Alcohol Ink Cards

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As most of you know, I love color. Bright, fun happy colors. I’ve tried creating art with more subdued colors but they just make me sad, so inevitably I brighten them up. It’s stronger than me 😂

On one of my explorations and adventures in color, I created a handful of birthday cards using alcohol inks and coffee filters. Thought they turned out pretty cool, looking like galaxies. I shared photos of them in different stages of the creation process below. Hope they inspire you to get a little crazy and have some fun with color. Have a magical weekend✨

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Thoughtful Thursday Social Interaction

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I walk about 2.5 miles a day, 6 days a week. On some days I walk by the kids waiting for the school bus. It didn’t dawn at me at first but then I noticed something odd. It was super quiet and there were about dozen or so kids there.

When I used to wait for the bus there were about 8 of us at the bus stop. We were loud, laughing and carrying on. We told jokes or talked about the latest events going on at school. But all of these kids had their faces buried in their cell phones. They wouldn’t make eye contact with each other much less me as I walked by.

As human beings we crave interaction with others, yet here all they all were in absolute isolated silence. It makes me question if the use of cell phones especially at a young age is beneficial. As a parent I can say they do come in handy with changes in scheduling or for any emergencies. But we all got along great without them for years.

Texting on the phone, surfing the web or hanging out on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram is not the same as interacting with others. It’s kind of a form of isolation. Studies have shown that isolation can cause depression, anxiety and low self esteem.

From my daily observations, these kids didn’t appear happy. They were more numb and zombie like as they clicked away mindlessly at their phones. Would it be better to limit the use of the phones to certain times of the day or maybe just for emergencies? Or maybe go back to not having them at all but then kids want to be like everyone else and simply blend in.

It makes you question what will these kids be like when they’re grown. Will they be well rounded adults who talk to others and learn from life? I’m not sure but one thing’s certain, they’re our future. To really appreciate and live a happy life you need to be involved with your world using all of your senses. Trying to live life through your phone leaves you feeling rather empty and and unhappy.

Many times I’ve even seen families out to dinner and everyone is busy on their phone. There isn’t much interaction between them. This can’t lead to a balanced life filled with joy. Maybe, as adults we should lead by example and use the phone less and interact with our kids and surroundings more.

What are your thoughts?

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Photo by Maria Vidaurre

It’s a Party! Contemporary Abstract Painting

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This is my latest abstract, It’s a Party! Painted in vibrant hues of pink and purple with splashes of blue on an 11×14 inch stretched canvas. Plus lots of texture and a bit of glitter for bling.

If interested, It’s a Party! is available in my Etsy shop.

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A New Day Abstract Painting

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No matter how tough a day may be, tomorrow there’s always a new day filled with love and positive energy. But it’s up to you.

This is my newest abstract painting, A New Day. It’s painted on a 8×8 inch canvas panel in stunning hues of pink, orange, yellow and white. It’s accented with gold and a bit of glitter for a new day filled with magic. There’s lots of texture for interest.

If interested, A New Day is available in my Etsy shop.

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New Notecards

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More exciting news, now available in my Etsy Shop, set of 3 Beach notecards with envelopes. These are also blank inside making them perfect to send warm wishes to someone special. Whether they’re well wishes, birthday or uplifting words of encouragement, these notecards are ideal. Professionally printed from my original photographs on heavy cardstock. Each card measures 4.25×5.5 inches and is blank inside for your inspiring sentiments.

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Jubilee Abstract Painting

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Jubilee Abstract Painting by Maria Vidaurre

Everyday should be a joyful celebration of life. This is my newest abstract painting, Jubilee. It’s painted on a 6×6 inch wood panel in vibrant hues of pink, purple, white and splashes of silver. It has lots of texture and of course a little glitter for sparkly magic.

If interested, Jubilee is available in my Etsy shop.

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Thoughtful Thursday The Road to Happiness

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

It seems that most of us are in a perpetual state of searching for happiness. If I only had that car, owned that house, had more money I’d be happy. But is this truly what happiness is?

For some, the material world and all it’s contents define their happiness. But happiness looks completely different from one person to the next. For me happiness is the scent of warm bread baking in the oven. It’s hearing the wind gently rustling the leaves on the trees. It’s seeing the sunlight sparkle and dance on the waves in the lake. It’s completely losing myself in my art, painting and letting the outside world with all of it problems simply fade away, at least for a little while.

