happy new year!
Just a quick note to wish everyone a happy new year! I can't believe 2008 is here already!

Tonight Paul and I are having some of our neighbor friends over for drinks and a game of Balderdash. Paul also bought some sparklers and mini fireworks so it should be fun, fun, fun. And the best part is no one has to drive so we will all be safe!

I thought I would list some of my resolutions for all the world to see. When you write things down you are more likely to do them so here goes!

This is my "do better" list, I also have a dream list but I am still working on that one:

  1. shred the junk mail every day and don't let it pile up into a mini mountain
  2. take re-usable bags to the grocery store and when shopping in general
  3. buy at least one new clothing item a month (my wardrobe is very lacking and I hate shopping)
  4. read for pleasure every week and learn to not feel guilty or that I am wasting time.
  5. start a wish jar and put my wishes in it!
  6. treat our garden fountain with chlorine 3x a week so it doesn't turn into a swamp and spawn 1,000s of frogs like this year.
  7. be better about setting boundaries between work and regular life to allow guilt free play time.
  8. learn to part with and stop hoarding my original artwork. I need to be a good girl and start listing batches of work for sale on Etsy. It is piling up and unloved and needs homes.

What are your resolutions for this new year? Post to your blog and add your link to the comments in this post or just post your resolutions in my comments below. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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weekend warrior
This weekend I cleaned out the Master Bedroom closet while Paul and his buddies watched football. What a mess our closet was! I cleaned out 6 bags of clothes for charity and a ton of old shoes and now it's looking so neat I can hardly stand it.

I also changed the doors on all our medicine cabinets to much nicer ones I got from Lowes.

Then I went on a touch up paint mission. Most of our walls are all this odd taupe color that looks brown in some light and purple in others. I am not a big fan of the color but with lots of large artwork on the walls I have managed to "make it work" (as Tim Gunn would say). I have not gotten to repainting yet, maybe in 2008 December break I will repaint the inside of the house!

So anyway, I took some shelving down so I was in major need of touch up paint. Since the people who lived here before us didn't leave us any colors, I took a slice from the wall and headed to Home Depot to have them match it. I brought the paint home and tested it and it was WAY off. Like not even passable. ugh! So then I thought I'd try Lowes and see if they were any better at matching. I had them mix some up from the same sample and it's much closer. 99% there. Yay Lowes!

I did also manage to get a little studio time in there between all the house work, but Jan 1st it's back to work full time. I have enjoyed a little break from making art -- all this house cleaning has given me a chance to mull over some ideas and think about some projects I am working on with new perspective. yay!


paper doll game
Just for fun I created this little virtual paper doll game. Check it out!


i'm on diy right now!
I was just searching the internet and discovered that an un-aired episode of DIY Craft Lab that we taped in 2006 is finally on. And it's on right now! Looks like they will re-air it Feb 6th if you missed it. Good thing I DVR that show every day or I would have missed it too. Now I'm off to see how that green jacket that the wardrobe lady lent to me looked. LOL!


call me ms housefrau
I feel like little Miss Housefrau lately with all this cleaning I have been doing. I am in an organizational + cleaning frenzy!

Did I even mention that I cleaned all the tiles in both our bathrooms AND you have to clean them one by one because they are those darn textured ceramic tiles that suck up lots of dirt. I am feeling so virtuous after 6 + hours of cleaning bathroom tiles. The grout has never looked so clean.

For continued tile cleanliness, I headed to Bed Bath and Beyond today to pick up more of these rugs to go in front of the bathroom sinks. I struck up a conversation with another woman buying the same rugs. We both mentioned at almost the same exact time that they are the perfect rugs because the cats won't pee on them. Anyone with cats who like to pee on bath mats will totally get this and why we chatted fervently in the checkout line about our plans to outwit our cats.

