Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I'm Still Here

It has been way too long since my last post!  I just wanted to let everyone know that I am still here, and to thank each and everyone of you who have emailed me and contacted me wanting to know how I am doing or just to let me know that you are thinking of me.  I really appreciate each and every one of you!

We finally got moved down here to Stephenville on the 4th of July.  It was soooooo hot - if I remember right, it got up to 105 the day we moved in.  What I didn't count on was the move taking such a toll on me physically.  I have been in and out of the hospital 3 different times since moving down here.  The last visit, I ended up being in the hospital for 3 days because I had gotten a sepsis infection in my intestines caused by another new diagnosis of Chron's disease and diverticulitis.  I am finally getting over it and trying to build myself back up strength wise as much as possible.

Because I have basically been sick since moving down here, I still haven't finished unpacking my studio yet.  I miss it terribly because it is always comforting to do artwork, but I am getting there.  I hope to have it all done soon.  I kept thinking I would get it done so that I could make new things to add to the blog, but I promise I will soon.

Besides all of that, we really do love it here. It is a totally different dynamic than living in the big city area.  Things are slower paced here, and I like it that way.  I was raised in a small town just an hour away from here, and it feels much more like home.  They girls absolutely love their school and are just thriving here. They have made so many new friends that it is like they never missed a beat.  I'm glad we did this move while they are still young, because it is so much easier on them.  Doug really loves working for the University, and is well underway with his Master's. He hopes to have it soon so that he can get his Doctorate started.  I love it as well, and am really happy here.  I am already making some wonderful friends here as well.

My girls are 7 and 8 now and I can't believe it!  Ashlyn's birthday was Sunday, and Megan's is today.  They are growing up way too fast!

I promise to get some pieces of art done soon and get them posted here.  I am having withdraws from not being able to create, so I have to do something soon!   Thank you again everyone for your prayers and concerns, and for checking in on me.  I will be replying to each and everyone of you over the next couple of days.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Finding Inspiration

I have been waiting to update my blog in hopes that inspiration would strike and I would have new artwork to share. Unfortunately, I have been stuck in an artist block, writer's block, and blogger block. I think this is one of the longest periods of time that I have gone since I can even remember without creating something. I kept thinking that if I just waited another couple of days, something would strike, but to no avail. I think the pressures of moving and selling our house and basically being a single Mom while my husband works so far away has just put a damper on my creativity lately.

Fortunately, things are now looking up - our house will be on the market this week, my parents are coming to help me with the final touches, the school year is almost over in which the girls and I will be able to move to Stephenville as well, and life will be much more like normal. Just the thought of all of those things I just listed leveling out seems to lift just about all of that dark stress cloud that has been looming over my head and preventing me from being my creative self.

I have started on a new painting, but have been slow on getting it finished. I am hoping to be able to finish it this week. Until then, I thought since I didn't have any of my artwork to share, I would share a couple more collage sheets for you to use in your artwork.

Friday, March 20, 2009


The definition for ascension is "rise up", "move upward from a lower level." I thought this title and what I call "power words" that I use in my work was very fitting not only for what is going on in my life currently, but for the new Spring and the true reason for Easter. I have been all by my lonesome this week. It is Spring Break here, and my girls have been staying with my parents for the week so that I can work on packing up the house, and my Husband is in Stephenville (we moved him to a temporary apartment last weekend to live in during the week until we find a house for all of us to move there as well.

While I was packing this week I was thinking about how we are taking a huge risk with all of this. But, the more I thought about it the more I realized that sometimes life is about taking risks in order to rise up or move ahead. I have been working on this painting during my breaks and the word "ascension" came to me, and I thought it would be a perfect power word and title.

It is up in my Etsy shop. I will be adding a couple other things over the weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Topsy Turvey World....

I am finding that this whole moving thing is turning my world upside down it seems like. Last Monday, my husband started his new job. He called me that morning and said that he forgot to bring his social security card, and since this is a federal job, he could not start or do anything without it. They couldn't even give him a computer. So, I frantically call my parents if they could come stay with the girls and pick them up from school so that I could make the 160 mile trip to Stephenville to take him his card. While there, I decided to stay an extra day and start looking for places for us to rent until our house sells. Next thing you know, I'm there the entire week, and still had not found anything by Friday. We finally decided to rent him a small apartment until we find something there rather than rushing into anything and ending up being stuck under a contract if we ended up not being happy with it.

In the meantime, the girls and I are staying here in Wylie getting the house ready to be put up on the market while my husband stays in Stephenville during the week and comes home on the weekends. Everything seems so surreal, and topsy turvey. I feel like a single Mom, and it is difficult at times because I also have a lot to do with the house. The girls have both been sick and home from school which has really thrown a wrench in my plans of getting things done. I already felt out of sorts after last week's unexpected "vacation." Even through all of this though, it is still really exciting because we get to start a whole new life closer to our families and in a town that we love. Just getting there is the hard part, but it can be done!

