Friday, December 31, 2010

Week 4 & Blog Hop... My Goals

I'm participating in a Blog Hop, thanks to Jess of A Creative Odyssey. For the entire month of December, close to 50 bloggers are sharing their Creative goals for 2011. Well, this is my day, along with Tracey and Kristen.

It was very clear to me, while thumbing through my TO DO Folder, my life is full of tasks and goals. This can be extremely inspiring and completely overwhelming, all at the same time. I was feeling very inspired earlier this month... I was interviewed for the first time by Laura Otero, started my new reduced schedule at work, and finally sat down to organize my business. Right now I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I'm organizing my studio right now, and before it could get better, it had to get worse, as I pulled out almost every art supply and placed them on the floor. Excuse me while I panic a little. Cleaning my studio was one of my many goals for this month, along with finishing my logo painting (which didn't get done... just waiting for the final touches to come to me), painting the two sketches from this post, starting a Flickr account, and trying some Eat Clean recipes for my husband. I digress... Let's get to the long term goals keeping me up at night.

1. Design my website... I bought a domain name in June, and have been obsessing over the details of perfecting my brand. I want everything to be perfect, and I'm hoping Laura can help.

2. Finish my first collection by the end of 2011... I've never done a collection before, just individual paintings here and there. I have an idea for my first collection, but it's gonna take some research, and I'm terrified it won't be perfect. Nevertheless, I can't wait to show you!

3. Open my PeachHoneyLove Etsy shop by end of Summer 2011... I'm debating on whether to open the shop with individual paintings, or wait until my collection is done. I have so many paintings in my head, waiting to become a reality, so I don't think I'll be able to wait. Any thoughts?

4. Open my PeachHoneyPreemie Etsy shop by the beginning of Summer 2011... Since the preemie clothes are taking a little time to produce, I have some ideas for some other products until then (Mattress fitted sheets, nursing covers, gel pillow covers, etc.). I just finished two prototypes of the fitted sheets and I'm taking them to work tomorrow to try them out... I'm dreaming of happy babies sleeping quietly on a coordinating bedding set.

5. Finish 5 PeachHoneyPreemie clothing prototypes by the end of 2011... this is proving to be a lengthy and difficult task, but one I don't mind doing. Thankfully, my mother-in-law is a sewing guru, and has taken me under her wing. It's been awhile since I took a sewing class, so I think it's time to sign up for a little refreshed course.

6. Take an encaustic painting class... I use beeswax to finish my mixed media paintings, and have always been fascinated with encaustic art. I recently bought a painting from Mikie Spencer, and fell in love with the swirls and metallic colors of the wax. She referred me to a UK based online wax store, and I'm looking forward to playing around with a new technique.

7. Start a family... unrelated to PHL, but a very important goal, nonetheless.

8. Sketch more... I just bought this book, hoping it would help me grow as an artist. I'm really trying to perfect my craft, so the more classes, the better. I hope you will join me as I work my way through the book's exercises and post my progress.

I hope the coming year brings all of you nothing but love and success in whatever your heart desires.


Monday, December 27, 2010

Week 5... Question to My Readers. Take a Survey!!

This post has come at a perfect time because I'm developing my PeachHoneyLove and PeachHoneyPreemie Brand. Week 5 in 52 weeks is about asking your readers a question. Well, I have more than one, so I have enlisted Poll Daddy to help me in my quest to get some answers. Although, this 52 weeks journey is geared towards PHL, I have some burning questions about the future of PHP. So, please please please take my survey and help me create a better PeachHoneyPreemie.

Take the survey!!

Thanks for participating!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

My sketches with a little color...

My sketches from last Friday lit a fire under my butt... since then, I've been sketching my little heart out. A little before work, some on my breaks, and then painting them when I get home from work. This has lead me to my current problem... I can't sleep. I used to take Benedryl every night to sleep, and finally weaned myself off after the wedding. Well, my old friend, Insomnia, is back due to my new friend, Inspiration. Well, I can't take Benedryl because Joseph and I are trying to start a family and my Eat Clean lifestyle is back, so I guess I have to paint until the sleep comes... it's terrible *wink*

I've been playing around with the eyes of my girls to make them look a little more mysterious. Blues, greens, even purples... a little Perfect Pearls to make them sparkle. I'm discovering a whole new dimension of possibilities, and it's staying with me all day. Is this what it feels like to live your dream? I've uncovered a whole new life leaving me fulfilled and completely at peace.

Joseph has even joined my party and has been naming my girls lately. He's really good at it!! It feels like he has a hand in this wonderful part of my life, and he should be because he's my biggest supporter. My cheerleader without the pom poms. Here is Delores, and the progression of what she came to be. I think I like the way she looked before I added all the dark eyeliner and mascara. I like the natural look... something to keep in mind (thankfully, I only sketched her).

Here's another love I've been working on... I adore her!! Joseph has named her Chloe... fitting, don't you think? I'm really enjoying my sketchbook, and writing notes in the corner about techniques I need to keep, or change. I'm growing as an artist, and it feels great. If only I had enough time to go back to Art School... one of my other big dreams. Maybe someday...

Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season... wishing everyone love and success in the upcoming year. xoxo

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Another love post...

In keeping with my Love Fest from Monday, here's another digital scrapbook page about our wedding day. There was so much love that day, and it's sure to fuel more pages to share with you. Enjoy!

The journaling reads...
Our Photographer kept telling us to "Snuggle up," so that's exactly what we did"... you know we have no problem hanging out in each other's necks all day long... Muah!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Wedding Day...

