Thursday, December 29, 2011

Keepin' it real!

I know that this is primarily an art journal blog, but I have decided to venture off topic for a minute.

I want to talk about resolutions.  Yes, I'm talking about the New Year variety.  Do you know how many times I have made and broken resolutions?  Me either, but I do know that it's a lot.

I have decided that this year I am going to make my resolution openly and to the public.  My plan is to update you on how things are going, and this will hopefully keep me motivated and accountable.  Public humiliation is a great motivator.  I mean, if no one knows your trying to accomplish something, then no one will know when you fail.

Anyhoo, so what is my New Year's resolution?  I am going to memorize all of the elements on the periodic table.!

Just kidding!  I want to lose weight like all of the other millions of Americans.  I am so tired of feeling run down and not having clothes that fit properly.  Don't get me wrong.  I think that women with curves are beautiful, but I just want my curves to be smaller.  Right now I am weighing in at....(I can't believe I am posting this for all to see)....177lbs.  I would really like to weigh 140.  This was the weight that I felt most comfortable.  I am 5'6" and I think that this is a realistic goal.  Sooooo, I jumped on the computer and signed up for Weight Watchers Online. 

I actually followed the program years ago and got down to my ideal 140lbs, but then after about a year and a half of keeping it off I just stopped working the program.  And the weight slowly came back.  So I know that the program works, if You work it! 

So that's my resolution for 2012.  To eat better, exercise more, and lose weight.  This will be my first week on the new program, so I will let you know how I do next week.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Sick of being sick

I've been sick.

 Living in Houston, Texas it is bound to happen.  When the temperature goes from one day in the 80's to the next day in the 40's, my sinuses go crazy!  I have basically lived here my whole life and I still get the crud about three times a year.  Of course, it hit right before Avery's competition, so that didn't help that I had to spend the day running around after a bunch of teenage cheerleaders, trying to keep them in line and on time!!!

Anyshways,  since then I have visited my general practitioner who hooked me up with antibiotics and a lovely cough cocktail, taken only at night. :)

I don't know if it's because i wasn't feeling good or what, but I've been in a creative funk.  I forced myself to sit down the other day and just put paint to paper.  I felt like I was just going through the motions.  I think sometimes this is an important part of the creative process.  Or not.'s a drag and I'll get through it. 

Thanks for letting me vent!


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Not sure if it's finished

I had a few canvases laying around that I had painted a looooong time ago.  I was itching to work on something, so I gessoed over one of them and got to work.  I did a lot of this with my hands (i.e. finger painting) which is my favorite!  I drew the flowers with neocolor watercolor crayons.  I'm not sure if I'm finished or not.  I don't want to over work it.  I like the simplicity of it.  Anyshways, I'll give it a little time and then revisit it later.

Unfortunately, I don't have my regular camera, so this was taken with my phone.  It doesn't do the colors justice. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Adventures are my favorite

During the AED month, I used a lot of products and papers that I don't normally use.  It was fun seeing how different supplies create such different effects.  My favorite surprise was the watercolor washes on the cold pressed watercolor paper.  I normally work in a Moleskine or plain art journal, so the color isn't as vibrant.  With the cold pressed watercolor paper, the paint stays true to its color.  I will definitely be buying more of that paper to play with.

When my sixteen year old daughter saw this she said, "Hey!  Did you get that from me?"

I did.  She says it a lot.  Which I find funny, considering she spends most of her time under the covers, snoozing.  I'm pretty sure there are not many adventures to be had whilst sleeping, but whatevs.  She's a growing kid that needs their sleep.  Right?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Great Read

I recently got this book at the library and I cannot put it down!  It is an amazing story about one woman, her cells, and how they have changed the course of medical research and technology.  I highly recommend this book. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

Love grows things

Here is another little piece that I made from the watercolor experiment.

As I write this post I am currently dealing with some adversity.  There are always going to be those people in the world that no matter what you do, they just do not know how to treat others with kindness.  But I do believe that love does conquer all and that if I just try to keep my head up and focused on the one that is love, then things will work out in the end.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Experimenting with watercolors

For these two pieces, I started out with some watercolor paper.  I painted the paper with water making sure that the entire piece was wet.  Then I dropped in the purple, blue, and orange.  The water does all the work for you!  I love watching how the colors swirl around each other.

