Monday, November 23, 2009


It's Thanksgiving week, and I have much to be thankful for. There is so much I overlook each day, and forget to admire the luxuries surrounding me in this ole life. What would life be like without my health, home, family, friends, Boomer, career, clients, creativity, art, artful toys, five senses, medications, memories, freedom, ability to instantly communicate with friends throughout the world, among so many other things I take for granted? I am so very thankful for each of the people, and things, that encompass my life today. I am reminded that there is much I have given up within my life, and I am so grateful for all that I still have today. I hope to remind myself of this gratitude daily, and not overlook the smallest of things surrounding me.

I took one day, last week, and tried my best to remain focused on the sounds around me. It was amazing to hear all that I had been ignoring ~~ the coffee pot perking, the sweet sound of Boom's paws as he pranced throughout our walk, the sniffing of his smelling everything along our route, the tip/tap of my keyboard, the spraying of water from the shower, the difference in various vehicles passing by on the roadways, the squeaking of the gate at work as I thrust it open, the tweeting of birds throughout the day, the various instruments within music, the ching of the cash register, the differences in the voices of various people I encountered, the crisp crunch of chewing salad versus the softer noises when chewing other foods, the endless TV within our home that goes ignored throughout most of our day, the indescribable sound of newspaper pages being turned, the loud scrubbing of a toothbrush that I've always wondered if others around me can hear, the soft swooshing noise as I pull the covers up to my nose, the softness of Mike's voice as he tells me he loves me, Boom's huge sigh as he gives into the day and peacefully goes to sleep ~~ many of these things I ignore during most days. Yet, what would it be like to not have the sense of hearing? How fortunate I am to have this sense, and yet I've taken it for granted so often. Sound is a beautiful thing, for the most part, and can be appreciated when I focus on it. I hope to learn to allow it to be reflected within my art.

As for my art, I am working on a new piece. She is an angel in flight. However, I am also inspired on a future piece, after truly listening to Rascal Flatts' song entitled "I'm Moving On." So, my angel is "suffering," and is not where I want her to be. I had hoped to use her on Christmas cards this year, so instead of putting her aside, I've been determined to move forward with her; perhaps not such a good decision. After all, I haven't even sent Christmas cards for several years. Why do I feel that I must do so this year? I suppose because I truly want to send them this year, simply to share the season with those in my life, even if only in a small way, and let them know that I think of them, and appreciate the part they share in my life. Perhaps I should simply purchase some ready-made cards, and sit Ms. Angel aside for a bit so I can move forward with the piece I am inspired to do now! What a brilliant idea, lol! I suppose I could also make some stamped cards ~~ yes!

Wishing each of you a very Happy Thanksgiving, filled with love, peace, health, and happiness!

Friday, November 13, 2009

It Works...Somewhat!

FINALLY got my House of 3 (Heidi Swapp) blog background to load . . . love the colors, but wish the text wouldn't overlap the borders, <:( ~~ okay, I'm so thrilled with its working, that I will leave well enough alone, for now. Any suggestions, please share them! This has been a very frustrating experience, but at least it's more 'unique' for now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Background Formatting ~~ What the Heck!!!

K, purchased a really cool blog background (from Heidi Swapp!), and cannot get it to work. Anyone else had this problem, and found a solution??? I got the banner to work . . . but not yet figured out how to insert words into the banner. However, just getting the banner to work was a huge accomplishment for me, lol! (Took many attempts)

Since I have no "followers," I feel like I'm talking to myself here, but that's okay ~~ I talk to myself all the time . . . and sometimes I even answer!

Feeling rather flu-ish today, but I'm not giving into it . . . all the way, yet! My creative juices are flowing and thus I want to use them. Created "name plates" to go on the back of my girls, and added some paint around the border of Chance, per Suzi's critique, and I think that's just what she needed. (Suzi actually suggested stamping or stenciling around the edges, in a color similar to Chance's hair ~~ great suggestions. However, my stencil wasn't working well, and I don't have an ink pad in a similar color ~~ so a rough border using paint was my best option.) I believe she's ready for beeswax now!

