I finally got down in to my studio room today...and almost immediately there was a change in my mental and physical being.  I straightened the areas up, put things away, etc. and my mind just wandered  in a creative manner.  I base coated a couple of canvas', took some photos of the anklets for Etsy in my light box, and got ready for a design challenge which is ahead of me.  It was so relaxing and felt so different and good.....I need to come back down later tonight and work on a trash to treasure project....

Garden Bed

Over the weekend my husband bought this neat olde brass bed frame.  Someone had painted it gold (ugh) so we painted it flat black.  Larry made wood sides for it, went to the gravel pit and got a trailer load of topsoil and then today we went to Home Depot and bought 2 flats of assorted flowering ground cover to put inside.  In the very black are two small spruce shrubs.  This is the area where I am going to drill holes and insert transparent marbles into the fence (thanks Amber).   I can hardly wait to received my order and can begin drilling and inserting to see what it will look like.  

When it begins to spread and adapt it is really going to be pretty....and easy to take care of.

Now to just keep the deer and raccoons OUT....

Bling Anklet

With summer right around the corner it is time for smooth feet,  sandals,  a nice pedicure and then adornment to make your feet even prettier so ......  out came my beading supplies.  I just rec'd the adorable little teardrops so was anxious to see them  worked up in an anklet...and wasn't disappointed.  I used 2 sizes of Swarovski crystals in a Montana blue and 2 adorable Tierra Cast lady bug beads... as well as a simple easy on / off hook clasp.   

I like anklets a little loose so that they kinda lay on the top of the foot and actually adorn.  If an anklet is too tight one wrong move in a pinch with your foot and beads will "fly"...  

I love the cool feeling of the crystals and the little dangles on my foot.  When the sun shines and hits the crystals they just sparkle like colored diamonds.  

Wonder if I can get my pedicure tomorrow?

Eclectic Style

Eclectic style is defined as self-confidence.  The eclectic decorator knows what works together by seeing relationships.  An eclectic room may be defined by a play with color, shape or functions.  It is a light hearted style that is never boring.

An eclectic decorating style is easiest to define by what it "is not".  Eclectic style doesn't rigidly adhere to any one major style.  It is characterized by a freedom of expression and a vibrant individuality.

Eclectic style is also great for those individuals who love too much.  If you love the richness of Asian and the serenity of contemporary, you may find these two styles combine in a unique way in your personal eclectic decorating style.

Eclectic decorating is not a jumble of whatever catches your eye.  An eclectic style is full of the unexpected, with hints of at last two of the other main styles included.

Eclectic works works when the basic principles of design are understood and work together to create a unified design.  These 5 principles are:
            1.  Line
            2.  Color
            3. Texture
            4.  Mass
            5.  Form

Think of your eclectic room as a work of art.....

I am working on a new piece for my patio where I can really be eclectic.....  I found a childs' wood
toilet seat at a garage sale and will be transforming it into a plant holder which will hang on the wall.  I have it base coated and so I am ready for the painting design....


Yupo Paper is a very thin sheet of plastic that interacts with watercolors in an interesting way.  It does not absorb water easily, bit it does absorb the paint and the paint dries as thoroughly as on regular paper.  Working on a consistently wet surfaces makes it easier to erase mistakes.

1.  Use the Yupo paper on a FLAT surface.
2.  Dip a paintbrush in water and sweep across the paper in a pattern.  dip the brush in paint and sweep it through the water.  It will make unexpected shapes.
3.  Tilt the paper slightly to make water and paint spread more.
4.  Apply more water and new colors.  Yupo paper is easiest for abstract patterns but you do anything where you would want movement and murky edges.
5.  Sork with precise edges using almost entirely straight paint.
6.  Dab up mistakes, clean up edges, and make patterns in the paint by dabbing with a kleenex.

There is an artist here in Bend who does the most fantastic abstract paintings using this paper and acrylic paints.   It seemed if everyone saw something different in her paintings.   It is the type of a painting that you tire looking at ...  you can hang several different ways.... and she mostly uses soft
pastels of color with darker ones.....  A super fantastic artist.

Mixed Media Pads

I wish our local Michael's carried these.   Guess it is "online" purchasing again which anymore even with postage is probably less expensive than my gas to "get there".  


Colors within a Color

Enlightenment means literally aligning to the Energy of my Source. And genius is only about focusing. Law of Attraction takes care of everything else. Physical humans often want to make enlightenment about finding some process and moving through the process that has been pre-described. But true enlightenment is moving to the rhythm of the internal inspiration that is coming in response to the individual desire. Enlightenment is about allowing my connection to the Source that is me for the fulfillment of the things that I have individually defined here in my time/space reality. That's as good as it gets!

