Friday, July 30, 2010

Crazy busyness!!

I am ready for some much needed structure in my life!
I love being busy and having purpose, truly i do, but I have not done a good job with structure this summer. Can anyone relate to this?? I feel like my days go so fast, almost stolen, and my to-do list just gets longer. You would think that after our vacation I would be refreshed, but to be honest, I'm just not. I've felt like all i've done is try and play catch up after being gone and I spent the week before we left getting ready to go!
So to settle my spirit I'm gonna do 2 things...
#1 set some goals- there i said it now I'll have to do it. I will be sharing my goals with you in the weeks to come and what works for me and what doesn't.
#2 take a walk through my garden and just escape for the moment. Some call this the Scarlet O'Hara syndrome but i call it a breath of much needed fresh air.
The things that nurture my soul are...
Spending time outdoors, enjoying nature
Spending time with loved ones.
Building my relationship with God and His church.
Creating my artwork.

Making a difference.

Just being good to myself by exercising and eating right.

Boy, a little prespective can go a long way. I guess all the things I have to do today are just not that important.

I would love to know what you do to nurture your soul?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Dare to LOVE Monday

"I tell you, the more I think, the more I feel that is
nothing no more truly artistic than to love people."
Vincent Van Gogh
No guest artist today, but this quote really hit home with me today.
Some people are just not easy to love, so you have to get creative with it!
Do the hard thing and love them anyway.
HE did.
I look forward to catching up with you on your blogs this week. It was a great vacation but there is no place like home and it feels good to be back.
I hope you have a love-filled week!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Dare to LOVE Monday

Sorry I'm late tonight but I am vacationing in the GREAT SMOKEY MOUNTAINS and really didn't think I'd get this post off. Thankfully I found this hour to sneak down to the pub for a post and a beer:) I couldn't wait to visit with you a bit and catch up. It's beautiful here and we are enjoying the mountains and family time. I really needed a break from the summer madness so this trip couldn't have come at a better time.
I am so excited to introduce you to this week's guest, the talented Jonathan Aller.

As you can see from Jonathan's work he is an amazing realist and classic artist. Jonathan has a great blog in that he paints a picture a day. Talk about refining your craft! There's no "just not feeling it today" for him. I admire the discipline and commitment to his craft and it really shines through in his work. He also presents his blog posts in a tutorial format so he takes you through step by step so you can see the progression of his work. He just makes me want to paint in the lines!

Here's more about Jonathan...

1. Why did you decide to start a blog? I was painting for a while on my own as an "Artist" after finishing school and was also working as an art instructor for this big company, I started to see that blogs was the way to go for artist who were frequently painting and at the time I was not that frequent with my paintings. I started to follow other artist who were painting on a daily basis and saw that blogging was such a simple tool to use, they were jotting down there ideas to why they where painting and how. 2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link. There's this artist called Jason Seiler ( and he's an illustrator that does these amazing digital paintings, whats funny is that my work has nothing to do with illustrations or caricatures and Jason's work is all about that. What I love about it is the dedication he has towards is craft and obviously that he's amazing talented, more than anything its very inspirational to see his work it pushes me to become better artist. 3. As an artist, what has been the best way to promote your work? Leaving comments on other artist blogs helps a lot, it exposes your blog to other viewers. Being a part of several art organizations online that just market my paintings helps, I also like to get on art forums and put my work on there to show more people the more the better. I also use twitter I still do not know the use of that tool but I have it to reach a broader audience, I don't know if it works but I use it. Basically I try to expose my work as much as I can through different sites marketing is such art form in itself and I'm still learning a lot from it. 4. What art supply could you not live without? My brushes! 5. If you weren’t an artist, who would you be? An athlete! But I have always been drawing and doodling since I can remember so I really cannot imagine doing anything else than being an artist.

Isn't Jonathan's work yummy? Stop over and visit him. I hope you enjoy his blog as much as I do.

While I'm here in the Smokey's I'm gonna get in touch with my more traditional side and do some Plein Air painting. Maybe it's the mountain air, maybe it's Jonathan, maybe it's all the country music. Whatever it is, being here just makes me feel all sentimental inside. I'll share my Plein Air venture with you when I get back but in the meantime....

