A positive decision can change your life.

Hello you marvelous mind-blowing mondo cool go go dancing angels!  I hope you have had a splendid weekend.  I’ve been doing some redesigning and some painting this weekend.  I have decided to revamp Peachbutter’s logo.  One would think that my being an artist and all that I would have such an easy time with this task.  Not so I’m afraid.  I’m vacillating back and forth between three different designs.  I’ve been getting feedback from some friends and, par for the course, their feedback is all over the board.  LOL  I’m almost at the point of putting all three designs on the blog and Facebook and asking for feedback. 

Tonight I want to share a couple of things with you.  The first thing I would like to talk about is the feeling of hopelessness and general malaise that so many people are dealing with right now.  While, it’s true that the US economy is struggling right now, it is not true that the end of the world has come.  I know people are hurting and many people are struggling right now.  I just want to reach out to all of you and tell you that it’s going to get better.  We are not a nation of quitters.  We are a nation of overcomers and champions!  Sometimes we get so caught up in focusing on what is wrong around us that we forget to step back and focus on what is fabulous. 

I had dinner with a friend the other night and we were discussing things that we can do to make life better for those people we come into contact with.  There were the usual ideas of sharing food, clothes etc.  I made the comment that sometimes it’s the little things in life that people remember the most.  My friend looked at me and said, “Yeah it is.  It’s amazing what a touch can convey.  A warm hug or a sincere smile and compliment.  What it really boils down to is love.  It’s all about giving love.”  And you know what?  He’s exactly right. 

I was doing a bit of reading today and I ran across this quote from Alistair Cooke……I think it’s something worth sharing and something I definitely want to remind myself of. 

“In the best of times, our days are numbered anyway.  So it would be a crime against nature for any generation to take the world crisis so solemnly, that it put off enjoying those things for which we were designed in the first place: the opportunity to do good works, to enjoy friends, to fall in love, to hit a ball and to bounce a baby.” 

With these things in mind I wanted to show you some cool stuff.  Remember my joy at finding that little box of pastels the other day?  Well I have more funky groovy kinda news.  I cleaned out the rest of that trolly and not only did I find another box of the oil pastels but I found a box of chalk pastels as well as a small box of water based oil paints!  I think I need to reorganize and clean more often.  Just sayin.  Here is a pic of the newly found booty.

New found pastels

Aqua Oils

 What is really funny about me finding all of these things is that I discovered them after I made a trip to the art supply store to purchase some new oil pastels.  I tried my sweet babies.  I tried with all my might to resist them.  I did!  I did!  I lusted after them online and closed the window and did some sketching.  I went back and lusted some more, closed the window and did some more sketching.  But, it was too late.  It was like some sort of art porn had possessed me and I had to have these oil pastels.  As I entered the doors the air conditioner hit my face, wafting me in with a gentle caress.  Yes, this was going to happen, there was no use fighting it anymore.  After a few minutes of letting my fingers dance over several different boxes, my choice was made.  I eagerly walked up to the register and purchased this box of deeply colored beauties.  They were mine.  I loved them and they loved me back.  And here they are in all of their colorful glory….

New Oil Pastels

 I used oil pastels to complete J122.  Do you remember it?  This was the initial sketch…..

Initial Cactus J Sketch

 And here is the finished painting.  I decided to go whimsical with this piece.  I know I know….what a surprise. Heh.  I titled this J122 Hot Snack.

J122 Hot Snack

 Here is a close up of the Lizard.  I had to put some pink cowgirl boots on her.  I mean seriously, a girl needs to be stylish when she’s munchin on hot chili peppers! 

Hot Snack Close Up

 So there you have it my angels.  I hope you found a smile or two here tonight.  You make me smile every time you visit, leave comments or email me.  I cherish it when you share with me and allow me to share in your joys.  I’m making the decision to look for the positive in my life and in those around me.  Won’t you join me in this?  Perhaps we will be a part of the solution instead of part of the problem.  I love you.  You’re spectacular and brilliant.  I’m blessed to know you!

The Universe loves me and I can prove it!

Hello you beautiful flowers, trees and climbing vines of the spirit realm!  My oh my but you are looking particularly gorgeous today!  Thank you for sharing your beauty with me!

I have just recently discovered an artist by the name of Joni Hutton Nickrent.  This woman does amazing and whimsical oil pastels that just speak to my heart.  Each and every one of her pieces are colorful and deep and so full of expression and joy.  I just had to share her with you because, well, how can you not share beauty and talent with people you love?  She is working on a series right now titled “Hat Trick Collection”.  These little cuties have completely entranced me.  Here is the first one I saw in this series.  (Thank God for the person who commented on Peachbutter’s Facebook page or I may never have seen these.) 

