Monday, February 4, 2013

Pt. 2 - Art Licensing: Walking SURTEX, Planning an Exhibit, Working the Plan

As promised, here's part 2 of my post from last week. If you missed part 1 you can read it here:  Art Licensing: Walking SURTEX, Planning an Exhibit, Working the Plan - Part 1


Get to work immediately

Build on the excitement you have from walking the show. Don't take a break. Get your plan in motion. If you’re planning to exhibit the very next year then you don’t want to waste any time. There's much to do and the time goes by very fast. I still can't believe SURTEX is such a short time away. It seems like I was just there.

Below are some tips to help you get your plan into motion:

#1 - Determine how much money you’ll need to display at the next show. SURTEX is not cheap. You will need to pay for display items, pre-show marketing materials, promos if you choose, travel and lodging, meals and shopping - seriously, it's in New York - meals and shopping are part of the experience! Find out when the payments for the show are due and make a plan to get the money. Sell your art, do shows, crank up that Etsy shop, have garage sales, etc.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Art Licensing: Walking Surtex, Planning an Exhibit, Working the Plan - Part 1

I've been chatting up the SURTEX 2013 trade show and, yes, I'm talking about it again. But this time I want to give you my take on walking the show as an artist with an eye toward exhibiting at a future event.
If you're thinking about exhibiting at SURTEX then you want to walk the show. Pay the money and go. It’s worth it. I can't imagine planning to have a booth at SURTEX and not 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Art Licensing Agency, Parcai Designs - Press Release

Our first press release is out. Looking forward to New York City in May.


Press Release
January 22, 2013
For Immediate Publication


Parcai Designs will display a wide variety of art at SURTEX 2013. SURTEX is the most important show for the art and design business and the only marketplace in North America dedicated to the sale and licensing of surface designs for products of all kinds. SURTEX is held at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City, May 19 to 21, 2013. Look for Parcai Designs in booth 765 on the showroom floor.

Parcai Designs, LLC is an art licensing agency based in Dallas, Texas, representing artists who license their art to manufacturers for use on their products. Parcai Designs is a new company, but our company members are not new to the industry. Our team brings a wealth of experience in gift product manufacturing, graphic design, marketing, and legal expertise. From timeless classics to current trends, Parcai Designs is committed to developing lasting relationships between art and industry.

For more information:
Teresa Cain


My other posts about SURTEX and art licensing:
Walking SURTEX 2013, Planning an Exhibit, and Working the Plan - Part 1
Planning Not Panicking - Working Toward SURTEX 2013
Adobe CS6, Art Licensing, SURTEX, Oh My!

Look for my coming post, Walking Surtex 2013, Planning an Exhibit, and Working the Plan - Part 2. I'll add this post Monday, 2/4/13.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Planning Not Panicking - Working Toward SURTEX 2013

                                                                  © 2012 Lainey Parker

I create lots of art and I've sold my art for many years. I do regular shows and the creation process, show set-up and break-down are all part of my regular routine. But now I'm moving in a brand new direction with a different creative process and, when I started on this new path, I was back in the role of a frantic, panic mode.

As I've said in my recent posts, I'm doing SURTEX this year. The show is in May and I've been working towards this for a while now. And even though I have tons of artwork, I have to do some work to format my designs for licensing. I'm creating collections around my main art pieces, adding coordinating pieces, repeat patterns, and even creating new artwork to broaden my portfolio. It's both exciting and scary. Good scary. It takes extra thought to put everything together and get the collections to where I'm happy with them.


Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Shutterfly Books for Surtex? Maybe?

The artwork in my test book is from one of my scrapbook kits. You can find the kit at

I'm thinking about ordering Shutterfly books for SURTEX so I'm ordering this 8" x 8" test book to see how they look. I've never ordered from this company before so I'm curious to see the quality. In reading past blogs by SURTEX attendees, I ran across a couple of artists who used printed books to showcase their designs. I just don't remember who they used to print the books and, of course, I didn't bookmark so can't find those blogs now. I'll let you know what I think when the actual book comes in.

