Monday, February 8, 2016

School Activities - Fourth Grade

 I haven't shared any classroom ideas in a while, so here we go!  When we were studying the colonies, we created a "Colonist Hall of Fame".  

I did this for three reasons.  One, there are so many names in our standards that there is no way to spend time on each one and make them memorable.  This was a good way to do that!  Two, the research paper is guided.  We used the laptops and read for information.  Possibly the most important skill ever!  Three, it was an opportunity to close the textbook and do something a little different.  My principal calls these "memory makers".

Here they are all down the hallway outside of the cafeteria.  Actually, this isn't all of them.  They wouldn't fit in the picture!  I've seen other classes and school visitors checking them out, too!

Here's a little closer up.  The research material - basic biography - is below.  There are small illustrations with captions in there, too.  One day we had a weird schedule and class time was cut.  I took that time and did a guided portrait drawing with each class.  Something extra - but fun!
FYI - I found the biography template on Teachers Pay Teachers and the frame in clip art.

My door needed a little something for winter.  We had our markers and crayons out to do illustrated water cycles and ended up having some extra time.  I drew a simple toboggan shape and copied it.  The students each designed their own custom toboggan!  I am all set till spring!

Thursday, February 4, 2016


Isn't this new Aunt quote lovely?  I have another Aunt quote that I've done several times, but this is the first time for this one.  The cream, teal, and brown are really pretty together, too.

I love donating gift certificates to pageants, and do so every time I am asked.  One of my pageant winners, Grace Sparkman, redeemed her certificate for a canvas for her Aunt Logan.  She asked for red and black.  Love it!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Pete the Cat

Pete from the "Pete the Cat" books for a kindergarten teacher at my school.  I'm going to love coming down the hall and seeing this one!  
Thank you, Mrs. Lorie!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Painting Ahead...

Painting ahead/planning ahead...I guess it's the same thing for me!  It's hard to paint for spring when its so cold and yucky outside.  Just like it's hard to paint for Christmas is September!  
I'm getting several camping canvases ready to go!  Aren't they just the cutest?  They're small and sealed to hang on your camper door!
10x10 - $25.00

I've got this gorgeous hot pink and zebra print canvas ready to go!  It would be so cute on a teacher door, playroom, or a girl's room.  I can add any name, monogram, or cute saying.  Makes a great tween birthday gift!
11x14 - $30.00

Here's one that's a little more rustic!  This khaki canvas has cream dots with a black border and ribbon.  The cutest part are those little twine and button flower accents!  This one would also be perfect for a classroom or the front door.  Make a great wedding gift!
11x14 - $30.00

Yellow and aqua - a beautiful color combination for spring!  This one is so bright and welcoming.  I can add a name, monogram, welcome, or any favorite saying.  This size also looks great in a wreath!
10x10 - $25.00

As always, custom orders are welcomed.  Check out the new website to see more!

Sunday, January 24, 2016


First of all, I love that name!  Just had to get that out of the way!  My friend, Holly Hodges, ordered this set as a shower gift.  She sent me a pic of the bedding which is cream, tan, navy blue, and light blue.  They're great together or apart!

It is a very simple chevron pattern with lots of dashes between the stripes.  I took the colors and used them to come up with these coordinating designs.  This 4x12 is so cute!

I picked up the dashes but used dots instead of chevron.  I think this 10x10 will be the perfect accent!  They've also been lightly distressed for a rustic look.  I think that always works in a boy's room!
Thank you, Holly!  I hope they're a big hit at the shower!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Three Princesses

Three sisters!  I love this set of three princess canvases for a set of sisters.  I have two sisters myself, so even though this family is in California, this one hits close to home.

Grandmother ordered Lyla's first.  She's a newborn and it was ordered as a "welcome home" gift in the nursery colors of lavender and mint.

When mom got the canvas, she loved it so much that she wanted two more just like it for the big sisters!  I am so happy to be a tiny part of this family's happiness!  Congratulations!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sixteen Things to Stop Doing in 2016

I saw this article on and thought it was great!  I took the 16 items and reworked them a little bit to suit my personal aesthetic.  The new year is always a convenient time to take a look at yourself, and spot areas of improvement.  Don't beat yourself up, just encourage yourself to be the best version of you!

