Friday, July 31, 2009

Photos to brag about......

I love The Pioneer Woman. She recently blogged about "Bokeh". I think I get it, so I've tried setting the camera to make bokeh on my photos. The above collage....trying to achieve bokeh. For one, I can't seem to get my aperture low enough so I'm not sure I have a small enough lens. I'm going to keep trying. I was happy that some of them even looked like good photos. Others were too light or too dark but hey, manual setting, and they are all in focus so I'm not complaining! I am usually an all out auto user when it comes to my Canon. (Did you notice Valentine got an ugly haircut? Yep, I did that too. Poor old girl! I should at least give her a pretty bandanna or something....)

This old bank sign was in this garage when we bought our property. I think it's beautiful and wanted to incorporate into our home somehow. Maybe as part of the ceiling or high on the wall. I'm into decorating using a little bit of old, mixed with new. My husband really hates anything old, anything distressed, anything with character! Needless to say I lost out on using it when we built our home. He told me today he was going to burn the sign. I convinced him to post it on Craig's List and see if someone would buy it. I could of gotten better photos of it had he left it inside the garage but he didn't want me to take any pictures in "his" domain so instead I have shadows from the pine tree on it. Isn't it beautiful all the same?! I think it would be lovely in a restaurant even.

This little beaver was trying to get in our window of our basement! My son took this photo with his cell phone and it's a tad blurry. We wondered if he truly wanted to come in or he was just seeing his reflection in the glass and pawing at it? I love living in the woods! It's so fun! We get to experience lots of critters and that is right up my alley!

My mom works with a lady named Joy, who was originally from China. I have never met Joy. My mom talks about me making art so Joy sent home with my mom several of the paintings her mother did for me to see. They were all so gorgeous! When my mom returned the paintings to Joy and told her of my compliments on her mothers work she sent this one back for me to keep! How gracious! If I remember correctly her mom is no longer living and I was really moved to tears that she would want me to have something so precious. I really think it is so beautiful! I love the colors, they are so vibrant and just pop off the page. I framed it in a brown mat and I'm going to get a 16x20 black frame for it.

Here is a close up of the main flower.

This is the whole painting along with her mom's signature, written in Chinese. It is on rice paper.

Look how beautiful the leaves are.....

I had to share this amazing piece of art and I'm really so lucky to have it. I'm thinking of scanning it into my computer and shrinking it down to make a charm for my mom to take back to Joy as a personal thank you from me.
PS. I just have to comment that I'm so happy that Blogger has spell check! I can't believe how many words I misspell sometimes, and I would be so embarrassed to print them that way! At times they are simple words that I KNOW how to spell and my mind just makes up whatever it thinks is better and then when spell check shows me the correct spelling I have to hit my forehead and exclaim, "I knew that!" (Just had to get that off my chest! ha )

Monday, July 27, 2009

See the small space between these 2 cats? That is were I was laying trying to breathe! ha. I had to white out my hubby because he was shirtless and would of been embarrassed to be on the internet~ I know my big boy is FAT. It's really not good for him but he eats everything he finds, even inanimate objects! Valentine is always guarding her food boy if he is around. Poor guy. He was orphaned at birth and I bottle fed him so I think he will always feel like he is hungry since he couldn't nurse from a momma cat whenever he wanted as a kitten. Notice the doggie steps on the right. Val can't use them at all now but the cats still love them. I recommend them to any pet owners as it's so much better for them then jumping on & off the bed. Even for the cats, as they also get arthritis as they age.

Today I have my evaluation at work. I have been there over 16 years and have never had any negative comments. This one I worry about because it's been a tough year to stay positive and we have had many, many changes that I really don't care for. I have also struggled with one of my doctors who just happens to be the owner. I don't really believe in him anymore, which is very disappointing to me. He disappoints me is really what I should say, so, I have been entertaining the idea of moving on. I really love the girls I work with but I am thinking if I get my first negative comment that may be a good sign that it's time.....if I'm showing how I'm feeling inside-on the outside-then I don't belong there anymore.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

