Thanks for stopping by my blog. Here I will be posting information about my creative process, inspiration, tutorials and day-to-day activities that make me who I am. I hope you enjoy it, come back often, follow, and invite your friends as well. Click on the painting to your right to be directed to my website.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

This, That & Another New Year!

I know, I KNOW! When I started this blog I said I would be better at keeping up.  I'm sorry, I've been busy.  I feel like I'm being the guy who doesn't call after a first date.  I've left you waiting and wanting more.  It's okay, you can admit it.  I do feel as though I owe you an explanation.

So what exactly HAVE I been up to you may wonder (or maybe you're not wondering- but I'm going to tell you anyway)...

I've been compiling some of my favorite paintings into a book.  This task, at first, seemed much easier than it really has turned out to be.  For one, when I photographed a number of paintings, I had not really considered ever making a book.  I just photographed them before I shipped them off to my clients so that I had a personal record of the work.  Since I do not intend to ever make prints of custom art, I had not focused on image quality.  Sadly, some of my work will have to be omitted from the book because of this, while others I have managed to edit successfully.

In addition to the images, I need text.  I enjoy writing, so this task is not a painful one.  However, since so much of what I do is a) personal b)spiritual, it was difficult to write about my art while keeping information about each custom painting general, as not to reveal personal information about my clients (very important to me).  Eventually I decided to approach it as I would a conversation with someone who was asking about my work.  Information about my process, and my personal experiences, and symbolism, but not discussing spirits related to specific clients or paintings.

After receiving my first 'proof' copy, I decided that rather than a small book, I would prefer go all out and do a hardcover (10x8") book.  This, naturally, means that I have had to re-format and basically re-create the entire book.  Luckily, having completed a smaller version I am better prepared for the task.

The result is something I am quite happy with.  There is always room to grow, and I look forward to finishing up the final proof and making the book available for purchase. It's been a great learning experience.  My new motto for 2011- GO BIG, OR GO HOME! 

So, other than creating a book, I was running a number of art swaps.  They are wonderful, fun to run, and inspiring.  However (!) I was finding myself a bit over-worked by the time Christmas came...not to mention the dent in my pocket book from shipping costs...but I would gladly do it again!

I also am scratching out plans for a 'how to' book on Art Swaps.  This book I hope to publish through Amazon, but I can't even give a rough idea of how long it will take me to finish THAT project. I'll keep you posted.

In the middle of the swap and book writing process, I was also completing some commissioned watercolours. It's been a crazy autumn/winter!!

Now as I look ahead to 2011, I am first off struck by how quickly 2010 flew by.  Why is it that as I get older, time speeds up? 

Second, I've decided a few things for next year (this is my public commitment).  I've decided that next year I will be much more intentional in my actions.  That is to say, that I will spend more time 'in the moment' rather than looking ahead and planning for the tomorrow that continues to elude me. I'm going to spend more time creating- not planning to create.  I'm going to spend more time practicing the guitar- even if it sounds terrible (really, it does).  I'm going to play more board games (even though my 4-year-old usually wins).  I'm going to be open (emotionally) and trust in MYSELF enough to know I can handle other people's re-actions.

Third, I'm considering taking a stand against consumerism.  Now, this may not be popular with a lot of people, I get that, and admittedly as a single Mom I don't spend a lot of money to begin with so my 'stand' may be likened to a toddler standing on a box of soap.  However,  I was first prompted a month or so ago when I watched the Canadian documentary ,"How to Boil a Frog" (I recommend it, and encourage you to look them up online).  The documentary outlines 5 major problems and 5 solutions.  Even if you are not a believer in global warming, I think we all agree that pollution in any form = bad.  But I digress...

One of the families on the documentary had gone without purchasing new items for a year (other than one day they were allowed to purchase new items).  Everything else had to be used/ thrift store purchases.  I like the idea from an environmental stand point rather than a financial one.  The idea being the same as that behind buying used cars- keep what we already have out of landfills.  SO, in addition  to all of the above, I have been researching how MY family can help the cause.  A bit of an experiment.  I'm still hashing out the 'Rules of Engagement'...suffice it to say this girl still has limits.  Sorry Mother Nature, but I can't buy used underwear or shoes.  It just grosses me out.  More power to all that can...but....*shudder* 
I'll be sure to document our progress.  Perhaps another blog?! Who has the time?

