Friday, September 30, 2011

Bedroom Remodel ~ Are We There Yet?

As I mentioned recently, we've decided to remodel our daugher Isabella's bedroom since she hasn't had a change since she turned three and got into the big-girl bed.  She's now ten (and a half!) and she's showing an interest in Paris and pink with touches of black.  I figure the black will make it last into her teen years and won't seem too young then.  Here are some before and after pictures.  Beware:  the before pictures show quite a messy room as she had started letting it go before we took everything out.  I'm almost embarrassed to let you see them.  There are some with old decor and some with just a stripped down room.  As you can see over her bed she already had the Paris itch a while ago and painted that sweet canvas with the Eiffel Tower and charming blue trees.

Here are two I took right after we tore off the oak stained woodwork prior to putting up new white woodwork.  The carpet was already ripped out and the blue stuff you see on the floor is the underlayment for the wood laminate soon to go up. 

Here she is helping Daddy caulk the crown moulding before it gets painted. She can be a great helper. Sometimes.

Finally, the wood laminate floor is going in and she helped with almost the whole thing. 

The floor is finally finished! We're making progress...

Stay tuned for the finished product in a few days.  I'm excited to show you how it's all turned out.  I also can't wait to get her out of our bed--she's a kicker and an elbower (even gave me a bloody nose once in the middle of the night--seriously).

Thanks for visiting and bearing with the long post today.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Etsy Love - Christina's Magic!

Hey!  How are things going for you today?  Pretty good over here, especially when I'm doing art-related stuff.  Today I want to share a gorgeous painting from the etsy shop Christina's Magic.  Christina is actually a gal I met through our on-line Flying Lessons course by Kelly Rae Roberts.  Take a look at this beautiful 20 x 24 painting called Red Guitar and the Butterfly Blues.  I love how you can only see part of the guitar with the rest of her "subjects."  Just love it.

  20 X 24 Acrylic on Canvas Red Guitar and the Butterfly Blues

This is one of my favorites of hers, but she has so many more unique and beautiful paintings that are so striking.  Another large-size painting that catches my eye everytime I visit her shop is Dancing in a Purple Haze.  That title makes me think of Jimmy Hendrix everytime I see it!

22 X 28 Purple FLower on canvas - DaNcing in a PuRpLe HaZe

If you have a chance, stop by Christina's shop and check it out. 

Thanks for visiting me today and I hope you're enjoying some more of my etsy loves.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Etsy Love - Erin's Artwork!

Here's another beautiful etsy shop that I have added to my favorites--it's Erin's Artwork!

She has sweet and charming decoupage products that really caught my eye.  Many of them are recipe boxes, jewelry boxes and wedding gift card boxes as well as others that all have these amazingly eye-catching papers decoupaged onto them.

I just checked out her shop again today and noticed something that's new to me which is her custom personalized photo box.  I love it!  It can be used as a wedding card box or since I'm already married, I'd just use it for anything because I love having photos around me as much as possible--maybe a photo of my daughter and husband.  It would be great in the kitchen, on my painting desk or even my desk at work--so great!  

Custom Personalized Photo Wedding Guest Book Box Alternative With Dividers and 100 4x6 Guest Cards - Made to Order
I hope you enjoyed one more of my "etsy loves" today.  There will be so many more to come because I have so many favorites there! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

New Bedroom on the Horizon

Lots of "stuff" going on over here.  First of all, we are in the midst of redoing Isabella's bedroom.  She's now ten and hasn't had a change since she first got her big-girl bed when she was three. 

For some reason, she's obsessed with Paris and the Eiffel Tower so that's going to be somewhat of a theme for her room.  Years ago we started replacing all our oak woodwork with white mouldings, baseboards, etc. and didn't get to her room yet. we are. 

Last Sunday we tore out the carpet (lots of orange vomit stains from a night of too many Cheetos, Doritos and sour cream and cheddar chips at a cousins house-just won't come clean).  So, we're opting for wood laminate flooring for her.  Looking for a cute area rug--any ideas for some girly rugs that aren't too pricey?  She's still opting for girly colors, mostly pink, maybe some light lavender polka dots on the walls and wants a light blue ceiling to look like the sky. 

I bought two prints from etsy artists a while back--one with a cute weiner dog looking out a window at the Eiffel Tower by DJ Rogers Fine Art.   Isn't he a doll?
DACHSHUND IN PARIS Dog Signed Art Print by Artist D J Rogers

I also bought this print by one of my favorite artists, Karen Fields called "Bistro Paris Dress."  We've framed it in black to give it a bit more of a grown-up look since we want this room to last through the teenage years. 

Eiffel Tower Art Print Bistro Paris Dress  - Print by Karen Fields 11 x 14

Also, I fell in love with this personalized canvas with her initial "I" and Paris details as well from the shop Owen and the Princess.