Ladybug Ladybug by Joni Hutton Nickrent

 Isn’t she beautiful and amazing?  Did I mention amazing?  Joni captures such sweet expressions in her work and the colors are breathtakingly beautiful to me.  She is also such a sweet person.  I sent her a message on Facebook and just told her that I love her work and asked what medium she uses.  She answered me right away and told me that she uses oil pastels with layers and layers of color.  If you want to take a look at her beautiful blog it is here Pop Art Minis.   I will warn you before you pop over though, take something to drink with you.  You will be there for a while.  I am not being paid or compensated in any way for this post.  In fact Joni doesn’t even know I’m blogging about her yet.  I am just simply IN LOVE with her work. 

Now, you would think that discovering an artist whose work speaks so deeply to me would be enough.  But you peeps know me and you know I am a bit greedy when it comes to art supplies.  As soon as Joni told me she used oil pastels I thought to myself, “Man I wish I had some of those!”  But alas, I’ve never worked with them so I had no such yummies in my supplies.  I made a mental note to purchase some later and moved on.

Today as I was looking for one of my old art journals I was digging through one of my craft trolleys and in the bottom drawer was a little yellow box with a sun on the label.  It didn’t look familiar to me so I pulled it from the bottom of the drawer to investigate further.  Well kids let me tell you, I almost fell out of my chair.  The little yellow box was holding 12 little oil pastels!  OH.MY.GOD!  Seriously Universe?  SCORE!  Thank you!  *insert silly girlish squeal here*  This is a box of oil pastels my mom bought me when we were in Maui in 2005.  I had totally and completely forgotten about them because I had never used them.

It’s just a little set of “junior artist” student quality pastels but oh how they sent my heart a flutter.  I couldn’t wait to try them.  I have been searching for a way to make some of my work deeper and richer in color and I wondered if I would be able to accomplish that with these.  So of course I had to give it a try. 

The first thing I did was draw an eye.  I’m really comfortable drawing eyes so it seemed like a good way to try out the pastels.  I fell instantly in love!  Ohhhh the way they blend!  Oh the depth of color!  And these are just student pastels with a very limited color palette.  I can only imagine what the professional set must be like to work with. 

Oil Pastel Eye

See the little squiggles up in the corner?  These pastels are just cut round tubes of color.  No point whatsoever.  I was trying to create a point but they are a bit too hard so I just decided to use the edge for my sharp lines.  Not as clean a line as I would like but not bad for a first attempt.

Next I played with a flower.  I was trying to go for a watercolor effect on this one.  It’s okay but I’m not really crazy about it.  It was a good learning experience though.  I found out that oil pastels don’t blend well on my sketch pad unless I have loaded it up heavily with them.

Oil Pastel Flower

Then I decided that it might be fun to draw a rose and then just lightly color it.  I was going for the antique color/sepia type look.  Here is the sketch in progress. 

Rose sketch in progress

I liked the rose but wanted to add a but as well.  I was also toying with the idea of a baby blue background at this point. 

Rose sketch completed

Now came the oil pastels.  I was anticipating a very pretty result.  I was actually kind of giddy about this.  It was funny because I haven’t felt giddy in a long time.

Rose sketch with oil pastel highlights

Soooooo, it didn’t turn out as I had expected.  I think it’s a combination of problems here.  First of all, I think the detail of the sketch was lost when I tried to add the color.  I think this is because oil pastels are heavy and not well suited for fine detailed work.  I also believe I would have been much happier with the end result on this if I had used colored pencils or even watercolor pencils.  Oh well, live and learn.  I had fun with it and learned a valuable lesson.  And after all, isn’t that what creative freedom is all about? 

I was doing the laundry while I was creating all of these things today.  As I was drying the final load I decided it might be fun to create todays J with oil pastels.  This J is totally and completely inspired by Joni’s work.  I just let go and drew in deep and rich tones and blended and smiled.  I felt like a little kid today.  You know, the one who sits in class with glue and crayons and glitter and is transported into some magical kingdom?  Yup, the was me today.  I was all over it. 

Oil Pastel J a day.

So thank you Universe for showing me how much you love me today.  Thank you for the beautiful people you continuously put in my life.  Thank you for surrounding me with beauty and life and love.  I am a happy girl today and I feel the power of God’s shining light warming me from the inside out. 

Thank you for visiting tonight.  I’m so grateful for each and every one of you.  You are deeply colorful, wonderfully beautiful and rich in the joy you bring to the world.  I’m so happy to know you are here.

