Saturday, December 31, 2011

Out with the with the new!

Happy Last day of 2011 everyone! Hope you all stay safe, have fun, and ring in the new year in whatever way pleases you (even if you'll be greeting it from dreamland, like me) ;)

A big huge thank you to all my loyal customers, fans, and friends. You guys have made this year an absolutely amazing one for me creatively.

Cheers to 2012! It's going to be even better!



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Countdown to the New Year!

I've always been a person of new beginnings. Every moment, every new day, every new week, month and year, is a chance to start fresh. I love knowing that every second, I can make changes, start over, or just tweak things to make different parts of my life new and interesting!

Over the past month, I've been taking this idea of change and applying it to my art. Unlike many of my fellow Etsy sellers, December was a fairly quiet month for me in terms of sales. Which, for many reasons, I am grateful for.
One of those reasons being, that I was finally able to sit down and experiment with new forms of artwork.

One of the things I have come up with, that I am most excited about, is my new Art Pendants!

When I started experimenting with the pendants, I had no idea if I could pull it off. It's hard enough to paint on a small scale, but cutting paper tiles and mosaicking in miniature, proved to be quite a challenge!
But, after hours and hours of practice, several sets of failed resin pours, lots of "oops!" and a couple swear words...I finally got the hang of what I was doing and started having a lot of fun!

I'll be rolling out my art pendants some time within the next couple weeks. So stay tuned to see all the fun new miniature works in store!

And being as I seem to be all about "shaking things up" right now, be sure and keep an eye out for even more new things! And perhaps even a Giveaway or two ;)

Much love to you all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Nose to the Grindstone...

What is it about having a deadline that really lights a fire under your butt (I mean, besides the obvious?)
In just a few short weeks, I'm going to be participating in a local art/crafts fair for the holidays. The day I got the acceptance email, it was like someone put my artistic motor into overdrive. I had a whole bunch of new ideas, copious amounts of enthusiasm and motivation, and the sudden ability to function on minimal sleep.
For me, the moment someone sets a date on my calender, it's like I become a speeding freight train...completely unstoppable.

I just wish I could harness that kind of energy for the times when I didn't necessarily "need" anything done in a specific time know, like the months proceeding the holiday mayhem, or that random afternoon when my son decides to take a four hour nap.

Don't get me wrong...I definitely get things done. It's just so exciting to see the kind of progress I make when I have a deadline to meet. I like working on lots of different things at once, and it seems like I only ever do that, when there is some deadline to meet or some event upcoming.

Perhaps, I need to find a way to incorporate more timelines into my work schedule. Whether by participating in more events, or setting personal deadlines.

What sets your creative fire blazing? What are great motivators for you?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A little Pre-Holiday fun...

So, this year I've decided to try my hand at making fun little Holiday Ornaments, using my love of paper mosaic.
Here's a little preview of the first four I've finished. Aren't they cute?
They are a lot of fun...but, wow, the smaller I get with these things, the trickier the mosaic becomes. I think I've glued more paper to my fingers over the last week, than I ever have before!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

At peace with it all...

The last four months or so have been a whirlwind, fraught with life challenges, life changes and just a whole lot of living.
I'm finally at a point where I'm past worrying about what's happening and just riding the wave, through good or bad, I'll take each step as it comes.
As is the case with most of my work, this latest piece, "Lotus Blossom" is a visualization of that acceptance and inner peace.

I truly wish every person who sees this could see the actual painting in real is so serenely peaceful. The greens and yellows are so delicate and the gold border is shimmery and uplifting. I am so happy with how it all came together.

This one is definitely going to be hard to let go; but it is a painting I hope will be enjoyed by many, because it is just the kind of piece I feel is meant to be shared.

