Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday's Words - A little cowboy wisdom...

Just for fun ~

~ Never squat with your spurs on!

~ Never kick a fresh cow chip on a hot day.

~ There's two theories to arguin' with a woman.... Neither one works.

~ Don't worry about bitin' off more than you can chew. Your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger than you think.

~ If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin' somebody else's dog around.

~ After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started roaring. He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him. The moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

~ If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

~ Good judgement comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgement.

~ Always drink upstream from the herd.

~ If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there.

~ When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a person, don't be surprised if they learn their lesson.

~ Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin' it back.

~ Always take a good look at what you're about to eat.  It's not so important to know what it is, but it's critical to know what it was.

~ The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it back in your pocket.

~ Never miss a good chance to shut up.

*roflol*  I love the one about the ordering the dog around - what's your favorite?
Hope you're having a 'just for fun' day!
*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

The original watercolor has sold, but prints of "That's My Baby" are available in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

How to stand out in a crowd of creative people!

One of the questions that was asked in my Great Question Post, was ~ How do you stand out in a crowd of creative people?

I learned a very important lesson from an artist and friend whom I admire greatly.  Bob Knudson and his artwork definitely stand out in a “crowd of creative people”. Interestingly enough, I had never asked myself why both he and his artwork always stand out in a crowd. They just do.

I watched Bob paint for two hours ~ patiently, quietly, deliberately, from the beginning of the painting to the completion of it ~ all during a busy local art walk. Hey, we are talking about traffic, conversation, interruptions, and very cute great-grandkids (that one would have done it for me!).

And check out the painting he did that night ~

This painting was done from a black and white sketch. No reference photo. No computer screen. He used a limited palette (with no earth tones and no black) on a toned board.

So what did I observe that might answer our question?

• Before he started painting, Bob had the finished image of his painting in his mind.
• Bob kept his focus as he painted.
• Each brush stroke was deliberately placed. There were no random brush strokes. *roflol* I know this because I asked him if there were any random brush strokes and he told me ‘no’.
• There was no rush to finish, no rapid splash of paint – just a gentle unfolding of the image until it was finished.

Regardless of what media you are using, here are some tips I learned that I believe will help you stand out in your ‘creative crowd’:

• “Okay” isn’t good enough. If you are going to spend time creating, then take the time to plan what you are going to do. Think about what you want it to look like when it is done. Make a sketch and keep it handy to see if you are on track.

• Keep your focus. Don’t let things distract you. Keep the image of the completed project front and center in your mind and move forward, with single mindedness, toward that goal.

• Be deliberate. Do not make a brushstroke, take a stitch, or crop and image without first thinking it through. Careless random efforts are useless if you want to stand out in a crowd.

• We spend so much time dashing through life that we forget to stop, think and then act. Slow down and enjoy the creative process. Enjoy the act of creation.

• Create for yourself. Create your own ‘benchmark’ for success. Don’t create with one eye on your creation and one eye on someone else’s creation in order to see which is best. You will lose your focus. Instead, make this creation of yours better than your last creation.

• Always seek to improve your talents – to nurture and grow them. Learn new things, experiment, play – and resolve to do that every day.

When you think of someone who ‘stands out in a crowd’ who do you think of and why? Do they inspire you? Encourage you? Let me know what you think!

In the meantime ~ Happy Creating!

Told you they were cute great-grandkids!

And notice his limited palette ~ you can see all of the colors he used in this painting on the palette.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The DAWG Team June Quest!

The Designing Artist Women's Group June Quest Challenge is to do a Monochormatic or a Fruits of the Spirit ACEO.  I kind of combined both ideas in this little ACEO.

A monochromatic painting is done in one color which is tinted or darkened.  I used a lovely Holbein Green Gray artist grade transparent watercolor, black transparent watercolor, and titanium white gouache to paint this little ACEO.  Holbein paint has a lot of 'color punch' so it is a great choice to do a monochromatic painting because it is pure pigment and binder with no fillers.

I enjoy challenges, and this one was a lot of fun.   Here's where the Fruits of the Spirit are located ~

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Galatians 5:22, Holy Bible 

I chose to show 'faithfulness'.  Here is what I wrote on the back of the ACEO ~ "He is faithful to provide if we are faithful to walk His path." 