Now, back to the studio. I have lots more to create.

1-22-13 - Update: 

I received my Shutterfly book today and it is fantastic! I do wish I had tried to drag the artwork to the edge of the page and will do this on the next book to see if it prints correctly. It will look better if it's full bleed. The colors printed perfectly and the look and feel of the book is better than I expected. I will be ordering larger books for my upcoming show.

Look for Parcai Designs and my artwork in booth #765
at SURTEX, May 19-21 in New York City.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Adobe CS6, Art Licensing, SURTEX, Oh My!

I wanted to share this information with those of you who use Adobe Creative Suite and/or are interested in licensing your artwork.
One of my favorite blogs is by Joan Beiriger. Not only do I love her artwork, she has some of the best information about art licensing and she shares it with such professionalism. After reading her blog post on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator CS6, I really wanted to share some of my thoughts and her post.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

IF - Popularity

Although J.R.'s audition was the best, everyone said it was 
his popularity that landed him the lead in the school play. 
On opening night, J.R.'s amazing performance proved
he was the best choice for the part.

* * * * *

The Process of Creating J.R.

I'm going to be creating a bunch of robots in the near future for a project
and this little guy was my first attempt to see if it fits my style. They will likely
 change but J.R. wanted to help me out with Illustration Friday.

Recently I was asked about my process so I decided to snap some 
pictures as I worked. 

Also, to answer the question of how I come up with what I create... 
I am a visual thinker. Ideas are vivid pictures in 
my mind - they pop in my head fully formed. Many times
they show up with a name and a story.
The final piece may change, especially if I am 
creating for a client, but the first draft is always what I see in my head. 

Here is the beginning sketch.
I do almost all my sketches with a Steadtler Mechanical Pencil.
I use ranges .3 - .7 and use .5 the most.

Below is J.R. after inking and making adjustments.
My favorite pens to ink with are my ink well
& dip pen and Y&C Permawriter II. This
was done with the Permawriter and it works
well on paper with a rough texture. Very smooth
and doesn't catch and skip. 

I did this one in watercolor so the next step
was to mix the paints. The colors I used were
a slate blue mix, a terracotta color 
mixed with a dark violet and
a bit of the slate blue mix for the rust.

Adding the first layer of color.
Watercolor was a hard medium for me to learn
because of its hard line effect. Took a while to learn
to soften those lines and make the colors blend. But now
I love it - probably my favorite medium for illustration.
Most of my work is done in an Alla Prima style and
 not in layers of washes. Looking to do some video of my 
watercolors in the future.

More color. Almost there but not quite. 
Needs a few more adjustments before
I can call him finished. And I need an actual
scan of the final image instead of a 
quick snap with my phone.
(Final image is at the top.)

Thanks for stopping by and I always enjoy your emails and comments.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Parrots in my back yard!

Parrots at the bird feeders in my back yard! 
I apologize for the poor quality of the pictures. I took them through my window 
(um... and looks like I need to wash that window... ick). 
I 've never seen parrots in this area and was quite surprised to see so many of them all at once. They were on every feeder! Just gorgeous! I got a bit worried that they had escaped some warm home and would freeze this winter so decided to see what I could find out. It seems there are large nests around Dallas and one is located at White Rock Lake near my home. The parrots live on electric substations and the substations generate enough heat so they can live outdoors year round. I hope they come back to dine at my feeders again soon.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

IF - Round

As the hands on the clock seem to go 'round faster and faster this time of year, make sure to take time for yourself to enjoy this beautiful season.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

IF - Imperfect

I'm very lucky to have wonderful relationships in my life. It hasn't always been this way. I remember times, in what seems like another lifetime, when a new friend or romantic interest would walk into my life and they would seem so perfect. Those relationships would be great for a time and then the new would wear off and all the yucky stuff would start to rise to the surface, and as it happens to most of us on occasion, some of those relationships ended badly.