This post was supposed to be dedicated to Week 4, of 52 weeks of Blogging Your Passion, however, I'm participating in a Blog Hop, courtesy of Jess, of A Creative Odyssey. This blog hop is all about our Creative Goals for 2011, and since Week 4 of 52 Weeks was also about creative goals, I decided to postpone the post. My blog hop day in on December 31st, so come back and join me!

I have a hole in my schedule, and since I would hate to leave you guys hanging, let's talk about my wedding day.... yay!!

The couple days leading up to the wedding were pure chaos. Joseph and I had final meetings with our photographer, videographer, DJ, and coordinator at the Sheraton Grand Hotel. I had a dentist appointment earlier in the week, finished the programs and decorations for the reception mid-week, and spent some quality time with my best friend, and maid of honor, from Atlanta at the end of the week. It was a whirlwind.

The day before the wedding, at our dress rehearsal, I was a nervous wreck. Where was I supposed to stand? When did I kneel during the ceremony? Who would look after the flower girl and ring bearers? Thankfully, I was surrounded by women who knew what they were doing... I sure didn't. I was a complete sweaty mess, stressing over every little detail. I thought to myself, "I just have to get through the ceremony." Unfortunately, that wasn't working... family and friends were crowded around, and I was missing it. So, I took a deep breath, and said to myself, "What ever happens, happens. There's nothing more you can do. Either way, you'll be marrying the man of your dreams. What's more important than that?" Things got better.

I enjoyed the rehearsal dinner, I had a glass of wine, sat and talked with family, ate too much, and then went back to the hotel and crashed. The next morning, my alarm went off at 7am (although, I was waking up every half hour through the night), I shot out of bed, took a quick shower, ate some breakfast with my best friend and (soon-to-be) sister-in-law, and headed to my makeup artist's house.

The day of the wedding was stress free. I didn't think I was going to be able to let go, but I proved myself wrong. I figured if anything went wrong now, there was nothing I could do... my planning would have to be enough. It was definitely enough. I felt like a princess, and my prince was in front of me expressing his undying love for me. Words can't express how loved and protected I felt that day.

The ceremony was beautiful... I had my harem of women to the left, and Joseph his posse of men to the right. I didn't trip on the train of my dress, or wobble on my 4 1/2 inch peep toe pumps (even though they were the first things to come off after the ceremony). I didn't light the table cloth on fire during the candle lighting ceremony, and I didn't stumble over my words while reciting my vows. The family cheered, and Joseph and I had smiles on our faces the entire day. The reception hall was breathtaking, the cupcakes were extremely delicious, and the photobooth was a big hit. It was a perfect day!! More than I could have ever dreamed up.

After the reception was over (and while the party group continued the evening at the hotel bar), Joseph and I went up to our room, stuffed our faces with chocolate dipped strawberries and Kobe sliders (because two bites of chicken was all that would fit in my dress), and went to sleep as husband and wife. We woke up the next morning, visited my grandparents at the "Day-after-the-wedding Brunch", and headed home. We were too exhausted to open gifts, we dragged ourselves to Taco Bell for dinner (the diet was officially over), and were asleep by 6pm. I don't know how newly married couples get on an airplane, to their honeymoon destination, the day after their wedding... I could barely walk. We chose to wait until November to take our honeymoon. A decision I will never regret.

My wedding day was, for lack of a better word, a fairytale. Thanks for sharing it with me. If you want to see more pictures from our beautiful day, visit my Flickr site.

Friday, December 17, 2010

...and now for the sketches...

I talked a little bit about Monica Zuniga on Wednesday. She is an amazing Mixed Media Artist, who lives in Mexico city. I am taking her Mixed Media Faces class, and within this class we practice drawing faces with pencil, creating textured backgrounds, and much much more. She inspired me to try drawing realistic faces, but it was a real struggle. I realized I like my dolls, and although I love her realistic artwork, it's not me. It's difficult, sometimes, to accept your style, especially when the devil on your shoulder is whispering "that doesn't even look real." I even had a friend tell me, "her nose looks alien," about a recent sketch I drew. It hurt, but you can't change people's perspectives, you can only change how you feel about yourself. I would rather create my dolls, than struggle to create something that I don't have the passion for. I like my "alien" nose, and that's all that matters.

My sketches are just the beginnings of things to come... not a lot of shading, just the bare minimum of some inspiration that came to me at 2am, after watching one of Monica's videos. I usually name my girls, but because we're in the first part of their creation, they haven't spoken to me, yet.

Have you ever struggled to learn a skill or technique? Did you stick with it, alter it slightly to make it yours, or both?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Classes I'm taking...

As most of you know, I am a very busy bee. On any given week I am taking two or three classes, and reading a couple books to top it off. I thrive off the inspiration of others, so I wanted to take a moment to give my current classes a spotlight.

Brandi Hussey
I'm still working my way through Brandi's Color Rockstar class. The color palettes she includes are so inspiring and force you to look at the world from a new perspective. You know that old abandoned building in your neighborhood? Pay attention to the colors that cover the rotted building... you may just find the perfect color scheme for your new brand.

Photo by mlhradio on Flickr, textured up by Brandi Hussey

Jessica Sprague
I know you have heard me talking about Jessica Sprague for some time now, but let me just remind you she is AWESOME!! If you ever wanted to know anything about digi scrapbooking/Photoshop editing, she is your girl. I have finished the Up and Running with Photoshop class and now am in the midst of Now We're Rockin'. So many techniques, so little time. I get in a groove some days and spend hours watching the class video and practicing what I have learned on some of my fav pics. I'm getting a lot done, and learning skills I can use to toward my website. So much fun!! Revisit her site!!