My son Cory bought his first new car. It's it sexy? It's a Dodge Charger. He is doing really well on his job and will moving out August 1st to an apartment with a buddy. I'm happy for him and hope it all goes well and he doesn't get behind on bills. I really hope he finds LOVE.
I got busy yesterday and made these little charms. I think I got impatient and I only have a couple that actually turned out with no flaws. I rushed the diamond glaze and have a few marks because of it. Bummer! But it was all very inexpensive so at least it didn't cost much for the mistakes. I think I will try to antique over the glaze and salvage a few of the marks. (If they look distressed they might even sell better.)
Here is one that turned out pretty well. They look like little ceramic tiles but are actually Grungeboard. I distressed inked the background and then stamped an image. Then I diamond glazed the whole thing. I am planning on making bracelets out of the one's with 2 side holes and using the others for necklaces. My friend and I are going to try to do a local craft show in the fall so I'm making some things to put into it. I also checked into having a credit card machine. Does anyone have any experience with getting those? I'd like to find a one time deal but doubtful there will be a company that offers that. I've done a craft show in the past and it doesn't go well if you don't offer credit. Also, with identity theft on the rise, people are reluctant to write a check.
I splurged and bought this awesome doming block. I'm going to have to decide what I want to dome now! lol. I'll share whatever I create.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Beatitude of a Dead Tree

When we bought our land 6 years ago this dead pine tree stood tall and proud. It was in a line with 6 other healthy pine trees and it was truly the most bedazzling. My husband only saw a dead tree and wanted to cut it down before our home was even built. I argued my point and thankfully the artist in me convinced him of the importance of the tree. As the years have went by more bark has fallen off and a critter as cut a perfect hole mid way up making the tree alive again as it welcomed the new home. There are no longer limbs branching out as those have all been reduced to mere splinters that are too short to sway in the wind. The tree top was recently broken off in a storm, making the tree shorter then it once stood, but it still finds it's place in the sky. It continues to stand out among the rest as the most becoming as it's character makes it more beautiful each day.
I think this tree is a good example of growing old gracefully. We should embrace each wrinkle earned. Let the hair we have now sway in the wind and continue to proudly display what we are left with as we age. We may become shorter than we once stood but we will have more character and beauty than ever before. Let the storms of our life only make us stand taller as we look towards our place in the sky.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Valentine had a doctor's visit today

Many of you may not know that dogs, cats, and horses can have acupuncture and chiropractic work done to help them along with life's pains. My little dog Valentine had a back injury about 8 years ago. We don't know how it happened but I was fortunate enough that I worked with a veterinarian, Dr. Perkins, that had a special interest in chiropractic care in animals. As an Registered Veterinary Technician working with Dr. Perkins, I was able to witness time and again dogs that literally could not walk when they came in to see her but would leave walking! She really helped so many animals even in the beginning before she had the knowledge she has today. Dr. Perkins has since gone on to get all of her certifications and to open her own clinic where all she does is western medicine, chiropractic care and acupuncture. I think she is amazing!

About a year ago, Valentine had trouble with her right eye. She kept squinting it and I thought she had injured it somehow. I took her to my work and they couldn't find anything wrong. They just put her on some eye drops as a precaution. I had an appointment with Dr. P later in the week and found out that there is a nerve in the neck that will effect the eye. None of my doctors even had a clue about that and I work with some really great DVM's! She adjusted her neck and her eye problem was gone. Now whenever she holds her eye all funky I know her neck is bothering her and can take her in for an adjustment. She gets hindquarter weakness and isn't able to even get enough "umph" to get her back end up one single step and her lower back with be very hot to the touch. Dr. P will work her magic and Val will go back to playing and jumping and feeling great. Keep in mind, this little gal will be 17 years old in January 2010!! I know that one photo of her on the lower left makes her booty look big but NO she is in pretty great shape for her age with only a little chunky dunk. I have never had acupuncture but the needles never seem to bother Val. She will even lay down with them in and relaxes somewhat. Some dogs get very relaxed during their visits to the point of urinating while they are sleeping. Val has never done that but she does always sleeps well when we get back home (and never wets to bed!). Cats are more difficult but can be helped if they are not too aggressive. Dr. Perkins did equine for awhile but they are so much more physical that she eventually gave them up to only do dogs and cats.

I just thought I would let as many people as I could know that there are other options out there for your pets. You may think it is time for euthanasia when in reality it may not be time. If you can find a veterinarian that has special training in chiropractic care of animals then you may be able to open another door of treatment options. While not every disease can be cured through this process, if you have a good DVM then that doctor should be able to tell you if it's something they can try to fix or not. I am still an RVT in a small animal practice and we are asked almost weekly to euthanize an animal because it is not walking. If more people had a Dr. Perkins in their life then maybe they could buy their pets a few more years of quality life.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

There is this beautiful 21 year old girl named Brittany that I used to work with. She is fighting for her life and needs a WORLD of prayers. She has a rare form of cancer. She was always such a joy and has the biggest smile ever! I can't help but wonder why things like this happen to such amazing people. Her family has put together a web site if you would like to see photos of her. It's She loved Europe and only a few weeks ago had a gallon of fluid pulled off her chest, then in a wheel chair boarded a plane to Paris with her sister. She always wanted to see Paris. (There are photos on her website) It's that will to live that is keeping her going. When the doctor told her she didn't have long to live she told him that she is NOT a gallon of milk with an expiration date. Spunky. Smart. Talented. Driven. I hope she makes it.

