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Please know that anything on this blog is Protected by Copyright. As artists, we respect each other and do not copy or use someone else's work without giving full credit to the artist. Please be respectful of this here at Rasz Art Designs and at other artist sites.

December 30, 2011

inspiring video found through blog hopping this morning...

I spent this morning trying to visit some blogs I have not been to in a while. Sheri Ann Ponzi has moved her blog onto her new website http://www.paintingherselfintobeing.com
It's a great site and her blog today was "Love Notes" where she wrote a love note to several different women that have inspired her along her journey. It really is a beautiful, heartfelt post.

From there I went to Traci Verdugo's site to see what new works of art she has been creating. Her post from Wednesday was 
She included this video by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of "Eat, Pray, Love". 
At that point I stopped blog hopping to share this video with EVERYONE!
Here's "A new way to think about creativity"....

Have a Fabulous Friday!

December 28, 2011

lovin' my new art table...and more dragonfly girls...

I am LOVING this new art table, and I found the perfect spot. 
At first I thought I could use it while on the couch but that did not work.
Which was great because now I have it in a corner of my dining room.
(really, I seem to always end up in my dining room creating anyway)
It's a perfect fit in between the gas stove and the hallway edge.
AND I have a side table for my jar of paint brushes right next to my phone and my favorite piece of art that my youngest son did several years ago.
AND there is a window!
I clipped on a light for evening work and I can stand whenever I need to.

Here is one of the Dragonfly Girls I'm working on:

And here is one ready and glass gelled onto canvas. 
This one is VERY SPECIAL and already has a home,
even though it's going to be a surprise.
I'll tell you the surprise when she's done:

Have a Wonderful Wednesday!

December 26, 2011

santa brought art stuff...and more...

First off I hope everyone had a wonderful day yesterday and was able to share laughter and love with others!

Since my boys are grown and have to share themselves at other family festivities, we dedicated Christmas morning at my house every year.
We open presents and have Christmas breakfast together and for me, it's the best way to start off my Christmas Day.

Along with sharing the morning with both of my boys, my oldest son's girlfriend and her daughter and my boyfriend, I got lots of wonderful artsy presents!

Two new Grumbacher brushes and three wooden hinged boxes:

I have been asking for some sturdy boxes and cigar boxes to create
my own altered boxes,
 inspired by the ones that Diane Salter at My Art Journal creates.
(I want to be like her when I grow up!) 

Then I got this cool travel watercolor book that will make a great art journal,
or maybe just a cool travel book!

And the big present was a work table!
Now this is really perfect for me because I can sit on the couch with pillows and a heating pad on bad back days and lower this table to fit across my lap or raise it up when I need to stand!

And now "the more"...
Moonstone is my favorite and I wear a moonstone pendant almost every day.
I got moonstone earrings that I have been wanting from my favorite local consignment boutique!
And in a beautiful altered box!

I also received two gift certificates to that boutique so I can go shopping!!!!!

Oh and a great new ceramic traveling coffee mug covered in pink and purple pasley designs, a gluten-free cookbook, an awesome smelling candle that is burning right now, lotion, and the cutest dish scrubber that I forgot to take a picture of. Maybe that will work for tomorrow's post.

And the best "and more" was the love and laughter I got to share with the ones I love!
To me, that is the Spirit of Santa and the blessing of God to give us this day together in His son's name.

Blessings to all and hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas or a wonderful day in the Holiday that you celebrate.
Even though the presents and food are great, the best part of the Holidays is to be with those we love and remember how precious each and every day of the year is.

December 23, 2011

i'm almost ready...

As usual, doing Christmas last minute is challenging yet fun and creative.
Here are a couple of items that are done!
Actually all I have left is to get some stocking stuffers and make more fudge.

My oldest son and his girlfriend's new handmade stockings
for their first Christmas together:

For Philip's stocking I used plaid wool with a red felt lining: 
the stitching is in hunter green,
 although I could not capture a good photo of it.

Nicole's stocking was done with a heavy red felt inside to support the satin material:

I used a sheer satin material with red and pink sparkles as the body of the stocking, cream colored satin for the cuff and added a shabby rose made from the sparkly material. It really came out nice. 
I had so much fun making these stockings I am going to do a lot of them next year!

Then I thought of a fun way to give out all the fudge I made. I took Kerr Canning jars and glued holiday wrapping paper to the lids,

Then just fill with fudge and add some ribbon!

Have a Fabulous Friday!

