Tuesday, June 30, 2009


I just had to step away from her for a few days, but I finally finished her up.
She is my 'doodle gone wild' :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sign painting for a parade

Here's my latest 'commission'........most likely donation :)
There is a small town near us celebrating their 125th birthday and the men's club owns a rickety, and I mean RICKETY OLD houseboat. They take people on little tours down the river and people seriously have a blast! Coolers and lawn chairs on board and good times!

The guy who basically runs this contacted me last Friday and asked if I'd help paint a sign as they're going to hoist the houseboat out of the water and have it in the July 4th parade :)
His poor wife was going to paint the signs but she broke her neck! OUCH! She's about my age and was showing her grandkids some 'tricks' on the swing and fell off, landing on her head. She's so lucky she didn't get permanently damaged from this. That would have been just awful!

Anyway, I'll try get pictures at the actual parade. The men's club members are going to dress up like pirates and toss out mardi gras beads and gold covered chocolate coins. How fun!
I've got one side done and now onto the next. Pencil wouldn't show up on this vinyl so I'm kind of wingin' it as I go. These are approximately 3.5' x 10.5'!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

First Tim Gagnon project

As I mentioned earlier, I'm taking a class from Tim Gagnon. He's so talented!
I finally mustered up the courage to finish my first project and put an old barn/shed on it. Boy, it's very hard to get the grass wispy like his when my fan brush is just too new. I'm looking forward to it getting a little spikey and worn down and hopefully that will help.

I didn't put distant mountains in my background, well.....because I live in the flat lands of ND and we really have no mountains on this side of the state :) Keepin' it real. ha

Have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 26, 2009


It was a sad day yesterday and this little angel is 'worn' out.
For the life of me, I can NOT get a thumbnail to appear on IF's site. I've tried everything I know. If anyone has a tip they'd like to share, I'd gladly accept it with open arms♥

This is a previous sketch I had done and never painted up. I thought of her right away when I heard the Illustration Friday word for the week :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

A little fun with ATCs/ACEOs

Farrah Fawcett & Michael Jackson

Two huge icons that go as far back as my high school days have left this world today. Kinda sad :(

May they rest in peace. ♥

It's a beautiful, sunny day

It's so absolutely gorgeous outside today and here I sit at my desk. I wish I had something fun to go do, but it's pointless to take a vacation day without a plan. I hate to waste them :)

I took a night off from painting last night. I've got my 'roots' girl to finish, I've got a canvas with clouds to finish from my Gagnon class and I've also got a larger canvas ready with molding paste to do something abstract-ish with. But for some reason last night, I wasn't motivated to do any of them. I ALMOST baked something but couldn't muster up the enthusiasm to carry that out either.

Maybe some days we just need to do nothing so we can regroup and be wonderful again the next day. ha!

I have to share this picture with you. I do the books for the woman who owns this boat:

Last Saturday her 2 sons and 8 others were in this boat, just pulling away from shore when it backfired. This boat has an inboard motor so they lifted up the hatch and sprayed it with the fire extinguisher. That made it worse! I didn't know this either, but you are supposed to shake fire extinguishers from time to time (every couple of months) and get them recharged annually. Luckily all 10 kids were able to jump off and nobody was hurt. Scary.

Then...........this week at work we had the fire department, ambulance and police out here. One of our men was moving a long conveyor with our forklift. He should have lowered the conveyor but didn't and hit the electrical wires. He didn't know he was touching them until he went to get off the forklift and got electrocuted and slammed into the ground. The voltage was MORE than enough to kill him, but it didn't. Thank God. Then 2 others come over and start trying to move the conveyor away from the electrical lines with wooden boards. Again, they could have been killed but weren't.

I'd say the angels have been hovering over our little area this week. Thank you angels!♥

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Roots - Phase 3 (She's progressing!)

Ugh.....I had to take a break. This is piddly and I don't normally do piddly well. I'm a very rammy painter :) Get R Done. This is a good lesson for me though......slow, patient and steady.

Hope you like her so far.

An Uber award!

I'd love to thank the wonderful Sarah Lulu for this UBER award!! Thanks Sarah! I am honored!

The Uber Award is a blog award given to sites who:

1. Inspire you

2. Make you smile and laugh, or maybe give amazing information

3. A great read

4. Has an amazing design

5. Any other reasons you can think of that make them Uber amazing!

The rules of this award are:

* Put the logo on your blog or post.

* Nominate at least 6 blogs

* Let them know that they have received this Uber Amazing award by commenting on their blog.

* Share the love and link to this post and to the person you received your award from.

I'd like to pass this one on to ....