I made the path curved - you can't see around the 'bend in the road'.  That's just the way life is!  There are a few clouds and some hills out there - but there's a lovely tree to stop and rest under before I brave the clouds or climb the hills.  And everything is green - no winter here.  *big smile*  Besides which, I know I am not walking this path alone!

"Faithfulness" will be listed in my etsy shop - when I am more awake *laughs* so that I won't make lots of typos!  Hope you enjoyed the preview.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Funtry Friday ~ a few fun things I saw this week!

Awwww - isn't this cool?
I love rocks that are shaped like hearts!
This is a natural rock formation - nope, I didn't chip it to make it this shape.

Well, I missed the best shot of Billie Jane because the camera was out of reach,
but this one is still pretty good.  Here is Billie Jane, making her best effort
to reach back into the far corner of the goat house to get one little,
tiny piece of hay...  The best shot?  She got down on her knees!
Very food oriented horse...  *roflol*

Surprise!  Here is Penne, and guess what she is doing?
If you look really close, you will see an egg peeking out
from under her.  Now, whether they will hatch or not,
we don't know.  She has gone 'calling' in the neighborhood,
and there is a peacock somewhere because we have heard him...
So, for now, we have let her have her little nest
and we are just waiting to see if little babies hatch.

By the way - did you know that pea fowl will eat apples,
bananas, and bell peppers?  hehe - It's fun to find out who will eat what!

Okay, hope you have a very fun Friday wherever you are - it's a
great one in this neck of the woods!


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Art Masking Fluid - A few tips and hints for you!

Happy Art Day! 

I promised I would give you a little bit of information about art masking fluid, also known as liquid friskit, liquid drawing gum, and a few other things.  This is a gooey substance that you can paint on your paper to preserve the white areas while you are painting larger washes in watercolor.

Okay, here I am - all ready to start putting my masking fluid on my little ACEO painting.  Remember when I said this stuff was gooey?  Add sticky to that.  Or call it 'glue-y', if you want.  I am using a product made by Sennelier - so if you are trying to read the upside down label, think French and it will be easier.  Gomme Liquide A Dessiner.

Upside down.  That is the way you should store this bottle, but make sure you cap it tightly first.  This little trick also works on liquid acrylic paint, too.  Storing your masking fluid upside down will allow the heavier 'stuff' to settle in the lid where it is easier to shake or stir to mix it.  And that is what you must do before you use this - so shake it up and get ready!

The little black gizmo is not a brush - it is an Original The Incredible Nib by Grafix.  Masking fluid will eat your brush alive.  Do NOT use a good brush for this stuff...  at least not one you ever want to use again.

Dip the nib in the masking fluid and then paint the masking fluid on fairly thickly wherever you want there to be white paper.  You can also spatter it on the paper, if you want a pattern.  Just remember that this stuff will leave a very sticky mess on whatever tools you use. 

The moment you are finished painting your masking fluid on the paper, race to the sink and wash your nib with soap and warm (not hot) water.

As soon as your masking fluid is dry, you can begin painting!

Take a close look at the "T" in the fence in my drawing. You can see where I have used permanent india ink to draw the bird and I have gone right over the masking fluid where I drew the tail. Masking fluid will work with ink as well as with watercolor paint. All of the washes were done over the paper and on top of the masking fluid.

Notice how the masking gum is a lovely bright color?  Different brands come in different colors, and you can also get colorless masking fluid.  The colorless is harder to see when you need to remove it.  If you leave colored masking fluid on your paper for a long time, it may stain some papers.  That's one reason why some people use colorless masking fluid.  Also, watch out because the longer you leave masking fluid on your paper, the stickier it gets and the more likely it will be to tear your paper when you remove it.  Mine came off really easy, but it was only on for a few hours. 

Okay, time to remove our masking fluid! 

There is a 'rubber cement pick-up' that you can use if you have large areas to remove, but since I have just a little bit of masking fluid on this ACEO I just rubbed it off with my fingers.

