If you like something you see, you can Pin It to your Pinterest. Hover over the picture and click the "Pin it" icon in the left upper corner.

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.

June 25, 2011

an amazing coffee story found at the local summer farmer's market!

Now that's just a great country Farmer's Market sign!

This morning I decided I needed to get out of the house for a bit and took off to our local Farmer's Market. I love the Farmer's Market. It is just one of my favorite Saturday morning ventures; always full of colors, smells, and great people to talk to.

Before I get into the amazing coffee story,  I want to share the various home-grown and handmade items I saw today. 
I took the pictures with my cell phone so they are not too good. 

After a brief snapshot of the market, then comes the amazing coffee story I want to share. It's about a couple of women I met today, their coffee roasting company and their mission to help empower women in other countries run their own coffee farms, which in turn supports their families and their communities!

Sights from today's outing:

Cherries are in season here...YUMMY!
Yummy Bing Cherries!
Delicious Ranier Cherries too!

Local grown veggies of course:

Fresh made breads:

My absolute favorite, locally grown and harvested, organic olive oil by Winterhill. I keep at least four flavors on hand at all times along with a bottle of their imported balsamic vinegar.
BTW: Winterhill ships all over! Check out their site...
Winterhill is owned & operated by a wonderful Italian family!

Salami and olives!

Tea anyone?

Some local honey with that tea?

And everyone definitely needs a colorful basket to carry all these goodies, 
and a sun hat.

Now for some other handmade goodies:
Beautiful birdhouses!

Goat milk soap!

And don't forget the something for your closet!
Shirts, purses and accessories in colorful summer cotton!

Now here is the REAL STORY of the day:

A local COFFEE ROASTING company caught my eye!!!! Have I said I LOVE COFFEE? Then to see a LOCAL roaster...can you say "Oh yeah!".

Here is Mery and Hannah holding up one of the pillowcase dresses
that Hannah is going to take to Nicaragua next week.
El Dorado Coffee & Tea Company is a local coffee roaster, now that is very good and I will definitely support them. But the story gets even BETTER! 

El Dorado Coffee & Tea Company had a dream "to promote coffee grown and nurtured by women" and out of this dream came Project2Love thanks to Hannah's mom Rene and Mery Santos (above). 

Hannah (pictured above) will be heading to Nicaragua next week to visit the small coffee farms that they purchase their beans from. This young women, along with several friends, will be bringing 60 (maybe more, I forget the number as I was getting a little teary-eyed) dresses made from pillowcases by the Made With Lots Of Love project. 

Hannah has a blog, Project2Love.blogspot.com where she explains the dream that created this project, the Mission, her upcoming trip and all about the significance of the pillowcase dresses. 
These little dresses help fight human trafficking and keep little girls wearing them safe! 

If possible, take a moment to visit:
and Follow Hannah at Project2Love.blogspot.com.

I am continually amazed at the ripple effect one person, or in this case a couple women, can make when they follow a dream. Here is a company not concerned about profit but working towards empowering women to be able to care for their families while building their communities and really making a difference in the world.

I tried the coffee and the hibiscus tea too! Excellent coffee and I think I am going to take up drinking hibiscus tea! There were other flavors also but I was too busy talking to these incredible women. And of course I just had to buy a bag of beans. I got the House blend...oh so good!
Is that cool or what! It has the Roast Date, handwritten even!!!!
What a wonderful Saturday morning!

June 22, 2011

awards and apologies!

First off I want to thank two very, very special ladies for honoring me with blog awards. I also want to apologize for taking so long to post the awards or the gratitude I feel in my heart for being chosen!

Carol's blog...or maybe the blog is actually Zoe's, her irresistibly cute dog (aka ArtMuse Dog)... is a blog of beauty, inspiration and healing. Carol uses art, photography and inspirational messages to remind the reader of self healing tips and suggestions. She is incredible. Every day I visit her blog, I find a message that could have been written just for me! 
Last week she wrote a post that would be helpful to many of us trying to find our creativity. I know it was so helpful to me. Her post was "Stop Sabotaging Your Creativity"
Today's blog post is "Fulfilling Your Needs and Wants". Being off work for health stuff and not feeling my best, I am a little lonely and down. Carol's post today reminded me of what I can do for myself, just me, and not expect others to fill the needs that I can fill myself. Carol has a way with words that speaks to the soul. Check out Carol and Zoe. She has another site also A Creative Harbor. On this blog Carol and Zoe post photos of their beautiful surroundings in Maine on the Cape with inspirational messages.

