Monday, February 28, 2011

Week 13: A topic dear to my heart.

Photo Credit

Mean people suck!!  Need I say more?  Well, I guess I do.  The other day I woke up to two comments on my YouTube channel.  Yay!... ummm, no!  Both comments were meant to hurt... purposefully hurt.  What?!?!  This is why I was so reluctant to starting vlogs.  I was afraid of this... criticism.  Painful criticism, from mean people.  Have I told you mean people suck?

I don't know why, or how people thrive on negativity.  It's exhausting, and soul crushing.  I went to the commenters YouTube channel, and shockingly he had nothing but videos complete with lots of negative comments.  Why?  Is this fun?

My answer to this "Negative Nick" is to empower each other, so here's a spotlight of recent ETSYshop favorites.  I'm fighting negativity with kindness, so here we go.

I recently bought a crapload of Amy Butler fabric from MandiMade, at a very reasonable price, and the owner, Mandi, was wonderful!!  She made a custom listing within the day, and I had the fabric in my hands within a few days.  She has the Sparrows in Bark collection, by Joel Dewberry, on PRESALE right now.  Yes, I bought just a few yards... ok, I bought 12.  Check them out!!

If you're looking for some painfully adorable children's clothing patterns, Romeo&Mae is your store!  Your orders are shipped through your email, so big big plus.  The patterns pair perfectly with Amy Butler fabric... cute, cute, cuteness!!

Lovely Duds
I visited Lovely Duds while shopping for my cousin's baby shower gift.  This store is full of baby wraps, nursing covers, and their precious Just like mommy wraps.  These lovely, and soft, cuddle gifts are paired with beautiful, modern fabrics.  Loveliness.  My cousin loved her gift, and her baby girl loves being snuggled up with mommy.  

Let's empower each other!!!  No more negativity!!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ariana and Uncle Woe...

A digi scrapbook page about my husband's love for his niece, Ariana. That little girl, now 3 years old, has Joseph wrapped around his little finger.  She can get anything she wants, as long as she gives him a smile and a hug.  When she was little, she couldn't say "Joe", so she affectionately referred to him as "Uncle Woe."  It was a sad day when she finally learned to pronounce her J's.

Journaling reads... 
One thing is for sure... "Uncle Woe"loves his Ariana.  And although Ariana sometimes doesn't want to be snuggles, "Uncle Woe" is always there to lend a helping hand, whenever she's ready.  "That stinkin' baby!"

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

0.05% done! & a new banner!!

We've got a long way to go, people, but we're beginning to making a dent.

10. Take Golden's free class.
I talked a little bit about this awesome class in this video, but let me just say that if you're ever curious about what Golden has to offer, this is the class for you!!  The FREE Golden Lecture Demo was taught by Tesia Blackburn, a Golden working artist, who is energetic and so, so helpful!!  I brought a friend, who has no art experience whatsoever, and she was instantly inspired to start creating.  This two hour demo class covers all of the different gels, pastes, grounds, paints and mediums Golden has to offer.  Did I mention it was FREE!!! Visit the Golden website to find a working artist in your area.

55. Sell questroom furniture.  
Well, we ended up giving it away to a struggling family, which felt a lot better than selling it.  Now we are a that much closer to turning the room into a workout room, another "to do" on my 101 things list.

94. Watch every episode of Xena: The Warrior Princess.
I know what you're thinking... seriously?  Yes, I'm dead serious.  This was my favorite show growing up, and revisiting these action-packed episodes got me through a lot of late nights working and writing.

100. Floss every day for one month. 
Another random thing, but my dental hygienist will be so proud.

Time to focus on the big stuff now...

Some other things happening...
Did you notice anything different in the right hand sidebar?  There's a newsletter subscriber sign-up!!!  That's right!!  I'm working on an eBook to offer to my email and newsletter subscribers, and if you sign up now, you will receive it as soon as it's done.  Check out my last post, and tell me what you guys would like to see in the eBook.

