Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmasy fun

Wishing you...a dream to be blessed, a star to guide and peace and harmony inside!
Merry Christmas

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. 1Corinthians 16:23

These are a few recent December pictures of making, creating, 
                           sharing, singing, dancing, playing, laughing and loving! 


Friday, December 17, 2010

artsy this-n-that

"Art evolves. So does life. Art is never stagnant. Neither is life. The beautiful life that is being created for yourself and those you love is your art. It is the highest authentic art."-anonymous

 I have favorite custom pieces that I do. I loved these cute birdies and I love who's room (below) this huge canvas is going in. Hope you love your new artwork, sweet Hailey!

The things that I paint are so random lately. I just had to turn down a way too HUGE without any help mural job for 25 examination rooms for a pediatrician's office yesterday! I feel like this randomness of painting furniture to dogs is okay. LIFE is so random for me and our family right now in regards to our big move coming this 2011, so it's kind of in sync I guess.
We are in a holding-onto-our-faith-n-praying pattern and there are a zillion questions. I am finding little joy's in the things that I create in the days, and believe that I WILL find that ONE area that I want to use to build into a big business, have a shop, etc.
These are just the joyful steps to finding the answers to my next adventure. I'm listening.
 Here is a pile of some gifty things I worked on this past week. (They are stacked up because that would steal the surprise to the recipients!) I will put them on so you can see them later. Custom name signs are consistent work for me- they do make special gifts :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

normal holiday time silliness

It was one of those many Mommy days today when I sport black yoga pants and a favorite baseball cap. A no shower day. You Mommy's out there know what I'm talking about. A quick spaghetti and meatball dinner tonight (Daddy's been gone for the week and we do really easy-n-simple) and I need a shower. 

Ya know what? Forget the shower, bath it is. Holidays? Yessss, it's bubble bath time. We have this clawfoot tub that I couldn't live without, so I need to take more long, relaxing baths in in, right? Glass of red wine in hand (good for antioxidants :) and I'm there. Not quite 5 minutes (it's only 7pm so what do I expect) and knock. knock. knock. "Mommy...whatcha doin'?...Taaaaking aaaa baaath?!!..Can I take one after yooou...?" (Huh? Mommy's take some time out for herself for a moment?) 

Okay, here's the funny part. I hear whispers. They come back with the whoopee cushion that they found (and sat on it on the floor) in the $1 section of a store last night. Yep, in front of strangers and they are belly giggling with everyone laughing with them in the aisle. It automatically infates after you sit on it, mind you.  HAD to buy it. 
Well of course they get it and place a part of it UNDER the closed bathroom door and SIT on it....pppppphhhhllllbbb....and CRACK UP so hard. Ah, bathroom humor at it's best.

Never a dull moment. Yes, even with girls. "Shy, sweet and quiet" one's at that. 

Here's a couple dogs I did this week. I love doing them. Enough to do a little happy dance after I'm done. No kidding. 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

a Christmasy time

May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility.-Mary Anne Radmacher
Christmas exploded in our home on Sunday. I'll be honest with you and say that I wasn't sure if I was feeling the "let's-decorate!" spirit. I thought of some excuses but, not so. I came home from a fabulous annual GNA (Girlfriend Night Away in Dallas) and the tree was assembled, boxes out. Ready to go. Seriously- Josh puts up the tree, the lights and does the pretty magic outside. What is it that I am fussing about? 

Despite the fact that you pretty much have to CLEAN those enormous dust bunnies in the corners, tables, fireplace, it was a delight. Putting up a tree is soaked in tradition and memory for us- not just from our childhoods, but here in the present with our kiddos. Love the lights, the memories/stories behind the "deck the halls" items, the music, and the time together is just what it's all about.

All of the zillions of ornaments get pulled out. Handmade one's when I was seven, vacations, first home, first baby, special gifts, cherished handmade one's from relatives, preschool handmade, the list goes on. (Did I mention handmade? Ha. Yea. Every year we seem to keep that tradition.)
Sweet. Sweet. Sweet.
So here we are (although not full blown decorated this year). Furniture re-arranged, nativity, fire in the fireplace, garlands, berries, stockings...POOF...Christmas arrived at the Foster's in a few hours.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

