Thursday, December 31, 2009

Everything is fixed....

We got our cable turned back on, so the landlord must have taken care of whatever the problem was with the housing association. I just opened my Etsy stores back up, so everything is back to normal. What are you doing for New Year's? I will admit that we are simply going to our favorite pizza buffet and watching a movie. We don't drink and I don't like to be on the roads when I know there are people drinking and driving, so we are going to stay close to home. I hope everyone has a safe and happy 2010. Goodbye 2009! A lot of us are glad to see you go. Now Shoo!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The joys of renting....

I am just popping in briefly (we are actually picking up internet from a random wireless in the neighborhood on my husband's laptop) to let you know why my Etsy stores are in vacation mode and I won't be posting online anywhere. Because we are not "settled" here in Florida, we have been renting since got here. The community we are in has an HOA and the cable and internet come through them and are included in our rent. Well, we have run into landlord trouble AGAIN. We had to hastily leave our last house because it was in foreclosure. Our cable and internet were shut off without any warning to us today because apparently, our landlord is behind on the HOA payments. That is not a good sign. I have left messages at 2 numbers for her, and so far, I have not heard back. So, we may have a very long weekend (or longer) without service. I will miss chatting with you all. If by chance my husband gets his laptop fixed (it's battery is no longer working and has to be plugged in) I can open my stores back up and stop in at a coffee shop to check sales and emails. This is such a mess. I apologize if you were planning on purchasing anything. I hope to be up and running soon. However, for all I know, we may have to move again. Ugh. Chat with you later...Lori

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes Recipe

My husband wanted me to try this recipe for our Christmas desserts, and they turned out to be very yummy! I would love to put out a challenge to myself & my readers to tweak this recipe to make some mini cheesecakes in other flavors! You'll need a muffin tin to cook them in...

18 paper baking cups (I prefer the foil ones)
18 gingersnap cookies (the size of vanilla wafers)
12 oz of cream cheese
1 TBS cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (or 1/2 tsp. cinnamon + 1/2 tsp. nutmeg)
2 eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Place a gingersnap cookie in the bottom of each baking cup, and place the cups in the muffin pan. Beat softened cream cheese, cornstarch, sugar, and spice until fluffy.
Add eggs; beat well.
Add pumpkin & corn syrup, bead until well blended.

Fill each muffin cup 3/4 full and bake 30-35 minutes (my oven took 35) at 325 degrees. You can check to see if they are done by inserting a knife near the center to see if it comes out clean.
Cool on wire racks for 30 minutes. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours before serving. Leave any uneaten cheesecakes in the fridge. Serve with whipped cream or Cool Whip and crushed gingersnaps on top.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

I survived Christmas!

I survived Christmas, but I am not so sure about my stomach. I ate Godiva chocolates for breakfast on Christmas morning, and that was followed by pumpkin cheesecake...which I have also had for breakfast a few more times! We had a rather quiet Christmas with just the two of us, and went to see Avatar. We watched it in 3D, and the visual effects were wonderful. The plot was somewhat predictable, but a lot of movies are.
Today, I almost broke my new camera by putting the new memory card in wrong, and getting it stuck. I about had a heart attack. So far, it is working fine, and the pictures take and transfer. I am hoping for some opportunities to put it to good use. We have had some icky weather since I got it. It has been pretty cloudy and bleak for Florida, anyway.
Well, I just wanted to pop in and say HI. I do plan on posting the recipe for the pumpkin cheesecakes I made. My husband got the recipe from someone at work. You bake them in foil cups in a muffin tin. I plan on tweaking the recipe and making some chocolate cheesecake ones. Yum! Hope you had a nice Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Who pushed the fast forward button?!

Like everyone else, I can hardly believe Christmas is here already. Other than cooking for just the two of us on Christmas, I have everything done. Now I can sit back and relax. All of our water finally dried up, it cooled down, and now it is warming up again. You just never know what you'll get this time of year in Florida.
The coming year brings some excitement for me, as we may be moving at some point, and my jewelry will be published for the first time (in a book coming out around May). I am keeping my fingers crossed on getting a painting published. We are still trying for a little one, but no luck in that department.
I wish all of you a lovely holiday! I hope the New Year brings good things for all of us, and the economy begins to pick up. I wish you and yours health, happiness, and to be blessed with the things you stand in need of.
I will leave you with my newest graphic illustration "A song of the heart can never be caged."

Friday, December 18, 2009

The rain came down and the floods came up...

Well, we came through with a dry home last night. It is still raining today, so if it gets heavy again, we could have flooding tonight. We do have a tornado watch, but it looks pretty calm outside compared to yesterday's torrential rains and flooding. I am not leaving the house today, as some roads are still bad. I could barely sleep last night because I was still stirred up about driving home through the flood. Just down the street, at least 20 cars were completely ruined by flood waters in a parking lot. Some water was waist deep. I didn't wake up to an alligator on my screened porch, so that made me happy. ( :
On a happier note, I can now offer some of my larger paintings as prints. Here is the first one that is now available. The original is 20" X 16" and the print is 8" X 10". You can find it in my Etsy store, ArtworkByLori.
Have a great weekend! I'll check in later.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The most terrifying experience of my life

It started raining today, and it never stopped. I had a church thing to do tonight, and on the way there, it wasn't horrible. There was some standing water in places. But by the time I left, what would normally be a 15 minute drive, turned into a horrifying 45 minute drive home. The closer I got, the higher the water got until I could feel it rushing against my doors. It was behind me and in front of me. I kept praying and driving toward my house. It was dark out, so that made it even scarier. The road leading to my house was not even visible. We have alligators here. That made it even scarier if I got trapped and had to ditch the car. I finally made it with a lot a praying, shaking, and the entrance of my housing edition. My car almost got stuck in the water there. I was soooo close. I finally made it home and still feel like crying. I hope this rain stops soon and our home doesn't flood. Did I mention I hate living in Florida? I suppose you can having flooding anywhere, but this town has the worst drainage system. I am grateful to be safe at home (which I hope will remain dry) and glad that Heavenly Father answered my prayers. I was in a very dangerous situation.

