a little something
Here's a little onsie that I arted up for a book called 101 Baby Tees. We weren't allowed to use buttons or beads or anything that could fall off. So I went with a little stitching and rudimentary embroidery. Working on this reminded me that I want to experiment with more sewing in my work.

Anyone know of any easy embroidery books so I can learn a few stitches? Or maybe I should take a class. Wonder where they do those sorts of classes?
Now to find the time!


new stan pics
Stanley hopped in our colander when we took it out of the cabinet to make pasta. I couldn't resist posting these pics. Look how big he is! I just calculated his age and he's not even 17 weeks yet!


the full story
Ok here's what happened with my computer and then we think this is how the ebay hijacker got my info.

When the Geek Squad guy was here yesterday he scanned my PC with really high powered spybot and spyware programs and he found two trojans hiding on our PC sending out all our passwords and info without our knowledge.


My head just about exploded when he showed me what he found. I literally left the room right away and went and took an Imitrex to head off the migraine which was already on its way.

I thought I would never have something like that happen. We don't do stupid things on the internet and I am one of those people that is an anitvirus nut, I have the Norton Security Suite with all the bells and whistles and I update it every few days and I run it every day to scan the PC. Norton NEVER found any of the spyware.

I even ran a full system scan right after I found out about the ebay thing and Norton found nothing.

So Frankie the Geek Squad guy tells me all about how Norton and McAfee miss these types of trojans all the time. Which just blows my mind. I thought they would be the most reliable because they are the biggest companies.

So now I have
Spy Sweeper. I even installed it on my laptop and it found a whole bunch of things that McAfee didn't find. (I had Norton on my desktop and McAfee on my laptop). Fortunately no trojans, just spy cookies and adware. whew.

So Frankie ended up being here for about 7 hours, we had to clear off the whole operating system and start from scratch. I was up until 1am last night putting programs back on the computer. We also went through and changed all of our passwords to everything we could think of. What a nightmare.

Now when I look at my computer I am distrustful of it. Like it's out to get me even though I know everything is cleaned off. I keep thinking of that movie from '84
Electric Dreams where the PC goes crazy and ruins this guy's life. Remember that movie? 80's classic.

OK back to work for me. I am in major catchup mode after losing so much time to fixing the computer.
Today was a marathon computer fix it day. The Geek Squad guy was here for 7 hours! He really went above and beyond the call of duty! I just got done re-installing all of the programs and am too tired to go into the logistics of what happened, but let's just say we think we figured out how the ebay hacker got my info.

whew! more tomorrow!
one of those days...
Today my desktop computer got sick. I was working happily away on it when suddenly it decided to shut down all by itself.

Now whenever I start it, it loads Windows and then it shuts down again, all by itself.
I am on my laptop now so at least I have internet access.

The Geek Squad will be coming tomorrow to fix it. I just hope they don't put it back to the factory settings because then I'll have to spend forever re-loading in programs again. I had a long existential debate whether to even fix it, maybe to just buy a new one right away. But I am not prepared to make all the decisions that go into buying a new computer right now, so fixing it won out. Thankfully I just loaded all my data onto an external harddrive so all my data is safe. Whew! Yay for me for backing up my stuff!

In other "not now" news -- I am sick. ugh! Not now! Please! I have too much work to get done. I have been managing to still get work done but it's hard. I much prefer to be well, thank you very much!

But I did get this artwork done. Here's a commission that I just finished up of this cute girl and her sweet little dog.
nighty night!
suggestions needed
It's time for me to submit my classes for Art and Soul in Portland OR for October 2007. I need your help figuring out which ones to submit. If you were going to take any of my classes which ones would you like to sign up for? Here's a link to my class descriptions.
thanks for your help!


illustration friday: invention
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "invention"

(click the image to enlarge)

I didn't have time to create new art with the holiday and lots of work deadlines. So I am posting a work from one of my podcast challenges. This piece was created in 20 minutes with a theme revealed to me right before I begin the artwork. It's really hard to try to create something in just 20 minutes, but fun too!

If you'd like to listen to how this piece was created, click here now!
Or use the player below:

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stan update
Yay good news! I took Stan to the vet today. The Dr looked at his lumps and determined that they are indeed a reaction to the vaccines and should resolve in a few weeks. We talked at length about the vaccine related sarcomas and he explained why what Stan had was different and told me not to worry. I am so relieved, but I will be more relived when they go away!

