10.14.2009

I'll admit it.

I forgot I had this blog. All of my attention is focused on growing my business, so all of my attention is focused on my ArtsAfire blog. So I think it's time to play catch up.

First, we went to Disneyland.



Then, we bought a 1997 Mustang SVT Cobra to keep our new Mini Cooper S company during these long, cold, winter nights.



Then we went to Disneyland again and bought Annual Passports. I have pictures, just not on this computer.

Then I bought a lot of books and I'm now stocked for my winter reading spree.



And now, Sara has a really bad head cold, is having a sale in her Etsy shop, offering 20% to 50% off the entire inventory and is having a sale in her grandpa's Etsy shop, offering 40% off all ACEOs and art prints, and is getting ready to go to Los Angeles on her first-ever business trip on Monday and Tuesday.

And Jeremy is frustrated with Calculus (who wouldn't be?) and tearing it up in his computer programming class. He is a whiz with computer programming. :) And he's greatly enjoying having his Cobra back.

5.22.2009

First ACEO sale for Art By Jay!

There really isn't that much going on this weekend besides going to see Terminator and eating at Chipotle with our friends tonight, so I'm re-posting from my ArtsAfire blog. I really don't know why I keep this blog...I do all my personal and business blogging over there.

Moving on.



My grandpa sold his first ACEO print today! I'm ridiculously excited! It's been a good month on Etsy! Hopefully that will carry on through the art show I'm representing him at on June 13th!

The original of this painting has already been sold, but the ACEO will still be available (no larger prints, though). ACEOs at Art By Jay on Etsy are all only $7!

Buying ACEOs are a great way to become an art collector, and since they're the size of a trading card they can be kept in a binder together, or they can be framed museum style with a large mat around them!

Trust me, you need some ACEOs in your life!

And don't forget, my shop, ArtsAfire, is having a Memorial Day sale this weekend! 10% off of everything in the store, plus an extra discount code for Facebook fans! So, are you a fan?? Click here if you want to be!

And definitely don't forget to visit my Grandpa's Facebook page! Special discounts and giveaways will be available for fans there, too!

Now, off to eat good tacos and watch Christian Bale who I have a mad crush on because he's played Bruce Wayne. Jeremy knows this. He's fine with it.

5.21.2009

New Custom Paintings!

I just finished my custom paintings last night and delivered them today. Whew. The custom tree painting was much more work than I thought it was going to be (she asked for a sunset sky with blues, purples, reds, and oranges) and so I ended up completely undercharging for it because I thought I could charge the same as I charged for "Spring Branch" painting and it wouldn't take any longer. It was exactly the same size, same configuration, just a different sky. BUT a much more labor intensive process. But you live and you learn!

Here's the finished product!




I also sold a custom color of the Pure Color Mix & Match series. She had previously purchased purple, red, and green and wanted a teal/turquoise one. So I sold her one similar to the one I currently have for sale for the general public.



It's much more "teal" in person. Gotta work on capturing that color better. Some just don't like to cooperate with the camera or with Photoshop.

Now that my custom paintings are done I can get back to work on my new ideas! And working on learning a new medium: Encaustic!

I just received my "Hot Mess" Encaustic tutorial and sample paints from Jamie Ribisi and I can't wait to try it out! I just need to buy an electric griddle, some tuna (for the cans so I can melt the paint in them on the griddle, not for painting with because otherwise that'd be one fishy smelling painting), some natural bristle brushes, and a heat gun! I can't wait to get started!

4.28.2009

Weekend Shopping Mini-Spree

My boss gave me some gift checks last week to our local mall and I used them this weekend on products to pamper myself with. The whole time I was buying stuff I was thinking, "What am I doing? I shouldn't be spending this money this weekend--this weekend is not an extra money weekend. I should just wait until next weekend." And then I'd remind myself that I was not spending a penny of my own money (except $3 of cash in my wallet) and I'd stop scolding myself. My haul? Here it is:

Nike Yoga Block. I'm can't quite reach the floor.


