Sunday, May 15, 2011


With some mixed emotions I have switched to blogging at my wordpress site.
I have read and been told all about keeping your home all under one roof. I mentioned I was considering it, feeling a bit sentimental and nervous and then blogger went bust for a bit so I decided why not now? And now it is. I set it up so that if you were a follower here you are still one, now just at the new site. I believe if were subscribed in a reader you may have to re-subscribe. I am not totally sure though.

All of the old posts are on the new site and things may be a bit wonky with things but it will get better.

I am doing things bit by bit.

I really hope to see at my new home. Bye, Bye Blogger. :(

Saturday, May 14, 2011

this and that

This post may take me all day to write which sometimes they do. It is 7 a.m. and little noises are coming from my daughter. This is late for her. Nearly another week has gone by. Whew! It has been a swirl of: an anniversary (11 years :)), Mother's Day (happy one to you mama's), t-ball, pre-k registration and PAINTING!

Painting from a photo by Leslie from A Creative Mint
I have been doing more one hour pieces, and lately they have been uh, not so great. BUT I am happy that I am painting consistently. Just DO THE WORK. This seems to be it.

In reference to the top photo and the question on my mind... ARTISTIC STYLE. I feel drawn to paint in many ways, many mediums, many subjects. I like nature, city influences, patterns, country/cottage,homey. I look at the top photo and see a commonality in perhaps the color and paint application. I often wonder how well known artists crank out the same, same and stay inspired. And yet I know these artists are known for their particular thing... Kelly Rae Roberts for girls and words of hope,  Marisa of Creative Thursday for her little characters, Geninne for her watercolor birds. And they are successful and their is art gorgeous. I wonder if their is a trade off between success and creative freedom?

Other things swirling, reading, loving....

*I have recently read The War of Art by Steven Pressfield.  Please get this if you ever deal with creative blocks. O.K. so everyone get it. :) He has a new book that I just began Do The Work, you can download it for free!

*Art and Soul Radio. I love, love, love listening to these shows! Yes, I think I am a bit addicted. I download them and listen as I am cooking dinner, walking, painting. I have learned so many things from each and every one!

*I am going to open an art shop soon, should I go to Etsy or Big Cartel?

And just to mention, this post was the last saved version I had before Blogger bit the dust for a bit so I don't remember how this post ended. :)

I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Art Biz Mama: Suzanna Scott of Sushi Pot

Today I have a brand new Art Biz Mama interview! This time with Suzanna Scott of Sushipot. I remember coming across her Etsy shop and just falling in love with her creations. She is a hugely successful seller and of course a mom. Enjoy the interview friends.

Could you please share a bit about you, your family and your business? 

Hello to all you fellow artists and blog readers of the lovely Dana! I’m Suzanna Scott, a 36-year-old artist/wife/mama living in the “Little Apple” (aka Manhattan, Kansas). My best friend Patrick and I were married 10 years ago and we have a little girl named Lizzie who is at the spunky age of six. Patrick is a graduate student at Kansas State University. We homeschool Lizzie and we’ve been running a home business together, Sushipot Art Objects, since 2006. I create and sell my own ‘art objects’ and vintage goodies as well. Patrick handles the business side of things to give me more time in the studio and ‘cuz numbers make my head ache. Lizzie keeps us from getting too serious about life!
When did you make the decision to start your art business? 
Shortly after Lizzie was born in December of 2004 I started to seriously look for ways to make it happen.

 How has having children affected your business and creativity?
Both have flourished! Before Lizzie came along I had no steady business. I was an artist and would sell my work from time to time but was not making a living doing it. My daughter has inspired me to create every day from the day she was born and she is an artistic little soul herself. We feed off of each other’s creativity.

