Monday, June 28, 2010

i saw you today...

i saw You today
with every step i took
You were there.
i saw You today
in every face
in every race
You were there.
i saw you today
i felt my hand in yours
as i said the hard things
as i did the hard things
that i could do only with You
*I will post a DARE TO LOVE interview tomorrow(hopefully), but wanted to reach out and share my heart with you today. I hope you are feeling His love today too. If you would like to be a guest on my Monday posts, please comment on this post and DARE TO SHARE(LOVE).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Lovin' this!

For the last two Wednesday nights at 10pm I've had a date. Not the kind of date I'd prefer with my man, but a date with 15 extraordinary emerging artist. It's a date on my couch with a glass of wine watching the new series on BRAVO called WORK of ART.
I'm totally lovin this summer escape and I'm quickly picking out my favorites and who needs the boot. I anxiously await each challenge imagining what I would create if I was participating, then I critique each artist like I totally know what I'm talking about. Oh it's fun, so much fun!
My faves are Abdi and Nicole and my least favorite is Nao. BOO to her, she's mean.
If you are watching I would love to know your favorite. If you are an artist and not watching this on Wednesday nights 10/9 c on Bravo then YOU NEED A DATE WITH THE COUCH! it's just good clean fun:)
On another note, some of my work is featured on Linda B's super sweet blog ....
She is having a contest and I've been invited to play, yeah!

She picked out this piece to feature in the voting challenge, so if you like it please pop over to her blog and vote for me, voting ends on Friday. Thanks for the challenge Linda!

Thanks to you all for the love, right back atcha!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Dare to Love Monday!

HAPPY MONDAY! I am excited to introduce you to a great lady who, like last weeks guest Bev, has become a friend. Meet the talented Jodi Ulschmid .....

I have enjoyed getting to know Jodi through her blog, where she shares her life as an artist, wife and young mother. Her journey takes me back to the days of raising little toddlers and how those times are such a blessing, though sometimes very challenging. Jodi is a driven, talented artist who is trying to juggle life on life's terms. She has a love of God, family, and art!! My kinda gal.

1. Why did you decide to start a blog? I originally planned on creating a website with some of my artwork to get it out in the world for more people to see. I had it pretty much designed but never uploaded it. That was before I even knew about Etsy. Then some time later a family member started blogging and my husband decided to start a blog to showcase some of his woodworking projects ( and encouraged me to do the same with my artwork. Not having to pay for a site and being able to share more than just artwork was wonderful! My blog keeps evolving and pushing me creatively. I have learned so much from starting a blog and reading others as well. 2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link. Honestly I don't have just one favorite. There are so many wonderful blogs I follow and each one touches me differently. Some have gorgeous photography and energy, some have inspiring words... faith and/or quote related, and others make some fantastic creations. I will start introducing some on my blog soon, so if you are interested in seeing a few I found to be heart warming, inspirational and lovely please stop by ( and stick around for a while. I would love to share them with you. This post would turn into a book if I listed them all now. :) 3. As an artist, what has been the best way to promote your work? I am definitely still in the beginning/learning stages. I know you can't sit back and wait for people to find you. You have to keep creating and networking so people know your shop exists. For me one of the best things I have done is to continually add new items to my Etsy shop. When I run out of stuff to add I renew one or two items to bump my work back up to the top of the list. Good photos and descriptions are also necessary. 4. What art supply could you not live without? If you're going for the bare essentials I would have to say my drawing pencils. My art always starts with the pencil. You may not see it in the finished product, but it serves as the groundwork. Can't have a tree without the roots; I can't have an art piece without my pencil. 5. If you weren’t an artist, who would you be? If I wasn't an artist I would go back to a marketing job to use my graphic design degree. If not that, I would focus on flipping more houses or doing something with real estate. Ever since my husband and I went searching for our first home, I fell in love with houses and finding their potential. Turning something dreadful into something lovely is such a high! (and no not from the fumes you breathe from the renovating process!)


Thank you for stopping in to meet Jodi! Please visit her at her ETSY shop or BLOG to see her many talents. DARE TO LOVE!

