Monday, August 13, 2007

About time...

It has been a while since I posted last as we have had the busy end of summer rush going on! Getting everyone ready for school, having family over to visit and trying to get the last few projects of summer done have really put me behind on my art and blogging. A few weeks ago we had the teens up from Decatur to spend the weekend and my children were happy little spoiled creatures with them around. We got to meet the newest addition to the family...Samantha's boyfriend Derrick who we liked very much! Here is the whole gang...
Last week my cousins came down from the U.P. for a visit which was a blast. We went downtown to the museum and, of course, ate a ton of yummy food while they were here. Here are a few photos of the kids having fun.

Then last weekend we had a birthday party downtown at the Children's Museum which was nice and then my husband's company picnic. It was so hot that it was not that enjoyable sitting outside for the picnic but the kids had fun playing games.

And now the push is on to get things ready for school. I have all the supplies ready and just need to get some new shoes and clothes. You know...all the basic back to school stuff. Still no word on who Shawn will have for a teacher and that stresses me out a little bit even though I probably won't know anything about the person anyway. I just like to be prepared. Austin is doing one more year of preschool because of his birthday being September 8th. Even though he tests out way above and could definitely be in Kindergarten this year, the district will not even consider it. I don't know what they will do with this reading, writing, math doing, preschooler!!
This summer has been a little hot for us so we have not been doing as much outside as we would normally do. I am actually looking forward to fall and it's cooling off time. I hope that with school back in session I will be able to get busy on the Christmas orders that are starting to stack up on my desk. is time to start thinking about that already. Can you believe it??

I am off to the grocery store...need anything??

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Another great weekend...

It seems that I am always writing on the weekends lately. It was another good one around here. We got some yard work done, Tim got some fishing in, I got a girl's night out and we attended a graduation party. Lala was finally feeling a little better. She had something called Roseola last week which was high fevers, throwing up and very very irritable. It was not pleasant. But today she finally seemed to turn the corner. Yeah!!

I ran to the store today and when I came home this is what I found on the couch. It was so cute I had to run and get my camera. They were passed out. Daddy and his girl. Nothing better than that on a Sunday afternoon.

So not much art got done this weekend but I did clean my studio which has to count for something. My kids have all day vacation bible camp this week and I am volunteering so I will not get much done then either. I am already going through withdrawals. I have a few pieces that I have to get done for paying customers and I really want to get some more samples done soon because I have decided to start doing my home art parties again soon. Are you ready for this...I am going to call them Hootenanny House Party. I love it!

I hope everyone had a good weekend and wish you all a great week.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A great weekend...

It was a great weekend here at our house. One of those times when the weather cooperated beautifully, the kids were in good spirits and we had nothing really pressing to do. We completed Austin's accessible play area to rave reviews from the little man. I still have to add a nice paint job and some accessories so I will put some photos on here after those things are completed but suffice it to say that he is one happy dude! Someone said that the play area looks like a corral so he has decided to name it the AJ Corral for his initials. Too funny!

I got more stuff up on Etsy today which I am happy with. I just completed this first painting in a new series that was suggested by a friend. She asked if I had anything that could include a bunch of grandkids so I am putting together some ideas for ways to include multiple children in a fun design. I have a few more coming soon but here is the first one...of course this one is for my Mom...Happy 80th Birthday Mom!!

We spent the afternoon "swimming" in the hot tub with the gang yesterday only to find that the heater had given out. Not that it mattered when the temp was in the 80's but it is definitely something we need to get fixed soon. Add it to the list I guess. In the is a photo of my daughter in her new "tankini". Isn't she cute!

I also got my new crosses listed on Etsy today. Here is a sample of one. They are all made from wood and river rock and make great gifts. And speaking of gifts...quite a few folks took advantage of my $10.00 off coupon earlier and I am hoping to offer some more good deals as we get closer to the Holidays. These paintings make such good gifts...especially for the people who have everything else like Grandparents. I also have a new baby one in the works that will include a copy of the child's announcement.
So check out the new stuff and let me know what you think. I am off to round up the gang for dinner. Have a great week!!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


It's hard to believe that the 4th of July is almost here. Where is the summer going?? At least the weather has been nicer lately. We turned off the air conditioning about a week ago and have been sleeping great with the cool breezes. Such a blessing in Chicago!!

The kids have been so busy this summer outside with the neighborhood kids and also with friends. Brings back memories of my own summers playing outside from dawn til dusk and even a little flashlight tag at night. It was so carefree. I am glad that my children are having those experiences instead of being overscheduled and exhausted. I have kept up my supply of popsicles and I routinely have about 6-10 kids here playing at any given time. Gotta love summer!!

