Monday, December 27, 2010

Looking forward

Sorry, I kind of dropped off the face of the blogosphere in the middle of my promotions of other ArtFire artists. The Christmas rush finally caught up with me, and it was drop blogging or drop other things. As it is, I'm just finishing our "Christmas" letter today. So I sincerely apologize to all those in the group on ArtFire that I'd agreed to help out. Hopefully the little bit I did do made some difference to someone.

Moving on... looking at how I can further my artwork in 2011, I joined a challenge on Etsy to do one piece of art each day for the month of January. Now, being that my style is so realistic and detailed, and taking into account my office job, there's no way I'm going to do a finished drawing each day, but I am going to sketch. It's something I need to do more of anyway. I might experiment on some days with oil pastels or ink, but those will be strictly as I feel up for them. I may not have the chance to photograph and post my sketches each day, but I will be posting as often as possible, so stay tuned for that. I will be in Wisconsin to visit family Jan. 1 and 2, so not only will I not be able to post until the 3rd, but it will be a real test of my dedication to even get sketches done those days! If there is anyone who'd like to join me in this challenge, please post here - I'd love to follow your progress!

Other art-related goals for 2011:
I completed three finished drawings the past year. I would like to make it four for 2011. I cringe at the sound of such a measly number, but I do have a job with a commute, housework, and a farm as well. Even improving on the past year would make me very happy!

I also want to accomplish more in the distance education art course I'm taking. I'm going on year six of what is supposed to take two years to complete, and I think it's time to buckle down and get it done! I think I'll align this goal with the other and say four lessons in 2011. I want to say I have 6-8 lessons left in the course, but I'm not sure.

So, there it is, I just wanted to document my goals, so I can look back later and remember what they were.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Candy!

I'm really trying to eat healthy and lose some weight for my sister's wedding next summer, but last night, while cutting mats at my mom and dad's, my mom was making Chex party mix, and there was a whole bunch of peanut butter chocolate star cookies - two of my weaknesses! I'm also partial to the almond bark dipped oreos and pecan pie.

What are your favorite Christmas goodies?

In case you need some reminders, here're some candy-inspired finds from ArtFire:

Garnet Earrings from Bella-Sweet Jewelry

These look just like hard candy to me - such wonderful colors! And the design's pretty nice too! :)

Pink Pom Pom Scarf from ByCamille

This looks like a scarf made of lollipops!

Flower Earrings from Zenith Jade Creations

These remind me of the rosettes my grandma always made for Christmas. I loved them so much!

Cotton Facial Rounds from White Dandelion Works

Admit it, at first you thought these were peppermint candies! They're actually a rather neat idea - basically reusable cotton balls. I'll admit I'm not the most eco-conscious person ever, but I never would've thought of this! And they're so cute too! :)

Pyramind Packages from NewCreatioNZ

If you actually plan on giving candy (or another small gift), what a fun way to package it! My sister and I loved our advent calendar when we were young. Wouldn't it be fun to have 25 of these little boxes numbered and hanging on the tree with a small surprise for each day?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Trying to stay warm

We're actually in a warm snap today; it's 18 degrees! Of course, today I'm stuck at work. Couldn't have been nice yesterday when I was home... such is life.

Before I forget, one of my drawings was featured in a new collection on ArtFire All the Pretty Horses. Go check it out!

And now, on to today's finds inspired by my quest for warmth!

Blue Shawl from ByCamille

Isn't this beautiful? I finally looked through all 27 pages of items yesterday in this shop. It's pretty amazing - go check it out!

Red Hat from White Dandelion Works

Oh, how I wish this was in my size! My fleece vest and scarf and both red, so this would fit in perfectly!

Fall Color Jewelry Set from KatsAll That

This makes me feel like I'm walking through the trees on a beautiful (WARM!) fall day! :)

Shaded Crystal Earrings from ZenithJade Creations

And these make me feel like I'm sitting next to the fireplace. :)

Hearts Candle Holder from Exquisite Studios

And because nothing can make you feel warmer than love does, I have to include this beautiful candle holder covered with hearts.

Also, before I go, I finally got my Beagle print listed in my Etsy shop yesterday. You can see it here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Curling up with a mug of cocoa

... I wish! With the single digit temps outside, my drafty old farmhouse isn't exactly pleasant right now. I'm trying to delay going outside, but I will have to at some point as I have a package to mail, and my horse might want to be fed sometime today too! Hopefully, the clunky old diesel pickup will start.

Today, I looked for items that let me at least pretend to be curled up with my cocoa:

Mug Cozies from By Camille

These are so cute! Crochet always reminds me of my great-grandma who taught me to crochet. Even though I haven't crocheted in years (since I took up quilting), seeing crocheted items always makes me smile.

