Peace :)

My "Peace, Love, Dove" painting is an acrylic on paper & the print is available HERE.
I love the bright colors in this piece but also want to do a more muted version by altering the colors digitally. It's another item on my ever growing and hardly shrinking to-do list! I do love having lots to do...I am definitely never bored :)

Have a wonderful holiday season & a Happy New Year! Peace to everyone! Be safe & have fun!


New in my shop...Snowman fill in the blank TK YOU Notes!

I have turned my snowman into an adorable Fill-in-the-blank note card for kids!
Matching return address labels also included :)

Can be personalized......"Love, Annie" at the bottom...etc.


Happy Hanukah!

Hanukah is here! I never know when it is or how to spell it :) My kids are having fun with making latkes, playing dreidel, visiting family and opening gifts, of course!

Hope yours is going well too & hope your Christmas shopping is going well :)



OK, this is not my best work but I don't have any turkey artwork at all. So, I made you the classic hand-trace-turkey! Remember tracing your hand when you were little to make one?

Aside from being thankful for my family, good health, roof over our head, food on the table, I'm also thankful that I actually get to be with my family during the holidays.

Ten years ago I worked at a TV station which was open 24/7 so working holidays was a given. One year I had to work on Thanksgiving and I remember how sad and left-out I felt as I drove my 63 mile commute passing tons of families driving in their cars to their Thanksgiving destinations. I knew they were going to be with their family and friends and I would be at my job which I didn't like (it was beyond non-productive). Each Thanksgiving I think about that day and how left-out & homesick I felt & appreciate every holiday that I am able to spend with my family.

My heart goes out to those in the Military who cannot be with their own families during the holidays. I think about it from each side...from the soldier who is out there in rough conditions, devoting and risking their lives for us...to their parents, sisters, brothers, grandparents, kids, and how they wish they could be with their loved one.

I am so Thankful for those men and women & I hope they can soon return home and be with their families.


Our Halloween Party...

It was a success! My husband actually suggested that we invite our kids classmates so we can have a big blow out next year. We will see if that happens :) I would love to invite everyone but just wanted it small this year...so, we kept it to playdate kids only. We ended up with 9 kids as 2 were sick and 1 fell asleep after his morning soccer match. Kids are so cute!

We made some fun snacks...I did not get many pictures as we were just too busy!

  1. Family Fun idea...Spider Cupcakes! We had a hard time finding black shoestring licorice for the legs. Eyes are mini marshmallows, centers were dabs of frosting. The kids all decorated their own for an after lunch treat.
  2. Yummy assortment of Halloween OREOs, classic chocolate sugar cookies and brownies.
  3. Family Fun idea...Apple Bites with almond slivers for teeth.
  4. Family Fun idea...Cheese Finger Food with apple piece for nail.
There were so many wonderful snack ideas that it was so hard to narrow down :)



Happy Halloween, Everyone! What will your costume be this year? My kids will be a Ninja, a Duck, and my baby will just have dog/cat ears on.

My kids had their costume parades at their schools today & I saw some cute ones! I love when people take their time to make something really unique. Me on the other hand, did store-bought again! Finding the time to actually make a costume is not even in my mind at this time :)

Anyway, here are the cute costumes I saw. I took pictures but have to check them before I post them. They are not my kids so I want to make sure you can't see their faces.

Spaghetti & Meatballs...............Spaghetti was made from the thick strings of a mop.
Not sure what the meatballs were made of. He just had
the food sewn onto his regular clothes in splatters everywhere.

Jellyfish......................................This girl had a mushroom-type hat on with pretty sparkly streamers hanging down. She also wore a matching aqua-ish top and pants.

Paper Food Store Bag.................This girl wore a huge brown paper bag and had carton of eggs, and other food boxes popping out of the top where her shoulders were.

OK, off to finish prepping for our Halloween Party tomorrow!

Have a great one :)


Babies are so cute...

Babies are so cute & sweet :) I love when they are swaddled too! Just like a little burrito :)

Above is my Swaddled Baby Return Address Labels that I offer in my ETSY shop. Below are different versions. These are great on envelopes when mailing Birth Announcements and Thank You notes for all those baby gifts.


So happy it's Friday! It is supposed to rain tomorrow but that's OK. The rain makes the colors of the fall leaves so brilliant. I love the Fall...the cool crisp air is wonderfully refreshing.

Have a great weekend!

Sweet & little Spicy snack...

I just had to share this surprising little treat with you...