I have had a few of the bad ones in my past and some have taken years to heal. But now that I am in a much better place in my life, I look back and am thankful for those people and those times. They are part of the reason I am in a much better place.  I gained strength and found out more about who I am with each and every difficult situation.

I now realize there is no perfect person or relationship and sometimes the most perfect people to have in my life are the ones who make me feel so imperfect, the ones where I have only 2 choices, to fall flat on my face, or gain strength and move forward. Sometimes imperfect is perfect because it's what is needed at the time in order to grow.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Digital Scrapbooking Kits in My Etsy Shop

Little Bit of Sunshine
(To see more detail click on images to enlarge)

Years ago I, along with a group of friends, would head to IHOP every Monday night to work on our scrapbooks. We laughingly called our little club ICROP and would drag in all of our bags and boxes and set up in a large private dining area and scrap for hours. Business was really slow at IHOP on Monday nights, and we were nice and left big tips for the wait person "lucky" enough to have our tables, so they put up with us. We would laugh and create beautiful pages, trade papers and other goodies, and best of all, we would dream of what we would do if...  It was wonderful fun and we ate lots yummy, greasy, fattening food. After we were finished we would pack up all of our supplies and head off with our newly completed pages for our albums. We did this week after week until life got in the way of our Monday night get togethers.

Over the years I have collected so many scrapbooking tools, papers, stickers, you name it, and I still love scrapbooking. However, I don't love the mess and can't imagine finding the time to pack up everything and head anywhere for a scrap meet. I even started to find it hard to find time and space to get everything out to work on my albums. So, when I found digital scrapbooking it seemed like the best of both worlds. Lots of stuff to create fabulous scrapbook pages but without the mess, and great online sites where you can share what you have created and chat about everything scrapbooking. I still like to pull out the boxes and bags on occasion but I am in love with the ease and limitless creativity with the digital process. And I am addicted to buying other's digital scrapbooking kits, as well as making my own.

I am now offering original scrapbooking kits and other digital art for sale in my Etsy Shop at Paper Place Designs. And if you would like to use any of my designs in your small business just check out the Limited Use Commercial License for sale in the shop and see if it fits your needs. This is great if you like to make cards or other paper arts that you sell in your online shops or craft/art shows and don't want to create your own papers and embellishments, or have to run to the store to buy them. Everyone seems to be time poor these days so every minute saved helps, right?

Many digital scrappers use Photoshop Elements and there are lots of tutorials online for this program and others.

So, whether you are a seasoned digital scrapper or a beginner, or just thinking about trying the process, I hope you will think of my shop when you are looking to fill your digital scrapbooking wish list.

Beginners... I warn you, digital scrapbooking is as addictive as paper scrapping, maybe more so. However, all the time you save by not having to set up, organize and clean up can now be devoted to making more pages for your albums. The supplies are inexpensive and can be used over and over, fixing mistakes is as easy and hitting the undo button, and clean up is as fast as shutting down your computer. Your finished pages look great and can still have some of that paper scrapped look with the addition of drop shadows, elements with a dimensional look and other fun digital effects. Create a hybrid page and use both traditional and digital elements. So many options!

You can use the digital product to create your own art to frame, make greeting cards, stickers, etc. We even offer a commercial use option that will allow you to use the products for your own small business.

Happy scrapping and paper crafting everyone! I hope to see you in my shop soon - it's open 24 hours a day.   :)

Paper Place Designs

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

IF - Remedy

A good remedy for the blues is a bouquet of fresh 
flowers and a bit of Sunshine!

(Made with elements from my 
Little Bit of Sunshine kit available at Paper Place Designs)

Friday, May 20, 2011

Opening Doors

When I was a kid my older sister, by 10 years, was the coolest person I knew. She had the best room and the craziest friends and got to do so much more than me. We lived in an old house and the doors had the old skeleton key type locks. I would hang outside her door, peering through the keyhole, and watch her dance in front of the mirror, and put on makeup - that is until she heard me and chased me away. I thought it would be forever until I got to live the life I wanted... to be all grown up.

