Thursday, April 17, 2014


There is a new painting in my shop,

a new man in my house,
(Josh turned 18 yesterday)

And one play-off win under our belts!
Go Pens!!!

Feeling lucky. 

Happy Easter everyone.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day Sale!

In order to take my mind of the large amounts
of money I just sent off to the IRS and Pa Dept of Revenue,
I am having a little sale in my Etsy shop.

Use promo code 
at checkout.

Thanks everybody!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Feeling a bit overwhelmed

Lots going on around here lately
and lots more to do.

I'm having trouble organizing my life, let alone 
organizing my thoughts enough to
write a blog post.
Although it would probably help.

For now I think I will just post a picture of this new little painting
that's in my Etsy shop.
Painting on the front.
Recipe on the back. 
Thanks Betty Crocker!

Anyway you can find it here.

Below is another new painting.
It's already sold, but I'll have prints very soon.

Oh and here's another idea I am trying to get my boys to embrace.
I was thinking Aaron could use his skills as a songwriter and Eli use what he's learning about graphic design
to open an Etsy shop with graphic posters based on Josie McQueen songs.
Maybe Josh will even want to add some original artwork.
Below are a few that I put together as examples.

All words from the song "Get Lost"

The monsters one is probably a bit childish, but I kinda like the other two.
Oh well, we'll see. 

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Simple Path

Nothing like a beautiful spring day,
 to remind us of all the everyday miracles
that we often take for granted.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Feeling Lucky

Just stopping by to let you 
know I'm having a bit of a sale in my Etsy shop.

Use coupon code 
at checkout to save 30% on your order.

Good thru Monday, March 17.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Out with the old. In with the new

When I sat down today to renew my expired prints I decided I should
finally make good on my promise to clean out the shop a little.

So after doing some math, I found that these are the ones that I
have spent more renewing than I have selling.
When they expire I will not be renewing them.
Some will be gone as early as next week,  some not until the end of the month.
Here's the list:
  1. Fresh Fallen Snow - expires 3/12
  2. Reach - expires 3/14
  3. Fistful of Flowers - expires 3/14
  4. Little Bunny Retro - expires 3/15
  5. Silly Love Songs - expires 3/16
  6. Tightrope Juggler - expires 3/13
  7. Sunshine Walks and Flowers - expires 3/23
  8. Hey Cupcake - expires 3/23
  9. Rose - Flowergirl - expires 3/23
  10. Innocence - expires 3/24
  11. Hope Whispers - expires 3/24
  12. The Queen - expires 3/25
  13. She Believed in Bunny Slippers - expires 3/27
  14. Simply Red - expires 3/29
  15. Goldilocks - expires 3/29
  16. Alice Alone - expires 3/29
  17. Thoughts of Spring - expires 3/29
There are a few that it makes me sad to retire. Like, "Hope Whispers" and "Fistful of Flowers".
But the numbers don't lie.  I will probably make a Pinterest set or something featuring the retired prints, just so I can go visit them from time to time. :)
  Sorry I didn't just put the photos in chronological order.
I'll do better next month.

As for the "in with the new", here a the new prints I added last week:

And even better, I am now selling my
Lena Lawson Counted Cross Stitch charts directly from my Etsy shop.
(you get a signed print or the original artwork with each print purchased)

I'll do a post with photos soon, but I've been sitting here too long
and I am supposed to be spring cleaning.
Which technically I was.  Kinda.

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Better Together… a Picmonkey tutorial (kinda)

Hey all!
Sorry for being away so long.

Still working on some stuff for my portfolio, but 
took a break the other day to paint this girl.
The original is sold and sent, but I do have the print available
in my Etsy shop here.

I promised people on FB the other
day to share how I take a crappy rough sketch and quickly turn
into something pretty enough to share.
I don't have Photoshop so this is what I do.