A Resuce Pet's Christmas Poem

I saw this online today, and thought it fitting to share.

'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the town,
Every shelter is full - we are lost but not found,
Our numbers are hung on our kennels so bare,
We hope every minute that someone will care.

They'll come to adopt us and give us the call,
"Come here, Max and Sparky - come fetch your new ball!"
But now we sit here and think of the days
We were treated so fondly - we had cute baby ways,
Once we were little, then we grew and we grew,
Now we're no longer young and we're no longer new.

So out the back door we were thrown like the trash,
They reacted so quickly - why were they so rash?
We "jump on the children, don't come when they call",
We "bark when they leave us, climb over the wall".
We should have been neutered; we should have been spayed,
Now we suffer the consequences of the errors they made.

If only they'd trained us, if only we knew,
We'd have done what they asked us and worshipped them too.
We were left in the backyard, or worse - left to roam,
Now we're tired and lonely and out of a home.
They dropped us off here and they kissed us goodbye,
"Maybe someone else will give you a try".

So now here we are, all confused and alone,
In a shelter with others who long for a home.
The workers come through with a meal and a pat,
With so many to care for, they can't stay to chat.
They move to the next kennel, giving each of us cheer,
We know that they wonder how long we'll be here.
We lay down to sleep and sweet dreams fill our heads,
Of a home filled with love and our own cozy beds.
Then we wake to see sad eyes, brimming with tears,
Our friends filled with emptiness, worry, and fear.

If you can't adopt us and there's no room at the Inn,
Could you help with the bills, and fill our food bin?
We count on your kindness each day of the year,
Can you give more than hope to everyone here?
Please make a donation to pay for the heat,
And help us get something special to eat.
The shelter that cares for us wants us to live,
And more of us will if more people give.

Author unknown

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Alice in Wonderland series....Part 2 & 3 White Rabbit & Alice

I've been so busy painting, preparing for Christmas, and keeping the house in order that I haven't posted in a few days. This last weekend, we went to a Cat Show in Vero Beach and we both really enjoyed that. I fell even more in love with hairless Sphynx cats. I think hubby did too. We brought home a new toy for the kitties and they have been fighting over it all week. I got my new camera (an early Christmas present) so I have been learning to use it and installing stuff on the computer for it. I hope to be able to use it for my artwork. My other camera is only good for close ups, which is what I need for my jewelry. I wanted one with enough megapixels to actually be able to print the pics out and have exceptional quality. Currently, I have had to keep all my artwork under 8 X 10 inches for scanning.
I have all my "far away" family's gifts shipped off, Christmas cards are finished, and I only have my husband's gift left. He keeps changing his mind. Santa is growing impatient.
I hope all of you are enjoying the season (and all the many baked treats that come with it!)
Here are my two newest pieces of the White Rabbit and Alice. They, along with the Cheshire Cat are all available as prints in my Etsy store now. Chat with you later!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Alice in Wonderland series....Part 1

Some of you may have seen my post a few months back that showcased a larger painting I had shipped off to Somerset Studio in hopes of making the March 2010 issue dedicated to Alice In Wonderland. As per their guidelines, I may not receive it back until 9-12 months after I shipped it. I've wanted to expand on this theme and do some smaller 8 X 10 mixed media collage paintings, so I started on that this week. I plan to do the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, Alice, The Mad Hatter, and the Queen. Here is the finished Cheshire Cat. I will have the print and the painting available in my Etsy store in the next day or so. I started on the White Rabbit today. Hope they make you smile! I'll have the newest one to show to you soon!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Sharing time

It's Monday sharing time! I have 9 pieces of new jewelry to list in my Etsy store tonight so I thought I would share a pic of one of the necklaces I am diggin' right now. Some of you know I am obsessed with birds. I often find ways to add them to my paintings and jewelry. So, here's a happy yellow birdie necklace, and a pic of my two kitties (who normally despise each other) sharing a "blanket fort" in the recliner last night. ( : Snuggly kitties always bring a smile to my face! Check out my store later tonight...there's still plenty of time to pick up some online Christmas gifts! All the new pieces will be under $35!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Do your OWN stinkin' laundry!

This lady may be smiling, but deep down, she's ready to tell you what to do with all that laundry. Perfect for all the mom's and wives who long to be free from the piles of laundry that continually multiply like rabbits. I created this after doing 4 loads of laundry yesterday. LOL I also have a Sepia (brown/neutral) one available on Etsy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Holiday Deals sales have ended, BUT....

I plan to still offer a Buy 2, Get the 3rd print free sale in my Artwork By Lori store on Etsy for the rest of December.
I just added a new print on Monday, and will be adding the actual painting it came from soon.
Here's a pic of the painting/print. I am off to get dressed and run some errands, then hopefully back to creating. My bad mood over the past few days caused my Muse to take a hike. She was feeling sad and useless. I am pretty sure she was sitting in a coffee shop in Minneapolis somewhere, sipping hot apple cider and watching snowflakes fall.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holiday Deals and Black Friday Sales!

Just a quick post to let you know that I am offering FREE SHIPPING & A FREE GIFT with each order from my The Royal Bead jewelry store on Etsy!

Also, in my Artwork By Lori store on Etsy, all my prints are BUY 2, GET ONE FREE WITH FREE SHIPPING! These sales will end Tuesday, Dec. 1st.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Different, yet still the same.