Much love always.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Lavender Festival

Just got home from a lovely little art show reception for our local Lavender Festival's art contest.
Didn't win a prize, but it was definitely a fun experience, and I got to meet and chat with a lot of fabulous local people.
The two pieces above were my entries, and while they didn't win, they definitely garnered a lot of attention and interest. :)

Well...this tired momma is off to bed, it's past my bedtime. Goodnight all. Much love always.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dia De Los Muertos

In honor of Dia De Los Muertos (which takes place today and tomorrow) I thought I'd share with you a picture of my Halloween costume. I decided to draw inspiration from some of my Sugar Skull artwork and create a piece of art for my face.
It was quite a fun undertaking, that's for sure! My two year old kept trying to "help" and thought mommy was pretty hilarious putting "funny paint" on her face.
(I'm just thrilled he thought it was funny and didn't run screaming from the room, because mommy suddenly didn't look like mommy anymore)

Dia de los Muertos has for many years, been a celebration I've found so much passion for. Celebrating the lives of those who've passed on, sharing stories, building alters...and most importantly, smiling (instead of crying) for the loved ones we've lost. I feel strongly that joy in the life lived is far more valuable and honorable than despair in the physical body we've lost.

My grandfather passed away a few days after Dia de los Muertos several years ago. It was my first experience being with someone I loved as they slipped away. I held his hands through his last breaths and told him that I loved him and that it was ok to leave...I would miss him, but I would never forget the joy he brought to my life.
My grandfather (whom I also share a birthday with) was always an incredibly special person in my life...and every year, Dia de los Muertos is a chance for me to celebrate that joy and the special connection I had with him.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A softer side of me...

As you may have work seems to have softened up a bit lately. I'm exploring what I call my "gentle" side. The quiet, muted, more delicate side.
Being as my life outside of my artistic endeavors is very loud, crazy and hectic at the moment, it's nice to work on mellow, soothing pieces for the time being.

I find that lately when I sit down to work, I am so tired and stressed from the other things in my life, that bright bold colors are too much. So, while I have several bold, beautiful, colorful pieces in the works, it may be a little while before I finish them.

So, for now, I'm embracing my quiet and enjoying the new opportunities it is presenting. :)

Much love always.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Busy Bee

Well, it's been a while since I've popped on here with artsy updates. But, here are a few new pieces. I have an art fair coming up this weekend and two entries submitted for a local juried exhibit. (Fingers crossed)
It's been a little hectic around here, so hopefully I'll be more on top of the blogging, now that I'm back on top of things. :)

Much love to all.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What I've been up to lately...

Just some new stuff I've been working on. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

Newest additions to the portrait collection!

A few new pieces, just finished. Which rounds out my new portrait collection to four total pieces. (with more to come soon!)

This has definitely been a fun and exciting new direction for me. I love it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

As I Am...

So, who am I? This crazy mosaic chick who posts here...well, I'll tell ya.

I'm a wife a mother, a woman who worries too much, who loves very deeply, who feels VERY strongly, who forgives easily, who obsesses over cleaning and saving money, who would rather be happy and will find any excuse to be so, who feels a connection to every human being on earth, who loves bold colors, who can be very serious when called for and extremely goofy and childlike the rest of the time.
I sing in the car (at the top of my lungs), I dance in the kitchen (to the soundtracks of old musicals), I enjoy a good dirty joke, I love watching television shows from the fifties and sixties, I am a chronic klutz, I have the thickest hair you've ever seen (I'm glad my mom is a hairdresser, because it would cost a small fortune to actually pay someone to cut/color/style my hair), I enjoy swinging on swings, I'm a sucker for chocolate.

I practice yoga, I walk as much as I can, I'm a health food nut (stemming from the fact that I can't tolerate any wheat or dairy), I love people watching, I love to hug, I meditate, I love the smell of lavender.

I'm a closet nerd, I love watching movies, thanks to my husband I'm a budding car enthusiast, I'm a photo nut (with over 27,000 photos on my computer alone), I have tattoos, I hate makeup (wear it as little as I can) but love jewelry (the stranger and more unique the better).

I'm a whole mashed up mix up of things...I'm a crazy colorful mosaic of me. And that is why I created my newest piece, "As I Am". It is a self portrait, inspired by an old photograph of me (in heavy makeup...oddly enough). It's hard to put into words, why this piece is so much of who I am, but it really is. The stark seriousness of the face, contrasted against the swirly, pink and purple vibrancy of the background is pretty much me in a nutshell...