Now for some art work...first of all these two paintings will be up in my Etsy shop sometime tomorrow morning...hopefully.

This past weekend I made this painting for a friend of mine who once told me that she loved Celtic things, so I thought I would surprise her with this Celtic knot. I first printed off the design and then cut it out on a stencil sheet with my Xacto knife. Then I applied modeling paste over the stencil onto the canvas to create the raised effect of the knot itself. I'm not real pleased with how grainy the picture turned out because my camera is not wanting to cooperate with me lately.

Finally, here's a peak at some of the art journal pages I have been working on lately. I still haven't finished a few of them. I will be posting more of them later in the week.

Have a great week!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

More Free Collage Sheets

Well, I thought I would add a couple more free collage sheets for your artwork. My paintings for the NY exhibit have made it there and ready for the show. I had to pick 5 out of the 6 that I made, and will posting a picture of the ones chosen and the one that didn't I will be adding to my Etsy shop over the weekend. I will post all of that over the next couple of days. For now, I have to get busy packing. My husband starts his new job on Monday, and the girls and I will be ready to go as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Two More...

As you can see, I went ahead and did two more paintings so that I could have a few to pick from for the gallery exhibit. I have a pretty good idea of which ones I will send, but I will post my choices as soon as I make them.

Now, I have a huge announcement to make. We are moving to Stephenville, which is about 146 miles from here. My head is spinning because this has happened so fast. My husband was approached by Tarleton State University for a director position in their mathematical research and IT department in conjunction with the USDA. He wasn't really looking although he was probably going to have to pretty soon. Being in the IT industry right now is a very unstable thing. The company he works for is doing what lots of other big companies are doing by replacing all of their IT employees with off shore companies. Not a very good thing - especially right now. With literally thousands of these people losing their jobs every day around here that are in this particular field, finding another job is next to impossible.

I just think that God was watching out for us. We have talked about wanting to get out of the busy metroplex/busy city life and return more to our roots of small town living. We just weren't sure how that was going to happen until they offered him this job. This is the same University he graduated from, and so he is already familiar with the town. As for me, well it is only about 45 miles from where I grew up and where all of my family lives. I have been to Stephenville many times growing up. We will both now be closer to our families as well as getting to live in a small town. It will be better for all of us in the long run, but getting there is going to be a challenge. Selling our house with the market the way it is right now might be difficult, but hopefully it won't take too long to sell. Doug starts his new job on March 1, so he will go during the week and the girls and I will stay here until we get the house ready to sell and then we will go with him.

I will try to keep up with my blog as much as possible during all of this, but if you don't hear much from me until we get settled, you now know why.

Now on to my next project....

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Four Down & One to Go (I Think)

I finally finished painting number 4 after starting over 3 different times. I guess for some reason, I hit a block and just couldn't get past a certain point, and once I did do that, I HATED the way it turned out, and so I would start over. Any way, I finally got it to where I kindof like it. I'm just still not that sure, maybe it's because it's not what I first intended, or maybe it's just that I'm my own worst critic. Either way, I think I miss counted on my post of my previous painting saying that it was number four, but this one actually is. I will post some pics of a few of my art journal pages tomorrow.

Have a good evening!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Free Collage Sheets

I have been taking Pam Carriker's wonderful Visual Journalism 101 class. I have to admit, I have never kept up with an art journal like I should. I have started and stopped I don't know how many times, but not ever consistently. After taking Pam's class, I am totally hooked! I work in my art journal a lot now - daily, sometimes even several times daily. I see now how important keeping an art journal is as an artist, and just for myself. I have always been an artist for as long as I can remember, and my background from college is "Professional Writing and Literature." As you can see with all of that put together, it's really ridiculous that I have not embraced this concept until now. I have already made several discoveries and future artistic plans in the few short weeks that I have been doing this.

Since this has all been going on, I have been creating lots of collage sheets for my journals and work instead of just printing things off as I need them. I thought I would share a couple of them with you today for everyone in the class as well as you wonderful readers of my blog. I will also be sharing these from time to time, so check back often, as I am sure I will do this quite a bit.

Gotta add my little "disclaimer" ~
All that I ask is that you use these for your personal artwork. Just please don't sell these in your own collage sheets or as single images.

Enjoy~If you create anything with any of these images, I would LOVE to see what you come up with!

I will be posting some of my pages this week. My camera is giving me problems right now, and even Photoshop can't fix it. I may have to revert to just scanning them in. I've about got my husband ready to buy me a new camera! WhooHoo!!

