Mother of the Bride (or Groom) Gift

One of my most favorite things to paint is Christmas ornaments. Oh how I delight in creating them and have often wished  for this to be something I could do year round instead of just seasonally. Lately I’ve been thinking that just maybe this is possible.

I’ve sold Christmas ornaments in my etsy shop called The Cozy Loft since I opened it in 2008. This has been something that seems to come easily to me and I’ve been able to paint anything people have asked me to paint on them. It’s a gift from God that I have this ability and am 100% sure this is not something I am doing on my own.

This was ordered from a sweet Bride as a gift for her mother and I had the pleasure of creating it by using photos from her of the dresses and of the ladies:

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I apologize for the flash but it was a cloudy morning and I needed to get it in the mail so  this is the best I could do. Still, I love it and wanted to share it with you. These are listed here and are available as Mother of the Bride or Mother of the Groom gifts. They are personalized with dress styles, hair colors, hair styles, hair length, bridal bouquet colors and whatever you’d like the back to say.

Inside my shop, there’s an ornament section where you’ll find couples, pets, Father of the Bride or Father of the Groom ornaments and much more.

I can see these kinds of things being gifted all year, not just at Christmas time. Christmas ornaments are ideal to gift as they are sure to be a forever keepsake and treasured…plus they will be displayed every year at Christmas. I just can’t think of a better, more special gift.

xoxo

Rhonda

 

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New Berry Artwork

As I sit at my computer this rainy Easter afternoon, I’m thankful the Easter celebrations, hunts, dinners, fellowships and other festivities had an opportunity to be held earlier in this day before this rain began. I’ve heard it’s supposed to drop 40 degrees from this morning to tomorrow morning…typical Tennessee weather, no doubt! Still, those kinds of changes and this kind of rain can make for a day of reflection.

There’s something about the rain pounding down on the roof, ground, coverings, windows, etc., that sometimes gives me a feeling of safety and coziness.  This is one of those times. I welcome the beauty of the showers. As Spring is in full force and many flowering trees are full of blooms, trees are beginning to show their new leaves and the promise of warmer days are to come, I start thinking of gardening.

As long as I can remember, my family has grown strawberries. I’m terribly fond of them and long for a good strawberry during months that the only ones to be found are awfully expensive and are never tasty as they are when in season. Perhaps that’s why I love to paint strawberries from time to time. This was one of those times. Here’s “Spring Berries”, my newest ACEO painting in acrylics on Canson:

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I have it listed up for auction on ebay here.

Soon it will be time to pick them fresh and eat them from the vine. Until then, I have some in my fridge that are calling my name. They are store bought, but remind me that it won’t be much longer. 🙂

xoxo,

Rhonda

 

Lent Followup

Good Evening All!

Back on February 10th, I made this post and challenge for Lent. I’m not sure if anyone did this along with me but I wanted to be sure and give you an update.

I’m exhausted as I’ve worked outside yesterday and today pruning trees, mowing my yard and such so this will be a quicker post than I meant to make. Still, I felt it was important to get this posted today since today is officially the last day of Lent.

Here are the 40 items that I’ve given up for Lent:

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There are a couple of pairs of new, unworn shoes underneath these as well as two new pillow cases, but the majority are clothing items. I wasn’t sure I’d have enough to total all 40 days originally so I included the pantry as an option but I was able to do this from my closet entirely. While I have very little left, it was cleansing to rid myself of so many things. None of these were items I wore, but I suppose they were placeholders until I found something better. Actually, I’ve realized 90% of my closet is exactly that.

There were items I could wear but didn’t like for one reason or another and I originally planned to keep them, but as it went further in the process, I included many of those as well. I wouldn’t have minded to have had another week doing this as it may have forced me to get rid of a few more pieces I probably should. In all honesty, there is really not much left. Initially, I thought this would be stressful to have so little left but it’s freeing and this was something I didn’t expect at all.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter tomorrow. I hope your heart feels the depth of the day and that it overflows your life with so much love and gratitude, you can’t help but share it.

xoxo

Rhonda

Owls and Elephants? Oh my!

It’s been a while since I’ve painted some fun ACEO miniatures. They are so enjoyable and a great stress reliever…why don’t I do these more often? I finished these up this week and have them both listed on eBay up for auction as we speak so I wanted to be sure to share them here, too.

The first one I did features an owl. To me, he (or she) is deep in thought, almost mesmerized by the moon in front of him (or her) with the picturesque view. How much closer can one get? For the colors in the sky, I wanted them to be a bit complex and not too simple. Blends of ivory, yellow, purple and blue were used to create a mood. I call it “Deep Thoughts” and it’s listed here.