One thing is for certain, no matter where YOU are, and what you are celebrating, I am wishing you all the very best for 2011!  May you all find something YOU are passionate about, and find a way to bring it into fruition over the coming year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I am happy to report that I am slowly but surely moving back into my studio space (as small as it is!).  Despite my absence from this blog, I had NOT forgotten my draw...

Congratulations to AngelandSpot for winning a giclee print of my painting 'Release'. 

More things to come, let's just say I've been a busy bee...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


That's life. Busy.  I've had the opportunity to complete some lovely paintings for people in the past month and have been grateful for the opportunity to share in their energy.  I will post pictures soon, though I will admit there were a couple I forgot to photograph before sending away....*sigh.

I am also a busy gal compiling a book of my intuitive work over the past two years.  It will be primarily images as well as some information on symbols I frequently am given and what they mean.  NO PPERSONAL INFORMATION will be revealed about the individual paintings.  That goes against my desire to respect people's privacy. General information only will be discussed.  More details to follow soon...

I am also working on a book that focuses on art swaps.  This book will be mostly written rather than pictorial, and will address issues such as etiquette and cost considerations. I am hoping to have both books ready by the end of November, so check back and add them to your Christmas list!!

My primary problem is that I am not working out of my studio at the moment, but rather at the dining room table. My work space has been over run by kittens, who hopefully will all have homes by this weekend so I can get on with my life!!!!

Also please note, I will be holding another draw in November for a giclee print of my painting 'Release'.  All 'followers' of my blog will be entered in the draw. The print is archival quality and on watercolour paper, signed and ready to frame.

More posts to follow soon...well, as soon as I have a workspace!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

"Once upon an enchanted evening, fireflies danced, and fairies made wishes come true..."

As we frolicked under the trees at the end of our garden, my children and I were inspired to create Faerie doors to welcome the wee folk into our lives.  My son even went as far as climbing the tree to put some doors up high for those faeries that may be too scared to live on the ground.  We ended up with over a dozen faerie doors and pathways to join them, stairs and fire pits.  We hung some flower lanterns to light their way...now to wait for our visitors.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Another swap complete...

I have hosted yet another art doll swap on Milliande Art Community for Women.  This doll was to be a Nature Spirit Doll and have at least three natural elements.  Of course when I first posted the swap I had not considered potential customs issues, especially with Australia who has very strict policies.  After sorting through pages and pages (and pages) of the post office customs policy binder, I ended up dividing people by continent to limit potential problems (especially after participants recounted horror stories of other art dolls being burned by their customs officials because of prohibited materials).

This is the doll I created.  Her name is Grace and she was shipped with a wand of lavender and a note that read:

Greetings Friend!

My name is Grace. I am so looking forward to living with you. I am known as a 'crone' goddess because I'm considered by some to be elderly- but I think age is a state of mind!! Regardless, I have lived a long time, and offer my wisdom and comfort to you. I am the Goddess of Compassion, Mercy, and Balance. I am a reminder that 'grace' is something one can never have too much of.

My face has been sculpted of clay and painted with watercolours. I am a prayerful and meditative old elf, so that is why my eyes are closed. I use my raspberry walking stick to hike into the woods and make my bonfire. The stick is a reminder to maintain balance in your life. My cloak is muslin that has been dyed with tea. My hair is naturally dyed wool, and my wood sack is burlap with a raffia strap. I decided to pack my jade pendant. Jade, like me, brings serenity, wisdom and balance.

I often invite all my elf and fairy friends to join me in the moonlight, so don't be surprised if 'funny' things happen close to the full moon! I burn lavender to draw love and balance emotions. I burn raspberry to bring protection, draw love, and promote healing. I packed my seashell so that I may 'smudge' your home when I arrive, clearing any unwanted negativity and drawing love and restoring balance to the energy in my new home. Don't worry, I'll do it while you are sleeping.

I like working by moonlight best. I was so glad to be shipped to you on a full moon! I think I shall sneak out of my packaging to catch a glimpse and offer a prayer or two to the Universe for you. I've also brought my scrolls to burn on my fire- they say 'compassion', 'mercy' , and 'grace' (of course) and the Universe is sure to bring these to you now that I am here.