Monica Zuniga
I've been a fan of Monica's for a couple years now, and when I got my new computer I forgot to bookmark her in my blogger favs. One morning, I remembered her unbelievable talent and went searching for her on Google... I typed Monica, Mexico, hands, artist... there she was. Monica Zuniga, and mixed media artist for Mexico, and her blog was called Hands and Heart. Gotta love Google.
I'm taking her Mixed Media Faces class, and I was overjoyed after the first video (and there are 24 long, amazing videos). The class covers everything from face dimensions to mixed media backgrounds. Although, I have been doing some of the techniques for awhile, it's refreshing to see someone else's point of view and style. The technique may be the same, but the outcome is always unique. I haven't gotten very far in the class, but if the rest of the class is anything like this first couple videos, I will have lots to talk about. She has a lot of classes available on her ning website. Check her out!!

On Friday I will show you some sketches I've been toying around with, thanks to Miss Monica. Come back and let me know what you think..

Monday, December 13, 2010

Week 3... Overcoming an Obstacle

Week 3 in the 52 weeks of blogging challenge is about an obstacle you overcame. I have to say the painting came easy, and my inspiration cup runneth over. There was always a multitude of classes and books to entertain my artistic cravings, and my drive to create kept me up until 3am most nights. My problem was finding the balance between my day-to-day reponsibilties (work, grocery shopping, laundry, etc) and my new addiction. As I sat on my stool, in front of my drafting table, or at Starbucks watching video after video on techniques, my laundry piled up and I dreaded going to work.

Now let me just say, I love being a NICU nurse. Taking care of babies and developing relationships with their familes is so rewarding. However, over the last 4 years I have slowly started to resent my job because my need to paint was taking a huge back seat. As of two weeks ago, I decreased my hours at work, and I now have 6 days off of work, every other week. Unheard of in my profession. My first stretch of days off, I taped 3 videos and got a week ahead of blog posts, finished up some business license tasks and cleaned my house. I was on a roll, but when the day came to go back to work I was as ready as I could be, and I felt better knowing I had made great use of my time. It was a risk decreasing my hours, but I had to do it for my own well being. It was a difficult choice, but one that I don't regret making.

In addition to cutting back my hours at work, I knew I had to create some kind of schedule. That meant not only scheduling my posts (52 week challenge on Mondays, artistic Fridays, etc), but also my tasks for each day I had off from work. For example, tomorrow is my day off and according to my "to do list" I need to tape a tutorial, and work on editing a couple videos I taped last week. If I get done with that, I can work on an art piece I have in the corner of my studio. I always schedule my tasks at least a week before they need to be done, so if something comes up... like Hank desperately begging for Mommy's attention... I don't have to worry about scrambling to finish on time.

I downloaded a calendar from Blog Guidebook (I also printed one for my gardening to do list), it's the perfect size to tote around with me, yet, large enough to hold my daily notes. I cross out the days I work (I don't get much done on those days) and then I write what posts are schduled on which days, and as I complete them I highlight them and move on to the next task. If I'm more than a week ahead, I spend more time painting the next couple days. All I have to do, in the morning, is grab my cup of coffee, consult my calendar and plan the rest of my day. It has allowed me to relax, enjoy my journey, and become extremely productive.

TO DO lists are extremely important for an organized life. I, however, am a little more anal-retentive, so I have a TO DO FOLDER (yes, that's right, an TO DO FOLDER). It's crazy, but it's helped to prioritize what needs to get done now, from what tasks can wait a couple months. In this envelope, I have lists of possible blog posts (for PHL and PHP), social networking tasks (sponsorship ads, blog buttons, start Flikr account), classes I want to take (Blogging you way, web design class), color schemes I want to try, possible PeachHoneyPreemie products, fabric I need to buy, etc . I also have goals in the folder... attend a retreat, show at art show/festival, plan a getaway for my artist community. If I ever feel like I have nothing to do... which is very infrequent... I can consult my folder, and I immediately have an endless supply of things to do. I love being busy, but crazy/unorganized busy doesn't work... organized/Type A busy works much better for me.

What was your biggest obstacle as an creative person, and how did you overcome it?

Hope you have a wonderful day... come back Wednesday for a post on the classes that are currently inspiring me to make beautiful art. Xoxoxo

Friday, December 10, 2010

How to blend heavy body acrylics...

Here is the painting from the video...

...and here is another version on a gesso primed piece of birch plywood...

8x10 Utrecht Cavas Board
Heavy Body Acrylics in Cadmium Yellow Medium Hue and Dioxazine Purple
Acrylic Glazing liquid

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A little love!!

I'm so eternally grateful to Laura Otero, of Strategic Marketing Online, for giving me the opportunity to be featured in an interview on her blog. Please check it out and show her some love!!!

Cravings... Golden Heavy Body Acrylics

I forgot to mention, if you want a more oil-like paint try Golden's OPEN paint line. I like the versatility I get with using the Retarder with the regular Heavy Body Paints, but to each his own. Here are the links to the products used in the video.

Heavy Body Acrylics
Acrylic Glazing liquid

Monday, December 6, 2010

Week 2... Prepping a painting

Yea, I was rambling a little bit today, but I hope it was helpful. I can't wait until you guys see my next few cravings posts. I hope you swoon over my goodies like I do. I can't tell you how much these video are helping my creativity... I get to play while talking to all of you. It's so wonderful!!
Here are some links to the products I talk about it the video...

