Right on, son! Write on!
Oh, the wailing and gnashing of teeth that went on before this gem was written! My son, who is 15 and a sophomore in high school, had an assignment to write a sonnet. He was not pleased. We wrangled about it a bit - why do I have to write one? They're stupid! I CAN'T! You get the idea. So our words of encouragement were something along the lines of have fun with it. He didn't believe it could be done, until he did it!
Right on, son! Write on!
I've been trying to keep the paintbrushes moving this year. I still have a hard time with my day-job interfering with my painting, though. Someday I'll retire and devote my efforts into a more focused body of work.
Many of these - most of these - are sketches. Just very quick pieces that are fun to do and also keep me in touch with the brush. I've found that if I don't paint or draw or doodle for long stretches of time (I'm talking like a week or two), then I get a bit grumpy. My family has graciously allowed me space to doodle. They're awesome that way.
Ever so truly yours,
I thought I'd have her forever. But off to BYU Idaho she goes! She's very excited and very nervous too. I think she'll do well. She is bright and fun and eager to learn. I won't even mention she's absolutely beautiful. I will miss her. Good thing there's a wonderful invention called a phone! LOL Yeah, I'm feeling just a touch melodramatic <insert wry grin here>.
This is the same photo I used to make a place holder for my lotions and such. I just like it so much that it's still there. I keep putting the re-vamping on the back burner, but it will eventually happy.
I've been keeping busy. We all have, I'm sure! Life can be hectic and fast paced and exciting and full of unexpected twists and turns. Sometimes I think parts of my life would qualify for some good content in a sci-fi novel or murder/mystery. Ha! Others would be good content if you wanted to read out loud to get your kids to go to sleep right now.
The T-shirt above is just one design I've been working on lately. This is for Pauline Baird Jones, who is near and dear to my heart. She's definitely one of my favorite authors. Next month (that's April), she'll be in Las Vegas at the Romantic Times authors' convention. Be sure to stop by and say hello! You may even score one of the T-shirts, lip balms or Space Rocks soap that I've been working on for her. Have a great time, and be sure to let her know who sent you!
Christmas is a big deal in our home. Our family traditions include putting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving. Christmas music makes its debut at the same time. We have a secret recipe for home-made hot chocolate mix that we give out to neighbors as gifts. Sometimes our close-by extended family will get some too.
I truly believe in giving handmade gifts rather than going on the shopping spree at the mall. I so much prefer handcrafted gifts to the homogenized, perfectly exact sameness of mass-produced junk. I'm not sure where the beginnings of that tradition come from, maybe just from being poor come December, maybe from being willing to make something less than perfect. I'm not sure. I am sure a lot of thought and effort and love goes into each gift.
For example, the above painting is going to my daughter's home this month. It's not perfect, but I think she'll really like it. I painted this from a photo my brother-in-law, Greg L. Jones, took a few years back. It's a family hunting for clams. I liked how peaceful the water looks and how together the family feels.
And that is how Christmas is at our house. Peaceful in our activities, together in our efforts. We're not perfect, not by a long shot, but each Christmas we try to get a little better at doing the things that count.
Have a lovely, blessed Christmas season!
Zombie Zoaps are in the mold right now. Let me tell you, my house smells fantastic! This photo above is from the Zombie Fun Run project I did last year for the Pebbles Beach Fire Department. Their run was in October, but it takes time to get soap cured, cut, and packaged. This one was "Mangled Mango" and it was a hit! This year, I'm stirring the pot with Zombie Znot, Braaiiinz, and Crazy Coconut & Leprous Lemongrass so far. I may add another couple of fragrances just for fun. The Zombie Znot is appropriately green and grody looking. Ha! As are the Braaaiinz and CC&LL.
I'll post photos of the cut soaps soon.
It has been a very long time since I've updated my blog. Life got crazy and then I suddenly found myself feeling old and sometimes tired. And still life goes on! You may have noticed some changes in product pages and a new page - my Graphic Designs page.
What did I do for the very long two years that I didn't post one single blog entry? School. Life. School. Work. And sometimes more life. Including fun and experimenting with my natural creativity. Ya just can't keep a creative soul down for too long. It doesn't happen.
School was fun and interesting and a huge growing experience. I learned a lot. I learned about InDesign and Illustrator, I learned all about graphic design, and I re-ignited my love and passion for plain ol' art. I'll even share some of my creations here later. But I found a new love too - watercolor.
So now I have a ton of new material to report on.
And I have you to thank too. Thanks for sticking with me through the years! You've meant so much to me, kept me going! Oh, how I appreciate all the encouragement and love and comments and thank you for loving my soaps and lip goods!
Ten. That's not a real big number, right? Ten. Ten percent. Ten percent grade. Okay, now we're getting a bit nuts. What's really nuts is trying to drive up an unpaved, primitive road at a ten percent grade on the side of a mountain. But, oh, it was so beautiful!
Looking up into the clouds. Beginning the goat trail.
My daughter got out of the vehicle and insisted it was more sane to walk up (and down) this mountain. I wanted to agree, but I was stuck driving. With no way to really turn around. Yet. When we did find a spot to turn our beast around, this is what we saw.
See. Told ya it was worth it!
If I were to write an essay for my elementary teacher, like they always seemed to ask each new school year, about how I spent my summer, I'd have to give her some pictures instead. Little pictures, as my daughter says. Here's one...
The mountains at the bottom are the backyard view from my oldest's home in Colorado. Gorgeous mountains. The eyes are my youngest daughter's. Gorgeous eyes. The book is my sister-in-law's. Very intense romantic suspense.
This is one of about 10 (I'm sure it was more) from her backlist that she re-did since she just recently went indie. We worked really hard updating everything, doing edits, new covers, and she worked her tail off promoting.
This book is available at Amazon for a steal of a price at $3.99.
I was describing how I make soap to one of my graphic arts instructors. He said, "Man, it sounds like a science experiment!" It does, too. Safety equipment, precise measurements of ingredients, exothermic reactions. It's all there and way cool.
I've been putting all this equipment to good use, too. Coming up next is Pineapple Cilantro & Valencia Orange and Lemon Zinger. Both smell fab. Ahhhhh....
I used some gold mica to make the yellow color here. It's amazing while wet, and I wish I could keep the transparency that wet soap has, but that's an entirely different chemical reaction. So I take pictures and just enjoy the moment.
You should smell my kitchen! So good!
This one's the Pineapple Cilantro & Valencia Orange. I just close my eyes and breathe deeply.
The Lemon Zinger is amazing too. Again, I used gold mica to make swirls, and they are beautiful while wet, not as dramatic when fully cured. The fragrance is pure summertime ~ lemonade and a touch of sandalwood. It sounds weird, I know, but it works! This is probably going to be a favorite for me this summer.
Just don't tell the other soaps...they think they're the favorite, which they are, just not today.
Ana lives in a desert in the Big Horn Basin of Wyoming with her husband, son, a stinky dog and a fat cat, all of whom alternately drive her nuts and keep her sane. She allows cats to come and go (mostly she allows them to come and her husband allows them to go) as they please. Sometimes she'll have other farm-type animals show up too. Ana loves creating stuff and sharing her creations. Alas, she's not so great at writing in third person. Ah, well...