Ooh La La Paris 11x14 Custom Hand-Painted Initials on Canvases

I want to post before and after pictures when it's all finished.  We still have to lay the floor (just the underlayment blue stuff is down so far), paint the walls, ceiling, install and paint white new baseboards, trim around windows, doors and new closet doors.  Oh, and find new bedding!  So, we're going to be pretty busy the next week or so.  Hubby wants to get it done before he goes hunting (I think so he doesn't feel so guilty leaving us so often). 

Thanks for stopping by today!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Etsy Love - Sassy Shades

Last week I started posting some of my favorite etsy items and the shops that  created them.  I have tons of favorites, so there will be lots of upcoming posts so I can share them.  Hope you're ready for some beautiful, handmade inspiration.

Today I'd love to share this Lovey Dovey Pendant Lampshade from the shop Sassy Shades.  These are no ordinary beige lampshades!  They are whimsical, colorful and unique--right up my alley to add some personal character to a room.  All of her creations are great, but this one just jumped out at me because I love the sweet birds and great fringe on the bottom. 
Lovey Dovey Pendant Lampshade

I hope you enjoy her shop and I hope you stop back here for some more of my etsy loves!

Thanks for visiting today.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Artist Interview with Ann Marie of That Girl Designs

Today I'm excited to share an interview with Ann Marie of That Girl Designs.  We met through Flying Lessons, an e-course sponsored by artist Kelly Rae Roberts.  Ann Marie is a former custom jewelry artist who owned a boutique and now is living her dream of being an interior designer and artist, and along with her husband, owns Go Design, a design + build company in Austin, Texas.
Do you remember when you first really started to enjoy creating things?
I don’t remember a specific age at which I found my love of creating and designing, but from a very early age I loved to color!  In fact, I would spend hours with my coloring books and even submitted my “works of art” to local grocery store coloring contests.  I was always very precise with my coloring, making sure to color in the lines. ( That was my left brain fighting for a spot in the activity.) What is funny to think of now, is that my mother was an extremely talented seamstress.  She would have loved for me to join her and be her student, but I was a tomboy and would have no part of girl stuff like sewing or cooking. 
Who are some artists that have inspired you or are still inspiring you along your creative journey?
Rex Ray is one of my favorite currently active artists.  His collage work is so inspiring to me.  I bought his book, keep it in my studio, and look at it often.  Beatriz Milhazes is another artist whose work always inspires me.  Her use of color speaks to me as it is how I think of color in my own mind.  I always say that “color is my muse” and her work certainly is color rich.

Which brings me to my next question which you partially answered above: Do you have a muse or an inspiration that helps you with your creations and design?
Color is my main muse, but nature is right up there with it.  In fact, I get a ton of color inspiration from looking at nature.  The color of the sky as a backdrop to the green tree tops.  That sort of thing.  And, this might seem strange, but words, phrases and quotes are also ever inspiring.  I actually painted a recent work based solely on a word and its definition.  It came so easy to me, that I plan to do more art based on single words and their meanings.

If you could have lunch with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be and why?
Totally not art related, but I would have lunch with Cary Grant.  He is my all time favorite movie star.  I just read his daughter’s book about her life with him and his fathering of her and fell even more in love with him.  I own most of his movies and watch them over and over.  His comedic roles never cease to make me happy.
 If you weren’t an artist, what do you think you’d do for a living?
Well, since I’m an interior designer, I guess I already have an alternate to being an artist.  Although, the two are very closely related.  Honestly, I’ve waited so long in life to be a creative, that I can’t even think of any other career that would be suitable. Or acceptable!
 What is your favorite quote, motto or affirmation?
My own mantra is “find your peace” and another is “i have all the tools within me to have the life i want to live.”  (That second one is going to be a poster for sale in my shop soon.)  Favorite quotes include: “your work is to discover your work and then to give yourself to it with all of your heart”  Buddha.  And.... “live a balanced life.  learn some and drink some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some” by Robert Fulghum.  Each of those are on my blog home page. 
I know your husband is your partner, aside from him, do you have a community of other artists or friends/family members who you consider to be supportive of your creative endeavors?
My friends and family are supportive, but until KRR’s class and meeting all of you, no I didn’t have an artist community.  I’m so, so grateful to have found all of my Flying Lessons peeps!  My husband and my son are incredibly supportive of my art making and have given me courage to put it out there in the world. 

