Sunday, November 27, 2011

What's Going on Over Here

Not sure if you remember but we were in the process of remodeling our daughter Isabella's bedroom a while back.  Her theme is Paris, mostly with deep pink, light pink and black.  I promised to post some after pictures.  Well, after all this time it's STILL not completely done, so no pictures of the finished product yet!  My husband has been hunting for the past six or seven weeks so things have been getting done little by little--really little by little.

She has a nice wide spot above her bed that she wants me to do an Eiffel Tower painting, so I finally just started working on that last night on my brand new desk from IKEA.  Here's a peek at the start of it.  The only other thing she requested in the painting was a pink poodle, so I have to find a perfect spot for that as well as add some more detail.  Just wanted to show you the start of it.  The one below is the painting just a little bit futher.  I'm enjoying painting with only two soft lamps lit and Christmas music playing in the background.  Must be the new desk that's making me feel so peaceful or could it be that I  have been reorganizing the office?'s amazing what getting rid of clutter can do.

Also, my dad built her a homemade bookshelf when I was still pregnant, but it's light periwinkle and soft yellow, so that's also on the project list for me to finish.  I've been sort of procrastinating on this one too, but I want to get moving because she has books and trinkets all over the house that need to go back to their home on the bookshelf.  I'm thinking of painting it white and having the inside back of it deep pink with some black diamond-shapes or some pattern.  On the side that can be seen when you walk in the door I was thinking of adding some black and deep pink and maybe painting or putting a stick-on black chandelier.  Any ideas of what would look cute to funk up the bookcase?  I'd love to hear them.

I also just ordered some materials to make some of my favorite paintings into little glass tile pendants to add some new items into my etsy shop.  Prints are on the horizon too as I got a new Epson printer and Photoshop Elements.  Hopefully I can keep going on all these projects and start the holiday shopping, decorating and cookie-baking as well. 

I hope you'll stop by to see the updated painting and finally her completed bedroom.  Thanks for visiting today!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thank you! Thank you!

Thanksgiving is approaching and I want to give thanks to a few of the great things in my life right now.  I know that many bloggers are probably doing something similar, but I personally feel uplifted when I read other people's lists of what they're thankful for.  I try to give thanks daily but sometimes life gets busy and the gratitude gets forgotten.  I'm going to go for a list of five things I'm super thankful and lucky to have right now.  There's definitely more than five, but I think that's what I'll share here.

1.  My spunky, beautiful and loving daughter Isabella who is a dream come true (I've always wanted to be a mommy to a little girl).

2.  My husband Shane who has a fun sense of humor that I can really be myself with.

3.  My best friends in the whole world, Carrie and Jenny.  I've known Carrie since 1st grade and Jenny a few years after that.  I am so blessed to have had these friends for so long--we've been through everything together: first communion, first boyfriends, homecoming, prom, spring break trips, weddings, divorce, babies, deaths.  There is a lot of history there that can't be replaced.

4.  My new community of art friends that I met through Flying Lessons (an e-course by Kelly Rae Roberts).  I've never had other artists to talk to and learn from and now I do and they have made life much richer.  Most of us have only "met" online but I feel like I've known them for years and that I can talk to them about so much.  They are funny, supportive and uplifting.  

5.  Finally following my dreams of creating art.  I've wanted to be an "artist" ever since I was a little girl watching my grandpa paint, but practicality got in the way.  A few years ago some health issues made me wake up and take my life into my own hands and start following my heart.

There you have it--five of the major things I'm so deeply grateful for and have blessed my life.  I still have my problems and disappointments of course, but when I really count my blessings, I feel so lucky, especially because of the above five.

I hope you all enjoy those things that have blessed your life.  Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.  Thank you for taking the time to visit me and my blog!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

heART Exchange - Off to California!

As I said earlier in the week I am participating in the heART Exchange sponsored by Louise Gale.  We had to create something from the heart with the theme "from my heart to yours" in mind for our partner.  Since we don't know each other (yet) I had to sit with this idea for a little while before I decided what to create for someone I've never met nor talked to even online.  Her name is Nicole and she lives in California and is part of a production company that "inspires women and girls."  I also noticed she mentioned having a sweet five-year-old daughter.  Well, we already have two things in common:  one of my goals in creating art is to inspire girls and women and I have a ten-year-old daughter who I think is pretty sweet as well.

