Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

I can hardly believe that today is the last day of 2010! It flew by in the blink of an eye, it seems. After a computer crash, lots of errands, and hours of creating & photographing, I was finally able to add a load of new items to my Etsy store, TheRoyalBead. I will be getting back to doing some more painting and jewelry making soon too. I've been pondering goals for 2011 during the past few weeks, and I hope to press forward and succeed. I wish you all a safe & happy New Year!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I'm back!

We just returned from our 5 day cruise today, and my Etsy stores are back open for business. I've been cleaning, running errands, doing loads and loads of laundry, making some more Christmas gifts, and catching up on life in general today. I hope to pop in soon with some new pictures and a better update. I hope everyone has a fabulous holiday! See you soon!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Have yourself a merry little Christmas.....

or should I say, "Have yourself a hugely joyful Christmas!" I will be doing a bit of traveling, and have put my Etsy stores into vacation mode. I will be back with more new goodies after the 23rd. I have new brooches done, new hair accessories, and will get back to working on some new paintings! I won't be able to check my email or phone messages for a while, so please don't get upset or worried if I don't respond. I wish everyone, a happy, healthy, tasty, relaxing holiday!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My poor, neglected blog!

The holiday season has crept up on me, and my to-do list is getting longer each day. This is the first year that I haven't put up my Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, I've decided that this year, we might just do a Christmas wreath instead. Rob is doing a lot of traveling for work, we are planning on going on a cruise, and when looking at the calender, I realized we will barely be here to enjoy a tree. It reminds me of the time in college, when my roomies and I didn't have a tree. We had a large house plant, which we put lights on, and a "Christmas chair." Yes, we decorated that chair!
I finally had to sit down and make a to-do list this morning, to keep me on track. Updating my blog will be the first thing I cross off today. I've had some exciting opportunities pop up recently that will happen in the new year. I will have my artwork and an accompanying article published in one of my favorite magazines, I am sending out two book proposals, we will be purchasing our first home, I will be helping my husband out at his new practice, and I am already setting some New Year goals.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I will try to post more often on my blog. One of my goals is to get more paintings up on Ebay each week, so hopefully, I will be able to start on that goal very soon. Thanks for stopping in, and here's to a happy & safe holiday season for all!

Monday, October 18, 2010

New paintings, new projects, new hobbies....

I never tire of learning new things and exploring! Unless of course, it involves anything with extreme heights, deep water, or creepy crawly foods! I've come to love antiquing, and it's one of my favorite "girly day" activities. One of my best friends has me hooked. She finds such cool stuff and is great at refinishing furniture. I just picked up a handmade vintage table on Craigslist this weekend and will be refinishing it. I'm thinking of either deep red with white crackle, or sage green with antiqued brown glaze over a crackle finish. I'll post before and after pics!
I also want to learn to sew with an actual machine! I've known how to hand sew since I was a little girl, but never progressed from that. I've been buying lots of wool & cashmere sweaters, felting them, and making beautiful flowers to sell in my Jewelry & Accessories store on Etsy. I've become a button collector and renewed my addiction to thrift store shopping! I've found all kinds of deals. I just have to do a bit of driving across town.
I've been blessed to make a few new friends, get in touch with old ones, and do a better job of finding the blessings in the trials I've been handed.
All and all, this fall is starting out wonderfully. Autumn is my favorite season. I usually get all pumped up to try new things, get busy, and prepare for the holiday season. Here are some pics of a few recent paintings, and a peek at the flowers I am working on!
Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My favorite Cupcake Frosting Recipe!

I made some super chocolate-y cupcakes last night for a group of gals I am going antiquing with today. I had to use all of my self control to keep from licking every last bit frosting from the mixing bowl after I had finished frosting them! Here is the recipe I used....

Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream Frosting recipe:
Makes enough for 24 cupcakes (halve it if you are making a smaller batch)
16 oz cream cheese (at room temp)
1 stick of butter (or 1/2 cup at room temp)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
4 cups sifter powdered sugar
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey's Special Dark)
1 cup Ghirrardelli semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions: Mix/beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until creamy and well blended. Mix in the powdered sugar, one cup at a time. Last, add cocoa powder and whipping cream and mix until well blended. This frosting can be piped on or spread with a knife. It is creamy, but stiff enough to hold shape. Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Keep cupcakes refridgerated.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I took a little vacation from blogging....

I realize it's been over a month since my last post. After my nerve pain medicine kicked in and I could finally paint and make jewelry, the last thing I wanted to do was spend time on the computer. I have a slew of new paintings and jewelry listed and have even started working with fiber/fabric and leather. The good news is that my nerve pain is not related to an auto immune disease. We have finally figured that out. I've been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Repetitive Strain Injury. I've been told I still need to get an MRI done of my arms. With RSI, all of the nerves in your arms (ulnar, median, radial) can be affected do to over use and swelling of the muscles/tendons in the affected area. I will have to remain on my medicine and work on strengthening exercises. It may go away, or it may be chronic.
The bad news, is that my meds aren't working as well as they did a few weeks ago, so I am getting less done. My painting style has had to be adjusted, my jewelry will no longer involve metal work or lots of wire wrapping, and I will be spending less time on the computer.
I look forward to sharing my new work with you! Thanks for checking in, and thank you everyone for the nice comments and prayers. They are very much appreciated!