So, now, do I beeswax, begin drawing my angel, or go rest in bed while reading da Vinci? We'll see!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I wanted to take a risk ~~ in using newspaper as a background, AND touch on a controversial topic, i.e., politics, in my art. Thus, meet Chance, my latest creation. She is a small girl in a huge world, wanting to believe in Obama's desires and direction for "change," but truly not convinced his idea of change is what is best for our country, our economy, and the world at large. The banner reads "Chance in Process," as opposed to what I believe Obama would be saying, "Change in Progress." Chance is not completed, but I believe this is a strong image of what she will end up looking like. I've since added some black spattered paint, and am awaiting Suzi's critique before completing, and waxing, Chance.

Most recently, I am feeling "angels" around me, and thus am planning to do an angel next. (I'm hoping these angels will help me ward off these flu-like symptoms I am feeling ~~ sore neck/back, headache, worsening cough!) I initially drew an angel, but I'm not thoroughly happy with her; I'm ready to "take the next step" and do a more realistic portrait. However, I am waiting to take the next scheduled portrait class in January (from Suzi Blu), to provide me the necesary skills to move into a more "realistic," but whimsical, approach to my art. But intuition tells me I am ready for a change, and thus I have found an "inspiration piece" for my angel ~~ a Mark Roberts' angel that I have photographed, and will attempt to use to incorporate some more realistic features . . . if not in facial details, at least in the clothing. We'll see what I come up with! (For any Mark Roberts fanatics whom may read this, we have TONS of his items at the shop!!!)

As for life, I've been preparing for our Christmas Open House at the shop (, and working really hard to make the shop nice and festive for the holiday, with much help from my coworkers. I've enjoyed the process of decorating the shop this year, gathering and displaying all of the festive pieces, and truly believe it will be a good holiday season, if perhaps a more conservative one for many folks (including myself, personally). Open House is scheduled for this Fri-Sun, November 13-15, and I pray I'm not going to be sick! I will try to remember to take my camera to work, so I can post a few pics of the shop in all its festive nature.

Ooooo, yesterday at the shop was an interesting day. Not only did a neighbor come in (and spend over an hour there chatting openly~~ one whom is known in the neighborhood as a "scrooge" whom never speaks to anyone, including me!), but the neighbor and I discussed art, and a friend of his whom is an artist, and even put his friend and I on the phone together ~~ twice, lol. His friend is "Tatum," whom specializes in "folk art" pieces using 'junk' to make birdhouses and such, and whom does two successful art shows each year. Who knows what this connection holds ~~ I may get some tips on doing art shows and/or other helpful info ~~ from this fella, whom is scheduled to come into the shop later this week to see what 'junk' we have that he can use! ALSO, I had a professional photographer come in, whom has given me a great quote for photographing some of my pieces! I aspire to do some juried art and craft shows in the coming year(s), and know that I will need professional photographs of my work to submit with my applications, so this was another gathering of resources, and "sign" that I am headed in the right direction. It's SUCH a great feeling! How do I explain it? It's growth, small successes, "seeing" into my future and the possiblities that it holds and, for the first time in my life, "feeling" that I CAN be successful ~~ I CAN be something good, and 'touch' the world in a positive way! Certainly I have not reached my potential yet, and certainly my art will continue to grow, evolve, and change and, strangely (for me!), I am looking forward to these changes and growth. I am seeing positive steps taking place that will further my goal of being a successful artist! I can "feel" success coming! Albeit, I recognize the failing economy, and fear its impact on all of us. However, I am going to make success happen for me ~~ one way or another. If it's using my art to barter groceries, should the dollar collapse ~~ whatever it is, I WILL survive AND succeed! God, help us all to survive whatever is before us. And, God, please touch all those whom are overcome with sickness now. I'm not terribly religious by any stretch of the imagination. (Admittedly I've had terrible experiences within churches, and thus am NOT interested in being a member of one today, or anytime in the near future.) However, I do believe there is a God whom loves each of us deeply, and wants the best for each of us, and I pray He'll be with each of us in the coming days to protect us, nurture us, and bring each of us to a peaceful, content, and successful place in this ole world. May peace be with each of us.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Catchin' Up!

