Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Hi friends!  
I haven't painted in awhile because I've been so busy with work. It felt good to break out the paints. What inspired this painting was the Christmas song - "Mary Did you know." It struck such a cord with me this year particularly this sentence... 

When you kiss your little baby... you kiss the face of God.

I'm not a mom yet but I can't imagine... Jesus as your son?
This song never hit me like it does now... I cry when I hear it. Just as I imagine when any baby is born, the love and light, the angles would surround the family in those precious first moments, is what I wanted to depict... in my painting.\
Happy Birthday Jesus! 

Here's all the lyrics...

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water? 
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters? 
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new? 
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? 
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand? 
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod? 
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again. 
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation? 
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations? 
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb? 
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

Merry Christmas! 

Hope you all had a beautiful weekend!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A note to Heaven...

I am always checking out the hippie Goddess Leonie! Mediations, mermaids and love is her life.. and she inspires me. I was on you tube and found this video of hers which I had never seen and after watching this video... I feel the need to write..

I have an amazing great grandmother, her name is Mable - when I was a kid she was Grandma Sam. I knew she was kind and special, a beautiful soul. I was so little when she passed - 3rd grade. I don't remember conversations... just glimpses... her house, her yard, the nursing home she lived in, her smile, her kitchen. I remembered that she loved to cook.
After watching this video I got all teary eyed and thought what a great idea... write her a letter. Wow she would be impressed - that her great grand-daughter was writing the letter on her blog. Does she know what blogs are?

Dear Grandma Sam,
   I miss you, and I didn't even really know you. It wasn't until you came to me in the dream before my wedding that I felt like you were reaching out to me. I was bewildered because I was so young, you didn't know me, I barely remember you. You remembered me? And care about me now - all these years later?
  Not that I ever doubted that those that on the other side couldn't find me, I was just so surprised to see you -to feel you-to HEAR you! You felt so distant because I was so little, and had been so long since I really thought of you. You have given me beautiful 'signs' I have heard your voice, and you continue to find me, and comfort me in hard times. Thank you from the bottom of heart! I call your name, and there you are. I feel your gold angel wings protecting me. Thank you for finding me. Thank you for holding my hand when I am scared and protecting me. I would have never thought I could ever feel this connection with you. 
  There are so many things I wish I knew about you! Little what is your favorite color? What is your favorite food? (There must be food in heaven!) What is your favorite thing to cook and what is your favorite thing to bake? (I assuming your cooking up there) I bet you loved Christmas, from what I have heard about you, you had the biggest heart. My mom misses you to. She told me you were her biggest inspiration. That says a lot. My mom is pretty special too! You should give her a sign you are around.
   My husband just got his first nursing job today! I am so overjoyed and proud. I feel so blessed... so many big things have happened in the last year. I am feeling so thankful these days.
   This year I am going to have Christmas at my house. I am a bit nervous, and hoping I don't get TOO stressed out. You are invited! It's always Christmas Eve at like 6-6:30pm depending on what time church is at.
   I can't wait for the day when we can sit down and talk for hours, I can ask you a million questions about your life. I wish there was a journal, or letters or something that was yours that you have left behind that Grandma Lainey has. I will ask her.
   It makes me want to leave behind a journal for my future family. I want them to know who I was, what I felt, what I did in this life. And the little things... maybe someday I'll have a great grand daughter wondering about me after I'm gone. Life happens so quick doesn't it?
I love you so much!
Hope you are enjoying the season up there! Is there snow?
Your great grand-daughter,
Natalie Ann

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Being Thankful

Hey friends!  Hope you enjoyed some turkey and rest and shopping, cooking, decorating, football or whatever it is that brings you joy! I decorated my house and did a lot of cleaning. Today my best friend invited me to the play A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie Theatre and it was so sweet, amazing really. Not sure if the play has me in a sentimental state of mind but I'm feeling so blessed, at peace, and thankful this holiday weekend. My grandma is in the hospital, we visited her on thanksgiving and seeing her in a white hospital room with nothing from home. No pictures, no cards, no flowers, nothing. Just the machines that she was hooked up to and a small TV with bad reception broke my heart.