 Would you please share what a “typical day” is like for you? Is there school or childcare, etc. while you are working?
On a typical weekday Patrick and Lizzie wake up first, have breakfast together and Patrick leaves for school. They let me sleep in ‘cuz I’ve been up late working in the studio the night before! Lizzie and I take the morning a bit easy. I shower and get ready for the day while she takes care of her chores. After my first cup of coffee, Lizzie plays in her playroom or reads while I turn on my computer, answer any urgent emails, post my blog post (hopefully composed the night before) and check our Etsy shops for activity. Next we do schoolwork together, gather any orders that need to be packaged up and stop for a lunch break at 1:00 pm. After lunch we go for a short walk if the weathers nice and read a few chapters out loud from our current book. The afternoons are spent packing orders and/or working together at our huge 8 foot crafting table that Patrick made for the studio. This table has been a lifesaver ‘cuz we can work side by side and I’m able to keep working while overseeing Lizzie’s current craft projects or school work at the same time. Patrick returns home at 5ish and we cook dinner together and have family time until Lizzie’s bedtime at 7:30. I hit the ground running after the little one is in bed and work in the studio until the wee hours.

 How many hours do you give to your business each week? Are you working during the days/evenings/weekends?
Let’s just say I put in more hours at this job than any other full time position I’ve ever held! I work in pockets of time throughout the day. Before becoming a mom I’d have scoffed at the idea of working in my studio in only 15-20 minute intervals but it’s truly amazing what you can accomplish in that short amount of time. My prime studio time is from Lizzie’s bedtime until at least midnight (and dare I say sometimes later). Every weekend Patrick gives me another big chunk of studio time while he and Lizzie run errands and spend some time together. 
Balance seems to be a myth for many women.  Do you feel you have a healthy balance between your work life and your family life?
I liken the ideal of “balance” to more of an “ebb and flow” or a “give and take”. What works and lends “balance” during one season doesn’t always work for the next. There’s a constant juggling act going on during periods of transition where we have to “go with the flow” or fall off that proverbial tightrope. If it weren’t for Patrick’s voice of reason when the going gets tough I’d have fallen off a long time ago!

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us today? Any words of wisdom for other artists/moms out there who wish to create a business out of their art?

Thank you so much for inviting me to share my story with your readers Dana!! To any of you artist/mama’s out there who want to do this I’d have to just say—Go for it! Seriously, start using those tiny pockets of time in your day to create and make it happen! 

Thank you Suzanna!

You can find out more about Suzanna by following the links below.


Sunday, May 01, 2011

some more one hour paintings

I am really enjoying the challenge of painting for one hour. Have any of you tried it? I feel like lessons are being learned. I am being more decisive (you have to be), not so critical (who has time?) and you don't get attached to the piece. You let it come and then you are done. Yes, there is a tiny bit of temptation to go back in and fix this or that but I didn't do it and I won't. You have heard it before I am sure but it is true, if you want to paint, paint, if you want to write, write. So often just the getting to it causes problems.

I hope your weekend was full and great.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

spring described

magnolia, finally bloomed. two weeks late
this is truly my favorite (and newly arrived) season for these reasons

clothes on the line
food on the grill
green grass
clear days
beginning again
windows open
more light
+an anniversary :)

what is it that you love about spring?
P.S. A winner was randomly chosen by my husband for the Creativity Boot Camp. I couldn't pick. I wanted you all to attend but in the end Line won! Congrats Line!
And remember if you are still interested you can still sign up. Half of the course fee is going to a great cause.
Click here to learn more.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

One hour

I gave myself one hour to create a painting. I listened to a podcast that Carol Marine, a daily painter, did with Melissa from Thriving Artist's Project and felt inspired. Her story is great.  I did this while my daughter was up and playing. I used acrylagouache on a Ampersand board. I had a lot of fun. Giving yourself a time limit is great! It forces you to work fast and not over think everything. I know my bottle is wobbly and shadows aren't really right but I still really like this little painting. My daughter is napping now. I am off to try another one. See you soon. Don't for get to enter to win a spot in Creativity Bootcamp! There is just a couple more days to enter.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Creativity Bootcamp

Are you ready to answer the deeper callings of your creative soul? Are you tired of following the pack and are ready to begin producing your most authentic work? Do you yearn to produce work with full of meaning and brimming with authenticity? Then I have something for YOU!  

