Welcome to Melissa's journal, where she'll write about current WIPs, fairs and festivals, upcoming products, and anything else that comes to mind!
April 30, 2012
Hello dear journal, who I have been neglecting shamefully. I thought I couldn't get any busier but boy did April prove me wrong! Those of you following my journal may be aware that my 8 month old son had a lot of problems after he was born last August, including breastfeeding difficulty, milk protein allergy, reflux, and a bunch of other fun things we had to deal with. At the end of March I finally figured out that the root of the problem was actually one simple, simple thing: Caleb has a tongue tie and upper lip tie. For those of you who don't know what those are
(which is most people), it's an extra strip of tissue that connects the lip to the gum (lip tie) or a particularly tight or extra long frenulum (what connects our tongue to the bottom of the mouth). I won't go into details but suffice it to say it's a very common problem (approximately 10% of babies have it) yet since the 1940s the medical community AND lactation consultants are not trained in identifying and properly treating them, thanks to all the decades where formula feeding was pushed (it's far more problematic with nursing than with a bottle).
So, women like myself are killing themselves trying to breastfeed and pump around the clock and deal with all the other
problems that tongue & lip ties cause, when all that's needed is a little snip with the scissors on a newborn or young baby and the problem is resolved. If left intact these ties often cause speech, dental & orthadontic problems, and children have to go under general anesthesia to fix the ties instead of a simple snip that hardly bleeds and doesn't even need to be numbed. (As you can tell, I'm very upset about the whole thing, considering how much Caleb suffered the first 4 months from these problems.) Anyway, I figured it out, and we took him to a specialist (of which there are only about 6 in our whole part of the state) who confirmed the ties and that he thought clipping would be necessary. It's a bit harder at Caleb's age since it bleeds more,
takes longer to heal, and he's more aware what's going on, but it's still definitely worth it. So, much of April was spent researching our options, going to the doctors, worrying about the minor surgery, and finally, taking him in. The doctor clipped his lip tie but we actually have to go do several weeks of physical therapy before we can get the tongue tie clipped (followed by several more weeks of PT) to give him the best chance at long term good results. So, that is what I've been up to- that and enjoying time with my precious baby, of course! He's learned to wave, climb stairs (with us behind him of course), has started babbling, and now gives us "kisses" on the cheek! Here's a picture of his lip tie:
Business/painting-wise I've mostly been working on orders, including a huge wholesale order of 80 (!!!) necklaces going to a lovely shop in Australia. I have been playing around with some cat sketches but nothing is really inspiring me right now. I made a ton of progress on one of my fairy baby pieces so I may just release that soon even though I'd wanted to release several at once. I'm working on necklace & tin product pictures too! So, lots of stuff is coming up, just a lot more slowly than I'd wanted :) Bear with me!! Here's a sneak peek (horrible photo but you get the idea!) of our new tins:
The small tin on the left with Lily Bells on it is a hinged rectangular tin, which makes it SO useful for storing small items or carrying them around in your purse (it's perched on one of our medium round black tins for size comparison). The tin on the right is a beautiful glossy black tin just like the medium black tins, but it is a 3x4" oval and is nice and deep. Both tins have so many possibilities!
March 18, 2012
SO GLAD to be done with the new update! It's sad how long it took me to do, but it's done and I can start a new painting!! I'm disappointed I didn't get any of the new products up, but doing even one would hold up the update by another week and at this point, it just had to go up. So, new products will be added
over the coming weeks, in between newsletter updates. Nothing else to add here- high maintenance baby still trumps all these days! Still cute enough to make it worth it though ;)
February 26, 2012
**Edited to add: I orignally wrote most of this Feb 26- it's now March 7. Sigh. Good news is new piece is done! I am just trying to decide how many new products I want to add to the site. I was trying to decrease my jewelry line and ended up adding new lockets, new bracelets, and several new unique necklaces...sigh again. Update will come soon though!!**
Hi! I know, still no website update. I gave up trying to get the one new piece up and started working on a second one, shooting for a March update for the two pieces. I've been whining to my hubby that this is the least productive I've ever been, including nine months of throwing up while pregnant and having a newborn! That's because my little angel is the most precocious guy ever- crawling at 5.5 months, sitting up on his own constantly at 5.75 months, and now trying to pull himself up to stand at 6 months. Crazy early on everything! His attention span has shortened and he really loves being next to Mommy or in my lap, so basically I'm still sleeping when he's sleeping and then entertaining him the whole time he's awake. The great news is that he's finally sleeping at night, with a 7:30-8pm bedtime, though he still wakes up a ton. I'm usually so exhausted by the time I get him to bed that I spend
a bit of time with Tim when he gets home and then go to bed. Which stinks, because let me tell you, I am dying to finish these paintings I've sketched out! I got a new cell phone (can you say iPhone 4s is awesome?!) so I desperately need to finish my latest piece, which I'm going to put on the new cell phone case. My hubby is terrified I'm going to drop and shatter my phone before I get the painting done and case ordered- not impossible given my natural state of clumsiness, but I hope not!
So, with any luck (please send me some!) I will hurry up and get the new piece finished and the website updated. I think the new piece may also go on a new website facelift and new business cards- hopefully I won't, as is wont to happen, get bored with it too quickly ;) So, that's what's going on here... the days are flying by! Caleb actually turned 6 months old on Saturday (!!!) and has started solids, so that is keeping me busy too. Where did my little newborn go? I have to share this new pic of him, which may be my favorite ever. Well, definitely one of them ;) Also, here's a sneak peek of my newest piece!
February 6, 2012
Well, needless to say, I didn't get the website updated this weekend. Previous weekends have been great- I've gotten caught up on sleep and tons of painting time in. I don't know what happened this past weekend (other than a high maintenance baby of course hehe) but I was more sleep deprived after than before! And no painting time at all. We only went to the Super Bowl party for 2 hours, as the Bug was hungry and needed a nap but refused to do either there. I ended up crashing for 4 hours at 7:30pm because I'd been up with him literally the entire night before. Bleh! I am finally caught up on orders and have a chance to finish the new piece, but of course it took me 4 hours to get Caleb to bed so I am so tired I just want to sleep! Whether I relax or paint, I think I've earned some ice cream...
January 29, 2012
HA! Two posts in a month! Oh how sad that's impressive these days ;)
The new painting is super close to being done, I could finish it but it's 5:30 am and I want to sleep a bit... Bug had me on a 6 am bedtime for so many months that even though we're getting him to bed between 10 and 12:30 (depending on how much he wakes up and refuses to sleep!), my body hasn't adjusted. Most nights I get an hour of sleep at that time and then I wake up, too awake to sleep but too sleepy to do anything. It's so frustrating! So, I have been painting and working instead. This weekend may be Unisom (sleeping aid) time to see if I can get this reset! He is giving us a hard time at bed time the past few days, he slept just fine in his
new crib for two weeks, now all of the sudden he gets super worked up the second we put him in it, even if he was sleeping in it just fine a few hours earlier. Tonight I gave up and put him back in his newborn sleeper, and he's slept 5 hours straight so far which is a pretty good record these days! He's just getting so big and mobile he really can't be in there too much longer. He's also pre-crawling, so I am have a panic attack about all the baby-proofing we have to do :P
My painting mood has really been all about fantasy and fairy cats lately! I had this great plan for my painting schedule this year, and the past few nights I've sketched out new paintings that have made me redo my list. I am SO excited about them!! I can't wait to show you guys. I should have the newest piece and a new product up on the website by the end of the weekend if all goes well. We may have a Superbowl party to go to, so that may affect things since I depend on the weekends to get stuff done while Tim watches the Bug, but hopefully it'll happen anyway. I hope so cos I'm dying to start the next painting!!
January 23, 2012
Oh my gosh I seriously haven't updated since November?! Oops! I didn't realize it'd been that long! I guess it makes sense because things have been pretty non-stop crazy since then. December was filled with creating & packing orders, right up until we went out of town for a while to spend Christmas with our families. We got back in January and little Bug has grown so much he is doing things at a 6 month level (starting at 4 months!) including teething. So, I have spent a lot of January just trying to keep
him entertained. Being with our families for his first Christmas was really special, especially since some of our family members hadn't met him yet. Everyone fell in love with him and wanted to keep him there! I did have a few nights where I got to sleep and Tim & various family members helped with him, for the first time since he was born! But we did so much and saw so many people that Tim and I needed like 2 weeks to recuperate when we got back lol.
This past weekend I finally got a chance to do some real painting, and I'm finishing up my first painting of 2013! Which I plan to release at the beginning of February. I have a pretty good lineup of paintings for this year, so hopefully y'all will see a few that capture your heart. A few kitties will be for licensing, but I'll have a lot more fairy cats/fantasy pieces than I did last year. I am still working on my line of fairy babies, but I want to release a few of them at once so I'm not sure if
I'll be unveiling them in March or April or when. I might be working on another animal as well, so we'll see what happens with that ;) The ideas and sketching are the easy part, right now it's finding time to paint that's super difficult!! I can't get into painting mode unless I have a chunk of at least 2 hours, which means no painting during the day, since Bug will only be in his activity saucer for about 40 minutes at the most and tends to nap for only an hour :) But here's a sneak peek of my new piece, coming up very soon:
And my two favorite pictures from Christmas:
I hope y'all had great Christmases and New Years and wish you a very happy 2013!
November 30, 2012
New Painting. Crazy Sales. Check them out! *collapses from baby keeping her up all night again*
November 24, 2012
Happy Belated Thankgsiving! I hope everyone here in the US had great Thanksgivings and my friends from other countries are having wonderful weekends :) We celebrated Caleb's first Thanksgiving by continuing our annual tradition of spending Thanksgiving with Amy & Darren and their family, which is always super fun (and there's homemade chocolate Bailey's cheesecake!! Yum!). Bug was a big hit and was terrific about letting everyone cuddle him. He is getting so big though!! He turned 3 months and totally is going through the 3 month growth spurt... constant eating and fussiness and little sleep. Then he finally
crashed at 4:30am and slept until 2:30pm with just one half hour feeding... it was a glorious morning of sleep for us (finally!).
I am trying to get Christmas lights up around the apartment- Caleb was looking intently when I turned them on for the first time. He loves lights!
My Etsy shop is 10% off through next Wednesday, so feel free to head over there and check it out. I've sent the new Christmas pieces to licensors and am trying hard to finish one more piece for a CDO bonus tube, so that's what's on my agenda this weekend :)
November 18, 2012
It's been a long month again here! Once we got Bug's milk allergy sorted out his reflux kicked into high gear and he was once again screaming all night long. So, many doctor's appointments later, his formula is being thickened and thank goodness he has stopped screaming. He still doesn't understand night is for sleeping most of the time, which means my bedtime has been about 7 am lately, but it so nice to see him smiling and laughing all the time instead of in pain. Oh, and I had a nice
bout of stomach flu on top of all that, so it really has been a heck of a time!
Somehow (I really have no clue how!) I managed to finish four new paintings, add a wide array of ornaments to the site, and design greeting cards. Whoo-hoo! The new ornaments are really fun. "Purrfect Stocking Stuffers" in the brass rectangle has to be one of my favorite ornaments ever. I was disappointed they didn't have any of the beautiful rhinestone ornaments this year, but I think the tag ornaments work perfectly with the Stocking Kittens. And the clear oval ornaments are awesome!! So I've had fun playing with all those :)
That's about it here for now... I do plan to do at least two more paintings before the year is up, but my focus is really going to be on getting orders out quickly since it's the holiday season. I have been SO excited for Christmas this year, I think because it's Bug's first one, that I've had some Christmas decorations up for a month now haha. This weekend we'll hang lights up- Caleb is seriously looking around and focusing on everything now, so I know he'll love them.
Gotta add a few new pics of my beautiful boy :)
October 13, 2012
It's totally an accident that I'm updating exactly a month after the last update- funny! The past month has been pretty crazy. Things seemed to be settling down, and then Bug became really fussing & miserable all the time, and stopped sleeping (except brief periods on me) and was eating sporadically. We finally got a referral to a GI specialist and it looks like
he may have a milk protein allergy. Even the most broken down (and expensive!) formula on the market only worked for 1.5 weeks (when we briefly had a mostly happy baby), so now we're on a crazy expensive prescription formula. I'm so scared it will stop working, but for now we have a happy (!!) baby who is actually sleeping in his newborn sleeper for good chunks of time. Which means life is much better for Mommy and Daddy!
We've also been busy with family coming into town, I was so excited for my parents to (finally! ahem) come visit us, and right after they left Tim's sister came up. It was so nice having family around and getting to show them how positivly adorable Bug is! My dad cooked dinner every night (think fancy meals like chicken marsala) and made a ton extra so we could freeze it and live the good life after they left!
Thank goodness, because most of the time cooking dinner is out of the question. Though now that Bug is on the new food and actually sleeping, I do have muffins baking in the oven! Yay!
So, I hadn't been posting because some days it was all I could do to eat and catch a few hours of sleep, but I have been squeezing in painting time, and actually have three new paintings to release with my next update. I have been stocking up on supplies and working on getting the website ready to go back up! I am hoping to have it up next week, so get your shopping hats on :) I'll be doing free shipping in the US & Canada and $5 shipping to Europe, so feel free
to sign up for the newsletter if you haven't already so you'll know when we re-open!
I was excited to hear that my agent has secured two new licensing contracts with international distributors. One features "Autumn Twilight" on various wall decor, and the other is a house/garden flag I did, which is (randomly, I know!) a patriotic flag for the 4th of July. I'm not sure when the products will be released but will update when I know more.
So that's what's going on here- stay tuned for that update & website re-opening within the next week!! I have two black cat pieces and a sweet little grey & white kitten coming. After that, it's finishing up some Chistmas pieces. Until then, here are a few more pics!
September 13, 2012
I just realized I've been putting "2011" as the year on this journal all year lol. Had to fix that!
Sorry it took me so long to update, the baby came 3 weeks ago but we had a really rough start and have been sleep-deprived so right now I'm just taking it one day at a time and trying to take it easy!
I was plugging away, feeling miserable as usual, when my water broke at 9 pm on August 22. I had just commented to Tim that you'd think he would come early because my body would want to get him out so it could feel better haha. Still, we weren't expecting me to go into labor right then! I hopped in the shower, we finished packing our hospital bags, and headed to the hopsital, with my
contractions already 5 minutes apart. You'd think that would mean a fast labor, right?
Not with my luck! I may post the birth story at some point, but let's just say that it was a very exhausting 25 hours later when Caleb was finally born. I had hoped to go natural but after 14 hours in labor and horrible contractions thanks to Pitocin, I finally succumbed and got an epidural. It was magical! I was still shaking a lot and couldn't actually
sleep, but I was able to relax and finally make some progress, and got enough rest to finally push when the time came.
So at 9:40 pm on August 23, my beautiful Caleb was born! It was love at first sight for me and Tim. And when they put Caleb on my chest he was bawling- until I spoke to him, and he stopped and looked right up at me like "Oh, there you are Mom!" It was wonderful :) He looked so snug in his first swaddle I called him "Snug as a bug," which turned into the nickname "Bug," or "Snug Bug," "Baby Bug," "Little Bug," "Love Bug," and of course with dirty diapers, "Stink Bug." I'm a little worried he'll think his name is Bug instead of Caleb because that's all I call him lol.
The next two days were a tired blur of hospital personnel coming in each hour to do something or other. I didn't get any sleep until I'd been up for two days (Tim too), which of course made everything harder! Then when we got back home I ended up back in the ER, and then Caleb was diagnosed with severe jaundice and had to be admitted to another hosptial's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for three days and two nights to receive
photolight therapy. I stayed with him the whole time, so we had spent way more time in hospitals than out the first two weeks! Then Bug got circumcised so then of course we had a few more days of doctor's appointments and an unhappy baby.
So, now we're just trying (operative word) to get into a routine of some sort. But Bug is completely unpredictable, he'll sleep like an angel between feedings one night, then be up 6 hours straight the next. I knew taking care of a newborn would be difficult, but my goodness! I was
so worried about dirty diapers but I can change those in my sleep and actually enjoy changing him :) Being a parent has made me so happy, I love him more than anything and can't believe he's already three weeks old today!!
So, it's a good thing I closed the shop down, because juggling a baby and work is going to take some getting used to. And I'm super lucky, Tim usually takes half the feedings so that I can get some sleep! It broke my heart not being able to breastfeed but there are a few advantages like that. So, hopefully we'll get more settled over the next month and I'll be ready to open up shop in October! I already have one new painting done and a few more on the way, as well as some really awesome new products I think you guys will love :) Finally, here are some pics! There are more on Facebook. [And btw, it took me 4 hours to complete this update thanks to a certain someone ;) ]
August 16, 2012
Still here and still pregnant! The past two weeks have been super tough physically, making me REALLY glad we're getting close to the end!! At this point we are just very excited and anxious to have him here :) We had a wonderful 36 week
ultrasound last week, complete with some amazing 4D pictures that actually show what his adorable little face looks like. Have a first look at our little Caleb:
We have been doing a lot of getting ready for baby and tying up loose ends, but I'm still not done with everything. As is evidenced by the fact it took me until today to disable the website :) I ended up keeping it exactly as it is, so you can see all the products and paintings, but it won't actually let an order go through.
As it so happens, today is Tim and my 4th wedding anniversary- I keep joking I'm going to have the baby today to celebrate. Tim's a little afraid I'm serious- and I half am! I still have 19 hours to get it done ;)
I almost finished a new painting for above Caleb's crib, so when I do I will post it here. I have become a bit obsessed with ducks and bears as I sketch pieces for the nursery! But I do also have some exciting new kitty piece ideas, which I hope to get in motion before I open for Christmas. And, I already have a few new products on their way so
you will definitely have some new items to look forward to when we re-open!
July 30, 2012
Time is still flying! All my online shops will close in a week, so if you need something before late October/early November, now's the time to grab it ;) I will be working on a version of my website that still shows things like my journal & my paintings but doesn't have a shopping cart. So, that's on the to-do list this week!
Unfortunately we had a little too much excitement this past weekend. Due to a few issues including cramping we ended up making a test run to Labor & Delivery to see if my water had broken. We had to pack our hospital bags and go prepared just in case! It was surreal, but we managed to get everything together and get out there. Poor Tim was really
stressing out- we had finished cleaning the apartment and pre-washing all of Caleb's clothes the day before, so I was ready if it was time :) Thankfully it was a false alarm and he's happily still kicking around in my belly! But that was pretty much our Saturday. It REALLY made his upcoming birth feel real though!! We are at 35 weeks today (36 is the most important lung developmental milestone, and 40 is full term) so we are really
getting close here. Unfortunately my throwing up is getting worse again and there's no real clue how to stop it, so that's making things harder than they have been.
So, I'm just sleeping a lot, finishing up art business stuff, and figuring out what personal projects I want to do once it's done. I'm working on a series of sketches for Caleb that are very different from my usual work and feature teddy bears! I'm having a blast, but I haven't had time to paint any of them so we'll see what happens. I'm thinking I'll use watercolors or colored pencils, so we'll see what happens!
That's about it for now- off to work a bit!
July 24, 2011
Well I managed to get on here in less than a month this time, but not by much :P July has been insane! Cornucopia Days was as fun & crazy as usual, with a ton of familiar faces who I love seeing each year. Festivals totally inspire me to keep
painting and even spark some new ideas, which is nice. I was worried about doing the three long festival days, but I made it!! I paid for it by getting sick each night and then the following week, but at least I was there for most of the festival hours, dangit ;)
Since the festival I've been trying to catch up on orders (glad you guys are enjoying the newsletter discount! You're sure keeping me busy!), work on custom orders, finish a few flag paintings for my agent, and of course make some progress on getting ready for baby.
One of the most exciting things lately has been switching bedrooms, so my office is in the small bedroom and the nursery/our bedroom can go in the master bedroom. It took hours and hours to move everything and it's all still messy, but I'm making progress in putting everything away. Then the real
fun begins, when I can start to set up all of Caleb's things, and even better, start decorating the walls!! I am hoping to get most of my remaining work done this week so I can start on the decorating and really preparing for him next week. Then I can focus on family projects and new paintings until he decides to make his appearance!
Tim and I have also started childbirth classes, which I am totally in love with. It's awesome for connecting with other expectant mothers (including one who has an identical, hellish pregnancy!) and I'm really enjoying learning everything. That is the current highlight of my weeks, though we do have our 36
week ultrasound in exactly two weeks, which will be the highlight of my third trimester! I can't wait to see our little guy again.
I've also taken some time to relax lately since I can get caught up in work and push myself too hard, so I admit I'm guilty of playing the new game Diablo 3. I was making fun of my husband sooo bad for playing it all the time, and then I started playing as a joke,
and got hooked!! I just defeated Diablo the other night so I feel accomplished :P For some reason my favorite pastime, reading, has held no appeal for me for most of my pregnancy, so it's nice to have something else relaxing to do!
July 6, 2012
Oh boy, another month gone by again!! Story of this year :) Same old story this past month too, sick half the time still, with a few highlights along the way.
Being super spoiled, we had a second baby shower with our closest local friends, which was sooo fun. I've also been working on Cornucopia Days merchandise super early so I could be sure to finish in time. We will be there in Kent, WA this weekend in our usual spot in front of Browser's Books (315 W Meeker St.), so come
visit us!! I have no idea if we will be doing any shows next year with the baby, so it could be our last show for over a year. I'm hoping to make it through all three days of the festival, and will keep the website updated if I need some time off. Most likely I'll just take a nap in the bookstore back room each day :P
Unfortunately I haven't been painting much lately, I did a bunch of Christmas sketches and worked on one of the cupcake kittens, but I'm having trouble concentrating on painting. So, we'll see what I manage to get done before the baby's here! The new website update will be the last one before we close up shop in August, though. I think the shop
will close August 7, so if you'd like to order anything before the very end of October, or more likely early November, please go ahead and do it before August 7!
Because they've been unavailable since I found out I was pregnant and so many people love them, I'm offering Charmed Cameos and Large Lockets for sale until July 16, after which they will be unavailable until the shop re-opens.
I guess that's it for now :) We have a busy July ahead of us, with Cornucopia Days, newborn basics classes, and childbirth classes, plus actually setting up the nursery/bedroom so I guess I'd better go get back to work!!
June 6, 2012
New update done!! I am sooo excited about this series, I hope you guys like it! I had it in the works for a year now, but it wasn't until a few weeks ago that it finally clicked in my mind what it should look like.
I was in a frenzy of painting once it did, and I'm so happy with the results. I ordered an iPhone case from Zazzle with the Chocolate Cupcake Kitten (http://www.zazzle.com/melissadawnart*), made a magnet for our fridge with Lemon Cupcake Kitten, and I'm hanging the whole series in our dining room.
This past month was super busy and crazy, I can't believe I managed to get two paintings done. I spent a week down in California with my family, where my sister threw me an amazing baby shower. We got SO many adorable outfits, blankets, towels, etc.- our friends & families definitely went crazy! I looove all the little baby stuff, it's so
amazing I finally get to have a baby :P The trip was rather rough though- I somehow picked up a cold from the flight down, so I was sick most of the trip plus the week after. Last week I either reacted to some medicine or got another illness, but it put me out of commission almost the entire week, and I missed out on a family vacation to the Midwest that we've been planning for 6 months. So,
it's been a very good and very rough month- pretty much describes the year so far! It's hard to believe I'm entering the third trimester of my pregnancy. I hope to get as much painting done as possible before baby comes.
I know there's more I meant to write but I can't remember what. I'd like to get the cupcake series finished this month since July will likely be my last update before I shut down for the baby, so I'm working on more cupcake kitties. We'll see what else catches my fancy and demands to be painted!
May 7, 2012
Jeez, I can't believe it's been so long since I last posted- I just cannot keep up with blogging right now! A ton has happened since my last post, too. We had a great time at the Spring Fairy Festival, and then the following Monday we had our first scheduled ultrasound and found out we
are definitely having a baby BOY!!! I kept saying "he" since I got pregnant, so I wasn't surprised, though having it confirmed made it super real. I can really feel him kicking and doing acrobatics already, which is the coolest thing ever. Unfortunately I'm still having bouts of sickness, but I still managed to get a new painting done.
I also found a bunch of keychains so I've added those to the site-- I added every cat painting I currently have for sale, which took forever... so please buy them so that work was not wasted LOL.
I hope you guys like Hummingbird Summer, it's quite a different style than my usual paintings. I'm completely switching gears with the next painting I'm finishing, and I'm really excited about it- hopefully I can get that done in May and start upping my painting count for the year!
April 10, 2012
New painting is up! I hope you guys like it. I first came up with the idea when I was working on "Santa Claws" and Tim made a comment about Santa hats that look like nightcaps. My mind immediately started coming up with ideas
for a kitten in a nightcap, and over the next month or so the concept of "Goodnight Moonlight" came together. As soon as I started figuring out how I wanted to re-decorate our apartment, I thought this piece would be perfect for our bedroom, where the baby's crib & co-sleeper will also be.
Last weekend Tim and I had an amazing time- we went up the coast to Port Townsend for two and a half days, to relax and spend time together. His work has been horribly stressful lately (and I have been so sick and stressed out too) that we both really needed it. We had a great time looking
around Port Townsend- I can see why it's one of the top 5 tourist spots in WA. I ate the best chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream on a dock, watching the sailboats sail by. Perfect! We had beautiful weather too.
It's been work-work-work since we got back, since I'm still catching up on orders, and of course this Saturday is the Spring Fairy Festival. On that note, I'm off to work on both those things!
April 5, 2012
So super tired! Right after I posted how much better I'm feeling I got really sick again, and wasn't able to work for a bit. Now I'm trying to catch up on orders, prepare for the Spring Fairy
Festival next weekend, and do a whole bunch of other random things. I'm still getting sick every day- no idea why the medicine stopped working! It's so frustrating, but I felt the baby move twice now, so that is super thrilling and
keeps me from getting too blue.
I learned from painting "The Cats of Spring" that I cannot paint when I feel sick or I will forever feel sick when I look at that painting, but I have managed to squeeze in some work here and there. I'm still finishing
up that piece for our bedroom/nursery, and will be releasing it next week. I also completed a new Halloween painting, but that won't be out until probably July. Unless you come visit me at a show, in which case you'll get to see and buy it ahead of time!
Now that the baby can hear through my tummy soon, I'm transitioning my music from Lady Gaga and Ke$ha to classical- I am totally loving it, especially the Celtic-like violin music. It's really nice having that on when I paint too. Tim and I have started playing
Scrabble together, we have an iPhone application that lets us play games together on there, plus we bought the actual game board. We're planning on doing family game night once the kids are old enough; I'm really looking forward to that. I know my days will become much more structured when we have a baby and
need to keep a schedule, but I think I may actually get more work done that way. Which means more new paintings for you!
March 18, 2012
Happy St. Patrick's Day- weekend anyway! Now that I'm usually feeling better I'm starting to cook again, so I had to make some meat and potatoes yesterday-
my parents have always made corned beef, cabbage & potatoes on St. Patty's Day, so I had to continue the tradition :) Tim and I started to watch "Darby O'Gill and the Little People" too (another tradition), but I just didn't
feel like a movie so we ended up watching some episodes of How I Met Your Mother and Supernatural.
I have been trying to get another painting in gear, but I haven't been inspired to paint any of my WIPs so I mostly sketched this week. I think I have finally decided on a new piece, so
I'm starting that tonight! My focus right now is actually on paintings I want to hang up in our house, as we redecorate with the baby coming. I'm finishing a piece for the bedroom, and the new piece I'm starting is a kitchen cat.
Hopefully I'll have a good WIP to share soon!
March 12, 2012
Just a quick little update today. Not much new here, I'm finishing up the painting I talked about last entry and have already started a new one. I'm not quite sure when I'll do the next website update. My painting & work time is still limited
to what I can squeeze in between bouts of sickness, but I've been doing it for three months now so it's just become routine at this point!
I figured I would have some morning sickness, but I never expected pregnancy to be this hard. It seems like
my body is determined to have every symptom in the book! We ended up running to the doctor for an emergency appointment at the end of last week. The good news was the pain is nothing to worry about, but the bad news was there's nothing they
can do about it! We did get to hear little Froggy's heartbeat again, which was just as thrilling the second time. As long as baby's healthy, I'm happy!
Tonight I'm doing okay, so I'm working on some orders and hopefully will get some painting time in. It's nice and grey & rainy outside, so I have the window open to enjoy the spring weather! I know I'm a weirdo for
loving the grey Washington weather so much, but it makes me feel nice and cozy inside the apartment :)
Also, I did just sign up for the Auburn Spring Fairy Festival again, which is April 14 (Saturday) this year. This may be my only show this year, so all you Washingtonians should come say hi!!
February 26, 2012
Just got the update done! Hope you guys enjoy it, we have a lot of gorgeous new bookmarks in and a bunch of sales going on.
It took me longer than I wanted to get the update done since tweaking the dosages of the morning sickness medicines meant I would get sicker and then better but then sicker again. Fun times!
You may have noticed that our Charmed Cameos and Large Lockets are currently unavailable as well. The glue I have to use to adhere the glass cabs to these settings is toxic in its wet form (once it dries it's harmless), so I obviously can't use it
until the baby is born. These two items will likely not be available until the middle of November, once the shop opens back up for the holiday season. It hurts because those are two of our most popular items, but little Froggie (the baby's current nickname!) rules the roost these days :)
The good news is that I've been able to squeeze some painting in at night when I'm feeling my best, so I have another new painting that's actually about 50% done and is going really well. I've got some cool new paintings planned after that one too!
February 15, 2012
Hi guys!! Sorry for the long silence, a lot has been going on here both personally and professionally, so I haven't been on the computer for the most part.
A big reason has been that I've been super sick since we got back from Christmas break. Lots of queasiness, throwing up, and of course tiredness. Sound suspicious? It is! Tim and I are thrilled to announce we are expecting our first baby at the beginning
of September :) We've been waiting to tell most folks until we made it through the first trimester. I'm at 11 weeks right now, and we just heard the baby's heartbeat for the first time at the doctor's on Monday. We are over the moon excited, and can't wait for the little one to get here!
Of course that means some changes for Melissa Dawn Art this year. I am tentatively going to close the shop down August 1 through the middle of November, since I want to be able to focus on getting ready for the baby and then taking care of him/her. I plan to have the site ready for
the holiday shopping season though!
It also means I may be less active on the website than normal, though I'm going to try to stick to my monthly newsletter updates and new paintings. So far I've only finished one new painting, since I'd been unable to keep and foods or liquids down for weeks. Luckily the doctor gave me some
medicine to help with that and so far I can actually eat normally today!! So hopefully that will continue and I'll start painting again. I do have an update to work on, with a new painting, 13 new bookmarks, and a few sales, so if all goes well I'll have that up soon. I also have some exciting projects I've been working on with my agent,
which I will hopefully be able to reveal soon!
January 1, 2012
Hi everyone!! I hope you guys had a wonderful Christmas/holiday and a great New Year's! We were out of town visiting family for the past two weeks, which means
I'm just now getting on the computer for the first time since mid-December. Which means I have a LOT to catch up on, especially emails!! So, if you're waiting for an email from me, I will be getting back to you soon :) I will also be
making some changes to our products as I update our inventory in the post-shopping season.
I was hoping to get back to work today but Tim and I caught colds right before we left California so I have been sleeping all day, trying to get better. So, hopefully tomorrow I can get back to work!
December 17, 2011
Still working hard on orders! It doesn't look like I'll get to paint at all until after New Year's. Boo! My Christmas pieces are on hold right now, since my agent asked me to design some potential spring & summer flags for 2013. So, I am currently brainstorming ideas, and will hopefully be able
to get about 6 flags done by the end of February. For those of you who enjoy my bunny paintings, I should have one if not two done.
I was hoping to have a pretty empty weekend so I could work on orders, start getting Christmas presents together, and get housework done, but our weekend somehow filled up with activities with friends... yikes. I am stressing now! Hopefully I can still get everything done.
Just a reminder, this Sunday (December 18) is the last day to place orders and have them get shipped before the New Year. Shipping will resume January 5!
December 12, 2011
December is slipping by so quickly! Yikes. I can't believe vacation is only a week away. I can't wait to see my family! I'm really in the mood for Christmas after seeing The Nutcracker yesterday. We went up to Seattle for it, at the Pacific Northwest Ballet company.
It was so awesome seeing it for the first time in over 10 years- I didn't realize how much I loved the music! I really enjoyed the production but of course every production is different and it was missing some of my favorite elements from other productions so I was kind of bummed. Still, it was really fun and we
looked at Christmas lights after dinner too so I'm ready to help my parents get & decorate a Christmas tree and really get into it!
I haven't had a chance to paint in a few days because at this point I'm mostly working on getting orders out as fast as possible. I did get new business cards in, with two different designs, so y'all will be seeing those in your orders... I like the old one but it's nice to have a change. I also got four new bookmark designs in, and
I like them so much I'm going to order 5 more designs, so in January keep your eye out for 9 new bookmarks! I have to wait on tassels or I'd put up these four right now.
So, I'll be working on more orders tonight and maybe even squeeze in some painting! First I'm going to take a nice hot bath... it's so cold here lately that that's the only time I'm truly warm!
December 4, 2011
I've sure been burning the candle at both ends lately... in between orders I managed to get a second new Christmas piece done, and though I had to work on it all night I had a ton of fun with it! Both new pieces
have been added to the website and the new newsletter is being sent out as we speak... whew :) Tomorrow is an orders day, so I'll have to get out of Photoshop and do some jewelry-making. I have been going crazy with Christmas paintings this year... I have
two more already in progress, and a list of about four others I want to work on!! Crazy Christmas mojo all of the sudden for some reasaon... not that I'm complaining! I've wanted to do some special Christmas pieces for a few years now and I finally
feel like I'm doing it.
I had finished "Santa Claws" and then I needed another Christmas painting for a licensor, so I cranked out "Candy Cane Christmas"... which I think I ended up liking even more than Santa Claws! I'm obsessed with the Candy Cane Christmas square earrings, I am making myself
a pair ASAP hehe. So, here's the picture of Bandit that "Santa Claws" is based on... hope you guys like it!
