Wednesday, December 31, 2008


I've had several orders for signs for people's second home, cabin, or little "getaway". Dr. Dennis Jeter has a hunting cabin up on the mountain which he lovingly named "Possum Hollow". His assistant, Jackie Patterson, ordered this camouflage canvas for him as a Christmas gift.

Tommy and Patti Clark have a cabin in Rock Island that they have named "Better than Nothin'". Patti's friend, Susan Grandey, wanted to get her something special for her special place for Christmas. She said they had kind of a pine tree and river theme with some of their decorating. She requested rope instead of ribbon to give it a rustic look, but I couldn't find just the right thing. I did find these beautiful wooden beads in neutral colors and earth tones.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Family Tree

Mike took the kids' picture every Sunday morning in December! They did look pretty cute in the Christmas clothes. It is also a once a week opportunity to get both dressed nice and clean at the same time! Still, they were relieved when he did not break out the camera this morning.

In keeping with my family theme, I am so proud to show you all Tonya Rains' family tree. She ordered this for her mother and father as a Christmas gift. The family tree was all her idea, but she left the design and colors up to me. I think it turned out really simple and pretty and I love all of the greens.

I wanted to show a close up so you could see all of the children's and grandchildren's names on all of the branches. Tonya, you have a wonderful family! Thank you for asking me to create this tree for you. I hope your parents loved it!

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Friday, December 26, 2008

There's Nothing Like Family

What better way to commemorate my 500th post than by honoring families. My family is so special to me and I have gotten to spend a lot of time with them over the past few days. I loved seeing my children play with my cousin Chris and Desiree's children just like we used to do.

I had many customers who chose to honor their families this year with a family name canvas. I liked looking at the "established" dates. Some were from as far back as 1947. Some were as new as 2007. However old or young these families may be, they are special to those people for many of the same reasons that mine is special to me.

We just had your basic, traditional Christmas with not too much going on. I ate too much, slept late and took a nap, played with the kids, and am now looking at one huge mess to clean up...sometime. I got a new coffee maker and plantation blinds. Carter said it best when he looked at me on the way home from my mom and dad's last night, "Mom, this was the best Christmas, ever".

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Sunday, December 21, 2008

Check It Off The List

I have just now finished my Christmas artwork to do list. I remember at the beginning of the month looking at it and thinking, "How in the world am I going to get all of it done?" Here it is the end of the month and, somehow, it is all done. I tried not to dwell on the 50+ list and take it painting by painting, otherwise it gets overwhelming. I know that many of you have things in your lives that are the same way.
I enjoyed painting each one of these Christmas gifts. Each one is very special, different, and truly custom made right here on my kitchen table. This is what I do. Thank you for allowing me create something for you.
Have a very merry Christmas!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gorgeous New Monogram

I have a gorgeous new monogram style that is my new favorite. Diane Knowles wanted a large burgundy H on a khaki background. She also requested a much larger size canvas than what I usually do for monograms, a 16x20. Since I was only putting one letter in such a large space, I used the inside of the letter to create this vine, ivy, and leaves design. I just think it turned out really pretty.

I can't wait to try this with other letters and colors. I am going to make the time in January to do a black M on the khaki background for my front door. This one looked so good on there it made me want one, too! I also think a navy letter would be beautiful on light blue or even pale yellow for spring. Oh, the possibilities!

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Friday, December 19, 2008

My Old Man!

Today is Mike's 40th birthday. That's right...the big 4-0! As many of you know, we celebrated early with a sports themed surprise party. It was such a special night for our whole family. Thank you so much to all of you who took the time out of your busy lives to spend a little of it with us. We really appreciate all of you who we know and love. We have a very rich life together, but you guys are all the sprinkles on our donut. Our friends and family make it even better somehow.
A blog is an online scrapbook and is just about the only scrapbooking I actually get done! I decided to share a few pictures of Mike, old and new, in honor of his special day. I am so thankful that he is a part of my life. No, he is not perfect, but he is perfect for me. You know! You heard the list!

"I got gaps. You got gaps. We fill each other's gaps."

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Some of you have been wondering about my colorful hand photo I posted a while back. I have been tie dying! Actually, I did it twice in one week. I had to mix a lot of dye and in the process got it all over my hands. Luckily, it does eventually fade away on skin.
I dyed with my TTU class and had a lot of fun. I got to see some of their final products and they turned out great. They seemed to enjoy the process of placing the colors with squeeze bottles instead of dipping.
Then I dyed with my children's class at Chole's. They had fun, too. Their fun came from making a mess and looking at all of the colors blend. They were not nearly the perfectionists that my adults were!

This is pigment dye available at arts and crafts stores. The shirts are presoaked in soda ash to prevent any color fading wash after wash. It is much brighter and lasts much longer the Rit dye. I chose neutral fall colors of raspberry, teal, goldenrod, and nutmeg brown. They are also available in a rainbow of color choices!
Our shirt designs were created by folding the shirt like a fan and only using a few rubber bands just to hold the folds tightly in place.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Snacks With Santa

Our church had "Snacks With Santa" last night. My kids had a wonderful time running around with their friends, eating yummy food, and getting a little face time with Santa. Lauren wrote her list down so she wouldn't forget anything. Of course it was just scribbles to us, but a treasure to her. She wanted to personally read it to him. Funny, the only thing she is asking for is a baby doll.