I've been neglecting the PeachHoneyPreemie blog, due to the busy posting schedule of this one, but it's time to give it some attention.  It's forcing me to realize I may have to limit the PHL posting to 2 times a week, until everything is up and running.  It's a hard decision I may have to make because the preemies need a voice.

The PeachHoneyPreemie ETSY shop is still scheduled to debut this summer, and I've been hard at work making blankets, fitted sheets, and prototypes.  My dog and I have a routine on sunny days.  We leave the sliding glass door opened... while he lays in the sun, on a pile of dirt, I enjoy the light breeze blowing through the family room while I sew my little heart out.  It's blissful.

I'm finally beautifying the blog.  Making it mine.  After fussing around in Photoshop, I was frustrated, so turned to my texture/vintage/color loving friend, Brandi.  God Bless her!!! She made everything better.  She turned one of my favorite pictures into a banner to swoon over.




I've said it before, and I'll say it again... I have the greatest friends!!!  Thank you, Brandi, for helping me!!! You're always so generous with your time and wisdom.

I started the re-design of the blog... what do you think? I have to set aside a chunk of a day to finish the redo, but like I said before, I have to keep my priorities in order.  Let's focus on opening the shop...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Week 12: More questions asked and answered...

Photo Credit

Week 12 is all about questions, and boy, do I have a lot of them.  Questions about PeachHoneyLove, PeachHoneyPreemie, and questions about the future about this blog.  I realized that while I'm writing what I want on the blog, the traffic is not so great.  I know this will come in time, and it doesn't help I'm not really "out there"... no shop open, nothing to sell, etc.  It's difficult to write what's in my heart, while trying to make it interesting for my readers.  Does anyone else struggle with this?

Until now, my I've been an art student by way of online classes and books, but it's time for a slight detour.  I'm starting the Blogging Your Way class later this month, and attending the Bloggy Boot Camp in mid-March.  I'm determined to find my voice, and share it with you.

Some questions I need answered...

1.  What do you look for in a blog? (freebies, techniques and tutorials, etc.)  What attracts you before the post content?
A banner and color scheme will usually catch my eye before anything else.  My eye is drawn to minimalistic designs, with a splash of color (I'm working on getting my blog to this point).  White backgrounds with great colorful pictures.  Brandi and Ali are great examples of this.  Here are a couple of my favorite banners.

Brandi Girl

Freshly Picked

Sleep and her sisters


After design, tutorials and how-to posts usually get me to stay. I guess that makes me greedy.  Laura, Jessica Van Den and Blog Tyrant are my go-to business how-to blogs.  I'm also drawn to beautiful writing... I consider Kelly Rae to be the gold standard of passionate writing.  Her words seem to flow so effortlessly, especially after the birth of her son.

2.  I got a lot of traffic from this post, and it go me wondering... What posts bring the most traffic to your blog?
I have found my tutorials, especially the vlogs, bring the most traffic.  Funny, because I was so resistant to taping videos, and didn't think I had enough knowledge to offer my readers.  I guess I was wrong... don't tell my husband I said that!!  My favorite vloggers/tutorial masters are Tiffany D, Suzi Blu, and Donna Downey.  You can find me running errands, and watching their latest video upload on my phone.

3. I'm working on an Ebook for my email subscribers... What content would you like to see in an artistic Ebook?
I have yet to find a free artistic eBook... anyone know of one?  The eBooks I have in my possession are business and marketing how-to's.  I have got quite the collection, but my favs are from Blog Tyrant, Jessica Van Den, and Allyson Stanfield.

4. Oh, and I have a random question I need answered.  I am working hard to open the PeachHoneyPreemie Etsy shop this summer, and having some trouble making some final decisions.  This may seem like a random question, but should I use iron-on or sew-on woven fabric labels?

Answer in the comment section or email me at :)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Getting though the difficult days...

