Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BRING IT: 2014

As this year comes to a close.... I can say, it has been a good one.

From starting this blog, creating plenty of artwork and traveling to Paris.... 
it has been a VERY good one indeed!

But, I never settle.
I never tire.
I never stop...

There is still MUCH to DO.


There is MUCH to ENJOY!

BRING IT: 2014

Saturday, December 28, 2013

ART: Radiant Orchid Inspiration

I've been working on some new pieces for the new year.... and I thought what better inspiration than this year's Pantone Color of the Year -- Radiant Orchid!


Per the Pantone website, Radiant Orchid is:

"An enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.”

It was quite captivating to work with this color.

So, here are some of the pieces.... enjoy!

Acrylic on 20" x 24" Canvas | Heaven is a Place on Earth
Acrylic on 36" x 24" Canvas | Out of the Blue
Acrylic on 24" x 36" Canvas | Purple Rain | Available at Again and Again

If you haven't checked out Pantone's Board on Pinterest for Radiant Orchid, it's a must.... gorgeous!
You can check it out here.

Friday, December 20, 2013

WORDS: Reflecting

Since the end of the year is approaching quickly, I have begun my reflecting process.

I used to not enjoy reflecting on the past year. But as I have gotten older, I realize it is a necessity for my growth. Sometimes reflecting can cause old hurt to rise up.... or it can bring joyful memories to the mind. But, this year.... reflecting has brought a sense of accomplishment to my heart.

This was the year that I went all out there with my art.
Well, "all out there" for a homeschool mom like me.
But, none-the-less... all out there!

I am grateful for the expression I have been able to release on canvas and for the relationships I have cultivated through events and commissions.

I am THANKFUL I listened to my heart...
and my heart is whispering again.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ice Skating

When we moved to the city... there was quite a bit of adjustment for us.

But, one of the perks of living downtown is close proximity to great landmarks and locations.
And when I say.... proximity.... 
I am referring to NOT having to hop in a car --- worrying about the traffic --- or worrying about parking.

So, oh happy me when I can just say to my kiddo, "Let's go for a walk!" and then we end up ice skating at Klyde Warren Park.

Now, if you are one who has to drive... they have plenty of parking options, so just check out their website.  
Or, use the trolley, Dart, or DLink. Lots and lots of options for visitors to the park and Dallas.

Anyway, back to our skating adventures...

It was a GORGEOUS day yesterday [and today for that matter], so we thought we would tryout this skating rink we heard about at the park. And although I grew up in Northern Indiana where ice was plentiful during winter, I have never been on ice skates before in my life. So, why not try on a 62 degree sunny day!

Well, the ice rink.... isn't ice. It's plastic!

Pretty cool.

Pretty difficult for me to "skate" on.

But, kiddo..... kiddo HAD A BLAST!

So, we will be going again.... soon.

Like... maybe today, when we go for "a walk".
I think we will also hit up the Dallas Museum of Art on today's jaunt.... and the food trucks.

So, if you are around the Dallas area and looking for something to enjoy in this beautiful weather.... this is definitely something to try out.

Find more details here.
$5 skate rentals... but, it's FREE on Tuesdays!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Just a Touch of Sparkle

Only 10 days before Christmas.


We are pretty much ready. Well.... at least all the gifts are accounted for and now it is just completing the task of wrapping. We still have some baking to do... and then the eating.  We still have a party or two left to attend. But, we are pretty much ready for the week of Christmas to be enjoyed with family.... togetherness. Lovely! 

How about you? Are you pretty much ready?

I came across this design and I just love how bold it is in black with just a touch of sparkle.
That tree is a feather Christmas tree.... a-m-a-z-i-n-g!

Style at Home

It would be a lovely and glamorous setting to host a little holiday dinner party.

Don't fret too much over these next 10 days.... enjoy the season!
I'll try to keep that in mind, too. Wink... wink.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

WORDS: Little Black Dress

In honor of Karl Lagerfeld in town for the Chanel Matiers d'Art Fashion Show at Fair Park Monday night.... I thought this was appropriate for today.


I'm planning to rock a few Little Black Dresses for some holiday parties... with killer statement necklaces... of course!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Chocolate Peppermint Cupcakes

We have been iced in for several days...

But, today things are getting back to normal. 
It'll be above freezing soon and the rest of the ice will melt. 
We plan to venture out [doctor appointment and what not] for the first time since Thursday morning!

We have really enjoyed our time entombed in ice. For real.
We are introverts at heart.

Not to mention, I was able to complete an insane amount of Christmas preparations!

Plus.... I got to bake these cupcakes!
I shared them last year in a post, but here is the recipe again:

Prep Time: 25 minutes | Bake Time: 22-25 minutes
Yield: 20-24 cupcakes
Chocolate Cupcakes:
1 3/4 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa {I used Ghirardelli}
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 eggs at room temperature
1 cup milk {I used non-fat and they still turned out great}
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Peppermint Cream Cheese Frosting:
~7 ounces cream cheese softned
1/2 cup butter {1 stick}
1 1/2 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner sugar
1-3 Tablespoons milk 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cupcake pan.

