Last call for hoop making!

Before I hit the road for Asheville and right after the New Year, I will be featuring a final hula hoop making class. This one's on location at The Studio in Laconia, NH and will run from 1:00-3:00 on Sunday, January 3rd. The cost is $15.00 and you will come away with a homemade, sparkly, swirly, twirly hoop of your very own! Space is limited in the class, so please e-mail me at veggieartgirl@gmail.com to reserve a spot!


Help get me to Asheville! :o)

Looks like I will be heading back to Asheville, NC for the winter again this year! Yippie! The dilemna: I am trying to raise money to fill Janis to get me there! As part of the Open Studio (at 'The Studio in Laconia, NH), I am silent auctioning off a GIANT painting I created. It's about 4x6.5' and organically hung with hemp twine from a giant found piece of driftwood. I hand stitched a pole pocket so it hangs straight and makes an instant mural! The bidding is starting at 49 cents at noon today and will go 'til 6:00 on Sunday. Swing on by 'The Studio' (see previous wall post for more info!) to place a bid, attend the Open House, listen to some live music and check out some FABULOUS artists! We're there all weekend! :o)



OMG...I am SO excited. (I "OMG-ed"...THAT'S how excited I am!) The Studio, a FANTASTICAL, magical, creative place in Laconia (right on Union Ave., above 'Too Good To Be Threw') is opening their doors for a super duper Open House all weekend and I am going!
Melissa McCarthy is the magic behind this operation and I am so excited to have gotten to know her. She's shaking things up in Laconia...changing minds and lives and inspiring and you should come check it out! My good friend Jim Tyrrell (who you may remember from the hoppin' Holiday Open House at my shoppe!) is going to be the featured musician on Saturday from 3:00 & on. Come rock out and get your art on! Pass along the invite to ANYONE you think would love to be a part of it all and swing by from noon to six EITHER Saturday OR Sunday!


Ho ho ho!

Yeah, I did. I switched my blog music player over to holiday tunes (regular tunage will resume post-holiday). My apologies for those who dislike the Christmas tunes.
I wanted to share a few pics from the Holiday Open House at the Veggie Art Girl Boutique last Thursday. It was quite a success and a fun way to kick off the holiday season! Special thanks to Jim Tyrrell for playing some great music and all that came to show your support!


Meat pie.

So I'm not all that much of a pie eater. And I will generally opt for a vegetarian option on any menu. But the marriage of both meat and pie is a beautiful one...especially when you look through the cabinets (late at night, in your pajamas) four or five times hoping for something to make itself for dinner. I got creative and this came out. And it was guh-huh-huh-hoooood. Because of it's awesomeness, I will share the recipe (it is probably a great one to make with Thanksgiving leftovers!):

Meat (I used chopped cooked chicken, sliced pepperoni & a few chopped slices of ham)
One can of Cream of Chicken soup (though any old Campbell's Cream of whatever will do)
1/4 cup milk (Cream, soy milk, hemp milk...whatever)
One can crescent rolls
I mixed all the meat, soup, milk and a generous sprinkling of ground pepper and garlic in a bowl and poured into my favorite pie plate. I simply arranged the crescent triangles on top of the pie and baked it according to the temp. on the can until it was golden brown. (375 degrees for about 20 minutes).
It smelled really good as it was baking, and surprisingly tasted even better than that! I know...not a healthy meal....but it sure hit the spot on a cold fall night AND I didn't have to go to the store!


My creative zone.

My day started with a cup of coffee and I have not stopped since. I have been sanding and painting and cleaning and creating and organizing and painting more and sanding more and designing and...

You get the point.

In the midst of everything, it is difficult to be completely aware of where you are and just...appreciate. So following a 30 minute power clean of my basement studio space, I thought I would snap a few pics and take it in for a minute. I am always stressing over cleanliness and organization, and often find it difficult to be creative if I don't have a sense of that (I know...kind of defies the typical mentality of an artist!). But today, I found satisfaction in all if it and have been enjoying my space more than ever. :o)

Ok, now I need to get back to work! Got lots of holiday shows coming up!



