Saturday, April 12, 2014

When Quartz Becomes Stars and Serendipity Visits ~

Serendipity ~
I've always loved that word and the idea of it.

I stumbled across a serendipitous occurrence just this morning.

So, I finished a new art piece last night and listed it in my Zibbet Shop.

It's the first piece I've ever created that is in the night-time.

"Let's Gather The Stars"

The illustration is based on 2 characters from my book named Alice and Junie.

"Alice and Junie are gathering stars on this clear and warm April night. Junie is curious and ready to collect so many stars in her wooden bucket. She hesitates, but Alice assures her that all is well and the collecting night is upon them. Junie knows that tomorrow morning when she wakes, she will have a bucket full of wishes. What will she wish for?"

 I am sort of in love with the idea of star collecting. Gathering stars to distribute wishes to friends and loved ones.

Anyway...I created this piece with my little cottage in Northwest Arkansas in mind.

It was an amazing  wonderland filled with colorful turtles, chipmunks, wild honeysuckle and quartz.

We had these spectacular thunderstorms in the springtime and the rain would pound the ground so hard that the quartz would come to the top of the dirt ~

My boys were little at the time ~ 
(Sorry about the matching outfits, guys)

and we would go outside the morning after a storm,
buckets in hand,
and collect the quartz for wish making.

My new piece was based on our quartz gathering.
Only....Alice and Junie gather stars for wish making.

You're probably wondering where the serendipity is in all of this, right?

Well, this morning I received a note from an art friend/jewelry maker.
We only recently became friends through facebook.

After we met, I found out she grew up in the area near my little cottage.

She creates lovely pieces of jewelry and was very inspired by the quartz and fossils and rocks in that Northwest Arkansas region.

So, I received a note from my friend saying she wanted to buy this new piece.
She had no idea that the piece was inspired by the region that we both grew to love so much.

She had no idea that the star gathering in this new piece had anything to do with our quartz gathering.

Yet, for some reason, she was drawn to the new art.

She bought it immediately.

I am over the moon happy to know that she is the one who will love this art.
That she knows how the hills of Fayetteville smell after a thunderstorm.

That we share the knowledge of the quartz and fossils and secret treasures that can be found in nature in that particular region.

This made me happy today.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Always Remember It's Only Temporary ~

I am so scattered these days.
Most times, I can't even remember what day it is.
Having my husband home everyday has caused me to lose track of my days.
Is it Monday?
Or Thursday?
Or, maybe it's Saturday.

While he works feverishly searching for jobs 10 to 12 hours a day ~
I find myself with almost nothing to do at all.
Other than worry.

I try to remember that this current unemployment situation is only temporary.
It is, isn't it?
Only temporary?

Sometimes it feels like a never-ending whirlwind of panic and fear.'s only temporary.
Just another piece of our story.
Another valley to crawl through.

There are bad days and better days.
I find myself focusing on the outside world.

The freedom of birds ~

No money worries.
No bills.
Flying wherever your tiny brain takes you.
Most likely to a food source ~ 

Friends all around ~ 

Gathering and buzzing from flower to flower.
No worries of loss or homelessness ~ 

Building a nest for your family.
This pair of Mourning Doves work together.
Focused on the perfect stick or twig to add to their home.
No mortgage company breathing down their feathery necks ~ 

Sometimes, all I can see is black.
Then, on another day, I am reminded of purple ~

Jewel tones that have the power to lighten your heart.
If only for a flash of a moment ~ 

My studio eases my mind.
Sometimes ~

Creating illustrations allows me to escape.
For awhile.

I finished a piece last night.
And....I like it.

This is the second story illustration based on Mayor Ricarda.

 She is very powerful and protects Gerushia's World with a passion. But, even Mayor Ricarda needs some down-time. So, she joined a Monday morning book club. Just by the creek is a lovely spot to read and talk to other like-minded book lovers.

This piece is listed in my Zibbet Shop.
Finishing a new piece always gives me hope.
The possibility of a bit of money coming in.
Maybe even making someone else happy by offering my art.

There are also a lot of other rabbity pieces in my Shop.

So, I've created a coupon code for all things rabbity in my Zibbet shop, 
just in time for Easter delivery. 

Simply use coupon code RabbityLove at checkout to receive 25% off any piece of art that includes a rabbit. The coupon code is good only through Sunday, April 13th. This includes prints and originals.

I can hear my husband in the distance right now...
Almost constantly, it seems.
He doesn't realize it.
Sighs of exhaustion.
Waiting for positive news.
Every single day.

So....we wait.
He networks and job searches.

I wander and pace and envy the birds.

But, we still manage to get up and start over every morning.
That must mean something, right?

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Friday, March 28, 2014

Lovely Lazy Days And A Half Crazy Sale ~

Do you love lazy days?

I adore them.

Especially in early Springtime.

Entering into our 4th month of unemployment, I am very focused on money~
And that makes me very sad.
But I am enjoying the longer, lazy days.

I don't like money very much.
It seems more inclined to do things TO a person instead of FOR a person.
But, the reality is....we need it.

While my heart is focused on blossoms and puppies and hummingbirds and art, my head is focused on survival.

So....I am having a crazy sale.
50% off storewide in both of my shops.

Of course, we desperately need the money.
My head tells me this and my heart believes it.

My Zibbet Shop does not require a coupon code.
The prices area marked for you.
Isn't that cool?  I love that!

If you prefer my Etsy Shop you can use coupon Code HALFCRAZY to receive 50% off.

This includes all my newest originals:

3 framed pieces:

And of course....all my prints too.

This is also a great time to purchase for Easter.
I have a large inventory of rabbity art!

So, while this sale is going on, I am going to look forward...