Aveda Pure Abundance hair potion. Love this stuff. When I sprinkle in onto my hair I feel a cold, trickling sensation. I imagine that's what it feels like for Harry Potter to be Disillusioned in The Order of the Pheonix.


Rosemary Mint body bar. I'm constantly looking for something to soothe my skin and keep it from itching. I have very sensitive skin. So far, this is working and it's a great, relaxing smell that helps get me in the mood for sleeping


Aveda Calming Body Wash. Another attempt on top of the Rosemary Mint body bar to curb my itching and soothe my skin. So far, also working. Also, great nighttime smell.


I also bought a new shirt from Express and it's HUGE. I hate dressing rooms so I always just guess. I guessed wrong this time. I look like a circus tent in it--must trade it in tomorrow for a smaller size.

Other than that I spent my weekend painting my new paintings seen two posts below and for sale in my shop. And I played a lot of Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise on the Xbox 360. All in all, a great weekend.

4.15.2009

Want This! LDS Temple Letterpress Print!






Letterpress print of the Salt Lake City LDS temple. Absolutely gorgeous!! It was done by Utah web designer and artist Cameron Moll.

He's currently accepting orders for signed ($100) and unsigned ($75) 16 x 24 prints. He'll be offering 11 x 14 giclee prints pretty soon (at least he's talking about it)! To purchase, click here to go to his Big Cartel shop page. I'm gonna be buying one.

And then I'm going to buy this (probably in a blue color) with our wedding date (June 1, 2006):

Cross My Heart from Nella Designs on Etsy


And I'm going to hang them together.

4.13.2009

Why Yes, I Can Be Bought For $1

Today when I checked the mail, this is what I got:



It was a survey from J.D. Power and Associates about our new Mini Cooper S. And for my participation, they sent me a dollar.



And it's the flattest dollar bill I've ever seen. So I'll probably fill out that survey and send it back to them.

4.11.2009

Recipe: Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bread Pudding

Tomorrow I'm in charge of dessert for our Easter family dinner and I'm making Krispy Kreme Doughnut Bread Pudding. It's to die for. In case anyone wants to try it (you should!) here's the recipe. I got it from the books To Die For and Drop Dead Gorgeous by Linda Howard (I'm a sucker for murder mystery/romance novels):



KRISPY KREME DOUGHNUT BREAD PUDDING

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Ingredients:
- 2 dozen Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts, torn into little chunks. (You can also use 2 dozen glazed crullers if you want a heavier texture.)
- 3 eggs, beaten.
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk.
- Vanilla flavoring to taste (I use 1 tsp).
- 1/2 stick melted butter.
- Cinnamon to taste. Takes more than you think. Just add until you think it tastes right.
- Can of fruit cocktail OR milk

Instructions:
Combine the eggs, condensed milk, vanilla, melted butter, and cinnamon (like I said, add until you like the taste).

Pour over doughnut chunks and stir (I use my Kitchen Aid. This can be hard on your arms and shoulders.)

At this point it's going to look really dry so you can either add a can of fruit cocktail like I do (it really cuts the sweetness) or, if that freaks you out, add milk while stirring until you have a lumpy cake batter consistency.

You don't need milk if you add the fruit cocktail--it's the perfect amount of liquid.

Now you can add 1 cup of chopped pecans if you'd like. Or not. Depends on your preference. It's great both ways. The pecans again cut down on the sweetness.

Now you can add 1 tsp of nutmeg if you want to. I've found I prefer it without.

Pour this into a 13 x 9 glass pan and cook for 30 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if it's done. If not, give it a couple more minutes.

Take it out and let it cool. You can eat it this way or you can add a glaze.

SIMPLE SUGAR GLAZE - this is the glaze I use

Ingredients:
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk or water

Instructions:
Mix together and beat until it becomes smooth and pourable. Pour over bread pudding. You can make more if you need to.

BUTTERMILK GLAZE

Ingredients:
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp soda
- 1 1/2 tsps cornstarch
- 1/4 cup margarine
- 1 1/2 tsps vanilla

Instructions:
Combine first five ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Add the vanilla. Pour over pudding.