Thursday, December 3rd will be the 2nd Annual Holiday Open House at Veggie Art Girl & Taylor Made Graphics! There's gonna be everything from free raffles to live music (with JimTyrrell) to a local author Ray Carbone signing copies of his new book to hot appetizers....dancing, sales, free gift wrapping and more! Mark your calendars and be sure to shop local this holiday season! :o)


Bathroom Renovation, Part I

I have been wanting to redo my bathroom for years. But rather than fix the gross old tub and move the sink to under the mirror, I would go the cheap route and distract myself with a fresh coat of paint and some new towels.
(I'm not sure WHY the old drain was clogged?!@#!)
Well, this year I decided I would take the jump. Thanks to an extended credit line at Lowe's (crap...so I *have* to pay that back?) and a little extra money I was able to put aside as a buffer (hey, I know how these things work), I came home with a tub and a tub surround in the back of my van one day, figuring "how hard can this be?"
Ummm...I'll get back to you with an official answer on that in a bit, but first I thought I would share pics from my plumbing journey. I ended up calling a friend to help demo the old tub, which was NO easy task. At the last minute I *did* have to call an *actual* plumber, because the new tub wouldn't fit and the piping had to be rerouted. (Thanks, Mr. Rooter!)
But all in all, it is coming along slowly but nicely. I have plans for a mosaic backsplash in the tub and around the sink. I got a fabulous Mexican tavalera style sink that will look fantastic...once I finish the custom built countertop to fit it in. All in a days work! If you are bored and would like to help, shoot me a line. But...you have to work for pizza and hula hoops. :o)


Best Google EVER.

This made my day. HAPPY 40th BIRTHDAY, SESAME STREET! Gosh, I love Big Bird.


A Day at the fair.

I broke *another* digital camera. This one sadly fell out of my bag and was discovered in my friend's driveway with a cracked screen. I am so bummed and in the process of writing a creative letter to HP to see if they will be nice enough to help with my dilemna. Probably not, but hey, it's worth trying.
In any event, my point: I *was* able to save the card from the camera, and I came across a scattering of fun photos from the past month. The first in the series: The Sandwich Fair! I finally made it back this year and had a fun filled day of fried food eating, beer sampling, people watching, antiquing, and driving through the beautiful foliage. Sometimes there is nothing better than being a tourist in your own town. :o)
Hey there, little buddy!I bought a bushel (or was it a peck?) of these yummy apples, that were later made into a scrumptious apple crisp. (Well, except for this little guy...he was the taste tester)Oh yeah I did. Gotta get a Bloomin' Onion when you are at the fair (and a picture of the dude making it?). I fully support any business that gives you the option of 2 dipping sauces with any product.


WREN Farmers Market on a super cold Saturday

I became a member of WREN (Women's Rural Entrepreneurial Network) this year and it has opened quite a few doors for me. I was able to join in on one of the final Farmers Markets of the season with a display of my hula hoops and handpainted signs. The hoops were a big hit! Here are some pics from the freezing fun! (Brr...it was sunny, but it was cooooold!)(That's my mom on the left...she's become quite a master of the hoop!)

Since then, I have started selling my works (and hoops!) at the WREN Local Works Shoppe on Main St. in Bethlehem. It's such a cute little store, full of a great variety of locally made, handcrafted goods. To learn more about WREN, go to http://www.wrencommunity.org/. More great people, doing great things! :o)


Reasons why I love, love, love fall.

1.) Color, color, color. The drive down 175 from my house to the boutique is pure magic--a windy, colorful road of awesome.

1.5.) On Rte. 175, I get to drive by Owen's farm stand everyday (where I got the mum in the picture). The funny scarecrows, the abundance of pumpkins and freshly cut sunflowers can't help but make you smile on just a drive by.

2.) Halloween. (Still trying to figure out what I am going to be, though)

3.) It reminds me of my Noni. She (my grandmother) was a lover of life; she was a dancer and an artist with a passion for the small details in life. Her favorite time of year was fall (hey, she used to decorate her bathroom for the season!) and I miss her, but think of her fondly when the season rolls around. :o)

4.) Hot apple cider. Apple crisp. Caramel apples. Anything apple, really.

5.) Pumpkin carving. (This year I am going to do it up! Look out!)

6.) Sweater weather. Nothing's better than a jeans and sweater day.

7.) Those last few yard sales. Crisp mornings, pumpkin spice coffee and vintage bargains. Sweeeeet.

8.) Gourds. They are just so interesting and strange.

9.) And of course, Thanksgiving is just around the corner...


New Greeting Cards! :o)

I have been printing and folding and (of course) glittering bunches of my lil' homemade cards. Back by popular demand is the purple swirly tree moon card and a new one (which is a digital replication of a wall mural on canvas!)

This new design is (like most of my work) Untitled, but it was painted at a time of great change in my life this year. I made some big decisions that made my shoulders feel a lot less heavy, and when I went to paint...this came out! :o) (The original size is about 4 feet x 6 feet)
Mmm...glittery goodness.
I've got lots of new, polka dotted and greeeeeeen envelopes to coordinate....each one is a little different (I used all recycled stock for this big ol' batch, so there are all sorts of textures and card stocks).