That same feeling stuck around even into my adult years, always thinking I'd find something better if I could just get through the right door, but feeling like all the doors are locked and I don't have the right key. But in reality those doors weren't locked, I just never tried to open them. I finally realized that the only way to get where I want to be is to turn the knob, open the door, and step over the threshold.

At the end of 2010 I decided to open some doors for myself by making some major changes in my life (scary). The biggest change... I quit selling real estate (which I have done forever) and decided to be a full time artist. It has been great so far and I just wish I had done it sooner.

I will be uploading more artwork in the near future. I have missed all my blog friends and hope everyone is doing well.

Take care!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Yea! The Stylish Blogger award has made it to my blog and I am happy to accept it from this wonderful person. Check out her blog when you get a chance. Being mentioned in her list made my day! Thank you Janet.

One of the things about me (extra bonus to the 7 things I will be telling you about - hee hee) is that I never ever do chain letters. I have broken every chain letter I have ever received... until now. This is an award/chain letter but it is totally cool (did I really just say totally cool). First of all it's nice to be named by another artist - made me feel very good. And I was super excited to find out what a wonderful way this is to network with other artists and find new blogs. So far I have a new Facebook friend (Love friends!) and blog subscriber (Hi, Susi!), and I found several new artists to connect with who I did not even know were out there (huge bonus). And its always good to have your blog linked in someone else's blog post because more people can find you that way.

I am really not saying all of this to get those I name to participate (well, maybe a little) because most everyone seems to be time poor these days. But if you do participate then I hope you find many new friends to connect with. Again, thank you Janet. And to those I do name, no pressure because I won't check up on you to see if you did this. But it will be nice for the people who visit here to find you easily by just clicking on your link. I enjoy all of your blogs and I spend many of my coffee breaks with you guys whether you know it or not (I will try to comment more so you will know it).

So, let's see... part of this process is to name 7 things about yourself that people don't know. I will do this and then I will add my list of blogs. Here are my 7 things:

1. I am an ovo lacto vegetarian (means I do on occasion eat eggs and dairy) and have been for many years now. I cheat when I go on my yearly trip to Cape Cod and will eat some fish (which actually makes me a pescetarian, for that week anyway). Yep, I feel a bit guilty when I eat fish. No, I don't push my way of eating on others. I would love to say I am thin and fit due to being a vegetarian, but no, I fight weight gain because I am addicted to chocolate, cake (love cake), cookies, and real half and half in my coffee with real sugar (raw sugar - yum). If I don't ride my bike and go to the gym regularly I will not be wearing my clothes and will have to go buy new ones (which is a problem and you will understand after you read thing number 2).

2. I hate to shop unless it's for art supplies or books. I cringe when I have to go to a mall and not crazy about the grocery store.

3. I don't want to go places where I have to dress in anything other than casual attire, preferably jeans and comfy shoes. So, I work at home most of the week because no one cares what I wear here (and most of the time I am in sweats, pajamas or yoga pants). But if I have to go out I will worry over what I am going to wear and won't leave without my hair done and full makeup.

3. I love going to coffee shops. Just the atmosphere makes me want to be creative so I make sure I have my idea journal with me when I go. Favorites in Dallas are The Pearl Cup, Urban Dog Coffee, and White Rock Coffee.

4. I had a near death experience when I was little.

5. I have a 35 year old cactus named Charlie. I purchased him for $1.00 at a flea market when I was a kid and I have had him all these years. Yes, I know he is a plant but I have had him so long he feels like family.

6. I am addicted to Pinkberry frozen yogurt. Coconut flavor with dark chocolate crisps and almonds. I keep sampling the other flavors but always get the same thing.

7. I can do a pretty good Miss Piggy voice.

Now I am supposed to add blogs that I would like to pass the award to. I think the rules of this is to name 1-15 blogs. I know I won't make all 15 due to my own time issues but will try to get close to 10.

