Friday, July 20, 2018

June Recap

Happy Friday. Hope you are enjoying summer where you are. It is has been unseasonably hot here with temps in the 90's most everyday. I like the warm weather but it is too hot to do much outside during the day especially with the dogs which is kind of a bummer. It is better than cold and snow though. Speaking of the dogs. I wanted to share this photo with you. Rich found Lily and Indie like this one morning  on the couch in his office before he left for work. We all thought it was really funny especially how Indie barely fits on the couch. You could say they are laying cheek to cheek.
June started out okay I did this handrawn piece to welcome it in. It was inspired by one the Petite planner did again.
She only did half a wreath on hers I decided to do a whole circle. I really like how it came out I hope you do too.
I met with the functional med doctor the first part of June. I decide to give CBD Oil a try along with the LDN. I had a hard time deciding which kind to take since there are so many options but finally decided on a liquid tinture so I could have more control over the dose since I am so sensitive to meds. Thankfully I made the right decision and am doing okay with it but it is making me very tired. Hoping that will get better with time and I will be able to go down on the antinflamatories. We are going to meet again in September.

Sales in our Etsy shop finally started to return in June and we were really grateful for that. I had customer request a boy sunshine ribbon and fabric high chair banner like the girl one but in boy colors so I added that to my shop. It goes perfectly with the party hat.
We also got this great appreciation photo of a buyers daughter wearing a custom pink elephant tutu outfit. Isn't she adorable? I made matching decor to go with it too.

I took a class through Brit and Company taught by Peggy Dean called line drawing how to illustrate your home and came up with this. It took me a awhile to complete but I really enjoyed the process and am pretty happy with the final result. This is not my house but looks like the kind of house I would want to live in. I really love my house that I live in now though.

I also took a workshop from Holly Pixels and learn how to letter this piece. It was a lot of work but I learned a lot. Creativity is definitely a drug I cannot live with out.
I finished a few more lessons from Ipad Bootcamp. The one on the left is a colorful background technique with paint splatters and the one on the right is the rainbow smudge technique
I finished the letter D in my floral monogram alphabet. This one was done with peonies and ranaculus.
Finally I found this recipe for Paleo Strawberry Shortcake and Emilia made it for us. It was pretty good but I think it needed to be a bit sweeter.
That's all for now. I hope the rest of your July is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

May Recap

Happy Saturday. The warm weather returned and summer has definitely arrived here. It has been in the 90's for weeks with not much rain in sight. That is all suppose to change next week back to the 70's with rain. I love warm weather but we could definitely use some rain I just hope it is not a monsoon though.
May started out okay, I drew this piece using another great tutorial from the Petite Planner. Love how it came out.
Our sales in our Etsy shop were horrible though the worst they have ever been since I started. We have had some slow periods but nothing like this. Some people will say it was just the time of the year but last May was one of our best months ever so it didn't make any sense. I really feel that something has to have changed within Etsy but what?? I spent the majority of the month trying to figure that out and get our sales back. I still don't know the exact cause of the dramatic drop in sales but they finally picked up again the end of the month. They are still not where I want them to be though.  The biggest problem is getting buyers to purchase more than 1 thing. I especially want to find a way to get the party decor to sell with the outfits.  My 3 piece prop sets use to be a great seller now they hardly sell at all. I just don't understand it. I am going to continue to try and find a way to get these kinds of sales but if anyone has any suggestions in the meantime let us know. Something positive to share though we got this great photo of a buyers twins wearing a custom twin set and matching banner. Aren't they adorable?

We didn't do anything special for Mother's Day because I don't really like to make a big deal out of it because I am just grateful to be a mom but Emilia got me these pens from Kelly Creates anyways. I love her products. Now I have all her pens. Rich got me the flowers.

I am a big fan of Karin Ipadletterings work and when I found out she was teaching an online class with Amanda Arneill called Ipad Bootcamp I could not pass up the chance to take it even though it was not really in my budget. I am still working my way through the course but so far I have enjoyed it. Here are a few things I have done.
I also did 2 more floral monograms. You can get more information about those in last months post.

Finally these Paleo ginger peach muffins are great for breakfast or a late night snack. You can get the recipe here.
That's all for now I hope the rest of your month is a good one and I will be back next month to share more then.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

April Recap

Happy Sunday. Hope your May started off well even though I know it is already almost the end of the month. It has been raining and cold here all weekend which has not been very enjoyable. The warm weather is suppose to come back this week thankfully though.

