It is time to simplify.I have too much going on. Too many irons in the fire. I am completely overwhelmed and I can feel invisible balls falling all around me. The fact that it is almost 4am and I am up early to finish a freelance job before I go to another freelance job and have to do yet another freelance job tonite is pretty good evidence that I do not have things under control. Commissions, design work at home and onsite, painting at a restaurant once a week, trying to keep new art in a boutique…. It is just too much. I am not sure what simplifying means at this moment in time, but I have been getting signs from all over that I have to declutter my life. Maybe it means taking time off from my art and getting a full time job and enjoying the absolute simpleness that would mean. Right now I feel I am doing too many things and none of them well enough. It is not my work that is lacking, but the details. Forgetting to follow up that commission with an email. Forgetting to take a picture of the last (5!!) commissions I have done. Forgetting to mail the check for the festival, forgetting to drop off the bios to the boutique…that kind of stuff. Hey, I love multi-tasking, but this is ridiculous. Throw financial hardship into the mix (my husband is currently unemployed) and life is just loads of fun. I feel like my happiness button is in the “off” position and I need to get it back on. I may be taking a break from writing here. Maybe I won’t. Maybe this will be a good way to document the simplification process. I am hoping by putting this out there, out loud so to speak, I will put in motion what is meant to be. I am very confident that God has wonderful plans for me, but I have managed to muddle up my life so much that it is way too complex to see which path I am supposed to be on. Not being omnipotent myself, I have finally realized that I cannot be all things at all times. Ok, God, I am going to take stock and simplify until I can hear what you want me to do. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Happy Birthday Sophie Loafie Lovey Dove!!

Guess who turns 6 today???? If this girl had any idea how much she has my heart in her little hands…There are not even words or phrases to accurately describe how in awe of my daughter I am. She is a chaotic bubble of sunshine with a zest for life that I wish I could bottle up and sip on days that I cannot quite muster my own energy. She is everything I wish I was. Oh, how I love my little girl.

new art!!

Drumroll please…..ok, here is my newest and cutest…CLOCKS! I began selling them this past weekend. I have bunch of different breeds and YES! even cats too!! Here is the first I am selling on ebay. Click on the pic to see product details. C’mon…functional art?!? You know you gotta have it! Wait till I get the Lucy and Rufus ones online…soooooo cute!

what physical law is this?

How come when one gets extra money (and I mean extra in the very liberal sense of the word here, it is money that is actually meant for very patient people I owe money) that is the exact moment your car begins to have trouble? Huh? WHY? I mean, c’mon! And this isn’t the kind of slight squeak you can ignore for a little bit, oh no. This is the kind of chug, chug, where you KNOW the car is most certainly going to die right here at this stop sign kinda thing. The kinda thing you know you better not drive one 10th of a foot longer than you have to. The kinda thing that you drop off the car and walk home in the rain kinda chug, chug. Boo….So first I have to go cash checks then drop the car off then walk home. The walk home is short, not bad. It is the rain part where you can feel sorry for me. Oh well. But really there must be a directly proportional relationship. The higher the amount of money in your pocket, the higher the probability of car trouble. Ah well, that’s life, right? And I get to paint a door design all day long today and that makes me pretty darn happy. And painting a door while sipping coffee and listening to the rain while the dogs lounge at my feet? Well, there is a little slice of heaven. Well, see? Now I don’t feel so bad. Money shmoney. Who needs it? I got my paint, you can have my car today. And my money….

Taking time to be grateful

This past Saturday I had a festival. It went really, really great. I got a bunch of new commissions and made more money that day that I have ever made in one day. I hardly ever get much cash in hand the day of – more often the orders come in the following weeks. It was so much fun and I really enjoyed it. But something strange happened. By the time I got home, unloaded and sat down, I was already on to the next thing. I was thinking about the design work that needed to be finished. I was thinking about the door I need to paint for a festival. I was thinking about more design work I need to get before this bunch ends. In short, I was thinking about money. And that always makes me irritible. I had not even for a moment sat in the wonderment and joy of selling my art that day. I can remember years ago wishing nothing more than for people to like my art. A wish that I thought might never come true. And now here it is HAPPENING and still I am not quite satisfied. I got so mad at myself. Ok, rather my husband did. He had to point this out to me, and that was none too pleasant. And he was right. OOOOOh. Hate that. The husband being right is bad enough, but right about my lack of pleasure in my success as an artist is really icky. So yesterday I tried very hard to live in the moment. To not be thinking about the next thing. To not be figuring out the next bill to pay with still having money for supplies for the next festival or event. To not be thinking about the next new series for my agent. Boy is that hard! It is such a fine line. Art as a business. You need it to come from your heart and soul. That is the thing that people find appealing. Yet at the same time you have to be clinical about it if you want to make money. It is, after all a business. What sells? What doesn’t? What cost too much to make, what makes a good profit? What will people pay? What won’t they? What is licensable? What needs to be one of a kind? This, friends, is what runs through my head at a billion miles an hour. But in the end, it comes down to this: If I don’t get to sit in gratitude and enjoy all this, it means nothing. Joy and passion. That is what it is all about. And it seems strange that I have to make time for that, but I do. Today I just finished up a big design project and have a day before I will get revisions back. I can take today to just be, to enjoy. I will go take some pictures in the square for some references I need for a door I am painting for a fundraiser. But I will do it slowly. I will enjoy today and the life I have created from my hopes and dreams. Maybe I will bring my kids and get an ice cream while I do it. And remeber that today I am living a wish that I wished years ago. And that my wishes and desires today will come true in time as well. And today is a very good place to be.