Friday, June 18, 2010

make a BLOG button

Have you been wondering how to make a blog button? It was only a few weeks ago that I even knew what a blog button was, let alone how to make one!! Blog buttons are cute little avatars that others use on their blog to invite people to your blog. Yeah, i love this! If done selectively on ones blog it can really offer great support to your fellow bloggers. Having said that, personally I find it distracting to see 99 blog buttons and advertisements on someone's blog side bar. But that's just me :)
SOOO, how to make one?? I did a tiny bit if research but I'm convinced I found the easiest way to make one because I figured it out! I am so NOT tech savvy and if I could do it anyone can.
This is the link for the tutorial i followed. It took me 30 min. to make but probably will take you 15 min.
Just take it step by step and soon you'll have a cute lil' grab my button avatar thingy.
Have a blessed weekend! Don't forget to check out my guest on DARE TO LOVE Monday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wood Blocks

Invest n joy three 4x4" wood blocks

I'm always looking for new things to paint on. Repurposed art is so cool to me because it gives new life to old, worn out objects.

Recently I have been working with wood. I am really enjoying this! I love the dimension and texture of the wood and I can be rough with it. Sometimes I just like to hit things with a hammer!

I treat the wood like any other surface. First sand the edges, next gesso it , then add my collage elements and paint, finish with a gel medium for protection, then I add the hanging hardware to the back. EASY!

One tip... if wood is damp at all, allow it to dry out for 48 hrs.

Think of all the possibilities!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dare to LOVE Mondays

You know how some of your blog followers actually feel like friends? How you seem to develop connections with people thousands of miles away and you have never met them? To me this is the most amazing part of blogging and an unexpected blessing. Meet Bev, she's a friend, a blessing, and an inspiration!

I've had the pleasure of getting to know Bev and her heART and I want to share her with you. What I like most about Bev's work is it inspires a connection to Christ. I picked these 5 questions just for Bev. I hope you'll stop over to her shop and blog to check out more of her inspirational artwork.

Dare to love!

What are your top 5 personal or professional goals for yourself at this time? My immediate personal goals are to push through this fear of rejection when it comes to my art and to build an online presence for my Etsy store. I am learning through Kelly Rae's class that we all have these fears. I have this thing in my head that tells me I am different that way...the only one who has those fears! But I am learning otherwise. I really have been in a comfort zone for a very long time...raised our boys, good job, near retirement...and this art thing is scaring the heck out of me! As for professional goals...I am at the end of the road for that, retirement is less than two years out, and my art is not something I plan to make a new career out of...we have too many other plans!!

Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link? I visit a blog called Soul Aperture, and the woman's name is Christina. She is an amazing photographer, believer, culinary genius. Her gentle spirit just oozes from the monitor! You can find her at:

What inspires you most in your art? I am most inspired by my emotional and spiritual journey, whispers from my Lord and His word, music and nature.

Knowing that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, what is your favorite way to be close to Him? My favorite way would be my early morning ritual, when all is so still and quiet: *cup of coffee *my bible *"Utmost for his highest" devotional by Oswald chambers(I highly recommend it) *journal * curled up on the couch, with a quilt if needed! Second to that would be when we are in nature...camping, hiking, the coast, in the mountains.

If you could live anywhere and do anything, where and what would you do? My husband I have plans, God willing, to travel the United States after we retire. We want to sell our home, store the things of sentimental value and live full time in our travel trailer, traveling throughout this great nation, there is so much to see! When we are tired of it, we will figure it out then.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The "F" word

