Friday, January 31, 2014

Inquiring minds want to know...

How did this mixed media artist get on board the "Smoothie" bandwagon?

What started out as a, "Hey, I'll try it..." has turned into a habit, and a good one! It all started with a gift. My boyfriend purchased a Vitamix for me at Christmas, after he had spent the last year showing me all the great things this blender can make. Smoothies, soups, ice cream, sorbet, salsa, etc.


What better day than January 1st to start the great Smoothie experiment?! I could hardly name the vegetables currently in my diet, so I figured that this was a start. I found a website called Simple Green Smoothies and signed up for their weekly recipes/grocery list, and the rest is history! 

I bought their recipe cards  after a few weeks, since it was getting tough to be creative with recipes, when you don't eat bananas. 

Handy tip: I add a little bit of raw Agave to my smoothies every day to bring out the sweetness. 
Some fruits can be rather tart/sour. 

Another suggestion is that you can add a splash of sugar free Coffeemate creamer (liquid) to your smoothie too. I personally like the French Vanilla~ yum! Of course, this would not be Paleo friendly, since it is not a whole food. (read: filled with chemicals) I also add either Ground Flax seed or Chia seeds to my smoothie, as I am blending it. It really doesn't change the flavor, and adds a little bonus protein. I buy them in the bin section at Sprouts. 


So...after a few days, of doing this, I decided that I could try and get on a better eating plan for myself, since I was making the effort to add vegetables. I had been doing some research on the Paleo eating plan, and found another website, The Paleo Mom  and started following the basics. 
Here is a list I found of what you CAN eat! 


The results for me, have been more energy, weight loss, not as much hunger, better digestion, and just overall better well being! I am not a medical expert, I only know paints and paper, so check with your Dr for specifics for you! Here's to a healthier 2014! 

~Monica 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Let's talk COLOR!

As an artist, I am in a constant state of color discussion, combination and research. My Pinterest board is filled with color, and frankly, I am a little obsessed with it. Funny thing is, I 've always been! I loved having that box of 64 Crayola crayons and knowing all the names of the colors by their given name. And although my love of colors has remained, it has changed into a whole new level.

There is a website called Pantone, that's main focus is color. They have become the color connection between the designers, manufacturers, retailers and eventually the customer! (yes, you!) They designate a Color of the Year and for 2014,  it is Radiant Orchid.  I'd call it a cross between a fuschia and a purple.

Once I heard that this was the color of the year, I started noticing it everywhere! It's funny how you don't see it until it is brought to your attention. Now I see "radiant orchid" all over the place.
Here are a few examples of it in my house...




They both photographed a bit brighter that they actually are, but you get the idea! 
So, my challenge to you is...take a look around your house and see 
how many things you have that are Radiant Orchid!
 Leave a comment, or even a photo. I'd love to see it! 

Live colorfully, 

~Monica 





Thursday, December 19, 2013

"What I've achieved this year...2013 in review..."

I know everyone says this, but it really is hard to believe another complete year has gone by. I  definitely had some mental notes about what I would like to accomplish this past year. I wish I had been better about writing down my goals and wishes for 2013, so that now when our blog circle of artists are being asked to reflect, I could do so more easily. I jotted down a quick list, and hope I didn't miss anything. To share a little more about me, and my work process...I am a list maker. I make a list each week of my to-dos for that week. Some more urgent than others. It seems to help me stay on task and get things done!

Although I started my business in 2011, I really considered 2013 as my second full year of business. I learned SO much throughout the process of year two. Here's my list of accomplishments for the year, with details, if available.

1. Set up my own website. I used a template, and Wix, and was able to transfer/sell my domain over to them to keep everything as streamlined as possible. I had never done anything like that, but found that trial/error was the best way to navigate my way. I kept in mind that there was nothing I could do on there that could not be erased, edited or removed. It took a lot of the pressure off creating the website. I feel that a website is a crucial part of any business these days. It can be as simple or as elaborate as you'd like. Point is, get one!

2. I purchased a new wide format pro quality printer. This gave me the opportunity to print on demand, as well as save on gas and money to go pick up my artwork at the printer. I have since learned more about HP products, and the ins/outs of their printers. So far so good!

3. Got my first two art licensing contracts. I joined a group on Linked In called The Art of Licensing and was contacted by someone who wanted to represent me. I had already decided that it was the way to go for me, as my time is very limited with raising two children, in addition to my business! I have given her the title of "Art Coach" and it has been an amazing experience. I have learned a lot, and have some good prospects going into 2014. I feel incredibly blessed to have her find me! And I trust her immensely, which is an important part of any relationship!

