New Shop Update

I'm listing away today to get all my new cameos up in the shop (about 15). Dare I say that these are my best batch yet. I'm loving using pencil instead of ink for the drawings and really enjoying using the acrylic paint in a watercolor style. The combination of the two have a dimension and texture to them that previous ones have not, they are indeed miniature paintings. I feel like I'm finding my niche more and more, which is always exciting for an artist. But still I'll probably read this in a few months and realize how naive I was back then...sigh.
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Custom Wedding and Anniversary Invitations and Announcements

This has been a project I've wanted to do for some time now. Digital artwork files for custom invitations are available in the shop now. This is the first installment, the brunette versions. I painted this for my own wedding invitations after not being able to find anything that suited my taste and budget. Being quite thrilled with the results, I want to offer digital files for others to use for their special day. The background color, names and date can be customized, I'll hand illustrate the names or message in the banner along with the date. I'll be adding new styles with different hair and skin colors gradually as I complete them. I'm excited about this, tell your friends!
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This Sums It Up

I have made considerable progress on the rest of the house, but it still seems full of boxes and bits. We are packing things into their proper spaces the first go around, instead of hiding boxes in the closet. This will force us to be thorough. My major goal for the weekend is so get my crafty area up and running. I'm itching to get back to creative mode!

On a side note, I'm sad that our neighbors, who are really friendly foodies and have chickens, are moving at the end of the month. Seemed to good to last, they brought us fresh eggs and cookies the first day we moved in. Sigh.

Post Edit: It's been rented!
I might be opening a can of worms on this one, but -
Any crafty people interested in a 3 bedroom house in the deeper SE of Portland for $875?
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In the middle of the dirty part

Moving into and cleaning a new place is both cathartic and gross. Your putting energy into your new home, but cleaning grime that belongs to strangers. I am so judgemental. I wonder outloud how people raised a child in this, then I proceed to clean the baseboards with a toothbrush. I find a great satisfaction in getting those darkened little corners sparkly clean, though I must look a tad bonkers. I truly can't wait till this in between part is through. We're not sleeping here yet, painting still needs to be done, the moving truck is scheduled for Friday with the furniture, we've been eating Subway sandwiches in abundance. I watched Martha a bit today (with a Subway sandwich in hand) and dreamed of cooking a meal in my new kitchen.
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A Short Hiatus

Hello all,

I'll be taking a short hiatus while moving into the new house, not sure how smoothly the internet transition will be. We get the keys tomorrow, I'm so excited to get in there and clean and begin hanging things on the wall. We are knee deep in boxes at the moment, sore and keep randomly expressly how much work moving is. We have friends moving back up here in a few weeks from another state and I find a guilty comfort in the fact that we are only moving a couple miles away. Sorry George and Natasha:) We know how much work it is and can't wait for you get up here!

P.S. IKEA is recalling their Iris and Alvine blinds, which I happen to have purchased for most of my windows in this house. Return them and you get a full refund! Better to start baby proofing before kids, so we don't have to replace things down the road. Okay, I admit I'm using this as an excuse to pick out new blinds or curtains:)

UPDATE: I took back all my blinds (eight total) and got a $110 gift card(!!!). I can't believe I paid that much, I was expected maybe $40 in credit, $60 if we were lucky. I felt like 110 bucks walking around shopping after eating a yummy lunch, drinking coffee and sharing a slice of apple cake with my sweet hubby.

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A Snag.

I know I promised a shop update a few days ago with the new cameos. Well, I had a horrific time pouring the resin this go around. Bottom line, it is just too cold, ideal temperature for good results is between 70-80 degrees and that is just not happening. The pantry in the new house shall be better conditions I hope. I'm grateful I did a test run and only lost 2 pieces.

I've been packing all day and going through boxes I never even unpacked when we moved here (terrible!). I blame it on the fact that we had all our belongings in storage for a full year while we were in England, it's amazing what you don't miss when you do that. When we moved in last year, after hauling all those boxes from another state, the last thing I wanted to do was open all of them and create more work for myself. I'd tackle a box or two every few months and it felt like Christmas.

Side note-
There is a stuffed squirrel animal that sits a top the piano in my studio, which I thought Jacob has had since he was a child. I was chatting with him and saying how special it'll be when he can give that little squirrel to our son or daughter one day. He looked at me and said "that's not mine, I thought it was yours"...Mr. Mystery Squirrel must've been left here by the last tenants. Amazing how in 2 seconds that squirrel went from being a sweet sentimental creature to a dirty strangers stuffed animal.

Amazing how much paper nonsense we accumulate! This is one of my "to be better at" things in life.
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Two New Paintings

I'm going to get some nice vintage frames for these and hang them in my living room. I want a small grouping of maybe four or five together. I'm keeping the originals of these, but I do have plans for prints and other items for the shop using these paintings. I'll let you know!

I like the new banner, a fresh look always feels good:)
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Custom Cameo of Chica the Chihuahua for Cyndie

One of my favorite gifts that I made this year for loved ones, has to be this cameo for a special family friend. Chica is an adored family member, so I knew the recipient would appreciate a painted little portrait of her canine darling for her sweater, and she'd wear it loud and proud.

I got the idea, got excited, then wasn't sure if I could execute it as well as what was in my head. I google image searched chihuahuas till I found one that looked like her and was positioned in a traditional portrait pose. I love the formal bend at the neck pose that this one had, like old senior portraits where everyone wore the same gown top and they had a few poses you could choose from. The 'looking over the shoulder' pose was my favorite. I sketched it out with pencil first, right onto the painted background. Then painted a very tiny loose painting and built upon that with a few more shading layers. Painting for likeness is not my strong suit, but sometimes they just turn out. I like the small scale painting for this style. I'm pondering setting up a swing arm magnifying glass at my workstation in the new house, because the way I find myself hunching over a tiny little piece is going to catch up with me sooner or later. Painting under a magnifying glass would take some getting used to, it seems it would give a weird vertigo effect, but seeing a giant hand would be quite funny. I've already turned this paragraph into something about the new house, that has been pretty much every conversation for the past week with me:)
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