Our trip to the north.

Our trip to Pennsylvania was way too short, but I guess that's always the case when you have fun.  I'm not really sure what to say about it other than we covered a lot of ground in just a few days, my brother is hilarious and therefore fun to be around, southern hospitality and manners really are limited to the south, and I wish my brother and his girlfriend lived closer.

On Saturday we went down to Baltimore to explore the city a little and go to the aquarium, which I hadn't been to in over 10 years!  It's incredible how quickly time passes when you're an adult.  I took some pictures with a little juice box camera as well, and those are the pictures I'm most looking forward to seeing!

Other than that, it's back to work, work, work for me.  Oh, and laundry.  How have you been?

If Valentine were alive.

Sometimes, while I'm drawing my women, I can't help but think of them as real people; what do they wear, where do they live, how do they decorate their house, what does their voice sound like...  I thought maybe it would be fun to bring them to life in a way by showing a little bit of who I think they'd be!

This is Valentine (because of the pink heart on her lips).  One thing I know about her is that she's classy.  I can see her being the type of girl to never leave the house with her hair in a ponytail, the type to always wear heels, and they type to always have (and know how to do) glamorous makeup.  I don't think she will ever get married, but instead, be a chronic dater since she's the type of girl every man wants.  Here's what I think she'd wear on a date with a sophisticated and gorgeous well-to-do man...

These items can be found here:  Valentine print, Dress, Hat, Cape, Ring, Shoes.

When you're drawing or painting, do you ever imagine the world in which that person, landscape, or whatever the subject is, exists?

Happy hatch day!

Happy Hatch Day to my beautiful, silly, playful, smart, loving, amazing baby, Flojo!  Today is Flojo's 8th hatch day and I plan to give her all the treats she wants.  I'd say I also plan to give her all the kisses she wants plus some, but that's actually every day.  Here are some of the most stand out memories from these last eight years with my best friend...

1. When she was learning to fly, first she would take a little jump and flap her wings two or three times and seem so proud of herself even though she didn't go more than an inch or two; then a few days later, after she got the hang of flapping, she would do more flapping but end up going backwards.

2. The time (shortly after she was able to fly a foot or two) she quickly ran down Chris' arm, stole a marshmallow from his bowl of cereal and then flew with her stolen loot toward her cage.  Until then we had no idea she could be so quick!

3. We were still hand feeding her when Easter came, so Chris put those little pastel plastic Easter eggs around her with one opened so it looked like she'd just hatched (second picture in this post).

4. The time she had to have Marvel Aid (bird medicine) which kept her up the ENTIRE night climbing loops in her cage, and every time she got to the top of her cage during a loop, she'd hang upside down with one foot, squeak a few times, then continue the loop.  It's was a sleepless night, but she was feeling back to her old self in the morning!

5. Each and every time she falls asleep snuggled against my chest, every time she quietly whispers to me and rubs her cheek against mine, every time she gives me one of her sweet kisses, each time I get to rub her feathers and watch her eyes get sleepy, and every morning I get to wake up and see her beautiful face light up when she sees me.

Helping those who need it.

From time to time I like to donate a percentage of sales to a charity or organization I feel strongly about.  To date it's been animal welfare organizations as I've always thought of myself as an animal person, and when it came to helping, I was of the mindset that people could help themselves but animals could not.  I will be an animal person for as long as I live, but as I get older, I find myself more sympathetic, empathetic, and sensitive.  More and more, human rights and well-being issues have weighed heavily on my mind, and like all the animals I want to gather up and help, I've found myself wishing I could just give each person that needs it a hug, a home, love, food, treatment, and whatever it is they need to succeed.  After watching The Released | Frontline on Netflix over the weekend, I felt compelled to do more than sit on my sofa with moist eyes and a tight throat.

If you've not seen it, The Released examines the number of currently and previously incarcerated with serious mental illness, and the cycle of arrest, release, and re-arrest that so often is the case when adequate treatment, medication, and support isn't readily available. The statistics are daunting, and the reality - depressing.  I feel so strongly about people like the ones I watched in The Released receiving the help they need to have a chance at breaking the cycle.  I know that I can't rectify the situation, but I want to feel like I'm not just sitting idly by while others are struggling.  So for the next month, I'm donating 10% of all sales from both my art shop and my jewelry shop to Refuge of Hope, an organization providing shelter, food, and access to community health care services for people like those in The Released, the homeless, and others who are struggling to get by.

This isn't a sales pitch by any means, but any time I'm donating a portion of sales to a worthy cause, I just want to be sure to share so you'll know who you're helping when buying from my shops!

The Most Dangerous Game

Forget what you may have heard, the most dangerous game is not just the title of a book, but more importantly, it's how I like to refer to browsing my Etsy favorites; specifically when my blood thirsty e-shopping appetite is not met or exceeded by the size of my wallet.  So here's to hoping you'll talk me off a proverbial cliff because I really want these...

Find these beauties here (from the top): Olas Attic, EvieOlu, CeramicSoul, Elis Cooke, Ordinary Mommy, patkas, Amy Robson Jewellery, Cathy Cullis, One Forty Three

What are some things you've been wanting lately, and do you have the willpower to simply window shop?

I hope you guys have a good weekend!  Tonight I'll be in the company of six other women for dinner and dancing and I'm sure a good time in honor of my friend Kristin's birthday!  I'm sure I'll be sleeping in pretty late on Saturday morning (assuming Flojo will allow it)...


Lately I've been thinking about my blog, but not actually doing anything with it.  I haven't been inspired to post anything lately, and honestly, I've been living life more lately rather than stressing over what I should post, when I should post, and how many people will read it.  I have to be honest, it's been refreshing.  Hannah and I had an almost 4 hour lunch yesterday during which we talked about how with instagram, twitter, facebook, etc., you almost don't need to blog anymore because people can keep up with you in real time.  It's so true.

I've been working on getting some new prints made, and with new prints comes more to organize (and I'm kind of running out of room with my current system).  I can't quite explain why making new prints gets me so giddy, BUT IT DOES!  Also, just a little FYI if you're in the market for new art, I'm having a 20% off sale on ALL 8.5"x11" and 11"x17" prints in my shop this week if you use the code FEBRUARY20 during checkout!

Also, speaking of Hannah, she made this to do notebook, as if she knew exactly how bad I am at time management and procrastination.  From now on I vow to keep this either by my laptop (where I tend to make most of my notes that end up getting lost) or in my bag so I have no excuse not to get work done!  Oh, and check out her shop, she makes really pretty cards, notebooks, and paper goods.

I know I've shared a picture before of Flojo leaning headfirst into a jar of peanut butter, but I don't think I've ever tried to explain just how much she LOVES granola.  Chris made two batches of granola yesterday (amazing man, right?) and it didn't go unnoticed.  When Flojo eats something she thoroughly enjoys, she tends to quietly talk and squeak while she eats.  It's always cute, and if you can imagine it, it's even cuter when it's echoed as she's talking and eating with her head inside a glass cookie jar filled with granola!