Friday, August 13, 2010


After 2 months of being in severe pain, I am finally getting some relief. At the highest dosage one can take of my medicine, I can finally do some things I haven't been able to do in a clean my own house and pick up my cats. Heck, I even opened a soup can yesterday without wincing in pain. I went and got a second opinion with my regular doctor, and he agrees with me that something is definitely going on that needs some more looking into. He believes I have some type of Collagen Vascular Disease (Sjogren's, Lupus, ect.) that is doing this to my nerves and causing a variety of other symptoms. So, I am headed to the Mayo Clinic next month for a nerve biopsy and 2 days of testing.
I have still found that being on the computer (the typing and the mouse) for extended periods will lead to pain, so I am limiting that. I believe that my painting style, which was very tightly rendered, will be taking a big turn in another direction. I am going to focus on abstract mixed media paintings. This week, I've been making my own mixed media papers to use in collages, just to get into the swing of things, and test what I can do as far as my pain level is concerned. I have not gotten back to jewelry making yet, but if and when that happens, it will also take a new direction. Right now, I am proceeding slowly, and just being grateful that I finally have some relief, and may get some answers in the near future as to what is going on in my body.
Thanks for checking in! I hope to share some new work with you next week!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Open for Business!

Finally, after 2 months of waiting, my medicine level has been increased and I am finally getting some relief from the nerve pain in my arms. I was able to clean my own house ( except vacuuming..that is now hubby's job) yesterday for the first time in a month. I had been using a gal I found online that did a super job and was a real sweetheart.
No exact cause has been found yet for my neuropathy, so more tests and visits are in order. The good news is that I finally reopened my Etsy stores this morning and hope to be back to painting soon. In fact, I may play around with some paint today. Using the computer for long periods of time is still causing me some pain though, so I will keep this short. Thanks for checking in! Hope everyone is having a good week! Try not to melt in this heat wave!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Special Thank You...

I just wanted to say thank you to those of you who have offered kind words, deeds, and prayers for me. I really appreciate it. My medicine dosage increased today, but it can still take a while, or a higher dosage for me to get relief for my nerve pain. So far, there's no change for the better. I have some days where I can do more and drive short distances, and then have parts of the day with horrible flare ups. The nerve pain in my arms is running a bit past my elbows now. I was told that iron has nothing to do with it, so it is still a mystery. As soon as I have more "better" days, I will open my Etsy stores back up. I hope I can soon return to painting...even if it is looser, more abstract work. Thanks for stopping by, and thanks again for caring.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Etsy vacation

Hey there,
You might have noticed all the empty boxes on my blog....they are where my Etsy store links used to be. For the time being, I have put all my Etsy shops into "vacation mode" until my arms start to feel better. My test results came back today for blood work, and everything looked normal, but the Dr. didn't check my iron. Anemia can be a cause of neuropathy, so that needs to be looked at yet. At least I don't have type 2 diabetes. I am grateful for that. So, until I can do more typing, writing, packing sold items, and driving them to the post office with less pain, I am closing up shop. I am sorry for any inconvenience!

Thursday, July 8, 2010


So, this will be short, but just wanted to update. I had a Nerve Conduction Study and an EMG done on Tuesday. It turns out that I still may have carpal tunnel, but in addition, I've been told I have Peripheral Neuropathy. It is affecting both my arms now and after testing my legs and feet, it is there too. My nerves aren't firing as fast as they should for someone my age. So, I started on Cymbalta for the nerve pain in my arms, but it could take about 2 weeks for it to start to improve that. In the mean time, they will try to find the cause. More tests for me. I will still be meeting with a hand surgeon in August, but they want to do more tests first. I will keep you updated. I am itching to paint! I sadly, will not be going back to doing any of my metal work jewelry. The hammering and cutting of metal is just too much on my arms. Any pieces left in my jewelry store on Etsy that are this style, will be the last ones ever. Once it's gone, it's gone.
Hope everyone else had a nice 4th. Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The descent into insanity....

Want to know how to push a creative person over the edge? Take away the use of both arms. Instead of getting better, I now have flare ups in both arms. I'm wearing a splint on each one. Tasks as simple as opening my toothpaste cap are becoming painful. I am typing this with one finger. Next week, I am being hooked up to Electrodes and having a nerve conduction test that lasts 1 1/2 hrs. I can't get a consult with a hand surgeon until August 4th. I don't know how I will last over a month like this. I am sorry to be a "Debbie Downer" but this just plain sucks. I am a busy body by nature, and not being able to use my computer much, write, paint, draw, do my hair, drive very far, etc is making me nutty. I feel like a prisoner in my own house. If it wasn't 95 degrees out, I could at least go for walks. I don't handle heat well, nor do my swollen arms. A lot of people seem to think that carpal tunnel is just numbness and some stiffness in the fingers. It can be that, but it can also be nerve pain in your forearms that feels similar to when you hit your "funny bone" on a wood table. I won't be doing much blog updating for a while, and have stopped using twitter. I will keep my Etsy stores open ( going to need surgery money!), but won't be adding new things anytime soon. I have some finished paintings, but don't think I can handle all the typing needed to do the Ebay listings. Too many pictured to resize, and html to write.
Thanks for listening. I hope you'll start visiting my blog again when my hands/arms are better and my creative life can resume. Take care friends!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The verdict...