--- Abraham

Abstract Pillow

A friend referenced me to an online shop and I found this pillow and wow....what an artists' dream.
The colors, design, and movement/shapes make an awesome piece.    Hmmm....will most definitely have to save my pennies, dimes, nickels  and DOLLARS to be able to afford it....but wishful thinking and dreaming is part of the fun.  OR how can I achieve a similar effect myself?  

I love looking at popular magazines, catalogs, online shops, etc. to get ideas for paintings, colors for a painting, ideas for doing decor in my home, etc.  

I LOVE being eclectic and doing my very best to have things "work".  I use antique items.  elements from an item to make an item (I have vintage tub feet which are waiting for me to do something with), etc.

There is more to design that just deciding to do it.   Items that are one of a kind appeal to me the most which means doing things "my way" to achieve what I want.    I love romantic, airy, inviting, and vintage.  Cottage chic, Paris Chic, Industrial Chic, etc.     You can tie things together not with just
a term like Shabby Chic, Industrial chic etc. but with color, similar items, design. or just having a knack for making things work.  

One of the things that I did that I love was using an old green vintage window, a curtain rod and I purchased an antimacassar for the curtain......  I love using items in different and unusual ways to make it work for what I want.  

Another of the items I love are the steampunk flowers I made and have in my spare bathroom using bobeches, bottle caps, resin, metal rod similar to a wooden dowel cut which I cut with a saw at different lengths, and some neat collage photos.  Unique.  Different. Fun.  

I love color but I prefer colors that are less bold like is in the pillow.  They are pleasing to the eye, blend well together, and kinda meld....rather than jumping out at you .... Bold colors to me are harsh, unrealistic, and a poor attempt to draw attention to something.....and is not necessarily "pretty".  Attention is not needed in art...subtleness does the job so much better.
to draw attention and not one that is necessarily "pretty".  

It takes "imagination" to make things "work".

So think UNIQUE....

Lady Bug Buttons

I  just received and listed these buttons (they come in 1/2" and 5/8" ) and they are the cutest buttons ....  I carry quite a few different designs in 1/2" and they are my favorite of all the sizes I carry as they are just so petite and adorable.
Route 66, Buzz Bee buttons, Indian Head nickel, and several others.  It seems that the 5/8" size are the most popular sized buttons though.  

In todays art arena buttons aren't just used for "buttons".  They are used as focal pieces and clasps on bracelets,  added to dress up key rings,  purse jewelry, necklaces, mixed media, hair decoration, earrings. etc.  An artists' imaginations .... are Wonderful.....

My grandmother was a seamstress and I loved playing in her button box....so 
I guess I have gone back to my "roots".  

Hand Painted Landscape

My husband and I have been going through items we have had packed away in our storage area and inside one of the boxes I found these two teapots.  The bottom one was one of the first designs  that I had published in PaintWorks several years ago.  The  red one is a bid different in design but was painted as the bottom one using just two colors of paint and obtaining depth ....  It is a neat design to paint ANDlearn from.....as it teaches several things.    I still have a couple of unpainted teapots that I need to paint and get on Etsy......as well as getting a pattern packet made up for painting them yourselves.

Hand Painted Rose Pet Carrier Tote

I love painting on a variety of surfaces so when I found these Sherpa Pet Totes I knew they were going to get painted.  I have one for Pru which is red and black and it is personalized with her name.  I have used it when we back East by airplane, to go to and from the Vet for surgical procedures, etc.  The material is a really pretty tapestry that kinda shimmers.

This one I have recently painted and decided to put it on Etsy for sale.  http://www.artisticrenderings.etsy.com 

Rubber Paint Brushes

These are rubber paint brushes and I LOVE them.   I use them for faux stained glass with the liquid leading as well as the paint colors....AND I use them when I am claying.  They are so versatile and just work so fantastically.  The set usually runs about $21 and worth every single penny.  When I use them for the faux stained glass the tips clean up super easily... and although I have had mine for several years and seem to use them on a weekly basis they are still in tip top shape.

These paint brushes are sold as Kids Paint Set.  Go to http://www.dickblick.com and do a search under Colour Shaper (Make sure you put the U in color for this search)

Fruitless Cherry Tree

Our fruitless cherry tree is so loaded with beautiful flowers that you can barely see the green leaves....I think this is the prettiest it has ever been...and the smell is heavenly.  Wish I could bottle it....
I was surprised when I downloaded this photo and see I also captured a "bug" of some sort also enjoying the tree.  