turkey time

A Northerner is a person born or living in the North, fast paced, aggressive, fast-talking, and friendly but cautious, devoted to basements, skyscrapers, blizzards, apples and maple syrup.
A Southerner is a person born or living in the South, gracious, easy-going, slow-talking, friendly folk, devoted to front porches, oak trees, cool breezes, magnolias, peaches and fried chicken.
(Love it!)
We got home from Ohio very late this Monday night to be shoved into normal (whatever that is right now). An overfilled work week for J, mountains of dirty laundry, an abundance of mail, painting orders, and Christmas on our minds. Never mind the pumpkins that needed to be put in the garbage, the holiday lists keep on keepin' on!
It was a great trip back "home". Ohio is our Northern "roots" and time seems to stop when we visit. It was Foster-family-time and unfortunately not enough chunks of time for visiting our old forever friends. Josh's folks live in hilly, pretty Holmes County "Amish country". It is filled with fresh home-cooking (I had a bit of an apple pie ala-mode addiction), horse-n-buggy's, old barns, quaint gift shops, antiques, sweet children in their Amish clothes near a one-room school house and just a plain and simple life.

We headed to Cleveland/Lake Erie for fabulous food and to hang out with Josh's bro's, went to the zoo/rainforest, hiked/ate at a beautiful Inn in the country, and of course ate and ate and ate in between T.V. and board game playing. It was a sweet together time and Grandma and Grandpa spoiled two special little girls to pieces. We are continually blessed beyond measure! 

Here's most of the Foster gang at turkey time.

Adorable cousin Isabella...of whom the girls ADORE

Saturday, November 20, 2010


The week is already over? It's already almost Thanksgiving? It's gonna already be December? Where? Did? The? Year? Go?! I wanted to pause today to be grateful. Shouldn't we alway pause like this?

I am asking way too many questions here.

Aren't we always thankful for the stuff that we know we should be thankful for? (Another question- what is with me?) Of course we are always giving thanks for family, friends, home...but what about every day? It's good to be grateful for the big aaand the small. To delight in every day thankfulness.

Here are 10 of my thankful's TODAY.
1. My best friend is home. He is the smile and heartbeat of this house and has been missed!
2. Sleeping in. (and having self-sufficient kiddos in the a.m.)
3. The get-well fairy waved her wand and I am on the threshold of feeling better. Hallelujah!
4. Being in the presence of angels (who are blonde and live in the same house as me :) every single day.
5. Subway steak and cheese sub with chipotle sauce, loaded up with every single veggie.
6. Comfy sneakers for my bruised toe, a furry companion and fresh air at the park with my lovey's.
7. Doing what I love and making money doing it.
8. Conquering 5 loads of laundry and my favorite sweater smelling fresh from the dryer. (Yes, THAT one.)
9. An abundantly generous, helpful, and cherished friend.
10. Being blessed by the Grace that holds on to my life each and every day.

Check out what Lauren did on our mudroom dry erase board. Her interpretation of a turkey I guess. One in jail. One pondering being cooked. One ninja turkey (with mask and all). Thankful for a cute, creative soul in the family.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"Serious art is born from serious play."~ Julia Cameron

 I will confess. These mornings I have been waking up as a grump. (I know many of you are saying....what else is new, Stac?) It has taken every cell in me to smile, encourage, and pack extra love in the girls school lunches this week. Shame on me. Well, I've been icky-sicky Momma AGAIN. Se-ri-ous-ly? Same symptoms September. October. Now November? I disagree with the doc and don't think I have allergies. There's some weird connection with the pattern of Josh being in Denver and my achey, sneezy, coughy, headachy, sniffley bod when he leaves. I'm just Josh-sick I suppose.
 I finally "put my big girl panties on", started up J's power drill, toughened up like a trooper with Kleenex in hand... and finished my work. Here are some of the quick and simple 25 cheery, gifty and colorful designs I did on canvas board for the local sale. (That top one is a big canvas and love the way the abstract design turned out!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Gresham Barn Sale

I'm getting ready to sell some of my colorful canvas panels at the "Christmas in the Country" Gresham Barn Sale from November 18-20th. If you go to the blog you will see more info about it and a small write up on me there. It's a unique type of Christmas sale; including antiques, vintage items and handmade, high quality gift items. It's all arranged beautifully in a cute and festive setting. Sure to get you in a holiday mood!
Still chuggin' along with custom goodies. Here are two cuties:
This name sign was done for a nursery with soft silver sage colors and simple look.
This one was done for a nursery with more modern, fun and simply sweet flair.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

To do's.