I went from a beautiful table and home filled with family to the hospital room where my grandma was. There was a stark difference and I just know there are so many people out there who are in that same place. With no comforts from home, no love notes or flowers. Some that maybe didn't even have family to come visit them on Thanksgiving. They are moms, dads, grandmas, daughters, sons, aunties, uncles, cousins, and grandpas. They have stories, beautiful stories. When I try to envision seeing my mom in the hospital, that's it, I'm done. It's hard enough to see your grandma... but I really can't image being in my dads shoes. I think about all the things my parents have done for me, their journey in life, where they have gone, what they have felt, the ups and downs, the memories, the vacations, the experiences, the fun. This holiday weekend I've even thought about what it will be like to be a parent myself (No pressure or anything from family=) Just lots of thoughts....on life, on living, on dieing, and maybe creating new life!

I feel pretty blessed right now. To have a home. To have my health. To have my parents. To have my loving husband and dog.

Live today to the fullest - what if it were your last day?
Your last moment?
Would you have loved enough?
Would you have made a difference?

When ever we are faced with a possible loss-it quickly reminds us of all the simple things that we have taken for granted.
I hate that it has to be that way.
It reminds us that we need to appreciate those we love.
AND SHOW THEM. Make the time to show them and tell them how special they are to you.
Don't sweat the small stuff, because in the end the small stuff won't matter.
Relationships, family, friends, memories, moments, conversations
These are the things in life that really matter. The moments. The love.
Not the stuff.
We all have so much to be thankful for, Let us carry that in our hearts this holiday season...
Hope you enjoyed thanksgiving!
With love,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Veterans Day!

Sorry a day late! My schedule is so nutty these days... I wrote this yesterday but didn't post! =(
Dear Brave Soldier,
Thank you so much for fighting for me. Thank you for putting your life on the line. Thank you for giving SO MUCH. The greatest gift. The biggest sacrifice. A gift. A gift for each and every American. You haven't been given enough "thank-yous." You haven't heard "I love you" enough. You aren't given enough hugs. You soldier, are so special. SO LOVED! I am appreciative. I am so grateful for you. What you have given has been noticed. I really hope you can know and believe this with your whole heart.

I send you love, a million hearts overflowing. In your darkest hour, on your loneliest day - I pray for your comfort. I pray for your safety. I pray for your peace. I pray for a million angels to surround and protect you by the most beautiful gold light! A light that shines out into the universe. A protection that will keep you safe, protection from the enemy, protection from negativity, protection from anything that would or could ever harm you.

Sending all my love to soldiers all over the world serving and remembering those who have served!

My Husband in Iraq! <3
My heart explodes with love, and joy and happiness as I think about the the letters, and phone conversations I shared with husband while he was in Iraq 5 years ago.
He's a pretty amazing man. He served as a medic, and also worked at the hospital in Balad while he was there for 22 months. It makes me realize how thankful we are that we aren't in those dark roller coaster days of missions and letters, prayers and sleepless nights.
We appreciate so much. We are so grateful.
For so many things.

So many give the ultimate sacrifice, and for the families who have lost - my heart goes out to you. May you be surrounded, and supported and wrapped in light today as you remember your loved ones.

For so, so many the war does not end when the war ends, it doesn't end when they arrive on American soil, it doesn't even end when they are done serving. It's a battle that will last a lifetime. I now understand the saying...


Thank you from the bottom of my heart to every soldier who has EVER served.
You are remembered.
Not just today.
But every day.
You are AMAZING!