Well, and I couldn't resist seeing if I could pull a whole piece off at one time (after I got it loose on the end).  Look how nice and white the paper is under the masking fluid!

Okay - let's take a look at the whole little painting with all the masking fluid off of it.

Remember that little black line I drew across the masking fluid with the permanent india ink?  The one where the fence makes a "T"?  All you see now is white paper!
Now I can finish up the fence and paint his little eye and this little guy will be all ready to fly to a new home.

Masking fluid can really make it easy to keep your paper white where you have fine lines or an intricate pattern.  It can be a bit pricey, but maybe you can find someone who will share a jar with you?

Happy painting!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday's Word? WINNER!!!!!!!!!

It's time!!!!!
to let you know....

who WON!!!


vince+shannon+mattie+ireland +afton+chamberlain!!!!

Mr. Random Dude picked your post on so you
get to pick which one of these little pieces of artwork you would like!!

Thanks again for all the great comments and questions ~ now, stay tuned for the answers!
  • "Good Morning" original ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inch) watercolor on 140 pound watercolor paper
  • Beauty's Breath" original ink and colored pencil drawing on a book page, 4 x 6.75 inches
  • "Sunflower" original ACEO (2.5 x 3.5 inch) watercolor and metallic watercolor on 140 pound watercolor paper
  • "Ollive's Heart" original ink and colored pencil drawing on a book page, 4 x 4.75 inches.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Here's a creatvie tip - and ACEO fun all at once!

ACEOs are lots of fun!  These little 2.5 x 3.5 inch pieces of art can be any media, any subject, and they are very collectible.  They can also be very useful.

Check this out ~ I have a painting in progress.  It features a raven sitting on a fence.  I wanted to find out if my color combination was going to make a fun raven, so I decided to do a little test ACEO.  The colors I am using are highly staining, so making changes in my wee birdie would be very hard!

The bird is just the right size for an ACEO, so I decided to do a little painting and see how it worked. 

I  paint using the image on my computer monitor rather than a printed photograph.  I like the way that I can make the image larger if I need to see more detail. 

And, by the way - the fence is not painted green *laughs* that's liquid friskit that I used to keep the paper white while I painted the rest of the details around the fence.

I think this little guy is really cute!   He will be one of the original works of art that the winner of my contest, Calling all Creative Artists can choose if they win.  I (((hope))) to get the art and the winner posted soon.  I actually hoped to have the winner and the artwork posted before now, but I am having a little bit of computer trouble =p  *ack*  Thanks for your patience!

So, do you use little ACEO paintings to try out ideas for larger paintings?  I have done it several times and it has worked great for me.

Happy Creating!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!

Dad's flowers continue to bloom - even after all these years.
And he still continues to be an influence in my life, too!

Happy Father's Day!


Rejoice in the Lord always;
again I will say, Rejoice.
Philipians 4:4

I rejoice that I had the father that I did!
What are you rejoicing about today?

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Technology Adventure Number 4,893. I'm calling the neighbor's dog...

Ahem.  This slight pause in blogging is brought to you by Kathleen's computer.

I have been stuffed.
Keys pounded.  Invaded by dust.  Crumbs.  and....

and, I don't even have a name...

Whoa, Nellie - what's up here?  First my dogs blog, then my cats comment - and now my computer complains???

I think I am loosing control here...!

Nellie?  Is that my name?

Um...  sure....  ah...  why don't you just rest up a bit and I'll take over now.  Um... Nellie....


Well, that could have been the conversation I had today with my computer while I spent several hours moving files, deleting files, changing settings, and trying to squeeze a little more space on my hard drive so that I could cruise the internet and take care of my business.  Needless to say, my day did not go as I had planned that it would.  However... it did make me think of another question to add to our "list" of questions we want answered!

What do you do when technology takes a vacation?