I have the mind and wisdom of a fifty year old, the body of a twenty something and the spirit of a five year old. I take life very seriously, but there is always an opportunity to sing, dance or just lie in the grass and look for bugs.

So, who are you?

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Favorite (Etsy) Things

Today's favorite is one of my dearest and closest friends and the most fantabulous! (yes, I'm making up words today) artists I've ever known. She can do anything...but what she does these days is not only beautiful, but mind bendingly tedious and time consuming. (or, as she likes to call it...lots and lots of hours of "meditation")

I've bought several pieces from Meredith in the past as gifts, but last week decided it was time to buy myself a little something from her collection. So, I helped myself to this darling little Heart ornament I've had my eye on since she first made it.

Heart Ornament By Meredith Dada

Meredith creates beautiful three dimensional artworks out of various mediums (most often air dry clay) then paints them, and finally covers the entire thing with teeny tiny little itty bitty (get the idea) seed beads, rhinestones, charms and other decor.
Not only does her artwork end up looking exquisite when it is finished, but often times people just don't realized how many painstaking hours and how much hard work is poured into each and every piece.
But the moment you lay eyes on one, you can tell just how amazingly intricate and beautiful they are. One thing you might not realize is how durable and well made they are too.

For Christmas, I purchased this beautiful Bee Charmer Bowl for my mother.
Bee Charmer Bowl by Meredith Dada

My mom was ecstatic. She delicately placed it on a tiny display on the top of her piano, along with her favorite pictures so she could enjoy seeing it every day. Now, it just so happened, a few months later, she was having "one of those days" where she had broken a flower vase, dropped and spilled a trashbag, broke a dish etc etc etc, when she decided to dust the stuff on top of the piano. In true "clumsy day" form she bumped into the bowl's display and send it flying off the piano and bouncing along her wood and stone floors. And, wouldn't you know it...not one single bead fell off! (*Disclaimer* I am in no way advocating throwing her artwork around here people...that's just bad form) But, both my mom and I were amazed at the incredible quality and durability of something that appeared so delicate.

Meredith is a wonderful, kind, and fun artist. She puts her heart into everything she does, and it really shows. If you want something beautiful, unique, and wow inducing, definitely check out her Etsy shop HERE.
She's also a pretty fabulous person to know, so I highly recommend also checking out her blog (Lots of great updates on her works in progress and the occasional bit about cats catching fire...curious? Then go check it out) ;)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

People painting...

I'm on a roll...and it feels fantastic! I was up half the night last night, sketching out new ideas for these portraits I've been playing around with, scrolling through photographs and playing around with different ideas.
Today I have now started painting two new pieces. One is a self portrait of sorts (it is inspired by a photograph of me, from several years ago, in heavy "artsy" makeup) and the other is because, well it was just recently the Fourth of July and I'm still feeling patriotic.

I've got about five more sketches in the works and I'm itching to paint the rest of them. (...just never enough hours in the day!)

I feel like someone lit a fire under my butt and it's time to get busy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Sooooo....I am trying something new!
I've always loved the harsh, contrasted look of stamped portraits. And, I am obviously in love with bright bold color.
I occasionally dabble in photography, and a few years ago I started playing around with digital paintings, rendered from photographs. It was just a random hobby of mine, used to hone my Photoshop skills and let loose a little creativity when I didn't feel like hauling out paints and pencils:

I never actually considered physically painting something in the style of these fun, pop art inspired portraits until recently. I started my latest piece, "Artspeak" (inspired by a dear friend of mine) and realized that I was in love with the bold, colorful, quirky look of these pieces. So, I'm on a paint a whole bunch of fabulously colorful, fun, and interesting portraits!

Anybody want to be a guinea pig? ;)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Say What?