And the peepers are out....  Last year we didn't have any so I am REALLY enjoying them this year.  They so remind me of
Pennsylvania and laying awake in bed listening to them...  I also have a very LOUD tree frog which really lets loose with the ribbits....

Old and New

Sometimes I don't need to look far to get a picture that I like...to either mat and frame,
or possibly paint on canvas...  Because I like rustic this was; to me, a perfect little shot.  It would be neat in a mans study, office...to bring in the floral and "get away with it" having the tire.  I think it will be a design I will paint and have fun with.

The flowers were here when we bought our home and they just pop up somewhere every year....

Mothers Day 2012

As always my daughter came up with the perfect Mothers' Day gift.  A potting table for my newest hobby....patio/container gardening.  My son in law put the table together for me, I had a vintage handle for the drawer which he added for me, put screw hooks on the side to hold the potting tools, and some neat herb stakes for my pots....  Tomorrow I will get some wood preservative to apply....  Michelle even got me a big plastic bin to put my soil in.  I have the potting table on the patio, under the roof so I can work in a bit of shade..... Thanks Michelle..... I LOVE it.

Today was a gorgeous, warm, sunny day so we were able to have a cook out and eat outside.  I even sat at the patio table and worked on a design in my sketch book which
was wonderful.  I had the waterfall on, the miniature grist mill was throwing water over the wheel, the birds were chirping...and family.  It couldn't have been a nicer


Geraniums are one of my most favorite flowers and these look just like rosebuds and are a brilliant red.  I can hardly wait till the little bud-ettes open but yet they are beautiful just as they are.  Geraniums are also so much fun to paint and I love doing them VERY impressionistic ... my small clipboard has these painted on the back.    

I spent about an hour taking photos today...never leaving my own yard.  So many things are springing forth with the sun, warm weather and water.  

Rooster Pitcher

I browsed our local Goodwill yesterday looking for glass items to use for a jewelry boutique this fall to display some of my pieces and this pitcher had to go home with me. The piece is designed/painted on both sides and the front, and the "liquid" pours through the beak.   I picked it up and looked at it several times...so knew it had me hooked..
It is made in Italy, a Williams and Sonoma piece and was marked  $3.99.  It fits right into my kitchen with the other chickens and roosters... Baaawwwwkkkk........  So ugly it's
cute.....lol...  The shape, colors, etc. just seem to grow on you...

The Encaustic Studio

It is rare that a a technique book gets me excited, but this one is an exception.  I have been looking for something just like this book for quite awhile so I am delighted.  For those of you who might be thinking of dabbling in Encaustics this book is just the ticket.  I can hardly wait to finish the book so I can get what I need (if I don't have it) and get busy.  I have dabbled for about a year or so...but this book provides soooo many more wonderful ideas, techniques etc.  There is a also a DVD which came with the book which I will view tonight.  Daniella really shares with this book...something you don't always find in a book; even if it is considered a "learning" book.   I have been taking notes as I go along so I don't have to search the book afterwards to find my answers...   I purchased mine from Amazon. com and got it for considerably less than the purchase price..

Polka Dots, Stripes, Checks, Etc.

I love going on different designer stores, sites etc. to see what is in....selling, predicted to sell, etc.  I was delighted  to see that polka dots are hot as well as line work in "things" as seen in these chickens and goodness but they are cute....  As my kitchen is roosters and products related to roosters these really appealed to me big time.  

If someone writes that something is IN or OUT, ridiculous....etc. do a little finger walking and rely on your own findings....do your own research.  

In this particular case I loved what I saw....and if it is backed up by MANY more items containing design shapes one assumes that they could be clarified as IN....

Lost and Found Edges

I am always looking for learning items...technique guides etc.  I was over on AAOL checking out  and I found a lot of super interesting items that I felt would be great resource items.  This one with lost and found edges really intrigued and piqued my thought processes.  I have ordered it along with a couple of other items and will be interested to review when it arrives.  The cost of this particular laminated technique guide was $5.95 and the shipping more than reasonable in todays "get taken advantage of on postage" from companies too many to mention...so they got a + vote right away.

Go on over and take a look see for yourself:  
http://store. artapprenticeonline.com


I love books that are smaller than normal....journals included and if they are handmade as 4 of them are...well, that is even MORE special.    The hunt is part of the fun...and with small I can have them on my window sill in my "room" and still have full view outside.  The first place I go when I am in a thrift store is the book section to see if anything appeals to me.  Collecting is fun and somewhere I read where just 3 can be a collection.  

