Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Studio Update-Life Happened

Since my last blog entry, life has happened.

My daughter in law has completed her cancer treatments and has had both of her surgeries. She is doing very well and is happy to feel somewhat normal after this whirlwind last year. As most know, the cancer scare does not end at the end of chemo and surgery. Her yearly checkups need to be clear, so we pray every day that her body is as much of a warrior as her mind.

I have a new great grand baby. She arrived April 15, 2017 and is named after her grandmother, my daughter, Emily. She was born in Utah and though I have not seen her in person, my granddaughter video chats me pretty regularly. I hope I won’t be a stranger to her when we finally meet. 

My eldest grandson (Zeter) has returned from his pilgrimage in Japan. He is back to work and I am counting on his Burlington discount...haha

Another grandson, Tony, graduated from his IT program in Utah and has come to stay with me until he gets on his feet. He is currently residing in the studio on an air mattress. I have to get used to not hanging out in there all day; at least for a while.

Family and friends have come to visit and I have enjoyed every minute.

Hurricane Irma happened (almost a year to the day after Matthew hit us) and I feel blessed that I had no damage to my house and only 3 days without power. 

I have been learning the process of recording tutorial videos of a mixed media class. As I complete them, I have been sending them to my girlfriend whose daughter is creating a painting from them. They are giving me feedback and I am learning a lot from that . For some reason, I can teach a class in person in the studio, but I get so very nervous trying to record myself teaching. I need to get over the nerves and think about investing in a camera for this purpose, Right now, I am just using my phone. Everyone has to start somewhere, eh?

I have been able to create a couple of art pieces in the last few months. Two of them sold after I uploaded them to social media.

These are a few I recently completed and still have in the studio.

I am also painting in my journal in an effort to art most everyday. My journals are pretty personal, so I usually show the painted pages on Instagram before I add my written journaling.

Tomorrow, I hope to scan some paintings and list on Etsy and Society6.

Thank you for your interest in my life and art journeys.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Studio and Life Update

Its been such a long time since I have had a chance to update here.

My daughter in law is fighting her battle with breast cancer with such grace. This week she will have her 7th (of 8) treatment. They changed her chemo drugs after the first four treatments and this drug comes with a whole new set of side affects. Where the last drugs caused her to be sooo tired, this drug is causing pain and she is unable to sleep through it. That said... Look how beautiful this fighter is!!!!

A long time ago, I received some requests from friends that lived far away, to make an online class for their kids. So, recently, I have been working on a kids/beginner mixed media class. This is my first time making a tutorial video, so you can imagine my stress level just trying to figure it all out. Of course, whatever CAN go wrong , HAS gone wrong.

I had to figure out how to record, edit, make an intro... and of course right in the middle of me slamming this new endeavor, my computer stopped working. Literally wouldn't boot to windows. I thought I lost all of that work as well as all my personal files. I was really freaking out.

Black Hole Makers (a local pc repair shop) was able to get my pictures, working files, and personal documents backed up before having to install a new hard drive. They are the BEST!

Once I got my computer back home, I spent the weekend loading some of my programs back on.
I CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT PHOTOSHOP! I lost Office, and no longer have the disk, but I was able to download Open Office and for the few things I use it for, I think I can survive with this.

Did I tell you???? I took a part time job at our local Staples. I am working in the Copy Center a few days a week. Having worked in a copy/print shop for 17 years, I should do well at this job. I hope all goes well and I can keep this job for a while. Its about a mile from my house and is giving me the opportunity to get out and socialize a bit as well as help customers with their print needs which is extremely satisfying.

I have painted a little in my art journal and if you follow me on Instagram or my Facebook business page, then you have probably seen these already.

Well, I think I need to get back to video recording and getting this class completed. I have a young lady who is taking the class as a demo and her is going to give me feedback to see if I am going in the right direction. Ill let you know, when I get it finished!

As always, thank you for following my life and art journeys. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Intimidated, But Moving Forward Anyways

I have watched so many of my artist friends create videos, that I really wanted to try it. I have posted a couple of Facebook Live videos of my grandaughter and I artting and baking together.  That was only slightly intimidating (on a scale of 1-10, it is usually a 6) as Olivia is the star and she loves to be on camera.

I, on the other hand, HATE to be on camera. And, I especially dislike the tone of my voice. Whenever I hear it back, I wonder how people can stand to listen to me for any length of time.

That said, I love to teach in person and I'm on a journey of self acceptance, so I am taking the leap. 

A fellow artist shared with our group how she made an inexpensive camera stand. She shared it a while ago and I procrastinated ever since then of trying to make one and trying to make videos with my phone. So, after getting much support yesterday from a couple of artist friends, off to Home Depot I went with my list of supplies and funny diagram.

I am not sure what took me so long to do this, because it was sooooo easy. They cut all the pieces for me at Home Depot and I assembled it in the store to make sure I had everything. I think I may have encouraged a fellow shopper to make one as she was intruigued as she saw me putting it together.

Of course, I had to take it apart to go through the check out. I came straight home and reconstructed it on my diningroom table. I was so stinking excited.

This morning, I took it into the studio and set it up in my workspace. I was able to attach my phone and capture the desk area that I wanted to video. 

However, when I turned the video on to make a short recording (just to see if the set up was ok), I realized that I was very afraid. I don't think I said "um" that many times in my life as I said it in that 15 seconds! Do I need to prepare a script?? Perhaps I should start with voice over? 