I had a hard drive crash and I know of several people who sell online who have had a variety of computer problems from aggravating to total melt down.  What do you do when that sinking feeling of not being able to cruise the internet hits you?
  • Well, first - don't panic.  Reboot.  Lots of things are solved by that!  And even if that doesn't solve the problem, it will give you a little while to regain your calm.
  • Check all your cords.  You just never know - something 'might' be unplugged!  We can hope.
  • Run any diagnostic programs that you can to see if you can find the problem.  My problem is obvious because Nellie's little memory guage is on 'E' for empty.
  • Call in the troops!  If you can't find the answer, call someone to help you.  Computer support, the neighbor, the dog - the neighbor's dog - someone!  If nothing else, you will have company in your misery.
  • Do what you can, not what you can't.  If you have done everything you can do and it hasn't worked, then take a break.  Enjoy the fresh air, take a walk, have a cup of cocoa, call a friend - walk away and really take a break.  You might be surprised by how refreshed and ready to tackle the little tangle of wires you will be when you return.
  • If your computer is "Dead, Jim" (calling all Star Trek fans!), then explore your options.  Can you borrow a computer?  Use one at the library?  Pester a neighbor?  Swipe the kid's laptop? 
  • Decide what you really NEED to do online and what you just want to do online.  Make a list because, when you run next door to borrow the neighbor's computer, you will not remember everything you NEED to do.  Prioritize the list you made from THE most important thing that needs to be done, to the thing that you probably wouldn't do even if the computer worked.  Ummm....  (shhhhh!)  and don't forget to take your passwords and login information with you!
  • Relax and realize that stuff happens.  Remember ~ Do what you can, not what you can't. 
Now, just a few things that you can do regularly that will help when there are technology adventures...
  • Back up your files on your computer.
  • Back up your files on your computer to an external hard drive.
  • Back up your files on your computer to an online back-up service (I use Carbonite).  I really like it - and it doesn't seem to slow down my computer at all.  And, yeah, mention my name - lol - I get a credit if you do that.  Thanks!  But, really, I wouldn't recommend Carbonite if I didn't like them. 
  • Run regular scans that will detect all of the malicious pook that floats around out there in cyberland. 
  • Oh, and back up your files... frequently!  Sometimes we back up our files, but we don't do it very often.  You can loose lots of information if you have months inbetween your 'random' computer back up times.
And, finally, just remember that when the day explodes, have a cup of cocoa and go read a good book.  The chaos will still be there when you return!

Now where did I put that book...


PS  That really is the neighbor's dog, Bailey.  She is a red heeler whose main goal in life is to fetch.  Anything.  Anytime.  Anywhere!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Funtry Friday ~ Musical Munching

Okay ~ grab your hats and binoculars and see if you can keep up with the game plays in Morning Musical Munching!

And, as they say ~ a picture is worth a thousand words!

Hershey evicts Billie Jane from her feeder ~ he's always sure that she got something that he didn't get.  *laughs*  So totally not true!  And he won't find much here that he wants because she eats really fast.

Billie Jane trots over to Hershey's feeder...  but he has already eaten all the good stuff!
Hershey slowly strolls over to the goat pen to casually finish anything that has been left there.  When you're the King - you can 'slowly stroll' and everyone just bows and moves aside.  As it should be...  just ask him!  *roflol*
Hey, they won't let me eat in there, too!

Look!  Hershey!  I have your cone!  I'm gonna make it smell all goaty!

LOLGoatz... can haz camera, plezzzzz?????
(How's that for a 'shadow shot'! *winks*)

You are sooooo not paying attention to me! 
C'mon!  Let's play!

Oh, I give up.  I'm just going to play with this
because all of the rest of you are so boring!

And, yep - every morning we play Musical Munching.  Pretty entertaining way to start my day!


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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts - selling what you create!

Wow! Thanks for all the responses to Calling all Creative People!

So many of us have the same questions, quandaries, and confusion because the act of creating something and then deciding to sell it causes many of the same circumstances and situations - no matter what the item is. How successful our endeavors are will depend on a variety of things. Fortunately, most of those things are under our control.

Check out these great questions that you asked ~

What do people want to buy?
How do you find and reach your target audience?
How do you find online buyers?
How do you get your shop noticed?
How do you find your small niche buyers?
How do you stand out in a crowd of creative people?
How do you interact online in a similar way to interacting in person?

How do you find what will be the best online venue for your specific creations?
How do you deal with disappointments in different selling venues?

