Friday, October 25, 2013

Horse Camping &Trail Riding

Since getting back from Santa Fe I have gotten to do a little riding. It's that time of year where I just want to play hookie from work every day and go ride. Lately I've ridden a bunch on the good ol' riding-distance-from-the-barn trails, as well as a couple of lakes nearby. My pal Christi and I rode at lake Arcadia in Edmond and had a blast. Even though our horses both refused to walk through water (they jumped.) 
We saw tons of deer and met a nice lady who we ended up riding with. I learned from her the reason deer don't run away when they see you on a horse is that they can't smell the human scent over the horse scent. She said that is why it is illegal to hunt from horseback (I didn't know that it was.) Of course, a deer can be startled by a horse if it didn't hear you coming (yup..fallen off that way..) but all the deer we saw heard us coming and only looked up only briefly before going on about their business.

I didn't get a picture of any deer, but here's a picture of Christi taking a picture of me:


And Bryan and I went horse-camping at Bell Cow Lake in Chandler. 
I learned how to set up a proper highline and how much fun a poker ride is.
Here's Stormy modeling the awesome highline: 


Here's a great website that shows how it's done. I used ratchet straps for tree savers...but I'm going to buy heavier duty ones before the next camping trip--these were not rated for more than about 1000 lbs and Stormy could have broken them if she had really wanted to. But the worked great for tightening the rope after it stretched a little every few hours.

I LOVE horse camping. I wish I could go every weekend. There are a lot of people in the OETRA who are retired and just camp out with their horses at the trails Thursday through Sunday on a regular basis. I'm a lot jealous of them. But I'm grateful for what I have...I still find myself looking at Stormy and thinking to myself "I can't believe I actually have my own horse!" 

If I can't horse-camp as often as I'd like I can at least Pin about it:

Thursday, October 24, 2013

How to Successfully Introduce your cat to your Not-a-Cat-Person Husband

1. Bring your cat over to live with you. (Mine have been staying at my parent's until recently)
2. Make it clear to your cat that you love it and want it to cuddle with YOU.

The result is a cat who wants nothing to do with you, and only wants to hang out with the person who doesn't care whether they have a cat in their lap or not.

With any luck that person will be won over by the obvious favoritism



Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Marraige and Honeymoon

Bryan and I are married now

And we went to Santa Fe, NM for our honeymoon. It was a blast! We already plan to go back again. We want to drive next time 1. because it would be nice to have a car while there to see things outside of walking distance. And 2. because flying was terrible. Their tiny airport apparently only allows for small planes. (Y'know...the kind where you feel the turbulence really well.)

Here's a pic on top of some hill that has a long windy path to the top where there USED to be a fort of some kind:


And after the wedding and the honeymoon I got bridal portraits taken (yes, I know that's backwards.) The photo shoot was at the farm where Stormy lives. And most pictures had Stormy in them. Here's one:


The photographer was Mandy Stansberry. Here's her website, and her facebook page. She took fantastic photos at our wedding, too!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Big Year

I haven't posted in a long time for a good reason. I have been BUSY.
Let me break down the crazy into a timeline:

* In March my best girlfriend and roommate told me she was pregnant and moving out in June.
* In April/May I got several portrait commissions. (It's always flood or drought in this business)
* Also in May started looking for places to rent and found a PERFECT trailer with a storm shelter and 6 acres--meaning I could keep my horse right in my own back yard.
* Then the landlord said the lease was for a year--minimum.
* Then my boyfriend told me to not sign a year lease somewhere
* In June my boyfriend proposed to me (and I said yes)



We are getting married in September (59 days from today to be exact) Which means all the major wedding planning stuff has had to be done immediately. Which hasn't really been difficult, it's just been busy. Oh, and I'm still supposed to be out of my house by the end of July (7 days from today to be exact.)
The boyfriend fiance and I haven't found a house yet.
Since I'm not the live-together-before-being-married type, I will have to put everything in storage and stay at my parents for the last 52 days before I get married. So I have been busy wedding planning, painting portraits, packing everything I own (and trying to sell some of it on craigslist.) And wouldn't you know it, my Etsy page is doing booming business this month! Now my Etsy store isn't huge so "booming" for me means 13 sales so far. But those are orders that have to be made and shipped while still doing my regular job and all this other stuff.