My daughter also collects books but her preference is 
vintage/antique.  She purchases them based on the
outside spine decorations and she chooses books which are pretty much all the same size.  She showcases them in her home studio on a shelf above her lamp working area.  I am more random and she is more exact.  It is neat that we have the same ideas and yet totally different.   


One of the most important parts of painting is the attention to detail and achieving detail.  I think this is one of the reasons why I prefer  landscape and scenery painting.  I am a real "bugger" on depth and hate flat.   As I think back even as a child I would press harder with my crayon to get darker.....  I am sure the"shading" which I now know is what I was achieving; was not in the right place but at least I had the concept to carry over into what I do now.

Some people have a hard time with shading and highlighting and don't use the toe color in the right place...which I always found strange and I wonder if it has anything to do with dyslexia????  

You must learn to "see" before you paint.  Look at color and try to define it by your paint colors from the brand you use....Sap Green, Ultramarine Blue, Burnt Umber, etc.  And clouds...they are different everywhere so it is hard to make a mistake with them but some that I have seen are a far cry from realistic.    I have lived on the East Coast, the West Coast, Texas, high and low in the US and have always paid attention to color and shapes.....  I use my camera to take picture of things like this so I can refer back to them.  My camera and computer are pretty color compatible so colors are pretty close to what I remember......close enough to use as a reference that is for sure.

If shading and highlighting are hard for you I would HIGHLY recommend one of Sharon Binaman's books....she is a real expert when it comes to this and after a few of her designs and her techniques you will hate shading and highlighting in a different "manner" but will have learned a LOT.  I haven't seen her put out a book in quite a while which is a real shame.  She has books in Southwest which are soft, and just awesome, seashells, flowers etc.  She is quite a wonderful "teacher" with her books.

Depth is almost totally achieved with color....and details well you almost need to take notes on this aspect of painting....as there are so many.  Which way does the grain run on trees?  What is the shape of a leaf on a peony bush.

I LOVE the new Glamour Dust paints for achieving detail and atmosphere and have been using it a LOT with some of my designs.  I have a Dandelion painting that I am going to be working up into a packet which I have used the Glamour Dust paints on and it takes the painting from hum drum to really special.  I have also finished a neat Halloween painting on canvas that is painted in dark colors, totally different from anything I have ever seen and these paints really made it come alive....  It will be published in an online magazine in September.

So pay attention to size, shape, and color.  Take pictures and notes.  Write down ideas.  Keep a sketch book of ideas to go with a photo or photos.....colors to use....changes to make, etc.  I have two or three
sketch books I work in and from.

Happy "seeing".

Vincent Van Gogh Quote

I try more and more to be myself caring relatively little whether people approve or disapprove.  

Online Magazine Design

This month I will have another design in an Online Magazine.  It is a rooster done on a wood focal piece that can be used for a necklace, window hanging using a suction cup hook, a refrigerator magnet, or a pin.

It is a very easy, quick piece using Decoart acrylic paints and Dynasty brushes.


On Monday evening, one of my husbands friends left our home for his home, and sitting in his truck he committed suicide with a gun he had under the seat.

Needless to say we are both in a state of disbelief and anger that he felt this was his only choice.

He was an alcoholic, was having marital issues, was a mere 40 years old, and had recently had an argument with his father over his drinking also.  There were no apparent "signs" that this was even a thought....so it has hit me hard.  I know there was nothing either of us could have said or done to have made a difference as he was incoherently drunk when he left here to go home;  but it doesn't help the sadness that seems to envelope us and the lives of other friends who were close to him.  We are all doing our normal day to day chores, jobs, etc. but I know that we are all trying to make sense of what has happened.  So many different emotions...

A close friend sent me a quote: " Drunkedness is temporary suicide"  and in his case I really have to agree.  We have all watched the drinking increase....we have all tried to talk to him, etc. but there was just nothing that seemed to register ... or make a difference.

I am so angry with him...so angry ...  BUT ...

                                                                        May he rest in peace.

New Toy

This is my husbands' new toy.   He has promised that this year we will be taking to the trails and doing some riding in the mountains and other surrounding terrains....I should be able to get a lot of photos for reference material.  The Quad is a very comfy machine with plenty of room, storage areas, protection, etc.  HURRY UP summer.   

New Handmade Button Rings

Making my own jewelry, and jewelry to sell or give as gifts is relaxing, creative and fun.  These are 3 of my most favorite buttons and I thought they would really look super as rings so I have designed and made these and a few more which I will be listing on Etsy.....and making ahead for a large boutique in our area come November.  These work up quickly (with the help of my husband and his
grinding machine) while I am watching tv in the evening.   BTW the cats eyes are green glass of some sort....


Freezing fog on a pine tree bough.