November 29, 2011
So I'm doing that annoying thing where I can't fall asleep at a normal time the past few weeks, so tonight I ended up painting until 7:30 am and am about to head to bed once this is up! Crazy, I know. I've been contemplating
just staying up later and later until I'm back to normal times lol. Well at least it was a productive night! Orders, website update, and tons of progress on the new Christmas painting. Which is FINALLY a painting of Bandit!! I took one of my favorite pictures of him as a baby and am
painting him in a little Santa hat... oh yes, the cuteness will overwhelm you, you will not be able to resist it ;) I've been stalling going to bed because it's going so well, plus I'm a little obsessed with Ke$ha's song "Take it off" and I can't stop playing it on You Tube.
I know I've been quiet this month, between some personal things and getting ready for the holiday season I haven't been on the computer much. Not to mention y'all are keeping me busy with orders-- thank you!! Thanksgiving was really fun, we went over to Amy's again this year and ate waaay too much
yummy food and drank champagne (of course!) and laughed way too hard. Our friends here have three kids with birthday parties the next three weekends, so December isn't shaping up to be any calmer than usual! I am SUPER excited about going to see The Nutcracker this year... my parents used to take
us every year and I don't think I've seen it since high school. So, I'm really looking forward to seeing it as an adult. I know I'm going to be so inspired to paint a billion Nutcracker paintings afterwards but I'll try to contain myself :P
In other exciting news, my agent got me a really cool new contract with a greeting card company who only carries a select few cat cards, and they chose two of my designs! I think it will be a while before they're up for sale, but I will be sure to post a link when they are :)
November 28, 2011
It's super late here so I have to wait until tomorrow to do a real journal entry, I just wanted to say that I (finally!) finished Snowflake Daydreams and added it to the website. There's also a new
earring style available, and a crazy good print sale going on too! I'm finishing up another Christmas piece and will send out the December newsletter once it's done.
November 9, 2011
OMG this is the longest update ever!! The ornaments took forever, I think I'm going to be seeing them in my sleep tonight. I still have at least an hour left and it's 8 pm here so I'm going to take a break and eat lunch/dinner-- I've been trying
to get it done so I haven't even eaten lunch today but I'm starting to go cross-eyed so I think it's break time!
November 8, 2011
Almost done!! I still have a few hours of work left but then everything should be ready to go, so look for the update in the evening/night Washington time tomorrow...
November 7, 2011
Working on the website update!! I ended up getting new ornaments in yesterday so I am trying to get the pictures for them done so they can be on the site right away. Hopefully I can have the update ready tomorrow but it could be Wednesday. Thanks
for your patience!!
November 2, 2011
Working, working... guess what? Working!! Even though I try to start early the holiday season always sneaks up on me. However, all the extra planning & crazy orders also energizes me, so I've been in a
very good mood! Snowflake Daydreams had to get put aside while I worked on some other things, but I am crossing my fingers I'll have the time to finish her tomorrow. I'm very excited for the new website update!!
One of my customers was kind enough to point out that I never updated the magnets page to say they're back in stock-- oops! Magnets are fully stocked and make great stocking stuffers :)
I was honored to be asked to do an interview for two different tagging blogs, so I should have links to the interviews up next week as well. I've been meaning to open up an Ebay shop as well, so
maybe I'll do that after the website update... jeez, I need a clone!
I am starting to think that whatever house we buy next year HAS to come with a nice, big, modern tub... the only time I'm warm these days is when I'm in my nightly hot bath lol. Last night I was
getting ready for my much-anticipated bath when I got the funniest text from one of my favorite artist friends- "Hey guess what I'm watching? DUN DUN!!!" Haha Tiff you slay me. I now wish the neighbor was back to watching Law & Order-
so far this week it's been really loud video games with a base that literally shakes our bed and wakes us up in the morning. You know what? Maybe a bathtub in the new house isn't important after all... just to be in a house will be enough!!
November 1, 2011
Whoa! November-- how did that happen?? Crazy! I hope you guys had Happy Halloweens- Tim and I just watched a scary movie, nothing too exciting but it was very relaxing. I took the weekend off because it was Tim's birthday so we watched some of our favorite shows and went out to dinner. Yesterday I was thinking I was getting sick but
so far today it seems to have disappeared-- yay!
So, today I've been working on preparing for the holiday season. That consists of a lot of admin work, such as ordering labels, business cards, working on shipping timetables, etc. I've been trying to decide what design to put on my new business cards and so far I think I may have it narrowed down to two pieces you guys haven't
seen yet. I'm having trouble figuring out what colors I want to use, since I'll then use them on the new website design as well.
I've also been working on the painting you saw a sneak peek of, which I think I'll call "Snowflake Daydreams"- she's super close to being done, so hopefully I can get her wrapped up today or tomorrow. Then it's onto the website update! I was guessing it'd be ready November 7 but I'm hoping I might get it done a few days early. So I'll just be painting tonight until Tim gets home. Then he'll want to get on the
computer, and I am going to go take a very hot bath to warm me up because it's still freezing here!! The cats are sleeping so much more now, which I can't say I mind since it's keeping them out of trouble. Though of course Savannah found one of Tim's dress socks and is giving it a very careful bath LOL.
October 26, 2011
Sooo cold today!! It was cold yesterday too even though it was sunny- good thing I don't have to work on any jewelry today because my fingers are frozen! Ugh. I guess it helps with working on a kinda wintery painting but I could do that in about 10 degrees warmer too :P
So, I guess I'll be painting more toay... got quite a few hours in yesterday and I think it will be done even sooner than I'd hoped. I just downloaded the new Kelly Clarkson album so I'm listening to that while I work. For most of the past week my soundtrack has been the "dun-dun" from Law and Order every
five minutes, as my neighbor has been watching it like 10 hours a day. Driving me nuts!!
I figured I should give you guys a sneak peek, so here's a peek at the painting I just started... it features a fluffy white kitten and lots of beautiful blue!
The name is still in progress but it could potentially be "Winter Dreams" or "Snowflake Dreams" or something.
October 25, 2011
Feeling good today!! The sun is shining, I'm mostly caught up on work, I finished the newest painting & am loving it... hopefully that means it'll be a productive day too! I started a second new piece, and am hoping to get it done this week & get the website updated next week. I think I may have
figured out the next few pieces I'll be doing, all winter-ish themes. This next one is wintery but not so much you couldn't hang it/wear it year round. I'm listening to Sarah Brightman's version of "Scarborough Fair" while I paint it, since the song is so beautiful and reminds me of a winter wonderland for some reason. Even though it finally
looks & feels like fall here in Washington, my head is skipping Halloween entirely this year (and I guess Thanksgiving!) and moving right on to Christmas hehe.
Bandit is still being naughty, which right now consists of him going onto all the counters and tables at night and knocking my stuff down. It's so frustrating because he doesn't do it during the day so I can't scold him for it! He and Pirate seem to think they're still tiny kittens and try to both curl
up on my lap at once... doesn't work out too well and someone always ends up falling off pretty quickly. Silly boys.
That's about it here... things have been pretty quiet in my neck of the woods, and I'm just putting my head down and working right now. Tim's coming home from work early so maybe we'll actually get out and enjoy the sun!
October 19, 2011
Figured I would take a break from painting and do a little update. It took a few days but I'm out of vacation mode and have been working a lot. I had a bunch of print orders to send out- which I love, because they are so super easy to do unlike all my jewelry orders :) I've discovered that getting
acrylic nails for the wedding may not have been the best idea, as jewelry making is very challenging without thin little nails to work with :) They're so pretty though! Hopefully I will have some pictures from the trip & wedding to post soon. I can't remember if I've mentioned it, but my brother-in-law got married last weekend, which is what
prompted a random October vacation to California. It was awesome getting meet my parent's new kittens and my sis-in-law's boyfriend, and to spend time with everyone, but now of course I miss them a lot. It's easier to be away when it's been a while and I'm used to just talking on the phone again!
I couldn't wait to get home and see the kitties again, especially my little Bandit... and since getting home, he has been on my black list! While we were gone he apparently decided to turn into a devil cat and go on every surface he's not supposed to... I swear, if he bends the blinds one more time I'm putting
him up for auction and you guys can bid on him :P
The painting is going really well and is super close to being done. I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys thing of it! I'm not sure when exactly I'm going to release the next update... I was planning on having this piece done sooner, but I still have to finish it plus add three new products or so to the website. So
I may just try to get a second piece done and to the update at the beginning of November. It'll be time to start some holiday pieces next, which I'm looking forward to!
October 16, 2011
Hello hello! I'm back from my trip to the (mostly) sunny California, and it is c-c-cold here in Washington now!! I get annoyed, exasperated, or just resigned when people down there (who have never been here) bemoan the rain, grey & cold of Washington. It's a really strange thing, like all Californians are
somehow indoctrinated that Washington is inhabitable due to crazy rain- my theory is that it's a conspiracy to keep Californians from moving up here :P Anyway, I'm back, I'm cold, and I'm still in vacation mode so work is going slowly!
I've been catching up on orders and trying to finish the new painting- not sure when it will be done but hopefully in the next few days or week. The trip home was amazing and included a spa day, so I have been super relaxed and am having such a hard time getting back into work mode. Gotta try!
September 29, 2011
Hey guys! Sorry for the long silence, I've been busy trying to get ready for my trip and dealing with normal life stuff, so I haven't been on the computer much.
I did finally start not one, but two new paintings!! One is something I've been getting requests for a lot during the past year, a sort-of companion piece to one of my best-sellers, which will probably be the next painting I finish. The other piece is a concept I've had in my head
for a while, and I started it because it has a color scheme I've been dying to paint lately. It's also a painting of one of my friend's kittens! I know, I know... I need to paint my own boys! I will soon :)
The next Flutterbug Friends is also a work in progress, though I'm not sure if I'll finish it anytime soon because the holidays are coming up soon and I need to do at least one if not multiple winter/Christmas pieces. So, right now the plan is
to finish the two pieces I just mentioned, and then start working on some holiday paintings. You know that could change though, seeing as how my muse changes what it wants to work on daily :P
Other than that, nothing exciting to share here. Found another kitten tooth- this time on the sofa. So random! I'm going to miss the kitties so much while I'm gone- Tim will have to give them extra love! I will also miss my computer- the October update will likely happen in mid-October since I still need to finish a new painting and won't get
to do that until I return.
September 16, 2011
Last night was crazy-- we went and saw Weird Al Yankovic at the Puyallup Fair. I didn't know what to expect, but I haven't laughed that hard in a long time! There were Star Wars stormtroopers, a giant peacock costume, and hilarious celebrity "interviews." Unfortunately the fair was closing down after the show got out so we didn't get to look around much, but we might go back before it ends. Apparently it's one of the largest fairs in the country or something- I believe it! The parking is insane. Most of the houses by the fair actually sell spots on their lawns and street for people to park on!
We took the boys to the vet yesterday and guess what-- our little Bandit is up to 7.1 pounds, and Pirate (!!) is at 7.9 pounds. Savannah is only 10.4 pounds so they are catching up to her quickly! The doc showed us where they are totally losing their baby teeth- I had no idea they did that before we got these guys.
Still in a painting drought. Nene Thomas says after she finishes a painting she has post-painting depression, and I guess maybe that's what happens to me... I get so excited to start a new piece when I'm finishing the previous one up, but once I'm done it is sooo hard to pick up a new piece, even if it's already sketched out. Blah. Maybe I'll work on the website while I wait for my mojo to kick back in ;)
September 11, 2011
Update is done! WHOO-HOO!! Boy that took forever. I hope you guys like the new paintings & products! I'm not sure if I'll have one or two paintings next month, but I do have a new product I'll be adding for sure. Also on the list is to update the Customer Submissions gallery-- I'm sooo behind on that.
When I have time (which is probably not until January) I am absolutely dying to redo the website. Haven't figured out what painting I want to use for the website header, but I want to do a redesign of the pages that's more streamlined. I'll be eliminating some paintings from different products too- I did remove a bunch of Charmed Cameos and lockets this month, since I got the
new glass cabs and have to redo all the cameo pictures for printing, so I just left best sellers and my newest pieces. There are still a lot to choose from!
September 7, 2011
Looks like the update isn't going to happen tonight... I didn't get to work on the new piece as much as I wanted this weekend and then I ended up making a bunch of changes to it, so I'm behind! I thought about just updating with the other two new paintings, but figured you guys wouldn't mind waiting an extra few days for an update if it came with a whole other painting :) So, in between orders & all my backed-up emails, I am trying to get the painting finished & the website update done! If I'm lucky it will be ready to go this weekend, otherwise early next week.
Since you have to wait a little longer, here's a little sneak peek at the newest piece:
September 2, 2011
Things have been pretty quiet here, so I've been taking advantage of it and working really hard on new products and the new painting. It's going well and is pretty far along- I had a total blast painting the sunflowers, which are definitely my new favorite flower to paint! I'd say the piece is about 75% done, with the cat being the last big thing I need to finish. I'm figuring I need about 3 days to do the website update for these three paintings and two new products, so I told myself I had
until I go to bed on Sept. 4 to finish the painting. Then I have three days for the update, with my goal being to get everything up by the time I go to bed Sept. 7. I think it's pretty doable, assuming I get a lot of painting in tomorrow. So, hopefully next Thursday morning you'll wake up and find three new paintings on the site!
I'm glad tomorrow's the weekend and I get to have Tim home all day, though I admittedly get a lot less done when he's home :) The past two weekends I pretty much took off, to spend time with him and our friends. We helped Amy at the Midsummer Renaissance Faire two weekends ago, which was full of hilarity and fun. I found Tim the perfect anniversary present there-- a hand-drawn, hand-aged antique looking map. Hopefully next year I'll get to see even more of the booths. Last weekend Tim and I visited friends all
weekend, which involved champagne, a pellet gun, and of course a lot of laughing. We were joking how redneck we seemed, sitting in the backyard, drinking & shooting a pellet gun at soda cans... but boy was it fun!! Everyone was quite surprised to learn that after three glasses of champagne, I can hit the soda can two out of three times :) Who would have thought!
It's been great actually taking two days off each week, because Monday morning I feel so recharged and ready to jump back into art & the business. Unfortunately I won't get to do that this weekend, but hopefully after the website is updated I can take a few days and relax. Tim and I had our perfect Friday night tonight which should help- we watched two movies and a few tv shows while he played a game on his laptop and I finished a puzzle. I know, we're so exciting :P
We usually don't even make it through one movie, so
watching two was really a change! We saw Live Free or Die Hard, one of our favorites, and then Pitch Black (big disappointment). We also finished the latest show we've been addicted to on Netflix, the US Marshals Manhunters. There's a whole other season we haven't seen but it's not on Netflix yet. I confess, I have a bit of a crush on the Commander :) Believe it or not, back in college I was planning on going to law school and then going into law enforcement, so I love to watch the shows now and live vicariously. How different my life would have been if I hadn't changed my mind about law school at the last second. I wouldn't be an artist today, that's for sure!
So I guess that's about it for now... the boys decided they wanted to have that eye infection again, so it's back to the vet we go next week. Also, apparently we've been spoiled these past two months, not having anyone in the apartment adjacent to us. New neighbors just moved in and we were delighted to discover that their living room wall is the same wall as our bedroom. That means we get to hear the base every time they turn on the tv or music, which they do all evening and night. Oh joy. I can't wait until next January when we can finally buy a house!!!
August 26, 2011
So apparently the cats were really concerned that Tim failed to kill the spider for me the other night, because I found a huge dead spider like the other one in the middle of the dining room floor lol. I put it in a sandwich bag and looked up the markings online, and am pretty certain it is the Giant House Spider and not the Hobo. I NEVER thought I'd see the day
when I was glad to have a "Giant House Spider!!" Haha. Not sure which cat or cats hunted it (it was missing all but one leg...) but I guess I owe them.
It has been a very exiting week supply-wise; I just got in the new square compact mirrors and they are fantastic!! They are actually a bit bigger than the circle ones, and give the print on it a really different feel because the shape is completely opposite. I am working on pictures so they can go up with the next update. I also am sooo excited that it looks like I may have
some new cabochons to replace the current ones in the Charmed Cameos and Large Lockets!
Some of you may remember the smaller cameos from a year or two back that were 30x22mm and had glass cabs. The glass cabochons were awesome because they're crystal clear, about half the height of the other cabs, easier to glue, easier to use, and are even more scratch-resistant than the acrylic cabs I've been having to use on my largest jewelry. Well, I found a glass artist
here in the United States who makes glass cabochons herself! I have three samples gluing right now, but so far it looks like we have a winner. That means most new Charmed Cameos and Large Lockets (except for the already-made stock I have which is only a few now) will come with these beautiful glass cabs. They also don't magnify the image as much, which means it is bigger too. As you can tell, I'm very excited. I always try to use the best materials available, and
the glass cabs will definitely take the Charmed Cameos and Large Lockets to the next level.
In between product development and orders, I've been working on two new paintings. One is that Halloween/fall one (which is really more a harvest piece I guess), which I think I won't finish until mid-September, and the other is a very cheerful, sweet painting that contains sunflowers (which you know I've been dying to paint for months!). I don't know about you guys, but when I look at art I look for two things- either a painting
I can identify with in some way, or a painting that makes me happy. This new painting is designed to make the view bee happy [hint, hint ;)]. If all goes well I'll have it done within the week. I think the website update is going to take about three times as long as usual since I have so many new products and paintings to add, so instead of the usual day or day and a half I have to allocate about three days to the update. Yikes! Guess I better go work more :)
August 24, 2011
I was pretty much wiped out today by some stupid stomach bug, and didn't end up feeling better and starting to work until about 11 pm! Mostly admin stuff- still felt too icky to paint. Hopefully tomorrow I'll wake up feeling all better! Yesterday I made a bunch of tweaks to the Halloween/fall piece, and it is ready to be painted now. I'm excited about it, so hopefully it will go well. I'm really
looking forward to this September update and can't wait to share everything with you guys.
I did take a few pictures of the new tins with my new iPhone. Did I mention I got an iPhone for our anniversary last week? I can't remember! Most of my family members have them, and it's awesome to be able to text and send pics with them finally. And in case you're wondering, his name is Michelangelo :) Yes, my family names their phones, and after historical figures! Lol. I know,
we're special. Anyway, it's super convenient having a camera on me 24/7, though I wish the pictures were better quality. Here are pics of the new tins, which look WAY more beautiful in person than in iPhone pictures! I've already made a bunch of them because it's too fun.
Check out the awesome size of these babies!
August 23, 2011
Ugh, I did dream about that dang spider last night!! Luckily there were no more spiders today. Instead, Bandit has decided to drive me absolutely bonkers by chewing everything in sight. He's been chewing on everything
since we got him, but the past few days he's really revved it up and is chewing on the most ridiculous things, like the metal drawer handles, my metal table leg, and of course all the cardboard he can find. All I can hope is that he lost his milk teeth and once his
adult teeth come in he'll stop!!
Other than that it was a pretty good day. I made a bunch of the new tins and LOVE them!! I will try to take some pictures tomorrow and put a sneak peek on here. They are big enough to fit a charmed cameo in, which as most of you know, means they are a great size! The image is about 2.5 by 3.5 inches,
which is the size of an ACEO, the old rectangular compact mirrors I used to carry, and the large rectangle ornaments (just to give you an idea). Tomorrow the new compact mirrors are supposed to arrive (along with more round ones, which is good because I'm down to literally two of them and they already have images on them), so I'm super excited. Going to be
a really cool update at the beginning of September, with three new paintings, a new additional style of compact mirrors, and a new awesome tin style! I also may have some cool news on the charmed cameo/large locket front.
I'm having my usual trouble settling on a new painting, though. I was all set to start that series I mentioned, but last night after I went to bed a Halloween/fall piece popped into my head. It was so tantalizing that I actually got up (at 3 am), turned on the computer, and sketched it out! I hadn't planned on doing another autumn/Halloween piece other than
Autumn Twilight (which I'll release next update), but this piece will be cute if I pull it off so I may try to paint it. You guys know I want to paint fall paintings all year, but for some reason as we approach fall I'm not in the mood! What is up with that?
August 22, 2011
Now that the last fruit kitten is finished, I got to play around with some new paintings today! I've been telling Tim about this new series for a while, but today when he came home I was actually able to show him what I meant.
He thought it was cute, so that's good enough for me!
I was feeling pretty good and then tonight something rather traumatic happened... we were in the living room when the biggest spider I've ever seen outside the zoo came waltzing across the floor!! (Tim, who usually makes fun of my spider phobia, admitted that the spider was
genuinely massive) I jumped on our (glass) coffee table in a panic and started spouting gibberish and pointing, as Tim didn't see it. He had no idea what was going on LOL. Spiders turn me into gibbering idiots, especially when they are supersized. We finally managed to trap it under a glass- I wanted to take pictures
of it so we could try and identify it. That's me- half arachnophob, half scientist! Actually, it looked a lot like the Brown Recluse we saw at the zoo the other week, so I wanted to make sure it wasn't poisionous. Unfortunately (or fortunately!) we weren't able to get good enough pictures of it before Tim took it outside. Now,
I'm an animal and insect lover, but his determination to save this "really cool" spider was NOT earning him points with his wife.
So, then I hopped on the internet, and spent some very creepy time looking up Washington spiders and comparing them to my blurry photos. The results: we either had a pretty harmless Giant House Spider, or we had a Hobo Spider, who is the Pac Northwest's version of a Brown Recluse. Without having the spider here in good light I can't
rule out the Hobo, though apparently they are so close in appearance you need to remove their reproductive organs and look at them under a microscope to really tell the difference. So, now I'm afraid I will be dreaming about icky, creepy spiders all night!! And everything feels like a spider on me- Savannah touched me with her paw and was
startled when I jumped and screamed haha.
So that was the "excitement" here today... which I could have done without! Now I'm trying to finish up some orders before I head to bed. Hopefully I can start painting a piece in the new series tomorrow! I have so many cool supplies on their way right now, I am anxious for everything to get here so I can play with them and post them on the website.
August 21, 2011
It's super late so I need to go to bed, but that's going to be hard because... I just finished the final fruit kitten! YAY! It feel so good to have the whole series finished. And I added a new breed/type of cat to my portfolio too! I won't be releasing her yet- I still
have one more cat to finish before the next update. I also have to add two new products to the website- the new (gorgeous) style of compact mirrors and the new (awesome) tin. I have a few more terrific products to release in the next month or two, which I am very excited about and look forward to showing you :)
Alright, I guess I better try to sleep. I spent most of the weekend relaxing with Tim, but tomorrow it's back to work, emails & orders!
August 16, 2011
Today was supposed to be a day off for both me and Tim, as it's our 3 year wedding anniversary, but we've both been working all day so I guess the anniversary isn't going to start until this evening! Feels like it should be our 5th anniversary or something, probably because we've been together over 6.5 years :) We've lived in three different states and two different countries together-- it's been quite an adventure! I always feel so lucky, because
he's not just my husband, but my best friend and my true "partner" in everything. Also, I wouldn't be an artist if it wasn't for him! He's the one who took me to the fair where I discovered fairy art, who encouraged me to start painting, then to start selling my work and doing festivals... the list goes on and on. So, Happy Anniversary hunny!
This has been a busy week so far... I was thinking it was Wednesday instead of Tuesday earlier. I'm taking a huge stack of orders to the post office today, and yesterday I did inventory and ordered a lot of supplies, including some new products! I'll be adding a second compact mirror style, plus a new tin style, and maybe a few other goodies in time for the holiday season :) My fruit kitten painting has been sitting and patiently waiting for me- I want to get her
finished so I can start the next piece that I'm super excited about. Still on track to have three paintings released with my September update!! So, I'm off to finish up some work before Tim gets home... maybe I'll even get the new fruit kitten finished later tonight!
August 11, 2011
Today has been a *facepalm* or *headdesk* cat day here... I woke up to four piles of cat barf all over the apartment (thanks to one of the big cats), we finally had a cat fall off the stairs down to the bottom floor (Bandit, who did better than his mom when that happened), and we have a cat who keeps seeing his reflection in the mirror and running into it trying to pounce (once again Bandit). Crazy cats! They're lucky
they're so snuggly and cute...
Etsy just completely changed the way that items are listed, by titles and item tags instead of recency, which means that I have now had to kill my wrist and spend hours and hours updating them-- and I'm only a quarter of the way done!! It's the kind of administrative work that artists hate. I spent much more time working on that today than painting!
Anyway, I would like to introduce a kitten named... MUDSLIDE! You may remember my family had to put down our cat Champaigne in June, who we'd had for about 14 years. Well, my parents agreed that at some point they'd like to get another cat. However, no one (including them!) expected to find a wonderful new kitty so quickly- two weeks ago they rescued another adorable grey kitty.
He's actually only about a week older than Bandit and Pirate-
my mom said Bandit was so cute that my parents thought it would be fun to get a kitten for once :) They've never had a kitten, so it's been really fun! My dad has been taking a billion pictures like a proud new parent, and put together this adorable little story the other day. I think he puts me to shame because I haven't done that for the boys here!
At Chez Mudslide, the maitre d" carefully watches over the meal:
Insuring that the beverages are chilled properly:
And that the food is of the highest quality:
When the meal is done, the wait staff takes a well-deserved rest:
Isn't he adorable?? I have to wait until October to meet him- boo. It's going to be a long two months!
August 10, 2011
So apparently it was "that" time of year, where my wrist starts acting up for no discernable reason. I took Saturday and Sunday off in the hopes that it would be back to normal on Monday. Nope! But I had orders to get out and painting to do, so I've
been working and then taking frequent breaks when it gets too bad. The good news is that I'm almost caught up on orders, and the next fruit kitten is coming along so well! The fruit, leaves & wings are done, so the kitten is really all that is left. If I can keep to it, it should be finished this week.
Yesterday the kittens got neutered! I was so stressed about it I didn't sleep the night before, but it went perfectly and they came home and acted like nothing ever happened. The vet recommends you keep them "quiet and contained"-- good luck with that! They spent the night in my studio while the big
cats had the run of the rest of the house, but they were determined to beat each other up and get into as much trouble as possible. I'm just glad it's over and they're back home! I didn't realize how much they completed our family until they weren't underfoot all day. So, today I'm giving them lots of love, painting, working on orders, and still taking a bit
of time before I finish answering emails, as typing hurts my wrist the most. Tomorrow I have a very cute journal post for you, featuring a new extended family member!
August 6, 2011
Just a quick little weekend update... I tell you, the problem with having your own business is that you feel guilty if you're not working, even if you haven't taken time off all week! It's especially hard because I don't put in exact work hours like 9-5, so I don't have time that's officially "off." So, days like today, when I really
should be spending the whole day having a real weekend, I'm instead feeling bad if I don't get some work done.
I did relax and watch Army Wives this afternoon- only four more episodes left on Netflix! Boo. I did manage to get two huge checkmarks on my list yesterday, leaving just the stamp designs, some emails, and Facebook. Tim and I decided that I should get the last fruit kitten done
next, that way I'll have the whole series finished and hopefully ready for some new licensing. I began working on the piece but had to stop because my wrist is bugging me for some reason. Typing isn't helping any, so I guess I'd better get off the computer and go relax after all!
August 4, 2011
Still working on catching up with everything-- I will hopefully have two big things to check off my list tomorrow, which will make me feel much better! Still have some emails and Facebook to catch up on. I've been playing
around with several new sketches, but haven't started working on a new piece yet. Different things affect different artists' ability to paint, and for me the biggest thing that keeps me from painting is knowing I have administrative duties to attend to. For instance, handcrafting orders,
fulfilling licensing obligations, working on the website updates, etc... whenever these things are pending, it is REALLY hard for me to sit down and paint. Then once I'm painting, it's really hard for me to switch over and do the admin work until the painting is finished!
Hence the current sketching of new pieces instead of actual painting. I'm hoping to get three pending things finished by Saturday, in which case I can go full-steam-ahead into one or two new pieces. I have two paintings in my new secret series sketched out, I just haven't figured out which kitten painting
to do next. There's the paintings I should do, with fall coming up, and there's the paintings I'd like to do. We'll see what happens!
Other than that, not much to report. I'm frustrated because the kittens are sneezing and having some eye gunk again- I thought we just got rid of whatever that bug was! So, I'm not sure if they'll be getting neutered next week, or if we'll just end up taking them to the vet for a check-up. I was so
sad last night when they walked up the stairs- usually they go up and down the stairs with both front paws and then both back paws. Last night they walked up the stairs one foot at a time just like the big cats do! Oh well. They're still small enough to cuddle in the crook of my arm, and are demanding
lots of love these days so I guess it's all right. They've been "watching" Army Wives with me, which is officially one of my favorite shows now. It just has so much heart, and as the seasons go on you just really, really care about the characters. I don't know what I'm going to do when I run out of episodes!
August 1, 2011
"Cherry Kitten" has been officially released! I hope you guys like her-- she is even more beautiful & vibrant in person on all the prints and products. I am super behind
on everything internet-related as our internet was pretty much out for over a week, but it has finally been fixed so I will be catching up on emails and everything else very soon.
July 27, 2011
Well this week has been interesting so far... the internet has been really spotty the past few days, so I've been offline and just working. I was so happy to finish "Cherry Kitten" this past weekend, and she's ready to go up on the website August 1. "Bluebells" gave me a lot of tough days but the new piece was quite the opposite, thank goodness. I loved painting it pretty much the whole time, which is quite unusual! I know a lot of folks are really looking forward to the cherry kitten, so
I spent a lot of time making the kitty as cute and realistic as possible. I hope you guys will like her!
Today I volunteered to keep Tim (my husband) company as he drove 2.5 hours north to Port Angeles to go to court for another attorney. I think Port Angeles is the town that Bella goes shopping at in the book Twilight-- there were even shops there with Twilight merchandise. We saw the sign for Forks, Washington there, and since it was only 57 miles away I tried to talk Tim into driving there just so we could say we've been :P He said if I REALLY wanted to we could, but since it was
already going to be a long day I resisted. The scenery was beautiful up there, but it was definitely colder, greyer, and wetter than our area of Washington.
After getting back I had to take a nap (since we left at 6:45 in the morning, which is usually about 2 hours after I go to bed!) and then we had a nice date night at Red Robin. I've been working on orders, trying to catch up on emails now that the internet is temporarily back, and finishing up some new stamp designs (please be done already!!!). Tim and I have been
watching Billy the Exterminator on Netfilx together, which is surprisingly entertaining and educational. I am going to be sure to close up all the gaps on whatever house we buy so pests stay out!! Haha. I'm watching Army Wives on my own, which I hate because I end up tearing up during a lot of the episdoes. I love the show though so I have problems watching just one! Tomorrow I should be starting the next painting, that top-secret one I was mentioning earlier. I can't wait!!
July 22, 2011
Being a mostly digial painter has some big differences from painting traditionally, which I was thinking about today when I was painting. When I'm working, I typically have two or three versions of the painting up on the screen. For instance, I'll start painting the kitty's face in one version. If I decide I want to try and move the cats ears up, I'll duplicate the painting and move the ears. I'll go back and forth between the two
and try to figure out which I like better. If I decide I like the ears moved, I'll keep painting on that version. Then I'll decide the eyes need to be a little bigger, so I'll duplicate the image again and paint them larger. When I'm done with that I'll look between all three versions and see if I like the changes I've been making.
Ideally, I'd always like the last version the best, but half the time I don't. Which means I then go back to whichever earlier version I like better, and work from there.
It probably adds a bunch of time on, but I've found it's the best way for me personally to get the best result. Here's an example below; let's say I painted the butterflies purple and then decided I wanted to try painting them yellow. I'd duplicate the image and repaint the butterflies yellow, and look at both at the same time to determine which color I like better:
I know digital painting confuses some people since it's on the computer, but in some ways it's very similar to traditional painting, and in some ways it's totally different. If I was painting with watercolors or oils I couldn't use this method of making changes to the painting while still looking at the previous version, but at the same time then I wouldn't spend so much time debating which version of a painting I like better before moving on to the next step. Maybe
at some point I'll go into more detail about digital painting and how my pieces are created... another step-by-step could be fun to do.
Well it's somehow 3 am again, so I need to head to bed. "Cherry Kitten" is coming along nicely and might be done this weekend-- I worked on the face a lot today and she's finally a little cutey. She's what I picture Bandit's girlfriend looking like if he had a kitty girlfriend lol. I'm not sure when I'll release the piece- I might put her up when she's done and send out the newsletter August 1, or I might just wait until then to release her. I'm glad she's almost done because I can't wait to start on my next
top secret painting, the idea of which has already gotten the thumbs up from one of my licensors, Tim, and my sis-in-law. Stay tuned!
July 21, 2011
It was sad to say goodbye but the sis-in-law had to leave this morning to go back home. Life has returned to somewhat normal, which means I worked all day instead of doing fun touristy things around Washington in between working on orders ;) Cherry Kitten is mostly going well, the kitten is at the stage where it's not super cute yet, so I have to keep
fiddling around and figure out how to make it oh-so-adorable! I've also been researching some new products that I'd like to add before Christmas, including coloring books, stickers, and maybe a 2012 calendar. Not sure about the last one, since I would need to get on it ASAP, but it's a possibility. I'm dying to redo my website, but that has to wait until next January since I have too much going
on before then. Not to mention I still haven't brainstormed the perfect new website header cat!
We had a total blast at the Seattle zoo the other day, which super-inspired me to start painting something I've been meaning to do for a while but never got around to. The plan is to start that painting after Cherry Kitten is done... crossing my fingers it happens. We loved the zoo, especially the African Wild Dogs for some reason. Then we took a tour of the Seattle Underground, featuring
buildings below ground that were built over a hundred years ago. The history was fascinating, and the old brick buildings were beautiful even in their somewhat-dilapitated condition. We had fun browsing through a toy store that uses the underground for their bottom floor, and I picked out a sparkly puzzle to do at night when I'm trying to relax before bed. It has tiger cubs, butterflies, and lots of sparkles... not surprising, huh?
Though I'd just gotten the stuffed cheetah from the Rainforest Cafe, I couldn't resist getting another stuffed wildcat at the zoo too... so here are my newest cats. Good thing they're stuffed this time, right? :)
Alright, well after a day full of painting and emails, I'm off to relax before bed. I've been watching Accidentally on Purpose on Netflix, and am enjoying it immensely. Nothing like short sitcom tv shows to help you unwind!
