Around the Home, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

A Room for Baby

In anticipation of our first baby boy, I wasted no time dreaming up, preparing and decorating a nursery for him. I had plenty of energy to invest with all the extra napping and free hours on my hands. However, I’ll admit, this second time around has been a little different. I kind of dreaded cleaning out the “dumping grounds” that our guest room closet and bookshelves had become. Furthermore, I wasn’t too sure how to combine the purposes of a guest room and nursery into one lovely space. But mostly, I’ve just been trying to keep up with the ball of energy that is my two year old toddler.

Needless to say, I put off preparing a room for our second baby for quite some time. But then a wise and creative friend reminded me that the second baby doesn’t deserve to feel like “baby #2”, with all the leftovers and none of the effort! She also made a recommendation that I feel like made all the difference for the dynamic of the room, she suggested I paint the wall behind the bookshelves a color that had some pop to it and remove some of the extra shelves. It really became my favorite part of the whole room.

So now I’ll stop rambling and share some photos of baby’s room, ready just in time for him to arrive…


That sweet little baby crib in the corner was passed on to us from friends


Bookshelf transformation with a little paint and some rearranging


Love the colorful throw pillows from Castaway Cove Decor, on Etsy


Had this lamp from Home Goods and found the perfect nightstand at Target


Painted and older dresser and turned it into a changing table


Had fun working on some art and a mobile to add some color to the wall


Closeup of mobile, made from sticks, string and patterned paper


Close up of whale painting


Baby’s initials. The little wood animal cutouts and letters came from Michael’s


I love the dresser pulls from World Market, and the yellow tulips from Aunt Leslie

Thanks for checking out the baby’s room! We’ll put him in our room if you’re needing a guest room to sleep in 🙂



Art & Creativity, Uncategorized, Works in Progress

Painting Process: Lhasa Ladies 2017

EPSON scanner image

Lhasa Ladies 2017 // Mixed Media on Wood // 18×24 inches

I first received a request for this commission back in October of 2016. Now here we are in February of 2017. Thank goodness my kind neighbor who wanted this done has been so patient and understanding! I’ll admit, I wondered if I would ever be able to push past the creative mental block brought on by keeping up with a toddler while pregnant. Let’s just say that motivation and inspiration have been lacking and, lately, the desire to take a nap usually wins out over painting.

All that to say, I’m so glad I had a goal to work towards. The creation of this painting truly brought me so much joy and a sense of accomplishment. It reminds me to not give up on creative goals and that there will always be an excuse or seem like there’s not enough time. If I want it badly enough, I will make the time. What’s your excuse for not doing that thing you love?

Here are just a few process photos…






EPSON scanner image

Close up of final painting


Activities & Events, Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

Large Abstract – Into a Land Flowing With Milk and Honey

Recently, I enjoyed working on one of the largest paintings I’ve ever attempted, and it’s an abstract, nonetheless. As much as I like working more abstractly, it exercises a different set of muscles that I have yet to really develop. The process still feels a little foreign and uncertain to me, but maybe that’s what also makes it exciting.

When I started work on this piece, I had a very vague idea of what direction this would take. It began one way, then took various twists and turns along the journey of process. Here’s what things looked like towards the beginning (my little helper, as pictured, is fascinated by brushes!):


My son, Asa, was having some fun in the studio.


Whipped yogurt is one of my favorite snacks. Don’t forget the baby monitor.

There were several features I began with that ultimately were edited out, including the long stream of dark paint drips on the right (see first post image). I just kept building upon the texture and continued to add subtle color variations into the background. Metal stencils, honeycomb pattern, gold leafing…it all kind of converged for the final effects:


Applying gold leafing to a few honeycombs.




I couldn’t really capture a good photo of the whole painting that did it justice. But if you’re local to San Luis Obispo, you should come see it on display for Open Studios Art Tour, 2016. The tour is two weekends in October, 8-9 and 15-16 from 10am to 5pm. Come by studios #73 and #85. Joining me at my home studio will be the incredibly talented encaustic artist, Maura Fox. We hope to see you there!


Art & Creativity, Uncategorized

Summer Fun – Free Download

Tomorrow is the 4th of July! So, in the spirit of being patriotic and in celebration of summer, I thought I would share a fun and free download for you to enjoy.

So this is what it looks like, a colorful calendar page for July with some space for you to fill in a few activities you don’t want to miss:


I don’t know about you, but I just realized this morning that summer is happening, and if I’m not intentional about doing some of those summer things I love, it’s going to be gone before I blink. What about you? What do you have planned for the summer already? And what do you want to make sure you do before the summer is over (want to, not need to).


Me filling out my calendar.

Here are 3 things I want to do:

  1. Spend a whole day at the beach! (You would think we do that more around here).
  2. Go for a bike ride on the Bob Jone’s trail and eat ice cream in Avila.
  3. Work on one more large painting (just for fun).

Want to try? Now it’s you turn. Just click on the link for your own highres, printable, calendar page…

Email me your 3 things, or send me a photo of your finished calendar! I would love to see 🙂 Happy 4th!



Liebster Award

A generous blogger somehow landed on my blog and liked what they were reading. They even liked my blog enough to nominate it for a Liebster award, not a physical award but more of a chain blog award passed around the blogging community as a sweet and simple way of getting to know one another. Thank you, Awfully Big Adventure, you made my day! liebster2 The way it works is I answer 10 questions and then I pay forward the Liebster kindness by nominating 10 blogs below. Feel free to check them out at the bottom of this post. But first, it’s question & answer time.