From May 15-28, 2011 Maegan Beishline from Life Set to Words is running Creativity Boot Camp:Spring Training.

From Maegan:
CBC: Spring Training is all about artistic exploration…and through that exploration, getting to know yourself as an artist. It is all about doing the work and flexing the creative muscles in an effort to get to the place where you are producing very authentic work…the work of your soul. Each day of the two week course, there will be a different essay on creativity, an activity to go along with that essay, and some ideas for journaling or further thinking. Also, throughout the course, there will be thoughts and inspiration shared by other artists to really dive into the different mediums. 

I was lucky enough to be asked to participate and one of YOU gets a complimentary spot in the course! 
To enter for a chance to win the spot please just leave a comment telling me why you would love to take this course and a way to contact you (blog,website,etc.) so I can get in touch if you win. You have until Friday 4/29/11 to enter.

Here is a sneak peek of some of the soulful goodness you will be treated to!

If you don't win the spot you can still sign up for the course right here. The cost is only $49 and what is so great and a testament to Maegan's big heart is that she is donating half of the course cost to Show Hope, a movement to care for orphans!

Here is the link to the Creativity Boot Camp site and remember just leave a comment by Friday 4/29/11 telling me why you would love to take this course. Good Luck!

Friday, April 22, 2011


ink and acrylic on paper
Happy weekend + Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Scrap Collages

Another video! I had a tiny bit of fun playing with Movie Maker. Finished pieces below!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


to draw a face.... I was listening to a podcast of Pam Carriker talking about how she draws a face every day! So I felt inspired. Faces have been one of those things... never was able to do it, always felt blocked. Pam says keep doing it over and over again. So I am going to keep trying. It is a good lesson. To all of you that draw faces... my hat goes off to you!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A video

O.K. guys. A video! Ahh! I sound about 100 yrs. old, I think I was trying to talk very quiet (daughter napping), I said "um" about a million times and I hate my voice. But other then all of that it is o.k. See the pics below of the in progress and completed piece that I worked on later that night. And what I meant so say is why don't you give it a try? I really felt so relaxed after.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

More daffodils

Daffodils by my son and me. :) I am working on a forsythia one next.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Thriving Artists Project

Earlier this year I won a year long membership to The Thriving Artist's Project.
It has been so great. I have listened to great interviews by people such as Flora Bowley and Chris Guillebeau. I have asked tons of questions and had them answered. Melissa (the founder) has been very informative and open.  I have learned tons! So please read on as Melissa Dinwiddie, the founder of The Thriving Artist's Project gives the scoop.

1. For everyone who doesn't already know, what is The Thriving Artist's Project?

The Thriving Artists Project is my gift to everyone out there who wants to deprogram themselves of the "starving artist" mentality and learn to thrive. It's an online course built around interviews with artists and creatives of all stripes who make their living from their creative thing. 

One of the things artists lack is role models -- the pervasive idea out there is that artists can't possibly make money, even that they shouldn't make money from their art! I've brought together real-life stories from people who prove this idea wrong, and I've combined it with lessons, a member forum, and monthly coaching calls, to inspire creative people and help empower them to turn their gifts into a thriving business.

2. Can you share with us your background and why you started The Thriving Artist's Project?

I've been a working artist for over 15 years, but it took years of trial and error for me to figure out how to make a real living from my art. At some point I realized that even when I was paying all my bills from my art, I had limiting beliefs that kept me from achieving the kind of thriving success I really wanted. In fact, the "glass ceiling" that I'd installed over my own head kept me from even allowing myself to envision the kind of success that I was capable of!

In 2010 I went through a series of personal crises, and decided that it was time to bust that old thinking for good. I set out to talk with artists who were living their own thriving lives, to learn their secrets, to inspire myself and other artists to go after our dreams in a big way too.