Painting Surfaces
Birch Plywood
Stretched Canvas
Ampersand Gessobord
Golden Gesso

Winsor & Newton Watercolors
Golden Heavy Body Acrylics
Golden Fluid Acrylics
Portfolio Water Soluble Oil Pastels
Prismacolor Watercolor Colored Pencils
Ranger Adirondak Color Wash
Ranger Archival Ink
Ranger Distress Ink

ps... I made a little mistake... the mulberry color underneath the cerulean oil pastel was a watercolor pencil, not an oil pastel.

Friday, December 3, 2010

And Dip...

The journaling reads...
When I look into your eyes, I see love and admiration. Whether we are in the kitchen, or underneath the stars, we find a place to dance. You look at me, hold me close, and then we dip.

I'm still working my way through Jessica Sprague's digi scrapbooking classes... just another thing to help me become a little more savvy with the computer side of the biz. It's a lot of information, but along the way, I get to make beautiful scrapbook pages with the pictures that have been waiting in the wings... and I love writing about love.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My Cold and Sickly Sweet Potatoes

The sweet potatoes were looking sickly after a week of semi-cold weather... they developed small black dots on the leaves, then shriveled and died ... story of my life, lately. Really not surprising since potatoes only grow when it's warm for 4 months (yeah, I know my experiment isn't looking too promising).

I was devastated I had to throw them away because they developed such a beautiful root system... what a waste.

Just wait, bear with me... Luckily, I had more slips available on my momma potato, so I planted those in the same pot, brought them inside, and set them next to a warm window in our empty guest room. I'll keep you updated on what happens next... hopefully, I'll have some good news.

My asparagus plant slowly took over the entire veggie bed this summer. Even though the season is coming to a close, I decided to trellis them, so they didn't look too unruly. I stuck dowels in the dirt approximately 10 inches apart and secured them with twine. Much better, I I can plant some lettuce around them. What a concept...

I started my very first compost pile in September. I filled it with banana peels, paper scraps, corn husks and anything else worth decomposing. I added a sprinkle of compost activator, a little water, closed the lid and let it mellow for two and a half months. Well, I should have given it a little more love, by adding daily coffee grounds and apple peels. When I opened it up last Wednesday, it was too dry, and not a whole lot of decomposing had occurred. So, I added some shredded paper, a little more water, some more compost activator, a little soil from my raised beds, and gave it a good toss. I have finally started a daily offering bag in my pantry (a little food for my future plant food), so my compost will, hopefully, start doing... well... something. More to come in later weeks...

Even though all my veggie loves are vanishing before my eyes, I'm looking forward to next year's growing season. Hank has apparently solved our vole problem, so I think it will be extremely successful. The beginning of the new year means brightly colored seed catalogs magically show up at my doorstep. As I sit down with a sharpie and a cup of coffee, I can't help fantasizing about salads with radishes, bell peppers, and tomatoes grown 30 feet away in a place called home.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Week 1... Big Announcement!!

My love for creating art was a welcomed accident. I was a scrapbooker turned artist by an art journaling class. I am inspired by everything around me, and my support group of artist chickies fuels my everyday. I create mixed media artwork using acrylic paint, watercolor, wax, stamps, paper elements and much more. PeachHoneyLove provides original artwork to the masses, and offers a home for artisic people to play, grow and share their passions.

My community:
Laura Catherine with Strategic Marketing Online
Brandi Hussey with Catie's Blue
Maggie with Maggie's Angels

Vloggers I follow:
Donna Downey
Suzi Blu
Tiffany D

Other links:
52 Weeks of Blogging
52 More Weeks of Blogging
Kelly Rae Robert's Flying Lessons
Interview with Brandi Hussey

ps... I don't know why my forehead looks so big... I think I need to play around with the angle of the camera. Oh, and excuse my frequent use of the work "Umm," I was a little nervous :)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Big news is on the horizon!!

Ok guys, so I have a pretty big announcement coming up in the next week, or so, depending on when I get a special little computer program delivered. I'm restructuring PHL, and I hope it will give all of you a better insight into me, my life, and what I'm doing to create a brighter PHL. Please check back in soon!!!

Love and success to all of you!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Sweet Potatoes in a Pot

My sweet potato babies and growing into healthy plants. It occurred to me, when I started this project, it was entirely too late in the season to start a potato crop... I'm stubborn, I know. I figured it would be my chance to try my hand at faux-greehouse gardening... I like a challenge. And since I killed my herb, radish, and carrot seedlings by over-fertilizing (*sigh*), I had to pick up another project. God forbid I have only 5 things going on at once... I must have 10.

Once my potato "seed" grew slips 4-6 inches long, I twisted them off and placed them in water to root. Magically, within 24 hours I had little roots forming. I decided to let them hang out in the water a little longer to establish a stronger root system before I shocked them by transplanting them outside.

Joseph and I still have to do some work on our raised veggie beds, so I decided to plant the potatoes in a large plastic planter. I mixed a little chicken manure in with Moisture Control Potting soil, and planted the slips 6-8 inches apart. I tried reading up on how close to plant the slips, but I kept getting conflicting information, so we'll see come harvesting time if they're too close. After transplanting them I watered thoroughly, and then an hour later Hank came up and pulled one out and ate it... dang it!! Not to worry, I have 5 healthy plants left, which means lots of yummy potatoes for Jess!!!