Stamps, Flowers and Positive Energy

Hello you fabulous sexy creatures!  I hope you’ve had a good day.  I’ve been thinking about you all day today.  It was a wonderful day for me in the studio.  I got so much done today and also got a good start on some other things.  I woke up happy and energetic today.  I had so much creative energy that it was difficult to concentrate on one thing at a time.  I finally gave up on that plan and just let things flow naturally.  I actually accomplished more this way which I found really cool.

The first thing I did was sort through some stamps this morning.  I wanted some earth tones to use for a bottle I am altering.  The pile in the back is the one I used on the bottle.  See all the pretty colors in the front pile?  I’ve already got another idea for a way to use these. 

Sorted Stamps

Sorted Stamp Piles

 I love working with stamps.  It’s such a groovy feeling when I’m creating art out of tiny little pieces of paper that already have art on them.  It’s always interesting to me to see what comes from my spirit as I’m working.  I often have an idea of what I want to make but rarely have it completely planned out.  Most of the time I’m happy with the results. 

Green bottle and stamps

Bare bottle and stamps

 Here is the bottle before anything was added.  I used a very fine grit sandpaper to sand it and help with adhesion.  I was gifted two of these bottles and I love them.  They were used to hold wine in their first life.  Now they will add some happiness and joy to someones space instead of ending up in a land fill somewhere. 

Bottle half completed

Beginning of stamping process

 So far so good.  I love the way the colors of the stamps come together.  Even though this bottle is personal size, it’s going to be full of personality when it’s done. 

Completed bottle stamps

All the stamps are on

Now that all the stamps have been attached, it’s time to embellish and finish the top of the bottle.  I found a chain with some burnt orange beads.  I think this will be the perfect necklace for this bottle. 

Necklace for bottle

Necklace for bottle.

Tomorrow I’ll have to go to the store and buy some corks.  I found, to my dismay, that I’m completely out of them.  Oh woe is me, now I have to go to the supply store.  hehe 

As I was sorting stamps today I ran across a few that I took out for later projects.  These just struck me a particularly lovely and I wanted to share them with you.  Tiny little works of art they are.

Pretty Stamps

Pretty Stamps

Here are some other things I finished today.  The first is part of the J a day collection.  Can you see the J’s along the top of the pot?

Daisy Pot

Daisy J a day Pot

I also finished this little wash basin.  I had painted the lines on this awhile back but simply couldn’t decide what else I wanted on it.  Today the daisies just spoke to me and they seem a perfect fit for this sweet and spring basin.  I think it would be perfect holding hair goodies or makeup.  What do you think?

Spring basin

Small basin sitting on stack of boxes.

Ignore the boxes it’s sitting on.  LOL  I told you I wasn’t organized today.  I did want you to see it though.  I also painted this sign today.  I’m really happy with the way it turned out.  I absolutely adore butterflies, but they have been a bane to my existence for so long.  I have really struggled to learn to paint them.  This is one of the first attempts that I’m actually happy with.  I know I will only improve now.  Isn’t it funny how once we conquer something that it no longer controls us? 

Rose butterfly sign

Roses and Butterflies

I also had a brainstorm about two pieces that have been sitting in my studio for a while.  Dare to take a guess on what I’m planning?  I’ll post pictures as soon as I’m done. 

Two mystery pieces

Two mystery pieces

I also found a bottle while I was looking for corks today that I had forgotten all about.  Isn’t the shape spectacular?  She also has her top which is a huge plus.  I still don’t know how I’m going to alter this one, but I’ve put it up on the shelf so it can tell me what it wants to be soon.

Nifty bottle

Nifty bottle

Well my fellow creators that’s it for tonight.  I hope you enjoyed the tour of the studio.  I’ll be announcing this months giveaway friday.  Thank you as always for stopping in!  I love to see you here.  Thank you for all of your love and support.  You help me live my dreams everyday.  Do you have any idea how special that makes you?  I also want to thank those of you who have been telling your friends about me.  It’s so cool to see new likes on the Peachbutter Studio Arts page on Facebook and it’s really awesome when I get emails from y’all.  Have a fantastic day and tune in tomorrow for more art, creativity and love!

Summer Citrus on a beautiful day.

Hello my most fabulous friends!  I hope things are wonderful in your part of the world today.  Things here have returned to normal and that’s fantastic.  My mother is recovering slowly but surely.  She’s minding her doctors and has a new neurosurgeon who she adores. 