The next award I received is from my my dear, sweet, wonderful blogging friend (who I just have to meet in person and have coffee with someday!) Heather of Little Red Henry. She gave me this award:
When I grow up I want to draw like her! Heather can do some amazing trees. I love her trees! Her blog is great too. She is an excellent writer and I always feel right at home visiting her. Heather was one of my first blogging buddies out here in the blogger world. I hope you go out and meet Heather, she is one of a kind!

Now there are rules that came with each award. first you have to thank the people who gave you the award, and provide links to their blogs! Okay, I can definitely do that.

THANK YOU CAROL and THANK YOU HEATHER. You both are such inspirations to me and I am glad to have gotten to meet both of you! 

Next the Stylish Blogger Award asks that you list 15 things about yourself. The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award
 asks that you list 7 things about yourself. So I will list 15 as I figure the 7 in the 15 would be in both anyway...did that make any sense?

1. God is first in my life.
2. I have been blessed with two wonderful, fully grown, rambunctious, crazy boys.
3. I make great salsa.
4. I LOVE coffee.
5. I want to write a book.
6. I make traditional pow wow regalia and beadwork.
7. I cry every time I watch Lilo and Stitch, and most other Disney movies.
8. I blame my boys for my gray hair.
9. I'm gluten free (please pass on recipes for breads & stuff if you have any).
10. I love to laugh and smile and dance.
11. I love to go on motorcycle rides, regardless of the weather.
12. I volunteer at my church serving others.
13. I live in a beautiful old city filled with history.
14. I love meeting new people.
15. I am not married.
16. When I get into being creative, I feel freedom.
17. I love the feel of paint on my hands.

Now the other part of the awards are to pass them onto other bloggers. That I am going to change up a bit. This is the second time I have received The Stylish Blogger Award and I feel so very, very special to have been given it twice. Then to get The Irresistibly Sweet Blog Award makes me feel sweetly wonderful! I truly am grateful for both. These will be proudly posted on my Awards & Challenges page here on my blog.

Lately I am finding so many wonderful bloggers while still visiting all my favorites that I follow. Each time I get an award and pass it along, I think of so many other bloggers that I would like to pass it onto also. Or I remember one special blogger that I forgot when passing awards forward.

I read a post that Li over at Flash Fiction wrote about what she was going to do in lieu of passing on her awards to just a couple bloggers. She actually wrote this post when I passed on The Blogger Buddy award to her. When I read her post, it really made sense to me as I also feel bad when I can only acknowledge several bloggers for each award.

With that said, in appreciation for these awards, instead of passing them along to only a select few (because really my #18 on the list above would be "I have a hard time making up my mind at times") I am going to end each of my posts with a blogger I am following or have found. This way I can share all the terrific bloggers that inspire me, teach me, encourage me, take me away and make me smile!

The first blogger I want to introduce to you Tina, aka The Knitting Contessa. She is also one of my Brave Girl Sisters.
Now Tina's blog is not really about knitting, sometimes it's about not knitting. Her blog is really about art, her life and it's full of fun and inspiration. She is another one f the first bloggers I met and is just a wonderful woman! She just posted her bathroom she redid! WOW!!!! I want her to come re-do my bathroom.
Please go visit Tina and say "hi"! I know she would appreciate it.

Have a wonderful Wednesday and enjoy SUMMER!!!!

BTW: #19 on the list above would be I LOVE HOT, HOT, SUNNY WEATHER!

June 20, 2011

belated father's day funny video

I apologize for being a day late on this one. Happy Father's Day. Now that goes out to all you dads but also to all you single moms that are both mom and dad in the house! Bless all of you.

I went to church yesterday and right after the music and prayer the pastor showed this HILARIOUS YouTube video! I love the fact that I go to a church that would even share this! It's SO FUNNY!!!

So hit play and smile. If you enjoy it. remember to share it with anyone else who needs a good laugh.

Happy Monday!!!!

June 13, 2011

incredible rubber stamps, polymer clay mold boards and inspiration!

This is one of Roberta's ATCs made with,
of course, one of her rubber stamps 
Roberta is  an amazingly incredible artist that I met last February when I went to the local Artist Trading Card group for the first time. I was so happy to see her this past Saturday when I went back to the ATC group again. 

When I first met Roberta, we started talking about collage and she gave me some great tips on why my collages were not working out the way I was trying to get them to. She told me about Golden Soft Gel Medium and the importance of waiting for things to dry! She shared some great tips and taught me so much in the short time we talked.

