around here…

here in California we’re FINALLY enjoying some rain!!!  it’s funny how dramatic newscasters here are – other parts of the world are dealing with terrible weather, especially snow storms. here, as soon as ANY rain is in the forecast it’s “STORM WATCH!”

i’m embarrassed for us sometimes (lots of times)…

anyway, just wanted to share some of what’s been going on around here…

morning coffee 2.25.14

i’m a big fan of coffee (favorite: Nescafe!). i have lots of “good morning” pics on my instagram and facebook pages showing my first cup of coffee for the day…

spraypainted tote bag, WIP

one of my latest projects is a new collection of tote bags. i’m enjoying making my own fabric spray paints (love this blue!); can’t wait to see how they turn out! (stay tuned…)

sketchbook page 2.24.14

latest sketchbook page. julie balzer is one of my favorite artists, and she came out recently with a line of face stencils. this was my first time using my stencil. i loved it (although i did feel like i was cheating somehow by not drawing the face myself)!

Etsy supply shop/new itemsand finally – i’ve been adding LOTS of new items to my Etsy supply shop – so many new cool supplies for all my fellow creatives out there!

’til next time…

winter around here…

i’ve been seeing SO many beautiful photos all over instagram and facebook of snow storms and snowy landscapes! i’m a bit jealous, since we never get snow around here – i don’t remember it ever snowing in my lifetime.

i was outside the other day checking out the cactus plants, when i got the idea for this blog post. so here i am sharing OUR winter here in sunny California – enjoy!

flowering cactuspotted fuschiawhite geranium flowering potato bushpotted succulentwhite flowerpotted purple beautybougainvilleame and my shadowyup, winter around here right now is flip flop weather!

’til next time…




inside my sketchbook…

i’ve been using my sketchbooks more and more lately, and really enjoying it. it’s part of my “create every day” goal for 2014. when days around here are so busy that i haven’t picked up a paintbrush all day, i love to sit late at night (when the rest of the familia sleeps) and draw in one of my sketchbooks.


i find myself using words and phrases so much more now, like this drawing from a couple of nights ago, “live a colorful life”. i drew it very late one night and left it to be colored in next chance i got..

…and i LOVE the results!

liveacolorfullife_WIP2.21.14this work-in-progress photo was posted on my instagram page (one of my “good morning!” posts)…



i love working with colored pencils; i think they offer such great texture and layers to a piece…


like i said, i love how this came out! the flowers are a little bit different than my usual flowers, and the colors are bold and vivid – perfect for my handwritten phrase.

even my father, a man of very few words, asked me “why don’t you paint this larger and sell it?”

and i plan on doing just that, maybe on a 12 X 12 inch canvas. i am also recreating something similar on a canvas tote bag; stay tuned to see how that works out!

so – what’s in your sketchbook?

’til next time…


where else can you find me?




find the beauty everyday…

life’s been rough. for a while now.

i don’t want to rehash here; you can catch up on our almost buying our first house (so – they say things happen for a reason), loss, and more loss…(my sister patty…) add to that, my husband and i are currently living in my parents’ house (waiting to move into his parents’ house, but that’s a whole OTHER story…) and i’m trying to help my mother heal from a long bout with pneumonia.

and when time permits, i try to further my life as an artist.

i’m not looking for pity here. i know lots of people (in my real life and in my social media circles) who have gone and are still going through trying times. when life seems to suck, your dreams seem dashed, and you want to just stay in bed sleeping or eating ice cream (don’t judge me!)…

what do you do?

one thing not to do –

don’t ever stop seeing the beauty around you.

this morning, i was helping my father roll the trash cans out to the street for garbage pick up. i was pulling the trash can with one hand and talking on the phone with my husband on the other. i was looking down at the gravel driveway when i saw something shiny.  (if you knew me, this would be funny – my husband teases me about getting “shinied” – distracted – all the time.)  i thought it might be just broken glass but my curiosity was enough that on the way back from the curb – both hands now free – i picked it up.

my father asked what i’d found.  it was this beautiful, unbroken, glass flower:


this little found treasure made me so happy! my father and i took turns holding it up to the sun and looking at it.

it was beautiful. and has now found a home in a small box until i decide how best to show it off.

later, i heated up some food and headed to my room to eat, planning on working on the computer at the same time. when i came to my bedroom door, hot bowl of food in hand, i found i’d locked myself out. (i’d locked the door earlier as i was changing clothes, and went out the back door to help my father with the trash cans. thus leaving my door locked.)

i grumbled, then laughed at myself and went outside. i needed to go around the house, go through the washroom door and into our bedroom to unlock the other door. maneuvering around the laundry lines, the air conditioner unit, and our dog, i again looked down.

a tiny yellow flower growing out of the concrete, in the crack between the house and the walkway, seemed to be looking at me…


a thing of beauty. again.

if i had not been looking at my surroundings today – while dragging trash cans, maneuvering around physical obstacles, scolding myself for leaving a door locked – i would have missed it.

it was a lesson to me today. recently i’ve been angry at our circumstances, feeling tired, fed up, put upon even, and misplaced…

these two flowers – two very different flowers! – reminded me to always look around me. it was as if a higher power was telling me “here’s a little gift just for you.”

things of beauty surround us.

treasures wait to be found.

if only we look.

so please, no matter what your circumstances, whatever is happening in your immediate world – don’t forget to look around.

sometimes all it takes is a little thing, a simple thing, to make us smile. and, if only for a while, forget everything else…♥

’til next time…