Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Where is Miss Spring???

Okay, I'll admit it.  I'm really, really sick of gray skies and dirty snow piles.  Although most of all the dirty snow piles are gone, there are still some gargantuan ugly remnants laying around. Where are the robins?  I heard a rumor about one, but I haven't seen any yet.  My hyacinths are poking little green spears through the ground.  Good sign.  The squirrels are playing tag up and down the tree trunks, but I want REAL Spring.  74 degrees and light breeze.  T-shirts and capris.  No salt stains on my truck.  And Sandals.  I want to wear sandals.  Okay.  I feel better.  Not good, but better.  I''ll feel good when Spring is here for real.

I've been gearing up on my handmade books and journals.  I have an interview on Etsy slated for March 4, which will be showcasing my books.  That's cool.  And I've been doing small paintings, cuz small paintings have small price tags, and small price tags sell faster.  I've got 2 shows lined up for May, and every Wednesday at the Toms River Farmers' Market for display of artwork and demos. 

Life continues to throw personal challenges our way.  My bro-in-law is facing the hardest struggle in his life, and there's no happy ending, but somehow we'll get by and we have to learn to accept the fact that it's God's will be done, not ours, and His plan is not always the easy road.  Hang tough, Kev, we love you.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New Endeavors





I've been busy playing with a new outlet....handmade books!  I've posted a few photos, and you can let me know what you think.  This is an answer to not being able to go to the studio and paint; this flu/bug/cold has been kicking my butt, and I needed a creative release to be able to do in the house.  So....bookmaking!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thoughts for the Season

Wishing all my readers a very Merry Christmas!  May you all strive to commit random acts of kindness, smile at strangers, and flood the Universe with thoughts of peace, love and good will.  Let's all fill the world with joy, tolerance and gentle grace, so that we can reap the benefits of good Karma and perpetuate the Christmas Spirit throughout the year.

Let us remember the reason for the bright lights, gifts and sharing of friendship, for without Him in our lives, it would be a sad, dark, and lonely place.

I hope you receive everything that you need and desire this Christmas, and pay it forward as best you are able.  We are all one big tribe, and family is not restricted to ancestry and blood lines, but incorporates all the people who make up your days and form your life and share your memories.  No matter what observances you may follow, this is the time to put differences aside and embrace the qualities that make us human and loving and empathetic creatures.  May the light of peace and love shine in your lives and make us all a little better in the coming New Year.

Monday, December 20, 2010

One Last Post for 2010

Just wishing those readers that celebrate Christmas a very Merry and Blessed Christmas, and may the Light continue to shine on you in whatever you endeavor to begin in 2011.  For those of you who do not celebrate Christmas, may the joy and warmth of your holiday envelope you and your family, and to everyone, may there be peace in your lives.

2010 was certainly a roller coaster ride, and offered some life changing decisions.  I lost my employment after 8 years with the store.  Lexi started Kindergarten and Katie started nursing school while working full time at night.   I was able to step in and take over the responsibilities of getting Lexi to school and collecting her off the bus at noontime.  What a blessing to be able to be home at exactly the time I was needed.  In addition, 2010 offered me several opportunities to exhibit my art, and realize the dream of possibly making this art thing happen.  I am so grateful for all of the positive things came happened this year, and I realize it very easily could've gone very wrong very quickly, so I wake up every day and say, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

To all my friends, family and friends I haven't met yet:  Thank YOU for being a part of my life, and showing me what life is all about.  Love and Hugs to you all, may 2011 bring you everything you need and deserve.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finishing Up

Well, the double horse portrait commission is all done, ready to be delivered.  It's such a good feeling to finish a commission and really be happy with it.  I have posted photos of it on Red Bubble, Fine Art America and Facebook, so you should be able to see it through the Red Bubble link at the top of this page.  So, to quote Jason and Grant, "On to the next!"

Christmas is approaching very rapidly, the tree is up and decorated, and cookie baking has commenced.  Of course, I don't know why I buy cookie tins to keep the cookies in; they don't last long enough to keep! 