Adrienne Trafford

Maria Wiley

Niki Jackson


Vania's Art

Christina Zinnia Galliher

Please feel free to accept these awards or not if you so choose. I enjoy so many blogs!

Happy Tuesday,


Monday, June 22, 2009

Roots - Phase 2

I used frisket on the branches so that I could do a wash of indigo watercolor for the background while leaving the branches white for now. This was a little time consuming! So far, so good. I had to clean out some rock from around the house tonight and plant a few more hostas so I didn't have as much time to work on her as I had hoped. I'll try get more done tomorrow. Stay tuned :)

Oh........I made the BEST chicken kabobs tonight! They were absolutely fantastic! Candy on a stick! You can find the recipe here Give it a try :) YUM!

Off to bed......I'm beat!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Rainy day doodle

Are my roots showing?

Sometimes, all I can think about is moving......moving someplace where the winters are mild yet summers aren't scorching either. But I have roots here, 50 years worth of wonderful family, friends and memories. I know I will not leave unless something happened that forced me to I suppose. And deep down, I'm more than 'ok' with that♥

Three custom orders done!

A local bank asked me to make this for someone who helps them remove snow during the winter.

These two are for a family reunion coming up July 4.

These really do make wonderful and personalized gifts (stepping stones) but boy, they're getting harder and harder for me to manage when painting them. They measure 12" in diameter and 2" high~they weigh 17 lbs each! Not only are they hard on me to physical move around to paint, cement is very hard on brushes so I try to use 'not so new' ones on these.
I'm seriously not sure how many more of these I will do at the current price I charge. They are a lot of work and it might just be time to up the price a bit to make them worth it :) I've made over 100 of these in the past 6 years. I wish people would fall in love with lighter weight paintings from me. ha!

I'm off to buy new grass seed. Rain is coming! Yeah!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


A little angel 'drifting' in the clouds ready and willing to help whenever and wherever she is needed.

A little 'soft focus' editing done in Picaso :)

I might have to leave the clouds to God...

God can produce this :

I give you this:

I'm taking Tim Gagnon's class and just learning how to blend skies and create clouds. The first lesson was soft, kind of whispy clouds.

God makes beautiful clouds..........God made me and I made this so really, it's all good! haha
I'll try to post progress pics as I go along here.

Today I'm busy trying to paint 3 concrete stepping stones for custom orders. I've been putting it off and it's just time. Time to hammer them out and get some $$ to keep taking classes! LOL

I'm babysitting my 3 little grandchildren tonight. Should be fun!

Friday, June 19, 2009


Wanna go for a walk?

Anything I say to Mieko that starts with 'Wanna.....' gets me this adorable head tilt! I love it!
I don't have anything artsy to share today so you're getting my pup :)
I've got a plan brewing for Illustration Friday's new word though! I can hardly wait to start it. I just hope what's in my head will come to be. That rarely happens. LOL

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Award Thank yous and a party to attend!

I'd like to thank Jennifer at Studio JRU for presenting me with this sweet award!! It's the 'Love-ya' award! How sweet is that????? Please stop by her blog for true inspiration. She has talent beyond beautiful!

The "Love Ya" Award states: These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.

Rules of this award are:

Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to other bloggers who must choose to pass it on and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award!

I'd like to pass this award onto:

Adriana at Adri's Art her artwork is adorable!
Shonna at Twisted Figures some of the cutest painting ever!
Renee at Circling My Head I know she has tons of awards but I'm giving her another. She touches so many!
K*Smith at Ida's Sketchbook Her work is so unique and fun!
Utah Grammie at Main Street Memories - Seriously, she makes me giggle with her words! FUN!
Nicola at Nicola Toms: Illustrations - She makes some beautiful art and she's so sweet!

Please stop by and see their beautiful blogs!

I'd also like to thank Nicola of Nicola Toms Illustrations and Julie-Ann of Heavenleigh Art for awarding me with this 'Most Wonderful Favorite' award!

This award also states:
These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement.
I'd like to share this award with all of you :) Is that lazy? I'm sorry. But I have so many favorites, it's really hard to pick. You probably know you're a favorite if I've posted almost daily on your blog, so please SNAP THIS UP! It's yours!! I give it to you with an open heart ♥

I'm heading to a birthday party tonight. It's kind of a surprise. A classmate of mine is in town and she turns 50 this coming Sunday. She married a former pro golfer 2 years ago (Tom Weiskopf) but I'm not sure if he's in town with her. He probably would rather stay away from this small village of sometime idiots :)
See, when I went to their casual wedding reception a couple of summers ago, someone had the nerve to bring a few golf balls for him to autograph.......at his own wedding reception! You might think this was a small child? No! It was a retired physician slash wanna-be pro golfer. It was embarrassing, I couldn't believe it. The new groom had just wandered in to greet Laurie's family and friends and then.........STALKER DOC speaks!

