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.


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