Oh how I’ve missed you!

Hello my beautiful darling angels!  I’ve been away far to long and I’ve missed you so much!  So many things have happened since my last post.  So grab a cup of coffee or tea and let’s settle in for a chat okay?

The last time I posted I was in the middle of the J a day for St. Jude’s project.  I was working at the flower shop and things were clicking right along.   Oh but how a moment can change your life.  I woke up the next day and my computer died.  I don’t mean kind of dead where you take it to the computer doctor for repair.   I mean dead like green and red data lines flowing in a vertical pattern when I booted her up.  She served me well for over six years but she was done.  I started saving my pennies for a new one and then my mom came for a visit.  She surprised me with a gift of computer cash and I was back in business!  Or so I thought.

She went home and two days later I got a phone call.  My precious mother had fallen getting out of bed and broken her neck.  Yes, that’s right.  She got up to get out of bed, fell and hit her head on the floor.  She broke her C1 & C2 vertebrae.  These are the two that control breathing and motor function.  It is nothing less than a miracle that she is not only alive but is having no motor skill or breathing issues.

They put her in a neck brace and she had to wear it day and night for about  2 months.  During this time we noticed that she was having difficulty remembering things and also some difficulty doing math.  Then she fell again.  No injury thank God but another fall.  Then one night she was out having dinner with her companion.  He had gone to get the car to pull around and pick her up.  He looked into his rear view mirror and she was laying face down on the grass.  He immediately took her to the ER and they kept her.

My mother is very independent and was anxious to get out of the hospital.  The doctors told her that she wasn’t going anywhere until they could surmise why she kept falling.  After a battery of tests they discovered that she had some very serious vascular issues with her heart.  The blood that is usually pumped to her brain was being rerouted into her chest wall because of a malformation in one of her main arteries.  This is what was causing the falls as well as her memory issues.

After a 5 1/2 hour surgery with two neurosurgeons working on her at the same time, one from the arm and the other through the groin, she was put in ICU.  We took turns going up to visit her and were both thrilled and relieved when she woke up and was doing well.  She was black and blue from the surgery but said she was feeling mostly okay other than the soreness.  The doctors had warned us that there was a risk of her brain swelling after the surgery because of the restored blood flow.   After a few days she was released and we got to bring her home on Thanksgiving day.  The day after Thanksgiving I had just finished taking a shower when I heard her screaming.  This was a scream like I’d never heard before and I hope I never hear again.  I knew something was wrong.  I ran into the kitchen where she was sitting and she just kept saying her arm was hurting.  We called 911 and back to the hospital we went.

They gave her some steroids to reduce the swelling in her arm and gave her a shot of morphine and after several hours, sent her back home.  We were all really surprised by this.  We figured they would keep her since the general consensus seemed to be that she had thrown a blood clot.

The following Monday she went to a follow-up with her doctor and he hears something unusual in her arm.  He admits her for more tests and they find out she’s got a tear in the artery in her arm.  That is what was causing all of the pain.  So they patched that up and now she is back home and recovering.

I have to tell you that I have always known that my mother was a very strong woman.  But seeing her go through all of this and watching her work so hard to get back to health has given me a new respect for her. We had a lovely Christmas together.  I made her a “No Worries Wanda” doll from paperclay.  (I’ll post about Wanda later.)  She loved her and that made me really happy.

Just before I left Florida we had a long talk.  We encouraged each other to keep moving forward and we made a promise to each other that we were both going to work to get healthy be the best we could be.  I feel closer to my mom than I’ve ever felt in my life and she says she feels the same way.  I gotta tell you, it’s pretty amazing.

So, true to my word to my mom and myself I came home and got busy painting.  I had prepped several canvases and then I went to lunch with a friend of mine.  We were talking about how life can really throw you a curve ball sometimes and she said, “That’s why they invented alcohol.”  We laughed and I said, “Some of us don’t drink!  It’s just life on the rocks.”  That got me to thinking about how prayer had been such a part of my mothers healing and how much it comforts me.  A lady that is part of a forum I belong too even asked her mom to go to the wall in Israel and say a prayer for my mother.  I can’t tell you how touched I was by this.  My mother had people praying for her all around the world!

All of these things gave me the idea to paint an angel.  I titled this piece “Prayer on the Rocks”.  I love the double meaning of the title.  Here are the pictures of the progress of the painting.  It’s now SOLD– Thank you!

First few layers for shading

Adding more detail and texturing her wings

Almost there but something still missing.

A flower halo and glaze and she's finished.

Well my sweet babies, that’s it for now.  If you read through the entire post you get a gold star!  LOL!  I’m home again and getting things back on track.  I will be posting daily again and I look forward to reconnecting with all of you.  I think it’s funny how we don’t realize just how much we need others until we don’t have them around for a time.  I’m so glad to be back and I hope to hear for you all soon.  Be kind to yourselves and remember you are loved beyond measure!