Most artists are really lacking in business skills and knowledge, so I decided to include lessons in business and marketing basics, to provide a basic "tool set" that any business person would need, but from the unique perspective of an artist. In addition, I wanted to include a community element -- artists so frequently work in isolation, and having other people to support and encourage you is so important! I created a safe online space for members to interact, and also do monthly Q&A/Coaching calls, plus periodic seminars with guest experts, to keep everyone inspired and motivated and moving forward toward their dreams and goals.

3. I know you believe that "thriving" can mean a few different things. Can you share a few ways in which an artist can THRIVE?

Such a great question, Dana! The definition of thriving is going to be different for everyone, but there are some fundamentals. It certainly includes having the resources -- financial and otherwise -- to sustain yourself, but it's more than that. Thriving means being connected with your creativity; being in alignment with your true, authentic self; knowing your unique gifts and being able to share them with the world. It means being empowered to make the kind of impact you yearn for. It means tapping into the source of your energy and power, and channeling it to accomplish your deepest desires.

4. If anyone wants to join The Thriving Artist's Project how can they sign up?

Head on over to You can read lots more info there, and even sign up for a free sneak peek inside to see if it's right for you. To sign up, just click the "join" button and I'll see you inside!
Thank you Melissa for your time. Here is to THRIVING!

Thanks for the great questions, Dana! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

It is barely spring here. Little bits of color are popping up here and there. I took a few minutes to draw some daffodils with my kids markers and pencils. :)

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Back and Forth

Back and forth. With the computer and hands on creating. Creating textile designs requires alot of computer work. Scanning, reducing colors, cleaning up the design, drawing, putting it into repeat. It is alot of necessary computer work. And I do enjoy it but it HAS to balance with the hand painting, drawing, cutting etc. for me. I need the back and forth of the two. The computer lacks alot. At the same time you can do so much with it. So when I am doing something in Photoshop and I get that yuck feeling I know it is time to stop. Get the paints out, the pencils, the paper. I started making a little cut paper collage. It definitely brings satisfaction that the computer can never replace. It may be the same way an email can never replace a real face to face conversation or phone call. Back to painting, drawing, etc.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

A huge THANK YOU for all of your support and kind words about my website (and please, critical feedback is appreciated and welcome). It can be scary putting yourself out there but I have come to a place that I don't have that need for the external approval so much. Of course, it will never go away completely. We all want to be liked, and not everyone will like us. Be o.k. with it. I have gotten to a place where I am creating from within, rather from without. Not (well, trying not) to compare myself to others and be so concerned with whatever they are doing. And it feels good. This quote comes to mind " I am not interested so much in what I do with my hands or words as what I do with my heart. I want to live from the inside out, not from the outside in."- Hugh Prahter Isn't that great?

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Today I am celebrating! My website is DONE! Except for a few tweaks anyway (need to get that favicon figured out). It feels huge and monumental for me + a bit scary! I created it all in Wordpress using a great highly customizable theme that you don't need to know a lick of html or css to use! After many attempts it feels so great to say I did it.  So it isn't fancy but I don't need it to be. If you have a second could you pop in and let me know your thoughts? For now I am going to keep my blog here on blogger. You will notice if you are here out of a reader that I formatted the blog to look similar to the website. Need to figure out the header, a bit blurry but I will get there.

This is all I have been working on in between starting a part time job and taking care of my family. I haven't been making art (need to), I haven't been out blog hopping. I miss it and you! I will be back soon now that I am done! I hope your week is going great and I am glad that so many of enjoyed the interview with Amy!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Art Biz Mama: Amy Friend

I am so happy to be back with a new Art Biz Mama interview! This one is with the lovely Amy Friend of Cypress Sun Jewelry. It has so many lovely nuggets of inspiration. I know you are going to love it. I did! Enjoy!
First, let me say a huge “Thank You” for taking the time to answer these questions. I know how busy you are so it really means a lot to all of us that you took the time to be here today!