I know I'm not the only one that feels the to-do's getting larger and larger as the holidays approach. Mommy's out there are queens of them. The lists. I am one of those crazy list makers. If ya tell me something that needs to be remembered, it will be written down somewhere (yes, even my hands at times). Lists in my car. My purse. Next to the bed. When I work.   You name it.
This past week I have felt like a big list. Aaah the things a Momma has to remember. The this and the that seem to be never ending at times really. On my list every day is starting/finishing paintings. I certainly don't want this "100 paintings in 100 days" to be stressful. I want it to be enjoyable. Enlightening. It needs to be a bit of a release and I'm excited play around with them most days.
Speaking of painting canvases and to-do's. There still is this big huge blank canvas of life before us, and to be honest, it seems to be eating away at me a bit lately. The "huh? what?...really?...well..?" is getting real. God's purpose is totally and completely in the whole Colorado transition AND we are ready for it! In the meantime we're here, we're blessed and I need to trust every day. Every day seems to be exciting and scary at the same time. Is that possible? Sure is for me.
Speaking of selling this house and Co. journey before us (I'm getting carried away with the writing on here I suppose). Here is my mess in Josh's workshop. I do have a studio upstairs all decked out with piles and piles of creative BUT, I've never really liked it up there. Spoiled I tell ya. It's dark, no windows, I paint on the kitchen table once in awhile (not good when your house is up for sale) and now I'm in hubby's cool, open, light, music blaring, workshop. I now officially have my art-stuff ALL OVER this house!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

catchin' up on this...and that

Been about a week. I try to post something at least once a week if I can. So here ya have it. My Mom was in last week (when Josh was in Denver!) and us girls had such fun. Don't ladies always seem to have fun together? Lot's of talking, laughing, shopping, eating.... all the girly stuff that we miss doing together. Mom's in such a happy spot in her life and it was a treasure to have her here. We all love her to pieces and pieces.
Edom Art Fair is a collection of fabulous artists in a teeny tiny town around here. It's what the town is known for once a year. About 80 awesome artists? I/we are there. Fine artists come from all over to sell and I ooou and aaaw and get totally inspired. Here are the girls at a canvas-kid-painting area...
Ah, our little Lauren. When she gets her mind to something- well, she does it. So she had this kind-of-not-really-wiggly front tooth (mind you, it IS late for losing those) and she just kept wigglin' and wigglin' one day after school. A day later it got to a point where it was just hangin' there and she was looking like this crazy haggle tooth girl. Here's the thing...I WANTED TO HAVE FAMILY PICTURES TAKEN before this!
Too late. We just told her to yank it. So she happily did.
The tooth fairy had to come and leave some serious cash ($2!) for this one.
Hello empty space.
It really is so cute!!
(BUT, maybe we can Photoshop a tooth in for the family pics:-)
Enough about that. On to Halloween:
-Girls picked a favorite book and painted a pumpkin of the book character for a school contest.
-Made witches hats and ghost cookies with Nana.
-Painted faces at the Trunk or Treat community service project for our church.
-Pumpkin carving party at a friends house. (Super cute annual thing; over 100 pumpkins carved and then lit up around the yard.)
-A bonfire, yummo soup and caramel apples at a friends then, "trick or treat!" I think we have over 5 lbs of candy to consume now, friends. I suppose we have to store up some extra padding for the winter!
-Every year since the girls were itty bitty they have "coordinated" with costumes. Well this year they had their minds set and didn't like that idea. Boo hoo. So we had a very blonde 98% good witch and a doctor. Josh said they certainly are coordinated this a Witch Doctor. (hee. hee!)

Monday, October 25, 2010

tick. tock.

"I don't know what I expect from me as an artist. I will just have to figure it out as I go I suppose. It's just simpler that way." -artist from "Great Work of Art"

Time is tickin' and tockin' on this 100 paintings in 100 days project of mine. It's almost the end of month two and I am about 25 paintings behind or so. I want to be at 60 by the end of this month. (I haven't put pictures of everything on this blog.) I told my sweet, supportive Josh that I was this behind and with gentle eyes he looked at me and was like, "good luck with that." I know I was sick, it's been busy and I'm a bit creatively delirious at times. Okay, koo-coo. BUT- I'm not giving up!! I indeed have a pattern of starting MANY things and not finishing them. My Mom said I have AADD (Artist Attention Deficit Disorder!). Ha! It's true.

