Monday, March 31, 2008

We are Oklahoma Bound!

Yep, thats right.... we will be leaving tomorrow night for the big state of Oklahoma. We are driving, so it should be quite the road trip. The above picture was taken right on the border of Colorado 2 years ago when we made our last trip to Oklahoma. It was a LONG drive (30 hours from here) but we had SO much fun. I kept a road trip journal of the trip, and it really helped to pass the time. I just had a few supplies, mini scissors, mini stapler, a square stamp, a couple ink pads, a few pens, circle punch etc... nothing too extensive. I collected things from the trip, and completed page by page right on the road. It was SO rewarding to come home with a finished journal, and our trip already documented.

I already have the cover finished for this road trip, and am anxious to fill the book! I also bought a polaroid camera, and a couple packs of film. It will be so nice to be able to take a few pictures and add them directly into the book. :) I will be sure and share a few of my favorite highlights from the trip. :) Maybe I can find time tomorrow to share a sneek peek of my new book, and my previous book.

If you are planning a road trip, you really need to give this a try. It really helps pass the time, although your significant other may gripe a bit if he thinks your missing out on the scenery. Or at least mine did. :)

Many of you may be wondering WHY in the world are we planning a 30 hour long road trip across the country when I am 5 mos pregnant? Well, that is a very good question... but I do have a good answer! :) My husband's family lives in Oklahoma, and it has been 2 years since we took a trip out to see them. He comes from a fairly large family of girls, and it isnt nearly as easy to coordinate they're time off work/school etc. I have 2 new (well new to me!) nieces I am excited to see for the first time. One of them is my niece/cousin. Let me explain... My husband's brother married my first cousin! When they're baby was still pretty little, I heard she had a shocking resemblance to our little girl. I cant wait to get pictures of all the little ones together. :)

We DID consider flying, but it was going to be about the same price... and I hear flying actually isnt as comfortable when your pregnant... not being able to put your feet up, trying to "squeeze" in between the seats to make it back to that sardine can... um... bathroom. Besides, we also have family and friends in Colorado so getting to see them along the way is a bonus!

So, the store will be temporarily closed April 2nd- 13th. While I will still be able to check and (hopefully) respond to my e-mail/etsy convos, any orders placed will be shipped the day after I get back, Tuesday April 15th. We are taking Jaydons new laptop, but it appears as though Clearwire internet service is few and far between in Oklahoma... so I am not too sure if we will get service at his sisters. I can still check my e-mail via my cell phone, but I am not sure if I will be able to respond. If you need to get a hold of me, your welcome to try! :)
The packing is almost done, and the Avalanche is almost loaded. We went to the grocery store and loaded up on snacks, beef jerky, energy drinks, and frappucino's for the one allowed to have caffeine....and TONS of bottled water for me. Hoping that will save a little of money compared to buying something everytime we stop. As tempting as it is.

Well, if I cant find time to post tomorrow... Have a great week everyone! Wish me luck!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Hello Wednesday!

Wow... where did the weekend go? It seems as though it has been forever since I updated my blog. We took a trip to Eugene, OR for Easter. It was nice to get away for the weekend, and spend time with family and friends. The 5 hr. trip Friday night proved to be a little uncomfortable, but I think considering I managed. Our Avalanche has heated seats and full lumbar support, so that helped keep my pregnant self a little more comfortable. :) The trip home was fast, it rained a little... but for Easter sunday the traffic was great.

Slightly off topic, but Sharla from rarebirdfinds has written a review on vol25. It looks great, and I was so happy to see it today! :) Blog exposure of any kind is always exciting, especially when its a big one, I love to read... like rarebirdfinds.

Also, I have been working on that carnival themed series... still not 100 % done with these. I do still plan to make a few changes. The ferris wheel poster doesnt look just right to me yet, so some more work is needed. :) I thought you may enjoy a peek still. I am also still trying to think of a name for the series! I printed them out, and stuck them in these simple frames I have... after taking these pictures I realized they needed scooted over just a tad to the left, but rather then move them, I just decided to complete 2 more. :)

One of them is already finished and pictured below. I think it may be my favorite... the other is still very fresh in the works... but it will be coming! :) I intend to wait to list them until I have ALL of them completed. This way I will not waste time updating the listings when I complete a new set. After all, I am almost done! :)

Also- There is only 2 days left to take advantage of the 25% off sale. It will expire friday at midnight. As always thanks for stopping by, I hope you had a great weekend!


Thursday, March 20, 2008

A few new works, and a great feature!