Here's the painting I have been working on for the past week or so. The title is "Different, yet still the same." As people, we are all unique, but as women, it is important to remember that we are so much alike...we share a lot of the same feelings and experiences. We are all connected. Also, while it's great to have things in common with your friends, the differences make the relationships even more interesting. We can learn from each other and share our view points and talents.

The painting is mixed media (acrylic paint, ink, colored pencil, paper collage) and measures 20" X 16". I will be adding it to my Etsy store within the next day or so.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It's been a while...

It's been a while since I posted. I didn't realize it had been over a week. I don't even know for sure what managed to suck up so much time, but I know the past week has been very busy, and I feel like I've spent a lot of time on the phone, ordering supplies, painting, cleaning, getting more car repairs, and my most favorite...watching NEW MOON!
I went last night with a gal pal from church, and we had a blast. I couldn't do the midnight showing on Thursday. I don't operate well on little sleep. We really loved the movie, and because we purchased & picked up our tickets ahead of time, everything went very smoothly. We got there an hour before it started and got perfect seats. There was a lot of estrogen in that theater! LOL My friend said it felt like a huge slumber party, only at the movie theater. I think she was right.
This morning I had to get up early to go help with practice for our church's Primary program. The youth, ages 3-11, will be speaking and singing during sacrament meeting. I came home, ate some soup, and ended up napping. Now, I am going to work on my painting for a while and hopefully get it finished by Monday. I need to put together some more jewelry too. Busy, busy.
I hope everyone has had a nice week, and will have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. There are so many things I am thankful for. I'll be sharing my new painting soon. Hope you'll stop by again!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's the little things you miss....

It has been, what seems like, ages since I've been able to open a window in this house and let in some fresh air. The sticky 90 degree weather finally took a hike (at least for now) and it was in the 60's and cloudy today. I don't mind the clouds, because they keep the heat down. I am happy to report that I did not sweat today. ( :

I am currently working on a new painting titled "Different, but still the same." I've been busy designing and posting on my new blog, Thrifty Artist. I also have something else in the works, but I won't know if it's 100% till tomorrow, so I won't mention it just yet. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I got a Fortune cookie today that said, "He who goes after what he wants, gets it." I hope that comes true.

Well, I have to run and fix some dinner. I am making a new recipe I tried out while Rob was out of town. Its a Chinese Ginger & Scallion Noodle dish. Delish! Take care, and stop by again soon!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Looking to create art economically? Everyone needs to save some money!

I just started a new blog! I'll be posting tips on creating economically & great deals on art supplies. I plan to share some of my own tips/secrets and host guest posts also. Guests will get a link to their website or online store along with their posted tip!
I hope to share my first tip on Wednesday! Stop on over, and don't forget to become a Follower so you don't miss out on anything!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

All in all, it was a good weekend!

My only sister got married when I was 12, so I spent a lot of time being, what seemed like, an "only child." Therefore, I learned at an early age to keep myself busy. I enjoy being around others, but I never get bored by myself. My husband was out of town for the past 4 days. I went shopping by myself for some new fall clothes. I went to a new craft store and got some fun supplies. I watched Twilight for the 3rd time (yes, I am pathetic) while eating chocolate ice cream. I finished a 3 piece painting, cleaned the house, cleaned the car and got an oil change, and even managed to go through my sock & underwear drawer and get rid of old stuff. I magically found time for a nap. All in all, it was a good weekend. I did my best to keep my mind off of the news. So many bad things had happened this week and I could feel myself slipping into a dark place. There are very many angry people in the world. It is impossible not to occasionally be angry BUT how we deal with that anger is what's important. People these days immediately act on their feelings without thought of consequence or caring for others. We really need to stop and ask ourselves if we are treating others as we want to be treated. My thoughts and prayers go out to those that lost family and friends in the Fort Hood and Orlando shootings last week.
Anyways, painting always helps me get my mind off things. I hope you all had a good weekend. Here's the Triptych painting called "Chocolate Circles" that I listed in my Etsy store tonight.

Monday, November 2, 2009

November is here! Hooray!

I am very much looking forward to cooler weather, which hasn't arrived yet in FL. It is still near 90. I am actually enjoying the time change. I seem to have more energy, and am waking up an hour earlier on my own. I got more done this morning, and was actually awake to do it!
I spent Sunday afternoon and into the evening sorting through 2 boxes of photos and old mementos. It took a long time to get everything organized into albums, mainly because I had to stop and reminisce and have a good laugh at most of the photos. I also found a packet of old family pics from my mother's side of the family that I had used for a family tree project in college. I will be giving them back to her, so I did some scans for my personal collection. I found one particularly lovely picture of my grandmother from when she was a young woman, and decided to spice it up in Photoshop. It had some defects and spots from age, so I fixed those, added a touch of color, and an antique looking worn finish to the edges. Here's the final pic! I plan to send a copy to my mother too, of course! Have a lovely Monday!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!