I was at a party & my friend had these out for some appetizers. Ignore my lovely paper plate. At the party, each ingredient was in a their own nice glass dish so you could assemble them yourself.

Anyway, they are sooo yummy! I wasn't sure about a Pepper & Onion Relish but it was so sweet with a little spicy kick to it. The Relish is from Harry & David.




A professor stood before his Philosophy class and had some items in front of him.
When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He then asked the students if the jar was full.
They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar.
He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.
He then asked the students again if the jar was full.
They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.
Of course, the sand filled up everything else.
He asked once more if the jar was full.
The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and
poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand.
The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided,
"I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

"The golf balls are the important things - your God, family, your children, your health, your friends, and your favorite passions -

Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house, and your car.

"The sand is everything else--the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued,
"there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

"The same goes for life.

"If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

"Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Play with your children.
"Take time to get medical checkups.
"Take your partner out to dinner.
"Play another 18.
"There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

"Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter..

"Set your priorities.
"The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked.

"It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a cup of coffee with a friend."


Can I finally pull off a Halloween party?

Like my little Happy Spider?

Ever since my little boy was 6 months old (he's now 6 years old) I have been wanting to throw a Halloween party. Between 2 moves, 2 more pregnancies, my lovely "organization skills" and life in general, it never happened. Also, the first year was a waste because why would I throw a Halloween party for a 6 month old in the first place? We could have done it for the adults to socialize and joy of seeing their little ones in costumes but we didn't know many people in our area then.

Anyway, we are officially having a Halloween party this year! Wish me luck in that it goes smoothly and that the kids have fun! I always put way too much pressure on myself when it comes to parties. I stopped having them before I turned 10 as I was always afraid that no one would show...Or, worse yet that they would show and they would not have any fun. Can you believe I thought like that so early on? I was painfully shy & insecure as a kid and am so glad I'm not like that now. Well, at least not most of the time :) I want my kids to grow up secure and confident!

OK, baby is crying so I have to go. Enjoy your day!


OK, I know it's early but here are C'mas Labels!

I know it's only the end of September but these labels were such a hit last year that I thought I would list them earlier this year. I just had my first sale of these so I guess it may not be too early to list!

These labels add a festive touch to your outgoing mail. Or, you can have them printed with another message such as, "Happy Holiday's from the Smith Family" and use them on gifts.

You can see them HERE.


Painting nearly finished

Here is a painting in progress. Not quite done with it yet. I have been drawn to birds this year for some reason. I really want to get new work into my ETSY shop. Hopefully in the next week or so as my time will be freeing up a bit more.

Have a great weekend!


Flowers From a Friend

A friend of mine gave me some flowers as a thank you for watching her kids while she had a doctor's appointment. I placed them on my kitchen counter and took some shots. My countertop gives a nice grainy feel to the background.


Kids + Deck equals this must have!

The best $145ish ever spent! We had a gate put on our deck when it was built a few summers ago. I never would have thought of it until I saw it at a friend's house. It is so great to keep my little one from falling down the steps. The deck is off the kitchen so I close the gate and let them hang out & blow bubbles while I do dishes. I don't have to worry about the little guy falling and I can keep an eye on them the whole time. Plus, I leave the door open from the house to the deck so I can hear them as well.

***Tip*** Get one that has a key lock also. My 2 year old nephew at the time figured out how to unlatch the gate in 2 seconds flat! If you lock it with the key the latch will not open :)

Too Early for Halloween Cupcakes?

Yummm! My parents visited this weekend and made some sugary sweet cupcakes with Halloween decorations on them. I can't think of anything sweeter than a frosted cupcake :)


My Camera

I just love turning on my camera...

and finding all the random pictures...
...my kids take :)


Chalk Drawings on the Driveway

A favorite thing for my kids to do is to ride their bikes on a "road" I drew with chalk. Along the way I do drawings of ducks, houses, ice cream shoppe so they can pretend to feed the ducks & get ice cream.

Stop signs are a fun addition as they like to stop when they see it.

Simple little drawings = lots of fun & imaginative play for the kids.


You Never Know...

This is a little Soccer Chick (without wording. click pic above to see with wording) design I have had up at CafePress.com for almost 2 years. I actually have about 10 images on their site but this is the only image that sells. The only other image that sold was a Soccer Angel. You never know what people are going to like :)


Twittering more than blogging...sorry!

Since my time at the computer occurs in spurts...I have been twittering much more than blogging lately. If you would like to follow me on Twitter then click HERE.