4.10.2009

All You Can Eat Sushi

Tonight Jeremy and I went out to an all you can eat sushi bar. Jeremy really likes sushi.

Then we went and got me a hamburger.

I don't mind the taste, but the bites are huge and trigger my gag reflex. Sushi doesn't lend itself to being eaten in two bites--it falls apart--so I have trouble with it.

Last night I was talking to Jeremy and asked him, "So, what are we doing for our anniversary this year?" (June 1st) He said he didn't know and so I informed him that as the husband he was responsible for all romantic getaways to sweep me off my feet (though I also informed him that I don't want a romantic "getaway" because I'd rather go to Disneyland in September but he was still responsible for a romantic "something"). So he said, "We should get couples massages again, go out to a nice dinner. I'll get you some flowers."

End of sentence. What about my present?! So I said, "Honey, if you do not buy me anniversary presents, you will be smacked every year on the same day." He realizes this and said he was already planning on getting me a present he just didn't know what yet. So, here are a couple of ideas.

Rockwell Stud Earrings by the beside (because they're awesome)


The Modern Rock by Metalicious (because I've loved this ring for a long time now)


Diamonds in the Rough Wrapped Ring by Kate Szabone (Just found this today--Love ALL of her stuff!)


Morchella in Black by Morelle (because I love Morelle and because the 3rd anniversary is traditionally leather)


But just so you know honey, I'd rather have something sparkly.

Now, a fun Meme that I found on Geninne's Art Blog.

Yourself: Shy
Your partner: Scientist
Your hair: Stupid
Your Mother: Friend
Your Father: Intelligent
Your Favorite Item: Couch
Your dream last night: Etsy
Your Favorite Drink: Coke
Your Dream Car: Cobra
Your Dream Home: Uncluttered
The Room You Are In: Office
Your fear: Alone
Where you Want to be in Ten Years? Successful
Who you hung out with last night: Jeremy
What You're Not: Talkative
Muffins: Pumpkin
One of Your Wish List Items: Painting
The Last Thing You Did: Lunch
What You Are Wearing: Skirt
Your favorite weather: Sunny
Your Favorite Book: Harry Potter
Last thing you ate: Sandwich
Your Life: Busy
Your mood: Happy
Your Best Friend: Fun
What are you thinking about right now: Dinner
Your car: White
What are you doing at the moment: Blogging
Your summer: Working
Relationship status: Married
What is on your tv: Nothing
What is the weather like: Cool
When is the last time you laughed: Yesterday

4.06.2009

I Can't Believe You Don't Remember the "Shallow Bowls"

I'm the featured seller today at Such Cool Stuff! I did a full-blown interview for the feature so please go and check out! I talk about how I got started, my favorite thing to do when I have a day to myself, what I wanted to be when I was younger (semi-spoiler: beef jerky taster), and other stuff! It was really fun to do, so many thanks to Fresh Peaches over at Such Cool Stuff!

My Ocean Tide painting set is also included in another treasury today! This one seems to be a hit so far. Two treasuries in the few days that it's been available. Now if it would sell. :)



Please click here to go and see it. Commenting on it and clicking through the images will help it make it to the front page so if you have time to do that, you'd be my hero!

Moving on. Last weekend my husband and I made a trip to Ikea to buy the shelves we were using in our kitchen remodel (pictures will be up soon--just have to finish the last painting). It was an adventure. We recently started leasing a Mini Cooper S after our beloved Cobra Mustang convertible was totaled. If you've ever ridden in one, you know they're relatively short. Actually, if you've ever seen one you know they're relatively short. So getting the shelves home was definitely going to be a tight squeeze. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As we left I said to Jeremy, "We should probably get some gas. We've only got 18 miles left on the tank and it's 28 to Ikea."

Jeremy said, "Once we get on the freeway it'll shoot up."

30 nerve-wracking minutes later we're within sight of Ikea, but we still have about 3 miles left because we're on the side of a mountain overlooking the valley (which is the only reason Ikea is in sight). Our gas tank says we have one mile left.