I Halloween'd myself in Photoshop for fun. ( : I didn't buy anything at the bead show yesterday, and it ended up being a total waste of time. I won't bother driving to the Orlando G&LW show again. Too many people (some talking on their cell phones and blocking booths), wholesale prices were closer to retail, and most of the booths didn't have their strands even priced. You had to ask, and there weren't nearly enough workers to get an answer from. The one company I had hoped to buy a lot from and set up a continuous shipment of beads, didn't even bring their beads. They told me they were too lazy to pack them up. I was told I should come to their Dallas showroom instead. Yeah, like I am going to spend a couple hundred dollars on airfare and hotel. That eats into the profit I wanted to make from selling them as supplies. There was a horrible accident ahead of me on the way home, and 2 people were ejected from their car and died. I had driven 40 minutes and had to turn around and drive 40 minutes back to get on the turnpike instead. It was an all in all bad day. I was just glad to make it home safe.
Hopefully this week will be better. We get our car back on Wednesday. I'm glad I was able to catch up on cleaning and laundry today at least.
Well, hope you all have safe and fun Halloween! Talk to you soon....Lori

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm a bad girl

...when it comes to blogging lately. I remember when I used to do it pretty much every day. I've still be dealing with car repairs, car rental, phone calls, house work, and church activities this week and feel like I haven't gotten any art done. I have been trying to do some of the painted beads I used to make. I needed a little change. I have a 3 panel painting in the works, but haven't been able to dive in yet, because of all the car craziness. Boy, I wish Progressive could reimburse me for time lost due to this mess. Our car won't be done until next Wednesday, and I am driving a rental until then. I am grateful the driver who hit my husband had insurance and that it is all being taken care of though. Everyone is fine, and no one got hurt. Glad for that too. Well, I gotta drag myself away, and get back to painting some ceramic beads. Hope everyone has a great weekend. I am (hopefully) headed to a bead show in Orlando tomorrow. Yay!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Glad the weekend is over

I usually don't say I am glad a weekend is over, but this one wasn't very pleasant. After I posted about the computer crash, husband came home and informed me that he had been rear ended by a tail-gater. So, we will be down to one car this week, and that one car is the non-dependable one. The good car got smashed up. It was only a matter of time. People here in Florida drive like a bunch of nutzos. Sadly, I may end up missing the bead show in Orlando I have been planning on going to for months. I haven't gotten to go in 2 yrs. I am considering renting a car for a day so I can go. I will just have to see how the week pans out. A good friend of mine has had a loss in her family, and I just found out. It's been a rather sad weekend.
Hopefully I will have something more positive to share this week. For now, I will just leave you with a pic of my newest painting. Still stuck on the bird theme. LOL

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Crash, fail.

My lovely computer crashed on me this morning. I had been up most the night, tossing and turning. I got my regular flu show yesterday morning, and my art hurt so bad I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. I took an ibuprofin at 6am, went back to bed, and woke up at 9 am. I turned my computer on, and chaos ensued. Three hours later, it is fixed and everything is reinstalled. What a pain in the butt. I also had a fever this morning....another side effect of the shot.
I am hoping the day improves. Sadly, it is half over already! I am still in my pajamas, and it is noon.
I did finish another painting yesterday, and hope to get it photographed and listed soon.
I added this new graphic art design art print to my Etsy store last night. I have it available in blue, tan, black, and green. I had to do something humorous to lift my spirits!
Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Jewelry Monday!

I started adding new jewelry to my The Royal Bead Etsy Store last night, and just finished this morning. I'll share a few pieces with you. Mondays are busy days as always, so I have to post and run. I'd love to stay and chat, but the clock is ticking! Have a super Monday! I'll check in later when I have slowed down a bit. ( :

Monday, October 12, 2009

My newest's a BIG one!

Here's the painting that I finished last Friday. This is the one that on Monday I hated, and by Friday, I was in love with. Sometimes, the paintings that give me the most grief, turn out to be my favorites. Odd, huh? This one measures 24" X 36" and is done a stretched, canvas with staple free sides. It is a mixed media piece done with acrylic paint (including textured paint), vintage text paper, scrapbook paper, and colored pencil. I can't seem to get away from the bird theme these days. ( :

Sunday, October 11, 2009

What I learned this weekend

It is Sunday morning, and I am up early...getting around for church. I am hoping I can stay awake. I have one tidbit of information to share with you that I have learned this weekend. Spicy hot wings followed by a pile of french fries drenched in garlic, butter, and parmesan cheese does not lead to a good night sleep. I would avoid it, if I were you. Now...back to your already scheduled programming.

See ya Monday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I made the front page on Etsy this morning!

I haven't been on the front page in literally....wait for it.....YEARS. But, my earrings were on this morning at 3:30 am. Sadly, we were all probably sleeping. LOL I don't know how to share the screen shot though.

Yesterday, I started working a painting, got really mad at it, then got called in to the dentist (my husband) for a cleaning. I ended up coming home with a shiny new filling too. He does such a good job, I didn't feel a thing!

This morning, I woke up to find a few of my 1 gallon water jugs in our food storage had spontaneously exploded....all over in the cupboards above the laundry machines. Water was EVERYWHERE. Then, I went to open a plastic bottle of Dr. Pepper, and it blew up all over me and the carpet. I hadn't even jiggled it at all. Very odd. I am hoping the day improves, and there are no more liquid explosions in this house! Have a terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I am having a secret, one day only sale. I have posted the sale to Twitter, Facebook, and here. I don't run sales like this very often, and may not do so again in the near future, so take advantage of it while you can. Art prints make great gifts!

So, here's the scoop.....Buy 1 art print, get 1 FREE from my artworkbylori Etsy store! You spend $12 plus shipping for one, and get a second free. That adds up to only $6 a print!

Here's what you need to do:
Order and pay for your first print, and when you send your Paypal payment, include the name of the print you want for free, and the word "Blog" in the Notes To Seller box. That's it!


Monday, October 5, 2009

It took a few days, but here they folk art angel drawings!

Once I finally hunkered down this afternoon, I was able to scan some drawings I had been working on over the past week into my computer and play around with them. I drew the lady and here wing separately, scanned them in, added her halo (which is from a scan of an ancient tomb design), and a digitally created background. I decided to offer her in grey-tone or sepia. So, these are the fruits of my work. Hope you like them! I added them to my Etsy store, of course.

