studio? I need more ideas before I commit. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

New Things

Hi kind friends!

What a nice weekend it was here in TN. The weather was 60 degrees and fabulous. I went for a long walk with my two friends and their dogs. It was the perfect way to spend the day. 

I have a couple new pictures to share with you. The first picture is of the awesome roasted veggies that I prepared last night for dinner. One of my resolutions this year is to nourish my body with healthy delicious foods. All I did was wash and cut the vegetables, toss in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, onion salt, and cooked in the oven for 40 minutes @ 400 degrees. Try it! Here are the before and after pics. 

I would also like for you to meet two of my newest friends! I got them for $3.00 each and I promised I would keep them alive for as long as I can. I have been known to let my plants kick the bucket. If plants were more like cats and could meow when they need sun or water, they could stay alive longer, but instead they just sit quietly until they wilt into crinkly brown leaves. 

Plants bring oxygen and new growth into the home. That's why I love them so much!

Lastly, I wanted to share a couple drawings that I decided to frame and put up in my kitchen. They are botanical/floral ink drawings done on pages from a vintage drawing book I have. I love the mustard yellow colors with the dark wood frames. You can find prints of these works in my Etsy Shop