I had a mini-breakdown... yes, I admit it. My head was filled with "what-ifs" and "what abouts" and sleeping was all I could do to stop the constant mind chatter.  Everything had to be done right now!!  I couldn't wait a couple weeks... what if I missed my chance to be a part of that blog hop, or be interviewed by so-and-so, or had to postpone my shop debut.  Those sneaky little thoughts weaseled their way into my cluttered, overworked brain and made a cozy little home, courtesy of my meltdown.
Well, as you can imagine, I reached my limit, and I need a break... so I rested.  I slept late, watched TV, attended to the pile of laundry and dirty dishes, and spent some quality time with my husband and dog.  I got my hair and nails done, and bought a new outfit at my favorite clothing boutique.  I spent the day in San Francisco with a friend, sipping cappucino, and eating sushi with the ocean as our view.  It was exactly what I needed.  I felt refreshed and ready to take on the world, but this time I'm going to be smart.  I devised a new plan for my life/business/everything else in between, and contemplated what I learned.
What I learned from my breakdown...
I can't do it all, and I definitely can't do it all at once.  After Kelly's class, I was passionate, motivated and armed with my to do list.  The problem was that I expected to finish that list in a couple months... I don't know why I always do this to myself.  Much to my dismay, I wasn't finished in a month, or even 6 months.  I was so exhausted from pushing myself to finish, that I ran into a roadblock, called Reality.  It may take me a couple years to finish my list (and I'm sure along the way, I will add to the list), but rushing to finish, while desperately trying to hold on to my sanity, is not how it should get done. 
We take vacations from our "day job", so why do we feel the need to use every available moment doing, yet, another job.  Even if it's something we love, don't we deserve some time away from everything, to do... nothing?  For the last 6 months, I've been working every day.  Not 8 hours every day, but definitely working every day.  I work 3pm-11pm at my day job, so I figured why not get a couple hours of PHL stuff done before work... not a bad idea on some days, but I was doing it every day.  That means most days during the week, I was working 10 hour days, plus a few hours on each of my days off.  No wonder I was tired!!  Here's what I'm planning on doing now...
1. Sundays and Mondays are my days off with my husband.  No excuses!! I'm newly married, and I want to enjoy my time with my husband, before the babies start coming... and that's just around the corner, I hope.  I will allow myself to do a couple hours of work after he falls asleep, but that's it... I'm up until 2am, anyway, why waste quality quiet time. 
2. I will set realistic goals for myself, and I will not allow my cup to runneth over.  I'm writing my to do list on a 3x5 index card... whatever fits, gets done, and that's it!! No more using a full sheet of printer paper to jot down what I want to get done, because guess what?  It does not get done, and I'm left feeling disappointed.   
3. I will take advantage of productive days, because tomorrow I may need a break.  After my few days of R&R I was ready to go!! That day, I made 3 blankets, 2 fitted sheets and then spent another three hours ironing and cutting fabric to be sewn on my next days off.  I turned into a workhorse because I was well rested... duh, Jess!
4. I will get my priorities in order.  My main focus right now is opening my PeachHoneyPreemie shop, and finishing a custom art piece for a friend's son.  Everything else has to take a back seat, just for the moment. 
What to remember, so I can prevent an encore performance of The Nutty Professor...
1. I'm not perfect, nor should I try to be.  I don't know why I expected to handle everything with grace and calmness, while forcing myself to "do it all."  Something had to give.  Well, my calmness gave way to hysteria.  I will not place unrealistic expectations on myself anymore.
2. I shouldn't compare myself/my success to anyone else's.  I'm not Ali Edwards, Kelly Rae, Donna Downey, Suzi Blu, or any of the other success stories in the artsy world.  I believe I will be there one day, but there's always that nagging voice telling me "Man, I wish I was that successful."  It's extremely self-destructive, and I don't deserve it.
3. I need to celebrate my "have's", so I can get my "have not's".  Even though I'm not widely successful right now, if I look at where I was a couple years ago, I have made some great progress.  So, I have decided to celebrate those, instead of wallowing in my own self pity.  It's counterproductive, and makes me feel like crap, frankly.  No bueno for business.  I need to love myself and my work, so my success will follow.
Above all else, I need to listen to my body, when it's screaming at me to take a break. Take care of yourself, the rest is fluff...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

First Haul video!!