Thanks for your words of support!


when you are worried...
.... it's not wise to go searching around the internet for answers.

Yesterday I found two lumps on Stan's back, at first I thought they were his ribs pointing out really far - he's just had a big growth spurt and he is really gangly. Then I felt more and noticed they are both on his lower back where he gets his vaccines. He was just vaccinated for the third time a week ago.

So I go searching around the internet for "vaccine, feline and lump" and find dire stories about cancer caused by vaccines.

Then I panic.

I called Bernie, she manged to talk me down from ledge a little, letting me know these reactions happen all the time and are most often not cancer. But I am still a worried mommy. And worst of all was it was Thanksgiving today and the vet wasn't open so I was a nervous nelly all day and it took my full concentration not to keep talking about it because it was all I could think about. I must have asked Paul 100 times if he thought I should call the emergency vet.

I will be calling the vet as soon as they open in the AM. I am so worried about my baby!


cooking time!
Tomorrow is the big day. Gobble, Gobble. Paul will be doing the cooking and I'll be cleaning the house getting ready for everyone to come over. We'll have about 8 people over all together.

I'll be eating Macaroni and Cheese since I am the only veggie in the group. Actually, I think I am the only person in America who doesn't like Thanksgiving food and always ends up having cereal later because I'm still hungry.

We bought a new Cranium game to play after we eat, should be fun!

Today I worked on commissions and a project for a book -- making designs for baby clothes - which started out hard, and now I am getting into it.

Tonight, I'll start the big clean up of the house. I usually like to do a major clean session before people come over, you'll find me vacuuming out the fridge grate and other unnecessary things, but it makes me feel good to do all that cleaning!

I hope everyone who celebrates has a Happy Thanksgiving!
ebay update
I have decided to close my account. Ebay "help staff" are no help and just keep sending me form letters to do the same things that I have already done. None of which are fixing the problem.

Now that I have closed the account, it's frozen so no one can do anything with it. It's kind of sad, I had that account since 1999. But since I no longer sell art on ebay and hardly buy anything it shouldn't effect me too much.

I have been thinking of trying etsy for selling the odd arty thing, anyone have tips/advice?

If you want some majorly scary reading, read the ebay message boards, they talk about phishers using links IN AN AUCTION to gather information, so you think you are just re-logging in to bid on an auction but it's really a phish. YIPES!

Here's the link if you want to freak yourself out. I think it's safe to say that I won't be using ebay forawhile.
I just found out that my ebay account was hijacked by this woman or fake person:

Sarah E Early
24315 Shirley Drive
Bella Vista CA 96008
United States
(530) 472-1519

I have NEVER EVER clicked on one of those phishing emails and am always very careful by typing in in a new window when visting the site or logging in. I can not figure out how this happened. I am freaking out. On top of that it won't let me change my account info so that her address doesn't appear anymore. From what I can tell she was trying to sell handbags using my ebay account.

I swear, I am shaking. I feel like I did after my car was broken into a few years ago. Not a good way to start a Monday.

Arrrugh! Has this happened to anyone else?

EDITED 1:40pm:
I posted the transcript from my unhelpful ebay live chat in the comments of this post, if you want to take a look. Seems to be that they think this Sarah is the real owner of the account and they can't verify I am the owner. I am tempted to shut down my account and not use ebay anoymore over this.
weekend's over
It's been a busy weekend! Paul and I spent all day Saturday laying sod to spruce up our lawn. We got it all done! whew. My back was really sore today.

I am hard at work on
commission orders for the holidays. I put up the deadlines for ordering on my web site. I'll need all the materials: order form, photos and payment by December 5th for Canvas commissions and Dec. 10th for sketch commissions, but the sooner you get your order in the better! It's so hard for me to figure out a good cut-off date. I need enough time to work on them before shipping but also everything needs to ship out by the 19th to make sure it will make it in time. So it's difficult to figure out.

Here's a canvas commission that I finished up of this cute gal. It's for her 30th birthday and she wanted lots of elements included to represent the first 30 years of her life. She's lived in many locations, was a biology teacher, has a son and a husband and a new baby on the way, and is a scrapbooker and an avid gardener. I was pleased with the way it came out. I got all the aspects of her life into a cute little piece!


illustration friday: thanksgiving
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "thanksgiving"

(click image to enlarge)

This woman has been cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and she is giving thanks that it is almost over and soon she can relax and have a drink!