I take a sketch from one of my MANY
sketchbooks and

I scan it.
Then I go to Picmonkey.
I do have the upgrade which costs me $4.99 a month,
but it is well worth it, if only for adding
watermarks to my art.
I'm not sure if you need the upgrades for the things I am doing here or not, though.

Anyway, I open the sketch in edit.
Then I usually will go to effects which is
portrayed as a little magic wand… which is right. :)
Orton is my "go to" effect for quickly hiding some of the messiness/smudges 
which are in the background.
Use the fade slider to adjust.

Can you see a slight difference?
Maybe not. The watermark makes it hard.
Sorry, but the watermark is necessary.

Next I use the touch up tool
(lipstick icon)
to add color.  It gives a much softer look
than if you were to use draw.
I use "blush boost" for all the colors except for brown.
For that I use "spray tan".
Use the "brush size" and "fade" sliders as 

You'll need to save and reopen the blush boost each time you change colors.

I don't worry much about going outside the lines.
These are not for selling… just for sharing on FB without being embarrassed.

I can also add words to the sketch via Picmonkey
but, as you can see, no need for that here.

Lastly I go back and see if any fun textures might
make it look better.
(that's the little screen-y looking icon)

For this one I went to the "smudge"
section and used the pinkish-distressed
effect in the lower right corner.
But play around and find your favorite.
If you want to get rid of something you've 
saved there is a little back arrow button at the top.

Here's another using one of 
the edifice effects.
So that's it.
My very unprofessional, uninformed way of pretty-ing up a sketch.

You can easily spend the day on Picmonkey
making collages, adding frames and overlays...
Head on over and have some fun!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Did I say no more snowmen?

I guess I lied, a little.
is in my shop.

But really, this is the last one.
You can trust me.

More springlike paintings
coming soon.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Today things

Well, this is actually a "few days ago thing".
Painted this piece of cereal box art.

Then yesterday I painted this background on canvas
and attached the "few days ago art" to it with
double sided tape and some buttons.

It's called 
and it's in my Etsy shop now.
That's where the today comes in.
It's there.  Today. :)

But here are some real "today" things.

I added 
to my Society6 shop.

Then while I was on Picmonkey
resizing and adding watermarks
I added a little something else for fun.

I was thinking I should open a second Etsy shop
where I just add silly glasses and mustaches to 
all of my images.
Not really.

Here's another "today" thing I did while I was there.
Took this very messy sketch.

And turned it into this one.

And that's where my morning went.
The end.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Having a Lovely Time

I've been busy trying to make some 
good stuff for my licensing portfolio.

I'm getting lots of good advice and I think it's going well.

I took a bit of a break yesterday and made this little girl.

She's in my shop right now.
Hope you like her. 

I want to make a final plea to those who have not 
voted for /downloaded Aaron's song yet.

It's totally free and it's really good too.
It tells you just what to do.
Voting ends friday and right now they are in 5th place.
I think the top 8 + 2 judges picks get to compete, which means 
they are still in the running now, but some extra votes won't hurt.
And they'd love for you to have the song and to share it with friends.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Valentines and Thank Yous

Hi all!
A painted this little snowman last night.
He was inspired by all the wonderful primitive
dolls and the talented artists who make them.

is in my Etsy shop now.

Unfortunately, you I can't give you the frame.

Yep, still love it too much.  Sorry.

But I do have this freebie to offer up as a thank you.

I wanted to offer a little something as a thank you
to all who downloaded the Josie McQueen song
yesterday in support of my son and his band.

They are still in 2nd in the Pittsburgh voting.
You have 2 weeks to download the song.
You can only do it once per band and each download counts 
as a vote.
Oh yeah, the thank you.  
This little sheet of Valentines is yours for the taking.
Just grab it and print in on card stock or sticker paper.
Share with friends or use in your scrapbook.
(for personal use only and not for resale, of course).

So here is the link again for the voting/download.

And if you can't grab the Valentines here
go ahead over to my Facebook and you can download them.

I know it's not much, but it makes me feel
a little better about always asking for favors.
And you do get the free song!

Thank you so much!