I have been working on a new series of prints... and it appears as though I have fallen in love with yet another color scheme... aqua and orange. It first started with this print... "to find the perfect chair"

and continued on with a remake of an older print "listen"

Both of these prints are inspired by actual older buildings around my small town here in washington... I do have a few more in mind to work with and add to this series... which by the way, does not have a name yet, something that really needs done!. All the prints in this series will all have two things in common, possibly three.... older buildings, color coordination, and they will all have a sprinkling of these same little black birds.

Also, in other great news... I want to say many many thanks to Anne of a thing of beauty for not only taking the time to write and feature so many etsy artists, but for also including me in the mix of so many talented artists! On monday she published her post titled "100 great etsy artists you might want to visit"

She had taken the time to contact all 100 etsy sellers, and tell them ahead of time about the feature... so I was REALLY looking forward to reading it. I appreciate all the hard work and time that went into this post.
Anda of etsy also gave the blog post even more coverage by writing about it in the etsy finds of the day column. I subscribed to the e-mail feed back in january after a customer told me my "love is magical" print had been featured.

Anne covered SO many new artists I had never heard of before... I knew there was talent on etsy, I just didnt know how much. Thank you Anne!

- upcoming project- A carnival themed series! I stumbled across a few images I had planned to work with last summer... and just forgot about. After seeing them, I have been trying to think of what colors I would use... and am having a hard time really nailing down any certain colors. I plan to due these in a vintage theme, with the scratches, textures and faded colors. I may try and tackle them after I finish a couple more in this current series. Would LOVE to hear your ideas and input on colors, etc. :)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Green wishes... and a little luck could win you...

Happy St. Patricks Day! I made these cupcakes last night, and frosted this little guy today in honor of the green holiday. However... keep in mind this is no "ordinary" cupcake... it is the magnolia bakery's cupcake recipe. I normally gravitate towards chocolate cupcakes, but after reading the vanilla vanilla cupcakes were the more popular ones at the bakery, I gave in and made vanilla cupcakes. I was *not* dissapointed. They are really really yummy! I have been craving cupcakes something fierce the past few days, and finally made a batch from scratch. I admit to normally buying a chocolate cake mix, and baking them as cupcakes instead. Which are still very good... but not as good as these were. :) I also made their frosting recipe, which isnt actually a buttercream frosting, but still really yummy! Here are the recipes:

The Magnolia Bakery Cupcake Recipe

Preheat Oven: 350 degrees F Cupcake Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened.

2 cups sugar 4 large eggs, at room temperature

1 ½ cup self-rising flour

1 ½ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup Whole Milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing Ingredients

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter,

softened 8 cups confectionary sugar (powdered sugar)

½ cup Whole milk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

TIPS: If you have a stand mixer (like a Bosch, or Kitchen Aid) this recipe is much quicker to make. Using whole milk makes the taste of the cupcakes and icing much smoother. I tried using Skim milk and whipping cream just to test it out and whole milk makes a much better flavor.

Cupcake Directions

1. Whip butter until very smooth in texture

2. Add sugar 1 cup at a time, beating until smooth in texture

3. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating very well between each addition

4. In separate bowl, mix the 2 flours together

5. In separate bowl, mix Milk and Vanilla

6. Add flour mixture and milk mixture 1 cup at a time to Butter mixture. Beating very well between each addition.

7. Spoon into lined cupcake pan (approx. ¼ c batter per cupcake)

8. Bake for 20-22 minutes in pre heated over (350 degrees F) Cool cupcakes before frosting (or else the frosting will fall off) You can also make 3 – 9” rounds with cupcake batter. Just make sure you grease and flour each pan.

Icing Directions

1. Whip butter until smooth

2. Add ½ of sugar (4 cups), 1 cup at a time. Beating well between each addition.

3. Add Milk, and Vanilla

4. Add remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time. Beating well between each addition.

5. Add a few drops of food coloring to icing

6. Beat icing well, until good spreading consistency.

7. Over-beating is hard to do with this icing.

In other news, maybe you will get a lucky and win a free 11x14 print and sampler pack of postcards. Absolutely no purchase requred! :) I decided to sponsor this weeks contest over at rarebirdfinds and they make it incredibly easy to win. Here is the text pulled from rare bird finds:


This week you have the chance to win an 11x14 print of your choice and a postcard sampler pack from Vol25. Vol25 offers a wonderful array of prints in the size of your choice.
(Psst..they are having a 25% off sale right now too!)

To enter:
Go to Vol25 and find your favorite print
Then come back to Rare Bird Finds, and leave a blog comment for this post with your favorite piece (either a link or the title is fine) and your email address (your comment will remain unpublished and therefore confidential).