Saturday, November 5, 2011

On Giving

It's November, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner, I feel a definite shift. Warm drinks, slippers, fires in the fireplace, cooking, I want sleep more, and just plain hibernate. With Christmas decorations and gifts already advertised at stores and on TV... it's creeping into my mind slowly. I've even heard some say they've started their shopping, and noticed facebook posts with how many days left until Christmas! My name Natalie means "Christmas child" and I've always LOVED Christmas, the baking, the decorating, the giving, the wrapping, the music, the activities, the family, the food, the parties... whats not to love? Really?! =)
But before I get ahead of myself with the Christmas-holiday-who-biditty-whatty!
I think I want to focus on THANKSGIVING. It seems like everyone's forgotten Thanksgiving. Halloween was Monday and now it seems like it's on to Christmas?
I want to focus on Thanks... and Giving.
I'd like to start some new traditions that focus on these 2 words.
Giving thanks for everything I've been so blessed with.
GIVING. Beyond just your usual giving... (maybe you don't give at all?) 
What can we do to give bigger?
How can we give more?
What would I give if I didn't make any excuses, if there were NO limitations, no restrictions. What would my bigness give? 
It goes beyond money.
You can give your time. There are so many causes, so many organizations, you can virtually support whatever it is you love.
I started volunteering for the organization FREE ARTS. I had never heard of the organization but a friend referred me to it awhile ago, and when I called they were just starting training. So it was as if the stars aligned. It's an organization that works with the local shelters to create art programs for at risk and abused kids and teens.This month I want to give more. I just really feel like the world doesn't go around without giving.
I'm going to really challenge myself to focus on the giving, even more than usual. When we push ourselves to give more than we are used to giving... 
Miracles Happen.
I want to give back, to the community I live in, my friends, to strangers, to the universe, to those in need, to those who are in pain, to kids, to seniors, to animals. 
Give with prayer. Give with my time. Give with my resources. Give with my hands. Give with my heart. Give with my eyes. Give with my junk, ya my junk! (ha ha! I need to clean out my closets) Give my money. Give with my gifts.
Give Light, Give Love, Give Hope.
Can you feel it? Can you give any of these things today?
I bet you can. Look inside yourself, and around you and see where you are being called to give. Ask and it will shown.
Happy Giving!

Love and light,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Making Homemade Dog Bones!

Who doesn't love the classic throw it in the air and catch it trick!?
I've always wanted to make my own dog biscuits but it's always just been on that list of things I want to do....
So I took action the other night! My mom borrowed me some bone cookie cutters over a year ago, and I finally used them! I hopped onto google and looked up some recipes at this website! Buddy LOVES peanut butter so...
I started with this SUPER EASY recipe:

Peanut Butter Goodness Dog Treats

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups white flour
1/2 cup peanut butter (all-natural or organic if you have it)
1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil 

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Combine oil, peanut butter and water. Add flour, one cup at a time, forming a dough. Knead dough into firm ball and roll to 1/4 inch thickness.
Roll out the dough and cut with your favorite cookie cutters and 
Bake at 350 F for 20 minutes.

Buddy is SO flippin smart, I told him I was making him some bones... he was so excited with anticipation! He kept sniffing the oven.
We also made this recipe since Biggie loves carrots!

Veggie Bones Ingredients:

2 3/4 C. Flour
2 Tbls. Bran
2 Tsp. Baking Powder
3 Tsp. Minced Fresh Parsley (good for doggie breath)
1/4 C. Shredded Carrots
1/4 C. Shredded Cheese (your choice--mozzarella, cheddar)
2 Tbls. Olive Oil
1/2 Tsp. Flaxseed (optional)
1/2 C. Water

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Mix together parsley, carrots, cheese and oil. Combine the dry ingredients separately from the veggie mixture. Slowly add 1/2 c. water and mix well. Dough should be moist but not wet. Knead for a minute.

Roll out dough to 1/4" thickness. Using cookie cutters of your choice, cut out shapes and place on baking sheet.
Bake 20-30 minutes until biscuits have browned and hardened slightly. They will continue to harden as they cool. Store in an airtight container once throughly cooled.

He patiently waits...

Spoiled golden at this house!

Monday, October 24, 2011

What do you like?

