When I stand before God at the end of my life,
I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say,
"I used everything You gave me."
~Erma Bombeck

November 20, 2013

Watercolor doodles...

I have had an extra child home during the day this week. My Nikki has the flu. With any luck, she will be back at school tomorrow and there won't be anyone else at home sick. Her being home has stranded us to the house, so between taking care of her and Kyle and doing washing and cooking and other household duties, I decided to pick something new to try out to help get the creative juices flowing. Besides, just look at that lonely workspace!

It was just begging to be messed up! 

Here is what I did. I pulled out my long unused opaque watercolors and my watercolor brush. I love that brush. With a toddler, it makes for a quick and easy clean up. Not to mention, it is fun to use! But I digress. I set to painting a page full of rectangles.

Doesn't that table look better being put to good use?

After I had a page full, I used a Micron pen to draw doodles and borders in each rectangle.

I also used a white and silver Gelly Rolls. After a bit, the pens didn't want to cooperate. I don't think they liked the water colored paper. So I ended up using my brush Pitt pens. 

Here is my end result. It makes me smile just looking at it. I had so much fun, I had to do another.

This time, Nikki helped me choose and place multiple colors on the page. And I figured out that a Uniball pen worked better than all the others.  Here is an Instagram pic of my finished page. It's kind of blurry, but you get the idea. Did I mention, you can follow me on Instagram? Just click the button in my sidebar. I'd love to have you!

So, I would love to say this fun and relaxing project was entirely my idea, but I must give link love where link love is due. I found the idea on Pinterest. Here are links to two lovely blog posts that demonstrate this technique...


(I love how she used it as a scrapbook page background!)

I hope you will try this fun activity out. It is very relaxing!

Happy creating!

November 18, 2013

Monday musings.... Courage

Someone once told me that I should keep it real here on the blog. So here I am keeping it real. This is not a pity party post. No, it is merely me acknowledging the fact that I am petrified of failing. 

The Lanie J. and Co. Shop has been open for over a month now. I have not sold an item yet. I am slowly adding more and more too it. So when I posted a giveaway on my facebook fan page on a Saturday morning and all anyone has to do is like my page, comment on and share the post and as of Sunday evening, there are only three shares, it is hard not to throw in the towel. I know for a fact that the post has had over 200 views. Wrong audience? Maybe. It's okay though. It just makes me rethink the way I am going about things and remember that the point of my blog and doing art and having an Etsy shop is to teach my children to chase their dreams and not give up.


I even confessed to my 10 year old how I am feeling and told her that I will not give up, I will keep doing what I enjoy. So, I am going to list the rest of my note cards that I currently have printed and head back to what I love. I have Christmas gifts to make. I'll share what I am doing here as I go. 

Leaving you with these wonderful words of wisdom...

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.
~Steve Jobs 

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.
~Mark Twain 

People who lack the clarity, courage, or determination to follow their own dreams will often find ways to discourage yours. Live your truth and don't EVER stop! 
~Steve Maraboli

Love what you do and do what you love. Don't listen to anyone else who tells you not to do it. You do what you want, what you love. Imagination should be the center of your life.
~Ray Bradbury

Happy Monday!

November 14, 2013

DIY Hand Painted Polka Dot Marble Magnet Tutorial

Ahem... I accidentally deleted this whole tutorial after the first time I wrote it. Operator error I guess. :)

So, here we are again! Super easy magnets to make!

You will need:

Clear marble magnets that are flat on one side.
Assorted colors of acrylic craft paint.
Small paintbrush
Extremely strong adhesive. (I used E6000)

Step 1: Using the handle end of the paintbrush. Dip the brush in the paint color you want your polka dots to be.

Here are marbles painted with pink and white dots.

Step 2: After the painted polka dots are completely dry. Paint your background color over them. 

Once again, allow the paint to dry completely. 

Step 3: Glue the magnets to the back of the painted marbles. Allow the glue to dry completely and you have adorable magnets to keep for yourself to use or give as a cute little gift. Hint: Teachers love them!

They make my heart happy just looking at them!

If you don't want to make your own, I have 4 sets listed in the Lanie J. and Co. Etsy shop ready for purchase. 

Happy Crafting! 

November 13, 2013

Ahhh, the lovely F word sneaks back in....