Loverly day….

Today is a wonderfully drearie day. The kind where porch sitting with husband, coffee and dogs is likely to steal my morning work hours if I am not careful. (or if I am careful….) After today I will be caught back up to my deadlines and schedules. The week was more than eventful with a fair share of catastrophes that I hope have filled my quota for at least a few months. But things seem back on task. And hopefully the storm coming from Texas will not cancel the festival I have stayed up late painting for each night this week. But if it does, I need all the art to hang on the restaurant wall and give to the boutique anyway. Plus there will be a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ up on ebay later today. Something brand new that is really cute and really fun. Look later for that.

In other exciting news The Surtex Show is beginning on Sunday and all my new art is there to hopefully catch the eye of lots of people. My posters turned out great and I wish I could be there, but I justed up my travel points for a while. Hopefully some good news will come soon!

And finally Miss Kate is getting a puppy! Cutums, smooshems, lovems! Go read all about it! Can’t wait to see the ‘baby’ pics! Congrats new mama!!! I think I have the perfect baby gift for you!

"But I want it now!" (Said as Veruca Salt)

There are so many things I want. I try not to be selfish. I don’t complain too often. (I don’t think I do, but maybe you should ask my husband.) I don’t ask for jewelry, I don’t ask for fancy cars or houses. I don’t need Pottery Barn or Williams Sonoma filling my home, although I would love the life they promise in the catalogues. I do understand all those things are wants. I am willing to not have them for the ones I really, really do want. I want to have my children’s book published. Each day that goes by that I have not received a rejection letter or my packaged returned to me is good. I want to get some licensing deals from The Surtex Show and the Licensing show in May and June. (Wish me good vibes this May 16th – 18th!) I want to keep painting and selling my art for a long, long time. I am addicted to the smiles that come with each delivery. I admit it. It is perfectly selfish. I love showing kids and adults alike my art and telling them that yes, I paint silly dog and cat pictures for a living. I can’t wait for the day that I am not doing 8 hours a day of graphic design work and 5 hours a night of painting. Just one career please. Thank you. Are you listening to me universe? This two careers at once thing is tiresome. I just want to paint. I am almost there. I can feel it, taste it. I have worked hard towards my goals. I work long hours almost every night for almost 2 years now. So much so that if I only work a measly eight hours in a day I feel as if I have had the day off. That deserves a payoff right? Sure it does. So here I am. Putting it out there for the universe and God to hear. I am ready for my hard work to payoff and ready to ony have to work at my painting and illustration career. I will keep up my daily routine until you grant me my wish. I can tell you this: I am not giving up. I can keep this up another year if I have to. I don’t want to, but I will. I have always said that you cannot fail if you don’t give up. I may be tired, annoyed, and just about as over adobe Illustrator, photoshop and quark as one can be, but I won’t give up. And one day, I know, KNOW that I will be able to more than pay my bills from silly dog paintings alone. I will. I am a middle child. We are known for our stubborness. I am not giving up. Ever. So you might as well give me what I want. Ok, rant is over. I have to go do revise a magazine layout and brochure. But tonite, tonite I get to paint some dogs. And that makes me smile.

good to be home….

That is me and my best friend with her 12 year old daughter, Alexis. I think they are making little girls bigger these days! I still remember her daughter more from when she was my daughter’s age now. Follow that? It is so strange seeing her and talking with her. She is such a little adult. One morning we went running together before she went to school. Weird.

I had a fantastic time and loved getting to know her new baby Ethan as well. He is quite the handfull as most 19 month olds are, and it made me VERY secure in my decision NOT to have any more wee ones! Cute? Yes. More work than I remember? YES! It seems that you forget how hard it was when your babies are little and choose to remember all the fun things you did instead. “Oh,” you think, “I remember the strolls in the park, playing in the baby pool, reading the books….” You forget the part about the diapers, the constant need for a juice cup to be refilled, the sleepless nights, the not being able to look away for one spilit second because in that very second the child pulls the entire jug of OPEN milk off the counter and all over the floor kind of moments. Yeah, don’t miss those at all.

Work has piled up in my absence and I am playing catch up, but I realized how very important it is to take breaks in life. We need to laugh, need to have fun, need to stay connected to those we love. That is after all, what makes the late nights of designing, painting, marketing, and planning all worth it in the end. I won’t be waiting so long before my next visit there or anywhere else. It feels so good to be so mentally rested.