Since I love quotes, I decided to find a saying that universally we could all relate to and I came up with "I Wish You Love."  I know, it's not exactly a quote, but it's a phrase that sends warm wishes to someone.

Here's my little creation.  It's a 5x7 collage/painting on canvas board that I hope will bring a touch of happiness to her and her family when they see it.  Creating this with a loving intention in my heart gave me that extra excitement that comes from creating with a specific person in mind.

I'm hoping Nicole will enjoy receiving this little creation from my heart to hers in a few days!

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

heART Exchange

This week I'm participating in the heART Exchange, sponsored by the wonderful Louise Gale and the site Your heART Makes a Difference.  I will be creating a small piece of art made with the theme "from my heART to yours" and sending it to a partner who will be also creating something special for me as well.  

We were just given our partner's name and information this morning, and mine is a gal in California.  Quite on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of weather since I'm in chilly Wisconsin!  The item is suggested to be no larger than 8x11 to help with shipping size and cost and should be sent by this Friday, November 18th.  Yikes!  That's really quick--I better get moving!  I have a little show Friday night, so I have lots on my plate right now.  Have to get going!  I will post my creation when it is done!

This is a great way to create something with a loving intention and send it out into the world.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Artist Interview - Siobhan Jordan

Today I’d like to share an interview with Siobhan Jordan, a lovely creative soul living in Ireland.  Siobhan has many interests and inspirations two of which are family and memories.  We are so lucky to learn more about her in this interview today.  As you will see, she is an interesting and vibrant personality.  

Do you remember when you first really started to enjoy creating things?

I’ve always loved to make things; one of my earliest memories is making jam tarts with mam, and making poor daddy eat them! We were lucky and given free reign creatively at home. I used to paint murals on my bedroom walls, knit little teddy’s, draw our toys, make spaceships from cornflake boxes, etc. I loved painting on walls though - it was scary and you couldn't afford to make a mistake.

Who are some artists that have inspired you or are still inspiring you along your creative journey?

I painted when I was 15 with a local artist Tommy McAssey for an entire summer - it was magical! I loved his studio, the smell of turps and oil paint, the old rags, the organised chaos. He celebrated his 77th birthday when I was with him and his practice still resonates with me and inspires me, his constant learning and searching.

(Photos courtesy of Siobhan Jordan)

Do you have a muse or an inspiration that helps you with your creations and design?

I tend to get bored quickly so I need to challenge myself. I was terrified of drawing and illustration so at the moment I’m doing that. I love to paint - I love the process, expectation, disappointment and exhilaration that comes with it. It’s what motivates me to keep going.

If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and why?

Immediately I thought my gran and cousin Robert (both have passed away); I’ve forgotten their voices, that really upsets me. Plus they were a fountain of knowledge, a great laugh and just great honest to decent people.  

If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you’d do for a living?

I probably would have applied myself better to any of the day jobs I’ve had and excelled - so I could have been, a barmaid, a cleaner, a shop assistant, a charity fundraiser, a pizza chef, a tour guide, a receptionist, a supervisor, a  call centre manager, a florist, a production worker, a sandwich maker, a babysitter, a dog walker.

I remember thinking when we had to fill in college applications that I had no desire to do anything else, and I had to make this work for me.

What is your favorite quote, motto or affirmation?

Be brave, and just do it.

Do you have a community of other artists or friends/family members who you consider to be supportive of your creative endeavors?

I’m very lucky to have a great network of artists from college; my family are all artists and my husband is a musician so I’m surrounded by creatives who understand - I’m also a member of a artist collective ‘ The Swan Society’. We draw, paint and exhibit together and will be back up and running in the new year after a year off. And of course I’m a new recruit to the world of blogs and on-line support networks - these have been invaluable for me.

If you have an afternoon free, all by yourself, what would your dream day look like?

That seems so far-fetched at the moment! If I was just at home I’d probably go for a walk or weed the garden. We’ve just moved to a 1900’s granite collage which could do with a bit of tlc so I’d probably work on something in the house. If I was in a city or town I’d spend the afternoon going to galleries and drinking coffee!!

Do you have any favorite blogs you enjoy reading and would you share them with us?