My hours at the shop have calmed down and I’ve had more time to create again.  It feels so very good to be back in the studio and getting lost in art.   I also discovered several projects I had begun before all of this happened that I had forgotten about.  I’m anxious to finish them and post pics.  I’m also working on getting caught up on the J’s so those pics will be posted soon as well.

Last night I decided I wanted to make a new batch of soap.  I’ve had some scents that I’ve wanted to work with for a while now and last night I did.  The result was this summer citrus soap.  I made this with the hot process method in the crock pot.  I absolutely love the way the colors turned out.  It’s a lovely yellow soap with pink embeds.  It has a bright sparkly citrus fruity scent that is heavenly! 

Summer Citrus Soap

Summer Citrus Soap

It was so much fun making this soap.  I had to laugh this morning when I woke up and couldn’t wait to cut it.  I can’t really explain why I was so happy and excited about this batch, but honestly I felt like I was a kid on Christmas morning.  After I trimmed the bars and made the soap balls I washed my hands.  The lather was amazing.  This was a new recipe and I’m really really happy with it. 

And just a heads up, it’s almost time for another giveaway.  WOO HOO!  I love giveaways.  They are so much fun and I always make new friends in the process. 

The rest of today is going to be spent creating.  I love you all and I mean that sincerely.  🙂  Now hug your most beautiful self and go out and have a jazzy kinda day!  I’ll see you tomorrow. 

 

 

The rumours of my demise are false.

Hello my little sweet peaches!  I know you all must think that I had fallen off the face of the earth!  A solid week without a single post!  I suppose I should explain.  I could make all sorts of excuses, but the fact is, this past week simply overwhelmed me. 

They sent my mom home from the rehab center.  I’m getting ready to leave here in a few minutes to drive down to Fla. to visit with her and fill her freezer with food so she doesn’t have to worry about that.  I also worked every day at the flower shop for a co-worker who has been on a well deserved vacation.  Several of these days were ten hours which left me no time after taking care of the wonder dog, laundry, lunches, are and soap making. 

I know that I’ve grown though because I didn’t give up on the blog or the J a day.  In fact, I’ve still been making my J’s but I haven’t had time to write or post about them.  So, be expecting at least one and probably a couple of very pic heavy posts when I return home!  The old me would have just walked away from this project because “I failed”.  The new me realizes that life throws us curveballs sometimes that we simply have no control over.  The best I can do is give it my best and not quit.  So the J a day project is still in full swing.  I have to forgive myself and move on.  Still want to come with me?  I hope so!

Thank you for all of the comments, facebook messages and emails you sent this week.  Honestly, you have no idea how much I needed them.  I am sending out mega universal hugs to you all for that!  (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))  Thank you so very very much!  Have a great weekend.  Remember that you are the picture of magnificence and beauty in this world and get out there and shake your cosmic groove thing!

Computers, carrots and a cactus.

Hello luminous love bunnies!  This day has been NUTS!  My computer is complaining and groaning about everything.  I know it’s because she is in need of some new memory and perhaps a general tune up.  I am making plans to take care of her soon.  She has served me very well and she deserves to be well cared for.  *pets her*

After work today I made a carrot, blueberry and apple salad.  It was so good I was blown away.  Maddison the wonderdog was also on board for this program.  She LOVES carrots.  I mean she loves carrots better than her dog cookies, which in case you aren’t clued in, are DA BOMB! 

I ran very short on time tonight so I’m only partially finished with today’s J.  I got this idea from my friend Andrea.  It’s going to be a cactus J with a southwestern theme when I’m finished with it.  I’ll post pics of the finished piece, hopefully tomorrow.  Here is what I have so far.

J122 Cactus J

 I hope your weekend is simply filled to the brim with wonderful things.  I hope that you take some time to feel the sunshine on your face, realize that you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now and that you are enough just as you are.  Also, I hope you see just how cute you look when you do that little happy dance about things that make you giggle.

It’s a sprang thang!

Hello my sweet spirits.  Tonight I’m going to be quick because it’s late and I have to be up early for work in the morning.  Tonight’s J is titled “J121 Sprang Thang J”.  This title is because my brain does wonky things when I’m tired.  Things like this.  “It kind of looks like a stretched out spring.  Well the colors are kind of springy too.  I wonder if a stretched out spring would be called a sprung?  Spring, sprung, sprang!  Ah hah!  Sprang Thang!”

J121 Sprang Thang J

 Be kind and show me some love tonight.  I’m tired!  LOL  I’m still taking positive action and keeping positive thoughts.  I hope your day was as fabulous as you are!  Sweet dreams and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

Butterflies and technology.

