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.

Bird babies, solid perfume and friends.

Hello you cosmic unicycle riders!  How are things up there?  All is groovy I see.

I worked at the flower shop today for half a day.  It was one of those days that I had an opportunity to do a lot of thinking because it wasn’t very busy.  My mind was very active today and I had several new ideas for my art.  I also had some new ideas for some of my birds.  I put them away for a while because I was getting sort of obsessed with them.  Don’t get me wrong, I love them.  I think they are cute and funny and they make people smile.  It’s just that I was spending so much time concentrating on new patterns and new outfits for them that I kind of put other things on the back burner. 

Today I pulled them back out and smiled when I realized how many of them are so close to being finished.  I also giggled a bit when I opened the second box to see how many of them are waiting for their wings, tails and beaks.  Here are a couple of pics so you can see what I am talking about.

Semi complete birds

Almost there!

Still waiting

Waiting on completion.

 I’m going to make some of these into cake toppers.  I’m also going to be revealing a new line of birds in about a month or so.  I’m still working out the details for selling them. 

I also wanted to show y’all the solid perfume I told you about yesterday.  I’m also working on a different container for these.  You know me, I can’t do anything without changing it up a bit.  LOL!  A wonderful friend told me this week that I do things with a “flair”.  That made me smile because honestly, I don’t do that on purpose.  This little tin has a plastic insert that holds the solid perfume.  It’s the perfect size for the purse or pocket.  I also like these because if you are traveling, you can take it with you on the plane.  I’m thinking of making some sets of these.  I think it would be cool to be able to have several scents and not have to worry about space or any travel restrictions.

Solid Perfume

Solid Perfume TinSolid Perfume Tin Opened

Solid Perfume Tin Open

Open Tin of Solid Perfume

This scent is a very light and clean with just a touch of spice.  It’s really a lovely scent. 

I had lunch today with a friend.  We talked about changes and how life is too short to live it in fear and worry.  I’m so glad that I am surrounded by so many loving and wonderful friends.  I’m also grateful for the opportunities to be a good friend.  It’s all about balance and the give and take in life.  I am working very hard at becoming better in all areas of my life.  It feels good to have people who love me , and it’s good to have those friends who cheer me on as I reach my goals and dreams. 

I hope that I am a cheerleader and encourager to you as well.  You are divine and delicious and you deserve all good things in life!  Enjoy your weekend and don’t forget to give away some love this week!  It always comes back bigger and better to you than it was when you sent it out.  How cool is that?!  🙂  Pay it forward baby!

The time has come…

Hello my beautiful love buggins!  Yes, that’s right.  The time has come for me to announce this months giveaway.  I have been working diligently on a recipe for a solid perfume that won’t melt in the summer heat. Well I finally perfected it!  I tested this by leaving it in my car during a 98 degree day here in Ga.  And while it did get a bit softer than it was, it wasn’t even close to melting.  YAY!  Can we all say SUCCESS??!! 

In case you didn’t notice, I’m a bit stoked about this.  My first few attempts were good but definitely too soft to survive shipping during the summer months.  I am in love with solid perfumes for several reasons.  The main reason being I can put them in my purse and take them anywhere.  They are small and don’t take up much room and they won’t ever leak out of a bottle all over my purse and the contents therein. 

I was going to post a picture of it, but my camera has dead batteries.  I guess it’s all the pictures I took yesterday.  So I’ll have to give you a visual tomorrow.  So on to the giveaway info.  This months giveaway is a bar of my summer citrus soap and a solid perfume. 

The rules to play the game are the same as always.  Leave a comment on the blog within the next week.  On July 22nd I’ll pick a winner.  If you don’t have a link in your signature for me to get in touch with you, please feel free to email me and let me know you entered.  If you win I’ll email you.  If you have a link in your siggy I’ll post there to let you know.  I’ll also post the winner here. 

Good Luck to everyone and let the game begin!  🙂 

P.S.  In case nobody told you today, you are a strikingly beautiful and magnificently made creature.  I’m also digging the orange/hot pink aura thing you have goin on tonight.  Groovy!

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!

You are more.

I heard a song while I was sitting in the drive through at my bank today.  The lyrics are beautiful and it touched me so deeply that I cried.  I didn’t even care who saw me.  The song is titled You are More by Tenth Avenue North.  If you haven’t heard it, I highly encourage you to toddle on over to You Tube and check it out.  Here are the lyrics. 

There’s a girl in the corner
With tear stains on her eyes
From the places she’s wandered
And the shame she can’t hide

She says, “How did I get here?
I’m not who I once was.
And I’m crippled by the fear
That I’ve fallen too far to love”

But don’t you know who you are,
What’s been done for you?
Yeah don’t you know who you are?

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

Well she tries to believe it
That she’s been given new life
But she can’t shake the feeling
That it’s not true tonight

She knows all the answers
And she’s rehearsed all the lines
And so she’ll try to do better
But then she’s too weak to try

But don’t you know who you are?
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,

You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you too

This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.

You’ve been remade
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.
You’ve been remade.

God has really been showing me his love this week.  I’m so grateful for this.  I hope your day was most magnificent.  I hope you are feeling the love today too.  Sweet dreams you fantastic creature of love and life!