The hubby and I were watching Ocean's Eleven last night (the George Clooney/Brad Pitt one) and I realized why I love it so much. The dialog between Danny Ocean and Rusty Ryan. It's snappy, quick, they cover an expanse of meaning with a short sentence, and somehow, no one ever needs a lengthier explanation.
It's like Brad Pitt's character Rusty says, "Don't use seven words when four will do."

Which brings me to the point of this post. I've realized that my husband and I, after a decade together, have started talking in these clipped little sentences that sound simple and straightforward, but mean so much more. And somehow, even though most people would be left scratching their head, we implicitly know, in entirety, what every little blurb means.

Actual Conversation...

Him: What movie do you want to watch?
Me: Nothing too heavy.
(Leaves to pick a movie and comes back with three comedies)

Me: So, we're going with comedy?
Him: You said nothing heavy...(points to movies) No dead bodies.
Me: Dead Bodies aren't always heavy...what if they're skinny?
Him: Dead weight is dead weight.

Actual Meaning...

Him: What movie do you want to watch? I'm letting you pick, because I have no idea, or I don't really care that much.
Me: Nothing too heavy. I'm in a bad mood and anything sad or emotional will probably make me cry.
(Leaves to pick a movie and comes back with three comedies)

Me: So, we're going with comedy? I meant no Schindler's List; you didn't have to go straight to the Dukes of Hazzard. What about something in the middle. I can handle a little emotion.
Him: You said nothing heavy...(points to movies) No dead bodies. I wasn't sure how sad you were, so I went for uber goofy. Besides, if I brought back something less funny, it probably wouldn't be right either.
Me: Dead Bodies aren't always heavy...what if they're skinny? We do have movies that aren't emotional, but aren't giant gobs of goofiness either. But, I guess a comedy will be fine.
Him: Dead weight is dead weight. Just pick a're going to fall asleep anyways.

I like to think I'm more the Danny Ocean of our relationship, you know, the leader, charismatic and funny, but then again...I'm probably more like Rusty; covered in tattoos and always eating.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Inspiration Lightning!

It has struck! I'm finally out of my fear driven creativity rut. This afternoon, after perusing through some of my old photography work (yup, I've dabbled in that too) I came across some pictures of one of my dearest friends and best photo models. She is one of the most beautiful women I know, and I was inspired to try my hand at something a little bit different, inspired by this lovely lady.

Obviously, this is just the paint up. There is still some fun-tastic and colorful mosaic work to be done, but already I am in love with it. I think I'm going to try some more "people" stuff. I love the human face. The ability to convey so much meaning in a facial expression never ceases to amaze me.

That's about it for now...much love to all and hope your week is turning out to be a beautiful one!

Monday, July 11, 2011

So, this is what art FEELS like...

She Trusts by Chrissy Foreman Cranitch

Today, I just had to share with you one of my favorite artists and a most loving and beautiful person, Chrissy Foreman Cranitch. Chrissy and I "met" through Etsy, sharing our passion for art, our love of one another's artwork, and our general zeal for the good and beautiful things in life.
This morning, as I ran into the post office to grab my mail, I was excited to see that I'd received my print of "She Trusts". An artwork Chrissy specifically chose for me as a visual representation of many of the emotional things I've been dealing with in my life lately.
Chrissy describes this piece as such:

'She Trusts' is an artwork about a beautiful, open and loving woman who has decided to let go of worry about the future and begin a new life - Coming from an inner sanctuary where she trusts herself and she trusts her life to unfold in kind and nurturing ways.

It spoke to me the moment I saw it online and I could only imagine what it would be like to hold the actual print in my hand.
But, nothing could have prepared me for the exquisitely beautiful creation I laid my eyes on the moment I opened that envelope. It literally took my breath away as the tears welled up in my eyes. I have always been a person who "feels" VERY strongly. Whether it is happiness or sadness, I feel it to the greatest extreme; and today, my heart burst with joy at the very sight of this artwork.

Chrissy's artwork is vibrant and soulful. It is packed with emotion and spirit. The colors, the movement, and the presentation of it just burst with what I imagine our emotions to look like on canvas. She pours herself into every piece and you can just sense "who" she is from every individual line and shape.