Don’t get me wrong, you can buy “things” that make you happy, but the happiness is short lived. Although these “things” are nice to have, they don’t make you feel alive. They don’t bring that sense of joy and wonder into your heart and soul, filling every cell in your body with true happiness.

So what is happiness for you? What does it smell, taste or feel like? What makes you smile from ear to ear all day long? Have you found happiness or are you still looking for it? Would love to hear your thoughts….

Have a beautiful day, thanks for stopping by!!

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New Notecards

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Very excited to share a new item with you available in my Etsy Shop, set of 3 Angel notecards with envelopes. They’re perfect to send warm wishes to someone special. Whether they need well wishes, birthday or uplifting words of encouragement, these notecards are ideal. They’re professionally printed from my original art on heavy cardstock. Each card measures 4.25×5.5 inches and is blank inside for your inspiring sentiments.

Included in this Set 1 of each design:
▪ Angel Valentina
▪ Angel of Tranquility
▪ Angel of Wisdom

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Echoes of Mercy Angel Journal Pages

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I bought these embossed angel images on Etsy from a shop called Scrapaplenty. They’re made in Germany and are quite beautiful. I fell in love with them because they remind me of the vintage images used in cards from long ago.

I created this layout in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. The background is painted using leftover paints from one of my canvases. As I looked at this color combination, it seemed to be a perfect fit for the angels. I used a stencil to create the clouds and added the quote “Angels descending bring from above, echoes of mercy, whispers of Love.”

Hope this inspires you today 😊

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Flash Sale in my Etsy Shop

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Just a quick note to let you know there’s a Flash Sale going on in my Etsy Shop today and tomorrow. Mother’s Day is only 17 days away and there’s lots of nice gifts available. So hop on over and check it out.

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Thoughtful Thursday – Mandala

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Inner Beauty created by Maria Vidaurre

Mandala is from the ancient Sanskrit language which means circle. It’s normally depicted as a geometric design representing different aspects of the universe. In Asian cultures it is a spiritual and ritual symbol used in prayer and meditation.

I have always been fascinated by the beauty of mandalas. There is something very magical about them. Designing a mandala, helps to focus the mind and create a sacred space within. There is an inner peace that calms you and simply lets the outside world melt away.

There are plenty of books and tutorials online to teach you how to create this ancient art. But looking at the intricate designs created by others can be just as calming. When you need a moment of peace, take the time to explore mandalas.

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“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” ~Unknown

Find Your Passion Journal Page

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This is a whimsical zentangle journal page I created in my Strathmore 6×12″ watercolor journal, Find your passion… With the odd size, it’s always a challenge creating in the journal but that’s what makes it so much fun!

I painted it with watercolor paints and outlined the design with a Sakura Micron 01 Pen. I added some highlights and shading and finished it off with a little glitter for bling.

The whimsical head and tail feathers on the birds make me laugh and hope they brighten your day as well.

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Celebrate Flower Painting

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Everyone needs to Celebrate the wins in life. Whether you’re cheering on a friend or you’re simply happy to have reached your goal. Big or small, they deserve recognition and so do you!

This painting was created with lots of texture on a 4×12 inch canvas with bright cheerful colors of blue, pink and purple. It’s accented with a little glitter and is overflowing with pure happiness.

It would make the perfect gift as this flower will last a lifetime! Celebrate is available in my Etsy shop.

Have a wonderful day!

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Thoughtful Thursday Tamanu Oil

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Photo by Gary Barnes on Pexels.com

I got an order in from Shea Terra Oragnics and in that package I received a sample of tamanu oil. I had never heard of it before so I decided to do a little research. Tamanu oil is made from the seeds of the tamanu tree which can be found in Africa, Asia and Australia. It has been used in Asian cultures for centuries but in the West, we’re just hearing about this beneficial oil.

It’s a fatty oil that’s pressed from the seeds of the tree and is a greenish/yellow color. The oil is rich in fatty acids including alpha-linoleic, oleic, linoleic, palmitic, arachidonic and stearic. It also contains polyphenols which are anti-inflammatory. All of these compounds are excellent for the skin.

This fatty nut oil contains antioxidants that fight radical damage making it great for the skin. Because of it’s antibacterial properties it’s helpful in treating fungal and wound infections as well as acne and eczema. Plus it helps to relieve joint pain, provide light sun protection and speed up the healing of wounds.

This all sounds pretty amazing but despite it’s many anti-aging properties, it should never be taken internally as the oil is poisonous. Also, if you suffer from nut allergies, this oil does come from a nut so you probably should stay away from it.