Striped Agate Bracelet from Hog Wild Jewelry

Doesn't that rich brown with swirls just remind you of hot cocoa? Looks good enough to drink!

Brown Agate Necklace from Exquisite Studios

Ditto for this one!

And now that we're all curled up with our cocoa, we'll need a snuggly friend to share it with:

Stuffed Lamb from White Dandelion Works

I think that photo speaks for itself! :)

I did spend some time today in my sewing room/guest room (warmest room in the house - go figure!) working on my current sewing project - a jersey top with one of those strange twists in the front that I could never figure out how they do.... now I know!

The front is done now. The next step is sewing it to the back and then adding the sleeves. I do kind of wish I'd been told how difficult jersey is to work with BEFORE! :) I love the feel of it though, and I can't wait to see how this turns out.

Monday, December 13, 2010


That's right - dreaming... what I wish I was doing right now! I'm running on five hours of sleep instead of my usual eight, and I really feel like I never woke up and am still in dream land. Not a good state for someone who's proof reading a newspaper being readied to send to print. Thank goodness for lunch break!

So in honor of my stupidity in staying up half the night, here's some dream-inspired finds from ArtFire:

Moon and Stars Necklace from Exquisite Studios

This necklace is just gorgeous! From the deep blue color of the pendant to the little gems accenting the stars on the chain to the delicate cut outs in the moon. It's just perfect!

Turquoise and Lapis Necklace from Hog Wild Jewelry

Another gorgeous necklace! Very southwestern style, which I love. I'm a huge fan of both deep blue and turquoise, but I don't see them together very often.

Blue Chandelier Earrings from Kats All That

Does jewelry remind me of dreaming or what? This is the last of the jewelry for today, I promise. I love the design in the silver accenting the crystals in these earrings.

Music T-shirt from Bad Ink

Yes, I know, I like blue! The musical notes design on this tee could sing me right to sleep. I like the tops in this shop. Most times, you buy a top with a design just on the front, but these have a little extra embellishment on the back making them extra special.

Ribbon Pine Cone Ornament from Curiosity's Piqued

Isn't this adorable?!? A little pine cone made from ribbon. I love the pine needles and holly accent as well. These are available in a few different colors, so go check them out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas tree inspired finds

I got my Christmas tree lit up last night. Took a while longer than I'd planned - my lights were tangled in an absolutely hopeless mess. I  had to leave them and come back later more than once or I was going to start breaking things!

Here are some items on ArtFire inspired by Christmas trees:

Candle holder from Exquisite Studios

Doesn't that just remind you of Christmas tree lights? I love candle holders that let the light shine through like this!

Colorful beanie hat from By Camille

More Christmas light colors!

Christmas tree pendant from ZyriFrost

Isn't that cute? Looks just like a little snow-frosted Christmas tree with the northern lights dancing in the sky behind it!

Cute little reusable gift bags especially for wrapping up a bottle of the recipient's favorite drink. Have you ever tried wrapping a bottle with paper? I'd highly recommend these bags! :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter-inspired finds

We are in the midst of a raging blizzard here in southwestern Minnesota, and my picks for today were inspired by the weather.

Red and white is such an elegant combination for Christmas - I much prefer it to the traditional red and green. The embossed snowflakes, sparkly rhinestone accents, and silky red ribbon are beautiful together!

This piece is just stunning! If I didn't have the horrible tendency to lose every bookmark I ever had, I would buy this in a heartbeat.... I might anyway! :)

This is what it looks like outside my window right now - only this bag is much prettier.... I'd also much rather have this bag than this weather! Go its page for the fun story about where all the different fabrics/laces came from!

This is a fun idea! The snowflake on the card is removable, so not only are you giving a card, but a small gift as well!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Raindrops on Roses

It's always nice to get a pleasant email first thing in the morning, and while it's not a sale, one of my items has been featured in a collection.

My photograph "Raindrops on Roses" was chosen to be part of this fun collection.

This collection inspired my picks for today. Seems everything I was drawn to was pink or rose red.

My favorite skirt has a crocheted overlay, and I just love everything about it. I'm loving the red on black of this piece!

I'm just amazed at the amount of work that must've gone into this! Can you imagine?

Don't ask me why, but in my mind, roses and stars go together, so yes, this does still fit my theme. :) I just love the look of these stars, and if you go check out the other photos, there's something on the back of it too!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Some great finds!

A group of Artfire artists are trying to promote each other's work and reach goals set for the new year, so for the next few weeks, I'm going to feature a few items/artists each day.

Here are today's picks:

I'm a sucker for handmade journals, and measuring only 3 inches, this one is just adorable!

I'm not usually a pink person, but that deep pink with black? Yummy!

I'm in love with the simple beauty of this card. It's just perfect!

Also, I got my Christmas cards listed in my ArtFire shop:

Go check them out!
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