Friday, December 8, 2017

Peyton & Anna

These were the instructions I was given:

  • "I have an idea that I want you to paint. These will go in their bedrooms.  They need to have their names on them and maybe a flower or a bird as a kind of decoration. The oldest is named Peyton, and she likes purple.  The youngest is named Anna, and she likes pink." 
Well... no one said they had to be plain and boring... so... voila!

What a fun project!  I couldn't wait to get started! I completely set aside what I was working on and got busy creating "something purple and something pink with flowers or birds to make them special."

I hope the one who asked for this is surprised and pleased at the same time.
I hope the little girls who receive them for Christmas are too.

Original Oil Paintings on 6"x 12" Wrapped Canvas.
Click here to order a custom name painting of your own.

Monday, December 4, 2017


He's gorgeous and he know it. You can just tell by his attitude!
But, I have to wonder... Doesn't he ever get tired of hauling all those tail feathers around!

Last month my sisters and I spent a crafting weekend at Welcome Home Retreat where they have some turkeys who walk around making sure all the guests are enjoying themselves.   

One morning while I was sitting outside, the two male turkeys were doing their best to show me how big and beautiful they were. (I know, kind of ironic for a turkey to be showing off in November of all months!) 

As they walked back and forth in front of me, I kept thinking what a lot of trouble dealing with all those puffed up feathers would be!

Fun fact...  If you laugh, the turkeys will gobble at you! 

While they paraded around, I took lots of photos thinking I'd paint one.. but alas... I decided a painting of a puffed up turkey would look like a brown blob with a head.

Instead of a brown blob painting called "Gobble, Gobble," I went with a fancy rooster painting called "Cock-A-Doodle-Do" instead.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 16 Wrapped Canvas
Click here if you'd like to purchase it.

Friday, December 1, 2017


Meet Teddy.
He's Dexter's brother. He looks like a serious little old man. 

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Meet Dexter. 
He's a cutie.  

Does anyone else have a pet who gets needy when you're working.  Sometimes my little pup, Olivia, whines and begs to sit in my lap while I paint.  Once she settles, she's pretty still, so I don't mind.  

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas.

Monday, November 27, 2017

My Love & Ksses

Looks like I've flipped ahead on my calendar by a couple of months!  
Is it ever too early for love & kisses though?

I have a reason for painting ahead of the season, and it goes along with some exciting news.

You know those times one event ties in to a completely unrelated event relates to another unrelated event then ties into yet another and so on and so on until the story becomes a saga... but then... then... it all ties together and comes full circle in the best way? 
I had one of those a couple of weeks ago.
My exciting news is the end result of that full circle story.

My doctor asked me to hang my art on his exam room walls.  I know it's not a gallery in a museum, but oh my goodness, I am so excited!  

There's that lag time after the nurse takes your blood pressure and gets your list of complaints that you're left alone in the room to sit and wait.... and now... to look to your left and see some paintings! 
He gets a pretty wall.
I sell a painting every now and then.
Yeah! Win-win!
I had to gather up all the paintings I had around the house to see if I could find some that would go nicely together.  I had enough for a farm or country room and a winter or Christmas room.  (I also put the big hollyhock painting in the hall between them, but I forgot to take a photo of that one.)

So, now do you see why I'm painting a valentine?  In a month I'll need to trade out the Christmas-y ones.  (Although a more positive outlook would be that the Christmas paintings would have sold out and need to be replaced!)

If you'd like to have this little painting before it hangs there, click "My Love & Kisses"  to purchase it from my Etsy shop.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Indoor Kite Creations

I want you to see some of my daughter's beautiful needlework.  She has always had some sort of craft to work on, and now she's opened an Etsy shop. Click Indoor Kites Creations and have a look. 
The detail of this storybook one is amazing. 
Wouldn't that be a gorgeous quilt top or wall hanging!
I love the Old McDonald's scene.
A whole farm made of tiny stitches!
Cute, sweet, gorgeous!Love the toy box one.
I wonder how many tiny x stitches make the picture.
She does crochet work too.
Beautiful bright granny square!

Sweet little bunnies!
Funny, I decorated her nursery with bunnies almost 30 years ago!
I love the details of each animal square.
So cute!

Click any of the links and have a look!  

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Lunch Date

Her name might be Millie or Macy or Maggie or Madi.
She might call him Grandpa or Papa or Granddad or Pop.