The F word is nothing but a four letter word, just not the one you think. The word is FEAR and I've been thinking a lot about this lately. Why is it that we give this emotion so much power? Do we not recognize it when it rears it's ugly head or are we just so comfortable in it because we have lived here for so long. And what exactly is it we are fearing? It's like living in a FEAR house instead of a FUN house, we come to a cross roads and don't know which way to go so we just stare at our reflection and pick ourselves apart. AT THIS MOMENT WE NEED TO LOOK UP!!!
So what do we, as people, fear? For me abandonment and rejection are core issues that I have had to give up so that I could learn to trust and love myself and God. I remember as a child being paralyzed with fear, literally so afraid that I couldn't move. At that time my biggest fear was simply fear itself so I learned how to NOT be afraid. The only thing I could do during those moments in childhood was cry out to God. Then instead of hearing words of condemnation and hate, words of love and affirmation would come. It was a big lesson for me and He became my armor against fear.
As artists, as women, as mothers and wife's, everyday we deal with things that bring fear. "Am i a good example to my family, will they like this art, does he find me attractive, will i do a good job, will they like this post?" During those moments of self doubt and fear we must realize those thoughts are not from HIM. God gives only love. He can turn pain and fear into hope and strength. Call on Him and be confident in His love because He made you to be you and to glorify and radiate Him.
I must admit, I'm a little scared to hit publish on this post, fear is creeping in. But, i made a promise to you, myself and to God to give you my whole heart. Here it is! I will walk confidently with our Father.
What do you fear? Stare at it, look up and grab the hand of Christ. Only He can take you through it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We love DOGS!

Homemade Dog Treat Recipe
Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

My daughter made these for our pups and I wanted to share the recipe we found from this website...

1/2 cups water(add more water later if required)
½ cup oil
2 eggs
3 tablespoons peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
½ cup cornmeal
½ cup oats
Blend wet ingredients together. Whisk dry ingredients together and mix into wet mixture to form a ball of dough. Roll out and shape. Put onto a non-stick cookie tray or lightly greased one. Cook 20 minutes at 400 F. Turn off oven and allow the biscuits to cool in oven until crisp and hard. Store in airtight container.
Introducing Our Dogs.....
Newest addition KEVIN
who will be added to the pack after he is wheened on July 5th.
our 11 year old poodle who is blind, but happy.
6 year old Pom. who should have
been named 'prissy' cuz she sure is !

We are total animal lovers and had a great time making these treats. Fun summer activity and the dogs just gooble them up. So does my 9 year old son, but he'll eat anything!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dare to Love MONDAYS!