Yeah, I'm sure he'll avoid visiting here unless it's necessary. LOL

Have a great day/evening!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Brie Cheese and the Monster within

Oh, how I love me some good brie cheese! It's such a treat! I over indulged on Saturday and have been paying for it ever since :(

It hurts to sit, it hurts to stand and I feel like a bloated whale! I'm starting to think these detox plans might just be what I need!

I STOOD and painted the monster in my belly last night. She's different huh? wow!

She's saying to me......'Why? Why? Why did you eat the brie you stupid, silly twit!?"

Sorry for the 'not so beautiful' post today, the monster made me do it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another abstract and some pure silliness

Here is my third abstract and I'm pretty pleased with it! :) I used eggshells on this one along with molding paste. I even incorporated a paper clay heart. Not sure what I'll name this one yet, but wanted to share it with you.

Close up of paper clay heart

Close up of egg shell texture.

This is my 'Happy Hour Barbie'......I really don't know what I was thinking......she's just silly. She loves her wine. She's a puddle :)

The Art Fest was so fun! This is what I purchased for myself

With the crackle on this ball it really distorts my reflection. You'll see it if you enlarge the photo by clicking on it. I look like a square head transformer type being! It also looks like my back patio is bright pink. It's cement. LOL I love my little garden ball with beads and swirly wire hanging from my tree♥


Saturday, June 13, 2009


Isn't she Lil Miss Patriotic! I had sketched this out a couple of days ago and decided to paint her up this morning since I woke up at THE CRACK OF DAWN! I wish I could sleep in a bit on the weekends.

I'm trying to think of HOW this could be used for Illustration Friday's word~ Unfold. I don't think it can?

****Thank you Silke for your suggestion!***

She's holding a sparkler shooting sparkling glitter. She was fun to do!
Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hope this doesn't offend anyone, but......

Geez! This is what I've had to look at now for 3 days outside my office window. Everytime I go to the copier machine, there it is, in all it's vandalistic glory! You won't be truly insulted until you click on it to enlarge, so if you don't like the 'F-bomb' do NOT enlarge.

I've been feeling lazy and 'fat' lately and this railcar has been a constant reminder that I need to get my rear in gear :) I've seen some really amazing artwork pull into this bean plant over the years. I used to have some pictures but I can't seem to locate them. Some of these naughty little vandals are actually amazing artists! I wish they could find a better outlet for their talent.

Tomorrow I'm going to the Grand Forks Art Fest. I hope to find many beautiful things to inspire me! I can hardly wait. It's supposed to be sunny and 78 degrees. Perfect!!

Wishing you all a happy and fun weekend! I hope there are no railcars that pull into your life and call you names! LOL


Thursday, June 11, 2009

A super nice AWARD!

I'd like to shout out a big THANK YOU to Michelle at The Studio at Crow Haven Farm for honoring me with this beautiful award! I love it!!!!!! Please stop by her blog to see some creative, fun and adorable doll creations!!

The rules are quite simple: Post the award on your blog and share with others I choose. This is hard because, seriously, I have MANY blogs I enjoy SO MUCH!

I'm going to give to a few of the new blogs I've discovered!
Serena Lewis - This is one super talented lady, please check her out!
My Baking Addiction- YUMMO!
Witch Hollow Primitives - Lots of Halloween fun!

Please check out their blogs......lots of goodies for sure!

Again, thank you Michelle! I love my award♥

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Brrrr-3 Below Zero!

Get it? hahaha This is definitely a 'northern' joke :)

Trying more abstract stuff. Lots of texture on this one!

Sometimes I have way more ideas in my head than I have time for!

My mind goes 100 mph with ideas of what I want to try next and then when I finally get the time to sit down and create.....I hear crickets! ugh!

Meet my new friend, Clara

I stumbled onto Clara's videos the other day. She is so awesome! Each video takes you back in time with her stories. She's so cute!

I actually made this 'Pasta with Peas' and it was surprisingly good! I used frozen peas though.
If you get a chance, check out her other videos. She's 93 now and she rocks!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Sweet Dreams

This is the sunset we are blessed with tonight. Sweet dreams everybody!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Experiment in Abstraction

This was fun!

ATC Swap~Ooooooh, I had fun!

The instructions for this ATC swap were to paint 2 cards (2.5" x 3.5") with one being an abstract design and another done in what we enjoy. Well.......I did a girl, but it's kind of hard on such a small surface. I've stamped 'HOME' on the bottom right corner.