Then I shredded our mammoth pile of junk mail shredding and I am so in love with my new 18 sheet shredder. I can put an entire envelope in it without opening it. Bye-bye credit card applications. yay! Now if I can stick to my New Year's Resolution of shredding junk mail every day and not letting it pile up to a mini mountain, I will be so proud of myself.

Then if that wasn't virtuous enough I did my 4th Quarter taxes. yay me! Patting myself on the back! Nighty night!


the aftermath
Christmas is over and it was a good one. Yay! Yesterday we had about 15 people over, my mom and dad and then Paul's family too.

I had cleaned the entire house all day on Christmas Eve so everything was sparkling. Well for about 5 minutes. Once our nieces were unleashed it was as if I never cleaned. But it was fun! Mental note, next year don't worry about cleaning so much. Maybe clean *after* the party!!

Today I am doing various business things and getting paper work ready for 2008. I also have a big pile of shredding to do! One of my New Year's resolutions is to shred the junk mail everyday and not let it pile up. Then tonight we might go visit some friends of the family and then I promised I would take my sister in-law's doggie out while they are out of town tonight. That's about it!
surprise skating party!
Martha and Larry invited Paul and I to ice skating last night. Dina also met us there and it was great to see her again. We had a blast! The best part was when Martha surprised me with a birthday cake (that she made from scratch!) complete with lit candles in the parking lot! They all sang happy birthday to me , so sweet! Then after we skated our feet off, we ate cake and hot chocolate in the snack area of the rink. I felt just like when I was 12 and I had a skating party for my 12th birthday! Too much fun! Thank you Martha!!!

me with my birthday cake!

Me, Martha and Paul! Paul is ready to start eating the cake!

I am off to clean the house to get ready for all the family to come over tomorrow, then it's present wrapping time and tonight we'll watch a Christmas Story. ho ho ho!


i am bad at relaxing
I am *supposed* to be relaxing and reading and enjoying movies this week but today I had a really hard time.

I have things on my to-do list that I know can wait a couple days while I enjoy some much needed rest. But just knowing they are on my to-do list irks me and I can't rest with total enjoyment. It is very annoying! Shut up brain!

This is an issue I work on with my coach all the time. I will always have a to-do list. There will always be more things to to-do. I need to learn to rest now and then without feeling like a slacker. Never-the-less, my work brain got the best of me today. So I gave in and did some work on my new book and a few other things. Now I feel a little better and maybe I will be able to allow myself to enjoy Wonderfalls tonight guilt free! We'll see!


not much to report!
It's been nice and slow here the last couple of days. I have been working just a tiny bit in the studio and then reading a lot and enjoying some rest time. Trying not to feel guilty about resting and reminding myself that I have been super busy since September. So I deserve a break.

I am reading a book about Vampires that I surprised myself by enjoying. I am a little embarrassed to post about it, but it's really pretty good in a Buffy/Angel kinda way (I was really into the Buffy/Angel unrequited romance thing back in the day). I haven't read any vampire books since I read all the Anne Rice books in 1995 and am enjoying some mindless "beach reading."

I also rented Wonderfalls from Netflix. It has the guy from Pushing Daisies in it and my friend Missy told me it was really good -- can't wait to watch!

On my agenda for today is to tidy up the studio and organize my supplies a little, pack up a last custom artwork order to go out and maybe update my web site and then rest some more!


thank you for the birthday wishes!
Thanks for all the wonderful happy birthday messages and emails! I had a great 33rd birthday yesterday. I got a massage and then Paul and I went out to dinner and afterwards we met up with the neighbors and enjoyed a nice fire in their fireplace. It's really chilly here so it was extra fun!

I was super lucky and I got the wonderful polka dotted plates and mugs from my parent's (thanks Mom and Dad!). Paul got me an ipod nano with the little TV in it! Perfect for when my travel schedule picks up!