This is a rich oil, so a little goes a long way. I like to use a drop or two of the oil on my face. It does wonders in minimizing aging and makes my complexion look great! Plus all the fatty acids in the oil make it an excellent moisturizer.

Hope you have a fabulous day! Thanks for stopping by!!

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“To the mind that is still the whole universe surrenders.” ~Lao Tzu

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Home is Where the Heart Is Art Journaling

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This was a fun and whimsical zentangle design I created with alcohol ink markers, Home is Where the Heart is. Sometimes it’s just so much fun to let go and draw whatever comes to your mind! This was created on 9×12″ mixed media paper and will be part of a handmade book that I plan on creating once I have enough pages.

Hope you’re having an amazing day!

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Courage – She Blooms in Ink

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This is another painting I created in my Strathmore 11″ x 14″ Watercolor Journal. She was part of the online course from “She Blooms in Ink” taught by the very talented artist, Tamara Laporte at Willowing.org.

The quote reads “Be brave, follow your 💖, live your dream.” I love the bold colors in this painting. May we all find the courage to live more boldly!

Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

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Thoughtful Thursday Juicing

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Most of us abuse our bodies for years with bad eating habits before an illness shows up. Once it does we chalk it up to “it’s a part of aging.” But I highly disagree. I’ve seen friends and family make dietary changes and either improve their condition or cure the illness completely. I have also experienced these changes.

Juicing is an easy way to supplement your present diet with lots of vitamins and minerals that you normally wouldn’t eat especially if fruits and veggies aren’t your favorite. I can tell you that the juice recipes today are quite delicious and filling and have come a long way since yesteryear. I replaced 1 meal a day with 2 glasses of fresh juice. Depending on what’s in the recipe, I might use the blender or the juicer. The main difference is the blender uses everything you put in while the juicer extracts the juice and discards the pulp or fiber.

I feel my best when I include fresh juices in my diet. When I first started I noticed a lot of changes. I had lots of energy. The brain fog that I didn’t even know I had was gone. Plus all the aches and pains I felt had disappeared. I felt fantastic!

You don’t need to make radical changes to your diet, but at least modify it somewhat and add in fresh vitamins and minerals with juicing. Taking a vitamin may help improve things but it doesn’t come close to fresh nutrients. There are lots of books on juicing but one of my favorites is “The Healthy Green Drink Diet” by Jason Manheim which is available on amazon.

Hope this inspires you to great health!

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“Health is the greatest blessing of human beings.’ ~Hippocrates

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Imagination Abstract Painting

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Imagination Abstract Painting by Maria Vidaurre

Imagination is the beginning of all great things. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Where would we be today if we didn’t use our imagination?

This is my newest abstract painting, Imagination. It’s painted on a 9×12 inch canvas with gorgeous hues of blue and pink. There’s lots of texture and splashes of purple and yellow plus a little glitter for magic. Imagination is available in my Etsy shop.

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Rise Above Abstract Painting

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Rise Above Abstract Painting by Maria Vidaurre

This is my newest abstract painting, Rise Above. I tried something new and painted this on a 10×10 inch wood panel instead of a stretched canvas. It had pros and cons but overall I liked using it a lot. It’s painted with bright happy colors of blue and pink and of course accented with a little glitter for magic. Rise Above is available in my Etsy shop. I have more coming so stay tuned…

Have a wonderful day!

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Thoughtful Thursday April Fools’ Day

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April usually marks the beginning of Spring but this Friday is April 1st also known as April Fools’ Day. It has been the day of countless practical jokes. Some funny and some not so funny especially if the joke’s on you. Here’s how it all began…

In 1563 France was called upon by the Council of Trent to change from the Julian calendar which recognized the new year beginning with the spring equinox around April 1st to the Gregorian calendar which recognized the new year beginning with January 1st.

Historians believe that the people were either slow to get the news of the change or simply didn’t care that the start of the new year was moved to January 1st and they continued to celebrate the new year from the last week of March through April 1st. As a result the jokes were called April fools. Some pranks even went so far as to have a paper fish placed on their backs symbolizing an easily caught fish and a gullible person. Wouldn’t want to be that person, definitely an incentive to stay up to date on changes 😂

I hope you enjoyed this little history snippet. Thanks for stopping by!!

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“April showers bring May flowers.” ~Unknown

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Impossible to Fail Journal Pages

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I had some leftover paint from one of my paintings and didn’t want to waste it so I used it in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8″ Mixed Media Journal. I tried a new face stencil by Jane Davenport and loved it! I added a quote by Dorothea Brandt that reads “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams, Act as though it were impossible to fail.”