Published in: on January 25, 2012 at 1:27 pm  Comments (4)  
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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!

Giveaway winner and finished bottle.

Hello my little dewdrops!  I hope you all are managing to stay cool in this heatwave.  It was 102 here today!  It’s gotten so hot so early this year.  I’m wondering what August is going to be like in the south.  LOL

First things first tonight.  We have a winner for the soap and perfume giveaway.  Congratulations Ricky!  For those of you who didn’t win this time, don’t give up.  There will be another giveaway next month as well. 

Today I finished the stamp bottle.  I’m so happy with the way it turned out.  What do y’all think?  I found a brass button and glued it to the top.  I love the way the dome of the button gives it a finished look.  I also used some of my bohemian fibers to wrap around the top.  It really gives the bottle some more color and ties it all together with the color of the stamps.  Finally I added her necklace back after sealing her stamps and then tied a little key from the top as well.  The key is a reminder that we all have the key to find our “message in a bottle”.  We simply have to open our hearts to possibilities.

Stamp Bottle

Completed Stamp Bottle

This bottle will be on sale in my Etsy shop tomorrow afternoon.  I hope she finds a good home.  🙂   This is one of those pieces that I kinda fell in love with while making it. 

I want you to know that you are making me smile right now.  Mostly because you are visiting but also because I’m sort of picturing you rollerskating in your pj’s over roads made out of rainbow candy.  Looks like lots of fun.  I wonder if I can attach skates to my pink bunny slippers?  I’ll get back to you on that.  Sleep sweet tonight and dream wonderful dreams.  You just might see them come true!  Much love always.

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. 

 

 

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.

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!

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.  🙂

 

Let the funshine in!

Hello you absolute picture of perfection!  It’s good to see you again!  Tonight it’s raining and I’m heading to be early.  It’s mothers day weekend and I’m working at the flower shop all week.  I truly LOVE this job.  It’s not fulltime but it’s a joy when I’m there.  Tonight’s J is titled “J117 Greyhound J”.  It was originally going to be titled Brown Hound J but the colors I got when I mixed my copic markers were more grey so I went with it.  Cause you know, that’s just how I roll.  *grins*  I had so much fun today.  I hope you did too.  I plan on having more fun tomorrow.  Are you planning on fun?  Don’t just wait for it to happen, make it happen.  Love, hugs and smooches till next time.  You are completely and totally awesome! 

J117 Greyhound J

Pink Monkey’s and Green Gecko’s

Hello my fellow people lovers!  I hope you’ve had a most delicious and fabulous weekend.  Mine was quite interesting.  I’ve been working on a series of dancing pigs for my website.  None of them are finished yet but they are all in the works.  While I was researching dancing and dancers I ran across so many different images.  I decided to paint a couple of these idea’s as J’s for the St. Jude’s project.  This first picture is the pink monkey J from yesterday.  She doesn’t seem too upset with me that she had to wait for the camera batteries to charge.  I painted her pink just because I love pink and I think it would be cool if we had pink monkeys in the world.  Since we don’t, I just added one to mine.  hehe

J113 Pink Monkey J

 I need a name for this little girl.  If you leave a comment with a name and I pick that name I will send you a free solid perfume of your choice.  🙂  Who wants to play? 

This second pic is of the green gecko I painted today.  I love him.  I used to include little blue gecko’s in most of my paintings.  I’m not really sure when or why I stopped doing that.  It was fun and often they were very difficult to spot in my larger works.  Perhaps I should begin to include them again.  I named this lil guy Grayson.  I think he’s pretty groovy.

J114 Grayson Gecko J

 I can’t believe that we’re coming up on the 125 J’s mark already!  It seems like just yesterday I began this project.  I’ve decided that I’m going to do another giveaway to celebrate.  I will be posting the giveaway with J125 so stay tuned!  I’m going to do they same thing I did last time to pick the winner.  All those who leave comments the week after the giveaway announcement will have their name put into a hat.  The winner will be drawn and posted here.  I hope y’all will all participate again.  I had so much fun with the last one and it makes me smile to know that my work goes to live with people who read my blog and follow my art.  Y’all ROCK by the way.  Just sayin. 

Tomorrow I will be posting some pics of some of the solid cologne I’ve been working on.  I’m having so much fun making them and the two new mens scents are seriously drool worthy!  NOM!  Have a wonderful night and don’t forget to hug your most magnificent self before sleep.  Thank you for blessing me with your visits and your emails.  I don’t know how I got to lucky to have all of you in my life but I’ll take it!