Look at these two little cuties! Carter looks so tall!

Bree, Gracie, and Lauren get help from Mrs. Wendy and Miss Erica with making reindeer ornaments.

Laura Grace and Lauren check out all of the toys we brought in to be donated to the Rescue Squad. For our Snacks with Santa night, we bring Santa the toys to help out those in need. I love Laura Grace's smile!

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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Visions of Sugarplums

This sweet little 10x10 gingerbread man is going to be given as a gift by Mrs. Elaine Alsup. She ordered it with the beaded handle. I used red, white, green, and actual gingerbread men glass beads. I think it adds the perfect touch!

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Cargile Family

Angela Cargile in Rockvale, Tennessee ordered a snowman family for her home this holiday. Angela, Jay, Kelsey, and Brady look adorable as snowmen! This one is 12x24 and costs $40.00.
This design has been a favorite for a couple of years now. Just when I think everybody must be tired of this one, I get a bunch more ordered. I was talking to Paula about my cookie orders last night and she said the classic snowman will always be her favorite. I guess not going out of style is what defines a classic.

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Friday, December 12, 2008

Snow Day Snowmen

I am so excited to have a snow day today. I have had a bit of upset stomach and wasn't feeling my best, so it is really nice to be snuggled in the recliner in my pj's with my favorite blanket. I am going to get some house cleaning and painting accomplished a little later and I did make french toast for breakfast, so I guess the day isn't completely shot!
I thought today would be a good day to share a few snowmen I've recently finished, three for Elaine Alsup and one for Jackie Patterson. The individual red scarfed snowmen are 10x10's and the rainbow scarfed snowman and the pair of snowmen are 8x10's. All have been lightly coated with sparkle and topped with satin ribbon. Beautiful to leave up all winter!

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gingerbread Family

Robin Bell ordered the first gingerbread family. I say first because I have a feeling that this will be very popular. It is so cute!
The grandparents, Poppa and Kay, are in the center surrounded by their little gingerbread grandchildren. I gave them a red ribbon frame and multicolored sprinkles around the edges. It is all topped off with a wide red satin ribbon. This one is a 12x24 and costs $40.00. What a perfect gift, Robin. Thank you!

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tabetha's Warm Gingerbread

This 20x24 warm colored gingerbread canvas was designed by my good friend, Tabetha Sullens. She chose these beautiful colors and it was her idea to put this traditional gingerbread recipe in the background. She also asked for it to have an antique feel.
She decorates her kitchen in gingerbread each year and wanted something special to use over and over again. I think this one is a new favorite of mine, not just because I love the design but because it is for a special person.

I am off to enjoy my daughter's Christmas program. No painting for me tonight...

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Girl Can Cook

Well, I can follow a recipe anyway! I have been cooking instead of painting all afternoon and have had a really good time. If there was some way for me to cook without going to the grocery store, I would really be a happy person! Here are a few of the really easy, but really yummy, finger foods I made today.

Veggie Pizzas - roll out one can of cresent rolls on a baking sheet and bake at 350 until done. It doesn't take very long so keep an eye on it! While it cools mix one container of whipped cream cheese and one packet of ranch dressing mix. The regular cream cheese works fine, but the whipped spreads easier. Also dice about one cup of broccoli and one cup of cauliflower. I use my mini-chopper!
Spread the cream cheese on the cooled crust, top with broccoli and cauliflower, and then a few handfuls of shredded cheese. Press it all down with your hands then slice into little squares with a pizza cutter. I like to keep these in the fridge for a healthy after school snack. The kids love them and I am sneaking in a few vegetables!

My mother-in-law served this with her Thanksgiving dinner and I fell in love. It is so good that I eat it by itself. It is very light and refreshing. This is the first time I have made it and it just doesn't get any easier than this!
Cranberry Orange Salad - drain one big can of crushed pineapple and one big can of mandarin oranges saving the juices. Bring the juices to boil. While it is heating, mix together one small package of cherry jello, the oranges and pineapple, 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and one can of whole cranberry sauce. Add the hot juices and refrigerate until solid.

This fruit salad makes your kitchen smell like tropical heaven. It is one of my mom's favorite recipes. I am taking it to the new member dinner tonight at church!
Fruit Salad - Drain one large can of chunk pineapple and two cans of mandarin oranges, saving juices. Take one box of cook and serve vanilla pudding mix and prepare it to the directions on the box, using the juices instead of milk. This is the good smelling part! Let it cool completely. I put it in the fridge to cool quicker. While it is cooling, mix a few chopped bananas, drained maraschino cherries, some chopped pecans, and the pineapple and oranges. Pour the cooled mixture on top and mix.

After cleaning up, I always take the maraschino cherry juice and make myself a diet cherry pepsi and put my feet up...for a few minutes anyway!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Fancy Chocolate S

The Steakley family has a pretty new addition for their front door. Tisha ordered a fancy S in cream on chocolate with light blue details. Very pretty and very elegant. This one is perfect for anytime of the year. She is a first time customer and I really enjoyed getting to meet her. Thank you, Tisha!

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