I am often moved by artwork, but this was the first time I'd felt so completely encompassed and engulfed by the feelings that were evoked in me. It has been an incredible blessing in my life and I can't wait to hang it up on my wall.

I highly recommend all of Chrissy's work and encourage everyone to take a peek at her Etsy shop here. She is an amazing woman and an incredible artist.

Much love to all. xo

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Favorite (Etsy) Things

I was recently included on a friend's blog as a featured Etsy seller and it got me to thinking; I love shopping on Etsy, I love the many wonderful people I've met there, and I really LOVE to talk about how amazing it all is to me!

And since my husband and my family may duct tape my mouth shut the next time I go on a talking spree about my latest Etsy purchase, I thought it might be kind of fun to feature some of my favorite people and things here!

So here it goes...

One of my first Etsy purchases was from a fabulously fun, geeky, and all around fantastic shop called CLONEHARDWARE.

I purchased these awesome purple and green computer circuit board earrings. And, I'll be honest, I had no idea what to expect; I mean...jewelery? From Computer parts? The geek in me said, yes! The chic in me was a little skeptical.

That was, until I received them!

These darling little earrings were SOOOO (yes, I need the extra O's for emphasis) CUTE! The colors were as vibrant and fun as the picture, the packaging was just as neat, and Alisa is one of the nicest shop owners I've had the privilege to buy from!

One of my favorite things about this shop is her fabulous sense of humor. I mean, just read the Disclaimer:

"Everyday we are reminded by the many silly things people do so....Please do NOT insert your earrings, necklaces or bracelets into ANY orifice. Do NOT chew, lick, bite, suck on or otherwise ingest any of CLONE HARDWARE creations. That goes for your kids too. CLONE HARDWARE is for adults.

RESPONSIBLE non jewelry eating ADULTS."

Not only can she whip you up a fabulous, funky statement necklace for a night on the town; but she can bring a smile to your face to wear with it!

If you love geeky, fun, funky, unique jewelry and accessories (she even has bookmarks and key chains!) then CLONEHARDWARE is the shop to see!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Life and Loss...

I've been quiet on the artistic front lately. This past weekend, at just shy of twelve weeks pregnant, my husband and I found out that I had miscarried. It's been quite an emotional blow to the both of us.
The other night I picked up my sketch pad and pencil and just started doodling...the result was the image you see above. Now, usually life's many strong and emotionally charged moments bring me incredible, calming, therapeutic inspiration, but this was a much more painful experience.
The moment I laid the pencil down and really took in what I had just drawn, I burst into tears.

For me, art has always been therapeutic. It helps me heal the pain, define the frustrations, solve problems, revel in my happiness. But, I have never had such a simple drawing cut right through everything and feel like the very image of my emotions.
It was a very raw and powerful experience...and it scared the crap out of me.
There I was, thinking I had a handle on things, and a few minutes with a pencil and paper, proved that I still had a lot of healing to do.

To be completely honest, I've been terrified to pick up a pencil since. But, somewhere in the back of my mind, there is a little voice telling me, "go for it...let it all out".

So, it may be a while before I'll be jumping back into the work that I love to do, but I think I'm going to take some time to explore these emotions and see where they take me artistically.
It may not be an easy place, but I think it's a journey I need to take.

Sending all my love out to you, my readers and hoping everyone can bear with me on this slight creative detour.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