Maybe it's the school's grandparent day or her birthday or just a random Tuesday.
He may have had to rearrange his schedule or cancelled a meeting or put on a suit just for her.

Perhaps she'll share the lunch from her box or show him how to get a cafeteria tray.

She might say, "This is my friend. She sits at my table."
He might ask, "What have you been learning about today?"

She feels special.
He's glad he came.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 12" Wrapped Canvas.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Ruby Throated Hummingbird IV

What a pleasure when someone asks, "I love this one. Can you paint another one for me?"  I love it especially if I get to paint with my favorite color combination, purple and green.
I hope that the person who receives this as a Christmas present loves it.

Original Oil Painting on 6"x 8" Wrapped Canvas.

Monday, November 13, 2017


When I think of my grandma's house, I can almost smell marigolds; she always had them growing beside the front porch.  If I imagine myself sitting on that porch, I can look across the yard and see a row of hollyhocks beside the fence.  

I've been reading a blog called Ramblings from a Desert Garden lately.  No, I don't live in the desert, and no I'm not very good at growing beautiful plants.  But I enjoy her writing, pictures, and blog style.  When I came to this post about hollyhocks, it triggered a happy memory.

My mother once showed me how she and her sisters used to use the hollyhocks in their yard to make dolls.  She turned a big flower upside down to become the doll's dress.  The green part that holds the flower together (which I'm certain the AZ Plant Lady from the blog would know the name of) became the doll's body or shirt.  Then she picked a bud to become the doll's head and used a straight pin to hold it on.   My favorite combination... simple elegance.   

I kept thinking about that memory and Googled hollyhock dolls to see if anyone else had ever done such a creative thing.  Sure enough I found this precious little photo on a blog called Botanical Interests. It's much fancier than my mom's was with the little blossom for a hat and even a toothpick for arms. But I love thinking about how my mother and aunts would have played with these lovely ladies in pink, red, and white dresses.

Original Oil Painting on 24"x. 12" Wrapped Canvas.
Click "Hollyhocks" to purchase this painting.  (It's for sale in my Etsy shop, but my husband said, "I really do like this one.  I hope no one buys it." 😉We'll just enjoy it on our own wall until someone gives it a forever home.)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Flamingo on Blue

This is the second in my "Make Friends with Blue" series. 😁😁

I met this particular guy (or gal) in the flamingo exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo a couple of years ago.  I loved the exhibit, and I thoroughly enjoyed painting him (or her) with bright, bold colors.

You know how sometimes a certain sense will bring up a memory? 
... like... the smell of marigolds = my grandma's front porch...
... or... the taste of Cheese Whiz = my first classroom as a teacher...
... maybe... the sound of pop corn kernels falling into a pot = Sunday evenings when I was a kid.
... or... the sight of a flamingo = summer school  in college and having Christopher Cross on the stereo.

If you're anywhere near my age, you might be able to relate to this one!

"Think of Laura, but laugh don't cry
I know she'd want it that way."
"It's all right. I think we're gonna make it,
I think it might just work out this time."

Good painting happens when his songs pop up on my Pandora.

You know that each one of those memories is just a snip of a whole story! So share!  What smell, taste, sound, or sight brings up a specific memory for you?

Original Oil Painting on 16"x 16" Wrapped Canvas
Click "Flamingo on Blue" if you'd like to purchase this painting.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Nutcracker King

Want to know why I painted this little guy?
Yes, I love nutcrackers... 
Sure, the Christmas season is near... 
Yeah, I was in one of those between-paintings mood...

But THIS is the real reason!  This my "blue drawer."  Yes... all of these blue paint tubes, yet I rarely use blue.  Go back through my paintings, besides a sky here and there, there's hardly any blue! 
While blue isn't one of my favorites, I don't have anything against it; I just forget about it.  
So, I've decided to go on a blue kick for a while.

I guess that's not a very inspiring reason.  
I do love this little nutcracker so much.  He's one of the favorites in my collection, so I'm glad I got to put him on canvas.

Since I just let you peek into my blue paints drawer to you.  I'll show you the rest of my painting spot.  It's just right for me.

I love seeing people's art spaces.

And, there's Pounce who watches from her throne.