I found this video while ago and I may have even mentioned it before but it was brought to my attention again through the World's Biggest Summit!
It's SUCH a great reminder to focus on the good, and it'll make you smile!
So here's your assignment for the week! (It's super easy I promise!)
I want you to start your day off each morning this week focusing on all the things you like! Cheese city? It really works, I promise!
Do it before you start receiving message on your phone, from the TV, emails and every other source - your family, your co-workers, whatever and whoever! As a society we are constantly bombarded with NEGATIVE crap. And by starting your day with positive things I think we can change our attitudes!
Laugh at yourself, seriously, it's fun!
Don't want to scream it at the mirror? Think of everything you LIKE while you are taking a shower...
Here goes...
I like my house! I like my husband! I like my family! I like my dog! I like my hats! I like my coats! I like my art room! I like my art supplies! I like my backyard! I like the park by my house! I like to walk the dog! I like the outdoors! I like to hug trees! I like life! I like my car! 

Okay... so that's everything? You're out of things to like?

No way! Keep going, go deeper.

I like America! I like my church! I like my friends! I like water! I like that my fridge has lots of fresh food! I like cheese! I like coffee! I like Minnesota! I like to cook! I like to walk! I like to eat! I like to do yoga! I like to spend time in Duluth! I like my best friend! I like blogging! I like you!
Positivity Train coming through...
Yep! I have the biggest smile ever just thinking about all these things I like!
Call it a gratitude list, call it a pep talk! Call it a cheese fest! Call it what you will... just do it. Today and every day!
Let's make things shiner and brighter!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday Sketches

Today I'm participating in the Sunday sketches - over at Sophia's blog. I finished this the other night and wanted to share this SUPER COOL BLOG with some other artists! You upload your picture to flicker and then Gemma Correll chooses the one she likes, and features them on her blog. What a cool idea! I LOVE IT! Hope you are all enjoying your Sunday!

This was my outfit on Thursday, one of my favorite fall outfits!
I discovered it from Kaitlyn's blog she is such a talented illustrator and inspiration!
Have a beautiful day,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Nature Inspiration!

I have had no time to create and my art room looks like a massive BOMB went off!
But I just wanted to share some of the beautiful things I've seen in nature recently that I think you might adore too! God is just such an amazing artist! Damn there's so, so much beauty in this world.. I get excited just thinking about it! So much to be thankful for, just to be living and breathing and have the opportunity to go and explore the beauty in my own state - the beautiful Minnesota!

There's my eagle. Showing up always right when I need that positive push, that yes from the universe... I see one of these beauties! I saw 7 eagles on my 3 day trip this time! WOW! What animal keeps showing up in your life or dreams? 

OMG! This is where I could just flip and have a bird! Freak! I freaked out when I saw this dried up moss hang from the trees! It looks like the Grinch got caught in the branches... Seriously!?! BEAUTEOUS! STUNNING! LOVE! Is it just me? Or are you flipping too?

And the MOSS?!! I want to lick it, or hug it or squeeze it... Something?! I am just so, so so in love! So inspiring!

Find something in nature that you think is beautiful too! Look in your own backyard. I LOVE doing this... it makes me appreciate what I have right in front of me every day!

Lots of love,

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Face Your Fears

I'm growing.
I'm facing my fears.
It's been so hard for me to be tough, to be real, to stand up for myself.
In college I had a good friend who gave me a rock that said Face Your Fears.
My biggest challenge.
How can it be so hard to stand up for ourselves? To have strength and courage.
I've learned that sometimes doing the hardest thing, is really the best thing.
That sometimes our biggest trials, our biggest losses are the ones that REALLY change us, help us grow and teach us the most!
There is joy and relief and happiness in my heart as I face my fears lately.
I encourage you to face your fears whatever they may be.
What do we have to loose? 
Stop and REALLY think about that question.
Don't judge yourself, or let anyone else's opinions or judgements affect your choices.
You can face your fears! And the joy and rush you feel when you've faced that fear... AMAZING!

Story TIME!
A couple of years ago my husband I were driving up the North Shore, we got to the Temperance River. We got out to hike around. The huge rocks that have formed the landscape near Lake Superior are amazing! The rivers and streams that reside along the lake are so beautiful, they cut the large boulders and rock forming beautiful cliffs.