Little did I know that Roberta (E. Roberta Altshule, ERA Graphics) is not only an artist and really nice lady, she is a graphic artist, a calligrapher, a mixed media teacher and has designed her own line of rubber stamps, collage sheets and mold boards for polymer clay. She has even been a guest on the Carol Duvall show. WOW! 
Oh, and did I mention she beads! Her beaded dolls and amulet bags are in one of the many Galleries on her site.

The selection of incredible, original rubber stamps is HUGE...thousands and thousands for sure. There are fifteen (15!) categories of rubber stamp themes. And with every theme comes another drop-down of the categories under that theme. Every time I picked a theme to look at, I thought that one was my favorite, until the next theme.

I am not a "Stamper" however after looking at her HUGE catalog of stamps I have some gotten some great ideas for using more rubber stamps in artwork...or cards...or ATCs...or on clothing...uh-oh, that Art Idea ADD is kicking in again, yikes!

If you like rubber stamps, or just want to get inspired by some great artwork, visit Roberta's site www.eragraphics.com, look around and let me know what you think.

Hope your Monday is starting off FABULOUS!!!! 

June 12, 2011

atc trading!

I went to our local Artist Trading Card group yesterday. It's a small group, only five of us yesterday. I got SO inspired, gained lots of information and felt welcomed.

I wanted to share what my trades were. I really wish I had a better camera as these pics do not show how beautiful the ATCs I received actually are:
my ATC "believe", watercolor background with ink
Rachel Marie's ATC "Black Grass", momotype print
with Akua inks! Absolutely beautiful!

next trade:

my ATC "Happy Heart", Zentangled inspired
drawing with ink
Marie Lee's ATC "Lavendar" watercolor.
The colors are wonderful and soothing. I would
love to have this as a painting in my home!
Incredible artist!

"never-ending trail", another one of my Zentangle
inspired drawings
Susan's beautifully creative paper collage
with gold sequins and gold ric rac. Isn't this
my "broken pieces", cut up drawing and sparkles
Roberta's ATC made from her own stamp
"Art enables us to find ourselves
and loose ourselves
at the same time."
Isn't that cool?

I made an ATC album back in February to store the cards I receive. 

Now I have more cards to start filling it up! I am looking forward to going back every month. Two of the girls have been trading ATCs through a site called atcsforall.com. I'm going to check it out later.  

The last ATC trade I pictured here was from Roberta (E. Roberta Altshuler). She is an incredible, well known artist and also has taught all over. She has even been featured on the Carol Duvall show! Roberta has her own original rubber stamp line (and more) over at www.ERAgraphics.com. Throughout the years she has designed thousands of rubber stamps. The ATC above was created from one of her ATC stamps. Tomorrow's post is all about Roberta since I want to give her more than just a blurb at the end of today's post! In the meantime, check out her site and look around!

Have a Super Special Sunday!!!!

June 11, 2011

artist trading card day!

Today I am going to an Artist Trading Card (ATCs) group! I am a little nervous about bringing my ATCs since I really have no idea what I am doing. I went to this group back in February and got so inspired. This group is full of very talented artists. I felt like a kid on the first day of school.

I will be off work for a little longer and at home just resting, taking it easy and healing I know that I need to get out a little and not isolate myself. I am finding ways to keep creating even though I have to lay down most of the time! ATCs are something easy to do.

I really am excited and will post how it goes! This will be lots of fun and a great way to meet more creative people in my community!

Happy Saturday morning.
Hope your day is starting out wonderful!!!! 

June 08, 2011

a diy blog find for us do-it-yourself'ers

In these past few days of down time I have been blog surfing. You know how that goes, one cool post leads to another...then there's a link to another blog...then the "hey I need to Google how to do that" pops into my head and I am off in another direction. I think I have blogging ADD. Anyone else out there feel the same way?

I have to share this great blog I found today. Its called 31 diy by the creatively clever gal named Lauren. Why do I like her blog? Well Here are my first three reasons:

First: It's Do It Yourself!!!!!
Second: Simply SIMPLE!
Thirdly: Super Thrifty, Inexpensive, Cute, Fast, Fun and EASY tutorials!
(okay I guess that would be reasons three, four, five six and seven?)

I was hooked with the great idea of using canvas prints from the Dollar Store. Take a look at her blog:

I am ready to do some upcycled projects for myself and my home once I get feeling a little better! 
Another inspirational moment and off into another direction.