For me, art needs to be from the heart. Needs to mean something, bring joy, and be different. Plus FUN. I was ready to have some serious fun, so one early evening I whipped out about 10 small canvas panels I had and stuck them on Josh's workshop (sorry honey!), got my colors out and went to town on them. No plans or rules. Finished all ten that night. Uh huh. Aaaaand, they ended up being CUTE!
Fun, I tell ya.

Stay tuned. I will put some on here. They're kinda "gifty" and will be sold in November.

Here's a group of custom canvases I did recently to coordinate with a sweet shower curtain fabric.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

State Fair and Big Tex

                     It's the simple things that make you smile.


Being that we are heading to the mountains one of these days, we are wanting to get the most out of this grand state. We feel like we've seen a good portion of Texas. I mean, it is pretty big so we're being realistic here. From Fort Worth to Austin to San Antonio to Galveston and whatever in between...for the most part, we've seen it or done it. We had not gone to the Texas State Fair yet, though. Apparently it is the oldest, largest and best fair in this great nation of ours. Soooo by all means, we gotta go!

It WAS big and crowded/expensive but it what a blast of a day we had. We'll never do it again, so we made the most of it. Road some rides (the most unforgettable spinny-whirly ride actually), played some games, went through the Botanical Garden and Museum of Nature & Science, people watched (oh, you gotta love that), held hands and loved the big blue sky.

I need to start an entirely different paragraph for the food there. Seriously. We just stuck with the typical corndog (best ever though), lemonade, cotton candy route. BUT, oh my goodness....fried EVERYTHING surrounded us. I am not talking like fried chicken here, friends. I am talking deep fried: club salad, pbjelly, caviar, Pop Tart's, Frito pie, chocolate, BUTTER, frozen margarita, Snicker's, latte, lemonade. And last but not least, fried BEER. All I gotta say is "how in the world do you fry these things?" They do it there. They must do it well, because the lines were HUGE.

It was great. With sun kissed-cheeks, junk-filled bellies and worn-out toesies-- Texas State Fair? Check.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The treasure is called right now.

I had my camera and wanted to capture some pictures of tonight. A pretty normal night on school days actually. A bonus that the air is having a chill to it, and we get to wear long sleeves outside. Hip, hip, hoorah! Check out what a Monday night in the Foster house looks like.
 Josh's continual attempts to get that gopher/mole(s) that tear up our yard. Remember Bill Murray in Caddy Shack? Yeah. Hannah had a the vocab word "persistant" in her homework tonight. That's Daddy!

Our poochie looking for some trouble.

She is all that! And so happy on her wheels--love the socks, L. 

 So sweet from her teacher. I agree!

Homework. More homework? Showers. Pj's. Dessert. A little T.V. and xoxo.

There can always be a wonder in the here and now.
Nightie. night.

So long September.

Have one of those weeks lately and it's just plain "ugh"? From Sunday to Sunday- that was me. Sick (again), stress, emotional,... just puny stuff to some, but big in my world. Sometimes life can be so overwhelming. We all carry around our own stress, brokenness and "stuff". So, being that this is a new week- I wanted to get my heart straight. I needed to look at the past week. See the negative. Know it's real (and you know I like keeping it real) but also stick a positive with it.

Josh left for Co. for the week.
Hoorah for modern technology (iphone vs. droid) helping us stay connected.
My heartstrings stretched with devastating stuff that happened to some special someone's in my life.
There is the power of prayer and God is our refuge and strength in difficult times.
The art teacher forgot I was subbing on Monday= no lesson plans and I had to pretty much wing it.
It actually ended up being fun. Then on Fri. I patiently taught a kindergarten class (who barely know how to draw shapes) to draw a cute cat! They were ALL so excited and proud.
Polly ate some of my lunch and barfed (!!) for a couple days. 
Polly is a comfortable companion when I'm lonely.
Need to vent every once in awhile.
I am blessed with THE most incredible friends that are always there. To listen. To encourage, love.
I am 12 art pieces or so behind (including custom work).
I CAN and WILL catch up and love my new paints!
Sick. Run over by a semi-truck? Head a big balloon? (Have I developed allergies?)
Thank you Motrin. Benadryl. Comfy bed. Understanding kiddos and hubby.
It's Fall. October. 3 years since Dad died. Sad spots in the days.
Blessed with memories and love that can never be taken from me. (Also lovin' Fall weather- bye bye almost 4 months of 100 degree weather.)
Missing my Mom (and not just 'cuz she was a free kidsitter!).
Yay! She booked a flight to come in a few weeks.
How many times to I have to ask? Squibble, squabbling again?
I get the honor of mothering angels.
For Sale sign still sitting pretty. No lookers.
Not wasting too much energy lately on the dust bunnies, grime and spider webs. 
Our water bill is whaaat?? Bills. Bills. Bills.
Saturday night backyard campfire. Friends. Family. Laughter.

