Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Just dropping in to say Hello!

It's been a very long time since I've dropped in to write anything. There have been a lot of life changes this year. Some are bigger than others but all have contributed to me putting my blog on the back burner. I'm sorry about that!

After 10 1/2 years working for the same company I left and moved on to something else. A little over a year later, I went back. It was a new company name and business office, but the same people, same location, same function, etc. In a way, I just went back to the comfortable rut. Now about 1 1/2 years later that new (old) company is closing it's doors. I'm once again transitioning.

All of us affected are thinking about what we've been doing for the past decade plus and what we want to do going forward. Are we happy with our career choices? Do they provide us with satisfaction? Or have we just been plodding along that same rut because it's what we've always done?

Yes, there are sooooo many clichés that apply. When one door closes....It's not an end, it's an opportunity... etc. I figure there must be a grain of truth in there or there wouldn't be so many of them, right?

"It is often hard to distinguish between the hard knocks in life and those of opportunity" ~Frederick Phillips

So I'm looking to make the most of this opportunity. Putting my time and energy into something more creative. Something that will bring my soul satisfaction as well as my wallet (hey, we've all got bills to pay). Now, I'm not sure exactly what that will look like yet but I'm looking. It's kind of like when you buy a house, you have your non-negotiables (min # of rooms, fenced yard, etc) and then those things that you would like to have (double ovens, jet tub, balcony with ocean view). I'm putting soul satisfaction on my non-negotiable list. What's on your non-negotiable list?

I'll work on posting some photography (whimsy) and life updates soon. Quick version: Anique's drama performance this year was awesome, she tried lacrosse for the first time, Bailey graduated from high school and moves on to UNLV in the fall. Anique is trying mermaid hair for the summer. I'm working on a new venture and hope to have more news about that in just a couple of weeks. I've been working on it behind the scenes for a few months now but this job change is the push I've needed to launch the first stage. Ken had two surgeries in about 6 months (Achilles rupture and meniscus tear) but is recuperating well. Knee is currently in rehab stage. He plays and works hard.

That's it for now!

Monday, January 11, 2016


Anique has been asking for a "lab" for quite a while. She starts off with a general inquiry and proceeds to drawings of what she wants, when that's not successful then models appear. She's definitely determined. If you've followed this blog for awhile you might remember there was a full-scale presentation board when she wanted a hamster.

Bailey uses the partially/unfinished bedroom downstairs as his computer/tv/study room. Anique wanted some sort of space that was just hers too.

Yes, I realize this is somewhat crazy because they both have their own bedrooms as well. Bailey really only uses his to sleep in anymore. Anique still spends quite a bit of time in her room reading or doing crafts.

As a surprise for Christmas we cleared out the storage closet beneath the stairs and created her a little getaway space. She is a crazy Dr. Who fan. Her favorite is the 10th doctor. I don't follow the show so it took some Google searches to get images to follow.

For those of you reading who are Dr. Who fans, I realize this is not an exact replica. It's not even close, consider it an impression of the T.A.R.D.I.S.. She was overwhelmingly happy with it. Tearfully happy.

Here's the photos from beginning to end and some detail shots.

Now, I just need to find a new spot to neatly store everything that was stored in the closet before I emptied it.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!

December always passes in such a rush. I rarely seem to get to our Christmas pictures before the New Year. So here they are a little bit late. I wish you all Joy in the coming year.

This past year has seen challenges, growth and changes. There's always lots to be learned looking back but I'm definitely ready to move forward.

My resolutions are pretty cliché in many ways for 2016. This year is going to be about reducing. My goal is to reduce debt, reduce weight, and most importantly reduce anxiety.

Anxiety has been increasingly present the past several months. I'm not really sure why but I know that it affects my health, my sleep, my energy, my motivation and the way I interact with my family and friends. I just want to hide away.

So this year, I'm going to try to be more present. Worry less. And really work on being happier.

With that said, I hope to be here on this space more often as well.

Happy New Year from my family to yours! I hope this year brings you joy and well-being!


Heather, Ken, Bailey, Anique, Lily (dog) & Baby 'Zilla (hamster)

Monday, October 12, 2015

Symmetry is Overrated

I don't paint faces or people very often because I struggle with the symmetry and proportions.  Yet I ended up painting two today. Kind of. Or two halves. Which is one whole.

This weekend I did a major clean up of my studio/office space which always inspires me to dive into a painting.

I applied black gesso (I'm out of white) to a couple of canvases I'm going to repaint and set them aside to dry. They were from school assignments years ago. Time to make them new again.

I have a couple 12" x 24" canvases that have just been sitting unopened. They are an awkward size and I don't remember what project I bought them for. I've been wanting to try to do an abstract painting and decided these would be good to practice on since if they don't turn out I'm not counting on them for a particular space. Plus, I need to restock my paints so I'm working with lots of purples today. Not my usual color palette.

I sketched a few ideas and decided I was going to do half of a face with a cascade of flowers for hair and a phrase.  I loosely sketched it on the canvas and blocked in the background color and skin tone. So far so good. Then I started the first flower trying a new technique.  It looked terrible.  So,  I changed my plan.  Changed her look. Abbreviated the phrase.  Made her a little more rocker and a little less hippy. Went with silver leaf for a little bling. And best of all, with only half a face everything was nice and even.