Let your dreams be bigger than your fears Framed Decor (InkedBees on Etsy)

FEAR! It sneaks up when you finally take the leap into what your heart calls you to do. Hence begins the battle of the little whispers. The good whisper that says, "You can do this! Go for it! Chase the dream!" The not so great whisper that says, "Why try? What's the point? No one is going to like what you do. Just quit!" 

I did it. I created a whole original alphabet doodled and finished. I've started listing again in the Lanie J. and Co. Shop and it feels good! It feels good to listen to the good whisper. But the not so good one, the one I can only label as fear is still working to hold me back. But I will persevere.

Printable Let Your Faith be Bigger Than Your Fear 8x10 poster (cardvarkdesigns on Etsy) 

I will let my faith be bigger than my fear. Faith that I am meant to keep creating beautiful things. Not just to bring joy to others, but to carry on my mother's artistic legacy. To feed my soul. To teach my children to follow their dreams. Not by my words, but by my actions. 

8x10 Graphic Design Typography Print - "I am not afraid. I was born to do this." (splendidandsound on Etsy) 

I will keep listening to the good whisper that resonates deep in my soul. The whisper I am sure is God calling me to continue. The one that says, "Do not be afraid! You were born to do this!" 

What voice will you choose to listen too today? 

October 11, 2013

A little Friday inspiration....

8x10 Doodle art print by Aimee Dolich at Artsyville on Etsy

Yesterday, I sent an email out to four lovely artists that I have been following for quite some time asking some questions about their process. Aimee from Artsyville was gracious enough to take some time out of her day to share some insight with me. She was quick to respond and I appreciate her kind words and advice.

I LOVE Aimee's art. It is so colorful and fun. She has worked hard at finding her own style of doodling, Her blog is full of fun projects. I was checking out some of the cute ideas she has last night. You can find them HERE.She calls them "Creative Diversions (My Crafty Experiments)". 

Check out the "experiment" she did with a roll of cash register paper she found at Office Depot!

I love it!

One thing I was reminded of when I read Aimee's email and looked and her beautiful blog and Etsy shop is that I need to continue to experiment and try new things in order to grow as an artist. 

Aimee did just what this print in her Etsy shop said when she answered my email yesterday. Thank you for your kindness Aimee!

I invite you to visit Aimee's Blog, Shop, and Facebook page. I hope her fun and colorful doodles make you smile and inspire you as much as they do me.

September 27, 2013

A 2nd Birthday Tribute....

My sweet birthday boy.

I blinked. I turned around, and there you are. There you are a big 2 year old. My youngest, my angel, my boy. You are my brightest spot in my every day. 

Your Nana told me after I had your sister, that girls are wonderful (this I cannot deny, I love your sisters like there is no tomorrow), but there is something about a boy. And she hoped that someday I would experience the love between a mother and her son. The very moment the doctor lifted you out of my tummy, I knew. I knew and I understood with all of my being what your Nana meant. 

Sweet boy, I delight in every moment with you. I wish none of it to pass too quickly. From the moment you wake up you are my little shadow, my little side kick. Your daddy finds it quite amusing how you and I are in the same spot on the couch when he leaves every morning. Me with my coffee and Kindle and you with your juice and your thumb, stroking my arm and cuddled close by my side. I want to remember everything about these days. 

Sweet weathered wall art by Mamscrafted on Etsy

I want to remember...

How you sing parts of songs over and over. Like "spider wash!" and "rosies down!" or my favorite "birthdayyyy cha, cha, cha!"

How you love to carry rocks everywhere.

Your stinky little toddler boy feet and nibbling your sweet toes till you erupt in giggles.

How you bounce and run ahead of me then stop turn around and say "comin'?" in your sweet little voice. And oh the smile that goes with it!

The look on your face when you give Daddy big hugs and squeezes. 

The way you make EVERYONE in your path smile.

How you do your best to keep up with your big sisters and the way you delight in playing with them and vice versa. The feeling is mutual. 

How you have the uncanny ability to wake up at exactly the same time every day or know that it is time to get the girls off the bus even when I haven't told you.

How much fun it is to watch you discover something new. Like just yesterday, you pointed at each of our shadows and said "Mommy" and "Kyle".

Cute wall are from ofCarola on Etsy

You and your sisters are my inspiration to chase my dreams. I can't wait to help and watch you chase yours sweet boy.

You have changed our family in a way we could never have imagined. We love you so much! Happy birthday son! 

September 12, 2013

Some days are like that....