On the business side...I got my first two listings up on Etsy and it is going well. I have already had 3 orders for my portraits from other sources and am hoping that Etsy will produce some business as well. I will post the newest pieces when they are ready. I also posted some items on Ebay which has been going pretty well. I am off to ship 6 boxes today before the holiday. Haven't had as much luck with art on ebay but I think that summer has a lot to do with that.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Independence day! We are headed off to a BBQ tomorrow and then more relaxing!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Oh look...another post...

What do you know. Two posts in one week might just be a record for me. I am trying very hard to be more diligent to my blog. My kids are bathed and pajamaed and are having their last few minutes of pre bedtime freedom so I thought it was a good time to take a moment and post my newest piece.
I have a couple of things I am pretty excited about this week. One is that I finally posted my first entry in my Etsy store! Yeah me!! I posted my cool kid portraits and I used this one of my daughter as an example.

I am also excited that I finally finished this one of my daughter since the poor kid is 17 months old and I just now sat down to make her a picture. My boys both had numerous ones by now but you know what they say about the third one. Haha.

So be sure to check out my Etsy store and let me know what you think. I am still not sure what I am doing there but I am trying to get the hang of it. I also posted a bunch of stuff on Ebay this week so that was another accomplishment for me to be proud of. It has been a busy week with all this going on and VBS this week for Shawn and school for Austin. Never a dull moment.

Everyone is happy and healthy so that is a blessing. I think we are going to hit the Field Museum this weekend for a little dino fix and maybe cruise the lakeshore. I am really looking forward to that family time.

I hope everyone is having a wonderfully creative summer! More to come...

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Summer Fun...

It has been while because SUMMER IS HERE!! Of course that means 3 kids home all day driving Mommy crazy and even less time for the fun blogging. So far it has been hot hot hot!! We alternate between sitting outside in the sprinkler and being in the basement where it is colder than cold with the air on. We have become the neighborhood hangout and I routinely have not only my 3 kids but a bevy of friends and neighbors. The other day I counted 12 at my house. Can you say...ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!! Here is a pic from the fishing derby we did yesterday. Last year Austin won a trophy for the big fish and this year we didn't even catch one. Probably the heat...yeah...right...hehe...
But...I have been making art which is good. I just finished a couple of pieces to hang over the TV in the living room. Of course I should be listing them on Ebay like a good artist but we will see. I like to enjoy things a little while first.
And I finally got around to photographing so many of the more recent pieces that I have finished and hung up with out bothering. I am excited to get this stuff out there in the next few weeks. I feel like I have not been selling anything lately...oh...wait...that is because I have not. Hmmm...

My work has definitely taken on a different look lately which I am very excited about. I am struggling a little bit with some of the media I am using that is a little bit unfamiliar to me but each piece leads me to a better understanding of how to make things work. I am using tons of texture now with modeling past which is so much fun. I am also growing more comfortable using the canvas paper which is also a fun product.
I created this piece to fill a naked wall in my bathroom and so far have filled two custom orders for similar pieces from folks who have come over to visit. I can't imagine how busy I will be if I ever get it up on my Etsy store. I know...working on it, working on it...

But for now, I am off to make the traditional Father's Day breakfast of bisquits and gravy, eggs and smooches. Happy Father's Day to all you Dads out there!!

Friday, May 18, 2007

Still here...

Yes...I has been a month since my last post. Time has just been getting away from me like crazy lately. The kids all had back to back colds and allergy issues and are just now getting back to being themselves. My poor Austin is just one big allergy this year even with 3 different meds working to control them. I feel so bad for him!

We had Shawn's "friends" birthday party finally a few weeks ago. He chose a Medieval theme this year so we had knights and princesses all dressed up in costumes. My wonderful friends Brenda and Carl dressed up as the King and Queen and we had theme music, face painting, tattooing, jousting & the dragon pinata. We also had a dragon who stole all the goody bags and had to be vanquished by the knights. (Thank goodness for blow up swords) The kids had a blast eating with their hands and learning to do archery (thanks Papa Don!!). I could not have done it all without my wonderful friends who volunteered so help out. And I wonder why the time keeps getting away from me.

