Monday, December 21, 2009

No school until next year!! Thank you snow :)

Hmm it is 11:21 on a Monday morning..I am still in my pjs, drinking coffee and perusing the internet. With up to 2 feet of snow, they canceled school today, tomorrow, and our half day Wednesday. ..Not that the students would be missing out too too much! This close to holiday break, it is best to take advantage when the librarian runs "Polar Express" 3 times a day on the school TV circuit, not to mention having endless amounts of holiday themed "arts" and crafts to further occupy the children. They are probably having a blast in the snow--hopefully they all have warm coats, hats, and gloves-- and missing school only because they couldn't get their ceramic projects to take home from their fabulous art teacher!! I love living in an area that can't handle any weather worse than rain! Makes a winter storm that much more exciting....

As far as the holiday hubbub...I sent Christmas cards last week and have so far shipped any presents that need shipping and only have a few painting projects to finish as gifts (which is what I SHOULD be doing right now!) Pictures coming soon! I do believe then I only have ONE painting that I will be working on for someone else. Time to get creative--more pencil/ink drawings, more spontaneous paintings, more random still-life drawings/paintings. I have an entire stack of photos that I have been saving to paint and so many blank canvases (I tend to buy them whenever they are on sale) begging for attention..

And tonight---shall I make a Thai stir fry? PW and I found this great little Thai cookbook at Marhsalls a few months ago. We discovered that you need some very interesting ingredients to make Thai. For example PW was very hesitant to buy an entire $5 jar of "sesame oil" when the recipe only needed 1/2 teaspoon. I keep telling him--hey soon we'll have ALL these weird ingredients--but every new recipe calls for some random sauce or paste that we don't have yet that involves 10 laps around the grocery store to find :P oh well. Maybe I'll do something simpler --pork chops and mashed potatoes?!

Stay warm!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Just sold!

And the Christmas season prompts another sale!

You Can Almost Hear The Ocean
photo print
8 X 10

YES! Check out my Etsy shop where more beautiful artwork is available for purchase!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Meet Lucy!

Right after school today I am heading to the UPS store to ship this commissioned pet portrait! This lovely yellow lab is named Lucy. I started with these sketches in charcoal and watercolor to decide the better "pose." Lucy certainly has a lot of personality!
Now I remember how much fun it was to just play with the watercolor and charcoal together--very neat effect. I need to "play"with materials more often...I did so many interesting collage, ink, water color, oil pastel projects in high school and college! Maybe after the Christmas projects I'll do more experimenting with different media...

Below is the final portrait!! I think it is quite a success! Although for some reason it has some glare and does not look AS clear as it should on my camera---Guess that is what I get for photographing it at 10:30 pm when there is no daylight available.... I hope to get more pet portrait commissions soon--they are a challenge with lighting, texture, and personality, but nonetheless relaxing to work on!

Creamy Parmesan Artichoke Dip--- YUM

Let's just say eating this with a spoon is perfectly acceptable! I made this crockpot recipe this past weekend for a holiday dinner with friends and it was a huge hit!

2 14 oz cans artichokes (If you buy the hearts, you'll have to dice them up!)
2 cups Mozzarella cheese
1 and 1/2 cups parmesan cheese
1 and 1/2 cups mayo
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp garlic

Cook on Low for 2 hrs or until everything is melty and cooked through... I would recommend stirring every so often! I did not because we ventured into DC's Eastern Market for the afternoon and some of it started sticking but no catastrophe there. Dip with veggies, pita chips, or regular chips!

yum yum. Now I am quite hungry!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Custom framing: Expensive but WORTH IT!

First and foremost, I would like to thanks Michaels for having the 60% off custom framing deals often! That lovely deal knocked $300 off the $200 total ( no new shoes for awhile I guess...)

I finally broke down and got my favorite painting custom framed....I knew I would never want to sell this one AND I have been back and forth deciding whether or not to custom frame for 2 years. The standard 18 X 24 frame that it was in for the teacher art exhibition just did not do it justice! They did such a great job helping me decide on the linen matte, dark violet matte, classic black frame, and even the museum quality non-glare glass($$). I can't believe how fancy and classy it looks. Custom framing could become an expensive guilty pleasure!

Anyhow life has been moving QUICKLY these days. The Christmas season is definitely busy. I have two paintings commissioned for Christmas gifts to finish by the 17th and two painting projects for family that need to be finished just in time for Christmas....Whew!!! I'm trying to cram holiday-related lessons in at school and realized this morning that I only have a week and a half left. oops. Oh well! To ease the holiday stress--may I recommend some homemade chili and Fa-La-La Lifetime movies?!!

I've been reading "Quit your day-job" blogs on Etsy and wonder while reading each one, if I would really like just staying home and being in business for myself. Eek! It would be absolutely wonderful to not worry about being late for work or traffic or whatnot....At the same time, I'd have to remind myself that sleeping until 10am and lounging in pjs with coffee and pancakes all morning would still be unacceptable. And I'd need some business education--Hmm. I also fear I'd become a weird reclusive artist and resort to singing and talking to myself all day/night. But I do love coming to school and seeing the crazy projects my kiddies make, not to mention being social with the fellow teachers. Teaching also allows me to "quit my day job" in the summer months--however hindered by visits to the pool/beach/and other outdoor hotspots. What a dilemma. I think the answer here is to somehow--and without doing anything illegal--become independently wealthy The blogs are inspiring though!!!!!

Looking forward to Friday! My sisters and I have this Christmas tradition where we take one day off every December and have a Leesburg outlet shopping blowout!! Pray that the heating maintenance man comes as early as possible in the 8-10 slot... I've already called the place twice to make sure they know we have "an important appointment" at 10:15!

Ok have a great day :)