July 18, 2011
Still hanging out with the sis and seeing the sights- today we went to this awesome farm up in Maple Valley, which has horses, burros, chickens, ducks, cats, dogs, and a ton of bunnies. When Tim's allergies got way too bad from the bunnies, the owner of the farm, who also runs a rabbit rescue, kindly offered to give them a home. Now they get to play with about thirty other bunnies and run around outside each day. Talk about
bunny heaven! So it was fun to visit and see them, and to feed almost all thirty buns some lettuce :) Tomorrow we'll be doing some fun stuff in Seattle, including the zoo!
We also took the baby boys to the vet today, and Bandit now weights 4 pounds 11 ounces, and Pirate's up to 4 pounds 14 ounces!! In my head Bandit will always be the tiny little 1.8 pound kitten we rescued. It's so exciting that they've put on weight so well and are growing so big. Even the staff at the
vet's commented on how much they've grown in the past month! They are both scheduled to get neutered together on August 2, which will be weird because Savannah and Strider were both fixed already when we got them. I'm excited to have it taken care of, but I know I'll be nervous closer to the time. They are, after all, still my babies! Here are some recent pictures, though I still haven't managed to get the ones off my camera.
Bandit sleeping on Tim-- see the crescent moon on his leg? Pirate and Bandit trying to hang out on -er- with Strider
Also, here's a tiny sneak peek of "Cherry Kitten," which I did managed to work on last night. I'd love to get more done tonight, but we watched The Ring
earlier and it really freaked me out (yes, I have seen it several times before...) so I may need to read now in order to be able to fall asleep.
July 16, 2011
I guess I've been a little quiet here, mostly because I haven't been on the computer too much this week... Tim's little sister flew up to visit us, so I've been spending most of the time with her doing a bunch of fun things. We watched the past few Harry Potter movies and then Friday we went and saw the last one-- which we loved!! I was worried they would drop the ball or leave some of
my favorite parts out, but they did a fantastic job. Whew :) After we bought our tickets, the three of us went to the Rainforest Cafe, which was really fun. I couldn't resist one of the stuffed cheetahs (or leopard?) in the gift shop and had to take him home with me. I've only been to the RC down in Disneyland, and I forgot how fun they are. We sat in between an aquarium and some elephants-- how often can you say that??
I've been squeezing in some work on Cherry Kitten at night after orders have been worked on, so that's progressing decently well. The cherries & scenery are mostly done, so now I just have the kitten to paint. Which is weird, because usually I get the cat 90% done before I start on anything else in a painting. Huh. I guess I'm doing it backwards this time! I've been working a bit on the pirate cat too and would really like to get that
done next, but honestly I'm not really in the mood for pirates right now. So, I may be working on another Butterfly Kitten piece sooner than I intended. I have some really cool fall/winter pieces planned so I'm looking forward to starting on those as well.
I guess I'll try to go to bed... not sure if it was the yummy champagne and hummus I had at the BBQ today, but my tummy is not happy. Hopefully I can fall asleep quickly and when I wake up it will be all better!
July 12, 2011
Ahh it's super cool even upstairs in the apartment today, which feels so nice. I know a lot of people complain about grey skies and rain in July, but I love it. I think I was made to be a Washingtonian!
Yesterday I slept literally most of the day, recovering from the three day craziness that is Kent Cornucopia Days. It's always a blast, but three almost-twelve hour days outside and being surrounded by crowds is draining when I'm usually holed up in my quiet studio all day! This year the weather was AMAZING-- the past
two years we've had scorching hot days and then rain on the last day, so the breezy, sometimes-grey skies were great. I saw so many familiar faces from last year and got to catch up with some of my favorite Corn Days customers, which I loved, and met some awesome new folks who I'll hopefully get to see again next year. I didn't manage to make it out of the booth and look around this year- oops.
So yesterday I was just recuperating and working on orders-- today I had to get down to business and deal with a lot of bills/phone calls/important deadlines that I've been putting off due to the show. I'm about 90% done, which rocks. I'm trying to get all caught up and get all pending orders out tomorrow or Wednesday too. Last night I was "relaxing" before bed
and watching the season premiere of Teen Mom, but ended up working on "Cherry Kitten" a bunch. I'd really like to get that piece and a new pirate cat done in July. I was going over my current paintin schedule to see which paintings I could check off the list by the end of the year, and I'm going to have to do some fast painting and creative juggling to finish the ones I want to get done this year. I always
have way more ideas than I have time for, and with holiday and seasonal pieces I have to plan ahead of time. My fruit kittens and buttefly kittens did so well at the show last weekend and got so many great comments that I'm super inspired to get more of those pieces done.
Well I guess I should go make breakfast... I tend to wake up and immediately start dealing with my to-do list, so I forget to eat until I notice it's almost 2 pm! We hadn't really gone grocery shopping at all since we moved to the new place, so last night we did a huge grocery shopping trip. That's exciting because now I can go downstairs and find something yummy to eat for lunch!
July 7, 2011
Super busy with Corn Days prep-- yesterday I put together a ton of magnets finally (and Pirate "helped"), so those will be at the show this weekend. I will also have a few magnets and prints of my new fall piece "Autumn Twilight," which I finished
a few months ago but won't be releasing until September!
Today is just a continuation of making jewelry, prints, mirrors & tins... I always make way too much jewelry, but it's so hard to choose which paintings to bring, and someone invariably asks for one of the ones I didn't make...ah well. Onward and upward!
July 5, 2011
Done!! *collapses* I managed to finish Bluebells, get the website updated, and start working on Cornucopia Days prints. I wish I was farther along on orders and Corn Days products, but I still feel accomplished.
Yesterday was super fun, I always end up laughing until my sides hurt at these 4th of July parties. I had waaay too many of Amy's mom's homemade chocolate chip cookies and played with the kittens a bunch (I know, like I don't have my own to snuggle :P). We got home around midnight and I actually
worked on Bluebells until about 4 am, which was okay because people were still shooting off fireworks at 3:30 in the morning. I only heard a few tonight so cross your fingers it's over!!
Pirate and Bandit are growing so quickly but they're still pretty small-- however, they are more hyper than ever, and keep beating each other up and getting into as much trouble as they can. Bandit has a little tummy now, which is sooo cute and nice after his rough start. They're going to be upset when I'm at Cornucopida
Days this weekend (they firmly believe in eternal hugs and petting) even though Tim will be home part of the time. I'm still in shock that Corn Days is so close... tomorrow I have to get cracking on magnets and tins, not to mention jewelry. I'm behind on emails and orders too. Yikes!
July 3, 2011
Holy cow, how did it get to be July?? I've been working on Blue Bells and the apartment so much that July completely snuck up on me. Both the painting and the apartment are sooo close to being done, but of course that means they're NOT done yet! The apartments is going to have to wait until after Cornucopia Days at this point. Which means this week
I only have to worry about finishing Blue Bells, making prints & jewelry galore for Corn Days, making & sending out orders, finishing four stamp designs, and updating the website. Small beans! Sigh. It looks like it's going to be a long week with very late nights.
Tomorrow we have an awesome 4th of July party to go to at Amy's... think endless eating, drinking & fireworks. I'm looking forward to it, but at the same time I know I have this huge pile of work waiting for me at home... hopefully I can still relax and have fun. I'm not a big fireworks person (they are too loud!) and of course people have been
setting them off in our apartment parking lot all freaking week. I hope once tomorrow ends they stop!! That has to be one of my least favorite things about living in Washington. In California (at least where I lived), you couldn't just set off fireworks.
Blue Bells is going well (finally!!)- I added in some green and some decorative stems and it made a huge difference in how I felt about the piece. Bandit has been helping by sleeping on my lap while I paint hehe. Anyway, here's another sneak peek. I'm shooting to get it done Tuesday at this point, unless I manage to get in a lot of painting time tomorrow night.
June 30, 2011
I'm back! It took longer than we expected to move, get the internet set up, unpack, etc... we still aren't 100% unpacked and haven't decorated the walls at all! Not having the computer/internet means I'm behind on Blue Bells and all my other work stuff, so for today I'm putting aside the apartment and catching up on business.
So, hopefully I will have a sneak peek of Blue Bells to post tomorrow... right now I'm working on finishing the flowers and painting the butterfly. I extended our free shipping special because I want to have Blue Bells available and a newsletter out before the special ends. Now it runs until July 10, 2011, which happens to be the last
day of Cornucopia Days! Speaking of which, I have got to start preparing for that show as well... the next two weeks are going to be insane.
I'm off to get some work done; a sneak peek of Blue Bells and some cute kitty photos coming soon! They are all in heaven at the new place and can't get enough of the stairs, so I'm happy.
June 23, 2011
Well, we are nearing the end!! Tomorrow we sign the lease and get the shiny keys to our new place. The kitties are going to be the first things we move in, so I'm sure they're going to have fun exploring. Supposedly we can hook up our internet at the new place tomorrow, which means I will lose internet at our current place at some point.
So, I may be offline for a few days website-wise-- I will still be checking my email on Tim's phone, though. I will also probably have to stop working on Bluebells until Sunday. She was going well, but the flowers decided to be a pain-in-the-butt in terms of where they should go, so I'm farther
behind on her than I wanted. The butterfly and her wings are the only two pieces left to paint though! So, look for her on the website mid-next week. I will post another sneak peek when I can get back online!
That's about it here... I'm very tired, I really pushed into high gear with the packing the past few days so not much else going on! The kittens are doing great and love all the boxes and packing. I'll have some very cute new pictures of them to post soon!
June 21, 2011
Every time I see the picture of Tim holding the kittens I laugh out loud, I may have to take another one with my camera and hang it on the wall! We're in disbelief that we've only had Pirate for four days... it seems like he's been here forever. We have a daily routine already, which would never be complete without lots of hugs and kisses and keeping Mommy from working. Pirate wanted petting and stretched out on my lap to nap, so I started looking at houses online. I found our ideal house, which stinks because we are six months away from being able to buy it! I've tried not to look lately for that very reason.
Besides packing (made great progress!) and working on orders, I somehow managed to squeeze in a bunch of painting. The next butterfly kitten will be called "Bluebells" and is going really well. I would LOVE to get her done before we dismantle the computer on Friday, but that's awfully ambitious. Tim is home most of the day tomorrow and Thursday though, which means packing should go doubly fast now. I think I've packed about 60% of the apartment already, which is awesome.
Anyway, I got a huge craving to work on a pirate cat last night, so I'm thinking I will try to get one done after Bluebells is finished. I was hoping to paint
both Pirate and Bandit in one painting as pirates next, but that wouldn't get done in time for Corn Days so I'm going to work on one that I've already started. I know I need to get the Cherry Kitten done, but there's a different series that I am REALLY dying to work on, so I may start that after the pirate cat. It's a series based on practicality, ie I was trying to figure out what to hang in certain places in our new townhouse, and realized I don't have any appropriate paintings... so I'm about to remedy that! Until then, here's a sneak peek at "Bluebells": (yes, I know, another sleeping black kitten... I originally gave her eyes but it was SO much cuter with them closed!!)
June 20, 2011
Today was a loooong day, filled with packing, packing, and more packing. I spent the day packing up my studio, which had way more stuff in it than I realized. Tomorrow it will be all done, and I will work more on the living room. We have three more days but I'm ready to go! I got a lot of help from Savannah, and Pirate, when the four kitties weren't playing or bathing each other. The only problem with having two new kittens is (1) they like to scratch on the couch as well as the scratching posts and (2) they are SO DARN CUTE it's hard not to just watch them and cuddle them all day long!! Strider bathed Pirate and then
curled up in the cat bed with him, which I got pictures of. I realized I need to get a better camera at some point, as mine takes 30 seconds to reload after each shot, which makes it impossible to catch good pictures of the kittens. Tim's phone camera lets me get fast pictures, but the quality is horrible. Maybe for Christmas!
The plan is to finish the next butterfly kitten piece and release it later this week (or early next week?), and then send out the monthly newsletter. I'm having the hardest time figuring out what to paint after that-- I wanted to get another pirate cat done for Cornucopia Days, but the two I have sketched out will take too long. So, maybe the Cherry Kitten, or one of the other pieces I have been looking foward to doing. In August I'll start working on autumn pieces, so I'm trying to squeeze in as many other paintings as I can before then.
June 19, 2011
So. Hmmm. Um. Let's see... how to explain the picture that looks like this?
Wellll the story goes like this... Saturday we picked out our new townhouse and then took Bandit's old dry food to the shelter we adopted him from, since now he's on a different type. I've been checking their website to see when his brothers would get adopted, so I knew while one got adopted last week, there was still one left. Since we were at
the shelter anyway, I figured- what could it hurt to look in on him and see how he's doing?
That was when the trouble started. He looked even more like Bandit now than he did three weeks ago! He doesn't have the white moustache or crescent moons on his legs, but half the time it's impossible to tell them apart. I waged a brief but fierce internal debate; "Should I pick him up? If I pick him up will I want to rescue him?" I finally picked him up, and he immediately headed to my shoulder, batted at my hair, and started purring, just like his brother.
Yep. We were sunk. I turned to Tim and he rolled his eyes and said "Okay, we can get him." So... we did! And we realized that Bandit must have been the runt of the litter, as his other two brothers are so much bigger than him, even being underfed at the shelter. I had called the shelter after we discovered Bandit was covered in fleas and filled with worms, and they promised to de-flea and de-worm
his brothers immediately. Nope!! Our poor new little guy had both problems, though luckily the medicine didn't make him sick like Bandit.
We were curious if Bandit would remember his brother... nope! Bandit tried to show him who was boss by hissing and growling. Of course, once Strider came in the room (all 17 pounds of him), Bandit's brother did some hissing of his own! However, by the end of the night everyone was pretty much getting along, and most of the apartment had been explored.
When we were considering names for Bandit I really wanted to name him something, but we agreed it just didn't fit him... however, it perfectly fits his brother! So, now I give you... Pirate!!! We actually have a picture of both brothers (which you've already seen) from when they were in the shelter:
Today it's like Pirate was always here. He and Bandit are best friends and play with each other and Savannah and Strider, and they take turns sleeping in their favorite places. Though Bandit was having a blast with Strider, it's clearly even better having a kitten his size & age to play with. Pirate is a bit skittish where Bandit is fearless, but they are both purr buckets and snugglebugs who love their humans. They are the perfect kittens!! We are so excited about our now-complete family... until we add a baby in a few years ;)
So, that was our excitment this weekend... along with packing and finishing the newest cat painting! The website has been updated-- I hope you enjoy "Purple Lilies."
June 17, 2011
I'm sad to report that today my parents had to put our family cat, Champaigne, down. Last October I wrote about how he had been diagnosed with cancer on his leg, and because full leg amputation was the only option and he was 17-18 years old, we decided to put him down when the time came instead. Thankfully he had a happy nine more months, but last night we kind of figured out (over the phone since my family is two states away) that it may be time
to take him to the vet. So today my parents took him in and said a final goodbye. So we're all sad :( We had him for fourteen years- my mom and I picked him out at a street fair from a rescue group.
Thankfully the rest of my birthday was really nice. Tim took me out to Red Robin for dinner (one of my favorite places), and we watched some of our favorite shows. The local bakery ran out of the cake I really wanted, so we got giant cupcakes instead :) Today I worked a lot on the new painting and am happy to report that I am less than two hours away from being done with it. Distracting myself with work helped with the Champaigne situation.
I'm still deciding if I want to release the purple butterfly piece in the next few days, or if I want to wait until I finish the blue butterfly piece as well. It probably depends on how the weekend goes-- tomorrow we pick out our new townhouse, and start packing in earnest! I need to catch up on emails and finish some orders too.
June 16, 2011
I need to stop painting and go to bed (or at least relax a bit) but the painting is going so well I don't want to stop!! In the old days I'd keep painting until the wee hours of the morning, but these days I get tired much earlier... I did, after all, turn 28 today!! I know, I know, I'm an old geezer now :P
Today I painted the butterfly, cat wings, and purple flowers in the painting, and I was surprised at how well it went... I've mentioned before that while I paint them quite often, I hate painting flowers. You may see a lot more lilies from me because they are apparently much easier to paint than other flowers like roses! The butterfly is a totally different
one than I usually paint too. If the Siamese/Ragdoll kitten was only easier... they are definitely two of the breeds that are a pain (along with calicos!). I have to admit, I am really liking the way this piece is turning out. I think it may be one of the pieces I frame in my new studio! Here's a peek at what I did today:
June 14, 2011
Gosh the days are flying by!! I can't believe it's the middle of June. This year is rushing by! The good news is we found a new apartment, but we're moving in in just ten days. Yikes, better get packing. The new place is awesome-
it's much bigger than our current apartment, and since it's a townhouse we'll have two floors instead of one. The kitties are going to love that! This time we decided to make my studio the master bedroom, so I'm going to have a TON of space! Whoo-hoo!! We realized we literally
only go in the bedroom to sleep (no tv in there or anything), so there's no point in wasting the space on that when I can use it for my art. It looks like my painting computer will be in there as well, so I'm hoping to create a very organized, homey space where I can get a lot done. I can't wait!
So I'm hoping to get some packing done each day, while I finish the next two paintings, and prepare for Cornucopia Days. Bandit is growing like a reed, and has the cutest little round tummy now. Savannah and Strider have totally adopted him, so he's completely content to hang out
with them when Tim and I aren't in the room, and often when we are. I love having three black and white cats in three different sizes lol. It's so funny!
I've been working on the next two butterfly kittens in tandem... I'm focusing on the purple one right now since I haven't done a purple piece in a while, but the blue one should be done shortly after. I am crossing my fingers big time that I can get them done before we move, since once we move I have to get the internet set up, not to mention the apartment. Here's a sneak
peek of the purple one:
(featuring a Siamese/ragdoll kitten)
June 8, 2011
Thank goodness today was so much better than yesterday, I would have cried if it was the same! So I was up all night the night before with Bandit, and then when I finally got to sleep on the couch, the rabbits kept waking me up.
By 11 in the morning I had only had 2.5 hours of sleep! So of course maintenance comes knocking on the door, telling us that the pipes are leaking for the THIRD time in the past few months, and they need to get in to turn off the water and inspect things. So, I'm incredibly
out-of-it and sick to my stomach, frantically trying to round up the cats and get them situated in the bedroom, while having these strangers tromping around in my home. After they leave temporarily to go work on the pipes, I start throwing up! Some kind of bug. It was great.
Finally they turned the water
back on, and I discover it has been pooling on our bathroom floor and soaking everything in our bedroom closet. I was so tired at that point that I just shut all the doors and crashed for about three hours. After getting little sleep for a week in a half, the morning just killed me! Then
last night we discovered something happened to our toilet when the pipes leaked, and our bathroom was flooded.
So, that was the last straw-- I turned to Tim and said "Do we have to stay another 9 months? Why don't we just move out?" Our lease is up at the end of the month, but since we're looking to buy a house next January, we figured we'd re-sign despite hating this place. Nope! Can't do it! We almost
signed the lease on Saturday, so I think the pipes happened for a reason- to get us out of here :) I am VERY excited to go look at new apartments this weekend!
Tim took pity on me and slept on the couch with the kitten last night, so I got my first full night's sleep (and in our bed) in almost two weeks. It was amazing!! Sleep, Bandit continuing to get better, and the knowledge that we are finally getting out of this apartment, had me cheerfully singing and joking all day.
I have been working my butt off on orders, and have been working on several new paintings. The most popular colors tend to be purple, then blue, then red, and I just happened to be working on three new paintings, each featuring one of these colors ;) I'm ready to pick one of the three and start painting in earnest!
June 7, 2011
You guys are SO awesome!! I got so many sweet emails wishing us luck with Bandit, it really made me feel so much better. And all your prayers and thoughts must have worked (knock on wood) because he is doing SO much better!!
I don't know if it's the kitten formula and human baby turkey approach, or what, but yesterday and today he's gotten his appetite back. He's been eating a ton, going potty less, and his gums are back to the color they should be. He's still not playing nearly as much as
he was a week ago, but Tim and I are really hoping he's on the road to recovery. So yay!
Other than that, today was a rotten yet enlightening day- more about that tomorrow!
June 5, 2011
Sometimes we hate using Yahoo for the montly newsletter... it eats the message and it disappears for hours before it pops up for approval by the moderator. So frustrating!
Other than that it's been another sad day kitty-wise, today he's almost not eating, and keeps throwing up when he goes potty. We're still frustrated the vet wasn't able to help us yesterday, and are pretty much at the end of our wits
with this. We're so sad. We're going to try some kitten formula tonight and see if he'll eat that or if it helps his tummy feel better. In the meantime I'm going to try and distract myself by working on orders...
June 4, 2011
So the website has been updated with the new painting and our new round lockets-- check them out!! I designed several different versions of the lockets with different charms, flowers, etc., but in the
end we decided that they actually looked best unadorned. I also added a special for June-- FREE shipping!! I wanted to get the newsletter out tonight as well but I'm too tired, so that will be going out tomorrow when I get up.
We took Bandit back to the vets today and it wasn't really helpful. Since he was more alert today and hadn't thrown up yet this morning they said to just keep doing what we're doing. Of course, now he's thrown up again
and isn't eating nearly as much food as he was this morning. This is like a never-ending diarrhea story with a bit of barf thrown in-- YUCK. It's been over a week now and we haven't made any progress on him feeling better at all.
So, tomorrow will be working a ton more on orders, and hopefully finally starting the next painting. I think I'll be doing the next Butterfly Kitten piece, but it could be the Cherry Kitten or maybe even a pirate :)
June 3, 2011
So today kinda sucked. It looked like Bandit was doing better, until he started throwing up again, stopped playing, and started going potty every hour or twice an hour. So, it's back to the vets tomorrow
for us! I'm hoping this time they'll be able to figure out what's going on and come up with a solution. Our poor baby!
Then I finally got a chance to work, and as I was saving the final touches on my newest painting, the electricity went out. Apparently if that happens, your Photoshop file gets corrupted and there is no way to retrieve it!! I spent a few hours trying, and finally gave up. So, all the work I did today
was lost and had to be redone. Ugh.
BUT the painting is done, the website update is almost done, and hopefully I can get the locket pictures done tomorrow and the website update uploaded tomorrow night. I guess it depends what happens at the vets, how my progress on pending orders goes, and how much sleep I get tonight! I think I currently have 60 necklace orders alone in progress,
so that is a fair bit of work to do!
June 1, 2011
Hi everyone! I have a kitten update. He was doing so much better yesterday, until he started throwing up again. We took him to our vet today and came home with great news-- he doesn't have any other internal parasites or other problems that they can tell, his system was probably just overloaded with the
Advantage (to kill fleas) and the de-worming medicine. Why?? Because this little guy was NOT 8 weeks old when we adopted him, but rather probably only 5 weeks old! Those medicines aren't for kittens under 8 weeks. GRR. Poor baby. If the shelter had estimated his age better we could have approached the medicine much differently and he might not have gotten
Anyway, the vet gave us some powder to hopefully harden up his stool, and we've put him on canned kitten food that will hopefully help him gain some weight because he's too thin. On top of that, the vet gave us a complimentary exam because he was a shelter adoption!! So very sweet of them. Needless to say, despite another night of very little sleep,
I am very happy right now :) The kitten was a total angel the whole time too, he laid on my lap while we waited and then fell asleep on my shoulder after his exam. Best kitten ever, I'm telling you!! (As you can tell, still haven't totally decided on the name.) Actually, the only sad news was that the vet said he'll lose his frosted grey tabby fur on the back of his neck and probably turn straight black when he gets older. It's so cute
being able to see his stripes right now, I'm bummed it'll disappear!
I am finally making progress on the website update, so I should be able to have that up in the next few days. Could be this weekend, because I need to take a lot of locket pictures and get those finished, and that almost takes more time than adding a new painting to the site. Other than that, not much to report... Savannah has warmed up to the baby and even tried to bathe him a bit today, and
he and Strider are still chasing each other around. Once his stool solidifies and I don't have to clean it and him up every 2-3 hours, he will be fine to sleep out here with them-- and I will be one happy Mommy! Now, without further ado, I give you more kitten cuteness-- couldn't do this update without more pictures :) I will get some better ones soon! (The first picture was taken as I wrote this... he's helping!)
May 30, 2011
I have quite the news today... this past weekend, Tim and I adopted a new fur baby! We had been toying with the idea of adopting a kitten, and after trips to several different shelters, we found our perfect new baby. The adorableness:
We are still deciding on a name; we've tentatively named him "Bandit," which is pretty appropriate because he's a little escape artist and likes to get into mischief, but we are still considering a few other names. We're convinced he is the smartest, cutest, most loving kitten to ever exist!! I (obviously) have a soft
spot for tuxedo cats, so when I saw a local shelter had just gotten in a few litters of tux kittens, we went to check them out. They also had the cutest little tabbies-- exactly like the kitten in Midday Moon Pearls!-- some black kittens, and a gray kitten. It was overwhelming at first because there were so many to choose
from, and it's hard not to rescue them all. Our baby was the third one I visited with, and he snuggled against my chest and then perched on my shoulder like Savannah used to do. When I took out his brother next to visit with him, our kitten looked at us like "I thought you were taking ME home??" I caught a picture of it:
So, what could we do but take him home? He has the cutest markings-- a typical tuxedo but with a white moustache, white half moons on his back legs, and then grey and black tabby stripes on the back of his neck. His two brothers had similar coloring but without the white moustache-- I so wish we could have taken them home too!!
The poor little guy had fleas and worms, so he's been sick to his stomach a lot, which means a LOT of work for us because he isn't sleeping for more than three hours at once, and needs constant clean-up duty. Luckily he is perfectly potty trained and hasn't gone outside it once!! The shelter told us he was 8 weeks old, but by his weight and his attempts
to nurse from both me and Tim (lol), we're guessing he's only 6 or 7 weeks old, which is too young to have left his mom. It will be a relief once his body is back on track and once he's integrated with Strider and Savannah, because I will finally be able to get more than 3 hours of sleep at night!! Strider is having a blast and has adopted him as a little brother; they are
chasing each other around and playing constantly. Savannah is either showing her dominance or her fear of being replaced because she has hissed a ton at him, but she has almost stopped completely and played with him a bit today. Look how small he is compared to them!! (Strider's on the left and Savannah's on the right)
So, that is the excitement here!! We are having a blast with him despite his getting sick, and he has totally adopted us as his parents. He likes nothing better than to be on our lap or shoulders, and will follow us around like the cutest little shadow you've ever seen.
I'm sure I will be posting more photos of him as he grows up, since I seem to take 7 million each day :P He looks so much younger in person, I want to try and capture that in a photo. Not to mention I'll be painting him soon!! Taking care of him all weekend has meant I didn't get a new painting started yet, so it will be just the calico painting and the new lockets that will get released this week. When that happens depends on how much work I can get done tomorrow without Tim here to trade off watching him!
May 27, 2011
I was intent on finishing the calico kitten painting tonight but the screen is starting to look blurry (and Savannah just coughed up a lovely furball) so I think that's a sign I should go to bed :) I didn't finish it yesterday because I was working on orders, plus Tim took the day off work so we might have spent some time
going to a few animal shelters to look at kittens! Right now I'm just putting the finishing touches on the painting, and adding all the little tiny details that make it "done." In some ways it's the most rewarding part, since each part you finish looks so nice and complete, but at the same time I hate being so close to being
done yet not there yet. Tomorrow I plan to finish her and then immediately start on the next one, in the hopes of releasing both paintings plus the new lockets by the end of next week!
May 25, 2011
The progress on the new painting continued terrificly today; the kitten is done, which is usually the hardest part of the painting. My biggest problem is that for the life of me I cannot come up with a good name for it!! Since it's part of a series I'd like a good series name and then maybe a one word
name for each piece in the series. So far Tim and I can't come up with anything remotely clever. Gotta think fast! If I can get enough painting in tomorrow she should be done tomorrow night! Here's a bigger sneak peek:
I'm enjoying this piece because it has a different color scheme than I've done before, it's my first calico cat, and when you see the whole thing you'll see it's a different style design as well. I'm still being optimistic about getting another one done before the new update next week. If it continues to be
quiet here, it's a definite possibility. It's quite exciting to not have anywhere to go this weekend for once!
May 24, 2011
Well the muse dictated that the calico kitten piece would be finished next... so what could I do but obey? I had a wonderful day today, as it consisted mainly of painting and then spending time with Tim. It must be noted that the painting is going extremely well and is progressing super quickly,
else a day filled with painting could be the opposite of wonderful! I thought you'd like to see a sneak peek, so here's a little thumbnail:
I will probably post a larger WIP picture on Facebook either tomorrow or the next day. I should probably do it tomororw, since the piece could be done the following day if it keeps going well! That would be amazing. I would be tempted to try and finish another piece in this new series as well, and
release them both the first week of June. That's awfully ambitious, so we'll see. There are a bunch of cool festivals in June that I was tempted to sign up for, but I really wanted to buckle down and get a bunch of paintings done since the craziness of this year so far has interferred with my ideal two-three paintings a month. Hopefully in June
I can catch up a bit, and prepare for an awesome time at Kent Cornucopia Days in July!
Other than that, not much to report here... I'm glad you guys love "Sailor Boy," and you guys are keeping my very busy with orders, which I'm very grateful for! The new earrings are a hit as well, so can't wait for you guys to see the new lockets I'll be adding to the site with the next update :)
May 23, 2011
It's so sunny here today, it made my grumpy when I first woke up-- it was beautiful all last week, mostly sunny yesterday, and sunny today... yet it was freezing cold and rainy on Saturday for the show!!! How annoying is that?
Despite the cold, we had a fantastic time at Petpalooza. We saw a lot of familiar faces, which was fun, and we were set up right next to an animal shelter booth that had KITTENS!!! As you can imagine, we were rather distracted during the day by the seven adorable kittens. Tim was being very
naughty all day and trying to convince me to adopt one or two kitties from the various rescues there. I have no willpower when it comes to kitties, and he knows it! If we were in a house already we definitely would have adopted this gorgeous pair of brothers, who looked similar to the
cat in my "Ruby Cat" painting. But four cats and two bunnies in an apartment would be a little much! We have decided we need to adopt a third cat, though. Our two cats are getting older and they are so close that if something happened to one of them the other would be terribly lonely. We figure if
we have a third cat then there will always be at least two to keep each other (and us!) company. So, we're not sure when we'll do that, but it's exciting to think about :)
The most interesting part of Petpalooza was the sheer variety of animals-- besides a huge diversity of dog & cat breeds, there were also ponies, ferrets, rats, guinea pigs, rabbits, and snakes-- most of which were riding on someone's shoulder! If it had been sunny instead of freezing it would have
been one of our favorite shows ever. Because of the weather & long hours of the show I don't think we'll vend next year, but we will definitely go look around!!
Now that my shows are over for the month it's back to business as usual... I have lots of orders, emails & work to catch up on. I've been working on several paintings, including another pirate cat, the cherry cat, and a new buttflies & flowers kitten series. They will all be released over the next
few months, it's just a question of which will get finished first. I'm working on a calico kitten that I'd really like to get done because I have yet to actually finish a calico cat painting (they are so hard to paint!). Maybe I'll have a sneak peek ready soon!
May 19, 2011
Almost done with the update!! I just need to finish the new earring & necklace pictures and it'll be time to upload it. Hopefully everything will be done by 9pm tonight!!
May 18, 2011
"Sailor Boy" is done!! I can't think of a better name so I think I'll keep it haha. Tim says maybe "Sailor Cat"-- we'll see! Right now I'm working on the website update, so the new piece & update will go up late tonight or tomorrow evening. I'm having a shipping special & some sale jewelry so that will all be up with it!
It was sunny and beautiful again today, so I had the windows open again, which I think makes the cats act like crazy kids. They were playing with toys, fetching mice, and chasing each other like maniacs. It was very entertaining! I also proved that cats speak English again today... I told Strider, who came over to the desk and looked up at me, that I'd get him food in a minute. Savannah, who had
been sleeping in their strawberry box bed, immediately got up and headed to the food bowl. So the next time I tell them not to do something and they do it anyway, I'll know they understood and were just being naughty!!
May 16, 2011
Ahhh, it's such a beautiful day here in Tacoma, Washington!! I have the blinds & windows open, and sunshine & a light breeze are streaming through... perfect! Now I'm really in the mood to paint a summer piece. I'm finishing up "Sailor Boy," which will hopefully totally be done tonight or tomorrow. Then it's on to the website update!
This past weekend was pretty good, I spent Saturday at Crescent Moon Gifts for the Spring Fling event, meeting lots of great customers and having a blast with the owners & other guest artist. I confess I did get a new winged kitty figurine, one that I've had my eye on for months. Saturday night I was pretty tired so I just put on pajamas and watched Jersey Shore... yep, there I go with the trashy
reality tv again ;) Sunday I watched more episodes & read, deciding to give myself at least one weekend day off. Now I'm back to work and making progress on this piece! It's fun to paint, though I'm already thinking about what I'm going to work on next.
May 13, 2011
Well we're making progress here!! Today I finally sat down and made a ton of progress on the new ocean cat, who is tentatively titled "Sailor Boy." I'm painting all kind of things I've never painted before, such as seagulls, lighthouses, starfish & anchors- it's been interesting! It's actually been fun and relatively
smooth sailing (no pun intended hehe), so I may have to do more nautical themed pieces! Assuming I get time to paint tomorrow and Sunday, he should be finished this weekend. I still have to finish adding all the new earring pictures to the website, but the update *should* go live early next week. Only about two weeks later that I wanted!! Oh well, can't control
illnesses. Too bad!