How do you leave a comment for this post? Below this post you'll see the word "Comments (0)" (yep, it's blue). Click on that link. If you came here from a link it will just say comments. It doesn't say confirmed when you post your comment but we will get it.
Do not send emails to Vol25 to enter.

Winners will be chosen on March 23rd.

Sounds super easy? It is! :) I Will keep my fingers and toes crossed for you!

Friday, March 14, 2008

25% off discount now active

I am going to leave you with one more post before signing off. This offer was just posted today on decor8! vol25 is now offering a 25% discount off your order total. The discount does not including shipping, and EXCLUDES print sets.

To get the discount, simply add the code decor8 in the message to seller upon checkout, and wait to pay. I will e-mail you a revised invoice through paypal reflecting the discounted price. The offer will expire 3/21/08. If you are new to etsy and have ANY questions at all about the buying process, feel free to send me a convo. I will not bite.... I promise. :)

Advertising on decor8 has been my first advertising venture. Creating my very first ad banner was a learning experience, and I was so proud to finally teach myself... well, I almost taught myself. The internet has SO many tutorials, it makes teaching yourself how to do something SO easy. I definately take it for granted...

Happy Shopping, and have a great weekend! :)


Making they're debut...

The buttons are all finally listed in the shop! You can see them here. My back is killing me (I am 4.5 mos pregnant now!) after doing the graphics and all 5 listings, so I apologize in advance for leaving such a short post. :)

Also- stuffysmiles if you want to let me know via etsy conversation which button set you would like and your address I will get your buttons right out in the mail to you asap! :)

They arrived!

WOW! I was so surprised to see these in my mailbox today. They actually came pretty quick. They were packaged super sweet, and felt like a real treat opening them. Thanks so much heyprettycupcake! :)

As soon as I opened the package and these little gems came pouring out of the bag, I wondered why in the world I havent been collecting buttons? They are a perfect way for me to own some of my favorite artists' work. They are just so mini and cute. So, I think I may have taken up yet another collecting hobby. :)

The icing on the cake? It was sunny for about a half hour, and gave me enough time to snap a bunch of pictures. I think I may even have enough to complete the listing picture blocks. So, these just may be listed today after all.

I am going to leave you with these teasers, so I can get started creating the graphics for the listings. I just put trin down for a nap, and it is the perfect oppurtunity to get something done.

sneek peek

Hello everyone! Hope your getting through your friday, you only have just a little longer and the weekend starts!
Here is that sneek peek I promised... although it shouldnt look exactly like this when finished. There will be the addition of a reading chair, and also some titles on the spines of those books! I already have the image halfway through the digital process... so I should *maybe* be done today. But, I really doubt I will get to posting it until monday. I will be sure and post it here as always.

Hoping my buttons come in today or tomorrow, and for a little photographic sunshine! :) My mailman is not scheduled to be here for another hour... the suspense is killing me. I am also expecting a piece of tile to come through the mail system. I have a customer that I admire and respect 100%! They had just recently finished tileing (sp) their kitchen, and wanted to make sure a few of my prints would match the tile, asked to send a piece for my own comparison. I told them I could do better then that. I would scan it, and color match it perfectly. :) I can only imagine how beautiful of a house theirs must be. They promised to send me pictures after they are happily hung. :)

If they give the ok, I will definately post here for all to see! Well, signing off for now~


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Do you squidoo?

So thank you to nostaligicnugget, I finally made time to sit down and set up my very first lense on squidoo. I think the first time I heard about squidoo was through the etsy forums. It seemed a little overwhelming at the time, and I never did sign up. I needed a gentle nudge and some spare time to get it set-up. There are a few things I would still like to learn how to change. Surely I can make my pictures a little bigger? But all in all it was super easy and very self explanatory. :)

If you have a lense or two set-up please stop by rate me and leave a comment. I promise to return the favor. :) Also, would love to hear any suggestions you may have on how I can make my lens a little better!

On a different note, I had a customer contact me over the weekend. It resulted in a very great idea on her part. She had the idea of these three framed and hung together. Only problem was, the entry was currently only available in orange. I offered to do a custom color change for her at no extra cost. I love the lime colors in this print, and quickly listed it in the store. Thanks so much for the idea Kate!

So this morning I printed the three out, and was amazed at how well the silhouette and the entry worked together. I just may have to introduce them as a new print set into the shop. I am also working on a new companion print to the entry. From the beginning I had planned to do a series with seperate rooms, kind of like clue... the foyer, the library, the kitchen, the billiard room, etc... I have already started on the sketch for the second room in the series. Maybe I can show a sneek peek tomorrow.