December 20, 2011

my first dragonfly girl matted on canvas

Hope everyone is enjoying the last minute rush before Christmas.
I think I need to start working on presents, decorations, ideas in January so that by the last week of Christmas I will at least have an idea of what I am trying to accomplish.
I believe I will always be a last minute, pull-it-together kind of girl.
It's worked all these years so far with no major catastrophe.

So instead of making stockings and fudge this morning, I decided to blog about my latest project I just finished! YEAH!!!!
(which was not on my Xmas to-do list)

Since I have painted four Dragonfly Girls, I need to figure out a way to display them.
Framing with glass would take away from all the texture and gloss of the pictures. I need other ways to display them.

Here is my first attempt with my favorite one, the first one I ever made:

I got an 11x14 canvas and painted the outside edges with oranges and yellows that matched the flowers:

Then I used my gloss gel medium to glue down the picture.
Once the picture was attached, 
I covered it all with another layer of gloss gel:

I would love some feedback...what do you think?

Have a Terrific Tuesday and remember only FIVE more days 'til

December 19, 2011

wintertime dragonfly girl and last minute project...

Meet Holly, 
 the latest Dragonfly Girl...with a little Holiday theme...

My 19 year old sons said to leave her hair white, so I did. I like it.

I'm starting to get a collection of these girls and tomorrow I will post how I matted one because I want to share and would love some feedback.

Now on to those last minute projects for Christmas.
I do this every year.
My oldest son and his girlfriend wanted new Christmas stockings this year since it's their first Christmas together...along with his girlfriend's adorable little four year old girl.
Yep! I agreed...not only to make them stockings but also a new stocking for my younger son and me, of course, and my bf, my dog, my son's dog and their new kitten.

I also thought it would be fun to make everyone a new ornament and found these cute little wooden kits at Michaels (I really need to stay out of that store!).

Does anybody else decide to do things like this the last week before Christmas or am I just a total procrastinator?

Six more days to Christmas!

Have a fun and wonderful day!

December 17, 2011

another dragonfly girl...

 Here is the second "Dragonfly Girl" I have done.
I draw them in ink, covering the ink drawing with gloss gel medium and then painting with watercolor and acrylic. Adding the watercolor paint on top of the gloss gel medium gives a real interesting effect and not much control of color on my side. But it's fun and I like it.
The only problem I ran into with this one is I tried some new glittery watercolor for some of the details and when I applied another coat of gloss gel for more texture, it smeared.

Here are two more ready to paint today:

I wanted to remind everyone there is only ONE WEEK left to do that Christmas shopping, gift making, wrapping, decorating, baking and cooking!

Are you ready?????

I have a tree up...and a box of cards that I "plan" on getting out today...oh and the ingredients for homemade fudge that I want to make.....

Have a Splendid Saturday!

December 16, 2011

a little art for Christmas...

This was one of my first paintings I ever did this year. It was inspired by Mystele and was done on an old hardback book cover. I had it up on a shelf with several others in my dining area.

On Father's Day, my boyfriend's son, daughter-in-law and his two beautiful granddaughters came over. 
His oldest granddaughter, Trinity, is eight years old and could not stop staring at this picture.
Trinity, still focused on the painting, asked me who it was.

I walked over to her and explained her how I was originally creating a background and the girl had just emerged in the painting. I just painted in some details I saw. I told her I named the painting "Breaking Free" since she just appeared as if she wanted to break out of the background.

Trinity looked up at me and said "That's me. She looks just like me".
And she was right. Without knowing it, I painted Trinity.
I knew this painting would go to her, never to be copied or duplicated.
So here is what Trinity is getting for Christmas:

I actually have been doing more art. I have three more "dragonfly girls" to finish and have made a book purse too. That will be tomorrow's post.

I miss everyone and feel I have been away far too long. 
Have a Fabulous Friday!

December 04, 2011

welcome december...

I'm welcoming December in with an open heart and prayers of happiness, health and prosperity for everyone.

They said there was a really nasty Mercury Retrograde in November. From what I understand about astrology, which isn't much, a Mercury Retrograde messes with stuff, especially mechanical or electronics. 
If you have any info or can correct me, please do!
All I know is that in November:

1) I went through 3 cell phones in one week:
one got flushed down the toilet
new one didn't work
next new one fell thru an elevator shaft crack

2) Camera broke and new cell phone camera really sucks!

3) My 1999 SUV got totaled...
thank God no one, including my son who was driving, got hurt.

So....as of today I have another vehicle. My "new" car is a 2000 SUV and I really like her.
I got a new camera too and am just learning to use it.
I actually finished something I have been wanting to try.