Again - there’s just so many to mention (I think I follow over 250 on blogger alone!) But a quick list - Kelly Rae Roberts, Tim Sally, Carol Marine, Greenside Up (gardening blog - FAB!), Earth Angels, Foxglove Lane (nature blog - beautiful!,) Lhogan ( hand spun and handdyed yarns - mind blowing!), Artists who blog, blind elephant illustration collective , the pen mover, I love following pages on facebook to keep up-to-date with artists too.

Do you have any future dreams or goals that you are working on or dreaming about?

Of course - world domination!!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists who truly want to live a creative life?

Be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked in a day job, and probably spend years not getting paid for it.... but don’t give up.

A big thank you to Siobhan for participating in this interview.  I loved getting to know more about her and I especially enjoyed hearing about her creative childhood.  Her art caught my eye instantly as it is super unique, like nothing I've ever seen before.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Dance Till the Stars Come Down...

I found this quote over a year ago and just fell in the love with the imagery that came to mind for me:

"Dance till the stars come down from the rafters" by W.H. Auden

For some reason it gave me visions of a rustic party in a barn with holes in the roof where stars could peek through.  I also envisioned twinkling white lights strung up throughout and only white candles lit for any other source of illumination.  I've never been in a barn party (that I can remember) so I'm not sure why this came to mind--I think the word rafters did it for me.  I decided to do a little painting with this quote and someone from a dance supply store bought it for their bathroom (of all places)!  It made me happy though--my painting was going to be in a public place!  Yay!

Now almost a year later I showed the photo of the painting to the owner of my daughter's dance studio and she commissioned me to do a much larger one than the original.  It's not an exact copy--that's hard to do when you switch sizes sometimes.   I'm going to deliver it to her tonight.  I really hope she likes it and I look forward to seeing it hung where all of us parents wait and watch our girls dance.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Artist Interview - Jacquie Williamson

Today I’d like to share an interview with Jacquie Williamson, a beautiful mixed media artist living in Tennessee.  We met through Flying Lessons, an e-course sponsored by artist Kelly Rae Roberts. 
Do you remember when you first really started to enjoy creating things?
I’ve always enjoyed creating things.  It seems like I’ve always gone and tried that latest trend whenever something new came out, however, I never really found the thing that sang to me.  The one thing that I was drawn to every day until last summer.  I lost my job in May, Cinco de Mayo to be exact.  I was so tired of working in an office and dealing with all of the crazy stuff that I’ve had to deal with over the years.  Not to mention, I’m not really built to sit behind a desk all day.  I had been drawn to Kelly Rae’s work.  Every time I saw her in a magazine, I made sure I bought it.  Then, in June, I saw her book.  Of course I bought it.  Once I started reading it, I learned that she had only been painting for two years when she wrote the book.  A light bulb went off.  You know what?  I can do it too.  So I looked through her tutorials and tried one out.  That’s when I found out that mixed media is what I’m meant to be doing, and I haven’t looked back.  I have incorporated some of the other things I’ve learned to do into the products I offer.  It helps feed that need to do other things like make jewelry.
Who are some artists that have inspired you or are still inspiring you along your creative journey? 
Wow, there are so many.  It seems like I’m finding new ones almost every day.  Kelly Rae (of course), Tam at Willowing, Suzi Blu, Flor Larios, Andrea T Sieler, Juliette Crane, Paulette Insall, Sharon Tomlinson, Megan Suarez, Traci Bautista, Adriana Almanza, Lisa Ferrante, Jodi Ohl, Katie Berggren, and my latest finds Tracy Verdugo and Danita.  Sorry there are so many, but these girls are just awesome.
Do you have a muse or an inspiration that helps you with your creations and design?
Actually, I have no muse.  I do sketches first, and I just sit and do sketches when I feel like it.  When I’m ready to paint, I just pick out a sketch that I like.  I do spend a lot of time on artists’ blogs though.  They inspire me a great deal.  I love to see what other people are doing.  I have taken bits and pieces of many of the artists who inspire me and worked them into my style.

If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
I’m a Libra, so it’s really hard to pick just one, but if I had to, it would be Oprah.  She’s such an inspiration.  I feel like there is so much I could learn from her.

If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you’d do for a living?