I’m absolutely honored. I can’t tell you how inspired I’ve
been by the stories of creative mamas. I’ve learned something from each one, and have been reminded that I can do this wild and crazy thing.

Could you please share a bit about you, your family and your business?
I’m Amy, a gypsy hearted girl with a passion for creating soulful, feminine jewelry. I live near Austin, Texas with my husband and (almost) 3 year old son, Z.
Cypress Sun Jewelry came to be right before Z was born, but I’ve been drawn to beads, wire and oddities since I was the tiny girl that transformed her grandmother’s rosary one morning in the pew. I’m fascinated by the little details in life, the intricate ways that people have adorned themselves throughout time, and a good, earth-shaking thunderstorm.

I read on your website that you started your business just 10 days before your son was born! What led you to that decision?

I think I might have panicked, and thought it wouldn’t happen
if I didn’t do it before Z was born! I was also more inspired than ever before to make that jump from 8-5 to a creative business.

How has having children affected your business and creativity?

Soon after I started the business and opened an Etsy shop, everything stopped.

Z was born. This precious child didn’t sleep (not for more than one hour -ever!), I had postpartum depression....It wasn’t the joy I had expected. But this experience was also the catalyst to discovering and creating joy.

A year after Z’s birth, I began to laugh again, and find strength in my creativity. Who knew that putting on a necklace would give me the spark to get going? I wanted to give that inspiration to others, both literally and figuratively. To honor my passion and live it.

Whether or not someone buys, or even likes the jewelry I create, I know I contribute a little more beauty and happiness to the world each day. And when someone does find my jewelry to be their thing, the happiness just goes further.

Having a child is, in my experience, the ultimate meditation. The present moment is all that matters, over and over again. You can survive it, or sink into it fully.

This simple concept has made all the difference for me. I don’t know if I would have gotten here without having an amazing child who reminds me every day to see this world so vividly.

Would you please share what a “typical day” is like for you?

Gratitude, exercise, priorities, work & play. Repeat, repeat, repeat...

There is an interlude of morning where anxiety or excitement seem to compete for prominence in my day. Starting the day off with a simple meditation of gratitude followed by exercise gets me on the higher track, and opens the door to amazing possibilities.

The rest of the day is broken into flexible increments of play, clean up, and work. I’ve found that I can usually work for 30 minutes while Z plays somewhat independently, especially if that 30 minutes will be followed by an active game of hide-n-seek or painting.

Occasionally, I can work for a couple of hours straight in the morning, and then spend the afternoon with him. Sometimes I can’t work at all! If Z naps (he has, by the way, learned to do this thing called sleep!), I work on jewelry and listen (via the ever entertaining Natural Reader) to the blogs posts, and other online articles that help shape my life and business.

Evenings go by so quickly. Sometimes there is time to finish something - a necklace, a blog post - after Z goes to bed. I always try to reflect on my plans for the day, and create a basic plan for the next. Some sense of completion at the end of the day, and focus for the next morning are two things that help me sleep better.

One technique that helps me a lot is note taking throughout the day. I carry a plain jane spiral with me almost everywhere, and jot down thoughts for blog posts, ideas sparked from online information, sketches, appointments, and anything else I need to do/remember. 

At the end of the day, all this information gets organized (in a calendar, etc.) or discarded (crossed, but not torn out). I could do all this on my (not so smart) phone, but somehow it just works better, and I’m more expressive with pen on paper. A side benefit is that Z gets to doodle too.

How many hours do you give to your business each week? Are you working during the days/evenings/weekends?

I work at least 40 hours a week in divided time throughout the week, and typically on weekends as well.

Are you running your business alone or do you have help?

Z helps me chase the beads that have fallen to the floor...does that count? I also happen to have a creative and supportive soul mate in my life. Without him...well, let’s just say that he tops the gratitude list each day.

Do you have a separate studio space in your home?

In the home that we plan to build - yes! For now, I have a corner of a bedroom. This actually works out really well. I can hear and see Z from this space, so I probably get more work done with this arrangement than I would if I had my own studio space.