Hello love spirits!  Tonight’s post is going to be a quick one.  I had to work today and I’m working again tomorrow.  Today was a long, very long day.  The computer at work was acting up and dragging tail when we needed to search for things.  Then I got a call from one of our good customers.  She was unhappy because her mother’s day flowers didn’t get delivered.  It seems we put the order on the wire service and it just drifted off into the nether regions of cyberspace. 

Tonight when I got home and checked my personal email, I had received an email from someone who had not received an email I sent them.  I was struggling not to fall into the cyber victim roll at this point.  I mean seriously, is Bill Gates bored enough to stalk me?  Nahhhhhh.  Just cyber weirdness in all it’s glory.  I truly love technology when it works.  However, when it doesn’t I often ponder the state of society and the human race as a whole as we become more and more dependent on the beast that is the interwebz. 

Now onto the butterfly part of the post.  I was talking to a friend of mine the other day on the phone.  I was telling her that I was completely exhausted and how stressed I was about my mom’s fall.  She said to me, “You know, cursive J’s kinda look like butterfly wings.  Just sayin.”  I just laughed at the time and said okay.  Tonight I took that statement and began playing with cursive J’s.  The result is tonight’s J which is titled “J120 Butterfly J”.  I love the way she turned out!  I hope you do too.  (Only five more days until I announce the next give away!  I’m stoked!  hehe)

J120 Butterfly J

 Have a wonderful day tomorrow.  Sleep well tonight and dream magical dreams.  I am personally pondering flying on a phoenix tonight.  I’ll report back if I see anything awesome on my flight!

There is comfort in consistency.

Hello you rad rainbow surfer!  How is your most spectacular self today?  Things are good here in Atlanta.  The sun was out today and it was pretty hot.  I had lunch with a friend and then came home to make some soap.  I realized that I didn’t have enough distilled water to make soap so I had to run back to the store.  As I was driving I was thinking about how much I love my life.  I was thinking about how I have certain routines and that I find a bit of comfort in that. 

I returned home, distilled water in hand and got a phone call.  After the call I got busy.  There is something so soothing to me about making soap.  It sounds a bit crazy because making handmade soap requires working with lye.  If people tell you that you can make soap without lye, you have my permission to laugh at them.  You can’t.  Nope.  It can’t be done.  Anyway, I get lost in the process.  I love watching the soap batter come to trace.  I love adding the scent and I love molding the soap.  I love coloring the soap and I will often spend as much time planning a soaps design as I spend on the recipe itself. 

This is consistent with the joy I feel when I’m creating art.  For me it’s all about the process and seeing how close to the idea I have in my head that I can come too in reality.  Sometimes it’s very close and sometimes I end up on a totally different track.  What never changes is how happy it makes me to create. 

Tonight’s J is titled “J119 All balled up J”.  I named it this because I was just going for a different look around the J and it sort of resembles a ball of yarn to me.  This is a little 2 inch x 2 inch square.  I like the colors.  This next week is going to be very challenging for me because I won’t have a day off for six days straight.  I will be making a J everyday though.  I’m committed!  WOOT!

J119 All balled up J

 And just to make you smile tonight, a picture of Maddison the wonderdog with her toy.  She is so sassy!  I love her to pieces.  🙂

Sassy Wonderdog

 Be kind to yourself.  Find your joy.  Follow your bliss and love, love love!

Happy Days Are A Choice

Hello you gigabytes of perfection!  Tonight we are getting back on track with the blog posts and the J’s.  Hooray for the J!  🙂

It’s funny how this silly little project has turned into something very important to me.  I actually missed posting and creating my J’s each night.  I still owe you guys some more J’s but I decided to pick up where I left off and follow the dog and cat theme.  Tonight’s J is titled J118 Kitty J.  This is the yin to the yang of the greyhound J from last week. 

J118 Kitty J

 Tonight when I talked to my mom I told her how sorry I was that she was so uncomfortable and had to go through all of this therapy now.  She said to me, “Well we have to look at the bright side of things”.  I realized that she is exactly right.  We have to make the choice each day to be happy, joyous and free.  We have to make the choice each day to see the positive and the beautiful in life.  One thing that I’ve learned is that we will find what we are looking for.  So if we are looking for a happy day then we will find it.  If we are looking for the beauty and goodness in others, we will see that too.  It also works the other way.  Today I choose happy.  Today I choose joy.  Today I choose to see the beauty and value of those around me.  And today I choose to believe that nothing but wonderful awaits me tomorrow!  You are surrounded by love and loving people.  I hope you see each and every one of them tomorrow and I hope they see you.  I’m so grateful for you all.  Thank you for choosing to be in my life and visit my world often.  🙂