I was inspired to make this April watercolor wreath from Erin The Petite Planner, She is an amazing journal artist and has some awesome online courses with a Facebook group. I would highly recommend you check her out.
April started off with Emilia's 20th birthday on the 2nd, I know I say this every year but were did the time go? Sometimes I wish I could turn back time and go back to this stage. She has become a beautiful young woman inside and out though.
We were going to go to Top Golf the Saturday before but there was over an hour wait when we got there so that didn't happen. Next time we go we will be making reservations. I never thought it would be that busy. If you have been what do you think of it? We ended up going to look around Ikea instead which was close by. I had never been there but was not that impressed. It kind of felt like a museum to me.  I will be sticking to the catalog for future purchases. On her actual birthday she and I  spent part of the day shopping at Nordstroms. She had a gift certificate left over from Christmas that Rich had given her and I added to it. It still didn't get her much but she came out with a cute outfit. Later that night we had my mom sister and niece over for cake. As you can see she went all chocolate this year. We got the cake from the same lady that made her cake last year. Overall I think she had a good day.

Shortly after that we added a new member to the family. Meet Indigo. Indie for short.

As devastating as it was to lose Sophie we knew there was another dog out there that needed a home. So after a few days of grieving we started looking again. We knew we wanted another black dog so that narrowed it down. We ended up meeting 2 others before her. The first one was so nervous that it would not let any of use even pet her, The second one had too much energy for me and Emilia but Rich loved her. She ended up being adopted by someone else anyways. Indie or Midnight/Maggie which was the name she came with was the 3rd dog we met and we all agreed she was the one. We got her through an organization called Paws on the Ground. She was a little shy at first but warmed up quickly and now it feels like she has been a member of our family for a long time. The only problem we had was she was not spayed before we got her so that still had to be done. The rescue took care of it but about a week later she started bleeding. I could not figure out where the blood was coming from. It finally dawned on me that she was in heat. I didn't understand how that could happen though since she had just been spayed but found out it can happen if she was about to go into heat before the spay which made sense since she is around 1. Thankfully it didn't last to long. I also found out that she was found in a kill shelter in New Mexico and only had 1 more day to live. I am even happier we adopted her now. She is the sweetest dog. I don't understand why it took so long for her to be adopted I would like to think that it was because she was waiting for us though. Sophie will never be forgotten and continue to live on in our hearts. Speaking of Sophie we received these beautiful flowers from Ollie after she passed. Click the photo to read the card.  I was so touched by their kindness.
I was feeding Sophie their dog food in the end because it was nutritious and soft. I would highly recommend them if you are looking for soft fresh food.
I also made this hand lettered piece in honor of Sophie too. I used a another gird from Stefan Kunz as for the layout.
Lily also turned 12 on the 10th.
You would never know she is that old just by looking at her. I sure hope the inside of her stays young too. I told her I need at least 5 more years. Of course I would love for her and all dogs to live forever though.

Things in our  Etsy shop were not great but were still keeping us busy. I made this monster hat and Emilia made the matching onesie for a return buyer. This is the 3rd outfit she has bought for her grandchildren now. I love buyers like that.

We also got this great photo from a past buyers sister as well. Her sister got a hat for baby boy when he was 6 months too.

I also did a few more art pieces. I  drew the tulips and watercolored them using another tutorial from Authenic Frani.

Last year I took the Show Me Your Florals course from Stefanie Fehrenbach and Karin
Ipadlettering. I mainly did the digital part though. This April they did it again so I was finally able to finish the peony that I started last year.
I was eagerly awaiting the new Monogram Floral course that was offered at the end. It was finally released the the middle of April and I have been loving creating them every since. So far I have only done it on the Ipad though. I am hoping to do the whole alphabet. This was my first attempt with the letter A. I love how it came out. I hope you do too
Finally I found this great recipe for a loaded tofu scramble on Flora and Vino's Blog. Tofu is not Paleo but I still eat it in small amounts. If you like Tofu you will love this. It is vegetarian, gluten and  dairy free too. 