But the good news is that I have been spending my time in studio and painting...Yeah!! I have also been sketching like crazy so I have quite a nice pool of drawings to work from when I do get a spare moment. I am still painting on that canvas paper and trying to work out all the kinks involved in that. I am so used to actual canvas' and the potential for 3 dimensional work that is it hard sometimes to translate that to flat paper. I dont' want to build up too much because it makes framing such a nightmare. Here are a few terrible pictures of my latest endeavors. (it was raining so I photographed these in the basement and the lighting was not great)
I also did this one on canvas that I love. I am doing a word a week now as a theme. A couple of weeks ago was Home so all of these centered around that word. I thought I would list this one but I hung it up in my kitchen and now I am loving it. I should know better by now!

My husband is off on his whirlwind 10 day Canadian fishing trip so it is just me and the critters for the next week. Don't know how much painting I will get done but I am planning to move my studio and office to another room and combine them so we will see how that goes. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

BRRRR.... is still cold here and I am getting pretty tired of it. Where is spring?? At least the recent snowfall melted which is a relief. All that slush was not fun to be out in with 3 little kids.
Of course you would think that all this cold would have driven me into my studio more frequently but it hasn't. The little "Gabzilla" has gone into 2 year old mode a little earlier than my boys did and getting anything finished with her around has become difficult to say the least. Not to mention that I am really trying to spend the time with her since she is my last baby and is growing up so fast. are some photos I took of the lastest pictures that I painted. I love to work large but then I find that the photographing process is more difficult. This is a very long, skinny canvas that suited my sketch very well. This seems to be the direction my style is moving lately. I would love to figure out a way to combine the mixed media work I have loved for so long with this new funky "circus freak" style that is flowing out right now. So we will see where it goes. Other than that...nothing else new around here. School is going well for the boys. I was drafted to take Shakespeare the snake in for show and tell to Austin's class the other day which was a big hit. I was thankful that he remained calm and didn't bite anyone (the snake...not Austin). It is Sunday and all of my auctions on Ebay are ending today so I am off to see how that is going. Hope everyone has a good...and warmer...week!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Almost forgot...

I also wanted to mention that my Ebay store is up and running again. I finally got the last of the kid stuff listed and some older art as well. I am really trying to clean out the studio. Within the next few weeks I should have some new pieces listed both there and in my Etsy store. Check it out!!

I'm Back!

Yes...I am still alive and kickin over here. Not to worry. It has just been a busy last few months. Yes...that's right...months. The time just seems to get away from me lately. My Dad used to say that the older you got the faster time it was some cruel joke played on the elderly but now I am definitely beginning to get the idea.
But, the good news is that we are all finally healthy around here and I have been working. Yeah! We finally kicked the myriad of bugs and virus' that plagued our house since Christmas. I guess that is the price you pay for having 2 kids in school. In addition to that, we have had Easter and Shawn's birthday to celebrate both on the same day. We made it into a bit of a birthday weekend actually since he had to share. We went out to the traditional "birthday boy chooses" restaurant on Friday and he chose the Red Robin of course. I think I liked it better when I could influence him a bit on that. Now they definitely have their own ideas about things. Then on Saturday we had a small "family" party with a nice pre Easter dinner and cake. He was pleased with his presents and actually he thought it was cool to share his birthday with Easter. Now I need to get busy planning his real kid party which we are putting off until May in light of the nice weather we have been having. In case you don't live near we are in the middle of April and we have about an inch of snow on the ground. Leave it to Chicago!!

Shawn has decided on a medievil birthday party this year complete with knight and princess costumes, a king and queen and dragon who makes off with the goody bags. Should be fun but definitely need to be outside so we are hopeful that this weather will clear up soon.

In the midst of all of this, I am painting again. I was sketching one night while watching a show with my husband and filled quite a few pages in my sketchbook. When I get my scanner going again I will scan a few. I love the whimsical nature of the new drawings and am attempting to translate them to canvas. I finished one and have a few more to go. I ended up not doing the two gallery shows that I was aiming for as I just couldn't pull enough work together that quickly with my little "helper" running around destroying things every time I sat down. How soon we forget what a 14 month old is capable of...
In the meantime, I have made a pact with myself to get on here at least briefly a few times a week and send those updates. And I will get some pics of the new art up and running in a few days. Hope everyone had a great Holiday!! Think warm thoughts.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey everyone! Welcome to a warmer Wednesday. We are finally in the 40's around here and it is warming up my spirit as well as melting the snow. Yeah!!

I have finally begun to paint again. Of course I never finished cleaning my studio but I just moved things over so I could reach my table. Not the best course of action...I know...but it is working for now. My problem is that every time I ship out a load of Ebay stuff I seem to acquire more. The never ending roller coaster.