My husband is the guy jumping off the boulders and cliffs. Yea. He's Army, he's strong, he tough, and so freakin' brave! Me - nope, not happening. NEVER.
I think we balance each other. He pushes me, and I hold him back when he needs it. (even though he probably doesn't like it) After hiking around for awhile we decided to swim,(hubby talked me into it) it was late afternoon and the water was cold. We met some girls from the area who were going to swim up the river and it's rapids into this rock cave where a big waterfall poured into this huge hole, that had formed from the beating of the falls. They invited me and hubby. I was terrified.
I can't.
I won't.
I hate swimming.

I'm not brave.
It's too scary!
These amazing girls talked me into it.
I resisted... telling them "I can't, I'm not a strong enough swimmer!"
Yes you can they chanted! "We'll hold your hand, we've done this so many times... we're from the area! We know where all the big rocks are and we can make a chain link to help pull you up and over the rapids if you're not strong enough." I was freaked. They kept calling to me "Come on, really you can do it, we'll help you!!!" My husband the thrill seeker was ecstatic that these girls were urging me on! His eyes just lite up and he was ready! He getting in on the encouragement too. 
He didn't think I was going to go for the idea.
Somehow I think the word "Fine" came out of me?!
I was scared shit less!
The anxiety was so overwhelming, it felt like an out of body experience. I couldn't believe it was happening. I wasn't a strong enough swimmer. BUT together the four of them got me up the rapids and into the rock cave where we all stood under the powerful waterfall. My legs were jello. How did I get there? The noise was so loud - even while shouting we could barely hear each other. I did it, I couldn't believe it.
I faced my fears. I was alive... and I did it! 
We carefully and strategically got back down and out into the calm lake-like pool at the bottom of the river where we started. When my feet finally reached the earth, just sheer joy and excitement! We were freezing and I was shivering. I don't think we even had a towel! I was amped, excited, blissed out beyond words. When we got back to the car, we turned the heat on and my body finally relaxed.
I gushed with hunny about what I had just done! Could he believe it? I couldn't!

Within minutes I was out, out like light.

The rush of adrenaline had taken everything out of me.


And, for me (probably not for most people) this was a major fear to face!
What's your biggest, scariest fear? Maybe you don't even know really what it is that your afraid of. That's okay.
When you feel that resist, you feel that fear, the No, No, No - you can't, won't, couldn't shouldn't... TRY IT.
Take a risk. Even if you hate risks.
Look inside you, and prove to yourself that you can do it!
I'm working on being brave, and as scary as it is...
It's changing me and I'm growing.
And it's good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Featured Artist: Mariah at Me on Life Designs!

While at the Skyline Art Crawl this weekend I met some cool artists and so I wanted to share with you some of these neat people. I really believe we all have so much to share in this world. Every person has AMAZING gifts to share. And getting to meet other artists fills me with so much joy! No matter how far along each artist is in their artistic career, we can all learn from each other, AND inspire each other! Meeting artists and sharing our passions is what lifts us up, helps us grow and keeps us creating.
  So.... Drum roll please!
Meet Mariah at Me On Life Designs!
This brilliant artist has an Illustrated card line of stick people with sayings that make you smile, laugh out loud and inspire. I love the simple clean lines with the 'pops' of color!
  They're whimsical and funny! Mariah had such a bright smile and as soon as we started talking, we instantly connected. I love it when that happens! She has a store on her website at
These clever little cards were definitely a hit at the show! I absolutely LOVE her work! Her creativity just shines! Please go check out her store and share with anyone you think you might enjoy! She also does custom cards for that special occasion or special person! What a great artist to support! She's got a great story about how these came about as well on her site! I love her original first 10 that inspired the cards.
HOW CUTE ARE THESE!? Love, love, love em'!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Color Love

