Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Winter Activities

The weather this winter has been pretty cold for our area. We live in the high desert which means we have cold winters and some snow but this year we've had more than usual. My favorite weatherman Mark Ronchetti here in New Mexico tells us it has something to do with the el nino weather pattern. He cracks me up, because when we have weather that is different than dry, windy, hot or dry, windy, cold, he gets all excited. It's fun to watch.

I think the snow is beautiful.

As I've mentioned before in other blog posts, this  winter I've been trying to finish up projects. I just finished one of my favorites! A dear friend of mine gave me this amazing old beat up desk. It originally was a dressing table or vanity table. It's very old and the mirror is no longer there, since I wanted to use it as a desk anyway it didn't matter. I didn't mind that it was beat up a bit because I wanted a rustic french farm house look anyway.    

First, I painted the area where the mirror used to be with chalk board paint and gave it a layer of blue paint topped with a white wash. I found some cute blue drawer pulls at hobby lobby(on sale of course!). I used the little foot stool as a chair (not very comfortable!)  

And then...... I got distracted by other things and never finished it until now!
The next step was to scrape off some paint and then the final step was a very watered down grey wash.  

I truly love it! I now consider it a treasure. 

     Another dear friend gave me this fantastic chair. It was originally brown so I spray painted it black.

I love using the chalk board for all sorts of things!

 I hope everyone out there are enjoying their winter! I have several other projects underway and several paintings I'm working on. In fact I just listed this painting in my etsy store.

Have a lovely day out there!

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hot Springs and Get Aways

I truly love this place! It's Ojo Caliente hot springs. There are many hot springs in New Mexico and Colorado, while I love all the hot springs, Ojo Caliente is different. These hot springs don't have any sulfur in them. Each pool has a different mineral that has health benefits. There are arsenic, lithium, iron and soda pools. I enjoy each of them but find that the arsenic pools relieve all of my pain. I have severe damage in my right ankle that causes me a variety in intensity of pain on a daily basis but once I get into that hot spring, it just disappears! I also have fibro myalgia and it is amazing how these pools reduce that pain as well.
There is a peaceful tranquil environment there as well. We prefer going in the winter, there are fires in all the kiva fireplaces inside and out. They keep warm hot chocolate here in the lobby. There's great fire in the fire pit at night and they serve steaming hot freshly brewed apple cider.

There is a fantastic restaurant ( the interior has a lovely fireplace too)

This is one of the cute little cottages you can stay at. Topped off with a lovely chili ristra hanging on the wall. 

The beams in the lobby are truly impressive.

I think that Ojo Caliente shows off the best of New Mexico

Then on our way home we took a little side route and went thru Los Alamos New Mexico.
This is what I found most entertaining about Los Alamos.....You can get news from Mars right out on the sidewalk on main street. So...if you're ever curious just stop on main street!

Oh but the views.... on the way

Looking toward Los Alamos (and my cute hubbies back)

These are looking back towards Santa Fe.

One last breathtaking view...

That was our trip this time, I hope you enjoyed the pics! If you ever get the chance to stop by Ojo Caliente you really should!

                                                       Have a great week out there!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Projects and Procrastination

When I was a kid we were always working on a house. The first one I remember was an old farmhouse in Wisconsin. That's where my little brother was born and then I remember moving to a different house in town. We had to renovate that house, it was a very old house. My brother and I were really little so the biggest thing that stands out in my memory is when we began to remove the ancient wall paper in strips. To my brother and I it was a great game. We would pull a strip from the bottom of the wall and pull, it was all fun and games until my brother grabbed a strip of paper and ran with it. What my folks didn't know was that the ceiling in that particular area was also papered and it was attached to the paper on the wall, so as he ran the paper came off the wall but then the whole ceiling of paper came off right on top of him! My poor brother thought the whole roof was coming down on him! Then we moved to a 40 acre farm in northern Wisconsin. Here we are, my little brother and I on that farm.

That's where my little sister was born. This house needed complete reconstruction, there wasn't even running water there. We had an outhouse for the first few months of living there.  Next we moved to Colorado. That house wasn't even a house to begin with. It was just a feed store and it definitely didn't have running water. We used an outhouse and hauled our water for the first year we lived there. There was a one room cabin beside the feed store so we lived there for the first year.

one room cabin

We worked very hard on all of those homes and one of the things that annoyed me the most about all of that reconstruction was, that nothing ever got finished until we were getting ready to sell it! My dad was very good at starting new and exciting projects but very bad at finishing those projects. I remember when I was little thinking to myself,.....when I grew up I wouldn't leave projects before they were finished! 


Oh, how I laugh at my younger self! I have inherited my fathers ability to think of exciting ideas for new projects and being bored of those projects before they are finished!  

So....this year I am going to work on completing some of these projects I have around the house that were exciting to start with but then got distracted and moved onto other projects. Like this one, I started it and then....... I left it.  

and then there's this one, that's partially finished

It really wouldn't take much to finish it but I keep putting it off! 