Original Oil Painting on 12"x 6" Wrapped Canvas. 
Click "Nutcracker King" to purchase this little painting.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Journals & Diaries (part 6)

Yeah, I realize that 5 parts would have been a good round number for the Journals & Diaries series.  And, the whole thing kind of made its way full circle at the end of the fifth one. But... I have a little more to tack on the end if that's okay.  
We'll call it (or them, if I do one more after this) a bonus.
These are my two current journals. Now if you look back at the photo of all the journals I've filled as an adult by clicking HERE, you'll think that the first one fits in nicely... It's green... calming...  But, that's not the one I want to talk about.

What's up with that other one!!!  It's bright... and bold... and glittery or metalic... and peacock-y... and wild...  and... was it an accident or a re-gifted gift? No... actually, it was purchased very purposefully.

Which camp are you in? The People-Don't-Change camp? or the You-Can-Make-Changes camp?  
I believe that while we have our set personalities, we can improve ourselves beyond surface changes if we are purposeful.  (*** Actually, "PURPOSEFUL" was the 2017 word I chose to add to my... well, it doesn't have a name... the inside of my armoire where my printer and office supplies are stored.... I'm sure I could write a blog post series on each thing hanging on that little space.)

A few years back, I wanted to change me... I wanted to be less less Type-A, more Easy-Going... less like a Square, more like a Squiggle... less Take Charge, more of a Support... less Linear, more Haphazard...less Academic, more Creative... less Stick-to-the-Rules, more Outside-the-Box.
So, how did I go about that?  Well, in a very methodical Type-A, Square, In Charge, Linear, Academic kind of way!!! Or Course!!

First I bought this crazy peacock  journal, then I set some specific self-imposed rules for using it.
1st - Every time I chose to write in it, I would let it open to any page.  That's the page I would write on.  (Aaahhh!!! Can you imagine!!)
2nd - I would avoid using complete sentences as often as possible. (Gasp!!!)
3rd - I wouldn't be a slave to the lines and margins. (Try not to hyperventilate!)
4th - I would use color and pictures and numbers and symbols as often as I pleased.

Here are a few pages... in no particular order... HA!
Wagons I tend to fall off of...

A perfect moment...

Turning 50...
Kindred  Spirits...

Vocabulary words I love...
So... The big question... Did it work???
Well... Hmmm... I'm a work in progress, and there are still blank pages to fill... 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Journals & Diaries (part 5)

I've loved this journey through the memories of journals and diaries.  I love that direct link between past and present. With that in mind, I think that I've found a way do do something pretty special with this book.

It looks like a fairly ordinary journal.  If you flip through it, you'll see that there are a lot of blank pages. Only the first 18 pages are filled.

This is the last journal that we discovered as we helped my Dad move into a retirement center last month. Click "Family Treasures" if you haven't already read it. Then click Journals & Diaries  to catch up and read the previous posts in this series.

My mother used this journal from 1994-1996.  She was in her early 70s, retired, and a grandmother of 13. This journal is not one in which she documented events.  It's a place where she kept her thoughts and insights.  She put quotes that she found meaningful and wrote how she could apply them in her life.  She wrote about her own struggles as the last pages were written after she'd experienced some mini strokes which left her sight impaired and made many of life's regular tasks difficult. She wrote about her desire to know her purpose, to remain useful and be an encourager.
Besides the 18 filled pages in the front, there were 5 pages in the back filled with specific prayer requests for family members, friends, and church needs.  Many of these had little check marks, had lines drawn through, or the words "thank you" written beside them.

And I got to keep this book.
I knew I wanted to find a creative way to share it with her other children  (my siblings) and her grandchildren (our kids).

Do you know about Blurb? Oh, my goodness!  I love it!  I use their Bookify to turn my painting blog posts into a book at the end of each year. Maybe that will be another post...

I used Bookify on Blurb to create and publish this.

I had a vision what what I wanted, and I figured and worked and tried and reworked and thought and worked again.

1st -  Sentence by sentence and word for word, I retyped the entire 18 pages of scratchy, some barely legible, handwriting.

2nd - I wanted it to be about her words. I wanted it to be a way for her messages of encouragement and wisdom to be passed on.   I wanted it to be an honoring her thoughts.

3rd - I didn't want it to be a "book to remember grandma by" project.  So I didn't put in any photographs of her.  

4th - I wanted to make it easy to read, but I was determined to also keep her handwriting. The very essence of the project was that the wisdom came from her.  Seeing her handwriting would keep that at the center. 