Hope everyone has a great holiday! Will there be a new illo friday topic next week or do they usually skip holiday weeks?

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shopping with me & keely
When I was in Portland teaching workshops at the Art and Soul event, Keely Barham and I were filmed shopping together for Indie Arts magazine. We went to a fabric store, a yarn store and a paper store. I bought a ton of really cool fabric and we had a great time!

Karen from Indie Arts magazine put a snippet up on youtube, here it is below!

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i'm a busy bee
I have been super busy! I am hard at work on commission orders for the holidays.

Here's a commission that I just finished up of these cute kiddos. They wanted to be in a garden theme. My fav part is the girl watering the flowers the little boy is holding.

The commission order that I shipped to Italy made it through customs and they got it. I am so relieved. Since I had never shipped an artwork that large (18x24) overseas I was nervous. So glad they got it and everything is ok!

I am also excited that I seem to be getting a response to my ad in Best Friend's Magazine. I just got a few orders coming in this week from that ad. So that is good. I'll have to decide whether to renew the ad after the next issue of the magazine.

I am looking into offering an extra service to the commissions -- printing folded cards with the finished artwork on them. Then people could send out their commission as holiday cards or everyday greeting cards etc. I still have to figure out all the logistics.
Too bad it's too late for the holidays this year, but by next year I'll have it all figured out!


i'm tired
Too sleepy for a proper post tonight. See you tomorrow!


free art business tele-chat
Just a quick reminder: Tuesday night is the smARTist Tele-summit 2007 "Virtual TeleSummit Opening Reception Party" which is FREE! You'll meet the keynote speakers and get a sneak peek at what's in store for the main event in January. Click to register for the FREE opening reception!

What's the smARTist Tele-summit? I'll be joining a dozen other art career experts, and full time artists, bringing you nitty-gritty presentations to help you get recognized, exhibited and paid for your art.

In my section, I'll be speaking on becoming a published author as well as how you can begin a career as a workshop instructor. There will also be other amazing speakers talking about licensing, marketing, galleries, ebay, artist web sites, artist statements and all the things you need to know about managing your art business.

So, to kick everything off, there is a FREE Virtual TeleSummit Opening Reception Party to get a sneak peek at what's in store. The Opening Reception will be, tomorrow, Tuesday November 14 from 7-8 pm EST. Click here for a FREE registration to the opening reception! Spaces are limited!

Also, the Virtual Opening Reception Party will be recorded, but to receive access to this recording, you must register here.


memories expo
I demoed at the Memories Scrapbooking Expo in the AC Moore booth today. Everyone at the booth was so sweet and nice, they even let me do a make-n-take during my break. I had never used one of those cutterpede paper cutter thingies and that was pretty neat. Hey it must work if I managed to cut paper straight with it. I never can cut a straight line!

The show was a little slow, so thank you to all the nice gals who stopped by during my demo to say hi! I only sold a couple copies of my book, which I hope doesn't reflect badly on my book in the eyes of AC Moore. Apparently they were testing it to see if they would pick it up at all their stores, which would be GREAT - huge chain! They said it was slow all around on Sunday and promised me they didn't hold it against me.

The good news is there was a bead show right next door so that was fun to look around! I even found a company that will print images onto glass so you can turn them into beads. Hmmm Poppet® beads? Maybe!
illustration friday: clear
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "clear"

(click image to enlarge)
When I first read the theme, I had no ideas. But after brainstorming a little I decided I wanted to depict a busy woman trying to clear her head so that she can meditate. Whenever I try to meditate, my brain starts a lengthy list of all the things I should be doing, laundry, returning phone calls, picking up dry cleaning etc. Never a clear mind for me!

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random thoughts thursday
- my email inbox is finally empty yay! Such a good feeling!
- the 18x24 commission that I mailed to Italy via Global Expedited is being held at customs and it's freaking me out. Should find out more info tomorrow. eeep!
- had a great session with my coach today, talked at length about making decisions by trusting your intuition. Which is sometimes very hard when your brain says "do it" and your gut says "don't!"
- we removed 1/2 of our grass to extend our flower beds, lots more gardening work here we come!
- I need to pick my classes to submit for Art & Soul 2007 in Portland. ugh. So hard deciding!
- my neighbor's cat is missing and it's stressing me out. We have been looking all over for him. I gave her a number of a local animal communicator who has been helping. Hug your fur-babies everyone!
- I need to get my plan together for Sunday's free demo, still deciding what to demonstrate. I won't have power so that is limiting because I have to allow time for things to dry, no blow drying can make for a slow demo.
- I have not had one commission customer yet from either of my ads in Best Friend's Magazine, meanwhile the free press I have gotten in Skirt! and on other blogs has brought me many customers. Go figure.
- these are the best chocolates in the world, yummy!


yoga hurts
I have 10 long scratches on my legs.

