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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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.

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!

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.

Grow into your egg.

Hello all of you beautiful magnificent musical notes.  I heard your song today.  This has been the most interesting day.  This morning I had to make some phone calls that I was dreading, but I ate the frog and got it done.  In case you’ve never heard of the book “Eat That Frog” you can see a very short movie about it here.  http://www.eatthatfrogmovie.com/   I HIGHLY recommend it! 

After the phone calls I got busy with my day.  Mostly I was doing drudge work today but it was work that has to be done in order for me to maintain my sanity.  Then this evening I had to have a conversation with someone really important to me.  I had to tell them exactly what I need from them.  I was scared because I didn’t want to cry or appear weak.  Why do we worry about this so much?  Why are we so afraid to reveal our humanity to others? 

The good news is that I did it.  This person listened to me and responded in a very loving and positive way.  It ROCKED!  I walked away feeling stronger than I’ve ever felt and feeling so good about taking care of myself.  It occurred to me that I had to grow into this.  It has seemed like such a hard thing for such a long time, but tonight I was ready,  I had grown into my place.  What a great feeling this is.

Tonight when I was drawing out my J I knew I wanted to paint a bunny.  I’ve got Easter fever.  As I drew the little bunny I was thinking of putting a bunch of little eggs all around her.  Then I got the idea of having one huge egg behind her.  It seemed like the perfect fit tonight.  I mean we are all born small and we have to grow into our lives or our eggs.  Are you still feeling scared or nervous about something?  It’s okay.  You’ll grow into it.  You’ll wake up one day and you’ll just know that it’s time.  And on that day, you’ll grow into your own egg.  Then you can paint it anyway you want!  WOO HOO!!

J66 Grow into your own egg J

 After you get that egg painted another one will come along for you to grow into.  Isn’t the universe cool?  Thank you for all that you add to this world.  Your music, your smile, your heart and your colors are beautiful.  I’m so grateful for all of you.

Jump in with both feet.

Hello all of you glitter girls and bling guys!  Today was a wonderful glittery sort of day.  I had a good bit of creative energy today.  I started several different projects and finished a couple I’ve been working on.  Remember the fabulous fabrics I got from Andrea?  Well I was going to use one of the flowers in my art journal but I decided it would be perfect on a card I was making for a friend.  Here’s a peek.

Beautiful Card

This little card is made out of a piece of a green file folder from the other day.  I gesso’d it and then did some paint swirls.  I added the fabric flower did some shading and then painted the leaves on.  After I finished painting I felt like I wanted some more embellishments so I added some glitter.  It was the perfect touch and I love it! 

Beautiful Card Inside

On the inside of the card I added two rows of lace.  Isn’t it pretty?  I love the feminine touch it gives the card.  I wrote the message with my india ink pen and then painted the roses with acrylic paints.  I added a line of mixed glitters along the edge of the lace to tie the whole thing together.  Now it’s ready for a personal note when I send it with her gift.  I hope she likes it. 

So, you’re saying to yourself.  This is all well and good but what does this have to do with the title of your blog post tonight?  Well it’s like this, I have discovered something about myself.  I have discovered that when I don’t jump into my art or soapmaking or any other project with both feet then I don’t produce work I’m happy with or proud of.  When I do let go and just jump in with both feet I’m always happy with the results.  That’s what I did with this card.  I let go and quit trying to control everything and just let myself create from my heart.  This card is full of love.  I know she will feel it when she gets it too.  🙂

Tonight’s J is titled “J63 Jump J”.  This is a tiny squared piece.  It measures just 3 inches by 3 inches.  I created this on Strathmore 140 lb watercolor paper.  The background is done with watercolors.  I then wrote “Jump!” with my india ink pen.  Already being covered in glitter, and being the glitter girl I am, I just had to glitter up the J.  I had fun, which is very important to me.  But more importantly, I like it. 

J63 Jump J

So whether it’s for art, music, a job or especially if it’s for love…..JUMP!!!  JUMP in with both feet and enjoy the adventure!  Make people a priority in your life and you will be so richly rewarded that it will blow you away.  Don’t forget to make yourself a priority too, cause you know, you’re really kinda groovy and you deserve it.  Just sayin.  *HUGS*  Now go out into the world and show them just how completely fabulous you are!

A Blessing Blog

Hi there all of you wonderful cocreators of love and delight!  Tonight’s post is about blessings.  I know that I share with y’all often about how blessed I am in my life.  Sometimes I forget to remind you guys to sit back and take a look at all of your own blessings.  Please forgive me for this.  It’s just that sometimes when I start counting my own blessings, I get seriously happy and the joy just comes spilling out of me.  I have all of the usual blessings that so many of us take for granted.  Seeing, hearing, a fully functional body.  I’ve also got a roof over my head, electricity, hot water, clean water, food in the pantry, clothes on my body and shoes on my feet.  I also have a car that runs well and rarely gives me problems.