I also made this Paleo banana bread from Paleo Gluten Free Eats. I made it in mini loaf pans though. Emilia is in love with it. I added chocolate chips for her. If you like banana bread and are looking for one that is Paleo definitely give it a try.
That's it for now. I hope the rest of your May is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

Monday, April 16, 2018

March Recap

Happy Spring and Hello March

March came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. It had been in the 80's last week but that all changed last Friday when we woke to snow and cold. It is suppose to be back in the 60's and 70's this week with snow again this weekend. That's Colorado for you though. Both pieces were made on my Ipad pro using Simply Alison Desgin Watercolor brushes. I would highly recommend them. She has a great tutorial on how to use them too.
The month started off pretty well but we got some devastating news about our Sophie girl the middle of the month. I had been noticing that she was having trouble eating for awhile because she kept dropping food out of her mouth, I thought maybe there was a problem with her teeth and looked in her mouth numerous times but didn't see anything. I kept telling Rich something was wrong but he kept telling me she was fine.  I still had a nagging feeling something was not right though so I called the vet to come and look. At first glance she didn't see anything either but then looked again and she found a huge black mass on the back of her tongue. I never would have seen that because her tongue was black. My heart sank, I knew it was bad.  It was in a terrible spot too so our options for treatment were limited. We decided to try CBD oil and something called Peroxicam which is an antiflamatory with some tumor shrinking properties and was the least invasive for her but the tumor was growing so quickly we never got the chance to try the Peroxicam because it had to be compounded. Less then 3 weeks after the vet discovered it on March 30th it started bleeding and we knew there was nothing more we could do because I could not get it to stop. We had to make the difficult decision to let her go. The worst part was she was not ready to go like out other dogs were. Thankfully our Vet was wonderful and came here to do it so she did not have to pass in a vets office. We knew we did everything we could to save her and she had a great life. My hope is that she is at rainbow bridge now running free and not in any pain. She may not be here in body anymore but will always live in our hearts and we will always have wonderful memories of her. I just wish that dogs had longer lives and never had to suffer.

On a happier note my birthday was on the 25th. We went to my favorite place the day before The Denver Botanic Gardens but unfortunately there was not much to see. Last year there was a lot more in bloom. I did get this cool picture inside the arbroium  though.
On my actual birthday I didn't do anything special but I did get these wonderful gifts from my loved ones. The mug came from Blue Sparrow Designs The clipboard came from Snappys Boutique The pencil purse came from Curly Willow Co The Flowers came from Trader Joes, The vegan ice cream came from High Point Creamery. They still don't have my favorite flavor Coconut Ginger but they came up with a new one that I like in the meantime. The gluten free cookies came from Sugar Bake Shop Denver.
My sister, niece and mom bought me this pointed pen Calligraphy Kit from The Postman's Knock. I am excited to learn pointed pen calligraphy now. I also loved the card they got me too.
Things in our Etsy shop were okay. We didn't make anything make new to share with you but I got this great photo from a buyer of her pup wearing one of my dog party hats and matching bowtie. I think they looked great on him.  Hard to believe he is 14. He looks like a young pup.

I was also able to complete a few other handlettering challenges and even did a real watercolor piece too. This one was done on my Ipad pro with procreate for the Lady Boss Challenge using StefanKunz's new grid bundles. They are a big help with layouts. If you have not tried them I would suggest you do.
This piece was done by watching Authentic By Frani's tutorial on YouTube. I had requested she do a Zinnia and she did. Her work is incredible you should check it out, I used a Micron Pen to draw them and Kelly Creates Aqua Brushes to watercolor them.

Finally I made these Paleo donuts. They were really good. Only problem was I was out of vanilla, I bet they will be even better next time I make them with vanilla.
That's all for now. I hope the rest of your month is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

February Recap

Happy Saturday. It feels like spring here even though it is not technically spring yet. My tulips are starting to come up.  Still no show and I am not missing it but we did have some rain Thursday night.  I will take that over snow any day. Hope the weather is nice where you are too.

Rich sent Emilia and I flowers for Valentine's Day. He does not do it every year so were surprised. This year he sent me Lillie's he said because he wanted to do something different. I thought that was strange though because I am allergic to them. Somehow he forgot about that. I still appreciated the thought though so I put them somewhere far away from me where I could only see them and not smell them. The next day these arrived to make up for it. I told him he didn't have to do that but they were definitely appreciated, Tulips are my second favorite flower after Sunflowers.