I’m back and revealing my humanity.

Hello sweet love bugs! It’s so good to be back! I have missed blogging and connecting with all of you. Tonight I am just going to take a few minutes to catch you up on what’s been going on here. First and foremost my mom is recovering well. hallelujah! I talked to her on the phone yesterday and I was reminded of her determined spirit and her fierce independence. Before she got on the phone with me she was giving her roommate some sassiness. I said to him as I laughed, “Well I know where I got my stubbornness from.” He replied, “Well I’ll tell you one thing, you didn’t get it all!” LOLOL

The truth is, my mom IS stubborn as hell. So am I. But the flip side of that coin is that in many instances it serves us very well. There are many people who would have just given up after falling and fracturing their neck. Not my mom. Nope. She’s determined to recover completely and to regain her independence. This is a strength in her that I admire greatly.

We’ve talked a lot lately and we are getting closer.  I really am happy about this.  I think that we struggled for a very long time simply because we are two very different people with two really strong personalities.  It seems that we’ve found a path to just love and accept one another as we are.  I credit God with this because I threw up my hands at one point in absolute and utter frustration.  Funny thing about God, He never ever lets me down.  It was almost an instantaneous thing that when I let go He took over and things changed.  I’m more grateful for this than I can even express in words.

I struggled through fathers day this year.  This is the first year in a long time that I’ve had this struggle.  My dad walked out of my life when I was 8 years old and never looked back.  I pined after him for years until I finally realized he was never coming back.  I am grateful that I have a strong male in my life who has and continues to help me find answers and see my truths.  Another gift from God.  🙂  See how blessed I am? 

For those of you who are wondering, no I have not given up on the J a day project.  I have gotten a bit behind but I plan to catch up this week with my posting pics and such.  I just wanted to thank you all for your continued love and support during this life curve ball.  You are all so sweet and special in your own way and I love and adore you one and all. 

I will be posting some pics for you tomorrow I promise.  🙂  Have a supercoolgroovy day and spread the love baby!

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.

Spring is in the air!

Hello you colorful flowers in this garden of life!  I hope you had a fabulous day.  The weather here was beyond fantastic today.  Not to hot, beautiful and sunny with just the slightest breeze.  GLORIOUS! 

Tonight’s J is titled “J102 Spring Green J”.  I have noticed this past few weeks that I’m more and more drawn to the color green.  I haven’t abandoned my pinks and purples, but now I find myself wanting to pair them with green.  I’m actually contemplating creating a pink and green or lavender, pink and green quilt.  Cause you know, I have like all this extra time.  *coughs and laughs*

J102 Spring Green J

 
I’m still having some computer issues.  Although I’m beginning to wonder if it’s actually an issue with wordpress.  It seems as if when I post a picture all of the text after that isn’t spaced correctly.  I am going to have to look into this. 
 
I wanted to ask you a question tonight.  Are you letting the world see your beauty or are you keeping it hidden like the flowers just before they bloom?  Are you sharing your talents with the world or are you keeping them to yourself for now?  If you are hiding them I just want to encourage you to show your colors!  Show your talents!  Let the world see all the awesomeness that is YOU!  You may never know just how much light and laughter you could bring into someones life just by being you.  You’re enough, right now, today, right where you are.  In fact, you are more than enough.  You are spectacular!  Bloom baby bloom!  🙂
 
 

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

Trust always involves risk.

Hello love bunny!  How is your lil fuzzy self tonight?  For the past few months I have been learning to trust someone on a very deep level.  Today a situation came up that I had to make a decision to trust or not.  I decided to trust.  Not only did this person not let me down, but they actually created an environment to foster even more trust.  I took a risk and just to be honest, it was mondo damn cool.  As I was driving home, I was thinking about how much I’ve grown over the past few months and how happy I was that I made a decision to trust.  I had to get off of the interstate because it was a parking lot.  I took an exit and then a side street to get home.  As the sun was shining down on me and I was talking to God I glanced over and saw this sign….”Trust always involves risk”.   Has this ever happened to you?  It felt like God wrote that message just for me.  I just love it when the universe is aligned and groovy things like that happen.  Tonight’s J is titled “J90 Just a Groovy J”. 

J90 Just a Groovy J

I am stunned that I have been doing this for 90 days!  It’s completely amazing to me because it doesn’t feel like it.  I’m still having fun!  🙂

I wanted to share the info with you about the Hardball tournament and auction/raffle that is going on April 23rd.  I talked with Lindsay yesterday and she gave me permission, with great enthusiasm I might add, to share the information.  The tournament will take place at

Players Pizza & Sports Bar
2305 Balls Ferry Road, Anderson, CA 96007-3502
(530) 365-5473 ‎

from 9 am till 12 pm.  You can contact Lindsay on Facebook.  Her user name is Lindsay Burbank and she has an events page here https://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/event.php?eid=135847006484830

If you are in the Anderson California area and want to participate, send her a message and she will send you her phone number.  If you are across the country like I am and want to contribute you can also contact her about that.  I just want to thank Lindsay and all the other volunteers for supporting Susan G. Komen for the cure.  Your light shines bright.  Thank you is not enough.