Meanwhile, has anyone else noticed it's officially fall!! My best friend says it's the best season for fashion... jeans tucked into boots, sassy hats and warm peacoats. I think fall is the season of color... the trees are turning from green to yellow to red, almost as if a mood ring was sitting right on my front lawn. It's magical. While spring is known for brights blooms and delightful smells, fall is famous for the smell of rain and berries on trees. These are my favorite from my tree in our front lawn, their vibrant color makes me smile, even on the gloomiest of days.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Interview with Brandi Hussey

I'm celebrating my artistic community (those special people who I've connected with over Facebook, Twitter, Flying Lessons class with Kelly Rae), so I want to place a spotlight on one of my new favorite Etsy shops, Catie’s Blue, and it’s owner and jewelry designer, Brandi Hussey.  I was first introduced to her by a fellow flyer, and then took part in Brandi’s Color Rockstar class... this is where my obsession began.  Her eye for color combos is truly amazing, and has inspired my to look at color with an intuitive mind and open heart.  Due to her talent I have picked my color scheme for PHL and am well on my way to perfecting my brand.  That's what I call progress.

Her blog is full of tips and tricks... from removing a color cast from a photo to putting together shop policies for your ETSY shop... it’s all there, folks!! I have spent hours on her site going over every little detail, and I would recommend it to anyone starting out in the creative biz.

Brandi has had such an impact on my business, so I wanted her to come over to PHL and spend an afternoon with us. So please help welcome Miss Brandi Hussey!!!

Your blog is so chock full of useful information on branding and representing YOU, where did you come up with the name “Catie’s Blue?”

Thanks for the kind words! As far as "Catie's Blue", it's actually a particular color, a bright aqua blue. Back in college, I had a professor named Catie who really took me under her wing and became a mentor to me. It was incredible the amount of time and energy she was willing to give to her students; she was so protective of all of us, and it was really inspiring. 
Coming from Greece, she had an affinity for any shade of aqua. She said it reminded her of the Mediterranean, and I could relate because it reminded me of the Pacific (I'm originally from Hawaii). She wore it so much that I began to associate it not just with her, but with creativity, passion, and integrity. It was such an inspiring color to me, that when it came to naming my business, I drew inspiration from that and named my company after my mentor's favorite color. You could say she's to blame for my obsession with aqua!

-Photo by Brandi Hussey-

What a wonderful story!  It's amazing how a compassionate, dedicated mentor can shape how you look at the world (in your case, how you look at color).  As aritsts, we speak through our work, and our color choices are such wonderul voices.

In you "Color Rockstar" class you talk about color definitions, and how everyone has a "personal connection" to specific colors.  We use these colors as words to our "personal story."  I loved that you included shades of your favorite color, aqua, in your list of color definitions.  Creativity, emotional, blissful, joy, free, and flight were the words you used to describe your connection to this specific color.  What a wonderful way of getting to know you through you work... we get a sense of who you are without ever meeting.  Very smart!!

-Photo by Brandi Hussey-

Were you always a full-time jewelry designer, or did you start out with a “day job”?

It's kind of funny, because I went to art school but didn't really intend to make a living as an artist. I was stuck in the idea that "artists can't make money", so I didn't really intend to try. Instead, I had applied to a Master's program for Art History - but I didn't get in. So, I moved back to Texas from California, and I had a job at a bookstore right after graduation. I worked there for a couple years when I got a job with a major airline, working in their customer service department. It wasn't a bad job, but I didn't do well in it. It sucked the life out of me, till one day, I just couldn't take it anymore. I wasn't happy, and worse, I barely recognized myself. After a night of reflection, I put in my two weeks notice and quit.

My intention then was to go back to grad school, but I never made it (clearly, someone was trying to tell me something about the path I was suppose to be on!). I was on a family vacation in Hawaii when I literally tripped going into a bead store (I really am that graceful). When I looked up, all I could stare at were the colors and sparkling beads everywhere; I was smitten. I had done beading growing up, and I tried my hand at metalsmithing in college, but something was different that day. I think by then I was looking for a reason to use the art degree I had, so I was more open to the possibility of making a living from it. I took a few classes to refresh my memory, then when I got back home, I started my business. So, I went full-time from the start over three years ago.

So your accident turned you onto the path you were meant to lead... funny how that happens :)

What obstacles did you face along the way? How did you push through those obstacles to follow your dreams?

It was really easy to make the switch. I had already quit my last job, so I had the time to devote to figuring things out, and I had a little money saved. And what I found out was that it's actually pretty easy to start a business. Remarkably easy. My decision to go for it was made even easier by the fact that I only had me to think about. I didn't have a family of my own relying on a steady income (or health benefits), so no one would lose anything by me taking a risk. If things were different, I probably would have had a different start to share!

As far as obstacles... While I had support, it wasn't always unanimous. A lot of people thought I would fail or that I'd lose interest. This was coming from people I had hoped to ask business questions from, so while I could understand their point of view, I felt like I had no one to turn to. I had to learn those business aspects on my own. I won't lie; it wasn't always easy and I made mistakes along the way. But it felt so right that I stopped fighting my instincts. I started trusting them instead, and I just kept plugging along.