Dare to Love!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

seek and find

Seek and Find 11x14
Luke 11:9-10 (New International Version) 9"So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Quick story...
My kids just finished 4-H, a huge organization that fosters leadership skill and training in everything from animal care to Lego's. It's such an amazing club and the kids wanted to do DOG OBEDIENCE, with it being Lauren's second year and Cooper's 1 year.
Lauren chose to work with Bob, our 11yr.old blind poodle. Coop chose to work with Krissy our 6 yr old Pomeranian. I say 'chose', but the better wording would be 'stuck with' because ideally you would never chose a blind old man and a stubborn, prissy pom! But that's what we had to work with and at first the kids were very excited. Then the reality hit...4-H is hard work and even more of a challenge when working with 2 stubborn dogs.
As the big day approached, the kids started to get more discouraged and asked me many times if they could just give up, fearing they would be humiliated. Knowing they hadn't practiced and trained like they should have I told them no, we will finish this. This was simply one of those times I had to let them fail.
The day of the show we're driving over and Cooper is just miserable and I asked him what was wrong. "I'm just so mad because I know Krissy won't listen to me". I try and reassure him but could see he was nervous and frankly i could feel his pain. The kids go through their run with the dogs and judges and we wait for the big moment when they call the kids up for scores and ribbons. You could feel the tension throughout the whole arena.
Cooper's group gets called up first...
Awww, the relief that only a BLUE RIBBON could bring!
Lauren's next....
On the way home the kids were thrilled and so proud of the dogs. Out of my son's mouth comes this little song of Luke 11:9-10. I don't know in which moment I was more happy, seeing them hold those ribbons or hearing my youngest quote scripture, giving the glory to God. What Cooper didn't know was that the night before I was up late reworking an old piece i just didn't like. I regessoed (is that a word?) over it and began to rework it.
This was the final result.
Isn't God the coolest?!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dare to LOVE Monday

I hope you had a wonder filled weekend!
I'm happy to introduce you a faith filled guest blogger....
Studio JRU!

I have recently been introduced to this artist and love the great witness she is. Studio JRU devotes all her work to glorifying The Lord and creating art for believers. You go! I especially like her crosses. She was nice enough to be my guest today and answer the 5 questions I ask all guest artist.

1. Why did you decide to start a blog?

After hearing all the time... "do you have an online shop?"... I decided it was about time to start one. So I did. But I also needed a way for people to see me, for people to meet me, for people to find me. I had already been visiting blogs and seeing this amazing community come from them. I knew this would be a perfect way to connect with other women who shared my interests. I can't even begin to tell you the number of special women I have 'meet' through blogging. So what started out as a way to promote my art business has become so much more than that.

2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link.

This is a tough one. My 'favorite' blogger? I don't know if I can say I really have a favorite. Each blog I visit, I have felt a connection in some way to the woman behind the blog. A reason to want to visit them, a reason to listen to them, a reason to want to learn from them. And along the way I have made so many friends! So, I will share a blog that I have been visiting for a long time... Kimba at A Soft Place To Land. It is a perfect combination of home and faith and family and inspiration. From decorating tips to a bible verse on Sunday. Love it!

3. As an artist, what has been the best way to promote your work?

Has to be my blog and blogging in general. My blog has brought many people to my art. I have my shop links on my blog. I post new art and custom order art on my blog for people to see. Blogging really is a huge community. You visit blogs, people visit you and then see your art. It's a big happy family! :)

4.What art supply could you not live without?

I just couldn't work without gel medium. It is a must. It has so many uses... love that stuff! I would have to say each and every piece I make has gel medium on it. I use Hobby Lobby 40% off coupons to buy the biggest jar of it I can... I go through a lot of it! Can you tell I am excited about gel medium? :)

5. If you weren’t an artist, who would you be?

It is hard to imagine myself not being an artist. It has been part of my life for so long. I have been creating since I was a little girl. I think no matter what I was doing in life, I would still be creating as much as I could. At one time, I had considered going into Psychology. Had the scholarship and all... but it just wasn't what I was meant to do. I feel very blessed that God has laid out this wonderful path for me to be on. I am lovin' it! :)

Be sure and stop in on Studio JRU and i don't know, do something crazy...leave her a comment or follow her blog. DARE TO LOVE, i promise it will come back to you.

Have a great Monday!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

We all scream for ice cream!

My sweet son Cooper , 9 yrs old, has a ton of ideas of what he wants to do this summer. I mean a TON!! Trying to keep up with the kids and their friends this summer has been a real challenge. You think that the older they get the less they'll need or want, is an illusion. I think God just tries to prepare you for each step the best He can. I am definitely struggling with balance this summer and it is starting to take a toll. I just keep reminding myself in a few more years they won't even want their old mom around and it gives me the push i need to go the extra mile.
Anyway.....enough of that.
My son is the prince of whatever's left since he has an older sister to contend with. He asked me for just one thing one recent weekend. "Mom, I want just one thing this weekend and that's to make homemade Banana Mango ice cream" Oh is that all i thought, but my mouth said "I promise". So Sunday night rolls around and I was running out of time to keep that promise but I gathered all the supplies needed, determined to keep my word, no matter how tired I was.

Lazy Mom's Basic Vanilla Ice Cream recipe (no cook!)