Next, I pulled out one of the dry black canvases. This time I was determined in going with an abstract painting. I selected my colors, mixed my paints, sketched my shapes.  I was ready.
I started painting.  It was okay.  Not great.  I added some more contrast,  It started getting better. Some drips of textured paint added interest. I almost liked it but it wasn't balanced. There was too much negative space. It needed something.

So, yet another face began to take shape.  This one I called Moon Face.  She was round and glowing.  Lots of texture and built up elements. I'm not sure about her but Anique says she likes her better than the first one. 

I think I'm liking painting only half a face.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Favorite Links: 10/9/2015

via Alisa Burke Glow In the Dark Painted Pumpkins

Okay, here's a mish-mash of my favorite links from this week. I'm afraid there's no common theme of food or attractive men this time. Just some things I've come across and found interesting.

Best and Worst Deals at Target

 I spend a lot of time at Target so this article drew my eye.

Must Have Beauty Brushes

I was a little late to the makeup brush game and only recently graduated from three to four. I like reading about what someone else uses and what she uses them for. Next time I'm standing at Target (see above) staring blankly at the brushes before walking away because I don't know what they're used for, I'll actually know what to pick.

Large Woven Rug

This large woven rug looks awesome and would be super cool. But let's be honest, between you and me, it'll never happen. I know my limitations. I don't have the focus and would never complete it. But hey, if you need a loom built, I might be able to get through that much of the project.

Glow In the Dark Painted Pumpkins

I've been painting pumpkins for year but never anything very elaborate or fancy. Alisa Burke creates amazing pumpkins. I thought these glow in the dark ones would look cool on the porch on Halloween night. Very dramatic but check out her site and look at the rest of her pumpkin tutorials. Her art is amazing too.

Pesto, Roasted Red Pepper and Mozzarella Flatbread Pizza

 Yes, there's still one food item in here. This recipe looks amazing and easy. Which makes it perfect for me!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Glitzy Bathroom Reveal

If you follow my Instagram feed at all you've seen a few photos of the finished bathroom already. 
Here's a more in depth look at where it started and how it all came together. 
I couldn't track down a good before photo and forgot to take one. You can see the bright green walls though. The bathrooms in our house are pretty small. It is the one the kids use and also the one guests use. It was bright green and had white accents with bright elephants to decorate.
The kids are older now and we've been working on make our home decorating style a bit more contemporary so the bathroom was next up as we work our way down the hall.
First up, was new floors. Honestly, there was nothing wrong with the linoleum that was in there. I just like the look of tile and feel like the cool gray tile would complement the look I was going for. I chose 24" x 6" tiles for this room in an attempt to make a boxy room look less boxy. Did it work?
White grout was used mostly because it's what I had on hand. And I liked the clean brightness. I did use a grout sealer because I'm a little worried about staining and the wet floors.
Next up was the walls, I knew I wanted to paint them black but I wanted to add something extra. Lowe's carries these fabulous things called Paint Crystals by Valspar. You can choose how many packs to use depending on how sparkly you want your paint to be. I put 3 packs in. It's like a fine glitter for paint.
You can't really tell in the photo but the walls have a definite glimmer of glitter all through them. They walls are definitely black but the glitter reflects light back so they're not oppressive.
I also chose to paint our woodwork white. I'm usually not a big fan of painting cabinets but I wanted to brighten the space. I love the white but I do regret not priming the cabinets first. If you choose to paint your cabinets find yourself a good tutorial and follow it. I am not that tutorial.

Yes that is the toilet in the tub. It lived there during the makeover.
The final step was to replace the light fixture. Our previous one came with the house and was rusting. A new shower curtain and artwork brought it all together.
What do you think? Would you paint a small space black?

Monday, October 5, 2015

Senior Pictures

I typically do several senior sessions in the Fall but this year is special because it is my own senior. 

It's a little bittersweet honestly. I'm proud of him and who he is and is becoming but at the same time, he's my baby!!!! It doesn't seem that long ago since elementary school and science fairs. Now it's all work and plans for after school and so on. Ack!! Too much. Too fast. 

He's really not fond of having his photos taken but allowed me to do his. And he held off on any extreme hair changes until after they were taken. (He's currently an extreme blond again.) We hit the Washington Arboretum because I thought it would be pretty and Gasworks park because he wanted the Seattle skyline. I think he would have been happier about it if I had fed him first but I kept promising him food if he would smile just a few more times...I'm pretty sure I've been using that line since elementary school too.

This year I also had the privilege of shooting Ellie's senior portraits. If you have followed the blog for any period of time you know that she is Bailey's girlfriend. They have been together a bit over 3 years. Which in high-school years is like forever. Actually, Ellie is pretty much family at this point. 

We did a marathon session with several outfit changes and a few different locations. Her mom and brother's girlfriend were both there to help with the changes, make up and to help hold the reflector as the sun set.

She's a natural in front of the camera. Her fun and playful personality shines and she needs little to no coaching on poses. She's beautiful and smart but honestly we love her most because she's a bit of a goofball too.