Once the paper was dry, I used some stamps and pens.  I wasn't trying to fit the picture on the paper.  I just drew and then cut the paper down to size.

I was really pleased with how it turned out.

Friday, November 25, 2011


My computer has been down, but thankfully the U-verse guy came and saved the day.  Apparently, we had a loose connection in the walls.  Anyways, everything is back up and running.  Even though I haven't posted, I have still been working in my studio.  This is the most I have ever spent on my artwork and I have actually hit a wall!  I have not been very happy with what I am creating.

It's ok, though.  I am actually finding out what doesn't work and what not to do.  Everything is a learning process and this will hopefully make me a better artist!  With that said, here is something that I made in my art journal the other night.

I tend to gravitate towards the simplicity of finger painting.  It is one of my favorite techniques and it is something that every child instinctively knows how to do.  I really think that if I can tap into that childlike quality of being in the moment then I will find that I end up with pieces that truly express my point of view.

"Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up."  Pablo Picasso

Thursday, November 17, 2011

AED #17 Little Pink Houses

I have really been enjoying the comments that people leave.  Linking up with AED has opened me up to new artists.  I love to check all the other links and see what everyone is doing in the world of art.  This journal entry was really just an experiment with my neocolor watercolor crayons.  I wanted the drippy effect and those crayons are great for that.  I covered the pages in old book pages and then went crazy with the crayons.  I had so much fun.  Then I cut out some birds from a vintage children's book.  When it was done I immediately thought of the song Little Pink Houses by John Melloncamp.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

AED #16

Hello hello hello!  I know that I have posted this picture before, but I really wanted to share who inspired me the most to even attempt any kind of artwork.  I used to sit for hours and watch art journaling videos on youtube.  I was amazed at all the techniques and it really fueled in me a desire to create something beautiful!  My favorite videos were from Suzi Blu since she really spoke to the inner critic and encouraged everyone to try art.  I purchased one of her online classes and I have been hooked ever since.  This painting called "Sisters" was done during my Portraits class.  I didn't intend for this to be a picture of my girls, but I think my subconscience did because everyone who looks at it says, "Oh, that must be inspired by Avery and Addison."

Another note, I received a very cool postcard from China!  It is a picture of a pawn shop in the 1920's.  I am still really enjoying the postcrossing experience!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

AED Day 15 Feather

With my daughter's cheer competitions, I have not been able to post or make much of anything.  Yesterday I went from my full-time job to my volunteering in an art class and then straight to a two hour practice.  I got home around 9:45 and then had to do a few things for work!
I exhaust myself just thinking about it.
Anyways, I have been wanting to work on a peacock feather for sometime.  Again, I never know why something pops into my head as far as inspiration, but once it does it stays there until I at least attempt the idea.  Out came my prismacolor pencils and moleskine.  I found an image on the web for reference.  I really enjoyed using the pencils to blend the colors.  It was very relaxing.

Our second cheer competition is this Saturday.  Cobalt who? Blue 42...Set, Hike!  Sorry...I just unexpectedly break out in our team's chant sometimes.  I know.  It's a sickness.  I will seek help.....tomorrow.

My hope is that I can do some artwork this weekend.  Maybe even tonight!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

AED # 9 a.k.a. Addison's Birthday

Today my littlest turned 11.  I can't believe that she is now a tween.  This weekend we are going to have her party at the roller skating rink.  I know it will be lots of fun!

This week has been really busy, so I am going to post a piece that I did awhile back.

I used mostly prismacolor pencils and added acrylics and watercolor crayons.  Hope you enjoy!

Monday, November 7, 2011

AED Day 7

This weekend was a lot less hectic, but unfortunately I came down with pink eye!  I have never had it and it really messes with your vision.  I was able to see, but every now and then my vision would get cloudy and my eyes tired very easily.  I continued to work on projects, but I was having a tough time getting them to turn out the way I wanted.  Anyhoo, it doesn't matter!  I promised myself that no matter what, I would post something everyday.  So here it is.

