Sunday, February 28, 2016


So, yesterday was the horse expo.
After spending every spare moment I've had working on my illustrations and my altered photography,
I was finally ready.
I was right up to the wire.
Friday morning I set my alarm for 4:30 am, so that I could do the final coat of sealer on the last batch of work and give them enough time to dry.
I had extra prints that I had thought to sell but decided at the last minute not to take them.
I figured that it might not be a good idea to give people a cheaper option to buy.
It would also cause me to have to deal with giving out "change".
I had signed up on Paypal to get a "reader" that plugs into my phone so I would be able to swipe debit/credit cards. The first reader is free and they only charge a minimal fee if you swipe a card and in this day and age when hardly anyone carries cash I thought it would be a good idea. Unfortunately it hadn't arrived by Friday but my friend who is the organizer of the vendors had one she wasn't using, so I was glad to borrow it.
Lily, my niece had promised to help me.
She's a great salesperson and she was really pumped up for it.

Lily lives across the river, where we both work and I drove over and picked her up and we headed for the stables.
It's only a 15-20 minutes drive from where we work and yet it's like another world.
It goes from a populated and new construction area and suddenly it turns country.
Lily and I had a nice talk on the drive out and when we arrived, everyone was very friendly.
It didn't take long to set up.
Here's the display and Lily -

The girl who used to work for me was there and she took her horse out for me to see.

About an hour later, one of the receptionists from work, a very sweet girl and now a friend of Lily's, came out to add moral support.
The stall behind us had the horse "Oliver" in it.
Most stalls were empty and the horses were outside but a few did have horses.
Oliver's owner came over and opened his window.

So then I had three helpers.

Lots of people stopped by and I had many nice compliments on my work.
Almost every owner of the horses that I had taken a photo of and altered, stopped by and was surprised to see their horses. They hadn't been there when I took the photos, so I hadn't been able to ask if it was OK, but they were all nice about it.

The woman that owns Oliver and also this horse-

bought his print.

Three or four people took my business card and asked if they could email me their horse/dog/cat photos and have me do an altered photo.
I told them - maybe.
I would have to see the photo, as it doesn't always come out right.
To be honest, I see photos all the time that people think are great, because I'm assuming that they have tunnel vision and just focus on their pet's face, but they haven't noticed the things in the background, the lighting or the angle of the face or ....
Anyway. I'll try but I've tried before and it really didn't translate.
Besides, I pride myself in the fact that it's MY photo that I took....
Sigh, whatever.

Another woman came by and asked me to set her horse's print aside and she'd be back to buy it.
After that, I had a lot of people stop and look and... nothing.
Lily was very outgoing and chatty and I was friendly and answered questions.
Finally a good friend of mine, whom I've done TWO big commission pieces for in the past
and who I still need to finish smaller pieces of her 5 dogs, arrived.
She had me set aside the Palomino illustration for her as she used to own one and then after doing some other shopping, she came back and bought that and the Dachshund photo print.
She stuck around and we all chatted as she used to work at the clinic with us.
Finally the event was over, the stable manager had another horse owner give the lady whose horse print I set aside, a call to see if she was coming back for the print.
I could tell by the expression on the face of the woman who was calling what the answer was.
She looked at me and shook her head "No"and I quickly said that was FINE.
She hung up and said that the woman had changed her mind.

So - I sold a grand total of THREE.
I'm kinda in the hole with exhibit fees, and supplies but I did have a very nice donation towards that, and it helped greatly with that sting.
Yep, everything is good.
We started to pack up and I told the manager how great it was to be around all the horses and she said for me to remember that I'm welcomed to come out anytime!

It was kind of long day. I definitely don't know how artists and crafters do that so many weekends.
I'm in awe of that ability.
This is the third time in my life that I've done an event/show.
Each time I've had lots of people praising my work.
The first time I had done painted furniture - chairs, chests, bed headboards and such, with animals and things painted on them.
The seconds time I had done little signs, and door draft blockers made to look like long Dachshunds and I had stuffed fabric and painted dogs and cats and also pins and necklaces.
Lots of people oohed and aaaahed and....
each time I ended up in the hole.
Yep. I'm done with doing that.

Lily had fun though.
She's a cat and dog person and never really thought about horses
but she was in love with Oliver before we left.

We had another good talk as I drove her home.
I told her to think about her FIVE year plan.
I told her that I wasn't trying to tell her what to do but just to help her.
I said that no one had ever told me to plan and that I drifted for way too long.
I told her that I'm still struggling and drifting.
But that maybe she should think about where she wanted to be in 5 years.
I told her that she had so much time and could do whatever she wanted to do
but that also, there's a saying that goes something about God laughing at those who make plans.
I wasn't getting religious with her I said, I just meant that unexpected things can happen but it's not bad to have a plan to work on.
Then we got to talking about how we have both gained a lot of weight and
how we are both our heaviest ever and
how we are both stress eaters and how we need to get motivated to get some weight off.
So that's part of a sub-plan.