Cue me saying, "If we run out of gas, I am SO not walking with you to the gas station. You're on your own, buddy. I warned you when we left."

Luckily we could coast all the way down to Ikea where the gas station that Jeremy wanted to get gas was ($0.08 cheaper--so not worth the stress in my opinion). So we got there safely without having to hoof it at all.

Once in there we get to the shelves, write down where they're located, pick up a few other things (baskets for the shelves, one of those 3' shoe horns for my grandfather--his delight once he received it is a whole other story which will be told later, etc...). On our list was also some white plates. When we reached the area with the white plates Jeremy was ecstatic about some pasta bowls. I told him under no circumstances was I buying those for him because we used to have those and he made us throw them out to buy some "real bowls" (which is why we have cute Anthropologie bowls mixed with our dark blue Target dishware and which is why we were buying plain white dishes to go with our cute Anthropologie bowls).

Jeremy's stupid "shallow bowls"


Our current cute Anthropologie bowls

He didn't remember the "useless shallow bowls" (as he used to call them) and that began a 20 minute "I can't believe you don't remember the 'shallow bowls' Jeremy! You hated the 'shallow bowls!'"/"Were you dreaming, Sara?" bickering session. For over a year I listened to "I hate these bowls--they're too shallow to hold anything" and so I threw them out for him and have had mismatched dishes ever since--that is how much I love him. And now he wants them back! Uh-huh! He was laughing at me the whole time because I was so frustrated and he was sure that I had dreamed about the shallow bowls (Then why do we have bowls that don't match our dishes, honey? Hmm? Not dreaming!) and I was getting frustrated because he couldn't remember what seemed to be the bane of his existence for our whole first year of marriage.

In the end, we left without any dishes because we decided they weren't necessary.

Then Jeremy was leaning on the "cart" and I turned around and slammed right into it with my right shin and let out a few (several) choice expletives (it didn't budge because Jeremy was leaning on it so the blow was that much harder). One week later the bruise is almost worse and it still burns like hell-fire to touch it. (Then my right hand got slammed in the car door and then I dropped a chair on my right foot--my whole right side is one big hell-fire bruise. Oddly they don't feel like bruises at all; they feel like I'm putting a match out on myself every time one of them gets bumped.)

Then we get to the checkout and we look at each other and think, "Hmm...is our Mini even this long?" So Jeremy goes out and measures it. It'll be barely long enough if I sit behind him so they can go into the front seat and we stack them all on top of each other. So that's what we do. And the Mini becomes the Mighty Mini with 1,000 blind spots.

Once we made it home I was so exhausted I crashed on the couch and slept right through Jeremy's drill putting together the shelves. Now our kitchen is beautiful. Pictures will be posted later this week.

And I did get my magnetic knife strip! And bought two extras because they were so cheap in case I had somewhere to use them. I didn't, so I gave one to my grandparents. My grandpa was as excited about that as he was about the 3' shoe horn (which he could use to hook his shoes and bring them closer, wrangle in grandchildren that got away, scratch his back, put lotion on his back, etc...).

3.27.2009

What do you know about art? And magnetic knife strips?


Being an art historian I can't pass up the chance to see if I still hold all that art history in my head after not working in or studying the field for over a year. So when I saw this little art history quiz on How About Orange? I couldn't pass it up.

I'm very happy to say that I still have it. I missed one. And I can't for the life of me figure out which one it is.



So what about you? What do you know about art?

Tomorrow my husband and I remodel our kitchen. We aren't allowed to paint. Cue the grumbling. But we can buy all new furniture and get rid of what we currently have! We're bored and this is cheaper than moving. Today while looking on Ikea.com, where we are getting our new kitchen furniture from, I also found this:



Ta da!!! What this, you ask? And why are you so excited about it Sara? It is a magnetic knife strip. No more knife blocks taking up space. AND! It's only $8.99!! I've been trying to find a simple, unassuming knife strip for the past two weeks but they're all $40 and completely not our style. This is simple. This is our style. The more simple I found, the more expensive it got! Until: Ikea. I just might compose a celebratory rap ballad for the store and make a video and post it on YouTube.