I got back from the doctor today with a diagnosis of carpal tunnel AND tendonitis. I wasn't expecting both. He thinks I already had the carpal tunnel for a while and the tendonitis is making it worse, and most likely occurred from lifting heavy items (i.e luggage) while I was on vacation. That's when the pain started. So for now, he has me on a super-pack, one week dosage of Prednisone, Aleve for pain, and if that doesn't take care of to the occupational therapist for shots or surgery. If I can get rid of the tendonitis and do the suggested exercises for the carpal tunnel, maybe I won't need surgery. I worry because my husband works long hours, and we don't have any family nearby to help me with daily stuff that requires 2 hands/my right hand. Right now, I am off to ice my arm and relax a bit. Have a nice weekend! I will check in next week.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Update on life in general....

I took some time off from blogging to rest my right arm, and learn to use the mouse with my left. It took about 2 days to master it. I can't really do much in Photoshop with my left hand though. I'm not THAT ambidextrous. I've scaled back on phone calls too. I've been trying to pick things up with my left hand and do other things, like vacuum and clean with my lefty. However, putting on my makeup, getting dressed, shaving, doing my hair, and cooking are a wee bit too dangerous to attempt with my clumsy left hand. I have my Dr. appointment tomorrow morning. I don't know if there are any specific tests they will do. I guess I'll find out soon enough.
In the mean time, I was going stir crazy not creating ANYTHING. I decided to set aside my "tight" more detailed painting, and mess around with some collage mixed media work. I've been spending a small amount of time on a painting each day and just have a few finishing touches. It was fun to get a bit loose and take a break from painting faces. I have given up on my stamped jewelry all together for who knows how long. Hammering sends shooting pains up my wrist to my elbow.
So, that's what's going on in my corner of the world. I'm pretty much staying inside until this horrible heat wave weather in Florida is over with. I hate the summers down here as much as I hated the -20 degree weather in Minnesota. Our air conditioner is having a hard time keeping up with the 96 degree temps and hot sun beating down on our house. Ick!
I will check in later, when I have pics of the new painting. Take care!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Art and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Well, this is my fabulous new fashion accessory. It makes using the computer very difficult and painting pretty much impossible for now. While on vacation, I started waking up at night with numbness and tingling in my wrist and forearm. Then, the pain kicked in if I picked up anything over 6 pounds or moved my hand in a funny position. I had noticed stiffness in my fingers and hands after driving, long before we left, but figured it was just because it makes me tense. I've had tendonitis before and know the drill, so I started on Advil and got myself a wrist brace as soon as we got home. I can't get into the doctor's office until June 18th, so I will have to wait for a verdict. It sounds like Carpal Tunnel though. I was really depressed for the first few days, then looked up artists with carpal tunnel on google. I found blogs and other stories of artists being able to eventually return to their creating after surgery, so that gave me hope. I wish I would have been doing better arm exercises in the first place. If you create with your hands, I suggest looking into it now, rather than later. I may have ended up with it anyways. Women with a history of hypothyroidism and a small frame (both of which apply to me) are more likely to develop it. So, I will share pics of 2 paintings I finished prior to vacation. They may be all there is for a while. ) :

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Upcoming vacation

This month has flown by! Heck, before you know will be Christmas again! ( : Gosh, I hope it doesn't go by that fast. I just wanted to let my customers know that from May 27th - June 6th, my Etsy stores will be in "vacation mode" and I will not be listing anything new on Ebay until after June 6th. I realized this week, that listing anything now, would have them ending when I would be gone. I am looking forward to visiting with my parents. So, if there's anything in my Etsy stores that you've been procrastinating buying, if you want it soon...better snag it now!
I am still working on the "rework" of the painting I started over on (with a much better canvas surface) and am nearly done. I think I may finish today. I usually start painting in the afternoon, but am tempted to just stay in my pajamas and start painting this morning! I will post a pic as soon as it is done. Hope everyone is having a good week!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Starting over...

I can't remember ever getting so upset with a painting that I had to start completely over on a new surface. The painting I started 2 days ago, got to be a big mess due to an awful painting surface. I had wanted to try Ampersand Gessobord afer reading so many good things about it. I am RUNNING, not walking, back to canvas. The surface absorbed my paint so fast, I couldn't blend anything. I tried adding a "slow-drying" medium to my acrylic paints, but that did nothing. I finally gave up after the paint layers started to build up and look chunky. It was FAR from smooth. It's hard to give up on a painting. I am not a fan of giving up, but I knew I would never be happy with it, and I didn't want to waste a good painting idea on an icky surface that was just going to quadruple my painting time. So, goodbye Ampersand. Maybe you work for oils, but acrylics and you just don't get along well.
On another note, my painting angst was quelled with an antiquing shopping trip with a good friend today, so I am ready to start over and relax. The Chinese takeout helped too. ( : Hope you all are having a great weekend!

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I finally started on a new painting today. So, I don't have anything to show for this week, but hopefully will soon. I plan to spend more time listing new paintings on Ebay. I will still list new prints on Etsy, but probably won't be listing my painting there. Due to some changes they have made over the past year, I have pretty much fallen out of love with Etsy, and don't know if it will ever be the same again. A lot of sellers are feeling the same way.
Since I don't have anything creative to show you, I will end my post this week with an impromptu picture I took of my cat last week. Consider this your weekly dose of cuteness! Have a great weekend! I have a date with a pint of Haagen Dazs and the DVD of New Moon. ( :

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Crazy weekend....