Many of the Art Biz Mama's have said that really there isn't any balance when you are a mom and have a creative biz.  Do you feel you have a healthy balance between your work life and your family life? Is it all intertwined for you?

Absolutely intertwined. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. I’m finally living and breathing something that is exciting to me.

With that said, I have to admit that this balancing act has been really challenging for me. I used to be a workaholic perfectionist, and now I’mforced into recovering from that personality! 

When I read about other creative individuals being able to sit with an idea or a project from beginning to end, or spend all day in the studio, I’m apologetically jealous. But I’m also aware that I am often more productive and efficient in smaller amounts of time than I used to be.

Having a child just may have been the push I was needing to get going on my jewelry business after all.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us today? Any words of wisdom for other artists/moms out there who wish to create a business out of their art?

Don’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea how many years (or $$$) the rock star creatives have put into their businesses, how many people have helped them design their websites, or how many tears they have cried along the way.

Seek and maintain positive relationships with other creatives that will cheer you on, offer heartfelt advice, and get excited about the journey with you.

Let the negative people and thoughts go.

Keep your focus on connection rather than competition.

Stay centered in your dream, and take at least one tiny step each day in the direction of living it.

Get as much sleep as you can.

Celebrate something in terms of living creatively each day.

Tune into supportive, encouraging sites (such as Dana’s beautiful space) where you can leave feeling inspired and intrigued.

When it’s all too much, unplug, walk outside, feel your feet on the grass, snow...searing pavement, and reconnect to what is real. I’m right there with you.

Keep going!

Cypress Sun Jewelry

To connect with Amy click on the above link.

Thank you Amy! It was so great to learn a bit more about you and your business!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Happy Weekend! I realize it is almost over but it has taken me two days to finish this post. Lately my head + hands + heart have been involved up to my eyeballs in websites, business books, photos, blogs, fonts, colors, etc.. I am FINALLY getting my website up and running. What an experience! On one hand I wish I could hand it off to someone but on the other I am glad I have been learning/doing. I have to admit I am really enjoying the process now.  I feel like it really can be pretty creative.

Things have clicked a bit for me (yes, with the website). And NOW I feel ready to begin. To begin to create surface designs + paintings to submit for licensing (I have already started, and have quite a bit done). To create paintings for sale. To go for those dreams that keep coming. It almost feels like this is my fork in the road. The one where I can turn one way and head down the right path. I can't say that the path will be straight or smooth or fast but really what can we ever say that about? The point is that it just feels right.

I think sometimes as artists we are afraid to say that "Yup, I want and quite frankly, need to create financial streams with my art." Yup, quite frankly I do. There is that bit of "Who do you think you are?" + all that other blah, blah, blah that comes up.

For me to get here, I had to be faced with a different alternative. One that doesn't feel "right". Would it be easier to go that path? Maybe in the short term. Certainly not the long term.

So with the available amount of time and energy I have I will chose to follow the path that feels right.  Wish me luck! :)
In other news...
A new Art Biz Mama interview is coming on Monday and it is a really great one! :)

And to tie into being a mama and artist here is a recent and really great interview with one of my favorites, Kelly Rae Roberts. She talks to Rice Freeman Zachery on balancing it all. Her career, her art, her family. Enjoy!

Amy from Elemental is giving away $50 gift certificate to her shop. Click here to find out more!

Recently I won a year membership to The Thriving Artist Project.  !
I will share an interview with the founder soon. I have already learned SO much!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend! The crocuses have popped up here in NY! The temp may be at freezing but I am hopeful!


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Waiting for Spring

Where flowers bloom so does hope. - Lady Bird Johnson

"I perhaps owe having become a painter to flowers."
-  Claude Monet

There are always flowers for those who want to see them. ~ Henri Matisse

"There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
- Anais Nin     
"Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world."-Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Spring is just a couple of weeks away here but today my heart really needs to see some beautiful blooms.
Here are many more lovely flower quotes.