I drove through the East Village,  Lily lives just blocks away.
They had another event going on.
The area was packed with cars and people.
As I drove behind a convertible luxury car, I said to Lily "See that car in front of us?
The cost of that car could pay off my house, MY car and my credit card!"
We both laughed. Lily thought that was just crazy.
I agreed and we wondered what all these people did for a living.
I said whatever they did, maybe Lily should make a plan to do that! LOL!

After I dropped her off, I had to drive through the downtown area.
We are having unseasonably warm weather.
So downtown Davenport was crowded with people sitting outside the little brewery/coffee shop
and cars were parked along the river
and more on Arsenal Island.
They were taking photos of the Mississippi River.
Since I grew up here and have seen it everyday, I gotta say I don't get it.
To me it's a muddy dirty river.
They are always finding dead people in it and it floods almost every year.
Funny how others are so excited to see it.

I drove home thinking about all the people I drove past,
biking and walking.
People in the East Village and Downtown, just enjoying the weekend.

I was glad to get home though.
I let the dogs outside to potty, and looked around my home.
It was still light outside and I suddenly could notice all the things I've been neglecting around the house.
I thought about how I wished my house was "done" and each room wasn't in an unfinished stage.
I know I need to really just focus on one room at a time, and get it done.
I looked out at the dogs and thought about my plans for the yard.
I want to level out the yard where it dips down and expand the fence.
I will need to get the hill weeded and cleared again and this year I hope to choke out the weeds with Zinnia's and Sunflowers.
I let the dogs back in and looked at a few things online...
but gave up and went to bed.

Tomorrow is another day.

Monday, February 22, 2016


So I finally got the illustrations done.
I drew out the horses, filled them in with Inktense pencils and went over that with a wet brush.
Then I cut them out and layered them onto canvas panels that I had glued decorative papers to.
Then I went over the whole thing with another layer of sealer.
After that had dried, I copied them to my phone and added text in different fonts.
Then I sent them to the printer and when the copies come back, I will glue them onto the canvas squares that I painted black with thick acrylic paint.
I will paint the sides and level them out with sealer. Usually it takes 2-3 coats.
And then they will be done.
Here they are -

I also took some photos when I visited the horse stables.
I picked out a few and altered them until they looked the way I wanted.
I sent them off to the printers too.
I'll end up finishing them in the same fashion.

I've purchased a banquet style table that folds in half and should be easy to carry.
I found a nice quality black tablecloth on sale at Target. I'm thinking the black would work best with the black sides of my artwork. All of this will be my display.
I've got some rough primitive wood things in the basement that I can use to create some height and make it a bit more visually pleasing.

I gotta say, I was getting a bit freaked as all of this has added up but then I realized I was thinking negatively.
If I sell everything I'll be doing great and be able to recoup my expenses.
Besides, as they always say, ya gotta spend money to make money!
So I'm investing in MYSELF!

I also have my space at the Art/Antiques place so I can take what doesn't sell out there and the rest, will go to my work place and hang on the walls there.
I've sold several pieces at work, so there's definitely space for them.

OK! Time to go paint the canvases!
There's SO MUCH to do before Saturday and I still have a group of prints that won't arrive until Thursday!
See ya later!

Saturday, February 20, 2016


One week left until the Horse Expo!
So I'm just checking in!
I have gotten A LOT of my altered photography done and plan to work on horse illustrations today.
I posted that on Facebook and just got invited to come out to some stables for inspiration.
I'm such a hermit.
But I'm stepping out of my comfort zone and going!
I hope to catch up on my blog reading tonight. I miss you guys so much.

Also, work/my day job seems to be getting better!
There are some new developments that I hope will ultimately make life happier.

I must get busy but I will leave you with this photograph of Blue, that I just took.
I swear he's a cat in a dog's body!
He's slept all night, got up for breakfast and then goes back to sleep!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


Just a super quick post with a few photos!
So I set up my space at Skeleton Key Art and Antiques.

The owner seemed really happy with my Art and she quickly posted an announcement on their Facebook page about me being a local artist and their newest vendor.

I'll be tweaking it more later but this is what it looks like -

I had the pegboard rack in the basement 
And the little side table in the kitchen.

And I painted them bright white.
The signage is something I just quickly drew up with markers and laminated with packing tape.

Now I'm off to work on more pieces for the Horse Expo that is a week from this Saturday!
After that I hopefully will be able to get back to blogging more regularly.
Miss you guys!