What would you do differently if it were impossible to fail?

Hope this inspires you today 😊

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Flourish Painting

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Flourish

I started this painting with something completely different in mind but couldn’t stop thinking about beautiful blooms. So here it is, Flourish. It’s painted on a 10×10 inch canvas with vibrant and happy colors of blue and pink. It has lots of texture and of course a little glitter for some magic. Flourish is available in my Etsy shop. I have more coming so stay tuned…

Have a lovely day!

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Thoughtful Thursday Rosemary

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Rosemary, native to the Mediterranean, has been used for centuries as one of the most popular aromatic healing herbs. My dad used to rub rosemary on his arms in the summer to keep mosquitos away. At first I found it hard to believe, but it really did work. When you rub fresh rosemary on your body, it leaves an oily film which is what repels mosquitos.

Rosemary has many uses such as antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, circulatory stimulant, relaxant, plus it also stimulates the brain and enhances memory function and focus to name a few. Not to mention it’s delicious to cook with.

I have two rosemary plants in my garden and I love to rub the leaves and smell the delightful scent. It’s so soothing and calming to the soul. The rosemary plant is pretty easy to grow. Give rosemary a try in your garden and enjoy the benefits of this wonderful plant.

If you would like some ideas on aromatherapy, natural DIY recipes for beauty, personal care, food and overall wellbeing, visit Stephanie Gerber’s site HelloGlow.co. Stephanie is the author of two great books both are available on Amazon, “Hello Glow” and “Essential Glow.” So take good care of yourself, you deserve it!

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“Nature is so smart, it put the medicine inside of food.” ~Uknown

Bloom

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I finished my second painting in this series, Bloom. It’s painted on a 11×14 inch canvas with bright happy spring colors and lots of texture. Plus a little bit of glitter for spring magic. Bloom is available in my Etsy shop. I have more coming so stay tuned…

Have a blooming day!!!

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Abstract Painting Spring has Sprung

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Spring has Sprung Abstract

This is my first finished painting in this series. It’s painted on a 9×12 inch canvas with bright fun colors and lots of texture, ready for spring! It’s available for purchase in my Etsy shop. I have more coming so stay tuned…

Have a great day!!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Uniquely You

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There are 7.9 billion people living on our beautiful planet. Out of those 7.9 billion, there is only 1 UNIQUE You! I’m currently reading the “The Inflammation Spectrum” by Dr. Will Cole and to be honest, I never realized how truly unique each of us are.

I always thought I was an oddball because of how I react to my environment and to food. But as it turns out, everyone is completely unique. That’s why a certain diet will work for your friend and they’ll lose 20 pounds, while you’ll struggle to lose 1 even though your both eating the same things. A medication may have no side affects for one person, while the other will experience multiple side affects.

Dr. Cole explains in his book that just about every health issue we face like anxiety, depression, fatigue, diabetes, digestive issues, heart disease, hormone imbalances, autoimmune disorders and more are inflammatory in nature or have an inflammatory component. The trick is to determine what is causing it. Dr. Cole explains how to determine what works for you and what doesn’t in order to create a custom diet that is tailored specifically to you.

This sounds like a complicated process but it really isn’t as hard as you think. I will say that I was surprised at some of the foods that tend to lead to inflammation. The majority of us suffer from one ailment or another so I recommend reading his book and giving it a try, you’ll be amazed at what you learn about yourself. I’ll also keep you posted on how I’m progressing, so stay tuned.

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“When diet is wrong, medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, medicine is of no need.” Ayurvedic Proverb

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Make a New Ending Journal Pages

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I was playing with my paints and wanted to try a new color combination. I loved how the background turned out so I started working on 2 canvases. Stay tuned for those.

I just got some new artsy ephemera in the other day and thought I’d use it for this layout. I found this quote by Maria Robinson that resonated with me “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Hope this inspires you today😊

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Beauty of Dreams Art Journal Page

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Thought I’d have a bit of fun in my Strathmore Mixed Media 9″ x 12″ Journal. I painted her in watercolor paints but with a limited palette of 3 colors. I added a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt which reads “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” What are your dreams for the future?

Hope your weekend is off to a great start!

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Thoughtful Thursday Back to Basics

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I love listening to Earl Nightingale’s coaching session called “The Strangest Secret” which can be found on YouTube. There’s also a book on Amazon. This was the first life coaching session that was ever recorded back in 1956. I’ve listened to it countless times. I’m often asked “Why do you keep listening to it? It’s basic stuff and you already know all of this.” My answer is always the same, “Yes, I do know the basics but hearing this recording helps to remind me of what they are and keeps on track.”