1. A blog that keeps your interest. I always find myself clicking around this blog - it just flows well (trying to figure out her secret for capturing attention). Shows her process in many post and just good sharing.

2. A blog that always makes me smile - filled with whimsy and I love that she shows many of her sketches before she paints them. Makes me want to do this so am going to try to show more of the process in my work and not just the final piece.

3. A blog I just started following recently and she has really interesting posts and I love her art - very colorful.

4. Love reading her posts and her jewelry is just gorgeous!

5. Amazing mixed media paintings and a very unique style. The girls she paints are just beautiful and I love how she paints hair.

6. A very uplifting blog with a lot of beautiful artwork. She can take something I would never think would make a good art piece, like an empty plastic bottle, and will make a gorgeous piece of art out of it. Very inspiring.

7. If you haven't seen her creations, especially her caged fairies, you must take a look. This blog always makes me smile and she is such a sweet person.

Well, I made it to 7. So many blogs, so little time. I must stop here and wrap this up because I have a very long list of things to do. Please check out these blogs and follow them if you haven't already. Now, I am supposed to notify everyone that they have been named. I may not get to this part until tomorrow. (Yep, this is where I am going to mess up and forget to let someone know - sorry in advance guys!)

If you plan to participate, here are the rules.

- Copy the award and post it on your blog
- Thank the person who gave you the award and link back to them in your post
- List 7 things about you that others don't know
- List 15 blogs that you would like to give this award to - does not have to be all 15 and can be anywhere from 1-15
- Notify all the people you list that the award is coming to them if they would like to accept it

This has been a lot of fun!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

IF - Déjà Vu

I read somewhere that déjà vu is the universe's way of telling you to pay attention. Like a completion of a timeline and something important is about to happen - mile markers in the timeline of our lives. Something is going to be shown to you that could be life changing and you can choose to continue on the same timeline or you can move in the new direction. It could be as simple as something you see in a window that sparks a dream - you choose to live that dream or continue on without it in your life. So, when you get that déjà vu feeling, pay attention to what passes through your life shortly after. It could be something really good and you might miss it if you are not aware. Then of course there is the scientific explanation of déjà vu but it isn't nearly as much fun to think about. :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

IF - Resolutions

One of my resolutions for this year is no reality television. This will be an easy one since I don't really care for reality television. Thought I would set myself up for success.  :)

It's Hard To Switch Gears

I decided since it's a new year it's time for a new blog background so I spent yesterday working on that and playing in my art supplies, trying not to think about my holiday vacation quickly coming to an end. I have to admit that I had a hard time switching gears this morning. I woke up and really wanted to grab a cup of coffee and head to my studio as I have so many other mornings over the past week and a half. I always have a hard time getting back into the swing of things after time off. I am an artist who has a job. It's a great job and I do get to use my creative side quite a bit but it isn't the same as being in my studio. So, this morning I gave myself a bit of a pep talk and realized that just because I have to do something else, I don't have to stop being an artist (you think I would have figured that out by now).

Today I left the house still wearing my artist hat. I decided it would be like being on a secret mission (okay, yes, I cater to my inner child - and yes, I have to bribe her much of the time - and yes, my inner child likes secret missions). As I went about my work day I looked for art ideas. Even going through my massive stack of mail was more fun. I found some great color schemes and some new ideas sparked. Even dealing with angry people turned out to be a good source of inspiration (there seems to be a lot ot them out there right now) and some of these people will make funny cartoon characters. *laughs wickedly* All in all it was a good day and who knows what I will find tomorrow.

Did anyone else find it hard to get back to the normal day to day after the holiday vacation? What did you do to make it easier? How do you take the world around you and turn it into art? Please leave a comment or email me at I love hearing other people's stories and always appreciate the comments and emails I receive.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Art Studio Tour

I spent the week rearranging and organizing my studio and wanted to share before and after pictures.