I am so glad to be joining you. I hope you put me somewhere I can see the moon at night?

Much Love and Blessings,


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Still Here and Letting Go!

I know what you're  thinking, 'she's gone and forgot about this blog'...NOT true!  July has been spent creating, just as it should be (pics to follow soon).  But before I get into what I've been up to, first thing's first.  I am very happy to announce that GINGER CHILD is the winner of some arty goodness.  Another draw will be held September 30th for all followers of this blog... tell your friends (and if you don't like this blog, tell your enemies, but either way- tell people)!

So here's the deal.  I have been working on all sorts of things, but don't seem to be getting nearly as much done this summer as I was hoping.  Ever have that happen?  I had a wonderful list of things to accomplish and grand visions of me flouncing around yielding my paintbrush with ease, dust off my soft pastels dancing in the sunlight as it trickles through the window, masterpiece after masterpiece, the Universe's grand design flowing through MY hands onto paper...eat your heart out Michelangelo!  Dream on Leonardo! Never has the world been witness to such raw and unhindered expression...the magnificence of it all!

...That didn't happen.  It's been hot.  And humid.  My hair's frizz level has reached critical mass. I've barely slept in over a month for some inexplicable reason, but that's okay.  I'm letting go...

It's so easy to spend too long in one state of mind, with one goal (or in my case ten too many) and the result of all this 'focus', seems to be becoming 'unfocused'.  Irony- my life's cruel mistress. So many thoughts, so many plans, so many ideas to get onto paper and yet they just don't flow as they should.  Come on brain, sort yourself out! Dialogue a bit with the hand and make it happen!  Frustration rears it's ugly head...but I let it go...

I stuck all the projects I had unsuccessfully completed aside and meditated. I cleared out all that I had been trying to accomplish, trying too hard to 'force' into fruition.  In the wise words of Master Yoda, I had to unlearn all that I had learned...or at least in this case all I had envisioned.  Release myself from the notion that all of you can see what is in my brain...I mean, how do you know if I got it right?!  Once I did this, once I allowed myself to go in a new direction (which is actually an old direction for me), the energy flowed through me once more.  No flouncing though.  I'm not good at it, and let's face it, I'd only hurt myself. 

The Universe doesn't work in time lines.  This means, as an Intuitive artist and someone who has more meaningful conversations with dead people than the living some days (sad but true),  I can't try to fit everything into a structured 'human' way of being.  Now, if only I could remember this...

So, as the gentle rain breaks through the heat and cleanses the air, I too am cleansed.  My spirit is free of self-imposed burdens, and I am once again open to receive all that the  Universe has to offer.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I'm having issues. There are too many things I want to do, and too little time. A common problem of mine. As my children work to devise their summer 'to do' lists, I am feverishly wrapping up projects so that I can focus my energy and attention on the two people who matter most to me. So what have I been doing you ask?
Well first, and what I enjoy thoroughly, I finished up a commission piece. Getting it packaged and posted has taken me longer than it needed to, not really sure WHY. The Universe intervened for SOME reason I suppose...

I also wanted to finish up some 'Swapping' goodness. I love art swaps. I have no other vices, a statement I use to justify my excessively high rate of swap participation. I have been running an on-going 'Art Tag' swap on Milliande Art Community for Women (love that group). I had received a lovely set of tag books and was wanting to reciprocate with something special for this new, and very dear, friend. I decided to try my hand at creating a paper-bag book to house the tags I made her...I think I'll make a tutorial on this at some point...like I need another project!!

I finished up another set of tags and have one more set to go before I officially close that particular swap. On top of this I am finishing some journal pages for an on-going journal page swap I run, and have also started another art doll swap (also on Milliande's). This time the theme is 'Nature Goddess', which should yield some very interesting and beautiful results. I'm still trying to track down some participants from the previous swap, and fingers are tightly crossed that all dolls have been shipped.
Many other swap ideas are circling around my head...like water around the plug hole I'm afraid, as often I am so easily sidetracked by MORE fabulous ideas that I need to constantly remind myself to stay focused!
This all said, I hope you enjoy what I've been working on.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Art Doll Tutorial

I am attempting to upload a short video showing how I recently made my papier mache art doll to swap on Milliande Art Community for Women. For some reason taking ages, but eventually I hope you enjoy it! Question? Leave a comment and I'll get back to you!