This weekend has been...shall we say..."interesting." Last week, the front of our Mustang got damaged when a semi-truck kicked up a blown out tire at it. I had to take it to the dealership for body work. Thank goodness for insurance! So, they gave me a rental car...a Chrysler 300. Let me tell you...I think they should be recalled. On Sat., we had an appt. at 10 am in Orlando (a two hour drive away). We left in the rental car and shortly after getting onto the highway, we heard a horrible noise coming from the bottom of the car. I had to quickly pull off. A huge panel had dislodged from the bottom of the car and was dragging on the road. The pull had loosened the entire front bumper. If it had come all the way off, we could have had an accident, or cause someone else to. So, that had to get fixed. We had to take our Honda instead. Today, I hit a squirrel on the way to church. It was my first non-bird road kill. I cried. I think the rental car is evil, at this point.
So, this afternoon after church, I took a nap. After all the craziness, I figured I deserved one. Tomorrow is a new that will hopefully bring no more car problems. It could be parents got snow this weekend ( in the middle of May! Crazy, huh?) and nearly hit a black bear while out driving today.
Hope everyone had a nice Mother's Day. I am just a fur-baby momma, but I did get some snuggle time with the kitties today. ( :

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I am completely confused at how some people do it. I tell myself every week, that this week, I will get at least 3 small paintings done. It is Thursday, almost noon, and I haven't had ANY time to paint this week. No matter what I do, stuff keeps happening to prevent me from having the time to do so. Between running errands, doing ALL the housework, cooking, making phone calls, keeping up with church stuff, keeping up with social networks (which are a must these days to get your work noticed), listings for Ebay & Etsy, car repairs, and more things than I could possibly list...I just don't have the time. I these other people who do manage to get 3 or sometimes up to 7 paintings done in a week do any housework? Do they have assistants? Are they speed painters? Do they sleep? Cook? Does anyone have an answer? I just had to get that off my chest. I have been feeling overwhelmed lately, and feel like there are many things I need to be doing to further myself in my art career, but just can't.
Well, maybe someday I will have a room I can paint in at night when I should be sleeping. I think that is the only time I will have. Right now, my studio is the kitchen, so any lights or noises (we have a ranch style house) keep hubby up.
I had better go hop in the shower. It is nearly noon and I have spent all morning doing laundry, cleaning, and preparing a slow-cooker dish for tonight. After lunch I will have about 2 hrs. till my art lesson student comes, then husband will be home for supper. I think I need a chocolate bar....

Monday, May 3, 2010

New Auctions on Ebay tonight!

Late tonight, 8:30 PDT, I will have 8 paintings up for bid on Ebay. The auctions will run for 7 days. To view them, simply click HERE and it will take you there....or you can click on the button in the left hand column of my blog that says "My Artwork on Ebay." Remember to save me as a favorite seller! I want to have more of my original pieces on Ebay in the future on a regular basis. Hope your Monday wasn't too hectic!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My new shop on Etsy....

I finally got around to adding some new designs to my new store "HipHeart" on Etsy, and am gradually moving my graphic designs over from my ArtworkByLori store (which will now only house my paintings and prints of them. I hope that makes sense. ( : I am sharing some new designs with you, and you can visit my shop by clicking on any of them. I will be listing some paintings on Ebay this week. I had hoped to over the weekend, but decided to revamp my Ebay template, which let to an html headache. So, here they are....hope you like them!

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Kraken is finished....

In addition to working on a huge custom stamping (sterling silver discs) order, I finally finished my Kraken painting. For those of you who may not know what a "kraken" is, it is a mythological sea monster, usually depicted as being a giant squid or octopus. Kraken from Greek mythology were sometimes depicted with dragon like features. I think octopi are pretty darn cool, so that's the interpretation I went with. Provided I have time tomorrow, and don't run into an obstacles, I plan to list the painting on Ebay, along with a slew of others that are waiting for homes.
I also decided to open a different/new Etsy shop, just for my graphic designs. I plan to offer prints, tags, and possibly cards and digital scrapbook sheets. My graphic work is different than my paintings, and the whole look of my ArtWorkByLori store is a little off because of it.
I'll introduce my new store to you in a few days. I have my banner made, now I need to do an avatar, shop policy, announcement, and set it up to process payments. I have a lot of new graphic designs to add to the shop right away, and will be moving my other graphic prints over from my other store.
Well, hope everyone is having a good start to their weekend. I got a lot done today and plan to reward myself with a movie and "loaded" nachos. ( :

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I've been driving my husband crazy with this phrase for weeks now. Before even seeing "Clash of the Titans" I would bust into laughter every time the phrase was uttered in the previews on TV. It led me to looking up Kraken on Wikipedia and lo and behold, I got sucked into sea monster mania. I decided I just HAD to do a beautiful sea kraken painting to get it out of my system. So, I sketched it out yesterday and got started on the painting. It is 11" X 14" and I have a long way to go. All the "octopus" suctions cup things on her tentacles will take a long time! ( :
So here is the start. I also made chocolate covered bacon yesterday...but that's a whole other blog post!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2 New Mixed Media Collage Paintings

Hello again! I promised pics of the 2 new pieces, so here they are. I will either be offering them in my Etsy store or in Ebay auctions. I haven't decided yet. Today was a wee bit crazy. I went to get a new key made for the new car (it only came with one set), and that took about an hour...and cost...wait for it.....$100! All these fancy micro-chipped car keys make me long for days gone by. After that, I was to take the car to another dearship to get the racing stripe decals taken off, as my husband didn't like them. Well, along with the stripes, some of the paint came off in a small spot. After sitting there for 1.5 hrs, they finally came and got me.....and told me the bad news. They are fixing it free of charge, but send me home with a loaner (which started running on fumes on the way gas!). So, back to the dealership I go tomorrow morning. Tomorrow we are getting some interior work done on both our cars. They humidity down here has a bad effect on the adhesive used to attach the cloth upholstery to the doors. We have a neighbor who is coming by to fix that.
I haven't gotten much painting done this week, and tomorrow is already Wednesday. I was planning on making chocolate covered bacon today, but it will be a tight squeeze for time. It sounds like an odd treat, but hubby is begging for some. Who knows? Maybe it will be divine. I could use some chocolate-y relief after dealing with all these car problems for the past month. I DESERVE some chocolate covered bacon, darn it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Cruising along...