Stanely seems to think it's a good idea to climb on me while I do yoga in the morning. It's become quite the nerve wracking exercise experience. He also likes to pull my hair while I do downward facing dog.

He is such a nut!

At first it's cute and funny but then it gets scary every time I do sun salutation he jumps and grabs my legs then slides down. Major ouchie!!

When our baby girl Maggie went through the leg climbing phase she was 8 weeks old. Stan is about 16 weeks now and almost 5lbs. So it hurts big time!

Thankfully he *should* grow out of it! Until then I think I'll have to shut the door when it's yoga time.


quick collage podcast #6
The sixth "quick collage podcast" is here! The "quick collage podcast" is art challenge in which I make a collage in 20 minutes around a theme that Paul reveals to me moments before we start the clock. The theme for this episode is "perfect."

Ready to listen? Click here now!
Or use the player below:

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After you've listened to the podcast, click the image to the left to enlarge the finished artwork.

Like in our other podcasts, we thought it would fun to invite others to join in to see how many variations on the same theme could be created. This time we are asking you to create art with the theme of "perfect" post it to your blog or flickr and then post a link to it in the comments of this post. I look forward to seeing what you can come up with!

Click here to learn how subscribe and you'll get updates when new podcasts come along.


skirt! magazine
I received an issue of Skirt! Magazine today and I was super excited to see that they did a page about my commissions, here it is! (Click image to enlarge)

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demo this Sunday in Orlando!
Just a quick post to let you know I'll be demoing at the Memories Scrapbooking Expo at the Orlando Convention Center, this Sunday from 10-11am and then from 1-2pm -- I'll be in the AC Moore booth (#100-108). I'll also be signing books too! The Expo is open to the public so if you are in the area come on by. Hope to see you there!


weekend update
The weekend went by way too fast. Our niece Madison's baptism went wonderfully today! We are now officially God parents, which is exciting! Thank you everyone for your present suggestions. We ended up getting her a sliver tooth holder for her first tooth and a silver birthday cake set that has these silver candle holders that she can use at each of her birthday's. It was a different present and I think they liked it. We found it at the jewelers where we got our wedding rings. I did end up wearing the bridesmaids dress and it worked out great. yay! Now We're exhausted! nighty night!


illustration friday: smoke
Here's my submission for Illustration Friday's theme of "smoke"

(click image to enlarge)
When I read the theme I thought of creepy-guy-next-door who comes close to burning down the neighborhood by adding too much lighter fluid to his BBQ.

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random thoughts
- had a great coaching session today, but have lots to ponder and journal about
- went to the Post Office to mail commission to Italy, had to turn back because I didn't have recipient's phone number (I guess it is needed for Global Expedited)
- worrying whether an old bridesmaids dress (light pink) will be suitable for niece's baptism on Sunday. I really don't want to have to buy a new dress and I don't think I'm allowed to wear jeans.
- we still have to get baptism present for niece, we're the godparents so we want it to be nice. Any suggestions?
- the new hostess on Top Chef needs to wear more clothes. Did you know she's Salmon Rushdie's wife. Wow!
- it has been 6 months since I gave up diet coke. Yay!


it's wednesday!
Today I visited with my friend Martha which is always a treat! We went to the Birds of Prey Center for a little field trip. We got there just before closing and the staff was taking all the birds out of their day enclosures and moving them to their night places. Martha and I were the only visitors, so we ended up getting a private bird show. We saw Owls, Red Shouldered Hawks and Bald Eagles out of their enclosures only a foot away while the staff told us all about them. I wanted to reach out and pet them (they were that close!) but a quick look at their sharp beaks, was all it took to remind me to keep my hands to myself.

After I got home I spent about 2 hours packing up commissions to ship out tomorrow. I have an 18x24 that is going all the way to Italy! Wow! Here's a photo of one of the ones that I finished up and am sending out tomorrow. These lovely ladies sent me their childhood photos and also pics of their fav childhood toys to incorporate into the artwork. I love the way this one turned out!


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