If you have known me for long, you know that I have been stuck on flowers and dragonflies.
I have also been drawing faces as a way to release all the emotions and feelings I have been dealing with.
I have tried working on other projects although they are started, none are done.

I started doodling again and did a couple dragonflies and flowers....
Then I added a face behind them.
I covered it with gloss gel medium.
And then started painting with watercolors.

I tried to get sheen and texture of watercolor on top of gloss gel medium in the close up.
I love the way the watercolor paint flows over the gloss.

Let me know what you think. I would really appreciate any feedback or suggestions.

Also, I would like to know if anyone else has ever gotten "stuck" in doing just one thing.
I really have tried to get the other projects done, but I continually go back to the flowers, dragonflies and now these faces. I even have another one ready to go.

I am beginning to feel like that guy in the movie Close Encounters who keeps making the same thing over and over....hmmmmm...although I seriously doubt these are for any aliens.

(On a sadder update I want to thank everyone for their prayers and healing thoughts for Jaybird, my friend's son who has been battling brain cancer.
"Bird" (as we all call him) flew home to be with God in heaven.
He was 21 years old and had a 2 year old son.
His mom, brothers, sisters, family and friends all need healing prayers and thoughts as they deal with their loss.
Thank you again for all the prayers. It really means so much to the family.)

~Enjoy today and have a blessed Sunday~

November 26, 2011

don't quit...

I have been carrying this tattered little card around for as long as I can remember.
It's usually tucked away in a wallet or pocket of a purse...even in the back pocket of my jeans years back.
I forget about this little card with it's wonderful wisdom,
sometimes for years.
It never forgets about me though. 
Whenever I am in need of these words the most,
this little card appears.
Today I was looking for my Costco card that I had left in a wallet I had not been using,
and there on top of the other items was this card.
Now I had already took out the "important" stuff from the wallet weeks ago,
not even noticing this life reminder.
But today I needed these words more than ever,
and I am sure that is why it, appeared once again,
just as I was ready to throw in the towel on my dream.

I know we all have times when we want to quit, when we do quit,
so today I wanted to share these words from this little tattered card with you:

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road your trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don't you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As everyone of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out,
Don't give up though the pace seems slow,
You may succeed with another blow.

Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when your hardest hit,
Its when things seem worse,
That you must not quit.

Have a Splendid Sunday and please share this little motivation with anyone you know, including yourself, that may need it.

November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving....

picture from MS ClipArt

Today is Thanksgiving Day here is the USA.
Whether you celebrate it or not, my heartfelt wish is that you and your loved ones can all find things to be thankful for in your lives!

God Bless You and enjoy the day!

November 22, 2011

two new etsy shops opened...

Two of my wonderful, sweet, inspiring and talented blogging friends have just opened up their new Etsy shops!

I am so happy and proud of both HEATHER of Little Red Henry and SANDRA of Alchemy-Art Memories for taking the plunge into the Etsy world. I know you will do great!

You can find Heather's shop HERE.
You can find Sandra's shop HERE.
Congratulations to you both~

Oh, I forgot to mention that Heather is having a Black Friday Giveaway over at her blog
Little Red Henry....go check out what you could win!

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

November 21, 2011

getting back to art...

Life has been so busy that I began to lack motivation, inspiration and even confidence to really get back into doing art, the one thing that makes my soul feel so good.
Why is it that when I'm feeling down it can be so hard to just do the little things that brighten my spirits?
I guess it is just too simple, and sometimes simple just seems....
well....too simple.
It's just too easy to make things difficult or stay stuck in my mind instead of my heart.

So I got out of my head and remembered that I needed to focus on all that is right and good in life.
That this is the day, the present moment, that God has given us and to enjoy.

Here's what I have been working on:
The beginning of a Vintage Harley-theme book purse I am making...

Then I found these cute little cardboard cut outs at the local dollar store. 
I can use the pieces to add to projects and then use the background of the cardboard for stencils!

I added a couple of cutouts to a piece I was working on a while back:

Then I added some paint to the cutouts and a little bit of blue and green to the background,
and more gloss gel medium to add some texture:

The pictures are not that good. I really need to go out to Picasa and work on my pictures before posting. 
That or learn how to take better pictures.

While I was waiting for the book purse covers to dry (I am actually working on 4) I thought I would try to just play around with some watercolors. 
Flowers and dragonflies of course.

Time to work on these purses.
I hope everyone's Monday is Marvelous!

November 13, 2011

more reminders that it's okay...

I have not done any painting, collage or really any art...except for my Doodling Art Journal where I seem to be creating some more sketches reminding me that "It's Okay" to feel what I am feeling.