1. Comparing Yourself To Others
Whether it’s a celebrity, some fabulous mom blogger, even a friend or co-worker, many of us have a natural tendency to compare ourselves or our circumstance to that of another. Think of how many times you may have said, either vocally or under your breath, “must be nice” when looking at another person’s life.  Remember: we never really get to see the whole picture.  We see only what they want us to see!  The moment we stop comparing and start focusing on our own experience is the moment we are most likely to both find peace in things being the way that they are, and motivation to change them should we feel the need to.
2. Running From Your Problems 
You cannot run from something forever.  Challenges arise for a reason, and as difficult as many of them can be to both face and overcome, doing so gives you the opportunity to become a stronger and more capable version of yourself.  There are also fewer things more liberating than the feeling of finally facing something that you had put off or had been afraid of for a long time.
3. Lying To Yourself & Others
Lying is, in my opinion, the most naturally cumulative process.  What starts as a simple and small lie quickly spirals into an entirely false reality where the biggest factor preventing you from sharing the truth is the unwanted reputation of being known as a liar.  Moreover, we may lie to one another once in a while, but we lie to ourselves all the time, often to protect our oh-so fragile egos.  We might even be inclined to lie to ourselves when reading this list, not wanting to admit how many of these traps we actually fall into. You always have the ability to make the transition to full honesty and you will probably be pleasantly surprised by how much lighter an honest existence can feel.
4. Letting The Fear Of Making A Mistake Stop You From Doing Something
Mistakes certainly can be a frustrating (and, for me, embarrassing!) experience but never are they worth holding yourself back from doing something you feel pulled to do. We all know we learn from our mistakes, but we need to also remember that we learn even more from stepping outside of our comfort zone and doing something different or new.  I have a personal list to work on for this one!
5. Living For Something In The Future
Whether it’s something as temporary as an upcoming vacation or as permanent as retirement, living for something in the future is great for one key thing: preventing us from living in the right now. One thing is for certain, in this life we are never going to be any younger than we are right now, so what time is better than right now?  I’m not suggesting that we stop making all future plans, since they certainly can be useful, but that we instead try to enjoy what this day has given us
6. Trying To Get People To Feel Sorry For You
I've noticed, especially on facebook, that so many of us regularly make a habit of sharing nothing but the unpleasant or unfavorable. As nice as it can feel at one level to receive sympathy from another person, we all know it does absolutely nothing to change the situation that we are complaining about. In fact it actually makes it a bigger part of your reality, since now you aren’t the only one to identify with it. Accept whatever it is that seems to be plaguing you and choose to share only those things that are most important, good or bad.
7. Trying To Relive/ Make Up For Your Past
Your past does not define you, and that applies whether you look upon it favorably or as something you wish you could forget. As fun or as torturous as reminiscing can be at times, in the end nothing truly matters outside of this moment.  Rather than preoccupy yourself with a comparison to another point in time, why not try giving all of your energy and attention to the one that is right in front of you?
8. Putting Things Off For The Eternal Tomorrow
Procrastination is a lethal pandemic that has been stood up to before, but still manages to hold its ground a lot more often than we all probably would like. Remember that there is no time like the present and opt to show laziness who is boss a little more often, and you might be surprised at how contagious present action can be. You will undoubtedly be more productive, and might just find yourself motivated to do a lot more than you ever thought imaginable.  Get up and get going...tomorrow might not be there!
9. Blaming Things Outside Of Yourself
Take responsibility for your own choices.  Period.  Even though we all do genuinely find ourselves as the ‘victim’ to a person or circumstance from time to time, we usually (and often inaccurately) point the blame elsewhere.  As much as this can be an effective tool for dodging difficulty with another person, it never works when trying to avoid difficulty within yourself.  You will always know the true cause behind even the grandest lie.  Own up to what you have caused or what is really holding you back, and you might just find yourself a lot more in control of your own reality.
10. Letting The Past Define How You Think Of Others
This is a hard one for me.  High school, anyone?  Your friend may have unnecessarily hurt your feelings three years ago, but that doesn’t mean that you need to see them as that same mean person today. You should always use your own guidance to determine whether or not you want to surround yourself with certain people, but you shouldn’t let the past taint that guidance. Think of how much you have changed and grown throughout your life. Now consider how foolish it would be to assume that the same does not also apply to everyone around you
11. Setting Expectations For Things Before They Happen
Let’s face it, the imagination loves to wander, and I have a very active imagination.  In most cases it wanders to create expectations far grander than even humanly possible.  As fun as getting lost in la-la land can be at times, it also manages to do a pretty good job of making the present reality seem pretty blah by comparison. I’ve heard countless people tell me how the best things in life have always seemed to happen when they least expected it, so what better way to help create that feeling than to simply stop expecting. 
12. Looking For Someone/Something Perfect
Not only is our idea of perfect most likely heavily shaped by celebrities and Pinterest, but it is also ever-changing and therefore pretty well impossible to find. Rather than focusing on your search for that perfect someone or something to complete you, focus on what you need to do to feel complete within yourself. We are all capable of being and feeling complete love on our own, relationships are simply the extension of that love with another person. The shedding of the need for “perfection” will also make you a lot more open to connecting and sharing experiences with anyone that comes into your life, helping you to remember that love can often be found in the oddest places.
13. Trying To Be Someone That You Are Not
Whether it’s the impact of popular opinion once again, or simply the preference of someone you are trying to impress, we are never doing ourselves a favor when we try to become someone else.  Even if the charade manages to work in getting you what you were going for, it only does so for a false version of yourself.  Focusing on understanding and fully owning, with comfort, who you truly are will take you a lot further in life than anything artificially created.
14. Beating Yourself Up
As mean and insulting as another person can be, there is no one capable of being more vicious to ourselves than, well…ourselves. Whether you let your high school crush get away, turned down what ended up being an awesome opportunity, or anything else along those same lines, nothing from the past needs to have any bearing on the present. Choosing to create this moment anew rather than weigh it down can be a really freeing process.  Forgive yourself and move on.
15. Living Predominantly In The Digital World
Nothing makes me sadder than going to a restaurant and seeing a whole family with their heads down staring at their devices instead of talking to each other.  While the Internet, our phones, tablets, and everything else that electronically exists are all wonderful tools, let’s make sure they don’t dominate our 2016. Let’s use them as we need to, but also be sure to incorporate an adequate portion of face to face interaction and nature-based activities into our regular life.
16. Just Reading & Not Doing .
As amazing as books, quotes, and even articles such as this one can be to help remind us of what we already know, we must also begin putting these things into action. Allow these resources to become a starting point rather than a regularly needed reminder.  Actions always speak louder than words!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Big News!