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For the second one, I’ve been fascinated by elephants lately and wanted to create an elephant couple. Actually while I was looking at stamps, I found one with the elephants having their trunks together in a heart. How precious! While this is all hand painted and tiny with no stamp used at all, I’m really happy with how it turned out. I used black for the ground as if in silhouette and the sky gray and overcast to allow the elephants and their love to shine through. After that, I thought it could use a little something extra so I added some white and black paint splatters…always a fun addition to any piece! It’s listed here.

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I hope your weekend is starting off to be a wonderful one, my friends!

xoxo

Rhonda

I Found My Hallelujah!

In my life as of late, all signs are pointing to change and as we know, change can sometimes be a very crippling thing. Most of the time, I’m easily adaptable to change and sort of go with the flow. I’ve welcomed it. With age and as some of those changes result in some very trying times, it’s only natural to become a bit more resistant to it. When past successes are now failures, it’s no longer a choice to change but a necessity for mere survival.

As I get older, I think about what I have done in this world to make it a better place and to bring happiness and positivity to others. That’s very important to me. Life can be so hard that it knocks us down time and time again. We learn, we grow and we become stronger during the process. For me, my faith increases and learning what the important things are in life becomes clear.

During this low point of my life, I’ve prayed for guidance and kept the faith that something would be revealed to me for a direction in which to: stay self-employed, be inspiring and spread happiness. One afternoon, I was sitting at the computer and went to YouTube to listen to a little music. I listened to Gwen Stefani’s new song “Make Me Like You” and then thought of Andy Grammer’s “Good to Be Alive”. Here’s the video:

What a happy video! I love his message and paused it right at the beginning when I realized I should do a play on this song for my next sign. I didn’t do the exact phrase because I wouldn’t have wanted to take lyrics like that but I did make it into a shorter phrase while keeping that same feeling.

Here it is in an aqua and white beachy sign:

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I was really excited about getting this one ready in the rustic stain with the white writing:

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These are listed in my shop here and are available in any colors one might like.

I’m so excited about these. They are just happiness on a piece of reclaimed wood. I love my job.

xoxo

Rhonda

Raven Heart

As I was posting all the paintings I had up for sale, it appears as though I missed one. Typically when paintings sell, I’ll go through and update posts to make sure I’ve marked them as sold. This painting sold, but I couldn’t find it on here. Since I’m trying to keep a good record of them all, I wanted to be sure to post it.

The painting below entitled “Raven Heart” sold to a private collector in Pennsylvania, thank you Kym S.!

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“Raven Heart” ACEO in Acrylics

xoxo,

Rhonda

How to Cook a Perfect Medium Well Steak

Quick Note to My Vegan Subscribers and Readers: You may want to skip this post. I’m sensitive to your lifestyle and choices so please avoid this post if you would prefer.

Thinking back, the last steak I remember having was two years ago. It’s not something I want often or know how to cook. I’ve attempted to grill them, cook them on the stove top, cook them in the oven, etc. They just never turn out to be good. I’ve gotten cooking tips from many of my Facebook friends, as well as the internet, but still have had no luck.

Being anemic, steak and beef in general is something that makes me feel stronger when I eat it. Using an iron skillet also helps with my anemia. I can tell a difference when these are in my cooking/meals so I very much benefited when  using both for the same meal!

I’m happy to say that I finally found a method that worked for me and it’s so super simple. Maybe I’ll up my steak enjoyment to twice a year or something now that I know what I’m doing.

Here’s what I did:

I set my steak out an hour before I was ready to start cooking it. I preheated the oven to 425 degrees. I put an iron skillet on the stove top and turned it on medium heat. In went a Tablespoon of oil in the skillet. Once the oil was good and hot, in went the steak for three minutes. I sprinkled salt, pepper and garlic on that side.  After three minutes, I turned it over and seared the other side for three minutes. I also sprinkled on salt, pepper and garlic on that side as well. After three minutes passed, I turned it back over and put the entire skillet in the oven for 13 minutes. Since I like my steak medium well, this was the time that my inch thick, 3/4 pound steak needed to cook. Once 13 minutes had passed, I pulled the skillet out of the oven and let the steak rest for 5 minutes.

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I did film a video and shortened it down to a little over two minutes if you’d like to see the process by clicking here.

It was perfect and delicious. If you try it please let me know if this method works for you, too.

xoxo

Rhonda