Monday, September 16, 2013

Back to kindergarten I go

One of the reasons I switched careers and started my own business is so that I could be more involved with my kids' activities, able to volunteer and be generally more there for them. Up until now I really felt like that decision benefited me even more so than them. I got to do what I really love career-wise and show up at their tiny pre-school to do arts and crafts. Well, the 5 year old started half day kindergarten this year. We chose to put her in public school since the one near our house is ranked very high. It is, however overcrowded.  I signed up to volunteer in the classroom once a week and today was my first day. And, now I know how crucial me having more time really will be. Now for the public service announcement: whether you are working or staying home, if you have any, and I mean ANY time to help out in the classroom, do! The eye opening experience of a public school kindergarten class with a 1:22 teacher to student ratio left me depressed, and I love my daughter's teacher. It's just no matter how much she tries there is only so much individual attention she can offer per student and that amount is miniscule. The kids are at completely different levels academically and I could see that the activities that challenged some left others bored out of their little minds. Between the teacher and me, I felt like there were not enough adults to go around, but unless a parent volunteers, the teacher is the only one there. Frankly, it really made me question everything - our decision to go with a public school, our plans for our younger daughter, even where we live. I know I've read all about the dire straights our schools are in but until you see it for yourself, you really don't know. Here is to a better day tomorrow!

Harry Potter

I love, Love, LOVE Harry Potter. I can't wait until my girls are old enough to read it. I love that it's not all black and white, the characters are relatable (and magical) and that while good triumphs over evil, it does not do so without realizing that the two are just two sides of the same coin. I got to work on a Harry Potter inspired mug this week and now I am practically jonesing for a re-read. The question is do I pull out the huge bricks of books that are the hard covers, or do I break down and get the digital versions for my Kindle? These are the big decisions of my life these days, but I'll take it :)


Saturday, September 14, 2013

From the mouths of babes.

Today was Yom Kippur - a day of Atonement in Judaism and a 25 hour no food or water fast for all adults. I tried to explain to the Little Dreamer (age 5) that we fast so that we can focus on reflecting on the past year and our deeds and how to become a better person in the future. She was thoughtful all day and by the end of it proclaimed that since she can eat and think at the same time, she will forgo fasting when she grows up. Well, there you go then.

The need to be funny

Every blog I read is funny, informative, chock full of great photos of cute homemade outfits and yummy recipes. Mine is not. I can paint somewhat well. I can entertain two little girls somewhat well but blogging... No, it doesn't seem to come naturally. And yet I keep coming back to it and try to reinvent what it is I want to write about. It's a stream of consciousness kind of thing. Especially at midnight, which is the time when the kids are in bed and I finally have time to work. So here is to being consistently inconsistent! And just to throw in something painterly into the mix, here is one sort of Halloween-y since it is coming up.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Animals and Birds Travel Mugs

I've had a bit of fun last month creating mugs with animal and bird themes. Here are just a few examples:

Fox cub:



Thursday, February 21, 2013

A Cherry Blossom Collection

There is a reason cherry blossoms are such a popular art subject: they are absolutely beautiful. They also happen to be blooming all over the place around here right now.

I love using cherry blossoms in my designs and people really respond to them. I was looking through my Etsy shop today and realized that I've actually done so many different items with that design that I've got my first "collection" on my hands. I know it's a small thing but it made me excited. It kinda made me feel like this shop and business are really coming along and taking shape. So I present to you my Cherry Blossom Collection!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Daddy's Mug

This is another installment from the Holiday custom orders:
The instructions were to paint a redwood forest with a vanagon parked among the trees and the words "I love my Daddy" somewhere on the mug.
We started out with a very simple pencil sketch to visualize the concept:
After that it was off to work on the mug:

I love how the final mug came out but I'll be honest - I am so thankful that so far my customers have been able to make the leap and trust me that the sketch is NOT the final product :)

Sunday, January 13, 2013


The winner of the NEW YEAR GIVAWAY has been chosen with the help of
The lucky winner is Christine Beltramo! Please claim your prize within 72 hours.
If you didn't win this time stay tuned for more fun giveways and specials coming to you in 2013 :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013


One of the orders I got during the Holiday Season was for a pet mug. When I heard that, I'd assumed it would be a puppy or a kitten. But this project turned out to be a lot more unique. The pets in question? Why here they are:

I loved working on these but I must admit I am looking forward to painting a puppy one day ;)

By the way, have you entered the giveaway yet? Check back tomorrow to find out the winner!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


This week we took our girls to see some snow. It is still so strange to me that they are growing up without seeing a real changing of the seasons so this annual pilgrimage to Tahoe is very important to me.

In other news, my sports loving brother tells me that the hockey season is back on so I thought it was very timely that I got this fun espresso cup order from some hockey fans. I loved being able to take the sneak peek picture with real snow as the background. But it's back to the green and blue of the parks and lagoons of home on Friday.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year GIVEAWAY!

Happy New Year Wonderful People! :)

I hope it's the best one yet. I've got so many fun resolutions to break in it (eat healthier, sleep more, cook better... you get the picture).

Here is one though, that I mean to start fulfilling right away: share my art with more people and give some away for free :).

Over the Holiday Season I got a chance to design and paint a set of little fairy/ballerina mug for 4 very lovely girls. Each one was personalized with a name and hair color to match its new owner. I will be working on three more in the coming weeks: two for my own daughters and one for one of yours :)

The winner will get to choose the design out of the 4 pictured, as well as the skin tone and hair and dress color of the fair. I will also add your little one's name to the handle. At 4 oz, these mugs are just perfect for little hands to hold.

Here are the rules of the road:
1. Share this post on your social media
2. Comment on this post with a link (or any other reference I can track) that shows where you have shared.

3. Each share will count as one entry. A mention on a blog will count as 2 entries. You can share as many times as you want and comment each time that you do. If you are sharing via Facebook, do it as a public post so that I can see it without being your FB Friend.

4. A winner will be selected using on January 13, 2013. I will announce the winner in a separate blog post on that day.

5. Good Luck :)