It took some time, but I realized fairly quickly that I wasn't totally clueless. While I had no idea how to run a business, I had been working since I was 15; my resume was full of customer service jobs. Not only that, but I was also familiar with presentation and displays, selling, graphic design, composition, branding, general computer work, and blogging. I was decent at writing, had some photo experience from building my portfolio, and knew a little about advertising from a random class in college. There was no experience or job too small to draw from. Once I listed what skills I felt I needed as a business owner, I realized I had a decent foundation to start with. And as time went on, I firmed up that foundation by learning other skills and expanded on it with experience.

Wow!! You really were meant for the life of a business woman. You had all the skills hiding right underneath your nose.

-Photo by Brandi Hussey-

I’m having trouble managing my full-time job and all the “to-do” lists that go along with starting a creative business.  How did you deal with those business start-up woes?

It's so tough to juggle everything. There's only so much time in the day and only so much you can do yourself! Add in family time, creating time, and just LIFE, and it's super easy to feel overwhelmed. Three things help me stay sane: a schedule, a system of organizing that works best for me, and prioritizing. 

A schedule: Everyone needs one, and this becomes especially important for those who work full-time. Schedules help reinforce the idea to others in your life that you aren't sitting at home eating bonbons; you are actually working during that time. It also helps you set limits for yourself. I found out pretty quick that I'm a workaholic - it's easy to get lost in the work because it doesn't always feel like work. Plus, if you're the one doing everything (and you most likely are), there's a pressure to keep pushing. Work's become fun, so you don't mind doing it, but working too much for too long without a break can lead to burnout. I've been there and it's not fun, so now, I'll schedule in down time, too. I know that sounds nuts, but it's a reminder to myself to take a break every now and then.

I will say that my schedule is pretty fluid, and always has been. I have the flexibility to change and move things around if need be, and I don't feel bad or guilty doing so. I know that I put in the hours, so if I need or want to take a day off, I will. Stepping away to rest has become very important to me, especially in a 24/7/385 job. It never really ends, so I'm the one that has to set the boundaries.

Organizing: Organizing is important for a lot of reasons, but the two big areas where you want to try to stay organized as much as possible is in your studio and with your business records. You need to start keeping records as a business owner (this was new for me), so the quicker you can get in and find what you need, the better. It also helps you come tax time. Beyond that, an organized (or semi-organized) studio means you're not wasting time looking for supplies. Time becomes very, very precious when you have a full-time job and still want to create, so the faster you can get down to creating, the better.

Prioritizing: This is the biggie. You can have a relaxed schedule and be a little relaxed with the organizing, but prioritizing gets me through the busy times. There are two kinds of prioritizing that needs to happen: life priorities and business priorities. Life priorities include things like family time, your well-being, and your health; these should take precedence over any business priority. For example, if you're married and have kids, family time comes first. You can't get that time back, so enjoy it, then create after the kids have gone to bed. 

Business priorities are specific tasks that need to happen. I have goals and objectives I aim to complete each week (versus every day), and I'll prioritize them according to how fast it'll take me to get them done, desire to do it, and when they need to get done. I'll take the time-sensitive projects first, then I'll get the things I don't want to do out of the way next (so I don't have it looming over me). I'll do or save the tasks I can complete quickly for when I'm pressed for time. And since I can get wrapped up in the networking or computer work, I'll set aside big chunks of time for creating. 

And if all that fails? Ask for help. Reach out to a fellow artist, a friend, a family member. Get them to help package orders, prep for a show, ship.

Ahhh... the importance of a strong community :) I can’t tell you how helpful that is... time to get out my planner and start scheduling and prioritizing.

-Photo by Brandi Hussey-

What does your typical day look like, and how do you cope with the endless “to-do” lists?

The best way for me to cope with the endless "to-do" lists is to have a fluid schedule. Rather than have daily tasks, I'll have weekly ones. Ones that don't necessarily have a specific day where I have to get them done, which lets me insert personal things during the week. So, if I need to take photos but it's raining that day, I'll move photo day to later in the week. Or if I need to take the morning off for a personal reason, I will. How do I decide what gets done in any given week? That's where the schedule and the prioritizing comes into play. 

It also helps me to do things in bunches. It's more productive for me to create 10 pieces in one sitting, rather than a piece a day. It's easier for me to take photos for those 10 items at one time, rather than trying to fit photos in every day. Trying to do everything every day is a lesson in frustration, so I don't put that kind of stress on myself. Beyond that, I know how I work and when I work best. Knowing that about myself gives me a better idea of how full I can fill my schedule and how much is too much.

As far as a typical day, I tend to be online during the day, taking photos in the early afternoon, then creating at night. My day usually starts between 9am and 10am, and I'll wake up in front of my computer. I'm definitely not a morning person, so it helps to spend that time reading through emails and blogs, catching up on forums and groups I'm in. I'll spend maybe two hours online, then I'll head off for lunch, and maybe a photo session (I take photos outside in natural light, so I need to get out there in the early afternoon). After lunch, I'll do another quick check online, then head into my studio to start working till dinner. I'll eat, check in again, and if I'm feeling like I'm on a roll, I'll go back and create some more; if not, I'll relax in front of the TV or with a book. This schedule will vary if I'm in marketing and networking mode; that's when I'll be online most of the day, creating content for my blog, networking, taking an online class. My day usually ends around 2am or 3am. I've always worked best at night, so I don't fight that instinct; it just isn't productive for me.

-Photo by Brandi Hussey-

I am fearful that my artwork won’t appeal to the masses.  How do your find the balance between creating items that speak to you, and those that will appeal to others?