Although this space was functional before, having my art desk in the center of the room facing a wall was not the best for me.

I added a new shelving unit but still need to buy one more.

 I like having special things in my studio. This is a little step stool my dad made for me when I was little. It is also a tiny chair when turned on its side. Now I use it under my art desk as a foot rest.

 I still need to touch up the paint above the shelves and the trim still needs to be painted.

Much better with my computer in the center of the room and not in the back corner.

Never enough drawers!

This is one of my favorite pieces of furniture. It is an old Globe Wernicke bookcase that was being thrown away. It matches my art desk perfectly and I love having all my art books behind the glass doors. Mollie likes to display her certificates of bravery from the vet behind the glass on the shelf closest to her.

A little Mollie LOVE!
She is always in my studio when I am working. She has two favorite spots - on her toy crate just under the window and in her house under the art desk.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Depression and the Artist

(A page from my art journal)

I often wonder how personal a blog should be and if anyone even wants to read those kinds of stories. I rather like it when I find a blog that has a bit of a human touch to it (maybe I'm in the minority here). There are many things that happen to me that greatly affect my art, most of the time it's good, but once in a while it's something that makes creativity a bit more of a challenge. Since this is a personal blog I will, on occasion, share some of these stories here.

Depression has hit me time and again throughout my life but the darkest period happened in 2002. My world had pretty much crumbled around me and a big part of that crumbling surrounded my world of art. I went to bed and barely got out of it for months. Death seemed like a friend knocking on my door, and I really wanted to answer it. But, instead of that option I chose finding someone to help me deal with my depression. Actually someone I knew made an appointment and dragged me to a therapist, but I chose to go back so I will take some of the credit. I was totally numb, void of all feeling, by the time I walked into that office. My world was very dark, no color, no art, no tears, nothing. I am not even sure I showered that day or did my hair. It was a very long time before I started to feel anything again and what brought feeling back was returning to art and learning to use it to work through depression.

Although my depression was not cured, it does go away for long periods of time. And when it starts to come back I can almost always recognize it and deal with it immediately using tools I've learned. But on occasion a trigger will hit head on like a freight train crashing into me. It is unexpected and can knock my spirit right out of my body because it is just too much too fast. I find myself spiraling downward into darkness and feeling as if there is no firm place to plant my feet. At those times all the tools go out the window, at least for a while. This is where I've found  myself lately.

A picture of what the downward sprial 
of depression feels like to me.

My depression will often hit when I start to create after taking a break from my art. It has been this way my entire life. Does anyone else experience this? If I am creating on a regular basis then all is well but it is after a separation from my creative side, such as going on vacation or doing back to back shows (my life since the end of September) which takes me away from the studio - this is when I notice things beginning to change. When I get back to work the emotional roller coaster will start going again until I get settled back into my routine.

There are statistics that show a higher percentage of artists, writers, and other creative souls  deal with depression more so than other types of people. I even read that mental illness (don’t like that term) is the reason many artists are creative – that the creativity is the result of a problem. I don’t agree with that, not completely anyway.

Creative people spend a lot of time swimming in the sea of their subconscious while they are creating. Maybe many of us (not all) who suffer depressive states might do so because of our time spent in our subconscious where our life’s experiences are stored, the good, bad, ugly, and repressed (guess that would fall into the ugly category). While we are moving around in there trying to find a place to create from, we sometimes hit a dark spot hidden below the surface. We don’t mean to tread in the dark waters, it just happens. We may not even know it in the moment, but things start to change, the mood darkens and depression is close. I don't know whether creativity is the result or the reason of depression, but I do know artists who use their depression to fuel their creativity usually create some powerful artwork because it's full of personal feeling. I actually think I do my best work when I have deep feeling pouring out of me - good or bad. And I know when I am feeling bad, art has the power to heal.