Last, leaving it on a big time positive- the angels are singing and our hearts are jumping for joy... another Whiting to be born next spring!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

dibblin' and dabblin'

  I'm just trying to keep it fresh and be creative in something.  It really comes down to the main reason why I am doing these 100 paintings. Just a desire to fully know where my favorite art-niche is.  

Today I told Josh that I wanted to read him the little children's book I wrote awhile back. I want to illustrate it. He says (with sweet, loving support I assume) "oh, you are just dibblin' and dabblin' in everything aren't you?" Yeeeessss. That's my problem. 

I mean- I am painting custom name signs. Another wedding frame. Whimsy. Dogs. Gifts. Decoupage. Designing my calendar again for Christmas sales. Subbing for an art teacher at the girls school these next weeks. 
A bit jumbled. Get it together, girl!

I have been fervently searching ebay for some really nice (and a tad expensive) professional acrylic paints. I found some and busted with glee when they arrived yesterday. It's was like "Merry Christmas to me", although it was bought with birthday money from May....seriously.
 Did this "love birds" silhouette for our Anniversary. Kind of abstract, but turned out cool.
 A sweet friend and I did some decoupaging together one night. I took old love notes from forever ago and placed them randomly on this square, flat canvas. Then went over with paint/smudged it, went over with ink/smudged it and added other goodies. A bit of a mess but too fun.

"Don't go where the path may lead- go where there is no path 
and leave a trail." -Emerson

Thursday, September 23, 2010

...and they lived happily ever after

If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I would never have to live without you. -Winnie the Pooh

He sat behind me in study hall one day. We later bumped into eachother on a golf course. He called me several times wanting to go out, and I finally decided to on September 23rd, 1988. I was 15 and he had just gotten his drivers license. An old $1 movie theatre, Burger King and a chilly night riding around in his big, navy blue '76 convertible- the rest is history. Seven years of falling head over heels in love, two me's became us on September 23rd. 15 years ago.

This man of my life (that I am still growing up with!) has introduced me to a love, laughter and happiness like no other. To adventure. To trust. To holding on in the most tender and toughest times. To Jesus. To two baby girls. To a committed and comfortable world made just for us.

Josh is in my smile every day. My heart. My dreams. My yesterday and my tomorrow. He's the one person who fully knows who I am, who I was, and who I wanna be. He knows my highs, my lows and from the good to the icky... loves me unconditionally through it all.

If that's not a love from Above- then I don't know what is.

Happy 9/23, Joshy. Forever loving you to pieces. xox

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Doggies. 100 paintings in 100 days.

Designers. Designing. Just design in general gives fuel to many creative things I get myself into. I'm ignited and my heart pitter patters whether I'm doing this or that in the design realm. Thus, I am in l-o-v-e and a tad addicted to any design show on HGTV. It's all I really like to sit through on television anymore. I was forwarding a recent recorded show of the "Antonio Treatment" (he looks rough, but sweet and way talented!) and he was re-doing a Boys-n-Girls Club art room. He talked about how kids are the best artists. They are not afraid and carry no boundaries or restrictions. They just go for it without judgement. This is why everything a child creates is fabulous, right?

This so resonated with me. And stuck. How when you start "growing up" you start believing you're not good enough? You get intimidated by others and icky thoughts eat you up. I do that ALL the time with my artwork. Fear eventually sets in and then I don't do ANYTHING.

So, where I am going with this is (rambling on) is that I have had this stack of dog pictures to paint. I kept looking at them all week. Fear set in. I can't do these! Then I remembered Antonio  "just go for it, take those walls down"....(this can apply to so many areas of life.)

So I did. And my heart went pitter patter.

Here are two of my "frightening" stack of pooches.

Our cutie Polly above (when she is groomed!)
And remembering Sasha below.
Up next: Oliver, Carter, Dexter.



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