Concentration problems

I am totally ADD when it comes to creating. Some days, I get a headache from trying to decide what to work on first. I have a bazillion different projects floating in my head. I am having a hard time concentrating today, and know I need to start on something. A painting? A digital collage from some drawings I did this weekend? A wooden sculpture sitting in my kitchen? Should I keep playing with Photoshop to learn more stuff? I swear, there are days when my mind feels like it is standing on a busy street somewhere in downtown New York, with everything rushing past...not knowing which direction to go in.
Then, there are the other distractions that come with working at home. Food is a big one. The internet another. My two adorable kitties who are impossible to ignore. Phone calls. Thoughts of other things I need to get done. There's always cleaning, laundry, and cooking that needs attending too. Is this a common thing for artists? I feel like I may not get as much done/made compared to others and I wish I could just focus. Any suggestions you can offer as to what you do when you feel like this?
Well, I hope everyone had a super weekend. We stayed in, listened to a conference from our church that was broadcast online, watched some movies, and ate too much. LOL Talk with you soon!

Friday, October 2, 2009

New Jewelry in my Etsy store!

Sadly, one of the boutiques I have been consigning my jewelry with is going out of business (another victim of the economy), so I got some more jewelry pieces back this week. I just finished listing them in my Etsy store. I have more jewelry on the way, and will then be continuing to concentrate on my paintings and illustrations. So, if you want to see the stuff I just added, here are a few teasers! Click on the pics to visit my store. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hello October...nice of you to visit!

I feel as if October sneaked up on me when I wasn't looking. He tapped me on the shoulder this morning and I jumped. "When did you get here?" I asked him. I seriously thought I had a few more days left of September.
I started my Christmas shopping this week, and am doing my best to shop online, purchasing from handmade artists this year. Being one myself, I know we have been hit pretty hard. I appreciate unique gifts and am always finding items I like on Etsy and Artfire. If there's anyone on your list you aren't sure about this year, see what you can find for them that is handmade! Stay home and avoid the chaos at Walmart the day after Thanksgiving and shop from the comfort of your home...with a nice cup of hot chocolate. I won't tell if you sneak another piece of pumpkin pie for breakfast! I promise!
Well, have a fabulous month. Halloween is just around the corner. I suppose he's going to try to scare me too. That's his job!
As always, I will be adding new prints, paintings, and even some new jewelry to my Etsy stores. If you have any custom requests, let me know!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Alice in Wonderland Mixed Media Painting...

Hey folks! I've been busily trying to get this finished and shipped before the Oct. 15 deadline for submission to Somerset Studio magazine for their upcoming Alice In Wonderland themed issue due out in March of 2012. I have never submitted anything to a magazine before, so this is exciting and scary at the same time. I am shipping it off tomorrow, but wanted to share it with you before it goes "on vacation." I may not get it back for a long time.
It took me a while to decide what I wanted to do. I had a bunch of different characters floating around in my head. Because of my affinity for all things feline, I HAD to add the Cheshire Cat. I wanted him to look wacky, and perhaps a little spooky. I have always found the pictures in the original book of Alice trying to hold onto her flamingo to be hilarious, so that ended up going into the final painting also. I tried to make the rabbit look a bit mysterious. This was so much fun to do, and was a great challenge. Wish me luck! I hope you like it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I need hearts! New Contest for free art print!

New contest! The 150th person 2 "heart" my Etsy shop (add as favorite store) gets a free print of choice!
If you haven't hearted me already, CLICK HERE to visit my shop and add it to your favorites!
Whoever wins will be contacted via convo on Etsy. Thanks!

Welcome Autumn! Buh-Bye Summer!

Today is the first day of fall, and yesterday was thankfully the last day of summer. Fall is my favorite time of year, though sadly, I don't get to experience the best parts of it anymore. There really isn't a Fall in Florida. I kind of have to just feel it in my heart, if that makes sense. I love seeing all the fall decor, remembering the smell of the leaves, and all the spooky fun revolving around Halloween. I love pumpkin ANYTHING, hot apple cider, pretty knitted scarves, and chilly breezes.
Since it is much too warm here still, I tried to get into the spirit by getting a coffee-free Pumpkin Frappuccino from Starbucks yesterday. It helped a little. We will continue to have 90 degree weather and high humidity for a while yet. It is this time of year that I miss Minnesota most.
How was everyone's weekend? Any new projects you're working on? I am trying to finish a mixed-media painting to submit to Sommerset Studio for their Alice In Wonderland challenge. If I am blessed to be accepted, it would be published in March of 2010, when the Tim Burton movie comes out. That would be super exciting for me! I haven't submitted anything to a magazine before, so I thought I would challenge myself to work on doing so. Well, off to run some errands and get back to my artwork. Have a lovely Tuesday!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Weekend Deals on Etsy!

WEEKEND DEALS! Starting today (Friday, Sept. 18th) through Sunday Sept. 20th, Buy 2 prints, get one free. Please mention "weekend deals" in the notes to seller along with your order and let me know which free print you would like. ****Does ...not apply to orders submitted previous to Friday, Sept. 18th. Thank you*********

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

If you would like to find out more about me and my art...

Please hop on over to and read my recent interview! It was just posted today. Thanks for the opportunity! They have some great articles for artists who are selling their work also.
Click here to read the interview!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Today I have been thinking about how difficult it is in this day and age to "recharge." I often find myself being pulled to and fro...from one task to another...usually not by choice. This morning, for example, I realized my cell phone needed to be recharged, as its battery was getting low. However, I had had to unplug it to use it again so many times, that it has barely had time to do so. I feel like this myself sometimes. I guess the only way for us to make sure we are able to get "recharged" is to find our priorities, learn to plan ahead, and learn or practice saying "no" when we feel overwhelmed. I like to make lists of all my tasks for a day or sometimes a week. I can then mentally work out what absolutely HAS to be taken care of, and what can be squeezed in during whatever down time I have. If I have some spare time, I can look at the list and find something I may have forgotten to do.
By doing this, we will know when we can enjoy some down time, without interruption, so we can fully least until the next task drops in our laps. I used my down time this morning to catch up on my blog and get ahead on some laundry. That way, I should have time to create this afternoon.
Hope you have a wonderful day, and find some time to recharge this week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Today is the last day!