Full on depression is where I find myself right now. Time to get to work I guess. So I open my "tool box" and choose art and writing to work through this time in my life. I will get my depression on the outside so I can look at it and change it. I will do artwork that shows exactly how I feel right now and will write in my journal. I will get some of my work done and have a sense of accomplishment. And tomorrow things may even be brighter. And if not, then the next day.

"Thought Storm"
The many thoughts that run through my head can be
overwhelming and sometimes paralyzing when feeling
depressed. Learning to grab just one thought and
work with it and let the others go has been a huge help.

I know there are many people who have a hard time throughout the year, and during the holidays can be especially difficult for some. Here is a list of what helps get me moving on an upward spiral. No, it isn't easy but it gets easier with every step and it doesn't take that long to make a big change in mood.

Journaling – writing, writing, writing. Just getting some of it out will help. Even if it is just writing that you feel bad, over and over and over. Get different colored pens to write with and try to pick a color that best expresses how you're feeling - or just assign a color to that feeling.

Art journaling – you don’t have to be a Rembrandt or a Picasso to do this, just some crayons and notebook paper is a start. Making random marks on paper is a place to begin and you may be surprised at what you come up with. You may find that some of your best art comes from a place of sadness and depression. And it can make you feel so much better.

Exercise – boosting serotonin through exercise is another fast way to lift your mood. Try to get outside for a brisk walk or a bike ride. Or open the blinds on a window and do a workout in the sunlight. Turn on music and dance freestyle. (Don't laugh - this really helps.)

Rest - get on a good sleep schedule. Try to recognize when you are tired. Artists will often burn the midnight oil when having good creative flow. This can wear you down and make small problems seem much bigger than they really are.

Aromatherapy - Lavendar, Jasmine, Peppermint, Rose, Sandalwood - these are a few uplifting scents. Find a lotion or an essential oil, even a candle that will fill a room with a scent you like.

Therapy – Seeing a therapist is nothing to be ashamed of. This was the best gift to myself and it changed my life. I would not hesitate to go again and know this is always an option. If you are having an issue with money there may be free or low cost services available to you. Call your local place of worship or community center. Check online for services in your area.

These are just a few ways to make positive changes in how you feel. The list is long so search for what works for you. I know that none of this is easy but one tiny effort will lead to another. Take a shower, wash your hair and dress for the day. Do one thing and then do just one more. Soon you will be feeling better.

As always I am happy to hear your story. Leave a comment or you can email at I always appreciate the comments and emails I receive.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Good Memories, Great Inspiration!

I ran across this photo the other day while tripping down memory lane. I am the tall one on the far right and the other two girls were my closest childhood friends. Angela was my best friend and is in the middle. Dixie, my cousin but more like a sister, is on the far left (she is adorable in this photo and I am very inspired to create a new character modeled after her).

Angela lived with her grandmother who had the coolest trunk of old formals and she let us play with them whenever we wanted. The stunning number I am wearing was The Dress that we all fought over. I won the battle that day. I remember going over to Angela's and we would put on our dresses and, like magic, our lives were transformed. We became princesses and dancers, whatever our imaginations dreamed. Then we would run barefoot all over town feeling amazing in our special dresses. It was even more perfect if it rained and we would dance in the mud puddles in our gorgeous gowns.

Looking back at this picture, I realize how much of that old me still exists. I am still that goofy little girl (and still have the same hair - oh my!) and would love to play dress up again and run through mud puddles, but I'd probably be locked up so I won't do it... or maybe I will ... so, if you don't hear from me for a bit... :-)

If you haven't done so in a while, go back through the old family photos. There's a wealth of inspiration for an artist. It will take your emotions on a ride and that emotion, when channeled properly, can be invaluable to a creative soul.

If you do this I would love to hear your story. Please email or share in comments and feel free to link to your  post about a similar topic.

Monday, August 23, 2010

IF - Atmosphere

As the wooden door creaked open, the atmosphere
of the cottage grew thick and eerie. Maggie decided
she didn't need that last magazine sale after all
and ran for the safety of home.


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