4. I started using Facebook ads occasionally, mostly to build up my fan base on Facebook. It was good exposure to some new friends, and it was within budget,which is very important.

5. I participated in two Queen Bee Market shows this year. This is a big event, and is becoming well known as the show to be at, so there is a lot to do in preparation for this event. I always want my booth to be bigger, better and have more product each time. Lots of hours go into this event, and it has become one of my successes each season. In addition to that, I have gotten to know many of the vendors, and we support eachother as much as we can. The best part of it? I get to meet and greet customers, which is rare in a home based/online business. It really is my favorite part!

6. I remember distinctly that one of my goals for 2013 was to get published! I chose to submit artwork to Somerset Studio, and was lucky enough to be chosen three times. I was published in Somerset Studio three times twice, and once in Somerset Apprentice, which was an article. Very exciting for this Artsy Girl!

7. I set up a Society6 shop online, which gave me the opportunity to sell my artwork on fabric pillows and tote bags.

8. I made a point to stay active in my Facebook Flyer Sisters Group. This is a group of amazing ladies who all took the Kelly Rae Roberts, Flying Lesson Ecourse in 2012. We became a FB group after, and are still going strong. These ladies are my lifeline so often, as they get where I am coming from. My highs, lows, and everything in between. I am blessed by each and every one of them!

9. I was asked to be the main teacher at the 12th Annual Survivor Crop event in October 2013. In addition to that, I chose to be a business sponsor as well. This is a breast cancer fundraising event that has become one of the top 10 fundraisers for Susan G. Komen San Diego each year. In addition to that, I was a participant. A fun 24 hours, followed by a week of exhaustion!

10. Had a new logo/branding design created, just for me! I hired LimeFish Studios from Etsy. I knew I liked her designs for other companies, and she did an excellent job of creating and listening to what I wanted to convey. I am grateful to her for her talent, and am happy to recommend her!

11. Taught a mixed media canvas project to 100 women for the Crafting For Life event in Spring 2013. It was a ton of prep, and a heartwarming event. I loved meeting so many women from different ages and walks of life. Many of them had never done mixed media. I have been asked to come back for 2014, and happily agreed.

12. I took the Oprah/Brene Brown class during the fall. My busiest time of year! It was a welcome break from my busy season, and I am happy to report I finished the course when the class did! I am still working on the book, but am looking forward to taking Part 2 in 2014. As well as another class from Kelly Rae Roberts. I am a lifelong learner.

12. Last but not least...I networked, and networked, and networked some more. I got more involved in Linked In, Instagram, and even tweeted on Twitter once in awhile. I learned a lot from several e-courses I took and plan to do the same again in 2014.

So that's it for me! Looking forward to an even better 2014!
 I am sure I forgot a few things, and maybe even rambled on too long....

Feel free to follow this Blog Circle to the next wonderful lady, Robin at http://robinkeahnheim.com/

Happy Holidays!
~Monica

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Gratitude comes through the process of practice...

As we approach this Thanksgiving and holiday season, it is typical for most people to share their gratitude more openly, and honestly. A time for reflection. The word Gratitude has become an anthem of sorts for me. It was a conscious decision, as I stepped into 2013, that I be more grateful in life's smallest moments. And they appeared. Over and over.

Life has changed a lot for me in the past year. Last Thanksgiving was my first one as a separated, single Mom of two. It was new and sort of awkward. This past year has given me a chance to practice gratitude in so many simple ways.
I AM GRATEFUL for:

A small amount of money in my bank account.
A business that is growing in small and big ways, both of which I am equally grateful for.
A warm bed.
Children who have understood when I have been less than a perfect example.
Friends who have become family over the years.
Endless opportunities to practice courage.
A forgiving God.
Trusting my gut.
A boyfriend who can read the look on my face. And know.
Hugs that don't end until I let go...
A landlord who fixed my shower, my disposal, etc.
Laughter that wanted to be tears
Second chances...and third, and fourth...
My customers, who remind me to keep doing what I love...creating Art
An art studio in my home
A group of "flyer sisters' who inspire, give insight, and supportive love.
Opportunities to teach
An assistant, who also happens to be my daughter.
My first art licensing contract
An ex who I can still be friends with
A Mom who's endless support means a lot to me
A daughter who gives me unconditional love
A mailbox key that works! (don't laugh)
A new printer that works beautifully
Money to buy that printer
New books that teach me how to be a better me
Artists who constantly inspire me with their own artwork and process
Social media that provides me interaction beyond my workspace
Good friends who send me messages from above, just so I believe...