You can check 'em out at my etsy shoppe @http://www.veggieartgirl.etsy.com/. Enjoy and happ fall y'all! :o)


The Karma Balm Mobile!

You've all seen me in my van (Janis), decorated in swirly doodles and colors on the sides. Little known fact about me: I have been lettering vehicles for nearly ten years and have all of the equipment to make your vehicle super unique. Here is my latest job: turning Corey's PT Cruiser into a Karma Balm Mobile, so she can travel about and advertise her wonderful (earth friendly, bee-free) products. (Side note: you should check out her AMAZING lip balm, lotions and potions at http://www.karmabalm.org/) Here is the final product and spread the word that I can letter vehicles! I'm trying to get save monies to get back to Asheville this winter and need to line up more work to do so!


What have I been doing lately?

Making cakes apparently! While I have never loved the baking part, I find the decorating part to come easily and is so much fun. Here are a couple of cakes I have made recently. I am seriously considering adding a little cake link to my web site...why not? Shoot me a line if you are in the market for a unique cake...I can do it up for ya!
Jessi just moved to CA for college and her mom threw her a fantastic party...complete with this chocolatey cake I made (that included her faaaaavorite color pink in the frosting) :o)
This one was tricky, but I was happy with the results (even though the humidity was melting the frosting on the way to the party!). When soon-to-be six year old Shannon was asked what kind of cake he wanted for his birthday party, he replied, "marble." (Apparently he was just fascinated with the idea that a cake could be two colors when you cut into it!) He is a lover of aliens, and I wanted the cake to be special. So I built a base out of dowels and cardboard, and attached some lights to the sides, creating the light-up effect. The cake itself was of course marble, but simply frosted, with little alien men stuck in all over it for the full-on extra-terrestrial effect. It was a big hit, but I think Shannon was more interested in getting the cake off the base so that he could use it to build a UFO out of legos than he was eating the cake! :o)



...it's football season. AAAAANNNDDDD....my computer is up and running like a champ now, so I can continue blogging! My apologies for keeping y'all hangin'...I have been trying to get my digital ducks in a row and have had to do some mega cyber douching. I am virus-free, I am all updated with that there Flash nonsense, and all is well in HP LaptopLand. So now, I share with you: a plate of meat that I cooked. Oh yes, there is teriyaki steak. But what's that next to it? My first time trying ribs on the grill. Pretty flippin' tasty. Yep. And what's that behind the plate o' tasty meat (and vanilla scented girly candle)? The Pats winning! Happy Football Season everyone.....GO PATS! :o) And stay tuned....


A Homestar Happy Birthday.

I wasn't quite sure who this Homestar dude was, but when Andy wanted a Homestar Runner cake for his 9th birthday, I looked him up online and knew this was going to be a lot of fun. a.) it was. & b.) you should check out lots and lots of Homestar Runner online @ http://www.homestarrunner.com/. The blue and red frosting turned your face colors, but all the kids approved of the lemony, sugary goodness. When presented with his cake, Andy exclaimed, "that's GREAT!" What fun. My next cake mission: create a UFO cake for a six year old that lights up. Stay tuned...


Redneck Ridiculousness.

Per usual, my BFF and I teamed up for a birthday party (We're 1 year and 8 days apart in age). Here are a few snapshots from the birthday extravaganza '09:
Heading in Janis to the party...really I just grabbed something from my closet to wear, but Anna got all decked out in this fancy zebra striped number.

It's Jay Hiscock: hide your children. :o)
Rox and Johnny in their homemade Budweiser hats...fancy!

Ladies, ladies, ladies....
Rox made her specialty: Fritos chili taco pie on the grill. Mmmm!



I turned the big 3-0 on Tuesday. And while I am not one to dwell on numbers, statistics or age, it has not passed without the ineitable 'am I where I want to be in my life?' reflection. Across the board, I'm pretty psyched to be where I am at. I have great family and amazing friends. I am not wanting for anything in life....I have more than enough. I have found a teeny, tiny niche in the crazy art world that has allowed me to spread my wings and be on my own. Translation: I am broke but happy. Opening my new store has been waaaaaay more work than I thought it was going to be, but I am am still ironing out the wrinkles and every once in a while can come up for air and take a breath of self satisfaction. But every once in a while I wonder if I made the right decision when I came to that huge fork in the road...trading in my cushy job with benefits and my domesticated relationshipy lifestyle for a completely independent, unpredictable and creative life. And this week more than ever I can say that I did. They say everything happens for a reason...a motto I believe strongly in. Everything I have done prior to today has helped me get exactly where I am, emotionally and physically, spiritually. And it is all good. So am I where I want to be? Yes. Exactly. Bring on an amazing year! :o)