The next commission is the winner of my Facebook Photo Contest.  I got so many cool photos in, I may have to award several people, but the first winner is Devon, for her cool abstracty reflections photo.  Can't wait to start it.

Just wanted to check in, and report my progress.  Hope you are making time to do whatever makes you happy at this holiday season.  Enjoy!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Commissions for Christmas

Well, life has decided to throw me a bone....rec'd 2 more commissions for Christmas.  Woo-Hoo!  They are not really difficult, and they are being done in acrylics, so things should move along quite nicely.
Had to go to the art store to pick up canvases.  Such a hardship, going to the art store.  I bought things I didn't really need.  Wanted, but didn't need.  I'll use them.  But no playing till the paying jobs are done.

I finished a small acrylic painting, titled "Joan of Arc" which can be seen on either Facebook or Fine Art America.  Facebook Link:   http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2059488&id=1094598178
Fine Art America Link:  http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/jean-lebaron.html

Time to get in the studio.  Hope to post some more pics soon; show you all what I've been doing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas Time Warp

D'jever notice how, this time of year, time as we know it seems to go into hyper speed?  Really, think about it.  Not only do we have the natural shortening of daylight hours, but time itself goes into a warp loop where each day until December 24 has less usable hours in it.  I don't understand how this happens.  All I know is, there aren't enough hours left to do everything I planned to do at the beginning of the season.

Like cookies.  Last year I thought I'd make some sugar cutout cookies, and decorate them with beautiful colors of icing and sparkly sugar.  Nope.  Didn't happen.  I managed to open a box of heat and serves with little Santas already in the cookie dough.

And wrapping presents.  I'm an artist.  I should be able to get creative and coordinate my papers with ribbons and bows, and clever little tie on tags that are designed by me.  Nope, didn't happen.  Although I did eventually get all the presents wrapped, most were missing their bows, because Big Dog sat on the bag of stick-on bows and squished them.  I hate flat bows.  So I didn't use them.

And tree decorating.  Some people have beautifully appointed trees, one in each room, themed and color-matched, with hundreds of tiny lights, twinkling and welcoming.  Well.   We have one tree, an artificial tree that we bought, oh, I don't know 15 or 20 years ago.   The needles on the tree fall off at a rate equal to or better than a real tree that has not seen any water in 4 weeks.  The only consolation is the artificial tree needles do not become embedded in the bottom of your feet.  The ornaments on the tree are almost antiques, the newest ones being the glue-and-glitter constructions that my baby made in elementary school.  Same baby is now 24 and a mom herself.  I can at least look forward to new ornaments this year, because Lexi has started Kindergarten.  And the lights?  I made sure to get the kind where they guarantee that if one goes out, the rest stay lit.  And its true.  Why, I'll bet there are at least 14 or 15 lights still working on the one strand.  And they still blink, too.  Gotta find the time to see about buying a new string of lights.  Maybe 2 strings.

And back to the time warp.  I meant to buy those lights last year, really I did.  But time warped weirdly, and I found myself taking that time to find a Christmas Special on TV, and sitting and watching it with Lexi.  Or another day, when I really meant to get all Martha-Stewart with those Christmas cookies, I inexplicably ended up teaching Lexi how to cut paper snowflakes. 

And maybe that time warp is a good thing.  Who cares how many different kinds of cookies you have?  Do you have enough to leave one for Santa?  And who cares if your tree is not perfect?  Do you have a couple of badly wrapped and overly-taped presents under it?  And if your lights are burning out at an alarming rate, that just means you won't be able to see the dust in the corners.  And grand-kids don't care about perfection according to Better Homes and Gardens.  They just want to spend time with you.  They want to anticipate and wonder and hope and shine with love.  They know what Christmas is all about.  We should all try to act like children.

Wishing you all a very stress-free, simple, good-enough, spend time with those you love prelude to Christmas.  And don't forget to give yourself a present, as well.  For me, that gift is time scheduled in the studio.  Even if it means I have to slice and bake later!