I ran this particular swap, and set few limitations for the participants. I just requested the dolls be approximately 3-6" in height- but could be made of any material(s). The swap had 18 participants and has produced some amazing art dolls.

I wanted to do something I hadn't in a long time, papier mache. I love working with papier mache, but had never made something like this before (hinged doll). I definately learned a lot from the process, things to consider next time, etc. I like to work with what I have around me rather than going out and buying project specific items (though sometimes projects DO require a 'certain something'). I find it challenging to do this and enjoy having to stretch my imagination.

I'm already planning another doll swap...if you'd like to participate, please consider joining Milliande Art Community for Women. You'll find me in the 'Swaps' Sub-group! ;)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

5 Layer Canvas Swap

Last month I participated in a swap on Milliande's Art Community for Women that was being run by a lovely lady in Australia. The challenge was to work with a 5x7" canvas board and at least 5 layers of medium to create a piece with a "Garden" theme.

This was a lot harder than I initially thought it would be. I started a few canvas before getting this one going. I eventually wrote a poem to use as inspiration. I used layers of paper, gesso, watercolour, acrylic paints, gel pens, beading, sparkles, ink and letter transfers. On the back I included the poem that I wrote:

My Garden
In my garden late at night,
As the world drifts gently to sleep,
The moon she keeps a watchful eye
As the animals silently creep.

This is when the flowers grow,
As strange as this may be;
A secret to be kept between
The flowers, Me, and Thee.

On the far side of my garden,
In the softly swaying trees,
Two little birds nestle closely
Sending 'tweets' upon the breeze.

The sweet smell fills my chamber,
I heave a heavy sigh
And listen as the little birds
Sing me a lullaby.

The grateful recipient was another lovely lady living in Florida.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My Art Doll Swap in Progress...

So I decided to run an art doll swap on Milliande's Art Community for Women. There was a wonderful response, with 18 participating. All dolls are due to be posted by June 5th. I thought I would document my process.
After much consideration and trial, I decided to create a paper mache doll to swap. I had set the criteria as having to measure between 3-6".

Remembering a small wooden ballerina that used to sit atop my great grandmother's music box (that forever sat on my mother's dresser- now in pieces I think), I sculpted the body parts using a paper mache mixture that was fine enough to use almost like modelling clay. (I will post a tutorial in a few days- but here are some still shots).

I'm still working on the finishing touches, and have realised that my initial thought to make her a doll on a stand is actually a good idea- but I made her without a hole for a post, so am still figuring the best way to go about adding one now....stay tuned....

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It's Not the Heat, It's the Humidity

Holy smokes, is it hot...I LOVE it! My hair, however, is not as happy about the change in humidity-I'm not sure WHAT it is going to look like by the end of the week, but if I had to hazard a guess I would say frizzy, big, inhuman...you get the picture.

One down side to extreme heat [other than my wild hair] is that it is hard to muster the energy to do much beyond sitting. I did take the opportunity to finish organizing a swap and brainstorm some possible future ones. Tomorrow I will head out first thing to mail out my stack of envelopes in an attempt to avoid the intense heat (expected to be 35 degrees) and before I lose all motivation to move.

The heat has helped inspire some future work...you know, when I have the gumption to lift the paint brush. But for now, I'll just soak my feet in cool water, pour another drink, and enjoy the fact that it isn't snowing!

(Pictured are three ATCs I did for the 'Manifesting Kindness' Swap I ran on Milliande's Art Community for Women)

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I've been trying for ages to find soft pastels. FINALLY, after months of anxiously checking art supply sections of various stores in my area (of these there are few), there they were...calling to me sweetly. Not a big selection, not top quality little pots with the fancy applicators...but this lone pack, hanging from it's assigned peg, dangled in the air as though for that moment it had the wings of an angel.

"Buy me, buy me!" the package whispered excitedly as I approached- the world now moving in slow motion... I reached, I grabbed, I exclaimed (perhaps a bit too loudly) "OKAY!!"