I've been cruising along again, and forgot to post. I do have two new pieces to share (both mixed media collages) but need to take pics of the second one. We finally got a second car to replace the one that broke down about a month ago, and it is nice to be able to go wherever I want to go now. I was beginning to feel like a prisoner in my house. That's a surefire way to snuff out the creativity for me.
I will stop in again soon to share the pictures. Hope you all had a nice weekend!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Red Poppies Painting

Well, here she is! This is the monster painting I have been working on since last week. Each panel measures 12 X 24 inches, so the combined width is over 36" when hung on the wall. As usual, photographing was difficult. We finally had some clouds roll in so I could get some outdoor pics, minus the sun shadows. I just listed it in my Etsy store. I have always wanted a red couch, and this set would look so fabulous with one! The background of the panels is really neat when you look at it up close. I used an acrylic texture paint and then did some glazing techniques. The flowers took me quite a while with all the shading!
I hope you all have a nice weekend. I finished a mixed media collage painting today and will try to get some pics of it tomorrow. I may also offer it as a print. It's a happy flower piece! See ya soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Stuck at home

While I've been away from my blog, I've been painting a 3 piece, red poppy painting and trying to get over a mystery illness, which I am pretty sure is now walking pneumonia. I am going to be starting on some medicine tomorrow. I've been sick for 7 days now, and instead of a normal "cold" where your symptoms get better, I have gotten worse. Hopefully the medicine will help. I am beginning to feel like a prisoner in my own home! Between being sick and only having one car right now, I haven't gotten out much. Hubby brought me home my favorite Chinese food last night, and a funny T-shirt. There have been a few days where it has been hard to even get myself to paint, because I am so tired that I would rather sleep or I feel like throwing up.
So, if I am somewhat silent, I am just working on getting better. Nothing much to report. Sorry for the lack of excitement!
I'll post pics of my new paintings when I get a good day outside for taking pics. It's been too sunny today. I need some clouds (but no rain!) for a good picture day. ( :
Take care!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I am finally feeling far as my back is concerned. Some rest, and doing my stretching exercises each day has really helped. The past few days here in southern Florida have been lovely and it has been nice to get some fresh air in the house. Usually, it seems we have the air conditioning or the heat on. This has been an odd year for weather here. Currently, hubby and I are on a car search to replace one that is out of commission. That's been taking up a sizable chunk of time. I did finish one painting, so I will share it with you. It is listed in my Etsy store as of today. It measures 12" X 12" and is titled "Hope." Hope you have a great weekend....I hope to get more painting done next week. See...we all need hope! ( :

Friday, March 19, 2010

Still here....

I haven't posted much this week, and I apologize. I've only finished one small painting. I've been busy with art lessons, cleaning, and dealing with car stuff. We still haven't found another car. I hope we have time tomorrow. There are two church things, one in the morning & one in the evening, and Saturdays are our only day to look. There's just not enough time to spread around. My back is still killing me, and I don't really know what to do about it. I'm supposed to "rest and take it easy" but there's no one to help with all the random stuff that needs to be done. Just reaching for things in the cupboards is causing pain.
Anyways, that's where I am at. I may not be posting much until things get a bit better. Hope all is well with you! I'm off to take some more Aleve.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Introducing Yee Kwan of The Glass Turtle.....

I've known Yee for a few years, and met her via an online forum for glass bead artists (lampworkers) and jewelry designers. Some of you may remember that I made lampwork beads for 4 yrs. before moving down to Florida. She does lovely work, is a nice person, and deserves some bloggie-love! Here's a short bio from her:
"About me.....

I was always somewhat artistically inclined (at least I like to think so!). Grew up playing the piano, flute, and cello. Teachers in highschool thought I should have tried to get an art degree but my parents (typical Asian parents) would have disowned me on the spot!!

Took a very long, winding detour but finally got back into artsy things when I started making custom handbags. I first came across lampworking when I was looking for enhancements for my bags. I was really looking for unique zipperpulls and in my searches came across a lampwork beadmaker. I was intrigued! After much research I thought "I can do this!" and that's how it started. I got a HH, cleared a little place in the garage and it wasn't long before I moved on to a "real" torch and was collecting glass just like the pros

I've been at the torch for just over 5 years now and am constantly discovering new things. I think my style has changed a whole bunch. Mostly I think I was "known" for floral pressed beads but recently have moved away from that and am trying to my hand in more organic stuff. I don't have much time for glass these days in between school and working as an ICU nurse.