I'm trying to think what else is going on here... not much other than working and getting ready for the Spring Fling at Crescent Moon Gifts this weekend. I've been on a REALLY weird schedule since I got sick-- falling asleep between 4-7 in the morning, and then waking up between 1-3pm. It's really annoying and I can't seem to get back on a normal sleep routine,
it will work for one night and then the next night it's 7 am before I fall asleep (going to bed at 12 am!). Anyway, I have to be up early on Saturday for the event, so hopefully I can get some sleep. I got only 4 hours before the Rockwell exhibit last weekend, which made for a very interesting day. I wish I was one of those people who can function on a few hours sleep- Tim knows just how
cranky I get on no sleep :)
May 10, 2011
Have I finally kicked this cold at last?? I don't want to say anything and jinx it again! We just updated the homepage/new releases with some news. We will be at two local shows the next two Saturdays, both Crescent Moon Gifts in Tacoma and the
all-about-pets show Petpalooza in Auburn. There's a sale on Melissa's graphic tubes at CDO, and Melissa just signed with a publishing/licensing agent on the East Coast. We are especially excited about that, because hopefully that means you will be seeing Melissa's work on all kinds
of products in a lot of mainstream stores soon. It takes a long time but we're very excited, hopefully we will have some great updates concerning that throughout the year!
I was having such bad artist's block last week, but last Saturday we went with friends to see Norman Rockwell's art exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum. We went with our good friends Jeff & Sherri; Jeff happens to be Melissa's art mentor. He's a phenomenal
artist whose been painting professionally for 25 years, and is a terrific teacher. He loves to paint fantasy cats as well-- go check them out at http://www.jeffhaynie.com! Talking to Jeff and visiting the Rockwell show with them seems to have totally dissolved
my artist's block, so I've been working on one of the ocean kitties and will hopefully have him done soon!
May 6, 2011
Still sick here. I thought I was getting better and then I got worse! It's off to the doctor's today cuz I think antibiotics are the only thing that will take this darn thing away.
The most frustrating aspect of the cold is that it seems to have killed my art abilities. I had three ocean kitties sketched out in my head, and despite hours of trying could not get a single one of them sketched out even close!! I finally came up with
a different ocean-themed sketch I'd been thinking of, but it's still not ready to be painted. Grr. One of the best feelings about painting is transferring an idea from your head onto the page and having it match exactly, and one of the worst is not being able
to get even close! Oh well. Maybe one the medicine kicks in it'll get better.
Also, my grandpa celebrated his 88th birthday yesterday... how crazy is that?! I can't even imagine being 88 years old. I wish he lived closer so I could have been there for it!
May 3, 2011
Ugh. Talk about a nasty cold that totally wiped me out for a whole week. I am finally starting to be able to do more than just sit on the couch and space out-- that is the worst kind of "vacation," since you're not getting any work done AND you're not getting to do anything fun! Now I am super behind on this month's update, as I have yet to start a new painting or start working on product updates. I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow I'll be able
to get back to work for real, as I have a lot of exciting things planned for this month's update and I'm dying to get started!!
I'm going to be clearing out some of the jewelry where my supplies are low and I probably won't replenish, so I'll be having a big jewelry sale on a few on my jewelry lines. I want to clear some room since I have a new locket necklace coming, as well as an awesome new earring design! Yay! So, the plan is to start working on the new ocean kitty painting tomorrow, and hopefully get the jewelry & painting update on the website early next week. Crossing my fingers I keep getting better and can do it!
April 27, 2011
This is going to be a short entry because I'm on cold medicine and I think it's making me a little dopey lol. Our fun, busy Easter weekend never materialized-- Tim came down with a nasty cold Friday night and I had a stomach bug Saturday, so we missed Easter dinner at our friend's plus seeing all our friends who were in town. Now I'm sick with Tim's cold! The medicine is making me walk
around like Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean haha. I've been in a big pirates/ocean mood lately so Tim and I actually watched that yesterday, as we can't do much else right now!
I'm finishing up a new autumn cat piece for some licensing but I will be waiting to release it until maybe August on the website. I did put a sneak peek of it on Facebook though. When I'm feeling better I will be starting a new piece, which will be ocean related. And I'm off to go eat a Strawberry popsicle (killer sore throat), hope you guys had great weekends and are avoiding the colds going around!!
April 21, 2011 (Part 2)
I wanted to add that I posted the photos from my previous post to our Photo Gallery plus an additional picture of Savannah & Strider. Whenever we have a new box in the apartment I always put it on the floor for the cats to play in,
and then we throw it away the next day. Well, Strider fell in love with this strawberry box, so I finally put a cat blanket in it and left it alone. Savannah decided her brother's box was so comfortable that she would take it over, so now they both squeeze in there or push the other one out. Needless to say this box is apparently not going anywhere!
We also added a new Customer Submissions gallery, where you can send in pictures of my art & merchandise in your house or wherever you have them, and I'll post them :). Photos of my art & merch with your own kitties are always more than welcome!! I have some beautiful online tags made using my art already posted with more to come!
Finally, our silver square pendants are back in stock. My old supplier had up and disappeared so I had to find a new one! Due to the new supply prices plus the way people have been purchasing them (either as a single necklace or in packs of three), I've made a few changes
to how they're available.
April 21, 2011 (Part 1)
I can't believe it's almost Friday-- where did this week go?? It's strange Easter is Sunday, since I haven't seen too many Easter decorations this year. It will be the two year anniversary of our car getting totaled while trying to get Tinkerbell from the Portland animal shelter!! Seems like she's been with us forever, it's hard to imagine Augustus without her now. I should dig up some pictures of them to post this weekend!
I do have some other pictures today from last weekend. The Spring Fairy Festival was SO much fun, I saw a lot of customers from previous festivals plus I got to meet folks who buy my prints from local stores for the first time. I had a delicious red velvet cupcake, and got a champagne glass candle souvenir (it reminded me of my sister's wedding... what can I say. Did I mention I had a lot of champagne that week?? Enough to swim in!). We had a ton of fun with our friends... below you can see me and Tim (either he's really tall or I'm really short!!), and then
Molly, Amy, me & Kathi. I should have gotten a picture in my fairy wings-- I got to help judge the fairy costume contest so of course I had to wear them.
This week has been really interesting with a lot of behind-the-scenes developments, which has totally made my week (and possibly my month and year!). I have been trying to get things done but it has not been following to my
schedule! It's all been good stuff though. One of my licensors is adding some new products including wallets, coin purses, small purses, and cell phone cases, so I will likely be stocking some of them on the website in a month or so. How cool will it be to have my kitties on a wallet?
April 15, 2011
Tim came home last night and gave all my sketches a thumbs-up, so hopefully I can sit down and start working my way through them! I won't refrain from painting a piece if Tim doesn't like it (he still thinks Lilac Daydreams is a boring painting, yet it's one of my favorites and a constant best seller) but I always enjoy it when he likes my paintings. Which I guess would be easier if I painted fewer "girly" pieces ;)
We've been working on fixing up some areas of my website that we've left alone for quite a while... my biography was old, and my FAQs were sooo outdated. Both of those are now more up to date-- and if you can think of any frequently asked questions you'd like to see answered, please let me know! Next I think we'll move onto the picture gallery and archives. I want to actually redo the site again with a new header & theme, but that probably won't happen for a while. I don't think
I have the perfect new painting to go on the website header & business cards yet. I would so love to do an autumn theme but I don't know if that would work year-round!
I was in the mood for a seriously rainy day today but so far it's just grey and sometimes sprinkley. I'm still finishing up jewelry for the festival tomorrow, so I've been working on that while watching Friends. The perfect nice, quiet Friday!
April 14, 2011
Why oh why am I in such a fall mood today?? Last night I was working on the new pirate cat, planning some more ocean kitties, and working on another spring/summery kitten piece, and today all I can do is sketch out autumn kitties!! Maybe it's the rain. I got so used to the sun down in CA for my sister's wedding, and it was sunny earlier this week in WA... I guess I had enough sun for the year and am ready to move onto autumn lol. If I go too long with just one type of weather
I get really tired of it, but I love having the sunshine broken up by grey, rainy days... Washington is the perfect state for me :)
So I've been working on a ton of new art, some of which I started last year and just picked up again, and some new pieces that I'm really excited about. I wanted to have Cherry Kitten plus one more piece done for May 1, but I'm not sure that's going to happen. I admit, I'm a little fruit kitten-painted out right now! So we'll see what I end up finishing. I do plan on painting a ton of autumn pieces this year, so I'm trying to get the spring/summer pieces finished in the next few months so I can go crazy with fall paintings starting in August. If I can wait that long ;)
Not too much else going on here. It's been a really quiet week, which I'm thankful for after the madness of the wedding! Still catching up on orders and emails, and working on merchandise for the Spring Fairy Festival this weekend. I'm excited! Hopefully I'll remember to take pictures and post them when I get back. I'm dying to see pictures from the wedding-- whenever I see them, I'll be sure to post some on here!
April 12, 2011
Hi everyone! I'm back from my sisters wedding- whew!! What a crazy week and a half. I haven't been that busy in a long time. It involved a ton of shopping, planning, and parties, but was really fun. The wedding turned out beautifully,
and was so fun a lot of us didn't want it to end! Dancing, champagne, & cheesecake- what could be better?!
It was pouring when we landed Sunday night but thankfully we must have brought some California sunshine back with us because it's been nice and sunny so far this week. I'm catching up on emails, orders & getting ready for the Spring Fairy Festival this weekend.
I can't believe it's four days away. Gotta get moving!!
I also added a new company to my Licensing page- I'm super happy to announce that my paintings are now available as rubber stamps through an awesome company called "Sweet Pea Stamps." The owner of the company creates each rubber stamp in her studio here in the US, and they are so fun
to make cards and other crafts with. Be sure to check it out if you enjoy crafting and scrapbooking!
March 30, 2011
I took new pictures of the new cameo necklaces and they turned out so much better!! I was able to finish the website update on my computer, so it will be going up late tonight. I hope you guys enjoy the new kitten!
Last night I took a "break" from work to play around with a new pirate cat and new masquerade cat, both of which I think will turn out well once I have the time to sit down and paint! I'm still figuring out the pose for
"Cherry Kitten," but once I have that settled I'll start painting that piece as well. I also have a sunflower painting that I can't wait to work on-- something about those yellow petals makes me so happy and puts me in a summer mood! I know, I'm always in the mood
for whatever season is coming up and not the one we're in haha. I have been DYING to paint some autumn pieces lately but I'm holding off until June or July.
The countdown to my sister's wedding continues, which is both exciting and terrifying because there is still so much to do. Cross your fingers that it's sunny next weekend!!
March 28, 2011
I can't believe it's almost April-- augh!! Right now I'm double-tasking, simultaneously working on the business and helping with my sister's wedding. The days are flying by and I never accomplish all I want, of course! I got a lot of work done this weekend but we also had a lot of fun
with friends, which was nice. I was working on pictures of the new cameos but the ones I took just weren't cutting it-- they are so beautiful in person, but it's hard to make that show online sometimes. So, I'm redoing the pictures in the hopes that this new set will be better. I'm also working on new earring designs (probably won't be released until May).
I was hoping to get another cat piece almost done before the wedding but I've been having problems narrowing down the options so I haven't made much progress. I'm thinking I'd like to do another masquerade cat piece and pirate cat piece soon, so I'm toying with those as well. I'm also getting ready for the Spring Faery Festival, which is less than three weeks away! I'm excited
about everything that's happening in the next few weeks, but at the same time it's going to be nice April 17 when everything is calm hehe.
March 21, 2011
Mondays are such strange days, even though I worked all weekend it still feels like a Monday today hehe. Catching up on emails and Facebook took over half the day! I finished "Blackberry Kitten" and did all the product pictures this weekend, so now I just have to somehow wait another week to share her!! I'm so bad at that, when I finish
a painting I want to immediately show it. Since I'll be taking the week of April 4 off for my sister's wedding I don't want to release her so early that I have orders sitting around for a week and a half. Right now it looks like all orders placed before March 30 will ship by April 1, and all orders between March 30 and April 9 will start shipping April 11. When things are busy that's
a normal wait time but I do like to let you guys know in advance!
So while I shared a sneak peek of Blackberry Kitten over on FB last Friday, I thought I'd share her here as well:
I'm hoping to get the first cat in a different series done along with Cherry Kitten for May's release, but we'll see what inpsires me. Sometimes it seems like I have no choice in the matter and have to paint whatever piece has decided it's coming next! Haha. I'm hoping to do a piece with sunflowers some point soon... for some reason, I've been really into yellow lately, and sunflowers
are so happy looking!
March 17, 2011
Aww the bunnies are giving each other kisses. I guess everyday is Valentine's Day when you have a bunny friend! Speaking of holidays, Happy St. Patrick's Day!! We had a most unusal celebration, as we attended a lovely wedding at a
Greek restaurant. It was a romantic, intimate ceremony and a ton of fun! My parents make corned beef, potatoes & cabbage and have a full-on St. Patty's Day celebration each year, so to go from that to this was definitely different. But it was a great time and now I'm so relaxed I don't
want to do any work :)
The new fruit kitten is actually just a day or two from being totally done-- she is being an angel and going really, really well. My goal was to have her done by the beginning of April and we're two weeks ahead of schedule! That means I'll get to start another painting before my sister's wedding,
so I can hopefully release two pieces at the beginning of May. The current new fruity feline will be released probably April 4 (or maybe April 1 if I get antsy). I'll be posting a sneak peek of her over on Facebook tomorrow if you want to stop by and see which fruit is coming up next!
Well I guess I'm going to try to get some work done before Tim and I watch our nightly Babylon 5 episode-- sending off two more images to a new licensing company, so hopefully I will have some awesome products to share very soon!
March 13, 2011
So far it's been a great weekend, with some awesome movies and a lot of progress on the new fruit kitten. Sundays tend to be work days, since Tim often goes into the office and I like to do a lot of work on Sunday to prep for the week ahead. So, today I am painting, working on orders, and working on putting the new tins up on Etsy. I'm
so glad you guys like the new tins & the new painting!!! I had some really wonderful emails this week about them, which was awesome :) "Strawberry Kitten" and "Spring Meadows" were released as cross stitch charts over at Heaven and Earth Designs, and I had a pack of moon cats and a pack of fairies released as tubes over at Creative Design Outlet. I know a lot of you are looking forward to the cherry kitten, so she'll be coming up soon.
Right now I've got Friends on while I work- I tell you, it doesn't matter that I've seen every episode a million times, this show never gets old! For me, anyway. Tim and I have started watching the show Dirty Jobs on Netflix and we love it-- it's simultaneously disgusting and totally hilarious. It makes me appreciate my job, that's for sure!
March 10, 2011
In an attempt to distract me from writing a journal entry, Strider is currently stretched out on the floor on his back next to me, with his feet up in the air. Belly rubs beat journal entries in his book, I guess!
Today was a long day of work but unfortunately no painting. I'm currently working on some projects for one of my new licensing companies, projects which are sorta fun but very time consuming with lots of attention to detail. Kind of like painting! Haha. My younger sister is getting married in a few weeks and I will be taking the week of her wedding off to help her,
which means I have to get through a big to-do list in the next two weeks. Plus the
week after her wedding is the Spring Faery Festival, and I have lots of goodies to make!
Speaking of merchandise, today I put together my first prototype of the new cameo necklace with "a Lilac Daydreams" cameo... I love it!!! I'm keeping this one for myself lol. The key charm does look pretty with the cameo, but I'm doing something a bit different. I'm dying to put them up on the website but I'll wait until the next painting gets released... hopefully I can do it before I leave for the wedding!
March 8, 2011
I'm a cooking machine today! We've gotten the Costco-sized pack of chicken three times now, which is 12 chicken breasts, and the past two times I wasn't able to make all the chicken before it expired. This time I was determined, so I am on my third recipe of the night! Teryaki chicken, broccoli & mushrooms, a chicken-pot-pie type stew, and chicken chablis. It's almost 1 am and I still
have chicken cooking on the stove! At least I shouldn't have to cook for a while now- which means more painting ;) One of my New Year's resolutions this year was to try a lot of new recipes and cook even more (I still think NY resolutions are good things!), and so far I'm definitely kicking butt on following through. I've been baking more too, but that hasn't turned out nearly as well-- I'm blaming it on getting the recipes off the internet hehe.
I also got in the new cameo settings that I mentioned a while ago-- since they were coming from Canada and it takes a bit I actually forgot I ordered them. But they're here and so pretty! They have a solid back and an ornate border, and fit a 25x18mm cab. These are the perfect option for folks who love our big 40x30mm cameos but would like a smaller size. I know I usually put key charms on everything (who, me?), but these have such a nice border
that I'm not sure I will add the charms to these. I'll start playing around with them tomorrow and figure it out! These will be up on the website with our next painting release, which will hopefully be in approximately two weeks.
Speaking of painting, I still have yet to start painting a new piece in earnest-- I had hinted in the latest newsletter that I would be working on the first piece in another new series, but the sketch isn't turning out quite how I pictured so it needs some more work before I can get started painting. The other three fruit kittens, on the other hand, are all sketched out and begging to be worked on!! I really was planning to wait to do the second one, but I may end up
painting another fruit kitten right now after all...
February 28, 2011
Working hard to finish the strawberry kitten-- all that's left is the wings and some final touch-ups and she is done!! Yay! Sometimes when I start a painting I have a very clear view of how it should look, but it often changes as I start
painting and ends up being quite different. This piece not only looks like what I pictured, but totally exceeds my expectations for how well I could paint it. I'm so excited to release her!!
I will finish her tonight and then begin working on all the product pictures... right now I'm thinking I'll have her up on the website by Wednesday night. It could be sooner but I have a few other things to work on as well. I also went a little crazy and have FOUR new gift tin
styles to add to the website... hehe. More tin styles may make an appearance soon depending on how much you guys like the new ones and if Tim will let me buy even more tins ;).
February 24, 2011
Just wanted to write a quick entry before I head off to bed. Strawberry leaves are mostly finished, which means the piece is probably about 85-90% done! I put a sneek peak of the
painting on my Facebook page the other day too. It looks like the website update & painting release will happen early next week, as I have three new tin styles to add to the website, as well as a brand new
key with the charmed cameos and lockets. You guys know how obsessed I am with keys, and I came across a new key charm that is really solidly made, shiny, pretty & elegant. I love them! So, I will definitely
be replacing the charmed cameo & locket keys with this new style. I also have a brand new cameo design coming at some point in the next few weeks, which will be an additional, slightly smaller cameo option than our current charmed cameos. Don't worry, our current
charmed cameos aren't going anywhere!
It has been snowing here so I have been working on orders and everything else while curled up under a blanket-- but compared to the midwest, I know we're lucky! It's a good weekend to stay inside and paint, that's for sure! The animals seem to go into hibernation
mode when the temperature drops- I think Strider has been awake for a total of about 10 minutes today. Savannah, on the other hand, had a blast tonight. I made homemade stew for dinner, and some of the carrots were jumping off the plate and onto the floor when I cut them,
and Savannah immediately pounced on them. She was batting them around like they were little orange mice!
February 22, 2011
Painting strawberries! These little guys are harder to paint than I thought-- it's just time consuming to paint each little seed, the shadows around the seeds & the highlights! But fun too because I love strawberries and they look so pretty :) I have wanted to paint strawberries for ages--
my piece "Enchanted Spring" was originally supposed to have a red & green theme with strawberries. So, it's cool to finally be painting them. Hopefully this piece will speed up and I can get it finished. I'd like to add the new painting and the new trinket tins to the website by the end of the week, but I'm still waiting
on a shipment of tins. So we'll see!
PS Strawberry leaves, on the other hand, are NOT fun to paint. Must paint some autumn leaves soon!
February 14, 2011
Happy Valentine's Day!! I hope everyone has a great day filled with love & laughter. I was never really a fan of Valentine's Day but that changed with Tim... he actually proposed on Valentine's Day four years ago now. Four years ago- wow. The time flies! I know I'm the luckiest
girl in the world to have such a Valentine, who surprised me with a huge bouquet of red roses in a vase last night. Tonight I'm making him his favorite dinner!
I was playing around with my current WIP and made this little Valentine's graphic. I've worked on the kitten a lot but that's about it-- the red things there are going to be strawberries. The painting is actually going really well and should be done hopefully by the end of the week! I hope you enjoy the sneak preview :)
February 9, 2011
One thing an artist always dreads is getting the equivalent of writer's block, when you can't come up with any paintings to work on. I think I've mentioned before I have the opposite problem-- I never run out of ideas, sometimes I just run short on motivation! I used to
just come up with a painting, sketch it out, and paint it until it was done or it killed me. Nowadays I have so many different ideas at once that I tend to sketch out anywhere from 3-10 pieces before starting to paint. The sketch really does have to "feel" like what I should paint next for me to actually work on it.
There's a new series I've been wanting to paint for months, and after I finished my festival poster painting, I finally had the chance. I sketched out the four paintings in the series, picked which one I wanted to start with, and sat down to paint.
Over the next few days I tried again and again, fiddling with different elements of the painting, rearranging things, and trying to start actually painting the piece.
As long as I'd been waiting and as much as I wanted to paint that piece, I could not do it. Apparently, it just wasn't time yet. So, I started sketching out a second series, one that I felt needed a lot of work to make it interesting/cute, but with a basic idea that I liked. Within a few hours I had all four pieces in
the series sketched out in a way that I loved. I even chose one of the pieces and started laying down the paint. Whoo-hoo! Back into painting again.
So, as you can see, there really is no hard and fast science as to how I choose what to paint next-- more often than not, they choose me. I will share some WIP pictures of the new piece when it's at a decent stage, and I hope you'll be as excited about it as I am!
January 29, 2011
I know things have been quiet here lately, I've been working on a lot of behind-the-scenes projects, including the poster for a spring fairy festival where I'm the featured guest artist. So much for a quiet January! I did just finish the poster painting, which
is called "Spring Meadows" and features not one but two adorable fairy cats. It's my first piece with two cats in three years, and only my second overall. Apparently two cats take a LOT longer to paint than one!! I will work on getting it up on the website over the next few days :)
I've also been practicing with acrylic paints, so I can hopefully work on this series that I've been dying to paint for months. Playing with real paint is so fun!! Then I discovered I was accidentally painting my sweatshirt sleeves ;)
While I've been working I've been blowing through tons of watch instantly movies & shows on Netflix-- I watched the entire 5 volumes of "The Secret Life of the American Teenager" (which I thought I'd hate but ended up loving), most of Monsterquest, some X-Files, almost all
the Shark Week episodes, and a bunch of movies including Julie & Julia and Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (both of which I loved). The problem is, now I'm almost out of things to watch on there!
January 7, 2011
Wow! First entry of 2011... I still want to write 2010 on everything hehe. I'm back from the holidays and slowly trying to get back into the swing of things. Had a terrific time getting to see lots of family and friends, ate a
lot of great food, and didn't think about work or even painting for almost three weeks! It was wonderfully relaxing, but now it's super hard to get back into work mode. I'm sure you guys know what I mean!
A lot of people think New Year's resolution are dumb, but I love them. I think it's awesome, sitting down to evaluate the last year and what you want to work on in the new year. Last year my biggest goal was to paint more, and I did
manage to paint 50% more paintings than the previous year. Yay!! This year my biggest art-related resolution is to start painting in acrylics. I keep putting it off for various reasons, but no more! I ordered some new paint & brushes, so stay tuned for some new pieces done
in acrylics [hopefully sooner rather than later :) ].
This year I have a lot of non-work related resolutions, including eating better, excercising regularly, and spending more time off the computer. As an artist & workaholic, I've gotten the habit of working from about an hour after I get up until the minute before
I go to bed, and a lot of that work involves the computer. Not good! I'm really excited about using acrylics again, since it both gets me of the computer and is FUN!
I'm off to work-- I'm wading through emails and have been filling orders, so if I owe you an email, I'll get back to you soon!
December 19, 2010
Whoo-hoo! Today is the start of my holidays! Well, technically tomorrow is the start since right now I'm finishing up all current pending orders. Once I get back from the post office tonight I will do a little happy dance! This is really the only
vacation I get from the business all year-- not that I don't love what I do and enjoy filling orders, but it's so nice to have a break, especially after the crazy holiday season. Thankfully I'm not as burned out as last year, where if I'd had just one more order my head would have exploded!
I do think, however, that I am burned out on painting. Even though the computer's been fixed, I have not been able to settle on a piece to work on. I've sketched a few more out and done a lot of brainstorming, but that's about it. Looks like I won't be doing a new painting until early January, and it will be a surprise (even to me!) what I paint next. Right now I'm planning on finishing
the May, June & August Birthstone Fairy Cats, doing one or two more kittens sleeping in flowers, and then I have several new series I will end up working on at some point. We shall see!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you, and I will "see" you in January!!
December 11, 2010
Getting ready for my artist's signing at Crescent Moon Gifts tomorrow! I will be there from 11am-5pm with a lot of cool items and big discounts, so I hope you guys can stop by! Crescent Moon Gifts is one of my very favorite stores,
so I will have to try not to go crazy buying things when I'm there tomorrow ;) Despite the computer being fixed I have been so busy with orders and getting ready for the signing that I haven't started a new painting yet... I keep sketching them out, but that's about it. I'm having trouble deciding
which piece to work on next. I have a few series I'm excited to work on, but I can't pick! And I've got at least three more Birthstone Fairy Cats I want to get done in the first half of 2011, so I'm tempted to start one of those as well. I only have a week and a half to paint before Christmas vacation so I guess I'd better
make up my mind soon!
December 4, 2010
Things have been crazy ever since my last entry-- right after I wrote it, my computer died out of nowhere. It's been almost two weeks and we just now *hopefully* got it fixed for good! So I have been working on orders, baking & reading, since I couldn't paint or do anything on the computer. We decided to get a Christmas tree this year, which is our first Christmas tree together ever (this is out sixth Christmas together).
We have pitifully few ornaments on it right now, but we have lots of multi-colored lights on the tree & around the apartment, so it's nice and Christmasy! I have been making & ordering Christmas gifts for family & friends, and am having a great time doing it. I love giving gifts! I got distracted on Etsy yesterday and ended up browsing funny magnets & buttons, so I sat there laughing hysterically for an hour (Tim thought I was nuts).
I wanted to get another Christmas piece done but not being able to paint for two weeks squashed that. I still hope to get one more piece done this year (that way I'll have completed an even 18 new pieces in 2010!), but I likely won't release it until January. I have been brainstorming new products & paintings for next year and have some really cool things in the works!
November 21, 2010
IT'S SNOWING!!! Growing up in Calfornia means that Tim and I get sooo excited when it snows by us. Right now we have the blinds open so we can see it, but I admit it's totally distracting me from getting work done! It's just beautiful. And it makes me want to drop everything and feverishly paint a few snowy scene pieces! I am sooo close to being done with the website update, I just
need to finish a few pictures and descriptions. I should have it up by tonight :)
Also, Harry Potter was AWESOME!!! They did a fantastic job on the movie-- we will definitely have to go see it again.
November 18, 2010
Yay! Christmas kitten is done! Finished it late last night and had so much fun working on product pictures today. I kept adding more and more different elements into the painting, which meant it took a lot longer than I planned, but it's also much better! I'm extremely proud of this piece
and can't wait to share it with y'all. I have at least another day of product pictures to do, but I should be updating the website with the new painting and two new necklace designs either Saturday or Sunday. And I may have a suprise for you with the update as well!!
Tonight the hubby and I are going to see Harry Potter 7 Part I at the midnight showing-- we're supposed to be there four hours early (yikes!) but Tim has to work late so we'll see. I'm super excited!! Wish I wasn't so cold though-- our apartment is freeeezing today so I really just want to curl up by a heater and not go out! No, it will be fun... haven't been
to a midnight showing in a long time.
November 16, 2010
In case anyone is wondering, I did not leave Facebook-- I woke up this morning to find my account disabled with no explanation or anything. I wrote FB and am waiting for a response to find out what the heck happened and why I wasn't told. Grrrrr. Also, one of the internal codes on my website was changed by
my webhost which temporarily took my website down, but it has been fully restored. Yep, has not been the best morning ever today!! Wish I could go back to bed but I have tons to do and a painting to finish, so off to work I go.
November 9, 2010
Is anyone else freezing?? The weather has definitely turned here and winter is on it's way!! I have been one giant ice cube today, and finally dug my fingerless gloves out of storage since it was hard to type with frozen fingers :) I don't typically mind the cold, as I think sweatshirts are
the greatest invention ever and I love being able to wear them year-round here in Washington, but sometimes there is such a thing as too cold! Makes me nervous, as November usually has nothing on January or February coldness! Ah well.
I have been filling orders a lot this week so I haven't made as much progress on the Christmas kitten as I'd hoped. I think I may be slightly burned out-- I've done 30% more paintings this year than last, so it may be catching up with me! At the same time, I have a big urge to paint angel wings all of the sudden. I usually put fairy wings
on my kitties because they're so pretty, but I think the Christmas kitten will have angel wings! So that will be fun.
I want to have the website update ready to go ASAP when I finish that piece, so I'm also working on pictures for the two new necklace designs I've been working on. One of them is already updated on the back end of the site, and the other one will get added once I get some supplies in tomorrow. I love the little pressed glass flower beads, so I
finally broke down and ordered some, for one of the new necklaces. I figured with all my flower cat pieces it's a good idea! I hope to have the Christmas Cat finished this weekend and then the website update ready to go early next week.
I think the most excitment here is the fact that my husband ordered us tickets for the midnight showing of the new Harry Potter movie next week!!! He got major brownie points for that ;)
November 4, 2010
Sometimes being an artist is a very odd thing. I've done 20 sketches of Christmas cats and have been preparing to start one for
several weeks, but found myself not very excited about any of them-- none of the pieces felt right. Then I was having a conversation with one of my special customers
about Christmas cats, and the smallest thing she said went "CLICK!" in my head and I immediately sketched out a Christmas kitten that is exactly what I felt like painting, and purrfect for what I wanted.
Thank goodness! I was driving Tim crazy by showing him potential pieces, having him choose his favorite, then deciding not to paint it! Now I'm having a great time painting one, with my mandatory internet Christmas
radio to keep me in the mood :)
Today I also started the verrry slow process of uploading new products to my Etsy shop for the holidays. I usually add a ton of items for the holiday season, and I have so many new products and paintings, and have been so bad
about uploading them to Etsy, that I have quite a pile of listings to add in the next week! Even though the pictures are done, it is a surprisingly time-consuming process, requiring a lot of patience, good music, and a comfy chair.
I have been trying to relax before bed each night in the hopes that it will let me fall asleep faster (I usually lie awake thinking for 2-3 hours, no matter what time I got to bed!). I usually relax by reading, but that lead to two problems. One-- if
I'm reading a brand new book or one I haven't read in a while, I keep saying "10 more pages" and before I know it, it's 5 am and I'm done with the book. Two-- my sister and I (and her fiance!) share the same taste in books, so we always trade books in the different series we're reading. The problem is that we sometimes
end up accidentally keeping or buying different random books in the series. So, I re-read the first book in the House of Night series, only to discover that she has #2 and I have #1, 3 & 4. So I read #1 in the Fever series, only to discover that while I have #2, she has #3 &4!! I just can't win!
November 3, 2010
Website finally updated!! I'm always excited to send out updates, but I just love the new Shadowbox Pendants and Ornaments so much that I was even more excited than usual. I have a crystal rhinestone ornament with "Lilac Daydreams" hanging on the wall by me-- I love how these ornaments look like framed prints and can hang all year on your wall! Tim's not excited about that, as it means I am trying to keep a bunch of the ornaments for myself instead of selling them ;)
As I write this, my girl cat (Savannah) has decided that Mommy is not doing anything important and should play... and as her rattle mouse has disappeared again, she fetched me a balled up (clean!) pair of Tim's dress socks to throw for her. I don't know what's stranger, that she plays fetch like a dog, or that she thinks socks are a good substitute for a mouse! When we're putting laundry away we have to be quick because she will sneak in the room and grab a pair of socks, taking them out to the living room to play with. Strider couldn't be less
interested in socks... but if he gets in my office, he will do the same thing with my stuffed animals, bringing them out to the living room one at a time! What is that line? Something like "You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps?"
Anyway, though I always have 10,000 things on my to-do list, now that I've gotten the website updated my list is a little shorter today, which feels weird. I've been working on the website update since early last week-- I made changes to Lilac Daydreams twice, which meant I had to redo all the merchandise photos twice! Now I need to finish taking pictures of my new necklace designs, and of course, work on that darn Christmas cat! Still having trouble deciding which sketch to paint-- I think I may end up painting at least two different ones this year, if I can ever figure out which ones!
I'll be working on that after breakfast... for now, I'm off to eat cereal and watch the new "16 and Pregnant," one of my guilty secret pleasures!
October 26, 2010
It's almost 1 am but instead of going to bed I find myself stalling on the internet, reading blogs, responding to emails, and generally avoiding either hard-core relaxing or surrendering to bedtime. So, I figured I'd write an entry! I have (happily) been working on orders all day both yesterday and today, so I haven't made much progress in getting new necklace pictures, ornament pictures, or the new painting posted on the website. The new painting, probably called "Lilac Daydreams" unless something better pops into my head, is pretty much done. I've been playing around with the shade of lavender in the piece, trying to make it exactly match the shade in my head. Easier said than done, apparently.
The color for this piece was just as important to me as the shade of blue in "Winter Moon Cat," but I had no trouble painting the blue shade I wanted in that one!
I had originally planned on posting the new painting & other items early this week, but I think I'm going to hold off until November 1. It will be a good way to start the month! Plus I haven't exactly been good about getting pictures done... I won't lie, I put the ornaments on my wall, and have been enjoying them so much I haven't taken them down to take pictures! That is next on my list though.
Let's see, what else... well the Giants did win playoffs, so Tim is deliriously happy about the World Series starting tomorrow. I told him it was his biggest birthday present from me ;) His birthday's on Friday, so I think I'll make him a romantic dinner with his favorite dishes, then take him to a minor league hockey game. I am not a sports girl so he's reluctant to go, but given it's his birthday I'm happy to go!
October 23, 2010
Today was a nice Saturday-- one of Tim and my favorite things to do is drive around and look at cute houses whenever we're in a new area, so today we drove over to this town that we'll potentially move to when our current lease is up. I loved the neighborhoods & the shopping center-- they had the biggest Joann's ever!!
Now I'm supposed to be finishing up my painting. I'm super duper close to being done, which is probably why I don't want to work on it, not that this makes any sense. But more than anything in the world I want the Giants to win this playoff game and get in the World Series-- Tim is up in knots and keeps giving me a play-by-play, so I want them to win and quickly ;) Then he'll be happy, plus I can stop hearing about baseball! Hehe.