I think a good idea would be to schedule a blogging time into my day or week. Once I get the kids off to school this week then I will work on that.

Hope everyone is having a lovely day....In the meantime, enjoy the little octopus painting I did a while back :)


Too Hot & Humid

It's so HOT & HuMiD...still! Anyone else looking forward to the Fall?
I am craving the brisk days where we can go outside all day & be able to breathe crisp, fresh air!


Pencil Sketch from College

Wow! This is a pencil sketch I did way back in 1996. It was a picture of a girl in our dorm when she was a baby. I added my teddy bear to the sketch.


This is an ink illustration I did in the late 90's. Unfortunately, it pretty much illustrates what the kids did most of the day. Actually, my oldest was at camp for 5 busy hours so I shouldn't feel too bad. My 1 year old is just happy playing around the house. My 4 year old though could have used some more outdoor time today...But, keeping my little guy from running into the street took twice as much energy in this heat.

Oh well, I'm learning not to feel guilty or bad about having some low-key days. Sometimes it's nice to hang around the house (in the a/c) and get some things done while the kids play.

It's now 9:34 p.m. and they are all asleep. I'm going to finalize some artwork for my submission on Monday. So far, I only have 1 image complete! Usually I send in anywhere from 7 - 20 so I better get working. Bye!


As I mentioned in the post below this one...This is how the original "Sleeping Cat" painting looks. Below is a more muted version that was altered in Photoshop.

Out of curiosity, which one do you prefer?
This is a painting of a sleeping cat done in acrylics. The bold colors were altered to these muted ones in Photoshop. The original painting is above so you can see the difference. I just love to work with the effects in photoshop to give my are a different mood or look.


Crabby Label

I am getting back into making custom address labels. Here is a recent one I did. A whimsical little crab :)

Original Owl Sketch

Here's a little original owl sketch I just posted on etsy.
I was in the mood to sketch a whimsical owl.
Thinking of trying to colorize him in photoshop.
His tummy is calling out for rainbow colors!


Just one of those days...

It's almost 10 pm & the house is quiet. I usually have tons of patience to spare but today I was running out. Between potty training issues, kids arguing when they normally don't, and a wonderful temper tantrum in the store by my 6 year old (I thought kids were done w/ tantrums by 6) I felt drained. It was a perfect storm of events that just sucked the energy out of me.

At the days end, I had the kids push themselves on the swing while I hung out on the deck & blew bubbles with my 1 year old. Anyway, glad there is peace & quiet in the house once again :)

Hope your day was great!


My little guy is falling asleep in my arms right now..so sweet! I'll put him down & then work on some art w/ my other 2. I know we parents hear this all the time but I'll say it again.......

"Cherish & enjoy the times you have w/ your kids as they grow up so fast. Before you know it they will be in school & then time will really fly. Then, in a blink they are getting their drivers license, off to college, married, etc. etc."

OK, I've said my piece. Enjoy your day everone!


My 4 year old girl asks me all day long for a kitten. She says, "I wish for a kitten on a star, I wish on my Birthday candle, I dream about kitties and I still don't have one." Maybe when she is older.


2 New Sketches up at Etsy

Hi, I am listing on ETSY again after a long hiatus!
Feels good to create again.

Here is a sketch I have listed.

More to come :)


Owls in LoVe!

These are 3 little owl magnets I made out of polymer clay. They are hand formed & OOAK & will be listed in my etsy shop soon along with some art.


Back in the Air Conditioning...

Thank goodness for AC!

Just spent the day with the 3 kids at the outdoor shops. We finally got pictures taken...The picture to the left (my 2 with my Sis's kids) was taken nearly 3 years ago. My brother, a graphic artist, super-imposed my little girl in the wagon where she was supposed to be sitting (she was crying too much to be in the actual pic). He did a great job!

Today, I have 3 kids and my 1 year old made it into one picture before crying. Overall, the pics came out great.

I have friends that get pics done for each of their kids BD's and then for Easter & Christmas. That's like 2-4 x a year at least! I felt bad as it's been three years since we had them done and little kids change so much so quickly. What made me feel better is that I do take tons at home.

How often do you get pics done of your sweet kiddies?


Back in the Studio!

After adjusting to life with 3 kids, having surgery & a vacation I am now back at work on my art! New works will be posted soon on my ETSY shop.

I just love creating...Everything from painting, drawing, to jewelry & scrapbooking embellishments.

Outside weather is just gorgeous today so I'm off to enjoy it with my family. You do the same!