   What a beautiful fall weekend here in Minnesota. These are the weekends we live for... 70 and sunny! The fall colors were just glowing and dancing! I had a fun weekend showing at the Skyline Art Crawl. I was a little disappointed in the turn out, although I met some really cool artists! And jiving with other artists is SO inspiring! Talking to others about my passion and hear them talk about theirs, is so exciting!
  I felt bad that I missed out on Saturdays weather other than a quick evening walk with Bear. So today I went on a long walk with Bear and explored some trails off the trail we normally go on. Nature revives me, it is so alive. With out I don't think I could exist. The sun, the plants, the animals, the sky, the air, and sunshine, fills my heart and makes my soul dance. It's no wonder I dream of living somewhere closer to nature. If ever I need to fill my heart and be reminded of what I have to be thankful for, nature does it.
  The colors are so dreamy... I hope they last awhile. I can't believe how quick fall snuck up on me, it feels like beginning of September, not October. I'm super exhausted from the show and need to go get some tea and climb into bed. More on some of the cool peeps I met soon! Stay tuned. Much love to you...

Happy Fall!
Nat & Bear

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall is here!

I fell off the radar. I'm sorry to my readers, and I'm sorry to the bloggers I follow. I feel SO BEHIND! It wasn't a planned break really. My main excuse is really that I got super sick last week. Lots of stress and being way too busy... then I got sick. My body's way of saying... YOU NEED REST. 
It forced me. 
I drank tea, wore my bunny slippers, watched too much TV and took naps. 
I swear I blinked and it's fall. Like... leaves falling everywhere fall. I decorated my front door area with corn stocks, mums and a pumpkin.
This little painting of the leaf was inspired by all the beautiful red sumac trees that are turning right now! Reds, oranges and yellows!This weekend is October!?! Say it isn't so! The weather is really holding out! Here in MN we never know what we are gonna get.. it could be snowing next week. So I'm excited about the weather (high 60's and 70's)! They are saying it's the perfect weekend to go for a drive and see the colors. I'll be at the Maple Grove Government Center (if your a local) and your out and about - stop by to see me!!
I'm participating in the Skyline Art Crawl and a month ago I thought I've got so much time... Where does the time go! Two days? I'm about to go on a marathon tonight of creating and pricing and preparing!!
Wish me luck! More to come soon! =)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Power of Positivity

I am constantly reminded that the power of positivity is affecting the life I am living right now! 

After watching The Secret a few years ago I was just thrilled! I started playing with the law of attraction, love, my feelings, my attitude and I've had some many breakthroughs! If you've never read it... I highly recommend!

I play with it.
Focus on something you really want.
A chocolate covered sprinkle donut...

and there it would be waiting on my desk for me!
I think about a friend that I've talked to in awhile...
the next day I get an email or a phone call!

The law of attraction is always in motion.
What ever you are thinking about... you are bringing about.
Really think about that.
You're thinking about how much you hate what your doing right now...
you're only going to receive more of that because that is what you are focusing on!
My kids are always messy... this person is treating me bad... I hate the service at this restaurant right now. And then what do you know the situation gets worse.
No matter HOW negative and bad things may seem - you lose your keys, your vacation gets canceled... YOU hold the power! You can change you situation by focusing on the good. Focus on what you want.
Focus on positive energy!
Focus on love.
Give whatever you are wanting... LOVE.

10 ways to be positive RIGHT NOW!
1. Make a list of 20 things your thankful for and really feel gratitude for those things!
2. Do something that makes you happy - Paint, listen to music you love, read, garden, rock
    climb, write... Whatever it is that makes your heart say "YES!"... do that!
3. Meditate or pray to your God... this can help you release all the heavies.
4. Make a list of your dreams! Imagine them all coming true!
5. Find inspiring quotes and post them up where you will see them.
6. GIVE LOVE. Do something for someone else - making others happy will always in return
    bring you to a higher vibration! 
7. GET OUT IN NATURE! She's a great healer! She can revive the spirit and be an
8. MOVE! Do something... move something (I love those do groove commercials... always
    make me smile) Hey I didn't say you have to go running, get an expensive trainer... just
    do what you can for a little bit longer than your used to. You can do it ROCKSTAR!
9. Eat something that good for you! Pizza, yes it's good for you on a Friday night. Coffee?
    I know you were up late but give your body something from the earth. Feel the
    goodness! Smoothies are great - liquid gold I tell you! =)
10. Change your attitude! It's not as simple as you think. THINK, really think about what
      you are thinking about and SAYING.