Let’s face it in today’s world we have hundreds if not thousands of distractions each and every day. With so many distractions, it’s hard to stay focused. So sticking to your goals and having clarity can be pretty difficult when we keep running after each new shiny penny we see.

I recently listened to one of Brendon Burchard’s podcasts and he made some really good points. In this podcast Brendon said “Common sense isn’t always common practice.” And that’s so true. We know we should be doing x, y and z but often we don’t and as a result we fail in life and in reaching our goals.

Earl’s recording reminds me of how easy it really is to reach your goals and create the life you dream of. The power to create is in you, in your mind. If listening to Earl isn’t your thing, that’s ok. Then find a life coach that works for you. Or make a list of reminders that you can look at first thing in the morning to help keep you on track. But be mindful of where your thoughts take you so you can stay focused on what’s important.

Hope this post inspires you. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Perhaps the world isn’t giving you what you want because based on all your distractions and lack of discipline, it’s simply unclear what you are asking for.” ~ Brendon Burchard

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She Wore Flowers in Her Hair Art Journal Page

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I came across my Strathmore 6″ x 12″ watercolor journal and because of it’s size it’s a bit more challenging to create in but I thought it would be fun. I just finished her last night and found the quote after she was done and it couldn’t be more perfect “She wore flowers in her hair and Hope in her heart.”

Have a beautiful day!

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Spring Tea Cup Art Journaling

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I painted this little spring tea cup birdie to add to my Jodi Ohl Color Lovers Challenge journal. For the color challenge she hosted last year I used a canvas for the Spring prompt but held this spot in my journal to come back to later.

This tea cup design was created by a talented watercolor artist Lori May. I have a larger version of this painting but I liked it a lot and thought it would go well for the spring prompt. I added a quote from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that reads “Came the spring with all its splendor. All its birds and all its blossoms. All its flowers and leaves and grasses.”

Have a wonderful weekend!

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Thoughtful Thursday Free your Mind

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Every animal on this planet lives in the present moment. They don’t concern themselves with what happened yesterday nor do they give any thought to what tomorrow may bring. They’re simply living in the here and now.

Human beings on the other hand are born with the ability to worry and it’s something we love to do. But worrying won’t allow you to change the circumstances you’re thinking about. But it will change how you feel emotionally and physically. Worry loves to bring along her faithful companion fear, who has the power to stop your in your tracks.

When worry and fear join forces they can seem unstoppable. The two of them will make you give up your dreams. You won’t go for what you truly want because you’re afraid and they’ll stop you from moving forward in your life. But this is where you need to bring in courage and confidence to fight for your freedom to create the life of your dreams.

Don’t allow worrisome thoughts to grow and take over your mind, keep them in check. If you find they’ve grown into thoughts of fear, think about the worst case scenario and what is the best way you could handle it. Get comfortable with that and one by one, lay all your fears to rest. Remind yourself that worrying won’t change a thing and be confident and believe in yourself. You are a truly amazing person✨

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“Confidence is something you create within yourself by believing in who you are.” ~Unknown

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Art Journaling Flower Bouquet

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I came across this painting recently and thought I’d share it with you. I created this flower bouquet quite a few years ago in an online class by Lori May who is a talented watercolor artist. So many things went wrong when I was painting it but I remember having such fun in the course!

Hope you enjoy my flashback. Have a great day!

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Thoughtful Thursday Growing Microgreens

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Last month I wrote a post about the Benefits of Microgreens. Today I’m writing about growing them. I looked up a few tutorials online and decided to start with a kit to see if I liked growing and eating them.

I purchased a small kit made by Back to the Roots. It’s an organic microgreens kit that comes with 2 compostable growing trays, 2 seed packets and 2 expandable soil discs. It was very easy to use. You start by placing the soil disc in the tray and add water. Wait about minute and allow the disc to expand. Then spread the soil in the tray and sprinkle the seeds on top. Cover the tray and let the seeds germinate. After about 2 days the seeds are sprouting and you can remove the lid and just add a little water everyday. That’s it! Within one week I had these delicious microgreens.

The one thing to note is this is a compostable tray that has the potential to leak which can damage surfaces. To be on the safe side I kept my tray on a trivet with a paper towel underneath and it was perfectly fine. It never leaked or got damp.