It's a tough line to walk, that's for sure. When I first started, I asked friends and family a lot of questions. I used to do a lot of trunk shows, so that was a great place to ask people for feedback about specific lines I was trying and techniques I was doing. Nowadays, if I'm unsure, I'll ask a jewelry friend for a critique.

While I never really followed the trends, unless it fit in with what I was doing at the time, I definitely was creating for other people rather than myself when I first started. I was doing okay, sales-wise, but then a funny thing happened. Sales started picking up when I started putting more of my style into my pieces. The things that sold best were pieces that I truly loved; the things that sat for months and months were things I was lukewarm about. It was almost like people could sense how excited I was or if I was excited at all.

Now, there were definitely exceptions - some pieces I loved creating are still sitting in my shop, and things that I felt unsure about sold. Sometimes, that's just the way it is, but generally speaking, I sell more things that I'm passionate about. I'd also say don't be afraid of creating a niche for yourself. There is a market for anything, so if you aren't having success with one audience, keep trying till you find one that embraces what you do. Having a niche or an angle also helps people remember who you are and what you do.

I'm glad I'm not the only one creating at 2am... when creativity knocks you have to answer, no matter what time it is. 

What inspires you, and where do you find your inspiration? How does your Hawaiian heritage contribute to this inspiration?

I find inspiration everywhere, and I think being Hawaiian does contribute to that. See, in Hawaii, there's a huge mix of different cultures. You get exposed to a ton of different things - food, clothing, people, styles, music. There's always something to see, something to catch your eye, something to spark your imagination - tt's an eclectic, laid-back, welcoming place. So, if given the time, I can easily find something to inspire me out of anything.

For me, I'm heavily inspired by colors, and the gemstones and lampwork beads I work with. I have shades I favor more than others, but color combinations in general are endlessly fascinating to me. Hawaii plays a part here, too; it's such a vibrant, colorful place that it's hard NOT to be inspired by color there.

Beyond that, Hawaiian culture really emphasizes and appreciates handmade items. My maternal grandmother was what you would call a master crafter of traditional Hawaiian art. She passed along some of her vast knowledge to me, though I don't know if she'd consider it art so much as keeping up with tradition and honoring the old ways. There is a strong base in Hawaii right now that not only love handmade, but crave it. 

-Photo by Brandi Hussey-

What are you 3 favorite blogs and what draws you to them?

It's really hard to choose only 3!

I love, love, love A Creative Mint. Leslie has such an eye for color, and her photos are gorgeous. Plus, I just took an e-class that she co-taught, and I'm amazed at her process, her studio, and how she's quickly made a name for herself as a blogger.

I adore Erin's blog, Treasures Found. She has such a way of appreciating life, and her blog always gets me thinking. She's so passionate about what she does, and so honest about what she feels - she's an incredible and inspiring storyteller.

I have to read Happiness Is every day. Shannon has such a joyful, stylish, curious soul, and she only features things she loves. It's a little bit of sunshine in my day.

Thank you so much for taking the time out to talk with me, is there anything you have coming up that you would like to share with my fellow bloggers?

I don't have anything concrete yet, but I'm working on a couple of new e-class ideas, a couple of e-book ideas, and possibly a new venture all together. I'm letting the ideas sit till after the holidays, and hopefully by then I'll feel rested and ready to share. It's become obvious to me recently that I really enjoy helping other artists find their path, so I'm trying to figure out the best way to acknowledge that part of me. Getting to spend time here with you is a great start, so thank you!

You have truly been an inspiration to me and my growing passion for creating art.  Thank you for taking time out to of your busy schedule, and for being a mentor as I embark on this lovely road. 

Please visit Brandi on her blog, website, and shop...

Monday, October 18, 2010

Computer day...

I received my PeachHoneyLove business license in the mail this week... it's official, I'm CEO and owner of my own company. Sure, I haven't made much income, and there aren't a lot of people who know me... YET!!! It's all mine... the company, the journey... the success will come when it's ready. In the meantime, I'm doing my darndess to make sure everything associated with PHL is up to par. The pictures, blog post, paintings... everything needs to be great!!

Soooo... I'm trying to familiarize myself with everything awesome, therefore, I'm re-visiting Jessica Sprague's digi classes. I bought one of her class bundles a couple Christmas' ago, and when my 30 day Photoshop trial expired, that was it. No more fun for me. Well, I finally bought the program, so it was time to start over... yes, completely start over. I needed a fresh start, anyway.

I started with her Photo Editing class... and if you're wondering if her classes are any good... believe me when I tell you, you have never taken such a user friendly, easy-to-follow, Photoshop class in your life!!! It's a lot of information, so I suggest you take diligent notes so you can reference back to them. But remember, her classes are available to you FOREVER, so don't fret. I went searching through some of the gazillion pictures I've taken over the last few years, and spent hours editing all of my favs. It was nice to relive those moments through better looking photographs... here's one I fell in love with...

By the way, I was on the computer ALL DAY... Joseph didn't mind because he had football and baseball to watch, so as long as I was sitting next to him he was ok. Thank God for earphones.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

The logo...

I'm nesting... organizing closets and the kitchen pantry, making placements to coordinate with the drapes. I haven't tackled the studio yet... that's a big job... one that takes concentration and more than the 30 minutes I have before work.

Even though I haven't started on the studio, I did clear the drafting table to start my logo. I felt an extreme desire to paint and I needed to address it before I went completely insane. I can't tell u how great it felt to pick up a paint brush... the inspiration came flooding back to me. Simply exhilarating.
I remember painting penguins in preschool and showing it off to my mom because, in my head, it looked exactly like a penguin. I felt the same way when I started painting my logo... proud of my gift and excited about what I could turn it into to. It feels good to be proud of something. Here's the beginning of the logo... I still have to add a little spice and sassiness, but it's definitely a strong start.