I did however finish this project!

I refinished this table and I love it.Hopefully this year, will be the year of finishing. However having said that......I started painting the walls....I know, I know, it may be that I'm beyond all hope for recovery! My goal is to slowly paint the house as I finish projects in each room. We rent and I have put off painting but the walls are getting scuffed up and I'm going to go ahead and paint the house myself since I have to use zero v.o.c. (volatile offgasing compounds) so that my kiddo doesn't get sick. I will post my progress as I go along. 

The first room I'm starting with is our dining room/art studio. Stay tuned to see how it turns out!

Here's to all the procrastinators out there!!!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Oh, What will it become?

Today, I thought I would walk you thru the whole process from beginning to end on one of my paintings. After looking thru my past blogs, I noticed that I've tended to share paintings that were in process but  never  the whole process, so.... today, is the day for it!

This is a very old picture of where I used to work. It was my first studio spot after we moved out of the Tardis (camper)  and into our rental, so I had very little furniture at the time! However, it's a great photo of how it all begins. I get excited when I put a blank canvas on my easel, because even if I have a general idea of where I want it to go, I never know for sure just which way it will end up!

That used to frustrate me, I used to want to get exactly what was in my head on the canvas. For some reason I thought that meant you were a good artist. Then I remembered the beloved  "happy trees painter" Bob Ross, who always said that mistakes were never a bad thing. They were happy mistakes and they just turn into something else! I loved him, didn't you? Now it no longer bothers me, that what ends up on the canvas may not be exactly what I had in my head. Most of the time I'm happier with the end result than what I planned anyway!

This piece started this way. I knew I wanted mountains, water, a horse overlooking the view and I wanted it have a light feel.

Next I began blocking in. This part always scares me! It sets the tone where everything will go.

Then I added details to the clouds, mountains, added trees and fought with the cliff! I ended up reworking it several times. The first few times it came out as too harsh against the soft background, eventually it worked into this and I was happy with it.   

Next.... the even scarier step! Adding the horse! At this point in a painting, I find it stressful because by now I love it like a child of mine and I've put so much time and effort into it that I'm frightened  I will just ruin the whole thing! (artist insecurity...can't do much about it!) 

  Originally, I was planning on painting a girl standing next to the horse but as I painted the horse an inspiration hit me. A girl huntress on the horse would be perfect! 

Lastly, a few more details, some highlighting, softening of colors and just touching up here and there. This is where you can actually ruin a painting. Adding those little details can end up being over done, so I have to be very careful at this point.  

But...... oh, how happy I am with this! It expressed what I wanted it to. I hope you see whatever makes you feel free of any stress in your life!


I love being able to express myself this way, and with each painting I try to stretch, try to improve my technique. I thankyou for being on this journey with me!

Have a really happy day out there!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015


I believe this Irish proverb to be very true! Many times it's all you need to get on with life.

It's coming up to the end of another year! I find it beneficial to take a moment to reflect on the past year, what we've done and then what we need to do. Right now my etsy shop is on vacation mode to accomplish just that. As an artist, sometimes I find, that the running of the business starts to inhibit my creative process. In the past, the more stressed I was, the more I painted, but over time I've found so much joy while painting that I'm spending less and less time painting during times of stress. The reason for this, I think, is that I want to put happy into my paintings.  As a result, I've found other things to do when I'm stressed. Recently, I've picked up knitting! I really find it soothing, so.... we have two new blankets, my sister (and her dog!) have scarves and I almost have a scarf for myself!

One cannot avoid stress in our lives. We can, however do a lot to avoid creating more stress for ourselves and we can find ways to manage it. Everyone has different things that help them to do that. For now knitting is great for me! In the meantime I'm looking at how and why I paint differently and I really like the result that ends up on the canvas.   

This year has been another difficult one, I always feel bad when I say that because it sounds a little ungrateful as we have had much worse years in the past. However, we spent a great deal of time in Dr.s offices with our kiddo for new health problems that have appeared for him. We are slowly finding ways for him to manage these issues and he has found some relief for the pain he has been in, this has taken up most of our year. Also my hubby gave me a scare and was in a bad car accident. He ended up with a concussion and has recovered from that. Then leastly of all things our camper the beloved Tardis was stolen. Now, one could look at this as a frustrating year of difficult things, we do not. Our son turned 20 this year, we didn't think he would survive past 6 and he turned 20 this year. He can't breath chemical things so he can't go out much but he is doing graphic design from home, we've found a fantastic farm nearby who delivers organic groceries.(Skarsgard farms of New Mexico)  He has good, wonderful, incredible friends who love him and include him in their lives. He was in alot of pain but we found things to reduce his pain. He has a really good support system in place and he is becoming a successful happy adult. There is nothing more a parent could want. Hubby was in a bad accident but all that was lost, was a car and we have insurance for that. The camper was stolen, but no one tried to break into our home and hurt us, once again it's just a material thing and we have insurance for that as well. 