How much is too much to charge for your creation?
How do you determine how to price something?
How do you price something so that it will sell?
How do you make a buyer understand why your creation is worth that price?
How do you have consistent sales?
What promotional things really work?
What type of sales and special offers work best?
Which is better - a percentage off? Or free shipping?
How do you take pictures of your items?
How many views do you show of your items?
How do you present photos in very unique ways?
How do you make non-artists understand this is a JOB?
Do you take credit cards and/or local checks at shows and festivals?

How do you stay motivated to create?
How do you stop from being discouraged when your work isn't selling?

Over the next few weeks we will travel down this list and find the tips, techniques, and 'hands on' things we can do to answer each of these questions. So ready, set, go!

What do people want to buy?

Let's take a little virtual mall trip.

Wow, this place is bigger than I remember - I think they have added some new shops. Okay - there's about 12 shoe stores here… I see some very fine jewelry, camping gear, sports equipment, yard, garden… Hmmm…. Music of every kind… artwork, home decorating, furniture… 49 clothing stores, cards and gifts, kid's toys, cooking stuff… Oh - there's my spot - saddles, tack and western wear =) Hey - go on down that way and I'll catch up in a bit…

The answer to the question is: anything and everything. Having said that, let's take a closer look at the question - What do people want to buy? What I want to buy is not necessarily what I will buy. If you want to know what people will buy, take that mall trip for real.

In each store, stop and look at all the 'end caps' and take a close look at what is on the counter where you make your purchases. These are the traditional locations for retail stores to put things that people will purchase, often as an 'impulse buy'. Look at the selection, colors, number of items, prices and what the items are and you will see that there is a lot of variety. Items on the 'end caps' will have a wider price range than items on the counter (usually).

And, yes, they even do this in grocery stores.

Now, what do we do with that information? Well, if you were fortunate enough to find a shop that sells items similar to your creations, you will have some idea of what John (or Jen) Q. Public is expecting when they are shopping.

Now, before you jump on the bandwagon and start making a million striped flamingo hats just because you saw one, take the advice that was given in Calling all Creative People - Page Two

Love what you do.
Be true to yourself and your values.
Glorify the Lord.
Be confident in your work.
Try not to get discouraged - give it time.
Join teams, forums, or other groups with similar interests.

That is some great advice you all left in the comments!  By far, the most stated piece of advice was to love what you do. Right up there with that, was be true to yourself and your values. If you hate striped pink flamingo hats, don't start a business that features them. Give your ideas some time to percolate until you have a definite 'ah ha!' moment. Bounce ideas off of friends (cyber and local), family, other professional people, team members, chat groups, and forums.  Check out local magazines that feature items similar to what you want to sell.

When you have the 'ah ha' moment you will have an item that you love, that fits in with your life style and your values, and that you can be confident in producing and selling.

And, you can rest assured that there is someone somewhere who will want to buy it!


By the way ~ The Etsy Bloggers Blog Carnival for this week is to share your goals.  My goal is to find the answers to all of these questions so that we all can have some great ways to grow our shops and our sales - both online and in other brick and mortar venues! 

PS  The artwork is an original drawing - Ollive's Heart - done on a book page.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday's Words - A science lesson?

Okay - I really can identify with some of these - science was not my best subject!

The following are all quotes from 11 year-olds' science exams:

"When you breathe, you inspire. When you do not breathe, you expire."

"H20 is hot water, and CO2 is cold water."

"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold down a deacon over a flame in test tube"

"When you smell an odourless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide"

"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes, and caterpillars."

"The moon is a planet just like the earth, only it is even deader "

"Dew is formed on leaves when the sun shines down on them and makes them perspire."

"A super-saturated solution is one that holds more than it can hold."

"The body consists of three parts - the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowels, of which there are five - a, e, I, o and u."

"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."

"Rhubarb: a kind of celery gone bloodshot."

"For head cold: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat."

"To keep milk from turning sour: keep it in the cow."

"The pistol of a flower is its only protection against insects."

"The skeleton is what is left after the insides have been taken out and the outsides have been taken off. The purpose of the skeleton is something to hitch meat to."