Hubby fully supports my hobby and even converted the pantry in our house to a very mini studio so I can torch year round. I currently work on a Cricket on household NG powered by a Regalia. Am hoping that my Scorpion will be ready sometime this month

Pictures of beads are readily available on my website ( and pics of the studio are available on my blog (

The Mad Hatter & the Door Mouse

I promised I would share my newest addition to my Alice in Wonderland themed paintings, and here it is...The Mad Hatter & the Door Mouse! We finally got to see the movie this past weekend, and it was very enjoyable. My husband fell asleep during the movie, but I loved it. I definitely recommend seeing it in 3D, if you aren't once of those people who gets a headache from it. I've finished up the series, so it is time to move onto different subjects. I will be listing the actual painting on Ebay later this week, but if you are interest in the print, it is available on Etsy. Hope everyone is plowing their way through Monday. I started out the day at 5:30 and I am losing momentum!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Such a pain in the neck....

I haven't been spending as much time on the computer this week, because it is quite literally giving me a pain in the neck...and shoulders...and back. I finally went to the doctor yesterday, as I have had shoulder/back pain for almost 2 weeks now. The day it started, I could barely move my neck. It turns out that (according to my doc) I have a Rhomboid muscle spasm and sprain. I've been trying to avoid things that make it worse, and sitting at the computer is one of those things. For now, I am on muscle relaxers for about 5 days. It is helping a bit, but I am only on day one. I was also given some exercises to do.
Our older car is out of commission, so I have been stuck at home. Since we had 6 inches of rain today, and I'm on meds that make me sleepy, I guess it's not a big deal. The last time we had 6 inches in one day, we had flash floods and I got stuck in one. I am perfectly happy to remain in my & dry.
I did finish my Mad Hatter painting and will probably be sharing it with you on Monday. Hope you all have a safe and fun weekend.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Monkey Jungle

This weekend, we headed to Miami. My husband really wanted to go to Monkey Jungle and we had a great time there. Basically, it is more like you are in a cage, and the monkeys have acres and acres to roam freely. You can feed them via little pails that they pull up with a chain through the fenced roof. They also had some members of the ape family, whom we found very amusing. The rest of our Miami trip consisted of driving around getting lost (our GPS kept giving us messed up directions and telling us to do U-turns), dealing with huge noisy crowds, honking drivers, and a pack of dudes on motorcycles going at least 150 mph on the interstate like a bunch of crazies. Um....just a little stressful. I'm sorry Miami, but I am just not a fan. There is also a big homeless problem there. A lot of the crime involving gangs and drugs is making its way up the coast to our town.
This week I am working on a painting of the Mad Hatter. I would love to finish him up over the next few days and get him listed on Ebay. We weren't able to see the new Alice in Wonderland movie yet, but hope to go this weekend. Have a great week!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Paintings starting on Ebay tonight!

Hey there, it's been a quiet week on my blog, which usually means it's been a "noisy" week in my life. Lots of stuff going on! I have no idea where the week has gone, but it seemed to fly by. My back went out on Sunday and was very painful for a few days. I did some logo work. I just finished teaching a private art lesson and that was really enjoyable. I've been working on an owl collage this week that took much longer than expected. I finished it this afternoon and will try to get a pic available tomorrow. It will be headed into my Etsy store. In the mean time, my 2 newest Alice in Wonderland paintings are hitting Ebay late tonight and will end next Thursday. I also adding the painting below (a few posts down) of the gal holding the bird nest.
Well, I hope everyone had a good week. I hope to get more made next week! Have a super weekend!

Friday, February 26, 2010

New Alice in Wonderland Paintings!!!

I haven't blogged all week because I was busy getting 3 paintings done. I had some requests to do some more Alice in Wonderland themed paintings (for Ebay), but went ahead and put the prints in my Etsy store. The "Alice & Cheshire Cat" is a two piece painting (on 2 separate canvases) and will be sold as a 2 piece print set in my Etsy store. The other painting is of the White Rabbit, and is called "Late for Tea." I had so much fun with the mushrooms! I do think I may need to sit down with a pic of the Cheshire Cat from the new movie and see if I can get that done this coming week. Hope you enjoy them, and have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Gorgeous Organza Flower Brooches and Hair Pins!

I just added all of these beauties to my "The Royal Bead" shop on Etsy! I've been wanting to make these for a while, as I am a wee bit obsessed with brooches and hair stuff lately. ( : My favorite is the cream colored set. I'll be making more, so keep your eyes peeled, or let me know if there is a specific color you would like! Happy Friday, & have a lovely weekend.....I am off to clean the house and get back to work on another Alice in Wonderland themed painting....

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Finished painting...

Well, here she is! I don't have a title yet, but have an idea in mind for one. I will eventually have the original painting itself on Ebay, and will offer the print of it in my Etsy store later tonight.
I made a flour-less chocolate cake today, and that cut into my creating time. I don't think I will regret it once I eat it though! I love baking. If only there was such a thing as calorie-free baking! Once it passes the taste test, I will post a link to the recipe online if you would like to try it. Hope everyone is having a nice Wednesday.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Today, I was able to really hunker down and get some art "done." I finished my large painting that I gave you a preview of a few days ago. I will post a picture of it tomorrow. I've had a few requests to do more Alice in Wonderland themed paintings from my Ebay customers, so that is on the to-do list. I also finished a cute art print designed with Photoshop that has been floating in my head for over a week. I just had to find the right quote to go with it. I just listed it in my Etsy store, so it is available for purchase. It would be a sweet addition to the decor of your kitchen, teenage daughter's room, or any place else you need some cupcake-y wisdom. ( :
See ya tomorrow!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Back from Orlando