I used a pair of shears to cut my microgreens at the base and added them to my salad. They tasted absolutely delicious! They’re super easy to grow and super healthy for your body. You can buy a set of 3 kits on Amazon or a single kit from Target. I highly recommend giving them a try.

Hope this inspires you to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for stopping by!!!

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“Growing your own food is like printing money.” ~Unknown

Watercolor Journal Angel Alaia

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I’ve been busy working on my studio space so I haven’t created much art lately but I did finish the last angel in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. Meet Angel Alaia.

I have to say, there’s a certain satisfaction in filling an entire journal with art. I have a total of 44 unique angels in this journal, each with their own personality. Now I need to work on the cover. So stay tuned…

Hope your week is off to a great start!

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Thoughtful Thursday A Romantic Evening

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, this coming Monday. There’s nothing better than snuggling in front of the TV and watching a movie together for a romantic evening. A simple movie can make for an extravagant and memorable night if you pay attention to the details.

Start by lighting a few candles and serve chocolate covered strawberries with a champagne. Or if you prefer popcorn, serve freshly popped corn with homemade cookies and your favorite candies. The main thing is to use your imagination and create a fun and magical night.

These are my top picks for Valentine movies. They’re all nice, light hearted movies with happy endings:

  1. Pride and Prejudice Starring Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen (2005)
  2. The Holiday Starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law & Jack Black (2006)
  3. Notting Hill Starring Hugh Grant & Julia Roberts (1999)
  4. Laws of Attraction Starring Pierce Brosnan & Julianne Moore (2004)
  5. Robin Hood Starring Russell Crowe & Kate Blanchette (2010)
  6. Sense and Sensibility Starring Emma Thompson & Kate Winslet (1995)
  7. What’s Up Doc Starring Barbra Streisand & Ryan O’Neal (1972)
  8. The Proposal Starring Sandra Bullock & Ryan Reynolds (2009)
  9. Sweet Home Alabama Starring Reese Witherspoon, Patrick Dempsey & Josh Lucas (2002)
  10. How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days Starring Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaghey (2003)
  11. Kate and Leopold Starring Meg Ryan & Hugh Jackman (2001)
  12. Must Love Dogs Starring Diane Lane & John Cusak (2005)
  13. Fool’s Gold Starring Kate Hudson & Matthew McConaghey (2008)
  14. Two Weeks Notice Starring Sandra Bullock & Hugh Grant (2002)

Hope this sparks your creativity for romance. Thanks for stopping by!!

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Love isn’t about the time you spend together. It’s about the memories you create.” ~Unknown

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Abstract Art Painting

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This is another painting from Jodi Ohl’s Abstract Interactive online course. The color scheme and painting was supposed to represent a warm sunset but after I applied the first layers of paint, I kept laughing thinking it looked more like a quilt than an abstract sunset.

When I showed it to my daughter, she completely disagreed. She said it didn’t look like a quilt, but a Neal Sweater 😂😂 I couldn’t stop laughing so this painting is officially named “The Neal Sweater.”

Trivia question, in what movie is there a “Neal Sweater?” I’ll give you a hint it’s a Disney movie, any guesses?

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Watercolor Journal Angel Lalani

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I finished my angel, meet Lalani. I only have 1 more page to go in this journal. Whoohoo!! I’m having fun playing with colors and design. I really like how the sky turned out on this one. What do you think?

Have a fantastic weekend!!

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Thoughtful Thursday Anna Ruby Falls, Georgia

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Anna Ruby Falls photo by Maria Vidaurre

There’s something to be said about slowing down and spending time in nature. This past fall I was fortunate to take a hiking trip to northern Georgia with my husband. One of our visits was to Anna Ruby Falls which is in Unicoi State Park, located just outside of Helen, Georgia. It was a stunning drive to the falls as we drove on the windy road through the forest with accents of mother nature’s foliage of yellow, orange and red leaves glistening in the sunlight.

The hike to the falls is about a half mile on a paved path. Officially it’s .4 of a mile, but my Garmin and phone tracker showed it was a bit more. Nevertheless, it was a majestic hike the entire way as the path followed the creek and you were serenaded by the flowing waters. The path was a little steep but there were plenty of benches along the way to rest if needed.

James H. “Captain” Nichols was a Civil War Colonel who retired and moved to Nacoochee Valley in 1870. Even though he had been promoted to Colonel he was reverently referred to as “Captain.” While out horseback riding one day, Nichols discovered the falls and named them after his daughter, Anna Ruby.