I pressed them to my chest and headed for the cash so we could formally begin our time together.

Then it occurred to me, as I sit at home staring at the freshly opened pack, each stick with it's sharp corner waiting to create something magnificent, that I had never USED soft pastels. SO, like anything worth while in life, I was going to have to practice, practice, practice.

Here are some of my practice pieces. :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tantrums, a run away lawnmower, ATC's and a missing dog ...

Sounds like a punch line to a bad joke doesn't it? You know, the ones that start "two guys walk into a bar..." No, no, it's just my life....I know somewhere in the cosmos some higher-being is having a good laugh.

It all started, innocently enough, last weekend. In an attempt to be a good neighbour and responsible dog owner, I took the push mower out from the garage in order to have a proper 'go' at the grass in the dog run.

Now this thing [push mower] is a piece of work all it's own. After my long time partner moved out, I realised he had broken the handle and attempted to hold it together with bungie cords- sounds safe, right?! Even my uber-handy father hasn't been able to get the handle back as it should be, but it at least it now stays together (and he replaced it with a riding one-even better given I live on 3/4 of an acre). I should add that it is self-propelled. One would THINK that this would make my handle issues rather insignificant-wrong. It is the HEAVIEST and most AWKWARD machine ever created by MAN. In addition, the bungie that helps hold the handle ALSO keeps the lever down in order to make sure it moves forward, otherwise I couldn't move it at all (this information become relevant in a moment...keep reading)!

So, I go to start the beast up (oh! I forgot, the pull string-thingy no longer runs up the mangled handle, so I can't pull it directly up- which for a barely 5' person presents some issues). One pull. Nothing. Two pulls. Nothing. Check gas- it's full. Three pulls. Nothing. Push the little air pump thing again. Heave a sigh. Casually look around to see if neighbours are watching. Fourth pull- we're in business!

I then happily go along the fence and around the flower beds where the riding lawn mower doesn't 'fit' well. All is going swimmingly. Get to the dog run and stop to open the fence and I notice something...the mower didn't stop when I let go of the handle. Hum. Being self propelled it wanted to keep moving too. Simple solution- undo the bungie so the self-propelled lever slides back and it stops moving forward. Okay...remove bungie...don't lose an eye in the process...don't bugger the handle...done. Bungie off....mower still moving forward. Double hum. Wiggle handle. Wiggle lever. Mower still moving forward. Push mower against fence so it can't go anywhere- check!

I then proceed to cut the grass in the dog run then think to self..now what? It won't stop moving forward and it won't turn off. Maybe if I set the throttle to 'turtle' it will stall...nope. In fact, even though I set the throttle to 'turtle' it was still going like it was set at 'rabbit'. At this point I'm thinking ,"I wonder what the statistics are on possessed lawn mowers?" Is it safe to pull the spark plug when it's running? I ponder this option and quickly envision myself lying on the ground for hours before my children notice me- and even then it is only to poke me with a stick and ask what's for dinner.

Okay. I'm a smart woman. I can handle this...right? There is uncleared land at the end of the lot. I'll run it into the grass and it will stall and all will be well (remember, the gas tank is full so leaving it to run out isn't really an option).

Down the yard I go, all 'casual' as not to alert my neighbours to my ridiculous 'situation'. Into the long grass. One pass...still running. Two passes, up a slight hill and over some debris...still running. Three passes, over some debris, into a soft patch of dirt...stalling...stalling...no. Still running. CRAP! Is this the same machine that didn't even want to start?! By this point I'm thinking of Stephen King's 'Christine'. What on Earth did I do to make this machine angry? "You have nothing to be jealous of!" I say pleadingly. Finally, half an hour and 15 feet of cleared land later the lawn mower stalls. SUCCESS!! Leaving it pointed toward the farmer's field behind our house, I considered my yard work finished for the day.

As the week progressed I kept checking to see where the lawn mower was. I expected to find a cleared path through the fields and the mower MIA...which I can't honestly say I would mind but I wouldn't want to see the aftermath of destruction and horror that this machine was clearly capable of causing. *shudder*

I focused my attention on other things. I am excitedly running a number of art swaps at the moment. One came to a close at the end of April, but mail being what it is (and Volcanic ash delaying mail delivery) I found myself up to my elbows in Artist Trading Cards. Creating, sorting, swapping, packing, addressing and of course patiently waiting for the last few to arrive that the postal service has sent on an extended vacation to some other far off land. So much paper...so many stamps...where is my workspace?!!