My friend from grade school called me last night and her mother had a stoke. She is in ICU and Theresa asked me to pray for her. I'm just extending that request because I believe so strongly in the power of prayer. God may not always grant our wishes or do what we feel is best but I know He will be there to take each person through whatever it is they have to endure. Thank you and may God bless all my blogger friends!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Happy Birthday Nic xx

My good friend Nic is celebrating her birthday by having a give-a-way! What a great idea! I'm posting about it #1 because I think she is amazing! #2 (selfishly) to get more of my name in the bin for her drawing! Can you blame me!?! I think next April I will plan the same thing and that will give me months to connive the perfect gift to give-a-way to some lucky follower!

She is really going to spoil her winner as she is a very gifted precious metal clay artist. I especially like her pretty rings! Check out her blogs at PMC tips and Murano Silver Jewellery and she also has a Facebook page as well! Were do you find the time for all that Nic?! Happy Birthday and Best Wishes Always!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


I was so inspired by the artist in my last blog that I created my first ever collage. It also helped that I got to have an unexpected day off yesterday and was able to attend a rare Wednesday auction with my sister Shannon! Loved the day! I found a couple of wonderful old books that I wanted to try to use in collages.
One of the books is 1880's and is in mint condition so I don't think I can cut it up. It is really beautiful.
Here is a photo of the cover. It is all in German and a hymnal. Very pretty. If my scanner worked right now I would scan in the most beautiful handwriting I have ever seen. It is on a letter that was left inside this book.
I got a set of pastels for 10 cents at a garage sale about 4 weeks ago so this is my first pastel work. It is actually my 2nd dog. I need to practice a bit. The first 2 I drew looked like scary monsters instead of sweet dogs. My first pastel dog looks alittle silly but I may still use him in a collage.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Isn't it strange how beautiful the written word is? I find my eye is drawn to all kinds of text and type. It must have the same effect on lots of other people as so many of us use it in our art work. I see cut out pages of text in the shape of angel wings and lots of text used as backgrounds. I don't have a tattoo (nor do I ever plan on getting one because I think I would be totally bored with it after the first year) BUT if I did get one it would be some phrase or word nicely scribed onto my body, something I could live with forever and ever and never tire of looking at it. I especially like the writings on the backs of old postcards and letters, before we simplified it with the modern pen and pencil. Once simplified we multiplied it! We can get writing utensils in any color, or shape. I love to doodle words and characters of the alphabet when there is a pen and paper in front of me and I don't have anything else to do with my hands. It's nice. I remember my mom doing the same thing when I was a little girl. Constant doodling of words. I honestly even like the look of graffiti words even thou they are done illegally. I think that someday I'll sit by the train tracks and just photograph the "art" as it goes by. I love signs, especially if they are old and weathered. How about simple jewelry inscribed or stamped with a single word that seems to sum up the whole universe. Quotes. I am constantly taking notes of quotes. I just love what other people have to say and how beautiful it can sound when it stands alone. How inspiring a simple sentence can be. I think it would be wonderful to write a book someday and have my words forever in print somewhere. Maybe in 100 years someone will cut them out and make angel wings out of them.....

Friday, July 3, 2009

I got a bunch of old forks at the last auction I went to and I have been pondering what to make out them. I took this one and made a silly pin out of the old fork. I cut it off and then curled the teeth. Then I added the baby face. I glued the small bail to dangle a soldered charm off of it. I want to put something cute or funny in the soldered charm to go with the crazy haired baby face. I just have not thought of the right words.

I also found these bracelets in a local discount store and plan to add some really neat charms to them.

Both photos seem to have a gold cast (I took them with my cell phone camera out of pure laziness!) in reality they are both silver.

My friend that I stayed in NOLA with sent me a link to a website that sales tourist jewelry and I got the idea that I could take my sign photos that I took and shrink them down to tiny little charms for these bracelets. I think I'll do a photo tour around Kansas City and see if I could make something like that for my own area and maybe sale to some local merchants. I'm not very good with the whole business end of things or being a sales person. I wish I had a mentor that could take me by the hand and direct me as to what to do and how to do it, then I would have more confidence. I hope to have an Etsy store soon. I have a 3 day weekend so I'm going to try to get my computer all back to normal and that will be a good start.

I found some new blogs to follow too and I love checking in on everyone! Such wonderful artist in our world!