The lower dose of LDN that I talked about in my last post was still too much for me. I asked to try it in an even lower dose and finally got it the middle of Feb. I am taking it about 3 hours before bed which has helped with the sleeping issues I was having when I was taking it at the higher dose right before bed. It still makes me very tired though so I have only been able to take it a few times a week so far. I am hoping with time I will be able to tolerate it better and it will start helping more with my pain. If you have ever tried it or know more about it would love to hear your experience with it.

We were busy making items for St Patrick's Day in our Etsy shop. Someone requested a St. Patrick's Day High Chair tutu banner so we got to create one of those. We have been looking for a wood high chair to use for a prop for awhile now and finally found one on Craig's List for $20.00 which was a great deal. Here is a photo of it on the high chair. Doesn't it look great?

I participated in a Gilmore Girls lettering challenge hosted by Chalkfull of love. If you have not seen her books you should definitely check them out. The challenge was to letter a specific quote from the show every few days. I was not sure I was going to be able to do them all because of how long it takes me to finish something but it totally inspired me and I was able to do all the quotes in time. I was really proud of myself.

I made this morning glory bread from Paleo Gluten Free Eats Ebook. It was really yummy and will be making it again soon. I am also looking forward to trying some of her other recipes in her book soon and will share them here with you too.

That's all for now hope the rest of your March is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

January Recap

Happy Sunday, It has only snowed 3 times here so far this winter. I am not complaining though. Today it is beautiful and suppose to be in the 60's that is all suppose to change tomorrow with more snow forecasted. I am still counting down the days until spring. How is the weather were you are?
January started off pretty well. I met with the functional medicine doctor again to talk about my health. We decided to give LDN another try. For those of you that don't know what that is it's a low dose of Naltrexon which is usually used for people that are addicted to drugs and alcohol but they are finding that giving it in small doses it helps people with chronic pain and autoimmune issues. I tried it once  before a few years ago but the dose was to high and caused me more pain. This time I tried it in a smaller dose but still had problems with it. I am giving it one more try in an even smaller dose because I really want it to work. I hoping this time it will help if not I don't know what else to do. This doctor does think I have Bechet's but not a lot is known about it though. Just trying to do the best I can to manage the pain in the meantime.
The new studio I talked about in my last post was finally finished and open for business. I put a post on our neighborhood website asking for people to come and try out a new chemical peel product for Emilia and got a lot of response. That kept her busy for a few weeks but unfortunately nothing after that. We have tried posting other services there but so far not much response. We have to be very careful what we post there though because for some reason this webpage does not want people promoting their businesses which makes no sense. She has tried other forms of advertising too but so far it is not working and unfortunately she got scammed by Yelp.  They charged her a lot of money for nothing.  Not sure if it is just the time of year or what but the lack of business has become very discouraging for her. I have told her that it just takes time but who wants to hear that? She has also tried applying for jobs outside of the house but the problem with that is most places want you to have a years experience and you can't have your own business too. Just hoping things will pick up for her soon she put a lot work into doing this and I really want it to pay off for her. If you have any ideas for ways to bring in business for her let me know. Here is a photo of the new studio. We love how it came out hope you do too.

January's are usually busy for us in our Etsy shop but this January it was not as busy so I had some extra time to make this Mad Hatter inspired party hat to go with our Alice in Wonderland themed tutu set.

Still working on my modern calligraphy. I got a little overwhelmed by everything and lost my mojo but I finally saw a challenge that got me going again. This challenge was from Lauren Hom and was to write your name and them add things about you. I have seen others do this kind of thing when they travel and have wanted to do something similar for a long time. I had no idea where to start though. I finally found a class on Britt and Co by Lauren herself and that got me started. A few days later I realized that she showed a little about how to do it in the email she sent out with the challenge so I could have saved the money. Oh well. This piece took me a long time to do because I kept changing things but I finally finished it and am pretty happy with it. It can be very inspiring for me to see others amazing work but intimidating at the same time too because it makes me feel like my work is not good enough. I try to keep reminding myself they have been lettering longer than I have and if I just keep practicing hopefully I will get there one day too.
Finally I made these paleo ginger almond biscotti. Love them! I think I may cut down the amount of ginger next time though because they can't get a little spicy.
That's all for now. I hope the rest of your February is a good one and I will be back next month with more to share then.