I used a lot of scrapbooking paper and collaged it onto an illustrator board.  Then I painted over it with acrylics and water color crayons.  I still think it needs a word or words at the bottom.  I am just at a loss for what to write.  What do you think?  I would love suggestions!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Find your voice

When I first discovered art journaling I was drawn in by Teesha Moore's artwork.  The colors she uses are fun and I love how she alters images and magazine clippings.  I decided to do a page inspired by her asthetic.  I really enjoyed the project.  I tried not to think too much as I worked.  If something caught my eye, I would cut it out and place it onto the page in different places until I liked the way it looked.  I finished with paint pens.  One thing that I have really been working on this past year is finding my own "voice" or asthetic.  I like doing pieces inspired by others, but I really want to find my own style.  I know that if I keep working at it I will find my artistic voice.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Count your blessings

This is going to be a quick post.  Between Addison's field day and Avery's 3 hour cheer practice, I didn't have a whole lot of time.  I had started this piece the other day by covering the Crescent board with different papers and paint.  I had in my head that I wanted to paint a sheep or a ram.  Not sure why.  That's just what came to me.  So I looked up images on the internet for referrence and dove in.  It took me a few hours to finish and since my "studio" is also the play room, Addison and I watched a few episodes of Goosebumps and The Haunting Hour while I painted.  I love having my "studio" set up in the playroom.  It allows me to spend time with two of my favorite people and work on my art at the same time!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Art Everyday Month

So, apparently November is Create Art Everyday month. Who knew!?

 I was looking up art journaling blogs when I stumbled upon the blog creative everyday.  Leah Piken Kolidas hosts the Create Art Everyday challenge.  Basically, the challenge is just what it says....Be creative everyday!  The idea intrigued me.  I really try to sit down and create something as often as I can, but sharing something that I have created everyday is a stretch.  It's not because I lack the material, but I am so picky about what I share that probably only one out of every 20 is seen by anyone other than my husband or kids.  This challenge will help me to silence quiet the inner critic and just allow myself to enjoy the process without worrying about the end result.  I also plan on working with materials and subject matter that I have never worked with before.  I'm excited to see what happens!  I hope you join me in the challenge.  Creating everyday can mean so many, sewing, painting, drawing, photos...whatever!  Just create!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Block Party

This saturday, the girls and I went to a classic Halloween block party!  My friends Jill and Janet decided to throw the party at their houses.  I quickly volunteered myself and Avery to do face painting.  We made a sign with the designs that we thought we could handle.  I didn't want some kid walking up and asking me to paint a a knight slaying a fire breathing dragon.  Keep it simple, Man...Keep it simple!
Mason was our first customer!  Gotta love the purple sucker drool!

Anyways, there were also some classic Halloween games....Bobbing for apples, ring toss, eating donuts off of a string without using your hands.  Ok, so maybe not all of them were classic.

Here's Avery "cheerfully" helping.

Addison bobbing for apples and mono....just kidding!
Jill's daughter, Chloe.
The kids had such a good time.  Everyone brought a bag of candy and a dessert, so there were plenty of treats.
One mom made these cute little owl cookies!  The beak is a peanut half.

 The kids also voted for the best costume.  A little girl named Laney won.  I have to say, her costume was pretty cute!
One game that was fun to watch was where they had to find a gummy bear in a pile of pudding without using their hands.  The kids really got into it!
Janet set up a "Gross" station.  She had bowls filled with all kinds of things....intestines, tongues, skin, and teeth.  The bowls were covered with a cloth and the kids had to put on a blind fold before they reached in to feel the items.  It was really creepy and fun!

Janet's daughter, Rachel
All in all, I think the party was a great success!  It really brought back memories and reminded me of the importance of community and creating lasting memories for our children.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Watercolor paper

I decided to try working on some watercolor paper.  I got some nice, medium weight cold pressed paper from Hobby Lobby.  I have really been inspired by feathers lately, so I knew I wanted to incorporate that into my drawing.  I used a graphite pencil to sketch and then I used watercolor pencils to give her skin a wash.  After that dried, I went over the watercolor with prismacolor pencils.  Her hair and dress are done with regular watercolors and the sky is done with pastels.  The rest of it is done with prismacolor pencils.  I really enjoyed using this paper.  It took both the watercolors and pencils well.

This sweet girl gives me a sense of calm when I look at her.  It's as if she's listening to what the wind has to say.  She has inspired me to do more with this paper.  I think I'm going to do a series inspired by my friends.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Artist Trading Cards

I have been working on my first Artist Trading Cards.  These are little 2.5" x 3.5" crescent boards.  They are durable, non-warping cards.  They are lots of fun, since their small size makes it easy to create a quick piece of art.