Well, our trip to Disney's Animal Kingdom didn't go as planned, but we found other things to do. There are never any issues with being bored in the Orlando area. My husband had a business meeting on Friday. It rained all the way there, and at times, we couldn't see very much at all. The temperatures dropped so low the weatherman was threatening us with snow flurries, so it was at that point we decided against Disney. Instead, we went to the Orlando Museum of Art, which was sadly a LOT smaller than my favorite back in MN...The Minneapolis Museum of Art. There was a special event going on called Arts Fest, so it was free. In the auditorium, a "bird's of prey" rescue from Maitland had a bald eagle, an owl, and a falcon to meet. I say "meet" because we were able to go pretty close to these beautiful creatures and they looked us right in the eye. They were tethered and out in the open. It was a really cool experience. Outside the museum, there was a lovely park. I was able to get a great snapshot of what is believed to be the oldest oak tree in Orlando. It is named "The Mayor" and is said to be at least 225 yrs. old! After that, we went to a huge outlet mall and walked around until my feet were very sore. While there, we stopped at another display with a 4 yr. old alligator. I was able to run my hand along his scaly back and rub his belly. His mouth was bound, of course. Rob actually held him. Later that night we went out to eat, then headed to Downtown Disney to walk around. We shared a decadent chocolate sundae at the Ghirhadelli cafe. So, that about sums up our weekend. Here is the picture I took of that beautiful tree. Hope you like it, and hope you had a great weekend!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Not your normal, everyday fortune cookies...

I had saved some fortune cookies from one of our many "Chinese Take-Out Tuesdays" and just had to have some fun with them. I have found some truly funny ones before, some that were inspiring, and some that made absolutely no sense. So, I made two of my own. ( : Hope they make you smile!

A work in progress...

I promised to share my step by step progress this week, so here she is! I have a long ways to go yet. There have been a lot of interruptions and I had a problem with the opacity of the paint on her face. I am considering giving her either a deep purple or dark yellow/mustard colored dress. There will be a bird sitting on the back of the chair and she will have a nest with eggs in her lap. I'll probably be finishing her next week. Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Car craziness...

Sorry for the lack of posts so far this week. You could probably hear the crickets chirping! Monday started out with my husband getting rear-ended by a 16 yr. old new driver who looked at a flashing light on her dashboard and didn't see my husband had stopped in front of her. She hit him, and it shoved our car into the car in front of us. To make things even more interesting, her dad showed up and said he had "forgotten" to put her on his insurance policy. So, both of our cars have been rear ended in the past 4 months, in nearly the same location. The dad paid for the car to be towed to a body shop and is supposedly paying for the repairs. I have no idea when we will get it back. Then, this morning, I woke up to hear on the news that our only working car...the recalled. Lovely. I've been pretty grumpy and have been sitting at the easel, trying to paint my grumpiness away.
I am working on a larger painting right now and will show some pics of the process soon. Hope everyone is having a nice least better than mine. Oh well, at least we don't have 40 inches of snow!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Alice in Wonderland painting series on Ebay now!

I forgot to mention, that all of my Alice in Wonderland ORIGINAL paintings (not the prints) are available on Ebay for bidding. They end this Sunday evening.
I am going to try and sit down to start a painting this afternoon and end this rut I am in. I've been doing some graphic design stuff and some personal crafty things (like making flower brooches and hair accessories) in the mean time. My hand is feeling better, so back to painting I go!
CLICK HERE to see and/or bid on my paintings! I also relisted a few that hadn't sold last week, in case you missed them! Have a super weekend!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There, is this one better?

The face in the previous one was a wee bit creepy for a few, so I removed it. I made the last house smaller, but making it taller wasn't working. I switched that and added a quote I had been thinking about. It's supposed to be a bit "busy" with the different paper prints and collage elements. I think I may finally be happy with it. I am kind of a quote freak.

Like it? Hate it? Opinions please!

I was playing around in Photoshop making a collage yesterday and came up with this. No one commented on Facebook, so I am coming here to get your opinions. I won't have my feelings hurt, so don't worry about that. Do you like this? Do you hate it? Would it look better is I added a quote in the empty space below the sunshine? I don't know whether it is ready for my Etsy store or not. But then again, there are people selling pieces of cheap paper with small squares cut out with an exacto knife for $125 on Etsy (and making the front page with it), so maybe I shouldn't be so critical of myself. LOL

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Win a Free Art Print from by Shop!

Head on over to Steals & Deals blog today to register to win one of my art prints from my Etsy're choice! Just follow the steps listed. She also has ways to earn more entries. Steals & Deals posts great money saving tips and finds awesome products. It is run by two wonderful sisters I have become friends with via the internet. Good luck!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Ebay Auctions Ending Tonight!

Just a heads up, if you haven't seen them yet, or are planning on putting in a painting auctions on Ebay end late tonight. Click HERE to see them.
The weekend was not that great. I got up early at 5 am to do a community garage sale. The PTO running it didn't do much for advertising, to not many people came. By the time I got home and put everything away, I was too tired to go to the art group later that night. Instead, I spent the rest of the day sleeping, eating soup, and watching chic flicks. Sunday involved more napping and today I went and got my bloodwork done. I've not been feeling like myself lately, and think that either I have low iron problems again, or my thyroid levels have changed. Whatever it is, I hope they can figure it out and come up with a solution. I am tired of my body feeling 20 yrs. older than I am. My energy level is practically non-existent. Well, sorry for the pity party. I haven't gotten much painting done because of this, so that's why I haven't been posting much. I hope I can get back to feeling like my normal self....energetic, happy, and excited to create.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Find Your Inner Peas .....The weekend has arrived!