Being new to the world of blogging, I'm completely amazed at the amount of support, encouragement, and inspiration I have found. It is such a blessing to me to have this wonderful way of expressing myself and actually have people I don't even know care about my thoughts and dreams. I am in awe of you all because of your giving hearts. I even had a dear women contact me last week, and asked me to send her my business card so that she could put MY card in HER orders. WOW!! Having said that, early on (last month!) I was hurt when some of my dearest friends could care less about supporting me through my blog. I mean how hard is it to hit the FOLLOW button?? Thankfully I've come to a place where I realize that this blog is not about gaining followers or comments. The heart of me and my blog is to inspire love, support, and creativity. To love with my WHOLE HEART! So in that spirit I'm offering a weekly post called 'Dare to love MONDAYS'. It is my prayer and desire that these posts will encourage all of us to support one another on our creative journey. SHARE THE L-O-V-E! This weeks featured blogger is the Fabulous JANET NELSON!! I was introduced to Janet's art in person after winning 2, yes 2, of her blog giveaways. What I like about Janet's art is her use of color and her whimsical style. She looks like she is having fun with her art and I just love that! Janet was kind enough to answer 5 questions for me to share with you. She is offering BOTH of these pieces photographed through her blog giveaway in the very near future, so CHECK HER OUT and share the love! 1. Why did you decide to start a blog? I started my blog back in December 1995. Decided that I needed an online presence, but didn't want to pay for a website nor knew how to create one on my own. A blog seemed like a good answer to both those problems. Blogspot was free, user friendly and seemed like a good way to get familiar with how things worked online. 2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link There are so many that I have followed on and off through the years. Two that had some impact are Gapingvoid, Not Martha and Kate Harper I came across Hugh McLeod -- a while back. I am fascinated by his style and business insight, even tho some of his work is a little "crude". His cartoons helped me decide that it was okay that my Innocent Spam and Real Housecats of NJ series weren't drawn perfectly. Not Martha was the first blog I read regularly. She posts links to interesting items, common and curious how to's. She opened up the world of the "blogosphere" for me taking me to different places on the net that I would not have found on my own. I have only recently started following Kate Harper. She is a greeting card designer and has been very generous in sharing information about the industry. Greeting cards, licensing, fabric design are all things that I am currently interested in pursuing. 3. As an artist, what has been the best way to promote your work? I often tell myself, "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". Comment on other blogs, participate in online forums, advertise, do fundraiser events, have business cards ready to give out, participate in social media. I even got filmed for an episode of That's Clever because they were recruiting artists in Delaware -- at the time I lived just across the state line in PA and convinced them I was close enough. (the episode -- filmed 3 years ago--is finally airing June 15th) Do what you can do at the time. You don't have to be a great artist to be successful. You can even be a bad or mediocre one. But what you do have to do is be in the right place at the right time. And most importantly, be prepared to take advantage of opportunity. So I look at the things that I do to promote myself as creating opportunities. 4. What art supply could you not live without? White acrylic paint. Seems I never have enough. It is the one paint that I wont spend a lot of money on, ie, I will buy the cheaper craft paints. I would probably use white house paint if it came in gallon squirt bottles. Hmmm, now that I think of it, that isn't a bad idea, -- maybe a gallon bottle with a pump. 5. If you weren’t an artist, who would you be? Good question. Cant imagine not being an artist in one way or another. People will often tell me that I am so creative and that they are not. It really made me feel bad cause I really didn't think of myself that way and I didn't know how to respond except to be self deprecating. But after examining how my ideas come to me, I know that creativity comes from above. So I tell people that they were created in the image of The Creator (God), therefore they are creative beings. They often will think about that a bit and say that yes they are creative in some other ways. So I don't think I could not be an artist in whatever else I did. Now, if I weren't a painter, because that would require deciding to get and use paints, then I probably would be working in sales somehow as I left a retail job to work on art full time. But then as an artist I am always trying to sell myself and my work. So have I really left?

Thanks Janet for those inspiring words and for sharing your blessings with the world.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Some Urban R & R

Last night I journeyed to downtown Indy with a dear friend who is also an artist. What a rich night we had, gooey rich! We went for a First Friday art event held once a month to showcase all the art galleries and artist. I had been wanting to go to this for years so thanks sweet friend for inviting me.
I love downtown and always feel so alive being in the city.

Awwww, soaking up the culture. I grew up in D.C. so this just feels like home.

Lots of cool art and artist. Check out one of our faves, R rated, but amazing mixed media work (not photographed here)

Great music, great conversation, great food, and adult beverages too... yahoo.

What more could a girl ask for?

Fire throwing of course, what else!

Have you been to your downtown (without the kids) lately? Grab your spouse or a friend and find out what adventure is waiting for you there.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

tick tock, tick tock

Where does the time go? The kids have been out of school for exactly 7 days and I have to admit I'm struggling! The house is a mess, haven't had my daily hour of power (time with Christ), no workouts, no new blog posts or shop/website updates, no time for ME!! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY KIDS and spending time with my family is my greatest joy....but I will not be the best me without a few of these daily rituals and they will not be the best them without some structure and routine. On a more positive note, I have been blessed to sneak in some girlfriend time(so it is thanks to them i have not completely lost it), walk and bathe the dogs, talk to my dad on his birthday, camping with the family over the holiday, log onto the new e-course I'm taking with Kelly Rae (so good, check her out 1 hour catching up on laundry and spent a few late nights in my studio. But I don't think I have sat down with my wonderful husband all week! To do list for tomorrow..... ~Sit down with my wonderful husband and tell him just how wonderful he is ~Get in the WORD ~create a summer schedule ~Workout ~walk dogs ~clean the house ~plant new flowers ~catch up on paper work and emails ~clean the turtle tank

and if i have anything left after with my kids! They are probably sick of me by now though. Ok, I'm done. Thanks for listening and letting me vent.