5th - I used her favorite colors (reds, pinks, purples).

And... this is how how it looks.
Every word from her beautiful, personal (ok, scribbly and hard to read) handwriting on the left-hand side is typed and formatted in a beautiful readable style on the right-hand side.
It's all there in a beautiful little pink 8"x 10" book.
There are truly some wise words inside this little book.
I'll snip & paste a few below. They'll be out of context and without her commentary, but still worth reading slowly.

There were two pages left in the minimum Blurb book, so I took the opportunity to list some of her favorite sayings.

Thanks to a little creativity, a little perseverance, and Bookify at (No, they don't pay me, but I wish they would! I have a lot of good things to say about them!) I feel like her words have been honored.

Spoiler alert, if you happen to be my niece, nephew, son, daughter, brother, or sister.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Journals & Diaries (part 4)

This tiny little book...
It looks pretty simple and ordinary, but it is priceless.
It's my mother's diary from 1939-1943 when she was 13-18 years old. My sisters said they'd seen it before, but I don't think I knew it existed. 

(I wrote about finding this Family Treasure earlier this month.)

There's no spectacular event or unbelievable story.  There's just regular life... just normal everyday life on a family farm. It is beautiful.

June 10, 1939 - We just ate peaches today.

June 10, 1940 - We picked blackberries and got 3 gallons.

June 11, 1939 - Maxine, Pauline, Ford, and Mutt came up here to practice.

June 11, 1940 - We picked blackberries and got 7 gallons.

July 2, 1939 - The Sunday evening social was at Mrs. Turner's.  She served punch and cookies.

July 2, 1940 - Papa and Paul went to town and Grandma went up to Aunt Susan's with the mail carrier.

September 11, 1939 - Papa and Paul took some lambs to sell them.

September 12, 1939 - There is a farm meeting here today and I never saw such a bunch of jabbering men. Avajeanne Norman died today.

This is just a sampling. 

There are another 360+ pages of normal... regular... mundane... practical... ordinary... sweet... wonderful... real-life events of daily life. 

I learned that they went to "singings" at the church a lot.
They also did a lot of "practicing" with each other for performances.
4-H was a really important part of their lives.
She wrote about food preparation a lot (picking, peeling, shelling, canning).
She wrote about sewing (quilts, aprons, dresses, mending).
Home Economics was the class she wrote the most details about.
**I love that since she became a Home Economics teacher.

I spent the day with my aunt (my mother's youngest sister) after finding the diary. We sat on her couch and read every single page together. It took a really long time because she had an explanation for every page... who the person was kin to, where that place was, the backstory behind the events... It was a wonderful day for both of us.

It doesn't end there.
We found another journal.
This one is a kind of book of quick writes, writing prompts, pages with topics to write about.

It isn't finished.  She only wrote to the in the first quarter of the book, and she only wrote on the top half of the pages.

I want to honor this book, and I have an idea... I think I want to continue it... write on the pages she didn't get to... write below hers on the pages that she did.  Why not? I wasn't sure if it was appropriate, but the more I think about it, the more I like the idea.

Here's an example page: 
"Describe your grandparents' houses. Did you visit them often? Why or why not?"
"My grandmother lived with us, and I loved her dearly.  My other grandparents lived at Mount Ida, and we did not visit often.  It was 25 miles away, and that was a long way then."

** I know it's off topic, but I really want to tell what I know about her grandmother that lived with them.  They called her Grandma Prudy.  Whenever the peddler came down their road, she'd give each of the girls (my mom and her sisters) a penny to spend. She always had a little money of her own because she got a few dollars from the government because her husband, Grandpa MacReynolds, was killed in the Civil War. 
Oh!!! There are so many things about this snip of a story that is nearly impossible for my mind to take in.... First, Mom said, they'd shop and shop on his wagon to see what they wanted to buy... with a penny!!! Second, my own mother's grandfather was in the Civil War... I think of that time period as being so so so long ago! Third, her name was Prudy!  How perfect is that! Fourth, a peddler?? Really?  A traveling Walmart? 

I like knowing that my love of writing and of the written word is something that links me to my mother.  I like knowing that I can claim it as a trait that I got from her.

And... just when you think the Journals & Diaries series has come full circle... ah ah ah... not yet...