Just a quick post to let you know that today is the last day of my GRAND OPENING SALE in my new Etsy store! It is your last day to Buy 2 prints and get 1 free! Hope everyone had a great weekend! I overdosed on shrimp at Red Lobster...and I feeling the effects today!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Where has the week gone?

My goodness this week has gone by fast! We were out of town from Sat. morning till late Monday afternoon, and I've been catching up on housework, laundry, cleaning the car, emails, and creative time. Tomorrow is Friday already, and there are so many things I need to do yet. I am sure a lot of other people are feeling the same.
I extended my BOGO sale and will do so through this weekend, then it will end. I still need to transfer over some of the prints of my paintings into my new Etsy store. I have been steadily adding new illustration prints, so my customers will have a variety to choose from. Unlike painting, I am able to work on my illustrations later at night, so when I don't have the opportunity to paint I work on those. I usually only paint in natural light, which obviously isn't available at night. If I turn lights on in my painting area at night, my husband complains because it keeps him up. I hope someday, when we have our own home, I have my own studio on a far end of the house. Then I can paint whenever I want. I can get one of those Ott-Lights to supply the lighting I need.
Anyways, here are some new prints I have listed in my NEW ETSY STORE. Hope you like them!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

BOGO SALE! Buy 2, Get 1 Free on all the Prints in my new Etsy store!

I'm participating in the "Weekend Deals" promo on Etsy, and wanted to let you know that I will be running a Buy 2, Get 1 Free sale in my new Etsy Store through Labor Day. Simply purchase 2 prints, and in the "notes to seller" section of your order, please write "weekend deals."
Here's a small sample of what I have available at

I took the leap and opened a second store on Etsy!

I decided I did want to separate my jewelry from my artwork on Etsy, so I set up my store tonight, and started adding some new prints of my recent illustrations (also known as the doodles that keep me up till 2 am). LOL
I am running BOGO sale for a while to honor the grand opening. It's a Buy 2, get 1 Free deal. Here's a new print, and clicking on it will take you to my new store! I would love some hearts!
My store is

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Etsy sellers...what do YOU think?

I am leaning more and more towards spending most of my time creating 2d works of art...paintings, illustrations, collages, etc. I am not giving up jewelry making altogether, just cutting back and taking a little break. I keep thinking that I should open a new Etsy store for just my artwork, and leave The Royal Bead to be strictly jewelry. The only problem is that I currently have over 1600 people who have added my store as a "favorite." I would be starting from the ground up on the next one, and possibly confusing some previous customers. I can't decide what to do. I just don't think things "mesh" right now. Any thoughts? Have any of you done this? I am not getting hordes of sales in my Royal Bead store right now anyway, so maybe the favorites thing wouldn't matter. Hmmmmm.
I would love to hear any opinions. I would of course put a link to my other Etsy shop at the top of the jewelry store announcement. Hopefully people would see it.
Hmmmmm.....decisions, decisions.

Monday, August 31, 2009

My pillow calls to me...

I am turning in early tonight to try to make up for the lack of sleep I had Sunday night. I have no clock in my office (I usually just look at the computer, but it was turned off for the night), and I accidentally stayed up till 2 am drawing. I got up to go get a drink in the kitchen and gasped when I looked at the clock the stove. By the time I actually fell asleep, it was 2:30, and I woke at 7am. It hasn't caught up with me yet, but it will. I got absorbed in two new illustrations. I finished them, but need to scan them in and digitally color them in Photoshop. I'm excited to share them!
I hope everyone had a good weekend. Ours went well, with the exception of me tripping and falling in the kitchen...nearly landing on my face. Luckily, the fridge "caught" me. I had two big scratches on each arm and nearly broke my toe. I am very skilled at tripping on things.
Well, chat with you tomorrow! I will stop in and post some new stuff then. Take care!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Friends are sweeter....ending on Ebay tonight!

I have two things on Ebay ending at 8 pm (California time). I also have three new pieces to share, but they will be going in my Etsy store. If you want to bid on this painting, just click on it, and you will be taken to my auctions. Have a great Sunday...I will check in on Monday.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Doodle - E - Doo

I was in a bit of a funk today, and couldn't decide on what to paint, so I sat down with my new Pitt art pen, my drawing pad, and some cookies and enjoyed an afternoon of doodling. It helped me get out of my funk, get my mind off of things, and relax. I have been wanting to do some drawings and/or doodles and color them digitally, so I went crazy with Photoshop, and here is my colorful doodle of the day. There will probably be more in the future, as I really enjoyed doing this. I felt like I could "channel" the style I used to use when I made lampwork glass beads, and put it on paper. I finished a painting yesterday, that ended up looking like a self portrait. I will share more about that later. It's kind of a funny story! Anywho, here's my doodle-e-doo!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New rules according to Lori...

Okay, here's a little bloggie game to spread some smile around. August has been a bit of a dismal month for me, so I need a good laugh.
I will start with a few of the "new rules according to me" and would love to have you guys comment and add on some "new rules according to YOU!"
1. There shall be NO pimples after 30. We've done our time. I would much rather have my teenage energy back than my teenage skin.

2. Chocolate shall become it's own food group and take its place at the top of the food pyramid, where it belongs.

3. All men shall be required to find hobbies that don't involve watching TV or surfing the internet.

4. Cats are fact...smarter than we think! They should clean their OWN litter box.

Your turn! Add some comments and pass along a funny!