Maybe they will remind you that "It's Okay" also.

and I woke up this morning needing some fun flowers and dragonflies to get the day off to a happy start:
I really like the mix of ink, colored markers and colored pencils.

I'm heading off to collage and paint some book covers to recycle into purses.
I really need to feel paint, paper and gel medium all over my fingers.
If all goes well I will have some pictures to post tomorrow...and if not at least I will get to feel that ooey-gooey-yummy feeling on my hands!

Have a Splendid Sunday!

November 11, 2011

thank you Veterans...

Today is the day to remember and honor our Veterans.

Thanks to their service for us, we still live in a Country that has freedom!

If you live in America, and enjoy your freedom, 
Thank a Veteran for his or her service and sacrifice.

And to all those families whose loved ones are overseas or away from home serving, know my prayers are with you.

And lets never forget the POW/MIAs.

Today I say a prayer and give thanks for all our Veterans and their families. Words cannot express how grateful I am that there are so many brave men and women willing to defend our freedom and our way of life.

God Bless You All.

November 06, 2011

i love pandora...

I have been listening to Pandora Radio since I first found out about the site.
I LOVE all the incredible stations I have created with their awesomely cool 

Music Genome Project®!

Listening and creating stations according to your music preference is free, however since there are music right laws that I do not understand regarding playing music and not paying royalties, or something like that, Pandora started to have to charge $0.99 if a listener went over 40 hours of listening per month.
The other option is to purchase a very inexpensive one year subscription that allows the listener unlimited hours of listening per month and no commercials.
I have been on the .99 cent a month plan because that has just worked for me. It was well worth it and honestly I felt Pandora was worth so much more.

Several weeks ago I received an e-mail from Pandora stating that there would no longer be a .99 cent charge for going over 40 hours of listening a month!
I thought this was so gracious of Pandora, since they have to pay for every song they play, I wrote them an e-mail praising their site, thanking them and letting them know I had no problem with paying monthly. I even explained that their yearly subscription was such a deal that once I get off disability and back to making a living I would be subscribing...simply because I LOVE all the Pandora stations I have created.

I got a wonderful e-mail in return thanking me for being a loyal listener and they said they wanted to send me something. The choice was a baseball cap or a men's t-shirt. Well I guess you can tell what I opted for in the picture at the beginning of this post.

What an incredible company to acknowledge the people who appreciate them.

This just adds to all the reasons I LOVE Pandora Radio!

If anyone ever wants to share some stations, let me know, I've created a dozen at least for all my moods.

Hope you had a Splendid Sunday!

November 05, 2011

been away for a bit...

I've really missed blogging and visiting all my blogging friends. It would be great to tell you that I have been on vacation or at some fun art retreat. The truth is that I have been spending lots of time away from home with my best friend whose 21 year old son has been battling cancer. He has a brain tumor caused by a rare and hard to treat cancer. Even though the chemotherapy and radiation over the past year have killed some of the tumor, the cancer is still there and has spread to some bone and sinus areas. In the past four weeks he has undergone two extensive brain surgeries. 

So I have either been with my best friend and her family or at home with my family appreciating how precious each and every moment is that we have with our loved ones. 

Yesterday I made beef stew and then last night we sat up and watched Pirate Radio with my youngest son. It's been a while since we just sat and watched a movie together.

A while back, my oldest son had asked me for one of the paintings I had done for my Total Alignment workshop. It was actually the one I liked the least. But he liked it and wanted it so today I decided to frame it for him. 

I found an old framed art poster at the thrift store that was 18"x24", the same size as the painting and decided I could fix up the frame to make it work:

I sanded the frame down then used my old favorite stain.

It turned out really nice. 
Lots of brown, red and almost black tones appearing in the wood grain.
A little sealer and the "new" frame was just perfect.

After cleaning up the glass (a lot) I finished framing the picture for my son.
It's a dreary, rainy day and the lighting was not too good, however it turned out so much better than this photo.

I took it over to my son's house and he and his girlfriend hung it up. Then we hung a mirror and two other pictures he had. It was a wonderful family moment that really brightened my spirits.

It's amazing the moments I have taken for granted. These past few weeks have really showed me how blessed I am and how precious and fragile life really is.

I hope this weekend all of you can find a simple way to just stop and enjoy the people you have in your life.

I would also like to ask for prayers for Jay, we call him Jaybird since he was named after his dad Jay. Jaybird has a 2 year old little boy, one sister and three brothers. His mom has been a rock through all of this and believes that all the prayers that have been lifted up for her son has helped not only her son fighting his illness, but also given strength to her and her family.

Thank you and may you have a blessed weekend.