I went shopping!!!  It was one of those days where I couldn't just pass by my local University Art Store... I had to go in and stock up.  Good thing I had my shopping list on my phone.  Earlier that week I received a package from DickBlick, so I decided to make my first ever Haul video.  Hope you enjoy my excited chatter?

Links from this video (in no particular order)
Golden polymer medium
Golden Fluid acrylic in Zinc white
Prismacolor NuPastels
Gelly roll pen in White
Pentel Sunburst in White
Tesia Blackburn (Golden Artist)
Princeton brushes
Heart Clothing Boutique
Kneaded eraser
Derwent Watercolor pencil in flesh pink

If you ever have any questions about the products I use, or talk about, please don't hesitate to email me. Subscribe to my YouTube channel to be the first to view my videos (they usually are posted on the channel a couple days before the blog post is published). Thanks for watching!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Week 11: Customer Profiles

Etsy is my all-time favorite place to shop... baby showers, Christmas, birthdays, PHL supplies, etc... I have a weakness for cuteness at bargain prices.  I would rather support a small business owner, and fellow crafter, than go to Target a get whatever is on sale.  I've been buying a lot on Etsy, lately... Just yesterday I bought 28 yards, of 14 different Amy Butler patterns, for $6 a yard... umm, can you say SCORE?  Very very soon I will have a ETSY shop spotlight of my recent favorites... tune in for that loveliness.

Customer service is a big plus, and I love that ETSY provides one-on-one contact between the buyer and the seller... mucho importante!!  In an attempt to maintain positive customer service, I contacted two of my lastest customers, and asked them to give me feedback on their comissioned pieces.  Here's what they had to say.

My first customer is Rebecca, a friend of mine that wanted a handmade piece for her bedroom.  At the time we were both inspired by the changing leaves of the fall season, so I created "Miss Becca".  

"Jess had been telling me about her art work, and showed me several of her pieces. I commissioned her as an artist because I loved her use of mixed media, and whimsical style.  I enjoy buying hand made pieces for the unique look that I know no one else has.  I love my piece! We spent quite a bit of time discussing my preferences so it is exactly what I wanted.  The colors in the painting look beautiful and Jess really captured what I was looking for."


My second customer is Maija, a co-worker, who commission a one-of-a-kind piece for a charity event's silent auction.  I made "Mary", who has become one of my favorite paintings.

"The other team members and I were extremely happy. It reflected the cause (breast cancer) and the women who are dealing with it.  Jess's art reflects spontaneity and individuality. They are one of a kind. Handmade items have their own spirit."

Thank you ladies for taking time to answer my questions.  Don't forget... I do commissions!!! Contact me if your in the market for something new to spice up your life :)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Taking a breath...

Photo Credit

My heart is heavy, my mind is full of worries.  I'm crying too much, sleeping too little, and feeling very disconnected.  My back is a wreck, and I've been fighting a cold for the past two weeks.  I need to take care of myself... mind and body.  Why do we feel like failures when we can't do it all?  Like if we stop for a second, to take a deep breath, we are giving up.  I'm human, I know, and I'm in dire need of a break... so I'm taking one.

I will return Valentine's day, with a clearer mind and a healthier body.

Friday, February 4, 2011


...just a glimpse of Chloe...