Well, I guess I would be an accountant, because that’s what I used to do as my “day” job.  I really just kind of fell into it.  It wasn’t by choice.  If I were to choose something besides artist, it would be interior designer. 

What is your favorite quote, motto or affirmation?
Follow your bliss!  I have to say this is what I aspire to do.                                                                        

Do you have a community of other artists or friends/family members who you consider to be supportive of your creative endeavors?
My husband is quite supportive of my dreams.  He is a musician and fellow Libra, so he knows exactly what I’m going through.  He knows what it’s like to have creative dreams.  My mother is also quite supportive.  She enjoys my work and shares it with anyone she can.  I have met a couple of local artists recently (one of whom is a fellow flier).  They have both been great.  I can ask them any question I need to, and they are more than happy to answer.

If you have an afternoon free, all by yourself, what would your dream day look like?

Our city is so beautiful and filled with parks.  There are so many artists here too.  First, I would probably go to several little shops and galleries.  Then, I would take my journal to the park, pick a nice table by the river and sketch and paint the rest of the day in peace and quiet.
Do you have any favorite blogs you enjoy reading and would you share them with us?

Hmmmm.  You probably don’t have time for them all, so here are a few. 
Ok.  That’s enough.  I know I left out a bunch.  There are just too many out there.
Do you have any future dreams or goals that you are working on or dreaming about?

Now that I have taken Kelly Rae’s class, I have a huge list of goals.  Now that I know it’s possible even for me, the sky is the limit.  The immediate things I am working toward are:  working on growing my online presense, making a full-time income with my art, get my daughter in pre-school, illustrate a children’s book, get published in mixed media magazines and have a beautiful studio in my backyard.  Another goal (a major one) is to inspire others with my work and accomplishments.  I want to be someone my daughter can look up to and be proud to call her mommy.
(Photos courtesy of Jacquie Williamson)

What advice would you give to aspiring artists who truly want to live a creative life?
The best advice I can give is try to overcome your fears.  Sit down and make a list of everything you want to do with your life and get to work on them.  (I should probably listen to myself right now).  If you get side tracked, don’t let it stop you.  Just pick up where you left off and keep going.

I would love to thank Jacquie so much for letting me interview her and giving us all a peek into her life.  Her paintings are amazing and so uplifting and an inspiration for many of us.  I think she's already making her daughter proud!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Follow Your Heart - You Might Just Fly BLOG HOP

I absolutely love quotes--they inspire and uplift me.  Some are hilarious, some serious, but I especially love the ones that really make me think and sort of change how I look at things in life.   
I've been writing them down in journals for years and love to find artwork with quotes decorating it.  Here are just a few of my favorites:

"What you love is a sign from your higher self of what you are to do."  ~Sanaya Roman

"It's never too late to be what you might have been." ~George Eliot

"If I had my life to live over, I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies." ~Nadine Stair

The first two quotes have helped me realize creating art is what I NEED to do.  The third makes me just want to relish life every single moment and just do the fun stuff that many think only kids still do.   The quotes on their own haven't been making me take things one step further, but the amazing community I have been recently blessed to be part of has encouraged me to put those dreams into action.  To follow my heart.  To feel like I can fly.  Let me backtrack a bit:  I finally took the e-course Flying Lessons by Kelly Rae Roberts and this is where I have found this amazingly supportive and caring community.  The class ended months ago and these beautiful women are still here cheering each other on.  Every day.  All day.

Even before this class, many of my paintings and collages have had sweet birds and butterflies in them.  They are amazing symbols of whimsy, joy, flight and all that is happy in life.

The little 5 x7 painting was done after the course was over but was inspired by my new friends that are part of my community of creative gals.

So, to them, my "fellow flyers" I want to say thank you for encouraging me to follow my heart and to believe that I can fly in my own way.

Do you have any favorite quotes or little phrases you live by that help you on your path of life?

Thanks for visiting today and please check out some of the below blogs for some more sweet inspiration.
Amaranthine Violet:
Beth Cougler Blom:
Cindy Jones Lantier:
Julie Hamilton:
Stacey Chadwick
Teresa Cash-Czech:
Special Thanks to Michelle Reynolds for the use of her artwork(! For more info on classes by Kelly Rae Roberts visit or check out her new Hello Soul. Hello Business.
Thanks for hopping with us!   Jill
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