Many times our road is not smooth and straight  but it has been more interesting that way. It's true these things do cause stress and none of them could have been avoided so we find ways to manage the stress, like knitting! and humor! Humor is very helpful!

(My humor may be a little strange.....I'll admit)

One of the things I would like to change from this last year is to pick up writing my blog regularly. I'm not sure how most bloggers can blog like they do! I can't keep up that pace but I would like to be able to post something once a week. I'm starting today, because today is the best day to start to make a change in anything you would like to do! I think that along with paintings I will be doing I will also have some fun projects I can share with you and hopefully brighten your day! 

Today starts the rest of your life! Have a great one out there!  

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's time to reopen my etsy store!

Happy fall to one and all! I hope this finds everyone of you well! Fall is near which always cheers me up! It's my favorite time of year! Since I grew up in Wisconsin and Colorado I'm quite used to the seasons, in fact  I think its the change of seasons that I love the most. A few posts back I shared this painting while it was in progress. Here it is all finished! It did fight me a little but, it ended up the way I saw it in my head! (well, mostly...)

"Coming Home" 9x12 available

The kiddo's medical tests are finished until January. Whew! Most everything turned out fine. We are still waiting on the results of a couple tests but during the process of all the Dr.s searching for an answer for what is going on with the kiddo we have found some solutions that  seem to be helping him and he is slowly improving. What we find frustrating is that if medical science hasn't put it down in a book somewhere it's difficult for Dr.s to understand what is going on and rarely trust what mom has seen for evidence. I truly appreciate what the Dr.'s have done for him, however I wish that they would listen to my observations more. We were the ones who saw what all these chemos did to our kids. The Dr.s put in the orders for the meds and the nurses administered them but we were the ones who took care of the aftermath of those meds. We are the ones who were there 24 hours a day seeing what the drugs did to our kiddos.  I also wish they would be more straight forward with us about the damages chemo does to kids who go through these treatments. Parents who have watched their children go thru many years of chemo for leukemia have seen alot and are pretty tough, we can take it.   So that's my opinion anyway! (I'll stop complaining for awhile now)

Onto good news! I'm reopening my etsy store tomorrow Friday September the 25th. To celebrate I will be having a 25% off sale! (this sale excludes all cards and prints) It will run from September 25th thru October the 2nd. You won't need a coupon code to get the 25% off, I've already marked everything down for you. I try to keep our life as simple as possible so I thought I would pass that onto you so you won't have to mess with coupon codes. I will even have my new pieces included in the sale! Also, I wanted to mention that I'm happy to do lay-a-way purchases if anyone would like. All you need to do is message me and we can work out a plan that works for you.

"Standing Guard" 24x48 available

I haven't painted as much as I normally do. While the kiddo was going thru medical tests our whole family came down with a bad respiratory virus and it knocked us out of things for awhile but I'm back at the easel again! We are truly looking forward to the cooler air of fall and enjoying a few outings. I hope you are too!

Here's a new piece I just started. Then fall colors started taking over in my brain so I've put this aside for a bit because I have a fall painting in my head that I need to get onto canvas!

Have a really happy day out there! Come see me at my etsy store tomorrow!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Funny How things work out

 This is my latest piece of art. I find it odd that once in awhile when I'm finished with a piece I discover that I've painted something from my past. I don't intend to when I start the piece but it ends up that way. Does this happen to any of you?

My theory is this. Part of being an artist is expression of your inner self. Some artists work thru grief or anger by painting. I try to express joy, but sometimes I do love to do pieces that I would call moody. My goal is however, to express something that when someone looks at it they can imagine themselves in the art and it gives them a sense of calm or joy. 

When I started out on this piece I wanted to express the love between a girl and her horse. I think what happened is, I ended up painting the feeling of  when I was young and could escape away on my horse into a world where there was no distress. By the time I finished it I looked at the horse and realized I had painted one of my horses I had when I was a kid. His name was Nazan. He was an arabian and was the half brother to my precious Missy. (He didn't have a blue mane tho! That's just my love of making horses different colors!)  

Back when I began painting again I avoided painting horses specifically. I think because art has a strong affect on you when you're working on it, that I avoided horses for the reason of when I had to give them up it was a very painful thing to do. I didn't like to be reminded of that pain. When I had horses they were the only thing that I drew. However, I sadly made the mistake of getting rid of those drawings years ago because I didn't want to be reminded of that loss.

Slowly, I began to have the urge to paint horses here and there and over time I've begun to tap into the joy of that time I had with my horses instead of focusing on the pain of loss. It's been an interesting healing process that I'm very grateful for.

At the moment, I have my etsy shop on vacation mode. My kiddo has quite a few medical tests he needs to get thru and we need to concentrate on helping him work thru those. When I reopen my shop I will put this painting up in it. I haven't named it yet. Perhaps some of you would have a suggestion?