I wanted to put together a self portrait to use on some of my portfolio sites but I couldn't find a recent picture of me that I liked. You see...up until a year ago I had really short hair. So any older picture of me really doesn't look like me any more. When I got pregnant with my daughter I had this urge to grow my hair out. I figured that since I was going to look scary for 9 months anyway...what better time. (To clarify...I am not one of those glowing, Madonna looking pregnant women...enough said!) And since I had my daughter...well, let's just say that the weight is not going anywhere fast. But I did find an older picture of me on the computer so I went with it and here it is...

It is not quite finished yet and I feel that something needs to be in my hand but I haven't figured out what yet. So far I am pleased with it though and I am anxious to get it on some of my other sites.

I am challenging myself to have at least 3 pieces going at once and work on them every day. We will see how that goes but so good. I am off to get the monkeys up for school. Another day in paradise!!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Another bitter cold day here in Wheaton. car said -8 this morning when I got in and when I opened the blinds the windows had a nice layer of ice on them. I guess we have gotten spoiled with this warm winter we were having. The good thing about yucky weather is that I stay in and clean my studio!! Yeah!!

I feel like I am finally making progress. Most of the random Ebay stuff is gone or going so that helps a lot. I started a new painting today which is so good for my mood. The Brie Baby is sleeping soundly and my boys are playing together so nicely that I had one of those moments when everything seems perfect. Just for a moment though and then the reality of my not so tidy house and huge to do list came crashing down again. I guess one moment of perfection is better than none at all. Haha.

In keeping with my goal of getting all of my old work posted I am putting up a few new items I found in my studio. Pretty soon I will have new work to post and that will be a great day. I started working on my Etsy store today also. Of course, you have to have items to put in it so for now it remains empty but it will be filling up as soon as the Ebay items are gone and I can get a moment to breathe.

OK...break over...let the cleaning begin...I hope you are having a warm and fuzzy day.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

It has been a busy week around here as my Ebay business is booming once again. No art right now unfortunately...just cleaning out the household stuff. I had over 50 things listed and most of them are ending now so the shipping craze begins. It feels good to be purging all of my old stuff again. My Mom sent some things that she wanted to get rid of as well so I had a bunch. I still need to list all of the baby clothes and boy clothes but that takes so much more time than just listing individual items so it will have to wait a little while longer.

I just signed on to a web site called Etsy which is for handmade items by artists. I am excited to create my own store and start selling some stuff. I think I will start with my children's items like canvases with messages on them and then move into paintings. I have been sketching like crazy so I am anxious to get to work on some new stuff. Once I get this Ebay mess out of my studio I will be able to get moving on it.

But for now I will leave you with one of my older mixed media pieces that I love just for fun!

"Soul Mate"

Monday, January 29, 2007

Another day of trying to get my studio cleaned out so I can start to paint again. I have been sketching so that is good at least. I am getting all the ideas out and on paper before they fade away. I did finish one piece a last year which is hanging in my living room and I love it. I know eventually it will have to move on so I am enjoying it while I can. The good thing about being an artist is that you don't have to live with anything too long. In my case...that works for me. So here it is....

This one took on a life of it's own once I started it and turned out a bit differently than I expected really. I have been dealing with issues of good and evil...heaven and hell...a lot lately and I think it is coming out in my work. I am trying to figure out the connection between who we profess to be and who we really are inside.

Since I have little new work, I am going to post a bunch of old stuff on here just to get a base started and then I can add new work. I will be listing much of this work on Ebay in the coming months so look for that!

I am off to try to get organized. Wish me luck!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Well...I finally get through figuring out what I want this thing to look like and how to make it look the way I envisioned and now I sit down to write and can't think of a thing to say. Go figure!

I really wanted to have something to tie into my art and Ebay sales and to give a little bit more information to anyone interested in taking the time to read this. My last attempt at journaling anything besides my sketchbooks was back in the preteen years with my "dear diary" book that had the little lock. I guess the idea back then was that no one was supposed to get in. Maybe that is why it seems so strange to be letting it all hang out on here for everyone to read. But everyone says it is time to move into the new age so here I am.

I am finally starting to paint again after my long baby hiatus. She just turned 1 a few weeks ago so that tells you how long it has been. I feel like I have has so many ideas bumping around in my head lately just dying to get out so I suppose it really is time. In the is my little angel enjoying her birthday cake. YUMMY!!