Then I have all this extra stuff too.  A dog that is my buddy and my pal.  Friends that surround me with so much love and caring at times that it takes my breath away.  A mother who loves me and tells me often.  A career that I love.  My own business creating art and handmade soaps that people love and buy from me.  Can you see where this is going?  *grins*

Recently someone said, “But you never talk about the bad things.  Everyone has bad things.  Don’t you have ANY bad things?”  I do.  I have them like everyone else.  The question is though, are they really bad?  I’m recently divorced.  But is it a bad thing that I’m no longer living with someone who didn’t love me?  I’ve been out of full-time work for over two years.  But is it a bad thing that it’s gotten me motivated to build my business stronger and bigger? 

It’s all about perspective for me.  I choose to see the good.  I choose joy.  I choose happiness.  I honestly believe that one day in the not to distant future, I’m going to be happily coupled again.  This time though, he will be a strong loving and positive man.  How do I know this?  Because I choose it.  🙂  I encourage you to choose the good things.  Decide what you want and then see yourself living that life.  Believe it and draw it to you. 

Tonight’s J is titled “J62 Counting My Blessings J”.  I dare you to make one of these with your initial and your blessings.  If you are like me, you will run out of room before you run out of blessings!  And just in case nobody told you today….YOU ARE LOVED! 

J62 Counting My Blessings J

I want to thank you for visiting, but mostly I want to thank you for participating in life.  Thank you for adding your positive spin on this journey of love that we are all on.  Thank you for counting your blessings and for being one of mine!

That magnificence of loneliness

Hello luminous creatures of love!  Tonight’s post is going to be a bit different.  Tonight I am sharing a poem I wrote.

The Magnificence of Loneliness  

You wrapped your long arm around me, and whispered in my ear.

Oh you newly single woman, you have so much to fear.

You are alone. Just look around. No one to call you dear.

No one to snuggle up with, not even a daily hug.

Only chocolate, sad music or strong drink from the jug.

But I can offer you depression, desolation and despair.

You’ll love it really, just think of it, you won’t even have to fix your hair.

We can commiserate on the sofa, I’ll allow you to cry all you need.

I feel your desperation and pain, and these things I’m happy to feed.

On the other side of the coin, I can offer you much education.

You will begin to see your worth, with just a bit of cooperation.

For though your heart aches at times, you will begin to see your merit.

You will aim high for your goals and reach them if you dare it.

You will see your spirit soar, your progress roll like thunder.

You’ll turn around and realize, you’ve made it out from under.

So let me just embrace you love, feel the softness of my caress.

Let the magnificence of loneliness, remind you that you are blessed.

————————————————————————————

Today I purchased some Copic Markers for myself.  I am completely HOOKED on these markers.  I will definitely be adding more to my stash.  Here are the four I bought today. 

Copic Markers

I also did some doodling for my art journal page.  I’ve filled an entire sketch page since taking this pic.  I’ll show you those soon.  I plan on journaling thursday since I will be off.

Journal Doodles

And tonight’s J is titled “J60 Zen Pastel J”.  And just a reminder, it’s only five days until the giveaway!  WOOO HOOO!  I’m totally excited! 

J60 Zen Pastel J

Oh how I longed for some blues and yellows tonight.  These will be the next in the stash along with the blender.  Thank you for looking.  I wish I could reach out and give you a big tight hug!  Thank you for being your most fabulous and magical self.  You are loved!

The choice is yours. Why not choose joy?

Hello you incredible smile creators!  Today was a great day for me.  Quite productive and yet so many things left I need to finish.  As I went through my day today I realized that I was having to make one choice after another about certain things.  Some silly things like which socks to wear under jeans that prevent anyone from actually seeing them.  Some more important like which vitamin D to take.  I picked the soft gels by the way.  At one point I said aloud, “Decisions!  Decisions!  Decisions today!” 

Tonight as I was coloring my J I thought about all the different decisions I’ve made in my life and the way they have landed me where I am today.  It’s been said that our thoughts from yesterday place us where we are today.  And our thoughts today will determine our place tomorrow.  I believe this.  I also believe that we make choices everyday to be happy or sad.  We make choices to see beauty or ugliness.  We make choices to find joy or look for reasons to be miserable.  Today I challenge you to choose joy.  Choose joy because you deserve it in your life.  Choose joy because life is too short to waste one more minute than you have too being sad.  Choose joy because the minute you do, it will flood your life and change your existence.  Choose joy because you were made for this. 

Tonight’s J is titled “J59 Choose Joy”.  I hope you enjoy it. 

J59 Choose Joy