"A permanent set of teeth consists of eight canines, eight cuspids, two molars,and eight cuspidors."

"The tides are a fight between the Earth and Moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."

"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."

"Equator: A managerie lion running around the Earth through Africa."

"Liter: A nest of young puppies."

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!

Hope you enjoyed your laugh, today!  Tomorrow I will have lots to share with you about my posts Calling all Creative People and Calling all Creative People, page two ~ be sure to stop by and comment! 
PS  The artwork is called "Imagination Baby" ~ just imagine what a baby dinosaur would look like with feathers...  Well, I told you science wasn't my strong subject!  *laughs*

Monday, June 14, 2010

You are going to love this Etsy Blogger of the Month! Woof! Woof!

We guarantee it!  If Sharla's creations at the BeadedTail on Etsy don't grab your attention, then we know you have your human eyes closed!

Oh, yeah - this is Cookie =<..>= and Lova =<..>=, reporting in for blogging duty today.  We are giving Missie the day off.  She went to go shopping in the BeadedTail on Etsy...

Missie saw the fancy jewelry and when she did, she said this when she saw these earings ~

Aren't these spectacular!  They are called: Mi Corazon.  Oh, so appropriate!  What a fantastic pair of earings!

Sharla's mom, Sheri, also makes fun things for BeadedTail on etsy ~ all kinds of critter collar covers!  These are really fun ~ and, of course, we love her model!  We think these are waaaaayyyy cooler than the jewelry, but, hey, we're dogs.  And we are not wearing jewelry.  We let Missie do that.  Looks better on her anyway...

Isn't Sadie adorable?!  If you want to see more of her, drop on by Sharla's blog, BeadedTail, and you can follow all of the adventures of Sadie, Isabella, and Angel.

We especially like Sadieday (Saturday) where Sadie takes Mommy for a walk.  She takes very good care of her and makes sure that she stays close by, too.  Sadie also makes sure that the big deer don't scare Mommy!

Sharla and her mom have a real heart for animals - theirs and others.  She and her mom started BeadedTail in December of 2007 to raise money that they could donate to various animal charities.

American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ....

Humane Society for the United States ....
Dogs for the Deaf....
Alley Cat Allies....
Chintimini Wildlife Rescue ....

And they have raised a lot of dog cookies!
Total 2008 Donations $407 - Thank you to all our customers!
Total 2009 Donations $686.50! Thanks so much!

Hoorah for you, Sharla and Sheri!  Woof!  Woof!  We think you are great!  And, of course, we will see you on Saturday, Sadie, to find out where you take Mommy this week.  Until then, we are going to curl up and take a snooze.  Blogging is hard work for doggies.

Lova and Cookie
Power Blogging Pooches

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wind is a powerful force...

Wind can drive turbines to make electricity.
It can turn into hurricanes.
Wind can go from a gentle breeze that cools a hot day...
to a driving wind that fills the air with dust.

Wind also makes trees strong.  Trees that grow in windy areas have deep roots.  The wind actually helps the trees to grow stronger.  Of course, this only works if the trees bend in the wind.  A stiff, brittle tree would break to pieces in the winds we have around here.

We have a lovely place - called The Dells - that is full of fantastic rock formations.  It is also full of trees, bushes and grasses that grow in the little cracks in the rocks.  Some of these trees are very old and have been there for many, many years.  It is amazing to me that a tree can survive in an area like this!  There is very little water, tremendous winds, and almost no soil - just what can gather in the crack in a rock.

The wind has done it's work, here.  These trees have grown strong.

The wind has done another job here, too - it has worn away the stones.  The constant driving wind has weathered the rock formations and smoothed rough edges to make them look almost soft.   The tree can bend and grow strong; however, the rocks can't do that so they are worn away.

I can take a lesson from these trees.  If I want something bad enough, I had better be willing to work hard to find a good place for my roots.  I had better watch the 'winds' and be prepared for some struggles.  I had better hang on and concentrate on growing strong at all times.

I would also to well to remember the words of Winston Churchill ~ "Never give up.  Never, ever, ever give up." 

Okay, I am going to go make sure I have some excellent soil for these roots of mine because I think that's a good place to start!  How about you?


Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and He will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Calling all creative people! Page two...

Okay ~ first, I wanted to know what question you would ask if you could really and truly and definitely get an answer...

(Calling all creative people! Answer my question for a chance to win!  Details are in the blog post!)

Now, I want to ask you...  If you could be a super hero for your artist friend, what wonderful knowledge would you 'mind meld' into their brain?  What advice about creating or selling would you impart to them?  What wonderful tidbit have you learned from making and/or selling your creations, that you would want to share with them?

Share that thought here, and you will be entered into that same great prize drawing from the other thread. What will you win? I will post several pieces of original artwork, and you will get to pick which one you would like to have. After the winner is posted, I will get your address and send the artwork of your choice off to you.

Okay - I see you have your super cape on and your are flying to my rescue!  Yes!  You are able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!  Wooohoooooo!

Thanks for the blessings!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Funrtry Friday - Just a little stroll down the road...

Just walking around the neighborhood and thought I would share some of the country sights with you...
Dang!  I am so getting one of these keep out signs.
I didn't know that tumbleweeds could read.

Creative fence wire 101 ~ a little lariat on the side for ya!

Well, now.  Looks like a little abstract artwork in the north 40...

Wow!  I'll be - look at those weeds jump through that hoop!
Great little circus act going on here...

Well, don't forget to put the chain on the gate as you leave.
Um... and tie the post up with some baling twine, too - it's been
a little creaky lately!

Thanks for coming along on my walk - hope you enjoyed the tour!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

Thursday's Thoughts... *what to do * what to do * what to do*

What do you do when all those ideas are having a fight inside your brain? 

Well, maybe your brain is a little more neat and tidy than my brain.  Sometimes my brain resembles a three ring circus after the pony got tangled up with the trapeze artist because the trained poodle got away after the lion tamer lost his whip and the lion...

Well, you get the idea.  My brain overflows with ideas and I need to rein it in sometimes!  (More like all of the time *winks* but who's counting, right?!)  Anyway, I have found a wonderful way to focus my creative juices and keep the artistic momentum going.  I follow several 'challenges'.  Even if I don't complete the challenge in time to enter it on the blog or website, I still have the original idea and I have thought about what I would sketch or paint for the challenge.  

So, what are these 'challenges'?  Well, they vary from group to group.  Some are specific to a media, some to a subject, some to a time frame, and some to a combination of things.  Here are the ones that I follow and try to occasionally contribute to ~

7 Card Draw ACEO thread on Etsy ~ This is the current monthly thread.  Challenges to create art are posted in the thread by the members of the thread.  There is even a chance to win artwork by posting in the thread.  The challenges give lots of ideas to create art which could be used for any size artwork - not just ACEOs (2.5 x 3.5 inch creations).  Each month, a new thread is started - so just search for 7 Card Draw in the Etsy forums and you should find it.

The Twenty Minute Challenge ~ Create a piece of artwork - your choice of size, media, and subject - within 20 minutes!  It's amazing what you can finish in 20 minutes - but it does take a LOT of focus!

The Virtual pARTy ~ A photo (always with an equine subject) is posted and you have 24 hours to complete a painting using all or part of that photo.  It's a good exercise to study the photograph for a day before tackling the actual painting because it really makes me think about what is really important in this painting.  There are other similar groups out there with general photographs, too - I just happen to love horses, so this group is great for me.

Illustration Friday ~ Again, you may use any size, media, style - whatever - here it is all about the subject and how you interpret it.  You can sign up to have the topic emailed to you each week (works great for me!  no brain cells used to remember to go check it out!  *lol*)  Your subject will always be one word.  This week, it's:  slither.  Caution, strong, muddy, subterranean, brave, pioneer, and blur have been some of the more recent challenges.

2 Things Challenge ~ This is similar to Illustration Friday, except that you get two words that you have to combine into one piece of artwork. The latest challenge is said/done.  A couple of recent challenges have been organic/chaos and brilliant/hidden.