Today I did all sorts of errands, went to the dentist, bought some Christmas gifts, went grocery shopping. Now I am exhausted. I am not a good errand runner. If I go to more than one store, I am wiped out for the day. I think I might treat myself to a little rest today and read a little bit. I don't have any pressing work which feels sooooo good!
hi santa!
We took Toby for his annual photo with Santa today. This year we went to the place where we buy all our pet food. Pookies Bow Wow Bakery. It was so much fun! They made such a fuss over Toby telling him how handsome he was. He had a great time!


Tonight we're off to my parent's house. Then we'll relax. I see there's an episode of Extras on tonight. Monday's my Birthday AND I am all done with holiday custom artwork orders so I can have a nice relaxing day! yay!

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no tree this year
We decided against putting up the Christmas tree again this year. Stanley is just too naughty and I know I'll spend all day picking him out of the tree. We had some white twinkle lights on our porch this summer just for decoration and I caught him chewing on the glass bits! yipes! So right then I knew no more Christmas tree at least for a couple years. That's OK we really barely have room for one anyway! We'll put out our 1970's ceramic trees and call it a day. I did put up lights outside so that counts too!

Tonight we have Paul's office party to go to (those office parties are always hard work), then maybe we can watch our Netflix movie that came in (The Namesake). I just finished packing up my last custom order that needs to ship on Monday. Yay! I only have one more and that's local so they will come and pick it up. It feels so good to be almost done! The rest of today I'll get cracking on my Christmas postcards to send out. And that's about it around here!


too tired.....
....for a proper post tonight. I've been working away in the studio on custom artwork orders. Almost done! Everything has to ship Monday so only 3 more days of working to go! yipes!


project runway party
I'm working up a storm here getting lots of work done so I can enjoy the Project Runway party tonight at Lynn and John's house.

Here's a photo of my hat that I made from paper plates, duct tape, pipe cleaner, colored tissue and newspaper.
Click here to see a few more photos on my Flickr.


Recap of the Project Runway Part Challenge: John put random items on a table: paper plates, colored tissue, duct tape, pipe cleaners, pens, newspaper. Then he told us we had to make a hat for ourselves and one for Smudge (their Labrador retriever). We had 45 minutes to work. John even made a "Tresmme Hair and makeup room" complete with wigs and funny glasses to add when we modeled our designs. Lynn and I were a team. Larry and Martha were a team. Matthew and Rachel Cornell were another team.

No challenge tonight, everyone is worn out. But next week we'll do one here at our house! Now to think of something good for the challenge! I'm thinking of garbage bag outfits. Any suggestions?


tag! i'm it!
The wonderful illustrator, Angela Matteson tagged me to reveal 25 of my favorite movies. It's so hard to list only 25, I have so many favorites, so these are the first ones that came to my head!

  1. Amelie
  2. American Beauty
  3. Basquiat
  4. Big Fish
  5. Bread and Tulips
  6. Chocolat
  7. Edward Scissorhands
  8. Election
  9. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
  10. Little Miss Sunshine
  11. Lord of the Rings (all 3)
  12. Memento
  13. Muriel's Wedding
  14. Nightmare Before Christmas
  15. Notes on a Scandal
  16. Office Space
  17. The Piano
  18. Pan's Labyrinth
  19. Pecker
  20. The Princess Bride
  21. Pulp Fiction
  22. Sideways
  23. Thank You for Smoking
  24. The Usual Suspects
  25. Volver
Now I'll tag 5 people: Lesley, Kal, Donna, Carmi & Linda. What are your favorite movies? Post on your blog and put the link in the comments below!


12 crafty days of christmas
Kelly Powers from Creative Catalyst (the company who makes my DVDs and lots of other super cool DVD workshops) created this AMAZING and super creative little animated video. Check it out!

smARTist preview call now online - FREE!
Did you miss the smARTist’s™ Virtual Opening Reception Party, preview call on Dec 4th? 830 artists registered for this preview call. Wow! That's a lot of artists! But not to worry! You can listen to the recording online or download it to your computer.