Oh- I almost forgot! I also finally listed that batch of ACEO's I had been promising. They are now available and in the shop. One sold last night, if there is one you are eyeing you better snatch it up quick!

BUTTON UPDATE: They are not here yet, but I hope for them to come in today or tomorrow. I will let everyone know just as soon as they arrive on my doorstep.

Well, I am off the computer for now. My hubby is off work for the day, he came home about an hour ago. It was pouring, and not too much fun to work in today. So the crew took a vote, and decided to take the day off. :) Which is fine by me! I am going to cuddle up on the couch, with my clipboard in hand. Maybe I can get a few sketches done today.

Have a great thursday!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Three's A Crowd

Hello everyone, I am returning from a weekend of hibernation... feeling a little groggy, but had to post this new piece. I titled it "Three's A Crowd" At the time I had intended on the third wheel to be them bright red boots invading on that sweet little bird's personal space. I think he may have finally found another bird he just may love a little more then himself. BUT, then I seen that daisy... and realized the daisy could easily be considered the third wheel as well. I suppose you can perceive the story however you wish. :)

Also: SUPER EXCITING NEWS! Theblackapple of etsy is considered the #1 top seller on etsy and JUST appeared on the marth stewart show this morning. She showed Martha how to make her blackapple dolls.... which were really sweet btw. I just wanted to give her a shout out and say congrats. etsy has been getting alot more publicity recently. The founder of etsy, Rob also made an appearance on her show last week. Isnt that great? I was reading the new statistics etsy just released for the month of february... and was SHOCKED.

New Items listed: 612,641. In January, there we 575,174 new items listed, so this is a new record and an increase of 7%. In February 2007, 148,422 new items were listed. Wow — 312% more than a year ago!

New Users: February saw 75,458 new users join Etsy, up from 68,013 in January — an 11% increase. In February 2007, 22,392 new users joined — a 236% increase.

Items Sold: We sold 349,092 items in February, an increase of 11% over January and a whopping 273,043 more than February 2007!

$ Sold: We sold $4.8 million worth of goods in February, 13% over January and $3.8 million more than February 2007.

Page Views: We crossed the 250,000,000 page views mark for the first time in February — 7% more than January.


Those are some BIG numbers, and are very exciting to me. :) February was a short month as well, and I am sure martha will boost march's numbers even more yet. etsy is on fire, and doesnt appear to be planning on cooling off anytime soon....

Well, I have some ACEO's I have promised to appear in the shop. It is bright beautiful, and sunny here. A perfect day to photograph them. I think I will be signing off to get that done. :) Hope everyone has a totally terrific tuesday. Please believe me when I say it has been ages since I have used the word totally. ;)

Friday, March 7, 2008

New print set!

Newly listed and fresh in the shop! I hope you all enjoy. "we are shaped by our thoughts" has seemed to be an instant favorite for some of you. I am super excited to re-list, and see how many of you heart it. :) So, today I came up with a second print based along the same general thought pattern as "we are shaped by our thoughts" I titled this one, "the secret to becoming who we wish to be" The quote reads:

"the secret to becoming who we wish to be begins with believing you can become who you wish to be"

Seems pretty simple, but I think so many of us easily forget this. Another favorite quote I love is "we tend to search for happiness when happiness is actually a choice." I cant remember where I seen that quote, but it has always stuck with me. :)
Print set now also available, buy both together and save. :) Available :HERE:
I hope everyone has something special planned for the weekend, our plans are to have a quiet weekend at home. Tonight we are going to a friends' house for ice cream sundae's... yum! :) I would like extra fudge please. :)

Thursday, March 6, 2008

New packaging...

I now have all the packaging designed, printed, cut, and folded for the buttons. So, once they get here, it will not take me so long to get them up and in the shop.

I completely forgot (yesterday) to post the winner of the drawing... StuffySmiles, your name was drawn! :) So when they do in fact come in... you will have the oppurtunity to choose from one of the sets, and it will be all yours. :)

Thanks to everyone that voted, it was nice to see a trend and preference develop for certain images.

Today is going to be another short post. I am heading out the door to get a little grocery shopping done.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

I have *finally* gotten around to listing this original (love seat) I painted a weeks ago. I killed two birds with one stone and also managed to get in my new light. It is kind of hard to see just what it looks like in this picture, but you get a little bit of an idea? :)

It feels good to get this off my list of things to list! It seems that my inspiration came back all at once, and now I cant keep up. I have been feeling SO much better lately. I am a little over halfway through the pregnancy and I am so happy! :) Well, thats all for now!