Well, I started on Miss Chloe... and made the hard decision of making her look a little older.  I don't exactly know why, but I wanted to try it out.  I was done practicing in the sketchbook, so I just went for it.  My initial intention was to do a tutorial on how I go about shading my face, but since I learned the technique from Monica, I didn't think it was right.  If you want to learn more about creating a realistic face PLEASE TAKE HER CLASS!! (I'm taking the Mixed Media Faces, but the Pencil Drawing class is also fantastic)

I use a combination of Prismacolor Watercolor Pencils, and Derwent Watercolor pencils.  I prefer Prismacolor, but I'm use specific Derwent colors... you can buy them individually, instead of paying for an entire set.  I start with Prismacolor Sunburst yellow and then use Burnt Yellow Ochre, Pink Madder Lake, and Deep Vermillion (all Derwent colors)... in that order.  The last color I use Prismacolor's Burnt Sienna, a dark brown with a reddish undertone.  I reserve this color for shading the darkest areas, after I have blended out the first 4 colors with acrylic paint... more on that later.  Working from your lightest color, to your darkest color, allows you to reshape your face and features as you go.  You can also control varying amounts of shading that occur naturally on the face.  Monica suggests working off a picture of a real face, and I agree this helps a great deal.  There's no guessing, just draw and shade what you see.  Here's my progression of shading, as I work through my five colors.

sunburst yellow

Sunburst yellow & burnt ochre

yellow, ochre, and pink madder lake

yellow, ochre, pink madder, and deep vermillion

...let's  start her hair...

...reshaping her Princess Leia buns with Terra Cotta...

I like working on the Gessobord, it's textured surface is similar to what I'm used to, but alas... I miss my watercolor paper.  It's making me think I should just draw my face on my favorite paper and glue it on using gel medium.  Hmmmmm.  Let's try out the Claybord, and then we'll attempt the other option.  Another thing I noticed was the PVA glue acts as a resist, so the watercolor pencil doesn't transfer very well over the collaged areas... no bueno.  I wonder if it would make a difference if I used gel medium, instead of PVA glue... or apply clear gesso over the collaged areas.   Something to keep in mind.

I used a light hand with the watercolor pencils because I wanted Chloe to have fair skin.  However, when I blended out the pencil with fluid white acrylic paint, her skin was a little to fair, for my taste.  I will add some more color with flesh tone acrylics and terra cotta pencil on my future layers.  Here's what she looks like now.

...still needs a lot of shading...

Like I mentioned before, the PVA glue acted as a resist, and I wasn't too happy with the results.  Good thing I do multiple layers on my painting, even the hair... we will find a way to fix it!!

...PVA glue acts as a resist...

Let's talk about blending.  I use the same color on the face and hair, but get different results when blending because I use white fluid acrylics to blend the face, and only water to blend the hair.  The white paint "pastels" (not really an action word, but what the heck) the pigment of the color pencil pigment.  You maintain the true pigment color of the pencil when you blend with water (or mineral spirits, whatever you prefer), so the terra cotta color I used makes a beautiful version of red hair.  Here's a couple sample swatches I did in my sketch book.  You can play around with the amount of color saturation by varying the amount of white paint you use.

Well, I hope this was helpful.  Miss Chloe is not even close to being done, but my days off are upon us, so I plan to finish her up and show you my progress.  Talk to you soon!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Some free stuff!!

I can spend hours searching the web for free downloads. My current obsession is free calendars. Since I hate being greedy... I thought I would share my spoils with you. Enjoy!!

If you missed this post, you can find of free full-sized and mini version of the Blog Guidebook Calender here. I secured the full sized version with binding rings for my day-to-day PeachHoney organization.

If you love Owls, check out this free calendar from My Owl Barn. It's absolutely adorable!!

Here's another one from Jeannie... perfect size for the modern on-the-go woman.

I made two of this one (from Design Sponge)... one for my Cousin, Callie, for Christmas, and one for myself. It's a minimalist daily journal, perfect for documenting your daily doings for years to come. All in a cute little box. Mine sits on my nightstand, and every night I record at least one thing that happened that day, even if it only reads "went to work."

That's it for now. I'll keep you posted on more of my free finds. There are amazing free downloads out there... does anyone have any they would like to share?


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...