Monday, August 24, 2009

How to make your own Certificate of Authenticity for your art!

Are you already a collected artist or an up and coming artist who is just starting to sell online? Have you considered providing a Certificate of Authenticity along with the artwork you sell? You should! It not only shows professionalism, and that you take your work is a wonderful way for your customers to remember you, learn more about your piece of work, and view your artwork as a wonderful investment!
If you have Photoshop, or Photoshop Elements (which I used) you can also create a COA. The size I chose is 5" X 7". In Photoshop Elements, in the custom shape tool, you can choose "frames." Use one of these as a decorative border for your page, and drag it to enlarge it. I clicked on "simplify" to create the look I wanted for the frame I chose. I used a free clip art ribbon banner, and typed : "Certificate of Authenticity" on it, then "copy merged" it and pasted it onto my page, sizing it appropriately. After that, just select a classy text/font and add the rest of the info needed. After researching what is best to put on a COA for my type of work (paintings/mixed media originals), I chose what is shown here. I will be including these with the purchase of my paintings from now on. It is best to print these on a neutral colored parchment paper that is a little heavier than normal paper. You want it to look classy, and not tear easily. These can be used for prints'll just want to adjust the info to include things like what number it many of these prints exist, etc. Do some research online to find which would suit you best. I am sharing my example, and hope this post is helpful! Please contact me with any questions!

Dessert is Sweet, But Friends Are Sweeter...

I finished this painting last week, and just got around to listing it on Ebay last night. This is one of my favorites. I adore Siamese kitties! Both of my cats are Siamese mixes, and they have the best personalities! You all know I am crazy about anything sweet, especially cupcakes, so this was the perfect combo for me to paint. It is up on Ebay and will be ending next Sunday evening.
Click on the pic to take you there!
The paintings that didn't sell on Ebay, will be listed in my Etsy store if you missed out and wished you would have is your chance. Have a lovely Monday!

This week's contest winner!

After having a few sips of Dr. Pepper and waking up a bit, I did the random number drawing for the winner of this contest (a few entries below) on my blog:
Click here to read about it!

AND THE WINNER IS......(drum roll please.....).................. JILL! She was actually the last one to enter! Congrats, Jill! Please contact me so I can send out your "One Cat Leads To Another" print. For privacy purposes, you can send me a convo via my Etsy store with your shipping address. My Etsy store is If you are unfamiliar with Etsy and unsure how to send a convo, just post a note to this blog post.

Thanks for playing everyone! Have a super week!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

What lives in YOUR backyard?

I love hearing from different people about what kind of wildlife lives in their backyard. My parents have an array of creatures, and watching the squirrels and chipmunks fight over the bird seed is very entertaining. When we lived in MN, we had groundhogs, squirrels, birds of every kind, rabbits, and even deer. I can't forget the neighbor's cat who came to harrass my indoor kitties through the window.
Our wildlife here in FL is a lot different. This morning we had a pair of Whooping Cranes hanging out in our yard, protesting loudly as neighbors went by, walking their dogs. Lately, we have had our screens, windows, porch, etc. covered with lizards. They like to sun themselves and are quite plentiful this time of year. Unfortunately though, we had a visit from another kind of lizard today. One I would rather NOT live in our "backyard" alligator!
I always look at the pond behind us as I walk through the house (our screened porch is attached to the living room, so you can see the water from there), and today I came to an immediate stand-still when I saw him. There he was, floating in the water in plain sight. I saw his whole head....his beady eyes, his long snout, his nostrils raised about the water. I watched him for a while, and my suspicions were confirmed when 3 female mallard ducks headed his way. They took a quick and noisy detour when they came upon him.
So, I will be keeping my eye out for this new neighbor. I just hope he stays IN the water. Any ideas on what to name him?

Ebay auctions ending late tonight!

Morning everyone! I just woke up, and can finally smell today. This is the first night I have slept straight through too. We are both slowly getting better, though I just heard Rob have a sneezing fit from the other room. Progress!

Just wanted to remind anyone watching my auctions (and planning on some last minute bidding) that they end late tonight. I don't have as many to list, but do have some new ones to put up tonight.


Hope everyone has a good start to their week...I'll check in later. Monday is the announcement of who wins the FREE ART PRINT! SEE PREVIOUS POST BELOW FOR DETAILS!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'm sick of being sick.

During the 3 yrs. we have lived down in FL, I have had maybe one cold, and it lasted a very short time. I have had other ailments, but nothing like what took over my body on Tuesday morning. I noticed I felt really tired on Monday, and by the time I woke on Tuesday, I felt like a train wreck. As far as I know, my lovely husband brought "it" home from work. He is such a sharing person. LOL. I have had a runny nose, cough, fever, fatigue, wheezing, and generally feeling like crud. I may have the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, but I guess I am not supposed to get tested unless I start to have complications. So, I have quarantined myself to the house. Michael's is losing a lot of money this week! LOL I do have an order of more canvases on the way from, so that's something to look forward to. I won't be buying canvas from Michael's anymore, since the last one I got was all warped and goofy looking. It is totally un-usable.
I did finish one painting this week so far, but was hoping to get a lot more done. I just haven't felt like doing anything. The germs are having a party in my body, without my permission. Apparently, they are having WAY too much fun since I feel so wiped out. Hopefully after a few more mosh pits and the bunny hop, they will tire themselves out and head home. Did you hear that germs? You have had one too many and need to call it a day!
Well, here's hoping everyone is feeling a heck of a lot better than me. If I sprout a snout and a curly tail, I will let you know.