This list could go on and on, and maybe I'll just keep adding as I think of things. To read more from my friends in my BLOG CIRCLE, go to  http://rainbowlightangel.com/2013/11/grateful-heart to follow along...

There is always something to be grateful for...
~Monica

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Helloooo October...



Hello Friends,
October came blowing in with the wind this morning, and it feels good!
Typically, October is one of the busiest months of the year for me. This year, it is going to be off the charts, FUN and BUSY! I will be gearing up for the annual Survivor Crop on October 19/20


where I will be teaching the first ever Mixed Media project for ALL participants. Yes, all 125 participants! Sponsored by my business, The Artsy Girl Studio. I am excited to share this form of art with these wonderful ladies who give so much to raise thousands of dollars for Susan G. Komen of San Diego! Thank Goodness for our trusty volunteers who will be helping me. That includes my oldest daughter, who has quickly become my assistant in my business. By the way, TODAY is her birthday! Shout out to Jessica...Happy Birthday!

Just to mix things up even more this month, I thought I'd throw in a Designers Challenge from CHA on creating a handmade/wearable project, and a Challenge from Somerset Studio that is due mid November. Oh, and a guest spot on a fellow artist, Laly Mille's blog. It will be in English and French, which makes it extra special to me...Oooo La La! I'll be sure to post the link to the article as soon as it posts.

AND last, but definitely not least, I will be creating as often as I can for the annual Queen Bee Market on November 1/2 in Oceanside It's basically like walking into over 75 Etsy shops filled with all kinds of great items. You DON'T want to miss it!!!

 
Happy October~
Monica

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Anything is possible when you're a possibilitarian...

Say that sentence three times, fast! Just kidding...What is a possibilitarian you may ask? Let me tell you a little story, it may be long, but I'll share it anyway... It's all about how I am becoming a possibilitarian...




In September 2012, I took the leap, along with 592 other people, and took an online course called Flying Lessons, with Kelly Rae Roberts, a mixed media artist/creative business course entrepreneur. It took a lot to make this decision for me, because at the time, it was costly on my very tight budget. I had recently separated from my husband, and was fearing the future in many ways, even though I knew it was the right decision. My little business could use any ideas I could learn about. I must say, it was the best money I have ever spent. I learned so much and have made some lifelong friends. It's hard to believe it's been a year, but then again, it seems like I have known these ladies forever.

As a celebration of our Flying Lessons group, we are sharing the ways in which we live the Possibilitarian Project in our lives. Click the link below to follow the Blog Circle, and hear more from our amazing group of ladies!

To be a part of The Possibilitarian Project, all you have to do is say you want to be. You need to see possibility, live with possibility, and breathe possibility into things you never thought possible. Every so often, Kelly Rae Roberts will interview a person she feels lives this well, and shares their story. It is inspiring and makes me want to keep on going, no matter what. Through this simple concept, I have formed my business model. To see possibility in everything really sets you free...ANYTHING is indeed possible, and this quote from Dale Carnegie states it perfectly.


So with my business, and with my life, I try to always look at the possibility. What could possibly happen? What good could come out of this? What lesson did I learn through that error? What are my options? What is the possibility of this being a huge success? Or a little success? What could this possibly lead to? Is it possible for this to work? All of these thoughts run through my mind when doubt, negative self talk and downright fear strike. When you are the owner of your own business, it all comes down to you. You are the driving force behind it, and to stay in a mental space of possibility is such a great advantage...

I hope that you will make the choice to join ME and so many other Possibilitarians. It's easy...just say Yes!

To follow the BLOG CIRCLE, and visit my friend Kristen, click HERE

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

FALL is here! And so is my card collection!

I'm excited to be sharing this with all of you. It's a set of 6  prints, using watercolors. Each card is 5x7 Matte Paper, with a 4x6 Art print mounted on the front. I am loving the quality and richness of these cards. You can purchase them in my Etsy shop .

They are available as an Assorted set of 6, All 6 in the same design.*


 
 
*These watercolor designs are also available in 5x7 Art Prints for $8 and 8x10 Art Prints for $26. All are printed on professional quality art paper, suitable for framing~