(Portrait of My Dad)
Artwork By Chris Zahner

My dad is one of those do-it-all, know-it-all type guys. He can fix anything, solve any problem, and I swear some days he knows more useless information than all the rest of my family combined.
Growing up, my brother and I used to joke that my dad worked for the CIA, for two reasons...#1: As kids we really didn't understand what his job title meant (Operations Systems Manager or something along those lines...see I still don't know it!) #2:No one person knows as much as he does without being James Bond, MacGyver, or a human Encyclopedia.
As we grew up, we started to realize that while my father was indeed a very smart man; he was also a world class BS'er. I've watched him outsmart people in their own fields of business; from Real Estate Agents, to car Salesmen and beyond. And one of the greatest lessons I've learned from him over the years is exactly how he was able to pull all this off.
My dad has NEVER stopped learning. He asks questions, he tries everything new, he listens to experts, he reads news/magazines/manuals, and he takes up every opportunity he can to expand his ever growing mind.
My dad always told me that in the working world a boss could take just about anything from you; benefits, time, money, and of course your very job itself. But, one thing no one could ever take from you was the experience and the knowledge you gain while working there. He always encouraged me to to learn as much as I possibly could at each and every job I held and to glean as much knowledge and growth from my everyday life.
I've always admired my dad's sharp mind and hard working ethic. When things get tough and life gets stressful; he's one of the best people to turn to and help find the good that can come from it, the lessons that can be learned, and the experiences that can be used.

He's been one of my greatest teachers in life and for that I am so incredibly blessed and thankful.

Love ya pops! Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

New Work

Just a sampling of some of the newest creations...

1. Personalized Letter Mosaic for a child's room
2. Lady Among the Flowers ( for sale in my Etsy shop )
3. Bear Mosaic on for my Mother In Law's Birthday

After falling off the face of the earth...

I'm back! I realize it's been a little while since I've been able to pop on here for a chat; but I'm back in the swing of things now.

I spent the last few weeks desperately trying to reach a sales goal in my Etsy shop (which turned into a more than epic failure), but alas, I am not deterred. (Initially a little disappointed, but not destroyed) ;)
I got swept up in the desire to "sell sell sell" my artwork, and you know what...I got more joy from the art piece I recently surprised my Mother In Law with than I usually get from an Etsy sale. While I'm not one to balk at people paying for my work (it is in fact a very very high compliment in my opinion and I admire many of the talented artists who sell so well) I've realized that for me personally...I just can't get too swept up in the business side of it or art loses all joy for me.
I am a terrible business person. I couldn't sell myself to save my life. And, on top of that I LOVE giving people gifts. It's an addiction...I absolutely revel in the joy that comes across someones face when they are surprised by a gift, a kind gesture, or a little token of love. I like making people smile...and if I can do that by sharing my artwork with them, then I'll do it a hundred times over.

Over the past few weeks (as the deadline for my promotion/sales goal came hurdling towards me) I started to reevaluate what I was really trying to accomplish.
Do I want to sell my artwork? Heck yes! Do I think it's worth what I charge? You betcha (and the hand cramps, sore back and hours of involvement in each piece more than back me up)
Do I think people will buy my work? Yes, yes I do. Am I proud of what I create? Absolutely!

But, I do have a soft spot for giving art away, and I know that will always be a part of who I am. So, for me, I think it's about finding a balance between bettering myself as a business person (for the purpose of selling my work) and not beating myself up for wanting to gift my creations when I feel like it.

I am truly truly blessed (and I am grateful for this everyday) that my art is a hobby. As long as my sales help me to break even and continue to create, I'm happy. Don't get me wrong...if I could ever make a monetary living from doing this, I'd be thrilled. But, money ain't going to make or break me...because the moment it stops becoming something I love to do, just for the sake of doing it; I don't want to do it anymore.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Setting goals...

Today, I decided to set a sales goal. By June 5th (one month from today) I want to try and reach double digits for my total Etsy Sales, and I only have 5 more to go!
As an extra incentive; anyone who buys one of my pieces before June 5th, will receive a coupon code, good for 15% off a future purchase in my shop AND (for those who want to) will be entered into a drawing for a FREE custom 6x8 piece.
So, how does one take advantage of such an awesome offer? Just click here to check out my Etsy shop and browse around. See something you like? Go ahead any treat yourself! :) And be sure to put a little note in the order form to let me know whether or not you'd like to be entered to win the FREE artwork. Your coupon code will be sent with your order and the winner of the contest will be notified after June 5th.

I do welcome custom orders and if you are interested, please contact me at

Thanks for all the support from everyone so far! And I'm look forward to reaching my goal! :)

Much love to all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Just a peek at my newest listing in my Etsy Shop.
A little nod to my inner nerd. ;)