October 20, 2010
Had a great day today!! Just announced a new licensing deal on my homepage/Licensing page, just in time for Halloween! And Tim had a good day in court, which automatically makes my day better :) I am trying to finish up the new kitten painting but all that's left is painting flowers... and I hate to say it, but I hate painting flowers! Leaves are fun. Flowers are not! I am hoping to have this piece done by this weekend though-- I really can't wait to make myself some jewelry with her hehe.
Speaking of which, I do have a sneak peek of her on my Facebook page here: Melissa Dawn Art on Facebook. There will be two more kittens in the series, though I will probably wait until January to work on them. I may have figured out what to paint as my Christmas piece this year, an idea that came 100% from Tim! I also have a new series that just popped into my head last night, with more of a theme motif, similar to the pirate cat or masquerade cat. As you can tell, I never have a shortage of painting ideas! Just time :)
October 17, 2010
I woke up absolutely freezing this morning, but it's actually a beautiful, sunny day outside! Sometimes it's hard to tell the days of the week since I always work from home, and most times work all seven days, but today really does feel like a Sunday for some reason. It's the kind of day where if we had a house I would get a mug of hot chocolate and go sit on the porch swing for a while. Instead, I will be painting, doing laundry, and working on orders... nothing too exciting, but I'm in a good mood all the same!
I would probably relax and read for a bit, but I was super naughty the other night and once I picked up Alpha I couldn't put it down... I stayed up until 5 am finishing it! I think I need to make a trip to the library soon.
I'm really enjoying my current painting. It's one where I'm painting it because I know it will look pretty on jewelry and I want some new jewelry to wear in this color! Usually I have different reasons for doing a painting, but I figure it's okay to paint one totally for myself every once in a while! Though I think y'all will like it too :) I'm having problems with my new Christmas piece... as in, I have so many ideas for different Christmas pieces that I can't decide what I want to focus on! Hopefully by the time I finish my current
piece I will have figured it out and can just start painting right away. I know it sounds funny to be talking about Christmas in October, but I have to plan this far ahead for a mid-November release! Especially since time seems to be flying by this year.
October 14, 2010
Hello! Boy it's been a while. I was out of town for the second half of September, so I am still catching up! I just finished updating the site with a new kitty painting and some new necklaces-- I hope you enjoy! Necklaces continue to be one of our most popular products, so I have been trying to figure out what kind of necklace designs to add for the holidays. I have at least two (probably three!) really neat, very unique & totally new necklace lines that I'm working on and can't wait to reveal!
Let's see what else... well when I was out of town I visited Tim & my families, which was really fun but kind of sad. We took our family cat to the vet and discovered that he has cancer, so that was rough. One of the highlights of the visit was playing with the litter of foster kittens my mom-in-law is fostering!! These kittens were ridiculously adorable, and my favorite litter of hers ever. Tim and I were very tempted to adopt two of the kittens... if we had a house, we would have! You will see both of these kittens soon, as
the two of them are the other two cats in the new series I'm working on. I took literally a hundred pictures of the kittens, so I have lots of reference pictures to work from!
We happened to be in California during one of the hottest weeks of the year, so while I really miss our families, I am very happy to be back in my chilly Pacific Northwest! I have been working like a madwoman, and with the holiday season coming up it won't slow down until after Christmas. Hopefully I won't go crazy before then ;)
I think that's it for now... with the website updated, newsletter sent out, orders packaged, and emails answered, I may get to do some actual relaxing tonight! Just picked up "Alpha," the last book in Rachel Vincent's werecat series, so I'm dying to find out how the series ends!!
September 20, 2010
Back from Portland! The pirate festival was really fun but we ended up leaving early because it was raining a lot and we were having trouble keeping all the merchandise dry. We did have a lot of fun though-- we got to see Bear and Amber, the owners of B.A.D. Art, and two of our friends from Tim's law school. And you can never hear "What do you do with a drunken sailor" too many times! (I loved all the pirate music)
Now we're back and I'm getting ready to go out of town again, this time to visit my family for a little family reunion. I have lots of orders to fill and things to update before I go, so it will be a busy few days!
The only bad part about going out of town is I won't get to paint for a while. I'm working on a special piece for the Masquerade Ball next month, as well as a new fall painting. Both pieces should be done and released by the middle of October. I've been having so much fun with the two new necklace designs I'm working on, and am still trying to figure out how I want to do the ornaments.
While I was getting ready for the festival last week I started watching the show "The Tudors" on Netflix. It's different than I expected and a bit raunchier than I'd like, but it's entertaining enough that I'm already up to episode 9. One of the perks of having your own art business is getting to watch things while you work-- in your pajamas! In fact, I think I will put episdode 9 on while I work on ordrs ;)
September 10, 2010
Good news! The pirate cat is going so well that he'll be finished this weekend-- which means I'm actually going to add both him plus my other new fairy cat piece to the website next week before the festival instead of after. Besides two new (extremely different!) paintings, I'm debuting a new compact mirror design, plus some changes to several of our jewelry lines. I have
a new jewelry style that I'll be replacing the Classic Cameos with, so if you want one of those, be sure to order them before the middle of next week!
This weekend will be a working weekend for me (which I guess is pretty typical!), though I am planning on stopping by the Pagan Pride Day festival in Federal Way on Sunday to check it out since I'm sure there will be lots of neat fairy stuff. And Crescent Moon Gifts, the amazing store in downtown Tacoma that carries my art prints & tins, is having a party tomorrow so I want to stop by there too. So I think it will be a pretty fun weekend after all!
September 1, 2010
Nooo! How can it already be September? 2010 is flying by unbelievably fast. I can't believe it's fall! It's my favorite season, and I love the holidays... I just can't believe they're already here!
We've been out of town or at a show almost every weekend in August, and September will be almost as busy. I'm REALLY looking forward to the Portland Pirate festival Sept. 18-19, and then after that I'm flying home to visit my family for over a week. So, the second half of September will be insane!
I've already finished a new fairy cat painting, and am trying to finish a pirate kitty piece to debut at the Portland Pirate Festival. So, my newsletter update should have at least two new paintings this month. I'll probably send that out after we get back from the festival. The weather has been switching back and forth between sun and cold, gray, rainy days, which makes it hard to stick with a painting. When it's sunny I like working on
the pirate cat or a fall piece-- when it's raining, I'm all about winter settings! I actually prefer the gray, but I guess if it's sunny just a bit longer I'll make more progress on my fall/pirate pieces, which would be good.
Well, Happy September everyone!
August 12, 2010
Things are busy as always here! Lots of exciting new stuff in the works! I just signed a new licensing agreement with Tiffany of The Realm. The Realm is one of the neatest online stores you'll ever find-- she has the widest range of beautiful products from artists throughout the fairy & fantasy industry. Tiffany also has a company called Mystic Pacific, where she makes a ton of beautiful products including keychains, tote bags, mousepads, stationary, water bottles, travel coffee mugs & more-- and now you can find my art on them as well! She just began adding my products to both The Realm and Mystic Pacific, will many more to come over the next few weeks. I hope you'll check them out!
Last weekend I got to actually meet Tiffany and see samples of the products-- she came down to Washington for the Jessica Galbreth & Amy Brown signing here at Crescent Moon Gifts. It was such a fun day!! We all hung out in the store for the signing, then went out to dinner. It was cool because Amy & Jessica, despite being fairy art rock stars, had never met-- only emailed for over a decade. We half expected the world to collapse when they met, but so far so good! ;)
This week I am working on a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff, such as my wholesale business, so I can get my art into a store near you! I'm also working on a new painting, though I'm not sure I'll have it done by this weekend like I hoped. Should be going up at some point next week though! I also have new supplies coming in for the filigree jewelry too; the design will change a bit, but it will still be pretty.
Alright, I'm off to get more work done... it's pizza night at Amy's, and I'm ready for some pizza and Sangria!!
August 3, 2010
Hey guys! I'm so glad y'all enjoyed the last update and the new paintings. We're back from Faerieworlds and trying to get back in the groove again. I was dying to paint all weekend, and now I can't get into it!
Faerieworlds was so much fun this year-- it was terrific not having to worry about setting up and taking care of our own booth, but still getting to go and even do an artist signing. We were supposed to arrive late Friday afternoon, but traffic was so abysmal that we ended up arriving at almost 11 PM and going straight to the hotel! Saturday we helped in Amy's booth, which generally involved lots of people watching and teasing each other (always fun), not to mention working. Boy, that Amy is a slavedriver! Just kidding, it was so fun helping out and spending time with everyone. It's funny to think that I met Amy, Darren, Kathi & Cindy for the first time at Faerieworlds two years ago. It feels like we've known them forever!
Later on Saturday I went over to the Crescent Moon Gifts booth for my artist's signing, where I got to see customers I love seeing every year, sign prints, and hang out with Angela and Dan (Crescent Moon Gifts owners). Sunday we spent most of the day in Amy's booth, though Tim and I did walk around and see the other vendors, and Amy and I went shopping for jewelry. There are always so many cool items I want to buy!
Yesterday we drove home, and thankfully avoided the massive traffic we had on Friday. It's strange to think that Faerieworlds is over for another year!
July 24, 2010
New paintings/site update coming tomorrow! There were a few things I had to add-- sorry about that!
July 22, 2010
I totally wrote most of the blog enty below yesterday, then forgot to publish it! Oops! I finished the website update and it's ready to go, so I will probably post the new paintings tomorrow and send out a newsletter on Saturday.
It's been pretty warm here lately, but today it's gray and for some reason our apartment is pretty cold, so I am curled up in my computer chair under a blanket. I need to work on orders and some business stuff later, but for now I'm going to work on the second piece in one of the series I'm debuting tomorrow. I should work on a summer piece that will warm me up!!
July 22, 2010
Wow I am not doing well with the blog updating this summer, am I?! Sorry guys! I've been trying to rest my wrist by not typing, but I have been painting and sketching a ton. I have TWO new paintings I'm currently working on adding to the website-- I should hopefully have both of them up by tomorrow night. I debuted one of them at Cornucopia Days last weekend, and finished the other one this weekend :)
It's hard to believe that Cornucopia Days was only a week and a half ago-- for some reason it feels like a lot longer. It was hot again this year-- not as bad as last year, but still a bit too warm on Friday and part of Saturday. But it was still a ton of fun! I got to see a lot of awesome folks who I'd met last year, and a lot of new fellow kitty lovers.
I also brought new magnets to Cornucopia Days, so I will have those up on the website tomorrow as well. It's good to have magnets back in stock! These are a little different from my old ones-- they are square instead of rectangular, and I've added a little decorative border to each one. Fun stuff!
Other than that, I'm just getting ready to go to Faerieworlds next weekend! I am crossing my fingers so hard that it's not over 100 degrees like last year- that was rough. I'm not sure if I'll have any of my stuff there-- I will update y'all when I know for sure. I will be working in Amy's booth, so if you want to stop by and say hi that would be great! I can also bring items for you if you let me know by next Tuesday night. I have a feeling this weekend is going to fly by!
June 25, 2010
Yesterday I tuned the world out and just sat down and worked on a new fairy kitty painting... and to my surprise, the kitten is pretty much done! I have to do the extra elements in the painting and such but it is super close to being finished. Yay! I hope to have it up towards the end of next week, or perhaps the following week if I get the
other new fairy cat painting finished as well. Also, I'm ordering a bunch of magnets in prep for Cornucopia Days, so they should be back on the website soon as well! Now I'm off to go work on Tim's law firm website...
June 23, 2010
Eek! I didn't realize it'd been that long since I posted. It has been a nuthouse here! It's hard to believe we've only been here for two weeks with all that has happened. Last week we celebrated my birthday, started opening Tim's law firm in earnest, I finished Ruby Cat and the new jewelry designs, and then finished my wholesale website.
Now I am getting ready for Kent Cornucopia Days (yay!) and have started two new fairy kitty series. I'm having trouble deciding which to work on first, so I've sort of been working on both of them. If I can buckle down, I may be able to get both pieces done by Cornucopia and my next website update next month. What's also been slowing me down is trouble with my wrist.
When I do too much computer work, my painting wrist has a lot of pains and even wearing a brace doesn't fix it. I think I need a few days off before it will get better, but I don't have time for that right now. So, on I go!
June 9, 2010
No kidding about losing steam... I started that journal entry 8 hours ago and just now got around to uploading it. I ended up taking TWO naps this afternoon/evening! It must have worked, because I got about 10 more big boxes unpacked. Only a few more left! I also ordered the new jewelry supplies, so hopefully I can get
the July Faery Birthstone Cat and the new jewelry finished and up next week.
I will also add some pics of the new place once it's all cleaned and decorated. My friends up here have been super sweet and I have several new really awesome house warming gifts! And the view from our living room is just gorgeous... a beautiful, enchanted misty forest and grassway. Yes, you will be seeing
a lot of misty/forest pictures coming up, I'm sure!
June 9, 2010
All moved! Took us two very long days to get up here, but we are in our new apartment and trying to get everything unpacked. It was going really quickly the first two days, but now we've kind of lost steam! I can't settle down and get anything done.
May 30, 2010
Hi all! Still plugging away, packing everything and getting ready to move. In one week will we be in Washington! YAY! Can't even say how excited we are. We are at the end of our rope here and are really looking forward to the next phase. Hopefully everything for the move will go smoothly! We've already had one glitch but that one is at least fixed...
I think Tuesday or Wednesday will be the last day I ship out order until after we've settled in (approximately the following Wednesday), so if you order by tomorrow or Tuesday I will get your items out before I move. All current pending orders will also go out by then!
Other than packing and filling orders, I have been working on a website for Tim's new law firm, designing two new jewelry products, sketching out the paintings for the rest of the year, and trying to say goodbye and see all our friends & family one last time. I suck at transition stages because I just want it to be over already, but I'm trying to enjoy this one. Still, I'm looking forward to next weekend!!!
May 23, 2010
Today was much better, I think it's the first day I've felt almost normal since I got sick! Yay! It was a fun, relaxing day. I worked on contracts for two new licensing projects, which I am VERY excited about!!! I can't wait to show you the products, they are very cool.
I also was really happy to make some good progress on the July Birthstone Fairy Cat. It was being a pain earlier so I wasn't excited about having to work on it. Now she is looking pretty and I think I will easily have her done by the time we move. She won't go up until we've settled in-- probably
the second week of June. I should also have the new jewelry product ready to go by then too! I also sketched out a new, uber cute fairy cat series today. It features very young, fluffy kitties that you will want to just pick up and cuddle! I worked on some fairy puppy sketches but so far none of them are perfect.
Right now I'm waiting for Tim to get home from work. He is bringing me a little mushroom pizza (my fave!), so I am quite anxious for him to arrive already.
May 22, 2010
I know I have been unexpectedly quiet lately. I came down with a cold two weeks ago, and for some reason it completely devastated my immune system. I have been doing little other than resting and getting ready for our big move. Two weeks from today we leave California and head up to Washington! We
finally got the moving truck, hotel, and new apartment reserved, so that is a big relief. Unfortunately Tim caught my cold, so for his big swearing-in as a lawyer on Thursday he was very stuffy! It was still a really neat experience-- we got to go to a courtroom and the judge, who was also an alumni of Lewis & Clark, swore him in as an attorney.
Our families went out to lunch to celebrate, and it was a really fun day.
Now I am taking a break from everything and trying to get better already. We have a lot to do in the next two weeks and I can't seem to get started on any of it! I started the July Birthstone Fairy Cat, but it's going really slowly. I'd like to have it finished right after we move-- hopefully once I'm better
the painting will speed up. I've also started a new painting series of.... puppies! That's right, fairy puppies will be here soon! Can't wait til I have my new artist studio set up and get to work :)
May 12, 2010
... and I unexpectedly finished the painting tonight! No idea how that happened-- I guess there was less to do left than I thought. I have to be at the library for 9 hours tomorrow, so I think the earliest I'll have the site updated & newsletter sent out is Saturday. Could be Sunday or
Monday though, depending on how I feel. Either way, brand new fairy cat coming soon! The title for this one is "Twilight Moon Pearls" :) Then there's only one Moon Pearls piece left and the series will be complete! After that, I will be doing the July Birthstone Fairy Cat since I know there are a lot of July
birthdays out their patiently waiting. I have a companion piece to "The Key" to finish as well. Then two more brand new fairy cat series... too many paintings, too little time!!!
May 12, 2010
Still sick :( Yesterday I was pretty incapable of doing anything, so I rested & then found 5 apartments to check out up in Washington. We're tentatively scheduled to move June 7!
As I am still mostly useless, I am trying to make progress on the new moon fairy cat, but it's going slower than the proverbial tortoise. Still, the painting should hopefully be done some point next week...
May 10, 2010
This weekend passed by in a fun blur-- got to see my parents for Mother's Day, and make my mom lots of jewelry-- but I woke up this morning with a sore throat and fluffy head. Then midday killer cramps hit-- oh joy! Then I went to work...
So for now I am out-of-commission... hopefully this cold gets better ASAP or I will be a very cranky Melissa. I have too much to do to curl up in bed! But that's all I'm doing tonight...
May 1, 2010
I started a journal entry yesterday, and literally all I wrote was the date! I'll try to get farther today.
Good news-- I finished The Key! I am very excited about this piece, since I think she is my best fairy or angel so far. She looks fantastic on jewelry too! I have a special Limited Edition collection for her that I will be releasing with her. Should be good!
As we move into May it unsurprisingly gets hot into our room, and of course neighbors are like "Oh it's a nice day. Let me get out my chainsaw and make so much noise so that no one can open their windows!!!" I am trying to ignore the sounds but it's loud! Grr. Anyway, I have been working on orders, crocheting gnobblins, and
working on a new fairy piece today. I also got a little lunch date with Tim, which always makes me happy :) He's been working so much lately that I'm not seeing him as much as usual. He's off at work now, so I'm going to try and make some progress on a new painting. I should be releasing "The Key" Sunday night/Monday morning. I am trying to get a new fairy cat
piece done as well, so I will probably wait to send out a newsletter until they're both done.
April 27, 2010
Hi! Boy it's been a while. I was busy getting orders out before I left for Washington again so I didn't have a chance to update my journal before I left. Washington was great! I had a lot of fun and got to see a lot of friends I hadn't seen in a while. I also started working
on some gnobblins. What are gnobblins, you ask again? The brainchild of me and one of my good friends up there, gnobblins are creatures that live in wild faery forests... some of them have been caught by the fae and domesticated, and some are still quite wild. They can be tamed by feeding them their favorite foods (
candy corn and sprinkles!), and are good luck charms.
I think I made 7 gnobblins this past weekend... you should see the inside of my suitcase! All these little eyes peering out. I need to take pictures and post them on here. I'm still waiting on some supplies so these prototypes aren't complete, but they're still cuuute! So now all I want to do is crochet all night... that doesn't get paintings finished, does it?!
After not painting for a while it takes a bit for me to get back into it, so I didn't get any significant painting done today... I sketched out a ton of new fairy paintings and played with some fairy cat pieces, but nothing stuck. I'm still finishing my newest fairy piece, which I hope to have finished by the end of the week. After that I'm not sure what to finish...
April 19, 2010
Painting, painting & more painting! I am having a blast with this new fairy piece, and made great strides today. She should be done really soon! I posted a little sneak peek of her on my Facebook page-- head over there and check it out! (the link to FB is on my homepage)
The hubby is super tired and going to bed early, which means no more work tonight for me. I have to go downstairs and read one of my new books (The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong). Oh darn!!! :)
April 18, 2010
This weekend was sooo fantastic! Yesterday I did not totally take the day off, but ended up painting all day long. I used to do that before I launched the business and started working at the library, but now I paint just a few hours a day. So, it felt terrific to paint all day long once again!
I suprised myself by working on a brand new painting that I hadn't even planned on-- I just started playing around with the picture and it evolved into this cool piece that I am so excited to finish and share with you!
Folks who liked Angel Hearts and Angel Fallen should like it. It's a gothic-type fairy, but with a fabulous golden stone background like Angel Fallen, but with a stained glass window. It is going super fast and should definitely be done by the time I go to Washington, but I'm not sure if I will release it until after I return.
Then today Tim and I had a date day, starting at the Vacaville Medieval Fantasy Festival, which was actually the first festival I ever did, back in 2008. We had so much fun talking with vendors, and I even found two awesome vendors who I recognized from Faerieworlds! It will be neat to see them again in a few months.
After that we went to IHOP for dinner, and then saw "How to Train your Dragon" at the drive-in. I was only semi-looking forward to the movie, but within 10 minutes, fell totally in love with it!!! It was funny, touching, and had the cutest dragons ever!! So Tim and I had so much fun today :) Now I'm back home and painting a bit before we
watch a Babylon 5 episode and go to bed.
April 16, 2010
Ugh. One thing I did NOT forsee when we decided to get a second rabbit was allergies. Every time I clean out their cages now, I get absolutely terrible allergies that even Claritin can't fully fix. It's my weekly dose of joy! I wouldn't give up Tinkerbell for anything-- she and Augustus snuggling is the cutest thing in the world, and he clearly needed her-- but I don't think we will be
getting more bunnies. I can't let Tim help with the cages because his allergies are worse than mine! Oh well. Their cuteness & love make up for it!
I have been steadily crossing things off my list, so my mile-long list from last weekend now looks like a few tiny reminders. Yay! I am so happy. Once I get these custom orders finished for the day, that will be another huge checkmark, and then I will be happily painting away on the new fairy kitten. Last night I spent a few hours working on a new angel & bird painting, but I don't know when I'll finish it. It just helps to have
all these half-finished paintings lying around, because it's always easier to finish a painting than to completely start a new one, and one day I know I will finish the 50 WIPs I have! I'm not sure what I'll watch when I'm painting... I could be typical and just put Friends on, but I may put in a movie instead. My sister lent me Center Stage & Zoolander (two movies I love), so maybe one of those.
Oh, and I spent some time researching cat rescue groups up in Washington today. There are quite a few! I am determined to get involved once we move-- I'd like to help with adoptions, socialize kittens, and help with photos/web stuff. Can't wait!
Well, I'm off to eat dinner (Chinese food-- yum!!), then get to work. I decided that I will indeed take tomorrow off, so I am really looking forward to vegging out! I will probably end up painting, but that's okay. As long as I don't feel like I have a list of stuff I have to get through, it will feel like a vacation!
April 14, 2010
I don't know why, but this feels like the longest week ever. I am so ready for the weekend! I think I will *gasp* actually take a full day off this weekend. That probably means I will end up painting and working on orders anyway, but maybe just for a few hours instead of a whole day! I am going back up to Washington next week, so
I need to make sure I have everything done in time. Luckily I had an incredibly productive day yesterday and I crossed a ton of things off my list! Now I mostly have to work on custom orders. Supposedly my printer is back at Fry's and all fixed, but I have no idea when I can get out there to get it. The loaner printer is working perfectly, so I'm not too worried about it!
... And that's about it here right now. I started working on the new fairy cat painting last night-- for some reason I'm just not in a fairy-fairy mood. I do have two series with angels/fairies & cats and animals on the horizon... I *am* excited about those!!
April 12, 2010
Done!!! Website is updated with the new fairy kitten. Isn't she adorable? She is definitely one of my favorites. Even though Savannah isn't a tabby, this kitten reminds us a lot of her!
I've also added bookmarks and clocks-- yay! The clock pictures really don't do them justice, but hopefully give you enough of an idea to see how neat they are. I have super limited quantities, but hope to replenish them by June. It really depends
on when we move.
Now that the website is done, I will be back to working on taxes. They are actually going a lot faster than I thought, which is terrific. Could be done tonight!
I'm trying to figure out what painting to work on next... either a new fairy, or the first cat in a new fairy kitten series. Both of them are sketched out, so we'll see what I feel like working on. It's nice having so many new paintings already sketched out! It makes starting a new painting
much less daunting.
April 10, 2010
"Workin', workin', workin', keep that Melissa workin'..." (sung to this tune that my dad sings about working... anyway)
Working on Midday Moon Pearls! It's going well, and will hopefully be done by tomorrow. This kitten is sooo sweet, can't wait to show y'all!
Oh and good news... I just did an inventory of my clocks, and I have more than I thought! I have at least three each of Key of Stars, Snowflake Fairytail & Purrfect Autumn. So, I will be posting those tomorrow too.
April 9, 2010
Super, duper tired! I planned to get a lot of painting done tonight, but ended up working on orders instead. At one point I had 11 tins lined up on the desk! It was fun :) If everything goes well,
I should have the new Moon Pearls kitty (tentatively called "Midday Moon Pearls") finished & updated on the website by the end of the weekend. Of course, I mean to have bookmarks, clocks & greeting cards added too, so it could be Monday or Tuesday by the
time I'm able to actually release everything. I'm hoping for an uneventful weekend where I can just dig in and finish everything! So, no surprises anyone, okay?! :)
April 5, 2010
Today started out pretty crappily but has vastly improved. I just received the new business cards and bookmarks and they are GORGEOUS!!! They even eclipsed my (high) expectations. I punched holes & put tassels in one of each of them, and I can't stop playing with them. So glossy and pretty!
I can't figure out which one is my favorite, they all look so good. I'm so happy (if you couldn't tell ;) )! I will be taking picture of them and adding them to my shops this week. I'd like to also get clocks & greeting cards posted as well, so it may be a few days. I also wanted to add a new painting with those items, but I haven't had much
of a chance to get some good painting time in, so we'll see. I have been playing around with some paintings (even sketched out a new fairy & fairy cat last night), but have yet to make significant progress on the two I'm supposed to be working on.
I did manage to fall down the stairs and bruise myself pretty good on Saturday. Other than that, the weekend was really fun. My dad cooked a gourmet meal for us on Easter, and I got Easter treats from my parents, husband, & mom-in-law (aka a lot of chocolate!). It was nice to have a mini-vacation, though it went by way too quickly.
I really need to work on the dreaded taxes this week, though I'd much rather be working on new products & paintings!
April 2, 2010
I'm off to the parent's house! Hopefully I won't have to do too much cleaning in preparation for Easter company. I may have cleaned my own apartment quite often, but I revert back to childhood cleaning laziness at my parents ;)
Today I did stop by the store and get some super fluffy long-haired yarn for some new projects! I was trying to wait, but I could no longer resist the lure of making gnobblins. What are gnobblins, you ask? Wait and see! Hehe.
March 31, 2010
This is my first post on the new website-- yay! I had been exclusively working on the website update for the past... five days? I have received the most wonderful emails about the new site and new kitty-- you guys are so amazing!
I have the longest list of things to do... the website was a huge checkmark off it, but now the next thing is... taxes. Ah! Evil, I know. I also have to work on adding greeting cards & clocks to my online shops. You'd be amazed at the amount of time it takes to take, edit & upload new pictures. Good thing I love it! And I'm supposed to get the new business cards and bookmarks on Monday-- I really can't wait
to see the bookmarks. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they turn out well!
I don't think anything else is going on. This weekend I'll be going to my parent's for Easter. We will be dying eggs and having a yummy Easter dinner, so I'm really looking forward to that. Hard to believe it's April tomorrow! This year really is flying by.
March 28, 2010
Yesterday was an awesome working day... the new website design is complete, and I've started updating all the pages for the new site. I'm estimating that I'll be releasing the new site and the new painting Tuesday night, but it just depends on how fast I can update the site and get the new address working. So far, so good!
Of course, last night I discovered I need to redo all the product pics for the new painting. I had felt the painting was missing something, and last night I changed a few small things, and all the sudden the painting felt complete. It's amazing what a big difference a few small changes can make! That is one of the good things about waiting to release a new painting-- you get the
chance to make sure it's really done! Of course, now I have to go redo all the jewelry & acessories pictures of it, but that's okay. It's worth it!
So that's what I'll be working on tonight. I'm getting ready to go to the bridal show with my family-- I was supposed to go see them yesterday, but it's a good thing I didn't because I got so much done. It'll be so nice to have this all done.
March 26, 2010
I'm trying to remember what I did in between the last entry and this one... and I can't remember! Today I was feeling like I needed some time off, so I read and played with the kitties. All I've really accomplished is cleaning the bunny cages and updating my email & Facebook! I haven't added the new painting sneak peek yet...
since it's the new website header, I think I'll wait until it's all done. I have to finish the new web design and get the new address set up, so I'm not sure when that will be. Maybe Monday? I'm spending most of the weekend with my family, including going to a bridal show for my sister on Sunday. Yay!
I remember one thing I did-- after two years, I'm finally doing bookmarks! I'm getting them from the same company I get my business cards from, so hopefully they will be really nice. It's always a crapshoot as to how the colors will turn out since I can't preview them. They are double-sided with a decorative border and a matching tassel-- hopefully they will
be as pretty as I hope! I only ordered four designs to start with (Purrfect Autumn, Sapphire Cat, Aquamarine Cat, and the new painting), and if they print well and sell well I will order a bunch of other paintings. I will put them up on Etsy first, then do a mini-update later in April with a new painting & the bookmarks on the website.
So, new stuff coming soon! I'd like to design earrings in the next few months as well, but I may wait until we move (if we ever get to!). I'm off to work on the new website-- I have Friends on, as usual, because I swear it puts me in the best mood for some reason.
March 23, 2010
Made oodles of progress today on the new website header & business card. Both are totally done! Can't wait to unveil the new website look... crossing my fingers it will be this weekend!
March 22, 2010
Well, it certainly turned out to be an interesting couple of days! I was blissfully painting away yesterday afternoon when I remembered I'd forgotten to charge my phone the night before after it died. I plugged it in and ten minutes later got a call from my very confused sister,
who wanted to know why I hadn't texted her back about her engagement ring. I said "WHAT?!?" She and her boyfriend have been together for five years (they started dating about two weeks before Tim and I), but none of us had any idea that her boyfriend had decided to propose.
So, after much excitment and congratulations, I found out
that there was a champagne celebration at his parent's house, over two hours away from us. So we scrambled to get out to my sis so we could bum a ride out there. We didn't get back until after 10 PM, so it was a very long, unexpectedly busy day! I could not be more excited... Ashley is younger by me than 3 years, so it's hard to believe that
my little sister is getting married! Though, the older we get, the less she seems younger than me. But I'm so happy for her :)
Then I woke up at 5 AM with a horrible, horrible stomach ache, which has not gone away despite the fact it is now 10 at night. I spent most of the day in bed since doing anything else made me throw up. Not a good start to the week! Being superwoman (ha ha), I still managed to finish my new painting and get the website updated. I will
be waiting to release it until I get the new website all set up, which will hopefully be this weekend.
March 21, 2010
Whew! How'd it already get to be the 21st?? It will be April before I know it. I love Easter, but I don't mind if the days stop flying by so quickly!
Yesterday we spent the entire day in San Francisco, going to the King Tut exhibit and eating dinner at Fisherman's Wharf. I had lots of fun (Tim's whole family went since it was a birthday celebration for his brother), but
every time I go to SF it reminds me why I hate it so much. I really, really don't like that city! I much prefer Seattle. Good thing we're moving up there :) I did get a souvenir that I've wanted since we went last fall-- a little
sleeping kitten figurine like the others in my collection. I will post a pic of her on Facebook later tonight!
I have been trying really hard to squeeze in painting time to get some new pieces done. I am less than an hour away from finishing the first piece in one of my new fairy cat series-- yay! I am very excited. This cat will be in the header
of my new website design. I haven't quite figured out what to paint next-- I would like another painting to release with this one in a week or two, but I'm not sure what. I won't get a fairy painting done in time, so I really just need to decide between another cat in this series, or the first
cat in another new series. Both are sketched out, I just have to figure out what I want to work on! I'm hoping to have the new website address & design done in time as well. This will definitely keep me busy for the next few weeks!
March 17, 2010
I just realized that my entries yesterday were dated with today's date. Not sure what's up with that!
Today was a mix of good and bad-- Augustus finally started eating a lot more hay, so *hopefully* he will continue to get better. My printer worked long enough for me to finish filling orders, then decided to stop recognizing the ink cartridges. I will have to see if Fry's has my warrenty on file, otherwise it's time for a Plan B!
Despite things being busy, I squeezed in some painting time-- the new fairy kitty is coming along nicely. I spent tonight turning him into a long haired cat. His fur was sleek like Strider's before, but I really wanted a fluffy kitten-- actually, I think this whole series will have fluffy kittens-- so I fixed that. Hopefully I can get this one done
this weekend, then start redoing the website and working on one of my new Muchness fairies (no clue what to call them, must think up a clever name). Can't wait to show y'all everything!
March 16, 2010
None of the problems from earlier have really been fixed (bunny is nibbling but not eating, and more ink arrives tomorrow), but I do have good news.
I think I found my fairy much-ness.
Ever since I started painting fairies, I've been searching for a style & theme I could call my own. There are so many fairy artists out there, that each time you think you've come up with an original idea, you find out ten artists have already done it. But last night,
when I was trying to sleep, I started thinking about fairies, and mushrooms, and all the sudden... I got my muchness.
While I was not a fan of the new Alice in Wonderland, there were some things I really liked about the movie. I love the discussion & how the actors delivered it when talking about how
Alice has lost her muchness. I feel like I haven't really had any fairy muchness... until now. Fairy cats, yes. Fairies... still searching for it. So, once this idea popped into my head, eight others immediately followed. It was crazy! I just sketched out the first two, and it came so easily, and got a
big thumbs up from Tim (one of my yardsticks!), so I am extremely excited. They have a surrealistic, Alice in Wonderland feel. I may do only one fairy cat this month and try to release one of these fairies too... but we'll see! I'm also tempted to release several of them at once...
So stay tuned, because with the new fairy cat series, website look, and new fairies... things will be changing a lot here! Not in a bad, too-different way-- it will still be me, but with lots more muchness :)
March 16, 2010
The past couple of days have been rough. We had an awesome time at my parent's this weekend-- corned beef & cabbage for dinner, cookie making, etc. And my mom and I played with jewelry supplies, which is always too fun!
Then yesterday, all our stuff started breaking. By stuff I mean me, my printer and our bunny. The printer says it's out of ink, so I put in a new cartridge, and it prints one print then says it's out of ink in that color. Not good! It's happened twice now, and so far the best solution seems to be throwing more ink cartridges at it until you get one that works right. Not literally, though if it keeps happening, I may start chucking the ink at it!