If you have an afternoon free, all by yourself, what would your dream day look like?
I’m pretty fortunate, and actually have lots of free time (wasn’t always the case) and every chance I get, I’m up in the studio creating art. 
Do you have any favorite blogs you enjoy reading and would you share them with us?
Yes, in no particular order: - love this gal’s take on life. - this one is about wellness, nutrition, and spirit.  It is Kris Carr’s blog who is a gal living with cancer which she “treats” through healthy living and a plant based diet.  She also has documentary called Crazy Sexy Cancer.  Good stuff on this blog. - just really cool stuff found here.  Great inspiration for creatives of all types.
Do you have any future dreams or goals that you are working on or dreaming about?
I constantly dream of having a second home outside of Texas.  I love my home state, but really feel the pull of a cooler climate. My recent trip to the mountains of Colorado sealed the deal.  It is the mountains for me.  One of my goals is to sell my artwork to help us pay off debt and save for travels and a little home somewhere in New Mexico or Colorado.  I’ve got it on the three year plan!
What advice would you give to aspiring artists who truly want to live a creative life?
Just to never give up.  I just turned 47.  I went back to school at age 44 to pursue my interior design degree.  I’ve waited a lifetime, or it seems, to live a creative life.  I’ve done all the things I had to do to get here.  I was a single parent for a while and worked many, many 9 to 5’s and jobs I hated just to pay the bills.  My point is, that I believe that we are where we are supposed to be at any given time, and that there are many hills on the way to the mountain top.  Never give up on reaching that mountain top.  It will happen!
I would like to thank Ann Marie for sharing so much with us about herself, her art and her future goals.  I especially love her optimism and positive outlook.  I hope you enjoyed "meeting" her as well.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Etsy Love! Choosing Beauty

There are so many amazing artists on etsy!  I have at least 23 pages of favorites and every time I look at them I'm wowed.  I'm amazed at the talent of all these people.

 So... I'm going to start posting some of my absolute favorite shops and items on here every few days.  I really believe in supporting artists, since I am an artist myself of course and I think showing these items might just brighten your day as well because the items are so great in my eyes.  I know we don't all have the same style and likes, but the ones I post will give you a peek into what really speaks to me.
Today I'd like to share from the shop Choosing Beauty with Liv Lane.

All of her items are beautiful, vibrant and inspirational, and one of them that really caught my eye was this mixed media print with the quote, "the universe is conspiring in your favor."  I LOVE motivational sayings that put me in a positive mindset and this as well as the colors and different elements do that for me. 
Motivational Mixed Media Print - 5x5 Universe Artwork
(Photo source:  choosingbeauty)

If you're like me and enjoy unique artwork mixed with inspiration, check out her shop if you haven't yet!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Farmer's Market

I finally went to our local farmer's market after living here for nine years and got two bouquets of vibrant flowers, one for $7 and one for $5.  They're so big I actually divided them into four different vases.  I just have to share some photos because I think they're so cheerful.


I'm going to enjoy these last few weeks of warm weather and fresh flowers here in Wisconsin.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Who do you Adore?

I have always wanted a little girl, even when I was a little girl.  When I played with dolls, they were only girl babies and I dreamed of having my own little girl one day.  I worried that I might not be able to have my own baby.  I'm adopted and hoped I would be so lucky as to give birth to my own baby.   I'll be honest when I was pregnant I hoped it would be a girl (of course I wanted a healthy baby and would've been happy no matter what).  The day she was born made me feel like the luckiest girl alive.  My dream came true--a little girl entered my life, the one I had been hoping for since forever.

She's now ten, but she's still my baby, and she's my everything.  This is probably why so much of my art is on the girly side and why when I title my paintings, I think of the love I have for my daughter, Isabella.

This recent painting I finished is called "I Adore You" because I know what it feels like to be completely enamored by a sweet little girl.  When I think of the women who can't have babies, like I once worried about, I feel crushed for them.  I hope all my gushing in this post doesn't make anyone feel bad about where they are in their lives.  Not my intention at all.

I just wanted to share this painting and tell you my inspiration behind many of my girly creations. 

Who's that person in your life that you simply adore?

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Take a Hike!

Sweet summer is coming to a close and we took a family hike the other day to a county park.  First we let Mazie run around with the other little dogs in the dog area then we went on a hike on this amazing day.  The sky was so blue and it was only in the 70s, so it was just perfect.  The weeds are at that full-bloom stage so everything was just bursting, Queen Anne's Lace, milkpods as well as others I can't name.  The air was even different.  As much as I don't want summer to end, the beginning of fall is one of my favorite times of year.
(Bella, Mazie and I getting our picture taken without knowing)

What's your favorite time of year?  Do you look forward to the changing of the leaves or are you already mourning the end of summer?


Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Babe Back to School

Today was a big day for us as Isabella entered fifth grade, which may not seem like a big deal to most, but this is a new school--it's a 5th - 8th grade building.  Yep, I know, pretty young for "middle school" which they really call intermediate school. 

Kids are growing up too fast, and I worry that entering 5th grade in such a bigger school setting will make her grow up even faster!  They do say they still follow an elementary model, with having the same teacher for core classes and only switching for band, art, phy ed and foreign language.  HOWEVER, if they ride the bus, they actually ride with high schoolers!  What?!  I can't see my little ten-year-old on a bus with high schoolers.  Luckily I work part-time and I can drop her off in the morning.

Report for the day was a good one though which was reassuring.  She had a great experience on her first day in her new school and she's very excited for the rest of the adventure coming ahead, like starting the flute and taking foreign language (exploring Spanish, German and Mandarin).

So, I guess I need to just relax and let her enjoy all
her new experiences and opportunities and make sure she's still my one and only baby at home.
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