Sunday, February 14, 2016


Just dropping in to say Happy Valentine's Day, if you celebrate it.
Personally I'm not.
The above photo is of my little Chihuahua, Twinkle.
Her sweet little face is showing her age.

It's been snowing and I'm not thrilled to see the white stuff.
I'm pretty stressed as my Art projects aren't getting finished as fast as I hoped and I've gone and signed up for a space at a big Horse Expo for Rescued Horses.
So, I guess I'm creating my own stress.

Also, more major drama at the day job, but I'm over that, although I had to go directly to the vets on this one.
Truly, I'm so done with the constant nastiness that I'm now to the point that I'm ignoring it all and if any more lies pop up, they can either believe it and fire me or just let me do my job and leave me alone.
I keep trying to use that situation as motivation and determination to work on Art but to be honest, it makes me want to just come home and go to sleep.
So I've really had to push myself and sometimes.... I just want to be lazy.

Yep, I'm a real humbug at the moment.
I think they call it "the Sunday night Blues".
I do have 20 illustrations drawn and waiting to be colored, cut, collaged etc.
I did get 21 of my photos altered and posted to my Instagram account.
I'll show those in a future post.
Oh! And I found a different print company who is reasonable AND whose work quality I'm extremely  happy with.
So there's that to smile about!

And, in regards to love...
Remember you can't buy it
But you can adopt it!

Saturday, February 6, 2016


First, Sharon has written a post about my Jimmy Chew painting that I did for her!
She loved the painting and she loves my bad little Jimmy.
Her words and all the wonderful comments made me cry.
But they were HAPPY tears.
You can read her sweet post HERE

Second, I got a call from a place that I had put my name into more than a year ago.
It's a place that showcases Art and Antiques.
The owner is trying to get more Art into her place.
She apparently had several spaces open up.
Spaces for booths and also wall space.
When I originally put my name on the waiting list I had a plan to sell my Art AND painted furniture and things.
But then I got into the other place and sold some of my accumulation of furniture and things but found that it was taking too much of my time away from what I really wanted to be doing.
Which is creating Art.
So when she called, she asked if I was interested and if so, could I stop in and let her know what I wanted to sell.
So after work yesterday I brought her two little paintings of mine that had been hanging up at work.

I showed her those and then photos of some of my work that I had on Instagram.
She said she didn't have anyone doing animal related Art and I said that was all I did.
She then showed me the wall space and I talked about my vision of how I would display my work.
I said it would be paintings and prints and I planned on doing some "cards" and maybe some little boxes.
Things like that.
Small things.

Then she told me she had called A LOT of people from her waiting list.
That she wanted something new, different and CUTE.
She said she loved my little paintings and was excited.
So.....I'm going to have my Art there.
I'll give more details about the place later but, I'm rather excited.
And the rent is surprising LOW!
At least compared to the other place I had my furniture and stuff at.
But then again, I just need a wall and a bit of floor space in front of it.
I instantly had ideas on what I would do for the display.
I have a few things that I couldn't bring myself to sell at the other place....just in case.
I asked when she wanted me to bring in my things and she said as soon as I'd like.
I had to let her know that I didn't really have much stocked up at the moment so we agreed on mid-month.
I work half days on Wednesdays, so February 17th is the day!
I best get busy!

Third, I'm currently working six days a week.
Some days I can leave a little early if it's not busy.
But Friday was a nightmare. Super busy and I'm not sure why,
unless it's because people want their dogs out of the house during Super Bowl.
It was physically exhausting and mentally too.
Mentally because I learned that some people have been being very hard on my niece Lily.
I knew her life couldn't be easy, working with who she does but I didn't realize to what extent.
I won't got into details here but I'm not happy about this and I need to think on this as to how to help her.
I need to stay calm and breathe deeply and figure out an adult calm way to fix this situation.

Truth be told, info like this makes me see RED and I'm glad I have had this weekend to settle down and think straight.
I've talked with my sister and we feel ultimately it will all be fine.
Even if it means that Lily might need to find a new job.
Which saddens me so much. She loves animals with all her heart.
But then again, there are other opportunities out there...
and she's lucky because she has my sister to have her back.
If the worst happened, she could always move home.
But all this consumed my thoughts and stifled me.
Even after the great news of getting into this place, I couldn't create last night.
Today, I have my head on straight and I realize I need to hustle and get my Art and the display done in the limited amount of time I have.
So that means my third announcement is that I'll be pretty scarce for the next 10 days.
I would say that I'll be off-line but that would probably be a lie.
I'm addicted but I just need the time to be spent elsewhere right now.
I'm gonna try to stay away and
Thank you for understanding!