Then Augustus, our little Napolean bunny, refused to eat last night. He is the biggest pig and always digs into his food with gusto, but last night he ignored our attempts to give him veggies and pellets. In the past he's had episodes like this where he gets really sick and won't eat for days, so we were afraid that was happening again. However, I did coax him to eat some lettuce this morning, so hopefully it won't be too dire!
So all that adds up to too much excitement, when I just want to work & paint! I did figure out the color scheme for my new website design, and Tim loves it, so hopefully that will be good. I made a ton of progress on the painting for it, so if all goes well the new website design will go up in the next month or two.
March 12, 2010
For some reason I totally forgot to publish the journal entry below this one, which I wrote two days ago. What was I thinking??
I did finally manage to triumph over Facebook, and have a brand new page up! I am having way too much fun with it now, and I haven't even gotten to do everything I want yet! I plan to post WIP pictures, new listings on Etsy, and other misc. fun stuff on there. Here's a nifty preview of my page (click on it and you can go there and friend me):
Melissa Dawn Art | Create Your Badge
Yay! I finished that yesterday. I've been feeling really overworked and rundown, so I took today off. By that I mean I filled orders all morning and then did the layout for one of my new kitty series :) Luckily Tim and I are going to my parent's tomorrow for a St. Patrick's Day celebration, so I will be forced to actually literally take a day off! The irony is that we're not Irish... just Irish at heart. I can't wait! Tonight I'm working a little more on orders, answering some emails, and then watching a movie with Tim.
So all in all it's been a good day... I watched 9 Friends episodes while I worked, and had a fantastic time finally finalizing the layout for that new fairy kitty series. I am extremely excited about it, and can't wait to debut one of the cats next month. If only I could decide which one to paint first...
March 10, 2010
Facebook is EVIL!!! I have been getting nagged about starting a Fan Page on there, so I decided yesterday to try it... and have since had to start over THREE times. Augh! The thing that keeps throwing me off is that a fan page is not actually a profile, so you can't friend anyone, plus there's this big "Create your profile" link at the top, but when you fill that out it then makes
a personal page on there that the fan page is connected to or sometimes not even connected to. I have used facebook for about 5 years, so you would think it would be easy... but nope!
Anyway, I'm glad you guys seem to be enjoying the new paintings. It seems like everyone is ready for spring! I'm already at work on my next two fairy cat paintings, which should hopefully both be done by next month. One of them will become the new image on my website & business cards, assuming I can paint it like I see it in my head!
I was super excited today when a package of new jewelry supplies arrived-- it's silly how happy I get when they arrive. However, I was bummed to discover that one of the new jewelry elements I ordered does not match the colors or shapes it had online, so I will have to send them back and re-order different ones. It's a good thing I don't need them until the end of the month!
March 6, 2010
Done! That was definitely a record. "Fragile Spring," what I think I'm calling the new fairy bunny, is finished. It was so fun to paint my little Tinkerbell! I love all bunnies, but there's something about Hotots has have always
captivated me-- maybe because my first bunny was a hotot, or maybe because they always have such distinct personalities. Now I have two more!
Besides finishing the fairy bunny, I also worked at the library and went to the movies today. I was REALLY excited to see the new "Alice in Wonderland," as I am a huge Tim Burton fan. The visuals were great, and I liked the Cheshire Cat, but other than that I really didn't enjoy the movie. I was so surprised,
and disappointed! In one of the episodes of Babylon 5 that Tim and I just watched, a comedy duo comes to the space station and everyone is cracking up, loving it, except Captain Lockley. That's how I felt today at the movie-- Tim and I were quiet while everyone else chuckled. Well, maybe I'll see it again at some point and like it
So, I am happily on schedule to release both new paintings towards the middle of this week. I actually finished Fragile Spring a whole day early-- that means I can do the website update and maybe even get it out Monday or Tuesday.
March 4, 2010
I have an eight hour shift today at the library. I can't even put into words how much I don't want to!!! Four hours is a long time with our job, but eight is killer. I just want to stay home and paint!!!
However, I'm happy to say I did indeed finish "Aquamarine Cat," the March birthstone cat, last night. Here's a sneak preview (the painting should be released by the middle of next week):
March 3, 2010
Almost done! Almost done! Despite my procrastination earlier, things are going really well. Background, flowers, jewels & wings are done, so all that's left is to touch up the cat's face, and it's finished! I will post a sneak preview tomorrow :)
March 3, 2010
Today I have an awesome day off from the library, so I am supposed to be spending it finishing the March Cat, However, so far I have managed to update DeviantArt, watch a tv show with the hubby, and procrastinate online... none of which involves finishing this painting!
While I was in Washington I met with Kathi & Cindy (crafty friends! yay!) and we have a new project that we'll be unveiling at some point hopefully this summer. It's not art, but rather handmade little creatures by us... should be really fun! Unfortunately I will probably, once again, need to clone myself
to get everything done. That's just the way it goes!
I need to go mail orders that way I can get to work on finishing the March cat. Finishing up a painting and doing all the polishing and last minute touches is always the hardest for me, and seems to take forever! It's hard because in my mind I'm already two paintings ahead and ready to go work on them. I will hopefully
finish "Aquamarine Cat" tonight, and the fairy bunny this weekend, and have a big update for y'all by the middle of next week. Onward and upward!
March 1, 2010
Augh! Did I just write March 1?! This year is flying by! Which is really okay with me... the sooner we can move up to Washington and get things sorted, the better! I am missing it big time today.
A package was waiting for me when we got back last night... new business cards! I tried a different company this time, and got extra pretty ones. It's probably something only a business owner would get excited about, but I'm so happy with them. The front image is darker than I would have liked, but the back is super gorgeous. Anyway, these will start going out with all orders, so if you're one of the folks with a pending order, you will get to see these in person soon!
Today I'm working on orders before I head off to library work, then probably doing more orders when I get home. I'm hoping to squeeze in some painting time tonight. While we were up in WA, I really did get on a much earlier schedule than my norm, which means that we got up at 10:40 this morning. Considering we usually get up around 1 PM, that was awesome! The downside is that we're going to bed a lot earlier, so I don't know how much time I'll have after I get home from work before I crash. I'm working
on a huge website update for when I get these new paintings finished-- I will be posting the clocks I have in stock, offering a new commission option, and adding fairy bunny & cat paintings. I am shooting for early next week, but with all this stuff, it could be almost two weeks, so stay tuned!
February 28, 2010
Hi everyone!!! We're back! And boy does it feel like we were gone longer than 8 days! I have so much catching up to do.
We had an amazing time in Washington and did a whole lot of things-- I spent a ton of time with my dearest friends Kathi and Greg, and at their store Browser's Books, got to see my friends Jeff & Sherri Haynie (Jeff is an incredible fellow cat artist), got to finally give a flying monkey to Amy (Brown) and have dinner with her family, and actually saw a lot of Washington in the process. We've picked out some areas we'll
look at moving to, which feels really exciting.
I re-stocked my kitty art at Browser's Books, so if you're in the Seattle, WA area, go to 315 W. Meeker St. in Kent, WA and check them out! I guarentee you won't leave empty-handed; the store is an amazing treasure trove of books, art, and gifts.
So now I have to get to work-- I have lots of orders to fill, emails to write, work to do on my thesis... not to mention the two new paintings I hope to release in the next week or week and a half!!! Guess I better get started :)
February 19, 2010
Craziness! Ran around like a chicken with my head cut off today-- have to get up in 6 hours to catch the flight too. Augh!
Small Charmed Cameos are now sold out. I will be updating the website in approximately two weeks, including two new paintings, so please stay tuned! I am off to Washington-- again,
please feel free to order like normal, but know that orders will begin shipping out on 2/28/2010! Thanks guys!
February 17, 2010
My shift at the library was almost twice as long as usual today, so I am super tired tonight. I'm trying to get all caught up on orders, since I'll be out of town Feb. 20-27. You will still be able to order like normal
during that time, I just won't mail out your order until I return!
Tonight I discovered I only have 5 30x22mm glass cabs left. It is ridiculously hard to get 30x22mm cabs-- these were specially made for another artist who was kind enough to sell extras to me. After these five go, I will not be replacing them. That means I will be discontinuing
the small Charmed Cameos (just the small-- the large ones won't be affected). So, if you have your sights set on one of them, please order it soon!
I've been so busy with work and orders and preparing to go out of town that I haven't gotten to paint in a few days :( I am determined to get the March cat and new fairy bunny paintings done by the end of the first week of March, so hopefully I'll be able to concentrate on that when I return from Washington. Nothing else
new here-- I'm off to watch an episode of Babylon 5 with Tim, then to bed!
February 15, 2010
Today is one of those beautiful, lazy spring/summer days when you just want to curl up on a hammock and read and nap! I guess it's a bit cold to feel like summer, but it sure feels like spring!
I've been lazing around in the sun room for most of the afternoon, take a much-needed break, but now I'm off to work on my thesis, the March cat, emails, and orders. Less than a week til we head off to Washington!
PS-- Today I sketched out a new painting, which will be a companion piece to Gossamer Spring. The new piece features Tinkerbell, my little hotot/lionhead bunny! I will be waiting to release the March cat until this
fairy bunny piece is finished, but that should be the first week of March.
February 14, 2010
Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I hope, whatever your situation, your Valentine's Day is filled with love.
I'm most excited about today because it's Tim & my third anniversary of getting engaged. Three Valentine's ago we went to Disneyland and he proposed to me in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle :) It was the most incredible
proposal a girl could ask for, and it's strange and exciting to think that's it's already been three years since that night!
Today is also my lil sister-in-law's birthday, so tonight we're doing a dinner celebration for her, and then Tim and I might go to the movies. Or just stay in and have a Babylon 5 marathon! In the meantime, I'm designing a new business
card and working more on the March cat. I'm thrilled with the progress I made on it last night!
February 13, 2010
Hi all! Just got back from my parent's. It was a terrific visit-- my dad and I watched Harry Potter 3, and in response to my new obsession with pearls, my mom generously gave me one of her pearl bracelets & necklaces. Good stuff!
Now I'm trying to figure out what to do tonight... I have the March cat open, so I will hopefully make a bunch of progress on that. I'm super tired for some reason, so really all I want to do right now is go to bed! And it's about 5-6 hours before my normal bedtime. Maybe I'll take a quick nap and then get to work.
February 10, 2010
How is it already February 10??? I swear, I blink and three days go by!
Nothing too interesting here, just working on the March birthstone fairy cat and getting ready to unexpectedly go to my parent's for the next few days. Good thing I have a four day weekend! When I get back, I will be finishing up the March cat and getting ready to go to Washington for the week (yay!).
Originally my plan was to release the March cat and another painting
when I got back from WA, but since I probably won't finish the other painting in time, I may just release "Aquamarine Cat" before I leave. Anyway, here's a WIP shot; the wings, cat & background aren't done at all, but I figured what the heck :) I love the colors! They definitely get me in the mood for spring.
February 6, 2010
Not really having much of a weekend... I have to work at the library both Saturday & Sunday, and before/after work I'm trying to get orders done, the March cat painted, and get pictures done so I can put the Timepiece Cameos up on Etsy. I did make a lot of progress with the last one;
please vist the Timepiece Cameos gallery to see some of the new pictures! Hopefully they give you an even better idea of what these beauties look like in person.
The March cat, on the other hand, is being a pain. I may have decided to go with pale blue tulips for the painting after all (it's what I originally planned on but I changed my mind), so we'll see if it comes together in the next few days. We leave for Washington in exactly two weeks, so I want to have all the loose ends tied up by then!
Okay, I'm off to read for a few then to bed... night everyone!
February 4, 2010
The awesome thing about working at a library? You can always find 10 new books to bring home.
The sucky thing about working at a library? You can always find 10 new books to bring home!
My whole shift I was excited to go home and paint. Tim's out bowling with the boys, so I knew I'd have 4 hours of uninterrupted painting time. However, I was so tired when I got home (and in my defense, my shift ended at 9 PM), that I put on my pj's, crawled into bed, and began reading Tori Spelling's latest autobiography.
Now it's four hours later, I've finished the book, and I've painted nothing! Not only that, but I've discovered celebrity autobiographies are apparently a guilty pleasure. I'd say secret guilty pleasure, but I just ruined that. As long as Tim doesn't know, that's all that matters!
... and on that note, it sounds like he just got home!
February 3, 2010
Today was a good day! Once again I got a lot done, and even made some progress on the March kitty. I sat down to work on it again a few mintues ago, and instead found myself opening up this fairy painting I started last May. I love the colors and the fairy but I didn't like some of the painting's other elements, so I found myself playing around with an idea I had. Before I knew it I not only had a good layout for this painting, but for a companion piece that's been floating around in my head for the last month. Now they're both ready for painting to start in earnest!
I didn't want to say anything in case I didn't have time to finish it, but I've been thinking about doing a piece in relation to Amy & Jessica's "Enchanted Visions." They have this new thing where they come up with the title for a painting, and without consulting each other, create a painting that they think of when they consider the title. Another artist set up a site where any artist can submit their own interpretation, so I'm thinking about submitting the companion piece I mentioned above for the next one, which is "Shades of Blue." I don't know if I can have her done by March since I'm going up
to Washington for the last week in February, but I think I'm going to try!
February 2, 2010
Despite feeling lazy and unfocused earlier today, I actually ended up accomplishing quite a bit. I finally got a lot of Chapter 1 of my thesis written (yay!!), got orders out, answered a ton of customer emails, updated DeviantArt, and finalized the sketch for my March cat. It's only 10:30 PM, so I'm thinking about starting the underpainting for the March kitty. Or I could work on the orders I need to send out tomorrow. Or both... (yes, this is why I typically go to bed at 2 AM!)
Also, on a random side note, I bought a package of Parmesean Goldfish crackers the other day, and totally devoured them, so tonight I am fishy-less! Much sadness ensues. :(
February 2, 2010
Today is my day off from the library, so I'm supposed to be accomplishing all sorts of things. Instead, Tim really pissed me off, which means that I can't concentrate on anything. I wish I was one of those artists who was fueled by anger and dark thoughts! Instead, I have to be in a happy place to paint and write.
January 31, 2010
The website has been updated! I hope you enjoy the new kitten and my new Timepiece Cameos. I am so excited about them! As far as I know no other artist has created any similar products, and the fact that they're also really practical is a great bonus.
Tim and I visited my parents this weekend, which was both fun & relaxing. We played a lot of Uno! Now I'm catching up on orders and trying to get to bed at a decent time.
January 27, 2010
Victory was had last night, as I finished Amethyst Cat! It is an extremely purple painting, which I had the best time with since lavender is one of my favorite colors. I can't wait to release it! However, since it's supposed to be for my February newsletter, and since I will be adjusting the prices of my jewelry and such when I release it, I will probably wait until late Saturday night to update the website.
I spent today taking pictures of it on
all the products, which is actually my favorite aspect of finishing a painting. I like prints, but it's way more fun to see how paintings look in cameos and mirror compacts! Sometimes paintings make great prints but it's hard to put them on products (Angel Hearts is the epitomy of this dilemma), but I was pleased to find that Amethyst Cat seemed to look beautiful with all the products yet make a good print.
Originally when I began the birthstone series I considered making the same style of wings for all the cats, but I'm having more fun doing different wings for each cat. What ties the different Birthstone Fairy Cats together is the fact that they all have birthstone jewels on their wings, which is an idea I'm quite proud of! As far as I know no one's done that with a birthstone series yet. Amethyst Cat has lovely lavender wings, and
if you look closely (or not too closely depending on the size of the print!), you can see sparklie fairy dust on her wings!
January 24, 2010
It is taking every ounce of my self-control to put down my pen and stop working on Amethyst Cat! I spent a ton of time working on the wings today, as they did not come together as easily as the previous jeweled wings did. Now they're done and I like them, but I won't be able to finish the kitty tonight. However, I do have a sneak preview for you!
January 23, 2010
Today was a good day. Got a lot accomplished on my thesis, then spent about five hours on the February cat painting. It was my idea of the ideal Saturday night! I know, I know, my life is too exciting ;) While I painted I watched Friends and then switched over to Harry Potter 6. Now I'm tired so I'm off to read and then to bed! Tomorrow I have emails to respond to, a few orders to fill, and then *maybe* I'll finish the new kitty!
January 22, 2010
Happy Friday! I absolutely love having three day weekends, since I can get lots of stuff done on Friday and still have a whole weekend to look forward to. Of course tomorrow I'm going to my alma mater to do research for my thesis, but it will hopefully be fun.
Among other things, today I worked a lot on the February cat and watched the movie Love Actually. I haven't seen that movie in a few years, so I forgot just how funny and enjoyable it is. And it has one of my favorite actors (maybe my favorite!!) in it-- Liam Neeson. I didn't make as much progress on the painting as I'd like since
I was distracted by the movie, but I did give the kitten adorable luna moth style wings!
January 21, 2010
Yesterday was just one of those days where you wish you'd just slept through it... hopefully today will be better! It's my last day of work at the library this week (yay!), so this weekend will be
full of art business work and writing my thesis.
I'm also working on the February birthstone cat, and I think I may have turned the corner with it. A lot of times paintings will have a stage where they're ugly and just not at all what you'd envisioned,
so it's hard to want to work on it when it's looking so bad! However, I think I've finally gotten the painting worked out to where the colors mesh nicely, and I'm really excited about it. Folks who like the color purple should love this one! I also figured out
that the kitten needed a white star on the forhead and some white on the body. I'd give you a sneak peek but it's not ready yet... maybe tomorrow!
I'm also working on a new jewelry line. These designs are super unique (and practical!), so I'm really looking forward to debuting them. I was hoping to have it all ready for the February newsletter, but I'm still waiting on a few
jewelry pieces so I may debut them but only have them for sale in my Etsy shop until the rest of the pieces come in since I have a really limited supply right now. At some point this year I'll also start designing earrings... so, lots to look forward to!
January 18, 2010
It's hard to believe my four day weekend is almost over!!! Boo! Tim and I went to my parent's on Friday and just got back last night. It was so fun-- and my dad's cooking is to die for! Today I'm trying to catch up on emails, orders, and other random work. I ran out of the gold keys I was using for small lockets and such, so I've replaced the pictures with the new ones I have.
Unfortunately I've made no painting progress what-so-ever. I started the March cat and a new fairy painting that I'm super excited about, but I haven't made much progress on either. And when I made my mom cookies last night, I totally tweaked my wrist, so I have to be super careful and wear a wrist brace for a bit or I won't be painting at all!
January 13, 2010
Sooo tired. I had a headache all night that totally wiped me out. As I didn't feel up to doing anything, I ended up actually updating my Deviant Art account (it's a website where you can submit your artwork and network with other budding artists and established artists). I used to be on DA ten times a day, but
things have been so crazy for the past year that I haven't even signed on. So, it will be nice to chat with all my friends on there again. Now it's time to go read with Tim and go to bed! Of course, the one night I'm ready to go to sleep early is the one night he decides to make Mac 'N Cheese... which I can't resist and have to go eat even though it's 2 AM!
January 10, 2010
Yesterday was supposed to be a very work-filled day, but instead Tim and I went over to my sister & her boyfriend's for an evening of Fundue. That's like Fondue, but with extra fun! It was a night of melted cheese, funny/weird videos, and a lot of laughing. I'm really going to miss living so close to my sister when we move.
I'm simultaneously dying to get up to Washington and not wanting to leave my family. If anyone knows how to grab Washington and pull it down 'til it's in Northern California, I could really use your help.
I've also made a little progress on the February birthstone cat. Painting grey cats is hard! I want to get this one and the March birthstone cat done by the end of the month so I can release both of them in my February newsletter. After that I may work on more birthstone cats or start this other cat series I have planned. And I really should
paint a fairy somewhere in here!
I have some necklace-gluing to do tonight, and I really need to get holiday cards & gifts finished off. Both would be easier to do if it wasn't so cold in here!!
January 7, 2010
Well, I am mostly back to being human. After I released Garnet Cat, my cold got really bad and I spent next few days feeling miserable and sitting on the bed doing nothing. So, yesterday was the first
day where I actually felt mostly back to normal, and today, I think I'm all better. Which is nice, considering I think I already paid my sick dues this year with that cold I had a month ago! I'm still not used to it being 2010, so I'm really not sure how we're now an entire week into the New Year.
I came across the cutest picture of a calico kitten last night, and now I have a tremendous urge to paint an adorable calico. Either August (peridot) or November (topaz) were going to be a calico kitty, but I also want to paint one in this other cat series I'm going to start, so I haven't quite
decided what I'll do. I planned out the birthstone series with a different colored cat each month, but I keep changing them around.
I have been working on the February birthstone cat, and the matching amethyst jewels. I painted a Russian Blue-type kitten, but with lavender
eyes to match the jewels. For some reason, I think I have a thing for purple cat eyes... with Key of Enchantment & Key of Stars, this makes the third painting where I've made the eyes purple. There's another cat coming up with purple eyes as well... it's a strange habit, but apparently one I plan to keep. Hmm.
I feel like this post isn't making any sense... it's not even midnight and I'm getting really sleepy. Tim's out with friends for the night, so I guess I'm going to read and go to bed early. I know, I know, exciting!
January 3, 2010
All done! Garnet Cat is done, the website is updated, and I'm still sick! I'm happy about the first two ;)
I hope you guys like the new kitty, and the new galleries. I figured it just made more sense to have a Fairy Cat gallery instead of just an Animals gallery when I will always paint
many more cats than anything else.
No new products this month, but I have a new jewelry/accessories line that I may be debuting next time I finish a painting. It's really fun, and as far as I know, I'll be the only fantasy
artist with anything like it! So hopefully that will work out and y'all will get to see it soon.
Other than that, I'm just trying to take it easy and get better quickly. I'm watching Season 7 of Friends right now, which is one of my favorites. I think I had something else I wanted to write,
but I'm still really out of it and keep forgetting what I'm thinking!
January 2, 2010
Ugh. I am fabulously sick today. I slept on & off until 4 PM! Now I'm trying to take it easy. For me, that means finishing up the painting while watching something ;)
As I am seriously out of it, I put in Harry Potter 4 because I couldn't find HP 6, then when it came on, forgot it was HP 4 and got confused. Then I found HP 6 right on top right next to me! Sigh. Now I've put HP 6 in, and am settled in to finish Garnet Cat. While normally
my cats don't have a specific gender in my mind, for some reason this one really strikes both me and Tim as a male cat. I didn't like the wings I did last night, and Tim said "No, give him manly wings!" Uh huh. So now the wings are different than I expected, but hopefully
So, that's what's one the agenda tonight... if it goes well, I should have him done in the next hour or two, and I can start working on product pics with him (my favorite part!). I probably won't update the website until tomorrow night. Hopefully I'll be more coherent then! Until then,
here's a sneak peek of "Birthstone Faery Cats: Garnet":
January 1, 2010
Happy New Year, everyone!!! I wish us all health, happiness, and a much better 2010 ;)
Tim and I rang in the new year with my parents, which was really fun, relaxing... and fun again! Unfortunately, my cold has gotten a lot worse, and it looks
like my dad got it as well, so we were really just a bunch of sickies (and Tim!). Now we're back, and I'll be hopefully working very hard and finishing the new cat and website update at the end of the weekend. I'm feeling so icky I thought about just going to bed, but I figure I'll try painting
until I absolutely need to go rest. Otherwise I'll just lie there and think about painting!
I can't really remember what my goals for 2009 were (I must have written them down somewhere!), but business-wise this was an amazing year, and I accomplished a lot, including doing several new festivals, getting licensed with HEAD, and starting to sell my work wholesale.
I think I only completed 11 paintings-- 6 cats, a bunny, and 4 fairies (including a fairy mermaid). I wish I could have done twice that! However, I did almost double my fairy portfolio, and it really was the year of the cats! I even finished my first cat series and started another.
So, it could have been better, but I'm happy with
most of the paintings I managed to do. One of my biggest goals for 2010 is carving out painting time on a regular basis. I have about 50 paintings I'd like to do this year, but if I actually do 25 of them I will be happy. I will be painting a lot of cats, a bunch of new fairies, and a smattering of other creatures including another
bunny and maybe even a fairy puppy! And on that note, I'm off to paint :)
December 30, 2009
I think I figured out why I was feeling weird-- it looks like I'm coming down with the cold my mom got this past weekend.
So far my solution has been to eat chocolate. A lot of Dove chocolate.
December 30, 2009
Today feels funny! I have no idea why. It just feels weird. Maybe because it's actually sunny outside? I don't know, but I feel more awake and energetic than I have been, so it's awesome.
Last night I had the best time finally getting some good painting in on the January cat! It just clicked, and now both the cat & the background are almost done. For some reason I always like painting the wings last, so that's the only big thing still left to do. I'm going to my parent's for New Years tomorrow, so I
probably won't get a chance to finish the painting and update the website until this weekend. I was thinking about waiting to release it until I finished the Valentine's cat, but this one has red roses so it could already be considered Valentine-y. Plus, I am just no good at waiting!
When I update the website, I will also be fixing the print prices from their sale price ($5 for a 5x7 and $10 for an 8x10) and putting them back to what will be their normal prices ($6 for a 5x7 and $12 for an 8x10). So, those of you who read my blog will have a chance to get whatever prints you would like at the sale price before I update it!
On another note, I hope everyone had good holidays. Christmas was wonderful, with my family and my aunt/uncle/cousin-in-laws (Hi Katie & Debbie!!) coming over to Tim's parent's for the day. It was fun to visit with everyone and eat really good food! I felt really spoiled with all the amazing presents I got this year too. Almost everyone got me fairy-related items
for some reason! Tim got me the brand new Tinkerbell movie (and his parents got me the first one), so I'm super excited to watch it.
Aaand I thought maybe hell had frozen over because my parents got me a fairy figurine!!! My mom has been so adamant about not buying me fairy figurines (she doesn't really understand the whole fairy thing). So when I was opening up the wrapping, I was really confused, and even asked my sister if it was actually a present from her! (She's actually the
one who started my fairy figurine collection) But nope, my mom finally caved and they got me a beautiful fairy princess. AND they got me a stirling silver key necklace!!! Do they know me or what?
After Christmas I went back with my parents, and spent a fun & relaxing weekend with them. It was so nice to not have to worry about anything! Tim & I are heading back there tomorrow for our traditional New Year's with them. I think I've only celebrated one New Year's away from my parents, at a big, noisy party with my ex-boyfriend, which was so not fun that now I like spending New Year's at home,
eating my dad's gourmet Potato Pancakes and Sauerbraten, watching a movie, and drinking champagne while watching the ball drop on tv.
SauerbratenOkay, now I'm really hungry thinking about those Potato Pancakes, so I'm off to make some lunch!
December 29, 2009
Another night, another round of "what should I do with myself???" Last night I did indeed work (somewhat half-heartedly) on the January fairy cat while watching Tinkerbell. Then one of the cats completely toppled the Christmas tree, and after helping clean that up, I didn't really accomplish anything.
Right now I'm deciding between doing more feedback on Etsy, working on holiday cards & gifts, and painting. Right now I'm thinking painting...
December 28, 2009
I am currently trying to figure out what to do with what's left of my night. I woke up with a bad stomach ache this morning, so I read & napped in bed until I had to go to the library for work tonight. Now I'm home, and Tim's at a hockey game, so I'm trying to figure out what to do. Paint? Work on holiday cards & gifts? Answer emails? .... lie in bed and read/nap/watch a movie?
You can bet what sounds the most appealing. I'm still trying to recuperate from the holiday rush and even painting sounds like sooo much work right now. I also need to write a post about Christmas and such, but again, too much work. This is what happens when I take a break from working-- laziness! Actually, if my laptop was working, I would probably be happy to curl up in bed and paint. Hmm, New Year's resoloution #1... get laptop fixed.
December 25, 2009
Merry Christmas everyone! Wishing you and those you love much happiness! Thank you so much for your wonderful support here at Spellbound Wings-- I couldn't do it without you!
December 24, 2009
It's only midnight, and I'm already dying to go to bed. I say "only" because during busy times, my bedtime is usually between 3-4 AM. Last night I had a lot on my mind and didn't fall asleep until 5 AM. I don't want to go to bed because The Plan was to accomplish much in the way of Christmas present-ness tonight. However,
the only thing I really did tonight was spend quality time with my cats. Yep. That's it. And now I need to go accomplish something, or my night will be like this blog, short and pointless!
December 23, 2009
I can't believe tomorrow is already Christmas Eve! Tim and I just got back from finishing our Christmas shopping. I think we spent a total of about 1.5 hours this year shopping for Christmas gifts-- which was awesome. Of course, that's because I am making a wide variety of gifts for people, so Tim's really
the lucky one! It should be fun though.
Last night I tried to relax and work on the January birthstone cat. I made some progress, but not nearly as much as I should have. I knew it would take me a bit to ease into painting again, but I'm so ready to release this cat plus the Valentine's one! Hopefully they'll go quickly once I get back into it.
When we were at the store I saw the new Tinkerbell movie, and I'm just dying to see it! Each time I see the first one I like it even better. That was the top thing on my Christmas list this year!
Though what I really want for Christmas is a better 2010... no more family funerals, car funerals, hospital stays for people & cats, and could somebody PLEASE get
all these people who are ridiculously qualified jobs?? It's been a really rough year for our families, so we are all crossing our fingers for a better 2010. I know it's been a hard year on everyone, and I hope y'all have better years as well.
Alright, I'm off to get ready to go work at the library. Oh-- and as you might have noticed, we are currently sold out of magnets. There was a big last-minute rush on them, so I am going to have to order more before I can make them available for purchase again. I'm having trouble deciding which magnets to order though-- I found
these magnets that are similar to the ones I have, but with little stands on the back so you can stand them up as a tabletop frame as well! And I found them in black as well as clear. So, I'm still debating. If any of you have strong preferences where magnets are concerned, please feel free to share. I'd love to know what you guys think!
December 22, 2009
Triumph! Never thought I would get here, but all orders placed by December 20th went out yesterday! Thank you to everyone for a terrific holiday season. Y'all certainly kept me on my toes ;)
Now I'm trying to recuperate, and to remember exactly how one goes about relaxing. It's so automatic to get up and immediately start making jewelry! Today I got up, checked my email, and then sat down and read a book. Unbelievable! Now I'm trying to figure out what to do before work at the library tonight.
I really want to get those two kitty paintings done-- I think that's what I'll go work on. I know it will take me a bit to get back into painting mode, but once I do, I should have two new paintings going up in the next two weeks. I hope!
Of course now it's time to start working on holiday cards & presents for the families, so I guess I can't totally relax yet. I really should do that... but nope, I'm going to paint! And maybe listen to Christmas music... what I really want to do is eat one of the pumpkin chocolate-chip muffins my dad just made... too bad
I ate all the ones he gave me already! Too yummy.
December 20, 2009
It feels like Christmas! Yay! My parents really know how to do Christmas, so spending two days there was so neat. We even got to watch my favorite Christmas movie-- A Muppet Christmas Carol. We drove around and looked at Christmas displays, and
I made cookies, and we all just had a great time. I got to see my sis a lot too, which is always nice!
Right now I'm working on the last of the pre-Christmas orders. No orders placed in any of my shops will now go out before Christmas! You can still order from my website, but I won't be shipping orders until next week. I plan to use the next two weeks to relax (yeah right!) and hopefully get
two more paintings done. I'm really looking forward to painting the Valentine's cat-- last night my mom helped me figure out a bunch of the painting's details. It was fantastic. No one expected me to become an artist, so it's taken a while to get everyone on board. Having my mom helping me with my new painting was like a dream come true :)
Or one of the best Christmas presents ever!
December 17, 2009
Despite it being close to the wire, I figured I'd post a quick entry. Ah, disguising procrastination by doing another form of "work"-- my favorite!
I'm sad that it really doesn't seem like Christmas yet, despite it being a week away. This has been a very rough, stressful year for the family, and I think it's taken it's toll. Tim, being the big-hearted, adorable guy he is, tried
to help. I came out of the room after a nap the other day, and found him wearing a Santa hat and putting up decorations. So cute :) He figured since everyone's working so much and we're all so stressed that it might help bring some cheer
into the house. Yep, he's a keeper!
Tomorrow I finsh a bunch of orders and send them out, and then we're heading over to my parent's house. We're going to get a Christmas tree and decorate it, and my dad's already decorated the heck out of their house, so hopefully it will really start feeling like Christmas! I'm really
looking forward to it. I'm going to bake cookies & chocolates too. It never feels as much like Christmas as it does at my parent's house. I hope I can give that same gift to my children when I have them.
Alright, I guess I better get back to work. I'm thinking about finding an internet radio station that plays Christmas music... that should help, right?!
PS-- Saturday is the last day to place an order and have it go out by Christmas (assuming it's not like a 20 item order)! Unlike many artists I won't be shutting down for the next month, but I will only be mailing out orders once a week for the next few weeks.
December 16, 2009
Crazy! Crazy, crazy, crazy! Did I say I was almost caught up on orders? I was for, like, an hour! I forgot just how insane the Christmas rush is. Which is good! Just crazy.
I've worked on the January cat about 30 minutes more since I last wrote. Right now I'm just working, going to the post office, going to the library for work, and then coming home and working more. And then sleeping a little. Then it starts over again! We went to the post office once today, and we're going back tonight to use the automated machine again once I finish a bunch more orders. Hopefully this
chocolate cake will give me a nice sugar rush!
OH! I almost forgot! We got a car!!! My very first one :) It is roomy and drives beautifully and is a gorgeous blue color. Maybe I'll post pictures later. Shows will be SO much easier to do in this vehicle rather than a little compact. Can't wait!
Other than that, not much new. Waiting for next Monday, when the last of the Christmas orders go out. December 19 is the last day to order and have me ship it for Christmas! If I'm still alive by then ;) I'm looking forward to not living at the post office next week, but I'd be more excited if I didn't have to work at the library Christmas eve until 5. I've actually never worked that close to Christmas before! I guess I'm lucky.