I leave you with a few of my favorite quote from The Secret...

"All that we are is a result of what we have thought" ~Buddha 

"What this power is I cannot say. All that I know is that it exists." ~ Alexander Graham Bell

Lisa Nichols says in The Secret...
"Oftentimes you give others the opportunity to create your happiness, and many times they fail to create it the way you want it. Why? Because only one person can be in charge of your joy, of your bliss, and that's you. So even your parent, your child, your spouse - they do not have the control to create your happiness. They simply have the opportunity to share your happiness. Your joy lies within you."

Have the best day ever... you decide it's the best and make it that way!!
Did I tell you your perfect just the way you are!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Paint Party Friday - Harvesting Edition!

In the spirit of gardening, canning and the harvesting of everything that's been growing this summer... I painted little mini canvases which would be a nice bright edition to any kitchen! I made some homemade labels this week for a friend who's making honey! I've also got another label going for my mom's salsa!

Happy Harvesting! Happy Weekend!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Making your own label!

Hey friends,
 Thought I'd share my fun little project I just did! I made some labels for a good friend who is making honey this year! I sketched this out 4 times until I had the perfect set of bees... Then I drew over my pencil with a fine point ink pen, erased the pencil (this was done on watercolor paper) and then painted it with watercolors!
Then brought it into Photoshop and mocked them up 6 to a page for large jars and 9 up for small jars! You can then print them on full sheets of label paper and cut out! =)

Can't wait to show you a picture of the final product, I'm hoping since I made these labels for my friend she'll give me a couple jars!! wink... wink!
Happy Canning! You could do these for Salsa or Jam or Spaghetti sauce! The ideas are endless!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

PPF on Saturday!

Happy PPF on Saturday morning!
My camera and computer were being a pain last night so I'm posting late for PPF!
I love the contrasting colors that Yellowstone offers. The Aqua center of the steam pools that goes to to a dark burnt orange. I took over 700 photos on my trip and I still didn't take enough! I think I could live in Wyoming and never run out of things to paint! WOW!
Here's is what inspired me SO much from the trip 2 years ago.

I thought nothing in Minnesota could compare! Until this summer on a trip up to Duluth I was dreaming of what it would be like to live there... I discovered these rocks! I had to paint it... I'm SO in love with the color combo! It reminds me of Yellowstone!

So there you have it! Aqua and orange! mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Have a great Saturday! =)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I love summer!

Dear Summer,
  Why do you have to leave me so soon? Damn, we had fun! We went barefoot, we swam, sat by the fire and made s'mores, fished until it got dark! You gave me so many beautiful sunsets!
Forth of July weekend was perfect. Your sunshine as provided lots of raspberries and tomatoes, my two favorites... Thank you! The flowers were beautiful. I bared the heat of July... wow it was hot this year! Parties, happy hours on the patio, grilling and evenings with friends. So, so, so many walks with Buddy. It was so fun to see the park and neighborhood come into full bloom. 

Boat rides, and the beach, collecting rocks
and wishing on stars! 

I'll miss my water shoes...

Early mornings painting on the dock at the cabin were my favorite. Labor day is always the last hurrah! The un-official last weekend of summer. I'm looking forward to the long weekend. 
What should I do?  
How should I celebrate you?
I went through the park yesterday and noticed a few yellow leaves on the path. You came and left too quickly this year! I fully embraced you... breathing in all you have gifted me with.
Photo edited by Goddess Leonie!!
Thank you for everything! The eagles, the sunshine, and green, the blue skies and smiles... THANK YOU!
I love you,

Saturday, August 27, 2011

On life and losing

Yesterday I got news of on old high school friend who died. 

It's heartbreaking. 

I feel just so numb. 

In shock. 