I am going to move forward even though I feel extremely intimidated by sharing with the public via video, but surely could use some pointers from the more experienced. Help me get over this hump?

Monday, January 9, 2017

Life and Studio - Tiff's Fundraiser & a Wine Bottle Class

There was good and bad for many in 2016. I think we all are hoping that the bad will turn around in the new year. We will work hard to put it behind us and  put all that lingers in perspective.

In October, my daughter in law, Tiffany, was diagnosed with an agressive breast cancer. She has begun chemo and will undergo a double masectomy at the conclusion of her treatment.

Saturday, her friends and family rallied in support at a fundraiser that was beyond words. They raised over $15,000!!!

Tiffany and Rachel (identical twins) and the greatest friends a girl could have!

My nephew from New York, Ryan, even surprised us by showing up.


I was not surprised that the turn out was so great for the fundraiser. My kids have an amazing group of friends who have each others' back ALWAYS!

The day after the fundraiser, we had a wine bottle class in the studio. It ended up being just two wonderful neighbors. I wanted to share their awesome bottles with you (I feel like a proud momma).

Thank you so much for following my art and life journeys.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Life and Studio Update

Wow, its been a couple weeks since I have posted any thing here. Like most people, I am consumed with holiday activity.

But, in addition to the norm, our family is also coming to grips with my daughter in law's recent diagnosis of an aggressive form of breast cancer.  She is young and that poses more of a struggle for her personally than it would for a woman of age. Though we are trying to be supportive, WE DON'T HAVE CANCER.  She does... and that has to be scary.

My granddaughter, Olivia knows of her mother's cancer and like any child her age, she does not think about it 24/7. Periodically, she is reminded when her mother has appointments or when she had her port put in and Olivia had to be careful around her while it healed. But, not like we think about it.

So, I , as well as her parents, have been trying to carry on with traditional activities for Olivia, so she doesn't miss any of the joy in the holidays amidst the shadow that is coveting all of us at this time.

If you follow me on instagram, you saw a video (poorly taped on my phone) of  O's Christmas Concert from last Thursday ( she's the penguin with the ponytail in the top row directly in  front of the boy reindeer).

Last weekend O and I made the sugar cookie cutouts and this weekend, we decorated them.

We are doing our family Christmas dinner on Friday, the 23rd. I had a few gifts to mail and a few gifts for Olivia to wrap. I also have overdue birthday presents to give out that night. I made some of the wrapping paper by embossing on a roll of kraft packing paper. 

I made the cards for Olivia's gifts out of left over gelli prints. The blue matched her wrapping paper perfectly.

 A couple weeks ago, I scheduled a Christmas Card making class.  We got a few different designs completed and I continued the following day and made a couple snowman cards.

I actually have done a few pages in my art journal and thought I would share them here.

Thank you for your patience in my haphazard posting as of late and thank you always for your continued support in following my life and art journeys!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Christmas Card Class and More Art

Good Morning,
I have been busy with the holidays and getting a Christmas Card class ready  for the first week of December. A few girls wanted to make some home made cards, so I took a couple ideas from YouTube and a couple ideas of my own and put a class together. 

 I also had some time to create a painting using some techniques I recently learned . I am not sure what inspired this, but the idea of what the finished piece would be changed continuously.

Finished Painting

This painting is for sale in my Etsy Shop. I have also added a few more original paintings, so go take a look.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Thanksgiving Weekend: Olivia's Ornaments

Hi Everyone...

I saw that most people had a fabulous Thanksgiving either at home or away. I, in fact, spent my 'first' Thanksgiving away from my home. My grandson and I were invited to my son's mother in law's home and we were grateful to be asked.

I took an antipasto (can't get away from the italian in me) and a crockpot of turkey gravy. My daughter in law's mashed potatoes are the bomb diggity, so this girl woulda been happy with just those. However, everyone brought delicious food and a lot of it.

The day after Thanksgiving, it is a tradition to do home made ornaments with the kids. I was excited that I was able to spend the day with Olivia (my grand daughter) and carry on that tradition.

I already had my tree up with the lights on, but Olivia put the decorations on it just after she arrived.

I never tire of seeing my tree lit. I had just arrived in Florida the 8th of December last year, so I really didn't have time to put up decorations and enjoy them. I was very busy unpacking and trying to set up house.

After we put the ornaments on the tree, we went to work making Olivia's first traditional ornaments with 'Manna'.


The peppermint candy and the reindeer bulb were ideas from a YouTube video. The wreath is an ornament I have made with my kids and my grown grandkids in the past.

Since Hurricane Matthew came through, everyone in the neighborhood is just seeming to get the tail end of clean up and repairs done. I still have fences to fix, but I was able to finally paint the base of one of my outside tables. I may not get to painting the chairs for a while, but its nice to have the glass back on the table top for now.

We have had beautiful weather here in Florida (ok, I'll admit that I freeze after about 5pm when the temps go down into the 70s and continue to fall into the 50s at night). I have no idea how I survived the winters in Utah for so long.

With the beautiful daytime temperatures comes more outdoor time for me. Though the electrical pole and wires at the corner of my back yard are an absolute eyesore, sometimes, I am able to look past them at a more awesome sight.


Amidst all the weekend activities, I was able to finish a painting and I will post that on Saturday. But for now, I have to get back to reality and pay some bills or my Christmas lights will be off and I won't be able to watch ELF on tv :)

I hope you all are as excited as I am for this Christmas spirit that is beginning to take over. Sometimes you just need that.... and your angels to make an appearance.