If you want one of these babies for yourself, just click here. Also, a little hint: it pulls double duty as a spice rack over your stove if you have those great little magnetic spice cans--which I will have tomorrow! I am all about efficiency and space saving.

3.16.2009

Kitchen Remodel v. Moving

Every year when it comes close to renew our lease here at our current apartment we either have to move or remodel a room so we don't get bored. We can usually remodel a room for about $300-$400 depending upon the room. Versus paying an extra $500-600 per month for an apartment since we locked in our apartment rate long before apartments doubled in price around here. Remodeling a room is the financially responsible decision.

Lately, I've been hating on my kitchen. It's cramped and the fact that we've had to bring in an extra kitchen cart/island AND a bookshelf for our microwave and pots and pans in order to have room to store our food in the cupboards (I know, we ask so much) has made it even more cramped. And our dishwasher? Goes by the name of Jeremy. While we can't do anything about the lack of a dishwasher (that is mechanical and not human, anyway), we can throw out everything and start over!

So, we're giving away our kitchen furniture. Even our kitchen table! In almost three years we've probably eaten on it 5 times. We never eat at the table. I don't like my kitchen enough to eat in it. I like what we've done with the kitchen, but I don't like the kitchen as a whole because it's practically useless. And I do like the furniture we have, I just need a change and I need a brighter kitchen than we currently have.



It's all from Shopko and we probably spent no more than $350 on all of it (the cart was priced incorrectly and Shopko said, "If you don't tell anyone, we won't, and you can have it for this price."). So I don't feel bad about getting rid of it. Last night we went through our kitchen and threw out anything that was excess and non-essential. The cheap cookie sheets, the cheap cooking utensils, the excess frying pans that are not part of the nice set we got for our wedding. We paired down our food that we haven't gone through in over a year and was now woefully stale and beyond eatability. We got all of our pots, pans, and food into the built in cupboards. Our dishes will go on our new shelves from Ikea!



Ta-da! We can't put shelves on the walls because our apartments are structurally stupid (and the walls are made of cinderblocks, even behind the walls that aren't simply painted cinderblocks and are actually "finished") but I really wanted some shelving that I could showcase my pretty Anthropologie dishes and other nice Crate & Barrel cookware (yay for wedding presents!) on.





So we're buying two of those new shelves from Ikea. Probably in the honey color...having a hard time deciding between the honey and the white. (I'm thinking the white might be TOO white in our all white kitchen and I imagine honey every time I envision our kitchen. Thoughts?)

We'll stand one up on it's end (as shown in the photo above) on the wall that currently has the kitchen cart/island. That will hold our pretty Kitchen Aid, the decorative mixing bowls that I received as a wedding shower present from my late Aunt Lisa, and some other nice-looking appliances. The other will be laid on it's side (it was on it's side in the Ikea showroom) against the wall that currently has the kitchen table and the bookcase. The microwave (a new stainless steel one--I hate our current cheap white one that I can't get clean no matter how hard I scrub) and our convection oven will be on top of that one. Our dishes and bowls and our very pretty glasses will be on these shelves, too.

Above that I am going to invest in some of my favorite Etsy kitchen-related art prints and have a happy print wall that will definitely liven up the kitchen.





Sellers: Farouche, Sugarloop, Dazeychic, Artistscs28

I think I'll love my kitchen once this is over.

3.11.2009

I don't see the "90% Angelina Jolie" resemblance...

My cousin Rachel posted this to her blog and I thought it would be fun to see what celebrities "facial recognition" said I looked like!

Angelina Jolie...90% look alike. Ummm...I wish!

If you want to see what celebrities you supposedly look like (though really, don't hold too much stock in it) just click on this "Celebrity Collage" below. Also, below my wonderful celebrity collage you can see my results from other photos.

MyHeritage: Celebrity Collage - Pedigree - Genealogy sites

Then, I used this photo:



It couldn't recognize a face. So I used this photo:



And it said I looked 73% like Terrence Howard:



All the way from Angelina Jolie to a man.