Guess what!  Dream Custom Artwork officially has a website!  I'm so excited!   I've wanted to do one for a long time and finally got it together.   Please, please, please go check it out.  I'd appreciate your feedback, too!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Homemade With Love

Don't you just love homemade gifts?  I got a mug that my niece made for me and it is so special!  There's something about a gift that was made especially for you.  When I babysat my nephew a few weeks ago, I painted his hands and feet to make a canvas for my sister and her husband.  They opened it as a surprise on Christmas morning.  So sweet!

My daughter painted these simple canvases for her grandmothers and great-aunts.  They aren't much, but they're valuable because she made them.  They're signed and dated on the back.  

The next time you're shopping for the perfect gift, consider making something.  You might surprise yourself!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Adorable Snowman Family

When asked to do a snowman family all in red and browns, I had to think about that one.  I just wasn't sure how the red and the light blue would play together.  I was given a dish to use as inspiration.  The snowflakes down the sides are the pattern that was one the dist.  I also chose some elements for the snowman on the dish...the cardinal, the berry branch necklace, and the trapper hat.

I think is turned out adorable!  There's so much personality in each member of the family.  The red, tan, and brown combination is so pretty.  I just love it!  Thank you, Ford family, for your order!  Enjoy!

Colors can be adjusted to match your decor.  Up to five snowmen can be done with this design.  12x24 - $50.00.