2. In mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

3. Add eggs, oil, milk and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 1 minute.

4. Add boiling water and blend together. 
NOTE: the mixture will be VERY thin. I am thankful I was warned about this because it really is the consistency of buttermilk or so. But, don't worry. They turn out fabulous! But, instead of using an ice cream scoop to fill my liners, I just used a bowl with a pouring spout.

5. Fill liners 2/3 full with batter.

6. Bake at 350 degree for 22 - 25 minutes.

7. Cool cupcakes completely on wire rack prior to frosting.

1. Beat cream cheese and butter for about 30 seconds until smooth.

2. Add confectioner sugar a little at a time. Once combined increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy.

3. Add peppermint and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

4. Slowly add in the milk until you reach the desired consistency. 

5. Beat until fluffy {about 1 minute}.

Makes approximately 3 - 4 cups.
Utilize frosting immediately or it can be stored in the refrigerator for several days.

Frost cupcakes and ENJOY!

I added Hershey Peppermint Kisses to the top for an added festive punch.

And then I had fun breaking up a whole bunch of candy canes to sprinkle around the serving platter. I just spread the fine dust left from the candy canes across the top of the cupcakes.


Friday, December 6, 2013

HOME: A Christmas Tour

It's the most WONDERFUL time of the year!


I LOVE the holidays.
I LOVE to decorate for the holidays.
I LOVE our home all holidayfide!

Can I offer you a cup of hot cocoa while you take a little look around our home?
Wouldn't that be nice...

You can see more details of our Christmas Tree here...
And here... you can see the details of our kiddo's Christmas Tree.

I went with a very simple color palette this year: gold, silver and red.
I LOVE how the red just packs a punch with the neutral decor.

And since our home doesn't have much storage space, I kept it simple with what I exchanged in terms of my home accent items. Because for every Christmas piece I bring out... another piece has to be stored until after the holidays. And I don't want to be hauling everything down to the storage unit. I think this year I accomplished the best balance so far... yeah... me!

We don't have a fireplace or anything really to hang our stockings on, but we make do with this little set up. We even have a stocking for our dog, Chewie.

Since you can see our bedroom from our major living space, I continued the decor theme in there.

I've added these silver wreaths to every hanging mirror that we have in the home. 
It's a fun consistent decor idea.

Red and white ornaments fill several glass and lucite bowls around the home.
Again.... simple, but a powerful punch of color.

The mirror is a new addition to our foyer and I just LOVE how the wreath is displayed on it. 
The mix of glam and old is always a favorite of mine!

I kept the foyer pretty simple... vintage brass deer, gold trees and a red vintage paperweight complete the vignette on the vintage burlwood console.

I noticed while I was typing this post, that I used the word "simple" a lot. I guess it really was a necessity this year.... to keep things simple with the decor, so I could have more time to devote to the celebration of the holidays. Keeping it simple has enabled me to keep this the most...

WONDERFUL time of the year!


Linking up to the Nesting Place Christmas Tour of Homes and Thrifty Decor Chick.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

ARTWORK by JoJo: Glamorous

The weather in Dallas was so fabulous at the beginning of this week.
It really inspired me to create some artwork. Weather does that to me... it gives me creative mojo.

I shared with you the notecards earlier in the week... now, I want to share some new paintings.

Quite GLAMOROUS pieces!

Acrylic on 11" x 14" Canvas Board | Sweet Dreams | Available

Acrylic on 11" x 14" Canvas Board | The Waitresses | Available

I just love the GOLD and texture!

Now the weather is starting to get cold and dreary again. 
But, maybe I can find inspiration elsewhere.
Or... colder weather seems to spark my creative mojo for baking.
Cupcakes anyone? 

You can check out more of my artwork here.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

HOME: Kiddo's Christmas Tree

Every year kiddo has a Christmas Tree in his room.

The tree use to be red. 
But, last year many of the lights went out. So, we got a new tree.  
He wanted a funky color.

He chose TEAL.

And since we recently added that color to his bedroom decor [you can see the updates here].... 
it looks FANTASTIC in his room!

He has a collection of little nutcracker ornaments, but he didn't want them on his tree this year.
He thought they would distract from the awesome color combination of teal, red and green... he was right.

I found these Martha Stewart bird ornaments at a thrift store. They were in new unopened boxes.
And the fact that kiddo loves to observe the birds whenever we go for walks... these ornaments really became a win-win for all involved. He simply adores them.

The tree topper is the largest he has ever had... it's enormous!
This is a 7' tall tree!

The tree color, lights, ornaments and glitz really all go great in his bedroom.
We especially love how it looks up against the abstract art that he painted.

And if you missed it, you can check out our fun family tree here.

I must say.... it really is beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Linking up to Thrifty Decor Chick.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

ARTWORK by JoJo : A Card Series

Once upon a time I painted on notecards
I thought I would do it again.

Only a little bit bigger.

This time on 5" x 7" heavy duty cardstock.

And... this is the result.

Card Series | Acrylic on 5" x 7" Notecards | Opposites Attract

I haven't quite decided if I am going to make them available for sale.... or if I am going to keep them myself.

I'm thinking they are gonna make FANTASTIC Christmas cards!
What do you think?

You can check out more of my artwork here.