Appreciate the small stuff.

Hungry hummingbirds are visiting lately ~ 

This little one is patiently waiting for his turn at the feeder.
Quietly perched on a branch above ~

The puppies walk with me...
Investigating the boysenberries ~ 

Smelling the wildflowers ~ 

Playing peek-a-boo ~

Posing for selfies ~ 

Admiring the early blue blossoms in my backyard wildflower garden ~ 

Crazy mockingbird landed on this pretty lupine and broke the stem.
So it is now residing safely in a vase ~ 

Lazy days find me rummaging through boxes of old treasures and toys.
Poppin' and Poppie were my favorites!

Wonderfully quiet days in the studio.
Messy desk and Springtime shadows ~ 

 While we wait for good news and send out countless resumes every day,
we savor our Everydays.

Time passes in a flash, doesn't it seem so?
As terrifying as it is to be living with an unstable future, each day still needs to be appreciated.  

We wake up every morning with a heaviness in our bodies.
Fearful of unemployment and the lack of jobs to be had in our region.
Wondering and hoping that maybe today will finally be the day that someone says "you're hired."

But, we're still alive.
Someday, this will be a part of our past.
Another layer in our life.

It is scary, but it won't devour us.

Flowers still bloom.
Puppies still play.
Our family is still together.
Job or no job...

We Are Still Alive.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Little Hints of Springtime ~ Just What I Need.

I know.
I know it's been a very long time since my last visit.

With life so full of worry and the fear over my husband's loss of employment, I just haven't had the heart to visit.

The future is always a mystery, really.
Isn't it?
Add to that an unexpected lay-off and it can be overwhelming.

But you know what?  I can't control any of that.
I can't force a company to hire my husband.
I can't live my life in constant worry.

What I can control is my own peace.
My own contentment.

Finding and noticing little hints of springtime.
Plum blossoms are making an early appearance this year ~ 

Just down the path, the nectarine blossoms are early as well ~ 

These are the jewels that keep me hopeful.

Purples ~

Whites ~

Wildflower Greens ~

Tiny new flowers ~

Waiting for this baby bud to become a lovely blue lupine ~

There is healing to be had in a garden ~

Literal healing.
This aloe has been in my garden for many years.
My daughter transplanted it as a single pup ~

We have used it to heal cuts,
soothe burns
and cool stings.

Last year was the first time it gifted us with a bloom.
One single stalk.

This year, it is full of future blooms.
I never had much hope that it would flower.

Yet, all these years later,
after years of healing our wounds, it is now gifting us with beauty as well.

Unexpected and quiet.

The paths throughout my little garden offer 
buzzing bees 
future pies.

Boysenberries ~ 

We harvest most of the berries, but I am happy to share with the birds.

I share the berries and nectarines with many feathered friends,
but, I offer them their own food too ~ 

Every year around March 15th, we are visited by a male Oriole ~ 
(This photo is a few years old)

I always make sure to hang a feeder before I hear or see him ~

It is filled with nectar and birdberry jelly and orange slices.
An Oriole feast ~ 

Once he's established his place, he will bring his wife.

Then, they'll build a nest and in a couple of months, they will bring 2 young Orioles to the feeder.

They leave at the end of August.

I can hear the male up on my hill right now.

This garden is for the family,
pups included.

They have green grass to enjoy ~ 

And a concrete patio where they like to wrestle ~

and snarl ~ 

and romp ~

These puppies have no idea what money is.
They don't worry about unemployment...
or where their next meal is coming from.
They just simply live.

We can all take a lesson from the puppies.
Because, really, no amount of worrying is going to change things.
We just have to keep living each day in the best way we can.

In our garden.
With our family.

In my studio ~ 

I find a peace here too.
Different than the peace I find in my garden,
but equally as heartfelt and important.

Throughout this unexpected lay-off, I have been working and listing items in both my Etsy Shop and my Zibbet Shop.

This is my newest piece:

Some of you may know (or not) that I am writing a fairy tale called "Gerushia's New World." 
Many of my art pieces are character illustrations for my book. 
Gerushia's World is a large and dreamy place with a magical cast of family and folk.

This is "Ricarda." She is the Mayor of Gerushia's World. She is kind and understanding. But, if anyone tries to harm her world, she is fierce and will fight with her whole heart to save her land and her folk.

The original is listed right here in My Etsy Shop.

Also, since last time we met, I have listed the original piece I created for the book "The Age of Saints: An Illustrated Guide to the Saints of Wales."

I have been busy listing so many new items since last we met.

These 3 framed pieces were on loan and on display for months. 
I finally have them home again and I have listed them framed:

UPDATE:  These 3 framed pieces are 50% off right now in my Zibbet shop.


So, while we wait for the day that someone says 
"You're Hired"
I keep busy.

In the garden and around the house.

While my framed pieces wait to find a home, I keep them safely out of harm's way .

A frame inside a frame.
A vintage window frame ~ 

Is March the proper time to keep lovely orange pumpkins in the dining room?

I think every day is a great day for a pumpkin stack!

Surrounding myself with simple things that make life colorful.

Happy at heart even with worry in mind.

Until Next Time:
Gerushia's New World

P.S.  With almost 4 months of joblessness under our belts, money is scarce.  If it hadn't been for the Go Fund Me started by a friend of mine, we wouldn't have made it this far.  It allowed us to make 2 mortgage payments and keep groceries in the house.  But, the donations have slowed and things are beyond tight right now.  I won't ask for donations because I am tremendously embarrassed over the whole process, BUT, here is the link ~

Feel free to share it on your blogs or facebooks or twitters etc.  My family and I are overwhelmed with the generosity and kindness shown by so many.