I'm too happy and excited and eager for September to get here to be TOO stressed though :)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Season of Change

I have several portrait orders lined up right now, which is sooo great. I had a bit of a dry spell last year after I stopped really promoting myself. I got a bit burnt out to be honest and wanted to have longer in between portraits and I got it. I went from having done 30+ portraits in a year to, oh..10 or less? But I also had plenty of time to paint my own paintings and experiment with my style a little. Now I have a lot of paintings, and a several prints, and a bunch of ready-to-ship pillow pets sitting around. Oh ya, and I'm moving. Where to...I don't know. This is not an unhappy move, but it's come at a slightly bad time. And since I HATE moving stuff. especially stuff that I realize (when I'm packing it) I haven't used for years, I'm going to be having my first ever garage sale. Soon. I have stuff listed on Craigslist and will surely end up donating lots of stuff to the Luther Service Center. But on top of all that I would like to just sell a lot of my inventory of pillow pets and prints. So. I'm having a huge sale in my Etsy shop right now (Coupon code HAPPYCUSTOMER gets you 50% off.) I have deactivated several listings, things like paintings I'm not willing to part with for less than the original price, and custom portraits. But will probably be adding more prints as I figure out my inventory.


Now please keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I try and pick where to live and for how long. One option is a trailer (that I like. with a tornado shelter) with 2.5 acres (Having Stormy outside my front door?! Yes please!) but he wants a longer lease than I want to sign. And the other options...well I don't really like them....

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

So Far Monday

I am a little behind posting to the blog because I'm getting ready for the Downtown Edmond Arts Festival. Here's a tiny piece for the fest.



Thought it was finished here, ^ 
But after taking a picture, and looking at it for a minute, I thought it needed a tiny bit more work:


Monday, April 8, 2013

Sunday, April 7, 2013

So Far Satunday

I didn't quite get around to posting these on Saturday...I'm actually working on several paintings at once right now, this is just one of them. I am going to be at the Edmond Art Festival May3-5. And I will hopefully have a lot more finished paintings by then. It's definitely crunch time. But luckily I have April 16th and 26th off work because both those days I will be doing painting demos again for Art Moves. (The first one will be at the City Rescue Mission, and the second will be on a stage at the OKC Festival of the Arts.) Since those are in the middle of the day, I have to ask off a whole day from my regular job, which means all day painting! Anyhoo:





This was a kitten born on the farm where Stormy lives. He is now a fat and happy pet named Spartacus. He is my cat, Roman's brother. Spartacus' owner and I didn't realize until they were a couple months old that we had given them names with a similar theme.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

So Far Saturday

What a difference whiskers make. I almost liked it better before I added them...



Monday, March 18, 2013

Zazzlicious

I have a new store. (Don't worry, I'm still selling handmade stuff on Etsy) But now I'm also selling all kinds of cell phone cases and covers on Zazzle, as well.

Here's a gander at what it looks like:


As you can see, under each product there is a link which says something like "see on 3 products." When you click on that, you can see all the products I've made so far with that particular image. You might also notice that there is a coupon code at the top of the page for 18% OFF (RECOVERSTPAT).

I will be constantly adding new images, and making new products with them. I think I'm going to stick with just phone and mobile device cases though. If you have a particular kind of phone or device that you would really like a certain image on, go ahead and ask! There are so many images of paintings to upload, and 2937329487 products to put them on, so it's going to take me a while. So requests are welcomed and encouraged people don't have to wait as long.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Lope

When we were kids my mom taught us this ryhme:
The Antelope
Cantelope
'cus him Momma won't let him.

Get it? Cantelope? Can't elope? I don't know if she was trying to teach us vocabulary or trying to be funny. 

Anyway.

Stormy is living with someone else for a little while. Not that she lived with me before. (Unfortunately). This friend of mine is an excellent horse trainer, and she is teaching Stormy a few things. (And teaching me things too of course.) Last Sunday we went on a very nice trail ride, where I got very frustrated with Stormy wanting to take off with me. But it was still an awesome trail ride and I learned stuff. And after that Mrs. Trainer Friend got on Stormy and started working on her going into a canter (lope) easier. She said the trick is to work on it someplace where she likes to lope anyway, then once she learns she can go straight into a lope, start trying other places. So she rode her in her yard for a while. Telling her to go faster at her favorite go-faster spot. This is a picture of her on Stormy:



Note the loose stirrup. Whoops! And I didn't mean to cut her head off...
And Stormy's head and body aren't actually that out of proportion, I was sitting above her on top of the round pen to get this pic. 
And here's a picture of me on her. It's blurry because it was actually a video that I took a screen cap from and it was very zoomed in. Oh well. I like that you can't see my face anyway.



Saturday, February 9, 2013

So Far Saturday--Finished Trail Horse

A few Saturdays ago I posted the beginning of this painting. Well I've finished it:



 I would like to point out that  most of it was painted with one or two cats in my lap. (When they were cold) And some was painted with a cat on my shoulders (when they were hungry) And a little bit of it was painted with a cat actually standing on my right arm, kneading my forearm while I tried to keep a steady hand. (He was just being a pest!) I think my cats have figured out that I don't stop painting for anything. 

OK, I did stop briefly to and get a picture of the cat standing on my arm while I try and paint.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Boots and Scary Things


Stormy got some hoof boots. So far she hasn't acted like she even notices them on her feet. They fit very well (should fit even better now that I adjusted the wires a little more. Now the straps won't stick out so far. See picture below.) I rode her with them for the first time this weekend. We headed North on Dobbs, in the direction of the bigger gravel that we never ride on. 

