The Creative Life, Art, and Inspiration

UFOs and a Tea Cozy

Recently I was talking with someone who was lamenting all the UFOs they had. I must have had that puzzled look on my face-as he went on to explain that UFOs were “UNFINISHED OBJECTS” or Unfinished Projects.

Clearly it distressed him. I however am very fond of UFOs–sometimes I do sit down and make something from start to finish. But with projects that require more time, I put them down and when I’m ready to work again… I might not be in the mood for that same project. I often do something else instead. In fact, I have a scarf I wear that took me 3 Octobers to knit. I only get the urge to knit in the Fall, and I’m not that fast, plus it must compete with the other urges such as making giant pots of homemade soup, and curling up in front of the fire with a good book.

Recently I pulled one of my UFOs out of the closet. I’m not entirely sure when I started it. I think it was a year and a half ago. I decided that as I had started making actual pots of tea (you know instead of those convenient little tea bags). I have a collection of teapots and tea cups some which were gifts and some which were passed down to me by beloved grandmas.


However it struck me that I did not have a TEA COZY. Really?? So of course I had to pull out all sorts of fun fabric, lace, crochet, fibers etc. Because I just can’t use one fabric and be done with it! No! That would be “not much fun”! Then I was wondering what to use to line it to keep the teapot snug and warm. I remembered a conversation I had had with my mom that morning about how much trouble the new puppy was, and how he had just chewed up a polar tech blanket. I called her and the blanket hadn’t been tossed yet, and I got a piece that was not gnawed upon, and tossed it into the wash.

The project got worked on in bits of time, and slowly it evolved. I pulled it out just last week and while listening to a summer baseball game, added some of the finishing pieces, including making another ribbon flower, and sewing on some seed beads.

DSC03431 DSC03433

Above is the flat version, with both sides. Below I put it over the teapot so you can see how different it looks when rounded out.



DSC03436 DSC03438

I used some rubber letter stamps and drew and painted the little birds on muslin.


DSC03439 DSC03440  DSC03442

DSC03444 DSC03445

I haven’t yet attached the outside to the lining… that may take a few more weeks before I get the urge to do that. And I’m okay with that. Really. There are times when I just want to work on something but don’t feel like coming up with an idea, gathering and planning…. so it is perfect to come upon a project that is no longer in its infancy but that has a some idea of what it wants to be when it grows up and I get to nudge it along its path. I encourage you to embrace UFOS and never to tell yourself that something is wrong with you because you have lots of unfinished projects. You will get to some of them, and others you won’t. Just do whatever sounds like fun to you!


I’ve always loved perfume bottles. In this little 6″ x 6″ oil painting I got to play with all their pretty reflections and colors.

Have a Lovely Day!

Sunny Sunflowers

On my morning walk I was delighted to discover a lovely patch of sunflowers. Some were still in tight green buds.


Others were beginning to unfurl their cheery yellow petals.


Several were fully open and chatting with their neighbors.


Some were choosing to spend some quiet time by themselves.


I find that often what I see outside, begins to wander into my studio without my even noticing. Well not literally, but figuratively in the form of color, shapes and moods. Below is a close up of a jacket in which I’m auditioning a new button to jazz it up a little.




Next, I noticed a pile of beads I’m also auditioning-these may become a necklace when I get the inspiration to make it.


And then of course I thought how fun it would be to paint one of the sunny fellows from my walk.

DSC03460 DSC03459  DSC03461

I used Daniel Smith’s watercolors: Indian Yellow, New Gamboge, Quinacridone Gold, Transparent Pyrrol Orange, Cobalt Teal Blue, Sap Green, Transparent Brown Oxide, and Sepia with a little charcoal pencil. This was done on Arches 140# hot press. One of many watercolor papers I like using. I had fun building this in layers of luscious watercolor, playing with the shapes I could make with my brushes, and adding the splashes and splatters to give it a sense of playful energy.

DSC03462    IMG_3007

Wishing you a day full of cheery flowers smiling and nodding!

Online Class: Joyful Beginning Watercolor

You can see how I created this painting using 8 techniques in my Online Class: Joyful Beginning Watercolor.

Hi Everyone!

