Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The month of April tally and report! (Month 7)

It's finished! It's finally finished! This painting took much longer than normal for me, mainly because so much was going on in our lives and because of all the trees! I loved working on this piece. It's a work of love and I'ts so wonderful to have it finished! It will soon be in it's  new home. It's 24x48x1,  I named it "Neverending"  I wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful kind comments about this piece on facebook and google+! Thankyou!!!

Now I'm onto several more pieces, this is one of them. It's full of stars! I'm also working on a couple of commission pieces and some summer pieces as well. There is so much in my head to put onto canvas!

and then.... hubby caught some kind of flu and he is so kind that he shared it with me so, I've been knocked out again. May..I'm thinking that May will be our fabulous month! Let's all hope!

In my other blog I had been keeping track of what I spend in time and money on living chemical free and I'd like to continue that record here. This is month seven in the experiment. (I'm keeping track for a year to see how it all adds up) So, here's the tally and report for the month of April!

April Month Seven

Time spent on making natural products.......3 minutes
Time on projects...................2 hours and 30 minutes
Time on the garden...............3 hours and 15 minutes 
Total time this month.............5 hours and 48 minutes 

Money spent on natural cleaning ingredients....$23.99
Money spent on projects................................$24.99
Money spent on natural hair products.............$47.94
Money spent on the garden............................$24.30
Total money spent this month.......................$121.22

Now onto the savings, so I saved $37.00 on the cleaning products by making my own natural cleaning supplies. 

I saved $127.06 on hair because I trade getting my hair cut for making natural laundry detergent for my friend who cuts our hair and I use henna myself to color my hair naturally instead of having it professionally done with chemical products.

The project, I saved about $20.00  on because I found the shelf unit at a used store.(it was the secret door project I shared in my last blog)

Which leaves a total of $184.06 this month. (I don't include the garden in this because it's just a project I'm not sure where it will go. at the end of the year I will figure everything up and see if it was a savings or not) 

Speaking of the garden, this is whats going on  in the desert garden!

I began by starting a small raised area with cement blocks.

but they were boring so...

I painted them purple! I also added some geraniums on the edge to help combat bugs. Then I covered it with screen to try to keep the birds away from the strawberries that are in there. I also filled the holes  in the cement with dirt and planted marigold seeds. We will see if they grow or not. but I did get one......

Strawberry! already! and well the kiddo ate it right away:)

Also there has been more growth in the flower patch.

I'm very excited to see them still growing. I can hardly wait to see flowers on these babies! It's a slow process here in the desert and it takes nurturing, mulching and patience but the result is very rewarding.

Well, I hope you've had a great week! I'm going to try to get over this latest illness and get back to the easel!
Have a happy week everyone! And I'll be having plenty of tea too.


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Give Away April 2014!

 I hope everyone had a lovely week past. I've been very busy! so much going on in the studio and my life as well! I've been procrastinating by distracting myself with other projects. However, it always works out in the end. Since I accomplish some sort of project and all the while mulling over whatever it is that is causing me to procrastinate!
I'm very excited to announce that I have one set of greeting cards available now. I took four of my paintings out of my store to keep only for that purpose. I had the kiddo work on the technical side to get them ready to be printed. We went thru a couple of failures but then we found success! I'm very happy with these now. They are a set of four.
The first one is from my painting "Snowday".
The second one is from my painting, "Purple Snowman"

The third is from my painting, "Snowed In".
 And the fourth is from my painting, "Quiet"
Now onto the good news. Oh, you've probably already guessed it! This is the give away this month! All you have to do is during today and tomorrow comment on this blog or go onto facebook and like my post or comment on it, whichever you prefer! Then your name will be thrown into the mad hatter hat then, while blindfolded I'll pull out a name and wallah! If it's your name you win a set of greeting cards! These are blank inside so that you can share heartfelt words of your own to the loved one you send them to!

Now, let's see what else was I up to this week? Oh, yes! I created a fun secret door for the kiddos secret library. It started with this $14.99 shelf from my local hidden treasures store.

Boring and plain, not to mention the stickers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

soooo, I scraped and scraped, then I painted with a combo of burnt umber brown, crimson red and copper to come up with this! (the paint cost about $10.00)
Door Closed.
And door open!
I added a curtain behind it so when your inside the secret library, you can't tell there is a shelf there! The kiddo is very pleased and I had a good time doing it. This project cost me $25.00 all together and a few hours of my time.  
This week I continued my work on the "Neverending" Painting. I've been working on this painting since December, it's really a work of love. I was so happy when a friend who I love dearly, but moved away contacted me and asked to purchase this painting. I'm so pleased that this work of love is going to a dear friend and that it will be in a home that I know is full of love. It couldn't go to a better place.  So I'm truly honored to say that it's already sold. It's still not finished. Here's the latest progress on it.
There's still quite a bit more to do and I added a special little something hidden in the painting, just for my friend. She will have to search to find it. It'll be fun when she does! I will share a picture of it when it's completely completed! The kiddo is still going thru medical tests but we are down to just couple more to go. He's been at Drs non stop since February, the findings haven't been too hard to deal with, yet they require some adjustment for him still. It makes my heart leap that he's still cancer free, but my heart heavy knowing what he has to continue to deal with. He's courageous which makes me proud. We continue on joyfully. Slowly, I can begin to throw myself back into the studio. I hope that the coming week will have me at a new painting that's just itching to get onto canvas! Until then have a happy week and don't forget to have some sort of tea time!    
Oh, one more thing. Did anyone else stay up and watch the blood moon solar eclipse? I thought it was amazing and I got a picture of it too!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Time for the Garden!