So I took my horse that hasn't been ridden by herself away from other horses for months...
and took her by herself in a direction she has only gone once before, (ages ago)...
and towards the house with all the barking hunting dogs. 
Oh and I did it during the time of the day that the house just south of us holds their target practice portion of their concealed carry classes. (Turns out the gunshots are actually louder when you head north. They echo off of something.)

She did very very well. Considering. Occasionally a truck would drive past which helped me move her further down the road because she not afraid of trucks, and the noise drowned out the dogs and extraloud gunshots. But at a certain point when she was fairly calm but we were getting closer to the house with the dogs, I decided to get off and lead her. The last time I fell off when I was riding away from home she RAN all the way back home. I don't mind walking, but I don't want her galloping down the road and falling or getting hit by a car. 

We walked about 3 miles all together. Her boots did great. She stepped on them a couple times when she was dancing around at scary things like cows and burnt down barns, and they stayed on just fine. (By the way she used to live with cows, I don't know why she doesn't remember they aren't scary!) And there was no signs of rubbing when I took them off.
The only problem I had with the boots was: when she walked in the grass and brush, debris looked like it was getting kicked up against her fetlock and falling into the heel captivator (the back of the boot.) The heel captivator was nice and secure and has padding, so I hoped it wasn't actually falling INTO her boot. But when I removed them there was a big sharp sticker stuck to the padding inside the heel captivator of one of the boots...I don't know what I can do to keep that from happening again.





Tuesday, February 5, 2013

So Far....Tuesday

I missed posting what I was working on last Saturday, but finally got around to cropping and sizing these pictures. This is Millie.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

So Far Saturday

New thing, I'm going to try and post a progress-on-a-painting-so-far picture on Saturdays. I might not make it every Saturday since I don't post progress pictures of portraits until they're finished (or till they go to the person they're for when they're a gift.) But I try and always have other paintings in the works that aren't commissioned portraits...and maybe this will be motivation to make sure I keep that up. Or maybe I'll forget about it by next week. We'll see.


Friday, January 11, 2013

Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers

I've posted pictures before of some of the square paintings I did in college, but I didn't have any good pictures of this one. This one lives at my sister's house in Ohio, and I took a couple pictures of it hanging in their living room while I was there over Christmas. (I hope she doesn't mind pictures of her living room being posted on the internet.) The canvas is 4 foot by 6 foot, which works well with their high-ceilinged living room. I wish I could do more paintings this large, but currently I don't have a good place to paint something this big.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Soda Review

Pops is a novelty tourist-y restaurant-y destination on Route 66 just outside of Edmond. It's on the way out to Luther (where Stormy is boarded.) So I drive by it frequently. The parking lot is always packed! Their food is nothing special, and really not worth the crowd. The reasons to drive out to Pops are the giant neon soda bottle outside (which looks much cooler at night) 


and the humongous variety of sodas you can buy nowhere else. They're not cheap, but you can build your own 6-pack and try some new things. Recently the boyfriend and I went there and picked 7 soda's to try. Not included that we tried were a key lime pie soda (it was good) and a cherries and cream soda (also good but made my stomach hurt.)


First up:  Reading Draft "Blueberry Birch." We drank this first bottle before I thought to take a picture, I really wish I had...this stuff is BRIGHT blue. Probably has all kinds of bad-for-you food coloring in it. It tastes like blueberries and root beer  Which once you get used to it is pretty good. I really liked it but could see how maybe it's not for everyone. I would recommend at least trying it.






Next up, Empire Bottling Works "Spruce Beer." THIS was by far the grossest soda I have ever tasted. In the bottle it looked like an unfiltered beer, with a slight opaqueness (It's actually a white-ish color but clear-ish). We opened it and were surprised by a strong pine tree smell. Bryan bravely tried it first and commented that "it tastes like Lysol smells." He convinced me to try it and I agree. We threw the rest out.




And to end on a tastier note, Waialua "Mango" soda was very fruity. It was a pale pink color and tasted like mango and a little like pineapple. I definitely recommend this one.



We still have two more sodas to try, but since neither of us are huge soda drinkers really, it might be a while before I review those. If I remember to at all...


Thursday, January 3, 2013

My day job

As I've mentioned here before, I'm one of those lucky artists who is actually employed by someone else to draw every day. (And yet I still feel the need to keep drawing and painting when I get home..) Anyway, I thought I'd (again?) show off a random selection of stuff I've drawn for Embroideryonline.com that I'm particularly proud of:




Also, they are doing "staff profiles" on their new blog. They don't really give you that much info about us staffs, but, hey, I guess it shows that we're real people. Check mine out here. (I didn't pick the questions they asked me.)