December 13, 2009
Almost caught up on orders! I sent the last big batch out yesterday morning, so I've actually gotten to do other things this weekend. Yesterday we went over to my sister's new apartment, where her boyfriend cooked a delicious shish-ka-bob dinner. My parents came too, and we all had a lot
of fun playing the game "Catch Phrase." That has become one of our favorite games! I realized when we got home that it was the first time this week I wasn't working or incredibly stressed. So that was nice :) We also found a car! Juggling finances and figuring out all the details for actually getting it has been really tough, but if all goes
well we should have our new car by the middle of the week! It will be the first car I've ever owned, which I'm super excited about.
I've also gotten a chance to work on the January birthstone cat! In fact, I'm working on it right now while watching the fifth Harry Potter. None of these movies do justice to the book, but in some ways I think this one is the worst. I'm excited to go get the sixth one, since it was hilarious and in most ways better than the previous five.
I will be shipping orders until December 21, so all orders placed by December 20 should arrive by Christmas. I've changed the shipping on the website in the US to Priority Mail, which is only 2-3 day delivery. Don't forget that if you are still looking for Christmas presents, our gift tin necklace sets can be mailed directly to the recipient, already gift wrapped and with a little card! We gift wrap all the tins,
so even if you want them sent to you you'll already have the work done for you :)
Alright, I'm off to hopefully make some more progress on the January birthstone cat! I wish I didn't have to get up at 8 tomorrow because a nap sounds so good right now.
December 9, 2009
Still up to my eyes in orders here, so while I am chomping at the bit to work on the January cat, I am still making oodles of necklaces and gift tins. Good thing I enjoy it! Hopefully tomorrow night I can take a break and paint.
Hmm I thought I had something interesting to say but I guess not. After five 15+ hour workdays, my brain is pretty fried. I still have a few hours of orders left tonight, then I definitely need to relax a little. Maybe the new Ghost Hunter's Academy will be posted online and we can watch that! (Always the highlight of my week)
PS-- I'm thinking of doing a Valentine kitty since I haven't painted one yet. I think a Valentine kitty necklace and matching gift tin would be the purrfect Valentine's present, so I hope I can get it done! First, the January birthstone cat, then the Valentine cat, then the February birthstone cat...(and new fairies too!)
December 7, 2009
Hey everyone! We are back from Tahoe. Despite being really sick, it was mostly an incredibly relaxing week-- all I really did was sit & read, play board games, and watch movies. So fun :) It's nice having the best in-laws in the world. Thankfully we have pretty similar taste in movies and such--
we even watched the three Lord of the Rings movies! I'm also borrowing this book series from my little sis-in-law called House of Night, about a "Vampyre Finishing School." I'm quite obsessed with the series and read the first three books up at Tahoe!
However, Tahoe fun was tempered by bad news. The second night we were gone somebody smashed into my mom-in-law's car at home in the middle of the night, and of course they drove off without leaving any insurance information.
So, as of right now, the car damage looks to be too expensive to repair, so the whole family is really upset. We're currently sharing 2 cars among 5 adults, which is tough. It's pretty unbelievable that our family has lost two cars this year to irresponsible strangers. I can't say it's done much
for my faith in mankind.
Anyway, we got back this weekend and I immediately dived into filling the 50-ish orders that piled up while we were gone. I'm almost halfway done now, which feels good. Gift tins have turned out to be so much fun to make, which is good because they are selling
like hotcakes! The next few days will probably be spent catching up on orders, then hopefully I can do some January birthstone fairy cat painting.
My painting self definitely recharged while we were gone-- I brainstormed some new paintings, and am more than ready to get started! I have three new fairy
series that I'm going to try to focus on over the next year, with everything from mushrooms to moons to birthstones. I want to finish the faery cat birthstone series, and I have a couple other faery kitty series ready to paint as well. I want to do some other miscellaneous paintings next year as well-- fairy babies, and
maybe some fairy puppies and more fairy bunnies too. As you can tell, I have lots of ideas-- if only I had the time to do it all! Well, next year should be interesting. I hope to get a lot of painting done and double my current portfolio, especially the fairies.
Alright, I'm off to work a bit more on orders before collapsing. I'm still behind on email and other such things, but I think it'll have to keep til tomorrow because I'm just exhausted!
November 28, 2009
Hi all! Hope everyone had good Thanksgivings with lots of family and fun! My parents were kind enough to host a Thanksgiving dinner for both Tim & my families, so it was a great holiday. I admit, it
is still blurry to me, as I was either too dizzy or too doped up on cold medicine to follow things! Today I am a bit better, but still very ill. Since we are going to Tahoe for a few days I have had to put in an 11 hour workday anyway, despite the fuzzy head. See,
being self-employed does have its downfalls!
Anyway, I won't be updating here this week until we get back, but feel free to order as usual since I will be mailing orders out later this week. I will also be checking my email, so don't hesitate to email me either!
Also, if everyone could please say a little kitty prayer... my Aunt's beloved kitty Leo passed away at 19 years old, and will be sorely missed. Leo was a big, beautiful orange fluffball with quite a personality! I'm very sad :(
November 25, 2009
Sick. Sick, sick, sick. Orders will be delayed a day or two.
I blame Tim.
November 24, 2009
Whew! What an update! I think I got everything loaded and linked-- if you find any problems, please let me know! I will send out the newsletter when I get home from work.
November 23, 2009
I'm done!!! Yay! Unfortunately, it is once again 3 AM, and I still have yet to take all the product pictures with her. Once again I will have to wait to get everything up! I will start working on it
tomorrow when I get up, and hopefully I can get the pictures done, the website updated, and the newsletter out before I go to the library.
In other news, my throat has not stopped hurting. That plus fuzzy-headedness is also why I am off to bed! I worked for 11 hours today...
November 23, 2009
I was so close! I had almost finished the fairy last night, when I realized it was already 3 AM and by the time I got all the pics up and the newsletter out it would be easily past 6. So,
I will finish her and post everything late tonight. I have work at the library until 9 PM, which stinks because I'm anxious to get this all done! I'm quite happy with how "December Wings" has turned out, and hope you will be as well. She's
also the one I started TWO years ago, so I'm glad to have finally triumphed over the painting.
Unfortunately, I woke up with a sore throat again today, and am feeling like I'm on the verge of getting sick again. With Thanksgiving and Tahoe mere days away, that would be a really, really icky thing. At least if it waited until we were at Tahoe, I could just
November 22, 2009
It was so nice to get away and see Ash & Ian yesterday-- that was the first real break I've taken from work for a while (other than being sick!). When I got home I made a ton of progress on one of the winter fairy paintings, so if all goes well today, I will send out the newsletter late tonight and have everything posted on the
website for everyone to see tomorrow morning! Originally I was figuring that I would be done Friday, so I would be so excited if it was all done today. Wish me luck!
Not too much else going on... Tim's working on his Washington Bar application, and we're trying to figure out our plan for moving and such. At least we get to spend the holidays with our families, especially since who knows the next time we'll be able to spend so much time together. I normally get so excited about Christmas, but
the year is flying by so quickly that I'm still not mentally caught up-- I think my internal calendar vaguely thinks it's still August or something.
Okay, back to working on the winter fairy. Stay tuned for many new products and two new paintings (hopefully) late tonight or tomorrow!
November 21, 2009
New ornaments are up on Etsy!!! I only have ten ornaments total, so if you want one, I would grab it now! I'm not sure if I'll be doing any more ornaments this year-- if I do, they won't be these exact ones (Tim bought me these last year!). I might try and keep one for myself-- they're really pretty! You
can see them in my Etsy shop at SpellboundWings.Etsy.com. Gift tin sets, cameo rings and classic cameos will start appearing in my Etsy shop as well-- I will put them up here on the website at some point in the next week.
This week has passed in a haze of business and tiredness-- Tim's been super sick this week, and I got sick as well-- luckily just a mild version of what he had. No ice skating for us tonight though! We're just
going to spend some time with the sis & bf instead.
I have been trying to get orders out, order supplies, and get all the pictures of the new products done. I'm making headway, but waaay more slowly than I'd like. I'm determined to get a winter fairy done & put all the new items up by the middle of next week. Greeting cards are
set to arrive on Tuesday! More compact mirrors arrived today. Now, if only I could get some extra time sent to me as well....
P.S. We are sad to announce that Tim did not pass the California Bar (given the 36% February passage rate, I guess we shouldn't be so surprised), so we will be moving up to Washington next spring. Part of me is thrilled because I love WA and all my friends there, but we're both really sad that we have to leave our friends and families here in CA again.
November 17, 2009
Today is one of those days where I have so much to do that instead of doing anything, I wander around and look at the different things I need to do lol. I completely forgot
about the little ornament frames Tim bought me last year-- they're two inch silver square or circle frames with rhinestones. I need to figure out what paintings I want to put in each one, take photos, and get those
up on Etsy. I only have 10 of them for now. I think I'll do that right before I send out my November newsletter, that way everyone has the same shot at them if they want it!
I'm also working on gift tin sets-- I can't remember if I talked about them before, but they're these adorable 2 inch square tins, which I've topped with each painting (and a nifty border). They will be perfect for
Chritmas gifts, because they come with either a small locket, large locket, or classic cameo, and I'm offering free gift wrapping for them as well. Of course, I completely forgot about bracelets and rings... now I'm trying to decide if I want to offer those
with gift tins as well.
Actually, I guess things are in good shape right now-- I just need to get the winter fairy done so I can send out the newsletter and add all of these items to the website. Last night I wasn't in a painting mood so instead
I sketched out and played around with some different new paintings. I'm very excited about the January birthstone fairy cat! I'm hoping to get my laptop fixed before we leave for Tahoe, that way I can paint the kitty while we're up there. I can't wait for a whole week
with no distractions! It's hard to believe it's coming up so quickly.
(On a random note) It's really funny, my sister and I are completely different personality-wise, but we have a lot of similar mannerisms, and sometimes we're so much on the same wavelength that it's scary. Last night I called to find out if she and
her boyfriend wanted to come out and go ice skating on Saturday... turns out she was going to call me and ask the same thing! Isn't that weird? I'm really looking forward to it. For three years Tim and I lived so far away that we never got to do stuff like this, so it's nice that we can now. That
is definitely something I would miss if Tim and I end up moving out of state. Sales tax? Expensive everything? State in the toilet? Not so much. As of Friday, we'll know whether we're staying or going. Should be interesting!
November 16, 2009
I knew I should have written this before my nap: now I can't remember what I was going to say!
Good things are in the works-- as we speak, the talented folks at Heaven and Earth Designs are turning my paintings into beautiful cross-stitch charts! For my fans who like to cross-stitch, HAED designs are considered the best in the fairy & fantasy market. I'm
so thrilled to have signed with them, and will post links to my page on their site as soon as it's up!
Unfortunately I haven't had much time to paint, but I have been working on three new products to release when I finish my next painting. These winter fairies are tricky! Hopefully I can work on one tonight.
That may be difficult, because I now have an injured thumb on my painting hand. You know one reason why I will always be a cat person? Unlike certain animals, they don't chase cats and bark and wake everyone up! The family's stupid dog (no that's not an exaggeration,
he is more than a few cards short of a deck!) decided to chase the cats and bark at the top of his lungs while I was napping today (I only got like 5 hours of sleep last night), and as a result I woke up, heart pounding, and as I reached for the door to open it, my thumbnail
got caught & bent backwards. So, I now have a terrifically bruised thumb that is throbbing incessantly. I think I need to ice it while I make dinner. Not having to live with that dog is at the top of my list of things to look forward to when we move out! Tim's a total dog lover, and he can't wait too,
if that tells you how darn annoying this dog is. Now if I lived with my sister's adorable pug who doesn't go crazy barking and who I adore, it would be different...
November 14, 2009
For some reason today seems like the longest day ever. I had to re-read my journal entry from yesterday to remember what happened then lol. The bummer is that my weekend is over-- tomorrow I have to work at the library at noon. Thank goodness it's a short shift!
I woke up this morning ready to work, but it turned out my sister-in-law was going shopping for a Winter Ball dress. Since one reason I wanted to move back here was so that I could do stuff like that with her, I put off working and joined the family at the mall. It was so fun, and Mom bought us chocolate! Always a way to make me happy.
Since we got home I've been working hard; greeting cards have been ordered, and cameo ring pictures are finished and ready to be put up! If they print correctly, the greeting cards are going to be so awesome. They have a full-color front with the same design as my compact mirrors, a lighter, closer-up version of the cover on the top/side inside of the card, and my website and such on the back.
I am getting EXTREMELY limited quantities because I don't know how they'll print or how popular they'll be. A lot of people have requested them, but you never know! I may put most of them on Etsy, but will let everyone know when they go up. They will be a pack of any 3 cards for $8, a pack of the four key kittens for $10, and a pack of any 10 cards for $20 (all packs come with envelopes). I ordered extra Christmas cat cards (and Snowflake Fairytail), so if you're interested in those,
you can always email me and let me know so I can put them on hold for you :)
Last night Tim and I watched the newest Ghost Hunters. We love that show! Tonight we'll watch some more of the Ghost Hunters marathon we taped on Halloween. I am supposed to be working on the winter fairy right now, but I got distracted by the internet. And I think someone just made popcorn...
November 13, 2009
Good news! "Key of Feathers" is done! I've finished all the photos of it and have added them to the backend of the site, so they're ready to go whenever I update the website. I was hoping to work on the winter fairy tonight, but I have to finish designing & ordering greeting cards,
then finish gathering images for my new licensing contract. So excited! Hopefully I can get this stuff done tonight and just paint all day tomorrow.
Also, have I mentioned how much I love my husband? I had the best time tonight playing with the lightbox he made me. A lightbox is a box that has tracing paper or some other white material covering the top & sides-- you then shine a special light over it, and you can take the most crisp, beautiful pictures. I knew
they improved product pics, but I had no idea just how much! I started grabbing random jewelry and products and took way too many pictures lol. I know it doesn't sound exciting but it will cut down on the time & effort it takes me to create accurate, vivid product pics! So, Tim gets another gold star. He's also been working on a Facebook page for the business, so if any of
you have Facebook, I hope I'll see you on there once it goes live!
Other than that, not too much new... I was up almost 24 hours yesterday so I've had a lovely headache all day today. I want to be lazy and work on all this tomorrow, but I know tomorrow I'll have wished I'd done it tonight. I'm thinking about sneaking some Oreo ice cream-- I made meatloaf for the family for dinner, so I'm still stuffed. What if I take
some Advil and then go read and eat ice cream while I wait for it to kick in? That's reasonable, right? ;)
November 11, 2009
Ugh. Today was the kind of day where if I'd been able to get up and wander into the kitchen for some water and slowly wake up, it probably would have been a good day. Instead I'm playing Limp Bizkit and wishing I lived in a cute cottage by myself (with my kitties of course!) somewhere deep in the Washington state forests.
Anyway, I am in the process of finishing up the last key kitten, "Key of Feathers." I could probably have it done within the hour if I wasn't so... peturbed. I'm hoping if I take a long, hot shower maybe I'll feel better. I get really hyper and happy when I finish a painting, so I don't want to finish
it when I'm annoyed and ruin that! If all goes well, it will be done today and I will start getting the photos of it ready to go on the website. The pictures of the new Classic Cameos are already done too! Oh, and I wore the new cameo rings all day yesterday... I love them. They are great! I can't wait to put them up on the site as well.
I will try and hold out for an update once I finish the new fairy painting, but depending on how things go I will just put up the new kitten and add the fairy next week.
Today is a day off but it just doesn't feel like one for some reason. Maybe Tim and I will watch "The Notebook"-- I've been wanting to watch it again for a while, but Tim hates "chick flicks." However, he surprised me the other day by picking me up from work, and The Notebook was sitting on the seat.
He's so good at sweet surprises, it's so nice :) I must try to remember that the next time I want to throw something at him!
November 9, 2009
Some days I feel like a hamster on a wheel, constantly running to catch up but never getting ahead! Last night I finished the bulk of my wholesale website, which is a HUGE checkmark off my list. However, I just realized that I need to have both
the last key kitten and the blue mushroom fairy (gosh she needs a name!) done by Saturday so I can order greeting cards. It's a very good thing that Wednesday is a day off and the library is closed!
I was so excited when I got home from the library tonight, the new classic cameos came in, as did the new cameo rings. They are so awesome!!! The ones I originally made were really time-consuming so I wanted to try pre-made rings. I will glue a cab to one tomorrow
and start wearing it to make sure it is good enough quality. I hope it works out because these are so shiny and pretty! If all goes well, I will have classic cameos, cameo rings (which match the classic cameos!), and two new paintings to add to the site early next week. I'm also working on gift sets as well. Like I said, a hamster on a wheel!
Off to do more work... orders, emails, and hopefully some painting. I'm still trying to figure out what breed to paint with the last key kitten... a lot of colors don't stand out well in front of a blue background.
November 8, 2009
For some reason, Savannah likes to take her toys and put them in or under something before batting them around. I guess it makes it more interesting or something. Right now she has two paws in Tim's huge shoes... too cute!
Yesterday we spent most of the day at the funeral & funeral reception, and when we got home I felt so darn icky that I didn't do much more than curl up on the bed and watch Friends until it was time to go to bed. So, today I am trying to make up for it. I need to make a ton
of progress on my wholesale site, and get some more of the blue mushroom fairy painted. We also have the grandparents coming over before they head out of town, so it will be a busy day. I'm very excited about the day off from the library on Wednesday for Veteran's Day, but I have to work next Sunday so guess it evens out! Oh well.
November 6, 2009
Today was a day of running errands and sending out orders. Sent out a huge batch, which leaves me feeling very satisfied and accomplished!
I haven't had a chance to paint in the last few days, so I'm hoping to get at least a few hours in on the winter mushroom fairy tonight. Parents are getting home from work, and supposedly grandparents
are coming over tonight, so we'll see if that happens! I have to get up 6 (SIX!!!) hours earlier than normal tomorrow to head out to the funeral, so no painting until 3 am like normal. At least, that's what I keep telling myself...
November 4, 2009
Two posts in one day-- I must be feeling awfully chatty! 'Til it's time to return all those emails, anyway ;)
Tim and I looked at the three winter fairy WIPS (I forgot there was one I started TWO years ago!) and picked the one I should focus on for now. It's the one with the blue mushrooms! So I'm excited.
I will probably finish that two-year-old one next... she has a little tiara like in Velvet Spring so I'm looking forward to finishing that one as well. I wanted to paint when I got home tonight, but having already worked for almost 9 hours today, it's
taken me a bit to unwind. I need to also glue a lot of necklaces and prepare more orders to ship tonight. Good thing I don't have to get up early tomorrow!
I also ordered a bunch of new supplies tonight-- I've been playing around with the Classic Cameos, and finally went ahead and ordered the new cameo design I've been thinking about. They're a little smaller than the 30x22mm cameos,
but there's still much bigger than the 18x13mm dainty lockets, and the new setting is very lightwight with a beautiful, ornate border. So, I will be taking pictures and adding them to the site in preparation for my next website update. I also ordered new cameo ring settings,
which actually match the new Classic Cameos! Hmm, maybe I'll have to do some kind of package deal.
I guess that's about it here... I'm glad tomorrow's Thursday & my last day of work at the library this week. Unfortunately we have to go to a funeral very (VERY!) early Saturday morning, so it won't be the ideal weekend. But, the sooner I can
start getting this list of stuff done, the better! Also, Tim and I rented "The Proposal"... I saw it in theaters with his family and thought it was the funniest thing. He's not thrilled about watching it, but I am :) So at least there's that to look forward to this weekend!
November 4, 2009
Just a quick update before I head off to the library for work!
... Aaand I can't remember the list of things I wanted to say. Figures. Anyway, I'm working on the winter fairy I talked about last time,
as well a second one. We'll see which one wins and gets finished first. For some reason, both of them have blond hair. Since I haven't painted a blond-haired fairy in over a year, it's funny that I now have two at the same time! It's
said that all artists unconciously put some of themselves in each painting, which I guess explains why I have so many dark haired fairies & angels. It's good to mix it up!
Also, I'm in the process of signing a contract for some new & exciting licensing, so stay tuned for that! I've also been working on some Christmas gift sets, which I can hopefully add to the site
very soon. I may hold off on the customized pet memorial necklaces until January, since things are so crazy right now. Oh! I may actually have greeting cards too. I bought the paper and envelopes a year ago and never got around to
designing & printing them. I found a company that prints them though and think I may order some preliminary cards through them. So, you may see those appear on the site by the end of the month as well.
Well, I'm off to get something to eat (seeing as how it's 4:30 and I haven't eaten yet today!). Hopefully I'll have a big update with new art, products & licensing in the next few weeks!
October 28, 2009
So, Tim and I decided that today was definitely a burned eggroll kind of day. You know the days where nothing seems to go right and you look forward to something, and that something turns out to be... burned eggrolls?
It's a long story. But let's just say, among other things, I will not be shopping at the Concord Fry's any time soon, if ever again.
In between writing emails and filling orders I have been working on two new paintings. One is the last key cat, and the other is a winter fairy. I realized the other day I haven't painted any fairies with mushrooms, which, while the are quite common in the fantasy market, are still something I should probably paint. I discovered,
much to my delight, that I love painting mushrooms! They can be any color you want, and at the moment, I have some lovely blue mushrooms. Hmm that sounds funny! Anyway, I have the painting basically sketched out, though I'm debating whether to dress my fairy in a long dress or a short skirt with thigh-high stockings.
I want to get the fairy done ASAP, plus the last key kitten. That would mean that I finished a complete series in 2009! Though I was dying to paint the Ocotober, November, & December birthstone cats (the colors are so fun!), I will probably start with the January kitten after I finish these two paintings, that way I can get them done in plenty
of time for people's birthdays, instead of finishing up at the end of the month. If I actually manage to finish the fairy & key kitten in the next two weeks I may do the December kitty, but with the start of the holiday shopping season it just may be too crazy. Either way, lots of new art-- soon!
October 25, 2009
Hi all! Tim and I are back from our trip to Sonora. I was feeling so icky on Thursday that we almost ended up not going, but I'm really glad we did. We looked around downtown Sonora and Columbia and Angels Camp, but spent most of the weekend just relaxing at the resort. It sounds funny, but it was really hard for me, since I'm
constantly working when I'm home. I mean, my idea of relaxing is watching a movie... while putting crystals and charms together or gluing necklaces or ordering supplies. Sitting down and doing nothing while watching a movie is something I rarely do.. and it takes practice haha.
I think the weekend off was just what I needed, because I finally have the energy to face my epic to-do list. I also got to brainstorm paintings, so hopefully a couple of the new fairy series I came up with will turn out well. I have a ton of fairy WIPs but I've been feeling so uninspired by them lately that I haven't
made much progress. Hopefully tonight I can get one of the new ideas sketched and started, so I will have my first-ever winter fairy done in plenty of time for the season!
October 21, 2009
Hey guys, I finally managed to finish (mostly) everything and get the new site & painting up. What do you think? The website is still a work in progress, but I'm going to leave it alone for now and try and get some painting done after I catch up on orders. If you find any links that don't work
on the site or anything, don't hesitate to email me and let me know. I try to double-check everything when I update the site but you can never be too sure!
With the craziness of everything right now, plus trying not to succumb to the ten thousand illnesses going around right now, Tim and I decided not to vend at the All Hallows Eve Faire this weekend. We will still be up in Sonora and will go to the fair, it's just too much to sit outside for 12 hours on Saturday alone. We've been on the go non-stop lately
so I'm looking foward to having a semi-vacation this weekend, especially since we'll get to spend some time together without all the usual stuff of everyday life.
Well since I've been working at the library and on the business since 9 am this morning (it's now 11 PM), I am going to finish off business stuff for the night and hopefully get at least an hour of unwinding before I go to bed. Have to be at the library at 9 am again tomorrow- but that's it for the week! Yay.
October 18, 2009
I actually blogged about a week ago then totally forgot to upload it-- just goes to show how crazy things are around here! We had an awesome time vending at Witchapalooza in Sacramento last weekend-- a big hi and thanks to everyone who visited us there! (Hi Amy :) ) Right now we're
gearing up for our festival next weekend, at the All Hallows Eve Faire in Sonora, CA. There are all kinds of pumpkin activities and neat entertainers-- I'm really excited!
Unfortunately, the downside of all this good busy-ness is me feeling super burned out. I've semi-recharged this weekend, which is good since I will be working both jobs without any days off for the next 11 days. Eek!
However, I've managed to finish a new fairy cat painting; a much-anticipated orange kitten. For some reason it just flowed from my pen so smoothly and quickly, so I will be putting up merchandise for "Key of Leaves" in the next few days. I've taken this opportunity to rearrange things on
the website as well-- the design isn't too different, I just wanted the website to feel less dark. I'm also retiring jewelry boxes and wreaths (online), as well as the two cat paintings "Snuggle Angels" and "Silver Cat Dreams." Those two paintings will be coming down in the next day or two so if you want anything with them, please order it now!
Strider is sitting outside my door and whining as I type-- he can't come in our room because he always accidentally pulls out the wires and gets stuck under the bed, but he knows I'm in here so he likes to sit and cry at the door. Apparently visiting with his Dad isn't good enough haha.
I'm trying to think what else is new around here... really, I've just been working 24/7 lately. I know it will be insane once shopping for the holidays starts in earnest, so I'm trying to get everything done now that I can. More than anything I'm looking forward to our family's trip to Tahoe next month... I can't imagine a whole week off!
September 30, 2009
Right now I'm working on orders... I thought I'd take a short break to update here. I have no idea how tomorrow came to be the first of October; in my head, it's July or something! Though the past few days have been wonderfully cool and windy here, so it feels like fall has finally arrived. After
a long summer of 100+ degrees constantly, I am thrilled about that!
Anyway, I wanted to let everyone in the area know that I will be vending at the event "Witchapalooza" next weekend, October 10 & 11! I am so super excited about it. It's a fair featuring everything magical, from Harry Potter to fairies, at Sacramento Cal Expo. They have lots of neat guests and bands, not to mention rides and a Diagon Alley-like set up for vendors. So, all you Northern California
folks should come out and visit us next weekend! You can find all the information on their website www.gotwitch.com (isn't that appropriate?!). Perfect to get us all in a Halloween mood!
That was really the excitement for the day... other than working at the library and filling orders I haven't been doing much of anything this week. I'm experimenting with a new necklace cab material, so we'll see what happens with that. Tomorrow's my last day of work at the library this week, so hopefully I can get some painting done this weekend!
September 28, 2009
As most of my friends and family know by now, when it comes to the art business I am a workaholic. In a past life (pre-art!), I was content to laze around and relax; nowadays I see a moment relaxing as a moment I could be accomplishing something art-business-wise. So, what it comes down to is this:
if you want to see me in person, you have to (a) kidnap me (b) come over (c) have a very important event I can't get out of attending. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to actually do these things! That would mean I have to take a break from working :)
So while I have been extraordinarily busy these past few weeks with work stuff, last week a, b & c happened (I use the term "kidnap" in jest) three nights in a row. I still worked all three days but it was nice to have somewhat of a break!
Right now I am finishing custom orders, sending out regular orders, and preparing for two festivals (not to mention working at the library and dealing with usual Life stuff). Last night I had a momentary panic attack about all the things I need to do this month and decided not to do any festivals at all, but today sense prevailed. Or you could say last night I had a moment of clarity and today I'm back to crazy!
I love doing festivals (!!!), but I'm not sure I'll be able to paint at all in October. That had me freaking out! Painting is something I have to do these days, or I get really restless and edgy.
I'm still not sure what I'll work on next; when I was working at the library tonight I had an urge to work on the autumn fae painting, but now I'm thinking about the October birthstone cat. Or the next two key cats. Or a little black Halloween kitty with bat wings and candy corns? Wouldn't that be too cute?! Maybe I'll just paint instead of sleeping for the next few weeks!
September 21, 2009
As a reward for getting so much done the last few days, I decided to take a little time to paint tonight. I'm so lucky that my version of relaxing is actually working! Anyway, I sat down an hour ago to look through my fairy WIPs or possibly start another fairy painting if nothing caught my eye.
An hour later, I am still trying to figure out what to paint. I love painting fairies (I really do!), but they take sooo long to paint compared to my faery kitties. That, combined with the fact that my fairy kitties are my passion, and sell so well, makes it hard to get motivated to actually finish one of my fairy paintings. Instead, I'm stitting here going blah... blah... blah
... can I paint the next birthstone cat yet???
Here are two tiny peeks at some of my fairy WIPs:
So, that is the question I will be agonizing over until I probably cave and start painting another cat. I need to do more fairies-- I REALLY do-- but I don't think it's going to happen tonight. Of course, I am so tired that I may end up just going to bed now and not painting at all!
PS-- If you have any thoughts as to what you'd like me to paint next, PLEASE email me and share!!! The autumn fae? Moonglow? (The pic to the right above) Another key cat? Birthstone cats? A dragon eating a pickle? [I can't guarentee that I will be in the mood to paint it, but hey, it doesn't hurt to ask ;) ]
September 20, 2009
Whew! Done with the website update! I can't wait to streamline my site and use a new web program... I love hand-coding it but it just takes too much time!!
I hope y'all like the new kitty painting. I really was so close to just throwing it away at one point, but I think it turned out to be a very good thing that I didn't. Siamese cats are hard to paint!! For me, anyway. I've been trying to
expand the breeds I'm painting, so this was a nice fat checkmark on the list. I REALLY need to paint an orange kitty... got lots of requests for one this summer at the shows. Plus they are so beautiful! I'm not sure if I'll work on an orange kitten
(the next piece in my enchanted keys series), or the October birthstone kitty. Either way, I really need to get a fairy piece done next. Maybe I will sketch that out tonight!
Or I might actually relax a bit tonight... yesterday I put in a 12 hour work day between custom orders, finishing Sapphire, and working on the website. I have work at the library at 9 am tomorrow (yikes!), so hopefully I won't fall asleep at 4:30 am again tonight!
September 18, 2009
So when I'm painting, each new piece usually goes through a number of distinct phases. The first stage is actually the most exciting-- the idea, since there's an unlimited amount of potential. After it's sketched out I'm also extremely excited about working on it. After it takes shape, it inevitably hits the ugly stage, where I feel like
I suck at painting, and this piece sucks and I should just move on to the next painting already and give up. Then there's the post-ugly stage, where I work on it to the point where I'm happy I didn't give up.
Right now I'm at the next stage with the new kitty painting... the I'm-almost-done-and-can't-get-motivated-to-finish-it-cuz-then-I'll-have-to-give-it-up stage. It is SO hard to declare a painting done. It's like it's your baby, and once it's finished you have to send it off to college. Silly analogy maybe, but you get the point :)
Despite the fact I haven't been finishing the painting yet, I have been working on a myriad of other projects, including custom orders and designing my new mirror compacts. I am SO excited about them. I wanted them to stand out from the magents and framed prints so I've been designing a little border to go around each one. They are so awesome!!! I can't wait to debut
them in person at my shows next month. They will go on the site once I finally finish the new fairy kitty, but for now here's a sneak peek:
Okay, it's time for me to get back to work... and sleeping at some point would be nice too!
September 14, 2009
I feel like I barely survived last week. Normally I hate Mondays, but I'm hoping this week will be much better so I'm happy it's Monday for once!
Strider stayed at the emergency vet's all last weekend, but the procedure they did appeared to fail, so Monday we went there, broken-heartedly expecting to put him down. Most of you know Strider from my painting
"A Purrfect Autumn," which I painted from a picture I took of him the first night we got him two years ago. He's only 2.5 years old, and such a big sweetheart. I knew I loved him (duh!), but I didn't realize just how much
until I thought we would never get to bring him home. I have never been so devastated in my life.
However, by some absolute miracle, when we arrived at the vets he managed to push through the blockage. So we got to take him home instead! I have spent much of the past week taking care of him since he needed a lot of medication
and to be monitored almost constantly. He's doing much better, but he's still not totally back to normal. And he has to be on a different cat food, which he's stubbornly refusing to eat much of!
So Labor Day turned out to be a complete emotional rollercoaster, and I told my family that from now on I may just not do holidays. First our car was totaled on Easter, and now we almost lost our kitty on Labor Day... I wish Thanksgiving was a lot
farther off! Hmm.
So anyway, all I really did last week was work at the library and take care of Strider... so this week I am playing catch up on everything, especially orders and all the errands I planned to do last weekend. Last night I needed a break and sat down and painted
for a few hours, which was so nice. I am pretty close to being done with another fairy cat-- the first Siamese kitty I've painted. With blue. Lots and lots of blue! Here's a sneak peek:
I'm not sure when I'll get a chance to finish this one... not before this weekend at least. I have a couple of custom orders I'm working on right now that really need to be finished.
Last but not least, my new compact mirrors came in! It's ridiculous that I still haven't put my other pocket mirrors up on Etsy yet... I did scan them in though, so I will hopefully get a chance to do that at some point in the next few days. The
new ones are a completely different design, and the picture in front is a nice large 2.5 by 3.5 inches-- slightly bigger than the magnets! I will work on getting those added to the site as well. Boy do I need some minions!!
September 5, 2009
Plan: Paint all weekend, finishing new faery cat picture,
and post some new products.
Reality: Migraine all day Saturday, cat needs emergency trip to the vet Saturday night (estimated at $1500-2000 to fix), and work all day Sunday.
Anyone want to trade places this weekend?
August 30, 2009
Oops! Tim's been
nagging telling me to blog for ages, but I didn't realize just how long it'd been since I wrote on here! Sorry about that! It's felt like a madhouse (though when does it not?!) this summer. July was one of the busiest months of the year between
two out of state festivals, a family vacation, a new job, and a funeral. In August I went out of town again, so the past few weeks I've mostly been recuperating from July!
I'm also keeping busy-- I have an awesome new part-time job at our local library, plus of course working on the business and painting. And I have been painting!
I've got the longest to-paint list, but I finally decided on a plan for the rest of the year, which I will hopefully stick to. I've been needing to expand my fairy portfolio for a while, but I have so much fun doing faery cats (and they go over so well!) that I've been remiss. So, I'm working on an autumn-ish fairy, who I will hopefully
have done very soon. It's quite different from my previous fairies, but hopefully that's a good thing :)
I'm also working on a new cat (of course!), for a new faery cat series I've planned. I also sketched out two more cats for the kitty-key series, so I'll be finishing those up at some point. I'd like to have 4 fairies and 4 or 5 more faery cats done by the end of the year, so we'll see if I can actually do that.