New ZoOo Series

Here is another project I have been working on. Just completed yesterday. I have been really inspired to work with these bold bright colors. This set seemed the perfect match, I hope you all enjoy. :) I just listed each print individually, and then listed the print set, so they are ready to go! Literally. :)
As you can see, I had a little fun with the set. I printed them mini-size last night and had fun displaying/photographing them. Maybe I should redecorate Trin's room? :) It is definately tempting... For some reason, I doubt Jaydon would be thrilled to hear I am once again inspired by yet another theme idea.
links, you can find them here:

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Hello World

Good morning all! Wanting to share with you this new little gem "Hello World" just listed in my shop. I finished it this morning, and it came together so perfectly. I had an idea in my head, and it actually turned out just as I pictured... which actually VERY rarely happens. :)

I love this so much, I am already brainstorming ideas for a matching print. I would really like to offer it in a print set. Also, look for it to show up in the shop in TTV format. The vintage feel of the TTV's really works great with the vintage-ness (is that even a word) this image already has. :)

Also, the buttons have been ordered! Thanks to the few that voted. I am going to do the drawing later tonight, and post the winner in the morning. :)
Here is what I ordered:

home sweet home
love you
smooch and farewell friend
fatal attraction
romeo and juliet
seeds of freedom/carried on the wind
There should be about 3 images per each set. I may also sell them individually, but havent decided just yet. They are due to be enroute friday. So, I expect to have a good mail day next week! :)
*p.s. Jaydon DID hang the light last night, it looks really good. My room is in need of a *little* cleaning before I take a pic, but I am planning to post one tomorrow. I LOVE it, really helped the room. A big improvement from that light bulb we have stared at for a year now. :)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Freshening it up a bit

Yay! A new look for my blog, I hope you all enjoy the new format. I think it is a little easier to read. :)

Also: UPDATE ON THE POLL! Thanks to those who have voted already, but dont forget to leave your name in a comment to be eligible for the drawing. I have made contact with my button maker, and she can get to them right away... so I am going to end the poll tomorrow morning around 7:00 AM. That will give me tomorrow to format the images and send them off for printing. Which means they should be available alot sooner then I originally thought. :)

Help me decide!

Pretty please with sugar on top? I just added a new poll to the blog this morning. (top right sidebar) I have been planning to order some pinback buttons for quite a while now... and I think I just might end up doing it this time. But, which ones do I order first? I may order more then one set right off... but I suppose it depends on the results of the poll. So, you see... your vote counts! :)

To add just a little incentive to vote... if you post a little comment here after voting, I will add your name into a drawing to receive the first set of buttons, and a little something extra. I will draw a name from those posted here on the 10th when the poll closes. I wish you the best of luck!

Would you like to see them offered individually or in a set of say 3? I am leaning more towards a set of at least 3 coordinating buttons. Also, if you are a pin back button collector... feel free to let me know how you strut your buttons! :) Your scarf, a tote, or maybe on your purse? I am sure if I think about it the next couple of days, I can come up with some really neat ways of displaying these to be photographed for the listing. I look forward to doing that part! :)

Speaking of display ideas... Button Collective has a very clever (and stylish) way of showcasing your favorite pins. They are getting ready to celebrate their one year etsy anniversary, and are offering 40% off all their storyboards. Thats a killer of a deal. I may finally snatch up one of the smaller displays. :)

I hope everyone had a great weekend, the weather here was super nice. We definately had a warmer one. Jaydon installed Trin's light and it looks really really cute. I am hoping to convince him to get ours up tonight... keep you fingers and toes crossed for me! :)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

New Art!

See what I have been working with all day? It started as a sketch, and took me all day long to finish. I can honestly say I am thrilled with how it turned out. I think my sore behind was definately worth the end result. :) I have three other pieces in the works, and cant seem to get either just right, and completed. I have been getting very frustrated with the whole experience, and decided to start fresh on this one... so glad I did! I just finished listing it the shop.
You may even recognize the art hanging on the wall, as "we are shaped by our thoughts." I am super happy to finally work it in. It did take quite a bit of rearranging, and numerous picture frames. :) I felt like I was redecorating a room in my own home. Which, was actually kinda fun.
Well, I was anxious to share this new piece with you. It is so bright and spring-ish, it makes me want spring even more then I did before. Which was alot anyhow!!! :) I Hope everyone is having a great weekend!