Happy Creating!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I Really Did Do It....

I have now finished the 4th of 5 paintings that I have to finish for an upcoming gallery show. I was actually in an "artist block" mode and decided to look to my favorite artist for some inspiration. I have loved Monet's work since I was a little girl and I can always look at some of his paintings and immediately feel inspired. I love his water lilly paintings and I owe him credit for giving me the inspiration for this piece.

Onward on to my announcement of what "I really did do".... Earlier in January, I made a promise to myself and everyone else that I was going to have my Etsy shop up and running by the end of the month of January. Well, I did - I actually got it up earlier last week, but just haven't had a chance to make the announcement here until today. I still have some tweaking to do, but it is up and going, and I made my first sale within a few minutes of having the store up! You can click on my link on the sidebar if you'd like to take a look. If you do, let me know what you think.

I am in the middle of finishing my 4th painting and as soon as I am finished I will upload it as well.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Passage of Time

I have been very busy working on my paintings for an upcoming gallery exhibit. This is my latest creation that I finished last night. I have already started the next one - getting closer and closer to having them all completed way ahead of schedule. I have several other projects that I need and want to work on as well but for some reason, I just can't seem to let myself start anything else until I get all of these paintings completed. Normally, it's not uncommon for me to have several projects going at once so that I can move around to each one as I feel inspired. This is different for me. I think it is partly because lately I have been on an artistic high - meaning I haven't hit any artist's blocks in the last few days. That tends to happen to me from time to time, but I might as well "make hay while the sun shines." Can you tell I'm a Texas girl? How much more yee haw can you get? I grew up in a small town and my grandparents owned a large dairy where my Papaw always said that phrase - especially when he really was working in his hay field!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Tuscan Sunset

This is a piece that I finished yesterday. Although I have never been to Italy (it is my husband and I's dream vacation) this is how I imagine it. In my "dream" of looking out of a beautiful Tuscan balcony, the golden sunset casts a warm glow on the landscape around me. O.K. back to reality - this is one of several paintings that I am making for a gallery exhibit coming up soon.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Finding Strength

This is a painting of an oak tree I just finished for my brother who just got home from the hospital recovering from septic pneumonia. Like I have said before, I love trees. They have always intrigued me with their natural beauty and the way that, to me, they have always had special meaning and felt like a sense of strength. The oak tree is actually considered the symbol of strength. My favorite thing about the fall and winter months is that I get to observe God's beautiful trees, and their amazing branches are there for the world to see without their leaves covering them up. These are just some of the many reasons that I love painting trees so much.

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Plan

I have been thinking about doing something for the past several months, and because of my health issues and just life being it's normal, busy self, I haven't done it. I am planning on getting my Etsy shop up and running. I figured if I documented it in writing, then I would be much more likely to get it done, so I have made a promise to myself to have it ready by the end of January. Since things seem to be getting better, I don't have any excuses. Believe it or not, it looks like I may actually have it ready much sooner.

There...I said it, now I have to do it! Here is a peak at some of the things I have finished over the last few days. Seems like I have been on a roll of creativity lately!

I created this second Santa for a very special person as a Christmas present as well as a thank you. I post the story behind this probably tomorrow. It is somewhat of a long story, and I have my hands full with Ashlyn being home sick today with tonsillitis.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It has been a whirlwind for us traveling to see family and just the normal hustle and bustle of the season. I always hate it when New Year's is over because that means it's time to take down the Christmas decorations for another year.

There has been a lot happening around hear over the last few days, so I have been on a creating frenzy I guess from nervous energy. I will have a lot more to post over the next few days once I get all of the pictures taken.

These are what I made for my girls' teachers for Christmas presents. The pictures turned out a little blurry so it's hard to see that these ornaments are actually 3D on the inside. I cut out different parts of the pictures and raised them as well as added other embellishments too.

This is a mixed media assemblage that I finished yesterday. I have not created many assemblage pieces, but this is very addicting! I'm sure I will be making more. I have all kinds of ideas for more running through my head...maybe I should sketch them out in my sketch book before I forget!

I do ask for as many prayers for my brother as possible right now. He is in ICU fighting for his life with severe pneumonia and sepsis. He was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday with what they thought was just severe pneumonia, but shortly after they got there he began having seizures and they quickly determined that he was in septic shock. He put off going to the doctor because he didn't realize how sick he was. It is really hard for me because of my health and immune system the way that it is I can't go to the hospital or even in the house at my parents' where he has been. I just sit an wait between their visiting hours every 2 hours for updates and word for the slightest improvement. Anyways, he (as well as my parents) can use all of the prayers they can get right now.