Been away for a few weeks...but haven't forgotten my blog. Just been extra busy...playing, hehehe...and having the time of my life.
K, sold my 2nd piece of art (8x8 canvas w/heart,crown & wings) the same week as my first piece of art sold (mentioned in last blog)!!! OMG, I was sooo excited! A really great customer at the shop purchased it, and I pray she's enjoying it. It just made my day ~~ two pieces sold in one week; I was humbled to think this was even possible. Life is growing in a new, awesome direction for me, and I feel I must praise God for it.
Now, as mentioned in my last post, I'm taking an online workshop, and having soooo much fun with it. I've drawn many dollies, and completed 4 now, with collage backgrounds, paint, a few embellishments, and then waxed them to seal all the layers. I'm enjoying this newest learning process and looking forward to doing many more of these girlies. Let's see if I can upload the 4 I've completed.
This first dolly is "Esmeralda," The Gypsy. She was my first piece, however I finished her after testing my second piece (next pic).
This is "Cecilia," whom was my 'test project,' actually completed with beeswax first, so I could confirm that my paintings would survive the waxing process...and she worked! She was a quick project, and alot of fun to create. I need to do more of these "quickies!" We have a client at work whom loves Cecilia, so I will attempt to do a 'twin' of her.

This is "Elizabeth," done in celebration of the Hispanic and Catholic holiday referred to as "Day of the Dead," also known by Methodist's as "All Saints Day." She was a very therapeutic piece to do. The top, blue skull represents Mom, whom I miss terrible and was a very fun loving lady. The green skull with the copper crown represents Poppee, my grandfather (whom played the role of 'Dad' to me as a child), and whom I loved with every part of my being. The red, 'devlish' skull off to the right side represents my step-dad, whom committed suicide in 1982, just a month after my grandfather's passing; he was a good man, but drinking got the best of him. The pink skull represents Mama, my grandmother whom loved flowers, especially irises, and whom played a large part in my childhood. The white skull with purple, red and copper accents represents Margret, my sister, whom passed from ovarian cancer in 2004; she was a wonderful person, however she and I had a difficult relationship throughout most of our lives. The 'skeleton kitty' represents many kitties whom were special to me, but whom have passed on ~~ Jack, Jake, Patches, Bear, and Fluffy. I'm still waiting on my instructor's critique of this piece, before completing it and then sealing it with beeswax.

My most recent piece, started and completed on November 1st (Day of the Dead/All Saints Day), is "Evie," (using a version of my Mom's middle name, Everett), and whom honors Mom, whom passed from Breast Cancer in 2002, and all others whom have been touched by cancer. Again, I am awaiting my instructor's critique before completing her and sealing her with beeswax. However, I have ordered a print of her from an online site, and cannot wait to see how the print turns out! Yesterday, I emailed the Susan Komen Foundation to see if they could assist me in promoting an auction of this piece, with all benefits going to their foundation, to further research in finding a cure for cancer! Will keep you posted, but I haven't heard from this as of yet.
The original purpose for taking this "Les Petit Dolls" workshop was to learn how to make my own artwork, to use in more of the soldered charms I made earlier. However, now that I have discovered I can actually draw and paint....who knows where this will lead me! They are so comforting to make, and I just love them. However, I love the heart found in the top, right corner of my "Elizabeth" painting, and may attempt a painting using only this type of detail...instead of incorporating a dolly.
Today I am beginning a workshop based on the book "How to Think Like Leonard da Vinci," that will concentrate on building awareness of my artistic talents, and discovering what is truly important to me, among other significant things. My first assignment is to write 100 questions that I one sitting! I will do this today...hopefully. Once the questions are written, I am to choose 10 that are most important, and also discover a theme(s) within my questions. These themes, and most important questions, will help guide my growth process through the rest of the book. Now all I need is more time, right? However, I have a "no work" day today, so this is the perfect time to begin this process!
Today, I am looking back at where I've been, and how far I've come, as an artist and an individual, just in the last 2 months. Only six months ago, I had just discovered paper, or specifically cardmaking; 2 months ago, I was at Creative Escape in Arizona taking some awesome workshops from eight very talented instructors. Today I am learning to claim that I AM an ARTIST! Wow! This is such tremendous growth for me, and my online doll workshop has provided an awesome network of artists to share my growth, and newest passion with. My friend (and boss!), Jan, is also a great inspiration whom shares my passion for art. We are currently searching for some mixed media workshops to take 'live,' in person!
But, perhaps the BEST thing I have to share, relating to my art, is that my hubby is supporting me in this endeavor, referring to me as "The Artist," taking an interest in my work, and encouraging me in it! This is HUGE! Today, I feel like I'm at the peek of my life. God, help me to continue to grow in this direction, be inspired by others, AND inspire others, and learn to humbly give You credit for my talent!
May peace and inspiration be with you! Until next time! xoxox ~~ Jeanne