Click here to listen NOW! To find the recording, click “Free Events” in the menu bar at the top of the homepage.

The next preview call will be Jan 8th @ 7pm EST. Mark your calendar!

What's the smARTIST Telesummit?
Ariane Goodwin, Ed.D. (artist career coach and author of “Writing The Artist Statement: Revealing the True Spirit of Your Work”) has pulled together a group of successful keynote speakers (including me!) to help you move your art career up to the next level. I'll be giving a talk about my favorite topic - artist web sites and blogging!

The smARTist™ Telesummit 2008 is the only national, and international, art career conference, online or off. Kick off your artist career in 2008 and register now!


sad santa...
This weekend was busy and a lot of fun! My neighbor and I took Christmas photos of our dogs dressed up in their holiday finery. Here's Toby as Sad Santa. He was not happy about wearing this outfit. But doesn't he look cute!


And a photo of Toby and Gizmo together.....


Saturday night Paul and I went to the McRae Art Studios holiday opening & party. It was super fun. I even saw a few of my blog readers there. Hi ladies!!

The rest of the time, I worked really hard on custom artwork orders to stay on track. I only have this week left to work and then everything needs to ship by Dec 17th (my birthday!) to arrive in time. I feel like one of Santa's elves working away in my workshop.


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

(click image to enlarge)
This piece was created for a 2009 calendar by TeNeues Publishing but I thought it worked for the theme. This little lady is knitting up some little things for her kitties!


holiday pets!
Mable got all dressed up in a Santa outfit to remind you not to forget the critters this holiday season!


My good friend Bernie at A Place to Bark has lots of sweet furry babies that need your help! Even just $5 or $10 would go a long way to helping to support all the animals that she takes in and finds new homes. She was telling me yesterday that she spends $15,000 a year just on pet food not to even mention the vet bills! Wow! By networking with humane societies, she has rescued (and found homes for) over 500 animals this year all by herself! yay! go Bernie!!

I was also just at Petco and they have a fund raiser drive too and PetsMart does Santa photos with your pet with the money going to local Humane Societies. So whether you donate locally or to a charity far away, don't forget the pets this holiday season!


hey san francisican's!
I'm going to have a little illustration in the San Francisco Chronicle this Sunday December 9th in the Style section! If anyone can grab me a copy and mail it to me (just the page with my image on it) send me an email!


project runway party!
I worked super crazy hard today to get everything done so now I can enjoy a Project Runway party. I missed the last few from being sick so I am really glad I am finally well enough to join in on the fun! Tonight I'll be going over to Lynn and John's house with Martha + Larry to watch the episode AND play along in a Project Runway challenge hosted by John. What can I make with duct tape and paper? We'll see!

See you tomorrow!

The Project Runway Party was so much fun! I have not had that much fun in a long time! John put random items on a table: paper plates, colored tissue, duct tape, pipe cleaners, pens, newspaper. Then he told us we had to make a hat for ourselves and one for Smudge (their Labrador retriever). We had 45 minutes to work. John even made a "Tresmme Hair and makeup room" complete with wigs and funny glasses to add when we modeled our designs. Lynn and I were a team. Larry and Martha were a team. Matthew and Rachel Cornell were another team. Martha took photos so when I get them I will post a couple.

We all thought Victorya was being really passive aggressive , I think she's this season's Wendy Pepper. We had our money that Ricky would be the one out. I was sad to see Chris go. In my mind he was this season's Jay.


busy busy
Super busy here working away on Christmas custom artwork orders. it's crunch time now with only two weeks to get everything done in time to ship. Here's a little sketch order that I finished up of this cute couple and their two doggies.

(click image to enlarge)
see you tomorrow!


busy weekend!
It was a busy weekend here! I got a lot of work done on custom artwork orders, cleaned the house, did laundry, went to a super fun birthday party for Larry (happy 50th!), put up Christmas lights outside (just a few), visited my parents and whew that's about it! See you tomorrow!


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