Saturday, April 30, 2011

Treasures: Black Flowers, Shattered Fingernails, and Emeralds in the Parking Lot!

Hi All,

I found three interesting treasures this week, and I wanted to share with you.

 Treasure 1: Shattered Fashion

I recently tried out OPI nail polish because my sister-in-law told me that is how she keeps her nail polish on for so long. I was the one day wonder with my home maincures, they look good for a day and then turn into a redneck french manicure, all the color chips off the tips! Gah! She told me to use a good quality base coat, 2 coats of OPI color and a good quality top coat and it lasts longer. I was dubious. Ever the bargain shopper, how could expensive nail polish make a difference from my dollar stuff, but I tried it. Guess what? It worked! So I have a couple of colors of OPI now, and I can get four sometimes five days out of a manicure now, totally worth it!

OPI colors: Nomad's Dream topped with Black Shatter

I heard that OPI made something new called Black Shatter. It's black, you paint it over your color, and then it "shatters" right on your nail. I was grocery shopping and one of my favorite checkers had this cool black pattern on her nails and I had to comment, "Cool nails, is that OPI?" She told me it was the new Shatter! It looked so cool, so I ran into Beauty Brands a few days later and picked up a bottle. I painted it over my boss's hot pink toe nails, and it looked awesome! So I painted my fingers and toes with Nomad's Dream and topped it with Black Shatter, it looks totally cool! It has kind of an animal print look to it. It shaters really fast, so you have to be quick, and as my favorite checker told me, "Only one coat." Follow up with a glossy top coat because Black Shatter has a matte finish. This is mine four days later, only one little chip.

Oh, I also learned this great trick, using a crystal glass nail file!  They it your nails really smooth and they never get dull, you just throw it in the dishwasher or run under the tap and dry, and it's as good as new.  so it won't end up in a landfill.  Better for your nails and better for the earth, plus it looks so pretty that if you get a snag you have to fix and you whip out your glass crystal file everyone knows how fancy you are.

Here's the one I use, we put the art on these right in my studio and sell them in our Etsy shop!

Featuring my art, Tatiana's New Dress, here's the link, we have other designs too!

Treasure 2: Emeralds in the Pavement

This second one is kind of funny. It seems like it's rained here in Missouri every day for two weeks or more, and we hadn't seen the sun in ages. The other day this big bright ball appeared in the sky! We were so used to seeing the sky looking a greyish-green, the signature color for skys everywhere during torando season in the midwest. So the sun shone like an old friend, I was so happy to see him that I made any excuse that I could to go out side during work. "I have to check the mail..." "I left something in my car..." etc. On one of my trips, I happend to look down to find that the still damp cracks in the parking lot pavement and noticed a beautiful emerald green color. What was the treasure? Alge.
Alge growing in a crack in the parking lot at work = too much rain!
Alge growing in the cracks in the parking lot, holy cats! That's a pretty good sign that we've had waaaay too much rain! So of course, I ran to the car to grab my camera because I've never seen such a thing except when I visited Seattle WA, and people there don't tan, they rust!

Treasure 3: Midnight in the Garden of Petunias

I went by Hilltop Nursery in O'Fallon today, with my son, they mostly deal with professional landscapers, but this year they opened up a little section for the general public, so we were curious and thought we would pop in. We perused the tables looking at the vegetables and flowers they had to offer. The something caught my eye, a little pot full of black, yes black petunias! I was delighted, I've never seen such a thing. So we kept on moving through the greenhouse and I found a whole bunch of them, the tag said "Black Velvet!"
Black Velvet  Petunias
Then, next to them we noticed some black ones with yellow stars! They are called "Phantom!" Ha! These were so darned cool. So I asked the man running the place how much they were, "Three dollars a pot." A little more than I wanted to spend, but I have already shopped the hardware stores and Walmart in my area and haven't seen these yet, so I picked up three!
Phantom Petunias
The man told me, these are both brand new varieties. I got one Black Velvet, one Phantom, and one that looked like kind of a mix, black with a couple thin yellow streaks. These are really striking, and I wanted to tell you all to watch for these dark beauties!
Phantom and Blacdk Velvet varieties look really nice together!
 That's all for now, my daugter just arrived with two more treasures, my grandchildren Olivia and Rhys, off to play!



Saturday, April 23, 2011

Whats New: Pre-Orders, My Favorite Actor, and a New Baby!

I'm dropping in from the storm ridden Midwest to catch up and share some great news! You can now pre-order your copy of Voice of the Trees: A Celtic Divination Oracle! I'm simultaneously ducking storm clouds and on cloud nine! I received some sample pages from my editor Becky Zinns last week who has been taking my pages and art and crafting them into a really beautiful companion book that will be paired with the deck. She is doing such a great job, when I saw the pages she's done so far, I got all teary eyed, it looks like a real book! I included many black and white pencil pieces for her to sprinkle around, a fully illustrated ogham chart that she suggested, and even drew illustrations to show instruction for making your own sturdy bag to hold your deck. I'm also pleased to get to share with you the beautiful cover design created by Llewellyns Adrienne W. Zimiga. Pre-ordering from Amazon gets you a discount, so that's a nice bonus, and you'll be one of the first to get one! The last several weeks have been so very busy here I haven't even had a minute to breathe, much less to blog, so here's the quick catch up. For the past several weeks I was running up to my son's middle school to help with the set design for his schools production of "Beauty and the Beast Jr." My son Tristan is my new favorite actor

It was a blast, I got to work with his teacher who is a really cool lady, a few parents who I really enjoyed, and the stage crew kids, who were simply amazing! We painted village scenes, built trees, and made Maurices crazy machine, it was all out of cardboard, and I had some motors from my day job, so it was fully functional, and a bit steampunk. The axe chops, and the gear spins!

I really got to know the cast and crew over those couple of weeks, and I couldn't have been more proud when they did their performances! They did three and each was better than the last, they all earned standing ovations! I'm super proud of them all, but my son especially of course. He's done choir, but never gotten up on a stage to act, and he did a really good job. He was one of the villagers, and a wolf, and that kid was acting it up the whole time he was on stage.

Last, but certainly non least, only days after the final performance, I got a call from my daughter Brittany, to let me know they were heading to the hospital to have her little son, my new little grandson, baby Rhys!

I picked up my little granddaughter Olivia and brought her home to her Grandpa Dan, and raced back up to the hospital to cheer her on. She did great, and he is such a little cutie pie!

He looks just like his daddy The Suburban Caveman, but thankfully without the facial hair yet. They are such a perfect little family, and little Olivia just loves her new baby brother!

So it's been a pretty exciting week full of great things. I'm so happy to have a minute to breathe so I could pop in and catch up on all the excitement. Bright Blessings Everyone!