I'm still working on my color combos... I want the "brand" to be perfect, and I want it to be me, so I'm on the hunt for the perfect coordinating combo. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Hi paintbrush, do you remember me?

It's been awhile since I picked up my paintbrush... that beautiful Sable number 8 brush I got on sale at a local art store (can't remember which store, I visit so many). My studio is a complete disaster, and my supplies aren't organized... it's enough to make a Type A crazy woman have a meltdown. My paints are calling me and those blank canvases and birch plywood pieces are taunting me... "Paint on me, paint on me!!"
I've been so busy with PeachHoneyPreemie tasks... getting a business license and seller's permit, making patterns, testing fabrics, etc... that I've been ignoring my other love. PeachHoneyPreemie has become my mistress and my paints are drying up just to teach me a lesson.
I'm mulling over a possible mixed media collection, but I need to tweak my girls faces a little... make them a little more me... a little sassier!! I also need to beautify my ETSY shop, so it's time to create a logo. I never thought I would ever say those words... I'm creating a logo!! It's crazy how your life can take a complete turn if your willing to let go of the wheel.

My studio is full of remnants from the wedding, unsorted ribbon and paper, and a whole lot of anxiety,,, well, I guess that's me... very anxious!!! Time to get to work!!

Saturday, October 2, 2010


If I didn't mention already, I'm starting a new venture.... the production of a NICU-friendly preemie clothing line. I know... it's a big task, but dang it I can't help myself. I started another blog... come check it out! Follow me... I'm always happy to share my journey with people willing to join the ride.

I'm gearing up for the official launch of PeachPoneyPreemie... no, there's no big party... I'm just referring to the party in my head :). I'm just so stinkin' excited!! Don't mind me... just some dorky behavior happening. My kitchen table has become "seamstress central" and it's full of partially done projects all for PHP. I could just scream... from excitement.

I never realized how hard it was to transform a drawing of, say, "The Snappy Dresser" (an actual dress in the PHP line... cute, don'tcha think) into an actual article of clothing. Thankfully, I have my mother-in-law (seamstress guru to the stars) to help... she's been wonderful. From giving me a sewing basics refresher course, to physically walking me through my first shirt construction (start to finish), she has made the process seem a lot less terrifying. It feels wonderful to be surrounded by people who love and support your dreams.... and that means you, all my "Flying Lessons" classmates... you have been awesome!!! Thanks guys, it means the world!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Our new family addition and some garden updates...

Meet Hank, he's a 29 pound, 8 month old Puggle (Pug + Beagle) and he's the new love of our lives. His favorite pastimes include eating rocks, taking naps on his favorite pink blanket, and passing horrendous gas (yeah, it clears the room). He's a little hyper, but hopefully with a little training (and getting his boys taken off) he will settle... but I'm not holding my breath. Welcome to the family, Hank!!! We love you so much!!

And now for the garden update... I picked my first Celebrity tomato a couple weeks ago, and since then 25 more. They are delicious with a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper... YUM!! Here's my first tomato baby...

My Brandywine tomato plant is just starting to fruit (a little late, don't cha think?), but they are not very impressive... I don't think I pruned them often enough... busy with wedding stuff. 2011 is my year to get it right and be fruitful.
One other thing I'm trying is growing potatoes in a bag... a little idea I got from Gayla Trail on her wonderful blog You Grow Girl. My first step is to make slips from a organic sweet potato bought from my local grocery store. Here's my potato after a couple days in water...

...and after another week...

I can't wait to see, and taste, this new adventure...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Our Perfect Day

So let’s talk about the wedding, people!! What can I say? It was the most beautiful day of my life, and everything was perfect. I felt like a princess that was joined together with her handsome prince.. it was wonderful!!

My perfect day started at 7am, when I woke up to the sound of my cell phone alarm... now usually I would hit the snooze a couple time, but not today... I shot right out of bed. After a quick breakfast with two of my bridesmaids I headed to Downtown Sacramento to get my hair and makeup done (while in the back of my mind, picturing Joseph and the boys playing video games, that’s if they weren’t still asleep).

When I got to the Church at 12noon it hit me... I was getting married today!! I was no longer going to be someone’s girlfriend or fiancee... I was going to be someone’s wife and partner through life. That was a heavy feeling. I started to get ready in the Bridal Suite at the church, and started to sweat.. thank God for my girls, who willingly fanned my pits as I breathed deeply. Throughout the chaos of getting dressed and touching up my hair and makeup, the photographers and videographers were busy taking my shoes, bouquets, and dress for photo op’s.

When the girls starting lining up for processional my heart began to race, and as soon as those big doors opened and I caught a glimpse of Joseph I started to cry. I didn’t think I would, but seeing all of our friends and family together to witness our marriage was so powerful, and I couldn’t hold back.

The day went on without a hitch, and I was beaming with happiness... how did I get so lucky?!? My husband (OMG, it sounds so great!!) is the most amazing man I have ever met and he’s all mine... how sweet it is. We walked into the crowded reception hall to “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen, and our first dance was to “Crazy Love” by Van Morrison. Joseph and his mom cried during their mother-son dance to “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Iz, and my Dad and I clowned around to “A Wink and a Smile” by Harry Connick Jr.

It was a blissful day... and now I’m a married woman!!


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