I LOVED doing the abstract!!! I put molding paste on the card at noon and it was dry enough to paint after work. The picture is a little dark, but it's done in really pretty colors I think. I kind of want to try a larger abstract piece now!!

I planted 2 Red Maple trees tonight :) Can't wait to see them grow!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


She craves true love......real love........forever love. And she WILL have it!

(My little submission for Illustration Friday)

Friday, June 5, 2009

I may have mucked it up!

I tried to even out the shape of her face and give her a little touch of a smile.

Then I added fruits/florals from some decorative napkins and a bible verse:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

That's an apple on her neck, not a goiter :) I feel her face got a little 'dirty' but I'll try clean that up again tomorrow. The more I futz with it, the more problems I seem to create!
Just in case I ruin it or make it worse, I thought I'd share what I have so far.

I'm off to Dale's for a little romantic evening by the fire pit! I LOVE the weekend!!

Work in Progress

I'm stuck.......I'm not sure what, if anything to add to this one! I think that's one of the things I struggle with the most. Knowing when to embellish and when to just leave it alone.

I went for a nice walk last night and ended up in the cemetery. Strange, but it's actually a very beautiful and peaceful place to walk.

Happy Friday everyone! I LOVE weekends!!

Update: Just got the Illustration Friday word! 'Craving'.........hmmm, now I'm getting some thoughts on where to go with this :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Rhubarb Jam ...and some ramblings

I was very proud of how I used my time after work yesterday. I LOVE summer and that it stays light outside so much longer! I took Mieko for a 3 mile walk and it was beautiful!! We went down towards this new addition where there are only 2 homes built so far. Way around the bend, tucked in behind the cemetary, (yes, cemetary, how charming?) was the newest home. The owners haven't moved in yet as it's not quite done. I walked most of the way until I saw a white van parked on the street. White van, no windows. I had several CSI episodes flash through my head and turned around. That would be the perfect place to abduct someone because the residents of the cemetary aren't going to come forward as witnesses!

I kind of chuckled as I left because this is Mayville, ND. A town of 2000 people and almost everybody knows your name and I believe also, what size shoe you wear! However......we DID have a meth lab bust this past Monday right outside of town. THAT doesn't happen often, THANK GOD! All these bad people can go back to where they came from because we just do not grow 'em here like that :)

When I got home, I picked rhubarb and decided to make some Rhubarb Strawberry Jam! I ended up making 2 batches because one recipe only made a little over 2 pints! Here's the recipe if you'd like :)

6 cups diced fresh rhubarb
2.5 c. sugar
1 pkg. strawberry jello (3 oz)

Cook the rhubarb and sugar on low, stirring pretty regularly. After it comes to a low boil, let it continue to boil for approximately 12 min. ( I took my hand mixer at this point and mushed it up a bit) Remove from heat and stir in jello mix. Stir well and place in sterilized pint jars. Store in refrigerator. I read where this recipe freezes well too, so instead of sterlized jar, just put in freezer containers.

Then I made 2 loaves of zucchini bread. The people who own our hardware store let me borrow their little garden tiller over the weekend so I could get my garden tilled up. That was so nice! I love to bake but if it's around, I EAT IT! This is a nice way for me to get to bake AND say thank you all at the same time.

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Garden Angel

I got SO much done outside this weekend! We hauled in dirt to fill in where we took trees out, tilled the garden and flower beds. I potted flower pots and tonight finished planting my little garden.

I came in and decided to start on my little 5 x 7 watercolor project that I sketched last week. I decided to do the background in blues and greens. She just looks like she's sitting out in the garden, watching over me and my 50 year old heart to make sure I don't die of exhaustion from all this physical activity! LOL Hey, it seriously was a long (and somewhat lazy) winter!

Take care my friends in blogland!

Lovely Blog Award - Please come and accept!

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Cathie Carlson of Magic Markings Art for presenting me with this FABULOUS blog award!! You really must visit her Etsy shop! It's filled with funky and colorful and amazing artwork! I just love her style! Her pottery plates are definitely on my WILL OWN SOMEDAY list!! I really want one :)

The rules of receiving this award are to pass it on to 15 other newly discovered blogs that I love. Here lies the problem.......I have so many blogs that inspire me daily! Some with beautiful artwork, some with deep and profound messages that I'm meant to find that day and some that maybe just share a great recipe that my heart wants but my hips don't need :)

It's just so hard to choose. I'm inviting all you lovely bloggers to accept this award. Please feel free to copy and paste and add to your LOVELY blog!!

I'd also like to take a quick moment to thank all of the many people who share their work on you tube. I just LOVE watching and learning and your willingness to put yourself out there is a gift that I truly appreciate.

Have a fabulous week!!
Hugs, Darla