Do you remember what it is like to be a girl in fifth grade? I do. I remember vividly. It wasn't one of my best years. Something about girls being really mean. You know the age. 

It makes me extremely happy that K has a some really great friends. One in particular is A. A is a very kind hearted, yet tough, sweet and beautiful girl that K absolutely loves. They are the best of friends. 

Today was a not so great day for A. In fact when she was on the phone with K a little bit ago. She said it was the second worst day in her life. She found out she didn't win an election for student council this morning and then her sweet dog Leroy passed away just after she got home from school. :( 
K asked if we could give A a letter to cheer her up tomorrow. It was my absolute pleasure to do this A for such a sweet girl. We hope it lifts her spirits. 

“I think I'll move to Australia. Some days are like that. Even in Australia.” 
Judith ViorstAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

August 30, 2013

I am learning...

I am learning that as a stay at home mom, there is a never ending to do list with my name at the tippy top. You would think after 10 years of being at this job, I would understand that by now. 

It is 5 days into the school year, I have a 5th and 3rd grader this year. My baby is turning 2 next month! Time is flying by. 

So, while there will always be loads of laundry, floors to mop, bathrooms that need cleaning, vacuuming, dishes to do and meals to prepare. My soul still needs tending to. To do that, I need to create. 

With the exception of those moments when my children need my undivided attention and care, the small stuff can wait. This week I stole a few of those moments and reintroduced myself to my pens, markers and paper.

The result...

Besides learning that I can sneak some time in to fulfill my need to create, I learned how to watermark my work and how using my scanner and printer can help me reproduce these letters and personalize them for sale. Totally thinking of opening the Etsy shop again! 

By the way, this letter is a gift for my Jazzercise instructor Sally who is having a baby in the next week. I asked for her nursery colors and her baby girl's name to be. The nursery colors are yellow and black (as you can see) and the baby will be named after Sally's mother who passed away when Sally was just 18 years old. Sally wouldn't share baby girl's name with me, because she said it is a surprise. But she did tell me it starts with a B. I am so happy for her and can't wait to meet Baby B!

What do you to that makes your heart sing? I encourage you to find the time to do that activity every single day!

Happy creating!

May 8, 2013

Answering the call to create.

I held her hand 3 days before my Mama passed away. She had been battling ovarian cancer for a year. “I think my painting days are over.” She said. I had no response because what do you say to someone who will be leaving this world within days? Those words packed such a wallop for me.

Original acrylic mountain scene by Barbara Whitlock (my sweet Mama)

I’ve been holding myself back now for quite sometime. I just looked back in my blog posts and found several places that I have conveyed a longing to be an artist.

In March 2010 I wrote this:

I had a dream as a child and held it into my teen years. Somewhere along the way I lost it. I thought I wasn't good enough. I wanted to be an artist. We all know I love to create, but I feel like what I am creating at the moment is superficial and not from my heart. I don't know how I lost the dream. Maybe I didn't get enough positive reinforcement or somewhere along the way I just gave up. Since I lost Mom, I realize I want to return to the dream some 20 or so years later, but am unsure how. Fear grips me and I wonder if I have the courage. I watch my 7 year old create with wild abandon, not caring what others think and I encourage her everyday to continue on, for I know it feeds her soul. I know what it is like to lose that and I don't want her to do the same. She inspires me to step out and try and she has no idea that she does this. She is amazing.

Lately I have been very attracted to mixed media paintings. My love for paper and mod podge is longing to be combined with a little bit of paint and lettering on canvas or wood. I am sure this is God whispering to my soul and I have much to share. Still unsure how to proceed, but hopefully the block will move soon or I will have the strength and courage with God's help to move it myself and push forward.”

It is now May of 2013. Not much has changed on the creative front. The 7 year old is 10 and still creating with wild abandon. The 5 year old is almost 8 and is blossoming into quite an artist herself . And we’ve added a little 19 month boy into the busy mix. Everyday, I rush about. tending to my children, my husband, and my household duties. Everyday I push aside the deep longing to sit down and create something. Every night, I go to sleep knowing I didn’t start my journey to my dream. Time marches on and my mother’s words ring in my ears, “I think my painting days are over."

Original doodle by Lanie J. 

How can I teach my children to follow their dreams if I am not following mine? How can I honor my mother’s legacy if I don’t use the gift that she has passed down to me? How can I release myself from a cage of fear I have created if I don’t feel the fear and do it anyway? What if I don’t answer the call to my soul?