I started out with pencil and then I used clear gesso to protect the graphite.  Once that dried, I began shading in her face with prismacolor colored pencils.  I used cream, light peach, and peach for her skin.  I also put in highlights with white.  Her hair is also colored pencil.  When I was finished, I used mod podge to place random pieces of gold leaf.

I did have some smudging around the mouth, but I think she's pretty good for my first one.  My daughter, Addison, loved it so I gave it to her.

The second one I did the same, except for the background I used neocolor water soluble crayons.  I love how the purple makes her pop!

On this one, I used a butterfly rub-on that I found at hobby lobby.  She is my favorite so far.

If you feel overwhelmed by a large piece of blank paper, these ATC's are a great way to be creative without having to fill up a large amount of space.  Grab some ATC's, (you can find them at hobby lobby) and create something!  Don't worry about the end result.  Just enjoy the process.  I would love to see some of the amazing pieces that you create!

YOU CAN create something beautiful!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


A wonderful opportunity has come my way!  I am now helping Tom out at The Artist Within.  It is so much fun.  He is teaching me all the techniques and showing me how to help the students.  Since I work full-time as a social worker, I am only able to help a couple evenings a week.  However, I am already learning so much!

I decided to stretch myself a bit and try to draw something a little more realistic than what I normally do.  I chose a dove picture to work off of and used Tom's method for drawing.  Then he showed me how to shade using graphite dust and a stick eraser.  I was amazed at how much better my drawing was after he showed me what to do!  He is a great teacher.

When I was done with the dove, I shaded the background using a pastel.  I was really pleased with the results!

It's not perfect and I'm sure there are some things I could have done to make it better, but I'm happy with it!  

I'm also working on some ATC's or Artist Trading Cards.  I'll post them later.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Another postcard sighting

Addison received her second postcard the other day and she was really excited!  This one came all the way from Slovakia.  It traveled 9,076 km and took 12 days to get here.

Again, I highly recommend clicking here and checking out how postcrossing works.  It is a wonderful opportunity for your children to learn more about our great world and correspond with people from every walk of life!

Happy Postcrossing!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Will the craziness stop?

I am currently being swept away in a tidal wave of my own creation!  I have not had time to blog, let alone come up for air and I'm ready for the madness to end.

What am I speaking of?  My teenager's schedule!!!

I know, I know...I am the parent.  I could have said "No," to the competitive cheerleading and to the High School cheerleading, but I am such a sucker!

How can you say know to a face like this....

Or this.....

Coach Piggee was the one who made it all happen this year!

So, here we are...Year 2 with Prodigy All-stars.  6+ hours a week at the gym and 6 hours with school cheer and Avery is loving every minute of it!  Plus, Avery and I get a lot of bonding time when we go to the out-of-town competitions.  That in and of itself is PRICELESS!

Love us now! Hate us never!  We are P-A, Always and Forever!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Little Artist

I have always said that my children need to be involved in something outside of school.  I think that it helps keep them busy and out of trouble.  It also gives them a sense of belonging.  My oldest daughter has tried a lot of different things.  She's done dance, horseback riding, and cheer.  My youngest has also tried several things, but had never really found anything she liked until recently. 

She has always loved drawing and is pretty good at it.  A friend of mine told me about an art school called The Artist Within.  Her son was taking classes there and really enjoyed it, so we went to check it out. 

Right away I knew Addison would like it!  Everywhere you looked there were paints, paintbrushes, and pencils.  

I was ready to jump in and start painting just seeing all of this artistic goodness!

The owner/teacher, Tom, is great!  Addison, being my anxious kid, felt right at home.  She has been going now for two months and she has already finished 4 paintings.  I love to see the progression of her artwork.  
Here she is working on her coral snake.  She was inspired by my friend's corn snake, Maisy!

The class that she is in is two hours long and they even provide a snack for the kids! :)  
Spider Man watches from on top of the book shelf!  He's pretty cool!

Here are the paintings Addison has done so far....

This one is my favorite!  

The Artist Within is located in Cypress on Grant Road.  If your child loves to draw, I would definitely encourage you to check it out!  Tom even has a $20.00 one time try-it class!  He also has classes for adults.  I plan on giving that a try in the near future!