1. How long have you been blogging?

Back in January of 2011, I was preparing to move to Lhasa, China where I would teach English to college students. I wanted to document my travels and experiences, so that’s when it all started! If you’d like to check out some of those posts, you’ll find them here, under the “Asia” category. What an incredible 14 months that was!

2. What or who serves as your blogging inspiration?

Oh, there are too many to count. But I especially love to follow blogs that post on subjects relating to art, design, fashion, home improvement, DIY and travel. I’m particularly drawn to great photography!

3. If you’re not in front of your computer writing a post, what could your fans find you doing to enjoy your free time?

Painting, decorating our home, hanging out with the Hubs, reading the Bible, chilling with friends, jogging, watching episodes of The Voice or Naked and Afraid.

4. Has there ever been a project or idea that didn’t go as you planned? AKA, any DIY disasters?

Oh yes. Well one semi-recent one was the first time I refinished our coffee table in the living room. I used some sheets of metal and hammered them to the table surface after spray painting the table. The look of it was cool…until the metal started collecting rusted rings from our water glasses! So I refinished it for a second time. I stained some fence posts from our yard and used wood glue to adhere them over the metal. We love it.

6. Where do you see your blog in 1 year?

In a year, I’ll probably still be blogging about many of the same things. But I also hope to have a revamped Etsy shop up with a new collection of (smallish) artwork, patterns and other goodies to blog about!

5. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

1) serious 2) unserious 3) creative

7. If you could have anyone play you in a movie, who would it be and why?

Gwyneth Paltrow, because I guess she’s my closest celeb look-alike (according to a few).

8. What’s your favorite home purchase/project you ever made?

The SUPER soft blanket at the foot of our bed from Tuesday Morning (below):


I can’t describe to you how soft that blanket is!

Going to New Zealand at the beginning of May!!!! We get to visit Abe and Heidi 🙂 When I first met my husband, we both agreed that if we could travel anywhere in the world, New Zealand was at the top of the list. Now we get to go!!


Here is Heidi and I in front of the Potala Palace in 2012, dressed in some Tibetan garb.

10. What advice would you give to any other new bloggers out there?

Write about what you love, your passion will speak volumes! But I’m no expert.

Now here are the 10 blogs I’m nominating:

  1. Ryoko Tajiri – Her paintings are stunning.
  2. United Thread  – The gorgeous artwork of Michelle Morin. I can’t tell you how big a fan I am of her work.
  3. Tokidoki – World travel photo blog with fantastic images.
  4. M.Lever – A truly talented photographer.
  5. The Messy Middle – Amy has made a big impact in my life. Her words are simultaneously powerful and gracious.
  6. Fingerprints Updates – Ok, yes, she’s my sister. I’m partial, what can I say?
  7. Welcome Heart – Excellent food for body and soul.
  8. Potter’s Clay – One of the most precious families my husband and I are blessed to know, their five blond kiddos call us “Aunt Holly & Uncle David”.
  9. Velvet Ashes – I worked overseas for a bit and I absolutely love what these women are about.
  10. Rooted in Paper – I really dig the design work of Christina Carroll.

Thanks again, Awfully Big Adventure! With gratitude.

Get Out and Notice, Uncategorized

Get Out and Notice

Whether you work in an office, at home in your comfy pants, with children, without children, in a classroom, etc., we all have a job to do. Sometimes those “I have to’s” and “must get finished” items can be daunting or just a little draining.

If you’ve shouted, “Amen!”,  here’s the challenge (I need it too!):

Step away from the computer, the laundry, that stack of papers or the task that’s been draining your wild creativity and get out. Maybe outside for a walk, perhaps your favorite coffee shop, do some shopping, breathe in some sea air, whatever rejuvenates you and gives you a chance to notice the beauty and little inspirations around you. Document it. No matter how small or “insignificant” your inspiration may seem, if it means something to you, you find beauty in it or it makes your soul sing, share it with us! Simply use the hashtag #getoutandnotice on Instagram.

You’re also invited to join the Flickr Group Get Out and Notice and add your photo directly there! No need to use tags.

I started to challenge today and here’s one of my “moments”:


Every so often, I’ll choose one (or three) of my favorites from the bunch and share them on my blog (linking back to you!). Don’t you worry, all of the fabulous images submitted will hang out in the Flickr group for everyone to enjoy when they need a little pick-me-up.

So, are you in?! You can participate at anytime, and I look forward to seeing what you GET OUT AND NOTICE. Let people know what you intend to do! Here’s something you can post on Twitter or Facebook to spread the word:

Everyone needs a moment to step away and notice the beauty + inspiration around us! Joinus #getoutandnotice

Invite others to join in too! The more images we have of our joyful and inspiring moments, the better. So grab a button below to put on your own blog or website.

To grab a button:
Right click on the button you want to use and then save it to your desktop. When adding it to your own website or blog, make sure you add this link to the buttons: 

200 x 200 px

150 X 150px

150 x 150 px

This is so that others who want to join in the fun will end up on this page to learn more. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #getoutandnotice on Instagram and here’s to noticing beauty in the little things around us!

Fun Links, Life Inspiration, Uncategorized

Fun Links – 1.13.14

  1. LOVE this idea from Emily Henderson for hanging and displaying jewelry!
  2. If I were a diver I would definitely be diving into some of this
  3. And if I were amongst this cluster of birds, i’d be the one on the far left. Don’t you love this artwork by Michelle Morin?
  4. Wish I would have been in SF to see this view.
  5. Yes please! If I had a semi-regular reason to wear these, I would…
  6. I think this might possibly be true…