Monday, August 17, 2009



The end of summer is drawing near, and to celebrate (fall is coming, which means cooler weather here in FL) I am having a contest! You can win free 1 (one) print of your choice from my store on Etsy! The contest starts today, and ends Sunday, August 23rd at midnight. I will pick a winner via a random number selector on Monday morning, August 24th!
Here's what you need to do:
1. CLICK HERE (to visit my Etsy store)
2. Pick which print is your favorite.
3. Post a comment to this blog post of which one you would choose, and make sure you either leave a way for me to contact you (email) or contact me Monday when you see you are the winner.

Good luck, and don't forget to check out my EBAY AUCTIONS this week too!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One more painting to share...

I forgot to add a picture of this one too! It will also be on Ebay tonight. I created this one on a 16 X 20 inch gallery wrapped canvas with 2.25 inch thick sides. It says, "Friends Multiply Joy And Divide Sorrow." I am not offering prints of this one, as it is too large for me to get a scan of at this time. Sorry!

New Ebay Auctions For My Paintings Start TONIGHT!

I will have 7 paintings available to bid on with week on Ebay. The will start late Sunday night by 8:30 PDT and end around the same time next Sunday. Just click on the above picture to view them. Happy bidding!

New listings of my Folk Art Primitive paintings on Ebay starting tonight!

Hi everyone! Thanks for stopping in. Hope everyone's weekend was enjoyable. Both my husband and I weren't feeling very well, so after we did the activities we had to do, we spent the night vegging on the couch watching the old Albert Brook's and Meryl Streep movie "Defending Your Life." If you haven't seen it, I highly suggest it. Tonight, Rob is making supper and then we might watch Coraline.
Also, a heads up...I will be having some new auctions starting tonight and ending next Sunday evening for 5-7 of my new paintings I have been showing recently. Due to a change, I will no longer be sending them in to the gallery, as I had planned. So, you can have a chance to own them! Later today, I will post pics of all of them and link them to my Ebay auction for each one.
Well, better go and get ready to head to church. I have two lessons to give for the kiddos today. Have a restful Sunday, and thanks again for stopping by!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Cats and Vacuum Cleaners.

Cats have different personalities, just like people. I often think of my cats as 2 yr old people trapped in a small furry body! We have 2 cats, one that is terrified of the vacuum cleaner, and the other, who is somewhat intrigued by it. She isn't afraid at all, and will actually run and lay down in the spot where I sprinkle her catnip, because she KNOWS I am going to vacuum it up. This morning, in between vacuuming and doing laundry, I paused before finishing the rest of the house. I came back to the vacuum cleaner and found this. I could almost imagine her saying, "Look Momma! I conquered The Beast!" I am so glad I have kitties. They add many laughs to my life.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ch-Ch-Changes and a new angel painting

I am making some changes, including my focus. I have been making jewelry for 7 yrs. now. I love and enjoy it, but with silver prices up, the economy down, and a very saturated jewelry market on Etsy (the main place I sell), I have decided to concentrate more on my painting. I feel more drawn to it right now, and must follow my heart on this one. I still may make jewelry from time to time, but won't be taking any custom jewelry orders. Along with this change, I will also be changing my website name and my Ebay ID. I can't change my Etsy ID, so it will remain the same I guess. These changes will happen over the next few days. My Ebay ID has already changed from 'theroyalbead' to 'ArtWorkByLori' and my website will be changing from to Right now, my website looks pretty goofy. I am playing around with backgrounds and the font is some funky pink color. Not very pretty. LOL So, bear with me...this will look better soon. I just wanted to let everyone know why I am changing. "TheRoyalBead" just doesn't scream "painter."
With that, here is the painting I finished this afternoon. It has a multi-layered background with a crackle finish. It is a mixed media piece and is titled "She Was Free To Dream." Hope you like it!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vampire Fairy Painting & Print

So I started this painting the other day, and after painting her eyebrow, she took on a really sinister look. I liked it! The more collage elements I added, the more a story line started to develop. Then, I found the text from some vintage children's books. The story was finished. She just HAD to be a vampire fairy. I just listed this print in my Etsy store, and here is the story that I included:
There's a legend of handsome young lads disappearing in the dark, mysterious Welsh forests of Snowdon. One such lad was exploring the forest. As the evening descended, he heard entrancing music coming from deep in the woods. He followed the sound, and as he approached the source, he was astounded to find her there. She was beautiful. Her pale, perfect skin looked almost alabaster against her silky raven hair. She had glistening green wings that pushed delicately against the wind. The most beautiful song he had ever heard came softly from her deep red lips. He had never seen anything like her before and was intrigued...yet frightened.
"Who are you, strange-looking thing?" he asked.
"Come with me, and I will show you." she replied.
Like many others, he was never seen, or heard from again.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Mermaids, Birds, and Flowers

The weekend has come and gone so quickly, but I actually look forward to the new week because I can get back to painting. I have been feeling a strong pull toward painting more so than jewelry making, so that is what I will be concentrating on more for who knows how long.
We had a belated birthday celebration for me this Saturday. We drove to Vero Beach to go to a scrapbook store so I could get some cool new papers to use in my mixed media pieces. Sadly, their selection of stamps and other goodies was not impressive. They did have cool paper though. After catching a quick lunch, we went to Julie & Julia. I enjoyed the movie and felt I could relate to the the character played by Amy Adams (who did a wonderful job). Many people hit that point in their life when they feel like they don't know where they are going and what they should be doing. Things just aren't flowing the way we would like. We all want to be successful at something. I laughed at the part where she breaks down in the kitchen and has a crying fit. I have felt that way before, and I am sure...acted that way. Anyways, it was enjoyable, inspiring, and cute. Not much of a man movie though. Rob kept checking his watch. Nothing was being shot at or blown up. LOL
So, back to working on some more canvases I have calling to me. In the meantime, here are the pics of the new print I added to my Etsy store over the weekend. Hope you like them!