-An electric ice cream maker (thank you Nana Di for all the cool things you find at yard sales)

-4 eggs

-1 cup of sugar

-2 tablespoons vanilla

-1/2 pint of whipping cream

-2 cans of Eagle Brand condensed milk

-1 1/2 quarts of dairy milk

-1/4 teaspoon of salt

-any fruit or flavor you want to add to taste (we used 3 mangos and 1 banana cooked down in a sauce pan to marry the flavors)

-Ice cream salt rocks

-lots of ice!

First you follow the directions on your ice cream maker, preparing the ice and salt in the mixer by layering it.

In a big bowl combine eggs, cream, sugar, salt and vanilla and mix thoroughly with a mixer. Pour in any fruit and the condensed milk and stir well, add dairy milk and stir well again.

Add mixture to the fill line in your electric ice cream maker can.

Follow the directions on your maker regarding time, but it took about 30 minutes of mixing on mine to get the consistency we wanted.

Remove the electric mixer out of the can and lick the blades. Kids loved this!

Then remove the can , wrap in towel, and place in the freezer for around 30 min.

Remove from freezer and enjoy.

The ice cream was so delicious, but the best part was hearing my precious son say

"Mom, this is the best ice cream I've ever had!"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Dare to Love Monday!

Happy Monday!!
Sorry I missed this post last week, wasn't sure i would make it today, but this Hippie Chic is so worth the wait.
I am so happy to introduce you to Cyper Hippie Chic!
What i find so totally inspiring about this chic is her courage. She is living a totally authentic life and it may not be for everyone, but she and her husband are responding to where their hearts strings lead them with compassion and pure joy. This young couple is traveling around the US in their RV!! I have enjoyed peeking in on them and must admit I kinda wish I could just pack up and go!
1. Why did you decide to start a blog? I started my first blog a few years ago when my husband and I took our first RV trip from NY to Florida. When we got to Florida we decided to go travel around South America for a while. There it was tough to keep a blog so I stopped for a while. Several months ago we started another RV trip so I thought it would be a good time to start blogging again. 2. Who is your favorite blogger? Please post their link. My favorite bloggers are the ferrets because they are super funny and they are a young couple RVing around; just like us. 3. What has been some of the best ways to promote your businesses? Trade. I love to trade, it's a great way to meet new people, try new products and to get my stuff out there. I usually put extra cards in a trade in hopes that the person will spread the word about my shop. Most of the people I trade with come back for another trade or a purchase. I also get many of my shop supplies, body care products, candles, household items and so many other things from trade, so it really helps us financially, too. (PS. if you want to trade just convo me - 4. During your many travels, where would you most like to settle in and will you ever settle in ? I don't know if I'll ever settle down. I am a nomadic soul, like so many of our ancestors. I love to learn about people and culture, traveling is the best way to do that. There is definitely a part of me that wants a place to call home though. In the US I really like Denver, California and South Texas. But, the Amazon is the place where I feel most at home and comfortable. 5. If you had a million dollars what would you do with it? I'd do a lot more trading on etsy :) I would bring my friends from the Amazon to the US for a big cross country trip. And then I would just live a simple, permaculture life either RVing around or homesteading in the Amazon.

I hope you'll pop over to her blog and ETSY shop and check her out. You won't be dissapointed, she's just one cool hippie chic. DARE TO LOVE!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Come on in?

When I first started writing this blog, I had all these thougths about just how much of myself I would share and how much I would keep private. I planned on sharing my random thoughts on life and my love of art and other interest but didn't intend to talk about my loved ones at all, that was just too close to my heart! But lately something has been tugging me and that something is you! As I share more and more of myself i'm becoming more connected to you and even though I'm finding myself in this incredibly vulnerable place, I kinda like it here. As I pull back the vail, I am enjoying the view more and more. It's kinda like dating a new guy or finding a new friend, scary at first but as you reveal yourself you become more comfortable. So i guess that's where I am, just lovin' the ride and excited to see where we can go.
So now for some formal introductions...

My rock, my love, and the leader of our clan. Everything he does is for us and he is the love of my life.

My first born, she's 10 going on 16 and smarter than any of us.

I'm in awe of her and excited to see where God leads her life.

My baby, he's 9 and has the sweetest heart. His kind and caring way helps to keep us all in check and he is an amazing example of Christ's love. Funny how kids can do that.

Our home, we have lived here for 7 years and our roots get deeper and deeper.

My creative space. May look messing to you, but i call that INSPIRATION!

Me! Still growing and learning, but comfortable in my own skin.

What a blessing that is to know and love yourself!

Welcome to my whole heart, may not always be pretty, but it's real.

I'm so glad you stopped in to visit.

I hope you enjoy this 4th of July weekend with your loved ones.

Please pray for our military.