Product-wise I've been a little behind-- I still haven't put up the pocket mirrors on Etsy, so I will be doing that soon. I may have really nice compact mirrors in time for Christmas too. Also, I'm planning on doing two local festivals in October, so I've ordered a bunch more clocks since the ones I ordered for the July festivals
almost sold out! I may add the clocks to the website so you can buy them direct from me-- if you would be interested in that, feel free to contact me and let me know. You won't be held to anything, I'm just wondering if folks would be interested!
I'm trying to think if there's anything else going on... I'll probably think of something right after I post this! I will try to update far more often this fall...
June 11, 2009
Hello, all! I'm back from the abyss! I always forget what a huge pain moving is until we do it, then I swear I never want to move again. Moving to another state is the worst!!!
Between moving and going back up to Oregon for Tim's graduation, I've been pretty busy general life stuff. However, I have been painting like crazy, so I have a new painting for you today and several more
to come in the next few weeks!
I am so very excited to be vending at Kent Cornucopia Days in Kent, WA this July (you can find out more on my Appearances page). I met Kathi,
one of the owners of Browser's Books, last July at Faerieworlds. Tim and I adore Kathi and her husband Greg-- it was always a special treat to go up to Washington and visit them throughout the year! They were kind enough to let me set up shop in their booth
at Cornucopia Days, so you can find me right outside Browser's Books at 315 W. Meeker Street. I can't wait!
To prepare for Cornucopia Days (and then Faerieworlds a few weeks later) I am painting non-stop so that I can add a bunch of new faeries to my portfolio to replace all the ones I retired. I also have some really beautiful new products, such as
cameo rings and charm bracelets, which I'm adding to the site as well. So, while it's been quiet around here, expect lots and lots of new paintings and goodies now! Don't forget, if you'd like to receive free items and first crack at new merchandise, you can join my newsletter at groups.yahoo.com/group/SpellboundWings
Hope to see you at a festival this summer!
May 4, 2009
It's been so sunny here lately that it felt odd when it rained today... where did almost-summer go? The sad thing was, I liked it! If I go too long without rain, I get antsy. Oh no-- I really have turned
into an Oregonian! It's hard to believe we move away in half a week. The apartment is half-packed, but it still doesn't feel real.
On the art front, I currently have a million WIPs I'm working on and trying to finish. It's weird to think that at this time last year I was only working on one at a time! I need to finish the latest faery kitty and add it plus the new
products to the website. I was hoping to do that and send out the newsletter before we moved but it may not happen until next week. I do have some of the new products up in my Etsy store, so if you're curious, feel free to head over there and
check them out at SpellboundWings.Etsy.com!
April 22, 2009
I just realized it's been a bit since I updated here. I haven't really had much to say-- well, okay, I have lots to say, but it's all angry and depressing stuff! The car situation
has been a ping-pong of we're-covered-no-we're-not-we're-getting-money-no-we're-not. Our car is totaled and it looks like we will not be getting money to get a new one. I could go on and on but I won't :)
Let's just say it's really tough right now and I'm having trouble focusing on what I need to be doing, like orders, painting, and moving.
On a good note, I have new products that I'm currently making and testing, so when I get a chance I will be posting those. Some new necklace designs and some completely new products. Hopefully I
can do that before we move! It's less than 3 weeks away, so we'll see. I'm also working on several new faery cats on keys-- it turned into a series, and since I've already got the others sketched out, I should actually
finish this one! I'm also working on my Dark Faery series as well as a whimsical faery series. So, lots of new art is on its way-- at some point!
April 13, 2009
Well, I hope everyone ended up having much better and safer Easters than we did! Our day turned out quite the opposite of what we expected. A car ran a red light and slammed into us
a block before the animal shelter Easter morning, so we didn't even make it to the shelter, and as you can imagine, the rest of the day was pretty much a bust. Luckily we're not really hurt, but it was a very
scary experience, and definitely not a good holiday!
Fortunately, today was a much better day. We finally made it to the animal shelter, where we fell in love with a hotot/lionhead mix who looks quite similar to our other bunny! There was no way we could leave her there, so
after some deliberation, we decided to adopt her. She has been renamed Tinkerbell-- can you guess who picked that name?! ;) She is settling in wonderfully, and will hopefully become Augustus's wife once she is all healed from her spay. (They are both fixed,
so we won't have baby bunnies running around!)
I haven't been very productive the past few days [for good reason :) ], so I'm mostly filling orders at the moment and trying to catch up. Hopefully I will feel like painting soon, and you can bet you'll be seeing a painting with a little fairy bun who looks juuust like Tinkerbell!
For now, here are two little pics of her (I'm hoping to have some better ones soon):
April 12, 2009
Happy Easter everyone! I hope y'all have a great day of egg dying, egg hunts, and whatever other Easter traditions you enjoy.
I should be sleeping right now, but I got up to get some water and thought I'd write a quick blog. Tim and I are going to the animal shelter early tomorrow morning, as his Easter present
to me. No, that doesn't mean we get to adopt another bunny-- probably not, anyway :)
Saturday was the last day of the Spring in the Country bazaar. It went very well, considering the economy! I always enjoy working there, as everyone is so nice. I'm so sad I won't be doing it again
once we move.
I also came to a decision yesterday. As you know, I mostly painting digitally, and have dabbled in watercolors, acrylics, colored pencils and graphite. While I will always do digital pieces, I've been wanting
to use oils for quite some time, and at the urging of some good friends and my husband, I've decided to give them a try. I already ordered several painting animals with oils books, and am scoping out oil brands and brushes. I can't tell
you how excited I am! I will probably start with faery kitties and work my way up to faeries and angels.
I don't know the last time I've been this excited about something-- I'm ready to put some good, hard work in! It will still probably be
several months at least before I release any oil paintings, but in the meantime I will still be releasing some digital pieces. I have a set of fairies and a set of kitties I want to finish in the next two and a half months.
Oh! And I finally got in the new supplies I was waiting for, and am working on the coolest new product. At least I think it is :) Hopefully it will be ready to release in the next few weeks, after I test it a bunch.
That's all for now! Happy Easter!
April 6, 2009
I finally got a chance to update the site with the new fairy bunny tonight! Adding just the one painting and its items took me over three hours-- now you can see why it takes me so long to update when I have lots of new stuff! I'm almost out of glass
pendant supplies, and I think I'll be replacing them with a new pendant style, so if you've been thinking about ordering one, now would be a good time :)
I've also been working hard to set up two new shops, on Artfire and 1000 Markets. Like Etsy, they are online marketplaces for handmade goods. All three sites have very different looks, which makes it really fun. I'm also thinking about starting an actual blog on
Blogspot or somewhere, would would be nice since people could comment. So if I'm trying to decide between two new products or something about a painting, it would be awesome to get some feedback from you guys! I'm not sure when I'll have time, but hopefully some point soon.
While I don't have any new items today, I do have four or five new products that I'll be adding over the next two months. I am SUPER excited about one of the items, which I will be adding once I finish another painting. I haven't quite
decided what to work on next-- Tim and I are moving in a month, so I have a lot of things I need to do over the next few weeks. Tomorrow is the first day of the Spring in the Country bazaar
and I'm really looking forward to my shift. Between that and taxes, the rest of the week will be pretty busy! Hopefully I'll get a chance to work on a new painting soon.
April 2, 2009
Wow! I had no idea that it had been so long since I updated here! Sorry about that. I'm not quite sure where March went, to be honest! It was a busy month between orders, going out of town, and working on
new products and paintings, but I still feel like it disappeared awfully quickly.
Tonight I finally finished the fairy bunny painting I have been working on; I'd hoped to have it finished last week but that didn't happen. The great news is that it's not an Easter bunny,
so it can be hung or worn year round!
Unfortunately, I won't have time to add it to the site right away-- I'm supposed to drop off all my merchandise in preparation for the Spring in the Country bazaar next week this Saturday, and
(unsurprisingly) I still have tons of items to make. I will do my best to put it up ASAP! However, I will be putting some items in my Etsy store, so if you'd like to see it in the meantime, please come visit me at
February 27, 2009
I have been waiting for locket supplies that should have arrived a week ago, and they FINALLY came today!!! I have been very happily creating my new necklaces, which I will
then take pictures of so I can get them on the new website. I will be doing that, finishing a kitty painting, and finishing the coding on the new website design... I am crossing my fingers for a Saturday night
or Sunday release. I am so happy to be so close... though, of course, I wish it was already done and up for y'all to see!!
February 25, 2009
Strider is here helping me with this update :) Tim is doing much better, and things are somewhat getting back to normal. I am extremely tired from the ordeal, but I am doing my best
to get my paintings done and the website updated as quickly as possible. I am also waiting on a necklace supply that was supposed to be here last week! Hopefully it will all come together and I'll be
able to load the new site in a few days.
February 18, 2009
This is just an update on the situation I blogged about a few days ago. My poor Tim has been so sick he's been in the hospital twice, so needless to say I haven't had a chance
to work on the website or the business. All new orders placed will be sent out next week, when he'll hopefully be better. The new website will launch then as well.
February 16, 2009 Good News... and Bad News!
The good news is that the website redesign is still plugging along wonderfully, and I'm even farther ahead than I thought I would be. The bad news is my darling husband
decided to celebrate our 6 month wedding anniversary by coming down with a horrible case of the flu. This is the second time he's gotten it after flying on a plane in February, so I told him
he is banned from flying in any more Februarys! Last time this happened he ended up giving me the flu, so I'm terrified that I will be getting it in a few days. I'm sure many of you have had
experiences with the flu and know that it's completely dehabilitating and such a horrible, frustrating illness to have!
I have my new locket designs finished and I'm taking pictures of them plus
my other new necklace design, working on the website, and trying to finish 2-3 paintings, so that I can launch the new website design and these products this upcoming weekend. However, if I do get
the flu, that is likely going to get pushed back a week. So, please, please cross your fingers and send some positive thoughts our way! And I hope everyone is avoiding the flu themselves :)
February 10, 2009 More Good News!
The website redesign is going really well! The hardest part for me is figuring out the color scheme and background, since getting them to match what I envision
in my head is always tricky. But yesterday I figured it out, and my other half really liked it too, so now I can start the long process of fixing the background, header, menu, etc. on every
single webpage. Tedious, but at the same time I love it :) Web coding is really relaxing to me, and something I could do 24/7. Though I may not feel that way by the time I get the website done!
I'm just really happy since this version of the website is much closer to what I originally wanted when I decided to start my website a year ago. I can't wait to unveil it!!!
February 8, 2009 Good News!
The new fairy kitten is sooo close to being done! It's so cute and sweet, I totally adore this one. It's actually based off a picture of Savannah from when
she was little, which is fun. Luckily my painting drought didn't last long the other night... now the new kitty is almost done, plus I have an absolutely adorable fairy bunny sketched
out and started! Not to mention like 10 angel and fairy WIPs hehe. I haven't decided if I'm going to finish Belladona (the next Dark Faery) next or finish one of my spring fairies instead.
I'd like to have a kitty and a fairy painting done with the website redesign by this time next week... that's a massive goal, but it would be really awesome to have it all done. I'm sure y'all agree :) So, I will
keep updating my progress here throughout the week, and hopefully by this time next week you'll be reading this blog on a new & improved webpage!
February 4, 2009 Blech
I'm having one of those nights where nothing I do is going well... I tried finishing the fairy kitten, then sketching some new kittens when that failed, and when that failed,
tried working on the new website. When I struck out at that, I gave up! Thank goodness Tim is home to save me... I'm off to play monopoly and let the bunny out!
January 31, 2009 Where does the time go?
I can't believe it's going to be February tomorrow... I still feel like it's 2008!
I hope y'all enjoyed the new painting. Every once in a while there's a painting that's dearer to your heart than the others; Nightshade joined Velvet Spring and Angel Hearts Break Too
as one of those paintings for me. She had that inevitable stage of "Oh my gosh, I cannot paint this picture, I want to give up!" But I knew from the start I had to finish her, and now of course I'm happy
Angel and fairy paintings are good, hard work for me; right now I'm recharging by working on a few animal paintings. Fairy kittens, and soon, fairy
bunnies! Kitty pictures are generally a joy to paint, and nothing's more adorable than a little bunny! Mine is being rather rambunctious at the moment, trying to figure out how to get past his new playpen.
I'm also currently working on getting the new necklaces photographed and put up on the website. I'd like to get that done tomorrow so I can focus on the new paintings, and the website redesign. Not to mention my Master's thesis! There's
just never enough time...
January 10, 2009 Happy New Year!
Hi all! I hope you all had wonderful holidays. Ours were quite different this year, but a great deal of fun. Aaand Tim got me FOUR fairy ornaments for Christmas!!!
Unfortunately, 2009 is off to a rocky start computer-wise; I've had nothing but problems relating to my laptop, though *crosses fingers* hopefully now it's all fixed. I wanted
to have the new site design & products and paintings up last week, but since I haven't been able to use my laptop it will still be a bit. Now that I've got it back, I will be working very hard
to get it all done in the next week or two!
December 8, 2008 Happy Holidays!
Hello hello everyone! I hope your Decembers have started out well and you're all having fun getting ready for the holidays.
We just uploaded our new Lockets-- I'm so excited about these! I've always been fascinated by lockets,
so I was really excited to design a necklace combining lockets, keys (another one of my obsessions!), crystals, and of course, my paintings!
Things have been so busy around here order-wise (which is good!) that I've hardly had a chance to do anything I planned to do this month, for the site and everything else. Every chance
I get I'm working on finishing my newest paintings, which I absolutely can't wait to release.
It took me a bit to get back into painting human anatomy after painting so many cats, but I've been having a great
time designing my new fairies and angels. The one series of fairies, which I'll be releasing the first two paintings in soon, is actually based on specific Swarovski crystals, so the necklaces will match perfectly :)
Well, that's all for now... I'm off to work on orders, then hopefully-- PAINT! Happy Holidays to everyone! I hope they're safe and fun :)
Fairy Dust & Angel Feathers,
November 27, 2008 Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi everyone! I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgivings full of love & laughter-- for my non-American friends, I hope you're having great weeks ;)
This Thanksgiving was rather special for me; Tim and I had been a couple for 3 Thanksgivings, but had never spent one together. So, this Thanksgiving was not only our first
spent together, but our first as husband & wife. We're both very close to our families, and my parents hosted a combined Thanksgiving for both families, which was amazing. Now only Tim and I
are awake, so I figured I'd write a bit in my blog.
The Art Show last weekend was really fun & I was happy to learn I sold about half my pieces in the Art Show, as well as a bunch in the Print Show. The only downside was
I didn't get to meet my customers! So, if you purchased any prints of mine at OryCon, thank you-- and please feel free to drop me an email and say hi :)
I've been working on updating the website with the new products I mentioned-- bookmarks, greeting cards & such, but it's slow-going since I have to hand code each page and add pictures
of everything. But, progress is being made, and I will keep working on that! I'm hoping to have all these pages live by next week.
I'm also working on finishing a lot of new angel & fairy paintings. I have a new Dark Faeries series I'll be releasing when the first two are completely done, which should be sometime
in the next few weeks (depending on how much I get to paint!). I thought I would release some gothic angels next too, but my new white-winged angels may beat them out and get released first! I guess
we'll just have to see...
Fairy Dust & Angel Feathers,
November 9, 2008 Big Update on the Way!
Wow, I didn't realize how long it had been since I posted on here-- October flew by, and I can't believe it's already the second week of November... I think my mind is trapped
somewhere back around October 20 lol. I hope everyone had a fun Halloween!
Part of the reason I've been so quiet & late with my monthly update is that I am unexpectedly doing not one, but TWO shows this month! November 11-15 is the Country Christmas Bazaar in
Canby, Oregon; the following week, November 21-23, I'm in the Art Show at OryCon 30 in Portland, Oregon. I have been so busy getting holiday paintings & merchandise done that I haven't been able to update
this site, but I'm working on uploading all the new products as I type, so the website should be all updated in the next day or two.
Unbelievably, I have not one, or two, but THREE new paintings! They are all holiday kitty paintings-- with wings, of course. I'm also finishing up a winter fairy, a few angels, and a bunch of other
paintings that should make it onto the site in the next few weeks as well. I have some new necklace styles, as well as the promised greeting cards & giftcards. I'm also consolidating some of the necklace pages to make things
easier on you, with new discounts as well!
Finally, to celebrate the holidays, I'm offering a discount on all my prints-- 5x7" prints will be $5.99 instead of $6.99, and 8x10" prints will be $10.99 instead of $12.99. And, if you buy my new
holiday kitten set, you'll get two 8x10" prints for $20! I'll be putting these new prices up when I get the website updated, so be sure to check back and take advantage of these sale prices! I know with the holidays coming
up we can all use sales :)
That's about all I can think of for now... I put in about 80 hours of work this past week, prepping for the bazaar, so I'm still trying to recuperate and catch up on my sleep. I'm thrilled to spend tomorrow
up in Washington with Kathi & Greg of Browser's Books!! Hopefully I'll be a little more coherent then...
Fairy Dust & Angel Feathers,
October 12, 2008 A little note...
... just to say "hi" and briefly update you on what's going on here. Strider's here helping me! It's gotten really cold here the past few days, so the cats have
been glued to me, using me as their own personal heater. The cold is bad since it makes me curl up in bed and not get anything done!
Relatively speaking of course! Etsy is keeping me busier than ever, and I've been making enough cameo necklaces that I'm dreaming about them almost every night, no joke!
I'm also working on a ton of new paintings in various stages of completion-- more than I've ever had in progress before. I used to start a painting and work on it obsessivly until I finished.
This past year I've started working on several paintings at once, which is nice.
I have a hugely diversified list right now; I actually have more than this, but among them are
a winter fairy kitten (surprise surprise ;) ), another fairy kitten, a Christmas kitten,
the winter fairy I started last year but never finished, a fallen angel, and another first for me-- a white winged angel!!! I'm experimenting with new color schemes and composition, so this
group of paintings will hopefully shake things up a bit. I'm enjoying working on all of these paintings immensely, but the problem is... I worked on my Halloween painting in September, and I'm working on snowy paintings now, so by the time Halloween
rolls around, I'll be ready for spring!
I'm also working on new products... greeting cards are finally here, as are giftcards. I also have several new cameo settings-- yes, they are my favorite product to make :) Several other products are in the works,
and may or may not make it into my late October newsletter. I haven't quite figured out my release schedule for all these new paintings, but I'd like to have several of them done in time for November, since fall kinda fades into winter then. I will most
likely be posting my new necklaces and such on Etsy before they go up here, so please stop by and visit me there! SpellboundWings.Etsy.com.
Autumn Fairy Dust,
September 29, 2008 Website Updated!
Hey folks! I hope your September ended well. I am in absolute shock that it's already October. Well, it will be in 40 minutes here ;)
I've been watching The Nightmare Before Christmas over & over, so I'm REALLY in the mood for Halloween. And Christmas!
I hope the website update made sense-- if you ever have any questions, no matter how small, please don't hesitate to send me an email. Plus then I get to procrastinate
on what I'm supposed to be doing :) Website updates always take me 2 or 3 full days since I hand-code the updates myself, so it's a relief to have another one done. Now I can get my other
sites updated, and then I get to paint!
I'm applying to be part of the Art Show at OryCon 30 in Portland, Oregon-- I'd applied to the Dealer's Room, but it was already full. I'd love to be a part of the convention,
so cross your fingers for me! I have a really exciting new painting that I'll have finished in time; it's one I thought of a few months ago but have been waiting to do. I'm really happy to be
finally working on it!
I think that's it for now... I have a lot to do before I get to sleep, so I'd better get started!
Autumn Fairy Dust,
September 22, 2008 The season of Change continues!
Hello hello! Hard to believe September is almost over!!
I'm trying to finish up two paintings and some new products to send out a new monthly newsletter next week. With my new Etsy shop (SpellboundWings.etsy.com)added to the list of things
I'm always working on, I'm finding that there's waaay to few hours in the day! I'm currently updating all my necklace pages, and I'm adding a new section to the site which will be announce in the October newsletter :)
I thought I'd show you a peek of one of my WIPs... this one is not too far along, with the background, leaves, and pumpkin being just placeholders for now.
I hope you enjoyed that sneak peek!
Autumn Fairy Dust,
September 15, 2008 Autumn; the season of Change!
Hi all! Hope your September has been enchanted so far! Things are busy as ever here, but in a good way :) I feel very autumn-y today, so I may start another autumn painting just for fun!
I wanted to point out some changes here at Spellbound Wings. You may notice that some purchasing menus have become drop-down menus instead of radio buttons; I'm switching the whole site over to
drop-down menus, a few pages at a time :) I've also decided to continue expanding my line of necklaces, so you will see more designs up soon. And good news-- I've found some new suppliers so prices on the necklaces are going to be reduced!!
I've also got a couple new products in the works, which will be going up right before I send out my next newsletter-- either the very end of September of the beginning of October. I can't wait! I've also just opened up a new
shop on the popular marketplace site Etsy: you can visit me at SpellboundWings.etsy.com-- and the new necklace prices are in effect there! Etsy is like Ebay without the bidding-- it's got a wonderful user interface, and the added benefit of being able to post multiple pictures of each item. I'm attempting
to have something similar on the new Flash version of this website!
I'm sure you're wondering what I've been painting-- I do have several new angels in the works, as well as several new animal paintings, and a couple new characters that I haven't painted before. I should have at least two
new paintings to release with the new products, so definitely keep an eye out!
I had decided a few weeks ago to forgo any further shows this year and concentrate on painting instead. Well... that may not happen! It turns out there's a sci-fi/fantasy convention in Portland, Oregon (OryCon 30), so I'm applying to do that
November 21-23. I'm also working with my mother-in-law on a fundraiser-- she's part of the rescue organization 4Paws, and fosters kittens every year. That's actually where we got our first cat from! They do pictures with Santa every year, so we're hoping to turn that
into a fundraiser with my art, the two weekends before Christmas. The director of her organization also wants to sell my animal art year-round, so I'm very excited to help raise money for them-- 50% of the profits will always go to 4Paws.
I think that's it for now... that's a lot more updates than I thought! I need to get back to work-- this weekend we're going to a pirate festival (yay!!!) in Portland, and then up to Seattle the next weekend to visit Kathi and Cindy, who I
met at Faerieworlds. So I need to chain myself to my computer until then!
Autumn Fairy Dust,
September, 2008 Update Complete!
Whew! Talk about a massive update. I've been working on it for three days now, so it feels great to finally have it done. Now I can start painting! ... well, after I do everything else I've been neglecting, of course!
Unfortunately, wedding thank you's won't write themselves :) Chores & thank you's will probably occupy my Sunday and maybe Monday, but I still may get a chance to start a new painting.
What will that be, you ask? I've been debating
what I want to paint next, since I have about ten must-paints right now. Tim put his vote in for one that we actually came up with together, and since I am really excited about it, I capitulated. So, you should be seeing another fallen
angel in a few weeks... you will also be seeing a new website design at some point. Once I get it in my head I want to re-design it, it bother me until I do. However, I really want to add some Flash into the new site, so it may
be a bit, seeing as how I've never used it before!
I hope you enjoy all the new products and updates... I have some more exciting products to add next month, so make sure to sign up for my newsletter if you'd like to be notified once I add them-- groups.yahoo.com/group/SpellboundWings/!
Thanks for reading,
September, 2008 Quick Note
Just a quick note to let you know I haven't disappeared! The cats and I have been sick for a few days so I'm catching up with everything as quickly as possible. I have six embellished prints ready to be
posted on the website, and several very exciting necklace designs that are almost ready to go. I was hoping to post all of this when I released A Purrfect Autumn, but obviously that didn't happen :)
I hope to post the embellished prints tomorrow, and the necklaces the day after. I will send out a newsletter when all of these awesome new products have been posted. Thank you for your patience! I think you'll agree
that the new products are worth the wait ;)
After I work on these new products, I need to update several online galleries, and I'm in the process of opening up a shop on the popular site Etsy. So there's lots of behind-the-scenes activity right now
at Spellbound Wings! I've also happily decided to extend my Master's degree one more semester, which means instead of hiding in the library and writing every day for the next two months, I should have time
to work on new paintings and products. I'm in a kitten painting mood right now, but I have a Halloween-ish painting (or two!) that I'd like to do, as well as my big, special winter painting. Which may become the header for
the new website design I plan to release this winter at some point...
Until Next Time,
August 31, 2008 "A Purrfect Autumn"
Sorry for the delay in posting! I went to bed so late and had so much trouble sleeping that I've been like a zombie today. Without further ado, I give you "A Purrfect Autumn"!
I have several really exciting new products that I'll be adding to the website, along with the Purrfect Autumn merchandise, so keep an eye out for those later today and tomorrow! If you'd like to be notified
when I've posted them, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter at groups.yahoo.com/group/SpellboundWings :)
Thanks for reading; I hope you found the WIP process interesting!
August 30, 2008 Finished!
... it's done! Yay! I can't wait to print it out and hang it on the wall, it will definitely keep me in a magical fall mood. Haha it's still titleless... I want to bounce some titles off of my husband tomorrow morning, so I'll title it when I add
all of the new merchandise. Which I can't wait to do!
So, I'm going to be a tease and post one more WIP shot below, then post the final one tomorrow when I update the site. Is that mean or what? :)
Here I finished the leaves, which turned out to be rather fun to do once I figured out where the shading should go. I had to make them sparklie :) I also started adding more highlights and shadows on the kitten.
Well it's 3 am where I am so I'm off to bed... when I wake up tomorrow I will post the finished piece with all the merchandise, and of course, some detail shots!
August 29, 2008 Fall Kitty WIP5
Well it's not done, but it's close! I could stay up and work more, but since it's 2 am, I think I'll just pick it up tomorrow :)
So in this shot I'd worked on the tree branch; I love using the Impressionist brush in Painter for tree bark.
I decided it looked funny just showing the end of the tree branch, so I added the edge of the tree trunk. Both the branch and trunk still need their edges refined!
I can't remember what sparked me to do it, but I added a new layer in Photoshop and filled it with a bright orange color. I played around with the layer's style, and found that "soft light" at a 45% opacity gave the background a more vivid, autumn-y look.
This is why I love painting digitally so much-- you don't run the risk of ruining the painting each time you want to experiement! I also started trying to paint the front leaves. I haven't painted many leaves before!
Here I fixed the front leaves until they looked more realistic, then painted the leaf under the kitten's head. That's my favorite one! The leaves, like the kitten, aren't perfectly realistic; I think my style is definitely more semi-realism.
Well, that's it for tonight! Tomorrow I need to paint the floating leaves, fix the tree & branch edges, and highlight/shadow the kitten's fur one more time. And fix the big sparkles!
I'm happy that I'll be done tomorrow night, which means it took me 9 days to paint this kitten. Animal paintings are still hard work, but compared to my angel and fairy paintings, they're relatively quick. If this was an angel/fairy painting, I'd still have
two or three weeks of continuous painting left! And now I'm off to feed the model for this painting, as he's decided I've done enough on the computer and is now walking all over my lap lol.
August 28, 2008 Fall Kitty WIP4
Lots of updates as promised tonight! Depending on how it goes, the painting could be finished tomorrow night. I'm thinking about calling it "Autumn Catnap," but we'll see :) Off to the pics!
So after I found the kitten look I wanted, I continued to refine it, and started to add some of the decorations I wanted in the background.
I continued to play with the background, and added more highlights to the kitten's face.
More highlights and refinement of the face; I also changed the size of the body and moved it closer to his face.
This is where it got fun! I'm still unsure what I want in the background. I originally thought the light cream colored background would make the black kitty stand out; but I felt it just looked blah.
I decided to try red around the edges, which I ended up darkening until it was as you see right here. It's darker than I wanted, but I feel like it actually makes the kitten stand out the most.
I also added some sparkly wings (well one wing, I need to add the other one!) and sparkles, which need to be highlighted. And the leaves need to be painted! So we'll see if I really get it done tomorrow... cross your fingers!
August 27, 2008 Fall Kitty WIP3
Sorry for the delay between postings! I had been taking pics and was prepared to post every day, when I inevitably ran into my biggest problem: anatomy issues. I decided that the kitten wasn't looking
young or cute enough, so I've spent the past few days adjusting the face and body. The first two pics below are from before I changed the anatomy; the third one is where I'm at now. What a difference!
Here I added eyes and scribbled in some pink fuzz for the inside of the ears.
I smoothed the ear fuzz the same way I'd been doing the fur. There's nothing too wrong with the kitten per se; I just looked at it and decided it didn't match the picture in my head closely enough.
... and here's the new little kitten.
The fur now needs more work, as do the closed eyes, but I'm generally happy with how it's coming along now. I'll also make the wing smaller than I originally drew it since
the kitten's much smaller! I didn't take that many progress shots when I changed the kitten to make it younger, since it went through about four incarnations before I was satisfied. Hopefully I'll have a lot more progress shots to post tomorrow :)
August 22, 2008 Fall Kitty WIP2
Here's an update on the kitty's progress! I've put the latest WIP pics below, starting with the least finished. When the painting is finished, I'll combine all the WIP
pics in one tutorial and post it on DA.
First, I took one of my hair brushes , and picking a very dark brown at about 82% opacity, scribbed in a base layer of fur. Ugly, isn't it? Lol.
I was also playing around with a white star on the forehead to match his paw, but since I want this to be a portrait of Strider, I decided not to keep it.
Next I layed down some basic highlights and shadows using the hair brush. Basic highlights are a light yellow-gold color, and while you can't see them this far away, the base shadows are a deep purple.
When I first began painting I used black where I saw black and white for highlights, but the colors are much richer and more accurate if you use other colors for both, especially complimentary colors.
Here, as you can see, I've started blending the highlights and shadows with the rest of the fur. There are many ways to simulate fur; here I'm using the hair brush smudge tool, at 80% strength, and brushing it back and forth to mix
the colors and give it a hairlike texture. Right now I think he looks like a cross between a bat and a pig!
Here he is with the highlights and shadows pretty much blended. At the end of the painting I'll add some brighter highlights and deeper shadows, but for now his fur is in good shape. Onto his eyes and face, to hopefully make him look
more like a kitty!
August 21, 2008 Fall Kitty WIP
Hi all! I hope you're having a good August. I'm back from my wedding and mini-honeymoon, which I promise to blog about once we've gotten pictures. Since things have been crazy, I haven't
picked up my paintbrush in over a month, which has made me a little crazy! So, today I sat down and started a painting that will hopefully go well and quickly, so I can start on the complex Halloween-ish painting I have planned for an
October 1 release. I thought it would be fun to show you the different stages my animal paintings go through; not a tutorial as much as a glimpse at my painting process. However, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me
at the address on my Contact page, and I'll do my best to answer any of your questions!
So this painting doesn't have a title yet, but it will be a black kitten with fairy wings on a tree branch. There will be fall leaves and sparklies when it's done, but here's a rough sketch of the basic composition:
I don't always use reference photos, but this time I found the perfect pose in one of my first pics of our cat Strider, who we adopted a year ago. He's actually a kitten in this picture, though he's so big already it's hard to tell! I made
the kitten in my sketch a little smaller and fluffier, since I'm going for a young kitten. Here's the pic of Strider (originally facing the other way but I flipped it horizontally):
Stay tuned for more WIP pictures as the painting progresses!
August 5 2008 Faerieworlds!
Where to begin? Faerieworlds was crazy! Tim had to work all day Thursday, so we drove down to Eugene Friday morning. We drove right past the turnoff for Secret House Winery, where Faerieworlds was! The winery was off the beaten path on a long, dusty road. That is definitely one of the things I'll remember most about Faerieworlds-- the dust that seemed to be everywhere!
So we found our booth spot and began setting up. I got so lucky and had the neatest vendor next to me! His name was John Nielson and he was selling the book he just wrote and self-published, called "Toe Jam and The Toenail Fairies." I bet you haven't heard of those fairies before! John was awesome and remained unflappable, even when he came back and found the wind had flipped his tent over and was practically on top of another tent! We all wish we'd gotten pictures, since the sight really was indescribable.
Anyway, setting up was really tough because the wind was super strong and was knocking everything down-- even my huge, solid 11 x 14" frames. Tim went out to get sheets to hang on the backside of the tent, which mostly fixed the problem. Thank goodness we were facing away from the wind! Since we were towards the back of the venue, people didn't start meandering back there until late afternoon. The atmosphere was incredible-- bands played almost non-stop for the three days, there were fairies and angels everywhere, and the food from the food vendors smelled sooo good.
I was privileged to be visited by a lot of awesome customers! My new friends Lisa and Jesse (and Sasha!) visited me every day, and had me sign a lot of prints :) I had so much fun visiting with them! I was also excited to discover that one of my customers, Autumn Rose (isn't that the best name?!), is actually a fellow DeviantArt member. I also enjoyed hanging out with the two artists manning The Fairy Court booth-- Nedda and Jacqueline. It was really neat to finally see their art in person! I also met a lot of other great artists, like Christi Brown and Carol Phillips. It's hard working your booth and not having enough time to spend looking at all the amazing art there!
I also got to meet Amy Brown! Since her artwork was what I bought at that fair two years ago, which inspired me to try painting, meeting her had a lot of meaning for me. I bought several of her prints, including her fairy piece "Hope," which she signed for me.
I had the best time talking to the two wonderful ladies who were running her booth-- Cindee and Kathi. Cindee runs an Ebay store for special Amy Brown items, and it turns out that's where Tim got my "Dusk" Amy Brown print last Christmas!! Cindee also does an amazing job creating porcelain doll costumes, and is working on making them for people as well. Kathi's an art representative and has a bookstore in Washington-- so of course Tim and I are now dying to make a trip up there to visit her soon! They were both so great to talk to, I'm very glad I got to meet them :)
Hmm, what else? I know I'm forgetting a lot! I'm sure I'll remember once I've posted the blog. Overall Faerieworlds was incredible, and I'm really looking forward to vending there next year.
All images, artwork, and product designs are copyright 2008-2011 by Melissa Dawn and Spellbound Wings.