Another weekend is here, and I am trying to "find my inner peas" right now. It's going to be a busy one. I signed up to do a community yard sale down the street at a local school a few weeks ago and have been cleaning out closets and pricing stuff. Now, the weather people keep going back and forth about whether it will rain tomorrow morning. I guess we will just have to wait and see. I would hate to get set up and then get rained on. Florida rain is usually downpour rain, not sprinkles. I am totally a type A personality and like to know what's going on and have things mapped out.
Saturday night I am getting together with a group of local artsy gals to chit chat, eat junk food, and create. I've never met any of them before, and it will be cool to meet some local people who are interested in art too.
I will be having a giveway of one of my art prints on Steal Deals blog next week, and will keep you updated when that happens.
In the mean time, enjoy my new graphic illustration. It is available for purchase in my Etsy store, should you find that you just have to have it! LOL Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Day She Flew Away...

Sometimes she would look up at the beautiful blue sky and imagine all of the possibilities in her life, and just for one lovely, incredible moment she would feel weightless. She could feel the wings sprout from her tired back and bend upwards towards the energy of the sun. Slowly and without effort, she would delicately begin to float upwards, the wind pushing under her new wings. Her tired feet would happily dance in the air as they left the ground and she would feel her heart swell with happiness. Up, up she would go, far above the trees and houses...joining the clouds on their daily stroll through the sky. She would giggle with delight when she was joined by the birds who glanced at her and wondered how she had learned their secret. She would smile at them as she drifted upward, humming a song along with them. She knew why the birds were always singing. How wonderful to have such freedom, to feel the rays of the sun so warm on your skin! How splendid to have such a wonderful view of all the world; thousands of colorful flowers blooming below. She felt no fear and felt as if anything were possible. She passed by a beautiful butterfly who momentarily landed on her nose and paused, as if to ask her where she was going, and where she had found such fabulous shoes. She always thought there was something special about her red if she could do anything when she was wearing them. Perhaps the shoes had been what caused her to be able to fly. Maybe it was something bigger though...something more magical than shiny, red shoes. Love, maybe? Whatever it was, she knew that this was the best day ever. She closed her eyes and felt the clouds float past her. Tomorrow will be another day, but she knew it would be great because today she had let her dreams take flight.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paintings starting on Ebay tonight!

I've decided to give Ebay a whirl at selling my actual paintings again, and leave the prints for Etsy. Until Etsy gets their "stuff" in order, I am going to keep searching for additional venues. I don't want to put all my eggs in one basket....especially when they seem to disappear in the basket and are unseen.
So, I have 4 auctions starting tonight and you can see and/or bid on them by clicking on this button!

Sometimes I just hate coming up with titles for my posts. There, that's my title.

Monday has arrived, and a fresh week has started. I think my muse has finally returned, as I am once again in the mood to paint. I took a week off while I nursed a sore index finger (which flared up after my last painting) and was generally in a yucky mood. I let out a primal scream in my car today with the windows up, and I think I screamed the yuck away. LOL
I am contemplating putting some of my original paintings on Ebay again, starting tonight. Ebay is so many things to think about when listing. You have to make a fancy listing, make sure you use the right categories to get the best exposure, and then you have to really think about other people's daily habits. For example, if a show like American Idol or Lost is on, I will not end an auction on that night. Like me, there are a lot of other TV show addicts out there. We all have our favorites. So, I'm thinking Monday would be a good night.
Well, on that note, I better scarf some lunch down (it's already after 2pm) and get to work. Before I know it, the day will be over.
Hope everyone makes it through their manic Monday!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Curried Chicken Salad Recipe

I threw this together last Sunday when I got home from church and was feeling too ravenous for soup to do the job of filling my belly. Hubby and I really liked it, and if you are a fan of yellow curry, you might too!
2 cans (well drained) Swanson Canned Chunk Chicken
1 cup Mayonnaise (feel free to use light or fat free)
1 1/2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (we used Low Sodium)
1 Tablespoon Yellow Curry Powder
1 Teaspoon Ginger Powder
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 small snackbox (handful) of raisins
3/4 cup peanuts (smashed to crumbs)
dash of pepper
Optional: diced Sweet Red Peppers or Apples

Directions: Whip the Mayonnaise together with all the spices, lemon juice, and soy sauce. Once well mixed throughout, take a fork and separate the chicken chunks until they become more "shredded". Mix the chicken into the mayonnaise mixture. Add peanuts, then raisins (or pepper/apples) and stir well. Serve on warm toasted bread or in pita pockets. Refrigerate any unused portion. Makes about 4-5 sandwiches.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Drive by posting....

Just stopping in to say "hey"! I will be back with a longer post tomorrow. I have a yummy recipe to share! If you like curry, or would like to try it, this may be a great one for you. See ya tomorrow! It's lights out for this sleepy gal.

Monday, January 18, 2010

My newest painting! Is she an angel, fairy, or a pixie?

What do you think she is? I didn't plan for her to have wings. I kind of just started sketching her, painting her, and as I got closer to finishing, she just HAD to have wings! This is one of my favorites so far, and it was fun working with an oval shaped canvas. The painting is a 20 inch X 16 inch oval canvas. I created her with acrylics, ink, and paper collage. I still don't have a title though. I always struggle with this. Any ideas? I will be offering this painting as a print. It is in the works and will be available this week! Hope you like her...drop me a note if you have an idea for a title!