I really want to live Erma Bombeck’s quote:

Print by Lori McDonough of Whimsy Studios

I am positive this deep longing that I have is a call from God. He is going to keep nudging me and I will continue to be in pain (I have no other word to describe it) until I answer the call and use this gift to touch the lives of others. It’s time to open the door to the cage that I have created for myself. It is time to stop making excuses and make time to be what I truly want to be… an artist.

This post is part of a brave blogging link-up that's part of Liv Lane's How To Build a Blog You Truly Love ecourse. As a participant, I was challenged to step outside my comfort zone and share something with you that felt especially brave. You can see what others have written by clicking here

April 20, 2013

How do you see yourself?

This video evoked major emotion in me.


 I know how I see myself. I am pretty critical. I do wonder how others see me.

 How do you see yourself?


April 15, 2013

A "God Wink"? I think so!

So, remember last Monday when I posted "She did it anyway!"? Well, I think is just amazing the way things will change for the positive when I set my mind to something.

I found Liv Lane's blog Choosing Beauty when I was pregnant with Kyle and worried about some of the complications we thought I might have with him. Liv posted "What I wore in the operating room." and took the time to write me a note back when I commented on her post. It was about a beautiful beaded birthing necklace that her friends made for her for to wear in the delivery via c-section of her second son after a not so great to say the least, delivery of her first son. That post and her response to me really touched me. Liv makes beautiful, uplifting art as well. And she works in her "Dudio" (that's a dining room turned studio). I have one of those too! :)

Long story short, I have been wanting to do something more creative with this blog for quite sometime. I want to touch others lives through art, doodles and calligraphy. I want to share my life experiences and hope that they will help someone else.  I want to live the Erma Bombeck quote you see under my header. So, when I saw Liv was giving away tuition to her ecourse, How to Build a Blog You Truly Love, I thought, "What the heck, I have nothing to lose!" I entered her giveaway 8 hours before it ended (the same day I posted "She did it anyway!" and woke up the next morning to an email that said "You Won" in the subject line! Thus the title of this post. I would say that was a "God Wink" if I ever experienced one!

I am really excited. This ecourse is chalk full of information and I get to network with other bloggers while I am learning and growing my blog. Woohoo! Today was the first day of the 6 week course. Already I can see I am really going to enjoy this.

Soul Restoration has not been finished yet though and that is also a very good class for me right now. I need to finish it for myself and because I promised my sister that her generous Christmas gift would not be wasted. So even though I am behind I will complete that class as well.

So much to learn. I am jumping in whole hearted with both feet!

You can read more details about Liv's awesome ecourse HERE. Registration will end April 30 if you are interested.  Be sure to check out her blog while you are there. I'm sure you will understand why I am so excited!

April 9, 2013

Try The Pin (#1)... A Recipe for Bubble Pizza

I'm always on the look out for fun kid friendly food. So, I was pretty excited when I found this recipe on Pinterest. Bubble Pizza! YUMMY!

Needless to say, this was a huge hit!

I think empty dish speaks volumes!

This recipe is definitely a make again. The possibilities for toppings are endless. Katie wants to try a Hawaian version and do Canadian bacon and pineapple. Sounds good to me! :)

Instead of sending you to Pinterest, you've got to go to The Two Bite Club and visit Becky because she has an adorable blog full of fantastic recipes. The Bubble Pizza recipe can be found HERE.

What toppings will you try?

April 8, 2013

Monday musings... She did it anyway!

Today, I am choosing to do it anyway!

Part of the online art journal course I am taking talks about "doing it anyway". The lesson was about the excuses we make, both real and imagined that get in the way of what we really want. "She did it anyway!" is a Brave Girls mantra. 

I had no idea how many excuses I make everyday that keep me from doing what I really want to every single day until I really sat down and examined how I spent my time. Amazing the things that hold us back. Tired, not enough time, don't feel well, fear, disorganization, facebook, words with friends, t.v., kids,
a little laziness and the mother of them all... procrastination! 

Another thing I have learned from the class is that I have a choice, every single day, every single minute, how I am going to feel, act and react and what I am going to do with each moment. I am the only one who has control of me. It's refreshing to realize that with a little faith in God and myself I can change my situation to be more joyful. I choose to find time for creativity, working out, taking care of myself so I can be a happier human being, mom and wife. 

What will you choose to do anyway today?