In the midst of the chaos was the eruption of Miss E. -my darling daughter who is 'free spirited' and 'determined', way too intelligent for her age and to whom Mt. Vesuvius can't even hold a candle. Having just turned 4 last month, my insistence that she was now too old to have a tantrum and that it just simply was not allowed seems to have fallen on deaf ears (and if hers aren't deaf, ours certainly were temporarily after she had 'actively expressed her emotions' to us).

Friday finally arrives. With the long weekend upon us (thank you Queen Victoria) and my children gone to visit their father, I can get some serious work done. Commissions need finishing, my studies (homeopathy) need attention. All I need is ONE good night's sleep...

Not allowed. I let my wee dog out for her bedtime pee while I go to get my pj's on. She's scared of the dark- never tries to escape the dog run at night...which is good because we have animals around here that would eat her. But this night she's feeling particularly brave (or stupid). I go to let her in...Dusty? I look around. I listen for her sorting...nothing. Seriously?!!!

I go to the front of the house. I walk up the street. There, by a lamp post is a small silhouette. I whistle firmly (yes a person can whistle firmly)...the dog moves into the light...not my dog. The neighbour up the street quickly jumps off his porch and in panic calls his dog. Well don't I just look the fool. I sheepishly turn my attention somewhere else and continue to look- but being surrounded by fields, things are too dark for me to see much beyond the sidewalk. Darn dog.

I'd be angry if it weren't for the fact that she is, well, a 'simple' dog. For anyone who reads this and thinks that is a horrible thing to say- I'm sorry...but you have not met my dog. She is a Pekingese- not a breed known for their survival skills. She has no sense of direction, particularly in the dark, so I was a bit concerned as to where she would end up.

At 12:30am I make my way to bed, with windows open wide in hopes of hearing her bark to be let in. I toss, I turn, I wake at 2:30 and get up to do a check. Just as I go to open the door to the porch to see if she is there, who do I see proudly prancing past the house? Dusty.

Worry turns to an emotion bordering on fury when I see how arrogantly she prances by. I open the door and say "HEY!" She stops, looking at me as if to say, "what?". She wags her tail but still makes no attempt to come in, just stands there- oblivious to my clearly displayed frustration. "Get IN here!" I insist. Over she comes...past me to the other door. Fury dissipates. It's hard to be angry at any creature who excitedly runs past you to the wrong door to see you...I mean really, lights are on but... Finally making it in the right door (she has a habit of getting stuck behind open doors- she doesn't know to go around them) she flops herself down on the floor, belly up, tail wagging...adventure over.

It's now 1pm the next day and she still hasn't got out of bed. Right now I'm sure she's thinking, "I may have got in trouble- but MAN, what a RIDE!"

I, on the other hand, prepare my second cup of coffee and suddenly remember...it's time to cut the grass again....

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And so it begins....

Four years ago I started a page on MySpace. I was very good about posting my blog entries...for a few months anyway. Now in my defence I did move which caused a slight departure from writing...(okay, okay,okay I forgot about it).

Then came Facebook. By the time I made contact with all the people I went to high school with, and a few from college, the excitement was over. Do I really need to know that Sally Smith* is taking a shower or that her son has a runny nose? (*I do not actually know a Sally Smith, just an example. My apologies if that is your name.)

Last year I started a website for my art work (www.ginger-pickles.webs.com) and there too I began 'blogging'. I removed the application when it became apparent that I am not always the most dedicated blogger. Not only that, I like to write about 'life' in general, and didn't feel it 'fit' with the website.

HOWEVER, here I am. On an actual blogging website. That's it. I'm now committed to the cause. No excuses from here on in. I WILL blog (she says with hesitant confidence).

So WELCOME. Get comfortable, tell your friends, check back every week, start your bets on how long this will last, do whatever you must, but DO come back.

Here I will be posting samples of my art, tutorials, contests and more...stay tuned!