The falls are made up of Curtis and York Creeks that run down the steep slopes of Tray Mountain in 2 falls. In the photo above Curtis Creek Falls is shown on the left and drops 153 feet and York Creek Falls is shown on the right and drops 50 feet. These 2 falls combine to create Smith Creek which is what you see when walking on the path.

I hope you enjoyed this little travel tidbit. Anna Ruby Falls was a beautiful place to visit and I hope you’ll be able to visit it too!

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“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” ~ Lao Tzu

All photos were taken by Maria Vidaurre

Watercolor Journal Angel Valentina

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Meet Angel Valentina. I love painting angels in my Strathmore 5.5″ x 8.5″ watercolor journal. It’s a nice creative warm up to get the day started.

What is your favorite way to warm up for a creative day?

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Watercolor Journal Angel Fay

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Hope your weekend is off to a great start! We’re in for some really cold weather here in South Florida, it’s dropping down in the 30’s. So it will be the perfect weekend to make some hot chocolate and get Hygge 😊

I wanted to try something new in my watercolor journal with my angel. So I played with new colors and created a slightly different design, I named her Angel Fay.

Where are you from and how do you get hygge?

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Thoughtful Thursday Benefits of Microgreens

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Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

Previously I wrote a post about homegrown Alfalfa Sprouts which are excellent for your health. But microgreens are different from sprouts, the most obvious being they are grown in soil where sprouts are grown in water. Another difference is sprouts are ready to be eaten in 5-7 days while microgreens are ready in about 2 weeks.

When eating sprouts you’re eating the entire plant and microgreen are cut near the soil so you only eat the stem and leaves. Microgreens are a powerhouse of nutrition because they pretty much contain all the nutrients of a mature plant but in a highly concentrated form.

Depending on the type of microgreens you grow, they’ll have higher levels of the following nutrients:

  • Iron
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Copper
  • Polyphenols
  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin A
  • Folate
  • Protein
  • Fiber 
  • B Vitamins

These small plants are full of antioxidants, beneficial vitamins and minerals. They help protect the body from heart disease, alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, they boost the immune system and brain function, protect your eyes and bones, aid in weight loss, prevent anemia and more.

Microgreens are easy to grow and can be grown year round. There are many types of microgreens that you can grow like arugula, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, quinoa, radish, spinach and watercress to name a few. Plus growing your own microgreens is the best way to keep them fresh longer but they’re also available in stores. Either way it’s a win win to improve your health!

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“To keep the body healthy is a duty, otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” ~ Buddha

Abstract Art Paintings

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I recently joined Jodi Ohl’s Abstract Interactive online course to further my knowledge of art. Painting abstracts takes me out of my comfort zone but Jodi is an excellent instructor and artist which makes it easier. This is a 10 week course with lots to learn so I’ll be posting a more paintings from the class.

I have to say I’ve been having a lot of fun playing with colors and learning to paint abstract art. The funny thing with abstract art is that everyone sees something completely different. These are my first three paintings I did on paper. What do you see?

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Art Journaling

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When I was a kid and the teacher would bring out the scissors, paper and glue I knew it was going to be an awesome day because we would create some type of art. Sometimes it’s fun to go back to the basics and cut out pictures and simply glue them in a journal.

I’m not a textile artist but I look in awe at the quilts others make. I came across these photos in Quilting Arts magazine and decided to make journal pages from them. These were images of quilts created and designed by Jean Impey. They were simply stunning!

I onced used a hand wipe to clean inks from my studio table and it looked pretty cool at the time so I kept the wipe and let dry so I could use it for my art. It ended up finding a home in my journal 😊 The leaves and the heart were made using the recycled wipe. I thought they went well with the images and background color.

Hope this quote and happy journal layout inspire you in way today.

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Thoughtful Thursday Best-ever Beefless Stew

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Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

With the cooler temps finally here in the South, I wanted to try a new vegan soup recipe. But I wanted something really hearty that would be filling and I found it. This is a recipe for “Best-ever Beefless Stew” with portobello mushrooms taking the place of beef. If you’re not a fan of portobellos, I’m sure you could use another type of mushroom that would taste just as good.

I gotta say this was one of the most delicious and satisfying stews I’ve ever had! A few things I would change to the recipe is to add a little salt and pepper to taste and it also calls for fresh parsley as a topping. But I wasn’t too crazy with flavor of the parsley with the stew. I would recommend giving it a try anyways and see for yourself, you may end up liking it.