My friend's name was Lisa. We were so young, we worried about boyfriends and how we looked. We wanted to be in the high school talent show. Neither one of us had ever been to formal dance classes but we danced in our living rooms and bedrooms. We loved Christina Aguilera, and her moves. We had moves (or so we thought!) We would go to her house after school and blare the boom box and practice our song and dance.... over and over. We had so much fun. Lisa was also a talented artist. We spent many hours together in the art room at our high school, painting, drawing and talking. Lisa was really passionate about art, I remember how detailed she would paint. She had a lot more precision then I did, my style was little more loose. We were both madly in love with our high school boyfriends... we went on a double date to the "The Taste of Minnesota" watched fireworks, laughed and had so much fun. It's like a snapshot in my mind I will never forget. She was a girl who knew what she wanted. I remember when she got a tattoo in high school... I thought that was pretty cool. She had blonde hair and beautiful blue eyes, a heart of gold and killer smile to go with it.
I was so happy to reconnect with her on facebook when I hadn't seen her in years. She was married to a marine... living in Hawaii but going to come back to Minnesota! I couldn't believe it! We exchanged a couple of messages. Not to long ago I had messaged her saying it would be fun to get together with her and our other girlfriend to do art, like we did back in the day. We never worked out a time to make it happen. 
I wonder why it never worked out, or why we didn't make it happen. I wanted to connect with her.
I'm sending love, light and prayers for her husband, baby son Wesley and family as they go through this difficult time. 
I am reminded today that life is fragile.
And so very special.
We need to hold tight to those we love.
Tell them we love them.
Don't sweat the small stuff.
Be thankful.
Loosing things can crack you open. 
Losing a friend, loosing a job, loosing a game when your are a kid. We learn lessons... from loss... we find and grow. 
I was thinking "Why did we have to loose her..."
Really maybe now she "Is found!"
I don't even know if that makes sense, but it sorta does to me.
I hope she is in the light, home, and at peace.
She was loved.
She will be missed.

This morning while taking my walk with bud... we came across a beautiful red and orange leaf. I looked around... only green grass and a willow tree about 20 feet away. None of the leaves have really changed yet. It was laying there perfectly in the dew... like it had been planted there for me to see today.

I was thinking about Lisa... praying she was at peace and happy now, with God. I saw that leaf as symbol from angels from great spirit, from her, from God. It's okay. The leaf had lived and thrived, now it's thriving green days had come to an end. The great circle of life. I don't understand why but I'm not focusing on that. Sending my love up to heaven today.
Love you Lisa!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I'm Back!

The north woods was calling me... yep-yep it was!
And when nature calls... I always take it's call and answer! I may hate to answer my cell phone but nature... I'll answer that call any day, anytime.

I spent a week in the woods! In Ely, Minnesota!
Saw so much wildlife and beauty. We went canoeing, cooked, laughed, made campfires, went fishing, relaxed, played in the sun, walked the dog, hiked...did a little sketching, read Heaven is for Real (LOVED IT!) It was very inspiring trip. I feel like I'm still kind of playing catch up from the trip. I felt nervous to blog... like I couldn't do it. Kinda weird.
I started reading Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper and it's been really encouraging. I've never considered myself a writer so I didn't really think I was "worthy" of having a blog and have others read my writing. But I was so inspired by other blogs that I felt I did have something to share maybe!? This blog has been so rewarding, reading comments, finding new artists and friends, the camaraderie from other artists is so fun! I've been really encouraged with my illustration and painting so THANK YOU SO SO MUCH! I appreciate your comments and feedback! Thank you for joining me on this journey!
I missed checking my friends' blogs, so I'm kind of playing catch up on those too!

Summer has gone by so quickly this year. Tomorrow it's gonna get pretty hot I hear but it's been a little on the cooler side, which is nice because July was pretty much unbearable! I can feel the fall in the air already. A week and half and it's already September. WOW. Where does the time go? I'm excited to get back on a schedule... the summer has been crazy busy with lots of fun stuff! I'm back from summer vacation, writing, blogging, reading, laundry, grocery shopping, cleaning oh yea and exercising I am so sore right now from running and yoga! I'm ready to plan the next vacation! I can look at these pics and feel the simple peace and forget for just a minute about my "To Do" list.
Hope you can do the same! Escape the list for just a minute today and take some time to do something for you!