This painting is coming along! Almost all of the aspen trees are finished. My fingers are just itching to get to the last big tree to bring this painting all together. The aspen trees take a really long time and while I've been working on them I thought of a whole new thing to do with aspen trees! But you will just have to wait until I get to a painting where I can try it out for you to see it! I'm gonna keep it a secret for now!

I'm about to have a little give-a-way! I'm working on a small project and will announce what the give-a-way item is on facebook and this blog on Tuesday April 15th. If you want to get a chance at winning the give-a-way you can comment on this blog or comment or like the post on facebook on April the 15th. Your name will go into the famous Mad Hatter hat and whoever I fish out(while blind folded of course!) will be the winner. I'm excited about it!

When we moved into our little house our backyard was full of what is called goat head weeds here in New Mexico and they are vicious, horrible little weeds. You do NOT want to ever step on a goat head! This what I started with.

I weeded and weeded and weeded and well you can guess the rest(you know more weeding until I ended up with just sand. Then I laid cardboard(from all the moving boxes) and put mulch on top of that. It helps kill the weeds and adds to the mulching.(there is so much more mulching to do) In New Mexico you have to look at your dirt as a project. It takes a different kind of gardening here. Mulch is absolutely necessary to get dirt that is good for growing things.
Then I planted a few things and they are beginning to grow!
 These are my sugar snap peas that I planted as seeds! They are an early plant, they like it to be cooler and they really don't like the high heat so I started wtih these.
Then I planted some Hollyhocks and sunflowers along the back fence and they are beginning to show some leaves!
I started on a small raised garden area.
and inside are strawberry plants! I will of course, be painting the cement blocks and will  lay a screen over the top of these to protect the plants from grasshoppers, birds and the extreme heat of the summer.
Then I planted tomatos,.....way too early! I got too excited to get the garden going so I've lost a couple of plants but I've faithfully covered them every night and a couple are surviving. There are even two tomatos growing!
I've also planted lavender, rosemary, chives, cilantro, thyme, oregano and mint but it's still pretty dusty and barren in the backyard. However, I think by the end of the summer there will be life there. I'll share how it progresses as we go along!

Then I moved on to the front yard and weeded and weeded and well you get the picture!. Under all of the weeds there were tiger lillies(I think). After some tender loving care they began to perk up and show some life and now there are a few blooms getting ready to open! I can't wait to see what they will be!

Lastly, the front door was a sad, sad, pitiful and boring, beat up affair so I painted it!(of course what else would she do? You're asking yourself right now! hee hee) And.....it's tardis blue!!!
It's true, paint can cover over a multitude of sins! (And when we move out I will paint it back to the boring beige it was.) Oh, and when living in New Mexico an entrance way is never complete without a chili ristra!
I hope your having a good time in your garden! If it isn't warm enough yet, where you are, I hope you are having fun planning one! Happy gardening everyone!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring is hanging around the place!

It seems that winter is beginning to fade away, and small indications of life are starting to appear! I love spring, it's a time of renewal and hope. I find gardening to be a very hopeful thing. You may not be successful at everything you plant but what does grow is such an exciting event!

Spring means that the time has come for outdoor events, brushing off the dust from our sandals and pulling out the hats for a tea!

Speaking of which, the kiddo and I had a terribly good time at our local tea room. St James Tea Room in Albuquerque New Mexico. We had the honor of attending a Mad Hatter Tea Party! Much fun was had. It was the perfect way to start off spring!

Since you know that I am slightly obsessed with Alice in Wonderland type things, you know I had a great time! I got to wear the Mad Hatter hat that I use for give aways on facebook!

Tea is such a lovely concept is it not?!
Since it seems to be spring around these parts, I've been on a bit of a renewal myself. As you know my kiddo has some health problems and we have been focusing on those of late, but they are beginning to settle down into a manageable situation so I'm hoping to soon refocus on painting once again. As you also know, I was writing a blog on living as chemical free as possible based on the kiddo and his experiences but he has become a young grown up man.(oh my god is that really possible? Am I mother of a grown up?, hmm...going to go bury myself in some tea I think) He is uncomfortable with me talking about him on a blog so I concluded the story this week and am moving on to another form of expression.  Instead, I'm going to combine my crazy projects, my gardening attempts, a record of how much time and what it costs to live chemical free along with whatever great chemical free product I might come across and of course my art as well all rolled up into this blog! I hope you'll enjoy the ride! There tends to be lots of crazy turns and wild ideas that sometimes work and sometimes don't but I find it to all be fun anyway. I think it's what makes me the artist that I am, so as an old woman of a grown up boy, I've decided to just accept the fun crazy that I am!  

                                               I thought that quote was appropriate!

There has been some progress on a couple of paintings! This large one is taking a very long time but I expected that it would. It has alot of aspen trees and they take a long time to do. It has a castle which I had never painted before and I was beyond thrilled to find out that I love painting castles! It has an owl which I had never painted before and it turns out, I really like painting owls as well. Lastly, there will be two very large trees with pink flowers on them so it's not surprising that it has been and will continue to be a long project. Here's the progress so far.

The other crazy thing is that most of the paintings floating around in my head are quite large projects but I can't help it, I must go where my imaginations go! I can't wait to get started on them! I did finish this painting in the last month. It too is quite large.

"Love Song" 24x48x1
Purple Trees in Love, original art, fantasy art, tree painting, romantic painting

I wish everyone a happy spring. Many of you are already bemoaning the weeds beginning to grow where they shouldn't. Yet many are still awaiting with baited breath for that hoped for spring weather. To these last friends I say, don't despair for it certainly is on it's way. In the meantime I hope everyone joins me in taking a moment of your day to stop and have a cup of tea and imagine something delightful!  I'm off to paint!!!