Please share any of your DIY projects, links, diy blogs, thoughts, etc.
 I just LOVE DIY!!!

Have a Happy Wednesday!

June 07, 2011

doodling tangles to drawing faces

During my resting these past few days, I have been doodling, "tangling" and have now attempted to learn how to draw faces. As I have posted before, I am not someone who can draw very well but I love the idea of incorporating faces into mixed media art. I figure if I am going to be just laying around for a couple days, I can use this time wisely and try my hand at faces. I have watched Mystele's YouTube videos of her creating mixed media artwork and finding faces in the background. Mystele has always been an inspiration to me. 

Well, yesterday I found Milliande's YouTube on drawing faces and something clicked! So I got out my sketchbook and started drawing. I apologize for the pictures. I use my cell phone as my camera.

I was surprised at my first attempts to draw faces! Thank you Milliande for such a GREAT tutorial!!! She also has an Art Community for Women and a blog and an Art & Creativity Online Help Guide website you might want to check out! I just LOVE sharing these great artists, blogs, sites and tutorials. I also found her voice to be very soothing as she teaches.

 Drawing these faces has given me courage to continue learning to draw more faces and maybe even trying some faces mixed into my art. 

One problem though, how to keep the pencil lead that gets all over the side of my hand from rubbing off all over the paper? Any suggestions?

Weather update! It is SUNNY!!!!! The rain FINALLY stopped and there are blue skies!!!! YEAH!!!!

Have a wonderful Tuesday!

June 05, 2011

cure for the rainy day blues

is it every going to stop raining?
Okay, I'll admit it, I am spoiled living in Northern California. We get cold, rainy, snowy winters but the late Spring and Summer is sunny, pure blue skies for days and warm. I love it!

This year is different. Today it would normally be sunny and everyone would already be complaining about the heat (well, except me 'cuz warm/hot is my kind of weather). This is NOT normal. It is STILL cold, rainy, damp, gloomy and I am beginning to think it will never be sunny again. 

On top of that, I am having some health issues and this weather is not helping me feel better. So here I sit, off work for a few days, waiting for some tests, and....well....getting a little snarky!!!! I do not like to be snarky, so I decided to find something I could do while laying on the couch. Found it!!!! Zentangles!!!! My newest obsession. Not only is it fun, it is a great stress reliever too. Time flies as I create new Tangles. Go to tanglepatterns.com at your own risk of becoming addicted too I must add as a disclaimer!

I also have been needing to make some ATCs for next week's ATC trading day at our local art council. I have not gone the past several months since I have not made any ATCs. Making ATCs with Zentangle patterns is a great mix! 


 Too cool huh?

There's more:

and more:

The cure for the rainy day blues? Zentangle!!!!

Have a great Sunday.

June 02, 2011

awarding my blogger buddies

Back during the A-Z Challenge, Heather from Little Red Henry gave me the Blogger Buddy Award. She has definitely been my blogger buddy, an inspiration to me and a newfound friend. Aren't the Hummingbirds pretty?

Blogger Buddy Award
Since the Challenge has ended, I have not blogged much. I have been so busy with work, some personal health issues and the Soul Restoration Class. I miss blogging and staying in touch with all my fellow bloggers along with blog hopping around. So know that I will be out visiting very soon.

This award can be passed onto 1-5 other bloggers and there are FIVE that I definitely want to send these hummingbirds to. Not only are these some great blogs by amazingly talented women, these women have been my 'blogging buddies" and I am so grateful for them in my life. I am not sure if each one knows how much inspiration, courage, laughter and smiles they have brought to my life at a time when I needed it most.

drum roll please..........

Li at Flash Fiction. Her short stories are incredible. I  love her talent, her suspenseful writing style and  her personality! Once I get over to her blog I am usually there for a long time just reading all her latest stories.

Kristy at Healing Through Art My Story. Kristy is another amazing, brave woman who inspires by sharing her story. Kristy is finding healing from grief through art and sharing, which encourages others.

Keena from It's My Life. Keena shares her life and also the challenges of living with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia. She helps people understand the real effects of these conditions and how to manage life.

Sylvia van Bruggen at Word Doodles. Sylvia's blog is inspiring me to write! She is a beautiful, encouraging spirit!

Allison at Allison Writes. She is just too cute! Personality plus talent! Check out her fantastic book review of Steven Tylers new bio!!!!

Have a great Thursday!