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!

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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.

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. 

 

 

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

Bright colors and healing.

Hello you delicious little chocolate drop.  I see you over there, being all sweet and tempting.  hehe 

I made a committment to a friend for some time tonight so tonight’s post will be short.  Tonight’s J is a paper mache’ ornament that I painted with acrylic paints.  I love the deep colors.  They are really going to pop when I add the high gloss sealer.  I’m going to have to locate the right finding for the bottom so I can hang it.  I may even make a tassle for it.  I’ll post pictures when I do. 

There is a healing power in bright colors I believe.  Something about them draws me in every time.  I hope you like the ornament.  I had fun painting it.  So for tonight J115 Bright Ornament J.

Bright Ornament J First Side

 

J115-2 Bright Ornament Second Side

 Thanks for visiting and thanks for looking.  You make me smile every time I see your lil face here! 

 
 

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!

Beauty in delicate things.

Hello my little fluffy poof. How is your gorgeous self today? I hope your day has been most wonderful. Tonight I want to talk about the beauty in delicate things.

For many years when I created art, I discounted anything having to do with a medium that wasn’t going to stand the test of time. In other words, if I didn’t feel like it was going to last for decades, I didn’t want to create it. I was very proud of this fact. In fact, I was so proud that I bordered on snobbery.

This changed for me recently when I began to notice how drawn I am to beautiful little paper cards, altered art boxes and bottles. Now these things may not last for decades but they most certainly bring pure joy and happiness while they are here.

In the grand scheme of things, isn’t that what we all want? Don’t we want to bring happiness and joy to others? Don’t we want them to see our value and our worth? Don’t we just want to be who we really are and have people love us and accept us for this? I know this is true for me.  I’ll tell you another truism about me.  I want to let the delicate soft side of myself take over more and more.  I spent a lot of time in my younger days being tough.  I felt I had to do this because of some circumstances in my life.  What I have come to realize over the years is that who I really am is who I really want to be.  And who I really am is who I want to show the world. 

This can be scarey at times because when we take a risk and reveal ourselves to others, there is always the chance of rejection or judgement.  The most important lesson that I have learned in this regard is that just because someone is unable to love me or accept me does not mean I am unlovable and can’t be accepted.  It just means that particular person has chosen to deprive themselves of the joy of knowing me.  It’s a shame really because I love to love people.  I love to encourage others and remind them of their beauty and value.  I’ve had to accept the fact that some people aren’t ready for that.  Some people are more scared than I used to be.  I’m patient and I believe they will gain courage as they grow. 

J110 Delicate Beauty J

Tonight’s J is titled J110 Delicate Beauty J.  This J is created on thick watercolor paper.  I basecoated the background with a combination of white, taupe and cream paint.  Then I painted a bunch of little paper flowers.  They started out solid white.  I almost left them in their natural state but I wanted just a dash of color.  Finally I finished it off with two strips of a delicate peach satin ribbon.  I love the way it turned out.  It’s soft and feminine and delicate in it’s beauty.  I think it’s going to look beautiful in a white frame or a shadow box.

Rest well tonight. Dream a beautiful dream. Remember that you possess delicate beauty that is remarkably attractive. Find someone you feel safe with and show them. Then take a risk and show someone you don’t even know. You will find strengh and joy in this. I promise! 🙂 Thank you for bringing your exceptionally beautiful self to visit me. You make me smile.

Recovering and posting

Hello you gorgeous peeps!  I am recovering from sleep deprivation and some minor physical issues.  Tonight’s post is short because I am going to get in bed and sleep.  I have been loving the colors of easter lately so I created the J with easter colors tonight.  Simple J but happy colors.  I plan on being back on track tomorrow.  I promise I will answer all the comments and emails then.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!  Much love to you always.

J99 Easter Colors J

Thank you all for understanding as I take care of myself.  I want to get back to center and that is going to require rest.  Now go do something nice for yourself and I’ll see you tomorrow.  🙂

Beauty in the unexpected.

Hello my darlings!  This is going to be another short post.  I worked a long day today and I have to be up and at it early again tomorrow.  My back is feeling much better today and that is a huge blessing.  Thank you all for the prayers and love.  They worked! 

Tonight’s J is titled “J97 Unexpected J”.  Today as I was working I was thinking of all the different places that I see beauty in the world.  I was thinking of some of the art I’ve seen recently and how what made it beautiful to me was the fact that it was unexpected.  I remember seeing a pair of shoes recently that were completely covered in buttons.  They were high heels and they were lovely to me.  I also recently saw some mondo groovy sneakers that had been altered with sharpies.  Also beautiful to me.  Google sharpie shoes.  You will be amazed. 

Tonight I just want to remind you to look for the beauty in the unexpected.  If something takes your breath away, steal a bit of time just to bathe in that feeling of awe.  It’s a connection with the Universe I believe.  Thank you for being you.  You make me smile with your unexpected beauty.  🙂

J97 Unexpected J