Oy! Life IS what happens when you are making other plans! So sorry to be away for so long. I’ve been busy creating my Online Class: Joyful Beginning Watercolor. I had lots of fun and my new kitties got a few cameos in the videos too!


  • Self-guided class-you can take it anytime.
  • 11 hours / 66 videos broken into short videos to make it easy to paint along.
  • 94 pages of downloadable pdfs for you to keep. Detailed instructions, color mixing charts and photos so you can paint the same photo I am in the videos.
  • Upon registration you’ll have access to all the content immediately so you can work at your own pace.
  • Access to class for a full year.

Lots more info here

And now…. I’m preparing to create my next online class… Joyful Watercolor Sketching.

Here are some pics of what is laying around on my table…


My newly filled palette… and ANOTHER palette to hold the colors I couldn’t fit in… I know… I know… I don’t really need them all. But I have a hard time choosing… If you are curious as to what paints I chose for the Online class: Joyful Beginning Watercolor go here. I worked with Daniel Smith to put together 6 different kit options to help out my students. I know that choosing materials can be overwhelming when you start something new.


Here are some of the pens and pencils I like to draw with. We’ll be playing with many of these in my online sketching class. So fun to combine line and watercolor washes! AND it is perfect for summer painting or for capturing your experience while traveling.


Unfortunately the Sanford Noblot Ink Pencil (above on the left) had been discontinued. I always say that if you see something you want to be sure to get as soon as you can as you never know how long it will be available.


Above I was doodling with Pentel’s Brush Pen


If you are in SEATTLE–I’m doing a FREE demo this Sunday, May 31st at Daniel Smith’s Seattle Store (directions). I will be there from 11-1:30–originally the demo was for 12-1:30. But there were two times that went out so I will be there for 2.5 hours. I’ll be talking about traveling with your watercolors and how to do watercolor sketching on the road and at home.

On a completely unrelated note: I have two new family members! I’d like to introduce you to:


Princess Bailey of the Black Stripes- she is 10 yrs old.


Sir Theodore Bennington Bear- he is 2 yrs. old. I adopted them from PAWS and although they didn’t know each other before, they are getting along. I am so enjoying them and the fact that I now have even more cat hair floating into my palette makes me smile.

I’ll let you know when my new online class is finished and ready!

Have a wonderful day! May it be as nice and sunny there as it is here!


New Blog! New Website!

posted in: all, Art, art classes | 32

Welcome to my new blog and new website!

I am thrilled to finally have my website, blog and a place to hold online classes all in one place! All my previous blog posts have been copied over. This where I’ll be posting from now on. To celebrate I’m doing a giveaway of a  2015, 12 month wall calendar of my oil paintings. To enter, please leave a comment below and let me know: 1) What you think of the website or 2) what online classes you’d like to see offered. Winner will be drawn April 1st.


I’ve had many people request online classes and now I am set up to host them on my website. For someone who does not do web design, I’m very happy with how it all turned out! On top of all that I’ve been busy creating my first online course, Joyful Beginning Watercolor which starts March 27th. I’ve been working with Daniel Smith to create class kits at great prices.

Learn more about the Joyful Beginning Watercolor Class here

Want a different online class? Tell me exactly what kind of a class you would like-and Thanks in advance!

Be sure to update any links or bookmarks to my blog. If you want the new blog posts to come to your email–please click the RSS feed button to the right.

Thank you for stopping by!!

Fuzzy Love Bugs- Lion Cubs!

posted in: all, Animals | 0

In my efforts to distract you from the winter weather, here is some cuteness for you! My friends and I went to the Woodland Park Zoo and were very lucky because it was warm enough (45 degrees) and dry so the baby lions were allowed outside. There are 3 males and they were so much fun to watch! It was so fun to watch them interacting with each other and their parents. Both parents were very attentive and patient-even when one was pulling on his mother’s tail!

It was a sunny day, even if a bit cool but these furry guys didn’t seem to notice. I just can’t get over how big their paws are!

I enjoyed seeing the similarities in how the cubs played with each other, so similar to the way my kitties played together when they were young!

Check out Mom’s Paws!

Seems all cats like the sun!

Sleepy Dad!

Family Portrait! : ) Have a Super, Wonderful Day!!!!

1 2 3 4 65