This recipe was published in the latest Forks Over Knives, “100 Best Plant-Based Recipes,” 2021 and it can also be found on their website “Best-ever Beefless Stew.” It was really easy to make with everyday ingredients.

Forks Over Knives  100 Best Plant-Based Recipes  2021 image 0

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy of this issue, it’s available on the Forks Over Knives Website.

Hope you’ll give this tasty recipe a try 😊

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“Health is the first form of Wealth. Invest in yours by eating whole, unprocessed foods.” ~ Dr. Axe

Custom Keepsake Ornament

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With the loss of my little Cocoa this past summer and being stuck in bed this entire holiday season, my thoughts were on her a lot. She was quite a character and loved to rip our presents open. You can see her ears flying madly as she shredded the paper on this gift. This was serious business for Cocoa, she made us all laugh 😂

So to keep a reminder of Cocoa at Christmas, I made this ornament. It’s a beautiful way to remember those we’ve lost whether our furry kids or family and friends. It’s also a great way to create a custom keepsake for special moments. This started as a simple paper mache circle ornament, but wood would work just as well.

Round Paper Mache Ornament - Christmas Ornaments ...
Paper Mache Ornament

Supplies

  • 3.75″ Paper Mache Circle Ornament or Wood Ornament
  • Gesso
  • Acrylic paint in coordinating color to match photos
  • 3.5″ circle photograph of your loved one
  • 3.25″ x 2.5″ rectangular/freeform photograph of your love one
  • Golden Matte Medium
  • Posca Paint Marker .7mm
  • Sakura Pen .005 or other Waterproof Fine Tip Marker
  • 14″ Trim of your choice
  • Stickles – Star Dust
  • Aleene’s Tacky Glue

Instructions

  1. Paint your paper mache ornament with gesso and let dry.
  2. Paint your entire ornament, including the edges with the acrylic paint using a 3/4″ flat brush. Let dry. Give it a second coat if needed.
  3. Print and cut your photographs to fit the ornament. The approximate sizes are listed above.
  4. Using the matte medium, adhere your photograph to one side of the ornament. Apply a coat of matte medium over your photograph to seal and protect it. Let dry. {Note: depending on the ink you use to print your photo, you may want to test the matte medium on a sample photo to make sure the ink doesn’t bleed.}
  5. Follow step 4 with the 2nd photo on the other side. Let dry.
  6. Add any names, dates or sentiments with your Sakura pen.
  7. Using the your Posca pen, add little stars and doodles. Let dry.
  8. Accent one side of your ornament with Stickles and let dry. Then repeat on the other side if desired. Let dry.
  9. Last, using Aleene’s Tacky Glue, adhere your trim to the edge of the ornament and cut off any excess. Now you have a beautiful keepsake of your loved one or that special moment.

I hope you enjoy creating your custom keepsake. Keep in mind, these would also make great gifts too 😊

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Valentine’s Day Canvases

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I’m having a lot of fun creating these smaller canvases for Valentine’s Day. There are a lot of layers and work that goes into each one. They’re literally labors of love and I accent each one with glitter for a little bit of Cupid’s magic. Each painting is sealed and protected with a matte finish and comes ready to hang and are available in my Etsy Shop.

Hope you’re having a great weekend!

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Thoughtful Thursday Book Review

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I just finished reading “The High 5 Habit” by Mel Robbins and really loved it. In her book, Mel explains the importance of supporting and cheering on your family and friends throughout life. It’s something we all do without giving it much thought. Yet when it comes to ourselves, we’re overly critical and rarely if ever do we give ourselves credit for how far we’ve come on this incredible journey called life.

This simple concept of high fiving yourself everyday may seem silly at first but I can tell you it’s absolutely mind altering and in a very good way. Mel doesn’t just talk about starting this habit with easy to follow steps. She goes further by explaining how this affected her own life and then gives you the science behind why we do what we do and what we need to do to change.

I highly recommend reading this book which is available on Mel Robbins website or on Amazon. “The High 5 Habit” is a well written book that will help you understand yourself better and learn how to make positive changes in your life.

Hope you enjoyed this book review. Thanks for stopping by!!

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“Good habits are as addictive as bad habits, and a lot more rewarding.” ~ Harvey MacKay

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

Change Watercolor Portrait

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I finished this portrait last night and named her “Change.” Just as caterpillars change to stunning butterflies, sometimes we also have to change to stay on our life’s path. Change isn’t always fun but can lead us to great things.

Have a fabulous day!

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“Change is the law of life, and those who only look to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” ~John F Kennedy