Shadow Shot Sunday ~ Hey Harriet has a great feature on her blog called Shadow Shot Sunday.  It's a photography challenge and it centers around a shadow.  Yes, I am primarily a painter - but shadows and negative space are crucial to determine the focal point of the main focus in your painting.  By training your mind to focus on shadows as well as the well lit 'main' areas, you will see all kinds of things you have previously missed.

One of the main reasons to try out a challenge is because you will be surprised.  When you open the email, follow the link, or check the blog, you will see the challenge for the first time.  You will not have said 'what shall I do?' and come up with an idea.  The element of surprise is sometimes just what we need to give us a little creative push.

Try it ~ just once!  Pick one of these and take a challenge!  And enjoy the creative journey along the way =)


PS The little ACEO is Sibling Rivalry - originally a watercolor painting that answered a challenge for "sibling rivalry" in the ACEO Bounty Challenge thread when it was active on Etsy.

Don't forget, all you creative people,  check out my post, Calling all creative people..., post an answer to my question - I want your opinion - and have a chance to win!  Details are in the blog post.  Thanks!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Wednesday's Words - Ah, the lovely English language!

Lets face it

English is a stupid language.
There is no egg in the eggplant
No ham in the hamburger
And neither pine nor apple in the pineapple.
English muffins were not invented in England
French fries were not invented in France.

We sometimes take English for granted
But if we examine its paradoxes we find that
Quicksand takes you down slowly
Boxing rings are square
And a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

If writers write, how come fingers don't fing.
If the plural of tooth is teeth
Shouldn't the plural of phone booth be phone beeth
If the teacher taught,
Why didn't the preacher praught.

If a vegetarian eats vegetables
What on earth does a humanitarian eat!?
Why do people recite at a play
Yet play at a recital?
Park on driveways and
Drive on parkways

How can the weather be as hot as hell on one day
And as cold as hell on another

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy
In which you fill in a form
By filling it out
And a bell is only heard once it goes!

English was invented by people, not computers
And it reflects the creativity of the human race
(Which of course isn't a race at all)

That is why When the stars are out they are visible
But when the lights are out they are invisible
And why it is that when I wind up my watch
It starts
But when I wind up this poem
It ends.

*Thanks to Pastor Tim for this joke!*

PS  The artwork is called "Talking Back"  and it is available in my Etsy shop!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Calling all creative people! Answer my question for a chance to win!

Are you creative?  Do you sell your work?  Are you 100% happy with your creative process?  Happy with how, when and where you create your work?  Your selling process?  Your venue(s) where you sell?  

If you could ask any question related to anything having to do with whatever you create and/or how you sell your items -  and get a definite answer that would work for you - What would you ask?  What would you like to know?

Don't be chicken like Mr. Random Dude, here!  Tell me!  I really want to know!

Here's the deal!  I really want to know what question or questions you would ask, so I am going to give you from today, until Friday, June 18, midnight Arizona time to comment on this post or any other post with the answer to this question:

If you could ask any question related to anything having
to do with whatever you create and/or how
you sell your items - and get a definite answer
that would work for you -
What would you ask?
What would you like to know?

Comment with the answer to this question and you could win original artwork from me!  Only the comments that answer this question will be entered into the drawing.  What will you win?  I will post several pieces of original artwork, and you will get to pick which one you would like to have.  After the winner is posted, I will get your address and send the artwork of your choice off to you.

Other stuff ~ 
  • I want YOUR answer!  If your answer is the same as someone elses, post it anyway!  If you think of another answer, post it, too - you'll get another chance to win!
  • You may post as many different answers as you would like!  Posting the same answer several times, will only get you entered once, but posting several different answers will get you more entries into the drawing.
  • ANY creative person may enter this drawing!  You may create things for special family gifts or you may create things primarily for sale.  You may paint, crochet, quilt, sculpt, sew, draw, create jewelry, take photographs, do digital art, garden, scrapbook, or any creative venture!   If you can answer the question about your creative endeavor, you can be in the drawing!
  • You may post your comment on any post on my blog so long as you post your comment prior to Midnight, Friday, June 18, Midnight, Arizona time and your comment answers the question.
Okay - post away!  I am sitting on the edge of my seat waiting for your answers to this question!!!

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